Monday, October 1, 2012

Joyeaux Anniversaire

Ever since Anna started taking French classes as a wee kindergartner, she's become a total Francophile.  She loves all things French, gasps at the sight of any French item (Eiffel Tower, mention of the word Paris, etc...) and is convinced that she will one day live along the streets of Paris as a famous artist.

Who knows - the kid just might.

When her birthday rolled around - she requested a big Hawaiian Luau - complete with grass skirts, lei's, and hula dancing with all of her friends.  I said 'no.  We're keeping it small this year.  You can have five friends over for a sleepover.'  She was disappointed - but agreed (reluctantly) - and perked up considerably when I showed her the invitation I created for her Parisian Themed party.

 As part of her French obsession - she adores Crepes and Croissants - a new restaurant that opened in downtown Columbia.  The proprietor is actually French - and employees the same - so not only is the food authentic but so are the people working there.  In fact, when I took Anna by for the first time, she immediately recognized the girl behind the counter as one of her French substitute teachers.  How is it that my kid knows more people in Columbia than I do?

At any rate, I figured to make things easy - we'd do a sleepover on Friday night - a few sweet treats, some French Fashion paper dolls, a Barbie French Fashion movie - and then the next morning, have the big activity - a special trip to C&C where Laurent (chef and owner) would demonstrate the art of crepes and the girls could have their fill.

I made things REALLY easy.  As in - cashed in a gift certificate to Cupcake to have Anna's birthday 'cake' made.  Red velvet mini cupcakes with cream cheese icing + vanilla mini cupcakes with chocolate icing = happy girl + not-overtired mama.  Win - Win.

I have to admit - I did feel a little bit guilty that I didn't make any baked goods for this girl's birthday...

Thankfully I have amazing friends like Nici - who made the most amazing Eiffel Tower sugar cookies.  Not only were they delicious - but beautiful - and worth every single bad word she said sweet thought she uttered when she made them for Anna.

The morning after the sleepover (which is a bit of a misnomer - I discovered this year that five little girls nearing age eight don't really sleep - rather - they squeal and scream a lot...) the girls got their goody-bags ... a red beret, red shorts, and t-shirt with the same logo as the invite (thank you Photoshop.)  And then it was off to C&C.

I couldn't help thinking 'In an old house in Paris that was covered in vines, lived twelve little girls in two straight lines, the youngest one was Madeleine...'  or in our case, six little girls in one zig-zag line...

Laurent and Amandine made things really special.  I think they were excited to have a little girl's birthday party at their restaurant.  The girls had their own table reserved for them, that they had decorated in balloons, and where they placed flowers that Deonne had sent in advance for Anna.

 I was a bit nervous about how the girls would react to the crepes - some aren't the most adventurous eaters - and notoriously picky.  However, each little girl carefully chose her crepe - ranging from ham and cheese to nutella to just cheese - and after watching Laurent make them on the big crepe irons - enjoyed every single bite.  (Emma said 'it looks really gross but it tastes really yummy' in reference to her nutella crepe.)

And then it was time for 'joyeaux anniversaire' - and Amandine came out with a homemade cake for Anna - and sang her 'happy birthday' in French.

It was a really great time - and I think Anna thoroughly enjoyed it.  She got to have the company of her bestest buddies, to savor one of her favorite treats, and the best part (as she says) had her Daddy home for the weekend to celebrate together.

 Happy Happy Birthday my Sweet Anna.  I love you more than I can ever say.

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