Although I still have one Turkey travel post in the wings, I decided it was time (if not slightly overdue) to wish my new full-time career a happy second anniversary (by full-time I mean 24/7, with no over time perks. And now that my role as a source of milk is diminishing, Papa has turned into the superhero because he leaves for work every morning on his bike... it's gotten so bad that he insists on reading the My Mom is Fantastic book, as My Papa is Fantastic. I'm not at all bitter...). To celebrate this rather mundane accomplishment, I decided to throw myself a party and invite a few of my friends to join us.
The headcount comprised 7 mammies, 2 daddies, 7 toddlers, 2 babies and 1 papa (Nikolai has recently started dropping the Mama in favor of the more Irish Mammy)... in retrospect, I'm not exactly sure what I was thinking. In Ireland the weather is notorious for being beautiful and sunny in April, May, and by mid-June autumn generally returns (please note, for those of you who are thinking of visiting next year). This is definitely true today, as RTE notes "Today's weather: Very windy with outbreaks of rain, heavy in places. Highest temperatures 17 to 21 degrees." Imagine 7 toddlers hyped up on ice cream cone cakes (yours truely), Krispie buns (an Irish party must, comprised of Rice Krispies covered in melted chocolate -thank you Ashling), and a beautiful rolled trifle (thank you Lorraine) bouncing around my living room while the adults try to balance their teas as they jostle for space on the couches.
Thankfully the weather listened to my week-long iteration of a sundance and provided 3 hours of rain-free, partly sunny, and at least 22 degree weather, phew! The party was held in our decently sized garden (yard) with the hyped up kids bouncing on Nikolai's cot (crib) and double bed (came with the room) in full view of the adults relaxing in the yard (if this is confusing check out the floor plan of our slightly tospy-turvy house). It was a fully fantastic time, with only a few fights (Michael and Nikolai jostling over the new toys) and a few bumps (falling off the runner bike, flipping over the rocking horse). Even all the healthy food got eaten, and for that I must thank my Joy of Cooking (if you can only bring 1 cookbook to the Island it should at least be an encyclopedia of cooking). We even served up some of the first radishes our guests have ever tasted (surprising, but I guess it's not an Irish vegetable)!
Our camera is broken, so pictures were taken by Jess and Aisling. In the picture above, Brad and I are trying to light a candle for every cupcake, and failing due to the wind. Instead we lit the candles one by one for each kid; and they were amazingly patient while waiting for their turn!
I've included a recipe for the robin's egg blue play dough below. (Brad figures the goodie bags are the only reason any of the children actually left, so making the triple batch of play dough was definitely worth it!) The recipe is courtesy of my Mom, but I think she took it off of someone else's website, so true credit for this very superior play dough can not be given. Likely it's not a trade secret or anything, just one of those lost skills from the 1950s.
1 c. flour
1/2 c. salt
2 tsp. cream of tartar
1 c. water
2 tbsp. mineral oil (liquid paraffin in Ireland)
1 tsp. food coloring
Combine all ingredients, except water and oil, in a saucepan. Gradually stir in 1 cup water mixed with oil, add food coloring. Cook over medium to high heat, stirring constantly until a ball forms. Remove from heat, place dough on table and knead until smooth.