Earlier this month we celebrated Remi turning TWO. I believe people when they say the first year of parenting is the best year of their lives. Like many things in my parenting journey, my truth did not align. I spent most of the first year tired, confused, healing from a c-section and an all around anxious wreck of a human. She's too quiet, is she breathing? Can she choke on that toy or food? Will she fall and crack her head open?.....Amanda and I would constantly joke that I should just toss Remi in a bubble and let her out when she turned double digits. It took everything in my being to catch up and adjust to raising a human. Some moms love the newborn stage others may be just trying to make it through the first year. I am here to report I was way more comfortable, calm and sane the second trip around the sun.
Year TWO brought many things but one of my favorites is the ability to reciprocate love. There is nothing like a toddler reaching for your hand to pull you in a direction or blowing you a kiss. The playfulness is adoring and watching them develop their imagination is amazing to watch. She loves to dance and have music on so most of our dinners are spent singing to oldies on Alexa when we can get divert from the millionth "Alexa play Dos Oruguitas from Encanto." Toddlers really are entertaining and crack us up. Watching her learn and experience things for the first time is everything! Whether it is a verbal or physical que, she is able to communicate more and tell us what she wants and doesn't want. Her personality is really shining through
Decorations: This year's celebration was a small family dinner. I stumbled across the TWO Wild theme on Pinterest and loved it. Most of the decorations were ordered from Amazon including the leaf backdrop, balloons and table cloths. The balloon garland was easy to make. Since the balloons were staying inside this time, I made the arch the night before and it lasted almost two weeks post celebration. If you wanted to tackle this on your own, check out our Best Balloons Blog post! Her face when she walked in and saw the room decorated was priceless.
Food: I had old natural wood slices and tiny place card tree trunks left over from her baby shower that I used to plate some of the appetizers. Each card by the appetizers was labeled something relating to animals. I found most of these ideas on Pinterest!
Hungry Hippo Dip
Fruits and Veggies for the Bears
Peanuts for the Elephants
Lady Bugs on a Leaf
The rest of the meal was catered from Portillos and pasta with vodka sauce from Cucina Biagio. I ordered her cake from Marianos, which turned out to be perfect for her theme. They had a bunch of animal print patterns to choose from. We also had zeppole and key lime pie for dessert.
Outfit: I ordered Remi's TWO Wild shirt form Etsy and her cheetah tutu was from Walmart. The pigtail leopard ear clips were made by my_fashionica! Her page is on Instagram and she can make custom pieces although her main focus is bows!
April 4th is Remi's actual birthday which fell on a Monday. We spent the morning at the Cosley Zoo! This is the perfect zoo for small children, you can literally visit all attractions in less than a half hour if need be. Admission is affordable, free for ages 0-17 and $8 for general admission ages 18-54. Visitors can walk around and discover Illinois wildlife and farm animals. The exhibits are small so you are sure to spot your favorite animals, unlike larger zoos on a hot day animals may be looking for cool shelter and enclosed. Weather in April is very unpredictable and luckily the rain held out and the weather wasn't too cold, nothing a hat and coat couldn't fix. Some of her favorite gifts are the Simplay3 Toddler Tower Children's Step Stool. The stool gives her complete independence to our kitchen island and allows her to "help" us in the kitchen. We are also obsessed with the Step2 Up and Down Ride-On Coaster.
The second year of motherhood has taught me many things including how to embrace change. I have learned that when you welcome change with positivity you learn to become more flexible. Kids are anything but predictable and I have learned to roll with the punches, adapt to new environments and take on new situations. I have also learned that I can function on little to no sleep. Literally, moms are superheroes and have magical powers. Year two certainly brings the silly and youthful side out in you. We are enjoying this journey and everyday is a new and WILD adventure!
X0 - Katie