A very happy birthday!
..and we’re out the door to the zoo for DS’s birthday outing treat! My dad and mum had just arrived from Malaysia half an hour earlier and after a quick chat with DH’s mum over a quick cuppa, we all pile into the car at 9:23am. Meeting our friend, DM and her kids at the entrance at 10:07am, we went on in to enjoy quite a really fun day. The weather was humid but thankfully remained dry so we really got to cover a lot more ground this time than any previous trips to the zoo. Click here to follow our route! 🙂
We visited the otters, white tigers, and pygmy hippo exhibits, and went on to see the banded mongoose, hamadryas baboons and Nubian ibex.
We then wandered round the Primate Kingdom area a little before making our way down to the Splash Amphitheatre for the 11am Splash Safari show. DH and DD were in the splash zone so they got sprayed with some water from Philip the sealion. 🙂
Then it was on to KFC to grab lunch before the bulk of the lunch crowd got in. What a difference it makes going on a Friday and at 11:40am!
After lunch for everyone, DD and DM’s son enjoyed pony rides and a round on the carousel at Kidzworld before we made our way back out to see the chimpanzees, and mandrills. Next stop: The critters longhouse where we were overwhelmed by two large groups of schoolchildren on field trips! We also saw the Estuarine Crocodile and the False Ghavial. They were massive creatures!
On to the snakes and into Cat Country where DM’s son really really really wanted to see the cheetahs. But not before making a stop at the lions who we overheard roaring when we were at the jaguar exhibit trying to spot the missing jaguars!
By this time it was about 1:30pm so we had to really make a dash for home. A couple of quick stops at the giraffes as it was feeding time, the zebras and ostriches, eland and rhinoceros enclosures brought us back to the exit.
Three, four, Knock at the door
Home at 2:30pm. Feeding time for the kids!
Five, six, Pick up sticks
I grab all my baking tools and start sifting and mixing the eggless sponge for DS’s birthday cake. 🙂 Into the oven goes the tray with me praying really hard that it turns out right! I need two rounds of this to make a two tier cake!
Seven, eight, Lay them straight
While the cake is baking, I keep all the packs of baking goods back into the cupboards and clean up the kitchen counter. At 25 minutes, I remove the hot tray from the oven and leave it to cool. Time check. 3:45pm. Just in time for my pump session!
Nine, ten, A big fat hen
Hurray, the cake looks pretty good and the texture is just about right! I am so beat but I need to wash bottles and pump funnels to put into the steriliser. Mum-in-law brings DS into the bedroom for his nap and my dad brings DD to the playground. Which gives DH and me a nice half hour respite to enjoy some tea and curry puffs. Nice! 😀
Eleven, twelve, Dig and delve
At 7:30pm S, our friend who kindly agreed to frost DS’s cake, arrives! In between bites of my dinner, we discuss how best to decorate the cake, and how I’d like to do the tiering.
So fun! S has all these sketches of various fishes and sea creatures, and she takes out assorted Wilton tools from her bag. The table is full of tools and colouring pastes. It’s all so exciting! 😀
We start sifting icing sugar and creaming butter to make the buttercream. It’s hard work because the sieve is fine! Next we mix up three different shades of blue for the sea – this I found extremely fun! S and I spread the uncoloured buttercream on the first layer. She then slices two-thirds of the second layer, and we carefully turn it over on top of the first layer. We then spread the blue buttercream all over the cake.
There was a second round of sifting icing sugar needed for the royal icing! *Groan*
While I sift, S separates three eggs to get the whites for the royal icing. After a lot of whirring and creaming we get ourselves a nice batch of white royal icing which is divided into 5 bowls. Now the real decorating work starts!
Oh.my.word. I’ve developed a new respect for cake decorators. It really isn’t easy. I am so thankful for S. She is so patient and given to excellence, even though the clock is ticking really close to 11:45pm. Here’s our finished cake! Doesn’t it look so cool? [Sorry, in keeping with this blog’s no-names practice, I blurred out the top portion 😉 ]
Thirteen, fourteen, Maids a-courting
D comes to pick up his wife, S who is still busy adding the finishing touches to the cake. We were going to send S back to save them the trouble but he insisted and I shan’t stand in the way of a newlywed husband 🙂
After D and S leave, DH and I put up DS’s birthday “banner” and I fill the party favour bags. I am so proud of my goodie bags. They are all healthy goodness! An activity book, fish stickers, a box of Sun-Maid raisins, a pack of oat digestives biscuits and a small kaleidoscope. I’d been obsessing over packing healthy goodie bags with NO candy so that moms would not have to negotiate with their kids over the contents. DH said I really shouldn’t burn so many calories over it but I’m glad I did. Heheh! *wonderbee gives herself a pat on the back*
Fifteen, sixteen, Maids in the kitchen
It’s Saturday morning! There’s a busy busy bustle in the kitchen as both grandmas work hard to get the food ready for lunch, amidst us ducking in and out to crowd the stove some more to prepare the kids’ lunch, chicken wings roasting in the oven, and people bringing crockery and cutlery in and out. Half way through there was the delivery of the popiah skins and kueh pie tee cups…you get the general idea.
DH puts up balloons! I stick on my hand-drawn food labels at the serving table! I was really pleased with how they turned out – cute hey? 😉
Seventeen, eighteen, Maids a-waiting
DD and DS finish their lunch and we each bring one to the bathroom to bathe and change into their nice clothing. The family guests start arriving! Jiak!
At 2:30pm we finally sing the birthday song and cut the cake. I say “finally” because it seemed to take forever (although it must have just been two minutes?) for DH to get the matches to light the candle during which time I had to keep six pairs of curious hands off the cake so it could stay picture perfect at least until after the song is sung! (and yes, that included Mr Cannot-Stay-Still DS). I should have done a separate smash cake for DS.
Nineteen, twenty, My plate’s empty
Phew, what a busy two days it has been. It’s been totally crazy and we are so tired out but it’s all worth it.
DD had so much fun running around the living room with cousins and friends. Everyone was very impressed with the home made food by both grandmas. The combination of the light eggless sponge with buttercream and royal icing was a hit with both kids and adults. AND it really made my day to see DS get all excited over his fish-themed birthday banner, and the balloons, and the cake, and after his nap, his presents.
This has been such a long post. Goodnight world. I better go catch the zzz’s…else I’ll need toothpicks to survive Sunday service tomorrow morning!