By Diane Ako
"I'm not technically eight yet," Olivia informed us in the days after her birthday.
"What makes it official?" we queried.
"A party." We had set a party for a week after her actual birthday, due to timing and scheduling issues.
"Not really," I corrected. "If I was only as old as the number of parties I've had, I'd be 25."
"So you've only lacked four birthday parties?" charmed Claus. Oooooh, GOOD ONE, Husband. He got points for that.
On a sunny Sunday, we held Olivia's eighth birthday party at A Cup of Tea in Kailua. I tried it once before and it got rave reviews from the little girls I took, including a direct request from Olivia to have her party there.
Request accommodated, and it was a hit with everyone. It was perfect for me, too. It was the easiest party I've ever hosted.
All I did was show up with a cake that I made her (and candles) and parasols for party favors, and the restaurant did the rest.
Cool air conditioning was a bonus. I would definitely recommend this!
Previous parties have been at the pool or my yard (lasting hours in the summer humidity) and while they've been fun, I've always been pooped after.
I think a tea party works really well for this age. I'm not sure younger girls would have done as well sitting politely for 90 minutes in a restaurant.
They ripped through the finger sandwiches, nibbled at the scones, and ravaged the dessert tray with mini-cupcakes, chocolate-dipped strawberries, and vanilla ice cream. They were kind of full by the time we sang the birthday song and cut my cake.
Because I like to bake, I have made Olivia's birthday cake every year, and this year I involved her in the process. She loves color, so I let her choose the colors to dye the cake batter, mix it, and decide what order to pour it in the pan.
When that was done, I also let her design the color and method of frosting the cupcake-shaped cake. (Striped bag? Swirled colors? Star or round tip? Pipe the frosting in a swirl, little rosettes, or stars? Etc.) She loved her cake.
She enjoyed picking the colors, deciding which order to put it in the bag, mixing the dye, helping pipe the frosting, and applying the decorations and sprinkles. I enjoyed watching her do this.
Olivia said she had a great time at her birthday party, and I love to hear that. Now I can rest for another 11 months until the next party!