Thursday, January 8, 2015
How old are you? Two!
Nearly a month late, but a little post to remember Maggie and Elisabeth's 2nd birthday celebrations.
I got excited mid year, and was planning an elaborate Teddy Bear picnic party for the girls. But then realised the girls weren't really particularly fond of a teddy yet. Then I read a post somewhere about trying to keep children's parties simple which struck a chord with me. Thinking about it I thought better of my elaborate plans (especially when it is so close to Christmas), and decided to pare it back. I kept the invite list short (family and a few close friends), and reduced the decorating to some fresh flowers from our garden, a few garlands of honeycomb decorations (that I already had) and helium balloons. The menu like-wise was simplified to bbq chicken wings, home made burgers and chips, and an ice cream cake.
Their actual birthday fell on Friday this year, so I organised to have the day off work to spend the day with them. The day before I sent along strawberry cupcakes with them to celebrate with their play mates and carer at family day carer.
On Friday we woke up early enough to ensure we could let them open their gifts from us, which we had hidden under their cot! We sent them off to find them, and they were highly excited to see their new dolls. Rob had to head off to work, so we had a morning of playing together, then after lunch we headed into the city to pick up Rob and take some brownies to the nurses at the NICU.
Usually when we visit we just greet the nurses in the foyer, but one of the nurses (who was at their birth actually) whisked Maggie off to meet some tiny babies. Maggie was intrigued and as we peeked into a humidicrib at a small prem baby, I started crying, much to the surprise of myself and some of the nurses. He seemed so small and fragile, and combined with the all too familiar beeps and alarms, I was taken back two years, to the feeling of fear, as we dared to hope we could bring home two healthy babies. The nurses then told me that the baby was twice the size of my girls when they were born! After chatting to all the nurses on duty, and having a family photo (the girls refused to smile- I wonder if they remember some of their experience in the NICU?) we headed off to our car.
As we left the hospital via the air bridge to the car park, I quickly took a similar photo to the one I took the day we left with the girls. In the original Rob was looking down at a baby carrier with both girls tucked in it together! The new version the girls insisted on walking across themselves, but Rob had the same expression, so proud and in love with his youngest daughters.
The next day was warm, with a perfect blue sky. After heading into the city to collect the best brioche buns from Pigeonwhole bakers, and the meat, we headed home to get ready. Cleaning, and setting up the party area down on the verandah of the laundry hut. We had a quick break to feed the girls lunch and then put them down for a nap. Rob prepped the burgers and potatoes, and I quickly decorated with the garlands of mini honeycomb paper balls. We inflated the helium balloons together, including two jumbo balloons, the girls woke up and immediately started playing with the balloons!
The run down to party time, was relatively smooth, with enough time for me to bathe the girls and dress them up in their new outfits, and even for us to have a shower (one of us is usually in the shower when our first guests appear).
They were a bit overwhelmed by all of the visitors, but excited to see their cousins and a friend's baby. We sat around in the warm late afternoon sun, the adults drinking cider whilst the girls opened their gifts and Rob cooked the chicken wings. These were quickly devoured, and then followed by home made pork and apple burgers on the softest brioche buns from Pigeonwhole Bakers. After a little break for bike riding we lit the candles on their Neapolitan ice cream cakes. The cakes had three layers of homemade ice cream, baci (nutella) chocolate ice cream, vanilla with glace fruits and pistachios and raspberry.
The guests headed home not long after, and we took two tired but happy girls to bed.