Here's my Bathing Beauty Birthday Babe...all set to scout out some sea turtles at the beach. Eliza really wanted to have her party at the beach, so we packed up half our house and schlepped it over to her favorite spot.
I'm embarrassed to say we really don't go to the beach that often, what with 3 kids and all. I obviously have to keep a close eye on Hazel at all times, so unless Steve is able to come it doesn't work out. Actually, what usually happens is Steve takes the two older kids to the beach or the pool when he has a day off and I stay home with Hazel. Baby gets a nap, the big kids and Daddy have fun, and I don't have to walk around in a bathing suit. Perfect arrangement! :-)
This rock provided an unending source of entertainment and exercise for the kids that day. They literally spent hours pushing and pulling their Prize (they dug it out of the sand) back and forth, in and out of the water countless times. Who needs toys when you've got a rock?
Hazel is finally old enough to sit up by herself and splash in the water, which she did with great delight. At least for about 5 minutes, until she got cold and decided that, contrary to popular folklore, the ocean in Hawaii is not as warm as a bathtub.
THE LEANING TOWER OF PISA HAS BEEN MOVED TO THE BEACH? No, that's just a very cool palm tree trunk. I just love the way the lines and the light animate the surface of this trunk. I think I'll do a painting of it someday.
I was not at all disappointed that Eliza's choice of cake this year was a cupcake platter. I was so glad I didn't have to deal with bringing a big fancy decorated cake to the beach for it to melt in the sun (that happened to my cake when I was a kid on at least one occasion).
This is one of the only close-up shots I got of the cupcakes because the kids were running out of self-control and very ancy to get their hands on their favorite colored cupcake. That and my friends were teasing me about my time-consuming photography efforts. I tried quoting that oft-spoken phrase, "You can't rush art!" but it didn't work. :-) So a tripod-less blurry close up will have to do.
I just frosted them with buttercream frosting and sprinkled colored sugar (simply made by shaking coarse white sugar and food coloring together in a ziploc baggie) and topped them with candles. The idea was that every kid was going to get their own candle to blow out, but it was so windy that day that we didn't even bother trying to light the candles. You know the kind of blustery wind that tips everyone's picnic plates over and spills food all over the poor kids trying to eat their lunch? Yup, that's what happened. I don't think any of them cared that they couldn't light the candles, they thought it was cool just to have one in their own cupcake.
Another tip that my friends didn't know about so you may not either: to prevent the big, heavy candle from falling over, simply stick a toothpick up into the base of it before inserting into the cake. It provides enough anchor to keep the candle in place without having to smoosh it so far down that it messes up the frosting. It was a trick my mom always did for our cakes, I just thought it was common knowledge but I guess not! My mother is the source of a lot of the domestic skills I have...so thanks, Mom!
This looks like some sort of party game (I know this shot is just begging for a funny one-liner, but my brain is on clever-strike right now), but it's just Hazel doing one of her bear crawl maneuvers. Curious Lily wanted to know what was so interesting on the ground beneath Hazel's belly.