Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Birthday Week

It's Birthday week at our place - 3 kids in 1 week. Little Buddy and D are turning 3 and Miss Fancy is 7. While this may freak some mums out, I actually like it. It appeals to my sense of efficiency and practicality. Decorate a room just once and it will do for all 3 kids, you get the picture.

A wise friend once gave me some simple advice regarding birthday parties - "Start how you mean to finish". In other words, if you do something spectacular the first year then you really need to continue this tradition otherwise you risk major disappointment. With this in mind we have always just celebrated our children's birthdays with the humble backyard party. But they have one every year because with 4 kids, I just feel it is even more important to let them celebrate their special day in some form, regardless how small. We have their friends over, do traditional games and food, at the end everyone gets to throw water balloons at The Piano Man and everyone has a ball. I just can't justify the expense, effort and stress that some families seem to go to. Each to their own I suppose and all that.

And since living in Sydney, the kids have been invited to some pretty spectacular parties - Whizzy World, Lollipop Playland, Gymnastics Parties, Dance Parties, Clowns, Fairies, Mobile Zoos, Craft Parties, and at the very least there is a gigantic jumping castle in the backyard at a cost of $300 for 2 hours. I often get asked "so who is doing your cake?". Me. "Who are you getting for the party?". Um that would be me as well.

So when I asked Miss Fancy what she would like to do for her birthday, I held my breath until an answer came. But it was fine. "I'd like a tea party please", she said. "With real grown-up tea cups but we might have to have hot chocolate because some of the kids aren't allowed to have tea". She doesn't have tea either but that seemed to be beside the point. A Tea Party. Fabulous. She's going to have 6 of her friends walk home with us from school one afternoon and a tea party we shall have. So off to the local op shop I go to see if I can find some pretty things....

I was hoping to find some cheap nanna tea cups and saucers but there weren't so I got these lovely Japan rose saucers for 50c and will use our white tea-cups from home.

I then saw this gorgeous set of 8 table mats that had a very pretty print on them so I bought those too.

Once I found out what this lovely item was, I had to have it too! It's a thing for putting bread rolls etc in, the lady tells me. It has beautiful butterflies embroidered on each of the sleeves and will be great for the scones for Miss Fancy's Tea Party. It was super cheap too. Does anyone know what it is called?

These books bore no relation to the task at hand but at $2 each I couldn't let them go. I love these old story books and these ones have the super thick brown paper which smells and feels divine and I could look at the pictures for hours.


  1. Very efficient indeed! I think like you in this regard - would be handy to have the kids birthdays together! :)

    I adore old books too.

    A tea party sounds so sweet! Hope you have lovely sunshine for it.

  2. Three kids in one week!? Madness!

    I go a bit OTT with my kids parties, but I do it all myself on a reasonable budget so I figure that doesn't make it too 'Sydney' does it?

    A tea party sounds absolutely perfect. x

  3. Aww, a tea party sunds wonderful. That is so far removed from what my little girl would ever ask for, but I would love it.

  4. Oh sorry Maxabella - was I bit harsh on the party thing? It's probably not a Sydney thing at all, more a symptom of living in any large city where there are so many options available for kids (and maybe a bit of keeping up with the Jones' thing - oops harsh again!).

    Your style of party is exactly the type I like - awesomeness on a budget :-)

    I've been a very slack mum in the past, time-poor & sleep deprived. But I will make a special effort with this one....

    Carin, I swear sometimes my daughter was born with the mind of a 70 year old the way she carries on...

  5. I absolutley LOVE your ideas and fab shopping finds!
    Funnily enough, even though I only have 3 kids, their birthdays are all within 2 weeks. So, we also do the birthday 'clumping' thing.
    Like you, I love that it is all done and dusted but as they get older I find it a bit more challenging to help them feel individually special.
    P.S I find it hard to believe that you were EVER a slack mum