Two Tails on a Two and a Half Year Old

In September, Coraline turned two and a half with little fuss. I don’t have the rocking chair in the corner of her nursery anymore, and we didn’t get out the blocks (though I did think about it). We did measure her height and let Jameson check his, too! But she already seems every inch of two and a half. Even though she’s shorter than Jameson was at her age (only by a bit), she seems more articulate! After all, she’s got her big brother to keep up with.


This is my favorite of her fall outfits. I could dress her in that long bunny tunic all day long. For some reason it shouts “growing up!” and “cute little baby!” all at the same time with those pig tails and new minion socks she picked out. “Slip-shers”, her way of saying slippers, has come and gone.

In the mornings, I asked her if she wants one tail or two, but we mostly do two. Her hair is getting too long for the side tail! Long enough now for a regular pony tail or half up, but my favorite is the piggy tails.

Coraline has this hilarious expression of delight when she’s excited, with eyes wide open and mouth in a big “o”. She says it when I tell her we’re going to gymnastics and when it’s “bath-a-night” as she calls it.


She’s fully potty trained (after a bit of drama with numero duo, we have the whole shebang down pat now – including night training). She’ll even use a public restroom, which is a novelty for me since Jameson was so against it as to cause a little paranoia about going out. It happened over the course of the summer and the many days outside in a swimsuit. She was almost as easy as Jameson was! How I got so lucky with two kids I think is mostly due to daycare.

“Are you hungry in your belly Coraline?” -Brian
“I hungry in my mouth” -Coraline



Coraline likes to do art a bit more than Jameson, and occasionally plays with dolls, but for the most part she likes to do whatever Jameson is doing!

“I coloring mommy. I busy, I busy”

Coraline is doing a bit more pretend play. She’ll play doctor, and my favorite, she plays at being a baby. She curl up on the floor, or snuggle up against me, and do a little fake baby cry. I could do this all day long as long as I’m sitting down (she’s getting heavy!)


We are currently dealing with a bit of fear of the dark. She’s a little too young to explain how she’s feeling or what she’s afraid of particularly, and is pretty quick to go back to bed, but she comes running into our room crying loudly for mommy (sometimes daddy) one to two times a night.

She definitely doesn’t like to be in the dark herself, but Jameson is really getting into play in the dark so we have been taking advantage by trying to play games and make the dark fun! Jameson set out all his flashlights for her.


She adores her little burp clothes which are now called blankies. She’s developing preferences for certain ones. She loves the sheep one (of which there is only one!), and the striped monkey one (which there are two). I’ve tried offering some real blankies, but it’s not the same. These are her favorite and they are starting to look very raggy!

We haven’t really addressed the thumb-sucking actively yet, but will sometimes tell her to remove her thumb from her mouth. We say daily that she’s super cute, and I find it a bit harder to discipline her than Jameson because even though she’s a bit of a drama queen, she listens for the most part (and is terribly distraught when she does get yelled at). She’s responding very well to 1…2… the threat of 3 works great.

Her favorite movie and characters is, of course, Frozen. I sing a verse of the snowman and let it go songs every night. She loves when she gets to wear her new Elsa and Anna shirt. She wants to watch the movie any time, too! I’m looking forward to all the fun ways we can play with the Frozen theme through the winter. I’m hopeful that she’ll be into the snow more this year! So much to look forward to that I don’t frequently look back. We are lucky parents!

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Toddler 2.0


Coraline is now a month into the big 2.0 year. She’s lately become very attached to me in the morning, and doesn’t want anyone else to talk to her (including her teachers). She’s a bit slow waking up, not like Jameson who always perked right up in the morning at that age (not anymore).

It was funny to see her hiding away from daddy in the morning, but now it’s made drop off progressively worse. Otherwise, she’s a ball of adorable energy. When she’s not pretending to be shy, she’s saying hi to strangers and playing peekaboo like at the park this past weekend.


Since Jameson’s been in swimming lessons, I started putting Coraline to bed without anyone else home. She was concerned at first that she couldn’t say night night to Daddy and Jameson. Through the past couple months, it has now become a thing to sing our “night night” song to each family member, plus other people, places or objects.

“Night night Coraline
Night night Coraline
Night night Coraline
We’ll see you in the morning”

Has now been replaced with mommy, daddy, Jameson individually, plus our neighbors family, individually. We’ve sang night night to mac ‘n cheese, the wall, butterflies, bugs, Coraline’s potty and more. I’ve had to start limiting it to two extra verses, but she is not a fan. She’s also been calling herself “Coralee” on occasion, and insisted on that one night (though, right before I left the room, she requested her original night night Coraline song).

Potty training? Not really happening. She sits on it for a moment (half a second).

A week or so after she turned two, she did take a big girl step and got a her new big girl bed. She adored it right away, and loved watching daddy put it together. She tried to climb into the window, which has happened a couple times since then as well. It won’t be long before she won’t fit though! She’s getting so big. She’s 24 pounds and in a size 6 shoe! (We were stuffing her into 4-1/2 size, oops!)






Sleeping and napping has been pretty good; she’s been adjusting to the freedom of getting out of bed, and we had a week or so where she didn’t want to go to bed in it after the initial excitement wore off. One day she even took off her pants and diaper and I never heard a sound at naptime! She’s doing really well now, and loves to talk about her big girl bed. Jameson was a little jealous, since it has a roof on it, and he’s also loved playing in it.

Not super pleased about the lack of breakfast before our ear tube surgery this morning.

Coraline also got tubes put in her ears for the second time. So far, everything is great! We haven’t had any tubes fall out like we had within a month last time. It was harder this time around because she really wanted to eat in the morning. She always requested a snack immediately upon waking, and when I told her no, for the first time she said the full, big word “breakfast” with a sad little face. We left for the surgery early so we could get her out of the house and away from the food. After walking around a little stumbly, by evening and after naptime, she was completely back to normal.

Coraline loves getting boo boo kisses for all her “injuries”, singing songs like Hushabye baby, Rockabye baby, Bumble bee and more. The other night, Jameson translated for us a new rhyme she was saying about monkeys in the tree. She’s hilarious, smiley, and almost always in a good mood.

Except when she’s not, and she screams herself red in the face and lays flat on the ground, which is pretty funny as long as I’m still in a good mood. She doesn’t always like getting her hair done, but likes it when I’m finished. Coraline also wants to pick out her own clothes sometimes now, which can be entertaining. The first three or four times she had on short sleeves the past month, she kept trying to tug them down because she was confused about the length. It’s finally feeling like Spring!


Bring on warm weather and our climbing toddler! We’re ready!

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Drama Queen


Coraline turned 21 months old in December. I’ve been trying a new app to help me track milestones, moments, and quotes, because I’m so far behind here and my phone is on me more often. It’s called Day One, and while I don’t write in it everyday, it is definitely a keeper. Here are some moments that occurred with Miss Coraline this month.

Coraline is 21 months going on 21 years. Just kidding, it’s closer probably to 12 or 13. A dramatic teenager, maybe. Getting to the bathroom first to wash hands is always a race, but Coraline in particular throws a little fit when she loses. The day this photo was taken was complete with hitting the floor and Jameson.

In addition, most injuries, minor or otherwise, require a boo boo kiss and at least a little cry (and if the injury involves hands and feet, both appendages require a kiss). I kind of love it.

Getting to the bathroom first to wash hands is always a race, but Coraline in particular throws a little fit when she loses. Today was complete with hitting the floor and Jameson.


Coraline explored her first snowfalls (that she remembers, since last year doesn’t count in her mind) in November. It actually didn’t snow in December much if at all, but just before Thanksgiving we had a heavy snowfall perfect for making a snow man. I also tried making the kids an igloo which didn’t work out so good, so I just sat them on top of the enormous ball where they were trapped for some photos. She really hated it. This is a very fake smile which involved tears both before and after.


Of course, we also rode the Polar Express, which was delightful, but not as delightful as these matching pajamas. Coraline is already almost outgrowing hers. She’s a great eater; she frequently consumes more than Jameson does, and has a fun little food cackle when something is super yummy or exciting. We are getting that laugh a little less frequently, and I’m bummed it’s going away.

Before we eat, she’s learning how to pray with us. She folds her hands (when she’s not screaming for her food because she’s starving mom!), and at the end says “We eat!” with Jameson. Her hair is getting longer and crazier, like a little mop on her head, which I also adore. She’s been trying to jump (unsuccessfully), and slide downstairs on her butt (almost had an injury with that one once, we definitely still watch her going down the steps though she’s a pro going up). Coraline also tries to put on her own clothes (or Jameson’s, or anyone’s), also unsuccessfully. Jameson helped her put on his underwear over her pants one day, which was hilarious.


She likes to pretend to sleep for half a second, and when we wake her in the morning. Coraline is definitely slower to wake than Jameson ever was. She’s got a wonderful, cheerful demeanor almost every second of the day unless she’s hungry or tired (see above). One day when I picked her up from school, three teachers who hadn’t seen her in a long while all stopped us to try and get hugs from her. She’s definitely a little darling at school, though we continue to struggle with rashes.


Another big moment was that she peed in the potty for the first time! Followed by absolutely no peeing in the potty since. It was a fluke for sure, and she had no idea she did it. But she loves to sit on it, wash her hands, and brush her teeth. She loves our bedtime routine.


Coraline often tries to speak in full sentences and we have no idea what she’s saying. It involves lots of singing as well, and we do recognize some of those songs, including ABCs, Twinkle Twinkle, and our favorite Rain Rain Go Away. The past couple months have been a treasure, though we definitely are seeing that drama queen which should add excitement to our little soon-to-be two year old’s life. And ours. I’m assuming at some point the tantrums will be less funny and more annoying, but not yet 🙂

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2nd Annual Kiddie Park Visit

We saw quite a lot of our friends Jason, Lisa and Vivienne the couple weeks before their second son was born. We went to the Kiddie Park with them as kind of a second annual tradition. They go more frequently than us, but this really was just our second time there.

This year, Coraline was old enough to get in on the fun, even being just shy of 1 and a half! When we first got there though I had Coraline while Brian took Jameson on the train ride first.




She wasn’t too concerned about the wait! Then we went and did the boat ride, which is my personal fav (not that I’ve been able to ride on it). Coraline had a blast ringing the bell, and she did great keeping her hands in the boat. (Just that ride though, we did this a couple more times and she got progressively more daring, but didn’t get kicked off at least!)



Vivienne arrived and we did a couple rides that Coraline was a little too young for. The kids love this bumpy car ride and we did that one a couple times as well. I rode with Jameson on the really jerky roller coaster, which was a little intense for me. I was happy that one didn’t get requested twice.



She was big enough for the rocket ride that glides along the ground though!


Coraline loved the carousel and requested “more” for that one, so while the older kids did another big kid ride, we rode that one again.



Each ride you strap in your own kids, so we got this fun shot on the boat ride again.



We ended our day there with the cars. The cars go out of sight, so we weren’t quite comfortable letting Coraline drive off in one of those. All in all, everyone had a great time. Even Coraline with her delayed nap! It’s so nice to have some of that flexibility again.


We even had enough good mood left with the kiddos that we stopped for ice cream! Jameson and Vivienne played with her stuffed kitty, tossing it back and forth. It need a wash after that!


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Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh

We took the kids to the Children’s Museum a few weeks ago in Pittsburgh with Jason, Lisa and Vivienne. The one closer to us is smaller, and Lisa had heard good things about this one so we committed to the drive (which actually didn’t end up being too bad).

We tried to leave during Coraline’s naptime, but we all know that Coraline isn’t the best napper in the car. I did see some zzzz’s out of her at least for a little while. When we arrived, it was tough to find parking because they were having a Kindergarten event there! Luckily the crowd thinned out as the day went on and the event ended, but we weren’t prepared for that. We found some street parking though and had lunch first in the cafeteria there.

They recommended we start in the arts and crafts room in case things needed to dry. Jameson did a couple older kid activities (like a cool screen printing) and I got adventuresome with Coraline and did some painting. The aprons were so large I put her head through the arm holes and wrapped it extra around her!



They had an adorable outdoor area and Coraline also got to play in the sand while Jameson climbed up into the tree house and used the pulleys. We were really happy with how many activities Jameson was able to do, which were more advanced than Coraline could do but not too advanced for him. He was a great age for a lot (though not all) of the experiences. There just seemed to be more.




In the “transportation” room I guess, Coraline was dying to get a hold of the balls, but they were for a cool activity that pulled them into the air and onto a track. Brian and Jameson waited for a while to do this.

This is also where I realized that this Museum has a bunch of Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood! I am not sure if I was under a rock, but I didn’t realize that is where Mr. Rogers was from. In that room, they had his trolley; in others, they had some of the puppets, and even the castle! (though it had been repainted and repurposed I think).






There was a room a little beyond all the kiddos, so we moved more quickly through that and then to the younger kids’ room. Coraline loved everything in this room. There is some more sand, a giant “lite brite” and this seesaw among other things.



It’s also where the puppets are! I was fascinated to look at all these characters I grew up with.



One of the last areas we visited was the water room. Luckily we brought a spare change of clothes! I forgot about the water areas. All the kiddos were in heaven. I really loved the cool pipe works they had coming from the floor to move water around. What a clever and awesome activity!




The final room was the workshop, which was again a bit beyond the kids’ skill level, but they enjoyed looking at things so to occupy Coraline I went to go find the castle, which is in the theater downstairs. It’s actually on the stage, and in the back there are a bunch of doors opening to each letter of the alphabet, which she enjoyed.




Mostly, I enjoyed the nostalgia of seeing all the Mr. Rogers characters and castle. And the kids having fun, of course! When we left, we saw they were playing Mary Poppins there later and had chalk art outside. It was overall a great Children’s Museum, and one that I think we’d go back to.


We stopped for dinner with our friends on the way home at a local pizza place recommended to us a while ago by Brian’s parents. Very tasty! Though the kids were worn out and just done with everything. Coraline started yelling unhappily, but even after we got on the road, she didn’t fall asleep. Crazy kid!

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Visit to Grampi’s

A couple weeks ago, Jameson was able to spend nearly a week with his Meemaw and Grandpa. Coraline and I joined for a few days, and then left Jameson for his first visit by himself. He did great, and we were able to Facetime with him every night. He was so shy talking with us by the end, which was funny.

My friend whose father recently passed away was in town, and we were able to get together with her Saturday night after arriving. I brought the kiddos over for dinner, and then returned after bedtime to spend some more time with everyone.

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Coraline is the only one of 3 similarly aged little girls who isn’t walking, but they were all so cute together. She devoured her meal including pizza and hot dog!

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Jameson loved seeing his friend Marky again. He remembered him from his last visit home, so they were on familiar territory right away. There were other children there he didn’t really know yet, so after Marky left to spend the night at his grandma’s, Jameson occupied himself for the most part with Marky’s toys.

After I returned sans children, we walked over from Katie’s house to Tracy’s new house, very close by. I saw my chinchilla’s (the late Sir Chewy’s) parents, both alive and well! Carl and Chloe.

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We spent a lot of time outdoors, and it was nice this visit that Coraline was not sick. It seemed as if she was always dealing with a cold, earache or illness when we visited! Coraline loved hanging out on the deck in the shade, playing with the balls. Jameson loved the little ball we brought too, which was small enough to also play on the deck.






Jameson got to help participate in daily activities like walking the dogs, watering the garden…



…And also finding toads stuck in the window wells. He and Grandpa saved 4 toads in one day!


Our visit included a trip to the local splash park on Monday, new since I was a kid. Jameson was very uncertain at first, preferring the traditional playground there instead. Marky helped convince him to play in the water.

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Boys will be boys!

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We enjoyed more playground visits, walking dogs and racing while I visited! But I will save more of that for a follow up post on Jameson’s activities at Meemaw and Grandpa’s house by himself.

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Coraline decided she likes drinking from cups (or really just doing anything that we’re doing)! Alas, still only water from said cups. Anti-juice, anti-milk. This girl is picky!

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She tried to get into trouble, as she has recently learned how to climb, stairs and boxes. She wasn’t too happy once she was stuck on top of the box, though!



She also loved feeding the dogs. She likes to try and feed Sasha at home, though mostly from her highchair where Sasha is ready to eat what she drops. The dogs at Meemaw’s house are at eye-level though, and Coraline just wanted to feed Shiloh like crazy.

Her big word of the week was “no” as she repeated what she heard over and over again (said to the dogs and to herself!) I loved how she stretches the nnnnnnnn for nnnnnnnnno.


Mayzie though is more mellow in her old age, going a little deaf and blind. She mostly stayed out of the way for the new almost-toddler.

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One of the most entertaining events was Jameson’s introduction of calling Grandpa “Grampi” once, which quickly evolved into a running joke about Grampi being Grampi (like Grumpy, but better). Jameson assured us that we should actually be calling him Grandpa, but I think Jameson is now fighting a losing battle. Grampi is here to stay.


After having been there a few days and getting reacclimated to the house, Jameson was great when I went to leave. He insisted on helping or watching the final packing (I did as much as I could the night before and just had to load the car) and transferring his car seat.

Helpfully, he’s had a few sleepovers at Aunt Melissa’s house recently, and his friend Lily just spent a week at her grandma’s house, so we talked about those things a little and focused on all the fun things he was going to do. It turned out quite anticlimactic when I actually left. I did love his unprompted “I love you Mommy” during our goodbyes, and the “I’m going to miss you Mommy” he said a couple days beforehand. Such a sweet little man!

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Two Makes a Party


Our good friends JP & Lisa had their second son Joshua baptized a couple weeks ago. Unfortunately, we had to miss the ceremony for Coraline’s nap schedule, but we were happy to come to the party afterwards!


Like all children I know, Coraline had a blast playing at a different house with all different toys! She was occasionally unsettled when she realized I was getting up or moving away from her, hence this sad look below. I like to call her a little kitty cat sometimes because she’ll rub her head on our legs for attention or comfort, I’m not sure!


Jameson spent most time in their brand new finished basement (so jealous), and outside. I didn’t get an opportunity to hang out in the basement much since all the babies were upstairs, but this little car track happened to be upstairs and Coraline enjoyed it just as much as Jameson did!



Jameson’s friend Bobby and Joshua’s brother Jonathan of course were there to play with. They enjoyed their relatively healthy snack foods! Jameson loved his carrots.



Jonathan and Jameson actually had some bickering the lingered into most of their playtime together this visit. They both wanted the same ball, and had trouble sharing. Jameson even took the ball away! They were both a little wound up to properly apologize to each other, but like most of our visits there now, Jameson said he missed Jonathan when it was over!


Coraline loved being outside. She isn’t afraid or concerned about the grass. Next to her is little Jack, Bobby’s little brother. She looks so old!


It was so windy that day, hilarious that she has hair that blows around now.


Coraline is starting to really enjoy pretend walking with our assistance. She throws out her little feet far in front of her and has no balance. She attempting a lot of pushing herself up from us when we sit down, but still doesn’t do much “pulling up”. It won’t be long though!


We had a great time as usual, but it was a different experience really needing to manage two kids since Coraline no longer sits still at all. We now have two active and trouble-making kiddos to watch, occupy and mediate!


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Bob the Bobcat


Jameson has started a winter soccer league, his very first team sport for us to try. So far, he is a big fan of his shin guards, which have skeletons on them.

The league is nice in that it is also a class. At the beginning everyone sat down and were divided amongst three coaches.


We’ve had two classes now, and Jameson is particularly shy, which surprised us since he attends daycare. We thought he would feel natural amongst other kids, but as it turns out he is very familiar with daycare and this was out of his comfort zone.

I tried to capture this adorable posture he does when he is feeling shy. He ducks his head a bit to the side against his shoulder and stands straight and narrow, hands to his sides.


Brian and I alternated with him, to help him feel comfortable, and then he was happy to participate. Given his shyness, I am happy we decided to do this, not only for the activity over the winter, but also to introduce him to these kinds of situations. He also learned how to “tick tock” the ball to move it more slowly instead of just kicking.




They teach the children that the ball is named Bob the Bobcat and they bite fingers, but not feet because they’re stinky. We were happy with how they spoke to the kids at their level, and Jameson is just starting to get the hang of not touching this ball. At first he wanted to dribble it like a basketball!


Then it was my turn, and we had a little sit down with the head coach before having some free play. I think when they get a little more familiar there will be more structure for “games” but even then, for kids this young, they throw out multiple balls and everyone can kick toward any goal.






This one with his tongue out is my favorite!


Jameson started getting tired about halfway through free play (as did Coraline) and he wanted a drink of water. He was ready to get home!


At the end, we got to sit down and get stamps. They told the kids the stamps make them run faster, so after his second session, Jameson ran around afterwards just testing it out.

All the kids came together at the end for a hurrah which was cute! They are all on “team purple”. The older kids have real teams, but the young ones are all on the same team. It is pretty fun to watch, and if he likes it we’ll do it again for another season.



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Toddler-Friendly Pinwheels


We are getting ready for a big girl to turn the big O-N-E in just a month and half, and we’ve decided her party theme is going to be pinwheels! I thought it would be a great idea to have a little pinless pinwheel craft for all the toddlers who are going to be at her party this year. I’ve never done a craft for the parties we have hosted before, but the kids are getting to an age that I think it would be fun.

I combed through the internet for some suggestions, but the best one that doesn’t use pins, I think, is this one using pipe cleaners. You wouldn’t think that it would spin properly, but it does! Another option was using brads, but I don’t think those will spin quite as well.


First you need to prepare the paper for the kids. Kid scissors won’t work well here! haha. You will want a square paper, which you can get easily from a standard 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper by folding one edge together to make a triangle and cutting along the line. You can watch this video for direction as well!

Fold your square the other way so you have 4 triangles in your folds. Don’t forget, when you fold into the triangles, cut the center by trimming the tip off the triangle. That way you don’t need to try to get a hole punch there.

Cut down the triangle folds until you’re about an inch or a little less to the center. Then you’ll want to hold punch one corner on each triangle.


It’s time to decorate! Make sure you decorate both sides!


Then you’ll need half a pipe cleaner (chenille stick), a glue stick or a stapler (we are opting for the stapler), and something to attach it to. These are sticks for candy, but we’re going to use fun pencils for the party.


Wrap one of the chenille a couple times to make a stopper for the front of the pinwheel, and put the chenille through each hole for the pinwheel shape. Then you can staple it together. You do want to staple or attach the paper together some way so that it will spin. Otherwise, the paper will open itself up against the chenille and stick and get stuck. Stapling will let you leave the chenille a little loose so it can still spin.



Jameson at 3 had a bit of trouble blowing on it to make it go, but I showed him he could run around with it and make it spin as well and he thought that was fun, for all of a minute.


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A 3rd Birthday Get-Together

For Jameson’s 3rd birthday, we opted to do things a little more low key. Of course, we still did cake, but we only invited some close friends and family for a little get together, and insisted on no gifts! Of course, family still got him gifts, and we did too, but we successfully kept too many of our friends giving Jameson too many things. Gifts are fun, but for Jameson, Christmas is right around the corner and more felt unnecessary. We just wanted to have a little celebration for him!

Meemaw and Aunt Holly arrived the day before the party, and we opened their gifts the night prior. Jameson loved his new Jake and the Neverland Pirates puzzle. He requires quite a bit of help putting it together but surprisingly can recognize some key pieces, like the eyes and hair to help put it together.




That night, I made homemade cake from scratch! White and chocolate cake, and the batter made a lot of extra so he ended up having some for his class and the classes nearby at school on his actual birthday the next day, so that was great. I used a train mold, and the next day in his birthday pjs, he helped decorate it!




He did 4 train cars before he just started to eat the candy and I had to send him away, but it was fun. Meemaw and I finished putting together the trains (though maybe our decorating skills made it look like a 3 year old did all of them, haha!)




That afternoon, his friends arrived! Lily, who he told me the other day is his “best friend”, came over with cookies they baked and did have a couple gifts (John Deere tractors, which he uses to pull around his teddy bears). Jameson wanted to show her his talking book, the reading book that Meemaw and Grandpa actually made for him last year but this year his really has begun to appreciate. It’s Rudolf the Red Nose Reindeer.


Here are all the kids at Jameson’s little kid-sized table; also a Christmas gift from last year that we finally put out in the kitchen and have let it stay. It’s a great place for crafting and eating lunch and breakfast. Jameson loves it!


Opening gifts was mass 3-year-old-chaos. Brian and I got him a lot of wooden train set items. He didn’t have any prior to his birthday, so he was outfitted with a Thomas set and a Percy set, some extra straight pieces, and extra train cars. It was a hit with all the kids! He also got a doctor’s set and new sweatshirt from us.


Then it was time for cake! I am pretty sure most of the kids just picked off the candy, but that’s okay.


One of his other favorite gifts were his new scissors from Grandma and Poppa. He loved cutting up paper.


All in all, it felt like the perfect amount of people and the perfect amount of presents. I couldn’t have asked for a better 3 year old, or 3 year old party 🙂

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