Another fun Paw-ty!

Sep 14, 2015

As most of you already know, when it comes to planning parties I can't help but to go a little bit over the top.  It's who I am and who I've always been. When I was younger my mom happily passed on the party planning duties to me when it came to my younger brothers' birthdays.  
With a new baby in the mix, Aaralee's second birthday kind of crept up on me this year.  I ended up doing most of the planning rather last minute, but it still came together perfectly and she had a great time! I tried to keep the guest list small after seeing how jam packed our house was last year.  "I'll only invite people with little kids..." I told Ryan. As it turns out, Aaralee has a lot of little friends and cousins. Our house was full of noise and toys and sugar high toddlers.   
She loves puppies and doggies so her party theme was an easy choice.  Contrary to popular belief, I am not a naturally crafty person, nor is baking/cooking my strong suit.  That said, planning a birthday party can get really expensive, really fast, so I try to do as much of it myself (and with Ryan's help) as possible.  
It was so much fun decorating for this party. Paw prints led to the front door, a fire hydrant helped guests find the washroom, and there were puppies and bones galore! 

No party of mine would be complete without loads of candy and sweets.  There was no shortage of junk food here, despite finishing off one very successful week of healthy eating... it was only one day, and it was for Aaralee, so it was a worthwhile setback.  

The cake came together perfectly, no thanks to me! It was my idea, but in the end I think that I decorated an ear before Ryan took over. We were up until 1 am fighting with piping bags and globs of icing that quite literally looked like piles of poop, but when all was said and done, we had a sweet puppy cake.   Most importantly, it tasted delicious and the birthday girl approved.  She was beaming as we sang "Happy birthday" and wasted no time digging into her giant slice of cake. 

After cake, it was time for presents!  Although it took awhile (she needed to open every toy and read every book before moving onto the next gift), she's really got the unwrapping thing down pat this year.  She tore into the gifts with excitement, pushing aside the cards and clothing as toddlers tend to do.  She was so lucky to receive such fun new toys and pretty new outfits!  

As the party died down, her little friends left with their very own puppies and we carried on snacking and playing the afternoon away.  Despite the fact that she'd refused to nap the entire day, she was pretty happy for the majority of the day.   It was a great party for a great little girl!  Thank you to everyone who came and celebrated her turning 2 with us!  

Aaralee is 2!

Last week my little girl turned 2 years old. TWO!  It happened so fast and she didn't even ask my permission.  Gone is my tiny, baby-faced, clumsy little toddler and in her place is this real little person who loves to dress up, always runs instead of walks and talks to us all day long.  
The past year has been a whirlwind of adventure for Aaralee.  She experienced her first overnights without us, her first trips to Mexico and Disneyworld, and she even became a big sister!  
Looking back at photos and videos from this time last year I'm amazed at just how much she's grown and changed.  She loves to talk... she'll repeat everything that we say. She still loves to eat... peanut butter toast is her current favourite.  She's a whopping 24 pounds and short like her parents.  She has exceeded my expectations as a big sister.  She refuses to go to bed at night without first kissing Briley, and she is always eager to bring her blankets and toys.  She even tried to feed her baby sister a large chunk of broccoli yesterday, but Briley declined.  
To sum it all up, Aaralee is pretty amazing. As her mother I'm obviously very biased, but I'm so proud of her and I love watching her grow up and become her own little person.  I couldn't be more thankful for the past 2 years and for the fact that she's all ours.  I love you so much, Aaralee Marie! 

To celebrate her special day, we started with a playdate with her friend Noah (and his wonderful mommy) at Cafe O'Play. We love it there.  I can sip coffee and sit with Briley while Aaralee runs wild and burns off some energy.  After 2 hours of playing and snacking, we headed home for a much needed nap while we waited for Daddy to get home from work.  Once he was home we headed to the mall for an evening of fun!  
Aaralee's absolute favourite toy at home is her toy stroller. She pushes it around the house all day long, so as a special treat for her birthday we let her push it through the mall.  Cue happiest toddler in the world.  

She ran and ran and ran, taking a break at Galaxyland to ride the carousel, train and balloon rides.  Once we'd had our fill of rides we headed for the food court where our lucky little lady indulged in french fries and her first ever chocolate dipped ice cream cone.  Once she'd conquered her gourmet meal, she was sticky, messy, hyper, and oh so happy. 

We spent a good hour running up and down the ramps on Bourbon Street before it was time to go home to bed.  If she had to pick one day to be her favourite in all of her 24 months of existence, I think it's safe to say that her birthday would be that day.  Mommy and daddy were tired, but it was worth it.  
Happy 2nd birthday sweet girl! You are so loved and we can't wait for all of the adventures that this year will bring us.