So Grace is 2. I can't quite believe it.
This time a couple of years ago I was getting to grips with breastfeeding and setting up the looks-good-but-how-the-devil-does-it-work-buggy, and now I am trying to explain where the stars go at night and why Grace can't have three packets of (organix) crisps for lunch.
We had her birthday party at the local Funplex. It's a typical (slightly grubby) indoor play centre with obese waiting staff. James affectionately renamed them baby-eaters.
Grace had a great time. Her best friend Phoenix was the first one there and raced over to give her his gift, which she took delicately from his hands and then they stood grinning shyly at one another for about five minutes. Much better than when Grace went to Phoenix's party... Grace went to give him his present and he punched her in the head.
His dad asked James if perhaps he would like to punch him (the dad) in return but James politely declined, he was just over-excited. It all got too much for him and he ended up being very sick all over the floor. (Phoenix, not James, or Phoenix's dad)
We had her party a week before her birthday so everyone would be able to come which was a good idea, but meant she got very used to getting presents.
She still asks for one each day. She got far too much stuff and was very vocal about any she did not like
"I don't want this one mummy, take away mummy." Which is fine when it's stuff we bought her, like Mr. Potato head (but who doesn't like Mr. Potato head?! It was all I wanted for when I was her age) but can be a bit embarrassing when she opened presents from other people in front of them.
"I don't like that one" is one of Grace's top ten sayings, along with:
"I want Care Bears on please Mummy"
"I don't want to go to bed please Mummy"
"Can't catch me"
"No that mine blanket"
"I love you so much Mummy"
"Cup o teeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee"
"Why is Benny in potato" (don't ask)
"I really love cheese straws/fireman Sam/my lunch"
"What that noise daddy?"
"Mummy, mummy, have some" (meaning she wants some of whatever it is I have)
We went to her nursery nativity play. The programme said Grace and her classmates would be singing Christmas songs.
I was very dubious about it. We dropped her off at nursery where she was to be "Put into costume" and went to wait in the church next door where the play was going to be held.
My eyes filled with tears as the children started filing on stage, each one dressed like a angel, or a fairy, or a shepherd. I could not wait to see what Grace would be wearing...
You can imagine my disappointment when she stomped on in the exact same clothes I had dropped her off in and had a very un-angelic look on her face. She looked like she had been wrestling.
As you can see from the photos, she was the only one out of 30 children who refused to dress up. She did sit very nicely throughout the play though, and while she did not sing, she did do great actions to lots of the songs. Phoenix spent most of the play stage-diving onto the front row of the audience.
She woke up at 5am this morning, came into our bed and told us it was her party. I put a pillow over my head and tried to go back to sleep under the ruse of playing dead lions. She was not fooled and we soon had to get up and watch Care Bears, it's not what it used to be.
She sort of understands she is going to be a big sister. She mentions how fat my tummy is a lot, and pulls my t-shirt up to pat "Mine brother or sister" which is very sweet but only ever done in public places I would prefer not to be exposing myself in.
Our dear friends Dan and Tess just had a gorgeous baby boy and she seemed fine with me holding him. She was more bothered about ramming a toy buggy into my legs.
The buggy belonged to her friend Tilda who she loves so much she has named one of her toes after her. The others are named Daddy toe, Grace toe, Ammy toe (another friend) and Baby toe.
Grace likes to name things. We are getting her some fish for Christmas (Yes I know Christmas has been and gone but buying goldfish takes time and thought. We have bought a book called "my first fish" and are taking it from there) and she has already decided they are going to be called Po, Goldie and Poor Nanny Plumb, which are only slightly more ridiculous names than James had for his fish, James, James and James.
It's so nice to see her and Tilda playing together. Up until now she has not really interacted with other children, it's so lovely to see them chasing one another round or having little tea parties. Tilda has just got a big girls bed which Grace is very very impressed with. She will be getting one herself soon. It will be so odd to have her in a bed and a new baby in the cot.
I am really starting to show now which is preferable to looking like I let myself go now I am married, but it's very limiting on my wardrobe (maternity clothes are horrid)
I start an NCTJ journalist course next week which is very exciting indeed, but also rather scary. I have not been a student for many years, let alone a pregnant one with a limited wardrobe and "baby brain".
James bought me an iphone so I will be like all the other kids AND he got me a car! I can't believe it. I have not had a car of my own for years (not since James lost the keys to my old one and the garage said the car was not worth the cost I would incur to replace the door and steering column.) Sadly all I can do at the minute is look at it out the window as it's snowing AGAIN.
I don't like the snow. I remember watching it as a child and praying each precious flake would settle atop another one, now I just wish it would be gone ASP (as soon possible, even quicker that ASAP).
I dragged James and Grace out into the white stuff today though, wrapped up like arctic explorers. A new cafe has opened in Rottingdean which sells the best lemon drizzle cake in the whole world ever. I had to have some.
I am in that stage of pregnancy where I become fixated on one type of food and shun all others. Yesterday is was strawberry yoghurt, today it's cake. Why can't it be broccoli or something healthy that means I can keep the gap at the top of my legs? I worked bloody hard for that gap.
Grace's favourite Christmas presents were here wooden postbox (she spends hours posting letters to Miss Zoe Zebra, Peppa Pig, Danny Dog and Pedro Pony), her Dora the explorer backpack and her shopping basket with till. If this is indicative of her future career then I hope she likes the exploring best...
Latest photos here: