July 2, 2009: Miss Firecracker, aka Miriam Fern Cochrane, turns 4 years old.
She started the day by going to breakfast with her Daddy--a special treat each girl has been able to enjoy since her 3rd birthday. Then it was home for the day to open family presents.
Ever since we read Charlotte's Web, Miriam has decided that she might prefer to be called by her middle name sometimes, and that she simply must have a pig of her own to sleep in her bed with her. This present was just what she wanted. (And mom is quite happy with it too, especially compared to the alternative!)
Fern has her own little Wilbur. Does this picture look familiar?
After lunch, naps for little ones, and a very quick dinner intended to force some protein into their little bodies, we held Miriam's first "real" birthday party--one with her own special friends invited. The theme was Candyland. Miriam's friends Nell, Mary, and Mark joined us, as did their parents and siblings.The cake, meant to represent Candy Castle, the rightful home of King Candy and Queen Frostine.
Cathy is once again my partner in crime. She was a great sport to play the role of Lady Licorice, evil counterpart to my Queen Frostine.
And she brought along the rest of her family, including this much-prayed for little guy. We call him Jack, and I'm teaching him how to say, "How YOU doin'?"
After spending much of 2 days constructing a rainbow for Rainbow Trail, compiling costumes, creating character cards and a color cube, and cutting apart colored squares for the Candyland path, we were ready to put it all together this afternoon. It looked fantastic! I was confident I had thought of everything, until, as the evening began to cool, a breeze picked up. And when that breeze blew, colored squares took to the winds! Thankfully, we had a bunch of handymen around.
They nailed all 80+ square to the ground so our path would stay put.
The Candyland Kids, from left: Mark, Jill, Nell, Mary, and Miriam. Their mission: to make their way through Candyland to rescue King Candy, who has been imprisoned in Lady Licorice's fortress. (And to collect as much candy along the way as possible.)
Most of the cast and crew at Rainbow Trail.
Our Candyland helpers, from left: Ellie as Princess Taffy--a character we created because I bought and saved some salt-water taffy from our last trip to the Beaufort, SC area; Jane as Princess Lolly; and Emma, as a very youthful Grandma Nutt.
Queen Frostine giving directions.
Jill waiting expectantly for her taffy at Rainbow Trail. (After this, she was pretty much out of the game, sitting on the sides eating the little bit of candy she managed to collect.)
The game in action. Roll the cube, move to that color--unless you roll "Lose a Turn," and then Lady Licorice will descend upon you and force you to take black jelly beans! HaHaHa!
After all the kids managed to breach the walls of Lady Licorice's fortress, they released King Candy and took over Lady Licorice's catapults.
The Candyland Kids quickly loaded each catapult with a strawberry marshmallow, and Ready! Aim! Fire!
Bring it on! Lady Licorice boasted. But little did she know the fury of a group of children forced to eat black jelly beans!
Lady Licorice is DOWN! (What a great sport she is!)
Inside, we took a more traditional approach to ending the evening. A round of "Happy Birthday to You." The presentation of the cake.
Miriam blowing out her candles.
Cutting the cake.
The "surprise inside": Four layers, each a different color and flavor.
Almost the entire crew.
Happy Birthday, Miss Miriam! We surely do love you!