24 July 2008

Happy Birthdays and Baby Birdies

There were so many things to post about from Tuesday that I initially considered posting about them separately. Upon further review, I'm far too lazy for that, so they're all getting lumped together.

First and foremost, it was Mandi's 32nd birthday. In and of itself, 32 is not a significant birthday. You're well into your thirties, and the next true milestone birthday doesn't occur until the big four-oh. However, in this house, each of Mandi's birthdays is now significant because for the five and a half months between July 22nd and January 7th, she and I can officially be considered "the same age". The other six and a half months of the year, I'm older. Anyway, we went out to dinner, but we returned to Mandi's parents' house for cake. We planned to have leftover coconut cake, which I made at the lake and we carted home in a cooler, but her mom got a sheet cake from the grocery store instead. It was probably for the best, as Lily and Avery weren't big fans of the coconut cake.

Avery enthusiastically dug in to her first piece of cake. She hated it.

Lily mostly just ate the sprinkles off of the top. When she finished the sprinkles on her first piece, she insisted on another one. Grandpa gladly finished the sprinkle-less piece and served her up a fresh one. Of course she sang some silly songs while she ate. It just wouldn't be the same without the "Roger Dodger" song.

Mandi's going to hate this picture . . but I think it's cute. Actually, it's just better than the only other picture I took of her that day . . the one of her blowing out the candles on the cake.

The cake itself was nothing particularly special, but it was a fun birthday celebration.

Before we headed home, Lily grabbed Grandpa's glasses and put on a little song-and-dance for the crowd. What a ham.

Earlier in the day (sorry for the lack of chronological order), the girls and I came home from the gym and saw one of the baby bluebirds poking its head out of the nestbox. This behavior is typically reserved for the day the birds fledge the nest, so I set up a chair along the side of the house and patiently waited for "the money shot". Well, it never materialized. Between having to come inside and make lunch for the girls (darned kids) and the oppressive heat of the midday, I just wasn't able to catch one leaving the nest. This peek out was the best I could come up with. (click to enlarge)

My guess is that the birds delayed leaving due in part to my presence. The adult male scolded me from his perch on the fence across the street. When I'd approach to try for close-ups of an emerging juvenile, he would dive-bomb me.

Then he scolded me from the roof of my neighbor's house. Somehow I derive great joy from seeing a father act in such a protective manner.

Before I went inside, the female joined him at the nest. This time they weren't scolding (I'd retreated 15 feet or so toward the driveway), but rather cooing gently as if to coax the young'uns out of the nest. Again, they waited for my departure before fledging.

By the time we got back from the pool at around 5:00, all four young had left the nest and were nowhere to be seen. I hope, as they have in the past, that they'll come back to the yard to flaunt their life progress.


Mary said...

Your vacation pics tell a great, loving story. Avery is a beautiful child with a contagious smile. Lily is a piece of work! Both are sweet :o)

Mandi is 32? I remember 32 (a downright great year). My thirties were the very best years of my life and I didn't even mind turning 40. Turning fifty make me snarl a bit... Happy Birthday to her! Coconut cake is my favorite.

Bluebirds are very protective, you know. I wish you had time to grab the moment but I do understand... The heat, the kids... You'll get the next brood! I wonder if they'll nest again?

Carolyn said...

Yeah, it looks like Ave just HATES her cake....... ;)
Those baby blue birds have grown up, they are so cute! I love the shot of the mamma and daddy bird coaxing them out of the nest.

Anonymous said...

Great pictures! What would you say to Meema getting Lily some singing lessons...we need one person in the family who can carry a tune! I agree with C...Ave looks like she hates her cake. I say that too after the last bite! Happy Birthday month still to Mandi!