The only real story this week is the now complete Cousins' Collective First Birthday Boil.
As the old timers know, Riley has a cousin, Caroline (progeny of Joan's brother), who is just 5 weeks older than he is.
For the sake of efficiency, we decided, with Paul and Liz, to have a joint birthday party for the two kids, and after a few ideas were batted around, it was decreed that the celebration would consist of a crawfish boil.
We usually do a couple of boils a year, one for friends and one for family.
Realizing this would combine the two, we trimmed down our guest lists and sent out the invitations.
Semi-Rapidly, the RSVPs came in until we had 60 people eating crawfish and another 10-15 kids and non eaters coming. We prepared for the worst and hoped for the best.
I can now safely say that things were a success.
200 pounds of crawfish, 20 pounds of potatoes, 10 pounds of corn, 10 pounds of sausage, 5 pounds of boudin, 3 pounds of mushrooms, and 4 cases of beer were all obliterated by 70+ people.
Because everyone was spread around the yard and in the house, we were able to squeeze it all in, but I purposely didn't go in the front yard, because I did not want to see the parking arrangements.
We want to thank everyone that came, especially the out of towners and folks we hadn't seen in a while.
One of the coolest aspects of the party was the cake made by Aunt Connie, which was a surprise and blew everyone away.
She actually made silicone molds of 5 different crawfish. Plus the cake was really good. She's cool.
The kids enjoyed eating and playing with the cake, as they are obligated to do on their first birthday.
Riley then got to try ice cream for the first time.
It was messy, but Jimmy was more than willing to help him clean up.
Since Jimmy was tied up in cleaning Riley, Caroline just tidied up on her mom's clothes.
We probably had 10-ish kids here, and one of the most popular spots was Riley's play table.
Riley showed a few kids the ropes, then Anna, an experienced table operator, took over supervisory duties.
The second most popular spot was the real life Power Wheels, my Jeep.
Eli D's Mom said he spent at least a half hour in it.
Lillian then attempted to drive a stick shift, even with an ankle to thigh cast.
Next, the daughter of a lawyer and a cop showed us both good and bad driving habits.
Good= wearing a seatbelt
Bad= Chugging a beer
(Dear Child Protective Services----it was empty.)
The Jeep was so much fun that Lillian was quite displeased when removed.
Eli D's good time was also temporarily thwarted when he fell into a bucket of melted/ing ice while fishing for bottle caps.
(Dear Child Protective Services-- he was never in danger, mommy was right there the whole time)
Things then moved inside, where our living room became temporarily unlivable due to presents and paper.
Riley of course dove right in.
Wait. No. He just lounged while Mommy did all of the work.
He had quite the haul of goodies, and I'll spotlight some of them next week.
Bottom line, for a toddler birthday party that started at noon, the last folks left at 8:30, but Riley hung with them until the end.
It was a great first party, and it's a good thing you only have one. We'll definitely scale things back for a while.
Now, just to make the rest of the week not feel neglected-----
Earlier in the week he got to ride around town in the back of Nonnie's Jeep, with the windows out. He loved it. (he better, or it's gonna be a miserable life)
Friday night, he caught Joan's uncle's band, Louisiana Red, playing at Downtown Alive. Riley showed us that despite ripping off his baby sunglasses just minutes before, he likes wearing Uncle Jake's glasses.
Saturday morning, while we prepared for the party, he met over 9,000 other people (including lots of family) downtown to raise money to save boobies, an anatomical feature he's a big fan of, I mean a fan of big of, uhhhh...... you know what I mean.
He strolled in support of Nicole H and Sharon W and in memory of Aunt Barbara.
And, as if our weekend wasn't full enough, the major dieties of every religion got together and declared it a sin to not go to the zoo in this beautiful weather.
He was definitely much more engaged than last time, especially with the brightly colored birds. (some of which he can only recognize when matching their physical orientation).
He helped Granny Lynn feed a goat for a while, until Riley said, "Put up your dukes," to which the Goat replied, "I got no dukes."
The goat, of course, denies this and says, "They superimposed me”***
Then he showed us how big he is by walking (with assistance) up the hill then back down, which was much harder. By the end he just wanted a celebratory hug.
He was quite relaxed and trying to play Mr Cool most of the time.
A note of congratulation to Jake, whose Jeep officially grew up this morning when we installed a lift and put on some bigger meats.
My Jeep then knighted his Jeep.
And in closing, a word of warning.
Yes, it may be efficient to clean a crawfish pot covered in spices with a pressure washer, but the resulting mist is roughly equivalent to Mace, a theory I painfully stumbled upon which was then accidentally confirmed by Trey who actually has been Maced before.
Be careful folks.
**If you said "That's What She Said," Dwight Schrute, Michael Scott and Jim Halpert congratulate you.
*** I'm afraid this classic Sandler bit may be lost on the mostly female readership.