Tuesday, June 4, 2013


Claire turned 3 today. Her arrival, and all of our first three years together, have been so extraordinarily wonderful that I'm not even sad at the milestones, I just can't help but be excited at what will come next.

Her party was a "zoo pool party" with good friends, lots of food, giggling children, cupcakes and the singing of Happy Birthday. I got overwhelmed at the thought of inviting a bunch of kids from her class and spending money to entertain people we didn't know, particularly since she's moving up and out of her class next week, so we decided a backyard cookout with our close friends (all coworkers of mine who live nearby with young kids Claire knows and loves as well as any classmate, and Claire's beloved babysitter, who is also the daughter of a coworker) would be way more fun. And it was.

Claire wanted zebras and elephants to be involved, so I added "zoo" to the expected "pool party," found these invites and envelopes for nearly nothing on vistaprint, and ordered a dozen inflatable zoo animals to float in the pool. Party theme done!


Aren't they adorable? I feel like they should all have names and sleep in the house.


I also scattered some zoo bubbles and animal print sunglasses (a Claire signature item) around the tables as favors, strung a Happy Birthday sign on the side of the house, and made up yummy picnic food, non-alcoholic punch (that would have been delicious with vodka, darn it), and several dozen rainbow cupcakes, including some minis because the batter was never ending and I was tired of layering.


Friends came, JP made it home from the pool to grill the hamburgers and hot dogs, and much fun and merriment was had by all.


Claire found the mini cupcakes and snuck away to eat one.


Luckily, I have a zoom lens, and the birthday girl was given carte blanche on dinner. She didn't touch her hamburger, watermelon, or pasta salad, but she did eat one million goldfish and three mini cupcakes.


My favorite part from last year's party was the moment everyone sang "Happy Birthday" and Claire realized the party was for her. This year she knew what was coming and she was so excited. Though three candles took a few extra tries to blow out than last year's two.


The weather couldn't have been better, and two of the families we're closest to, both of which also have pregnant mamas- we realized that this time next year we'll all have an extra kid in our broods, stayed until after 7 just chatting on the patio, watching the kids play and splash and play more.


Claire and her fellow almost-three-year-old had a particularly good time. They spent at least an hour talking babies and transferring water back and forth between the pool and various buckets. The adults were at least 10 yards away and I just loved sneaking glances through my lens, wondering at the details of the important little girl things they were chatting about so earnestly. It really couldn't have been a better, more relaxing and fun evening. Claire was so excited it was here, and spent time chatting with every guest- friends told me later that they heard all about her dance recital, her "no tutus" rule, and so much more, and told me that night as we tucked her in bed that "Mommy, I LOVE my parties." Me too, baby.


This morning was Claire's "real" birthday. It's a little anticlimactic after her party, but we got to give her our gift- a big chair to match the one Landon has (possibly the only "toy" they ever fight over) and two books. I love that she is still baby enough to wake up a little befuddled and required two babies and her pink blankie to face the morning, even on a birthday.


Excited about her chair and the prospect of tearing paper, she warmed up quickly.


I predict many hours spent exactly like this:


We lit the traditional tiny candle in a tiny pig, sang Happy Birthday, and enjoyed Claire's favorite blueberry bagel breakfast.


She continued the day with a trip to the dentist (which she was SO excited about; she loves the dentist, doctor, and "hair tut place" with great and equal fervor), muffins at school with her friends, and playtime in our pool tonight before a dinner of her choice: pasta with red sauce. So far none of the kid's chosen birthday meals have cost us more than $5, something I'm sure they'll make up for later.


Happy Birthday Claire! It's been a fabulous three years and we can't imagine life without you (Landon quite literally, he looked befuddled when I told him tonight that he was almost three when Claire was born). May your combination of fierceness, sweetness, and excitement for just about everything (except tutus) continue in full force in year four and beyond. We love you so baby bear.


  1. Happy Birthday to the CUTEST 3 year old ever!

  2. Happy birthday, Claire! I remember how befuddled YOU were when you were pregnant with her... she's turned out to be such a wonderful addition to your family.

  3. Happy birthday Clairebear!!!! I have so enjoyed watching you grow up on the blog over the last 3 years and am so glad I finally got to meet you! I can't wait to see you become a big sister!

  4. Happy 3rd birthday, Claire!!! You are just adorable and I just know that you will be the BEST big sister!!! Sounds like a perfect party! You look fantastic LL and can't wait to find out what baby number 3 will be!!

    Patty from TX

  5. Cute post! She's adorable.

  6. Ohmigod her blowing out the candles face is the cutest thing ever.