A special birthday celebration

Oh my goodness! It has been a long time since I updated here. And yes I know, same old story - we've been so very busy that time really just flies out the window, but it's true and I guess in some respects we don't have much to report on, which is a good thing because it means life is happening without any major drama.

But anyway, today I have to share something special - we celebrated Caitlyn's 3rd birthday today. Technically it is not yet her birthday (only tomorrow), but we had her party today. We decided to do presents today too as tomorrow (Monday) will be so rushed she won't have much time to open presents and play with them, so today it was.

This morning Caitlyn woke up to wrapped presents. She must have thought it was Christmas. That's probably because we used the left-over Christmas wrapping paper and since kids really don't care what the paper looks like, but rather what is inside and that it ends up being ripped up anyway, we figured this was a good way to get rid of some of the wrapping paper we have lying around.

We were so excited, a few weeks ago we ordered a little wooden stove and microwave for Caitlyn and we've been hiding it in the garage. She's at the perfect age where she loves to pretend to do things and she loves to pretend to cook and bake. We always have to check the inside of our oven before we switch it on to see what she pretended to bake for us.

Caitlyn happily declared "look I'm cooking!"

After she opened all her presents, Caitlyn built the special puzzle Bianca chose for her probably around 3 times. The first time we helped her, the rest of the time, she pretty much did it all by herself.

"Look I did it!"

And let's face it, you can't have a birthday unless you whack your dad over the head with balloons:

Then it was time to get all dressed up and go to Lollipops Playland - an indoor play venue with lots of fun climinbing structures, slides, a merry-go-round and so on. They also have party rooms and since we really don't have the space at home at the moment, we decided this would be the best option.

Basically you get there, the kids get to play, then you have your party room for a set time and then the kids can continue playing afterwards. Here is Caitlyn on the merry-go-round and even though in photography terms this photo is terrible quality, I simply love it. It shows how excited and happy Caitlyn felt today.

Here is my attempted Barbie cake. That was what Caitlyn wanted. The cake is pretty wonky and she I can almost hear her asking "does my bum look fat in this?" and really looking at it her bum looks huge (which I know it isn't because I stuck her inside the cake), but I guess real women all have some or the other flaw and therefore my Barbie representation is a more realistic representation (there you go, that's my philisphical moment of the day) :-)

Then it was time for food, some more play and finally home time.

Afterwards we went to Waiwera, a thermal resort not too far from us. It was for a tweet-up or something (meeting up with a bunch of Terence's fellow tweeters or tweets or twitterers or whatever the term may be). It was a wonderfully relaxing afternoon. And the kids had a great time trying out some of the different pools. Bianca's favourite was by far the water slides and Caitlyn loved the pool that was just deep enough for her with a frog water slide. Of course if I had my way I would have spent the afternoon in the much warmer pools, but being a parent you end up enjoying the areas your kids enjoy too :-).

Caitlyn simply had a great time today. She's not quite used to saying "I'm free (three)" just yet and insists "I'm two ears (years) old" (sigh, if only it was that easy to prevent the aging process my little girl :o) ).


Start of Year 2 at school and a little tradition

And so today Bianca started Year 2 at school. She was so excited, but unfortunately not feeling very well at the moment. I thought that perhaps the school would call me to come and get her, but she ended up coping well the whole day, so I was pleased. The past few days Bianca complained of a tummy ache and so last night, we took her through to Starship to get her checked out. You can read more about Bianca's tummy ache here.

But in summary this is how Bianca is feeling at the moment:

Anyway, so today was the big day. Bianca was excited to start (although even more excited to start the new school year with her new school bag):

And being the proud mum that I am, I did go crazy with the photos, but hey, one day when Bianca is all grown up and old she'll thank me for it :-)

Just outside Bianca's class:

Bianca started a little tradition when she started school in July 2008 as a new entrant / Year zero and on the first day of school she always takes an apple for her teacher. It has to be a red apple (although not like the poisoned apple in Snow White, but more like the apple Pinnochio took to school with him):

Some shots of Bianca's class:

The computer corner:

The yellow board is the free choice board where kids can choose an activity before school starts if they don't want to play outside at that time. They can also choose from this board when they have completed an activity before the time is up. The kids also learn WITS in Bianca's school. Basically this is a bully strategy to help kids resolve conflict - you can Walk away, Ignore, Tell somebody, Stand up for yourself.

Bianca's place to hang her school bag and hat.

Bianca sorted all her new books and folders into the baskets behind her. These books stay in class.

Bianca loves her new pencil case (of course mostly because it is pink with love hearts):

Sitting at her new table:

And finally joining her friends for a bit of free choice play before school started:

I can't believe Bianca is in Year 2 already. Suddenly I feel so old :-)