Saturday, November 14, 2009

Party, Party, Party!

The party season is well underway and over the last month or so, the girls have had a very active social life going to all their friend’s parties.  They seem to have had great fun in the process.  We’re busy most weekends as a result!

The first party of the season was attended by Jocelyn – she was invited to her best friend's Georgia’s birthday party.  One evening in October, I happened to ask Jocey (the first time I had asked – at the time I asked I wasn’t even sure that she would be able to answer the question) who her friends were.  Her response (and she says this every time now!) was “Err…Lucas…Georgia…Georgia…Lauren…”.  Georgia is obviously of such importance that she gets mentioned more than once!

Georgia’s brave Mummy and Daddy invited lots of little toddlers to their house for a painting party.  It was a lovely party, very well run and the children enjoyed it immensely.  Jocey wasn’t at all shy and was in playing with the other children in no time.

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Here is my beautiful girl painting her masterpiece.  I was really surprised by her use of colours and her bold brush strokes.  At home previously, her drawings have been mainly scribbles with pencils.  Maybe she enjoys painting more than drawing!

Once she had finished that canvas, she moved on to do another painting at the easel.  She liked using the bigger brushes in particular.

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Before this, I had never considered that she might be artistic.  I had always assumed that Lauren (who has always liked drawing and painting and is now very good at it) was the artistic one.

Here’s one of little Georgia (with the bunches), about to blow out her candles.  Every time I see her, she is asking for Jocey – how lovely!

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That weekend was also Daddy’s birthday on the Sunday.  Grandma and Granddad came down from York to help us celebrate.  We recently discovered a lovely children’s playground by the river in St Margarets (which is in a great position because we walk down to the river, feed the ducks, walk across the bridge and then to the park) so we took the grandparents there to show them.

Lauren and Jocey love the pirate boat in the playground.

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We ended up playing a game of chase where I became a scary crocodile and they were in the relative safety of their boat (unless they decided they wanted to go for a “swim” / run off the boat!).  They thought it was hilarious and there was a great deal of laughing and high pitched squealing.

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Both Jocey and Lauren tired themselves out running madly about but clearly loved it.

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I think both girls were sad to leave the playground when we decided it was time to go back to Richmond for some lunch.  We stopped at Wagamama’s for some noodles, which everyone enjoyed.

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Once back at home, preparations were being made for Daddy’s birthday celebration.  Lauren had helped me make the cake and loved the opportunity to decorate it with chocolate sprinkles – her favourite!  I don’t think Daddy objected either, to be honest.  Mummy brought it out to the table for all to see, where a certain little girl was already waiting in anticipation…

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Lauren was patiently waiting for me to cut the cake.  Her T-shirt says it all, in case there was ever any doubt.

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It is possible that Daddy was also getting a little impatient and wanted some cake too!

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Here’s the family at the celebration and after the presents were opened.

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I particularly love this photo of Jocey with her Grandma.

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Here is Mummy and Lauren having a cuddle.  We all had a lovely time that weekend.

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Lauren has been to a string of parties.  Here she is at her friend Lorenzo’s party, the following weekend.  She is sitting next to Scarlett and opposite Lorenzo and the “other” Lauren in her nursery class, Lauren Williams.

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These pictures are from the same boy’s party this time last year.  I can’t believe it’s only been a year and how much they’ve all grown in that time!  In the picture below, Lauren is sitting next to the lad who was her best friend at the time, Cameron.  Cameron has subsequently left the nursery but Lauren still talks about him from time to time.

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This was Lorenzo last year with his Mummy, Natalia.

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Despite being a year older, Lauren is still painfully shy at these parties.  I’m not sure why this is (she’s always been like that when she encounters new situations).  She knows most of the children at these parties really well as she goes to nursery with them but somehow is still scared by the unfamiliar setting.  It is strange to see her like this when I know she is confident and happy at nursery.

That weekend, she also went to her friend Sophie’s party.  She was quite tired by the time the party came around so took a long time before she would leave my side and join in with the other children.  Sophie came over straight away to say hello when we arrived – she and Lauren were good friends at nursery.  Sadly, she is not at the nursery any more either.  Most of Lauren’s friends from the last year at nursery have either left for school or gone to other childcare arrangements.

I got into quite a surprising conversation whilst at the party.

I got talking with Lauren William’s Mummy, who was also there and discovered that she was Australian from Sydney.  Naturally, we started talking about our time previously in Sydney in 2002 and are upcoming plans to return.  Bizarrely, it emerged in conversation that she used to work in the same company as Jase did in Sydney, and for the same team but on a different floor!  And of course, we both had daughters in 2005 that we decided to call Lauren.  She told me that they are also thinking of returning to Sydney at some point, but cannot in the next year or so due to her husband’s work commitments.

What a bizarre thing!

Last weekend, Lauren went to Leah’s party.  She looked really beautiful in her Princess outfit and her Princess crown.  She loved flouncing about in her long dress!  Here is a picture of all the children at Leah’s Pirates and Princesses party, after Leah’s Daddy bravely rounded up all the children and got them to stand still long enough to take a photo!  Herding cats did spring to mind at one point, but his perseverance paid off.

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Lauren is standing next to Oliver, who is in her class, and Georgia who is Oliver’s little sister and Jocey’s best friend.  Next to them is Leah, who looked lovely in her Princess outfit.  Next to her is Anna Maria, a boy whom I didn’t know, Scarlett and Sophie (who had the previous party) in the red and yellow dress.  Lauren and Leah are good friends at nursery and often play together, along with Lauren’s friend Lila.

I could see from the party that the other girls were full of confidence and mixed and played easily together, even though they were seeing each other out of context.  Lauren, as always, was terribly shy and took a while to get involved in the play.  Perhaps some of the other children see each other outside of nursery on play dates so were more comfortable with each other to begin with.  Perhaps that is the disadvantage of being a full-time working mum.

Despite all this, she did seem to be happy when she left each of the parties and did seemed to have enjoyed herself.  I am sure she will get used to all of this in time!  My little shy Lauren!

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