Monday, August 25, 2014

Happy 3rd Birthday, Carrie and Melina: August 1, 2014

And just like that, these girls are THREE!  They started the day with a special balloon, special outfits that Grammy monogrammed and brought from California, and yummy muffins.
We practiced showing our three fingers when we asked their ages.  Three, I think, is the most difficult for the small set.  I always try to get them to touch thumb to pinkie, which makes the three tall fingers stick up.  We're working on it. 

One family habit we have with the kids is to work with the kids on answering questions (phone number, address, names of family members, counting, etc.) and then end the time with a reward of M&M's, one for each year of age.  The girls got their upgrade to three M&M's a few weeks ago when we started to get them to say three instead of two.  Still working on it.  The girls have decided that they would rather be four like Devon, five (which is pretty much a generic term for many in our house, as in "No! I don't want one cookie, I want FIVE!"), or twenty-nine in Melina's case.
We decided to keep the whole birthday experience pretty low key.  Grammy and Grandpa joined us for a long visit, and that made many different outings and experiences possible.  I mentioned the possibility of having a party a few times and was met with blank stares from all the kids.  However, mention a zoo trip, a train ride, or even a trip to the park and I got a standing ovation.
So we took the hint.  Our "day of" special outing was to meet Daddy at the park in the middle of the day. 
Dinnertime meant another special outfit that Grammy made for the girls, and an attempt at some nice pictures.  This is hopefully one of the last pictures we'll have of Carrie sucking her thumb, 
as we started "big girls don't suck their thumbs" shortly after.  Still working on it.  More on that later.
After the pictures were over, the girls were entertained in another room while the presents were arranged.
Then the fun began!  The big THREE presents were the bikes from Mama and Papa (already received and enjoyed during their recent visit), Amish doll cradles from Grammy and Grandpa, bean bag chairs from Mommy and Daddy, and lots and lots of clothes from aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends. 
Love the look on their sweet faces when they first caught sight of their cake!
I was amazed at how aggressively they approached the burning candles, and that nobody's fingers got singed or hair caught fire. 
And yum! it was a good cake. 
Saturday's special outing was a trip to Millburn orchards.  Since it was Peach Festival day, the kids participated in a homemade ice cream demonstration and even a pie eating contest!
That's right, Devon!  You're NOT supposed to use your hands or utensils!  This was big news!
The rest of the day was peaceful.  The girls wore new clothes, read books on their new bean bags, and pretty much just enjoyed life being one year older.  It's amazing how much they've grown up in the last six months, especially.  We've ditched the diapers, pretty much skipped 3T clothing and size 8 shoes, and given up on getting these active girlies to sit in a double stroller. 
Sunday's special outing was a ride on the Wilmington Train!  This was originally going to be a special Devon outing, but the girls insisted so often that they wanted to ride the train whenever we mentioned it to Devon.
It was definitely a perfect activity for all three of them at their ages!
It was a rainy day, too, so we were thankful to be indoors. 
After all that birthday celebrating, the girls slept in their car seats for almost two hours!  We took turns sitting in the August breeze as they snored peacefully. 

Three is such a milestone.  Goodbye to being a baby, hello being in control.  They tell me when they need to use the bathroom, or sometimes just go themselves.  They feed themselves with a spoon and fork.  Yesterday we had pancakes, eggs, and sausage for breakfast and afterwards I looked under the table and almost fainted in delight because there waiting to be picked up was a SINGLE PIECE OF EGG!  They want to do things ALL BY MYSELF.  They dress themselves and put on their own shoes, and this is good even though Mommy then has to negotiate with them over what they are allowed to keep on in combination and what they have to change out of. 

They are getting so big!  We've been having frequent conversations about Devon starting preschool next week and the consensus is that they really want to go, too!  Next year, I say, and it's probably true.  We've been wondering whether the girls would start preschool just after 4 or stay out another year, as their birthdays are so near the cutoff.  Part of me wants them held back because then with Devon two years ahead of them in school our family would seem so NORMAL!  I don't see how that's going to work, however.  These girls are so tall, so athletic, so verbal, and so SMART!  They'll be more than ready for school next year.  So I've just got one more year home with these sweet girlies.  I'd better make it count!