|The odd-looking Mickey Mouse cake from 2010|
My sister-in-law and hubby kick off Birthday Month and our 2 big kids have their birthdays in June. There are lots of other family birthdays in the mix, as well as friends' and friends' childrens' birthdays.
Every year for the last 7 years, I have put my birthday-party-planning hat on the day after my hubby's birthday. I make lists of ingredients for cakes and party food; lists for what will go into the lolly bags; lists of people invited and people who have replied. Being winter birthdays, I also have lists of what housework needs to be done to bring the house up presentably enough to host said parties, without being too spotlessly clean that I spend the whole day trying to work out the difference between how long it took me to clean and how long it has taken for the party guests to make a mess of...not that I tend to over-think things. Much.
|The precariously balanced fire truck cake from 2010|
So here is my confession. I love to hold themed parties. I sit the big kids down during May and get them to go through our 4 birthday cake books - 3 of these are the wonderful Womens Weekly birthday cake books and the odd-one-out is one I had to buy because of the inclusion of the fire truck. I don't try to influence the choice of cake and I'm often thrilled at what catches their eye - although after last year's Mickey Mouse effort, I have sworn off any cake involving sprinkles. I will spread icing, cut up liquorice and decorate with lollies, but I will never again attempt to stick sprinkles to the sides of a cake. Never ever. I don't always get the cakes up to showroom standard (that Mickey Mouse cake is barely recognisable!) but the kids love the finished results and that's all that really matters.
Once the cakes have been chosen, we (because the big kids love helping too) start hunting down matching cups, plates, napkins, novelty party toys, lolly bags, candles, even presents...anything we can find to fit the theme either in the shops or, more often than not, on ebay. Ebay is my friend during Birthday Month. I can search for almost anything and it will deliver results. With the added bonus of not having to drive around with 3 children in the car and trudge in and out of shops in search of what I need. And of course, there are lots of bargains - because the only thing better than a themed birthday party is a themed birthday party that involves bargains.
I can't wait to celebrate my little girl's 4th birthday in six more sleeps. Or my big boy's 7th birthday in nineteen more sleeps. And I know they will love this year's birthday themes. Because they chose them.