How would I describe the past six years I've spent with my lovely Pixie? Exciting definitely comes to mind. As well as loud and forceful. But also life-changing, amazing, stimulating, and enrapturing. Nothing in my life has engaged me so wholly as becoming her mother.
One of her current favorite pastimes is hearing stories of her when she was a baby and most of the times, the stories we tell have happy connotations. There are a few that have come to mind, however, that were first experienced with frustration or disappointment although we manage to spin those stories in a funny way so she still laughs. Basically, I entered motherhood with an idea of what to expect but found something entirely different. In retrospect, I can see how her ADHD and sensory processing were dictating her wild and dramatic responses to the world but I didn't know that then. All I knew was that she never calmed down or slowed down or quieted down and that my world was turned upside down. But when I looked in her face (when she finally fell asleep and was still), I could see the face of an angel and I knew that I would change to become whatever she needed me to be.
Six years later, I'm still trying to become what I need to be and I still fail so many days. And it occurred to me on her sixth birthday that I have already spent 1/3 of my time with her. I only have 2/3rds of our time together left to get it right. When such a beautiful and intelligent angel falls into your lap and depends on you to place them successfully in the world, every day counts. I have had six eventful years with her and in twice that amount, she will leave my arms to go her own way. The thought gives me palpitations.
And the thing about turning six years old, is that for the first time, you can see just how big your baby has become. The chubby arms give way to slenderness, and the fat little fingers become lean and able to maneuver the smallest of buttons. So, there is only one thing to do: celebrate the grattitude and miracle of having a child who turns 6.
For inspiration, we picked the fab new pink legos line for girls (she loves them as well as her mother, grandmother, and all of my friends, by the way). We based it on a "build castles" theme and the centerpiece of it all was the castle cake she requested. My mother has been asking (somewhat anxiously) that these photos be posted so here I present them to you.
Making this cake was an adventure I could not have undertaken without the help of my mother. I will put links to the recipes for the cake and frostings and icings at the end. My mother first piped out over 200 flowers made of royal icing.
We used the Wilton Castle Cake set but we deviated from the directions a bit. Instead of using fondant, we used a homemade frosting and instead of punching the flower decorations out of gum paste with their flower set, we piped them out of royal icing. Instead of using 10" cake pans, we used 8" because it's what I had. Some creativity was required to get all the pieces to fit on the smaller cakes.
She loved it though and that made everything worth it!
That darling dress she's wearing was made by my mother. She looked every year of 6 in it.
My mother also got her a beautiful Gotz doll from Pottery Barn Kids (Gotz were the original American Girl makers before Mattel bought the brand) and sewed her a matching dress. I think my mother is going for some "Abuela of the Year" award and she's a shoe-in for sure!
I forgot to take photos of the cute lego rings we made as favors. I was sure the little brothers in attendance would not want a lego ring so we made them lego pins. To make them, you just need the pins or ring findings, some lego bricks, and some handy-dandy E-6000 glue. The other favors were the small $10 sets of legos. Expensive, but that's all they got.
Oh, and download the simple and easy invitations if they'll help you do a pink lego castle party too. Download Pink lego castle party invites (Paste on some coordinating paper on the front, then glue a 1x2 brick after printing and you're set with the invitations. Oh, the castle graphic came from a website selling it as a party backdrop.)
For the recipes, you'll want to check out the cake for the best strawberry cake I've ever tasted. The strawberry frosting was equally delicious. (These are actually recipes I posted a couple of years ago.) There was so much leftover that I had enough to take cupcakes into her school class. For the cupcakes, try the Sprinkles Bakery frosting recipe: all butter and all flavor!
buttercream frosting (we used this for the green foliage decorations)
royal icing (for the flower decorations)
My darling daughter, if you ever read this some day, I want you to know that you are the most special thing that ever happened in my life. The moment you were born, you became my world. When there are days that I fall short, it's only because I have forgotten to stop and think about all the wonder and beauty you have brought into my life. Through you, I have discovered truer, deeper meaning for love.