Clearly it was not! John visiting his mum Hazel in Dublin for the day, back later on tonight. Quite the fleeting visit and the children and I have had a relative day of leisure. Several visits to the ‘Thinking Chair’ for the little ones and the girls gorged on their mass of birthday gifts. Many craft oriented presents, so our weekends will be busy for the foreseeable future, but of course, they wanted to open and start them all today. Did I tell you that Tara lost her first tooth this week?
Anyhow, the day was busy and now they are asleep, I have a few moments to write this. But it is now getting late, so I will make it brief. Lots of happy and not so happy screams today. But we had lots of fun in between the dramas. John is hopefully back from his day trip to Dublin soon. No doubt quite exhausted from the day. Wishing his mum Hazel (pictured above) lots of love from us all. Nite nite xx
Saturday, the ‘Big Party’. The day started early. There was excitement in the air. A bed invasion at 6am and soon after a breakfast of pancakes with Dadda’s home made mango jam drizzled liberally with a splash of lime juice. Come 9am Sindy and sister Sally arrived to prepare the party lunchboxes. I on the other hand had just finished the triple later chocolate cake that was sandwiched together with Strawlime Berry Jam and heavily entombed with homemade chocolate ganache fudge icing. The top was laden with home moulded white chocolate pyramids and squares. The ladies made Jam and ham sandwiches for the lunchboxes, the jam on this occasion was black grapple. I cooked a mass of perfectly cooked basmati rice in the microwave. Please read a previous diary entry for the method of guaranteed perfect rice every time. Things were on track. Our three veg curries were pre cooked and bagged up in the refrigerator (Mutter, dal and chana) and 30 chapattis were dry cooked on the griddle. Wrapped in a wet tea towel and polythene bag to keep moist, they were added to the bags of food that were set to leave with Sindy and sally for the setup at the hunting lodge where the party was being held. We all arrived later to meet Thea and hubby John (Pips parents) who were also helping to set up. Within 15 minutes of our arrival the party was in full swing. The wild animal lady entertained the little ones and everyone had a great time with the myriad of surprisingly scary insects and small vertebrae! The children consumed their lunch boxes and the grownups devoured the ‘Pur Veg’ curries with gusto. Sindy and Sally were brilliant as were our fellow hosts. A brilliant venue and we left with a happy crowd having appreciated that it was a more inclusive affair – the grownups and their enjoyment are often an oversight at these events. Catering for 40 adults for a tenner went down well I think. And a few of them even thanked us for a party that was a party for all and not just the children. Job well done! The other matter was my shock at the gratuitous amount of presents and cards this year. I just counted sixty cards between the twins and as for the avalanche of presents on the dining hall table – unbelievable!
Some words on Sunday later this evening.
It is 9.30pm and the children have only just settled. Largely because I yet again had to play ‘Bad Cop’. John, just in from work one hour now and still glued to his iPad replying to his daily emails. I put the children’s ballistic goings on down to the excitement of tomorrow’s big celebration of the girls (and Pips) ‘Official Party’. It’s been a couple of days since my last diary entry and to be honest, we are still all in party mode. How did the magnate of this phenomena come to be? In my day we had a birthday, invited a few friends on the day itself or maybe the closest weekend, we were given a few crappy gifts, danced to pop music, played ‘Pass the Parcel’ and that was that. Anyhow, the second big cake ‘Bake Off’ happened this afternoon with a triple tier chocolate cake, internally moistened with Dadda’s home made strawlime berry jam and frosted externally with home made ganache. I even made homemade white chocolate pyramids to adorn the top! Bloody hell, how times have changed. Renting a hunting lodge, hiring an entertainer, catering for 40 adults to luncheon for under a tenner (that was my cost saving initiative, it can be done) and picnic lunch boxes for the mass of children. It seems that all of us parents have to participate in this frivolity when it comes to the ‘Special Day’ that it’s a birthday party for our child or in the case of twins, children. Moving on, Sindy and sister Sally are coming in to make up the lunchboxes at 9am tomorrow and Pips mum Thea is joining them at 11am to dress the venue with a multitude of animal related decor and an explosion of balloons. I had the biggest surprise when Sindy arrived back this afternoon clenching a handful of helium filled number balloons. Please reference the picture above. And NO, we have not invited the Anti Christ. The cake pic will be showcased tomorrow once the pyramids have embellished the cake, as will any comments on the official 6th birthday party of Amritsar, Pip and Tara. Happy Days boys and girls! Did I say I spent numerous hours preparing vegan curries for under a tenner – it’s just as well I no longer put an hourly, monetary rate on my time invested in the things I do. I would sorely be disenchanted, wouldn’t I? Welcome to parenthood. Oh – the 45 hand wrapped, personally printed ‘thank you’ chocolate bars look well, wouldn’t you say?
The girls were born six years and one day ago, in Mumbai, India. I was very sadly not allowed to see them on their day of birth. John was unable to be with me due to the Indian High Commission in London not issuing his visa, even the surrogate Rehanna would not have been allowed to pick up the girls and touch them. There was only me and due to red tape at the hospital, it was not until the following day that I got to see the girls in the neonatal intensive care unit and have their tiny little fists clench my outstretched finger. I felt very alone when I had to leave, but when I spoke to John later that day, we were both close to tears as I told him all about the girls and how beautiful they both were. Back then, I did not know what lay ahead. I could barely imagine six months, let alone six years. Yet six years have flashed before me and here we are today. We both made the decision to become parents and thanks to that decision, our two amazing daughters exist in ours and so many of our loved ones lives. Though we no longer have any contact with the surrogate Rehanna and never met our anonymous egg donor, we do thank them both for playing their part in delivering us Amritsar and Tara.
The girls awoke this morning one year older. They are very happy indeed to be 6 years old. We are having a small celebration today, but ‘The Big Party’ is being held next Saturday in conjunction with a school friend, Pip. Sindy has just headed off to collect then from school and then an hour in the park. I on the other hand am dressing the kitchen table for our ‘6 Today Extravaganza’. Their main gifts from John and I are new tablets, since all four devices we have (the children’s that is), are now broken and will not charge. We just realised that this might be partially down to them having been given headphones and they have tried to plug the jack into the wrong hole. A circular peg does not fit into that of a rectangle.
Anyhow, the ‘bad boys cupboard’ has been raided and the ‘pork products’ are a plenty. Just the finishing touches to add – oh f**k! I have still to decorate their birthday cake. I have been far too busy this afternoon cutting open Tesco 200g bars of dark, milk and plain chocolate for rewrapping in foil and applying our thank you message to give as a going away gift next weekend to the ‘Big Party’ revellers.
The theme is ‘Wild Animal Party’, though I think the entertainer is just bringing a rabbit and a parrot! I don’t really know what they are bringing to be truthful, but it had better be enough to entertain 40 children for at least 2 hours. Phew, more on that next weekend.
Today I am just looking forward to seeing the girls faces as they unceremoniously tear the paper from the pile of gifts in colour coded paper. Hopefully daddy will be here early to see them do this.
An update later perhaps.
A meal out was had at a Michelin starred restaurant in Wiltshire named ‘The Harrow’. An absolutely amazing taster menu and extremely friendly staff and management. They do a boiled egg course. I can’t say what they do with it, but it’s a real treat! Nikki babysat and we were home before 11pm. Only one mishap Nikki informed us and that was Thor walking about looking bemused. Not sure what he was bemused about, never mind.
The terrace has had several hours attention over the last couple of days. Getting it ready for the summer has been some considerable work, but it is beginning to look like a place where we can enjoy what the summer has to offer. Lots of warm sunshine I am hoping. It’s a great place for barbecuing and chilling. Fingers crossed on the weather front. Pics to follow when some of those spring buds have blossomed and bloomed.
Craft time was had this afternoon in the kitchen, raiding the recycle bin, Tara became a fairy with a green crown, Amritsar had a complete meltdown as Tara used up her green ink on her five coloured pen. Finally she is settled, but she is still steaming underneath. Thor said loudly in the thicket of it all ‘Amritsar’ he exclaimed, ‘I am getting a head ache, please be a bit quieter’. Daddy lost his temper at one point, she was told to go up to bed but refused and just continued to scream – god when she wants to be a complete madam, Amritsar does it for England.
Caleb is back in a nappy. He has drenched two sets of clothes so far today. Sorry Sindy, but he is back in a nappy until Monday afternoon. I don’t think that he will be ready to start ‘Big School’ in September. I really hope I am proved wrong on this. It would be sad if he had to be held back for a year. But the girls teachers confirmed at the parent teacher meeting earlier in the week that he must be confident using a toilet, plus he needs a basic grasp of things like queuing at lunch time and eating without spilling his food everywhere. At the moment it’s all still too much a struggle for him. He’s only truly happy when he is nestling on daddy’s lap. All day and every day if he had what he wanted. It’ll get better I’m sure – five months to go before September. Let’s wait and see.