More Duck Pond Fun

We have been suffering from a bit of a heat wave of late. A ridiculous heat wave. But there was a day, between heat waves, that was a pleasant, humidity-free 80 degree day. Gorgeous! Papillon and I decided it was a good duck pond day. We tried to invite some friends, but our spontaneity was apparently too much much for them. So it was just us which, which was totally fun.

We had some yummy lunch.

And hung out on the picnic blanket for a while. Papillon enjoyed crawling all over me and playing with the grass and such.

Then we braved feeding the ferociously hungry ducks. You show them a bag of bread and they mob you. So we fed them for a while, then hid the bread in a tree so we could just enjoy the sights for a bit. The ducks definitely got close enough to touch (no, we didn't touch them), which, Papillon, being a lover of small creatures, thought was amazing.

This was definitely one for the record books in terms of fun mommy and Papillon activities. It was so fun to just enjoy hanging out together away from the house. The weather was perfect, Papillon had a great time, and I came back completely refreshed! (and as an added bonus Papillon took a great nap when we got home!)

Eating her Lips

Papillon likes to eat her lips in moments of great concentration.

I fear she gets this from me.

Papillon's 1st Bday Party

We timed Papillon's party to be late in the afternoon, which seems to contradict general guidelines for children's activities which tend to be mid morning or early afternoon. But, since both of those time are nap times for Papillon, and since later afternoon through until bedtime is her longest waking time, we thought that time was our safest bet for a happy birthday girl.
And it worked, she woke up from her nap 20 minutes before guests started arriving. Just enough time to put on her party attire:
Costume: Frog Hat
Pool: Swimsuit
Fancy: Necklace (not pictured)

She greeted people as they arrived. She is always a little hesitant when new people show up, so there weren't a ton of smiles at this point. But she wasn't grumpy, and that is what counts!
Saying Hi to some grandparents:

More grandparents:

My dad unofficially won for best outfit: Baker's Hat, Bow Tie, Swim Trunks.

Papillon and I made the rounds trying to say Hi to everyone.

Intentionally, there wasn't a lot of structure to the party. Just fun, food and friends.
There was also badminton.

And dress up and bubbles.

And a sprinkler.

It was good times.

The only official item on the agenda was to sing Happy Birthday and let Papillon eat her cupcakes.
Remarkably, she did very well while everyone sang, and she thought the cupcake was kind of mediocre. She ate about half of it, but not with them furious excitement about the sweetness that I was expecting.

We tried to get pictures of Papillon with each guest...I think we got almost everyone. Here are just a few:

Papillon was distracted by something.

And then apparently anxious about something.

And moderately uncomfortable here.

We didn't open presents during the party; we figured all that staring and excitement would push our sweet Papillon over the edge. But as the party wound down, we let her open them up. Among other things, she received a plethora of books - which are possibly her favorite thing in the world. So she was super excited.

After the party, Mon Amour and I were both super-tired. Papillon, however, was energized from all the excitement, and while Mon Amour and I lay immobile on the couches, Papillon played and played until past bed time. Crazy kid.

Thanks again to everyone who came! We hope you had as much fun as we did!

1st Bday Party Prep

When we first started planning for Papillon's Birthday, we didn't really anticipate it being a huge party. We wanted to invite "everyone", but we wanted to keep it simple and figured since it was the summer, a good number of people may be on vacation or what not, so what are the odds that nearly everyone we invited would be able to come!

Well, it turns out that we picked a good day, and as the RSVPs topped 50 people, we realized this party was going to take a significant amount of prep. (Side note: Thank you thank you to all the friends who took the time to come celebrate with us! We feel incredibly blessed to have so many awesome friends!)

So, the week before the party was filled with shopping.
A couple days before the party, I pulled out all of the dishes that feeding 50 people would require:

Then I made cakes. I am generally a cake-from-scratch kind of person. But, in light of the large quantity required I went with the boxed variety.

I then had a super-talented cake-decorating friend help me transform the cupcakes into Elephant and Piggie cupcakes (to go with our theme)

Aren't they the cutest?

We shopped the dollar store for some items that guests could use as dress up if they wanted (it was, after all, a fancy, costume, pool party!)

All these were stashed in a basket ready to be enjoyed.
For some reason, despite being a party-planner by trade, I had the hardest time trying to wrap my mind around how much food I would need for 50 people. I ended up airing on the side of tons of food...and we had lots of left overs. Which, is a good problem. But, next time I throw a 50 person party (which won't be for a while) I think I will be able to better estimate the correct amount of food. And so the party was prepped....ready for the guests!

Buttons and Animals

A while back (yes, posts are once again quite delayed...), we visited some friends for dinner, and had such a fun time that we stayed well past Papillon's bed time.

Fortunately, all it takes to get Papillon to stay up is to provide her with some entertainment. In this case, she found our friends to be entertaining, but also was entertained by two of her favorite play-things...

Technology with Buttons:
She hit lots of buttons on our friends phone. She almost called one of his friends....and then at one point got it to pull up the numbers 911. Fortunately I caught it before she found the send button for that one...

Furry Creatures:
In this case a fluffy cat. Who tried its best to be patient, but I think Papillon may have traumatized it with her squeals of happiness. Papillon loves all kinds of animals!

A Baby Shower

Right before Papillon's birthday, she and I, and some friends took a bit of a road trip to attend another friend's baby shower. We got mildly lost on the way (I jumped the gun turning on to "South Main St"; it shouldn't be legal to have two streets with the same name that close together). But we made it!

Our friend is having a boy, as evidenced by the adorable napkins.

There were quite a lot of people there! This was oddly encouraging to me, since i was throwing a large party the next day; witnessing this party (specifically the quantities on the buffet) helped me get a little perspective on the quantities of food that I would need for the bday party...but more on that later.

Papillon had a good time reading books before lunch.

And being overly helpful with opening presents. She really wanted to take all the bows off all the presents before they even got to the mom-to-be.

Congratulations to our friend! Can't wait to meet the little one when he arrives!

The Crazy Uncle

My little brother has been home from college this summer, and Papillon has gotten to spend some quality time with him. Some times she gives him a look of "you're weird" (cause its the truth! haha), but most of the time she just thinks he is pretty awesome.

Here is is showing her something nifty on the computer....perhaps skyping with an overseas Aunt?

And here is is educating her on the marvel that is his fixer-upper-Saab (which he just got rid was beyond repair, like whoa!). She is a bit skeptical.

It's only a matter of time when she is hanging out with this Uncle before she will be all kinds of interested in cars. Hopefully she won't get an itch to ride on his least not for a while...

Fun Family Fridays

In the summer, Mon Amour has the option to work a condensed work week - 4 long days, instead of 5 regular days. This means that we have some free Fridays to do fun family things.

One Family Fun Friday involved a trip to Storyville, where Papillon thought she should eat the stuffed bird's beaks.

...and her lips (she does this a lot...more on that in another post)

Mon Amour attacked her with some puppets.

And sat in some cute Papillon-sized chairs.

Another Friday involved a trip to the beach.
She played in the water with Mon Amour.

Then she hung out in the shade, inspecting the sunscreen.

And telling me how big she is.

Papillon and Friends

Right up there with books and food, Papillon loves to spend time with friends. People of any kind are super-fun to her. (Note: she does have some stranger-anxiety, but she is generally fine as long as I am there, or the environment is familiar).

Here are some pictures from some recent play-dates.

This adorable little girl is 3,

and she and Papillon played with her little kitchen.

which meant that I got to hold this snuggly little guy. Papillon did come over and give him a pet (she pets babies like she pets Marge) but the play kitchen and snacks that her friend was sharing were more fun.

We met this sweet 2 year old at the Chick-fil-a play ground one day. She was very active crawling through the tunnels and slides,

so Papillon watched and crawled around after her trying to figure out if she too could crawl through the tunnels up to the top of the slide.

This little guy is just a couple of months old, but Papillon found him most intriguing. She would poke him with a curious finger and say "ooooo" at him excitedly.