Sunday, March 03, 2013

Penny is three!

Penny's third birthday is today! Yes, it's strange we have a three year old running around here, and I can already see big changes in her.  I feel like she isn't a little toddler any more but a quickly growing, free thinking little girl.  She just gets more cute and fun every day. She likes to pretend she is a puppy constantly, turns anything that has varying sizes into a daddy, mommy and baby, and makes us laugh constantly with her little quips and observances of life.

 I love having my little pal with me to go thrift shopping or to peruse the library, to take frequent trips to Aldi with me to scour the latest deals.  To share our plates of mac & cheese and chicken finger at Ikea every Tuesday. Sometimes when we're feeling more adventurous we'll go visit Jeff downtown for lunch (please warm up, weather!!).  Penny is such a wonderful little treasure for Jeff and me, and I love watching her grow into such a lively, spirited little girl that I had always envisioned her to be.

Since her 3rd birthday was happening on 3-3-13, I thought I should do SOMETHING so that years from now when she is old enough to realize she missed her golden birthday she won't feel completely gypped. I settled on doing an art theme, since well, that is always my fall back given it's my profession, it is super easy to come up with things within the theme, and most importantly, I consider Penny my greatest work of art yet.

So here's some pictures! And be sure to see the annual video of Penny at the end!

Before we get into the party, I should mention how when loading up our bedframe that we sold on craigslist, the girl asked if Penny wouldn't mind puppy-sitting her little 6 month old puppy... I told her that was probably the greatest birthday present ever. And it was awesome! Penny bawled her eyes out when that puppy left.


Anyway, onto the party. Keep in mind my style is very laid back, so I wasn't going for picture perfect here.  Just some fun little things to go along with the theme.
  Here was my main set up.  It was lovely being able to use both leaves of the table at long last in our nice big dining room!
 I had bought mini art palettes from the craft store, and put a fruit of each color in them. 
 
 This rainbow jell-o was a labor of love.  In fact, I melted one of my indestructible Costco sauce pans on the final purple layer after I forgot about the boiling water. But in my defense, only forgetting about 1 out of 6 session of boiling water in a 24 hour period is pretty good. I was amazed I was even able to do this at all since my patience and attention span are both non existent for these kinds of projects.  But the kids loved it, so it was worth it.
 I also displayed some of the pictures and illustrations I had drawn of Penny over the past year. She is such a source of inspiration for my work :) The assortment of candy was a colorful touch too.  Sorry to all the parents for rotting your kids' teeth out...
 I also had a picture from her birth and from a few days ago.  I threw my paint brushes up there too for a fun little detail. I hung my watercolor palette on the wall as well.
 We had the classic veggie tray and frog-eye salad for those not wanting the rot their teeth out with jell-o and candy.

 I made this little "Pin-the-paint on the palette" game, which turned out to be a big hit.  3-5 year olds are so easy to please.  I bought a big poster board, cut out an art palette, then used the trimmings to paint and cut out some color splotches.  A little tape on the back and a blindfold, and just like that, the kids are having the time of their lives!

 The kids sat on this very appropriate rainbow blanket made for our wedding by Jeff's sister Becky.
 I was also glad I had planned a quiet activity, because having 6 or 7 little kids running around the house can get pretty loud and crazy (and thank heavens our basement neighbors had come up to party with us, or else I would have felt very sorry for the noises down below)!  We sat down and made fruit look necklaces, which the kids of all ages had a good time doing.  I was nervous some of the older kids would think it was a little too preschool for their taste.


 Jack totally rocked the fruit loops.  Later on, he was wearing it across his chest, Han Solo style. 
 Penny's necklace didn't last long.


 Ah, the magic rainbow jell-o!

 Everyone was so nice to bring such awesome presents!  Penny has been in need of some new toys, especially after our move, and now we are totally stocked up.

 
 Of course there were lots of babies to go around.  Here's Jeff and Juliette (also, notice Jeff's super short hair!  It hasn't been this short since 7th grade, he says.  I'm partial to his longer hair, but I will admit it was fun buzzing it off.)

We also had a cake, but it is not pictured because I am embarrassed that we had to buy a store bought cake from Wegman's.  Can you blame me?  My live in pastry chef moved across the country!  If Emily HAD been here, the cake would have looked a little something like this:


The party was a big success and it was fun to see Penny interacting so nicely with all of her friends.  I was very overwhelmed with gratitude for all the nice friends we have, especially after having to adjust to losing the Robinsons to Colorado :(  When I asked Penny who to invite to her party, her first answer was "Alex, Bennett and Ruby in Colorado!!!"  Sigh.  And triplets would have been such a nice addition to her 3rd birthday...  We miss you guys so muuuuch!

Today, on her actual birthday, we had a little webcam session with Jeff's family while we opened some presents. 

 Pen has been dying for a robe of her own since Jeff and I often sport ours.
 Grandma & Poppa gave Pen this little Pinky Pie pony baby, which she has been playing with ALL afternoon.  Thanks for all the awesome presents!!!
 Among other things, she got this adorable dress, which inspired an impromptu modeling session.  Observe:




My daughter, indeed.

We still have lots of fun things planned for tonight, like hopefully webcamming with Nana and Papa, eating a grand slam breakfast, and of course MORE CAKE!!

But before you go, here's my annual video of the past year of Penny's life.  I worked very hard on it, and it is so fun to see her grow older every year.  Below you will find years past as well.