Our family looks forward to Christmas, but only because Boxing Day is Delaney’s birthday! We love the opportunity to celebrate with cakes and treats, and even though we’re camping in the bush, we had a lovely party!

Delaney, 2 years old, December 2011
Celebrating a young child's birthday is easy with balloons! I blow up four balloons and let the girls play with them. When one pops on the grass, I simply blow up another one to replace the first.

As our fourth daughter, Delaney is intent on keeping up with her older sisters. She can climb up into crazy places like she’s seen them do, and she has learned not to be scared of bugs that wander across her path. Rather than being bossed around by her sisters, Dell is very assertive and can make her own mind up about the way she wants things to happen.

As we prepared for our little bush party, the girls spontaneously dressed in their matching dresses given to them by Aunty Gwenda. I didn’t dress them in our their outfits. Actually, Brioni didn’t want to wear a matching dress — she prefers her pink dress — but she didn’t want to be the odd one out.

Girls blowing balloons, December 2011
The girls like to pretend that they are blowing the balloons up.

Girls playing with balloons, December 2011
Playing outside with balloons is so much fun!

Aisha pretending to tie a balloon, December 2011
Aisha adamantly insisted on a different-coloured balloon than her sisters.

Delaney, 2 years old, December 2011
At two years old, Delaney is intent on communicating complicated ideas but is often not very understandable! She uses the word "blue" as a synonym with "adult" — probably because I said I was sitting in the blue chair and now everything that is appropriate for grown-ups is "blue"! I love they way she says "yep" instead of "yes" and persists with her talking even when no one understands her!

A party isn’t a party without food, and our girls are very specific about what constitutes party food. It appears that candles are also mandatory, although I got away with not setting up streamers in the bush by suggesting that balloons may be more fun.

Delaney drinking soy drink, December 2011
Dell's favourite drink is soy — straight from the carton!

Delaney with her birthday cupcakes, December 2011
David strung up the pink balloons earlier at our picnic spot on the creek to make it more festive.

Cracker and dip for Delaney's birthday, December 2011
After the cupcakes, our birthday snacks are rice crackers with dip — easy for the girls to share and lots of fun to eat.

Our camp neighbours walked downstream to join us for Dell’s party. It’s awesome to have lovely people who make the celebration more memorable with their enthusiasm and energy!

Luke at Dell's birthday party, December 2011
The girls gave Luke a fairy crown to wear when he arrived at Party Central.

Dancing at Delaney's birthday party, December 2011
After the food, Luke puts some music on, and we all dance in front of the fire.

Delaney dancing at her birthday party, December 2011
I love seeing Delaney dance along with the rest of us!

Luke has been introducing us to a different range of music — doof and techno beats. It’s not something that we’ve played in the past, but the girls like to dance to it, and the beat is mesmerising!

Brioni and Aisha pose with their glow-sticks, December 2011
When it starts to get dark, I break out the glow sticks and the girls dress up in extravagant jewellery.

Dancing at Delaney's birthday party, December 2011
The dancing continues well after dark until rain ends the party.

Dell has learned to say that she’s “two” when asked, although she hasn’t quite mastered holding up two fingers. Instead, she displays her whole hand as if that’s enough. We think she’s so cute and she laughs in response to our laughter. We love you so much, beautiful Delaney! Happy birthday!