From the list of things to do for his birthday (see here) I actually crossed most things off. I made some decorations. Even for the door: simply hung a shorter garland there as well. You know, in the name of consistency. Or missing creativity. Or maybe because nobody suggested anything else in the comments?! See, all your fault. I got the balloons, made a birthday crown (not that I ever to the paperclips out), even printed a shirt with the fish stamp. And we got his gift, the one and only thing he wanted: a pedal go-kart. Too much money, if you ask me.
Anyway. It was all so worth it. He had a blast.
"Dad, I'm five now!" said my son. At 6 AM. Ugh. I had been planning to get up early, but of course things never go as planned when you have kids, so little brother got sick and didn't sleep very well and mostly in my bed, so I didn't sleep very well either. Oh well.
So I got up, got ready and got the balloons out (a birthday tradition at our house: those big foil balloons - which I prefer to hide from the cats overnight), lit candles on his birthday cupcake and down the stairs he came.
He blew out candles, his little brother got to blow one out as well, and then he quickly ripped the paper off his few other gifts, all of them used books I got at a great price. And one can never have too many childrens' books. I think.
But he kept looking for that one gift. His one wish. So without any further breakfast (or even coffee. Sigh.) we went outside and he started racing around our street. Sheer bliss.
Little brother got one as well. Yeah I know. Not his birthday. Try explaining that to a two-year-old! We made the mistake of taking him along when picking a go-kart out for his brother. So the little one picked one as well. A yellow one. Because he loves yellow.
"It has yellow tires mommy, see?"
We thought about this a long time, but finally decided we'd go with our gut feeling. No matter how many people (like all the grandparents) disagree. Loudly. Anyhow, we decided he'd get this now, at the same time as his brother and while the weather his still good. On his actual birthday in the beginning of March he wouldn't be able to do much with it anyway, and he doesn't really understand this whole birthday concept yet anyway. So we'll just get him something really, really small for his birthday. I know these are really big gifts this year, but I actually prefer having something like this where all the grandparents chip in as well over having a million little gifts that end up all over the house. Not that we have ever been there. Ha. This is something they can play with outside, race around with for years to come. And they had sooooo much fun!
The cat didn't particularly like all the action early in the day. Or maybe he was just afraid his tail would get run over. I would be if I were him. But the boys were really careful.
So after we finally managed to get indoors (not without some kicking and screaming on the side of the little one), we had breakfast and my husband and the birthday boy went fishing. We usually do a family trip on their actual birthdays, but since the weather was really, really nice and Henry loves fishing, it would be fishing for this birthday. Since the little one was sick, I stayed home with him, trying to get the house ready for guests. Worked for a while as he sat on the big go-kart in the backyard, but soon enough he was screaming louder than the vacuum. So I finished up, fed him some fruit and off to bed he went at 11 AM. He actually did sleep alone for a while here and there so I got some work done in between. By 2 PM he was much happier and the house looked almost clean and ready.
We had family over for raspberry mousse cake, Henry's favorite cake. I've developed my own recipe and it's really nice and refreshing on a hot day. I start this two days before, making the crust and straining the raspberry puree, then do the mousse a day ahead. On the day of the party I did the raspberry topping, but I think I got too much and it was too warm, so the two layers separated when cut and it ended up a pink raspberry mess on the plates. A delicious mess, though.
Of course I had to make cupcakes. Which nobody ate. Oh well. Guess the cupcake craze hasn't really reached Germany yet. And NO, it was not because they didn't taste good. They do, the recipe is from Hummingbird Bakery and their light as air. But the frosting is a bit sweet. Haven't found a frosting suitable for German tastes yet, maybe simple whipped cream would be better.
We took a quick trip around the block, the boys showing off their new vehicles.
And had some easy dinner after that. Henry went for a fishing trip to Bavaria with his dad in June. His first time so far away, for a week, without mommy. He loved fishing and he loved the mountains. So we went for a Bavarian inspired dinner, serving fresh bread (no, I did not bake this myself. I considered, but it was simply too hot to turn on the oven and this is an organic one from a local farmer's market. So good) and pretzels, cheese, salads...
... and the best dip ever, a Bavarian thing called "Obatzda". It's a cream cheese based dip with diced camembert. Yeah, I know, sounds strange, but it's really good. There are about as many versions of this as there are kitchens in Bavaria, but I liked this version with diced radishes, spring onions, pear, pear schnapps, cream, allspice and cumin. Yum.
The kids were in bed way too late. They had such a good time. "This was the coolest birthday ever!" says the now five-year-old. What more could you ask for?