Wilfred turned one yesterday. My little baby is all grown up and I’m not sure whether to smile or cry! We did plan to have a little birthday party for him this morning, but I have been too ill to properly organise anything (bout of the flu, followed by a horrible chest infection) and Wilfred has been too ill to really enjoy his house being full of people and noise (an ear infection in both ears, followed by a nasty throat infection). So the party idea was scrapped and we decided to keep things small scale (after all, with the benefit of hindsight when you have your second baby, I knew he wouldn’t appreciate anything on a big scale anyway).
We are very lucky that Granny is staying with us at the moment on a visit from the UK, so we decided to spread the celebrations out over a couple of days. Yesterday was a regular day with nursery for Stanley and work for Daddy – so although we laid all his presents out in the lounge the night before, we didn’t open anything until the weekend arrived this morning. He did love his Early Learning Centre activity table though, which was his main present (and an inspired idea, he has been absolutely thrilled since he first set eyes on it yesterday morning). I also ordered a Teddy Bear’s Picnic cake through company Cindulge (Dubai mummies, you have to check out this talented lady’s page, I am so impressed with our cake!) so that was saved for today too – and without a party, we have a lot of cake to eat, but we are not complaining!
That afternoon, I decided to take the boys to a play area as a birthday treat – so we piled in the car and headed to The Dubai Mall to spend an hour in Le Petit Palais Dubai. Located in Galleries Lafayette, this charming little play area is designed around a French village, compete with supermarket, petrol station, a large play house, and winding road with vehicles to drive around. There’s also a soft play/jungle gym area, craft room, and a-m-a-z-i-n-g party room (we saw what was in store for the lucky children coming in today and it was on another level!) If you happen to be in Dubai Mall with the kids, I really recommend letting them play here for an hour or two.
After they have played for an hour, the toddler started barking ‘TEA! TEA TIME! TEA!’ so we made our way to Outback Steakhouse for a birthday tea. This place is such a hidden gem. Located on level two of the mall amongst the children’s shops, the restaurant itself is always quiet – and if walk through and head through the doors to the terrace outside, you will discover an incredible view overlooking Burj Khalifa (tallest building in the world ‘dontchaknow) and the amazing Dubai Fountains (tallest dancing fountains in the world). The sun was setting and the fountains started dancing, making a really quite spectacular setting for Wilf’s first birthday tea. Daddy had come to join us at this point and the adults had a few appetisers while Stanley and Wilfred tucked into mac-n-cheese and the sun set in front of us. Kind of don’t want to give this little secret away, but oops I’ve done it, so make sure you head there with the kids to avoid the crowds watching the fountains.
Friday is the weekend in Dubai – and after a lazy morning with pancakes and blueberries at home, we drove over to Ripe Market at Zabeel Park. This is one of our favourite things to do at the weekend at the moment – rows of food and crafty stalls under the shade of palm trees, plus great coffee and fresh lemonade to sip, kids’ play areas, a petting zoo and pony rides, and good friends. This morning, we met up with my friend Simone along with her family and friend Laura. The weather was beautiful – and even though it was busy, we all had a lovely time strolling around, making a few purchases, and letting Stanley run off some energy.
We got home mid-morning and decided it would be perfect time to open presents and cut the cake. This mainly involved Wilfred crawling around eating wrapping paper, whilst his brother opened presents for him (you know how it is).