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Patrick got a dinosaur party, so Pinkie wanted a princess party. I went with wedding-style invitations:

tea party refreshments (including awesome cupcakes courtesy of Barbara):

and five-year-old games such as freeze dancing (somehow I didn’t think they’d want to do a nice princessy gavotte):

We had the court photographer (Richard) take a royal portrait of each princess:

We were also graced with the presence of Queen Cheryl (Susanna’s godmother) and Fairy Godmother Viviana (Susanna’s fairy godmother, of course):

Susanna’s verdict: The party was “very pretty and very fun.” I hope that all the other princesses feel the same. The other moms were great, pitching right in with my sort-of-half-*ssed plan with absolutely no notice. And I have learned my lesson regarding party games. Should the situation arise again, I will be sure to feature games in which no one goes out.

The complete gallery of photos is here. Help yourself to anything you’d like; the downloads should be full quality for printing.

Patrick turns 7 today. Mom made the t-shirts from his drawings (and Dino-Tastic came from a note he wrote to her, he actually said she was Dino-Tastic, which was high praise coming from him).

Excavation site, pre-party

Excavation time.

The Aztecs apparently roamed the earth same time as Stegosaurus, and the ancient tradition of dino pinatas was born.

Dino coloring, too, a birthday tradition old as the Late Cretaceous.

This draws from the ancient French: A volcano cake, exploding with ganache and butter cream.

Cliff’s notes: Wednesday spent coming home via Philadelphia, where we met up with THE Uncle Patrick for some time at the Franklin Institute science museum. Thursday was spent here, recovering, and Friday Dad took the kids to Clough State Park, one of their favorites.

Patrick and Patrick setting off the EMF detector with Big Patrick's celly.

Silly Band mania

Penny smashing's all the rage.

Clough

More highlights.

Stop #1: Botanic Gardens. Not "botanical," BTW, which I like. Why use "methodology" when method does just as well Or "towards" when you mean toward...

She will totally be running this place in a couple terms...

We dumped Mom and went to Baltimore with Dad to the Orioles game! Here's the Constellation, whatever that is.

This is PAtrick coming to grips with the fact that they named a whole baseball team after a particular bird

Front row in the upper deck above press box, behind home plate. The were actually perfectly behaved...and we left after 7 innings, preserving the shutout of whining and sibling rivalry. Carvel softserve helped keep the peace.

Monday D.C. trip log

Riding the Metro to the Smithsonian Museums of Natural & American History

Rare smile for a pic on Richard's part (possibly a grimace)

Yorick, Hamlet, Pinkie, "The Thinker"...there's a punch line in here somewhere.

Hamming it up, even on the verge of passing out.

Planning our next move

We snuck off for dinner for two at this fabulous Creole-Cajun culinary oasis in this, the Capital of Fried Foods.