We apologize for the absence, Meghan! Thanks for the kick in the pants! I'm finding it increasingly challenging to have computer time these days. For the record, I'm posting this close to midnight, well past my bedtime. I got a second wind by staying up just late enough (two hours ago) that now I can't sleep. The good news is there is a new post at last! Without further ado...
This past Saturday, we attended a birthday party for Ellie's classmates. Because Montessori classes are mixed-age, two siblings are in the class, and they have birthdays close together. Their parents decided to go all out and reserve a day at Castledare Miniature Railways, and they generously invited whole families to attend. There were well over a hundred people, which made introverted Markus and me a bit queasy until we found out the hidden story: they're Greek. Enough said! Greeks are so famous for their generous hospitality that no wonder the party was huge! And don't you know the hosts made everyone feel so welcome and important, taking time to talk to each person, making sure everyone had everything he/she needed! I am in awe of wonderful hosting skills. I'm more of a buffet-style DIY hostess myself. It leaves a bit to be desired. But I digress.
Ellie had SUCH a good time! We all did. The trains are really cool. My dad would have loved them! They are big and strong enough to tow around a few dozen people (adults included), but everything about them is mini. The land they are on is reserved for a park, and it felt like we were back in the South. Marsh all around! A huge white pelican flew over. It was lovely! More photos of the day will be in the flickr account if you want to see. We rode the train twice. The party was really all about the junk food. The tables were so low that they were the perfect height for baby Stephanie to scavenge all that was abandoned by other kids in a sugar-induced frenzy.
She was so happy waddling along, stuffing small round Cheetos into her mouth. Ellie's style was (as usual) more orderly. She picked one spot and stayed there, consuming Jello after Jello until we cut her off, afraid she'd make herself ill. I think she ate five. She also had a cookie, a cupcake and a lollipop. Model parents, yes, we know! It was a birthday party, okay?! Our favorite (cringe) moment was when she got up and we could clearly see a very distended sugar belly. Oh my, it's a prize winner! (for the record, we cut her off for the rest of the day once we saw that)
Markus later told me that while he was waiting in the hot drink line, he had a "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" flashback as an older woman made her way down the line, pointing her finger and asking everyone in a strong accent, "Are you Greek?" We've been giggling about it ever since.