I’m not going to deny it – I love throwing parties. I had been planning CJ’s party for a ridiculously long time and it was so fun to see it all come to fruition! Ever since he was very small, we’ve always read a bed time book to CJ and the first one to really draw his attention was The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. With the beautiful colors and all the delicious food, it was the perfect theme for a BIG party (our family philosophy is big birthday parties at 1,5 & 10, little parties in between) with all our friends. To accommodate the masses, we had his party at my childhood home which is now our home and crossed our fingers for weather that would let us make the most of the big back yard.
First up, we needed to sort an invite – we worked with my friend Elyce from Admin Queen to create the perfect invite, which you can also now purchase for your little caterpillars from her site.
Before we knew it, the day rolled round. We were lucky enough to source a small bouncy castle from a friend that took pride of place in the back yard. My sister and her partner picked up a roller-coaster (all parents of toddlers will be familiar with these!) and caterpillar tunnel from Johnny’s Room and we set these up as little “stations” in the back yard along with CJ’s usual water play table and some pavement chalk so that the kids (and there were a lot of them, ranging from 6 weeks to 13 years!) could run rampant all over the place. We also set up a coloring and puzzle station inside to accommodate those kids who perhaps needed a little quiet time away from the crowds. We went for a green, red and natural theme with decorations, apart from the washing line which we draped with streamers to represent our beautiful butterfly! A big favorite with our guests was our photo wall, made possible with a generous voucher from Fujifilm Photos.
I COMPLETELY over-catered – the literary nerd in me wanted every food from the story represented on the table. Some I had to be a little creative with; the cherry pies were really chocolate cherry tartlets. We never got around to getting the ice cream out of the freezer and to be honest I’m not even sure how that would have worked logistically – lucky Papa M gets to eat his way through 10 kg of ice cream! It made for a somewhat eclectic spread on the table and I’m really not sure how many people noticed but if you can’t do things to make yourself happy, what’s the point?
And the cake – oh the cake! Despite my best intentions to fondant ice the head, the humidity and my haste were not helping. In the end the only fondant was Mr Caterpillar’s little yellow eyes! I was still pretty proud of the effort as it is the first cake I have ever properly decorated by myself! CJ got an entire cupcake to himself, his first proper taste of cake and he absolutely hoed into it. He was pretty astounded by all the people singing to him and watching him eat but he wasn’t going to let that put him off having his cake and eating it too!
It made me so happy to be able to host all our friends and provide a fun morning for them. While being the hostess kept me fairly busy, I also had some awesome family members help me out and allow me a few moments to sit down and actually enjoy the day, even when we had a bouncy castle pile-up incident! CJ absolutely loved the day and whilst I know it’s a day that he’ll eventually only remember in photos, I know that the memories of his first birthday celebration will stick with Papa M and I forever.
And I may have an illness, plans are already underway for birthday #2!