The 3rd Party

On Saturday 26th November you had your birthday party to celebrate you turning 3 years old.

I don’t think I’ll ever find these stress free but it was all worth it in the end. It would appear the party was a hit, you and your friends seemed to enjoy yourself and there were no major traumas.

For months now you have wanted a pirate theme and I had such amazing and wonderful ideas for it. As we had to hire a room at the Parkhouse Centre a lot of these ideas weren’t possible but I tried to make the room look as bright as I could with pirate flags, banners and bunting alongside the inflatable palm trees and LOTS of balloons that Coral immediately gathered up into one giant cluster which became the most sought after item of the party.


We had hired some equipment from the toy library for the day, you had the whirligig (which was Luka’s firm favourite), the Thomas roller coaster (which everyone fought over), a big slide and a ball pit. The latter I actually got in for the babies to use but it soon became apparent that none of you are too old for some pit action, especially you who went running towards it and dive bombed into it, much to everyone’s surprise, not least your father.

The pass the parcel wasn’t as successful this year, there were only a few that actually sat down patiently for the whole thing, everytime the parcel came to you I had to wrestle the parcel out of your vice like grip because you thought it was your present and wouldn’t grasp the concept that it was for everyone. In the end we opened one of your other presents just to stop you sulking. A famous Lesley Gore song sprung to mind in that instant.


The Guests:
Coral, Mila, Luka, Leo & Toby, Roo & Harvey, Grayson & Cooper, Finn, Blake, Theo & Sandy, Connor

The Food:

I kept this to a minimum this year as there was so much waste last year. We had Cheese sandwiches, Marmite sandwiches and Ham sandwiches. Crudités and houmous. Cheese straws. Bread sticks. Crisps. Fruit. Matchsticks. Chocolate coins littered the table for treasure and of course the cake.

Gemma had made the most amazing fruit bowl out of a melon which got an awful lot of attention, she is very clever.


The Cake:

I’d spent a long time deciding on a cake and settled on a 3 dimensional Pirate Ship which I’ll write a separate post about as a few people have asked for details. As it goes it wasn’t that horrific to do in the end but it didn’t quite look how I had it in my mind’s eye, but for a first attempt I was quite pleased with how it turned out. Besides, you loved it and that was the best and biggest compliment I could have ever got.


I love you my beautiful boy. Happy Party Day.

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Happy Second Birthday

A little late getting this one finished and published due to life! …

Happy Birthday my beautiful, funny, amusing boy. 

I still struggle with how quickly time passes since you have entered our world. 2 years since you were entrusted into our care. 2 years you have amazed us, humoured us, tested us, worried us. Two years we have adored you and with every single breath, on every single day I love you even more. I never knew it possible to love another human being so deeply, so unconditionally. I now know how it feels to truly believe that I would end my life if it meant it was the only way yours continued.

You complete me Noah, you have made me whole. I love you to the moon and back, further than that.

So what did your birthday involve? Well you woke up to be greeted by a HUGE stash of presents in the lounge, the focal point being your balance bike which you love. Unfortunately you’re still slightly too short for it meaning you need us to push you round which delights our old backs no end.

  
In the morning we weren’t quite organised enough to go swimming but we had a fun morning unwrapping presents and playing with all your new toys.

At 3pm until 5pm we threw you a little birthday party in the function room of Hotel An Mor thanks to the kindness of Grayson’s mummy.

We hired a few toys from the Toy Library for you all to play with (roller coaster, trampoline, ball pit and a couple of slides). Roo brought his giant tunnel and Samuel provided some ride-ons and along with a few inflatable balls and balloons this completed your birthday entertainment.

I have spent the last week or so preparing a craft corner where you could all make a birthday crown to wear. I wasn’t sure how successful this would be but it actually turned out to be really popular. This, of course, meant we were sweeping up glitter for quite a while after the party.

Everything went really well, all considered. A few people couldn’t make it due to unforeseen circumstances but on the whole it was a good turnout.

I decided to do a Pass the Parcel which actually everyone (except you) sat down and participated in.

It was an exhausting day for all but it was so lovely seeing you all playing together and with only a couple of minor injuries.

  
The Guests
Samuel, Roo, Blake, Freddie, Connor, Coral, Leo, Finn and Luka

Unfortunately Mila and Grayson couldn’t make it.

The Food

Cheese and Ham Sandwiches, houmous, crudités, breadsticks, chocolate treats, crisps

  
The Cake(s)

Well what can I say about the cake? I decided to make a cake out of my super healthy muffin recipe, this didn’t work too well and the cake was a little on the dense side so although I decorated it and we sang to it, I made some individual muffins for people to actually eat instead of the cake itself.

 

The Party Bags

Because everyone received a gift and bag of ‘sweets’ (pure fruit jellies) in the Pass the Parcel the gift bags were slightly limited to: Playdoh, Bubbles and a box of Raisins

The Presents

Cripes, where to start?

From Mummy and Daddy:

Stompee Balance Bike, Trampoline, Playdoh, Paints, Twistable Crayons, Sponge Paint Rollers, Melissa and Doug Reusable Sticker Pad, “I Love You” and “The Rabbit Who Wants to Fall Asleep” books.

From Auntie:

Playmobil Helicopter and Digger, Little White Company Red Bus Jumper, LWC Bobble Hat and Mittens, John Lewis Winter L/S Tshirt, “The Tiger Who Came To Tea”, “Is It Bedtime Wiggly Pig?” and “Dig, Dig, Digging” books.

From Granny and Grandad:

Wooden Elephant Number Jigsaw, Hat, Printing Cubes

From Uncle Simon and Auntie Jacqueline:

JCB Drill, Trunki

From Uncle Dan and Auntie Sam:

Paint Sponges, CAT Digger

From Auntie Ann and Uncle Brian:

Next Snowsuit and a Farm Book

Guest presents:

Samuel, Mila, Corey, Grayson and Roo: JCB Mega Transporter, My Carry Potty, Flash Cards and “Snow”

Mila: My 1st JCB On Site Rock Loader Playset

Roo: Twirlywoos DVD

Freddie: Craft Straws and Feathers

Blake: Thomas the Tank Engine Fat Controller Travel Set

Connor: Animal Crayons and Little People Floor Puzzle

Coral: Wooden City Playset

Leo: Duplo Learn with ABC Train

Finn: “That’s not my Tractor” & “That’s not my Tractor” books

Luka: Wooden Pizza Set

Needless to say, you were a very lucky boy indeed.

  
Playing with some of the gifts you received from your friends.

*There are many more photos of your party but due to not getting permissions from all involved I left pictures of others out of this blog.


14 Months Old

Unfortunately the first half of this month was written off with illness which is such a shame as Daddy always has such a big break from work over Christmas and new year and we were all so ill we couldn’t really make the most of it.

A couple of days before Christmas we made some salt dough decorations, put up the tree and decorations and wrapped some presents. Your fascination with Sellotape and paper is quite remarkable and you managed to unwrap nearly every gift that I wrapped.

Despite everything we tried to enjoy your second Christmas, I wanted it to be so special as you were so tiny for your first Christmas and this year would be so much more enjoyable when you could appreciate your presents, decorations and food. You did enjoy the most part though you didn’t eat a great deal and got grumpy quickly due to your temperature so we spread it over a couple of days. You got the most amazing presents from everyone and got as much enjoyment out of the boxes as you did the gifts.

On the 30th we went to Lyme (with Daddy this time) to see Auntie and had another mini Christmas there where she spoilt you rotten, as usual. You got the most wonderful gifts and loved being able to roam around her house. On the way home we popped into see Uncle Dan, Auntie Sam and your cousins. I wrote a full account of all your Christmases here.

We’ve been having lots of fun indoors with your tent and tunnel and both messy, and non-messy painting.

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All our groups have started again, some have changed times though which means naps may interfere in a couple of them but we’ll try to get to them all. Music Train has started again too which is nice to see the old crowd every Tuesday again.

We’ve been taking you up to the soft play at Brooks a lot recently, with Daddy, which has been lovely and had a lot of play dates with your friends.

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Health
Unfortunately this hasn’t been good, we have pretty much been ill for an entire month. You have been suffering with the worst cold ever which left you with a raging temperature, runny nose and awful, persistent cough which took you nearly a month to shake off.

Teeth
On the 12th January your lower lateral incisors finally broke through which would explain the step up in drool production and grinding of teeth over the last two days.

Firsts
On the 8th you started arm rolling. Not sure why you’ve started doing this, all I can think of is copying the actions in Wind the Bobbin Up. It’s very cute and you love it.

Character
You are becoming such a cheeky little monkey and find the smallest of things hilarious. You’re still quite serious in public though and I’m often told how quiet you are, don’t worry I put them straight and tell them that you’re far from quiet at home, I think you get a bit awestruck in large groups of people and prefer to sit and study what’s going on around you rather than racing in. Your tantrums haven’t lessened any but we’re fast finding new ways to distract you as the ‘old faithfuls’ were failing miserably. You don’t fight quite so hard when getting you in your pram either, well not EVERY time which you were doing before without food bribes.

Muscle Development & Coordination
Mobility: You freestand so well but have become lazy with your lone walking efforts, we have to catch you in the right frame of mind to encourage you to walk free and have managed, up to today, a maximum of 8 unaided steps. You walk beautifully when holding onto a finger of mine or your walker, and with the latter you run up and down the lounge. You continue to cruise the furniture and can move with lightening speed, amazing me at where you can end up if I turn my back for a second. Climbing is fast becoming a bit of a problem. The cat post being your favourite and the times I’ve found you on the top rung isn’t funny. You’ve also mastered clambering onto the sofa which is fine except that you insist on climbing onto the back cushions and onto the arms. I can’t turn my back for five minutes now without finding you on the sofa or standing on the TV unit.

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Communication: You continue to babble but haven’t really said anything other than mama and dada but you are finding new ways to communicate. You have now mastered the makaton symbol for milk which you use when you want a drink. You also thumb through books and point at items that you desire, such as a strawberry, banana or yogurt. You point at things you want and push away things you don’t. When asked whether you want something (yogurt or banana) for dessert you get really excited and nod your head ferociously whilst laughing.

Entertainment
Dancing; whenever you hear music you like you sit and bop and start breaking out some funky arm moves, we’ve decide you’re going to like body popping when you’re older lol.
Singing; you can often be heard having a little hum and sing to yourself whilst playing.
Reading, you just love your books and the cutest thing ever is when you toddle over with a book in hand for me to read to you, or atleast try to while you race ahead and keep turning pages until you get to a favoured page.

Sleep
At the beginning half of this month your sleep was atrocious! Mainly down to your cold and cough. However on the 1st January you seemed to turn a corner and have pretty much slept from 1830-0530 with one wake up at 2200, though on the 3rd you didn’t even need that wake up and slept through which was a blessing for me who’s been really ill myself. I’m hoping this is you turning a corner and not a fluke. By the end of the month and pleased to announce that you are sleeping in stints of, up to, 10 hours, for this I am eternally grateful. I choose not to think that you won’t relapse though, in the hope I won’t be too disappointed

Growth
22Ib 13.5oz
You’ve only put on an ounce and a half this month. You’re still in the 50th centime and the HV aren’t worried as you haven’t dropped a centile. They think it’s due to your increased mobility as I told them how much you’ve been eating at the moment.

Feeding
You eat practically all day at the moment, solids and you’ve stepped up your milk intake recently too, the latter I think is due to the leap you have entered this month. According to the book, breastfed babies want feeding more due to wanting mummy more so I’m expecting this to be a little glitch.
New Tastes: Onion Chutney; Carrot and Almond Soup; Nut Roast; Roast Parsnips; Roast Potatoes; Bread Sauce; Stuffing; Mediterranean Bean Casserole; Quorn Sausages; Quorn Bacon

Christmas(es)

I know that, technically, this is your second Christmas but due to you being so tiny last year I felt like this year was your first and have looked forward to making it so special for us all. Unfortunately this didn’t go to plan due to illnesses but we tried to make the most of it.

We both went to Brooks Garden Centre and chose a small tree to sit on a table. We chose against a big tree, which is normal, due to concerns you may pull it over! You loved the decorations and lights when they were finally put up, with your grandma taking pride of place, forever smiling down on us.

The look of awe on your face when we turned on the lights each morning was magical.

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On Christmas Eve we left out your plate for Santa with a glass of mulled cider, a mincepie and a carrot (for Rudolph).

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You’d been a VERY good boy this year so he cleared the lot and left lots of presents under the tree for you which you raced over to on Christmas morning and stared at them for an age.

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Despite being poorly you enjoyed opening your presents and playing with all your new toys (and their boxes), this took pretty much all day but that’s the best thing about Christmas.

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We had a lovely Christmas dinner with crackers. You had your first roast dinner, consisting of; nut roast, roast parsnips, roast potatoes, mash, broccoli, carrots and bread sauce. You tried a little bit of everything but didn’t eat a lot. I was just thrilled you had what you did considering you hadn’t eaten anything other than milk and porridge for days in the lead up to Christmas.

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I suppose the beauty of living away from family is that you get to have Christmas a few times over. On the 30th December, after you had shaken off the worst of your cold, we went back to Lyme and had another little Christmas with Auntie. You were spoilt rotten with lots of lovely gifts including a big red bus, bath toys and the most fabulous clothes. We did laugh at your dismissal of the ‘soft presents’, hoying them over your shoulder on opening.

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On the way back from Lyme we stopped off at Budleigh to see Uncle Dan and Auntie Sam where we got to have another mini Christmas (well, opening of presents anyway). You loved your mobile Bunny shape sorter and highchair steering wheel. We had a lovely time catching up with everyone and they all enjoyed seeing how much you’ve grown and changed.

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All in all, despite being poorly, we had a good time in the end and just hope that next year goes more according to plan.

Happy Christmas my darling boy, you amaze us daily.

The Birthday

Your special day started brilliantly after a perfect (for you) night’s sleep, some mummy and daddy time in bed with lots of play and cuddles and then a birthday breakfast followed by some card and present opening.

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I had spent a bit of time decorating the lounge for your special day but the balloons I bought in town didn’t last long. However, they lasted long enough for your birthday breakfast (blueberry porridge, as usual) and the look on your face when you first saw them was priceless, which more than made up for my disappointment in their droopiness half an hour later (I won’t use Box of Secrets again).

We spent the morning as a family, opening cards and presents and getting ready for your party.

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We had planned your birthday party to run from 12 until 3(ish). Firstly, apologies for not throwing you a massive party my darling. Due to lack of space and the fact that you are still so tiny we decided a play date party would be the best all round. We would have loved to have invited every one of the babies that mean something to you, and us, but we just don’t have the room this year.

Despite numbers dwindling due to hand, foot and mouth, colds and prior commitments your very first birthday party went pretty well. In actual fact it was probably a blessing as space was limited with just the four of you and it all becomes a little overwhelming for you all.

The first guest to arrive was Coral and the two of you had some fun with some gloop that I whipped up before everyone else arrived. After this Samuel arrived, shortly followed by Mila. We had the paper, crayons, blackboard and chalks out along with all your new (and old) toys.

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It’s pretty safe to say that you all enjoyed yourselves playing with each other (and on your own 😉 and all enjoyed the food very much. Daddy, who’s never really seen you interacting with others, was amazed how everything just stopped when you all got your food and watched as you all sat on the floor with it. There weren’t even any tears!!!

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The rest of the afternoon was spent opening the rest of your presents and enjoying some family time.

It was a perfect day, finished off with a nice bit of cake…

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The Guests
Coral
Samuel
Mila
(Also present were the mummies, your Daddy and myself)

The Food
Cheese Sandwiches
Marmite Sandwiches
Pizza Toast
Organix Sweetcorn Rings
Organix Carrot Sticks
Banana
Strawberries
Blueberries
For the mummies:
Four Bean Chilli with Nachos and dips
(Lots of) Prosecco
Chocolate and Blueberry Muffins

The Cake
After much investigation I ended up adapting an American recipe and made you a sugarless Banana and Blueberry Cake with cream cheese frosting decorated with fresh strawberries and raspberries. I have to say, it was a bit of a hit and, considering it was sugar free, tasted really quite nice.

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The Party Bags
Balloon
Bubbles
Book
Ella’s Kitchen Treats
Card

The Gifts
In no particular order…

That’s Not My Dinosaur Book
FisherPrice Telephone
Colin The Cloud Book
Disney Christmas CD
From: Uncle Dan & Auntie Sam, Ella and Tommy

Activity Tents and Tunnel
Wooden Shape Sorter
From: Uncle Simon and Auntie Jacqueline

Chalks
Crayons
Scrap Book
Felt Tips
Nights Before Christmas Story Book
Click Clack Car Track
Clothing
Silver Money Box
From: Mummy and Daddy

Cuddly Doggy
From: Gemma, Ryan and Evan

London Bus T Shirt
Spot Goes to the Farm Book
Eric Carle My Very First Book of Colours
Eric Carle Touch and Feel Book
From: Auntie

Photo Frame
From: Auntie Caroline, Simon, Thomas and Grace

Lion Bead Frame
Skittle Set
From: Granny and Grandad

Santa’s Plate
Elf Hat
From: Katie C.

‘Noah’ Tree Ornament
From: Auntie Katie F.

Wooden Walker
From: Auntie Ann and Uncle Brian

£££
From: Grandpa and Andrea

£££
From: Great Nanna

Stacking Blocks
From: Coral

Radio Flyer Tryke
From: Grayson, Mila, Samuel, Roo and Corey

Even the cat got into the spirit of things…

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