What's going on? I don't know. I think originally I was avoiding the "here is my kids amazing Pintrest-perfect birthday party!" post and subsequent photos because that is really just not me. Nor are any of my parties "Pintrest perfect". And then maybe I was busy.
But now, I think about the cakes that I've made and how much each of these girls have enjoyed it, I'm a little sad I didn't do some kind of documenting (past having someone else take photos on the day (seriously, I have almost no photos of Rachel's 2nd birthday at all. I took 4 of the food, and then another good friend took some nice family shots for us. That's it. Sorry Rachel, poor neglected second child. In my defence, I wasn't in the best mental state at that point of time, but I will try much better this year.).)
As I scrounge through the photos that I do have to see what's there, I'm also struck by the serious change in each of the girls. Three-year-old Sophie is just so different to my four-year-old Sophie. I know kids grow and change so fast, but even so, the visual reality is still a shock to the system. I look at her now and think: "She's a big four-year-old", but then there are days where she is simply dwarfed in an engulfing hug from her cousin Cooper and I think "She's so so little!"
What is this fine line that we are always walking? One foot in the land of still young and innocent, and the other in grown and mature. The more I parent (or is it just the older I get?) the more I see this fine line in everything. It's all such a balancing act, or at least, that's how I feel about it. Sigh.
Anyway, here are some photos from birthday parties gone by, because, in the end, I do want to have some memory, somewhere about even these little things.
Rachel gets to go first, because she so rarely does. Here she is at two years with her lady bug birthday cake.
Oh does she love bugs, our Rachel. Always looking for the mini beasts in the garden, always wanting to pick up, look at and then let go again, the smallest or jumpiest of bugs. She had a smorgasbord of bug-themed things at her party.
Butterfly cupcakes, snail scrolls, spider cupcakes, flower gingerbread with butterflies on them. She also had some mini ladybug cupcakes as the "cake" which were hiding under the table for later. Fruit salad cups and vegi-stick cups with dip also present. Just so you know, under that little paddle-pop-stick-lid is a jar full of live snails that Rachel collected in the garden. She was so excited about them.
These spider cupcakes were really the pièce de résistance of the whole affair. They were a lot of work, but totally worth it. They come from a Good Food cookbook which is my absolute go to when I'm cooking (shout out to Jenna and Nathan who gave it to me for my 25th. Best present ever!). Can't recommend it enough.
Now to Sophie and her 4th birthday. She was pretty lucky because she really celebrated three times, so I made two of these rather stunning pavlovas (which she helped me decorate (you know how she loves making pavlova from this story here)), and a birthday cake too.
An example of the morning tea spread. Simple, kind of healthy, and all delicious.
Her actual birthday party had very similar food to Rachel's. Fruit salad cups, vegi-stick cups with dip; party staples! We also did a small cup of pop corn with a heart shaped fairy bread for each child (I must be mad, but I really liked the portion control of giving each child one cup and one cup only). Then we had a sausage sizzle dinner to fit in with the kind of Australian theme of the party.
What Australian theme? I hear you asking, Well! Sophie had a copy of Josephine Wants to Dance, from some good friends and was just in love with it. It is about a kangaroo, Josephine, who wants to dance in the ballet. Can you see an Australian theme now?
I have never done so much pink on a cake before. When Sophie said she wanted a Josephine cake I was a little worried that I would have to actually make a cake shaped like a kangaroo. Thankfully, we looked through the Australian Womens Weekly Birthday Cake book and saw one of the cakes with dolls in it that she liked. Similar to a Dolly Varden (I think they are called) cake.
Luckily, my godmother had given the girls a plastic kangaroo toy each earlier in the year, so I was able to use one of those for the cake. Whew.
That enormous picture of Josephine you see in the background there was hand drawn by me! I'm rather proud of it. I used some cardboard, looked at a picture from the book and then drew away. Thankfully the style of drawing is quite easy to replicate. The girls painted Josephine grey, and then I did the cream background and the details. We played Pin the Tutu on Josephine with it. Now it's up in Sophie's room. Did you notice she's also wearing her Cinderella Dress? Apparently it was just the right pink to be a tutu like Josephine's. Win.