A blog about me and my adventure as an ex-pat.
Because someone told me to... Thank you Gaby.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

cake, ice-cream and friends...

My little man turned 4 this month! 4! I no longer have babies or toddlers but two beautiful children who are growing up way too fast for my liking!

Birthdays are one of those times that you are reminded just how far away you are from the friends and family you left behind. I wish they could have had their cousins and friends running around with them, their aunties and uncles providing the goofy entertainment and grandparents there to shower them with love and attention.
The time difference makes phone calls and Skypes tricky to organise so a text or an email can go a long way. Thank goodness for technology!

But we are blessed with great friends here and we had a few fun days celebrating with them.
We had his birthday party for school friends on Saturday and another at our house on his actual birthday.

We decided to go to Bronson Athletic Club where we hired a room and had two lovely ladies help us. They took the kids to the basketball court where they burnt off a whole load of energy for an hour! They raced around on scooters, threw basketballs and had a game of soccer with two Dads in goal!!

I will not post photos on here as I aim not to post pictures of other people's kids (especially ones I don't know very well) but it was a fun filled afternoon with a great group of families. 

Tip: pay extra for long life latex balloons at Party City 
- they lasted for days rather than hours! 

Toby and I spent most of Friday making his birthday cakes. He is always eager to help out in the kitchen. It takes longer and I am always on edge making sure he doesn't do something silly but so worth it to have him interested in cooking and baking.

He wanted a Lightning McQueen cake so I set about finding instructions and a cake tin at Michaels. The instructions said to colour the buttercream icing whilst the cake cooled. It took two attempts to bake the cake (I needed to use twice as much mix and coconut oil worked better than PAM spray for lining the tin) so I should have had plenty of time... My issue was the amount of red food colouring I needed! Add a drop of blue to white frosting and you get blue. Add yellow and you get yellow. Add a bit of black to white and you get grey. So I got a bit of a shock when I added red and got pink. Added more and got bright pink. Added a bit of black and got purple!

Four bowls of icing and a whole bottle of red food colouring and I finally got dark red! The trick was to add a bit of brown. I used the gel colours which worked better than the liquid but I had added so much that the butter icing was starting to turn into a liquid! 
My advice would be to colour the icing the night before and leave it in the fridge. The red also got darker overnight. 
But I got there in the end and 10 icing bags later I had 24 iced cupcakes and one Lightning McQueen cake! I'm not sure the parents were very happy about their kids consuming vast quantities of food colouring but the kids had fun making their tongues turn red and blue!

When I was putting him to bed after his party I asked him what his favourite thing was about the day to which he answered "The cake!". Ok what about the second? "The ice-cream!" (The tradition here is to serve cake with ice-cream... There was no jelly in sight!). Ok, what about the third thing? "My friends". Sweet boy, I enjoyed seeing his friends too! 

Near the end of his party he sat on the floor, with a look of glee on his face 
and whispered over and over again "presents". 

His actual birthday was Monday so we sent him to school with a book as a gift for his friends.

I love that they encourage this and it is so much easier than making 50 cupcakes!
They also made him a crown to wear and all of his friends sang Happy Birthday to him.

He didn't want to go into school at first but once he got hugs and lots of attention he soon changed his mind! 

I think he really enjoyed his fourth birthday. I know I did. 

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