One of the best parts about being a nanny (in my opinion) is the children’s birthdays.
Birthdays have always been one of my favourite celebrations. Not for the material reasons, but as a time for family to come together and enjoy the moment. This year I was super excited to celebrate the birthdays with the kids I nanny for. Partly I think it’s the excitement and the party games and the pretty decorations. Hello balloon confetti! But mostly it’s because I feel incredibly privileged to be able to share in the special moments. Moments that are most often reserved just for family members.
Back in April we had a busy month. In the space of seven days we strayed from the norm for a non-traditional Easter egg hunt, did Anzac Day commemorations, and enjoyed four birthday celebrations. Yes, that’s right, I said four! Baby Viv turned one, Miss6 moved up to Miss7 and The Twins turned 12. Oh hey pre-teen adolescence stage, you’re going to be fun!
The week of endless cake and candles just happened to fall bang in the middle of school holidays. Whilst we tried to do most of the shopping online beforehand, I still found myself trawling the shops at the last-minute with a pram and a begrudging child. One of the more memorable items on the wish list had me fanatically trying to track down a particularly rare species of fish to match the aesthetic of the other fish already in the tank. Yep, true story. We also had to restock the elusive candles and matches, which had no doubt fallen victim to abyss that is “that cupboard” in the kitchen. I’m sure you have one too!
| “Making children’s birthdays special!”
This year the girls gave me quite a challenge for their birthdays. As well as the usual rattling off random items onto their wish list based on whichever ludicrous T.V. advert they’d just sen, I’d suddenly been promoted from nanny to cake pâtissier. Because apparently baking the trusty never-fail muffin recipe and banana bread each week implied that I was in fact a pastry chef. Of course I accepted the challenge with grace and gave it my best shot, although I don’t know if I’ll be volunteering my services for the task again next year. It might just be better to leave it up to the professionals.
So I know all of this happened way back in April, and ermahgerd we’re already in July. Seriously, how is it July already? My plans are way behind schedule and I’m freaking out! But just as I had the opportunity to share in the special family moments and celebrate the birthdays, and just as I have celebrated many milestones on seemingly ordinary days prior, I also want to invite you in and share these with you too. If only so I can get some feedback on where I went wrong with these epic cake fails!
1st Birthday Milestones
Baby fingers got to the icing before we could snap a picture!
Baby Viv’s 1st birthday was a pretty special moment for us. I’ve cared for this little precious girl since she was 7 weeks old and I’m thoroughly attached, perhaps overly! I was there when she first giggled, when she first could hold her head up and when she began scooting around on the floor. I was there that time she was feeling adventurous and fell off the couch giving me a heart attack!! And I’ve been there, day in day out, in the never ending battle of power over food and eating preferences. So it was truly special to be there to celebrate her 1st birthday with the family too.
We decided on a handbag cake for her special day. Baby Viv has long had a penchant for hand bags, sparkly things, pretty colours and anything that can be put over her head. From an early age she’d play with my scarf as I rocked her off to sleep and now that winter is here she’s enjoying them once again!
The 7th Birthday
Much to my panic and horror as I thought ‘how on earth am I going to make that?!’ Miss7 requested a puppy dog cake for her birthday. Miss7 and her puppy Beansie have a truly gorgeous relationship, and she and her sisters are very lucky to grow up with the benefit of pets. They truly provide so much love and care, not to mention responsibility. And I admit, I too am quite take with little isha-beansie-puppy-hat as she is lovingly referred to.
In the end I think the cake didn’t turn out too badly. Athough after 7 eggs, 1.5kg of flour, an entire evening in the kitchen, and a whole lot of chocolate icing I think I was happy to accept any attempt.
The Twins: Double Trouble Birthdays
A few days later it was time to don my chef hat once again to whip up something for The Twins. Thankfully they’d made it somewhat easy for me by requesting an old favourite; these Holey Moley Gooey Chocolate Brownies. I did make a short lived attempt to suggest that maybe brownies weren’t “birthday” enough, but I didn’t put up much a fight as they stood their ground. I did have fun with these though. Because given that we were all drowning in chocolate easter eggs (and by this stage completely done with gorging ourselves on birthday cake), I decided to melt some chocolate down to put into the brownies. The result was amazing, if I do say so myself. I threw some chocolate ganache and icing sugar of the top with some sprinkles and ta-da; the Birthday Brownie Cake was done!
How do you make children’s birthdays special at your place? And is anyone else getting ready to live with teenagers?
Opening image, before edit: Poppytalk
This post is linking up with Essentially Jess for IBOT.