Wednesday, March 31, 2010 ;
ds2 wanted an animal party like ds1's last year. So it was easy for us this time round for the decor and stuff. We were able to reuse some ideas and stuff.
Food-wise, I wanted something I was able to do easily and required minimal supervision on the day itself because I can foresee that having dd around would be my hands are tied most of the time.
So I decided on cupcakes instead of the traditional birthday cake. And to reduce the time I need for decorating, I decided that the party activity would be to let the kids and parents decorate the cupcakes themselves. This way, I need not think of any craft or party activity and also need not worry about decorating, cutting and distributing cake.
What about the birthday song and candle blowing then? I could use cupcake candle toppers but ds2 didn't care. So I decided to have the song during pinata time. He was agreeable. He said it's cool. ha. He learnt to say "cool" from school and used it in any context he wants. So funny.
I seldom use the word "cute" at home or on them as well, but lately he likes to say "it's soooo ccccute" also. Definitely learnt it from the girls at school.
For the cupcake decoration, I bought a no. of usual kid favourites like honey stars, milo balls, raisins, mini marshmallows, gummies, M&Ms, mini cookies, animal biscuits, and the hundreds and thousands. Then I made a batch of icing.
The boys requested for the face paints again. They really like it, so we got the face paints out. Everyone had something drawn.
Face paints (and costumes, for that matter) have the power to let the kids suddenly assume other roles and at once they want to act crazy. They certainly unleashed their wild imagination and had loads of fun playing together.
In the pic, you will notice words on the cardboard boxes too. ds1 and ds2 each drew and coloured one of the words. They did that before 10am when they were totally getting into my way.
I was already in a rush getting everything ready before 10am cos dd had been fussy and demanding the whole night and early morning, wanting to nurse ever so often. I also had to sling her wherever I went and whatever I did. Yet the boys kept wanting (with good motives) to help with this and that which would slow everything down or mess things up.
Thus, I asked them to help with decor. Directed them to the boxes and asked them to draw and write. Initially wanted "welcome" but they later did this, which is fine. It got them safely occupied in that spot for at least an hour, cos the lettering was big and it took really a long time to fill in that big area with a tiny marker. I am a genius! (for providing tiny markers, haha)
This activity below was an impromptu one which actually got all the kids interested too. Very funny. Mx wanted to try ds1's violin then R saw and wanted to try as well. So Dh passed him ds2's very tiny violin he used when he was 2 yrs old. They had a lot of fun. I guess that counted as a party activity then, cos it engaged all the guests for some time. haha.
Then cupcake decorating began.
ds2 was on a high. He was feeling so happy he posed like that for me.
Each child also brought their favourite animal. We used that in the games later. We borrowed dd's cot to place all the animals and called that the petting zoo.
Everyone then tucked into their cupcakes after showing everyone their creations. There were many creative and surprising things the guests did with their cupcakes. I took pics of every creation.
Then Ch came from her ballet class. She was having her cupcake while one of the games was in progress. ds2's turn to pick his animal from the zoo and say 3 interesting facts abt it. It was fun. ds1 was in charge of all the games. He gave instructions, explained the rules and hosted the games. It was funny watching him take charge.
He barked out orders, bossed the kids around and directed them like a commander. Sometimes, he sounded like me, and it makes me partly embarrassed, partly cringing, and partly amused. It is exactly how I shout at the kids, and make them do the things I want them to, and in my own way. I realised he sounded way too authoritarian. (I did tell him, after the party, that with his peers he needs to tone down somewhat. Cos he is not their mom, so he cannot mimic me... :-))
The younger ones can just hold up their toys and say the names. R is with his dodo bird here.
ds2 gave out the animal canvas goody bags and then the party favours. This particular one is shaped as a cross, with different colours, and acts as a keychain cum carabiner. There were stickers and notepads too, all animal and critter-themed.
Dh (as well as me) managed to have a lot of fun too. One moment he was folding paper airplanes with the other dads, and then he was terrorising the toys and setting a bad example for the kids by acting out many aggressive and violent acts between the soft toys. He made them fight and made the beaver swallow the whole dodo bird with disgusting sound effects. Then he laughed maniacally.
Is it any wonder why ds1 acts the way he does when the dad hasn't grown up yet?
For the pinata, it was too hastily made this year. Didn't work very smoothly again despite some last minute salvage work by Dh. I used a Body Shop recyclable paper bag, and a whole load of goodies wrapped in newpapers as the pinata. I taped the newspaper bundle to the bottom of the bag and then got ds1 to tape the ribbons to the external bottom of the bag.
Later when I saw it, I realised my instructions were not clear enough. He didn't use long enough tape and when I tried tugging the ribbons, I found the tape was not suitable. The tape was not sticky enough and it would come off the bag rather than rip out the bag when pulled.
Last minute, I had a lot of other stuff to see to, cleaning up in the kitchen, making the icing for the cupcake and so on. So I got Dh to help fix the pinata. He slit holes in the bag and stuck duct tape and masking tape (stronger than the tape ds1 used) into the bag and onto the newspaper inside as well. It felt much more promising.
However, in the end, it still didn't tear too much when everyone was done pulling on the ribbons. So Dh was shaking the mop handle connected to the pinata. It was all very funny. We laughed till our tummies hurt.
On hindsight, we were viewing the video clip (can be found on FB), and decided that every party needs to have some blips and bloops to be memorable and for everyone to have a good laugh. Our wedding was like that too.
The kids were so happy when everything fell out. The big rush for the candy and chocs made Dh comment that pinatas encourage greed and violence in kids. Everyone laughed and started adding comments on how bad pinatas and birthday parties are... It was all in good fun.
This year, I really toned down on the candy. I used to fill up pinatas with mostly candy, and lollies. This year, considering the guests I invited who were all health-conscious, and myself having to control the boys in their sugar intake since their teeth are predisposed to decays, I put raisins, marshmallows, cookies, biscuits, gummies, M&Ms and packet snacks only. No more hard candies or lollies. No more candy with lots of colouring and artificial stuff.
After that, the kids adjourned to ds' room and they jumped on the bed, shouted, sang, laughed, ... generally played to their heart's content. Thanks to L who supervised them, the rest of the adults were able to sit down, chat, have coffee... Even me and Dh the hosts. It was a relaxing party for me this time. I will resolve to have more of such parties in future where the kids get to play on their own and the adults can just catch up.
I managed to find these fun bird-shaped balloons in NTUC. I was surprised they'd have them. I was searching for paper plates when I saw the different animal-shaped balloons. Very cheap, good and fun. There were rabbits, dinos and other shapes too. ds1 had a balloon bursting/ popping game in the room.
Some kids did not like it. He and ds2 enjoyed it immensely though. Fortunately there were only about 12 balloons, else the endless popping would be unbearable. R managed to protect his from being burst. He truly liked the bird and was traumatised to see them being burst. :-)
The kids proceeded to attack their daddies after that. It was heaps of fun for them.
After mauling his dad, ds2 decided to turn on his cousin sister. So bad. He tattooed her back and even pulled her tee down to show everyone. Fortunately she didn;t mind at all since she was busy gorging herself with the finger food.
Everyone descended on VJ too.
Ch also did a manicure for her dad and wrote 1s on his hands.
Cupcakes, forgot to take a pic of them. Milo ones. Used up an entire tin of Milo powder to make the 100+ cupcakes.
The ones for ds2's school had the cream cheese icing on top, spelling out his name and Happy Birthday, when the cupcakes were put together.
When it was coffee time, I was surprised to see my good friends coming out of the kitchen with bowls of "red bean soup". Somehow, when the coffee is in the Corelle bowl, it looks like red bean soup!
I then realised, I had insufficient mugs! No wonder they had to use my bowls! Argh, I better quickly retrieve my mugs from the boxes!!! They are still unpacked! We only unpacked 2, one for Dh and one for myself.
dd slept most of the time during the party cos I was slinging her snugly. She woke for a little while so ds2 managed to get this pic with her. But he closed his eyes, and she was yawning!
Towards the end of the party, it's time for some cleaning up. It's surprisingly easy to wipe the adult men's faces cos of their oil! The kids had to use some baby soap to wash theirs off.
My sis drew a nice moustache on VJ's face. It was so funny.
Then everyone got creative with the face paints, and Mary drew a beautiful necklace for Ch.
ds2 drew this on his cousin sis' face. Then ds1 wanted to play tic tac toe with ds2 on her face. One day she will grow up and gang up with her brother to tackle both ds. They should beware. She is so unsuspecting here.
Mary continued to exact revenge on the kids, helping ZY teach them a lesson for drawing all over him. She drew larger than life glasses on L and he looked so happy, oblivious to all the laughter he is generating.
After the guests left, ds2 actually forgot about his presents until much later, when I informed him he could open his presents already. He loved all of them. He played with the toy animals, painted on the canvas and read the books already. Thank you everyone!
rainbows every day, do not worry for the morrow