Wednesday - The Birthday!
Breakfast & Presents - Ella opened a couple of small gifts from us before Dad went to work. I made pancakes (her favorite) for breakfast.
The Park - We spent the morning hanging out at the park with the local secular group. It was just lovely. Relaxation, tree-climbing, making new friends . . . couldn't have asked for more.
Baths - Next, we ditched the shopping plans, because it is still in the 90's here and the girls were hot, tired, and filthy. We spent the afternoon bathing, playing, and visiting with their Nana. It was just really nice to have her home for her birthday this year. Can't say it enough.
Dinner at Ella's favorite restaurant - Every year, she requests a trip to a local hibachi place, because she likes the soup. Yep, the miso soup, which we could probably get any number of places. But of course the rest of the meal is an event, and this was the first year we took Harper with us. Ella got a big kick out of sharing the experience with her. It was actually a nice dinner out, which doesn't happen often with two young kids.
I have no pictures from the day. There is no excuse, because I even remembered to bring my camera to the park. Some days, I just want to enjoy the time, and I forget to pick up the thing.
Saturday - The Birthday Party!
We had the house & table decorated as a surprise when she woke up Saturday morning. Well, minus the cake, because Ken picked that up later. But we had the table set up in green (still her favorite color) with tons of brightly colored confetti that we made the day before (yay for old scrapbooking supplies!). Oh, and there was bunting. Bunting, bunting, here and there . . .
. . . bunting, bunting EVERYWHERE!
No, seriously, I had sewed up five lengths of it. It was so much fun. I got to use up a bunch of fabric I couldn't figure anything else to do with, and it made the whole house (and the outside!) bright and festive. Love it.
Then we had family come over for shrimp & crab stew & potato salad. Yum! Oh, and of course cake.
I didn't make this one. Albertson's did. I wanted to make her one of these shark cakes, but I decided not to overextend myself. I had visions of trying a gluten free version of one of those and failing miserably at the last minute. Instead, I went the easy route, let Ella pick out a cake from the store, loaded Harper up with enzymes, and hoped for the best. The cake was delicious, by the way. They always do a great job there.
The weather cooperated (it wasn't TOO hot), and the girls played outside. Yes, I said "girls." All of the cousins are girls. We do not know how to make boys in this family. So there were six little girls in the backyard (there would normally be seven, but my sister was sick and couldn't bring my niece) and they played surprisingly well. Earlier in the week, the girls and I made gf playdough in some fun colors, and Ella was excited to share with them. Throw in some bubbles from the dollar store, and you have simple, easy party fun. Oh, and of course we had to have a shark pinata!
And all of our guests had to wear shark tattoos . . .
. . . yes, you come to our party, you have to rock a shark tat!
Then we all ate MORE shrimp stew and potato salad. And you know what? My house was actually still clean when everyone left. We just had to pick up a few things, put away the food, put the kids to bed, and relax.
It was such a fun week, but we're definitely glad to have a normal week again. And now . . . SPACE!