On Saturday, Meilani and Mama got to dress up for an all-hearts birthday party. We helped our little friend Milani (Yes, her name is just one letter different) celebrate her 3rd birthday. Milani's dad, Bill McGowen, teaches at Fresno Christian with Ericlee and we've recently become good friends with their family. We were the first to arrive at the party and Meilani joined Milani in the "twirling game." Milani had a ball in her swishy birthday dress and Meilani dived right in the adventure. The girls were also entertained by the helium balloons for quite a while. Who needs games? It's the simplest things that please these little ones.
The McGowens' oldest daughter Meliz is always a good friend to our Meilani. She chased balloons with Meilani and even helped cook up a few things in their kid kitchen. All the girls were dressed in pink and red for this "Heart Party." We loved the way this party was simple, kid-focused and didn't involve too much sugar.
Mama Jessica made an extra effort to seek out healthy snacks for the kids. She made a heart-shaped pizza with dough from Trader Joe's and pepperoni and olives. She also cut out heart-shaped slices of cheese and served nuts and dried cranberries. The kids sipped from Trader Joe's lemonade boxes while the adults chowed down on the chips and organic salsa. (Thanks, Jess, for spending the extra 50 cents!) The cake was, of course, heart-shaped as well - a chocolate Whole Foods wonder with pink frosting. We appreciated the extra effort, especially since Jessica's pregnant with her 4th right now.
Of course, the highlight of the afternoon was opening the presents. Milani opened ours first - a hand-knitted hat and a copy of my children's book, CHILDREN OF THE SAN JOAQUIN VALLEY. (This was on special request.) Here Milani's older brother, Peyton, helps out with one of the favorite gifts, a baby doll in a baby bath. Milani sports her new hat.
Meilani was quite taken with Milani's new baby. When the birthday girl was tired of playing with it, Meilani took good care to bathe and dry the baby. She's quite the mothering type these days. We ended up leaving the party in tears because Meilani wanted to bring the baby home. It was a bit hard for this toddler to understand the beebee wasn't hers.
Happy Birthday, Milani! We Heart you!