JieJie will turn 5 in just over a month. Time does fly. Sometimes when I sneak a peek at her when she's not looking at me, I can still see the baby JieJie in her expression, the way she concentrates when she's looking at a toy or the way her eyes squeeze tightly when she's happy. Still, she's getting so tall all of a sudden, and so grown up. The dress we bought for Santa photos is barely at her knee already.
To celebrate her birthday, JieJie had asked to go back to Samoerai, the teppan-yaki place overlooking the Steen. We know that we will be back at Samoerai for a JMU student dinner about a week before her birthday (March 9) so we are hoping just to ask for the fireworks dessert that night and do that part a bit ahead of schedule.
For the actual day, though, we happened upon a great present: custom-made princess dress-up clothes. My friend M in The Netherlands has a friend MJ who started her own business, http://www.prinsessenjurken.nl making beautiful dress-up clothes. She has shoes and tiaras too (and she came up with the brilliant idea of renting out trunks of dress-up clothes for parties). I just placed an order for two dresses, two pairs of shoes, and two tiaras, with one tiara more fancy than the other so we know who the birthday princess is. I am sure the girls will play with these dresses long after March 9th has come and gone, and they will be easy to take home with us too. There's always that "can we fit it in our suitcase on the way home" question.
Since the clothes suggest a theme, perhaps I can find a horse/carriage ride in Antwerp just to make the whole day extra-special. Of course there will be no problem finding a delicious cake, we can get some balloons, all that fun stuff. Her birthday is on a school day too, so she can celebrate with her classmates. I love birthdays.
Our friends T and K will be here then too--they are like grandparents to the girls, so it will be so special to have them here. My parents will visit later in April and no doubt will make up for lost time as soon as they get over jet lag, if not before.
I know JieJie will wish she could see her friends from Virginia on her birthday, but it's shaping up to be a special day in a different way.