I posted this in my family blog back in September, and was inspired to post it here after reading another triplet Mom's blog.
Birthdays are very special in our family. We make a big deal of them. The birthday child gets to choose their dinner, their cake and ice cream, be king / queen for the day. So what do you do when you have three children who share a birthday? It took us a few years, but we finally came up with something that works. You have a Birthday WEEK, of course!
We actually started this last year, and it worked out great. I started an entry about it but never got around to posting. It started out with the triplets and me sitting on the couch with a notebook and pen brainstorming ideas. First I eliminated certain days from the mix - Friday night was out due to high school football and such. Then I suggested we mix up the order a bit - normally we end up in birth order: Matthew, Stephen, Mary. They liked that idea and were surprisingly agreeable. Each nabbed a day with NO arguing at all! So we ended up with this schedule:
Thursday: Actual birthday with group cake and presents; cupcakes at school
Friday: off for football game
Next I had them choose their menu. Dinner, cake, ice cream, and cupcakes to take to school. They chose a dinner and cake they could all agree on for their actual birthday. Believe it or not, again they were quite agreeable. Stephen said, "How about tacos"? "Mmm, tacos!" said the others, and it was decided. Mary said, "chocolate mousse cake!" and the others said, "yeah!" The boys were concerned that they picked the same main dish for their own dinner. "First off, it's your dinner, you choose, it doesn't matter if someone else picks the same thing", I said. "But look, it's not even two nights in a row!" Sure enough, they had the first and last nights. Problem solved.
This was the busiest day for me. Not only did I have Stephen's dinner and cake to make, but I had to prepare 6 dozen cupcakes! Yikes! I think next year I'll start those earlier and freeze them. They really prefer the homemade cupcakes (yes, I use a mix! I can't bake from scratch to save my life!) and they said the other kids loved them too. Plus when I see the price of 6 dozen cupcakes...well, you do the math!
Mary chose half vanilla with chocolate frosting, and half chocolate with vanilla frosting.
Matthew loved that idea! Only he wanted the chocolate and vanilla all in the same cupcake! So I just layered the chocolate and vanilla. This was a huge hit with the kids, although it was a bit harder on the chef. Because I can only bake 12 cupcakes at a time, logistically it worked out to have half with vanilla on bottom and half with chocolate on bottom. Oh, and he asked for "yellow" frosting. Not lemon - just yellow!
BTW, I make my own frosting. It's so much better than the canned stuff, and only takes 2 minutes more to make it, saves money, and you know what's in it! Simple enough to toss in a few drops of yellow.
Stephen asked for lemon cupcakes. With vanilla frosting. I'm ashamed to admit I didn't get pics of his. I finished the cakes late at night and frosted them in the morning, and was exhausted! I also didn't get a pic of the stack of boxes I had to carry to the school! Bad Mommy!
Taking them to school was fun. I got to park right out front, thank goodness. Still, it took 2 trips to get them into the office. I planned to take them to the classrooms, but couldn't carry them all by myself. Mrs. P in the office called down to Matthew's room. "Oh, she can just bring them!" was the answer. Yeah! LOL! But Mary was allowed to come help me, and we took them back. Everyone was impressed I had made them myself. Doesn't anyone else make cupcakes anymore?
They would have been a lot easier to carry if I HAD gotten them at the bakery. They come in a box! Oh well...I will have to plan better next time or just suck it up.
But - I'm getting ahead of myself! I took those to school on Thursday, and I'm still writing about Wednesday.
Here is Stephen's chosen menu:
Vanilla cake, vanilla frosting, vanilla ice cream. "That's a lot of vanilla!" I said. "It's a vanilla FESTIVAL!" he shouted happily.
Stephen's Vanilla Festival:
There were no presents on individual days. We did those on the birthday itself.
Thursday - The Birthday!
Tacos, and chocolate mousse cake. Easy-peasy. I think I bought some of BlueBell's new Snickerdoodle ice cream (BTW - yum!), and also served the vanilla from last night.
They fell in love with Chocolate Mousse Cake from a local bakery. Mary and I made up our own recipe and it was delicious. Bake a chocolate cake, and frost with
Mary and Mommy's Super-Duper-Deluxe Mousse Stuff
1 pkg, instant chocolate pudding mix
2 T cocoa powder
4 T powdered sugar
1 -1/2 cups heavy cream
Beat it till it's done. This would have been thick enough to put in between layers, but I didn't think it would so we frosted a sheet cake with it. Mmmmmm.
Of course there were presents galore. We didn't go overboard, but with 7 people plus grandparents buying a gift apiece for 3 kids, it does look like Christmas!
That's Stephen in his Birthday crown.
Now see, this is why I often wonder why I spend money on presents. All SIX of them played with these paper tubes!
I can't believe my babies are 7. Sigh.
Mary's day. This was a big day for her as she was having her first non-cousin sleepover at our house!
"A Chocolate Festival, Mom!" - Chocolate cake and frosting. Chocolate ice cream. With PINK candles, of course!
Matthew's day. When choosing the cake: "Mom, I want a festival of, what's that word when you have all different kinds of stuff?" "Variety?" "Yeah, that. I want a Variety Festival!"
Green salad with Ranch
Matthew's "Variety Festival" - Carrot cake, vanilla frosting, Oreo cookie ice cream.
I'm posting a picture of his dinner because it still amazes me what a well-rounded eater he is. Look at that plate!
And here is what a "Variety Festival" looks like!
The look on his face says it all, don't you think?
It took several tries for him to blow out the candles. We assured him he would still get his wish.
So the week is over. Phew! Till next year. But I'm glad we did it this way. Seriously, if we had 3 kids of different ages with close birthdays, they would still get separate celebrations. These guys get lumped together enough as it is. But the most satisfying thing about this was the look on their faces when we sang just to them, when they blew out the candles of their own cake. They will share a party in two weeks (maybe next year we'll move to separate parties, but for now they wanted it this way). That presents its own dilemmas as they share some friends but others don't even know they're triplets! But I'll save that for later.
I'll end this with a flashback:
Landscaping - before
8 years ago