We had Rylee and Ayden's birthday party the week before their actual birthday. With their birthday falling on December 23rd, that's pretty much the way it probably always will be. This is the first time I'd planned an actual theme to their party. It was so much fun! We were a
little lot nervous about how many people would be coming. Between all our family, and adding in all their little friends from Playgroup, we were expecting a very full house! The snow and ice storms we had around then did end up keeping quite a few from being able to come. It ended up working out perfectly. Our house was full, but not over crowded.
|My three year olds!|
It was a Dinosaur-Princess party! I had found Ayden's birthday shirt on Zulily and thought it was absolutely perfect. One of my friends was able to make a shirt for Rylee to match. I found bead necklaces at the Dollar Store and princess/prince crowns on Amazon to give out to all the kids as they arrived. They each got a few temporary dinosaur tattoos as well, which was a huge hit. I got a Dinosaur cake from Costco. I served BBQ meatballs, chips and a seven layer dip, pasta salad, and had a fruit platter. We had princess and dinosaur plates and colorful napkins. I had found balloons on Amazon with dinosaurs and princesses, so we blew those up the night before the party. When the kids opened their birthday gifts, I had little goody bags for the rest of the kids. I really tried my best not to just fill them with junk. Each bag had two mini candy canes, a glow bracelet, extra dinosaur tattoos for them to take home, princess fruit snacks, and three little dinosaur figures (about the size of little army men).
I didn't take pictures of everything set up (although I wish I had thought to take them), so I don't have a lot to share. I did get a great group picture of all the kids together, but don't feel comfortable sharing it here on my blog without asking for permission from each of the parents. Although, I'm not sure it would be a lot different from posting it on Facebook. So, not a lot of birthday party pics to share, but here's a few...
|Sis helped me by being our "tattoo artist" for the party.|
|Getting ready to sing Happy Birthday and blow out candles. They each got three candles to blow out.|
|With their cousin Adilyn.|
They had sooooo much fun at their party! They still sing the happy birthday song regularly and Ayden tries to convince me it's his birthday at least once a week. lol
The night before their actual birthday, we (mostly Tony) blew up a ton of balloons and put them in the hallway so that would be the first thing they saw when walking out of their rooms in the morning. They LOVED it and thought the balloons were pretty much the coolest thing ever. Fun fact - we STILL have some (too many) of those balloons left. They just won't die! I have helped many of them meet their demise almost on a daily basis since the beginning of January.
We made them special birthday pancakes with whipped cream and strawberries. They love pancakes and they love strawberries, but for some weird reason, out kids aren't fans of whipped cream. Who would have ever thought??? We stuck 3 candles in each of their pancakes and sang them Happy birthday. They requested that we sing it several times! It was their special day, so of course we obliged them!
After breakfast, we made the trek to Salem to take them to a bounce house. They. Had. A. Blast!!! I cannot even begin to describe how much fun they had, and it was amazing for us to watch them enjoy it so much. It was nearly impossible to capture it in pictures, but I tried. They didn't slow down enough for pictures! It was Go, Go, Go!
|See that smile?|
Tony wanted to take them somewhere for lunch that would sing a fun birthday song for them and give them a treat, so we took them to Red Robin. His parents met us there, but before even having a chance to order, Grandpa got a call from a neighbor letting him know his cows had gotten out. He left to go round up the cows, but Grandma was able to stay and have lunch with us.
Rylee was super social at the restaurant, particularly on our trips to the bathroom. We were sitting on the opposite side of the restaurant to the bathrooms, and Rylee said hi to every table we passed on the way there and back, stopping to admire a baby at one table. She struck up an entire conversation with a lady in the bathroom. Rylee started by asking the lady her name, and vice versa. Then the lady asked how old she was and found out that it was Rylee's birthday. It was pretty much the cutest thing ever and the lady was completely charmed by my daughter (so was I). Toward the end of lunch, Tony took Ayden to the bathroom and then Grandma went too, so it was just Rylee and I left at the table. But then she decided she had to go "big poopy." My favorite part (not really) was that she then proceeded to announce loudly, all the way too the bathroom, over and over, that she had to go Big Poopy!
Ayden was pretty cranky through lunch and was ready to go before anyone was done eating. Fortunately, he didn't have any major meltdowns, but lunch was definitely not his favorite part of their birthday celebration. Neither one of them really cared about having the staff sing a birthday song for them. Although I'm sure if they sang the traditional happy birthday song, they would have loved it. They each got an ice cream sundae, but it took awhile to convince them to actually eat it because.... whipped cream. I have the strangest kids. What kid doesn't like whipped cream? Once we helped them eat the top layer and it got down to the actual ice cream, they enjoyed their birthday sundaes.
|Grandma helped Ayden eat his last few bites of melted ice cream.|
After lunch, we took them to the Salem Carousel, where Grandpa was able to meet back up with us. Ayden and Rylee could spend all day going round and round on the carousel! The rest of us had to take turns though, because being old sucks and spinning around in circles made all of us adults quite dizzy! lol.
|The giraffe was highly sought out by many kids! It was a race to get to it first and we had to try several times before Ayden got his chance to ride on the giraffe.|
|Rylee with her Grandpa|
|Not always the easiest to get a good family pic!|
Ayden and Rylee were very excited that they got to see Santa Claus at the carousel! (Remember, their birthday was December 23rd, despite how late I am writing this post. face palm) Both of them were super into Santa this past Christmas. Ayden couldn't stop petting the fir on Santa's coat and Rylee pet Santa's beard! bahaha! It was so funny and cute, but also a little weird. I had to tell her to stop because she couldn't keep her hands off of him! lol. After petting his beard, she reached up to play with his glasses!
|Rylee petting his beard. Ayden petting his coat.|
The carousel has a really nice park next to it, which was the only reason we were able to get Ayden and Rylee to leave without a meltdown. They could have stayed all night, going around in circles! We were blessed with a sunny day for their birthday, and we had to take advantage of it and let them play. We don't get to go to the park very often in the winter, so this was a real treat!
Once we got back home, they got to open their birthday presents from us. Nothing too exciting. They each got three new books. They are pretty cool books though, and the kids have thoroughly enjoyed them!
|Reading one of their new Shine the Light books. We call them their "flashlight" books.|
We had so much fun celebrating this 3rd birthday. I was super proud of myself for how their birthday party turned out and that everyone seemed to have a great time. Ayden and Rylee enjoyed being in the spotlight and pretty much thought it was the best thing ever, which made the whole thing worthwhile. Their actual birthday was filled with a ton of fun and we couldn't have asked for the day to be any more perfect.
They may drive me crazy and make me lose my mind sometimes, but they are the most amazing little miracles. Tony and I often talk about how lucky we are that we get to be their parents. It's still sometimes hard to believe we even ARE parents. And they are THREE! How did that happen so quickly?