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Finding The Happy

Looking for joy in all the right places

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birthday party

Arddun turns 5!

Our little girl turned 5 last Saturday.

That’s half a decade old. That is ridiculous.

I look at her, and she’s gorgeous and she makes my heart smile. But sometimes, there’s a particular kind of terror that grips my heart because she’s growing up so quickly. When it was just her and only her, we could note every little difference. We relished each new word learnt, each new concept grasped. But now that we are Four, there are days I feel I miss whole chunks, whole spaces of time where I can look at my firstborn and really see her. The missing of minute changes and whispers of growing. The realisation sometimes stops me in my tracks like a heart twinge.

Continue reading “Arddun turns 5!”

Rei as Rey

Arddun went to her good friend and neighbour Charlotte’s Star Wars-themed birthday party on Saturday.

Seeing how her middle name is actually 睿 (ruì – pronounced “ray”), I thought it’d be rather poetic if she turned up as her kickass namesake.

Continue reading “Rei as Rey”

Birthday cake for everyone!

Every year, our mother’s group makes a point to celebrate all of our firstborn’s birthdays in one biggish bash. This year’s was a little later than usual, but no less fun. Just two hours of 3yo heaven – flavoured milkshakes, party games, face-painting, rainbow birthday cake, presents… and of course, ice cream on a winter’s day.

Here’s some Arddun-centric highlights.

Smartie cake with birthday candle 3
Guess who are turning three…
Arddun getting face painted
No sudden moves…
Arddun with face painted with flower on cheek
Finished product: a simple purple flower.
Solving puzzles with Ivy
Puzzling it out with friend Ivy
Arddun eating a biscuit at the table
Plenty of food to go ’round
Blowing out the candle
Birthday song and blowing out the lone candle among 10 kiddies
Arddun contemplating the cake
Eyeing the smarties
Cross section of rainbow cake
That is one impressive rainbow cake. Truly blessed by multi-talented mommies who labour with love.
Tony scrubbing Arddun's face
Removing evidence of cake inhalation…
Arddun opening her present
A birthday’s not a birthday without presents
Family portrait
One of many attempts at a family portrait.
Arddun giggling while lying on the floor
Goodness! That was a lot of fun!

Our baby girl is 2!

It’s quite mind-boggling to us, her parents, that on this date 2 years ago, we welcomed our munchkin and she looked like this:

Arddun just born
Bright light! Bright light!

And her first mutual scrutiny of family ties with Tony looked like this:

Brand new Arddun with daddy
“I am your father” moment

And then last year, on her first birthday, she looked like this:

Arddun with the chickens
Duck and chickens

And then – whooshka! She turned 2, weighs a hefty 14.6kg, and stands about 90cm++. And she is more entertaining than ever.

Arddun and mummy with cheese
Taking the whole “say Cheese to the camera” thing a little too literally
Arddun and Tony ring a ringa rosies
What started out as a prayer for lunch soon turned in Ring-a-ring-a-roses.
Arddun in purple coat holding banana
Purple fashionista
Arddun at Big Kids table
Guest of Honour at the Big Kids table this evening
Waiting to blow out candles
Suddenly Shy during Happy Birthday song, after rehearsing about eleventeen times on the way over… (Also, sorry I chopped off her friends’ heads.) 
Arddun's second birthday cake
Happy Birthday, Irresistible You

Daddy-Daughter Birthday Bash

Because Arddun’s birthday falls on the 18th of June and Tony’s birthday weekend also happened to be 18th May, we decided to put together a combined birthday celebration.

4-picture montage of Arddun at second birthday party
Birthday girl
Tony and Velle at 2nd birthday party
Birthday Boy and me
Tony and Arddun's birthday party guests montage 7 pictures
Some of our birthday guests
Cupcake-making station photo montage
Cupcake-decorating station
Party games photo montage
Games for one and all
Birthday cake photo montage
Labour of love by the talented and generous Audrey
Tony and Arddun's combined birthday door gifts in flower pots
Door gifts
Opening presents photo montage
Party loot (and I’m wondering how to ship it all back!)
Arddun fake sleeping
All tired out after a fabulous party!

Ori’s birthday party

(I’m in the process of backdating a bunch of posts, so at least when I look back, I know when the photos were actually taken. So yes, I’ve posted this on the 29th even though it’s dated the 6th of April. Better late than never, etc.)

Melissa and David were so sweet to invite Tony, Arddun and I to Ori’s first birthday party on this date, and were we glad we made it. I was nursing a slight sore throat that day, but that didn’t stop me from hoeing into the cake and mian bao ice-cream…

Arddun at birthday party
Clockwise from top left: Arddun slow-dancing with Daddy; Arddun rocking out on rocking horse; Mian Bao ice cream man in the driveway, coaxed from his usual business spot in the nearby park; Arddun, still rocking out on the rocking horse because let’s admit it – I’m a mother of an active toddler. I don’t have time and hands to take lots of interesting photos!

Mel and David did such an amazing job putting together this party. Usually, they say parties for 1-year-old are really more for the parents than the kids… but I think they had something for everyone. Stupendous cake, champagne, activity stations, music…

Admittedly, the music was more a reflection of Mel getting nostalgic about her youth (hence the many ’80s numbers!) but we weren’t complaining. The personal gosh-aww moment at the party for us turned out to be when Arddun pulled Tony out to the “dance floor” to dance with her daddy.

Observe:

Yes, she did look a little drunk… or high on chocolate cake… And yes, there was a bit of in-and-out-the-cherry-window followed by lots of odd dance moves partially inspired by Bjork… And there’s no denying the wails of children in the background so we are in no doubt that this WAS a children’s party… But there you have it. Arddun’s first slow-dance with her daddy.

Hopefully, they get the steps worked out a bit better by her wedding day, some day.

Photobooth-at-Ori-party
We Are Family

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