One. Two. Three. Four. Five. Count them. There are FIVE candles. My baby girl is Five.
It is hard to believe that only five years ago, we didn't know this sweet, sensitive, gentle and careful little girl. Five years ago, she looked up at me, closed her beautiful blue eyes and nestled in for long sleepy hugs as I wrapped her close in my arms. Yesterday, as I put her to bed at night, she wrapped her arms around me, and told me that she didn't want me to leave. I asked her why. To which she responded "Because I love you too much and i don't want to let you go". Those words are going to be forever etched in my heart and I just know how many times I am going to be whispering them to her over the years to come. We've had a special bond since the moment she was first in my arms and to this day, I can't believe how much my heart swells with love and pride when I look at her and get to know more about the wonderful person she is becoming.
Each year for her birthday we theme her party around her favourite book at that time. I love doing this because it gives us a great snapshot of what she was interested in at that age and gives me a clear direction for theming! Anyone who knows me knows I love a good theme! This year, Maddies' favourite book has been The Magic Paintbrush by Julia Donaldson. It was an easy book to theme the party around because not only does she like to read about magic paintbrushes, but she herself loves to paint and draw, and still has a fair amount of magic sprinkled throughout her life.
The invitations set the scene, letting everyone know that it was going to be a painting party, to be held at Maddie's Art Studio (aka, our house!). We had bought IKEA paintbrushes and Maddie colour-blocked the ends of them, and I wrote the invitee's name on each one.
The Magic Paintbrush is set in Japan, and so we had a few Japanese accents to the party. One was the beautiful fans that Maddie and her friend made to decorate with, another was the kids all sitting around the table on the floor, tatami-style, and lastly, the kids painted their very own paper fans at the party.
In addition to painting fans, the kids had two other painting activities to indulge their artistic minds in the Art Studio. One was simply painting dragons, which, spoiler alert, is the ending of the Magic Paintbrush, but the other was really special. One was a really neat MAGIC Watercolour painting that I saw on Whats Up Moms, in which you write/draw in white crayon first, and then colour over the top with watercolour to see your message appear, as if you were using a magic paintbrush....wink wink!
I thought the petite artiste's did a spectacular job of their fans and watercolours, I just love how colourful our walls were!
After the kids were finished painting, they played some party games and had cake. The most fun was watching 14 five year olds attempt their first ever Donut Game. This was a birthday party staple for me growing up, so I've been keen to introduce it to Maddie and thought five was a good age to get started! We try and play games at our parties in which we don't have to point out any losers, which makes neither the non-frozen-musical-statue nor the parent pointing the finger feel very good, and so a game in which everyone eats a donut and the fastest gets a prize, well now thats our kind of game! The key components are that you can't use your hands, and so the donut hangs just above your mouth and you have to bite your way around the donut (leaving the top part attached for the last bite!). It was a lot of (messy) fun.
Party food, to me, is such an important component of a party! I wanted Maddie to be heavily involved with the choosing and making of as much of the food as possible. Aside from the cake, her number one request was jelly! And then donuts and sausage rolls. And so we were busy little bees making cinnamon donuts, and ham and cheese scrolls, sausage rolls, honey joys, fruit kebabs and fairy bread. For the kids, I packed up each kid a little lunch box of treats as I always find the feeding stage of a party such a schmozzle! This way, everyone has each option right in front of them (and all the same, aside from an allergy or two) and they can eat whatever they choose from there.
And as for The Cake. It was a vanilla cake for the bottom tier, and the top tier was a gluten free white chocolate mud cake. All smothered in buttercream of course. Maddie doesn't like chocolate and normally misses out on cake at parties and so was adamant that hers would be vanilla. She was pretty chuffed with the watercolour icing too!
For party bags, we like to send each child home with a copy of the book that the party has been themed around. I also had some younger books that were "a cohesive line" for the siblings! Maddie and I made little paintbrush bookmarks as a little thank you for coming.
It was a wonderful celebration of our baby girl turning five and a lot of fun to plan for. The streamers might stay up now throughout the summer though, I'm in absolutely no hurry to get back up that ladder! Happy Birthday Madeleine. We love you too much and we don't want to let you go. x x x