It’s birthday time in the Promise House again! We have three May birthdays, and the first to be celebrated was R’s (we are not to be using their names online). She is usually a pretty low-key little girl, so it was nice to get her out of the house where she can sometimes be overshadowed by all the boys. After N’s birthday in March, we decided that individual outings were the best way to celebrate birthdays in our home, so we did not stress about planning a party this time. Instead, we escaped for a few hours to a little oasis called Villa Cana to celebrate R turning 5! I’m not sure how I didn’t know it existed until a couple weeks ago, but it’s a nice hotel with a restaurant and a lovely swimming pool just 30 minutes away from Children of the Promise. We had the pool to ourselves on a beautiful sunny day followed by lunch on the poolside patio that was also practically empty. R was very relaxed and seemed to really enjoy the water. The nannies usually give her sponge baths as they think fully bathing her will give her a seizure, so I wasn’t sure how she would like getting water in her ears or on her face, but R didn’t mind it at all! You could just feel some of her tension melting away as she let herself float in the water with us. Most of the time, R is pretty quiet and the noises she does make often seem like involuntary reactions to different stimuli, so my favorite part of the day was hearing her soft, happy coos as her head rested on my shoulder and she floated so gently in the water. She even seemed to enjoy riding in the car, smiling all the way there and all the way home. Though we would consider the outing relaxing, it was a lot of activity for R and she fell asleep as soon as we got home and slept most of the afternoon. We hope you enjoy some pictures from our birthday celebration. We’ve finally been pulling out some of the clothes we brought down on the bus, so some of you might recognize her adorable birthday dress, sandals, or the swimsuit that fit her just perfectly! Thank you for outfitting R’s 5th birthday!