The littlest of the boys is not so little anymore! Vilis turned two yesterday, although we’ve been celebrating for a whole week; the krustvecāki and the grandparents flew/drove down for the occasion!
|the birthday boy blowing out his candles|
On this particular birthday there wasn’t a set ‘party’ – it really spanned the whole weekend – but there was an afternoon spent decorating the house, setting the table and baking a cake and kliņģeris. I chose a woodland animals theme for Vilis, inspired by a visit to Ikea on our recent trip to Charlotte, and the Överlägsen party collection we found there. I didn’t buy the complete party kit, however I did splurge on invites, paper plates & cups, napkins and wrapping paper.
|a new backpack and a new monkey!|
We extended the woodland theme to the table with a nature-themed centerpiece consisting of pinecones, rocks, moss, Toob animals, a fern and lanterns with candles over a burlap runner. The contrast between natural and Ikea was interesting!
Anna and Andrejs put up streamers and balloons, and before too long balloons were being batted around by three enthusiastic party-goers, the rowdy carousing interspersed with pops when balloons were overinflated and overhandled.
|the balloons definitely went with the theme...|
We kept the menu simple. One night we had pasta: shells stuffed with ricotta, sausage from our Farm Tour visit to Happy Critters Ranch, parmesan, mozzarella & romano cheeses, and topped with marinara and parsley. For the party I had cooked up a big pot of chili out of Joy of Cooking, a filling dish that let me spend less time in the kitchen and more time with family.
|now that he's two he'll be served like Lauris and Mikus|
Of course there was traditional Latvian birthday bread, kliņģeris, prepared by the fantastic duo of Andrejs and vecmamma Inga. While they were busy doing that I was working on the cake…
|a toblerone hedgehog cake|
The recipe I used for the hedgehog cake is one of those that appears on epic-pinterest-fail blogs, but I forged ahead in a naïve belief that my attempt would be different, as well as the knowledge that Vilis is two – he wouldn’t remember a cake disaster. Switching out whipped cream for cool whip lite seemed like a good idea until the time came to smooth out the nose, and I’m pretty sure I could have used a whole bar of chocolate for the frosting, as the color of mine was closer to an albino hedgehog than the tan one in the recipe. However, the result was actually edible, there was just enough for the 10 of us, and the cake didn’t take as long to prepare as some of my previous undertakings. Plus, it’s the thought that counts, and I was thinking hedgehog.
|Lauris getting a little help with his model racecar|
As we shared memories of hilarious childhood moments and played cards long into the night, the hours quickly sped by until we were once again shedding tears at the departure of: the readers of books, givers of tačka and piggyback rides, fixers of technology, bakers of kliņģeris, experts at dīdīšanās, tellers of jokes, givers of the best gifts, blowers of balloons and all 5 million other titles earned over the weekend. If only it wasn’t such a long drive and complicated flight for everyone, we could do this more often…
|the first reading of Sušķi no Šmucciema|
A note for my vecmamma and other loyal readers - I hope to upload more of the pictures from the weekend over the next few days… I’ll be in touch!