Lilly turns THREE!
I don’t really understand how it’s possible that I am the mother of a THREE year old!
This girl brings us SO MUCH JOY. We are so very thankful that she is ours.
At three, our little Lilly has a HUGE imagination. Everything is princesses, singing, her daughter (who constantly runs away and needs to be tied to her with a rope – and yes, she came up with this on her own, and YES it is so very embarrassing to walk through Target asking Lilly to tell her daughter to stay in the cart, or yelling “daughter! come back!” or tying the rope on the cart just a little tighter so that daughter doesn’t run away. Also, I don’t know where she gets the idea to rope her daughter to begin with — this is not something we do at home! 🙂 ). Outside, we play in the playhouse — ahem, the PRINCESS CASTLE — and we have to put our pretend princess dress, glass slippers, earrings, and crowns on, and then we grab sticks and we’re OFF TO FIGHT THE DRAGONS! Lilly usually ends up fighting them with her own fiery breath. More recently, she’s been asking to play princess school, and I get to be the teacher. I suppose this is good training for when I really begin to do some schooling activities with her this fall.
She is very sensitive, and has a big heart. She does not like being told no, and she does not like hurting others and then having to “make it right”. We ask her to “make it right” instead of forcing “sorry” — there is so much more she can do to fix problems than just a “sorry” and this has gotten her to think out of the box a little. Also, we’ve come to realize that she needs to DO something to make it right before she’s ready to say “sorry” – a hug, getting a bandaid, whatever; and once she’s done something for you, then she’ll throw out that little sorry, and I’m fairly certain she means it. I was really impressed the other day — we had friends over and her friend fell off the swing. Lilly immediately said, “I know! I’ll get a bandaid!”, and I think this is because we talk a lot about what we can do for people when they get hurt (whether it’s accidental or a purposeful action — luckily in our case it is rarely purposeful).
Lilly tells us often “I love you!” It’s pretty amazing.
Lilly seems to have missed out on the toddler tantrums. When she does cry, we’ve found it effective to either empathize (“I know you feel sad when mama tells you no, but we simply don’t eat cookies for breakfast”), or if the crying is a bit more persistent, just repeating what she says does the trick (“you want a cookie. you said that you want a cookie.”) until she calms down (she still doesn’t get the cookie… can you tell that cookies for breakfast is a frequent request?). We’ve also learned that if she’s acting out/annoying, she’s usually 1. tired, 2. hungry, or 3. in need of some hugs. Knowing this makes the few times that things do get crazy MUCH easier to resolve.
She’s a great eater and a TERRIBLE sleeper. TERRIBLE. (one more for emphasis) TERRIBLE. She no longer naps. We hope she’d just sleep 12 hours at night, but occasionally, she likes to take 2 hours to go to bed or wake at 3/4am and be SO AWAKE AND HAPPY AND PLAYFUL for like 2-3 hours before falling back asleep. It’s insane, and none of us really know what to do about it. And actually, this happens once week/fortnight, and otherwise she mostly sleeps through the wee hours of the night, which is a HUUUUGGGEEEEEEE improvement over last summer/fall/winter/early spring when she’d wake several times in the night screaming for one of us. We decided to move her bed into baby Ell’s room, and that made a huge world of difference. I think our sensitive girl may have felt a bit left out since mama and Eleanor were sleeping in just the next room. Also, it’s a bit easier to consistently walk her back to her bed when I’m in the room. And actually, she sometimes comes to crawl in bed with me first thing in the morning and cuddle for a bit before we start our day, and that is really sweet.
My favorite thing about Lilly at this age is her enthusiasm. She’s overwhelmingly thankful and excited for the littlest things — “Mama, can I be Cinderella?’ “Of course, Lilly” “OH! FANK YOU! FANK YOU MAMA!” It takes so very little to make her happy. She can entertain herself in her own imaginary world for hours… that is, until it’s time to put Eleanor to bed, and then she’d like to be in the same room thankyouverymuch. She is so fun to just watch and I’m often very entertained by what she comes up with!
So, of course we had to throw a tiny shindig for our favorite three year old. The theme? Princesses, OBV. We invited just a few friends, most of whom have kiddos Lil’s age, and mentioned that the kids could wear their fave royal clothing if they were so inclined. I made a cardboard castle complete with paint sample card flags (Jason likes to say that if they start charging for those, it’ll be my fault! I’ve used them for a few projects recently… 🙂 ). Lilly styled the orange flower pot out front!
We had grilled food, and Lilly helped me make some fruit wands (thank you, pinterest!). I cut slices of watermelon and let her use a heart-shaped cookie cutter to cut out smaller pieces. Then I showed her how to put grapes on a skewer and top them with the watermelon slices. And she worked for about a half hour, but she also ate for a half hour, so I didn’t get very far until she left the table to play outside!
And finally, the little princess needed a princess cake. A few carefully placed oreos and frosting- and sprinkle-covered ice cream cones made this little cake look a bit more festive, though next time I’m not sure I’ll go with bright blue frosting — blue everywhere!
Our little princess was quite pleased with her little party! (Not as pleased with the blowing out of candles — she recruited Jason to help her on that one).
The invites to her royal ball were also castle themed (of course!):
(The party info is underneath the drawbridge.) These were quick and easy, and I discovered Lilly’s love of glue sticks when making these with her.
All in all, ’twas a wonderful little royal ball. I think the kiddos had fun, and we had fun catching up with our fellow parent/friends. And we’ve gotten SO MUCH MILEAGE out of that cardboard castle this summer!