Chloe’s Minnie Mouse Themed Birthday Party

At the weekend we had a big celebration on. If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you will know that my little lady turned two on Wednesday gone by. As it is bad luck to celebrate before your actual birthday, we decided to have her birthday party on the Saturday. She is only two, so we only invited her cousins over who live in and around County Dublin.

I thought about a theme for her party for a long time. In the end I went with Minnie Mouse and pink Polka dots. She loves Peppa Pig a bit more lately but when she saw the setup she was delighted. I bought the accessories in Woodies party zone. I had to order it online because there was not much in store at the time.

Cake wise I decided to make cupcakes from scratch but buy a cake mix from Tesco that you should just put all together and in the oven it goes. I like simplicity. Not too much stress. The baking commenced on Friday evening as I had a bit more to do the Saturday morning. I found a nice and easy recipe on Pinterest for vanilla flavoured cupcakes. The cake was chocolate. I didn’t want to have chocolate and chocolate so the vanilla cupcakes were a nice change.
To make life even easier, I bought the ready icing from Dr Oetker in pretty pink.

 

The party started at 2pm on Saturday. There were eight kids (including mine) in total. It was a bit chilly outside but the sun was shining so all boys, including the adults went outside the garden to play some football. While the girls relaxed inside chatting away and playing in the playroom. An hour later I called everyone in for some cake. It was time to light the candles. Chloe was a bit tired from all the people in her house. She didn’t have a nap beforehand as I thought she will be fine because she slept in. But it was a bit overwhelming for her. She always gets very clingy when there is a certain amount of people in her space.

 

We all sang “Happy Birthday” and I helped Chloe blowing out candle while big brother Matthew blew out the second one. Cousin Rory helped, too. I cut the cake and everyone was digging in.  It was actually a very nice and light chocolate cake. I would definitely make that again. I had an icing sheet ordered with “Happy 2nd Birthday Chloe” on it and decorated some small icing flowers around it.

 

As well as that there were also sandwiches, crisps and fruit available to everyone. Most of the afternoon was spent playing. Chloe even brightened up a bit after a while and walked around played with cousin Rory. Hubby took some of the kids to Smyths toy store and bought each a gift. That’s them covered for their birthday this year.

Chloe’s gifts contained of clothing which I was really happy about because we have way too many toys in the house. Cute skirt, leggings and t-shirts, kitted out for the summer.

Everyone started to leave around dinner time (6pm). When bedtime came along, Chloe was asleep fast after such a fun day.

Chloe is Two

Dear Chloe,

today is your big day. It’s your birthday. You turned an unbelievably TWO years of age. You have been with us for a solid two years. I always say it but I want to say it again, the years have flown by. You bring us lots of joy everyday. Of course there are your moments where you have a meltdown over something and you throw a complete tantrum but that is simply because you can’t express yourself with words yet. And that’s okay. It is actually cute when you feel like you need to throw your dodie or cup a hundred miles an hour. I need to have a little giggle when I see that.

You have experienced a lot in the past two years. Probably more than your brother ever did at that age. Last summer we went on our first ever family summer holiday together. You were only 18 months old. I think you really enjoyed yourself. Being pushed around, enjoying the weather (not so much the heat), walking around with no socks. You pull them off all the time so I think summer is definitely your season, even though you are born in the Winter.

At around 21 months you learnt how to walk. All in your own time. Now you are flying around all corners of the house. You love running and having little races with your big brother Matthew. It is adorable to see you having so much fun. You really love your brother. Even though you do tease him a lot lately at bedtime not wanting to give him a good night kiss. But we all like a bit of messing.

When we moved house in October last year, mummy was worried that you wouldn’t fit into the new creche. But that was just me. After a week or so you were well settled in. I only hear good stuff from your minders. You are a clean little lady tidying up after yourself. You are helping putting stuff away, taking off the shoes yourself when you are going to bed. I was told that they were hoping that it rub off you onto your little friends. You even have your own little best friend now. I can’t believe she starts crying when I collect you. She really likes playing with you.

Your speech has come a long way. Mainly because your big brother Matthew never stops talking. You copy him a lot. I don’t know how many words you have now but it must be 30 at least if not even more. You certainly don’t need to see a speech therapist, that’s for sure. Your favourite sentence at the moment has to be “not nice”, referring to Missy the cat who apparently is not nice when she moves. You get a bit scared but yet you adore her at the same time.

Bedtime is well established. The only thing that isn’t, is the nighttime. You can wake up anytime between 9.30pm and midnight. Daddy or mummy pick you up and you get to sleep in our big bed instead that you certainly make your own in no time. At the moment you are still in your cot bed. I am not sure if it will solve the problem if we move you into your own bed. You seem to like crawling into Matthew’s bed before it’s bedtime but I think you are still a bit young. You are mover at night.

Pretend play is your favourite thing to do. At the moment you enjoy playing with the choo choo train and your IKEA kitchen you received off Santa. You make yummy soup and other things for us and feed them to us. You also like cruising around the house on your Minnie Mouse ride on and chase your big brother. You are not the biggest fan of watching TV. You do like to watch one or two episodes of Minnie Mouse or Peppa Pig but that’s it. Instead you like dancing to nursery rhymes or other songs.

Let’s see what the next year brings.  We have planned a few mini trips this year to show you and your brother the world. You love being outside, sitting in the buggy, looking around and not having a care in the world.

We hope you have a lovely birthday and enjoy some cake in creche on your special day with your little friends. Today it is okay to have as much chocolate as you want. We also hope you are going to enjoy your party with the cousins at the weekend.

Love Mummy & Daddy xxx

2nd Birthday Gift Ideas for Girls

It is exactly two more weeks until my little baby girl turns two. Two years of age already. It has gone by so quickly. She can be a little diva sometimes and has been in her terrible two for quite some time already. But we still love her the way she is. She is our little cutie pie, our little princess. She is getting on so good with her big brother. She adores him. I mean of course there can be fight sometimes over toys or a little accident but that’s normal for siblings right?

The fact that her birthday is only 1 1/2 months after Christmas, it is kind of hard finding her a present that she didn’t already get for Christmas. I might have mentioned before that she doesn’t play with toys too much. She likes cuddling, being attached to us but pretend play. I’d say the IKEA kitchen for Christmas was probably the best investment. Nevertheless I did find a few bits and bobs for to be setup for her big day in the morning.

LeapFrog Number Loving OvenAs she loves the kitchen so much, I think the Leap Frog would be a great addition to it. It is a great toy for pretend play and comes with 16 toy pieces. The oven teaches counting and sharing. Over 30 phrases and songs warm up counting, sharing and fraction skills. Suitable for kids from the age of 2. €24.99 in Smyths

OXO Tot Booster Seat: Chloe is still sitting in her high chair. I remember Matthew was sitting in his up to the age of three. In her creche they don’t sit in a highchair at all. Instead they have little wooden chairs they can be strapped into have their dinner. I fell sometimes that she is not the biggest fan of her highchair anymore and rather would like to sit at the table with us. She doesn’t have the balance to sit on her yet so I ordered this booster seat from OXO tot which I think looks brilliant. £40 on the OXO Tot website.

Balance Bike: I regret that Matthew never had a balance bike at her age. Instead we got him a bike nearly two years ago but he is not able to peddle properly and gets fed up with it after a while. He is too old now for a balance bike unfortunately. Chloe loves being outside.  Once she she has the balance, I think she would really enjoy this wooden balance bike from Mothercare. €59.95

Cat Pull Along: We are a cat loving family and this rubbed off Chloe too. Cat was Chloe’s first word. She enjoys wearing cat orientated clothes with cats on it. Whether that’s leggings, socks or tops. Yet, she is still afraid to go too close the cat we have left. Our second cat went missing when we moved and they used to be best buddies. I think she would really enjoy pulling this wooden cat along. £14.99 from BigJigToys

Grey Star Wigwam: I always wanted to buy the kids a teepee/wigwam. This one will go well in the corner of the living room. It’s a little hide away for them to read books, play, cuddle, relax. Mainly this one is for Chloe but I know for a fact that her older brother will fight over it too. £89 from GLTC

Peppa Pig Personalized Book: I found this one just by pure chance when I was browsing Facebook on my phone the other day. It popped up in my timeline and i thought it was just perfect for her. She loved Peppa Pig. And to have a book featuring her and Peppa she will be over the moon. I picked Peppa Pig and Chloe go swimming but Penwizard has way more to choose from. £14.99 from Penwizard

A New Milestone – First Shoes

Last weekend Chloe and I decided to explore County Kildare a bit more, our new home county. People who follow me on Instagram, might know that Chloe started walking around four weeks ago. She has been wearing soft shoes for the last three weeks which she absolutely loves. It is recommended to wait with proper shoes until they walked for a few weeks. So last week I decided to buy her first pair of shoes.

Two weekends ago we actually drove down to Kildare village because apparently the Clarks Outlet is cheaper than any other shop. I got her measures which she didn’t like at all. She kicked up a fuss. I don’t blame her though. Somebody strange she doesn’t know touching her feet and putting them into this strange thing and put a measuring tape around it. She was measured at a 3G. Because it’s an outlet, you had to go and pick your shoes yourself which was completely new to me. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to find any kind of decent shoes. They were either too small or too big. They didn’t have her size at all. So I decided to leave it.

During last week Chloe was sick but she was getting better. I decided to take a trip to Newbridge as she needed some fresh air anyways.  I heard good things about the White Water Shopping Centre. Once we found it, we went to Clarks and got measured properly again. This time she measured a 3 1/2 G. Good job we double checked. I picked a pair of shoes and the woman came out with the right size and Chloe tried them out and had a little walk which she wasn’t too happy about. It is a bit strange in fairness to go from a soft sole to a hard sole. The advisor thought it might be best to try out a H size. She had more space in it. They fit perfect. I bought them. They were expensive but I prefer spending a bit more knowing they are good for her feet, rather than buying something cheap.

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It’s not the ideal time of the year to buy first shoes for a girl because it’s getting cold. I couldn’t put her in boots straight away though when she is not even used to proper shoes yet. I do plan on buying her cute little UGG boots for the winter time. They just look adorable. So at 21 months she finally has her first pair of shoes. Such a milestone to reach.

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Induction Week in Creche

We survived the induction week in creche this week. I didn’t think the kids would do as good as they did. I know kids can adapt well to change and to Chloe all she ever knew, was the minders. She would have been too small to create a friendship with one of the other toddlers. In terms of moving, she would be the easiest person to adapt to change but then there is her constant attachment which is fine. Matthew on the other hand is at an age where he made friends in the other creche. He mentions the boys everyday. I haven’t heard him talking about them the last two days though. So maybe he understands that they are in a different creche.  He already made friends in the new one which is great.

On Monday they went in for one hour. The new creche is called Cocoon Childcare. There are a few around in the Dublin area actually. Hubby and I stayed in their rooms the whole time. I stayed with Chloe and he stayed with Matthew. Chloe was shy and was holding onto me at the start. After about thirty minutes she let loose and started playing with some of the toys. They have a shelf of toys. She pulled out every single one of them while the other toddlers were having their tea in the middle of the room. I stayed with her the full hour. She tried out every seat at the end.
Matthew on the other hand got on great. They gave him an apple as a snack and he sat down and got stuck in to the activities.

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On Tuesday it was one and a half hours. The parents are supposed to stay with the kids the first fifteen minutes and once settles you can leave the room and come back to collect them. Once I left, Chloe started crying but within five minutes she was fine and started playing. She always does that at the start, even in the creche she attended before. I’d say she like a bit of drama. Daddy stayed with them in the parents area until their time was up while I was unboxing more stuff at home. Again they both done brilliant and Chloe was even outside.

Wednesday I dropped them in myself as this was the day where you’re supposed to leave the child for the full duration of the visit which is two hours. Usual thing, Chloe cried the first five minutes. I dropped her into her room first and then Matthew. By the time I came back to her room to check on her, she was fine and was playing away on the floor.  Matthew sat down the chair and done some arts and crafts with his hands with the minder. He loves it.

On Thursday it was more of a longer day. They stayed from 10am to 2pm which is over the lunch hour. This was also a trial to see if Chloe is able to nap her hour that she normally does. As Chloe is only still in the wobbler room, she still gets a report sheet everyday. Matthew doesn’t because not much point really. Her sheet tells me that her nappy was changed twice. She slept 1h and 10minutes. For lunch she had Spagetti Bolognese which she ate half of. She refused the snack which was apple and raisins. Normally she loves raisins but it was given at the time I dropped her in so I think that was the problem. Chloe enjoyed some garden play and puzzles. I find this report brilliant. It’s so detailed. She got a report in the other creche as well but it wasn’t that detailed. I was happy enough to see how long she slept and what she ate but this even better.

Today was a special day. It was Halloween dress up day. Perfect opportunity to integrate Matthew into his group. He dressed up as vampire. He wore this costume last year, too. It was good to get more wear out of it. I didn’t find anything decent in the shop to be honest and I had been looking for weeks. It is way easier to find outfits for girls or toddlers in general. I dressed Chloe up as a ghost. She wasn’t a fan of the whole dress at first but she got used to it pretty quickly. They both attended creche at the same time as to the previous day.

Matthew had some sweets and marshmallows as a treat. Friday is treat day and you are allowed to bring in a toy of your choice. We received a new toy from Mattel yesterday and he hasn’t stopped playing since. He had take it to creche of course. He also made some chocolate apple which looks really tasty by the way.
Chloe has been great, too. Her report looks pretty much the same. Her lunch was ham, potato and veg and guess what…she ate it all. Am I surprised? No, because she never ever eats at home and most of her food lands on the floor!

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Monday is a bank holiday in Ireland and also Halloween. Matthew and I have a day planned in Julianstown to visit Kennedy’s pumkin patch. I got tickets last minute for the two of us because the family ticket was sold out unfortunately.
I am more than confident to drop the kids into creche come Tuesday full-time. I haven’t figured out the times yet because Dublin traffic is mad in the morning, compared to Sligo. It looks like the kids will have to be dropped off at 7.45am the latest which means I will start work at 8.30am and finish at 4.30pm. This gives me enough time to have them home for 5pm and give them a snack before they go to bed. Sounds like a plan, doesn’t it?

Siblings in October

The last month has been quite a busy month for us in terms of Chloe’s mobility. She has been trying to walk for a good while now but only with the walker. She is a later walker but I don’t mind that at all. I read somewhere that it’s better for them to walk later rather than earlier. It’s supposed to be better for the feet. This was also our last month of taking sibling photos together in our house neighbourhood as we will moving house and town in just five days. I can’t believe how quickly the time came in the end.

The last few weeks we developed this new habit to bring them to the play centre every Sunday morning.  I started coming the first time but daddy decided to bring them on their own then while I was at home cleaning or boxing up items for our move. We are off from this week coming anyway to start on it but it always better to get a head start.

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Now that Chloe was a bit more mobile the last four weeks, Matthew seems to be getting on even better with her. It’s so funny seeing them racing together around the house.  They like chasing each other round and round or playing hide and seek. Two weeks ago I finally got out the smart trike. It’s from 10 months onwards. Never mind that she is 20 months already but I suppose better later than never. So off we went for a stroll around the estate. Matthew still loves his Little Tikes ride on even though he is bit big too for it now. He doesn’t get the hang of the scooter and doesn’t want to cycle on the bike too long so this is the best option.

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Not too long ago I reviewed one of thew Kiddy Smartfix car seats which is a group 2-3. Matthew loved it so much that he didn’t want to sit in his old one in daddy’s car. It meant we had to buy a second one for daddy’s car. A different colour of course. He was so happy. A massive box was left over. We decorated it with a few wheels on the sides and a steering wheel inside the box. The two of them were using it as a car as well as an airplane. I did have to interfered once or twice to make sure Matthew is not too rough on Chloe.

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Last weekend Chloe finally started off walking and there is no stopping her now. We already had a few accidents and bumps but that’s all part of the experience. The cutest thing ever is when we are going off to creche each morning. They both sit on the first step of the stairs to have their coats and shoes put on. Chloe has never worn shoes before. I bought her two pairs   of Bobux but  she always hated them.  There is a pair that still fits her now which sits in the hallway with all the other shoes. She picked them three days and wanted them on her. Ever since she goes out to the hallway and picks them up herself when we go out. She even goes out of her way and picks up Matthew’s shoes. She adores her big brother.

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