Friday, 15 June 2012

A Bilingual Birthday & Pressies Galore

I can´t believe it! A couple of weeks ago,Chloe turned one. I can´t believe how quickly the past year has gone! It has been an enriching year full of joy and happiness.

 My parents came to stay with us so that they could celebrate her first birthday too. We decided to have a BBQ and invite family and our friends, especially those that had kids too, including our bilingual bubbas. Unfortunately, only one of the bilingual bubbas could make it and the rest of the kids were monolingual.There were only 7 children in total.

Parties are hard work, I can tell you! I spent most of the day preparing food...decorating the cupcakes and the birthday cake(both of which I had made a day or two ahead!), making two salads and the dressing, one salad was a typical Spanish-style salad with tomatoes, tuna, lettuce leaves and the other salad was more my type of salad, mixed lettuce leaves, apple,dried cranberries, cheese and a creamy garlic dressing etc. The worst thing about it was that because I was so busy preparing the party(even though I had a lot of help!) it meant that I didn´t get to spend much time with Chloe! Next year we might just go to a ball pool place where they do the´ll be so much easier! My parents had brought pork pies,puff pastry, sausage meat to make sausage rolls with. I also did a cheese and pineapple hedgehog,which was typical of birthday parties when I was little. My mother-in-law made two Spanish omelettes and we bought olives and sliced meat such as chorizo, Iberian ham and Spanish salami so we had a mixture of both cultures food wise. The sausage rolls were a big hit with the Spanish but the pork pies didn´t go down quite so well!We actually did too much food but never mind!Here are some photos of the birthday cake, a ladybird cake which I was very proud of!

We sang Happy Birthday followed by Cumpleaños Feliz, then Porque es una chica excelente and the English version, For She´s A Jolly Good Fellow, before the candles were blown out and the cake was cut. The only birthday cards,my daughter got were off English family and friends, there isn´t much tradition of cards in Spain but she got lots of presents.

She got quite a few books but I´ll be doing another post about them and I want to highlight some of the toys she got,particularly those that are great for language learning. One of the toys I bought her was My Puppy Pal Violet from Leap Frog, a cuddly puppy which can be connected to your computer and can be personalised to say your child´s name and will also spell it, favourite colour, favourite food and favourite animal. It also plays lullabies and songs which you can also download and change.This toy has won many awards and so far is proving to be a big hit with my daughter, especially now that she has learnt how to press it´s paws. She loves the music and dances along and the lullabies have soothed her to sleep on various occasions.It is aimed at babies from 6 mnths to 3 year olds.It also has a British accent so it´s great for further English exposure. The only downside I have come across is that the batteries run out pretty quickly.Here are some customer reviews from Amazon.

Another toy which I think is going to be great for Chloe´s English and learning in general is the VTech Alphabet Apple, an apple-shaped electronic toy with buttons for each letter of the alphabet. Each button has a little colourful drawing of an animal that begins with that letter plus the name of the animal in smaller print on it so for example A has a picture of an alligator and the word written below.Although this toy is aimed at older children, 2+ year olds, I bought it as a present that my daughter wouldn´t grow out of too quickly. As well as teaching the alphabet, animals and their characteristics, spelling, it also has a clock to help teach the time. The child can select different activity modes by sliding the icon up or down to do spelling games, clock quizzes, alphabet activities and listen to animal facts. There is also a music mode and each letter plays a different tune. My daughter loves pressing the buttons, turning the hand of the clock, the flashing lights of the buttons and the music although she doesn´t really play with it as such yet.The pronunciation of the letters and all sentences are spoken in a British English accent and they are very clear and accurate. Both My Puppy Pal Violet and the Alphabet Apple are great value for money and as I bought them on Amazon UK and they were both eligible for Super Saver Delivery, there were no additional costs for shipping, which is always a bonus!

My mum got her a couple of presents also from Amazon, which included two Melissa & Doug jigsaw puzzles, one of  the numbers 1-10 and the other is of the alphabet.They are both colourful and beautifully illustrated,particularly the alphabet puzzle as each letter has an illustration of something which begins with that letter, for example A has pictures of apples in it.Although again maybe a bit old for her, she will get a lot of mileage out of these puzzles and they will really help with learning the alphabet and widening her vocabulary.


  1. What a fun birthday Chloe must have had! The cake is beautiful! Well done!! It looks like Chloe got some great toys, too. I like to get things a little ahead of the age range, too, so Aleksander can grow into them and enjoy them for a long time.

  2. Thanks Kate! Yes, she sure did!I agree,it´s much better to buy toys that are aimed at a higher age range so that they can play with them longer!

  3. Sorry this is late but happy birthday Chloe!