My oldest son will turn six this week. Six! I’m sure parents have been saying this since the beginning of time, but I don’t know how he’s six already!
He’s sweet, funny, sometimes stubborn, curious, innocent, smart and quirky. And I still adore the heck out of him, even more than the day he was born.
He sometimes consents to helping me in the kitchen.
This year has been the year of LEGO for him. For years, he was obsessed with trains, and birthday party themes all centered around The Island of Sodor. Shortly after he turned five, he rapid-fired through multiple phases of obsession: U.S. states, then countries, then dinosaurs, and then LEGO. Now, we are all LEGO, all the time. We still have my husbands legos from his childhood, thanks to my thoughtful mother-in-law, who saved the best toys. And our son is completely obsessed with collecting new sets, assembling them, and then playing with them. It’s an awesome hobby, and I’m not kidding when I say that I could not assemble the things he puts together, at least not as quickly as he does.
So, his birthday theme this year was easy: LEGO! The custom in his kindergarten class is to invite the whole class, and the idea of inviting a dozen 5- and 6-year-olds to our house on a weekend seemed like torture. I torture myself enough, so I looked to the awesome people at kiddywampus to help me out. They designed the most amazing lego art party imaginable, and all of the kids had a blast. They built lego creations, built a shadowbox to be a lego city (including using lego pieces to stamp paint on the background), played red light green light, and ran an obstacle course.
I had no doubt that kiddywampus would work their magic. Last year, we had an “action Jackson” party, complete with paint-throwing.
The food theme for that party was easy: I made a rainbow of fruit with berries, clementines, pineapple, and grapes. The kids devoured it, and we had pizza and cake, too.
This year, the theme didn’t come to me right away, but when it did, I was pleased with how easy it turned out to be. One of the party guests has a severe egg allergy, so traditional cakes were out, and I was wary of trying an egg-free recipe. I made rice krispie treats (using the smitten kitchen for inspiration), and gave the kids M&Ms to press into the rectangular pieces to make their own legos. They were egg-free and delicious. I bought lego city plates and cups on zulily, and lego-shaped candles on amazon.
When we got home from the party, we were exhausted. My hair still smelled like butter from the previous night’s crepe party, and I think we all had a bit of sensory overload. (Is it possible to be hung over, when you haven’t had a drop of alcohol?) Thankfully, we had stocked away loads of leftovers from the crepe party, so I shredded some chicken and made this beautiful chicken sandwich.
It’s just chicken, mustard, dijon mustard, lettuce, and sourdough toast. Oh! And avocado. We have a ton of avocados right now. It was the perfect plain-food antidote to the beginning of our party weekend. That evening, I made chicken stock from the chicken carcasses, and made chicken risotto based on this Bon Appetit recipe (one of our favorites for post-Thanksgiving). With some steamed broccolini, it was a great dinner for a cold winter.
Around the time of our oldest son’s birthday, we have our annual meeting at church, which also happened to be this weekend. We’re both a little pooped, but there’s no rest for the weary – we’re preparing for Arctic Blast v2.0 to hit Minnesota tonight and tomorrow morning. Brrrr!