Happy 2nd birthday to my biggest, littlest man.. 

And just like that.. my little monkey is 2 today 🎉🎉🎉.

 This second year has gone crazily quick and I can’t believe what a funny, kind, smart and happy little boy he has become.. and did I say funny? He is such a little character and makes all of our lives happier. I love how he articulates himself and it still shocks me that my little baby can talk in full sentences and demand what he wants, and more often what he doesn’t want. We are certainly saying goodbye to the baby days now and I’m so excited to watch this little man grow. 

We had big plans today as Bugaboo had invited us to the Henley Royal Regatta but my youngest boy isn’t well so we had to cancel our plans but we still had a lovely family day together. And the boy got his cake! 

His second year has been taken over by mummy being pregnant, and becoming a loving big brother. It honestly melts my heart how kind and loving he is to his brother and I just can’t wait for them to be able to interact more. Of course we’ve had the odd moments of jealousy (in the early days these were considerably more), but I was really suprised by how well he took to mummy having a baby attached to her 24/7 particularly as he was such a clingy baby before. 

He also learnt to crawl in his second year (13 months), and finally took his first steps at 19 months, and went from being able to say a handful of words to speaking in proper 7-8 word sentences! You can’t blame him for this though as mummy and daddy BOTH like to talk lol. 

Another highlight for him was getting on the plane for our first family holiday to the other side of the world to attend his Aunty Holly & Uncle Tom’s wedding. And he became a cousin to his darling cousin Ava, and is due another cousin very soon! He is slowly gathering a full on gang around him and I can so see him being the ring leader in the future! 

At 13 months we finally got this very headstrong little boy to eat a full meal, and at 15 months old we said goodbye to mummy’s milk in prep for his brothers arrival. He then had a new found love for food and all things acidic! He is slightly obsessed with blueberries, grapes, raisens and oranges! He still calls his water ‘tea’ as he truly believed he was drinking the same tea as us when he started drinking water and the name has stuck since. 

His favourite activity is cutting the grass with daddy and he has an obsession with airplanes! He spots them before me and his first ever screen time after his first birthday was watching planes landing and taking off on YouTube.. this soon switched to watching nursery rhymes but I still think we may have a budding pilot in the making. 

He is just so cheeky and funny I really don’t know where he learns it all from. He is currently in bed singing ‘oh my god’ to himself as I type this! The cutest part is he knows when he is being cheeky and making us laugh. 

Anyway, this was meant to be a short birthday post and it’s turning into an essay already! Every year around his birthday I plan to take some photo’s for him to look back on as kind of a birthday gift from us. So last year I did a Cake smash in our back garden, and this year I took some cute pictures in our garden again but this time with his little brother… 


My DIY cake smash

I have been meaning to publish this post for literally ever. But life has got in the way.. Oh and we’ve been away for a month, yes a MONTH. But more on that another time. 

When I told people I was doing a cake smash for Sami’s first birthday, my friends and family didn’t really get it. They’ve obviously been living on another planet, because everyone is doing them these days. I however did not want to fork out £150+ to get a professional photo shoot done.. So I decided to do it myself, and here’s how:

The outfit:

I originally picked a mint green bow tie and nappy cover from Etsy to go with my colour scheme, but daddy was not impressed when I brought Sami downstairs on the morning of the cake smash. Luckily I had an outfit for his first birthday BBQ ready, so quickly changed him into that and thank god it went perfectly with the colour scheme.


The setting:

I decided to do the cake smash outdoors for a couple of reasons. Firstly, less mess in the house and less to clean up after, and secondly I felt I had a better shot at getting the photos right. Also, I wanted to keep the setup simple and felt this was a lot easier in the garden with lots of greenary as a natural setting, with a few added touches. I ordered a couple of props online, a hessian canvas cloth, a wooden crate and some wooden letters/numbers. I also digged out some leftover wedding party decorative balls and a banner. My main aim was to keep it simple, I didn’t want it to look overdone or cheesy. 


The cake: 

I initially looked to order one, but couldn’t justify the cost for a cake that was going to mainly go to waste. The whole point of a DIY cake smash was to save money so I just couldn’t bring myself to spend fifty odd quid on one. Thankfully my sister stepped in and she did a marvellous job of icing her first cake. 


Then all I needed was a happy baby.. And here’s the bit I didn’t plan for. My baby just was NOT interested. Whatsoever. Any photos of him touching/eating/ playing with the cake had to be staged. This got me thinking, do any one year olds really go for the cake or are they all staged?? I’d love to know.. Answers on a postcode please.. 

I’m really pleased with how my pictures turned out and so happy I didn’t fork out loads of ££.. Here’s some tips on doing your own:

  • Keep it simple, and I mean SIMPLE. Too many probs and objects can make the photos too crowded and tacky. Less is definitely more in this case. 
  • A happy baby makes better pictures.. I did my shoot straight after Sami’s morning nap so I knew he wouldn’t be tired or grumpy. 
  • I also picked morning as I didn’t want too much sun in the pictures. In the end it was a pretty miserable day but you can’t tell in the photos. 
  • Increase the ISO on your camera as your baby will not sit and pose nicely, you will be taking moving action shots, and if the ISO is too low you will end up with blurry photos. 
  • Lower your expectations. I really thought my baby was going to have so much fun, I wasn’t prepared for how he actually reacted. Be prepared for this, so that you are not too disappointed. It’s maybe not a good idea to do it at their birthday party with an audience incase of a negative reaction. 
  • Don’t over worry/ over think things like the cake or outfit. The cake doesn’t have to be perfect, minor blemishes won’t show in the pictures. In hindsight I am so glad I didn’t stick to my original outfit (well half naked baby) as it just wouldn’t have looked as good. 

I’ll leave you with some photos to enjoy.. 


    Happy 1st birthday.. 

    I can’t quite believe that my little monkey is one today! It feels like just yesterday we brought him home and moved into our new house (yes we did both on the same day). 

    It’s been the best year watching him grow and learn. He’s so cheeky and loving, and such a happy little boy. He is so precious and is loved so much by us and all his family. 

    Don’t get me wrong, it hasn’t been the easiest of years, the lack of sleep, constant tiredness, and hard work and commitment that breastfeeding takes, has all been worth it to see that smile and hear that giggle every day. 

    I could go on and on all day, but my intention was not to write an essay today, so I will leave you with a few pictures of my DIY cake smash.. I will post more about this at a later date..

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY SAMI xx 🍰🎉🎊🎈🎁💝👶

       
       

    Happy Fathers Day..

    It was Daddy’s first Father’s Day this year.. He isn’t big on these days of mass celebration but I thought we would do something special for him anyway. This is what we needed:

    1. Three white letters: a ‘D’, an ‘A’ and a ‘Y’. I got these from Etsy and found many places do them
    2. A sunny day and a nicely cut lawn 
    3. A happy well rested and well fed baby 
    4. A couple of aunties to make said baby smile
    5. A camera 
    6. A multi aperture photo frame

    And this was the result.. (Have cropped my monkey’s face out of the images below, but his face was priceless)..

     
       
     

       
     I popped the first three in a frame to read ‘Dad’ and made a card with all five to say ‘Daddy’. I was really proud of how it turned out but not sure my husband loved it as much as I thought he would😂😂. 

    We’re going to the zoo..

    Or rather, we’re going to the zoo so my monkey can ignore all the pretty and cool animals to simply look up at the birds in the sky.. The same birds we watch daily in our back garden 😂😂😂. The same thing happened when we went to our local sea life centre.. (The best part about that day was lunch by the canals after, we were in and out of the sea life centre within 30 minutes).

    So, I’ll be saving some pennies and waiting until my little monkeys is a little older until we return to either again. The farm on the other hand, is a whole different story. He loved it. We picked a local children’s farm called Ash End House. It took us just under 30 minutes to drive there from birmingham, and it was a little gem. The enclosures are the right heights for small children and babies in pushchairs to get a good glimpse of the animals. 

    Sami was so excited by the animals until they came close and then he did get a little fright. He’s a little young just yet but other toddlers were having a great time feeding the animals. We loved the little lamb the most, and also all the baby animals being fed by their mothers, just how nature intended. As a breastfeeding mum, it made me feel like I was part of the mummy animal club, as strange as that sounds.. 

    All in all, we found a children’s farm is a great way to spend an afternoon with a baby, it’s the best day trip we’ve found so far that’s suitable for his age. I can’t wait until he’s a little older and can interact a little more. I’ll leave you with a few snaps of our trip..