When Natalie turned 2 last January we hadn't been home from China very long, so we had a quiet family birthday party. This year we decided to do something special to celebrate her 3rd birthday. We invited all of Natalie's friends from school to a party at the zoo.
The day started out a bit chilly. We piled the cake and presents into a wagon and off we went to the Jungle Party Room. Natalie brought her hedgehog in honor of the animal of the day.
On our way to the party room we saw a some spider monkeys huddled together to try to stay warm. After the party the temperature was much warmer and the monkeys were playing and having a grand time.
At first Natalie was very nervous and wanted to hold on to either myself or Gary at all times. She kept saying "I don't want to go to school!" I think because all of her little school friends were there she thought we were going to leave her.
For a couple of weeks before the party Natalie had been carrying her little stuffed hedgehog around in anticipation of meeting a real hedgehog at her party. When the docent brought the hedgehog out the first thing Natalie did was hold her hedgehog up and put it nose to nose with the real hedgehog. I guess she thought they might like to meet.
The docent told the children to pet the hedgehog with one finger in the direction of the quills and to keep their fingers away from its mouth. Natalie is really good at following and remembering directions. Every time we talk about our hedgehog experience she reminds us that we should never put our fingers near their mouth.
We received an unexpected visit from a bonus animal. A beautiful and very friendly tortoise was petted and much admired by all the children and adults.
We were supposed to ride the carousel, but it had broken down the day before the party. Instead we got to ride the zoo train. Natalie sat beside her Daddy and instructed me to sit on the seat in front of them because there wasn't room for me on their seat. She really enjoyed the train ride and talked animatedly the whole time. When we got back to the Jungle room she was completely relaxed and in full party mode.
Natalie's Ni Hao Kai-Lan cake. We bought her a Ni Hao KL lego set for her birthday and I used the figures and boat from it on her cake. After we sang Happy Birthday to Natalie she blew out 2 of her 3 candles (I had to help with the 3rd).
Natalie took the Kai-Lan toy back to the table with her.
A very rare moment of eating unhealthy food. Yummy!
Along one wall were some of Natalie's favorite adults: Papa, Marm, Donna and Mitch. She kept going over to chatter with the four of them excitedly about various party events.
The pink backpack Natalie is holding below was a gift from the zoo. Natalie is really getting into Dora the Explorer, so she was so excited about getting this backpack. I'm sure it will go with her on many future expeditions.
Her birthday dress and shoes were a gift from Marm and Papa. Of course our little fashionista was thrilled to have a "bootiful, just like Cinderella" dress to wear.
The kids got great goody bags that contained these fun masks.
Papa holds Natalie up so she can pet the gorilla's nose.
Back at home opening her presents
Kitty cat card from Grandmother and Granddaddy
Her favorite gift was from Neal and Sissy. Her reaction was "Wow! Wow! WOW!!"
The whole gang from Ni Hao Kai-Lan
Papa and Natalie playing with a puzzle
Gotta wear shades
1 day ago