Posts Tagged With: birthdays

Happy first birthday Little Mister

The end of June and beginning of July was already a busy time for birthdays in our family and then last year we added the most important celebration of them all to our somewhat crowded calendar (sorry husband, mother-in-law, brother-in-law and niece!). On July 1st 2014 our big, beautiful baby boy arrived – all 9-and-a-half pounds of him!

And now our darling, loving, funny, cheeky Little Mister is one. In many ways it feels like he’s been here forever but, thinking back now, it also feels like time has flown  too. I know everybody says that but it’s true.

This time last year we were in the midst of a heatwave and had taken to sleeping downstairs in the lounge with our precious new arrival as we felt our bedroom was just too hot for a newborn.

This year, again, the weather has been pretty warm lately and Little Mister’s birthday was one of the hottest days of the year so far. With the good weather, time off work and several different events and outings during birthday week, it felt like we stretched out the celebrations and the party atmosphere.

Happy first birthday

It started with a picnic in the park with family and a few close friends the weekend before the big day.

Everyone loves a picnic and the sun shone brightly for ours. We found the perfect spot under a shady tree, hung up the birthday bunting and a super-shiny foil balloon (baby treasure!) and spent a lovely, relaxed afternoon.

The older kids were able to run around and play, while the littlest ones crawled around on blankets. Mummy even managed to have a stubby beer!

Little Mister held court in his prince charming bib sat on our highchair booster seat, unintentionally like a little throne – we used it to keep the little monkey in one place while we ate!

Of course, birthdays mean cake. Little Mister has always loved his food. And he definitely loves cake. He hadn’t really had it much before now but he’s quickly got the hang of it. These days he likes to point at things he wants and the appearance of cake heralds a lot of serious pointing. For his picnic Daddy made two (show off!). One baby-friendly banana-based one with strawberries and cream cheese icing, and a sticky chocolate one.

Little Mister cake

Little Mister loved the cake – didn’t take his eyes off it until a piece arrived in front of him. But even sweeter was his reaction to people singing to him. He loves music and especially loved being sung to. So, so cute. Cake and singing is definitely a winning combination for this little boy!

His actual birthday was on a Wednesday but I took the Tuesday off work as well (meaning I did a one-day week!) and we had a day together on our own while Little Miss was at nursery. We rarely get to hang out just the two of us now I’m back at work so it was nice to just relax and enjoy the little man’s company.

By the time the big day finally arrived, he had become very accustomed to opening presents – it must have been the third or fourth day in a row that gifts had miraculously appeared in front of him! As you can see, he had an incredibly keen present-opening assistant in the form of his big sister. I imagine by this time next year he won’t be quite so obliging about having her help. And, yes, he is sitting on the present in the first picture!Little Mister Birthday Collage 2

His main gift from us was a new set of wheels – a Little Tykes 4-in-one trike. We’ve taken him out on it a few times now and he seems to enjoy it. At the moment we use it with him strapped in (the seat belt takes this mummy a good few minutes to fathom as it’s a pretty secure five-point one) and the parent handle is nice and easy to push and steer. I always try to buy things that are going to last as long as possible so I love the fact that this can be adapted to grow with him over the next couple of years. Right now, it’s been lovely to be able to go out all together pushing him on the trike and his sister on the bike she had for her birthday.

He also had two fab Duplo sets – Combine and Create Cars and a construction site one – an ELC Light and Sounds Emergency Centre and a Light and Sounds Police Car. Quite a strong car theme emerging – and I try not to gender stereotype – but he really does seem to enjoy them and has been pushing anything car-like along the floor for a while now. My mum got him a tent and tunnel set (that his sister can’t wait to play with!) and he also got some great new shirts – including an incredibly funky purple dinosaur one by Tu. Can’t wait to wear that on holiday (it’s a bit big at the moment). In short, he was nicely spoiled.

Little Mister Birthday Collage 1

Cards, presents and breakfast sorted, we headed out for a day at Fisher’s Farm Park, just down the road from us here in West Sussex. I’ve been wanting to go for a while now and we had the perfect day for it. Midweek prices are that little bit lower and the attractions a bit less busy. And the weather was lovely, meaning we got to make use of the little splash park there – worth bringing the swimming cozies for – and enjoy another birthday picnic!

Fisher’s probably deserves a whole post to itself, so I’ll add that to my blog to-do list, but in short we had a lovely day there. There was plenty to keep both a one and a three year old entertained and I can see us spending many fun-filled days here as they grow up (there are lots of more adventurous attractions for older kids too). We all enjoyed cooling off in the Splash Attack water zone. It did seem calmer and more toddler-friendly in the morning before the bigger kids took over en mass later on (it’s not huge and there were quite a few school groups there that day). We went on a tractor/trailer ride around the farm, past the animals, and Little Miss loved the pedal cars, two small fairground rides and the bumpy Barrel Bugs ride. We also had fun on the outdoor trampolines and then later on in the indoor soft play. We quickly ran out of time to do and see everything – I know Little Miss would have loved to see The Enchanted Woods (had she known about them!). And we barely looked at, let alone touch, the actual farm animals! There is an Animal Encounters Barn and shows and sessions throughout the day. So we will have to go back soon.

Fishers Farm birthday collage

Once home we enjoyed a ‘birthday burgers’ tea and another cake to round off the day. We also had our shower, for want of a better description, explode just as we came to the end of our meal! We heard a loud pop upstairs followed by water gushing out of the wall! So while our tired little ones slept, Mummy and Daddy spent the rest of the evening speaking to a plumber, filling up jugs as the mains supply had to go off for the night, cleaning up the mess and hoping our damp and leaking living room ceiling didn’t fall down! It didn’t and it all got sorted but I sure could have done with a shower at the end of such a hot, busy day! Lucky I was still in a buoyant mood.

Birthday cake

So now he’s into his second year and before I go, here are a few things about him now that I don’t want to forget.

Little Mister at one…

Likes:

Food (we’ve yet to find anything he really dislikes! He especially loves tomatoes, yoghurt and bananas), eating loudly to show his appreciation, climbing (even though he’s not quite walking), forbidden areas (stairs, the kitchen when the oven’s on, open doors, plug sockets), mobile phones and the remote control, bath time and splashing, cuddles, music, biting (hopefully it’s just a stage!), music, snatching people’s glasses, saying ‘yeah’, waving, clapping, dancing, pressing buttons (especially on noisy books and doorbells!.

Dislikes:

Nappy changes, the word ‘no’, unfamiliar men (especially ones with beards!).

Categories: Baby days, Mummy memories | Tags: , , , , | 12 Comments

Now you are three…

I can’t believe more than a year has passed since I wrote the post ‘As you turn two’. What a year it has been! And you have grown and changed so much darling. Looking back at last year’s birthday pictures, you look so small and your hair has yet to grow into the beautiful head full of long auburn waves it is today. You’re still yet to have your first ever haircut though!

Just writing this fills me with so much emotion. Your baby days seem long behind us now, and they were truly magical, wonderful days. You taught us how to be parents – you still are, every day teaching us more, of course. But you, our first-born, taught us what it was like to feel the all-encompassing love of a parent for their child. I know there are so, so many more magical moments yet to come. And a whole load of fun. And giggles. And cuddles. Now you are three We are so proud of the little girl you are fast becoming. There have been so many major milestones this last year and you have taken them all in your stride – moving to your much-loved big-girl’s bed, potty training and, most importantly, becoming a big sister when your baby brother arrived ten months ago. You’ve also now moved up into the oldest (gulp!) room at nursery, which you’ve absolutely loved.

As I started writing this you were sleeping peacefully on the sofa across from me – a rarity these days since you have generally dropped your daytime naps now. But you hadn’t been very well. You were just getting over a 24-hour sickness bug that had been doing the rounds. Peppa Pig birthday cakeWe knew you were coming down with it when you turned down the last piece of your Peppa Pig birthday cake. You never usually turn down cake! And, as we’re on the subject, it was a pretty spectacular cake. I don’t like to brag but Mummy and Daddy did a surprisingly good job of recreating your favourite TV character in icing form!

So now you are three. As you say yourself, you are ‘getting bigger’. And you can be fiercely independent. “No, I do it all by myself!” is a common phrase these days. You like have a go, to figure things out and copy us grown ups. You can get very cross if we try to help.

Yet sometimes you’ll ask – and it makes my heart lurch – “Am I still little?”. You like to play at being a baby. It’s your way of being like your little brother. You can be so cute with him. You often join him on the floor, crawling next to him. And while the two of you do already squabble sometimes, usually when you want the same toy, you have always accepted him as part of our little family, from the day we arrived home from hospital with him. We know that you love and care for him and that is so lovely to see. Birthday girl Favourite things…

So, what does our now three-year-old love most right now?

You’ve always been a girly girl, from way back when you first started to make your own choices. At nursery you loved playing with the dolls before we ever even had any in our house. And since you could barely walk you’ve loved pushing a buggy along. I try not to gender stereotype and, of course, you like plenty of other things too but you have always seemed to be naturally drawn to the pink end of the spectrum.

You love wearing dresses. I live in jeans but you now point-blank refuse to wear them even though so often you want to be like mummy. If you could, you’d wear a party frock every day. Maybe I’m just a scruff, hey! (I like to think casual). Anyway, you certainly have very strong opinions when it comes to getting dressed in the morning.

And you still love pretty much all footwear. Whereas some kids find it a major drama, shoe shopping is always a treat as far as you’re concerned!

On the subject of pink, the pink fairytale castle wendy house you got for your second birthday is still a firm favourite. Currently taking up half the ever-decreasing floor space in our living room. Anything princessy or sparkly usually goes down well and, despite Daddy’s aversion to everything Disney, the songs from Frozen have managed to penetrate these walls.

New loves include your birthday bike, pink (of course!) with a dolly seat on the back for Waa-Waa AKA Big Dolly (although as anyone familiar with Baby Annabel will know, she’s really not that big!). Since Christmas 2013, Waa-Waa has been your trusty sidekick and sometimes naughty alter ego, the toy you sleep with every night. You also adore Woolly, the musical spider, another birthday present, who sings you to sleep every night at the moment (your little brother is also partial to a bit of Woolly when times are desperate and nothing else will calm him!).

Food-wise, pizza and pasta remain top of your ideal menu. Followed by chocolate cake! And we’ve recently introduced you to the treat of hot chocolate when we’re out. What’s not to like?

The salmon encroute served up at nursery is probably lurking at the bottom, if not thrown on the floor. You refused it as a baby and it continues to get the thumbs down now although your baby brother demolished the same meal this week. We have yet to find a food he won’t eat! In fact, we’ve yet to find anything he won’t try to eat. Grass, sand, carpet, books… anything goes with that one. You were always that bit more discerning. And mashed potato is also a no-no at the moment. It makes you gag.

You love being outside, be it at nursery, the park or in the back garden. Inside, you love making houses, getting involved with cooking – especially cake! And you still love books and will ask us to read them one after another.

You love being with family, especially your grandparents and young cousins. Family gatherings are so much fun these days. And at nursery you have your little group of girly friends who you always talk about and look forward to seeing and playing with.

You’ve changed so much this last year. As a friend at church who hadn’t seen you for a several months told us only yesterday, you are gorgeous. Full of questions and curiosity. A little bit cheeky. A bit of a joker. And we love you so much. Happy belated third birthday!

Super Busy Mum
Categories: Mummy memories, Toddlerdom | Tags: , , | 11 Comments

A weekend of birthday celebrations

Phew… we had a wonderful but very busy weekend, filled with birthday celebrations, as well as Mother’s Day, and an awful lot of cake!

Birthday princess

My beautiful birthday princess in her new castle play house

It all started on Friday, when Little Miss officially turned two. She awoke to find the first of several batches of presents to open, including an Igglepiggle almost as big as she is from her Great Auntie and Uncle! Then at lunchtime there were tearful scenes when the first of three birthday cakes wasn’t served quite as quickly as she’d like. I have to admit, I didn’t help the situation by joking that she couldn’t have any cake – she takes her food very seriously and did not see the funny side at all.

After lunch her main present, a Little Tikes Sand & Sea Play Table, went down just as well as we’d hoped. Up until a few weeks ago I had, for some reason, been thinking I’d get her a book case! Not quite so much fun I’m sure you’ll agree! Ok, so it was a lovely, posh, safari-themed one from Vertbaudet. But it dawned on me, in a moment of motherly clarity, that while it might have seemed a perfectly practical main present to me, that was just the problem – it was, if I’m honest, more of a present for me than her! So we had a change of plan and, after a relatively painless midnight construction job by mummy and daddy, the table has been most gratefully received. She already loves playing with the sand and I can see her enjoying it for many years to come.

Little Tikes Sea and Sand Table

Playing with her new Little Tikes Sea and Sand Table

Friday evening saw us out with Granny and Grandad (hubby’s parents) for a birthday dinner at Pizza Express, followed by a late evening dash around Sainsbury’s buying food for the next day’s family party.

Saturday morning then saw more presents – her first scooter from Granny and Grandad – and a lot more running around by mummy and daddy while we got everything ready for her party. Children’s birthdays really are exhausting! We deliberately tried to keep it pretty small – only close family and a handful of friends with toddlers – but there still seemed to be loads to do. But despite my occasional grumbling, it was great. Huge brownie points to hubby for taking care of the fab food and for being the self-appointed Bubble Master!

Present opening

Present opening with Mummy (and Peppa Pig!)

Of course the party meant more presents – with another toddler who recently turned two becoming distraught when he realised they weren’t for him this time – and the second birthday cake of the weekend. Then after the party we put up her present from Nanny and Grandad (my parents). It’s an Early Learning Wonderland Castle play tent and certainly evoked some diva-like princess behavior from Little Miss who, until yesterday afternoon, point-blank refused to let any adult come in with her! But she does love it and its resulted in one of my favourite-ever pictures of her (as seen above).

Birthday painting

My birthday card from Little Miss

I’d almost forgotten about my own birthday until Sunday morning – I’m now thoroughly upstaged! – and since hubby woke up with a splitting headache I unexpectedly (and somewhat grumpily) found myself on the early morning nappy and breakfast run. Luckily, he recovered enough to make it down for yet another bout of card and present opening. He’d also ‘overseen’ the creation of some beautiful birthday and Mother’s Day works of art for mummy from our little maestro! I have to say he far exceeded this year’s nursery efforts!

Lunch saw cake number three – all homemade by hubby – and another round of ‘Happy Birthday’. And by that point we were all thoroughly exhausted and ready for naps!

Categories: Mummy memories, Toddlerdom | Tags: , , , , | 25 Comments

Word of the Week #13

There can only be one word for this week and that is:

Word of the Week - Birthdays

Little Miss is two today! Then on Sunday the celebrations continue with my birthday. I was tempted to say ‘commiserations’ but I’ll try not to be over dramatic. I will officially be entering *whispers it* my mid-thirties. Trying not to think too much about those particular numbers!

Back to the main event and right now I don’t feel too traumatised about Little Miss growing up. I thought I might but at the moment I’m just looking forward to enjoying a lovely day together and giving her lots of birthday cuddles. Earlier in the week I wrote a post reflecting back on the last two wonderful years. As I wrote then, my beautiful little girl, without a doubt, was, is and always will be my best ever birthday present. You can read that post here – it was quite an emotional one to write and even gave my husband a lump in his throat when he read it, which I think is a compliment!

And in the future this week will be even busier for birthday celebrations, as our new nephew arrived on Monday. We went to see the latest member of the family yesterday and you really do forget how tiny newborn babies are! It was quite strange to think that this time almost two years ago Little Miss was even smaller than he is.

Ah well, I’d better dash as we’ve got birthday celebrations to get started!

This post is part of the Word of the Week linky run by fellow blogger Jocelyn over at The Reading Residence. The idea is very simple, every week you come up with one word to sum up your week.

My previous words have been:

CanRelievedMidnight, HappyStickersProudSpringCalm, Anticipationsingingreading and planning.

The Reading Residence

Image credit Rawich/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Categories: Word of the Week | Tags: , , , | 21 Comments

As you turn two…

Dear Little Miss,

This time two years ago we were eagerly waiting for you to arrive. I was trying to remain calm and patient, especially as I was convinced my due date was later than the hospital was saying. I actually didn’t dare expect that you really would arrive this week at all! But thankfully you had other ideas.

This time two years ago we didn’t yet know you were a little girl and we still weren’t sure what we would call you. Naming a baby felt like a huge responsibility so we hoped we’d know what it should be when we saw you and much to my surprise we did within minutes of your birth decide. I usually take ages to make up my mind but when the all-important moment arrived we seemed to just know – and luckily agree. Hopefully you’ll still approve of our choice when you’re older!

This time two years ago we already loved you, of course we did, but we didn’t truly appreciate just how much. We didn’t yet understand just how much our lives would change for the better once we had you safely in our arms. We hadn’t quite imagined the depth of the joy we would feel when we met you for the first time and how much we would want to protect and care for you.

This time two years ago we hadn’t quite realised just how daunting it would feel to leave the hospital with you, our tiny, delicate newborn, a new life which we would be entirely responsible for nurturing. The night after you arrived I couldn’t sleep a wink. You’d been a little bit sick a few hours after being born so I stayed awake all night watching you, just to be sure you were ok. And I did what I often do when approaching something new or unfamiliar. I decided I’d better read another book about it! So at 3am, from my hospital bed, I ordered three more baby care books from Amazon! I’d already read several but at that point it just didn’t feel enough and I so wanted to do the very best for you. I still do. And the books did come in pretty useful so it wasn’t a completely mad thing to do. I also made lots of lists during those very early days!

This time two years ago we didn’t yet know just how wonderful it would be to watch you grow and develop. How every day would bring new little things. There are the big milestones that everyone gets very excited about… first smiles, first words, first steps. But every single day we notice something different, you discover new things, learn new skills. Right now those moments are coming especially thick and fast as you become more and more independent.

This time two years ago I didn’t yet know we would get to celebrate my birthday as a new little family. You arrived two days ahead of schedule, not something you get from your usually-running-a-little-bit-late mother! Your perfect timing meant we were able to come home from hospital the night before my birthday and wake up all together on my special day. It really was a magical time.

You were, are and always will be the very best birthday present I’ve ever had. The last two years have been the best of our lives and we’re so looking forward to celebrating your special day with you later this week. X

 Mother and daughter 2012

Mummy with her surprise early birthday present back in 2012

SuperBusyMum

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Categories: Motherhood, Mummy memories | Tags: , , | 27 Comments

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