Friday, February 05, 2016

Happy 8th Birthday, Alex! The Longest Birthday Celebration Ever

Alex celebrated his 8th birthday in France on January 5th.  But that was not the first or only celebration.  Oh nooo!  What terrible parents we would be if we both forced our child to move to a foreign country and miss out on celebrating with his friends.  So we booked a bowling party for Alex and his friends in mid-December.

Bowling, Games, Tickets and Fun!

Then, for Alex's actual birthday, we had cupcakes, presents, and went to an American-style diner.  This sounds simple, right?  Imagine doing these tasks at an apartment that you have just moved into. Now imagine that you need to shop for cupcake ingredients in a foreign country that is not known for cupcakes.  I started by going to the store.  I acquired a silicon mini-cupcake / muffin pan.  Then I headed to the "baking aisle" where I decided that brownie mix was going to be a good option.  Cupcakes don't really happen here as far as I can tell.  Everything is sort of muffin like.  Dense and only kind of sweet.  Now, I could have tried to make cupcakes from scratch, but someone had warned me that leavening and flour are slightly different in France, so I opted to try that another day.  

Easy and Quick?  I'm totally on board.  And I know those words!

First Easy Step?  Melt chocolate bits with butter in a pan. Fortunately, we had acquired a pan at IKEA.  And a stirring device. Another thing that put me off to a good start was that our apartment came with a stove.  This is not normal with most unfurnished French apartments, but helpful in the brownie creation experience.  

Melting Butter

But wait, there was more cooking required on the super useful existing stovetop.

An Egg is also required

Final easy step?  Mix with the brownie flour, put in muffin pan, and bake in the oven at 210 degrees Celsius.  Um, but our helpful existing stove has a maximum oven temperature of 200.  Well then, 200 it is!

Mini brownie cupcakes...

A little gooey is ok
The baking aisle also had a decorating section, so to make things easy, I acquired two tubes of frosting in ready to frost tubes.  Brownies plus frosting equals AWESOME ALEX MINI CUPCAKES!

AK turns 8!

We also managed to acquire presents and balloons:

Wrapped in special orange IKEA wrapping paper

And, as I mentioned, we went out to an American-style diner;  It was called Marshall's.  The kids were underwhelmed by the American-style chicken nuggets, but fairly impressed by the ginormous American-style ice cream sundae.

Alex ate it too, but was unwilling to pose with it in such an excited manner as Will

You would think that this event, on January 5th, was the last of the Alex birthday celebration.  But that would not quite be right.  His birthday celebration didn't end until February.  At school, the class celebrates all of the January birthdays at the end of the month.  So, we found some more brownie mix, at IKEA of all places, and whipped up another batch for him to take in.  As one might expect, the IKEA brownie mix was even easier to assemble.  Just add water and shake the carton.  

The final event was Alex receiving his birthday present from Will on February 1st.  It was a Nintendo DS game.  Unfortunately the DS is region locked, so Will had to order it on Amazon US.  It was shipped to Angela & Phil's house.  Dan went on a work trip and picked it up, returning on February 1st.  

Successful Completion of Alex's Epic Eighth Birthday!  Happy Birthday little orange-loving boy!