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Archive for November, 2012

The Party

We held the party at Temasek Club’s De Happy Ark.  We had gone there for my nephew Adam’s first birthday and thought it was a good location for a kids party.  There’s a very decent indoor playground, a party room for food, and a kids pool just outside.  Asher really enjoyed himself then and asked for his party to be held there.  It has the added convenience of being really close to our house.

Got there earlier to set up the banner and the various activity stations.  Had made Asher and Ellery take a nap before the party so that they’d not get cranky halfway.  It was a miracle that Asher napped.  He hadn’t been napping well, if at all, for the previous few weeks, and immediately after his party day he continued his poor napping habits.  It was only on that day alone that he napped on time.  I had been prepping him the whole week but was still skeptical that he would actually do it.

Banner up!

Banner up!

Craft station to make wooden and paper planes

Craft station to make wooden and paper planes

Wooden plan was Del's idea.  Cute huh?

Wooden plan was Del’s idea. Cute huh?

Anya was the only one who tried all the stations I think!

Think Anya was the only one who tried all the stations!

Jane making a plane with Kaizer

Jane making a plane with Kaizer

Dawn & Austin.  Austin does some great colouring!

Dawn & Austin. Austin does some great colouring!

I think the kids had fun running around the playground and playing with the riding toys.  After I put up the pinata, the boys were the ones who naturally gravitated towards it and knew instinctively what to do with it.  I had to stop them and tell them to wait for the actual  game in case my pinata burst before the game began!  I wasn’t sure yet how strong the pinata was.

Joanie going for a ride

Joanie going for a ride

The sign says "Please do not climb" haha

The sign says “Please do not climb” haha :)

Del & Adam

Del & Adam

Daddy corner

Daddy corner

My brother & my cousin Lincoln!

My brother & my cousin Lincoln!

Family shot!  One extra child - Josiah! :)  He was such a good boy to hold Lincoln so well though.  Ellery looks like he's been caught red-handed irritating his cousin (although in his defence, Adam was already crying :) )

Family shot! One extra child – Josiah! :) He was such a good boy to hold Lincoln so well. Ellery looks like he’s been caught red-handed irritating his cousin (although in his defence, Adam was already crying :) )

The string turned out to be the weak link.  I hadn’t tied it securely enough around the pinata before paper marche-ing over it.  Josiah had given such a powerful hit that the pinata came right off the string after the second hit!  We ended up tying it by the tail.  In the end the pinata was quite strong and Jon needed to help give it a good whack before it broke open.  I had only done 2 layers of paper marche and it felt quite thin.  Was surprised it was as strong as it was.  Starch is quite surprising.

Josiah's powerful whack!

Josiah’s powerful whack!

Asher's giving it his best shot

Asher’s giving it his best shot

It was fun to see the kids rush for the goodies.  I was particularly impressed with Kaizer because he went for the choicest pick of the toys.  He has some allergies so he knew he couldn’t eat the wafers and jellies, so he focused on the toys and got a pretty good selection of stuff :)  Most of the other kids went for the snacks.

Cheong ah!

Cheong ah!

Divvying the spoils

Divvying the spoils

Airplane hat anyone?

Airplane hat anyone?

Tearing it up after

Tearing it up after

Ellery was easily content.  He found one jelly and asked to eat it.  He then spent the next 15-20 minutes sucking on it!  He couldn’t get the bottom bit out but kept on trying anyway.  When it comes to food that boy sure is persistent.

Slurrrppp

Slurrrppp

Enjoying their treats

Enjoying their treats

Asher was mightly pleased with the cake.  Thankfully most of the guests said the cake tasted ok.  I was a little worried it wouldn’t taste good!  That’s the risk with making your own cake and trying a new recipe all at the same time!

Added the wafer bits to add some interest to the cake.  Not sure it was a good idea though.

Added the wafer bits to add some interest to the cake. Not sure it was a good idea though.

Happy Birthday to Asher!

Happy Birthday to Asher!

Happy brothers :)

Happy brothers :)

Most of the kids

Most of the kids

Eyeing Joanie's cake

Eyeing Joanie’s cake

After more playing we eventually moved outdoors for some swimming.  The weather was fine and I was glad the kids could have some outdoor time.  Most of them were very happy sliding down a slope at the pool.  But Asher and Jo Claire had their own plans.  It almost seemed as if they were on some romantic date.  They’d swim together, follow each other around.  At one point Asher asked, “shall we go to the deep end together?” Haha!  It was very cute :)

Martinna with Evan, Jonathan, and Titus who liked hanging out with the other two

Martinna with Evan, Jonathan, and Titus who liked hanging out with the other two

Titus would wait for Jonathan before sliding down

Titus would wait for Jonathan before sliding down

At first...

At first…

...then...

…then…

...and

…and then

Splashing good time

Splashing good time

Overall, a good party and Asher was one happy kid!

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Oh how I love my little boy.

Still as active as he was in the belly.  Still as chatty as ever (if not more so).  Still quite emo.  Still has one of the most infectious laughs and smiles anywhere.  He’s grown so much this year, and surprisingly matured more in the last few weeks (a lot to do with his change of school too I think, more on this in another post).

But he has grown.  And he’s still my little boy :)

My big little boy who still likes to cuddle with Mummy, who likes to wrestle with Daddy and his brother, who is so curious, who can be such a home-body sometimes, who loves military things just like his Gong Gong, who very often still pretends to be a dinosaur to the amusement/annoyance of those around him, and he’s still oblivious to their opinion.  Still innocent that way.

Just four.

Yes there are many things one could say about how four-year old kids are big, grown up little people.  But for today, I’m remembering and cherishing Asher’s smallness, youngness, pureness – childness.

———————————————————————————-

The Preparation

We settled on a plane theme this year because he’s been going on and on and on and on about planes, in particular the B2 stealth bomber, ever since my father introduced it to him.  He’s also into Transformers and in recent months more into the Decepticons, who tend to be planes, rather than the Autobots.  So it was quite a no brainer.

The things we prepared this year were a B2 stealth bomber T-shirt (made from scrap black fabric and a faded Transformers T-shirt), a Starscream plane pinata to knock out of the sky, and a B2 stealth bomber cake.  There was much less work than for last year’s dinosaur themed party because I didn’t include any cookies in the goody bag, so there was much less baking involved.

Bumblebee had faded away. B2 takes over!

B2 bomber boy

Most of the preparations were done at night after everyone else had gone to sleep.  But I did try to involve Asher where I could.  I think its a little more personal, meaningful and fun when he helps out.  Then it’s not just me pottering about and gearing up for party day.  It helps build some excitement.  And I’d like to think Asher would feel good that he had a hand in things.

Mixing the water and flour

Cutting strips of newspaper (classifieds are perfect for this)

The pinata was my biggest endeavour.  And way fun!  I remember playing with a pinata when I was maybe six at a family friend’s house.  They were Mexican and the pinata was a standard at their parties.  I remember clearly that first time how much fun it was and since Asher was born was waiting for a time when he’d be old enough to play with a pinata at one of his parties.  The time had come!

We used a balloon we received from a birthday party we attended 2 weeks before as the core.  We made the paper marche glue together.  Asher attempted to stick some of the newspapers, but he found it much to sticky for his liking.  Reminded me of when he was a baby playing with some sticky dough.  In the end, to my great great great great (times infinity) surprise, Jon stepped in to help!  Shock!  I would never ever expect that he would ever help in any of our craft activities, cos…he’s Jon!  But he did!  And he said it was fun!  And he then told me about how he used to play with paper marche very often as a kid, using it to make houses and other stuff.  I. Did. Not. Know. That.  Maybe it’s hard for you to comprehend my shock.  But if you know him and what he normally does on a day to day basis, you’d be as shocked as I.

Of course I lavished him with praise.  Positive reinforcement right?

Jon amazing me with his paper marche savvy

Over the course of the next few days I worked on the frame and decoration of the pinata while watching too much rubbish TV.  I was pleased with the result though!  Kids are the perfect excuse to do all kinds of craft you wish you did when you were younger :)  It was a good example of recycling too.  Asher likes to ask to recycle all sorts of scraps, so it was nice to show him what you could do with the scraps.

Frame made with cereal boxes and a KFC brouchure :)

Asher was excited to see the pinata coming along, and eager helped with stuffing goodies into it.  Also  squeezed a spelling activity out of the banner making.  Had to help him quite a bit though.  “Happy Birthday” is quite long and not all of it easy to sound out.

Stuffing the pinata with balloons, which turned out to be impossible to blow up. Hadn’t thought of the practicality of it when I bought it, just thought it was a nice colourful addition to the loot :)

Decepticon logo for Starscream

Filled and ready to be whacked

Helping with the banner

Pleased as punch to be turning four

The last big thing was to do the cake.  This we did one day before the party.  Asher had given specific instructions several weeks ago though.  He wanted a B2 stealth bomber cake.  The inside would not be chocolate, it would be plain cake (“vanilla?”, “yes, vanilla”).  The outside would be covered in chocolate.

Thankfully the B2 is quite an easy shape to replicate.  It’s flatish, and has a simple zigzaggy pattern.

(Source: http://www.airforce-technology.com/projects/b2/b21.html)

Well, at least it looked easy.  I had baked two rectangle trays of simple vanilla sponge cake, and the general idea was that it would have to be cut in a triangularish shape, then with the scraps piece together the rest of the wing and the tops.  I spent longer than expected mulling over how to maximize the amount of cake while still making sure there was enough cut out to make the rest of the plane.  And there was no room for error cos we had to deliver that cake that night!  Thankfully in the end the dimensions were fairly passable.

Assembling the cake

After adding the ganache

There was a little piranha next to me throughout the assembly process though.  Whenever there was a little scrap I didn’t need, it would suddenly disappear in a flash.  I suppose that way I had less crumbs to clean up.

ummm yummm yummm

All that was left were the party packs.  We went old school with the stuff.  Besides some very cool (well, I think it’s cool anyway) gummies I found on Amazon.com, which had among the various designs Asher’s favourite B2, we stuffed the bags with snacks that kids’ parents would have eaten when they were kids.

Airplane gummies.  Check out the B2!

Old school party pack – colourful round wafer, coklat krim wafer, white rabbit, parachute men, airplane gliders, and the gummies

Newspaper goody bags – I always feel party bags are such a waste cos we usually just throw them away! Of course, the proper bags are much hardier and nicer looking :)

We were all set for the party!  More in the next post!

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