Sunday, November 27, 2016

someone turned three (ahem, two months ago).

Well, I was about to launch into a self-propelled guilt trip about how I never posted about Rowan's third birthday, but you know what? Who cares? Here it is, two months late, which is actually less late than I was with the post about her first birthday party. Thumbs up.


Rowan's birthday was full of the little traditions we've picked up in her three years - but now all of them are infused with her own personality quirks, which makes them so much more meaningful. As usual, we started out her actual birthday with a special Rowie-Daddy trip to the store to get a bunch of rainbow balloons for her annual birthday picture in the backyard...

She was actually less cooperative this year than she was on either her first or her second birthday. It's harder than ever to get her to smile AT the camera, so I guess we're lucky we got any good shots at all! And we did end up with this funny one, where it looks like she's mega-pouting. I think she was just looking down, but it cracks me up:

"It's my party, and I'll cry if I want to."

A collage of pics from Birthdays One, Two, and Three:

We halted the photo torture session after just a few minutes and went inside so she could open her presents from J.J. and me before her birthday party started. We don't go overboard with birthday presents, since her aunts and uncles and grandparents tend to provide her with plenty of awesome gifts. This year, we got her exactly what she asked for: a little Kermit to hold in her hand (since she's been holding an Invisible Kermit in her hand for a couple months now), a soft Kermit to sleep in her crib with her, a dress-up doctor costume (because she wants to be a "cardi-lol-ogist for grown-ups" when she grows up...seriously), and a little mermaid toy, since she was on a kick of making us refer to her as "ABCD Monster Mermaid Ariel NOT Rowan".

I mean - when's the last time you were this excited about...well, anything?!

Just as she finished opening her presents, our family started arriving for her party. We chose not to invite her friends to the party, just like we did for her first two parties. Our families are pretty big, and our house is pretty modest. Plus, it's always hard to judge what the weather will be like. At the end of September, it could be 80 degrees and sunny, or it could be 42 degrees and raining. Of course, since we didn't invite her friends, it was beautiful weather; had we invited them and needed the backyard for overflow space, it would have been crummy. (Or that's what I told myself so I wouldn't feel bad about not having her best little buddies over.)

We decorated the house in her favorite colors - pink and yellow balloons, pink and yellow streamers, and pink and yellow paper products. We ate pizza and all her favorite snack foods: popcorn, mini chocolate chip cookies, and pink lemonade. Oh, and we served her signature "Rowie salad". It's actually the salad I make for myself for lunch every day, but she's co-opted it and named it after herself. It has spinach, quinoa, tomatoes, cucumbers, avocado, red onions ("But only TINY onions," Rowan demands), walnuts, cilantro, and Gorgonzola cheese, with fresh lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, and apple cider vinegar splashed on top.

The best food at Rowan's birthday party this year, though, was her birthday cake. J.J.'s mom made her an EPIC cake last year (there's a link at the bottom of this post to pictures of it, but it was Anna and Elsa from Frozen standing back to back, with their skirts forming a cake. UNREAL), and she offered to make her another cake this year. When she asked Rowan what she wanted, Rowan didn't hesitate: "A Lina's house birthday cake." Gramma and I were both a little confused. "What do you mean?" I asked her. "A Lina's house birthday cake!" she repeated. Lina is our neighbor, and Rowan worships the ground she walks on. "Like, a cake that looks like Lina's house?" I said. "Yeah," she replied. "With BB-8s on top."

And what Rowan wants, Rowan gets, apparently:

You have never seen a human dive into a cake the way that Rowan devoured her Lina's house birthday cake. She absolutely loved it - like, couldn't take her eyes off it, even for a quick family picture.

After her party, Rowan crashed for a good long nap, and then we rounded out the day by taking her to "the donut farm" (Three Cedars Farm). The donut farm is, by far, her favorite fall destination. She wanted Gramma to come, too, and Gramma was a good sport and joined us, even though she'd already spent her weekend making a Lina's house birthday cake and hanging out at Rowan's birthday party. 

We almost got a picture with all three of us looking at the camera...

...and we let our daughter shove even more sugar down her gullet, since apparently copious amounts of cookies and cake that morning weren't enough.

She also got to ride the "donut train", which was the real reason she wanted to go to the donut farm. Rowan is o.b.s.e.s.s.e.d. with this freakin' train. Like, it has made her shimmy with excitement in the past:

She was thrilled to ride it once again, and then she did everything else the donut farm has to offer: belly-flopped into the corn box, scaled the climber, rode the tiny tractors, milked a pretend cow, played on stationary trains, and leapt off giant hay bales without giving Daddy any warning.

It was awesome to brainstorm about all of Rowan's favorite things and try to combine them into one special day, all to celebrate the kind, hilarious, loving kid she is. And we continued the celebration the next day at her preschool by bringing in a special birthday snack (frozen yogurt tubes and pretzel Goldfish, her faves). She was still so nervous about school at that point. Even though I stayed that morning as an assistant, it was only her third day at preschool, and she was just so unsure of everything. Here she is, painting at the easel, wearing her birthday crown, and trying hard to hold herself together. Poor sweetie.

I have another post in the works about my three-year-old and what she's like these days, but in a nutshell? I feel lucky every day that I get to be her mama. And for the rest of my life. 

{here's the post from Rowan's second birthday}
{here's the post about Rowan's second birthday party}
{here's the post about Rowan's first birthday party}
{here's the post from Rowan's birth day}

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