Somewhere over the rainbow (cake)

Megan with her birthday cake

Megan turned 2 last week, and we celebrated it like we’ve never celebrated before. Which wasn’t as difficult as it might sound, since her first birthday was never “properly” marked – a double whammy of colds followed by chicken pox meant her planned party was postponed (once if not twice) and then cancelled altogether. Poor Megan :(

Fortunately there wasn’t a repeat, and the party went ahead. Yay! Even better (for me) we’d opted against the organised games we had at Heather’s birthday, and instead let the kids run riot amuse themselves with toys and dress up clothes. Pretty much the only time we saw them was when we were serving up food, and as ever Gemma did a tremendous job on that front. The centre piece was a stunning rainbow cake which disappeared like I’ve never seen birthday cake disappear before. So much so that there were no leftovers to take into work, which left my colleagues most disappointed, even moreso when I showed them the picture of what they could have had.

Rainbow cake

The birthday girl had a ball, although she obviously didn’t get enough to eat at the party itself – at least that’s the conclusion I’m drawing from catching her eating hummus straight from the tub with her fingers, once everyone had gone home!

Opening birthday presents

Her actual birthday was a bit more low-key. It’s safe to say she’s got to grips with the opening of presents, although still struggles a bit with finding a starting point. Heather was on hand to help with that though. My mum and dad came round for a bit, as did Uncle Ian, and we had more cake, again whipped up by Gem, although this time it was a less colourful chocolate sponge. And there was even enough for me to take some into the office next day as well – happy days!

Heather went to nursery as normal, and then it was off to Pizza Hut (Heather’s idea, although Megan was fully in support) for birthday tea. Eating out with kids is always nerve-wracking, but I’m relieved to say that both girls were brilliant, and as well as pizza and ice cream, they even ate some salad! Heather in particular surprised us, picking a very grown-up sounding tuna and sweetcorn pizza. We weren’t sure how that would go down, but she devoured the lot (minus crusts, naturally). Megan asked for “sausage” on hers, so we got her pepperoni, but she didn’t like that much and picked it all off. Ah well, you live and learn!

Blowing out birthday candles

It’s funny to think that our youngest is now two – the time really has flown by so quickly, and this year will be more of the same. There are lots of big changes coming up, including toilet training (which we’ve already started) and a big girl bed to name but two. And before we know it the baby/toddler years will be behind us for good. Which is both a happy and sad thought.

But definitely not one that’s making us broody!

This autumn I'm running/cycling in a 30km duathlon and a half marathon, to raise money for Breast Cancer Campaign. You can read more about my challenge here or support me here. All donations, however big or small, gratefully received!

Ain’t no birthday like a princess birthday

H opening presentsThis past weekend we celebrated the fourth anniversary of our lives changing forever, when we became parents for the first time. And to prove it, I’m absolutely knackered. What a weekend!

I had the day off for Heather’s birthday itself, which was obviously good, although far from relaxing. The day began with a very important task: opening presents. Megan, somewhat predictably, got upset that she didn’t have the same pile of stuff to unwrap. Very hard to explain to someone who’s not yet two though, despite her apparent ability to understand every word anyone says to her.

Heather was suitably thrilled with everything she opened, and even hugged one or two of the boxes which was absolutely adorable. But there was no time to play with anything, because we had a Disney Store shopping spree to go on, courtesy of Nana and Grandad.

And how impressed were we with those nice Disney Store folks? As she handed over the money for her loot, Heather mentioned that it was her birthday. “Really? And what age are you? And what’s your name?” were the responses, after which we were sent over to the video wall for a special on-screen birthday message, accompanied by projected fireworks all around the store. I think Heather struggled to take it all in – I can’t honestly remember the last time I saw her so quiet and still (awake anyway) but she definitely enjoyed it.

H birthday message

And something to remember for the future – birthday people get to open the Disney Store with a special giant key, if they’re there a opening time (presumably requires prior arrangement?)

After that it was home for lunch and an afternoon at nursery, where everyone got to enjoy some birthday cake. It must have been good, because there were no leftovers. At least, none that came our way…

Final treat of the day was dinner at Pizza Hut. It should be stressed that this was 100% Heather’s choice – Gem and me had been campaigning for a visit to Equi’s, our local award-winning ice-cream parlour and chip shop, but Heather was adamant that Pizza Hut was where she wanted to go (“it’s my favourite!”) so that’s where we went. And a good meal was had by all.

So that was her birthday itself. The rest of the weekend was similarly busy, with a Christmas party on Saturday, and then a Princess Party at our house (activities: pizza topping, crown making and various party games) on Sunday. Honestly, sometimes I think our 4 year old has a better social life than we do!

To be honest, I’m still finding it hard to believe that we now have a 4 year old. No longer are we the parents of two toddlers – Heather is very definitely a little girl now. And weirdly, in the few days since she turned 4, she’s actually seemed older. I remember growing up being asked how it felt to be a new age, and answering that it was good, but really not feeling any different at all. But Heather somehow DOES seem different, dramatically so. Maybe it’s the curls in her hair, or maybe it’s because she feels different. I don’t know.

H in her Belle dress

What I do know is that she’ll be starting school in about 8 months time, and things are really going to change then. What happened to my baby?

This autumn I'm running/cycling in a 30km duathlon and a half marathon, to raise money for Breast Cancer Campaign. You can read more about my challenge here or support me here. All donations, however big or small, gratefully received!