Last weekend we celebrated two years with our gorgeous little Ella. Two years!
On Friday night the lovely Charlotte came over to help me wrap presents and bake these chocolate cupcakes. We set up her main present, a teepee (furnished with some cushions and this amazing blanket) with the presents inside, ready for when she woke up in the morning. Ella loves finding little spaces just for her (which we sometimes have to squeeze into as well), so I was sure she would love the teepee. I was really looking forward to her reaction when she saw it!
Saturday morning Andy brought Ella upstairs after waking and she gave a little giggle and pointed when she saw her teepee. She wanted to investigate it, and was immediately into opening the presents inside. We only got through a couple at first as she just wanted to play with them. We had given her some pots and pans and cooking utensils to go with her play kitchen.
That morning we went to swimming as usual and then to brunch at Lux Foundry in Brunswick I’ve been wanting to try this place for a while but it always looks super busy. It was a cold but sunny morning, and we managed to get a table outside near a heater. I know I often complain about winter in Melbourne (mainly because the houses are freezing) but it’s pretty great that you can eat outside nearly all year long!
After brunch we let Ella run around outside, trying to tire her out so she would nap. Mission accomplished: she passed out in the car on the way home. While she napped I made some vanilla buttercream icing for the chocolate cupcakes.
Once Ella woke we headed to Tallboy & Moose, a brewery in Preston that is owned by my friend’s brother. He is Canadian, so the brewery was putting on celebrations for Canada Day (which is the same day as Ella’s birthday). What is great about this place (besides the tasty beer), is it is very family friendly, with a table tennis table, couches and a few toys for the little ones. A couple of our friends met us there, and Charlotte and Adam gave Ella some play doh with cookie cutters for her birthday that kept her busy for ages! I tried their special Canada Day maple flavoured beer which was pretty good, and had a classic Canadian poutine dinner.
All in all it was a great day celebrating two years with our little girl. Here’s an update on what she is like as a two year old:
Things Ella Likes:
- Singing songs: she can sing “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”, “ABCs”, “Baa Baa Black Sheep”, among others. She is also starting to sing along to the radio when we are in the car. Along with singing, she loves a good dance party. We often play music while I’m getting dinner ready, and she’ll come over to me and grab my hands and say “mummy dance”. It does mean making dinner takes a bit longer, but it’s totally worth it.
- Food: this girl would eat all day if she could. She is a pretty good eater overall. We all eat the same dinner and she will generally eat what we give her, although veggies are more successful when they are cut up small and within some sort of sauce. She does love to munch on raw carrots and zucchini though!
- Pushing and pulling things around. She loves this little shopping cart my mom bought her (which consequently has to stay in the garage as otherwise she would push it around our house all day).
- Reading. She now would rather “read” a book herself than us read to her (except for before bed).
- Her didi, which is her name for her dummy. I have no idea where the name came from. We’ve put rules on when she can have it: in bed, in the car, and in the pram. She knows she is not allowed to have it otherwise, but will now try to negotiate just holding it while she walks around. We’ve allowed this for now. She does try and sneak it in, but a stern “Ella!” will cause her to sheepishly take it out of her mouth.
- Thomas the Tank Engine. A great distraction for when you are on your own and trying to get dinner ready. We try to limit her screen time, so often the TV is inexplicably “broken”.
- Swimming, bath time, and water play in general.
- Counting. She can count to about now, and although she does seem to grasp the concept of counting, she rarely counts correctly. Also we’ve been playing hiding games with her lately and she waits and counts to 10 while we hide. Her maths teacher mummy is very proud!
- Playgrounds. We spend a lot of our time at the various parks and playgrounds of Brunswick East and Northcote. I’ve said this before, but I’m very impressed with the amount of playgrounds around this city.
- To say the word “mine” about everything. This is pretty difficult to manage, but normal at this age. A friend sent around this poster from her paediatrician’s office which sums it up:
- Waving at trains, trams, and the garbage truck. She can hear the garbage truck a mile away!
- Babycinos. I’ll admit, pre-child I thought these were a bit of a scam, and a bit wanky. But now I think they are pretty much the best invention of the 21st century.
- Toothpaste. The actual brushing of teeth is pretty minimal, it’s more like she just sucks on her toothbrush and then wants more toothpaste.
Things Ella Dislikes:
- Stray hairs. She freaks out if she sees a stray hair in the bathroom, especially if it ends up on her hand. I don’t think she can get it off… she just yells “hair! Hair! hair! “ and waves her hand at you until you remove the offending strand.
- Avocado. She won’t touch it, no matter how much we try to convince her that loving avocado is a prerequisite for living in Melbourne.
- Giving up something she believe is hers. See “Things Ella Likes” above.
- Getting dressed. This is a new one for us, and a pain in the butt. It doesn’t happen every day, but some mornings she just does not want to have her nappy changed or get dressed, and fights us on it. Not fun when you are trying to get out the door!
- Having her hair brushed. That curly mop gets pretty unruly!
It’s actually hard for me to stop this list, I feel like I could keep writing about what Ella is up to forever. She is changing and learning so much every day. I am really loving this age, she is so much fun to play with and have around. We really feel so lucky and blessed to have such a happy and healthy little girl!