BIRTHDAY ALLEY

Sunday, April 2, 2017

It may be the beginning of April, but something on the horizon lingers.

Birthday Alley.

In this household there is a one month period of frenzy. William's birthday is late May, while Julia's falls 10 days later at the beginning of June.

In this day and age kids parties appear to have taken on a life of their own. You can disappear down a rabbit warren of pinterest, instagram until it is all quite overwhelming.

While I am not immune from the tantalising photos adorning social media, there comes a point when you have to get a grip. This is a children's party. For the most part they come to see their friends and eat cake. I'm sure there is a lesson in this...

To inspire me into creation, I thought I might share some of our birthday's from previous years. Hopefully you'll find something to inspire you too.


William's 5th BMX Bandit Birthday

One of my favourite to date.

On arrival the kids were given a party bag which contained streamers, stickers and other pieces which they used to decorate their bikes.

We then had a parade (within 5 seconds three kids had fallen off...there was screaming and tears...and that was just me).

I didn't have a huge amount of time in the lead up, so turned to the incredible Karinne at Glamour & Grace who provided the back drop, cupcake toppers, bag tags, bottle wraps and personalised cards.












Julia's 3rd Fairy Princess Party

As a young girl I never dreamt of being a Fairy Princess. If my mother ever deigned adorn my hair with bows, they would be ripped out....along with fistfuls of blonde ringlets.

I've been gifted a daughter who is determined that none of us miss out on the deluxe Princess experience.

Lucky for us we have Fairies on speed-dial in this household and the day was more than a little magical. 










Julia's 2nd Birthday - Butterfly & Cloud Dream Cakes

I realise "double cakes" are crazy but when you have children in daycare they are also a necessity. 

This Butterfly still gives me nightmares. 






William's 4th Birthday - Spiderman Cakes

Question. Is there anything better than a superhero cake? 

Answer. Two superhero cakes!? 

The second of the two cakes took me about 30 minutes to ice and turned out brilliantly. Small win. If you don't have children and can't understand one day you will. Oh you will. 




Julia's 1st Birthday - Wish Bear

Nothing says Happy 1st Birthday like a Care Bear. 

Nothing!



William's 3rd Birthday - Octonauts

If you're not familiar with the Octonauts I suggest you look them up. We were first introduced to this seafaring gang back in 2012 while living in the UK. 

I was in a pinch and the Gup X turned out to be perfectly delicious. 





William's 2nd Birthday - Thomas the Tank Engine

I think I was even more excited than Will, that his 2nd birthday cake turned out so well!





William's 1st Birthday - Rufus

My sister-in-law and I have fond memories of decorating this cake close to midnight the day before Will's 1st birthday party. 

So many lessons were learned in the making of this cake. 

So many fond memories. 



PS: This should go without saying but I wanted to add it anyway. Most of the above pictures are as shot out of my camera. I am simply working at posting. Not prettying. Be kind.

TIME FOR ANOTHER FAMILY PHOTO

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Scott and I have this little joke.

Following an argument one of us announces (as they run shrieking from the house) that it "must be time for another family photo".

Why is it that moments of brilliance are often preceded by downright cataclysm? If you tell me that after a hurricane comes a rainbow I will throw a shoe at you.

The day of our most recent family photo started promisingly. Scott and I had set aside an entire day for "family time" - usually the exact ingredients required for the perfect storm.

We started the day by celebrating the Holi Festival - because nothing says "I love you" like a handful of chalk to the face - followed by a sun drenched afternoon of music and entertainment at the opening of the Hobsonville Point amphitheatre.

In fact we were enjoying ourselves so much that we forgot to argue.

At all...

So as the sun dipped below the tree line, turning the landscape that delicious honey colour that looks as though it should be served on toast, we admitted defeat.

There would be no argument this year. We would just have to make do with amazing memories and happy family snaps.

I know right...snore!

Enjoy ;)




ONE LITTLE RED SUIT

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Today I was reading a book with Julia.

A book about sounds.

On the page was a Dog, a Sheep and a Cat.

ME: "What noise does a Dog make?"
JULIA: "Woof! Woof!"
ME: "What noise does a Sheep make?"
JULIA: "Baaaa"

In the picture the Cat was purring.
ME: "What does Fox do when you pat her?"
JULIA: "She bites me"

Me. Palm. Face.

On a completely different matter in 2010 I purchased a little red suit in a sale from Farmers. I wanted to take some pictures to remember Will's first Christmas.

In 2013 I pulled it out for Julia's first Christmas. As there is only 10 days between their birth dates I thought it would be cute to have pictures taken at a similar age.

In 2016 I pulled it out once again for Gabriella. It swamped her. I put it away and waited another few months. It's still a little big (she really is our baby) - but the thought was there.

It's funny how these seemingly ordinary items become part of the fabric of a family. It's stretched, stained and probably just needs to be binned yet I've fondly put it to one side ever hopeful that one day it might make an appearance.

I'm well aware that we are now in March and this should have been shared in December. But check out these little faces below and tell me it doesn't bring a bit of festive cheer to the middle of your week.

Jacq



William - 2010




Julia - 2013 




Gabriella - 2016





OUR THREE CRAZIES - 2016

Okay, okay I confess. I took advantage of the fact they will wear Santa hats and pose for pictures...What?!

(No children were embarrassed in the production of these photos...babies that fart just happen to be hilarious to 6 year olds)









GOTTA CATCH 'EM ALL

Thursday, March 9, 2017

The premise behind Pokémon defies reason, and I'm not talking about the adorable creatures that battle willingly on behalf of their trainers for sport. Nor am I referring to the fact said adorable creatures have a laudable command of the English language.

I'm talking about the shows main protagonist, Ash Ketchum, the plucky 10 year old who leaves home to become a Pokémon Master and no one bats so much as an anime eyelash. Did I mention he's 10?

I'm early 30's and I still can't fathom setting off into the sunset armed only with good intentions and an animal side kick who has all the predictability of a hairdryer submerged in a bath tub.

When Pokémon first hit our shores sometime in the mid-90s - my siblings and I were caught up in the craze (I can still recite more versus of the Pokémon Rap than is appropriate).

One of the great joys of parenthood is reliving parts of your own childhood.

So when Pokémon Go was released last year, that little child inside me did a dance. I could finally realise my dream of "catching 'em all"...as an...ahem...parental supervisor of course.

Before Gabby arrived I took Will in to the city on a Poké-Date.

We started in Devonport, catching the ferry across to Princess Wharf. Once city-side we stayed in a fairly narrow radius. We walked. We talked. We gathered  Poké-stops and caught Pokémon.

Say what you will about Pokémon Go but it bought out the best in people. Kids walking past us, cheered him on and passed on tips. It did help that he was like a kid on Christmas - fist pumping, and screaming at the screen.

Here's some pics from our adventure.

Just for the record. He did look up. It's just that the only time I was allowed to take pictures was when he was catching something exciting.















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