I had a time with the cake - it turned out a lot better than I expected, though. First, it fell apart removing it from the pan - the sides stuck to the pan, and the middle fell out. (That's the last time I follow the instructions on the box - it said grease the bottom only, when I've always been taught to grease and flour the entire pan.) (And yes - I used a cake mix. I figured I had WAY too much to do this weekend, and Nathan wouldn't care either way.) Then I couldn't get the frosting to turn the right color of green.... I wanted a grass green, but no matter how much coloring I added, the frosting wouldn't go any darker than spring green. I did manage to get the pieces of the cake pasted together using the frosting, so you couldn't tell it had fallen apart. I got the black piping done, outlining the letters, then went to add the color, and the yellow frosing tube exploded on me - the coloring and the frosting had apparently separated, and so all the oily yellow coloring oozed all over the cake. I got it cleaned up sufficiently, and made it presentable. (And really, I was pretty happy with how it turned out, except for the residual yellow frosing around the first H.) Paul positioned the train for me, then we took off to the park.
We decided to have cake and ice cream at Forest Park during the tractor show, since my family was all there as exhibitors, and Paul's family was all there as vendors. It didn't matter that it was 2 days early - the point was to enjoy time with everyone, and that's what we did. Apparently I mis-judged EXACTLY how much family we'd have there..... We ended up with 27 people! Good thing I'd sprung for 4 quarts of ice cream from Dairy Queen, since they were having a 2-for-1 sale. And all the cake was eaten, so there were no leftovers to take home to tempt me!
The day of Nathan's actual birthday (Monday), Paul took off work, so he wouldn't have to go in that night. He came home from working the night before and Nathan opened our present to him. Yes, we built him the playset, but I wanted to let him tear the wrapping paper off of something - I wrapped up a tractor, trailer, and skid-steer set that I'd bought two months ago when we went on vacation in case we needed to tempt him in case of a screaming fit in the car with no place to pull off. We didn't need it then, and it had just been collecting dust in our bedroom. So I wrapped it up in the easiest-to-get-to wrapping paper I could find: Christmas wrapping paper.
The skid-steer was a bigger hit than I imagined it would be. He says "Pa-pa!" every time he plays with it, since my dad has let Nathan ride in theirs with him. And my son does not forget important things like that!
Monday night we had a family dinner with Paul's family - not because it was Nathan's birthday (although he did open presents from them), but because it was the only night that worked to get us all together. Paul's grandpa and cousin were up from Medicine Lodge, and his aunt (who is a missionary with her husband in Mexico) was back for the first time since Paul was very young. We had a nice supper at Paul's "Aunt" Jenny's new place. It was a great time, even if Paul was completely dead from working two weeks straight of nights without a day off.
And that's the big occasion! I can't believe he's already two, but at the same time I can't believe he's only two. I can't imagine our lives without him, and I look forward to watching him grow and learn even more in the future!