While Josh and I are certainly happy to have more birthdays, really, the most exciting one is Zoë's, of course.
The big 3. 3 is apparently when my kids get difficult, and frankly, she's truly excelling at being 3. She has always been very particular and now she is just old enough to get mad that she can't make all of her decisions. The lovely part about her being the 2nd baby is I know what to expect and that this will eventually pass. It doesn't make it any easier when she's pitching her 5th fit of the day, but hey, at least we know it will pass!
The great thing about the third birthday is she was experienced enough to help determine how she wanted to celebrate. Her big present was her big girl bed - she was so excited about it! We found an old and beautiful bed frame in my mom's barn attic and brought it home to clean and paint it. It had a bit of water damage from being under a part of the roof that had leaked at one point, so there was no way we could just sand it and re-finish it. I think a white bed is sweet in a little girl's room, so we decided to just paint it the same white as the trim in the rest of our house. (I love how I make it sound like I've actually painted the trim in the house... HA, only in Clara's closet when I put shelves in there... eventually!)
We took advantage of a beautiful early spring day and laid it all out in the back yard:
After two coats of paint:
And in use:
I know many people who keep their toddlers in cribs for long long times, but with our little climber, we'd had the bars off of her crib for more than a year. Since she often wants us to snuggle her to sleep, or sleep with her when she is feeling unwell or scared, it is much nicer for Josh and I to have a twin bed to stretch out on! I think it was as much a present for Josh and me as it was for Zoë!
For her actual birthday celebration, we just kept it small and family-style. One of the most lovely parts of this birthday is the presents that Clara made for Zoë. I have read on other blogs of the sweetness of sibling presents and now that it is happening in our house it just fills me with joy. Clara made Zoë a series of windmills - Zoë's favorite things = Elephants, Windmills, and anything purple. And she drew Zoë an adorable picture of her in a field of windmills. She even took money from her sheep bank and got her a panda puppet. So sweet and thoughtful.
Of course, Zoë asked for a purple windmill cake, which, I made happen. It was not exactly pinterest-worthy, but luckily 3 year olds have great imaginations and low standards, so it was exactly what she wanted.
Lucky for me my enormous piece of cardboard wrapped in aluminum foil was large enough to sit on our countertop-less peninsula. As you can see we were really in the thick of reconstruction then.
Another awesome thing about turning 3 is that Zoë could start gymnastics with Clara. She has always been fearless and bouncy and very strong - good traits for gymnastics. She absolutely loves it, and I love how much energy she can release each week in class. Clara and Zoë on her first day of class were in adorable sister mode, holding hands and sitting next to each other... it was so sweet:
It has certainly been a very very busy year, and it's complicated when new ages and abilities mean that I'm acting so much as a chauffeur. It has taken us quite some time to get into a routine this fall - now that the weeks are starting to find a good rhythm I have more energy for other nooks and crannies in my life that have been neglected. My health, the blog, laundry, piles of clutter that have been staring me in the face for a few too many months. It is wonderful to finally catch up with you all - I've had all of these posts in my head for so long and just no time to get them out!