I love it even more with buttons! I found the buttons at the local Mennonite crafting and giftware store. They're plastic, so highly washable, and precisely the colour I was hoping for!
Also, I decided that the birthday sweater should not leave the house - or the basement, in fact, so I cast on for Juno Regina today. I figure that way, I have something to work on . . in Public! Like, with my knitting friends, who might lose respect for me otherwise.