Wednesday, June 17, 2009


Madeleine was 4 months old her first Halloween. So, of course, I bought her a costume that fit - a 0-6 month costume. It was big and bulky and adorable. See:
Last night, we were working on the baby's room, dragging things out, sorting, organizing, putting things away, you know, the "fun" part of preparing for a baby (ha). One of the things I had in the pile to put back in storage was her lady bug costume. But I didn't get to it before she did. She's three. And it all but fit. Granted, only one of the snaps did up, but hey - it was ON.  
So not a whole lot has changed in three years, right?
If only.
For you, Miss Moo,
This year you left the only place you knew as home, and all of your friends, and drove across the country with Mom to a new life in a completely different world from what you were used to. You've been in love with princesses and dinosaurs and puppies. You lived away from your Dad for four months and spent five months with Mom actually getting to be a mom. You spent weekend after weekend going back and forth from one city to the other, spending just about as much time in the car as in our past life. You've watched more movies than probably most 10-year olds (in and out of the theater) and you've learned to sing and dance and love music. You've gotten to know your families and you adore them all. You've lived in more houses, with more different people than most people ever will in a lifetime. And you got a new house, your "own house," after not having one or any of your things for five months. You've also gained the sass and attitude to outdo most 14-year olds. And you've turned into one of those kids that has tantrums. After the first two years, I admit, I wasn't really expecting that. But you're three now and I am sure there are still plenty more to come.
I hope this past year is the hardest one you have for a very long time. You went through so much change and so much lack of consistency and routine. And yet, you are still such a good little kid. There were times you were my rock and got me through the insanity of it. And really, quite probably the only reason I did make it through the last year. The five months I got to spend being just your mom were, while difficult, the best five months ever. You have such a strong personality and are such a strong-willed, independent little monster that I often have to remind myself to just chill, you're only three.
There are days I feel really guilty we changed your life the way we did. We have such a different lifestyle here, I can't really say we can compare the two. You have so much family here and you have had the chance to spend so much time with them and I tell myself all the time that makes it worth it. To see you interact with your cousins and your grandparents, for a few split seconds, I really believe it. And, I am convinced, it's what we make of that life, for you, that matters. No matter where we are. And no matter where we are, or where we've been, watching it through you and seeing you take everything in and learn so much from it, makes anything worth it.
Welcome to your fourth year of life and may it be much easier - but just as fun and exciting - as the last three.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

And She's Three

Little Miss Monster turned 3 on Sunday. We went to Vernal and had a little party at the park for her on Saturday evening. Given how her last party at the park went (or didn't!), I didn't plan much, I didn't go overboard and I really didn't care nearly as much as I normally would. But why stress when she's not gonna care about anything but getting to run around the park with her cousins all night? And it's a good thing I didn't because that was all she cared about. She didn't even eat her cupcake. She opened her presents and then just wanted to PLAY PLAY PLAY. So that's what we let her do.
We did a "purple flower" theme this year to keep it simple and small. The cake and the favors looked just like the invitations. We had grape koolaid drinks to match. I think I'm really kind of sick of purple for a while now.
I made the cake thinking it was one thing and then when I turned the pan over to get the cake out, realized it wasn't at all the pan I had thought it was. So I had to improvise as there was no way I was going to attempt what I had originally planned. I'm too lazy. But I think it turned out cute (and just fine!) anyway.
Kind of a crap picture of the spread, but there you have it. The swimming pool made a nice wind blocker given I couldn't take the cupcakes out of the container because they would have made a very purple, sticky mess everywhere by being blown around by the stinking wind. At least I expected the wind this year and bowing to it makes it a much less stressful experience. Not one cuss word this time. Really. Just not so great looking presentations. But that's okay! She's three - what does she care?
Can I just mention I HATE when people don't RSVP? When planning a party, it helps to have a small idea of how many you need to plan for. Especially when making individual items. So to make sure there is enough you always end up with WAY too many. People! When you're invited to a party, give some indication if you'll be attending or not! Save the party planner a little stress, would yah? I guess what I am saying is we had WAY too many suckers and that's after throwing multiples at people as they left. But... if everyone would have shown up, then we would have had it just right or maybe not enough. RSVPs aren't hard. Now to step off the soapbox...
She didn't really get why everyone around her was singing. It took her a few seconds to decide she actually kind of enjoyed being the center of attention (I know! *My* kid - what's wrong with her??) and then she ate it all up with a big grin. When she went to blow out the candle there was a convenient burst of wind that did it for her but it was such perfect timing she didn't have a clue. She couldn't have cared less about the cake and was only interested in the cupcake for about a bite and a half. So knowing we were on a limited attention span with the big, fancy park just a few feet away, we jumped into opening gifts.
Here she is supposed to be showing off one of her gifts but she doesn't hold still or pose or cooperate much at all with cameras.
I just have to say I think I have one of the most gracious, grateful 3-year olds (children, quite possibly, at this point - it's so rare anymore) in the world. Once she started opening gifts from other people (Mom doesn't count, don't need to tell her thanks! geeze!), without any prompting whatsoever, she ran around to each person after opening his/her gift and gave them hugs. And she insisted on it. It was adorable and actually made me very proud that she is so kind and thoughtful to realize people are giving her things.
Gifts kept her attention for a few minutes but not for long. I was worried she'd want to get right into a few of the things the whole "open NOW!" child experience. She didn't care at all. She looked at what she got, put it in a pile and moved on to the next gift. And then? It was off to the park not to be seen again for HOURS.

And this picture I just had to throw in there because I think it's absolutely adorable. It only took these two almost two years to become friends but now they are best buddies. And they couldn't be any cuter.
Happy birthday, little monster. You've made the last three years fly by, thanks for helping me to love every minute of it no matter how good or bad it was!
(Thanks to "Uncle Marker" for getting some really great pictures!)