A few weeks ago, on September 11, we celebrated “The Big 3.” My firstborn, my BABY… she turned three. I don’t know how it’s possible.
This age is simultaneously awesome and terrifying. I’ve heard people call 3-year-old children “threenagers” and although we are only a few weeks into this, I already think it’s fitting. Last weekend, I sent Nora to bed without a bedtime story. She had been acting up in the bathtub, and after warning her, she continued the behavior. I immediately removed her from the tub as the punishment, and she started freaking out about wanting to get back in the bath and kicked me while I was trying to put lotion on her. So that, of course, resulted in another warning—if she kicked me again, she was going to bed without a story.
She kicked me again.
I told her that was it—no story. She started screaming and crying and basically breaking my heart. “I’ll be a good girl,” she pleaded. “I want you, Mommy. I want you to read me a story!” and “I’m a big girl now! I’m a big girl!” Even now it hurts my heart a little bit to think about, because I could tell that she genuinely regretted what she had done and was begging me to do something she loves… her bedtime routine. But internally, I struggled because I knew that if all it took was an “I’m sorry” and an “I’ll be a good girl!” plea to get things back to normal, was she really learning not to misbehave? Was she really learning the true meaning of my warnings? Was she learning that my threats were real? No.
So I stuck to my guns. It was hard, but I did it.
Downstairs, I had the video monitor on her and I could see her sitting up in her bed. She continued crying. And then, I could hear her talking. “Now my birthday party is RUINED!” she cried, over and over again. (Her birthday party was planned for the next day.) At that point, all I could really do was laugh. Because “ruined”? Where did she learn that word, and how to use it correctly? And the DRAMA, oh my god. Really. What in the world did going to bed without a story have to do with her birthday party?
THREENAGER, for sure.
At any rate… this is where we’re at. Welcome to the year of the three year old.
But a couple of weeks ago, on her birthday, we showed our girl a good time. We made the day special from beginning to end. It was exhausting, but fun. If you follow me on Instagram, you probably already got a good taste of how events unfolded on her birthday, but I’m going to recap it here as well. Here’s Nora’s 3rd birthday!
When Nora woke up, we heard her on the monitor saying, “What’s that? What is that?” and we knew she had seen her gift. We had sneaked it into her room the night before, while she slept.
It was a play teepee!
Nora’s first reaction was, “It’s purple!” (her favorite) and then “It’s like a tent!” Why yes, yes it is. :)
She got to enjoy her teepee for a bit while we got the wheels going with showers, getting dressed, feeding Vivienne, etc. so we could go out for the majority of the day. After we were all ready, we headed out for our birthday tradition of a pancake breakfast. But first, I made Nora pause for a few “I am 3″ photos in the yard.
What a goof.
At the restaurant, we all ordered their gigantic pancakes—it only costs like $2-3 (depending on the type of pancake) for one of these suckers. Best deal around. And, they’re delicious!
Just as we did last year, we brought candles and a lighter to the restaurant with us so we could sing her “Happy Birthday.” It was cute, because as soon as our waitress saw us light up the candles, she said, “Oh, it’s her birthday?!” and ran off to get one of the other waitresses. They ran right over and sang “Happy Birthday” to her for us. Very nice of them to give her an impromptu serenade. :) Oh, and hey! Nora now has the ability to blow out candles all by herself. That’s a big girl rite of passage, right there.
Right after breakfast, we made a stop at Wegmans for Nora to pick out a “special snack” for our next stop… the movies. Nora’s first ever in a theater. Nora picked some Pepperidge Farms Goldfish—the S’mores variety (if you haven’t had the pleasure of seeing these and trying them yet, YUM). We rarely ever give her snack food like this, so it really was a special treat!
The only children’s movie that was out was Planes, so the choice was easy.
One of our local movie theaters completely remodeled recently, renovating the theaters so that they all have these sweet reclining chairs. Um, hello, best marketing/business decision ever! If I’m going to pay to go see a movie in the theater (which I don’t often, but if I do), you’re damn straight it’s going to be at this one! :)
For Nora’s first time at the theater, she did pretty good. Honestly, the movie wasn’t that great—the plot a little slow, a little repetitive, so kinda boring—so it was tough to hold her attention. She LOVED the coming attractions (there were SO.MANY, holy cow!), but then only watched about half an hour of the movie before she started getting restless. We managed to make it through the whole thing, but it wasn’t like she was sitting in her seat transfixed by it the entire time. I’d like to try again some day, with a movie that I think she’s more likely to really love. Vivienne, on the other hand, was a rockstar first-time movie goer. She slept the entire time, except for one 10-15 minute period during which I nursed her. :)
Oh, and it should be noted: I took Nora to the bathroom at one point during the movie. The bathrooms—very nice and new and clean, thanks to the remodel—had those Dyson hand dryers. Nora FUH-REAKED out when I used one of them and tried to convince her to try it, too. Screams and tears and everything. “It’s scary, Mommy. That scares me.” Oops.
After the movie, we had to make one quick errand pit-stop at Kohl’s to exchange a pair of shoes. This was the perfect opportunity to try out our new glider board for our stroller. We positioned it as something so very cool, that only BIG girls get to ride. “And now that you’re three,” we told Nora, “you get to ride on the board!”
She now thinks the glider board is the best.thing.ever. And it has been a godsend when we’re out running errands, or even when we walked up the street the other day for a playdate. It’s awesome. I’m in love.
By the time we were done with Kohl’s, Nora was fading fast, and I had to struggle to keep her awake for the ride home. Once home, I carried her right upstairs and plopped her into bed for a nap, which she took easily.
A couple of hours later, we were on the go again. Back out of the house we went, for another special stop. Earlier that week, I had gone to get a pedicure (redeeming a birthday gift certificate, yay!) and while there, I was curious and asked them about doing mani/pedis on little kids. Nora loves to have her nails painted like Mommy’s, so I thought she might get a big kick out of it. They told me that with kids, they only charge for a polish change, not the mani/pedi prices, so done and done.
I mean, come on… is this not the cutest thing ever??
She still struggled a little bit with the holding still + keeping fingers apart thing, so I had to hold them still for her until they dried enough. She still managed to smudge a finger or two, but the woman was really nice and just repaired them. Toes were much easier! Oh, and I can’t forget to mention that she picked PURPLE. Of course. And the woman added a sparkle topcoat, too. Little girl heaven, I tell you.
Once my little girl had been properly pampered (LOL), we made a quick stop at Target for her to pick out some much needed new big girl underwear. (She picked My Little Pony, if you must know!)
Then, our last adventure for the day was to take her out to dinner. Macaroni and cheese with a side of broccoli (which she surprisingly did VERY well with), and then a free birthday sundae for dessert.
Yep, Nora had a great day. Best day ever, even? I don’t know. :) We had a lot of possibilities on our list of things we could do for Nora’s birthday. It turned out that the weather on her birthday was 90+ degrees, so that eliminated all of our outdoor ideas right off the bat. I think we ended up doing well with all of our indoor options, though.
Back home, we took a few photos before calling it bath and bedtime.
It was a happy birthday for my sweet, smart, and funny girl. I love her more than she’ll ever know.
AboutI'm Heather. I'm 31 and have been married to Michael for five years. Together, we have two beautiful little girls we love more than anything, and a miniature dachshund who drives us crazy. I'm a full-time working mom who has very little time for my own "stuff" these days, like home improvement, cooking/baking, cake decorating, and photography. Despite the team not making the playoffs since 1999, I'm STILL a Buffalo Bills fan, which I think speaks to my loyalty AND sense of humor. I can't wait to pick up the pace with travel again some day... you know, when we're done being ruled by tiny fists. Welcome to my blog.
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