Birthday Project 1 – Birthday Boy Plate

Welcome to the first official day of ‘Birthday Craze Week’. Since I am person with tons of free time, who does not have a toddler attached to her hip every single waking moment of her day, or an empty house that needs to become a home, or is in the throes of full depression and fighting to cling to her sanity, so I decided that I need to physically hand-make everything for my son’s upcoming 6th birthday. Oh and the fact that I’m cheap helped too.

Well not cheap per se, it’s more along the lines of broke. After traveling 10,375.35 km (yes I looked it up – sue me!) with two kids, setting up a new house from scratch and buying tons of winter clothes for four people to prepare for freezing temperatures (never really needed a sub-artic parka for the sand storms we suffered in Cairo) it’s understandable that I don’t have much money left for other things, plus I really would like to squander money on my very important niceties like manicures and expensive Starbucks coffee.

Okay, okay I know, I’m getting off topic. So I’ve been looking for money-less ways to make Adam’s birthday special. And one of things I decided upon was to get a special china set for Adam to eat his birthday meal on. After all, I can give the kid a break from the IKEA plastic plates for one day of the year. Motivated I go to my favorite place in the world, or as my husband likes to put it; my-other-lover, the internet and look for hand painted, personalized birthday plates. And this comes up:

That plate retails for $38 not including shipping! Yes you heard me right, a 38 bucks for a plate that was done in a kindergarden class. I can probably do better. I know I can do better. So I head off to Pier 1 (did I tell you how much I love Pier 1) and buy two plain white plates for $16. I know, I know, I could have gotten them from the Dollar store for much less, but it’s Pier 1! Then I’m off to Michaels to buy oil based Sharpie paint pens – I’m too lazy to use paints and a brush – and I’m all set.


Tools of the trade

Tools of the trade

These plates took me two hours to make. Then it was off to a 350F oven for 30 minutes to set the colors. They turned out pretty good if I do say so myself. So good, that I may start selling them online for $35.

What a pretty birthday plate – if I do say so myself

So have a look at my magnificent artwork. Tell me how awesome they are and how I am a much better painter than the original store-bought plates. If you want to really flatter me, tell me that I paint at a grade 2 level, much better than the kindergarden job done above. And if you’re feeling reckless, maybe you can order a few plates off me? I’ll even give you a special discount and sell them for only 60 bucks. And if you buy two, I’ll go even lower and give them to you at the extremely low price of $70 each.

Well, you can’t blame a girl for trying to make some extra cash to fund those Caramel Macchiatos.

PS: Can you tell I’m super proud of the plates by the amount of pictures I posted?

It’s Birthday Craze Week

Know this now; I am not a morning person! So if you ever happen to meet me anytime before 10am be warned; I will not be friendly. And if it’s before 10am and I haven’t had my first cup of coffee for the day, then run for your life!

Unfortunately I do not have the luxury of being myself and avoiding mornings all together. Ahh, the good old days pre-kids, when my weekend would mean getting out of bed at 12pm to have breakfast, then getting back in again until 3 in the afternoon. Now, I’m the defeated and low-down mom who gets up every morning at 6:30 to grumble, complain and basically run around at the beck and call of a 14 month old tyrant.

20121106-225643.jpgThis is what I look like without my coffee – blue messy hair and all

So this morning as I was walking around in my half-a-sleep state, Adam; my eldest looks at the calendar on our fridge and says

“Mom, can I have a pen.”

I stop butchering the bagel that is Adam’s lunch; “Why?”

“I want to write my birthday down on the 11th so you don’t forget.”

Shit, his birthday is next week! “Of course, I didn’t forget sweetie! See I’ll write it down and I’ll even put up a sticker.”

I hurriedly shuffle him out the door to school, put Jo down for his nap, brew a bucket of coffee and plonk down on the internet trying to figure out what the hell I’m gonna do for his birthday.

Do I throw a party? It’s too short a notice. Plus I’m worried none of the kids will come. Yes, it’s depressing, I know, the possibility that none of his classmates will come to his birthday. But he’s the new kid and all, and yada-yada-yada…. Come on! I don’t have time for this. What am I gonna do?!

Ok, calm down. Deep breathes. I need a plan. That’s it, I’ll make Sunday all about him, make him his favorite breakfast, lunch and dinner and take him wherever he wants to go. And I’ll send cupcakes and goody-bags to his class on Monday. But if only it were that easy. So many questions to answer, so little time.

Let’s start off with the cupcakes; what kind of cupcakes, I wonder? Well, Adam is currently obsessed with Samurai Power Rangers (see his last Halloween costume).He is so into them that I’m pretty sure he’ll start dropping Smaurai poop any minute now. In that case, a Power Rangers birthday it is.

Ok, now that I got the cake covered; let’s head to Michaels and pay hunderds of dollars for random supplies to celebrate a kids birthday. After all I don’t need the money, even though I haven’t bought a bed yet and am currently sleeping on a mattress on the floor. But the kids have to be happy right?

Onto the goody bags, do I have time to order supplies off the net? Of course – Not! Being the lazy mom that I am, I forgot left it to the last minute and now it’s too late. But have no fear, maybe I can convince his classmates to adopt Jo instead of the goody bags. You know, kind of like the class pet hamsters we had when we were kids.

So I am now officially in the party planning mood, which I love because it’s cool and hate because it’s a lot of work and turns me into crazy-stressed-out-super-freaky mom. I also now know more about Power Rangers Samurai than I know about my husband (that Jayden is actually kind of cute – even though he’s like 15 years 5 years younger than me). And my husband is on cupcake-topper-maker duty. That doesn’t make sense I know, it’s just a job I made up. Anything to make him suffer alongside me.

Adam has decided that he wants birthday pancakes for breakfast, cupcakes for lunch and a birthday cake for dinner. And I, will be spending the night somewhere else. I have just changed my husbands job to; kids-sugar-crash-handler.

And Jo, well I’m thinking of using him instead of a piñata.

Finally, if anyone out there has any suggestions for making the birthday extra special (preferably sugar-less so mommy and daddy are crazy-less) please tell me. It’s Adams first birthday away from all his friends and family so I kind of want to make a big deal out of it.