The youngest is turning 3 next week, so I made a trip downtown to do some birthday shopping. Shopping in centro tends to be less expensive. I went to 1001 Festas (the party headquarters, at Goitacazes and Olegario Maciel. It's a pretty good store, lots of party decorations, balloons, gift bag items (candy, cheap plastic toys), napkins and the such. Also, lots of things that I don't know how to use or I've never heard of before. Different kinds of papers to wrap brigadeiros, big sheets of Styrofoam (to make some kind of decorations?), various types of papers, and Hot Poppers.. I first encountered these at the graduation party last December. They are these tubes that are about 10 inches long. You twist them, and it makes a very loud, eardrum damaging noise (not just a pop) and lots of confetti flies out. It's everything you love about Brazilian parties: too loud, too messy and very fun. I opted not to buy any Hot Poppers, since we are just holding a party at the kid's school and eating cake together as a family.
And that brings me to remember the birthday parties last year. Our kids have all their birthdays within 6 weeks. We hadn't started school yet by Beatrice's birthday, but we had met some dear friends. I made my first cake in Brazilian--a pound cake because we didn't have any cake pans. We had ice cream. I made a "pin the tail on the donkey" game. We had no curtains in the living room, so I remember it being very hot. It was very simple, and by Brazilian parties, not really a party. But I think Beatrice felt very loved and celebrated. For most of the past year, she kept saying that she didn't want any more birthday parties and she was going to stay 3 forever.
For Sebastian's birthday last year, the teacher told me I could bring a snack to school to share. I really had absolutely no idea of what birthday parties were like at school. So Matt made some of his amazing cookies, and I brought them to share. We sat in a circle in the classroom , Sebastian wearing a birthday hat that I had made, and the kids sang "Para Bens." It was my first time in the classroom, and I remember being totally overwhelmed. And I also remember that I walked to the school 3 times that day. What a work out! Over the weekend we had a little party with a few friends out by the pool behind our apartment. I think we made pizza (notice the theme, making everything...)
This year for Beatrice's birthday, we are having a party at her school. I am putting invitations in her agenda (the calendar/book that schools use to communicate between parents and teachers). During snack time on Wednesday next week, Matt (I have to work!) will take butterfly cupcakes, quitutes (little snacks or "tidbits"), fruit, juice, a butterfly "crown," some decorations, and 19 little gift bags for her colegas. It will be in the kitchen area at the school, and quite a step up from last year.
I was going to write more about going downtown, but that will have to be later. Sebastian wants to play on the computer, Bea needs to take a shower, and I've got to figure out how to repair the bridge on the guitar I'm borrowing....which is another story...
Butchers, Nationalism, and Empathy
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