Quinn's birthday event was low key. But Mona's party invitations went out with large print stating:
One mom called sounding slightly worried since last year's theme was fish and everyone got a fishbowl. I was not cruel enough to actually send live fish home with everyone, but they did get little wind up fish to put in their bowls. My friend said, however, that the bowl was kind of crying out for a real fish and she ended up having to go out with her son and get him one. She does not want anything that cries out for a lizard.
Essentially all Mona really wanted was a cake like her dragon cake from a couple of years ago, but as a simple, green lizard instead of something purple with horns.
(The dragon cake remains my favorite, though. And the aquarium cake was fun because it was such a collaborative effort.)
The most amazing part about making the lizard cake was that I only had to assemble it. I had to be at work all day the day before the party, so I asked Aden if she could help. She baked me two sheet cakes, made butter cream frosting from scratch, and even made me a batch of fondant. The girl is good, I tell ya. We had a lovely evening together in the kitchen when I came home and we watched "It's A Wonderful Life" on TV while I spread frosting and rolled out fondant.
Anyway, step by step lizard cake!
I cut up a bunch of chocolate cake and shaped it like a lizard. There were many volunteers to finish off the leftover bits of cake that were not lizard-worthy.
After that, frosting. Which goes better with wet knife.
Then I added green food coloring to the fondant and kneaded it with a bunch of powdered sugar and rolled/pressed it out into flat sheets to drape over sections of the cake. I don't know what actual cake decorators do to hide the seams between pieces of fondant, but I score them with a knife and add some water and blend them together and that seems to work. Also, I bought these little containers of icing dye a few years back and they are really intense. Normally when you add a lot of food coloring it tastes bad, but this stuff I can add just a little and there is a lot of color. I kind of wanted to marbleize a couple of different greens together, but Mona wanted a simple cake so I stuck with a single green she approved of.
I think it came out nice. Mona was happy with it, so that's all that really matters.
For the lizard races I cut a bunch of lizard shapes out of some leftover particle board I had lying around.
All the kids got to decorate their lizards with paint pens and stickers and googly eyes.
Toward the end when I couldn't take the noise level anymore I threw everyone outside to blow bubbles. I'm still a little stunned that in December the weather was warm enough to stand on the sidewalk in short sleeves and blow bubbles, but there we are. (Good thing the party wasn't "THEME: SLEDDING.")
So, a successful party! Which feels good. Especially now that it's over. And my little girl is growing up. My duct tape genius child animal expert with no volume control. Damn I love her.