I think I'm more excited about Katrina's birthday than anyone else. This past three years has been filled with changes and challenges -- two boys starting school, going back to work, remodeling, getting hooked and hurt on running, and, oh yeah, having a baby and raising her to 3.
I brought little cupcakes to her preschool today, even though I wouldn't be there for her class to have them. I couldn't bring myself to buy them, so I made whole-wheat carrot cake with orange frosting. The teachers raved about them! Kids are used to sweeter "regular" things from stores, so generally my homemade healthy goodies aren't as popular. But I'm OK with that.
Katrina was a happy camper when I picked her up from preschool today, and joyfully drew me...well, a me. "Mommy, I'm going to draw you!" she exclaimed.
I got hair, a hat, and a smile.
In a normal family, I'd have made a birthday cake for our family celebration at the same time as I made the class muffins, but Dad won't touch anything baked that includes any fruit or vegetable. So I made a devil's food cake tonight too. I used to lament that no matter what I did, cake mixes still came out better. No more. I don't mind other cakes baked from mixes, but I think they have an artificial tinge to them. This devil's food recipe from the Joy of Cooking was light and moist and wonderful, though not especially chocolately. I'll have to work on that.
We did things a little unorthodox, singing Happy Birthday in a different room from the cake. Gabriel took it upon himself to learn Happy Birthday again and wanted to accompany us by piano. Dave says Gabriel already knew the song, but I haven't heard him play it since we moved back here, and never the ending part. It took him under 10 minutes to (re?)learn this.
Then we opened presents, starting with a card from Bonne Maman and Papa Paul. Thank goodness we really do have one genuine artist in the family! Katrina liked the birds. Funny, because she scolds real birds chirping outside: "be quiet, birdie! QUIET BIRDIE!"
And she liked this dress. We had to divert her from insisting on wearing it, because there was one more thing.
A doll in a cradle!! The boys were under strict orders to stand back while she pulled a blanket off this and unveiled it. Yes, you read that right: we had to lecture 5 and 7-year-old boys not to touch a baby doll in a pink cradle, so that a 3-year-old girl could enjoy her gift unfettered.
This cradle comes with a mattress, blanket and pillow, all of which have a beautiful cottage-y home-sewn look to them...Mom, you didn't. Wow! How very special!
Katrina knew right what to do and wasted no time jumping into doll play. How adorable -- even a hard-bitten boy-mom like me can't help being charmed.
This is for Bonne Maman, who I know has a special place in her heart for watching little girls play with dolls, as she saw me and my sister play with them a lot.
Of course, one thing my sister and I didn't have were older brothers.
Three. I've never had my youngest child turn three before. Empty-nesting can only be right around the corner.