My dear Sean turned 7 on 15 August. I can still remember the day he was born – and now he is a dreamy, sweet boy who is all limbs and always has his nose in a book. Time really does fly 🙂
We celebrated his birthday last weekend with a party at home. Besides family, we also invited some of his old kindergarten friends whom he hasn’t seen since starting P1. It was a nice little reunion for them (and for us mummies too).
After much deliberation, I settled on a simple enough ‘kampung’ theme for the party.
(The boys actually really like Yokai Watch now (a Japanese cartoon series that Sean really likes) but I didn’t think many of the kids would even know what it was so I promised them I would try to weave some elements of the cartoon to the party.)
I had envisioned the boys in singlets and shorts and slippers and girls in cheongsam tops and plaits but everyone took the theme literally and came dressed very, very casually, haha.
I put Jo in a cute romper I made before (all three boys have worn it). Ryan refused to wear his matching one (he claimed it was a dress!) so he wore his Japanese jinbei and Sean just wore a singlet and berms. Ah well, at least I tried!
We had glorious weather for the party. So happy because it was raining cats and dogs just the weekend before, and I had no contingency plan if it had rained (besides squeezing 30-40 people into my living room)!
My mum and helper prepared beehoon, stir-fried veggies, fish/sotong balls chin-chow drink and orange-lime juice. We also got a barbeque package (from City Satay) and waaay too much food – satay, chicken cutlet, longtong, etc. Many thanks to my brother and Foops for manning the barbeque and feeding us the whole night!
For starters, I set up a ‘kachang puteh’ station (with pinwheels, gem biscuits, White Rabbit sweets, milk biscuits that melt in your mouth), a DIY tattoo and old-school balloon station. No craft station this time round. The kids had fun applying temporary tattoos and trying their hand at blowing balloons (you know the gooey substance that you squeeze out of a small metal tube and you blow with a small straw – good stuff). I didn’t realize most kids have never played with it!
I also put a tub of sand (from our pirate party earlier this year), with no treasure though. Throughout the party, I would always find a kid or two playing quietly with it 🙂
We played the same old games – why change something that works, right?
First up, passing the parcel to the tune of a Yokai Watch song that Foops downloaded. The kids like this game coz it works for all ages and is not intimidating or competitive so I came up with 12 ‘forfeits’ (up from the usual 10) to make the game last longer. Simple forfeits like ‘play tic tac toe’ with your neighbour’, do 7 star jumps, sing a local song you have learnt in school, give the birthday boy a hug 🙂
Then we had the station games. Basically the children have to complete 5 stations – zero point, tic tac toe, hopscotch (drawn with chalk on the floor), eraser game and chapteh – to get a prize (a ring sweet).
Quite fun seeing the kids attempt the games because it was the first time for most of them. Seeing chubby little Jo do the hopscotch was the cutest thing. Lots of fun!
We did the cake-cutting next because I was afraid it would be too dark for pictures by the time we were done with all the games.
My proudest achievement this party was baking the birthday cake so let me rattle about it a bit here. The boys gave me an impossible task of making a Yokai Watch cake. Very flattered they think so highly of my unpredictable baking skills. They even helped me choose an ‘easy-looking’ Yokai to bake 😉
I stressed over the mechanics of baking and frosting the cake for days. I started baking the lemon cake the night before (using this recipe, which is very good by the way) with my Le Creuset pot to give it its domed shape and then I made the buttercream frosting (using a new recipe, so nerve-racking) and prepared the different colours for frosting the next day. I was up till 330am!
Next day, I carved out the ears, stuck them on the cake with satay sticks and quickly started on frosting the whole cake. The buttercream held up really well in the heat (my first successful attempt) and the cake came together nicely. I was done with the cake just two hours before the party. Phew! Sean was very happy when he saw the completed Jibanyan cake he gave me a big hug. According to Sean, Jibanyan is a Yokai who makes you cross the road without looking, if you wanted to know 😉
Here are the kids singing Sean the birthday song – the candles were no match for the wind that day!
The treasure hunt was up next.
I handed out the goodie bags. My sis drew cute little kids in sarongs on the bags and I filled them with a tube of colour pencils for the older kids and a toy boat for the younger ones.
The kids love the treasure hunt so we went a little overboard buying things for the kids to find. Mostly small packs of snacks, Play Doh, Capri Sun drink, Kinder eggs, etc. To make it fair for the younger ones, I got my sis to draw up a treasure map so there was a specific list of things to look for. Because we had more than enough goodies to go round, the kids went another round to look for leftover ‘treasures’ and all came back with bulging bags 😉
Lastly we had the piñata. I realize I derive more joy from the traditional balloon-shaped piñatas (as opposed with cardboard ones) so I made Whisper, a cheeky Yokai butler. Sean said I didn’t get his top and bottom quite right – it is supposed to look like icecream. Close enough!
I tried not to make the pinata too thick – because the husband said it always took forever for them to break it open – but I forgot to take into account that the kids are bigger and stronger now. Didn’t take many rounds to bash it to smithereens, and they didn’t even need any help this time round! Pinata was filled with mini Tic-tacs, Haribo gummies, Hi-chew sweets, mini Chupa Chups and old-school balloons. I had to confiscate my kids’ loot because they are still coughing badly. Next time will definitely try to incorporate more healthy offerings and less sweets!
And that was it for the party. It is my little labour of love for my boys because they look forward to and enjoy the parties so much. I hope everyone had fun. Thanks to everyone who came to celebrate with us!
For this party, I made a special request to our party guests for no toys because the boys really have a lot already. Instead, I asked for books or book vouchers or even angpows. I didn’t tell Sean about this beforehand. On the day itself, I explained to him and told him he could save the angpows for a new big boy bicycle. He seemed pretty happy with that. I did prepare a few toys and books for him (he is still a kid after all) which he will slowly open with his brothers over the next few days 🙂
Sean’s only request for his birthday was to go to Pororo Park. Which we did on Sunday. They had fun but I think they would have been just as happy going to a park or playground (think of the money I could have saved!). So I don’t think we will be returning anytime soon!
At 7 years old, Sean is sensitive, sweet, curious, dreamy, like doing math sums in his head, is a bit obsessed with Yokai Watch and Pokemon, loves playing soccer, has lost 2 baby teeth, likes doodling and always has his nose in a book (usually comics – I am still trying to encourage him to read proper chapter books).
Happy 7th birthday, my dear Sean. May you grow up to be wise and brave, with a heart for everyone.
Love always, Mama
PS. If you are keen to look back on our past birthday parties, click on the tag ‘party’.