Finding The Happy

Looking for joy in all the right places


first birthday

The second 1st Birthday Party!

I think I’ve told you all quite a few times how my Mother’s Group gets along great. And because all of our bubs’ birthdays fall within a month and a day from the youngest to the oldest, we thought it’d be fantastic if we were to celebrate their first birthday at the midpoint – Saturday 30 June.

Thanks to Lisa, Xav, and the very magnetic personality of Charlie the Bumble Bee, we were able to engage a petting zoo for the afternoon! That being very much the centrepiece of the party, the birthday theme became Farmyard Animals, which meant I scoured ebay to score me a practical-yet-cute Winter costume for Arddun.


Arddun in a duck costume
Daddy’s little duckling

There were lots of yummy animal-themed food and decor:

Party decorations and food

And many hilarious moments watching the babies interact with the baby lambs, the kittens, the teenage chickens, the dog… and Arddun’s favourite, the ducks.

She was also quite fascinated with the lambs:

And the rest of them:

Stroking the bunny
Practising her “gentle” strokes on the soft bunny wabbit in Auntie Carrie’s arms.
Lamb feeding time
“Oh look! A lamb!”
Arddun pointing at dog
“Oh look! A dog!”
Lamb sniffs Arddun's hand
“Tee hee! That tickles!”
Arddun stares at chicken
“Why do these fellas remind me of dinner?”
Arddun gets closer to the chickens
“My mommy calls you ‘Tandoori’, but I think you’re beautiful.”
Arddun with the chickens
Duck and chickens
Arddun sitting next to a lamb
“I’m having the best day ever!”

Unfortunately, I was trying to cough up a lung the entire afternoon, and so apart from snapping up a storm during the petting zoo bit, I didn’t take many photos at all. Was trying to keep a safe distance from most of the littlies and their mommies. Quite a bummer, because I had intended to take at least one shot of Arddun with each of her friends – and have some photos of me with the other mothers, too. After all, it isn’t just the babies’ birthdays – it’s a wonderful celebration of our first year as parents.

But the great news is that we had an event photographer on the day, thanks to Carrie’s sister! So yes… watch this space. xx

Sneak Peek

My mother’s group will be celebrating our babies’ first birthday tomorrow afternoon. So here’s what a few of us were up to late this evening…

Party balloons poster

One! Singular Sensation

Arddun a few days old vs Arddun a year old

It boggles my head to think that you are now a one-year-old. It boggles me, because it has been my fastest year to date, and yet I remember so much of it. Usually time skates past and I’m stunned to find it’s the Queen’s Birthday, and then it’s Christmas and hey, where did the year go? But with you, with this year… I have strained and strained to capture many precious moments with you. To paint you onto the canvas of my mind, so these delicious, sweet moments will always be there to gaze at with renewed surprise and pleasure. Vivid. Priceless.

A year ago, I gazed at you through the haze of stunned relief and adrenaline and thought to myself, “What big feet you have. And you have my nose, poor baby. And my hair colour. And yes, you are a girl so we don’t have to change the nursery – although I brought mostly white baby clothes to the hospital, just in case. And I cannot believe how tiny and whole you are!” And you screamed through your first bath, and turned orange with jaundice. And your eyes were always shiny and bright, though slanty and Chinese they may be. And everyone marvelled at how alert you always looked. How curiously strong you were. How you held your head up, as new and fragile as you were. And how you never stopped moving.

And before our eyes, you’ve turned  into quite the social creature, with a ready chuckle and a playful heart. Who still finds peek-a-boo the BEST game every invented, ever, EVER, and who will engage a planeful of  jaded, tired travellers in 700 rounds of it, if you were allowed. You who will flop face down on the cold, cold tiles in WINTER and dry-swim on a whim. Who tears off hats and trendy sunglasses, and pretty shoes and socks. But will run all day, ALL DAY in the garden with your boots on, if you were allowed.

You, who can last many afternoons on just a half-hour nap and be perfectly content to play by yourself for hours. You, who will stroll up to a group of 4-year-old girls in the library and play sharkbait. Who, even at 6 months, would crawl up to perfect strangers with an infectious chuckle, fully confident they’ll let you join in the conversation. I just want you to know that it freaks many 3-year-old boys out when you do that but honey, if they can’t take your big personality, then you’re much better off weeding out the weak ones this way.

You, who will stand when you’ve just learned to sit. Who will run, when you’ve just learned to walk. Who will dance to Grey’s Anatomy, and laugh at Giggle & Hoot. Who thinks bursting in on daddy when he’s having a shower is the funniest prank ever.

You, who will do anything for an Arnott’s arrowroot biscuit. Which usually means you will say, “Kang-koo!” while simultaneously signing the word “please” across your little chest. Because there’s no time to waste when food’s involved, and it’s much more sensible to give your thanks up front than while your mouth is full of bikkie.

You, will grab my face and kiss me repeatedly because you just feel like it at the time. Big, loud, enthusiastic open-mouth kisses punctuated with “MMMMMUAH!” because you haven’t figured out how to pucker your lips yet. You, who will sometimes forget yourself and give me a pretty good slap across the face in your enthusiasm. And then look completely horrified when you realise what just happened, before you start bawling into my left shoulder in mortification. It happens more often than you think, by the way.

You, who will cuddle your purple plush-toy worm to sleep, and wake up looking for birds. You, who adores animals and cannot get enough of them. You have radically changed my life this year and I cannot believe I still get to keep you.

Being your mother is a blessing that reverberates deep within my soul. Happy first birthday, my baby girl.

Arddun turns one


The first 1st Birthday Party!

We’ve been wanting Arddun to meet her extended Queensland relatives, and so it seemed a rather fitting thing to have her first birthday celebrated up north. And so we had a lovely afternoon tea after church on Sunday – a fairly chilled out affair, with a huge spread of desserts (my mother-in-law’s effort), some paltry attempt at decor (mine), and about 25 friends and family.

The decor
The decor I was telling you about. (Was supposed to be ladybug theme. I don’t think anyone got it.)
The family starts to gather
Chilling out and catching up
Playing Monopoly
Playing Monopoly (and expounding the virtues of the Star Wars version).
Birthday girl LOVES the outdoors, and spent most of the party in her grandpoppy’s beautiful garden.
Outdoors with Aunty Sal
Had a great time exploring the backyard with Aunty Sally-Ann.
Hibberds with Lim Sze Herngs and Gloriae
Catching up with old friends
Birthday cake and birthday girl
It’s time to blow out the candle!
Figuring out Great-Grandma's gift
Figuring out Great-Grandma’s very cool gift while Mommy grabs the next one.
Spending time with grand-uncle Martin
Hanging out with grand-uncle Martin
Reading the birthday card
Reading the birthday card very carefully…
A happy moment with Mommy
A happy moment with Mommy.

We’re flying north for winter!

Which means my already sporadic posts are about to become sporadicker. Or not.

Our little family is heading up to Brisbane for a little over a week. I’ll try to be good and blog more, and I’ll try and do it from my phone. Which means formatting and pictures might look silly, but at least you’ll be in on the First Birthday action. :)

Meanwhile, packing with a 360-day-old looks like this:

Arddun unpacking our suitcase.
“I’m sure Mommy stashed a biscuit here somewhere…”

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