Monday, March 25, 2019


After last year's somewhat more subdued celebrations, Stella was really keen on a 'traditional' party this time (i.e. a bazillion children, 'running around in the dark' and general total OTT party bedlam).

We did it.

Her chosen theme (apparently we're still doing themes): rain forest.

The night before the party, as darkness fell and most dog walkers had retreated indoors, she (dressed appropriately) and I drove around the neighbourhood 'borrowing' some big leaves for party decor. We kept the engine running, jumping out to saw off the leaves and dashing back to the car.
She was the perfect accomplice - opening doors for me and holding the knife when I wrestled with some stubborn fronds - and on the way home after it was all done she turned to me and said, eyes gleaming, 'Now honestly Mum, if we got caught would we have been arrested?'

It was a lovely party, much less stressful than I've found some of them to be in the past - I'm not sure why?
The surprise cake - decaying log on the forest floor, complete with birds nest, ladybirds, fungi and tropical flowers. Great big decadent chocolate logs, rolled with sweetened cream and covered in chocolate - it was delicious and fun to make.

Every year, twice a year, Husband and I do these cakes late at night before the party, and every year we're reminded of how much we enjoy it. I think we might just keep on making them surprise themed birthday cakes for the rest of their lives.

There was trampolining and dancing and some 'running around in the dark'. There was grown ups with wine on the stoep and a pecan pie which couldn't be beat and all these children that we've known since babies bashing around.

And a few days later there was the excitement of a 'new room' (ie newly decorated) and presents and another birthday cake with the Grandparents.

I think it was a sublime 9, I know that she is and as I was writing this I reflected on words I wrote at both the last birthdays 'I know from her older sister that this year, 7 to 8, is really the last of the little girl years.' - 2017 and 'Stella is 8 and from here on out it feels like we're officially in the Next Stage. No more smalls in this family' - 2018 and I thought rubbish - she's still our baby and will be for a long time yet.