While Pope Benedict XVI celebrated his 80th birthday, Our Little Celebrity turned 2. The party was on a very blustery, rainy Sunday afternoon; still, 27 people braved the elements to come wish Veeka a happy birthday; a lot more folks, I might add, than who came to *my* birthday party last year.
Everyone wanted to see our bouncing princess, who was in her usual good mood and happy to sit on various peoples’ laps inbetween the opening of many presents. Clad in a white-and-pink frock sent from Anita Higman in Texas, she got all sorts of wonderful things: classic hard-back childrens’ books, some cool stuffed horses and puppy dogs, many sets of pretty, pretty clothes, money, puzzles, games and even a call from Oma and Opa who wanted to sing her happy birthday but she’d fallen asleep by then, pooped after all the festivities.
The afternoon started when Diane Karadimos arrived to help make the lime punch, albeit squeezing 11 limes was not her idea of a great time. But a nice punch was made and then the guests began to drop in. By the time a few had arrived, we decided to sing her happy birthday at which point (see first photo), Debra Mattingly held her by the lilies and over the cake while Frye Mattingly – who’d just had a birthday I think – helped her to blow out the candles. You can only see the top of his head and the yellow-and-blue butter icing (color of the Kazakh flag) atop the carrot cake.
More guests arrived with gaily decorated packages at which point Veeka took refuge on Terry Mattingly’s lap while he and Debra read to her from her new ladybug book (a gift from Ellen Campbell I believe). It’s amazing what’s out there in childrens’ books; one of the gifts had little lights that lit up to represent fireflies. Kids’ books come with the most amazing appendages; another has a literal tube that folds out into an elephant’s trunk that arches between the pages.
At one point Veeka got upset that I was doing all the unwrapping so she tried to help (3rd photo). Even more intriguing when when Sarah Lohmann showed up with 5-month-old Anna Maria, which Veeka thought was a really cool doll for her to keep (fourth photo). It took a few minutes to set her straight. Also there were two women from my local single moms support group who are thinking of adopting from Kazakhstan and who wanted to see what a real live kid from there looks like.
This morning, Veeka crawled into bed with me and gave me lots of kisses. I think I’ll keep her.