Our girl turned three at the end of this month. I moved her big birthday bash to the first weekend so that her grandmother, who was in town from Oregon, could attend. Check out all the details of her Beauty and the Beast themed party here.
The Friday after her party, we met my friend Margie and her two children at Disneyland to go on a few rides and have dinner before the Paint the Night Parade. Baby A loves Makenna and walked around holding her hand without even looking back to see if I was there. Because Margie's kids have seen the parade before, they knew all of the words. Their excitement rubbed off on A, who was much more animated while watching when compared to the electrical parade she watched about a year ago. Plus, she knew a lot more of the princesses and would shout their names and wave. She was most excited to see Mack from Cars.
The next day, we renewed our membership to the Santa Ana zoo and met her BFF Tommy there. They recently opened up the new Ferris wheel and she said "I'm not scared! I'm a big girl!" a few times before we boarded, and while we were slowly spinning. She had me convinced, but I suspect she may have been trying to convince herself.
I used to not like that the zoo was so small and filled mostly with monkeys. But that is the same reason that I love it now. It's manageable without a stroller, and she has a good grasp of the layout. The next day was mother's day and it was nice and low-key, like I wanted. We spent time together as a family, and went to Costco and Babies R Us. Seeing her try out a double stroller, and articulate that she wanted one facing baby "So I can see Chaw-wals" filled my heart. I spent the majority of the day feeling grateful, and managed to make it all the way until 4pm without crying due to missing my Mom. Progress compared to years past. I felt a bit sorry for myself yes, but countered that with the frightening thought of not having my husband, my daughter, and a son on the way.
The following weekend, we drove a little over an hour inland, where I grew up, to spend the day with my best friend since sixth grade. Baby A loves spending time with "Auntie Andrea" and "Cousin Casey" and they recently purchased a new home with a pool which she also loved spending time with! We arrived just after 11am, and stayed until 7pm! She had a blast.
On her actual birthday, we started the morning in Disneyland before they opened. After the character dining at the Plaza Inn, the park had just opened, so we were able to walk right on Finding Nemo, the tea cups and It's a Small World. She saw Belle and Gaston on the way to It's a Small World and gave her a big hug. Then we headed over to Main Street for a shadow portrait of her face before buying her a chocolate ice cream cone and heading out to have Daddy pick us up. As I was pushing her, it was fun watching people's smiling reactions to her chocolate-covered face, hands and dress. I knew she was covered, but asked "She didn't get any on her, did she?"
After a nice, long nap we headed over to Chuck E. Cheese for a little, informal birthday party with two close friends. She had a blast! My favorite part was watching her try to follow along with the instructional dance video they show, and calling Tommy over to her impromptu story time right after she opened a book.
After Chuck E. Cheese came by to sing happy birthday, he was available to take photos with the kids, but she was afraid to go near him. My husband wasn't, but maybe he should have been, as evidenced by the photo to the right.
One of my greatest joys this month has been watching her bond and fall in love with her cats, Bonnie and Clyde. Some mornings, they come into her bed and snuggle with her, purring away. She chats with them, and kisses their noses. "Mom, close the door so they stay!" she says. In the evening, she will run circles around the house with a leash trailing behind her that they chase. She laughs and laughs, the kind of laughter that is contagious.
This month she also broadened her musical tastes, greatly improving my quality of life. She will let us listen to other music on iTunes at home, but for about a year now, car rides have been reserved strictly for soundtracks from Frozen, Beauty and the Beast or, even worse, The Wheels on the Bus. I was going through some of my Mom's things and found her Fleetwood Mac greatest hits CD, and presented it as an option. I never thought it would fly, but she loves it, and asks for it often now!
When we're driving, she also loves asking me to put the back two windows down. Toddlers have so little control over their tiny lives, that being able to make simple demands like this and have them granted brings them a lot of joy! And in doing so, it makes me smile too. Sure, I could refuse to do it because I have the air conditioning on, or because it's noisy. But glancing up in my rear view window to see her hair blowing wildly around and a huge smile on her face is worth it.
The month ended with us toying with the idea of buying a second home priced just above our current home or selling our home and really going big on our dream home. There are advantages and disadvantages to each option, and I'm not sure which route we will go, if any. For this reason, we started visiting open houses and touring a lot of homes in the area. She does so well, and has so much fun exploring the homes and picking out what would be her room, and which room would belong to "Chaw-wals." Some of these homes are beautifully staged, and most have pools that are not fenced, but she doesn't need to hold my hand. I think it is because we have allowed her freedoms that she does not need to test the boundaries. We have had fun driving to a lot of these in Daddy's car, with the top down and dreaming of what life would be like there.
Out of the mouths of babes:
- While waiting in the Del Taco drive through for her mini chocolate shake: "Hurry up, slow poke!"
- A concerned whisper during Mass "Mommy...I don't see God anywhere."
- Randomly singing a song we listen to "Thank you God for the big blue sky!"
Things I don't want to forget about this month:
- Her obsession with hot wheels cars. They go in the bath with her, in bed at night time because they're cold, to the park and they even pick her up from daycare sometimes, per request.
- "You don't say na-na nee-nee, I say na-na nee-nee!"
- Learning to put her underwear on, backwards.
- Kissing baby "Chaw-wals" in my tummy, and giving him a hug.
- Her asking me to talk like Mater
- "Play don't wuv me!" Fleetwood Mac, Love Me