Party planning

On 26 February Zoe turns 4. I can’t quite believe it’s been 4 years since she arrived at 7.35am on a very hot day in Cape Town. She wants a Princess castle cake with Shrek and Fiona. She is yet to actually watch Shrek for longer than about 15-20 minutes as by that stage she’s usually bored and gets up to go and do something else. For most of last year she wanted a Red Bull racing car cake so a Princess Castle cake is easier as there is one in my fantastic cake book. We’re having the party at my parents’ house as we’ll still be busy with the building. They are actually having their bathrooms re-done which starts on Wednesday but they’re doing them 1 at a time and they do have 3 so it should be okay.

On Zoe’s actual birthday there is a 50km run which I’m quite keen to do. There are a few catches. The first is that it is organised by our running club and so I should actually be marshalling not running. Solution to that problem is that Chris won’t be running and I could ask my parents to help out on my behalf. Second thing is that I will then not be there when Zoe wakes up on her birthday. Not great I know but one thing I’ve realised with kids is that they are less bothered by stuff like that than we are. They are still very much out-of-sight-out-of-mind people at this stage. I’d kind of presumed we’d have her party on her birthday because it’s a Saturday but having it on the Friday afternoon just makes more sense. If I do the run on Saturday I’ll be quite exhausted and to have a kiddies party that afternoon won’t be much fun. Chris can re-arrange his operations a bit so that he’ll be able to be there and it’s actually so much nicer to get the party over and done with on the Friday and then the weekend is free. Fortunately most of the moms at school and friends whose kids will be invited either don’t work or work part-time so unless they happen to be going away that weekend (and leaving on the Friday) everyone will be able to make it. The only thing that concerns me is that making the cake and doing all the food for the kids and moms will mean that I’ll spend a lot of time on my feet, not exactly ideal for your legs the day before running what will be my very first ultra marathon.

Zoe would like to play pass-the-parcel, have a jumping castle, someone doing face-painting and a pony (the party we went to on Saturday had a pony). I told her that the pony will be frightened by the noise of the jumping castle to which she replied that we could just put the jumping castle in the courtyard (my parents have a courtyard in the middle of their house). I told her that might be too hot and it’s surrounded by huge glass doors so can just picture children flying through glass doors!!! My parents back garden is lovely and big and shady (perfect for a jumping castle and a pony) but the 2 don’t really go together and the part of the garden near the pool isn’t shady and if we have a day like we had on Saturday then one or the other will get very hot. The lady who I got the jumping castle from last year does face painting so I think we’ll go with that and leave the pony. I’ll give her a call this week and then also order the Shrek and Fiona (from the cupcake shop) to go on top of/in the castle. We made the invitations today – snowflakes with glitter and tissue paper. Completely unrelated to the theme but Zoe could help make them and I think that’s actually more important. She gets 10/10 for enthusiasm before the time and 2/10 for perseverance. She did cut out about 5 circles (very nicely on the lines) but after glueing and glittering about 2 snowflakes she had to go and have a rest!! I finished the rest of the cutting, glueing and glittering tonight. Hope she’s not too cross but there’s lots of tissue paper to cut out and stick still. Must just decide on all the food and what to put in the party packs. We’re inviting her whole class from school (only 11 including Zoe) plus all the necessary siblings (4), a few children from the younger class (2) and then children of friends that aren’t at school with Zoe (12). 30 kids including Zoe and Ava. Oops, that’s a lot. Fingers crossed some can’t make it.

Ava absolutely loves Zoe’s bed. Chris made the bed out of old Oregon Pine and it’s nice and low and the mattress fits inside the frame so there’s almost like a little step to climb up. Chris is supposed to be making one for Ava but the dolls house, running and that annoying thing called work is taking up most of his time. Ava does have a single bed in her room but it’s just a normal bed. Chris had to go to the hospital yesterday evening so I put the girls to bed and while we were doing prayers Ava climbed into bed with Zoe and didn’t want to get out. I then told her she could get into the bed in her room and she rushed off. I had a fold-down bed rail for Zoe which I’d washed and so taken the entire thing apart. I hadn’t got around to putting it back together and so just piled some pillows on the floor in case she fell out. She then proceeded to chatter away excitedly for about 30 minutes (while I was putting together the bed rail) and I eventually popped her into her cot and she went straight to sleep.

Tonight the same thing happened but I’d put the bedrail on her bed and she did chat for a little while and then went to sleep.

Her first night in a big bed.

A huge moment actually as it means we’ll probably pack away her cot soon, never to be taken out again. It’s the only big item I think I’ll keep and hopefully one of them will use it for their own children one day but that’s it, no more babies in this house. Only thing left now is potty training. The absolute worst job as far as I’m concerned is to clean a dirty potty (wee is fine it’s the other I CANNOT bear). I’ll change a dirty nappy 100 times but OMW a dirty potty is the pits. Zoe is very tall and so she hardly used a potty because she could easily get on and off the toilet without any help. Ava isn’t as tall but we’ve got a step in their bathroom and I’ll get a step for our bathroom as well if it means I don’t have to clean a potty. The step is actually the step we use for time-out so hopefully that won’t cause any issues.

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