This year, we juggled our normal birthday activity routine around a bit to accommodate Kids Club! Sam’s birthday was on Friday and Friday nights are strictly reserved for Kids Club at church. So, a family birthday supper had to be brought forward by 24 hours to accommodate the kids’ favourite Friday night activity. No one was objecting however. Least of all the birthday boy. Celebrations that last longer than the actual 24 hours of his birthday are most welcome!
Sam’s turn with the Happy Birthday plate was once again a hot dog affair. We let the kids choose the menu for the birthday dinner. In the early days it was, surprisingly, healthy – butternut soup or fish or spaghetti bolognaise. But, that has gone out the window these past few years and so Sam ordered his favourite of all junk food: hot dogs. Sam is a slooo-oow eater. But hot dogs? These he will polish off in quick succession. Craig gave him the added surprise of a birthday candle in his roll. And I gave him the health injection of a huge tossed salad!
Sam chose daddy-made vanilla milkshakes, strawberries and chocolate mousse. Such delight – can you see?
All week, Sam had been hopping about in excitement – just dying for Friday to arrive sooner. I lost count of the number of times he said to me, “Mommy! Make this day go faster! I want it to be Friday!” So, it was no surprise that Mr Sam was wide awake and grinning at us when we walked into his room singing the birthday song early on Friday morning.
He scored a chocolate bar and Lego for his birthday – exactly the two things he had asked for, and asked for, and asked for and asked for! He was one delighted boy with his City Police Lego (the well worn catalogue of police Lego left mom and dad with little doubt as to what to buy him!)
Next up? Daddy Date for his birthday. Sam chose a visit to daddy’s office again. Off they went, full of excitement. Sam chose the “executive breakfast of champions” according to Craig’s Facebook photo caption… Can you spot anything healthy there? Yip. Me neither.
After breakfast, Sam got to follow dad around the offices while daddy put out a few work-related fires. As always, loving every minute of being at Work. Some drawings were churned out. Time on the iPad. Chatting with dad and … some executive golf! Craig had this set in his office cupboard from some golf day. Oh my!
While Sam and Dad had a morning of fun, the girls did some school work and then we all piled into the car to take Micah to the doctor. He has been coughing over the past couple of weeks. Nothing else was wrong with him – just a bad cough that cropped up about once every hour or two. At first I figured it was just post-nasal drip causing an irritation of his throat. Perhaps he was suffering from some seasonal allergy like the rest of Cape Town these past few weeks. But, then he started whooping at night. Eventually, I started suspecting whooping cough and went to the doctor to confirm. Turns out the little guy does indeed have it (lab results confirmed early on Saturday morning) and so we have another 2-3 months of coughing to endure. Thankfully, he only has a couple more weeks of bad coughing and the rest of it should be much milder as the bronchial tube hairs regrow (the pertussis bacteria, amongst other things, kills off the little hairs in the tubes that keep the mucus coating the tubes viscous).
Knowing that he may have it, and knowing that I would not have the results probably until Monday, and knowing that we had a birthday party the next day that was too late to postpone meant that I had no choice but to tell the parents and give them a chance to bail. And bail they did (who could blame them!). But, some of the families had already been exposed numerous times, so it was no more risk for them. Which meant that thankfully we had 9 kids at the party in total and Sam was more than happy with that.
So, after picking up Sam at Craig’s office, Friday afternoon was full steam ahead with party plans, Skyping with cousins all the way in Israel, playing with new Lego and going to visit friends on a play date. It was a full day that ended, happily, with a fun evening at Kids Club.
And then… Saturday Morning! Party Time!
A Lego Party
It was no surprise that Sam chose Lego as the theme for his party. Sadly, by the time Sam’s party comes along, I’m usually all out of party enthusiasm. But, he always is so forlorn that he has to wait soooo long for his birthday while his sisters and brother get to have their parties first, so I figured that I could put at least a little planning into it. Thankfully, the Internet was super helpful in this regard, meaning that I didn’t have to plan too much on my own. Plus, a lovely newly discovered organisational app meant that the planning went much quicker than usual (for the organisation junkies of this world – you’ve GOT to check out Springpad, avail for pc, iOS, Android and more!).
First off – invite. Simple and sweet.
I found these two sites helpful for ideas for games and party packs:
I had loads of sweets left over from the girls’ and Micah’s birthday party which mean that I didn’t spend nearly as much on junk food this time around. Delia’s blog post also sorted out my party pack dilemma. She had cute printable box designs shaped like little lego bricks. I had the paper, the printer and the hot glue gun (thank you Kerry!) which made these little guys a doozy.
Each of them had a few sweeties plus some growing animals or a fake moustache (courtesy of our tombola left overs).
I had downloaded a Lego font from the Internet some time ago, so these cup labels were quite quick and easy to create. I created a single cell table (one column, multiple rows) in Word, typed each name in Lego font and centred it in the table. Each name got a thick rounded rectangular border in red – copy, paste, copy, paste.
Juice and water with floating Duplo cubes…
A wall of “Lego bricks” decorated the back of the food table – the kids had no idea those little Lego bricks were actually their party packs.
We actually managed to be on time for this party! Usually I’m still rushing around like a mad thing, but I was ready by 9:30 with just the last touches which were reserved for minutes before it started (ice blocks etc). How awesome not to feel like a headless chicken!
With only three families attending, it didn’t take long for us to start. First game? Guess the number of Lego pieces in the container. The kids’ guesses ranged from 47 to 200. There were 214 pieces, so the prize went to: Leanna!
Next up? Lego Relay Races! Simply each team member had to deliver a piece of Lego to the bucket on the opposite side of the driveway, using a spoon. They had to run back and then the next team member had to deliver the next piece until all 20 pieces were in the bucket. A few of the kids are not big on games and competitions, so it wasn’t easy dividing them up, explaining the rules and then getting them all going. But, thankfully, they got fully into it once the game got going. And the most reluctant player ended up on the winning team! Much to his delight!
Below – Craig’s photography – that’ll be me trying to maintain order with the 9 kiddies old enough to partake. Phew! Patience testing anyone?
Love this photo!
And this one! Kiera’s Lego escaped and fled under the shed!
The winning team – as celebrated by Nathan!
Next up? Build a model! This was Sam’s idea for a game and who was I to argue? All I had to do was build and photograph three random models from 20 Duplo pieces. Each team had to assemble their construction as fast as possible, keeping to the exact structure and colours used in the picture.
This task was tackled with great delight. But the stress got to much for Killian who decided to watch the girls instead. They thought he was cheating and trying to steal ideas from them. Little did they realise that everyone’s design was totally different!
The girls totally out-manoeuvred the boys on this one! Can you see their joy?
The last activity of the day was to find some Naked Lego Men! I wasn’t too sure about the weather, so these guys could’ve been hiding inside like this dude…
But the weather was playing ball, so we did the hunt outside. Soon enough everyone had a naked-yellow paper Lego-man to exchange for a party pack…
Moustaches were a huge hit …
And Lego kept our youngest party goer entertained! Isn’t she gorgeous?
I was glad to hand the kids over to some free-play fun. They enjoyed hot dogs, loads of running around and a general great big mess. Finally it was cake time. Our obligatory “mom, dad and birthday boy with the cake” photo … somewhat spoiled by Sam’s insistence on sticking out his tongue. Ah my boy – you have yet to realise your unwitting contributions to 21st material!
And blow those 6 candles out!
Sam’s Ice-Cream Lego man a la Craig. Those are fizzers that Craig used for hands. Ingenious.
Sam so wanted his friends to hang out and open pressies with him, so we relented. He got some great pressies! Thanks family and friends!
By the time our last guests had left it was after 1 and I had less than an hour to get to my next appointment. Thankfully, it was a quick clean up with all the kids chipping in. Craig was feeling shattered after very little sleep the night before, so he went off to sleep. I went with the girls to a meeting, then book club and home again with again less than an hour to spare to do the kids’ supper, bath and bed, my own shower etc because it was Craig’s graduation dinner that night! More on that in another post.
For now – Happy Birthday my 6-year old Sammy! Love you my boy!