A Birthday Weekend: Turning 4

"Show me how old your are on your hands!"...well that works too, I guess, haha! <3 

It’s been more like a birthday week, since we began celebrating this little tyke’s birthday a week early at her grandma and grandpa Doxey’s. Since she and her aunt Marnie have birthdays just 5 days apart, grandma and grandpa decided to have a nice birthday dinner for them both topped off with brownies, ice cream and gifts.

On Thursday of her birthday week, Eden was super excited because she got to have her birthday celebrated at preschool!  When I asked her what treat she wanted to bring, the girl new exactly what she wanted: donuts with chocolate icing and sprinkles from the Provo bakery.  Done. And she was super excited to get a book from her teacher (Giraffes Can’t Dance) and a birthday sticker!

Since her birthday was on Sunday this year, we decided to do a party a different day. I decided on Friday, since Saturdays always seem pretty busy for families. So we celebrated her “Pink Woodland Fourest” party the Friday before.  

She chose the “Pink” part and the cake and I chose the “woodland forest" part, since I had some things on hand from a baby sprinkle and her baby brother’s nursery that I could utilize and I wanted to use as many things as could that I already had. I was trying to keep things simple, and managed that in a few aspects, but when it comes to party planning; my mind just keeps going and going until things blow up bigger than I had initially planned.  Anywho, we ended up with a fun, yummy and pink party! There was a simple menu of cake, cupcakes, and ice cream. We had just a few little girl friends come and did a couple of fun activities.

The Activities:

As the girls came into the party they each made a fairy wand. They chose sparkly stars and whichever colored ribbons they wanted. Once everyone was done, we made sparkly pond slime – I remember making this recipe in 4th grade science and LOVING it, so I thought it’d be super fun for the girls to make their own. They each got a cup with the glue/water/food coloring mixture and I came around and added the Borax mixture to their cups while they stirred using a popsicle stick. After that we finished off the activities with a piñata. The piñata was always my very favorite part of a birthday party growing up and I remember my mom making paper mache piñatas and thinking they were the coolest thing! I would love to make one each birthday for each of our kids as a fun tradition…but we’ll see how many kids we end up with and if I can keep from getting burned out. Since Eden loves sweets like her mama, she really loves the piñata part of her party. I always get her involved by helping me with the process. Her favorite part is choosing her favorite candies to go in it and then stuffing it with the candy. I try to think of balloon shaped objects I can do to go with the parties, since that’s what I use inside. This year I went with a hedgehog and added some paper on it’s back for spikes.

The Cake:

Eden really wanted a vanilla cake, with pink strawberry frosting. I decided to find a frosting recipe that used real strawberries, because if I have the choice I like things from scratch and don’t really dig artificial flavors…unless we are talking twizzlers or something. Ha! The cake recipe I used is this one and the frosting is this one.  I made a couple adjustments to the cake recipe 1. I substituted a tablespoon of each of the cups of flour for a tablespoon of cornstarch – to lighten things up and make more like a cake flour. 2. I used 2 egg whites and 1 whole egg instead of 4 egg whites. 3. I used buttermilk (just added a smidge of vinegar to the milk and let it sit a few minutes) instead of just milk to give it a little more moisture. I also didn’t bake the cakes nearly as long as this recipe says…I did about 20 mins until the toothpick came out clean. The cake did not bounce back when touched, but it was cooked and it was moist! I also decided to do an ombre cake, using food coloring. The only adjustment I made to the frosting was to add a couple more table spoons of strawberry puree than the recipe says, because I found that it wasn’t ruining the texture of my frosting to add more and I wanted it to be as strawberry tasting as possible. I did double the recipe as well since I was frosting a 3 layer cake.

I also, decided to make some cupcakes, since cake was the only thing we were having other than ice cream. I used this Magleby’s recipe (it’s divine!) and this frosting recipe. I wanted to make the cupcakes look like hedgehogs, so I made the frosting sans the cocoa powder, then frosted half of each cupcake with the white frosting. Then I added the cocoa powder ( a little less than the recipe calls for to compensate for the frosting I’d already used).

We finished off the party with gifts. Eden was super excited to get a shopkins game and a Frylo Ren Potato Head. She also about fell off her chair when she opened her Merida bow & arrow and dress from Grandma and Grandpa Doxey. She’s been asking for them f o r e v e r! The only princess movie she really watches, besides Mulan, is Brave and she LOVES it! Every time Merida goes riding through the forest on her horse with her bow and arrow, Eden runs to her room, gets on her Merida shoes and jumps on her Rody horse. Then she comes bouncing out of her room, through the hall, across the kitchen floor to the living room. If I’m not in the room and I hear her little shoes clomping across the floor, I always know what part of the movie is on.  Anyway, the second she opened her dress she wanted it on and she wanted to practice her arrow shooting right away. It was super cute watching her daddy show her how to use her bow.

That night, since we had had a super girly party, we wanted Eden to be able to do something with her friend Brighton. They always talk about each other’s birthday parties, but we didn’t know if Brighton would love making sparkly wands and stuff, so we took them to Chuck E Cheese to get some pizza and play some games.

On Saturday, we had a really nice day as a family. Eden and I opened and organized her gifts and did laundry while Reed cleaned the bathrooms. Then we all hiked the Y and got some lunch and ice cream at the BYU Creamery afterwards (for our 3rd weekend in a row, haha).  Here are a few pics from the week before since I actually took pictures that time :).

Then we came home and played with Eden’s new toys, gave her a bath, ate some dinner and put her to bed.  While I gave her a bath, Reed put her new bike together. Which was our gift to her – we wanted to save our gift for her actual birthday so that it still felt like her birthday. It took forever to find a bike that wasn’t all glittery and froo-froo. We chose a nice white bike and got her a pink helmet, since we knew she would want something pink, but want to use her bike for her brother one day and figured he’d appreciate a non-pink option J . We decided to put the bike together without training wheels or pedals so she could use it for a balance bike and then once she gets the hang of it, we’ll add the pedals. Her favorite part of the entire bike is the water bottle! Haha, somehow I knew she’d love that part. She likes to stay “hydrated” as she says. She sounds like such a little adult each time I hear her little mouth say, “hydrated” :D  

That night, when we thought she was asleep, before we put on a movie we decided I would bring in her bike from the garage and wrap her helmet, while Reed made a “necessary” run to the nearest movie theater for some legit popcorn for our movie, haha. Well as I was mozying on in with her bike, I looked up the stairs and saw a little blonde girl with a sad face, looking down at me. Luckily her bike was in my hand that was still out the door and I quickly turned around and placed it out beside our house and then headed in. Poor thing was crying because she got up and couldn’t find anyone. I assured her we would NEVER leave her alone and I re-tucked her in.  Then I finally got her bike indoors and wrapped her helmet. That night after our movie, we hung streamers from her door and quietly covered her floor in balloons.

The next day it was finally her “real” birthday! My girl was 4! We opened her presents first thing, then per her request had banana pancakes for breakfast.  She ate them and every meal of the day on the family birthday platter and we put 4 candles in each of her meals and sang happy birthday each time! After breakfast, we got ready for church, played with her new toys some more, ate lunch and went to church. At church they sang happy birthday to her in primary and she got some “bishop bucks” to redeem a treat from the bishop. After church we went and redeemed her bucks for a blue Gatorade (she had a blue mustache the rest of the day after that, haha) and  an almond Hershey bar..which she gleefully kept telling me was “KING SIZE, MOM!”

When we got home I got busy making her birthday dinner – she wanted broccoli, mashed potatoes and gravy and corndogs. I decided to try and make homemade corndogs so I could choose the dogs – I get a little grossed out with the random stuff in some hot dogs. Anyway—that’s why the corndogs look so “special”, but they tasted pretty yummy! After dinner we gave her new bike a spin and came back in for cupcakes and ice cream before two exhausted parents put down their newly turned 4 year old little girl. Whew, what a weekend!

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