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Um...I think I'm missing a week. And I totally forgot about this week until now. Whoops!
I love birthdays and I like to make a big deal of them. Not so much that I think there should be a big party for the birthday person, but more that I want lots of attention lavished on the b-day person the whole day. (And that would include me on August 8th.) I want there to be a magical feeling to the day, a little bit of glitter over everything. And one of the very best things about young children is how easily that magical feeling can be created for them and how you then get to experience all that sheer delight with them. So cool.
I debated trying to coordinate a party for Bella, but decided against it because most of our families are out of state and while she has many young friends, most are of the casual friend variety. Plus, Bella was more interested in doing things with the family on her special day than having a party. So after offering her a variety of choices for the day, she picked going out to the Mall of America by bus & train (Metro Transit) and then a small family party with hot dogs, cake, and presents.
From the minute Bella woke up on her birthday she was in the best mood and continued to be the sweetest girl all day long. It was lovely and kind of amazing, to be honest! When Oliver went down for his nap at 9, Bella and I left the house for our hour-long journey to the mall. I wasn't sure if the fun of a bus and then train ride would wear off quickly, but she was happy the whole time (I also brought the iPad with some Dora which helped). I think it's funny that the little train at the mall costs $3 per person, but an actual train ride was only $1.75 for the two of us. It's nice that we can take advantage of being smack in the middle of the city for these last few months of living here.
Once we were at the mall we went on rides at the amusement park there while waiting for Oliver and Husband to join us. She had a blast.
We met up with Oli and Husband and headed to the aquarium. However, upon seeing the lines and noting how tired Bella was already getting, we quickly changed plans and just grabbed a quick lunch instead.
After nap, Bella's much loved 11-year-old cousin, Sol, her Auntie (Husband's sister) and her Grandpa (my father who was in town for business) came over to help her celebrate. It was really nice that they could be there - she loved having everyone around. She ended up not eating the hot dogs she requested because she was too focused on the cake and cupcakes waiting for her. Finally - it probably felt like 30 years for everyone to finish eating from a 3-year-old's perspective - it was cake time. Her rainbow cake was as big of a hit as I hoped it would be. Even though my cake decorating skills are hilarious, I feel proud that I gave her exactly what she wanted. She doesn't care that the cake was lopsided, frosted imperfectly and had sloppy frosting decorations. To her it was perfect. And that's the magical part again.
The day ended with some dance party time and then playing with new toys.
And that was her third birthday!