Monthly Archives: May 2011

Laura’s birthday – what went right

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* Lelei getting there earlier and giving a helping hand with everything.

* The weather. It was beautiful, not a raindrop. Ok, ok, a little bit of wind now and then, but during the whole event we could stay outside.

* The friends that were there. I managed to chat a little bit with everybody, and I saw that people were interacting well, even the ones that didn’t know each other. Some of them I had not seen for a long time and it was great to meet them again.

* Laura was in a good mood and was nice to everybody. She even wanted to go to auntie Lelei’s arm, raising both arms so she could get her.

* The cake, the food. It was a little bit too much food, but nobody was hungry. That’s always a good thing.

* The “changing area”. I had a whole planned areas for the party and very few happened – the changing area was one of the few I had time to prepare. Got changing mat, nappies, cream, wipes and nappy bin and placed in a “reserved” area in the living room. I didn’t want people to have to take their shoes off to go upstairs in Laura’s room for that but I also didn’t want them changing nappies where all the guests were (eating/drinking/chatting).

* The gazebo. Maybe it was just me, but I loved the gazebo and the nice “camping” look to the garden. I hope we can use several times – it’s quite handy to protect us from the sun and still have sun in other parts of the garden.

* I think everybody was happy during and after the party.

Laura’s birthday – what went wrong

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The list of what went wrong might seem too long compared to what went right, but don’t get me wrong: I’m pleased with the result, I’m just being harsh on myself and this is also a “note to self” for the future.

I had too many plans for the day and on the day, because of lack of time, I seemed to have forgotten everything I wanted to do. Thankfully, Lelei got there earlier and helped me a lot!

* My cleaner could stay extra hours, so she only cleaned the house, when she was supposed to help me with the other bits of the party (it was agreed beforehand, but she had a last minute thing).
* I got kids’ sandwiches, babybell, and fruits and forgot to put them out.
* I had a whole play area planned, but in the end I just dumped all toys in the garden. Too messy for the babies to even select what they wanted to play with.
* No music, I forgot the music!
* I bought some cushions and cushion covers and they didn’t arrive on time (there were suppose to arrive on the 19th and still no sign of them).
* The party bags took longer to produce than planned because some of the items arrived the day before the party.
* I should have printed all the food and areas labels beforehand instead of waiting to collect the food and figure out the spaces on the day – it’s easier to redo/reprint one of two labels than print and cut them all.
* Too much food – Should have planned better what to order. There were some no show that didn’t help as well (10 adults make a big difference when planning for food).

Laura’s birthday in pictures

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Laura’s birthday is today but I’m glad we celebrated it yesterday. First because we can rest today and second because the weather today is on and off, sunny and rainy, and windy. We had a garden party, so good weather was more than needed and we weren’t disappointed on Saturday.

We got a gazeebo to create some shade for the kids and have a shelter to protect us from the wind. In the end, everybody decided to stay under it and we had a “tent” party. Honestly, this gazeebo was one of the best buys of 2011.

I’m gonna leave you with some pictures and later on I’ll write a post about the whole experience.

Laura's garden party

Laura's pressies

Party bags – check

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I’m dead. Alive, but dead. And happy.

The party ‘bags’ are nearly done. All elements arrived and are ready to be packed. Gonna do this before going to bed. Here is a sneak peek of how it’s looking like. I just realised that I don’t have photo of the plush, but nevermind – it wasn’t personalised anyways.

The list of pending items is endless, but at least I’ve got the cake and part of the food. Tomorrow we are collecting the rest (in two different places) and preparing the “brigadeiro”.

I still need to print the food labels – why food labels, you ask. Just I don’t remember what are some of the snacks and there’s always one asking what it is.

I wish I had done more today, but little one was soooooo needy that I had to be with her all the time. And between you and me, I liked it. I got so many hugs, smiles and kisses today…

What a day, what a day!

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The person has a life, you know? It makes a bit harder to speed up the process, but there was some progress today. Still lots to do, but can’t do much now as I’m still waiting some stuff arrive – hopefully – tomorrow. I won’t share photos today, because I’m lazy too tired to look for the cables and download the photos. For those following this soap opera, watch this space tomorrow.

Note to self: Next birthdays will be celebrated at the nursery. When she is old enough to demand a proper party and choose a theme, here is my idea: she will produce everything! She will write all the Thank you notes, will fill the party bags, will fill the balloons and decorate the house. She might even help with all the cooking – invite some few friends for a sleep over the day before, bake and decorate a cake, bake cupcakes, make sandwiches. All with an adult supervision, of course (daddy? granny?).  And you know what? I bet she will love it!

I have to mention my “gurus” here, from whom I got the strength to put some energy and time to organise more than just a cake for Laura’s birthday:

Eriquinha is often my source of inspiration when it comes to decoration – she is a mother of two, lives far far away from her family, and still finds lots of energy to host lunches, dinners, parties, produce birthday parties, photo collages, work, etc. She probably knows the secret of multiplying the hours of her day. Can you believe that she is already planning her sons birthday party, and they are not until September/October!! My idol!

Flavinha is also a mother of two and thank goodness she decided to start a blog. I’m love following her creative ideas, her plans, etc. A while ago, she shared the photos of Lia’s, her older daughter, birthday and I was really impressed. She puts up shelves, pictures, etc. I always rely on hubby to do these things, but I know I can do it (the picture wall in previous post was all done by me)!

Lelei‘s mum – I don’t know her, but she is in my list of “role models”. I wonder if I’ll have all her energy when I have my own grandchildren. Will I organise their parties? Will I put together dozens of party bags, bake their birthday cakes? I hope so and I hope I’ll do all this with the biggest smile in my face and the same excitement I’m preparing Laura’s party.

Mari is a talented artist that was forced to waste her time in an office, instead of living of her art. She made the cutest stuff for Vicki and her friends’ babies during her whole pregnancy. On top of that, she also managed to loose all the baby weight and stay fit post-birth. Talented people that also stay fit are always in my “role model” list, because for me was always either… or.

The list is longer, but this post is already huge and I haven’t finished talking about my day. Little one only had one nap today, which reduced my free time by 30-60 minutes. She is teething again – and all the symptoms again! – making life less easy than usual. But we were all in a good mood and in the afternoon we met the girls from the first time mums group that I first mentioned here. Almost a year later and I can say that I have two new “friends”. Fine, we just meet once a month, if that, but we always try to keep in touch. I’ve invited both to Laura’s party but they cannot make – so they decided to throw a private party today! We had balloons, cake, presents and cards. Laura had loads of fun with her little friends – we then went for a walk in the park and it was time for the kids dinner. It was the “oowwwwwnnnnnnn” moment of the week.

I have photos, but I’ll share them later.

And to end the day in a weird way, I had news from work. Another “friend” leaving before I return to work.

Photos photos

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You know that feeling that you are always up to something, but you can’t really see any results? I have this feeling for a while now. You probably think I’m only moaning about time, but not really doing much. hehe Thing is: everything takes a little longer for me – cooking, cleaning the house, photoshopping images… Not because I’m too into details, but because I’m not good at these things.

Anyhoo… photos, photos. Just to show some progress. 😀

Errrr... not much done yet

I wasn’t going to have this water bottles, because here in the UK we drink tap water. But since the plan is to be outdoors, I decided to go with them. Another thing that might just be here: it’s not recommended to give mineral water to babies under 12 months (I guess it’s 12, but maybe even older), just boiled tap water or tap water when they are older.

As I said, the dining room is almost “ready”. The last chairs arrived on Monday and I assembled them on the same day. I had to change one seat, but it’s all done now.

Pictures - check, mirror - check, chairs - check

We are thinking about putting an extra sofa or a (couple of) armchair(s) in the living room. I like the armchair idea so people don’t have to squeeze together in one piece seat, but we are still thinking about it. We are furnishing our house on a budget, so I need to think a lot about it.

Still looking for a nice and cheap armchair

Next projects

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One thing I love and hate about decorating my house is that it is an ongoing project. A home is organic, just like its owners, and is always changing. If you LIVE in your house, and it is a home, it will never get to the stage that “that’s it, it’s done”. Even if it’s just a new picture frame, or a new cushion cover, or a new sofa/sofa cover because the one you have is too dirty from yours children’s games.

We have been living here for an year (we got our keys on 14th May 2010, but our first night was as a family of three – actually four, because my mother-in-law was here, helping us with everything – at the very end of May), and we are still far away from being anywhere near “done”. And as far as I can see, it will take us some good 5 years to be there and only care about the little details.

Not a single room is done. The dining room is finally looking more like the dining room I was thinking about, but there are still some missing bits – like a unit at the corner for my tableware that is still in Brazil until I have a place to put it. The living room is missing quite a few bits and pieces, including the curtains track. I do have the curtains, but the tracks I chose won’t be in stock until July!!!

Laura’s bedroom is the mutant room in the house. It’s ok-ish for now, but as she grows it will change with her. I do have little projects for her bedroom though, trying to focus only on the more permanent ones, like the mini “library” in the photo below. I won’t make it as big as that, just 3 shelves. It will be more a reading/story corner. In the (near) future, I’ll also put table and a couple of chairs for her art projects.

Next DIY project

To be very honest, I’m not so keen in overly producing her bedroom because we don’t know what’s going to happen when we have a 2nd child. I know, thinking to far ahead, as usual. But I can’t help it. So, our house have 3 good bedrooms and a “study” (fits a baby room though). One of the bedrooms – my favourite one – is at the top floor, isolated from the rest of the house. Although I really want to move there, it’s unlikely that we will be able to with two small children sleeping on their own on a different floor. But who knows? Maybe we grow out of the paranoia and it’s doable in a year or so.