A poxy birthday

  C turned two yesterday, and apparently that means that she no longer counts as a baby, instead she’s a proper little girl.
A little girl who knows her own mind and makes damn sure you know it too, even if she doesn’t always have the words to explain it.

Who gives the best hugs and kisses (if she doesn’t blow raspberries in your face first) after demanding ‘hug-ups’ (pick up).  

Who gives as good a rendition of ‘Let it Go’ and the My Little Pony theme tune as she does of ‘Wind the Bobbin Up’ and ‘Heads, Shoulders Knees and Toes’.  Usually when you’re trying to get her to go to sleep.

Who starts counting from 8 at least 80% of the time (8, 9, 10, 8, 9, 10, 8…) and still insists on calling her big sister ‘Ah’ even though she’s perfectly capable of pronouncing ‘G’.

In other milestones that show how she’s growing up, she has chicken pox. 

But this isn’t just chicken pox – this is full blown, head to toe, more skin with spots than without chicken pox.

Her birthday marked day 6 of being poorly, which Dr Google reliably informed us meant she’d be feeling much better and almost back to normal. Which obviously wasn’t the case given that on day 5 we’d ended up at an emergency doctors appointment with a stubborn fever, concerns over possible dehydration and a diagnosis of an infection.

So what little she ate of her birthday cake (which I must say I was pretty proud of – thank you Pinterest!) ended up being washed down with antibiotics, poor lamb.

After having felt incredibly sorry for herself – with every reason, to be fair – she thankfully had brightened up for the big day, but was still dozy enough not to mind missing what was meant to be our annual trip to the aquarium.

Instead we all spent the day playing at home, with birthday pizza for tea. Which, you know, turned out to be not such a bad way to spend it, all things considered.

One positive of all this has come – where you might least expect it – in our bedtime routine. 

All of a sudden C’s decided that she doesn’t want one of us to climb in bed with her and hold her hands until she decides it’s time for sleep (all the while singing and shouting randomly – her, not us). Which as you can imagine didn’t stay cute for very long. 

Instead she climbs into bed, waits to be tucked in, drinks her milk and dozes right off, saying ‘no mama in!’ if I try to cuddle up next to her.

I might miss her being my baby, but if this ‘little girl’ habit means fewer lost hours spent trying to get her off to sleep then I reckon I’ll be content with that.

I’m not counting my chickens (or, indeed, their pox) just yet though.

Happy Birthday!

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So yesterday C turned one!

*insert comment here about time flying etc*

The day started inauspiciously, with me waking up having lost my voice – an apparent additional effect of the cold I haven’t been able to shake for weeks, and which I must say Daddy didn’t try particularly hard to hide his apparent glee at.

C opted, for once, to sleep in, and as G was adamant that she wanted to help open her presents and cards before she went to school, we had to wake C from her slumber to get to the exciting bits. I’m pretty sure that won’t always be the case if G is anything to go by!

Although C will probably moan about it in years to come, one of the benefits of having her birthday close to Christmas is that we were able to use it to kick start our Christmas break early. And with big sis in school during the day C got some rare undivided attention from Mummy and Daddy together.

We’ve developed a bit of a tradition for G’s birthday where we make an annual trip to Chester Zoo. We wanted to find something similar for C, but choosing something that wasn’t Christmassy was a bit of a challenge.

We eventually settled on a trip to our local Sealife centre, and despite being a little uncertain about how wise it was to visit the Trafford Centre a week before Christmas, it actually worked out perfectly – lots of options for lunch, and a chance to finish off some Christmas shopping whilst C had a nap. We pretty much had Sealife to ourselves too – it seems Mad Friday is actually not a bad day to go to a shopping centre!

C loved the Sealife centre, and was fascinated by the lights, projections and of course the fish. Interestingly despite not having yet seen ‘Finding Nemo’ she was most excited by the clown fish, and the Sharks and rays in the underwater tunnel were a big hit too.

It was also yet another occasion when I was grateful to have our sling – C was at the perfect height to view the fish in their tanks, and I got to fully appreciate and interact with her as she cooed, gurgled and clapped our way round.

From this vantage point she also picked herself out a birthday toy from the shop – a cute turtle soft toy which she was particularly attached to until the moment I paid for it, at which point she threw it on the floor – typical!

After picking G up from school we headed off for another annual tradition – a weekend in a holiday cottage in Shropshire with friends from university days. Continuing the fishy theme we saved C’s ‘fish pond’ birthday cake for then, and she seemed suitably bemused at us singing happy birthday and blowing out the candle for her. It didn’t stop her tucking into said cake with gusto mind, which I was secretly pleased at after slaving for 2 and a half hours making and decorating it the night before!

Clearly thinking that she was the guest of honour at events, she proceeded to make sure she didn’t miss out on any of the evening’s party, to my mild disappointment having selfishly hoped for a couple of hours child free time. But she was on particularly good form so I really can’t begrudge her!

And so moving swiftly on from birthdays, today is our first ‘christmas day’ – a practice run perhaps, except one with rather more people than our family affair next week, and for which I’ve managed to get out of cooking duties, instead sitting here writing this while relishing the smell of gammon cooking downstairs. And with our annual gathering being boosted this year by the addition of a plethora of babas, both C and G have plenty of little playmates to keep them occupied.

Despite the sleepless night last night, it’s a great way to kick off the festive season.

See, having your birthday at Christmas isn’t that bad after all.

Superhero Saturday!

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Yesterday G was invited to the ‘superheroes and princesses’ birthday party of her best friends (twins), so Saturday became ‘Superhero Saturday’.

There was never much doubt that G would decide to go as a superhero, which meant an outing for the superhero outfit she got for Christmas, made by the fair hands of Santa’s elves of course (wink).

The night before the party I realised she didn’t have any clothes (other than jeans and T-shirt) that would go with her pink and purple outfit, so decided to whip up a quick dress out of an old jersey wrap dress of mine.

I wish I’d taken some pictures as we went along because I was pretty pleased with how it turned out – in the sense that it fits her, goes on over her head without having to contort into any ridiculous shapes, and survived the whole party intact!

I roughly pinned together and cut the bodice before she went to bed, using safety pins so that I wouldn’t accidentally pin it to her, and worked it so I could reuse the existing neckline and hems meaning the only bit of hemming I needed to do was around the arms.

After G had gone to bed I pulled out the sewing machine and stitched it together in about 10-15 minutes using a stretch stitch. The Great British Sewing Bee would be proud of me.
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I probably shouldn’t have been surprised that G was so excited about the party that she wanted to put on her superhero outfit in the morning, hours before we were due to leave for the party.

In retrospect I also shouldn’t have been surprised that she wanted C to join in the fun, so the rest of our morning was spent making a superhero mask and cape for C, to match the party dress that G picked out for her. Coupled with her new ‘superhero’ nappy, I had two little superheroes on my hands for the rest of the day.

I can’t say C was as excited as G was about her new outfit, but she was certainly a good sport about the whole thing. And the party was a roaring success all round.

Happy birthday L and A! I hope you had as much fun as G did at your party!