After the ceremony there were a few minutes before she would be dismissed so we got to go with her onto the playground. The second she got outside she immediately ran for her BFF, Laurel. It was a cool day but there were tons of leaves on the ground and the kids were just having a blast running through them. It was fun just seeing Olivia in her element. Next it was off to the baby sitter's for the rest of the day but the birthday celebration would continue that night.
Olivia's birthday present from us was a surprise trip to Build-A-Bear. I thought she was old enough to appreciate the joy of making your very own teddy bear. I think she was in teddy bear heaven, once we stepped into the store. The first of many choices was deciding what style of bear she wanted. I was pleased that she picked a type of bear that she does not already have. Next it was time to stuff the bear. The people that work there are very friendly and helpful and did a great job of making Olivia feel special on her birthday. On top of that it was a Wednesday night, and the mall was dead, so we had the place to ourselves.
After her bear was stuffed and sealed with a kiss it was on to the grooming stations. She really enjoyed fluffing and combing his fur. I could tell that she formed an immediate connection with her bear and they were going to be lifelong pals. Olivia's one true love is her stuffed animals, or "stuffies", as we call them. She takes after me in that way. I wanted nothing more than to be surrounded by tons of stuffed animals, especially when I slept. The final step in the bear making process was to pick out an outfit.
She changed her mind multiple times before settling on a cute little ballerina outfit. I can't say that I was surprised considering she loves to dance. What does surprise me is how many outfits there are to choose from and how quickly one can empty their wallet with all of the accessories that are available. When it was all said and done she had created her bear and aptly name it "Ballerina Bear". It was a fun birthday activity and one that I think may become a tradition each year.
The last stop on the birthday train was to my Mom's for presents and a special birthday dinner. Olivia was thrilled to open her presents. She got a ton of beautiful clothes from my Mom and a few special things from us, including an Olivia book, a hand puppet kit and the one thing she wanted more than anything else...Bendaroos! Needless to say, she was thrilled and relieved that we were able to find them for her.
After a yummy birthday dinner of spaghetti it was finally time for cake. She sat on pins and needles while we sang to her one last time, anxiously waiting to blow out those candles. With a little help she blew all three out on the first try. I sure hope she made a special birthday wish. There was only pure joy on her face as she devoured that cake. It is the simple things that bring her such joy. For me, watching Olivia enjoy every moment of her special day brings me all the joy I need. When the day was over I tucked my three year old girl in bed, kissed her and told her how much I loved her. I walked out of her room wondering how she made it to three in a blink of an eye.
Olivia's birthday week came to an exciting climax that weekend with her birthday party. Many of you know the party had an "Olivia" theme. For those of you who do not know what I am talking about click here to learn all about Olivia the Pig. It is a series of books based on an adorable little pig who seems to have the exact same personality as our Olivia. Once she was old enough to notice she quickly caught on to the fact that she shared the name of this cute little character. There is even an "Olivia" TV program on Nick Jr. My challenge was finding a way to decorate for the party since they do not make "Olivia the Pig" birthday decorations. So I got a little creative. First, I called on a friend of mine...one of the Mom's from Olivia's school, who makes adorable dresses. She found some super cute "Olivia" fabric and came up with this great little dress for to wear at her party. She was so excited to wear it!
And then there was the cake? What to do? I so desperately wanted a cake in the shape of "Olivia the Pig" but I did not know if someone could pull it off. The secretary at Olivia's school is an amazing baker and she specializes in cakes. I told her what I wanted and she said, "no problem!". I was speechless when I picked up the cake on the day of Olivia's party. I had seen some of her work before so I knew she was good, but I never imagined the cake to be this perfect! It was the perfect touch to the "Olivia" party! You should have seen the look on Olivia's face when I showed the cake to her for the first time...priceless!
After our guests arrived and we enjoyed dinner we moved onto presents. Olivia excitedly tore into each present and was beyond thrilled with each gift she received...and she got some nice stuff! After all of the presents were opened and we were left with a hurricane of wrapping paper she stood up and announced to her guests, "Thank you everyone for my presents!". I was so impressed, and so proud of the fact that she is so polite and grateful. A few people even pulled me aside later and told me that she came up to thank them again for the gifts they gave to her.
Next, it was time for cake! Olivia's favorite part of birthdays. As you can imagine Olivia was not at all embarrassed, having everyone standing around her and singing while she waited to blow out her candles. She was ready to dig into that "Olivia" cake! Oh and before I forget we made a special treat for the kids to eat for dinner...pigs in a blanket! Appropriate, right?
When it was all said and done, I had a huge mess but a very happy three year old. It was hard for her to go to bed that night. I am not sure if it was because she was so excited about all of her presents, or because she knew that once she went to sleep her birthday week would officially be over. Regardless I think her party was a huge success and filled with wonderful memories. Olivia is so lucky to have so many generous family and friends in her life. We are lucky that they all took time out of their busy lives to celebrate with us.
I am so excited to see what the three's have in store for us this year. I have a feeling there will be many ups and downs, but never a dull moment! I look at Olivia and I am so proud of the little girl she has become. Well mannered, kind, caring, happy, smart...the list goes on and on. I know I have not been the perfect mother, by any means, but seeing how well rounded she seems to be makes me think I am doing something right.