The morning before the party.

It’s always a crazy time before a party – especially one at home. Even though the house always needs a complete clean after the party, there is the need to start the party with a presentable home. As I dashed around with the hoover on the morning of the party I couldn’t help but think of the irony. Within a few hours 15 children would be running in and out, eating cake and popcorn, dropping sweet lollies and candy everywhere. But, hey ho, it’s just what we do! Alice helped out with the dishes – the moment she hears the sound of the dishwasher door open she crawls over faster than a greyhound after a rabbit. She likes to try and climb in and test the dishes to see if they are clean or dirty (she’s a bit over keen – trying to taste test everything… I have to unload at lightening speed).

After breakfast the girls took it in turns to wash their hair, with Sophie needing Daddy’s expert detangling skills! She was mad keen for me to spray her hair pink, with a $2 can of ‘spray in/wash out’ (seriously toxic stuff I am sure!) but I made a deal that she’d let Daddy get the dreadlocks out first. Charlotte shared a shower with Alice, which of course she loved.

Pre party preparations

After the morning pamper session, Dan took Charlotte and Sophie out for the morning; so that Alice could have a really good pre-party nap and I could make a little head way (but I ended up taking a shower and giving myself a lie down). I had been up at the crack of dawn anyway – and baked a chocolate cake before 7.30am (with the help of ‘Super Chef’ Sophie). I figured we needed something else to eat other than the psychedelic pink, gingerbread house (which Sophie and I made – it looks like we were on a sugar high when we made it!).

Gingerbread house in the making

Dan and the girls had a lovely morning at Te Papa. They took along some toys to donate to Women’s Refuge and made some lovely decorations.

Pre party morning at Te Papa

They returned just after 1pm, ready for the 2pm party kick-off. The final hour before the party was a bit manic,  but at least we were spared a whole morning of hearing, ‘Is the party going to start now?’. And there wasn’t really too much to do as we’d been building up to the party all week…

  • The dining and coffee tables were moved through to the garage on Wednesday, to make room for games and Harry the Clown in the living area. We also opted for the garage as the venue for the party tea, what with rain forecast and Wellington’s wind often unpredictable! We figured it was cool, shaded from the sun, no worries with spills, easy to clean up afterwards and we could decorate in advance.
  • We made wrapping paper bunting and hung streamers all over the place, as well as blowing up copious balloons and having a crazy time. Alice definitely knows what a balloon is now!
  • We’d wrapped up the layers of surprises for pass the parcel.
  • The goodie bags had been stuffed weeks in advance.
  • The Pinata was stuffed well ahead of time too.

In retrospect the build up was perhaps a little ‘OTT’, but one can never be organised enough! Poor Sophie got more hyped as the week went on though and took a very rare nap on Thursday and Friday (though she had woken up with the birds both mornings!).

  • On Friday we went to work in the kitchen, making Florentines, a banana cake and cup cakes (for the children to decorate on arrival – recipe here).
  • The girls set up the party tables with all the important stuff, including name tags, hats, napkins, plates and cups.

So, by Saturday morning all that we really had left to do was hoover, whip up a chocolate cake, prepare the fairy bread, fruit and veg dishes, cook some sausage rolls and cheerios and be ready with smiles to welcome the party guests!

Sophie’s excitement was overflowing like a magnum bottle of champers after a Grand Prix win and having her elsewhere on the morning before the party was definitely the best plan of action!

When they arrived home I’d tied up the balloons to the mail-box and front door and she bounded in with her usual mega-boing spring and dazzling smile.

Whilst I finished up in the kitchen, Dan took care of Alice and Sophie sat on the driveway with Charlotte, eagerly awaiting the party guests!

And the rain that had been plaguing us all week and was forecast for the party? Well, the weather Gods bestowed us with an awesome afternoon of warm, balmy sunshine and barely a sniff of a breeze.

We were ready to party!

Party time!