Friday, March 4, 2011

Camille's birthday extravaganza

Camille's special birthday day was a smashing success!

Aaron and I both took the day off from work, and her Auntie Megan was also able to spend the day with us.

The day began bright and early when she woke ready for the day at 6:30. Knowing we wanted to make this a special day, all three of us adults (and Levi, who was already awake) got up right away and joined her in the kitchen where she was given a birthday present to open.

Her first gift was from Auntie, and it was a doll just the same as her favorite doll Susanna, except this doll is "from Mexico" (where Auntie lives) and her name is Luisa! Camille was thrilled to have another Susanna and instantly welcomed Luisa into her family of animals and dolls. She has already joined the ranks on Camille's bed and fits right in with the others.

Aaron and I also got her a summer dress that matches the outfits Susanna and Luisa are wearing. She excitedly put it on over her clothes and wore it (along with the birthday crown she got at school yesterday) for the remainder of the morning. 

After opening her present Camille declared it was breakfast time. So what does a three-year-old have for breakfast on her birthday? Why, carrot cake cupcakes, of course. Weeks ago Camille specifically requested to have carrot cake cupcakes for her birthday while on a grocery shopping trip with my mom. Naturally, I obliged, and even topped them with delicious cream cheese frosting (which I made for the first time last night)!

After breakfast (we had fruit with our cupcakes, you didn't think we'd be that unhealthy, did you?) we had some down time, watched a couple cartoons, and let Levi (and Mommy) take a nap. Then as soon as nap time was over we packed up our things and headed to the local gymnastics gym for a morning of open gym. Our friends Kristy, Isabel and Josiah joined in on the fun, and a great time was had by all.

When we got home we ate lunch (goudadillas - quesadillas with gouda cheese), took naps, and then headed to the library. We spent a while browsing and chose a bag full of books to borrow, including four My First Little House Books that we haven't read yet. 

After dinner Camille played with another of her birthday presents - a set of wooden sandpaper letters I ordered for her from Etsy. This was a gift from Aaron and I and all of her grandparents. They were a huge hit. Camille absolutely loves learning letters and letter sounds. She has recently mastered all of her upper-case letters and I was excited to teach her lower-case letters. 

But as she looked at each of the lower-case letters one by one, we quickly discovered that she already knows nearly all of them. So after doing a few upper- and lower-case matching games and having fun sorting them by size and by color (vowels are blue and consonants are red) we spent a while building words. Camille is just beginning to understand the concept of phonics and sounding out words, and having this concrete tactile tool to build the words is clearly going to help her make the connections faster.

Before bedtime we of course had to have some cake. We'd picked up a chocolate cake from Costco earlier in the week and this made for a great finish to the day.

After Camille got her jammies on it was time to open her final birthday presents: a Twiddlebug book (from Auntie) and A Little House Birthday book (from me and Aaron). After we read them together, I carried Camille to bed like a baby and we shared a birthday snuggle before I kissed her goodnight and closed the door.

I know we won't always be able to give Camille full-day birthday celebrations, but this certainly was a special day for our family to share together. It was such a blessing to see her face light up in wonder so many times in one day, and to hear her utter the words thank you so freely and joyfully. 

Now I just have to get used to the idea that I'm the mother of a three-year-old. Yikes!

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