It seems like yesterday that we had the girls fourth birthday, and yet here we are, a full year later already! As expected, Grandma Sue and I attempted to create three masterpieces for the girls’ birthday cake again this year. Considering I believe last year’s accomplishment was quite grand for turning four, we upped our game for age five and added props. This year’s cakes took a lot of time, but it still felt easier than the prior one, simply because the girls are older now and don’t need as much constant attention so we could prep while they played and “helped.”
A couple days prior I started the flower melted icing molds, opting for pink, purple, teal, pink and white and making a number of sets. I ended up not prepping enough ahead of time and making more in the moment, and Craig added another version of teal at the end. Reagan helped me with a few teal sets and did a great job scooping it into the molds, all by herself.
Prior to Sue’s arrival, I quizzed the girls on their preference of princess and questioned their favorites to plan party decorations. Given that they all have their own preferences, it makes it impossible to theme just one doll or one color. I can’t quite tell if they made their choices based on the designated life theme colors, or if Aurora, Rapunzel (Pan) and Jasmine really are the favorites. Either way, by the time we purchased everything to begin the task, Emerie insisted she wanted Elsa and not Rapunzel, which she did not get!
Sue spent a good afternoon making the cake stacks for the main part of each dress. We ended up using a small bunt cake pan and a round cake pan and the girls had the pleasure of jamming, and I mean jamming, the dolls into the partial holes. I volunteered to cut the feet off each to fit better, but Sue wouldn’t let me…you know…that might bring up those traumatic life memories of poor Gecko the chicken last year, when he lost his head and then he lost his feet. No, we didn’t shove him in a cake….but tough times remember by all!
Reagan and Emerie went to school on Friday while Harper stayed home a second day with a high fever that diagnosed as an ear infection. Because of that, only she participated in cake decorating, as you will see by looking at Aurora versus the other two. I worked the morning while Sue prepped everything, rolled out the marshmallow fondant, and together we molded the icing over the cake cutouts. Usually you get better with practice and time right? I would say we progressively did worse throughout the six hour cake extravaganza, but mostly because the fondant seemed stickier with each attempt. Each dress had two overlaid layers and as it dripped or stretched from gravity, we reevaluated which side was the front. We added the doll after cutting out the middle hole of both layers and found we required another layer around her waist, since the dolls were about a half inch too tall (told you we should have chopped feet off!), and then used flowers to cover it.
Aurora turned out the most smoothest, and Rapunzel’s flowers covered her imperfections, which included a few random melts on her backside, to cover up the icing tearing. Jasmine’s fondant was the most difficult and resulted in an entire flower front to cover the dreadful imperfections we couldn’t undo. And those gold outlines? Those are unicorn horn sprinkles and stars, which worked great with Jasmine’s teal look. We initially tried to stick all the decorations using icing, which worked okay, but found it more efficient using a small paint brush and water and painting the dresses to restick to them.
In the end Harper decided Rapunzel was more decked out than Aurora, which was true after I added the pearl beading down the back, so she sat next to me on the table and added the bling for over an hour, while I finished the other two.
We completed the look by adding pink, purple and teal fondant to the chocolate (for Harper) and vanilla (for Emerie and Reagan) cupcakes and used the remaining flowers and leaves to finish each with a treat on top. We also learned our lesson from last year and put icing under the big cakes so they wouldn’t slide during the car ride over. Well, not completely learned our lesson, since we forgot until cake number two to actually secure it down. The cupcakes around the dolls are meant to be the train of the dresses and colors inter-weaved with one another. Overall I think it turned out quite well, even with the random holes and fronts covered in flowers.
5th Birthday Party Success
It was a busy two days of preparation for the big day. Prior to having kids, I always looked in disbelief at how much parents went all out for kid birthday parties, thinking I’d never make that much effort for a day. And yet here we are, making six+ hour cakes, ordering party bag goodies, birthday balloon bouqets, ordering party dresses, and going through all the motions. I also believe because the girls have to share their birthday for their entire lives, it’s only fair to at least make some effort to make it fun and everyone feel special. I mean, we only have eighteen birthdays with them in our household and each one should count!
Craig, Grandma Sue and Grandma Anne took all three to get fancy fingernails a couple hours before the party, while I finished up a few last preparations. Everyone returned with flowers on each finger, Grandma Sue a pretty teal color, and Craig completely decked out fingers to toes, very likely with colors chosen by each kid.
Birthday party number five left our previous covid-era parties in the dust. Over the past three years, we slowly increased the attendee list throughout our apocalyptic life experience (not sure if that reference is from covid or raising toddler triplets); age two was a family only party since the city shutdown on their birthday, their third birthday at the jump park allowed everyone to mostly separate but still celebrate, and their fourth birthday at the Alaska Club play center was a complete success of friends and loved ones- the girls still talk about it a year later. My end headcount for this year was 26 kids, plus our three birthday beauties, and a lot of adults and family enjoying fun (and noise?). We opted out of inviting the entire preschool class and let the girls choose the attendee list, snagging a class list after school one day and letting them choose. The list was mostly girls, sprinkled with a couple of boys, and Emerie insisted that my boyfriend Jude HAS to come. Talking to his mom at the party, Jude commented recently that not only are the kiddos dating, but Emerie informed him- not asked- that they would also be getting married. A girl that knows what she wants.
I ordered customized twirl dresses specifically for the party, and while they didn’t exactly align with the cakes, they matched the theme of princesses in general. The Sleeping Beauty dress wasn’t up to par, so I went with Harper’s second favorite color black, in the form of Anna from Frozen. Emerie was excited to see hers was Elsa, after wanting the cake changed to her preference and being told no. Reagan’s Jasmine dress is my favorite, with ruffles and super twirly.
In true triplet fashion, I held my breath up to the last second that someone would be sick and unable to enjoy the party, or something else would come up to cause issues. Harper was starting to feel better from her ear medicine and we would find out later that Reagan had one too and started feeling crummy. We miss so many things, especially in the winter, that relate to fevers, coughs and colds. On the drive over to the party I realized no one grabbed the candles off the counter and called Papa Cliff to pick some up, and as I unloaded the three at the Alaska Club, on super icy parking lot conditions, I grabbed the balloon bouquet and turned around to Reagan puking all over the ground. Another mom across the lot came over to see if she could help, and we managed to make it into the building. And to Reagan’s credit, she didn’t get a drop on her brand new dress. Great job little girl. After getting cleaned up by Grandma, she seemed to feel just fine and for the most part enjoyed playing at the party.
The kids ran around for a good ninety minutes in the play place, goofed off and played with cousins Tyler and Chatum and started ball pit wars, and snacked on Grandma Sue’s vegetable pizza and vege-platter. I also saw blurs of cousins Corbin and Elliot running and climbing, and finally put faces with names of their classmates and kids the girls talk about on the drive home each day. I caught Reagan snuggling with Aunt Janelle a few times, all three checked in and were thrilled to see Miss Tawni, Isabelle let Emerie borrow her Elsa wig to match her dress, Harper was a blur as she circled the play area over and over with her friends, and everyone lined up for a turn with the pinata, which made it through all the younger kids without breaking.
Cupcake time and singing created three blushing girls; also three girls that really wanted to eat their princess cakes, not a cupcake. Unfortunately for them, those cakes were to be saved for their actual birthday and in Seward. We ended up not making the trek down to the peninsula due to bad road conditions on the way down, so the cakes are still sitting on the counter.
All in all, great turnout. All three had similar answers on their favorite party moments, and all agreed Tyler coming was the biggest highlight, followed by Miss Tawni’s visit and presents. I’m pretty sure if we ask them in a six months what their favorite part of their fifth birthday was, it won’t be their awesome cakes OR presents- it will be the fact that Tyler attended and played with them. It’s sweet how much they love their cousin! The chaos of present opening in the moment meant we have no idea who brought what or for who….so we went through everything in the living room later and the girls especially liked the princess keurig coffee maker, the bath time crayons, Aunt Jenny’s mermaid swimsuits, and the fancy tutu dresses from Aunt Janelle and Paris, that immediately went to Tyler for a dress change mid-party.
I will save the official fifth birthday kid update for the next blog, with all the details of how my girls have grown and matured over the past 365 days.