We celebrated Peter's 2nd and Dan's 26th birthdays this afternoon in hopes that we'll be otherwise occupied by the time Peter's actual birthday rolls around. We were all still in bed at 10:30am--I'm not sure whether it was better that Peter got a lot of extra rest after two napless days or worse that we had to rush around all morning. At 1pm when the party was scheduled to begin, I was upstairs getting dressed and Dan and Peter were at the balloon store. Luckily, the only relatives known for arriving on time had told us they'd be late, so it wasn't too big a deal. My mom and SIL put up streamers while Dad helped me carve the cakes (from the Cake Mix Doctor--one Darn Good Chocolate and one Strawberry Applesauce) into an engine and 3 car train. I have fond memories of my dad turning 9x13 cakes into Cabbage Patch Kids and My Little Ponies--I figured that with his help, a train wouldn't be too hard. I cooked the two cakes in four loaf pans Saturday afternoon, which worked relatively well. The chocolate was super-dense and a little hard on the outside, but can you really go wrong with chocolate? I highly recommend the Strawberry Applesauce--it was light and fluffy and yummy.
Peter went a little bananas when all his favorite people suddenly filled the house (my parents, Dan's 3 sisters, the new husband and 3 kids of his older sister, my aunt, and Dan's grandparents--15 total). At some point early on, he took off his shirt (a new skill) and I didn't see any reason to insist that he put it back since it was just going to get cake on it anyway.
He seems to have finally figured out how to open presents by himself. We had to convince his cousins to back away and let him do it, at least enough so everyone else could see. When one cousin tried to play with a new stuffed horse, he whacked her in the head--eek! Oh yes, he's turning two, can't you tell?
Dan opened his own presents while Peter played with his--he got a lot of Home Depot-esque toys. He claims he'll get around to building the shelving unit for the basement for which he purchased fasteners last year now that he has a workbench and circular saw.
I was glad to see that Peter didn't just get toys with wheels. My parents got him a sandbox and associated toys, he has a bunch of new books (yay!), and we got him a cookstove, pots, utensils, and food. It fits on a table edge--two burners and knobs--and won't take up a ton of space like a big plastic kitchen might.
We ate cake and ice cream after the presents were all opened. Peter is now an expert in candle-blowing. He has had so much cake recently that he was upset to hear that he couldn't eat cake for breakfast this morning. This should be the last of the parties for at least a month, although we've got a whole cake leftover now.
The cousins left just before 3 and everyone else piled out around 3:30. Peter actually got calmer as the afternoon went on. I was a little nervous scheduling something right at naptime, but since naps have been hit or miss lately, it didn't seem to matter. If we'd had an evening get together, we would have had to spend the afternoon getting ready and I doubt he would have napped anyway. Dan's sisters initially gave me a hard time for not having a dinner, but everyone agreed that this was just enough food and craziness for Peter to handle.
We cleaned for awhile, went to 5pm Mass, and then Peter and I went out for pizza while Dan attended a choir concert. By 8:15, Peter was turning the pages of his "What Makes a Rainbow" book over and over again and zoning out. He was more than willing to lie down with me (and his blankie, and initially, his new bulldozer) and nurse and sleep. He seemed to conck out pretty quickly--I zoned out myself and didn't get out of bed until 10:45pm. Dan got home right as we went to bed, so I suppose if we'd waited another 5 minutes, he could have put him to bed. I figured that since we didn't try to nap today, I didn't mind him nursing for awhile.
I haven't uploaded my pictures yet--hopefully there's a decent one of the cake. These are from my aunt.