The Monkey is turning 1 next month, and I’m already in shock. How can he possibly be a year old already? Where did the time go? I never realized it would fly by so fast. That he would grow so much and have so much personality and vivacity and life. That I would love him more today than the day he was born, when my heart melted and oozed tiny unicorns and candy canes at the sight of him.
One year old. You know what this means, don’t you? It means we have to have a party. Check that: PARTIES, because my family has always done a family-only party. And since most of those family members haven’t seen the house we bought two years ago … we have to clean. And since we bought the house as a foreclosure — despite the fact that the back yard looked like a scene from “Where The Wild Things Are” — we’ve had to do some major yard work. Including paying others to do some of it. And since my family is ginormous and the house is not (it would implode if we tried to squeeze everyone in there at the same time), we’ve had to buy some outdoor furniture. And since one fence decided to fall down during the last winter storm, we — and thankfully our neighbors — are paying to fix it.
Are you feeling that vibe? That this is spiraling out of control? That next, the damn party is going to ask for a glass of milk? And a napkin? And a toothbrush?
You are so not using my toothbrush. Just sayin’.
So we’ve mostly been focused on the front and back yards. And when I say “we”, I mean the Hubbs. He’s been mowing and weed whacking and pulling up roots like his life depends on it. I’ve been in charge of “the help.” I hired an arborist to remove a bunch of tree branches, stumps, knobby things (don’t ask), debris, and to level off the stumps of two mulberry trees we removed this winter. (Note: NEVER plant a mulberry tree. They grow 20+ feet A SEASON and have to be cut down to nubs each spring. They’re insane.) I’m also in charge of interviewing and choosing fence people. (Almost done.)
And since the fence people also do retaining walls — and ours is falling down — its insanely tempting to have it redone. As in, bring in your tractor, remove a ton of dirt and push that bad boy BACK 4 feet so we have more yard and not just a landing strip of cement. But since that costs around $5K (debris removal and new wall), its not happening right now.
I have like 6 boxes of cake mix in my pantry that I got on sale for $1 each. I know how to make a sugar frosting — I’ve got a stand mixer, so I’m pretty sure the fancier frosting wouldn’t be too hard to do. So all I’d have to do is buy food coloring, raspberry preserve for the filling, some decorating tip things, and some figurines, then decorate it myself. MUCH cheaper, right?
What would you do? (And if you’re a master baker/cake decorator, why haven’t you volunteered to do this for me yet?)