If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram, you’ll know that yesterday, I celebrated my nephew’s 2nd birthday!
Yup, Berkeley is a ‘big boy’ now. (Well, his birthday’s actually on September 10, but we celebrated it a bit early.)
It was pretty cool to also see my niece, who’s a little over 3 months old. She’s so sweet and well-behaved!
My brother and sister-in-law got Berkeley a special cake – it had a Winnie-the-Pooh theme, and the cake was comprised of several cupcakes! (When I was a kid, I never had such a lavish cake, so Berkeley is really getting the red carpet rolled out for him.)
In today’s Smorgasbord Sundays post, I’ll share some photos of his cake (because geez, it’s like a work of art – talk about attention to detail!), and I’ll also briefly share some fond memories I had of my own childhood birthday celebrations.
P.S. I took all these photos with my new (and first) iPhone, so I still have a lot to learn. I’ll need to play with its camera more to improve the picture quality. But, for now, I think these are decent.
So, here’s the impressive cupcake cake! Everything on it was edible except for the Winnie-the-Pooh characters and everything on the tree stump that Pooh is sitting on.
(When I first saw the cake, I giggled because the ‘leaves’ on the trees looked like green piles of cartoon poop! Yes, I’m terribly mature, aren’t I? Maybe I should be celebrating my 2nd birthday…)
Some of My Childhood Birthday Memories
Up until I was around 10 years old, birthday celebrations were a big deal. Since my older brother and I shared the same birthday month and days that were pretty close, my parents thought it would be a good idea to celebrate it on a single day.
While at first it might sound like a major bummer (to a kid) to have to share your birthday with someone instead of basking in all the attention directly at only you, it actually was all kinds of awesome! You see, my parents went all out.
Money was extremely tight, but when I say that they went all out, I don’t mean that they bought a lot of presents or material things for us – they couldn’t afford to. The big bash was highly anticipated mainly because of the people who were invited!
Of course my brother and I got to invite our friends, but my parents also invited their friends and their friend’s children. It was a huge party for both adults and children. The adults had their windy conversations, and us kids ran around and played.
During the birthday celebration, we’d play with toys, play music, dance, and run up to the adults to show them something we thought was important (hehe, like how I braided Barbie’s hair). Sometimes we’d watch Disney cartoons and play board games.
As for the cake situation – my brother liked chocolate cake, and I liked vanilla cake. It became a tradition to always have one of each cake at the party! The chocolate one was usually a black-forest cake, and mine was a vanilla one with yummy layered filling with things like custard, whipped cream, and strawberries.
Also, another tradition was having little chocolate mice on the cakes. Even if a cake didn’t come with any, my father would ask the baker to put tiny chocolate mice on both of the cakes. And we loved it! Every year when we saw the cakes, the first thing we’d do would be to look for the mice. And nobody except for the birthday boy and birthday girl could eat the mice. It was a small thing that made us really happy and that made us feel very verrrrryyyyy important. (Chocolate mice everywhere shivered when they saw us.)
My father also always had white-chocolate name plates put on each cake. So that was another thing devoured exclusively by the birthday children.
My dad would also make it a point to always get a few helium balloons to decorate the place. Then he’d let me decide where I wanted to put them in the living room. (My brother didn’t really care, so I was the sole ‘interior decorator’.)
And the dinner was always delicious. It was a pot-luck, buffet style. The guests would bring over tons of food, plus my mom would slave away in the kitchen making all sorts of delicious things. That night, everyone ate like a pig…an extremely happy pig! *Oink Oink*
It always made me sad when the night ended. It was even greater than the sadness you feel when Christmas is over. (I actually looked forward to those birthday celebrations more than Christmas celebrations – that’s how awesome they were!)
So, you see, even though I never got such a lavish birthday cake like Berkeley did, I still managed to have some of the best times of my life, thanks to the love of my parents. The thoughtfulness that went into the planning made the memories that I’ll cherish for the rest of my life.
What are some of your childhood birthday memories? Do you still celebrate your birthday with a party?