Category Archives: Birthday

The construction birthday party

It has been over a month since the boys’ birthday party, but only now I have found the time to recap the long months of planning and organising.

My philosophy behind a birthday party is simple:

1) They will get bored of parties by the age of 10 or 11 (not many left!)

2) They are and will be my only children

3) I only have to organise one party per year

4) We can afford it

So let’s go and have a massive party!

This year the theme was CONSTRUCTION. Diggers, dumper trucks, excavators. You name it, we had them. It took me at least 2 weeks to decide on the theme because if it had been down to the boys, they would have had another train party like last year. It has been a challenge to find a theme they would both like. In the end, most 4 year olds like digging and playing with sand, so “construction” was a safe bet.

Every guest was provided with a hard hat to get everyone in the mood. The party table was a road, where the orange paper cups looked like traffic cones. We even had biscuits shaped like excavators and diggers.

Finding games for this theme wasn’t hard. Digging, building and painting were all good starting ideas. I even stole some of my husband’s tools to let the kids loose on some paint… that was fun!

For younger builders (and future civil engineers like T), we had a Duplo corner. It actually proved very popular with people aged 1 to 65!

No party can be a success if the cake is not a true show stopper. As I cannot bake, this is usually the hardest part to plan. Fortunately a “construction cake” is just a destroyed cake with some toy cars on it. A couple of traffic cones candles completed the look.

After all of this work, and I only mentioned the highlights, it was great to see B over the moon with excitement…

On the other hand, it was a little less rewarding to hear T’s comment later that evening: “I had fun, but the train party (last year) was better, mummy!” Well, it sounds like we already have a theme for next year’s party then!


24 months later…

Here we are again. Another year, another birthday. If the first 12 months seemed to fly, this second year was travelling at the speed of light. Between full time work and nursery, it feels like a barely saw the twins since last September. Then I remember the funny Christmas holiday, the rainy Easter weeks, the travelling May half term and the long and hot summer break and I realise how much I have actually seen my boys grow up despite my full time job. 

In the past 12 months they learned to walk AND talk. No other 12 months periods in their lives will have 2 major milestones together like this year. It’s amazing how much they have changed physically, but most importantly mentally. Their personalities are so clear now. It’s not just a guess over a cheeky smile, we know B is the one to keep an eye on. It’s not a parental intuition, we know T wants to play the role of the responsible older brother (that 1 minute makes all the difference). We know them now!

We also know when they are tired or hungry or bored. We know why they cry and how to make them stop. We know why they laugh and how to make them laugh harder. We love our boys and they are totally part of our lives. It took only two years, but we are a proper little family now.

Their second birthday is not only a celebration of the twins presence on planet Earth for the past 24 months, but it’s also a commemoration of the sacrifices we made for this to work. It’s a big day and we ought to celebrate in style!

12 months in 12 words

On Thursday the twins will be 1 year old. It’s been the longest year of my life and both my husband and I changed so much, we can hardly recognised ourselves in the mirror. I need to spend a minute to recap all that has happened to us, before the memory fades away. Unfortunately time is precious when you have twins, so I can only spend 12 words on this…

Month 1: confusion
Month 2: breastfeeding
Month 3: sleepless
Month 4: sleepless Christmas
Month 5: baby blues
Month 6: sitting… at last!
Month 7: sleeping… at last!
Month 8: crawling… at last!
Month 9: swinging
Month 10: lasagne
Month 11: climbing the stairs
Month 12: cheeky twins

Adapting to parenthood


Just back from a birthday party organised for 9 babies all around the 1 year old mark. 9 babies, 16 adults and some food in a soft play area. Add some farm animals and a cake and you have all the ingredients for a good party. Unfortunately we are in England and it rains… a lot!

I guess that a party for 1 year olds is never going to be for the children. Surely not! It is a celebration for the parents and today it was all about us. 16 perfectly normal adults who had their lives turned upside down 12 months ago, but survived a full year of parenthood. Not bad, if I can say so myself. 
The kids had some food, munch on some fruit, wear funny hats and play with the tractors, they also found some time to look at a couple of goats and pigs. The adults, on the other hand, had a chance to get out of the house! If I think of myself going out to enjoy a summer bank holiday more than 2 years ago, I can picture the beer garden or the green laning with the Land Rover. On a sunny day we could have even adventure for a nice walk in the English countryside. I would have never imagine that one day I would have eaten half a burger (no time for a whole one), in between changing a nappy and opening a present, while Smiley Riley was shouting to a bunch of 3 year olds to clap with his song. How life has changed, uh?

It is remarkably interesting to talk to people that are going through the same phase in life as you. It was essential when the babies were a few weeks old, it is reassuring and entertaining a year later. We learned so much from each other, we discussed sleepless nights, poo colours and weaning techniques. We evolved from adults to parents. We adapted to our new lives and changed our understanding of what it means to be a family. We changed.