Sunday, November 11, 2012

Birthday Celebration in Burma

All Rights Reserved. Cake from Sydney's Baked Goods in Yangon.

Saturday was F's birthday. She is now six years old and I cannot believe it. I couldn't believe it when she turned one, or two, or three, or four...five seemed old. Six. Half way to 12.  It's crazy to imagine what the next six years will bring to this girl's life; already she has had a lot packed in. She's on her second passport and she's living in a different country, far from her own. And at a time where she will have memories of this place. I know all these experiences will shape her in ways I have no way of truly predicting. 

We have a little tradition in our house. Well, I guess F and I have the tradition: there's a birthday fairy that arrives in the middle of the night and usually drops of a very small gift - typically sparkly - for F.

I know, it's a little indulgent; but one year, I was so desperate to get her to listen to what I was telling her, that I made up the poor birthday fairy as a way to bribe her into doing what I said.  It went something like this:
 "If you don't do xyz now, the birthday fairy might not come!" 
 Not my best parenting moment, but still a cute tradition came from it. Only trouble is, no one ever knows what the hell we're talking about when it's announced what the birthday fairy brought F. 

This year, the fairy had a hard slog. She had to employ the help of many other fairies to get this Toy Story Jessie doll allll the way here. Sweet fairy. 

Err.  Yes, I suppose the picture of F with her Jessie dolls looks a bit like the 4th of July.  I'll explain. Early morning on Saturday, we had to be at F's international school for their annual International Day where 30+ countries were represented (by the student body!) and celebrated.

F, being partly American, was part of the American team  (maybe we'll do British next year) and they were meant to look...well..American. We stayed at this amazing event (more on that another time, perhaps!) until we needed to scurry off home to finish the party prep.

 Cookies by me (well, and the Oreo company!) and the coolest rainbow/Hello Kitty cupcakes by Sydney's Baked Goods in Yangon

And quite the party we had. A real sugar fest, which I think was fun for the 24 kids that showed up. Sadly, I don't have any photos taken from the actual party yet; the husband is traveling again and left a few hours after the party. He takes great pictures and so I'm hoping he'll email me some while he's away so I can get them posted.

We had an obstacle course - and then quite a few decorations...

I got some cool ideas from this gorgoues site, Ashley Ann Photography, to have an obstacle course, so the guys at home made the ladder from bamboo in our garden + also put those bamboo posts up so the kids could run in that maze-y type thing. 

I spent hours...hooouuuuursssss...on that crazy looking dangly thing. It's actually meant to be like a chandelier, made from ribbon. I got the idea from Shannon Berrey Design's blog here, though we didn't put it under lights to act like a chandelier and I couldn't get a lot of the things she used, including a hula hoop!

I bought a lot of ribbon from Bogyoke Market, but unfortunately, it wasn't enough. I didn't want to spend more money on it, so decided I could actually buy the very light, cotton fabric material used to make longyis here. I found orange, purple, green, and yellow fabric and ripped it into ribbon-like shreds so I could hang it from the hoop; the hoop was made from bamboo found in our garden. I managed to purchase 10 yards of fabric (used ALL of it!) for under $20!

I don't have pictures (eek!) of the painting station. We bought several yards of unstretched canvas from Bogyoke (Scott's) Market downtown and cut it into about 36 different pieces. Tables were set-up and the kids knocked themselves out painting the canvases and took them home. We also had river rocks set aside so they could paint those if they wanted. 

It was super hot on Saturday, so eventually, the kids migrated indoors and played games. 

You can tell I took shots after the party because those poor, sad, looking balloons clearly hadn't lived to see another day. They were Hello Kitty balloon. And yes...there was a second, crazy dangly thing I made. F even helped make this one. 

One of the brilliant things about living here is you can buy gorgeous flowers from the side of the road. Roses are in season, it appears; I was able to buy a few dozen for under $20. Crazy, yes?

So that I could spread the rosy love around, we made (well, I made the husband do this part!) small arrangements + placed them in glass Snapple bottles. (I've been drinking a lot of Snapple for the last month, saving all those bottles for this very reason!)

Of course, cake + brownies + cupcakes + candy + marshmallows were had by all. We ended up serving some grown-up food, too.

Sydney's Home Baked Goods in Yangon made the amazing rainbow cake, the scrummy cupcakes (Hello Kitty/rainbow), and the amazing brownies...which were some of the yummiest I've tasted! Thanks, Sydney's! (They are amazing and the staff are SUPER nice and friendly!)

I felt really blessed + honored that so many people took the time to come to F's party. It was the first time we really got to get a lot of use from the garden and our deck. It was lovely having loads of kids running around and it was fab that adults hung out, too. 

Great day. :)


  1. Great pictures. Great party. All those bright beautiful colours and yummy treats. My favourite the roses. :)

    1. Thanks, Suzanne! We had loads of fun! It was crazy hot on Saturday - I think over 95F and very humid, but everyone had fun anyway! :)

  2. It looks like a great party, Becky!! I'm sure your daughter absolutely loved it!! Thanks for sharing!

  3. I love those crazy dangly things! Sounds and looks like an amazing party. Good work!!! Now take the next month off!

    1. LOL - Thanks, Amanda! I totally feel like taking the month off. ;)

  4. Awesome Becky.. really creative and fun.. Wish I'd been there ;)

    Love dad

    1. Hi Dad-
      It would've been amazing if you could've been here.

  5. I just watched my daughter put on two birthday parties this week and know what HEART went into all this. It will be a memory for your daughter.

    1. Thank you, Jean! Yes, there was a lot of heart that went into it! I hope she remembers it. I wanted to make the day special for her since it was her first birthday outside the USA...

      Thank you!

  6. Wow. First off, that cake photo is just cruel. What a fun party and what a lot of work you put into it. Love the Birthday fairy...every family should know her! Fun post filled with lots of good stuff.
    June Maddox

    1. Thanks, June!! Too bad we didn't live closer - you could come by for some cake. We still have some left, believe it or not! lol

      :) Thanks again, JUne!

  7. Oh those cake photos had me drooling; it looks absolutely yummy! Oh, to be little again, and eat all the cake I want! LOL! Thank you for sharing your little one's FANTASTIC Birthday! :)

    1. Hi Indigene -
      Wish I could give you some of the cake! It was super yummy. And one morning, I was quite bad and had a piece for breakfast! LOL

  8. Beautifully written blog! My smile got bigger by the end of the blog. Very cute blog and she is adorable! I got some new ideas from this blog for my daughter’s birthday. It is in a very pretty venue NYC and I am planning to decorate it like a castle, so that she feels like a princess on her birthday.


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