2nd Birthday Bonanza

toddler playground megamania

With a title like that you’re thinking one of 2 things, either:

  • I am one of those (insane?) parents who not only celebrates the birthday of their children but the entire month, or
  • We somehow had another child born within a couple of weeks of our first – now that would make for a good story.

note, you could be forgiven for choosing option 1 as we did go away for 3 days leading up to the little guy’s 2nd birthday, you can read about it here Our Quick Escape – Part 1

Or I could be wrong and its something completely different, either way I’ll offer up a third option;

More 2nd Birthday Parties to Attend!

I don’t think I’ve mentioned it before but my wife has a group of Mum friends that she is really close with. They all met during antenatal classes before babies came along and stayed good friends, the Dads became friends too, albeit not as close as their other halves.

Anyway that means they have a group of friends all with kids around the same age. That’s means the kids all know each other and are growing up together (to a point). This also means that their birthdays are around the same time of the year.

Last year that meant every weekend for almost 2 months there was a 1st birthday party to attend – if we’re honest it was the most social any of the group had been in 12 months.

This year the calendar isn’t quite as fully booked, but there has still been some fun to be had, you can check out the celebrations for Oliver’s 2nd birthday here 2 Years of Parenthood

Want to see how we celebrated his friends birthdays?

Party Number 1

Well 2 if you count ours as number 1.

So our Party was held at a Pub, Party number 2 was held at a local Play Centre called ‘Megamania’ – Think Multi-Story indoor playground.

As far as a venue for a kids party goes, this would have to be right up there. Its secure so your kids can’t escape – not that they would want to, they provide party food, drink, and cake – because you can’t have a party without cake, and the fun is physical enough that your toddler will be worn out enough by the end to have a sleep – at least you hope so anyway.

toddler playground megamania

The playground itself is imposing enough for an adult (would be close to 3 stories tall), let alone a toddler.

No, don’t worry, the playground doesn’t have some inbuilt spy cameras, to give Ollie enough confidence to play by himself, Down Under Dad had to play with him for the first few times.

You can see below just how high the playground is

toddler playground megamania

After being forcefully removed by his Dad as cake was being served, the little guy ended up going back inside all by himself – #proudparentingmoment right there.

If you look closely you can see him up the top

toddler playground megamaniaIf you look over the right of the photo you can also see the large red slide. While this was the cause of much joy and laughter, it wasn’t without some bumps.

At some point Ollie decided to go down on the slide by himself. Long story short he ended up with a small friction burn on his chin. Like a true toddler though he continued playing like it was nothing, he did however drag Dad back up to the slide each time after that though.

Overall the Party was a success, although it didn’t quite wear him out as much as we would have thought.

Party Number 2

or is it 3??

The next party was something completely different again. The venue? a local park, if you have been following you would know that this is a dream come true for the little guy, check out Weekend Adventures .

Luckily at the moment we are going through a surprisingly warm time for the middle of winter. Not only is it warm but the sun is out and there is little wind. Perfect for a day at the park.

One of the bonuses of this park was it was also only a short drive away, no major planning needed and anything we forgot was a short trip back home.

note, not that we did, I did see that as a bonus though in case we needed it.

A feature of the park was a large network of paths connecting BBQ areas and playgrounds. This proved to be the perfect chance to try out one of Ollie’s birthday presents.

toddler bike

Before you say anything, yes he does have a helmet, but it was left at home – only a short drive away. Not that we did go get it, #parentingfail ,  to be fair he didn’t actually spend a lot of time on the bike.

He did however choose to eat freshly cut fruit over crackers and dip, already choosing the healthy option, that has to be a #parentingwin right there.

toddler playground park

Did we mention at earlier that this party was held at a park? part of the reason not a lot of time was spent on the bike was that he was distracted by the play equipment.

Here you can see him climbing up the netting, the first couple of times he got stuck at the top but once we showed him where to hold on, he did it all by himself, over and over and over.

Unfortunately our time at this party was cut short as Down Under Dad had to work in the afternoon, however a great time was still had.

 

2 Years of Parenthood

birthday party

When you were young, 2 years seemed like a long time, now as adults 2 years can go by pretty quickly.

This Dad is proud to say the Down Under Family has made it through 2 years of parenthood, that’s right our little guy has just turned 2 years old.

There has been plenty of good memories made from the last 2 years, there was also plenty of tough days. As always though the good ones will always outnumber the bad.

“The next time you think you are struggling with parenthood, just remember the duck that let all 5 of her ducklings go away before going looking for them”

But that’s not what this post is about, this is about our little guy turning 2.

kangaroo

His Birthday

As part of his birthday celebrations we went on a short break into the Hunter Valley which you can read about here – Our Quick Escape – Part 1

The last day of that break matched up with his actual birthday and we started the day off by going to the Zoo! You can read a lot more detail about that in the final part of that series.

Oliver got to see many of the animals he had only ever seen in books or on TV up close and even got to feed some kangaroos. While he did get freaked out by Dad feeding an Emu, he was amazed when the lions decided to roar at each other for a good 5 minutes non stop.

To summarise though at the age of 2 no matter how many times we told him it was his birthday, it didn’t really click until later on in the day.

When we got home we wasted no time in giving him his birthday presents from us. If you read Vocabulary of a almost 2 Year Old you probably have a fair idea of what we were getting him.

car

That’s right, his presents were themed from his 2 favorite things, Cars (not just any cars, has to be the licensed stuff), and Dinosaurs.

Awhile ago I wrote a piece on Kids Toys – Kids Toys . In this you can read my thoughts on how strict parents should be with the age guidelines on toys. Given the size of one of his dinosaurs, lets just say we still don’t follow these strictly.

His Party

I never wrote about the party we held for his 1st birthday as this blog wasn’t around. To get you up to speed, it was in our backyard (our small backyard), we did all the food ourselves (with a little help from our family), and Mrs Down Under made a multi-layer cake herself (with many practice runs). While it ran smoothly and the weather was great, it was also a lot of work, something we didn’t really want to do this year.

Fortunately we had found a great venue to have it. A local pub that has recently undergone renovations has built an indoors playground next to a large beer garden area. We booked the tables closest to the only entry point to the playground so the kids could play as they pleased and the adults could relax – as much as possible at a kids party.

birthday party

After a couple hours of playing, snacking, and a couple of drinks it was time for cake

“A Party without Cake is just a Meeting”

A simple ice cream cake with his favorite car on top was certainly a hit. So much that when the car was taken off a few of the toddlers wanted to ‘share’ the car. I say ‘share’ because we know how good toddlers can be at sharing.

Most of the attendees at the party were actually friends that the little guy made before he was even born. My wife’s mum’s group became friends before any of their kids were born and are still good friends 2 years down the track. What does this mean? it means that 12 months ago there was a party every weekend for close to 2 months. It also means that this is the first 2nd birthday party of many in the coming weeks. Stay Tuned!