I'm still trying to wrap my head around the fact that my baby girl just turned three. I haven't really done much in the way of parties for her (#thirdkidproblems) and I definitely don't have the margin to put something together the way I'd like to, but I love throwing parties and having people over. Since her birthday fell on a Saturday this year and the forecast has been unusually warm, I decided I would try to make a little more effort. I took some inspiration from her Halloween costume last fall, because what's not to love about a unicorn with dimples??
Thankfully, there's no shortage of unicorn-anything these days. After 45 minutes on Pinterest and 30 minutes in Target, I had most of what I needed. We invited our families and a few of our close friends over from the neighborhood. The weather was gorgeous (70 degrees in mid-February? I'll take it), so the kids got to run around in the backyard while the adults sipped beverages and waited for the pizza to arrive. And I managed to sneak away to get a few pics for posterity's sake.
(Cupcake wrappers, toppers, and table cover by Meri Meri).
(Pink & Orange dewdrop lights from Oh Joy! line by Target).
Guys, I made a double batch of this and it was gone by the end of the night. One huge bag of Skinny Pop, melted white chocolate chips drizzled over the top, pastel star sprinkles, and easter m&m's. BOOM. It's apparently called "Unicorn Poop." Whatever. I call it amazing.
If you're not familiar with Zylast, allow me to introduce you. This is not your every day, run-of-the-mill Lysol stuff. It's one of the only broad-spectrum hand gels that protects against the Norovirus and several other GI bugs. (Most of the store bought stuff protects against only a small percentage of viruses). It's not super cheap, but totally worth it when it comes to avoiding tummy bugs and all of the coughs/colds that this time of year brings. It's a staple for every single party we host!
FYI, if you're planning something with either a rainbow or unicorn theme, Target has some super-cute unicorn birthday party supplies right now (straws, plates, table covers, favors, etc). I also picked up dessert cups, mini chalk-boards, and pastel colored votives in the Dollar Spot section.
Okay, now onto the day itself.
Sometimes, I get so wrapped up in planning mode, I forget to take my expectations and lower them a few notches. When you have three kids, it's almost a given that things will rarely go the way you see it in your mind. (Especially true if you have a toddler or preschooler). And there was nothing Pinterest-worthy about how our evening went down, mainly for these reasons:
Olive didn't get much sleep the night before. (Neither did I, for that matter).
Olive had a steady diet of sweets and treats throughout the day, with little to no protein, despite our efforts.
Olive is Olive.
Pretty sure you all know where this is going. She reached her breaking point a little over an hour into the party. After 20 minutes of talking, soothing, and doing everything we could think of, she wedged herself under our sofa in protest and I mentally drew my white flag. I learned early on that there quickly comes a point of no return when her blood sugar crashes AND she's really tired, to boot. I asked Jake to light the candles on her cake, and requested all of our guests- kids included- to come inside to sing to her. Under the sofa. I wish I was joking.
It was an inappropriately-appropriate way to welcome her third birthday (and the often corresponding "threenager" attitude). After all, I had actually baked her birthday cake, dammit. We were going to sing to her whether she liked it or not.
For those who wonder what it's like to sing to the guest of honor while they're under a piece of furniture, here you go. Pretty much as real life as it gets!
Afterward, while I coerced Olive out from under the sofa, my tribe jumped in and did the rest-- cutting and serving the cake, cleaning up, and re-filling my wine while I sat and rocked her. There are a lot of times I'm reminded of how lucky we are to do life with these people (our families and our chosen family, both) and Saturday night was just another reminder. It was a bright spot in an otherwise exhausting scenario.
The other bright spots Saturday? They were 100% Olive. The messy-hair-don't care, singing-at-the-top-of-her-lungs, sparkly-eyed, wonderment-filled, three year-old who takes no prisoners, but also loves fiercely and without abandon. From day one, she's always had this magical way of drawing those around her into the moment- whether it's with over the top expressions, or her signature, "Hiii, how you?!?" as we're walking into Holton, or...when she lies down on the pavement during our walks/in Kroger/on the playground in (semi) peaceful protest. She is ALL IN, all the time, and it's one of her best qualities. I hope she never loses it.
Happy third trip around the sun, sweet girl. We love you so.