When I got to Kitty's house a little before the party was scheduled to start - officially, to help with setting up, but Kitty's always so on top of things that there wasn't much to do - Kairi had just gotten up. Kitty got her into her party dress and the kid was ready to go.
One of the more curious things about Kairi - at least to me - is that she really seems to think she's part dog. She'll crawl around on the floor with her best friend, Barky the pug, and growl at him. By comparison, grown-ups like me and Bandaid just don't interest her.
Funny thing about Kairi: white people scare her. She's perfectly comfortable around other Vietnamese, and she doesn't seem to much mind me. But whenever Bandaid talks to her or tries to pick her up, Kairi's face immediately scrunches up and she'll start crying if she isn't immediately snatched away. She's been that way ever since she's been born! It's the funniest, strangest thing...and it doesn't make sense. Taitai's white, and Kairi spends time with his side of the family, so I don't know why Bandaid and Seanie frighten her so. Maybe she doesn't spend as much time with Taitai's mother as I think she must...
Me 'n' Bandaid
Kitty had ordered strawberry cupcakes with butterflies on top, as well as a pink layered cake, for the celebration. On top of that, she'd also ordered a special cake for Kairi to stick her hands in and destroy. It seemed like so much when it was sitting on the table, but by the end of the evening only one cupcake was left so I guess it was the right amount! But I get ahead of myself.
While Kitty was dressing for the party, a friend of hers arrived who would be doing facepainting at the party. I led her to the backyard and helped her get set up. The woman and her daughter painted a butterfly on Kairi's leg, which was really cute, but for a while none of the other guests seemed interested in getting painted so I volunteered my arm for a Batman "tattoo". (Kitty said I should get something on my face, but I had to go to work later so...bad idea.)
The house was packed with guests. Taitai manned the barbecue while Kitty took care of her daughter and entertained her cousins. Bandaid, her husband Christian and I chatted in the sunshine. It was a beautiful, bright day. As everyone settled down to eat - there was so much food! - Taitai made a pretty speech about how everyone at the party was Kairi's family, whether they were blood relatives or not, and he was so grateful that she had so many amazing people to look up to. It was really, really sweet.
Kairi and her mom
Kairi and her mom
I was so bummed when I had to leave for work that I delayed and delayed as long as I could - but finally, I had to go. When my shift ended, though, I just went right back. Most of the other guests had left - it was just me 'n' Kitty and Taitai and one or two of his friends - so we just kicked back and talked for a while. After the hustle and bustle of the party, it was nice to be able to hang out. Kitty's mom loaded me up with leftover food for Seanie, which made me laugh - she hardly ever sees him, but she's convinced that he must be very hungry all the time so she always gives me bags of food to take home to him. But hey, we're all family, right?
Anyway, happy birthday, li'l Kairi!
** Side note: sometimes Seanie gets jealous on behalf of his nephews because I find Kairi so much cuter than either of them. I can't help it! Asian babies are always cuter than white ones, and mixed-race babies are the most adorable of all. Plus, I love that I can see shades of Kitty and Taitai in Kairi as she crawls around the floor. Plus, I've always liked little girls more than little boys, so...Kairi wins. Seanie says I should like the twins better, because they're family, but Kitty's been like a sister for far longer than I've known Terry, Rhi or even Seanie! Her child was destined to have a special place in my heart before she was even born.