Happy 3rd Birthday, Sweet Pea!

three

My baby is three years old today. There is something about turning three. Beside becoming temporarily bi-polar, turning three is stepping out of babyhood and into childhood. Although three-year-olds certainly still have some “baby” in them (and Sweet Pea certainly still has A LOT of baby in her with her thumb sucking, blankie holding, diaper self!), age 3 is the beginning of them finding their independence. There is such a remarkable difference in a newly turned 3-year-old and a newly turned 4-year-old, which is why age three is so demanding! A lot is going on in their little worlds.

Sweet Pea is still her sweet little smiley self most of the time, but she is definitely three!

From the time Sweet Pea was around 18 months until just a few months ago, the girls played so well together. We have now entered the phase of them not getting along all the time. Some days, I feel like a referee. The other day it dawned on me why this change!

Before turning three, Sweet Pea was at her sister’s beck and call. Whatever Little Bug wanted Sweet Pea to play or do, she did. Now that Sweet Pea is gaining independence and has opinions of her own, they fight.

Needless to say, we are working a lot around here about how to handle disagreements, how to be considerate and kind to one another and how to communicate with each other (instead of running to Mom as a tattletale)!

With a five- and three-year old in the house, our home is very lively! I still sometimes look at my girls and stare at them in disbelief that they are so old! How is my baby three years old and my firstborn in Kindergarten?!

I figured by the time Sweet Pea was three years old I would know for sure whether I felt like my family is complete or not.

Sweet Pea is three and I still don’t know.

I think I have decided that this is not something I have to ever decide! I just have to keep living my life, trusting God to grow my family in whatever way He desires, whenever He sees fit.

For now, He has blessed me with these two precious little girls and I want to be found faithful in the ways I am raising them.

Sweet Pea’s Watermelon Birthday Party!

In thinking of a theme for Sweet Pea’s 2nd birthday party, a watermelon theme seemed like a really cute idea for a really cute little girl who LOVES watermelon!

So, I jumped on Pinterest to find watermelon party ideas and I was floored! Everything was just way too complicated and I’m telling you, these people must have spent hundreds on these parties.

Give me simple and cheap, please.

And so I ditched Pinterest ideas altogether and decided I was going to create this party from ideas in my own head (scary!) using mostly the clearance isle at Michaels, items I already had in the house, and any items I could find in the stores that were less than $5 each!

And, I must say, I’m quite proud with the way this party turned out for my little Sweet Pea who is TWO!

We had the party at a local park on Saturday and set up everything under the covering with two picnic tables.

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This turned into a brief crisis because I thought there was FOUR tables under this covering. Not anymore! (We did Little Bug’s Flower Party there for her 2nd birthday.) Wesley ran back to the house and grabbed our long table for me to use for the food and cupcakes. I was still setting up when the first guests arrived, but oh well. Such is life.

Here is the main table with the food and cupcakes!

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For centerpieces for the tables, I bought adorable watermelon cups off the clearance isle at Michael’s for $2 each. Then, I stuffed white tissue paper and pink flowers in them! Do those flowers look familiar? They should! They were recycled from Little Bug’s Fancy Nancy party.

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I did a little phootshoot with Sweet Pea using a watermelon and a watermelon slice as my props! The photos came out adorable and were the perfect centerpieces along with the watermelon cups and flowers. Underneath it all was one piece of scrapbook paper. It was actually a Christmas print, but it went perfectly with this watermelon theme and the colors I was using (pink, red, green and black).

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There were five pictures in all. Three on the main table and one each on the other two tables.

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I bought red table clothes from a party store and then cut out black seeds which were taped down the center of the tables.

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I wasn’t going to have balloons but Grams insisted we needed balloons so she got them and they really were a nice touch to the décor! She got bright pink, light pink, green and black balloons.

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The “Happy Birthday, Sweet Pea” banner hung between two poles of the covering and above the main table where the food was served. The balloons were flying on either side of the banner. I made the banner simply using green and red cardstock (to make the watermelons), black letter stickers I had, orange yarn (it’s what I had!) and a glue gun to glue it all together on the orange yarn.

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The favor bags came from Hobby Lobby (a dozen for $3).

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I just drew a watermelon on the front. Red ones for the boys and pink ones for the girls! Each child received bubbles, a pack of watermelon gum and a piece of candy.

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We served watermelon, cheese and grapes and it wasn’t until the party was underway that I realized these are the three foods Sweet Pea could seriously live off. There is not much I can count on her eating consistently but watermelon, cheese and grapes are her absolute favorites! Dave thought I had served these foods because of that very fact, but I honestly had not even thought about it!

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Grams made watermelon cupcakes!

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Green cupcake paper, red icing and chocolate chips for the “seeds”!

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I searched all over creation for a watermelon outfit for Sweet Pea to wear. Everything just wasn’t in my budget at all. So I gave up until a friend of mine insisted that she wanted to make this outfit for Sweet Pea to wear for her party!

It was absolutely precious and Sweet Pea looked so adorable!

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And to surprise me even further, my friend made a matching shirt for Little Bug to wear, complete with a pink bow! (Sweet Pea had a bow too but her hair would not hold it.) The sisters were TOO CUTE in their matching outfits!

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I love park parties. They are an easy set-up, easy break down and the entertainment is obviously right there in the park equipment. And you don’t have to clean the house!

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The kids had fun playing and then once the party was underway everyone enjoyed some watermelon, cheese and grapes.

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Sweet Pea loves the park!

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Sweet Pea requested ice. She loves ice and wants it in every cup she drinks!

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Sweet Pea was very cautious during the singing of Happy Birthday but she didn’t cry! She blew out her two candles on her cupcake with the help of Daddy.

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She was loving that cupcake!

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After cupcakes it was present time!

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We had so many friends at her birthday party. It was so special to have so many special people in our lives gathered in one place to celebrate our daughter’s birthday with us!

Mimi and Papaw got to be there with us too which was extra special. Papaw worked overtime the day before so he could fly in the morning of the party!

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It was the perfect party for my watermelon-loving Sweet Pea!

Fancy Nancy Birthday Party

Saturday was Little Bug’s Fancy Nancy Birthday Party!

Of all the birthday parties I’ve thrown for my girls, this one takes the cake! Everything was so adorable and all the little girls had so much fun together.

The party was at our house on the deck and the weather was absolutely beautiful this day. The deck proved to be a wonderful place to host a party!

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The centerpieces were glass vases with boas, a string of pearls, flowers and a butterfly. They made for the perfect centerpieces for the table.

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I spent no more than $3-4 on each part of the décor! This party was thrown on a budget and I went to Hobby Lobby with my crafty friend, Sarah, who helped me bring all the ideas I had found off Pinterest to life for a very reasonable price!

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I had our homeschool table set up for the “babies”!

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The place setting, complete with a fork with a jewel on it!

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This table was set up for bracelet making and nail painting!

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This table was for the punch and food.

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Sarah found these on the clearance isle at Hobby Lobby for $0.67 each! I snatched them up and they made for the perfect accent to the party décor!

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I put pink tulle around the deck banister and hung the “Happy Birthday, Little Bug” banner.

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The girls enjoyed a Fancy Lunch! The night before Little Bug’s party, I hosted a Girls Night with friends from church at my house. Dave took charge of all the fancy food prep that night. He went to some of our friend’s house and made all the food for the party! I could not have pulled off Little Bug’s party without his help!

Butterfly sandwiches.

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Cheese cubes. After the party, Little Bug said, “You know what my favorite thing of the party was?”. I said, “What?”. “The cheese!!!!!” {I let her cheat on her gluten/dairy free diet and she enjoyed that, apparently.}

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Fruit Kabobs. Dave hot glued the flowers and hearts on the sticks. I love how he loves his little girls so much and doesn’t mind doing things like this for them. Dave was made to be a Daddy to little girls.

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The Fancy Nancy Cupcakes with a cherry on top and purple pearls!

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We started the party by making bead bracelets and painting fingernails! This picture is Sweet Pea’s adorable little purple nails.

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Little Bug all fancied up for her party! Little Bug has been wanting a Snow White dress. Grandma went to five stores looking for one the day before the party but could not find one. She bought her two other dresses and ordered a Snow White dress for her! Little Bug chose this one to wear for her party. She has been wanting princess dresses for so long now and now she has some!

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After getting fancy, the girls ate a Fancy Lunch and made their own parfaits!

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Then it was time to open presents. Little Bug is looking at her Fancy Nancy Storybook which has six Fancy Nancy stories. I know what we will be reading this week!

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I love seeing complete JOY on my daughters’ faces. That is what I saw on Little Bug’s face during her Fancy Nancy party. She was enjoying every minute with her little friends.

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After presents, we sang happy birthday and had cupcakes.

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I didn’t post a 4 year update on Little Bug here because of the changes to this blog, but I will say I am loving age four. Little Bug is still the strong-willed little girl she was at three, but I can see glimpses of the precious little grown up girl she is becoming. Over the past several months, Little Bug has become so loving saying, “Mommy, I love you from Texas to Heaven.” Our conversations have reached a new level. I’ve started allowing some extra time at bedtime to just lay in bed with her and talk. I love that time with my precious firstborn. Little Bug has also reached a new level of independence: dressing herself mostly, putting on her shoes, getting herself a drink, wiping her own booty {woo-hoo!}, washing herself at bathtime, and being a little more trustworthy to not get into things constantly.

Fourteen years and she will be 18. I look at these next 14 years of my life, and the four before them, as the most precious years of my life. The past 4 years have been the years where the foundation was laid so God can continue to build and grow this amazing child to be what He has designed her to be.

I am in no way the perfect mother and Little Bug is not perfect either – we’ve both made mistakes and have had to ask each other for forgiveness on multiple occasions – but I feel we are on the right path for establishing a mother-daughter relationship that will eventually bloom and blossom into a genuine friendship, like the relationship I now share with my own mother. I have Little Bug’s heart, today, as a 4 year old and I never want to lose that connection.

I am blessed to call Little Bug my daughter.

Click Clack

Saturday was my Daddy’s birthday and the family met at Olive Garden (AKA: “The Fancy Restaurant” if you ask Little Bug) to celebrate!

Little Bug wore her princess dress up shoes because we were going to “The Fancy Restaurant”. It was just one of those battles I just didn’t find worth fighting. So what if she wanted to click clack her way through Olive Garden in her princess high heals!

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Side Note: That beautiful golden hair you see? It is getting chopped off this week. It almost feels sinful to allow her to get it cut, but it has become “unmanageable” without “blood, sweat and tears” lately. Okay, not blood, but it takes Dave nearly half an hour to blow dry it (yes her sweet Daddy washes and dries her hair) and every morning I deal with torrents of tears as I work the tangles out.

So the time has come to cut it. To where, I don’t know! I am going to ask about Locks of Love and if she has enough hair, we may cut it to be able to donate it to Locks of Love. But I’d say at least a good 6-8 inches are going.

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Ok, back to Gramps’ birthday party! I didn’t realize this until just recently that he and Little Bug are 60 years apart. This year he turns 64 and she will turn 4.

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Celebrating Gramps! He sure loves all the special ladies in this picture.

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It was present time and Little Bug leapt across the table to help Gramps. Because clearly, after 63 years of opening presents on your birthday, you still need help from your granddaughter on your 64th birthday!

We got Gramps a bag of pistachios because Gramps’ and Little Bug’s thing recently is to have “Pistachio Parties” where they sit together and eat pistachios by the hand full! We also gave him a pack of pens and some dark chocolate.

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And my mom gave him a cap with “Gramps” engraved on it!

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We had a wonderful time together until poor Little Bug got up from the table so we could go wash hands before eating and her princess shoe literally broke in half as she was walking! Oh, she was devastated! Fortunately, she had a pair of flip flops in the car and Daddy ran to the car to get them for her to wear.

Happy Birthday, Daddy/Gramps!!

Day 1: Food Poisoning & My Birthday

We had an uneventful ride to the mountains only to have a very eventful day the next day.

We think the chicken legs from KFC that both Little Bug and I ate for dinner the night before gave us food poisoning.

Little Bug was the first to get sick and I started feeling bad shortly after I woke up.

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Little Bug was pathetic. She threw up twice and was so lethargic for the majority of the day. She sat on Grandma’s lap like this for a couple hours and even took about a 30 minute nap on Grandma’s lap.

Once again, my Mama took care of my puking child while I wasn’t feeling too great myself.

Once I no longer felt like I had to lay as still as a statue so that I wouldn’t get sick, I called Little Bug to come lay with me in the bedroom.

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She was still feeling pretty bad. We both ate some chicken and rice soup and then Little Bug laid down for a nap. She woke up about an hour later and was so feverish. We got her up and brought her to the porch where she laid on the chair out there (where her Mama and Daddy started dating!) and fell asleep for another half hour or so.

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The poor thing. Little Bug never just lays around all day and she basically laid around the whole day.

We had planned to all go to a delicious pizza place for my birthday and we still went but Little Bug and I didn’t eat any pizza.

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Certainly wasn’t the way I wanted to spend my birthday, but we made the best of it.

It’s certainly one of those birthdays that will always be remembered!

Summer Blog Break

After a nice long Sunday afternoon nap for the girls and me, we headed to Grandma and Grandpa’s house for a Father’s Day dinner.

DSCN9461Three Generations on Father’s Day

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Little Bug and Sweet Pea on their 1st Father’s Day wearing the same smocked dress

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Little Bug’s favorite thing to do at Grandma and Grandpa’s house is to go for a ride on Grandpa’s golf cart!

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Wednesday (June 20) is my 31st birthday! Saturday Dave surprised me by telling me he was going to buy me a new laptop for my birthday. It’s 2lbs, has a 13 inch screen and can fit in a (large-sized) purse! I am really enjoying it.

I won’t be around this week as I am taking a Summer Blog break!

Minnie Mouse Party!

Ever since going to Disney in April, Little Bug has been obsessed with Minnie Mouse and the “Disney Characters”. Her imaginary friends are even the “Disney Characters” so I knew her birthday party this year would be Minnie Mouse!!

I looked to Pinterest for décor ideas and had so much fun creating my girl’s Minnie Party!

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Minnie Mouse Cupcakes

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They made for an adorable centerpiece for the food table!

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Daddy and Uncle grilled hotdogs!

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I made Minnie and Mickey’s for the table centerpieces! I painted Styrofoam balls black and then put the “ears” on with small craft sticks. I painted the pots pink (for Minnie) and red (for Mickey). The Minnie’s got a pink bow and then I put some sand in the pots and stuck the Mickey or Minnie in each pot.

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Each table had a Mickey and Minnie!

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The party favors (bucket with shovel or beach ball) and gift table:DSCN9246

An awesome banner that said “Happy Birthday, Little Bug!” (It said her real name so I cropped it out of this picture.)

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The Birthday Girl!

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Little Bug was excited to eat a cupcake!

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The coolest baby at the party!

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Little Bug was quite distracted from opening presents by a balloon that was tied to the bag of one of her presents! I kept having to try to get her engaged in opening more presents but her mind was totally on the balloon!

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It was a special treat to have Mimi, Vovo, Vovo and Aunt Vanessa at Little Bug’s birthday party. They are all in town visiting this week! They were all a tremendous help in getting things set up before the party began!

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Little Bug also had lots of special friends there to celebrate her 3rd birthday!

Birthday parties are always such a sweet reminder that one reason our lives are so rich and so full is because of the people God has placed in our lives.

We’ve been having lots of rain recently. It has pretty much been raining every afternoon. It was in the forecast for today but we didn’t cancel the party. My mom sent me a text this morning that she woke up praying that God would hold off the rain. I prayed too that Little Bug’s party wouldn’t get rained out!

The party was from 4:30 to 6:30pm. All day long it was bright and sunny! And then…right at 6:30pm it started raining! I just love that God cares even about the “silly” details of our life. He held off the rain today for Little Bug to have her Minnie Mouse birthday party!

Full Swing

Summer is in full swing around here!

Uncle (my brother) is in town and Little Bug is one happy little girl about that. She wakes up every morning saying, “Are we going to see Uncle today?” The answer is usually, “Yes!”. Uncle has two more semesters in seminary and then we hope he will be back for good!

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Taking away milk time apparently got the message across that climbing out of her crib is unacceptable because, since that morning earlier this week, she hasn’t done it again.

I am actually less worried about the crib to bed transition now! I was mostly concerned with how I would get her to stay in her bed until I come get her in the morning, but we’ve pretty much established that rule this week so I don’t think it will be difficult to carry it over to the toddler bed when we make the transition at the end of this month.

I’ve decided to go for it (the transition) at the end of this month once things settle down a little bit.

Here is her little toddler bed. I think it is just adorable!

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Napping is another story. She is still playing for over an hour (but…in her crib!!) before finally going to sleep. For now, I will just continue with naptime consistently and hopefully she will start sleeping again because she obviously still needs a nap. She’s been going to bed at 8pm lately to help catch up on missed sleep from naptime.

Party planning is also in full swing as Little Bug’s Minnie Mouse party is this weekend! Some of the décor is currently sitting in my bathtub to keep it out of eager little hands’ reach.

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Did you know spray paint eats Styrofoam balls? I did not until yesterday when I sprayed one and it melted away to half it’s original size! Back to Michael’s I went for tempera paint which worked great.

Summer break for my blog will be the week of June 18th. No posting that week as I take a break from blogging.

We are in the middle of getting the hardwood floors done in the hallways. It looks awesome, even though it has been a HUGE ordeal getting the materials to be able to do the work. After numerous wrong orders, it is all finally in, and the installer should be coming soon to finish up the job. (The floors are all laid. We are just waiting on some trim and the transitions from carpet to wood.) I am so glad that nasty-could-not-keep-clean hallway carpet is out of this house!

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And…I’ll leave you with this. Sweet Pea, in the crawling position, but not crawling! I was trying to get her to go after that ball you can see there in the background.

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Hope you are off to a great summer and have some fun things planned!!

Celebrating

Little Bug’s birthday was a TON of fun this year because, for the first time, she truly understood what the day was all about!

She was excited from the moment she woke up and put on her birthday shirt and skirt for church that morning.

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After church, Little Bug opened her birthday presents from us and my parents. She actually had a few things that she wanted for her birthday this year and she was elated when she saw that we had gotten them for her!

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She wanted a fishing pole and…

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…a scooter!!

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She is already a pro on the scooter!

Little Bug was such a hoot opening her presents. She got puzzles, 2 dresses, books, a game and then my parents had a surprise for her in the garage!

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A sand box!

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After lunch and naptime, my mom threw a family birthday party for Little Bug!

Little Bug opened more presents!

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Dave’s parents got Little Bug this cool, glow in the dark tent that you can write on with a special pen!

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Aunt Amanda had a bag full of fun things: a golf club set, a Minnie Mouse (a new favorite toy of Little Bugs), clothes and a matching pj set for both girls!

At Little Bug’s request, my mom made her a lady bug cake for her birthday!

It was so adorable!!

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She LOVED her cake!

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And we sure do LOVE this girl!

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She is such a special little girl and I am so glad we were able to give her a special 3rd birthday celebration!

We will celebrate again in a couple weeks with a Minnie Mouse Birthday Party with all her friends!

The Minnie Mouse theme is also at Little Bug’s request!