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Tuesday 28 April 2020

Mathilde's 6th Birthday

Last Friday Mathilde turned six. 

Given that we're all sheltering at home, a party with her classmates and friends was unfortunately out of the picture. But that didn't mean that there was no party at all. Originally I didn't think we'd do anything right now and save the party for over Summer when (fingers crossed) we can start seeing friends again. But a few days before her birthday Mathilde started talking about all the fun things she was looking forward to doing at her party. It occurred to me that there was no reason to cancel or postpone her party at all. Instead of celebrating with friends, we celebrated with just the five of us. 

Because we were busy with school at home on Friday we celebrated Mathilde's birthday with a small party on Saturday. It worked out quite well as Friday was rainy on and off, but Saturday had glorious weather.

We started the day off with a fun surprise for Mathilde. Lola and I blew up a few dozen balloons and we filled the floor of the trampoline with them plus a bag of ball pit balls the night before. Mathilde was super excited when she spotted them out the window. If you thought snow trampoline was fun, wait until you see balloon and ball trampoline! All three of the kids had a blast jumping on the trampoline sending the balls and balloons flying.

Mathilde had decided that she wanted a Pokémon themed party. You may remember that Ava also had a Pokémon themed party years ago for her 10th  birthday. You can see it here. I decided to reuse a few of the party ideas for Mathilde's party. First up was making Pikachu Peeps. Now, when we had these at Ava's birthday party I made them in advance for the kids to eat. This time around I made them into a party activity and got the girls to make their own Pikachus. I'll have a DIY post coming soon, but basically they're just yellow bunny shaped Peeps (which are all on super clearance in stores right now) dipped into melted chocolate with cheeks drawn on with food markers. I poked cake pop sticks into them so the girls had something to hold while dipping (and eating). We left them in the fridge for a bit to set and voila, they were done. Such an easy and delicious activity - although admittedly, they didn't all end up looking like Pikachu thanks to the girls getting a little creative.

Next up was the piñata. Continuing with the Pokémon them I made a pokéball piñata. Ava also had a pokéball piñata for her Pokémon party, but hers was a sphere made with paper mache on a giant round balloon. For Mathilde's party I had less time to prepare so I went with a round cardboard piñata instead. Much faster to make (no need to wait for layers of paper mache to dry) and I was able to make it quite small seeing as it only needed to hold enough candy for three kids. As always, the string ripped way before the piñata started to crack so the kids ended up beating it with the stick on the ground to rip it open. Kim then threw the piñata in the air showering the ground with candy.

Once the candy was out and the kids had scrambled to collect it all, our usual tradition of wearing the broken piñata as a hat followed. This is one of those funny little traditions that has popped up naturally over the years. From the very first time I made a piñata for Ava's 4th birthday party, the broken piñata has been worn as a hat by at least one of the party guests. I really should compile the pics together in a fun album!

Then it was time for cake!

Keeping with the Pokémon theme Mathilde's birthday cake was...

...Pikachu! What a surprise, right?

I wasn't quite sure how I was going to pull off making a Pikachu shaped cake from what we had in the pantry, so I did a little improvisation with cardboard. I made a simple round chocolate cake as Pikachu's face, iced it in yellow, and then added his face details in colored frosting. I then cut out yellow and black cardboard to make his ears. The yellow cardboard I had on hand (left over from Lola's emoji party a few years back) just happened to be the same shade of yellow as the cake, so that worked our perfectly. I poked the cardboard ears into the side of the cake and voila! One Pikachu ready to be devoured! I was a total hack job, but I'm quite pleased with how it turned out. More importantly, Mathilde loved it!

Mathilde's little party turned out to be a perfect celebration. It was much more laid back than out usual parties and because there were no guests I didn't have to worry about cleaning first! That's a win in my book!

One last thing... on the day of Mathilde's actual birthday I took her out to choose a special present. This was the first time that any of the kids had been out apart from walks around the neighborhood. Six whole weeks of not going anywhere further than a 20 minute walk from home. Kind of crazy, right? Anyway, Mathilde had asked for a pet fish for her birthday. I ordered a fish tank online, but for the actual fish itself I took her to an aquarium store to choose one. She chose a pale blue and white betta fish (Siamese fighting fish for my Australian friends) and named him Snowstorm. Here's Mathilde leaving the aquarium store with Snowstorm. Can you spot him? He's hiding in the plants right above her thumb. I've also added a pic of him at home so you can actually see him.

On our way home I spotted a fun mural that was just calling out for a quick photo shoot so we stopped by for some pics. As it turned out, this mural just happened to have the perfect quote on it for this crazy time we're living in.

Have you celebrated a birthday or special occasion during the current Shelter at Home orders? I'd love to hear what you did to make the day special.

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