Celebrating being four……. Part 2 – treasure hunts, merry go rounds and more chocolate!

After all the afternoon tea excitement on Saturday afternoon, we had a quiet day on the Sunday, playing with all Astrid’s new presents. She was beyond excited about her birthday being the next day, and suggested in the afternoon that perhaps I could organise for a ‘present treasure hunt’ for her birthday morning…. Definitely something my child would come up with!

After our three year old was tucked into bed for the last time, I sat down to a mountain of present wrapping.  It was important to wrap everything individually of course, as the present unwrapping is the best bit!

I then wrote a bunch of clues and hid the presents around the house.  By this stage it was quite late, and even the cats thought we were acting a bit nutty!

As we had a busy birthday day planned, we had taken Astrid and Soren to visit their great-grandparents earlier that day.  Astrid was excited to give them some of the left over birthday cake and tell them all about her birthday afternoon tea.  She of course scored yet more presents! The George Pig gumboots are a pretty big hit…….

Despite Astrid’s excitement level being at maximum, she had a good sleep and stayed in bed until 7am.  Unlike her brother, who had decided that his parents staying up late wrapping and hiding presents, meant he should ensure no sleep was had………..and recreate the sleep deprivation of 4 years earlier when I was in labour all night.

On the Monday morning, a very excited little girl woke up, declaring it her birthday, even though she wasn’t quite four years old yet!

The excitement level hit the roof when she realised there was a clue in her birthday card………. the present treasure hunt began, Astrid even manged to read the clues herself (when she could make out my terrible writing!).  Soren thought running all over the house, collecting gifts and tearing off paper was a pretty good pre-breakfast activity too!

The present treasure hunt was apparently ‘the best birthday morning EVER!’.  High praise from Astrid, so we had done well. Even better, we found all the gifts. Given I was drinking wine while writing clues and hiding them, it could have been interesting……..

As we were gathering up the pile of loot, I noticed it was 7:39am.  Astrid was officially four!

She was pretty excited about that fact too…  It really didn’t seem like 4 years since that screaming pile of goop was placed on my chest.  Time flies when you are busy answering ALL the questions!

As per tradition, Astrid got to pick what she wanted for breakfast.  Of course, she asked for panettone french toast with caramelised banana.  She always asks for that!  While the rest of the household had been running around hunting for presents, Anto was whipping up a gourmet breakfast for the newly four year old.

A bit of sugar overload before 8am but there were two happy kids in the house……..

Astrid got to pick a fun activity for the morning and elected to go to Civic, for a bit of shopping, morning tea and a merry-go-round ride.  Being a typically freezing Canberra Winter’s day (it had been about minus 6 overnight, and was still below zero at 9am), we rugged up and headed into Civic to meet up with Granny.  The merry-go-round wasn’t open until late morning, so we stayed in the warm for a bit and then when the breakfast sugar high had finally worn off we took the kids to Koko Black for morning tea.

Astrid and Soren were excited to share a huge iced chocolate with Granny, which had similar levels of chocolate to her birthday cake.  They also got their own truffle to try. Anto and I stuck to coffees and florentines.  So much chocolate…… it’s not every day you turn four though.

c We braved the cold again, and wandered around until the merry-go-round finally opened!  With a Soren desperately needing a nap, we were worried we wouldn’t get a ride before having to head home.  We were first on for the day, and Miss Astrid was in her element.  Soren was a bit unsure at first. This was his first ride on one of the horses. Previously he has sat in the elephants with an adult. Both had a ball though. Astrid declared that next time she will pick an even faster horse!

Then it was home for Soren’s nap. Astrid used this time to open her presents from Granny. A doctor’s kit and some much wanted furniture for her dolls house.  The next little bit was spent happily playing doctors and dollhouses.

After nap time was over, we headed to the Arboretum to meet up with my friend Karin and her kidlets, for a play at the pod playground. Astrid and Soren love the Arboretum. Unfortunately, it was bitterly cold, but all the kids still had a ball and had to be dragged inside for coffees and babycinos when the adults were sick of the cold!

Much to the kids annoyance, we headed home to get ready for Astrid’s birthday dinner.  She had elected to go to Kusina, our local Filipino restaurant, that we all adore.  Uncle Mikl, Aunt Tri and Granny also joined us for dinner.  Kusina has fabulous food and the kids love the kids meals, and colouring in.

The adults always enjoy our selections, and we have too many favourite dishes.  We often head down there for a nice, quick and cheap meal out.  The kids demolished their ice cream desserts and we all headed home to put the weary birthday girl and her little brother to bed.  Astrid declared it an awesome birthday, so pleased we could oblige!

Just to round out the almost week long celebrations…… Astrid had asked to take cupcakes to preschool to share with her class.  After making the official birthday cake, I figured why not also make 3 dozen cupcakes?  We had decided to take cupcakes in on the Thursday, the first preschool day of her birthday week. That morning the preschool class were heading off on their first excursion to the bus wash.  I went along to help out.  Astrid had a ball on the bus.  It’s easy to amuse a bunch of 4 and 5 year olds!

After we returned to preschool, it was time for cupcakes. Astrid and Soren had enjoyed helping us decorate them, and all the preschool kids, teachers and parent helpers were also impressed.  It’s amazing how much people like basic vanilla butter cake and buttercream icing!

The birthday girl loved having her class sing ‘happy birthday’ to her and she got the honour of handing out the cupcakes.  It was a lovely way to finish off the birthday celebrations.

It was a magical week for our little four year old.  She can’t wait to do it all again next year.  I might need a little rest before contemplating the next birthday celebration……..

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