The Wedding

One of the biggest plus points of being in London over the summer meant that I could attend my cousin’s wedding. If I were going to have the baby in Dubai, as was the original plan, this wouldn’t have been possible.

The wedding was fantastic – three nights of partying. Everything went according to plan, the entertainment was brilliant and, of course, the bride was beautiful.

So three nights of partying. For everyone else! I couldn’t drink – but I danced until 3 and 4 in the morning! I had to sleep for two days after the reception, but I enjoyed myself.

I met so many people I hadn’t met in years and got to catch up with lots of family.

There was one girl I kept seeing. She looked familiar, but I just couldn’t place her. I asked someone her name and then realised I had no idea who she was.

She very randomly approached me at the reception and told me she was worried that her dress may fall off. Let me just reiterate – I don’t know her and she doesn’t know me. She then went on to tell me that she had recently lost a bit of weight after going to a nutritionist and that she was feeling great. She then said she wanted to lose more because she wants to look good. I heard about her friend who did some diet and how well it worked, etc. I tried to add a comment here and there, but the music was really loud and we could barely hear each other.

Then she asked me where I was staying. I told her. She said she wasn’t far from there and maybe we should meet up sometime. I nodded. She still didn’t know my name! She gave me her phone to put in my details and then gave me a missed call so I had her number.

Then she said: Isn’t it awful that women don’t support each other or share their weight loss secrets? We should meet for a nice big glass of wine and talk about how we can support each other while trying to lose weight.


I told her I wasn’t drinking until September-ish. She made a face.

I told her it was because I’m pregnant.

She tried not to look surprised!

Basically, she had this very long and boring conversation with me because she thought I was fat. Not pregnant!

Let’s Party

I’ve been going on about V’s Mickey Mouse party for so long, I’m getting sick of myself.

So I’m going to stop.

But before I do, I just have to share some photos with you.

The photos are by Madbursts – if you’re looking for a photographer – I recommend them!

Decoration Bits

Decoration bits and pieces
Decoration bits and pieces


Cake and cupcakes
Cake and cupcakes


Our family
Our family

V’s reaction when he saw the horse

V's reaction when he saw the horse
V’s reaction when he saw the horse



Ok – that’s all I’m going to say about the party!

Now to start thinking about next year…



Hey Mickey!

So it’s all over…

I’ve been planning since about March – and this Saturday it came and went.


Oh sorry – I’m talking about V’s Mickey Mouse birthday party.


I bought Mickey ears for everyone to wear (the children weren’t happy about this and hardly any of them wore them!).  I took a pair out for V about two or three weeks ago and started getting him used to wearing them.

V was ready to go downstairs and get the party started!
V was ready to go downstairs and get the party started!

He wore them at the beginning of the party and for family photos (which was a relief).  But then he’d had enough and took them off.  He refused to put them back on AND he had a mini-tantrum each time I gave a pair to a friend of his!  I told him that his friends were bringing him birthday presents, so he had to give them ears.

He was kind of ok about that.

Presents waiting to be opened!
Presents waiting to be opened!

V had one request for this party.  He wanted a horse.  Yes.  A horse.  We went to a party in March and the birthday girl had two horses to take the children for rides.  V didn’t forget about it and he kept asking for one.  And yes.  We organised one for him.

The horse
The horse

He was SO happy!  I can’t even begin to describe the look on his face when he saw it coming through our gate!

The thing is, he didn’t want any of his friends to sit on the horse.  As far as he was concerned, it was his horse.  In his garden.  I suppose that’s logical?  So he sat with almost ALL of them while they went on rides.  After about twenty minutes he’d had enough – but he refused to get down.  He lasted another twenty-five minutes or so and then went on to the next thing.  It may have been the bouncy castle or playing games with the entertainer – I was inside on panic mode, so I have no idea!

It was finally time to cut the cake.  He was thrilled with his Mickey cake.  And he was drooling while looking at all the cupcakes!  Again, I can’t describe the expression on his face while everyone sang Happy Birthday to him and he blew out the candles.  Once he cut the cake, all the children started reaching for the cupcakes.  And V started crying.  He told me to tell them to put all the cupcakes back because they were all for him.  I don’t think he realised that he couldn’t eat 48 cupcakes all by himself!

Cake pops, birthday cake and cupcakes
Cake pops, birthday cake and cupcakes

I told him that if he didn’t share his cupcakes, his friends would take all their presents back home with them.  This worked well.  He calmed down and I got him to come and help me give out the return gifts.

The return gifts
The return gifts

However, just before that – when I told him about sharing the cupcakes, I overheard one of the mums telling someone else that I was really mean and that I didn’t handle the situation properly.

I felt a bit crap about it for awhile.  And I’ve thought about it a lot.  How else could I have handled the situation?  And I came up with: I know my child.  I know what works with him and I do the best I can.

As my friend Rosssa says: “Your kid, your rules.”

We gave out the return gifts and stopped children from taking helium balloons.  Maybe selfish?  But I paid a lot for them and for the helium.  And V and I both love them.  So I won’t apologise for not allowing them to take any home!

The photographer we hired said she’d get our pictures to us in two weeks – so I am eagerly awaiting them.

Meanwhile, my own pictures will just have to do!

V is Three!

Last Saturday, V turned three!

I can’t quite believe it – but there you go.  Someone told me that time goes faster when you have children.  Whoever said that probably hasn’t experienced a nine week summer holiday with an almost-three-year-old!

Anyway – our day started with a treasure hunt.  V had to follow the clues to find his presents.  This was a fabulous idea – thanks tattooed_mummy!  He LOVED it!

I was going to post a link to the video here, but then  I realised you’d all see what a mess my house is – so I decided against it!

After the excitement of opening all his presents, lunch and a short nap – three or four of his friends (and some of their parents) came over to play and cut his cake.

He was a bit concerned about people touching his new toys, but he soon got over it!


The ‘big’ party is this Saturday on the 14th.  *gulp*



On Saturday evening we went to a birthday party.  It was a child’s first birthday, and the party started at 6.30 pm.

The timing was really weird, but we had to attend.  We arrived at 6.45 pm.  No one else arrived until after 7 pm.

V was quite happy playing with the balloons.  But me…  I was totally out of my comfort zone.  LagosDad and I didn’t know anyone apart from the hosts – and they were, of course, busy.  The hosts and all their guests belong to a different community and don’t speak English very well.

The ladies were all dressed up.  Hair done.  FULLY made-up.  High heels.  Tight, tight dresses.  One or two of them backless.

All the ladies sat on one end of the table and the men at the other.

I was a bit bewildered, but I dealt with it.

What horrified me was…

A lady came in with her 3 year old son.  She sat down opposite me and her son sat next to her.  He was excited about all the balloons everywhere and said something like, ‘WOW!’

His mother said to him, ‘Lower your voice!’  His enthusiasm for the balloons didn’t lessen, and again, she said to him, ‘Lower your voice!’  The third time, she threatened to beat him.

A little while later, she was feeding him and he knocked over his glass of juice by mistake.  She smacked his hand so hard, her ring flew off!

She then realised that the spilled drink was dripping off the table onto her handbag (which was on the floor).

She slapped him across the face.

She then looked at me, saw me watching her, and said, ‘He just won’t sit still!’

I replied, ‘He’s three.  He’s not meant to sit still.’

I don’t think she understood me very well.

The worst part is that when she slapped him, he didn’t cry.

He didn’t flinch.


How often is this child being slapped at home?!

He was a little terror, I was watching him play with some of the other children.  I have to admit, he was very rough.  LagosDad even commented on that – and he never says anything.

But surely slapping the child at every opportunity is not going to make him behave any better?

I really wish there was something I could do!

The Party

This is the last you will hear of Vinay’s 1st birthday.  Promise (I hope it’s a promise I can keep)!  I just wanted to share who/what/where and quite a lot of some photos.  

The party was last Saturday (10th September) and at our home.  I had the invitations printed in April when I was in London – so I had to choose the date, time and place then and there!


I had 38 children on my list – but many had still not come back from summer holidays or were away for other reasons…  So, there were 25 children that came.  And most of their mums.  And nannies.  Some mums with more than one child brought two nannies!  And, some dads came too.  I also invited some of the aunts I grew up with and some friends who don’t have children.  

I was very nervous – this was the first time (obviously, since it was a first birthday) that I was hosting a children’s party.  A lot of the children were between 2 and 6 years old, so they (and their mums) had been to a lot of birthday parties already and I felt a bit under pressure to make sure that everything was perfect!

So, the day before the party, we moved all the furniture out of the living room and started blowing up balloons.  My sister and I also started putting together the Little Tikes Crazy Coupe.  Silly idea.  (See previous post).  I set up the table – with table cover, sorted out the plates and cups, etc.


The next morning I was up earlier than usual – I just couldn’t sleep because of how stressed out I was!  I wanted to start decorating with the balloons – but knew it was too early and that they would all pop in the heat.  So I waited.  I sorted out the play area for the babies instead.  The bouncy castle arrived, and the little tents were set up in the garden and I finally got to sort out the balloons!


The children loved the bouncy castle.  Some of them had their faces painted and got to do some art and craft as well.

I was very worried that V would become a bit overwhelmed with all the activity going on around him – but he was brilliant.  There were no tears – but he was a little ‘serious’ all day.  He barely cracked a smile!  Until, that is, Hub took him down the slide!


He loved the cake and was quite happy to eat as much of it as he was allowed (which wasn’t much).


Once the children started leaving, it was time to give them their return gifts.  Everyone got a little animal back-pack and what they got with it depended on how old they were (see pictures below).  Wrapping them all was a pain in the backside, and my gift-wrapping skills are atrocious!


AND – the ‘done’ thing over here (or so I’ve seen at the last 4 parties we’ve been to) is to have a ‘nanny bag’ as well.  This is a gift bag for any nannies that come.  The bag consists of chocolates and sweets.  We made up 36 of these.


I was *so* relieved when everyone had left.  I opened all of the presents (without Vinay.  Bad?), wrote down who gave what and drank champagne.  A lot of it!

All I said, all week, was that I’m never going to do this again.  And I’m not.  Not until my boy is old enough to choose if he wants to have a big party.  Or even if he wants to have it at home (please God, no)!


To Invite? Or Not to Invite? That is the Question…

You probably already know (because I’ve been banging on about it for weeks) that it’s Vinay’s first birthday soon and I’m trying to organise his party.  I actually think that his birthday should be about *him* – but it seems that I was very wrong and it’s about every one (yes, you *do* detect a note of sarcasm)…  

Anyway, while looking at the list (again) and adding more names to it (again), I began to wonder if it was *really* necessary to invite those two children whose mum I kind of know through those other people that I don’t know that well.  The children’s names?  No, I don’t know…  And what about that other woman?  The one I know through a friend of a friend?  Should I invite her and her two kids also?

Yes – I will invite them.  I will invite them all.  Keep reading to see why.

It was 1989 and my mum and I were planning my 11th birthday party.  We were making a list of all my friends and I was writing the invitations with her.  I told her that there was a boy in my class that I didn’t want to invite because I didn’t like him.  She didn’t say, ‘Ok darling, whatever you like.’  She told me that if I didn’t invite everyone in my class, there would be no party.  I sulked a little, but wrote out his invite anyway.  When all the invitations were ready I took them into school and asked my teacher if I could give them out.  I can remember exactly how the furniture in the classroom was positioned.  I can even remember where some of my friends sat.  I walked up and down the aisles of the classroom and happily handed out my invites.  As I got closer to the desk of the boy-I-didn’t-want-to-invite, I felt a bit annoyed.  Why did I have to invite him anyway?  He was rude, arrogant and obnoxious (he really was – I remember) and I didn’t want him at my party.  I reached his desk and told him that I had forgotten his invitation at home and would bring it for him the following day.  He didn’t say anything.  He never asked me for it and I never gave it to him.  *Hangs head in shame*

I never really thought about it again until I started teaching.  When I first started teaching in Lagos, the school had been open a year and there were only 6-10 children in a class.  And I would see, on a regular basis, children handing out birthday party invitations to their peers and one or two of their classmates would be excluded.  Those poor children didn’t know why they weren’t invited or what they had done wrong and their feelings were hurt.  Therefore, as soon as we (my TA and I) realised someone had party invitations, we took them off the child and put them into each child’s homework folders ourselves.

It was during these few years that I remembered what I had done all those years ago.  I feel so incredibly guilty.  How could I have done something so heartless?  I’m not a nasty person…  I cry during the Ellen DeGeneres Show, for goodness sake!

So, keeping this in mind – I will invite those children I don’t know that well.  And their mums who I also don’t know that well.  Because I don’t want anyone to feel left out – and I don’t want anyone to feel like the boy-I-didn’t-want-to-invite must have felt.

If he ever reads this, I hope he knows how sorry I am 😦