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Happy Birthday, London!

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I can’t believe that my first baby girl turned 3! Absolutely crazy. On one hand, I think, “where did the time go?”, and then on the other hand I think about how far we’ve all come since she was born and it seems like 3 years was an eon in the past. Funny how that works.
Now, this tender lamb has been sick for every birthday she’s had. In fact, on her 2nd birthday last year she was admitted to the children’s hospital for four days. So, while we are at the point where we really only do birthday parties for big years like 1,5, etc., this girl NEEDED a party, and I was a Mama who needed to throw one for her!

Now, I didn’t get all kinds of crazy and invite everyone we know. We had a morning play date at our house with all of her little friends. Precious chaos, it was (that, of course, is easy to say now that the party is over).

I went with a Valentine’s Day theme since it is close to her birthday. Very easy to find all the decorations, and it was a lot of fun to pull off. I made her party hats, which was the one thing she requested for her party. When I asked her what she wanted for her birthday, she replied with, “birthday hats!”, so I had to provide. They were really easy to do, and I found this amazing tutorial on Oh Happy Day. If you do party hats for a party, I highly suggest making your own! They were a huge hit! I did the ice cream cone cupcakes again, a turkey/cheese/fruit/goldfish platter for the kids, an amazing quinoa salad for the adults (I’ll post the recipe later), and mini fruit pizzas (again, recipe later).

I think her guests were pleased! All the little girls were on cloud 9 as London had received a huge trunk of dress up clothes for Christmas, and has acquired quite the collection of dolls and accessories. The boys were content with Jackson’s toys, and when they got bored they managed to find their way to our backyard sandpit or upstairs to his room where they could wrestle without the concerned eyes of their mothers upon them. In case you are wondering how we got all the children on the couch for a picture…it didn’t come without a bribe. It’s AMAZING what you can get kids to do when you are holding up ice cream cone cupcakes as a reward!
(Pausing for a moment to reflect on the fact that my 3 year old has more friends than me…)

She talked about this moment all.day.long. “Mama, do you ‘member when evwey bawdy sang me ‘Happy Birfday!” and I laufed and blew out da candles? Tha was so funneeey!!!”.

My precious London-girl,

Would you like to know something?

There isn’t a mommy on the planet who loves her little girl more than I love you. In fact, I feel a little silly saying it, because the words don’t compare to the emotion behind them. To put it simply, I treasure you.
I like lists. Let’s put your little treasures on a list…

1. I treasure your compassion. You genuinely care for all those around you. At your party, one of your friends stubbed and cut her toe. You were there in a second, comforting her with a gentle hand and kind words. Whenever your baby sister cries, you bring her books or her favorite stuffed animal and pat her, cooing words of sympathy like, “Oh, baby. Don’t cry. There, there.” When Jackson is in trouble, you sit outside the bathroom door, and are quick to make sure he is okay and happy when he exits. You are quick to say you are sorry, quick to forgive, and quick to love. I adore all this about you.
2. I treasure your song-like voice. It is sweet and high, and it’s like living with a tiny fairy of happiness. You chirp and sing all day long, and it is impossible to not smile around you.
3. I treasure the way you laugh. It’s hard to explain to those who haven’t heard it, but the best description would be like a firecracker. You explode in laughter!
4. I treasure how you run to me and Daddy when we return from being away. You’d think that we had been gone for years with the homecoming you give us, every single time.
5. I treasure how you say, “ARrrggghhhh! Imma pirate!”. A.DOR.A.BLE. Or how you try and imitate all the pigs on Peppa Pig. Or how you sing the Bubble Guppies song. Or how you would seriously let me read you 50 stories before bed.
6. I treasure your obedient heart. It makes my job 1,000 times easier.
7. I treasure how you sleep with an army of junk toys/stuffed animals/books in your bed. While it makes changing your sheets a 20 minute process, I know that one day you won’t sleep with anything and that will make you big.
8. I treasure how Jackson is your best friend. You would follow him anywhere, and your love for him in palpable.
9. I treasure how you’ve learned to ask me for the things you really desire. While sometimes this can be a bit…taxing…I love how you know that if I can give it to you, I will. Thank you for trusting me!
10. I treasure how I could think of 100 more things after all of these!

So, 3. I know this year will have its challenges, to be sure. You will desire your independence, but will still need my boundaries. You will desire your will to be done, while still needing my guidance. You will learn to express yourself in less than honorable ways, and will need me to correct you. You will be a girl who needs her mother’s unfailing love, and I will be here to give it to you.

I love you, my precious pumpkin face. With every fiber of my being.
Love,
Mama

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