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Dear Jamie

Dearest Jamie,

I know this year my letter to you is really late. Your impending birthday hit me hard this year again. It was bad last year, but not quite as bad as it was this year. It always starts in October. The anxiety, the constant crying. 7 years later I finally figured out why. It was about 2 weeks before you were born that we got the bad news. I don’t actively think about those two weeks, about receiving the bad news or the time leading up to the day you were born. Clearly somewhere deep down I remember regardless and the feelings come, whether or not I want them to. Timehop is an application that lets you look back on your memories for the day across social media over the years and it became abundantly clear to me that it always starts around the same time. It is always a somber time for me and people notice that I am not myself.

This year Timehop gave me a gift of sorts. I don’t have any photos of us together, but this year I discovered one. It was taken just 2 days before you were born. I was at a Halloween party, dressed as a clown no less. It’s not the best photo of me, but it is the only one that I know of that I have of us together. I remember that party well. I knew that you would be born soon and had the desire to drown my sorrows, but I could not do it. I wanted you to be safe and as well as you could be until you were born, I still felt the responsibility to look after you until the very end, although it would not have made much of a difference in the grander scheme of things. It is a choice I am glad I made, a choice I am proud of. This is the picture I discovered:wpid-wp-1446576574674.jpgLook at that tummy! You were a big girl. We were just shy of 22 weeks together when this picture was taken and not long after is when everything fell apart. Our time together ended and I went through the darkest time in my life. It was something nobody could prepare me for and something that has still not healed completely. I tried this year to work through the latent grief. It has been 7 whole years and I feel like it is time that I start to let go and forgive myself. I still blame myself for so many things. Although I know that we did the right thing for you, it is still difficult to come to terms with. I can hope that I have started to move towards more positive thoughts. I no longer only want memories of you to be painful and I am certain you would not want me to be unhappy. It seems impossible not to feel the pain when looking back, but it was not all bad. You prepared me in a way to be a mother to your siblings. It was something I was not sure I was ready for until after you were born. I think I needed that and so your birthday should not always be a sad event, even though you have never been with us.

Your brother and sister are getting big so quickly. Your brother is almost 6 and next year goes to Grade R, before you know it he’ll be in big school! Your sister is almost 3 and is really coming into her own. While your brother is soft hearted and compassionate, your sister is strong willed. They are both stubborn too. No guesses who they get that from. Like we do every year we celebrated your birthday with cake and let your brother and sister blow out the candles and sing for you.Jamie's 7th birthdaySee how big they are now?! They weren’t very impressed with my choice of cake this year. I got a marbled chocolate cheesecake. It was actually really nice, but I guess kids don’t really love cheesecake. Oops. After your birthday, things always get better. The feelings start to subside and my heart calms down. I am hoping next year will be a better year for me in this regard, that I can move through this time of year without teetering on the edge of a nervous breakdown. I will continue to work on it and work through it. Maybe next year I can join in on the “Happy Birthday” song.

Sweet angel, look after Oupa GG there in heaven for me. I’m sure the two of you are having the grandest time. While he couldn’t see your brother and sister grow and participate in their lives like I know he would have loved to, I take solace in the fact that he has you.

Until we meet again,

Love

Mommy

 

Bestie Twin NAIL MAIL! *PIC HEAVY*

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Hi everyone. Today I want to show you the most epic nail mail! Let me give you a bit of background. I met Karen from Pish Posh Polish on a nail blogger group on Facebook. The group decided to do guest posts for each other and drew names. I drew a different name, but my partner could not participate and Karen stepped up to be my partner. We started chatting about our guest posts and the conversations led to us talking about our kids and our lives. It turns out we have a lot in common! Obviously our love for polish is what brought us together, but both of us are married with 2 kids. We’re both full term breastfeeding moms, we generally have similar beliefs and we quickly became friends. Now we chat practically every day and sometimes we don’t even talk about polish at all. Karen started putting together a “care package” for me. It all started with my requirement for a decent clean up brush…and it spiraled apparently LOL. The shipping on the box was going to be ridiculous, but I had an opportunity for an old school friend’s mother who was visiting in the US to bring it back for me, so Karen was able to ship it domestically. Yay! We started talking about the box in June I think and my friend’s mother was only returning in August, so I was sorely tempted to buy some things for Karen to mule for me. She is clearly the most awesome of enablers, so she was only happy to. I received the box on 9 August, only 5 days after my birthday and boy, was it EPIC! Karen and I linked up in a video call so she could watch me open the box. It was so emotional! I felt like I needed to take a break at some point because I just COULD NOT DEAL WITH IT! Karen was so incredibly generous and as I opened each gift she told me why she thought I *needed* that one, or this one, or that one. I cried at least twice while opening everything. Karen included the sweetest card, which automatically turned me into mush. Did I mention that she also included gifts for my children? So sweet and thoughtful! Bless her cotton socks! Anyhoo…let me show you what was in the box of AWESOME! Here are the products that Karen muled for me (excluding the clean up brush which was a gift from her)

KB Shimmer Iris My Case, Snow Flaking Way, Totally Tubular and Make My Gray

KB Shimmer Iris My Case, Snow Flaking Way, Totally Tubular and Make My Gray

Creative Shop stamper/scraper, zig zag vinyls (free gift with purchase), purple liquid latex, cleanup brush/dotting tool (gift from Karen)

Creative Shop stamper/scraper, zig zag vinyls (free gift with purchase), purple liquid latex, cleanup brush/dotting tool (gift from Karen)

And now on to the gifts. Are you sitting down? I’m glad I was!

M Polish Polish of my People Collection

M Polish Polish of my People Collection (stamping polishes)

Sinful Colors Flower Power, China Glaze Wish on a Starfish, Sinful Colors Petal Be the Day

Sinful Colors Flower Power, China Glaze Wish on a Starfish, Sinful Colors Petal Be the Day

Out The Door Northern Lights, Deborah Lippmann Mermaid's Kiss, LVX Deco, Orly Mirrorball

Out The Door Northern Lights, Deborah Lippmann Mermaid’s Kiss, LVX Deco, Orly Mirrorball

Zoya Tomoko, Ginni, Arlo (Pixie Dusts)

Zoya Tomoko, Ginni, Arlo (Pixie Dusts)

Zoya Cassedy, Monet, Belinda, Seraphina

Zoya Cassedy, Monet, Belinda, Seraphina

Butter London Dubs, Lolly, Bit Faker and Bossy Boots

Butter London Dubs, Lolly, Bit Faker and Bossy Boots

Delush Polish A Peony For your Thoughts, Lorelei Lacquer Princess Bubblegum, Different Dimension I'm Sorry But I Cantaloupe, Pahlish Stars at Rest

Delush Polish A Peony For your Thoughts, Lorelei Lacquer Princess Bubblegum, Different Dimension I’m Sorry But I Cantaloupe, Pahlish Stars at Rest

Jindie Nails Princess Bubblegum, Charlie's Rad Lacquer Veau's Voodoo, KBshimmer Berry Patch

Jindie Nails Princess Bubblegum, Charlie’s Rad Lacquer Veau’s Voodoo, KBshimmer Berry Patch

CAN YOU EVEN FREAKING DEAL?! Never in a million years did I expect to be spoiled so much! I told Karen, “Thank you” just doesn’t seem to cut it. I am freaking in love with everything in this box! I showed my bestie photos of all of these and she said “Wow, this is a stash that dreams are made of!”. I couldn’t have said it better. Of course I needed to paint my nails IMMEDIATELY. Karen and I had decided we would do a twin mani as soon as I received my box…so we did 🙂

Bestie Twin Nails with Pish Posh PolishDelush Polish A Peony for Your Thoughts Zoya Belinda stamped with M Polish Fresh Perspective and Dancing in the StreetsDelush Polish A Peony for Your Thoughts Zoya Belinda stamped with M Polish Fresh Perspective and Dancing in the StreetsDelush Polish A Peony for Your Thoughts Zoya Belinda stamped with M Polish Fresh Perspective and Dancing in the StreetsA bonus pic of Cindy because I couldn’t stop playing with my M Polish and new stamper:Delush Polish A Peony for Your Thoughts Zoya Belinda stamped with M Polish Fresh Perspective and Dancing in the StreetsI started off with a base coat of Revlon Calcium Gel Nail Hardener to protect my nails. On my index and middle nails I painted 3 coats of Delush Polish A Peony for Your Thoughts. This is a white crelly polish with purple and hot pink hexes and purple circle glitters throughout. I was in such a hurry to paint my nails I didn’t really have time to leave the bottle upside down and didn’t get any circle glitters out, but I certainly will next time! There is something about the logo of this brand and the fact that the name has the word “lush” in it that just makes it feel so luxurious to me. It helps that their polishes are GORGEOUS! I used M Polish Dancing in the streets and PUEEN 41 to stamp on my index and middle nails. I specifically chose the heart images to show how much I love my box and Karen 🙂 On my ring and pinkie nails I painted 2 coats of Zoya Belinda. This deep purple polish is almost a one coater and is absolutely gorgeous! The image on my ring nail is from PUEEN 39 stamped with M Polish Fresh Perspective and the flower on my pinkie is from BP-10.  On Cindy my bases and stamping polishes are the same and all the images are from BP-10. I sealed everything in with a coat of Seche Vite.

If you want to see Karen’s twin nails post, look here. You can also catch her on her Instagram.

I’m also submitting this mani for Stamping Saturdays! I’ve always wanted to get in on this action and they graciously accepted me into their Facebook group. I don’t post on a Saturday, but they said I can link up a stamping mani from the week too, so here it is! Check out the link up below 🙂

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What 34 Looks Like

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Sheesh. Another year in my life. GONE. I firmly believe the older you get the faster time seems to go by. As a child I remember a week feeling like 6 weeks. The December school holidays felt like months! It was glorious! It was also frustrating for someone who just wanted to grow up already, as most children do. Now I’m an adult. I don’t want to be an adult, but I’ve been forced to by the time thing. Stupid time! I think I’m managing to fight the wrinkles a *little bit*, at least when I’m about to have a full body massage…thanks Ginkgo!

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I actually had a really good birthday. Rudi was only scheduled to start work at 1 PM and I was on leave which afforded us some time alone together. It was honestly the first time in years that we have been alone together on my birthday. Even though he had returned home from a very long work trip late the previous night, he got up early and took the kids to the day mother and let me lay under the covers a little longer. Then he took me out to breakfast and walked around in the shops with me, waited while I tried on clothes, browsed through polish sections and puttered around the mall. Major brownie points scored 😉 While I was browsing polish sections I found OPI polish HALF OFF at Clicks! HALF OFF!! I would normally never buy OPI at full price because it is super expensive, but it was 50% off. So I bought 2. LOL. Rudi had to go off to work and I went home to play with my new polishes. This is what I came up with:OPI Austin-Tacious Turquoise and Can't Let Go with NailCandi crown charmOPI Austin-Tacious Turquoise and Can't Let Go with NailCandi crown charmOPI Austin-Tacious Turquoise and Can't Let Go with NailCandi crown charmI started off with a base coat of Revlon Calcium Gel Nail Hardener to protect my nails. I painted my index and middle nails with one coat of Sinful Colors Black on Black. I felt that the OPI which seemed very sheer on my nail wheel would pop over black. I painted 2 coats of OPI Austin-Tatious Turquoise over the black. On my ring and pinkie nails I painted 3 thin coats of OPI Can’t Let Go from their liquid sand line. GA GA GA GORGEOUS! Both of these! I sealed in the turquoise nails with Seche Vite and used some nail glue to adhere the crown to my middle nail which was a press sample from Nail Candi. Cos it was my birthday after all! I really understand why people love OPI. The formula on both of these was great. I barely had clean up and I can flood my cuticles with the best of them.

Throughout the day I received loads of messages across my social media channels. I was totally overwhelmed by the outpouring of love from all my friends and acquaintances. I really don’t care whether or not Facebook reminded people it was my birthday (and I know that in a lot of cases, that is exactly what happened). Each and every person paused and took the time to wish me and THAT is what counts! Thank you so much to all of you that made me feel special on my birthday. From the bottom of my heart! I had a really nice day and felt so very spoiled!

Other than that, 34 looks like I’m settled into family life and I’m firmly in my groove. My other blessings:
wpid-wp-1439026545395.jpegI just realized after this year I go from being in my “early thirties” to “mid thirties” and it’s downhill from there, right?! EEK! I’ve had a good year and I look forward to the year ahead! Thanks again for all the support and love I get from you guys. You’re the best!

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Elijah is 5!

So it was Elijah’s birthday on Monday and we had a party for him. Technically it was a combined party for him and Gabby as her birthday is in the middle of the festive season and school holidays, but on the day it really felt like Elijah’s party. Perhaps because Gabby is still so small and doesn’t understand much around birthdays and parties. Elijah was sent off to school wearing a badge that said “It’s my birthday!” so when he came home from school I was pretty disappointed that they had not even sang for him.

While he was at school Sanita and I went to fetch the ice cream cake I ordered for his birthday and made our way back to the day mother’s house to do party set up. This year everything seemed to go smoothly and it was a lot more chilled for us than it was the previous year. It also wasn’t as hot as it was last year which was very welcome! The weather forecast said it would be 32 degrees, so we were worried that it would be a scorcher and that we would have a melting ice cream cake on our hands! Rudi was also able to leave work early which was lovely. The kids loved the jumping castle and the treats. Somehow we forgot about the candyfloss I had ordered as we stored it in a cool, dark spot. We also forgot about the lollipops and some marshmallow fish we had for the party packs. This year we bought paper bags and allowed the kids to fill them with sweets from the tables before they went home. Luckily we discovered the candyfloss before it was too late for everyone and we were able to dish a lot of it out before we packed it in. Two girls separately came to thank me for the party of their own accord. It made my heart melt and made all the stress, effort and money spent seem worth it. The kids were thoroughly spoilt with gifts. It was a lovely day all around. The next day Elijah returned from school with a special crown they made for him and they had sung happy birthday for him too. I was pleased that they made an effort to make him feel special. Even if it was a day late, it extended his celebrations somewhat and he didn’t seem to mind. Some pictures from the party:

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The very next day Rudi and I had our very first PTA meeting! I was excited to hear how things were going with him. The day mother graciously offered to look after the kids while we attended. We gathered in the school hall. It was quite a flashback for me since I attended the same school for my entire primary school career! We even have the same principal! He introduced himself and told us more about the school and how they are geared towards the future. A lot of the classes in the higher standards all have interactive white boards. How cool is that? He also warned us by the time our children were in Grade 4 (Grade 3 for Elijah as he was speaking to the Grade R parents) that there would be no more school books and that tablets would be required. He told us that the school was already ready for this. The principle will be retiring at the end of next year though and then we’ll adapt to a new regime. They also had a short presentation and demonstration by a karate instructor as karate is offered as an extra mural at the school. We’re interested in signing Elijah up, depending on the cost and we’re waiting for more information with regards to that. The karate demonstration was very cool! We were then sent off to class with our respective teachers. They called out a teacher’s name that I recognized from when I was there! Talk about a tenure!

In the classroom the teacher introduced herself and explained to us what the children’s daily routine encompasses. It was really nice to hear what the children do every day since Elijah isn’t very forthcoming when we ask him. According to him he does “nothing” in school and learns much of the same 😛  The teacher opened the floor to questions and afterwards we waited to speak to her one on one. When we told her we were Elijah’s parents we were pleased to hear her comments. Firstly she said he is a very gifted boy – *BEAM*, she said she can already tell and then she told us something we already knew – HE TALKS A LOT! We left the meeting with high spirits and I know it won’t always be positive and fun and games, but I’ll ride on this here cloud while it lasts 🙂

I’m so happy my boy is adjusting well in school and it looks like he is going to make us really proud!

Breastfeeding a toddler, Gabby is 2!

Here we are. 2 years later. Wow. Just over 2 years ago I was sitting at my first La Leche League meeting wringing my hands over my 7 months pregnant belly. I was nervous, very naive about breastfeeding and scared of failure. I am also not great at public speaking and even in this very small group of people I didn’t know, my voice was shaky and I was on the brink of tears. Sanita was with me for moral support. The mothers in the group were so nice, friendly, informative and helpful. One of the mothers let me view her baby’s latch up close. This was my first and second last meeting before Gabby’s arrival. Sanita attended many more meetings with me.

For the first two weeks after birth I was on cloud 9. I was on a hormonal high and not even the jaundice threw me. I admit, I had a small cry when Gabby had to be readmitted to hospital in order to be treated for jaundice and the sticking of the needles into her for daily blood tests certainly got my mommy claws out. The beginning of our breastfeeding journey was fraught with difficulty, uncertainty and tears. They wanted to give her formula for the jaundice. I stuck to my guns. Gabby’s weight gain was slower than the doctors and nurses would have liked, even for a breastfed baby. I hashed it out with my La Leche League leader, Kim (as I did everything else – she was my ROCK!), and we pressed on. For 12 weeks I was practically permanently attached to my baby. Even if she unlatched and fell asleep, I could not move from her side without her waking and crying for me. This is typical behaviour for the first 6 weeks or so, I did not expect it for 12. We soldiered on. I tried expressing for her for when she would go to the day mother and I sucked at it. I kept on trying. Eventually when Gabby went to the day mother at 5 1/2 months old we had to supplement with formula as my body just would not respond to a pump the way it did to my baby. I was devastated. I felt like a failure despite exclusively breastfeeding for 5 1/2 months. Still, I kept breastfeeding whenever we were together. I fought with the day mother on a daily basis. I was so afraid of nipple confusion and Gabby getting used to the flow of a bottle and rejecting the breast.

We started co-sleeping from the day she came home and it turns out it was the best decision ever. The entire family gets more sleep now that nobody is getting up for a crying baby. In fact, there is no crying baby. As soon as she starts getting restless, I’ll nurse her and she’ll instantly calm back down and go back to sleep. What an absolute pleasure. While Gabby still gets sick fairly often during winter (something I didn’t expect, I thought breastfed babies never get sick!) she always gets off lightly. If we all have a tummy bug she might have one or two bad nappies and a vomit and it will all be over, whereas Elijah (and the rest of us) will suffer for a full 24 hours.

Breastfeeding is still the most amazing mothering tool. It doesn’t matter what happens, nursing her immediately fixes the problem. It has also meant that I get to have more naps since I lay down with Gabby to put her to sleep and sometimes I fall asleep with her. Is this not reason enough to continue?! 😉

I never could have imagined I would still be breastfeeding 2 years later. Not in my wildest dreams. I also could never have imagined the bond it created between me and my daughter. I never knew how much easier it would make things. I also never anticipated how difficult it would be to deal with all the unwelcome comments and uninformed bullshit that spews from people’s mouths. I digress.

I knew I wanted to breastfeed, even when I was pregnant with Elijah and I really regret not reaching out to La Leche League when I was trying to get through the rough patch with him. To be completely honest, I thought breastfeeding would help me lose weight and that was almost my sole reason for wanting to do it. I was completely oblivious to how amazing it is nutritionally and emotionally for both mother and baby. I used to avert my eyes when I saw a mother breastfeed in public. I thought people that breastfeed for longer that 6 months are strange. WHY? I actually asked colleagues when they would stop breastfeeding their toddlers (as if it was any of my business – oops). Here I am, a changed woman. A toddler nursing mother. An avid breastfeeding supporter. A treasurer of breastfeeding moments.

Here we are. Two wonderful, happy and beautiful years with our little girl. Two years of holding her close and nurturing her. Two years of love and worry. It doesn’t get any better than this. Happiest of birthdays to my precious daughter!

 

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Happy Birthday Jamie x

Dear Jamie,

It is your 6th birthday today. I cannot believe it has been 6 years since you became an angel baby. So much has happened since then. You have a brother and a sister now. How lucky are we? Your brother talks about you sometimes. We’ve told him about you and sometimes he will tell me that you visited him in a dream. He says you play together nicely and have fun with each other. He says you have long brown hair and brown eyes. It makes me wish that I could plug into his dreams to get to know you and spend time with you too. I would really have loved that.

I usually take leave for your birthday, but this year I was not able to. It will be the first year that I am not home baking something for you. I am not sure what my day will be like at work. It may have been 6 years, but I have already teared up writing this post, so while time has helped stitch my heart back together, it still hurts at the seams. This is a kind of pain that everyone else has forgotten and that most do not understand, but it is there and it is real to me. The week leading up to your birthday I always feel sad and since I’m not always actively thinking about what we were going through 6 years ago at this point in time, sometimes I wonder why. I should know better. I really should. It is always there.

I wonder sometimes if you grow up in heaven. Your soul does not have a body, so how does that work exactly? I won’t ever know, but I like to think you can think for yourself and communicate in some way (with us or other souls) even though you could not do that when you left us.

I try not to be sad, but how could I not be? I know that you probably would not want me to be sad. I know time is probably different to you and to me. 6 years is a long time where I am. I do my very best not to let my sadness creep into our home life. I don’t want to be sad around your brother and your sister. They are too little to understand. I’m not sure they will ever understand until, God forbid, something like this happens to them. Until they lose a little piece of them they can never get back.

Some days I still feel so guilty. Your brother asks very basic questions…questions about how you died. I find those so very hard to answer. Sometimes he will say, very bluntly “Who killed her?” and he might as well be stabbing me in the heart. This morning when I told him he would be able to eat cake with us if he was good today, he asked me when you are coming back 🙁 While I know we made the right decision, not only for us, but for you…it isn’t always crystal clear and sometimes the lines blur and my heart breaks all over again. I don’t dwell on the “What ifs”. I simply can’t when it comes to you. I cannot do that to myself and I know deep down in my heart that I could never have done that to you either. Still…I wish you were here. I have nothing but memories of you. Nothing to hold onto, nothing to touch. I’m not sure if that makes it harder or easier.

If you were still here your sister probably would not be. That is hard to imagine. I know her in a way I never got to know you. I still don’t know exactly why you happened to us, but I know there must be a reason. Maybe to pave the way for your siblings…maybe to kindle a burning desire for them within me. Perhaps I needed you in some sort of physical sense. I don’t know.

Just so that you know, you are not forgotten. Mommy misses you.

Until we meet again,

Love always

x

***If you are new to my blog and you are unsure what this post is about, you can learn about Jamie in my About Me section.***

Birthday nails

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Hi everyone! A special post today, it’s my birthday! I didn’t actually plan to blog, but along with my birthday wishes on social media people started requesting to see what I was wearing on my nails for my birthday. I buckled under the pressure 😉 I leaked pictures on my social media channels and decided to post about them as well.

 

My blog got a bit of a make over. Did you notice? My friend Arkwife designed it for me. I’ve asked her to do a guest post about it since there are special touches that aren’t obvious that I would like her to document for me 🙂 On to the nails!

 

I wanted to do a holographic gradient for my birthday. I pulled out some of my purple holos for this one! I started off with my usual base coat of Tip Top Miraculous Results to protect my natural nails. I used China Glaze When Stars Collide (closest to the cuticle), Electra Magenta and Gamer Glam on a make up sponge to create the gradient effect. Gamer Glad needed a bit of help with the polish brush as even 3 coats of sponging didn’t really help hide my nail line and it was still completely transparent. The other polishes were well coated so I just went in with the polish brush and it worked pretty well. Once that was dry I used Top Top Armour Plate and my PUEEN 34 stamping plate to stamp the silver flowers on the side of my nail. I added different coloured rhinestones to each nail in the center of the large flower and sealed it in with Seche Vite. The result:

 

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I really adore these nails. I wish the sun would come out so I could stare at the holographic effect these polishes have, but it usually rains on my birthday and today is no exception. We celebrated my birthday on Saturday with my family that came over for a braai (BBQ). I had mentioned to Rudi a few months ago that a rainbow nail polish cake would be awesome for my birthday. He asked me for the baker’s number and organized this:
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I absolutely LOVED it! The baker put such beautiful (and unexpected) details on the cake board. The cake tasted delicious too!

Thank you for all the birthday wishes and love I have received!

Elijah turns 4!

Elijah turned 4 on Sunday. Four. FOUR. When did that happen?? I can’t believe how big he is and how the past 4 years have flown. He has enriched my life in so many ways. He has challenged me in so many ways! As much as he has frustrated me, he has taught me new things and filled my heart with more love than I knew I was capable of. Sometimes I feel bad for him. He was the guinea pig. The first child. The one I was super strict with. The one I wouldn’t allow to sleep in my bed for fear of never getting him out. The one I didn’t breastfeed for longer than 3 weeks. There are so many things I would have done differently, if only I had known. I did what I felt was best at the time and for that I am not sorry.

 

We threw him a big party this year. He wanted a Superman theme. While out shopping for the party I wondered over and over why he had not picked Spiderman. It would have been so much easier to find Spiderman decorations and themed party goodies. We managed to find some Superman stuff though. We had the party at the day mother’s house. I felt Elijah needed a big party this year. He has been oh so gracious with his sister entering his life. He has experienced big changes and taken everything in his stride. Setting up for the party with Gabby around proved challenging as she wanted to cling to me the whole time, but we managed.  I booked Elijah a superhero jumping castle. It was the most epic jumping castle he has ever had. It was huge and had space for water which was a blessing since it was stupid hot on the day of the party. He absolutely loved it! This is the first year that we’ve had a jumping castle for him that he has actually used. He was always afraid of it before. He thoroughly enjoyed it this year.

 

Superhero Jumping Castle

Superhero Jumping Castle

 

There he is in the red pants. I also ordered him a custom made Superman cape. He is always asking us to tie baby blankets/dishcloths/towels around his neck as a cape. Now he has one of his very own he can keep!

 

Superman Cape

Superman Cape

He loved it! Of course the cake had to be themed too. Elijah loves blowing out candles and while out shopping I found some relighting candles. I bought them immediately. I just knew that he would love to blow them out over and over again.

Superman Cake

Superman Cake

Blowing Candles

Blowing Candles

 

Get in my face!

Get in my face!

I was right, he really enjoyed blowing the candles out. The children watching also enjoyed the spectacle and giggled every time the candles sparked up again. So fun! I specially requested that the cake be red inside. All these little surprises just added up to make everything special for him. 

 

Elijah and I

Elijah and I

We had to take a selfie at some point, despite my make up having melted off my face. It was so very hot. Luckily the little bit of water and the roof on the jumping castle helped keep the kids cool. Every year we make a “punch” in a huge glass punch bowl. I take ice, fruit juice and Sprite Zero and mix them all up in the bowl. It is always a huge hit. 10 litres were consumed in just a few hours! Either it was THAT hot, or the punch was delicious. Or both 😉

 

Elijah’s paternal grandparents also attended the party and bought him a….

 

Bike!

Bike!

 

This is the second bike he has gotten from them. How cool are they? The party was exhausting. The kids all loved it. Clean up wasn’t a complete nightmare. It was lovely. Unfortunately Rudi missed the party. My car packed up the day before and he had to have a new alternator fitted after work on Friday. He only managed to get there just before 5 and by then all the proceedings were over and some of the children had left already.

 

His actual birthday was on Sunday. I had to work. Luckily he woke up before I had to leave for work, so he could open his present early. He had asked for a Spiderman electric toothbrush after giving my electric toothbrush a try and finding it ‘didn’t even hurt!’. He was really pleased when he opened it.

 

Spiderman Electric Toothbrush

Spiderman Electric Toothbrush

 

We decided to take him out for lunch on his birthday to his favourite restaurant, Panarottis. He disappeared into the play room and we had to drag him out for them to sing for him. He gobbled up his pizza and his complimentary birthday ice cream 🙂 We took him to Reggies and let him pick out a few gifts within a budget. He chose a plastic sword, a race track with a car and a pinwheel. Gabby wasn’t really fussed with all the proceedings. As long as she was occupied, she didn’t mind all the attention her brother was getting.

 

Play Dough

Play Dough

 

I think he had a good birthday weekend. He was utterly spoilt and he really enjoyed everything. I can’t believe my baby is 4 already!

Gabby’s 1st Birthday

We decided to keep things low key for Gabby’s first birthday. Her birthday falls on the 2nd of January, which is an awkward time for parties. At a later stage I’ll combine the kid’s birthdays, but since it was her first birthday I wanted her to have something just for herself. Sanita and I decided on Tatty Teddy for the theme and it was pretty easy to cater for as Tatty Teddy is everywhere at the moment. I invited the family and one or two friends over for tea and cake. All in all we had a lovely day. Now I’m going to photo bomb you. I did post the full set of photos on my Facebook page here.

 

Gabby 2

Tea Table

Gabby 3

Decorations

 

Gabby 1

Gabby and I

Gabby 4

Gabby and her paternal grandmother

Gabby 5

Blowing the candles (with help from big brother and mommy)

Gabby 6

Cake meets face

Gabby 7

Do I have something on my face?

Gabby 8

Man that was exhausting!

 

The tea was lovely, the cake delicious. We really enjoyed the day together. Her birthday also marked our 1 year breastfeeding anniversary. I’m so proud of us!

 

Of course, my nails had to match the occasion:

 

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Cupcake Nails

 

I can’t believe she is one already. It has all happened so fast. I’m trying to enjoy the milestone without being too sad that my baby is no more a baby.

 

Thanks for all the wishes that came through for her on her birthday!

 

Birthday

On Friday I was on leave.  I like to take a little leave around my birthday. I do it every year. Some me time. This distressed Arkwife somewhat since she had arranged a surprise delivery for me for my birthday. I arranged for a colleague to pick it up and Rudi fetched it from my building on his way home from work.

Surprise Delivery!

Surprise Delivery!

It was such a lovely surprise. It really made my day! Let me tell you, this Decadent Hot Chocolate with the dark chocolate pieces is the bloody business. Will be MOST awesome in chocolate chip cookies too!   On Saturday night Sanita popped round to bring me my gift. She bought me essence wanna be your sunshine nail polish, a backup of Tip Top Rocky Road (my favourite glitter, I wanted a backup bottle) and a nifty gadget that holds your nail polish bottle at an angle while you paint to make it easier to get that last bit out.   Rudi woke up earlier than usual on Sunday and made us bacon and eggs for breakfast. I got a kiss on the cheek as soon as I opened my eyes and a “Happy Birthday”. We were pressed for time though as we were on our way to church. We were late for church. So late that we had to sit separately as there wasn’t enough room in the mother’s room for all of us. Babyice was up and down in between me and Rudi the whole time. After church my aunt informed me that they would be late as there was another service her husband and son were to attend later the day.   We went home and I took Babyice to the park across the road to play while PrincessIce slept a bit. It was nice just pushing him in the swing, helping him navigate the monkey bars (I still have to hold his legs) and watching him slide. He also brought me some flowers for my birthay <3

 

Two Flowers from Babyice

Two Flowers from Babyice

Happy Birthday Mommy

Happy Birthday Mommy

Co-incidentally my favourite colour

Co-incidentally my favourite colour

These kids hey. They will melt your heart. My family arrived, even later than anticipated. They bought me a hand lotion that comes with a key ring and an Oh So Heavenly body spritzer gift set. We had a braai. They left. And that was it.  I decided to go big and buy some cupcakes for my birthday. On my credit card *gasp*. So at least there was cake.  I did receive a very surprising phone call for my birthday. I posted about it on SM, but I think that is a blog post on its own.   The previous day we also spent some time in the park. We had such lovely weather over the weekend.

Rudi and PrincessIce

Rudi and PrincessIce

 

Today Leebeesa gave me her gift. She bought me Essie Coat Azure nail polish, a pedicure set with some files and toe separators, a bangle that she made for me with some of my favourite purple heart beads and some nail art stickers.

 

That’s all she wrote.

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