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Hello Terrific 2’s: Celebrating Ava’s 2nd birthday

by | Jul 8, 2019 | Just Kids, Party Inspiration | 13 comments

And just like that we are celebrating our little Ava’s 2nd birthday! It feels like only yesterday that I was writing a letter to our 1 year old and celebrating Frida Kahlo style with a Mexican fiesta. Now you are running, talking our ear on fire and carving out your own unique spot in the world. Yes, at two you are a fierce little lady and it’s easy to mistake this time as “terrible”, BUT if we look closely we can see…


The 2’s don’t need to be terrible, they are actually TERRIFIC!


So, sharing may not be your favourite thing, and playing with others seems fun for only a minute (or two)…

But, you’re learning everyday, and so are we. We all just need to be a little more patient, a little more forgiving and a little more generous, giving you time AND a good example of kindness and compassion.


You see beauty,in the things others overlook…

The wonder of the smallest ant, a weed mistaken for the prettiest flower or the way sunshine plays on your bedroom wall. You remind us to slow down and look at what’s right in front of us.


You can not wait. Your impulses still rule and more often than not no one, not even YOU understands why something seemingly unimportant ended in a temper tantrum on the floor.

It’s okay little one… At 33 years old mama also still struggles, the world seems big and scary at times and often, new challenges get the better of me too.

  • Your anxiety will lessen as you see “there is more than enough” to go around – it’s okay if you have to wait your turn.
  • In our home you have a safe space. Together we will walk through every uncontrollable impulse and emotion till one day… YOU are the one in control.
  • As you learn more and more words, you’ll get better at telling us what it is, that bothers you so. Frustration won’t be part of everyday.


I love the way you think your mama has super powers!!

Just know that sometimes even superman comes into contact with kryptonite and when I fail to “read your mind”, “know your every desire” or ” respond, lightning fast” – you’ll still be okay.


Thank you for wanting to do more and help more…

Yes, it’s dirty when you feed yourself but, thank you for giving me back both my hands to enjoy my own dinner WITH you.

Getting dressed takes ages and somedays I don’t even know how to describe your outfit choices, but now we both get done TOGETHER.

It’s time to give up the power struggle. Seeing you become more independent, hearing you say “Want to myself” are affirmations that we must be doing something RIGHT!


So here’s to the surprise scribbles on the wall, the endless hours of “peek-a-boo” and the compulsory meltdowns that fill each day…

Turning two isn’t terrible little one. You are still the same amazing baby we fell in love with.

We all just need a slight shift in our mindset, a new way of looking at all the exciting emotional milestones this new year holds!


Happy 2nd birthday Ava “Olywa”…


May you always remember how terrific YOU really are!


PHOTO CREDIT | Anje-Ilana van Dalen from Madison & West Lifestyle Division.


Helpful info: All 3 girls are wearing dresses by Everli Baby and pretty hair accessories by Mia Mae. Ava’s shoes are Shooshoos and the letterboard is from Fable Lifestyle & Baby with large letters available at Curated South Africa. Cake from Woolworths – it’s their delicious coconut cake with some added caramel popcorn and toasted marshmallows.


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  1. Bianca

    How beautiful!!! Cue all the tears ?

    • Mari-Louise

      I’ll pass the tissues Bianca. xxx

  2. Tanya van Rensburg

    Oh my gosh this is just beautiful! Thank you for sharing this and for changing my mindset about my little girl’s terrific two’s which is coming up soon. Happy Birthday Ava! Xxx

    • Mari-Louise

      Thank you Tanya.I’m so happy to hear this, happy happy birthday to your angels

  3. Melize

    This is such a great post! I believe the our words carry so much power. And may proclaiming something like this over your your little one carry great significance.
    Ps 127
    3 Behold, children are a heritage and gift from the Lord, The fruit of the womb a reward.
    4 Like arrows in the hand of a warrior,
    So are the children of one’s youth.

    • Mari-Louise

      Thank you so much Melize for leaving such a thoughtful comment.We will treasure it forever and hold that verse in all our hearts.x

  4. Katherine Bodmer

    I LOVE this! I really like how you call it terrific twos and not terrible twos – speaking positively over your children is so important. With Noah fast approaching two we have a few family members saying it’s going to be the terrible twos and I keep correcting them saying, “it’s going to the terrific twos”.

    • Mari-Louise

      Keep speaking truth and positivity mama. You know you’re little one best! x

  5. Caley

    Aw happy 2nd birthday precious princess!
    It amazes me how both our number three daughters can be so similar… It must be because they are constantly looking for attention and have to share everything!! Shame, poor souls… x

    • Mari-Louise

      Or maybe they are lucky… Learning many challenging social skills from birth. hehe

  6. KaRi

    What pretty photos!!! Congratulations on your gorgeous princess’ birthday!

    • Mari-Louise

      Thank you Karin. Sy het die jaar geweet die dag is hare… xxx

  7. Heather

    This was beautiful to read! Thanks for keeping this mama in check as we are approaching the BIG TWO birthday soon! I love this terrific two idea! ?


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