Last weekend was a hectic and busy one full of birthday celebrations for Isla, who has now turned two!
On her birthday Lilly woke up at the crack of dawn (not unusual for her), very excited because it was Isla’s birthday. Isla however, played it cool and slept in for another hour and a half, until about 6.30am. Lilly was very impatient and wanted to go and wake her up!
We had put up birthday banners and balloons, and left Isla’s birthday presents out for her to find, and her cards on the mat.
I had had a little word with Lilly before Isla got up, about letting Isla open her birthday presents and not snatching them off her to do it for her – because, afterall, Isla is a big girl now!
Well, Lilly was very good, and held herself back from ripping all the paper off the presents, but she was keen for Isla to open her presents QUICK QUICK because she couldn’t wait to find out what they all were. Isla was much more laid back about everything and wanted to take her time, very carefully tearing back the paper and wanting to examine the presents and start to play with them before moving onto the next one.
We were really pleased with her reaction to the presents – she seemed genuinely pleased with them all, and has actually played with them all since. Usually there is at least one or two that don’t seem to go down too well. She was very lucky and got lots of books, a My Little Pony train (probably the biggest hit), a Baby Jake tractor, a Thomas train and the main present, A SkuttleBug trike.
Unfortunately, the arguing started quite soon after all the presents were open, mainly over who was going on the Skuttlebug or pressing the button on the My Little Pony train. In fact, we were refereeing over the presents all weekend…. grrrr!
Later on, we decided, as it was raining, to go to Blue Planet Aquarium in Ellesmere Port. It wasn’t our brightest idea – we have been there before, a long time ago, and weren’t too impressed. But we thought we’d give it another go. But we soon remembered why we weren’t keen before – it is very expensive – luckily Isla was just short enough to still be free but we still paid £42 for 2 adults and one child – if we’d had to pay for Isla it would’ve been £52! Inside is ok, but nowhere near good enough to justify that price, in my opinion. Going through at a pre-school pace (e.g. quite quick), you can see everything in about half an hour. The playground (too small for the place) was packed with boisterous big kids on a school trip, and the cafe (selling overpriced rubbish food – £6.70 for a rollover hotdog meal ‘deal’) was a bit grotty, the tables not very clean and the microwave to warm baby food /milk was dirty.
To cap it all off, Isla decided a short while into the trip that she was scared of fish. So she spent a lot of the time running past all the tanks shouting: “My don’t like it!!”
So, not particularly successful.
However, Isla DID enjoy dancing to some of the atmospheric “fishy” music, running under all the roped off queueing areas outside, climbing on a log and pressing the button in the lift. Lilly liked running around, and LOVED the travelator walkway through the tunnel under the big tank. And Eve seemed to like looking at the fish. So all was not lost. (Except the 42 quid, unfortunately!)
Off to Blue Planet
But birthday girl mainly liked the non-fish related activity!
But no worries. We all came home and enjoyed a cupcake birthday treat ahead of Isla’s main birthday cake, which was going to be for her birthday party on Sunday. I made the cakes the day before and Lilly and I iced them that morning while Isla was napping. We chose the best ones to spell out I-S-L-A all the way round the stand, with a 2 on the top. I wasn’t too happy when Daddy wandered in just before we were going to put the candles on and start singing, and helped himself to one of the cakes without thinking – leaving us with just “I-S-L”….. don’t worry, his ‘mistake’ was soon pointed out… and luckily we had iced some spares!
Isla surprised us all by being very good at blowing out the candles – although we had to relight them three times because Lilly kept blowing them out – she just couldn’t help herself!
On Saturday Lilly and I had a huge baking / cleaning session ahead of the family party on Sunday, while Tony took Isla and Eve to his parents. We made biscuits in the shape of 2s, and Lilly iced them. We also made a chocolate fudge cake, and decorated it with smarties and maltesers. We got a start on the buffet food for the next day. And then we cleaned and hoovered (well, I did, while Lilly pretended to join in!)
At the party on Sunday we had close family round, there were lots more presents, including a keyboard and Chad Valley CD player from her nanna and grandad and aunty Laura, and clothes, a drum and sticker books from her Grannie, other aunty and uncle. We had a buffet of Isla’s favourite food – pizza, garlic bread, hot dogs, nachos (ok, not Isla’s favourite, but it had crisps and cheese), cheese on sticks, crisps, cucumber and carrot sticks (also not Isla’s favourite, but definitely Lilly’s) etc etc.
My mum brought round two strawberry flans (one with and one without jelly as Lilly hates it, but loves strawberries) so we did well on the pudding front too.
We played pass the parcel and musical statues, and then Isla blew out the candles on her cake – Lilly had to clamp her hands over her mouth to stop her from giving into the temptation to blow them out too!
All in all, we had a lovely, but very tiring weekend! It struck me that, now we have three children, we have to do THREE BIRTHDAYS A YEAR. And then I had to sit down and have a glass of wine
or ten – that’s a lot of parties!
So, there you have it. Our middle baby is, as she now tells us quite often, not a baby anymore. She’s a big two year old. Wow!
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