Well I have had a bloody AMAZING weekend. It has been truly fab, filled with friends, food and fun!
On Saturday my friends Annabel and Mahri-Claire bought their families over to my house and then we buggered off into London to meet up with some other Mummy friends with April birthdays. We have called ourselves The April Kleeksters. We had made plans to go to Fortnum and Mason for afternoon Tea, we were booked in for 3pm and so very excitedly we arrived at 2.45 to meet up with everyone. We were in St James Restaurant and it was so glam I was half afraid we would be kicked out for being fraudsters!
We had some divine sandwiches, scones with cream and jam and then cakes... we were a little surprised that it just kept coming! My favourite sandwich was a croustini with an elegant splodge of dressed crab and a smaller splodge of advocado puree, mmm just yum! Those that liked tea had tea (in fact a huge selection of tea in a book to choose from!) and those that didn't (which included me) had freshly made lemonade. The service was faultless and very elegantly done and we spent a lovely couple of hours being a group of adults nattering rather than a group of mothers having interrupted conversations and trying to keep an eye on the kids at the same time. I think it was something sorely needed by us all! A friend who couldn't make it sent a cake and pink champagne which was just the crowning glory to it all, they even played us happy birthday when they gave it to us... perfect!
By the time Annabel, Mahri-Claire and I got back to Victoria Station it was 6.30 pm... none of us could figure out where all the time went and we were all slightly concerned for getting back for bedtime and would there be ab dabs when we weren't there. Needless to say we shouldn't have worried 3 Daddies and 6 children was a good combination and with the exception of the usual childhood war over the toys it all went swimmingly! We got home to 6 happy, bathed and PJ'd children who we read stories to and tucked into bed! We were taken by surprise that all 6 of the children fell asleep without much fuss, Phoebe and Elijah were sharing Phoebe's room, Clara was on her own in her room, Sebastian was in the travel cot in my bedroom (where Greg and Mahri-Claire were also sleeping, couldn't let a pg lady sleep on our sofa bed!) and Eliza and Hugo camped out in the living room as they would be going home later on. Hugo isn't the worlds best sleeper (I am pretty sure Annabel will give a wry laugh when she reads this!) but he dropped off very nicely in Peter's arms and then consented to sleep on my giant red beanbag with a blanket. We snuggled Eliza up on the sofa and put Wall.e on for her, but she fell asleep pretty quickly too. This all meant that we were able to spring a surprise on Mahri Claire that her husband, Greg, Annabel and I had been planning via facebook.
As Mahri-Claire has had it pretty rough depression-wise for a long time we thought she was due a treat. So secret squirrel like we plotted. Greg emailed Annabel and I asking if we would like to go out to Dinner in her honour but as childcare is a logistical nightmare for both of us really I put forth the idea of having something ready for her when we came back from our afternoon out. With that in mind we planned... the next time Mahri-Claire came over I set out all my recipe books in a cunning plan to trap her. I told her my parents were coming for a birthday bbq but I was stumped as to what I should cook and what would she suggest. She came up with all sorts of delicious things that she loves like pulled pork, cornbread, Boston baked beans and lamb... so there was my menu and Annabel was on puddings so stuck with the American BBQ idea and made Key Lime Pie and a Brooklyn Blackout Cake. She was thrilled when the penny dropped! So we had a proper grown up meal with no children with friends for the first time in our collective parenting life. Candle lit, on the patio (with a patio heater...oh I love that thing!) and it was simply perfect!
Today was my actual birthday and was also fab! I got some lovely pressies in the morning, A gorgeous green spotty wallet by Cath Kidston from Paul, a Sound Asleep Pillow from the girls, some Cath Kidston sewing tins and material from my Dad and Smummy, a gorgeous bunch of flowers from Mum with a promise of shopping when life has calmed down a little for her. And as Mahri-Claire, Greg and the boys had stayed the night they stayed for lunch and we were joined by Jane, Mike, Lexi and Rowan. Foodwise we had black and blue cow from Nigella, left over boston baked beans from the night before and a generous helping of french bread. Followed by Flake birthday cake (that the girl's had picked for me the day before) and Gypsy Tart provided by Jane.
All in all it has been utterly perfect and fabulous! I am a very happy bunny right now and feel very blessed to have such lovely family and friends.