I was elated. Once of them was to fly over from a different city.
One month before the date is when I started properly planning. I had decided already to order food from outside, since making it at home would tip off Anand. I researched a bit and found of that a near by Italian restaurant is one of its kind! One of the days A was working in the nights and so, Megha and I went to the restaurant to order food. When I did to there, I saw that the entree's were over $20! My! That's expensive and that's not even including appetizers, desserts and drinks! After some "talking" the chef agreed to do apps and entrees in my budget; well, I went a little over but only by $50.
Setting a menu was difficult than I had anticipated. We were to have 4 vegetarians and 6 non-vegetarians as guests. So, I couldn't order large portions of the same Kind. After a lot of discussion with the chef, below is the menu:
Fresh garlic bread
Portobello mushroom ravioli
Apart from the above, I had bought some lays chips and tortillas and some salsa. Our good family friend had also brought Samosa's and some dessert.
On the day of the birthday, everyone loved the food. I am so glad I ordered it from the restaurant; everything really was nice.
For drinks, below were bought. I made sure Anand had his favorites, sans Keiths as thats what he normally drinks.
Beer: Heineken, Kingfisher, Tsingtao, Corona
Wine: Since I went for Italian, I got Chianti, like 5 bottles of red and 3 white.
Champagne: Brut and something else which escapes me right now.
We already had so much more in our wine rack, so I didnt buy things like whiskey, rum etc
Of course we didnt drink all of it on the same night :)
I had decided already that I would be baking one cake to be cut in the morning when Megha is awake and I would buy one for the night.
I started the chocolate cake. So far so good. The trouble began when I decided to make frosting as well. The double trouble began when I had decided that I want to make a two layered chocolate cake!
Trouble two: it was taking waaaay too long. Megha was also fussing a lot and I had to keep washing my hands to run upstairs to comfort her. When it was finally done after 3 hours, it was no way close to how I wanted it to look like. But I guess A would forgive me for messy looking cake as I had the right intentions :)
Something told me that I had to finish all the outside shopping 2 days before the birthday. I was glad I did, as Anand wanted to take my car for work that day (A's car is a standard car and I don't drive stick shift).
I bought a yummy 3 layered fruit cake. I was so mad with the day lady at the confectionary section. It was already 5:30 pm and it was getting closer to Megha's dinner time. The lady looked at me and totally ignored me for good 2 mins! I yelled at her, " lady, if you are too busy to serve me, call your manager, perhaps he/she would assist me". She made some excuse but I got my point across. See, I can be a biyaatch when I want to. I just don't like to be one; doesn't mean I am not capable of being one.
Anyway, I bought the cake I wanted and went home!
As most of you who know me, know that while I try to keep the home as clean as possible, it never comes to a point where I can say, "it's spotless". Since I was going to have so many guests at home, I wanted to make sure everything is spotless. But how? I mean, when I don't do anything extra itself I am so busy with Megha, where do I find time to clean carpets, clean the bathrooms, kitchen, floors, fridge and all the rooms?! I can't start too early as there is a danger of getting everything "back to square 1". So, I had to start 2 weeks before the party date. My Megha was being such a sweetheart; I simply put her in the crib with a few toys while I vacuumed the upper level.
The next day, I did the lower level carpets. The day after I did the bathrooms. Most of the stuff had to be done when she went to bed, which gives me a window of 2 hours every night. unfortunately, she was waking up every 20 mins the first night; that means i hardly got to do anything at all.
Polishing the glasses, polishing the cutlery, rinsing and wiping the china was done on 3rd night. I grossly underestimated the time take to polish the glasses. Of course I had a lot of glasses to polish, for i had no idea what everyone would be drinking. I started with wine glasses, then proceeded to beer mugs, martini glasses and finally to champagne flutes. I am telling you, its a 1 hour job. but i was so glad I did it because at the end of it all, they were all shining, just like crystal should.
Finally the day came. When Anand woke up at 11:30 AM (he was working the night before), we had a cake cutting with Megha in his lap. He also got cuddles, kisses and a card from Megha. Her hand prints frame has not been completed as a gift and hence, I couldnt give it to him.
When the evening came, one of his friends came over to take him out for a drink. By then A guessed that I am up to something as no one shows up unannounced at our home. Our good friends, Neeta and Vishya helped me immensely with getting the food from the restaurant, cleaning up, prepping the backyard etc. It wouldnt have been the same without them two.
9 of his good friends gathered, including his best buddy Steve who flew over from a different province. Anand was surprised with the guest list, though the party itself wasnt a surprise (his friend showing up unannounced gave him a hint).
All of had good time and he got so many gifts. But the best gift of all were best wishes of his friends. Anand had a great time and I guess thats all that matters at the end of the day. Would I do this again? Probably not. too much work. certainly not when you dont have anyone to help to maintain the 'surprise factor'.