Things have been a bit hectic in the last week, what with getting ready for C and E's 2nd birthday celebrations, however it was a great weekend and well worth the effort.
Friends arrived on Friday night with their 2 sons (3 and 5 years old) and the fun began. It was wonderful to see how they all played together, with Ciara and Enya running after the bigger boys and the boys, especially the oldest one, were great about helping the girls so they didn't get left behind. Bedtime was really difficult for all the kids that first night as none of them wanted the fun to end!
Bed time preperations
The adults finally got to bed at 2am as some of us (the moms) were busy with final preparations for the big day, while others were starting the celebrations early (the dads!).
The cake finally finished at 2am
We really hit gold with the weather as the entire weekend was forecast to be sunny and hot and for once it was too! The morning started with a lazy breakfast before we all moved into the lounge to open presents. C and E still are not quite sure about how to open them but they really enjoyed them once they were open (and the wrapping paper removed otherwise that is still the preferred toy). They got loads of lego duplo from our friends and they love it-they haven't really figured out how to build it but it fits perfectly on their fingers so they keep running around with "lego fingers". Z and I gave them a play kitchen which all the kids liked, although I can see the next few years is going to involve lots of picking up as it came with loads of accessorys (and the set wasn't even complete we have to go back to the store and get the missing pieces tomorrow). What worked out really well for us was to open a few presents and let the girls play with them for an hour or so before moving on to the next present. I still had the feeling by the end of the day they were a little overwhelmed with all the presents so we landed up saving a couple until the next day.
Ciara and the lego box
Enya with her lego window
Helping daddy unpack the kitchen
The rest of the friends arrived in the afternoon and then the playing began in earnest. We only had 6 kids there in total, but somehow they seemed to multiply underfoot. We had a slight mishap in that I gave all the kids bottles of soap bubble mixture (we've been practicing blowing bubbles in play therapy) unfortunately I had to leave the terrace with Ciara and in that time Enya decided to try drinking the mixture. After phoning the hospital and poison control centre it was determind we just needed to give her something to stop it foaming in her tummy so only a quick visit to the chemist was needed (a thousand times better than a visit to the casualty and a stomach pumping). Dinner was a braai (BBQ) and I'm happy to report Ciara and Enya joined us at the table as they are now pretty much only eating table food, they've had one exactly one puree in the last 2 weeks- why couldn't that have happened before our holiday!!
We finally got the kids into bed at 9pm and they slept through until nearly 8am the next morning. The adults continued celebrating until the early hours of the morning again. Some people probably think we make too much fuss over the girls' birthday but for us, it really is a celebration that they survived their hard start and that they are doing so well! The kids all took a long nap on Sunday morning ( some of the adults did too!) and then we spent Sunday afternoon in the park where C, E and the boys delighted in paddling in the stream that runs through the middle of it. Unfortunately we all forgot our cameras so no photos from that. The friends left around5pm and our birthday celebrations finally came to an end!
From my view this year was a lot easier than last year, maybe because I didn't have time to ponder the "what if's" and "what could have been's" or maybe it is one year further in the past, but this year I could really celebrate the fact my girls were 2 (*sob, I no longer have babies) without the sad overtones from last year.