Wednesday, May 25, 2011



Amelia had a great third birthday. It was especially low-key compared to the previous two birthdays. Though I had an awesome idea for a fab party, we decided that it wasn’t doable this time.  Not only am I in the 8th month of what has been an exhausting pregnancy, but school didn’t end until May 19th, which is about a week and a half later than normal AND only one day before Amelia’s birthday (thank goodness it wasn’t like that the year she was born!).  Not to mention that it was hard to decide who to invite since she now has all of her school friends (whose parents we don’t know)! It was just a perfect storm of reasons why we shouldn’t have a party this year.  We ended up having a great day and feeling really great about the compromised plan this year.

The day began when Amelia ran into our room in the morning shouting, “Mama Mama—there’s PRESENTS out there!” We’d left her wrapped gifts in the living room between her room and ours knowing she’d see them when she woke up. “It’s my BIRTHDAY today! I’m 3 now!”


She opened a couple of her presents in the morning.



This mailbox is awesome! She adores it. It has a working KEY and everything.



We’d gone back and forth on what to do on her birthday for a while. We’d considered the Zoo and/or Fairy Tale Town. However, as the day got closer, I realized that walking around the zoo/FTT all day would have pretty much knocked me out too much to get through the dinner party we planned. Plus, it just seemed like too much of a ‘day’ to slam the zoo into the first part, race home for nap, and then out to dinner. Too much for the 3-year-old AND the mama. Don’t forget I’d only given finals the day before and was about to hit that end-of-the-semester wall. The one that makes you want to sleep for a week of recovery. Yeah, that’s where I am right now. Anyway, in all honesty, Amelia is only three. She doesn’t need a huge, over-the-top, insanely scheduled day to be happy. We decided the night before her birthday to just head to the Fountains. It’s close to home, has lots to do for little ones, food onsite, AND not something we do every day. Totally doable in a half day. And much more relaxed than our other plans.


It turned out to be the perfect plan! We stopped by the playground.



Hey Amelia, how old are you???



Hey Amelia, how old are you??? That’s three, bitches! ha I love how she throws it out like a sign or something. Note her other hand also showing her new age.



She changed into her bathing suit just in time to hit the fountain play area. She literally round around the periphery, managing to stay completely dry for the longest time. Most kids run to the water, she makes her fun in avoiding it. 



It only took one accidental, mistimed spray to get her into the spirit.



And by ‘accidental’ I mean Daddy throwing her in.




Serious cuteness.



After the water, we had lunch, which was exactly ten feet from the fountains. After yumminess, we had to do one more thing to make the day extra special for our locomotive-loving babychild.

Here’s my ticket!



Hey Amelia, are you happy to be in a TRAIN?!  Hey Daddy, how’s that clown car working for you? lol If he could take a reasonable picture, he wouldn’t always have to be the one ‘on board.’ ha He really is such a trooper.



After the fabulous train ride—complete with a horn and bell—we packed it up to head home for a solid nap. You know, even big 3-year-olds need naps. And their pregnant mommies really do too. Amelia almost fell asleep on the short drive home. I can’t even think about the shape she would have been in if we’d dragged her through a quasi amusement park an hour away from home! Ack. So three cheers for scaling down and saving the whole family from unnecessary stress and hurry. And for knowing our limits. And to think that we had such a good time at, you know, a MALL. Love it.


After naps, we freshened up and headed to the mini party. All grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins aboard, which is a fairly small group. (Our siblings really need to breed a little quicker.) We reserved the party room at a small, family-owned local pizza joint close to our new house. We got a small bunch of balloons (yellow of course, because it’s her favorite—and she’ll tell you that whether you ask or not), put some yellow flowers in mason jars on the tables, brought an ice cream cake, and that was it. The pizza parlor was fantastic. They let us order pizzas in advance, had appetizers ready when we got there and took great care of us. We literally showed up and left mostly empty handed. It was a beautiful thing.


Cousins! How cute are they?! Amelia, 3 and Baby Cousin 1. Their birthdays are only 4 days apart. Can you imagine this picture next year? Three girls in three years (plus/minus a month or two) for this family. I can hardly wait. I see a braided ring-leader in our midst.



Grammy love. Who is happier here? I’m fairly certain that my mom would bypass both my brother and me if she could’ve gotten Amelia directly. Oh and see the ribbon in Amelia’s hair? Yeah, she thought it was SUCH a special day.

mom and A


This is her face as everyone sang to her. Happy. Shy. Happy.

A and cake


The mama and the baby. With the baby. The mama and the big girl and the baby? yikes. This is Amelia at exactly 3 and I’m 31+ weeks here.

I love this child.



Mama, Baby, Daddy. Bump. We don’t get a pic of the three of us but maybe once a year. It’s pretty striking to see how big she is here and how we look like a real family and like grown up parents. Weird. It’s weird to see myself pregnant with Amelia present because I associate pregnancy so much with just her. But here she is and here I am pregnant with another baby. Weird.

family pic

Maybe our last picture as a family of three?


All in all, it was a perfect kind of day. Amelia had a great time at the Fountains and loved that the whole family was there just for her birthday. She got spoiled with presents, but not over the top with more things than she can possibly play with.  In keeping it simple, we made it possible to enjoy the day fully, rest, and relax. It was not easy to go against the norm for us but we were so very grateful for our own common sense this time around. I looooove doing fun crafty things for parties, but it just would’ve been too much this time. And frankly, I don’t think Amelia noticed one way or another. She’s only three. She doesn’t need 50 people around her to have fun or an amusement park. She came home saying “I had a great time at my pizza party. Birthdays are really, really fun, mama!” The funny thing is that we were still all exhausted when we got home! ha. We put Amelia to bed much later than normal and then went straight to bed ourselves. She woke up the next morning asking when it would be her birthday again. :)


This year, I really didn’t have time to sit and reflect a lot on Amelia’s turning 3. I’m pretty sure I’ve cried at the other birthdays, but this one just kind of came and went. Probably because school butted up so closely and distracted me from having a complete thought. Or maybe this year has been riddled with so many milestones that the birthday is hardly eventful in comparison. Mostly though, I just enjoy her in the now. As Amelia gets older, she certainly tries me in more ways than ever, but I just enjoy her more too. I’ve enjoyed each stage more than the last and that helps me not look back too much. As we emerge out of the twos (and into the lordhelpme threes), the thought I keep coming back to is that the baby is gone. Between two and three, every last bit of the babychild gives way to the little kid. The diapers (even at night) are gone, the crib is gone, sippy cups, and snacktrappers are all history. The funny mismatched words and phrases have lost out to complete sentences expressing cohesive (but mostly hilarious) thoughts. The diaper bag is in a closet somewhere, we don’t buy baby wipes anymore, and I no longer carry 5 pairs of undies in my purse. She dresses herself, brushes her own teeth, and has a strong opinion about all kinds of things. The baby is gone and we find ourselves in the company of a little girl. It’s rather shocking in some ways, but completely welcome in all ways. With the baby gone, I can honestly confess that I like her so much better now. I love the little kid. Love her! And when I think about her as a baby, I would absolutely prefer her of today no matter what. I know so many people who mourn the baby loss, but I see that period as the work that I put in to get the kid I have today. It’s a little scary how quickly she’s growing into a child and I am most certainly sentimental about each phase, but every stage has bested the previous so far, so I’ll take what I’ve got today and look forward to rather than resist tomorrow.


All that said, in some ways, it feels like she’s been in our lives forever. And in others, it seems like it was just yesterday that she looked like this.

It’s hard to believe that this little baby is about to be the big sister.

Now that makes me weepy.

1 comment:

Monica said...

Just perfect :)