You Look Like A Monkey

August 2, 2010 § Leave a comment

This past weekend we celebrated my youngest son’s 2nd birthday.  It was a fun event filled with family and friends, and of course, cake.  (Which begs the question, who came up with the expression of “a piece of cake” as something that refers to a task which is easy and effortless?  Obviously, this person had never tried to make a birthday cake with Martha Stuart taunting them in the back of their mind.)  This year’s cake was my very first attempt at a gleaming red firetruck… and was also the very first year I found myself at the store the day before trying to decide on a cake pan.  Usually I have these things planned out a month in advance … but nope, not this year.  Isn’t it a little early yet to be losing my steam?  At any rate, the cake turned out satisfactory (although still not to par with Martha’s standards,) and was completed an entire 20 minutes before the start of the party.  This was also a first for me, since I’m usually still putting on the final touches as the first guests start to arrive.  However, seeing Morgan’s smile light up the room at the sight of his birthday cake made all the work well worth it!

Here comes the cake!

Whoa! Those blow out?!

Perhaps the biggest “first” for this birthday party (well, for me anyway,) would be the presence of my fancy schmancy Nikon camera.  *BIG SMILE.*  It has been the toy of a lifetime — because lets face it, when you enjoy something this much, it feels more like play than anything!  Learning has been the name of the game however, as after snapping my indoor photos (and discovering that my dining room really does not receive much of that “good” light and the noisy photos that have resulted from it) I’ve come to realize that one of four things has to happen: 1)  I keep my f/stop as low as possible (any fellow photogs know what I’m talking about,) which means the gift of space between the subject and I is gone   2) I sacrifice my “natural light ONLY” mantra and permit myself the use of my flash (not my favorite option)   3) All future birthday parties will need to take place in my “studio loft” (ie the upstairs living room, which does receive oodles of that beautiful natural light… but the idea of red frosting on a white backdrop makes me cringe) or finally  4) I invest in second lens, one that is more capable in very low light situations (think f/1.4)  Hmm…..nothing against my current lens, which has been beyond awesome to me, but I vote for #4.  Time to start earmarking the savings!

This little beauty belongs to a very good friend of mine, and was so adorable that I couldn't resist snapping this shot.

There was even some left for the grown-ups! Maybe next year I should make a second cake?

So, why the monkey catchphrase?  In my childhood days, our family had a slightly unique tradition that we carried out every year …. a not-yet-so-well-known version of the song “Happy Birthday,” which has been passed down from my mother’s mother’s side.  Our family celebrations proceeded as such:  After singing the standard version of the song, my brothers and sisters and I would enthusiastically continue into this ‘second’ verse,  “Happy Birthday to you, you were born in a zoo, you look like a monkey AND you smell like one too!”  (Well, the actual inherited version was “you act like one too,” but our young hearts much preferred the insult of aroma to any wild animal behavior.)  My family is proud to know that I have carried on this tradition with my three children — only I have held true to the original, as my trio has yet to modify the melody to fit their particular flavor.

Much has changed since Morgan’s first birthday …. for starters, he is actually now more interested in the gift than in the gift wrapping (at least for the most part.)  This portion of the program is always over quickly however, what with so many eager little hands to help open them!

Taste test....to ensure the cake is safe for human consumption.

PRESENTS!!

The day was much too beautiful to be spent indoors, so we decided to enjoy the rest of our time outside.  Thanks to everyone for making Morgan’s birthday a special one!

Apparently age two is not when little boys begin to swoon over little girls.

Big brother Liam instructs Morgan in the art of plastic grilling.

Morgan's big brother....who is well past his second birthday, but whose eyes are too beautiful not to brag about.

Well, I guess girls aren't all THAT bad....

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