Party with Japanese flavor

I am alive and the celebrations are over and now I am officially a mother of a preteen. Tween? Is that the new word?

In the midst of preparations for every birthday party I wonder why I am putting myself through this, but seeing the little ones excited and so happy does make it worthwhile, even though I can really appreciate it afterwords. After a nice long sleep to rest the tired eyes and body. And its not like I do anything huge or extra special.

Back to the important bits for those of you who have been waiting.

The day started early on with Miss Fab getting the presents from us. The new digital camera went quickly on the charge to be ready for the party and then it was time to open the pile of cards and gifts from the rest of the family. Some of them have been sitting and waiting for months.

Handmade card by my aunt. Drawn on silk.

Little gifts from grandma and auntie  and more cards.

Then it was time for last minute preparations and getting ready. Both girls have gone with street fashions for their dress ups. Miss Fab and I made a bunch of trips to the op shops and had a few outfits ready for her to choose from. While Little B got to wear the wonderful  baby doll dress her grandma had sent years ago for her big sister. Pony tails, red cheeks and Cons completed the look.

I repaired a short kimono I had bought years ago for myself and Mr.Blab stole the show with a kimono type flowery robe on top of which I tied one of my slings on his waist then a made a lovely pony tail on top of his head and he finished the look with a wonderful facial hair shaving job – Fu Manchu style. I think I laughed every time he passed me.

The guests didn’t disappoint either. The girls had mostly gone with Tokyo street fashions too, although we had one traditional look for a good mix.

The boys didnt get left behind either – footwear, headwear, hairstyles were all in order and I have to say they were all one smashing looking group of kids. And according to the parents they all had great fun dressing up and most of them did it all by themselves after careful researching on the net. Gotta love home schooled kiddos ;)

I had great plans for decorations and piles of paper to work with , but alas never got to it. Instead I quickly did a few things last moment, like the lanterns hanging from the lamps.

And then I got in the kitchen and thats pretty much where I could be found for the next 4-5 hours.

First on the menu were Japanese style noodles.

Then while the kids were having fun, doing their own thing…

I made the sushi.

Do you have any clue how hard it was to find flying fish roe (tobiko)?
Or more precisely a small amount of it?

Not very.

Gifts were opened and I can safely say all were wonderfully thoughtful and useful.
She will be doing lots of origami for sure ;)

And then it was time for the cake.

I usually surprise the kids with it just before the candles go on it. This time the cake was out for all to see and admire as is done at weddings. So much sweat went into it that I wanted to make it worthwhile. For me, people, for me. I am a human too.

When I got it out, Miss Fab was lost for words and started jumping about and I got a breath stopping hug.

Thats all that I needed and I knew my job was well done.

The idea for the cake came to me out of the blue. The way most ideas come to me. Hey, look at that tree..lovely leaves…hey, why dont I make a temple cake for the birthday!…

And since my cake decorating skills are very very basic, my knowledge too, its not surprising that the execution of my “wonderful idea” was a bit painful. There was a lot of propping, praying to the good spirits or whomever may be listening, deep breathing, crossing fingers and most of all winging it. I had no plan, I had no clue and took it one step at a time.

I think from now on I will stick to normal cakes with frosting decorations and leave novelty cakes to others. Yup, sounds like a good idea and please remind me of it if you ever hear me saying “I have a wonderful idea for the cake!”.

The important bit is that the final result, no matter how wonky, was a success.

One of the boys said to his mom that she should ask me for some pointers and another kid exclaimed that this was the best cake EVER!

Hahahaha!

“Double Decker” pieces went to all the kids and all the plates came back empty.

PHEW!

And before everyone knew it, the five hour party was over.

Miss Fab gave out the party bags.

I hate the party favors we get – pile of cheap lollies and crap.

I cant bring myself to do that, so this year I made up bags – hand drew in Japanese symbols “Thank You” and I sincerely hope its just a bad handwriting and I didnt manage to screw it up too much so it says something obscene. In the bag went a box of dark chocolate Lindt squares, two hand made bean bags filled with azuki beans (ojama) as done traditionally in Japan for their otedama games; and a selection of patterns for making paper toys, another Japanese born and loved art.

And then we send off our guests..

Mr.Blab deserves a special mention, because he was my incredible helper. I had given him the cleaning job before and after the party and he did a wonderful, no, perfect job. I didnt have to worry even a bit about his part of the prep and after the party I needed a quick nap and he cleaned up and there was not a sign of a dirty dish or mess left over when I woke up.

Thank you, my wonderful man!

Miss Fab was happy.

And older.

And there was not much cake left over, so we took care of that.

And we had a good long sleep.

The best kind – when one is tired and with a smile on their face.