Normally I don't do theme parties, but this one was really conceived of a year ago by Monica. (Come to think of it, many of the weird and unlike-me things I've done in the past decade are due to Monica's questionable influence. Maybe I should get some additional friends.... eh too much trouble.) Anyway... welcome to our pirate ship.

My pir-ettes.

The littlest scallywag.

No one would surrender to the Dread Pirate Gary.

This little guy's older brother (about The Dormouse's age) took one look at the party favors I put on his brother and declared "Those are for GIRLS!!" ...and wouldn't let me get near him with even the blackest of pirate booty.

Some people just don't appreciate a free eye patch.

They do okay with a hair clip, though.

And what kind of cake do you have for a pirate-themed one-year-old girl's birthday party? Why, a treasure chest of course. It's no Ace of Cakes cake, but I did learn everything I needed to make it from watching Duff himself. Sometimes weird obsessions do work to your advantage.

In my family, it's been a tradition to let the children have a cake all to themselves on their first birthday. So that cake was for everyone. This is The Caterpillar's actual cake:

She wasn't so sure about it at first.

But Mari was kind enough to show her how it works.

Oh, and incidentally, I've discovered the secret to getting The Caterpillar to sleep through the night, for all you who have been anxiously awaiting the end of that story. Invite thirty people over, build a fire in the back yard, fill her up with sugar, put her to bed and hour and a half late, and she'll sleep all the way until 7:00 the next morning. I'm just not sure it's a sustainable bedtime routine.

"Wow, why didn't you tell me about this cake stuff before?"