*I know I’ve been straying from my true love of OOTD posts lately, but this blog is first and foremost a record and way to share my life. And I’ve had a busy summer So after a few more posts of our trip to the lake and her first gymnastics class, I’ll be back to my regular content! *
As someone who loves throwing the parties – the bigger the better – and went all out for Guinevere’s first, it was a weird adjustment to downsize this year. But it was the best decision we could have made for both our family and for Guinevere, and we had an incredible weekend celebrating our baby girl turning two years old!
For her actual birthday, Tyler and I took the day off work and took her to the zoo. With her obsession with animals, I knew this would be a big hit. That morning, we woke her up, and I couldn’t help but singing the Raffi song “We’re going to the zoo, zoo, zoo” to help pump her up. Ty and I loaded the car, packed what we needed, and hit the road for DC.
We parked in one of the side parking lots, right by the elephants, and strolled her around. Unfortunately, my beloved Bugaboo stroller had half-flat tires, so that was a bit annoying, but we still had an awesome time seeing all of the animals!
We knew she wouldn’t make it long til naptime, but she did far better than we’d expected. Until she saw a bunch of kids on a field trip rolling down a grassy hill. And then nothing was stopping her – she was gonna roll down that hill too. So Tyler went to help out, but after 20 minutes we tried to get her to see more animals, and tantrums ensued. We did at least see most of the park before her meltdown!
On our way out of the park, we saw where the chimpanzees would sit on wires atop the park. It was pretty neat to see them out of cages and how they were free to roam between areas as they wished. A large crowd gathered underneath to awe over it – and it was very cool. Until that guy peed all over everyone. Jerk.
After we finally got home (thanks DC traffic!) we put Guinevere down for a long nap. When she woke up, we got the mail (her favorite thing – have you seen my latest Instagram video?) and she was SO excited by all of the sweet cards that came in the mail for her. She is really blessed to have such wonderful friends and relatives in her life, that remembered her with sweet cards, pictures and gifts.
The rest of the day was gloriously low key – out to dinner, out for frozen yogurt, and lots and lots of singing to our sweet girl
On Saturday, we also kept things pretty low key in anticipation of our family coming over that night. It was tough to keep things small – we have a LOT of local family, and I knew some feelings would get hurt, but we did a hard cut off – our parents, our sisters, and my aunt’s family, whom I consider immediate family – my cousins are Guinevere’s uncles. Fact.
We were just going to do cake and presents. But after our block party that week resulted in TONS of leftovers, we figured we’d host dinner too. And its not that we couldn’t have afforded to feed extended family – we could have. Or bought more beer and wine – we could have that, too. But this was the first party that I’ve ever thrown – and I throw a LOT of parties – where I got to sit down and relax. Most importantly, I could make Guinevere the center of attention. If our other relatives had come, I would have been thrilled to spend time with all of them – but I would have stretched myself thin. My achilles heel – I’m a flit and fluttering hostess, jumping around to make sure everyone has drinks and food and that I equally visit every one. But this party was the perfect size to allow me to just focus on my girl. I’m thankful our family has been so understanding.
She was a riot opening up her gifts. She tried desperately to break into them earlier in the day, and was so upset when I told her no – she kept arguing with me “Its MY birthday. They’re MY presents.” I was luckily able to distract her until all of the guests got there! As expected, the gifts were very exciting – she’d put on helmets or new shoes or want to open exciting toys. It was super cute.
I especially love how excited she was to put on this helmet – and that big gift she’s opening is clearly a brand new bike. We have such incredibly generous friends and family. Her aunts (my sister and Tyler’s sister) nailed it on the gift front with favorite characters – they made sure to stock Guinevere with all the Elmo, Abby Cadabby, and Minnie Mouse she could ever want. My best friend was so sweet about a frozen yogurt gift card, saying a sweet gift for a sweet girl – definitely our favorite treat! My aunt got her princess gardening gear, and is building a fairy garden in her backyard and is excited to have Guinevere come over and help – I know Guinevere will love it! She also got her fun accessories for her doll Pepper, and her first Barbie. And look at the wrapping job!
Even my grandparents in Oregon were amazing, and sent all of Guinevere’s favorite things – art sets, stuffed animals, books and other neat toys. My parents definitely won the awesome grandparents award though. From a big play table that blows bubbles to a tricycle, new clothes for her beloved American Girl Itty Bitty doll named Pepper, and fun games with all of her favorite characters to a dozen other small things, she plays excitedly with their gifts every day. I’m so lucky to have my parents close, and while she doesn’t see them as often as she does Tyler’s parents, it is an amazing feeling to see her squeal their names when she sees them, and the way she spent the entire party crawling all over them, commanding their attention while she twirled or “ran real fast”. They say that the best parents get promoted to grandparents, and thats been true in our case. The next morning, I saw all her gifts piled up and couldn’t help but snap a pic – is that a spoiled rotten (aka LOVED) girl or what?
Then, it was time for cake. If there is one thing Guinevere loves, its being the center of attention. I am SO DISAPPOINTED I didn’t think to video tape the singing – I think it was the happiest moment of her entire life.
After that, it was cake, laughing, and fun. It was REALLY late – Guinevere didn’t go to bed til almost 11pm! But I get such rare evenings with my family, and I soaked every second of reminiscing and laughing up with them. Later someone texted me “I love how your family seems to GENUINELY have fun with each other” and I thought – yes. Wow. I am so very blessed. We have so many ups and downs – just like everyone. I could tell some wingdinger drama stories. But we do genuinely love each other and have fun. It doesn’t get better than that, and I’m so glad all of these happy, beautiful people were around to help celebrate my beautiful girl and her second year of life.
To a third wonderful year with my girl!