Friday, October 3, 2014

Three cheers for three years

Or thirdborn turned 3 today! I'm going to miss being able to blame all her antics on "the terrible 2s" but I'm sure she'll live out this next year with just as much vim and vigor. This isn't exactly an easy age, per say, but it is certainly an entertaining one. This girl brings so much joy and laughter into our home! And despite the fact that I totally went back on my promise to never do the "princess" thing with my girls, I have to admit that her girlishness and unabashed femininity is much appreciated (especially coming after two rough and tumble brothers.) I love that she can wear a princess dress, hold a baby doll, and watch a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles show all at the same time ... and it all makes sense in her world. And I'm so curious to see that world continue to unfurl as she becomes a young lady.

I'm sure that non-parents get tired of hearing parents say that kids grow so fast, but seriously, three years seems like an awfully long time ago. And in that time, this girl has grown and changed more than I could recount. So I won't. But I will tell you about her special day.

It started very early. Probably earlier than she should have woken up, but Joci was being loud and as I was attempting to escape their bedroom with just the baby, Lia started to rub her eyes. And then once she noticed her bed, there was no going back to sleep. "Daddy put balls in my bed!" she yelled. Which, of course, woke the boys. And so at 6:30am all four kids were jumping on Julia's bed and throwing balloons. Now that's good morning.

Thankfully, Daddy was home today. While working nights and 12 hour shifts certainly has its drawbacks, there are some perks too--like three days off in a row. Then again, it's hardly three days when you're recovering from being up all night. Now that's he's finished up two weeks of working 4pm to 4am, he'll start working 4am to 4pm. So in order to help him adjust his sleep schedule, I decided to leave him with three kids at 8am.

Actually, Jude's preschool had a field trip today. This is our fourth year with this preschool and I've never been on a field trip, since it's kinda hard to work that out with all these children. But since Jon had off, and he offered to stay home with the others, we could actually make it work this year. So it was off to the pumpkin patch to meet up with a bunch of other preschoolers and their parents.

Honestly, I was a bit disappointed. Our extremely short hay ride ended in a "fake" pumpkin patch (the pumpkins were obviously dropped there instead of grown). And here is Jude holding the biggest pumpkin he could find:

Now how are we supposed to carve a face in that puny little thing??

I was feeling bad that he got gipped and so after we got home and had lunch, we decided to take the kids to a nearby farm to pick out some better pumpkins and to complete our annual purchase of mums. Oh, and Julia picked out her own "birthday princess" outfit today. It's a good thing, because she was very easy to spot at the pumpkin patch!

After we got home, the kids played outside while I prepped the special birthday dinner. Okay, just kidding. I really didn't plan a special dinner. I wasn't really thinking when I did my menu plan earlier this week, otherwise I might not have chosen a not-so-kid-friendly meal. But perhaps it worked in our favor anyway, since we were able to convince the kids to eat quickly and thoroughly with the promise of cake for dessert and presents afterwards!

I made a bad meal last night. Not a complete failure, but not exactly a winner. (But apparently much-improved with barbecue sauce as the entire container of leftovers was gone by the time I woke up this morning...) So I was hoping to redeem myself with these Shrimp and Pork Cabbage Wrapped Dumplings. I knew they'd be good. The ingredients were good, it smelled good while cooking, and it tasted good when I took a sample. So I was super-excited to make up everyone's plate and call them all to the table.

And then Jon took a bite and his mouth twisted and he said something about it being "sour." I tried mine and it tasted fine to me. So he took another bite and could barely keep his eyes open. By now, I'm starting to wonder if there's a problem with my sense of taste. And then it dawned on me. The lime juice. I had thought it was odd, when I washed the dishes before we sat down, that the lime juicer was empty. I was almost certain there was a good amount left since I'd only used 1 T. of an entire lime. And I vaguely remembered Jude "helping" me with the plates. And Jon's plate was located right next to the juicer.  So yes, apparently Jude dumped the extra juice on to Jon's plate. Poor guy could hardly finish his dinner (the untampered one) after that. And I was so hopeful ...

We were a little sad that there was no other family to celebrate with us this year. My husband assures me that our kids do not need relatives at every birthday. But we were really missing our Marmie when it came time for cake. I let Julia pick out a cake mix at the grocery store a while ago--it was pink and on the scratch-and-dent rack for less than $1. We decided a "pincess" crown seemed like a safe enough choice for this non-cake-person.

I let Jude and Julia help decorate, so I can't take credit for the entire creation. And at the end of the day (after the piping and "gems" were starting to slip off and one of the spikes was already falling down), the birthday girl was more than happy with it. And that's all that matters.

My little family's singing abilities are pretty much awesome and embarrassing all at the same time.

Someone else was a little enthusiastic about the cake too.
I think the boys were more excited about presents than Julia. We continually had to remind them that she was more than capable of unwrapping gifts herself. I was holding Joci (who was holding a regurgitated piece of cake and smearing it on my jeans), so my pictures are somewhat limited. And I really wish I had taken a video, because this girl has the "pincess" gasp and "oo's and ah's" down pat. She opened the long braid first. It was inspired by our visit to "friend Regan's" house a few weeks ago and she immediately knew what to do with it. (I did something like this, if you're interested.)

And since my husband was working this week and I had nothing better to do after the kids went to bed, I decide a second birthday craft was in order--a doll-sized Ergo. I've been wanting to get Julia one of these since Joci was born, but couldn't really justify the $25 price tag. I don't know why I didn't think about making one before, perhaps it just seemed too complicated (like this amazing child-sized replica). But this one (made out of a pillowcase and metal belt loops) only took maybe a total of 3 hours over two evenings. I was going to make it a bit more realistic, with a hood and buckles, but I didn't want to waste time and energy on something that I wasn't sure she'd actually like or use in the first place. Well, the good news is, I think she likes it. And I'm looking forward to the two of us taking our "babies" out more often!

Well our birthday girl is long in bed now, all tuckered out from the days festivities. We let her take four balloons with her, because no one likes to see a party end. I'm sure there will be lots of mini-celebrations over the next few days. In the meantime, I'm going to attempt to recover in time for our next October birthday and new 6 year old!


Angie Snyder said...

Love, love, loved the cake & Lia's expressions! She is darling and a natural "princess"! The pic of Joci crawling across the table with fork in hand made me lol :D She's my kind of girl!!! I'll be counting down with you til your next October b-day too...a special day I know a few others share too ;) Thanks for keeping us updated on your growing family...they are truely beautiful and a blessing!

Sarah Goer said...

I looks like a lovely celebration. Happy Birthday to your little one!

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