Lara's birthday isn't until next week, but we are celebrating tomorrow with a few of her friends. Or, from her point of view, tomorrow kids are coming to our house for some unknown reason to play with her toys. This is a funny year in that way - first with Halloween, and now with her birthday a week later (you should have seen my anxiety two years ago that she not be born directly on Halloween - seriously, it was my biggest worry in terms of the birth. Ah, the naivete of the pre-child days!). She is aware that something is up, and has a general sense that participation is required in some sort of event, but obviously when one has no concept of time one cannot really fathom the idea of birthdays. Of course, we've taught her to parrot out "Yaya is two!" in response to questioning, just as we taught her to mumble "tick o teat!" before plunging her hand into a pile of proferred candy - and this is how she is entering the social fabric of traditions that swim around her, memorizing first and saving her questions for the end.
Today is all preparation. Here are the favors that our tiny guests will be receiving - three bibs in this delightful goldfish fabric from Free Spirit (they are backed with some dark blue jersey) for the 5 months and under set:
and some crayon melties for the 18 months and over crowd:
What are crayon melties, you ask? Why they are broken bits of crayons melted together to form new, giant super-crayons of doom! Here's how.
Preheat your oven to 300 degrees. Start with a cardboard shape and some aluminum foil. (The shape should be all convex for this method to work. Initially I wanted to to a star, and that was a bust.)
Fold the foil around the shape, making sharp creases around the shape's edges and at all other creases. If your shape has angles, fold each foil triangle that forms at the seam to one side (this way the liquid wax of the crayons won't just leak out.
Remove the cardboard. Peel the paper off the crayons and break them into short pieces (I aimed for four pieces per crayon). The more even your crayon pieces the better, since they will form discreet color blocks within the finished super-crayon. Start putting the crayon pieces into the foil shape upright, filling in tightly.
Place on top of a another pieces of foil and put in the oven for ten minutes or so (keep an eye on it and take it out when fully melted. Take the melted crayons very carefully, making sure to keep them very level - if the colors run together too much, they turn into a muddy brown/gray and destroy the effect.