It’s a party, it’s a party, it’s a par-tay

Just over four months ago, my baby turned four years old 😥 Obviously, we aren’t entirely new to this birthday thing; she’d had three other ones before. But in Peoria, her birthdays consisted of sending (store-bought) cupcakes to daycare and having a small party at home with close friends and immediate family.

Then, last year, G turned three shortly after we had moved to Basel, on the last day of Fasnacht. We didn’t know many people at all and I had no baking supplies in the temporary apartment, so we let Fasnacht be her party and bought her a small cake at Migros.

This year, there was no escaping it. G was turning four and this was going to be the first year for a real party. So we booked her party at Gymboree for the Sunday after her birthday and got ready for the big 4.

Her actual birthday was on a Thursday, which was a preschool day for her. She was excited to take treats to share with her friends and I was excited to something homemade.

The first thing we did on her birthday morning was measure her. She’s obsessed with knowing how tall she is and would have me measure her every day if I would agree to do it. You can see she made some pretty good gains between September 2015 and February 2016!


We let G open one present in the morning before school and she chose these super cool light-up unicorn slippers from Aunt Dannie and Uncle Jason!

Then she and Andy bundled up and headed off to school.

When Andy got home from work, it was time to open G’s other birthday presents. That lucky girl had gifts from friends and family back home in Peoria and from people here in Basel. She is very loved.


She finally got the Princess Anna dress she wanted (for way less than it had been at Disneyland Paris) and Elsa Bear got her coordinating dress.


I swore my kid wasn’t going to have character sheets on her bed, but here we are! (She loves them.)

That night, we had tomato soup for dinner. Then Andy showed G something that his grandma Voss had always done with him when he was a kid: using burnt cork as face paint. G was skeptical at first, but she ended up loving it!

Andy took the day after G’s birthday off from work and we spent the day all together. They got much-needed haircuts in the morning and then in the afternoon we went bowling! G hadn’t ever been bowling before, but there’s a bowling alley in the same building as her KinderMusik class and she’s always peeking in to see what’s going on. So when we said she could pick anything for us to go do as a family for her birthday, she picked bowling. It was so much fun!


Cutest bowler.

Once upon a time, I had my own bowling ball and shoes. Now I’m psyched about a 113. My, how things change!

Sunday morning was G’s party at Gymboree. We had invited her whole class from KinderMusik, but most weren’t able to come. We also invited a couple of G’s other friends from outside of school/activities. Her party was small but fun!


Father-daughter twinning on the play floor, pre-party.


I’ve absolutely no idea where G gets her goofball tendencies.


Birthday #4 was the first time G actually had candles to blow out. I hope her wish came true!


After cupcakes, the kids played a rousing game of hide and seek, which mostly consisted of them hiding in the same spot every time. At least they all had fun!

After hide and seek, the guests collected their goody bags and balloons and headed home. We got our stuff together and headed out as well; it was really nice not having to pick up after the party! When we threw G a fiesta for her second birthday, the flags hung up in our living room for days before I took them down. Having a party somewhere where clean-up is included in the cost is definitely nice.

And so ended G’s birthday weekend. On Monday morning, we sat at the kitchen table and made all of her thank you cards. Gotta teach those manners from a young age!

[This is post #100 on this blog. Thank you for reading so many of my words and looking at so many of my pictures!]

13 thoughts on “It’s a party, it’s a party, it’s a par-tay

  1. Happy birthday G! I remember that feeling of – we did it, we reached 4, we’ve “passed” early childhood 🙂 So also big CONGRATS mum and dad on a job well done.

  2. Happy birthday and well done to her parents! We’ve only had one birthday thus far – my girl will NEVER be four, no way – and they’re such a lovely milestone to celebrate. Looks like you all had a ball.

  3. Such awesome festivities! Aren’t kids’ birthday the happiest times?
    The cupcakes you’re talking about are THE cupcakes, right?
    Congratulations on 100 posts, Liz, keep them coming! 🙂

  4. Sounds like you had a really fun time. I’ve been meaning to try out that bowling alley for a while.

  5. Fantastic party memories and happy 4th birthday to your daughter. So Basel has a Gymboree, Dunkin Donuts and what else? I need to head over there to see if it’s a mini America! Lovely birthday post!

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