The Party

This is the last you will hear of Vinay’s 1st birthday.  Promise (I hope it’s a promise I can keep)!  I just wanted to share who/what/where and quite a lot of some photos.  

The party was last Saturday (10th September) and at our home.  I had the invitations printed in April when I was in London – so I had to choose the date, time and place then and there!


I had 38 children on my list – but many had still not come back from summer holidays or were away for other reasons…  So, there were 25 children that came.  And most of their mums.  And nannies.  Some mums with more than one child brought two nannies!  And, some dads came too.  I also invited some of the aunts I grew up with and some friends who don’t have children.  

I was very nervous – this was the first time (obviously, since it was a first birthday) that I was hosting a children’s party.  A lot of the children were between 2 and 6 years old, so they (and their mums) had been to a lot of birthday parties already and I felt a bit under pressure to make sure that everything was perfect!

So, the day before the party, we moved all the furniture out of the living room and started blowing up balloons.  My sister and I also started putting together the Little Tikes Crazy Coupe.  Silly idea.  (See previous post).  I set up the table – with table cover, sorted out the plates and cups, etc.


The next morning I was up earlier than usual – I just couldn’t sleep because of how stressed out I was!  I wanted to start decorating with the balloons – but knew it was too early and that they would all pop in the heat.  So I waited.  I sorted out the play area for the babies instead.  The bouncy castle arrived, and the little tents were set up in the garden and I finally got to sort out the balloons!


The children loved the bouncy castle.  Some of them had their faces painted and got to do some art and craft as well.

I was very worried that V would become a bit overwhelmed with all the activity going on around him – but he was brilliant.  There were no tears – but he was a little ‘serious’ all day.  He barely cracked a smile!  Until, that is, Hub took him down the slide!


He loved the cake and was quite happy to eat as much of it as he was allowed (which wasn’t much).


Once the children started leaving, it was time to give them their return gifts.  Everyone got a little animal back-pack and what they got with it depended on how old they were (see pictures below).  Wrapping them all was a pain in the backside, and my gift-wrapping skills are atrocious!


AND – the ‘done’ thing over here (or so I’ve seen at the last 4 parties we’ve been to) is to have a ‘nanny bag’ as well.  This is a gift bag for any nannies that come.  The bag consists of chocolates and sweets.  We made up 36 of these.


I was *so* relieved when everyone had left.  I opened all of the presents (without Vinay.  Bad?), wrote down who gave what and drank champagne.  A lot of it!

All I said, all week, was that I’m never going to do this again.  And I’m not.  Not until my boy is old enough to choose if he wants to have a big party.  Or even if he wants to have it at home (please God, no)!


Children’s Party Planning – The Things I’ve Learnt

I’m sorry.  I am so, so, *so* sorry that this is yet another birthday post!  However, you have to admit, this has been a pretty important birthday.  First child turns one, etc.  By the time we have our next baby, I’m sure there won’t be *this* many posts about his/her first birthday!

Anyway – I’m sure you will all (apart from those of you that have extensive experience in this area) benefit from this post.  

So, if you don’t have experience in planning and organising a children’s birthday party – please continue reading.  I have drawn up a list of things I have learnt about having a children’s party.

1. Find helium more than 4 days in advance of party.  The party planner said she would fill the balloons.  ‘No problem at all, Dia’, she said.  I looked at her price list again.  £4.85 for each foil balloon.  £3.20 for each latex balloon.  Was she mental?  I had about 40 foil balloons and 40 latex balloons.  No thank you.  I was given the number of someone who would supply the helium for £100 a tank.  He said I would need two tanks.  Maybe three.  And he was going to add on a £30 service charge.  I told him I’d call him back.  I didn’t.  I finally found a store where I could buy the helium tanks (without having the price jacked up) and fill the balloons myself.  If I’d known it was going to be such a nightmare, I’d have found the store and bought the helium a couple of weeks ago (and I wouldn’t have been so stressed this week)!  And, now I know, 3 tanks doesn’t fill 40 foil balloons.

2. Order burger buns a week in advance.  Not a day in advance.  I forgot.  I forgot and only did it the day before the party.  Thankfully, they were able to do it for the next day.  You’d think it would be easy to get burger buns, right?  Actually, it is.  But since the burgers are ‘mini burgers’, I had to get ‘mini buns’.  If I’d remembered to do this last week, I wouldn’t have stressed about it the day before the party!

3. Find someone to help you blow up balloons.  I did them all on my own.  Actually, that’s a lie.  My sister did two of them.  It wasn’t too difficult, but some help would have been nice.  Thank goodness I’m not a smoker anymore, or I’d be dead.

4. Learn how to tie balloons.  There really is no point in blowing up balloons if you don’t know how to tie them.  I needed help for that!

5. Concentrate while blowing balloons.  I was busy making faces at the baby while blowing a balloon.  I didn’t realise how inflated it was and it popped.  While it was still in my mouth.  It hurt.  Quite a lot.

6. Keep dog in another room while blowing balloons.  If you have a dog, I’m sure s/he is very well-behaved.  Mine is not.  He is a monster.  Each time I blew a balloon, he would run and pounce on me.  Luckily he didn’t burst any.

7. Assemble Little Tikes Crazy Coupe a few days in advance.  A friend suggested I use her collection of ride-ons for the party.  I thought this was a brilliant idea.  She loaned me five of hers and I had the Little Tikes Crazy Coupe, still boxed up, to add to it.  Deciding to assemble it at 6pm the night before the party wasn’t the best decision.  I thought it would be simple – stick the wheels here, put the steering wheel on there, etc.  It wasn’t.  And I needed a drill, which I didn’t have.  So I left it half-finished!  Hub brought a drill home the morning of the party and finished it.  V looooves it!

8. Source return gifts locally.  I knew I wanted part of the gift to be little animal backpacks, I just didn’t know where to get them.  I didn’t find what I was looking for on UK websites, apart from on Amazon.  Unfortunately, they were way too expensive.  So…  What bright idea did I have?  Ask my cousin in China to find them and get Hub to freight them over.  Everyone thought this was a great idea.  And actually, it is.  Except they didn’t arrive until 4 days before the party.  I could not work out how I was going to wrap, bag, package them until I *saw* them.  I got them on Monday night, and started gift-wrapping on Tuesday (until Thursday).  Had I looked around here first, I could have made my life a LOT easier!

9. Don’t have the party at home.  Really… It must be a lot easier (and maybe a teeny bit more expensive) to have it out somewhere.  Somewhere where they organise the space and the food, etc.  It would be so nice to just turn up and enjoy it!

10. Make a list!  I did make a list.  I made lots of lists – I just couldn’t remember where I put them.  So, make a list of the things you need to buy, things you need to do, people you need to invite, etc.  And don’t lose it!

AND… this next one doesn’t really have anything to do with the party, but…

If you have to spend 5-6 hours at the temple the morning (and afternoon) *after* the party, don’t stay up drinking champagne until 2am to celebrate that the party is over!