Monday, August 25, 2008


As I explained in the previous post, Violet's birthday was three weeks ago, but it's taken me some time to process the photos from the big day and her party the following weekend. Here are the highlights of the celebrations:

Eric and I both took the day off on Violet's birthday to spend the day with her. She kicked things off by trying out eating with utensils for the first time: we gave her a spoon with her oatmeal and let her have at it. Much mess ensued. She's still working on mastering the spoon, and falls back on using her fingers quite a bit, but we're happy to let her figure it out at her own pace.

The real festivities came after breakfast - birthday presents! Violet dove right into the pile, ripping away wrapping paper and inspecting the contents of each package. Among her favorites: a xylophone, a set of Haba blocks, and a Melissa and Doug Learn-To-Play Piano.

After lunch and a nap, we headed to the zoo, where Violet was captivated by the "ki-cas" (tigers/kitty-cats). Violet alternated riding in the Hotsling on my hip or on her Dad's shoulders while we checked out all the animals before heading home for her birthday dinner. We fixed her one of our favorites, Penne with Corn, Roasted Poblanos, Avocado and Tomato; she loved it. Followed that up with a few bites of huckleberry cheesecake, and the birthday girl was ready for a bath and bed. (To see the entire album of Violet's birthday, click on the photo of her and her dad at the zoo.)

The next weekend our families joined us for her birthday party at my parents' place (they have one less 150 pound dog to wrangle there). Lunch was planned with Violet in mind: Grilled Zucchini and Summer Squash Salad with Citrus Splash Dressing (made with zucchini and squash from our garden!), Garlicky Roasted Potato Salad, and fruit skewers with a honey-lime drizzle and mint garnish; grown-ups also got brats. Though we were up into the wee hours the night before prepping those dishes, it was worth it. We wanted Violet to be able to partake of at least most of the menu - it was her party, after all - and she enjoyed some of everything we'd made.

After lunch, the guests all gathered to watch Violet open her gifts. The first thing she unwrapped was a gorgeous pink pettiskirt, with matching wand and sparkly headband from her Aunt Amy and Aunt Meagan. She adored her new girly gear, and wore it until it was time for cake.

We wrapped up the festivities with a couple of Marion berry Upside-Down cakes I made using some delicious berries we picked up at the farmer's market the morning before. (Marion berries are a favorite of ours, and we planted some this spring, but it doesn't look like our bush will be producing much this year.) Violet loved the cake, but was left with a rash around her mouth and up near her eye, where she had rubbed with a cake-covered hand, after eating it. Once again, the rash faded quickly, and we still haven't been able to pinpoint what she's reacting to.

She fell asleep nursing not long after that, giving me some time to just watch her and marvel at how much she's changed in the past year. How did our baby get so big so fast?

(To see the entire album of Violet's birthday party, click on the photo of the birthday girl in her party hat above.)

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