Saturday, April 11, 2009

Good Friday and Lesley-Anne turns 12

This year, Lesley-Anne's birthday falls exactly on Good Friday so it was the perfect day to hold her birthday party. We don't plan a party for her every year but since this is the last year she'll be with her primary school classmates, we thought it would be nice for her to have a little celebration.

Lesley-Anne loves animals but giraffes in particular, so I printed out an invite card with a giraffe. She invited only the girls in her class (by age 12, the gender divide has become practically unbridgeable). There are 8 of them in total, excluding herself. Only 2 couldn't make it.

Right from the start, I was quite relaxed, unlike with Andre's party last year. Organising a girls' party is a walk in the park compared to a boys' party which is like trying to run 5km while juggling.

The girls arrived, played with the hamsters and then just SAT AROUND CHATTING. No jumping, fighting or screaming. Sometimes I marvel at how one little chromosome can make such a difference in behaviour!

Lunch was served. I figured since it was a small group and I could trust them to be mini civilised adults, the girls had a sit-down lunch at the dining table.

And here's the menu - two types of pizza, coleslaw, garlic bread and my trusty shepherd's pie.

I'm very happy to say that there are no anorexic nibblers in this group - these girls have hearty appetities and they walloped everything!

Here's one of them polishing up the shepherd's pie which she declared as "addictive". If you want the recipe, it's here. Honestly, this one is tried and tested!

After lunch, it was time for games. Again with 12-year-old girls, no planning is required. I just brought out the Imaginiff board game, taught them how it's played and left them to their own devices.

It was a big hit. Because the girls are all very bright, they learnt very quickly and it was an interesting social experiment to see how the other girls viewed them and how they viewed themselves. I was a by-stander and it was fascinating to me how I could figure out each of the girls' personality so clearly just by watching the game. For instance, I quickly gathered who was the diplomat and who was the leader, who was sharp and who was clueless, who was thick-skinned and who was sensitive. This is a very revealing game.

After the game, it was time for cake. We ordered a modest chocolate fudge cake from Temptations. My baby is 12!

The sweet photo.

The siao photo (I love this one!)

And here's a family shot. One reason for Andre's big smile is that he earned a free pass to play Wii at my sister's place. It was a move to prevent him from disrupting the party and was the highlight of his day.

I cut generous hunks of cake and no protests - the girls dug in. I tell you, they can really eat! One of them said, "This is the best chocolate cake I've ever eaten" and another ejected, "This is heavenly!"

I'm beaming all round - I have to admit, Temptations makes a fail-safe chocolate cake.

After that, I brought out another award-winning game we bought from the US, called Gift Trap. Like Imaginiff, this is another social game but where you give and receive gifts from other players. Winning the game depends on how well you know the likes and dislikes of the others. Again very revealing. The ones who are perceptive tend to give gifts that are better matches but it's the ones with stronger personalities who tend to get the gifts they want. The challenge is to both give and receive good gifts.

When organising a party, my main concern is always whether the kids had a good time. This party was a runaway success, evident from the fact that most of the girls were so reluctant to leave that they rang their parents to ask if they could stay longer. Don't say I not shy lah, praise myself - a comment I overheard from one of the girls: "Lesley is known for having the best birthday parties." Wah, who can ask for a better compliment?

The best part was, it was completely fuss-free. We didn't even have a mess to clean up! Unbelievable.

The final touch - in the spirit of Easter, each of the girls were given a chocolate bunny to bring home.

Since we'd already thrown Lesley-Anne a party, we didn't get her anything fancy or expensive. Just a little stuffed giraffe and a book from the Warriors series by Erin Hunter, at the recommendation of one of the mothers who visit my blog. (Thanks LL!)

And here's the birthday girl with the rest of her gifts. Most of them are very thoughtful. Home-made cards and lots of giraffes (that huge giraffe stuffed toy is from her best friend). Childhood memories should be made of these.

Happy birthday, Lesley-Anne! You may be 12 but you'll always be my baby girl :)


breve1970 said...

Happy Birthday Lesley-Anne!

Realise most brainy people are born in April! But not Hannah and myself (LOL) haha!

Many Happy Returns and all the very best to you!

breve1970 said...

Its a BFF party, isn't it?

monlim said...

Ann: LOL yes it is! Like our IAA group gatherings :D

densar said...

Happy Birthday, Lesley-Ann!

Hmm...I like the idea of no fuss and mess free party!

Oh, I so lurve Lana's chocolate cake, though I'm not a choc fan. Have you tried it?

monlim said...

Sarah!! Nice to see you here. Haha, yes the mess free part must be a real attraction for you :D I like Lana's too. Temptations can be a tad sweet but usually I find that they're a real hit with kids. We ordered the chocolate fudge but in the end, it tasted suspiciously similar to their classic chocolate etoile!

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday to Lesley-Anne!

Your comment 'Organising a girls' party is a walk in the park compared to a boys' party which is like trying to run 5km while juggling.' made me laugh! Totally agree. Girls are happy just sitting around chit-chatting, sharing music on the ipod, and playing board games. But boys want non-stop action, the moment they step into the house!

Also share your sentiment that LA will always be your baby girl no matter how old she is.. :-)

Let me know if LA enjoys the Warrior book.

Oh... so sorry, I mis-spelt your name in my last comment to one of your earlier postings. Sorry, sorry, Monica!


monlim said...

LL: Thanks for the good wishes and the rec! I'll let you know what L-A thinks of the book. Quite promising though - she says some of her friends have already read and enjoyed that series :)

Lilian said...

Happy Birthday Lesley-Anne! You're all grown up :(

I still think of you as that cute little girl with twinkling eyes when she smiles and who was very kind to a very shy little boy :)

Mon: I also want to be at this party leh, looks so much fun. But the cake would be too small if I were there hehe.

monlim said...

Aiyah Lilian, if you were here, I'd definitely order a bigger cake and we both can have extra large slices to satisfy our chocolate cravings :)

eunice said...

Great job Monica for organising what looks like a real fun party. You blog, kill us at Scrabble, do your work and STILL have time to do this???

Happy birthday L-A.

I had to laugh about the difference in birthday parties between A and L-A. I agree, boys are noisier, dirtier and messier (did I miss out anything?)

LOVE, LOVE Lana choc cake. Can eatthe whole thing by myself :) Love choc cake from Temprations too. A bit too sweet and rich but still yummy.

monlim said...

Thanks Eunice! When you next come back to SG, we must get all the choc-crazy mums together, order a large Lana cake and enjoy it all by ourselves :D

tjmummy said...

Looks like a really wonderful birthday! Happy birthday to your "baby girl"! :-)

Anonymous said...

Happy Belated Birthday to Lesley-Anne!!

The gals sure look like they had a great time!

Me a big fan of chocolate cake too!

I just bought a big bag of potatotes and wondering what to do with it, your shepherd's pie recipe comes just the right time. Thank you for sharing!


breve1970 said...

Monica & Sarah : For our next gathering, remind me to get Lana Cake! A stone's throw away from Hannah's school... kept thinking that there was going to be a cake at Ad's place that day and so didn't offer.

Can also get Vicky's at Henry Park.... yumyum...

Lilian: Come back quickly lah for another reunion.

Eunice: Yes Eunice. You must join us! When will you be back?

Alcovelet said...

Happy Birthday, Lesley Anne!! Looks like you and your friends had a blast!!

Gosh Mon, didn't realize you'd blogged about the party already. Lesley Anne and her best friend have a lot in common - similar stature, similar size, similar hairstyle - even their smiles are similar! Best friends are so crucial to growing up, aahh! And all the girls look so sweet and innocent, on the cusp of teenhood. They've come a long way! This year is especially poignant for them since they'll be leaving the school by the end of the year, and very likely go into separate schools next year.

Your parties are really swell, Mon! Luckily, you blog, so I can come and steal your party game ideas, hehe!!

monlim said...

Chris: Hope you like the shepherd's pie! Let me know how it turns out.

Ann: you really are one of the sweetest, most thoughtful women I know! With Lana cake in the horizon, hopefully it will spur Lilian and Eunice to make it back more often :D

Ad: You're more than welcome to borrow my party game ideas! Actually, I'm sure RK will looove Imaginiff - I can just see his brain cells ticking as he's imagining what/who he'll be. Plus you'll know what he really thinks of you, hehe...

breve1970 said...

Aiyoo. So paiseh. Blush!

Lilian said...

Mon, I told Ann the same thing in a series of sms-es after our meet-up. She really is amazingly thoughtful and genuinely sweet. I told her that her goodness shines from within, or something to that effect, she replied that I was making her head very big hehe.

breve1970 said...

Aiyo Mon and Lilian, how can you tell after one or two encounters with me... I am really bad tempered, impatient and a big time procrastinator.

Yah... my head is so big now that I can't even get out of the house. LOL!

monlim said...

Err... Ann, because our heads also very big, we pride ourselves on making snap judgements about people, hehe :)

Anonymous said...

happy birthday to Lesley Anne!
totally agree about the organising party for girls. i have one of each and my daughter's birthday is a walk and son's birthday is a sprint :)
hope she has a great year filled with a lot of accomplishments.

monlim said...

Thanks for the good wishes, Veena!

breve1970 said...

Happy Belated Birthday Lesley-Anne! Looks like a great party!

Hope to met you soon. I love your drawings! You are very very good.


Yve said...

Hi Mon, information required - where's Temptations now? I used to patronise them whilst they were at East Coast Road (opposite Holy Family Church) but they're not there any more?

monlim said...

Hello dear Hannah, sorry for the delayed reply, I had to wait till Lesley-Anne came home from school. She says thanks very much and she's looking forward to meeting you too!

Yve: Temptations is now in Joo Chiat, in a row of shops (near an auto shop) opposite Joo Chiat CC.

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