My baby Violet is five now. literally today, but because Glen had to travel back to work today we decided to hide all our calendars and pretend yesterday was the 15th of April.
Nanny (my Mum) Ozzie (Mum’s bf) Riley and Gracie (my little bro and sis) arrived on Saturday, they had planned to spend Easter weekend with us thinking it was the start of the school holidays (so did I) but Mum picked up Riley and Grace from their dad and headed to our place this weekend just gone instead.
It worked out so well. They stayed the Saturday night and spent Sunday, Violet’s birthday with us. Uncle Matt and his beautiful girlfriend Leah turned up too.
Violet began her morning -early- with a present from Mummy and Daddy.
While Violet, Sophie, Bella, Riley, Gracie, Buddy and Molly, Nanny, Daddy and Ozzie fought over it, Mummy cooked Violet’s breakfast request.
Fried bread with sauce. (A savoury version of the sweet French toast.) We only went through two loaves for that breaky!
Once we’d all eaten (sprayed our hair green) and were throughly covered in tomato sauce Violet’ received her very special present.
Cinnamon. Or is it Tinkerbell, Brittany? Oh no that’s right it’s Mocha; No, no my mistake Echo. Or Was Glen right and its name is Mrs. Sailsbury?
Okay so she has no set name as of yet.
She was bought as a gift for someone else, and that someone else didn’t want a cat. We already have three cats, and me being a ‘more the merrier’ type person decided she could bunk with us.
I couldn’t bear to think of her without a loving home!
(I do not recommend giving pets as gifts -unless it is for your own child, which means you are the one who’ll be feeding, cleaning, financially supporting.)
But she is oh so adorable, and there are more than enough hugging, loving arms to go around here.
While everyone under the age of 31 loved little Nameless, Nan and Mum made a couple of pass the parcel parcels.
Bella and Gracie then organised some rounds of hilarious musical chairs leaving us -okay me- organising control freaks fidgeting.
So we made more pass the parcels. Only we’d run out of lollies and cheap treats so we dug through the pantry.
My mum and I snickered away mischievously as we wrapped a slice of bread, potatoes, yeast sachet, broken telephone headsets, band aids, tissues, teabags and mum had even sneaked in an apple core that not even I knew was in there.
So childish, so immature…it is the only thing to keep one young!
We also made a special pass the parcel for when Uncle Matt arrived. Each second layer contained old coffee beans, oats, flour, rice and split peas.
It was evil but funny. (Plus a good excuse to clean out all that old stuff that hides in the back of the pantry forever.)
We all sat and listened to loud music which Daddy was in control of, as we played pass the parcel, it was a little difficult as the cd kept skipping, everyone was getting funnily confused. I highly recommend using scratched cds for pass the parcel.
I actually do, no sarcasm there….it’s so funny. Poor kiddies though, their eyes would light up “YES! it landed on me!” Only to have the music start again. Their bottom lips popped out until it stopped again.
Such an emotional roller coaster.
We then decided that we should spend some time making the decorations for Violet’s whimsical surprise afternoon tea party.
Everyone took around 12-15 sheets of tissues paper.
We folded the bottom edge up about an inch and then like making a fan as you do in little school, we continued to fold back and forth back and forth until we reached the end.
We then tied some wool around the centre, cut the outer ends into either points or into curves and opened it up into a circular fan.
We then took our time to separate each sheet from each other, once the top started to look like a half sphere we held it up and separated the tissue sheets on the other side.
We had great ideas as we went along. Mum said that dipping the ends we’d cut prior to separating the sheets into food dye and holding it up so the dye ran into the centre would look great and I agreed.
Spraying the entire finished ball in glitter spray would also look great.
Using a different coloured sheet each layer would have made a beautifully rainbow pom pom.
After a couple of games of musical Freeze out on the back deck after our hard work, we headed out front to wait for Pop (Glen’s dad) and Uncle Matt and Leah.
We played a new game called ‘Tapioca Bombs’ basically brown paper bags with a small handful of tapioca in the bottom (just thinking glitter would have been a nice thing to add…but anywho…) Each person took a turn to blow up the bag and pop it in a loud bang.
Scores were given on who had the loudest band and also who had the best tapioca explosion.
Again funny. Simple but effective, that’s how we roll.
We then moved onto Whats the time Mr Wolf and a game that has no name. Everyone has a team-mate and they stand opposite their partner in an area suitable for running.
We had Team Alpha Blue – Sophie and Riley.
Team Rainbow – Gracie and Violet.
Team Awesome – Bella and Molly.
Sadly Bud was too small so he helped me referee…trust me, it was needed.
A roll of newspaper (do not roll firmly!) Is placed in the middle, a team is called out and both members of that team must race to the centre take the whacking stick, chase and successfully make contact with the other team member (gently) and then run to the other side, swapping positions.
Funny, kinda dangerous depending on who is wielding the whacking stick, but always a winner.
Pop arrived and after noisy hellos and welcomes, Violet demanded another pass the parcel game and once the other 6 children started to agree overwhelmingly; I gave in and said okay.
Us adults had a great time watching as they all got excited to unwrap their layer as the music stopped abruptly.
Riley’s face as he received a potato was priceless. Violet’s excitement over a band-aid and tissue was bemusing and Molly’s horror as she received that sneaky apple core was…I don’t even know what that was. She looked ready to find the person who’d wrapped it and tell them what for.
As they finally unwrapped the last layer containing a slice of bread they all got up complaining yet laughing about how ‘stupid’ that game was Matt and Leah arrived.
After a hasty lunch we got ready for our massive treasure hunt spanning at least an acre with roughly a kilometer long track.
Riley and I had previously gone out and hidden lollies and treasures all over the place, through the rain forest walk, on the banks of little river and all over rock castle.
We made our maps -which I somehow made upside down?!-
We made maps and organised our teams.
Ready set GO! Everyone was off to find the treasures.
Bella, Gracie along with Nanny and Ozzie brought in the biggest haul, followed by Uncle Matt, Leah, Violet, Sophie and Molly. Glen, Pop and Bud brought back to base a very humble bounty.
The treasures was poured out and divided equally.
When everyone was sufficiently lolly ridden and satisfied, Pop and Dad took Violet and Molly (Violet’s choice for a birthday buddy) to Baskin Robbins for ice cream. The very second they left sight as the drove off into the early afternoon sunlight…….
…………us homebound peoples raced to organise Violet’s surprise afternoon tea party.
I’d gotten Glen to mow a large chunk of tall grass in the bush to the left side of our house over the ‘bridge of death’ (we’ve taken to naming areas around the place) previously, we’d also hung ropes discreetly through the trees in preparation.
The burly men took the table and carried out into our party spot, kids took a chair or two each, Mum and I took the decorations, presents and everyone else took drinks, pom poms, and plates of food.
We hung the pom poms and decided to wait until pinata time to hang it as it was a fragile thing.
I dressed the table and made it pretty. We put all our food down and sat staring at it hungrily as we awaited the birthday girl.
finally Glen called to let us know that Violet had just finished her scoop of royal chocolate and Molly had licked up the last of her berry strawberry ice cream and they were headed home.
We waited ten minutes then lit the candles.
We saw the car heading down the drive and all took to the bush. Hiding behind stumps and trees and bushes.
From my hiding spot I could see the car pull up and Violet climb out smiling, she began to head for the house but Glen told her they were going for a walk to work off the ice cream.
“Okay daddy.”Violet said and followed along.
Buddy began to get cranky, hiding behind a bush with Uncle Matt so I signalled to let him go, he wandered out toward Violet, Molly, Pop and Dad as they walked over the bridge of death.
“Whats Buddy doing out here Dad?”
“He needed some excercise too.”
Oh, okay hi Buddy.” (that made me giggle.)
As they walked further Violet’s eyes connected with the party set up and she began to smile.
She was amazed.
We all jumped up and out of the bush crying ‘SURPRISE’ and ‘HAPPY BIRTHDAY.’
She was throughly amazed, as were Dad, Molly and Pop judging by the looks on their faces. It was a priceless moment and so cute.
Violet kind of had this look on her face like “holy cow….all this for me?”
Totally worth it.
They hooked into their cakes
and mineral water.
Then we had a panic moment. Violet’s wrapping paper caught on fire!
(The candles were citronella, not only did they look good but they kept the bugs at bay. The fire was short lived. Mum and Ozzie saved the day, pulling the flaming paper from the table and stomping it out with their bare feet! Exciting!)
Then we had the pinata as no one really wanted to wait.
Violet went first and managed to knock it right out of the trees.
Everyone took a turn from smallest to biggest after that.
When the pinata was thoroughly killed, everyone scrambled for the lollies….
even Ozzie and Matto!
It was then time for the sneaky and messy pass the parcel. (Sadly my sd card was running low so I missed some hilarious shots) We had fun while being eaten by mosquitoes, watching the kids and Dad and Matt getting covered in flour, rice, oats, coffee beans and split peas.
Even though they knew what would come they still kept on unwrapping. And we kept on laughing.
Next we had the egg and spoon race. We had a lot of cheaters that’s for sure.
And most of the adults were the worst!
The eggs didn’t last too long as Ollie kept helping himself. But it was okay, everyone had enough running anyway, working off their sugar.
When everyone had calmed a little, Violet wanted to do her birthday cake which was inspired by our new favorite ice cream from Baskin Robbins. ‘Nutty chocolate cheese cake.’
Her birthday cake was delicious and didn’t fail miserably as I had thought it might.
Violet’s no bake nutty chocolate cheesecake.
To make it you’ll need –
- 500 grams Philadelphia cream cheese
- 1 cup caster sugar
- 200 grams cooking milk chocolate
- 1/2 cup chopped macadamia nuts
- 250 grams arnotts ripple chocolate biscuits.
- 3 tablespoons melt butter
Method – crush biscuits until fine, stir in the melted butter. Press with the back off a spoon, it holds press into the bottom of a cake tin which has been greased and lined with baking paper. Also grease the sides and line too. (If it doesn’t hold add a little more butter.) Put into the fridge to cool and set the butter.
Place the cheese and cup of sugar into a large bowl and mix with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy. It can take some time.
Melt your cooking chocolate, I prefer to use the microwave for this, stirring the chocolate every 20 seconds until melted smooth.
Add about 3 quarters of the chocolate into the cheese mixture and beat again until evenly mixed. Add the nuts and mix again.
Take your bicuit base from the fridge and pour in your cheese mixture and smooth. Pour the remaining cooking chocolate over the top and gently smooth into a thin layer.
(To decorate – I originally was going to use pistachios to decorate but change my mind, instead I used chocolate berry biscuits. Cutting some in half to make a nice pattern and then sprinkling with the remaining nuts. But you could use anything you liked.)
Put into the fridge for at least 4 hours to set. I made mine the day before, just to be sure.
Once we’d sung many different renditions of the traditional ‘happy birthday’ song to Violet as she went shy being the total centre of attention, she blew out her candles and made a wish.
Once we came back inside I gave Violet her finally finished crochet blanket. To see her so happy with something I’ve spent so long working on, I just felt so…..well ‘happy’ just doesn’t cut it.
Slowly but surely as the sun began to go down we said our goodbyes to our family.
We retreated to the lounge chair for some Tinkerbell, requested by Violet.
We ate a homemade crispy chicken and chippies also requested by Violet for dinner, and she received her final gift of the day. A lala loopsey (she’s obsessed!)
We had big hot baths and hopped into bed.
We had such a massive fun-filled day, not once did anyone hop out of bed requesting one last drink or one last toilet trip.
The silence was eerie.
As Glen and I lay in bed completely exhausted we spoke about the day.
“That was seriously the best day ever.” I stated.
“Yeah I reckon. Violet knew it was all about her that’s for sure.”
And that’s what we’d wanted. That one day a year when Violet’s world really does revolve around her.
I must say this year, I was exceptionally proud. There weren’t -many- tears over Violet receiving gifts when no one else did. No one complained when Violet got to choose the activities and games, no one sooked when she was given the parcel first.
Everyone cooperated and thought about someone else for a change, in this case Violet’s wants and needs came before everyone elses.
Everyone’s getting old enough now to know that if they go just that little above and beyond for someone else on their special day that when it’s their turn the favour will be returned.
It worked out well and everyone had a great time.
(Your up next Buddy boy!)
Dearest Violet Amelia;
I just adore your little face, your such a cute and funny girl. Yes, yes, you can be a pain, you can squeal like no one I’ve ever know but you’re totally you.
You’re becoming more you, each and every day and I am so happy and proud that I was chosen to be your Mum.
I hope your day was one you’ll never forget. You are special, you are important and you are so loved.
Love always and forever,
P.s Name that cat would you?!