Monday, March 11, 2013

Over the Rainbow

My baby is turning three tomorrow. While I process this fact, I thought I'd share some pictures from her party that we held this weekend. Unfortunately, I was called into a birth last week that ended up being a doozy, and I was gone for most of the week, so things were significantly scaled back compared to previous years' celebrations.

Thankfully, I knew myself and knew that if this happened, I would be freaked. the freak. out. if I hadn't already purchased everything ahead of time. But we had a theme and we were ready to rock and roll with it, starting from the invitations:
And yes, I made them myself, in case that wasn't painfully obvious:
After discovering the glory of holding a party somewhere other than my home last year, we chose another outdoor location (Campus Hills Park, here in Durham) and took a chance on the weather and won:
I kept the decorations to a minimum (operating on about 15 hours sleep in 5 nights will shift your priorities!) and just went with tissue paper pom poms and balloons:
 And naturally, Bea was sporting a custom-made shirt from her Grandmaaaaaww:
There was tons of food, probably too much, but those little turkeys were hungry! This year's menu was similar to last years, with hotdogs and veggie burgers...
 And two toddler classics- pretzels and veggie straws:
The park was pretty perfect for the 5 and under crowd and kept the kiddos well entertained:
It's only fun if it's a little dangerous
Dinosaurs for the win!

These girls... Sisters in some other life, I think!

Music to boot!
Spinning chairs are fun and little sickening ...
And if the park itself wasn't enough to keep them occupied and inspired, I had a few other toddler favorites set up along the way. Things like bubbles (remember, they were a hit last year too):
And bouncy/punch balloons:
And chalk:
And as an extra special treat, my mother, Grammy Kate, was there to offer up face painting:
I had a few crafts laid out in case some were feeling artsy:
It appears the craft station had some universal appeal, ahem, Mark:
But the big draw, at least for some of the older kids was the Yarn Trail:
 I'm pretty sure some of the younger kids were just interested because of the "ooo pretty colors" effect of a giant line of colorful yarn:
Naturally, at the end of a rainbow there is a pot of gold:
And the kids were super pumped about their gold coins (and likely were more pumped about the fact that they were made from chocolate):

They call her "The Rationer"... You only get one, bro. Stop begging.
But by far, the biggest draw for the day was the cake:
There are two things you need to know about this cake. Number One: It wasn't my original concept. I found the idea here. And Number Two: Toddlers. Love. M&Ms:
 Like, really, really, really love M&Ms:
Before we even announced it was "cake time" they were swarming the table like a pack of hyenas. We had to act fast with all that "Happy Birthday" song and dance before we lost any more from the bottom:

Once it was cut and distributed, they all settled down and stuffed their faces:
At one point, there was very little talking or erratic toddler movement because they were all doing this:
And this:
And we have come to find out, what my toddler might love more than cake is Izze Soda:
The way she was carrying her can around sipping out of the top, well, one couldn't help but draw comparisons between her and Honey Boo Boo's Go-Go Juice:
I was just telling myself that it was her birthday, and it is "all natural", and not actually a Mt. Dew... hey, wait a minute, seriously?:
Oh come on, at least have a little decency to look ashamed, kid:
After the cake, we had a half-attempt at opening gifts:
And it's not that she wasn't grateful for her gifts (trust me, we have since played with every. single. thing.), but once she locked eyes on a real! life! jumprope! it was all over and done in her mind:
So we handed out party favors instead. Instead of sending our friends home with traditional treat bags, we opted for something a little more special. Rainbow Rings, which my mother-in-law thankfully took home and made for me (she too, knew I would likely be called into a birth and not get them made otherwise.):
This was an idea I got from Bea's dance class, and it something she LOVES to skip and twirl around with:
Even the boys were into it, so I thought I had a pretty good idea going!
Trot is the most "boy" boy we know, so if he approves, it must be a winner!
And after everyone left, and it was just us and our girl, we were all grateful to get to spend time with our friends, celebrating a baby-turned-girl who means the world us. At no point during the day was it far from our minds that exactly three years ago, we were just beginning the journey into our premature birth. Days away from meeting the single greatest person we've ever known:

**A super special thank you to my fabulous sister-in-law Leah, who took all of the photos for me, so I didn't have to bother worrying about capturing our day!



  1. Looks like a fabulous party! Happy 3rd Birthday, Beatrice Kate!