Three

For Ella's birthday treat this year we took a little trip on Puffing Billy - a wonderful steam train that runs through the Dandenong Ranges. Amazingly it stopped raining and the sun came out for the morning which was just perfect. We chugged along, huffing and puffing, through the trees and over rickety old bridges, with our wellied feet dangling out of the windows, waving to everyone we passed. It was wonderful.

Nanny and Grandpa met us at the station and we all drove back to their house for a play and a slice of birthday cake. The rain started again by afternoon so we snuggled up in front of the fire and played with Ella's new birthday presents. It was a lovely day of full of simple pleasures, just perfect.

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It's still really hard to believe that our beautiful little girl turned 3 last week. It just doesn't seem possible that three whole years have passed since we shared our first cuddles. But they have passed and every day we have watched our gorgeous baby grow into the sweet (yet sometimes very assertive) little person that she is!

I can't begin to tell you how proud of this lovely little lady we are. Of course there are the usual toddler tears and tantrums from time to time - but most of all she is a very caring little thing and so funny and full of joy for life. Her enthusiasm for even the tiniest thing is infectious and makes us see the world with bright new eyes. I doubt that there is a day that passes where she doesn't have us in hysterics over something she's done or said.

Happy Birthday Ella xx

Cousins

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Given that the little ones are still rather too young for the ANZAC dawn service, what better way to show our gratitude to all those thousands of brave young men and women who sacrificed so much, than by taking time to really appreciate the family and the freedom that they fought to protect.

We spent a beautiful day picnicing in the park and topped it off with a trip to the beach where Ella and Anais had masses of fun frolicking in the waves.  I can't begin to tell you how cold the water was, but they didn't seem to even notice. I often think how wonderful it would be to exist in a state where the world was so much fun, so engaging and exciting, that your own personal discomfort was irrelevant!

It was so lovely to watch the girls playing together and to see Jacob and Dylan beginning to interact with one another. It made me think, not for the first time, how grateful I am that they have each other. Ella may not have a sister, and Jacob may not have a brother, but in a way they've each got something better - a cousin.  The excitement from the girls when they hear that they are going to see the other is simply heart melting - I hope that they never lose that. I hope that they will always grow and play together, learning from each other, encouraging one another, laughing, exploring and generally enjoying some girly fun.

I'm immensely grateful for my own lovely sister, and part of me is a little sad to think that Ella probably won't have get to have that same relationship, but I'm hoping (perhaps naively) that Ella and Anais, (and Jacob and Dylan) will get to have all the benefits of having a sister (or a brother) without at least some of the arguments that inevitably go with it!

Shiver me timbers!

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Ooo Aaaarr! Ohoy there mateys! Yesterday was Jacob's first birthday party, and, incase you haven't guessed, it was a pirate party. We had so much fun; the weather was perfect and the guests were lovely.

There were sandwiches, sausage rolls and a plethora of cake. There were eye patches and paper hats and scars. There were balloon sword fights, "Arrrrr's" a plenty and our very own pirate ship on the lawn. The cubby got a very rigorous playing with and some people even walked the plank!

My two dearest birthday boys had a fantastic (if tiring!) day. They both got rather spoiled with gifts, stuffed their faces with cake and had generally had a swashbucklingly good time. So a big thank you to all our friends and family who made it such a lovely day, and to those who couldn't be there; we missed you.

x

One Year

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It's hard to believe that a whole year has passed since we welcomed our beautiful baby boy into the world, and yet it's hard to imagine a world without our sweet little man.

Jacob, words cannot begin to express how much you have enriched all of our lives.  We have simply loved watching you grow during this last year, watching as you learn new skills. At 1 year old your personality is really starting to shine out.

You beam at us when we go into your room in the morning, you reach out for cuddles, you wave goodbye and love to clap along to your favourite songs.

You dance, you bounce, you crawl at lightening speeds. (The rapid thud thud thud as you crawl through the house to find me has to be one of my favourite sounds in the world!)

You splash (boy, can you splash!), you blow bubbles, you shout with glee.

You giggle at your sister when she's being silly, and she giggles back, and you giggle back, and she giggles back, and... well, you get the idea). You call to each other through the door when she's still in bed and you're up.  You smile with delight when she plays with you, and you cry when she gets bored and hits you over the head - but you're always so pleased to see each other. Oh and you give each other bedtime kisses with mouths wide open, laughing all the while!

You are getting so dexterous, you have no problem fitting pegs in holes and you can build towers 3 blocks high all on your own! You love posting things, but if you could stop posting them into the central heating ducts that would be great! You will pick up a hairbrush and brush your hair. You copy Ella when she's brushing her teeth. You hold the phone up to your ear and smile with absolute delight when you hear your daddy's voice. You love to hammer and you love to empty a box and then put everything back.

You are such a chilled out little man, so relaxed and happy. So curious and enthusiastic about everything. You're into everything and very determined - you get so cross if we try to stop you from exploring something new (such as the toilet!) But above all else you are sweet and affectionate and loving, gentle and thoughtful and we love you so very dearly.

Happy first birthday darling boy.

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