Our last post chronicled the events of Ava's birthday party, which was actually held on the 19th. Her birthday proper was on the following Tuesday, and since Tam already had the day off, I took it off as well so we could spend a nice day quietly celebrating the day with our sweet girl. Aside from us singing "happy birthday" to her as we came in the nursery after she woke up, it was a fairly routine morning for her. But after her morning nap, we got her dressed and took her to the Butterfly Rainforest at the Museum of Natural History. She had been once before with her Auntie Jen, but being a little older this time, she was a bit more alert and observant of all the butterflies. It was not just the butterflies that caught her attention, though. She saw plenty before we even reached that exhibit.
We started off with some lunch at the cafeteria at the Harn Museum next door. We had the place to ourselves, and Ava strutted around as if she owned the place. She found a lovely set of stairs just outside the cafe, and climbed them (supervised) up to the exhibit hall of the art museum.
Afterwards, we went into the nature museum and she oooohed at the skeleton of the wooly mammoth. She tried to sneak past the railing for a closer look, but security busted her for being shoeless first. So we put her shoes back on and she moseyed over to the Florida Cowboys exhibit, stopping to moo at a stuffed cow on the way.
She looked all around at the butterflies, and reached as close as we would let her to them. She waved at some little finches that live in the rain forest enclosure, and she picked up fallen leaves with delight. We probably spent a half hour or so with the butterflies before we moved on to a few more exhibits.
Our next stop was across the street at the UF Hilton, where we took Baby Girl for a little birthday portrait session under the beautiful live oak on their property. We brought her new rocking horse with her, and she hammed it up for the camera, as you can see.
Our last stop in Ava's birthday adventure was an early dinner at Yamato. We sat at a grill table, and Ava clapped and oohed and aahed at the show our chef put on. She liked the flames at the beginning, and especially the little onion volcano that he made. She got to have a few little bites of our dinner, and then it was back home, to her birthday cupcake.
Remembering the fun she had with her smash cake, we put her in her high chair in just her diaper, lit a candle, and sang happy birthday to her one more time. I think she would have eaten the entire cupcake if we had let her, but we stopped her about halfway through and got her cleaned up for bed. I hope she had as much fun with us that day as we did with her. We decided to start a tradition of taking her birthday off from work each year so we can have a special day with her on her actual birthday.