Sera has certainly had her fill of cupcakes the last few days. You should see her eyes light up when she sees one now. She points and shouts, "Cake!" I brought cupcakes to her daycare on her actual birthday. I went downstairs during my prep period and took pictures of her and the other children enjoying their snack. I can't post their photos, but trust me they're a bunch of cuties. It's a small group right now, only about six. On this day the other little girl was absent, so it was Sera surrounded by her boys.
We have a local candy company that has been in business since 1991. Several years ago they branched out into the espresso/coffee bar business as well. Their main location is in our downtown area. They purchased the empty storefront next door and expanded. They've added a cafeteria-style restaurant, an old-fashioned candy store, a party room, and two play areas. About a month ago, I saw a story on the news that they were about to open and that they were going to be available for parties. I called and talked to them about children's parties. The Sunday after they opened, Jim and I went to check them out. We decided to book them for Sera's birthday.
On our last full day in Gulf Shores, I was about to step off the boardwalk on to the beach when my phone rang. It was my contact at the chocolate cafe. Did I mention their candy is all wonderfully decadent chocolates? Anyway, she wanted to confirm that we were still planning on having the party. Since it was several days before I was supposed to call and give a final count, I was surprised to hear from her. She then got to the real point of her call. The party planned for that weekend cancelled. It was supposed to also be a photo shoot for a magazine. She wanted to know if they could take photos at Sera's party instead. I agreed. There was some confusion for a few days when I thought it was for Life magazine. I didn't think it was still being published (it's not), so I was confused. I then learned it was for Lake Magazine. When I called with the final count, my contact told me that they were going to provide a clown for entertainment at no cost to showcase that option for the photoshoot. I told her I was concerned because Sera will only be two and the most of the other children are between two and four. She said that she'd tell him not to wear his costume. He was going to make balloon animals for the kids. I knew Sera would love that part.
He did show up without his costume. He just wore his red nose and a vest. Well, the red nose completely freaked Sera out.
Can you see the stains on Jim's shoulder from her tears?
The other kids were enjoying the show though.
He did take off the nose as soon as we realized it was a problem. After a bit, Sera came to me and we sat behind everyone. When she realized he was making balloon animals, she began watching him. When he started her butterfly, she hopped down and stood right in front of him watching. After the clown show, they took us into a room with three giant vats to watch a demonstration of how they dip nuts, malted milk balls, and dried fruit in chocolate. This was something they added without telling me for the photoshoot. The adults and older children found it fascinating. The toddlers could not have cared less, until he offered them a sample.
Things got much better from their point of view.
We went back to the party room for cake and ice cream.
We also had treat bags filled with candy. Yum!
Sean was a big help making Sera laugh and smile for the photographer.
He can make her laugh instantly. Of course, he flings himself into walls and on the floor, but what's a little pain?
Daddy and Uncle Doug keeping up with the Tigers score.
And the playing begins.
Kyra gave Sera this doll. She didn't let go of it once.
I didn't intentionally mean to get only blurry pictures and backs of girls playing. They were just moving that fast. It worked out okay because I don't mind posting them. I don't think anyone could identify any of them from these shots.
It seems like everyone had a good time. I hope so. I know Sera did. It started out a little dicey, but she loved playing with all the other kids. This is just a few pictures from my camera. I haven't even seen the ones from Jim's camera yet. Sean's older brother, DJ, had a rare Saturday without a lacrosse game, so he played photographer with Jim's camera. Jim had the video camera, and I haven't seen that footage yet either. The official photos will be in the June issue of Lake magazine. I can't wait to see them. I'm just hoping I get cropped out. I didn't plan on being in any of them, but I know I was. I would have made a little more effort with hair and makeup. I still haven't quite mastered getting both of us looking our best at the same time.