Thursday, 30 May 2013

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Birthday Party

This feels weird. My first post since last September and my first from the new abode in Colchester. Good weird though. I've missed my friend the blog and it feels fitting that my first post in 8 months should be about the 1st birthday party of my baby. I'm not sure he's still considered a baby now he is one, maybe he's a toddler although he's not quite toddling. Yet.

Its been a very hectic year since his birth last May. Not only coming to terms with being someone's mum but also moving away from East London after 16 years. More about that another time, but for now, its all about The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

We weren't going to have a party as we are quite frankly knackered, however at the last minute we felt like really mean parents not celebrating this milestone. On reflection, its not only a milestone for him but also for us. Apart from one late night trip to A+E, 3 weeks in, when we thought he was really sick (he was just hungry . . . ) it's been quite good being a parent. So as well as a party for the little boss it was also a small pat on the back to The Wig and I that we go through it (so far). We know he wont remember the day, but we will and we hope our guests will as it was a really great afternoon.

My memory of birthdays as a child were a ballerina cake (every year) which all the girls in my village seemed to have (the boys had football pitches) and 'Squeak Piggy Squeak'. Things seem to have changed a lot since the 70's and birthday parties are now quite a big deal. Also, the wondrous internet makes it very easy to have a slightly more memorable day. I had 5 days to plan our soiree and that was just enough time.

I chose the theme of The Very Hungry Caterpillar as a friend bought the wee man a Hungry Caterpillar rattle when he was born and he absolutely loved it. Since then he has gathered quite a collection of Hungry Caterpillar of various shapes and sizes and has an appetite to match. Luckily this baby/toddler will eat anything. He is particularly fond of foodstuffs I never consumed until I was in my late 20's (humous, Pizza Express doughballs, coronation chicken etc etc). Luckily, a quick google search threw up a whole host of caterpiller themed items that arrived 2 days later.

Napkins, straws, cupcake cases, the dreaded party bags

Apple tissue paper garland

Butterfly tissue paper garlands


Next to make the caterpillar himself. I'd seen some images online where he had been made using round paper lightshades spray painted but that seemed like too much hard work to me (and also I didn't have that much time), so I ordered several honeycomb balls in green and one big one in red. I then bought a small pack of A5 sheets of coloured foam from the craft section in Sainsbury's to make the face and tiny legs. I never noticed his tiny legs before. He has 6 if anyone cares.

The glue didnt really work sticking the features on so I attached the eyes, nose and antennas with bent coloured paper clips.

It really was very quick and easy, the most complicated thing being getting the shape of him with different lengths of string on a dowelling rod. But we were so pleased with him, he's still hanging up. And we cant be bothered to get the ladder out again.

No party is complete without a bit of fancy dress, so I also ordered a strawberry costume for the birthday boy. Needless to say he refused to wear the hat (so I wore it) but he was very good natured about wearing the little suit. Again, this came from the internet and was delivered very quickly.

For the party food, it was a mixture of bought (thank you M+S) and home made. My biggest surprise was how unpopular potato salad was. Subsequently I shall be eating it for the new 3 weeks. 

Please note small round caterpillar holes in the watermelon. That wasn't my apple corer it was the hungry caterpillar of course . . . Candy Floss care of the man in Eld Lane, Colchester. Probably the best £1.50 I spent. Not for the children though, they wouldn't touch it with a barge pole, for the adults.

Finally, the cake. To be honest I was rather disappointed with it but as a rush job it was ok. If I had more time (and could bake) I would have made it myself but never mind. After showing the cake shop a picture of the cake I wanted, when I went to collect him on the morning of the party I was shocked and surprised to discover they had given him a blue head (??!!). After my sniggering had subsided they agreed to change it to red, so an hour later I went back and noticed they had given him a black nose (everyone knows he has a green nose) and red eyes. Out of spite I'm sure. Choosing to quit while we were ahead, we took him like that but shall not be returning to that particular shop again. Cowboys.

An interpretation of The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

So all in all, I think it was a success and very easy to put together at the last minute. 

Well, thats me done for now, it feels good to be writing again and I hope I can do so again soon. I have ALOT to say on relocating from London, just got to psyche myself up for it. xx

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