Friday, July 8, 2011

Fifth Birthday Party

I was going to write a chirpy little piece about my daughter’s birthday party which was yonks ago now... but it seems I have inadvertently deleted the pics I took at her party... so it's not so chirpy anymore.  I don't know how I did it, or even when, but I spent a good two hours checking if I could get them back.  However as I am not a computer whiz, the simple answer is no-siree those photos are gone for good!  If anyone has any suggestions on how to get my photos back feel free to leave me a comment.

My daughters 5th birthday party was on the 1st of May.  I spent the entire day before her party, making party food for her self selected 40 friends, some of whom had RSVPed and some of whom had not.  The big thing with five year olds is that their parents tend to stay at the party as well... (I'm sure it wasn't like that when I was five - my mum would have gladly jumped at the chance to be one daughter down for a few hours) so in fact I was actually catering for 80-odd people.  There was a lot of food - loads in fact... better to have more than less I say, luckily for me most of it was eaten, otherwise I would have been eating left over party food for a few days.

I worked right up until the party commencement time, putting the doll in the cake skirt and fancying her up.  Have you ever made a doll skirt cake?  My biggest concern was cutting the hole in the middle of the cake to put the doll in.  I only had a small surface area to work with at the top of the bell shape cake that was to become the skirt.  I had a bit of an audience too you see and my mum said, oh just shove a knife into it, it'll be alright and when I stood there procrastinating she said, do you want me to do it?  Of course I didn’t want her to do it, but I didn't want to spoil the cake either because with only an hour left until the party, I couldn't really whip up another one!!  I selected the longest knife, to the cheers of my across the road neighbours who were now eager to see me destroy the cake (or slit my own wrists!)  I gently inserted the knife into the cake, twirled it around and then used the handle of a wooden spoon to push out the cake.  Then I put ballerina Barbie into her cake skirt and not all together unexpectedly the skirt was too short.  Unless ballerina Barbie was really gangster hip hop Barbie with her whole rear end poking out the top of her skirt, she was going to need some serious icing up.

The meringue icing I used was incredible and easy to make - thanks Dee.  It's so good; I'm going to write the recipe out right now... in case you would like to make your own doll skirt cake, or any other cake for that matter that needs some scrumdiddlyumptious meringue icing.

Scrumdiddlyumptious Meringue Icing
1 cup white sugar
1/3 cup water
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
Place above ingredients in a pot on the stove until dissolved and bubbling.
Beat 2 egg whites until peaks form.
Slowly add in sugar syrup, while continuing to beat.
Add icing sugar if consistency is not to your liking.
It's ready when you have peaks that hold their shape.  Add food colouring as required.

Anyhoo... I iced up Barbie in pretty purple scrumdiddlyumptious meringue icing, as requested by Chynna.  (We also chose a brunette Barbie, because she was most like Chynna).  I added some cake glitter, some pretty icing flowers and some little silver glittery flower shapes, which the cake decorating store assistant said were edible.  In hindsight, the fact that the glittery flower shapes did not dissolve on my tongue and got stuck in my teeth probably indicates they were glittery plastic flower shapes and that (maybe) I misheard the shop assistant or he didn't know what he was talking about!  Either way the cake was a success - one, because it was pretty and two, because by the time we cut it everyone was too full to eat too much cake to care that the little silver glittery flower shapes were not at all edible!

It seems that most of the kids in Chynna's class at school are born around the same time.  We receive a rather large amount of birthday invitations around April every year.  Pretty much we have a party or two every weekend in April and a party once a fortnight in March - so we have been to Fun Station parties, pool parties, had an icecream van come to a party, parties in the park, parties at McDonalds, face painting parties etc etc.  I thought we'd try something different, as I seemed to have acquired an abundance of craft paraphernalia from my husband's nana.  She is craft mad - I am not, unless I can do it somewhere other than my home where I don't have to clean up!  I decided to make an exception and decided we would make party hats with the said craft paraphernalia.  The girls were all for it, the boys not so much.  If you ever decide to make party hats at a five year old party, make sure you have strong, quick drying glue, as five years have no capacity what so ever for delayed gratification of party hat wearing, oh and perhaps limit the use of glitter unless you want it all through your house and garden for the next month!

I also decided the kids would make their own pizzas too.  We brought some mini pizza bases, grated pizza cheese, shredded ham and the other usual toppings that would go on an adult pizza - note the use of “adult”, because only three or so kids were interested in anything other than ham, cheese, onion and tomato sauce!!  Most turned up their noses at pineapple, or even chicken.  It seems that perhaps all five year olds and not just my Chynna are F-U-S-S-Y.  The pizzas were a hit, even if my family of four made and ate pizza for the next few evenings.  Chynna was pleased because even though she is fussy about her toppings, she would gladly eat cheese pizza, with a sprinkling of ham every night.

Ryan took all the kids to the park next to our house.  He played the ogre with all the chocolate and lollies and the kids had to steal it from him.  He's just a big kid at heart, so he didn't mind that he got pounced on.  I had some pics of this... but you'll just have to use your imagination - sorry.

Now some observations for you.  Even if your party guests parents hang around at the party, do not expect that they will keep their child under control.  I'm not sure if these parents think staying at the party is the same as leaving the party as far their child's behaviour is concerned, because some parents had no issue with their kids running through the house, crazily climbing play equipment or furniture and generally being annoying little brats.  Did they expect that the hosts would take control of their children, even though they were still at the party?  I know that if Chynna behaved in a similar fashion at a party and didn't desist when asked we would have left the party and probably have missed the next one for good measure.  We had some family members come along and people we consider friends with kids at the party, who commented on the behaviour... so it's not just my high (haha) standards talking either.  C'mon parents, if your child is at a party and you stay - you are not miraculously absolved of any parenting duties while at the party.

My last observation...was that two years ago, when Chynna turned three we had the Cuddly Animal Farm, visit our home. They had a pony for pony rides, and all the usual cute farm animals for kids to hold and pat.  It was a huge party with ridiculous amounts of children between two and eight running amok on our back block.  I remembered as I was in a mad rush to ice the Barbie cake, that I had said to my husband, after the crazy animal farm party that we weren't doing another party at home for a very, very long time, like until Chynna turned 18 and could help us clean up (yes I know, like that's ever gonna happen).  The year after the crazy animal farm party for Chynna's 4th birthday, we had a party at the Fun Station.  I had to prepare a few party sandwiches, cupcakes and some lolly bags, but generally the kids just played on all the climbing equipment and at the end we all went home with no mess to clean up.  But somewhere between that party and this party - the memory of no parties at home for a very very long time failed to be recalled at the appropriate time!

So I am writing it down.  No more parties at home with large numbers of kids for a very, very long time. 

But then again, who could resist a request from faces like these? 

Chynna, the little cherub (butter wouldn't melt in her mouth) has the red and white dress on.  It's not a great pic of the cake, but all the good ones have disappeared into the abyss known as my computer.  I was just lucky that I gave a copy of this photo to a friend.

No more parties at home with large numbers of kids for a very, very long time... No more parties at home with large numbers of kids for a very, very long time... No more parties at home with large numbers of kids for a very, very long time.... Please holey MS brain remember. 


  1. Hoping Jonny wasn't one of the unruly children - I did try to keep an eye on him in between trying to watch other children around Isabella! It has been a while since he pulled the little gym/slide thing on top of himself - chynna's 3rd or 4th birthday? or was it NYE - my brain not too great at remembering things either it seems:) Gladys xx

  2. No it wasn't Jonny. If it was I would have pulled him aside, because you definitely had your hands full. We were just very happy to see you guys.


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