We decided to make Rosemary's birthday this year a celebration all about her. We let her decide how she wanted to spend her special day, and boy, did she have some good ideas!
On Friday, we invited Rosemary's friends to our favorite park for cupcakes. If you ever need an easy way of entertaining a bunch of 1-3 year-olds, give them cupcakes. It is messy, funny, and adorable watching them tear into them. I'm pretty sure most of them wore more of the cupcake than they ate! Here's the birthday girl enjoying her cupcake!
On her actual birthday, we let her choose what she wanted for breakfast. If you were a three-year-old, what would you choose? Rosemary felt spaghetti was the only way to start the day. Birthday girl wants spaghetti for breakfast, birthday girl gets spaghetti for breakfast.
When we asked Rosemary what she wanted to do on her birthday, she knew for sure she wanted 2 things. She wanted to go ice skating (she's been talking about it since July when they told us at the Countryside Mall ice skating rink that you had to be 3 years old to do it) and she wanted to see Santa. Her wish was our command! We dressed up our little ones and took them to the mall. Santa was awesome! He even sang "Happy Birthday" to her! (And doesn't my little man look adorable in his little bowtie onesie? I made the matching outfits the night before!)
To our luck, there is now a train that goes around the mall! Rosemary loves trains, so of course we had to hop on after telling Santa that she wanted a penguin for her birthday! She was so adorable. She waved to everyone!
By this time we were all getting a little hungry so we went to the food court and let her choose what she wanted for lunch. I was sure she'd choose a big cookie from the cookie store, but she actually chose teriyaki chicken from Sarku Japan! That is her favorite mall food!
After lunch, it was time to strap on our skates and hit the ice! We all lasted about 30 minutes. Grandma and I both had these romantic images of all of us holding hands gliding across the ice with Rosemary in the middle. Um, not quite. The ice was a little mushy and bumpy and there were lots of 5-year-old professional ice skaters (I swear these kids were pros!) tearing it up! But we did have a really great time! Rosemary, Joe, and I made it around twice before Rosemary told us she was done. I was so proud of her! I didn't know if she'd even actually want to get on the ice when we actually got there, but she did it and she really gave it her best! The rink was packed with two birthday parties, and lessons, so it was very difficult to get pictures. I did manage to snap this one of Joe and Rosemary.
After ice skating, we went to Gymboree and let Rosemary pick out a new dress from her Lola and Grandpa. She walked up the first dress she saw, said that was the one she wanted, and sat down in front of the television in the store. It was an adorable dress she picked out, and she knew exactly what she wanted so that was easy! You'll see the dress a little further down in pictures. Before leaving the mall, we stopped for ice cream. She chose a vanilla cone with sprinkles.
After our busy day at the mall (which, it turns out is a perfect place to celebrate a birthday!), we all went home and took a nap before opening up her present. I really wanted her to have a dollhouse but after spending weeks scouring stores and the internet, I couldn't find one I liked. And I really didn't like the dolls I was finding to go with them. None of them looked like our family. So I called on my super-talented parents to help me out! Grandpa found a partially made wooden dollhouse and finished it by adding some floors and painting it in colors of my choosing. Grandma found some furniture, made others, and painted most of it herself. Over Thanksgiving all of us painted the rest together. I found some unfinished wooden peg people and had both sets of grandparents paint themselves while I painted my little family of four. I LOVE the way it turned out! There is no way we could have found a pre-made dollhouse that was as personalized (some of the fabric used for the bedding was leftover from a dress I made Rosemary) and I think when she gets older she'll really appreciate all the effort that went into it. Hopefully she can pass it down to her kids one day (a long, long time from now!).
Here's our family! From Left- Grandpa Bailey, Lola, Daddy (Xander in front), Mommy (Rosemary in front, I love the pigtails!), Grandpa Freeman, and Grandma. I'm going to bring some more unfinished pieces with me to my parents house for Christmas so my sister can paint her family. Rosemary definitely needs a cousin Malachite to play with!
I think she likes it! (We went back and painted a little more of the frame of the house sea green and I think I might add some wall decor at some point. But the house is so cute as it is that I don't want to mess it up!)
Here she is showing off her Rosemary doll! She's also wearing her new birthday dress from Lola and Grandpa in this picture! The girl has good taste!
We had pizza for dinner (her choosing, of course) and asked her if she wanted anything else. She said she wanted a balloon and lemonade so after dinner Joe and I took her to the grocery store and let her pick out a balloon. Would you believe there was a penguin balloon?! I didn't get a picture of it, but I'm pretty sure Santa put it there after Rosemary told him she wanted a penguin for Christmas! Before going off to bed for the night, grandma had one more present for Rosemary- this beautiful "princess" nighty. When my mom told me she bought Rosemary a neglige, my mind went to places not appropriate for a 3-year-old, but when I saw what she meant, I couldn't believe how absolutely beautiful it is!
All in all, Rosemary's birthday was the perfect day. Everyone needs a day that's all about them and that was exactly what her day was. I think we're going to make it a new tradition to let her choose her birthday activities from now on. We ALL had fun! Joe and I agree that December 11th is our new favorite holiday!