Friday, November 19, 2010

Oslo is Six!

Oslo turned had his birthday on the weekend. We had a circus themed party which was a ton of work, but ended up being so worth it - the kids had such fun and of course, some of the adults rather enjoyed the dressing up opportunity too!

Ben was the ringmaster, obviously! I drew on his mustache with mascara and the cape is my new favourite idea - old shirts with the fronts cut off leaving only the collar and back fabric. We ended up giving them to all the children as prizes and they were a hit! My mum had very sweetly made all of them and such an easy, environmentally friendly gift - win win!

I wanted to be a ringmistress, but since we only have one top hat, Ben wore it so I morphed into a sort of circus gypsy who was having a slight identity crisis - loved my outfit nonetheless, even if it wasn't totally in keeping with the theme. And you may recognise I am wearing the same jacket that Oslo was wearing in his invite - stuffed myself into it!

The most popular game of the day was the striker. The kids loved flexing their muscles to see if they could ring the bell. Oslo figured out the physics of it pretty quickly and was ringing the neighbourhood down.

Our dear neighbours came to help out with the party. Caroline and her friend, Isabella, ran the spin to win game. It was a hoot - slightly embarrassing that we were encouraging gambling, but the stakes were peanuts so figure not too naughty, no? The kids convinced the big girls that if if landed on either "prize" or "bonus" that they would get all the peanuts in the jar.

We also rented a ball toss and a ring toss, plus the popcorn machine which was so fun. It came with rather scary looking E number full popcorn so we just used our own with butter instead of the scary oil looking stuff in the packet - the taste was worth it!

Because Indigo and several others had come as tightrope walkers, we had to do a last minute make shift tight rope out of the old mast from our lost in the hurricane wooden boat. It worked a charm and was great for the kids balance. Love love the strong man with his barbell!

My parents were troupers and dressed up for the bash. My mother was verging on scary she was so decked out in tiger stuff, but since it is her favourite animal, and she is a big collector of tiger paraphernalia, it was no wonder she had all the gear. My dad looked hilarious too - love love that they did that for Oslo - a gift in itself!

Ben made two attempts to make a pinata out of balloons, but both burst before they paper mache dried, so I used a box and covered it in paper mache and decorated it to look like a circus caravan - only trouble was I ran out of time so only did one side. Whoops.

I am a bit neurotic about the whole bashing with a stick think - I get so freaked out when the kids nearly get whacked when they stand too close so I made lines on the grass out of palm fronds and the kids were not supposed to go past them until it was their turn - made it a bit more enjoyable whereas usually I am panicking!

Watch how the weapons had to keep changing. First Emma hit so hard that the pink handled stick smashed in two.

Next came the baseball bat - see the boys in their sweet capes.

Lastly, when the box wouldn't break, Ben brought in a huge spikey piece of cedar - you can see the parents in the background whispering about the inappropriateness, but it did the job, and luckily nobody was hurt.

The swarm of little foragers - we filled it with toys the children loved but no longer played with and candy from Halloween - don't judge - am trying to save the planet and not add more plastic and junk - the kids were thrilled so that is the most important.

The cake was a challenge to say the least. We are gluten free in our house - or at least Oslo, Indigo and I are since we are celiacs. So Ben made the most amazing lemon cake on the Friday - it was so delicious that we ate an entire one the night it came out of the oven. But the party was on Sunday so I think we made the cake one day too early. Plus, the three cakes I used were more over cooked than the one we had eaten, which further dried it out. And then on top of that, we are doing dairy free so I used goat cheese (please don't gag - it was actually kinda good - like cheese cake!) with raspberries and blueberries for colour since I think E numbers are evil! Anyway, suffice to say, it was nice, but not as out of this world as it should have been had we cooked them less long and a day later.

And the decorating was a challenge too since the icing was a bit runny once I added the fruit - but I made it work for me but making the bars of the caravans with the drips and then just placing toys on top since there was no way I was going to be able to paint something with this liquid goo.

Oslo loved it - he adored the little sign I made him and all the animals on top performing. And how delicious does he look in his little cape?

I thought I would make it extra special and put six sparklers on the cake instead of candles - big mistake. The wind was howling a gale and they were impossible to light.

We finally gave up and sweet and grateful Oslo simply blew out one candle that wasn't even on his cake.

These guys didn't seem to notice it was a gluten, dairy, sugar, E number free cake though - they gobbled it up.

At the end of the day, Oslo leaped through the hula hoop and landed on ground and hurt his shoulder. So I went inside and gathered up sofa cushions, blankets and pillows and this game became the absolute highlight of the party - I wished we had done it sooner. The kids were amazing and all had such different techniques. And their capes just made it look like they were flying.

For the goody bags, I hand drew circus pictures on all the bags. The children each chose one that they liked - it wasn't full of anything to write home about - I am not a fan of all the plastic and junk food so try to keep it at a minimum - just some colouring stuff and pad and wee things that won't end up polluting the Pacific. I always hope that the party was fun enough that the cape and token gift bags are sufficient to send the guests home with good memories - I like to think so anyway.

So overall, it was the best day - I just think the circus theme is such a fun idea for a party and was so easy as we rented all the games (except the hoop jumping of course) from Bermuda Rentals and they were amazing. So we had the greatest time and it was the best way to bring in a new year for Oslo. Happy birthday my darling. xxx

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