A very French fifth birthday for Master Søren….. riding Le Tour!

Where have the last 5 years gone??? In the blink of an eye a newborn Master Søren Augustus has grown up into a delightful, curious, stubborn, talkative, intelligent and cuddly little boy!  He loves his sister, his alpacas, his family and preschool. He is already a world traveller, having racked up 62 flights to 24 countries! He still loves all things science, helicopters and space.  He loves to swim and cook and never stops running. He permanently has skinned knees from never slowing down for a second.

Here he is the day he was born (credit to Melissa Ellis Photography)

And now at 5, such a cool little dude, and happy to pose for the camera for me…………

This year Søren was supposed to have a quiet birthday after his big space themed party last year. Well, Søren had other ideas!  Now he is at preschool he has lots of friends and was desperate to celebrate with them. Despite the fact that his poor parents are currently rather busy, and exhausted, he managed to talk me into letting him have a party. His request was to go bike riding….. and with frequent visits to France and a love for watch Le Tour, it was quickly decided that it would be a Tour de France themed party down at the local bike and criterion track.

The celebrations kicked off early with a very special present of ‘Cromu’ the crochet version of Chimu made by my friend Karin.  Cromu matches ‘Minti’ or mini-Inti she produced for Soren’s birthday last year.  He is a hit, immediately having a halter and saddle made for him, sleeping in the bed and getting carted all over the house. Karin is thankful that we only have 2 alpacas and she doesn’t have to reproduce any more in crochet form!
When it came time for the big day, both kids were predictably up super-early!  Søren’s actual fifth birthday fell on a Saturday and we’d made his party the same day.  The party was scheduled for lunch time and Sørenwas kind enough to ensure he had plenty of time to open his presents from us, and consume pancakes, berries and cream for his birthday breakfast!
He did well in the present stakes and was more than happy to play non-stop with his new loot while his parent-party-slaves got everything ready to ship down to the local Stromlo Forest Park bike track.  With our house currently a bit of a disaster zone, and some beautiful Spring weather upon us, I’d had the brilliant idea of holding the party away from home.  As usual we had over-catered and hadn’t kept anything remotely simple so in the end 3 car loads of food and drinks (and the precious cake) were transported down to the track. Luckily, the grandparents and Uncle Mikl had turned up to help with preparations. This also gave Søren an excuse to open more presents before heading off to the party!

Down at the bike track, and the food and drink set up was underway. It wasn’t that hot but the direct sun was causing a few problems with things melting so we had to quickly find some shade but luckily we had the playground area of the track to ourselves and plenty of room to spread out for our French feast……..

If you are going to go French then there needs to be tasty food! On the menu were croissants (butter and chocolate); palmier biscuits; Madeleine’s; smelly cheeses, crackers and dip; freshly made baguette (with chicken and lettuce; ham, cheese and lettuce; and, cheese and tomato filling); mini eclairs; macarons and chocolate and strawberry custard tarts; home-made mini quiches (cheese & bacon, caramelised onion & brie; spring vegetable) and a fruit platter. We also had a ‘make your own crepe station’ with options of nutella & banana or sugar & lemon.  To supplement the cake I made some additional cupcakes, decorated polka dot style to celebrate the King of the Mountain jersey!  Let’s just say no one starved.

With plenty of drinks and some fruity punch, we were all in French food heaven!  Despite the earlier threat of rain the weather held out and the track was quiet so the kids were all off and riding on their bikes and scooters and playing on the playground equipment.  With a few dashes over for food and drink, we barely saw them!
The big criterion track proved popular and many of the kids burnt off the calories doing laps of the circuit, no further entertainment required………

We did manage to rein them back in for cutting the cake.  Oh the cake.  My kids think we are the magical cake fairies. Søren had requested an ‘Eiffel Tower cake with bikes riding up it’.  Even pinterest couldn’t help with that one!  In the end this is what we came up with…….

A syrup soaked chocolate Eiffel Tower, dusted in edible silver powder with chocolate and strop waffel (dutch syrup waffles) bikes riding up it. Anto created the mini waffle bikes and they were pretty awesome. We’d kept them cold and arranged them on the cake and then the 1km drive down to the track with direct sunlight through the windscreen made them melt almost instantly but hey, you get the idea!

We dragged the kids away from riding for long enough to blow out the candles and number 5 sparkler and get stuck into that cake and cupcakes……..

The kids had so much fun that they were all still eating and riding well past the official finish time (not that we cared, there was so much food)!  Although, as usual, the decision to hold a big party seemed like a poor life choice for my sanity and sleep, it all worked out brilliantly. All the kids (and parents) had a ball, the food was delicious and most importantly the birthday boy declared it ‘the best party ever’ and did thank us profusely. Those grins were priceless!

If the fun of the party wasn’t enough, once we got home there were a big pile of gifts from friends to open. Lets just say that Søren was thoroughly spoilt and his friends all chose well. A few weeks on and we are still having fun with all these presents…….

By the time Søren had gotten through his pile of loot it was time to head out to birthday dinner.  After such a big day we’d debated the wise-ness of having dinner out on his actual birthday but we were voted down by the newly 5-year-old. Apparently it had to be on his birthday!

Keeping with his French themed birthday he had requested to go to the restaurant in Paris I’d been to for my birthday earlier in the year (Le Souffle). Well that was a little hard to pull off on short notice.  In the end we talked him into trying a teppanyaki restaurant.

All exhausted and still full of sugar, we headed out for some teppanyaki, with the grandparents, Uncle Mikl and Great Aunt Sue joining us for the evening. The kids love Japanese food but had never been to teppanyaki before.  It was a huge hit, having to catch rice, raw eggs and various other dinner components was hilarious, especially when they splattered everywhere……

I was just glad I didn’t’ have to clean up the mess!

When you are 5 the concept of having your dinner thrown at you is rather appealing. Some people were better at catching their food than others!  The fun didn’t’ end there, there were more flames and some sugar writing for dessert…… and who can resist Flambé banana with ice cream and a special birthday message for Søren……

All full of delicious food we headed home, exhausted kids in tow.  Both declared dinner to be wonderful and the day pretty spectacular.  Lucky, since the adults were exhausted too!

Thank you to everyone who helped Søren  have a marvellous birthday, from those who helped with the party and food to all those who came to his party and wished him well.

Happy 5th birthday Master Søren Augustus……..  It’s been a wild ride and may the next year be just as full of adventure!

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