I find myself a week before the party and I'm trying to figure out what I'm missing. Then it hits me...the cake topper!! You see I had this grand idea. Even though I love making tiered cakes I thought it would be neat to try something a little different. I had so many fun ideas in mind. I wanted to try so many of them, expand my skills etc. But I needed to keep in mind that I not only had to make this cake but a small cake for the baby, two large lasagnas to feed 16 adults and 8 children. I also had to clean because family was coming in from out of town and prepare all the decorations and organize them so it was simple to transport them and set them up. Somewhere in the middle of all that I also had to be mom, wife, bible study teacher and make a long planned visit to Toronto to see Matilda the musical! Life didn't stop because I had a party to put on. With all that being said I opted to do something simple but still really cool. With some themes you can focus on a specific character or setting. So I started to think of the set up of Toy Story and thought how cool would it be to make a layered slab cake and make it into Andy's bed and decorate it with toys. Kind of like the ending scene in the second movie.
I had a small Woody figure, Lots-O the Bear from the 3rd movie and some army men. That was it. I took to Ebay in hopes of finding some figurines at a decent price. Someone was selling 5 new in package figurines from the Burger King happy meals when the movie first released back in...1995!!! Feel old yet?? Anyway, I was so excited, cause it had Woody, Buzz, Mr.Potato head, slinky dog, Rex and Hamm. I ordered it right away, in the middle of September thinking this was plenty of time to get them in. They were in Canada after all.
Fast forward to the Tuesday before the party. I'm wondering why they aren't in and if they would come in on time. We were heading to Toronto for the musical and end up killing some time in the Eaton center. We head into the Disney store and they had 16 toy story figurine sets for only $11. I have them in my hands contemplating whether or not I should get them just in case. I end up putting them back thinking I have 3 more days, they will probably show up.
Thursday evening I get an email from the seller saying " Hey I haven't sent them yet, I was moving, do you still want them? I can mail them out Monday morning??" Just about lost it. What was I going to do now? I live in a small town and there is no place to go and buy toy story figurines. Beside the regular Woody and Buzz. I went from store to store looking, calling places etc. No luck and extremely frustrated. This was gonna look terrible and it was too late to change my mind because the cakes were all ready baked.
I was just going to have to make due. No one else would notice or care but me.
I continued to make the cake. The shape was perfect and even. I used white to make a clean white sheet and pillow at the top. I then used blue fondant as the blanket and added some green squares. Using one of my tools I was able to make it looked like a quilt. It also went on smoothly. I then went about adding some stars, and using the logo as a base and put my son's name and age on the top. It was all coming together nicely but was gonna look rather lame with barely any characters on top. I tried to make the ABC blocks and the yellow bouncy ball out of fondant to help add some toys to the mix.
Lastly comes the head board. I love to use Rice Krispy squares for things like this. Easy to work with and mold the way you want. I made one and it wasn't the right shape. It was now Saturday night, 8pm and I was exhausted. I was running out of time. So I had to think of something quickly. I ran to Dollarama and tried to find something that would work instead. I ended up grabbing an aluminum pan that was roughly the right shape. I ran back, dyed my fondant brown, but didn't fully mix it to give it a natural wood look. Then using a fondant imprint mat, tried to give it the look of wood planks. I wrapped the fondant over the pan and....it looked terrible. It wasn't staying on and ripping. I laid it down in hopes it would dry and harden a bit. The cake didn't need it but it was the finishing touch. It was getting late and my eyes were seeing double. I thought I will just put it up for pictures then take it off. Its not what I envisioned anyway. I was pretty disappointed cause it wasn't measuring up to my grand ideas!
This is what I was referring to with the idea of unnecessary pressure. I wanna wear all hats, prove that I can do it all. Cake decorating is my thing and this shouldn't be an issue. Most moms can do this flawlessly right? How hard can throwing a party be. I also suck at time management. I always over or under plan and then find my self stressed, running out of time and then I forget a few things. I also feel like I've neglected the little people I am doing this for. Thus feeling like a failure.
The next day was the party. I woke up and had to get 3 kids and myself dressed and ready. Then finish gathering everything I needed. I was also doing this solo since my husband is one of the Pastors and was already at church. I wish I could say I let go of the need to be perfect or didn't let the stress get to me but I can't. I let it go because I had no choice and by the time I got to church I had forgotten so many things and was anxious and annoyed. Again I do not handle stress well!
It did perk up though, because I walked into the sanctuary that day, saw all of my family there waiting and knew we were about to celebrate and dedicate my sweet baby to God in front of our amazing and supportive church.
Our families came together after and helped put on a wonderful party. I must say kids know how to make it all better cause at the end of it all my sugar filled, soon to be three year old runs up to me and says "oh mommy tanks for my birrday party" kisses me and runs away!
He didn't care that the cake only had a few figures on top, he was just amazed that the big cake was his! It is funny how much pressure we put on ourselves over silly things. I'm sure one day no one will remember any of it and it will seem like it was pointless. But we all do it. Whether it's a cake, party or fill in the blank. We all do it, you are not alone. Let's just remember to slow down, remember who is important in it all and cut ourselves some slack. No one is judging us or putting these unnecessary expectations on ourselves but us.
Enjoy the party and the adorable sugar filled children! Then when it's all over, take those rambunctious children home and cuddle them more then normal.