Tuesday, September 6, 2011

She's Three!

This girl just turned three!  Which makes her very big, of course, as she is willing to tell anyone who asks.  She and I have had a few disagreements lately, because she thinks three is big enough for bunk beds (which her sisters have), school (not yet), and picking up Maddie to put her on the couch or the table (too many heart attacks to count).  For months, she's been asking people, "What's your number?", and although that sounds like a creepy pickup line, she actually is trying to ask how old they are.  She's incredibly proud to have a "new number."
We celebrated in style, as befits a crazy little three-year old monster.  We started off the day with ebelskivers from this Williams-Sonoma recipe.  (Amazing!)
Then we waited with baited breath for Nana and Big G (my mom and dad) to arrive, since they had promised to be at our house for the party.   
 Once the Wheeler family (including Bella's "best buddy" Chloe) arrived, it was time to celebrate in earnest.  Dinner of "macamoni cheese" and chicken salad (you really should try this recipe), and topped it off with some strawberry cake (from my sister-in-law Kasey--super delish!).  Bella loved having her number on top of the cake.
Pinata time!  This pinata was made as our family night activity the night before, and the big girls loved helping me put it together.
 Bella got the first swing at her pink star.  (It was supposed to be a starfish, since that's what she wanted, but I couldn't make a face look right.)
 The blindfold didn't last very long.
To be honest, since we made the pinata using corrugated cardboard and duct tape, it took both dads swinging with wild abandon to even put a little crack in this thing.  I was so worried about it being sturdy enough, I forgot that pinatas are made to be broken.  
But the candy inside was a huge hit.

 Then it was time for the part I was most excited about.  You know the movie "Tangled", right?.  And do you know about those fabulous wish lanterns?  Well, I didn't even know they were real until I read about them here.  And then I decided that they would be the most amazing and spectacular end to Bella's third birthday.

Here are the problems I didn't consider in the fantastic realm of my imagination before I put this plan into the prosaic realm of reality.
1)  I live in Utah.  Dry.  Desert-y.  Likely to burn.
2)  I'm married to Mr. Cautious-I-Don't-Want-To-Risk-Burning-Down-The-Entire-State.
3)  On August 9th, it doesn't get dark until after 9:00.  Way too late for a three-year old.

 So, we started the process at 8:00.  In the light.  And Mr. Cautious decided to hook a fishing line to the bottom of the wish lantern before we lit them on fire, in order to keep the lantern nearby instead of letting it go.  And the first one bobbled along madly on it's string before it decided  to tip sideways (in a completely ungraceful and un-Tangled-like way) and burn itself to cinders up in the sky.  Decidedly anti-climactic.  So we tried again.

Jeff lit the paraffin patch while John held the fishing line.
 We made the kids stand back.
 Once the air inside the lantern gets warm enough, they begin to rise.
 And this time it rose perfectly.  The fishing line was not a problem at all.  The girls (and I--I won't lie about that) were jumping up and down with excitement.
And then we realized that the lantern was going far further than it should because the line had stretched and broken after exposure to the warmth.  John was horrified.  I was mostly delighted, but a little bit horrified because I could picture the whole state going up in flame.  But it was amazing.  AMAZING.  So much fun.  My girls are still talking about these awesome lanterns. 
 They come in a pack of 10 here, if you're interested.  And I'm planning to light and send up more of these, when I can find the perfect place.

 Yet again, I cannot believe that one of my babies is getting so big.  Three years ago, she was a little black-haired cockatoo with the best and easiest personality I've ever seen in a baby.
 Two years ago she was still happy, but she'd discovered a little bit of her own craziness.
 One year ago, she was a silly monster, doing as many naughty things as she could think of.
And now, I honestly think she might be the funniest three-year old I've ever met.  She loves to tease and push everyone's buttons, but she's incredibly good-tempered and absolutely charming.  I love that Bella Boo.


cowbell kelly said...

I love picturing John freaking out once he discovered the line had broke. But really it just consists of John staring at it saying, "oh no.".....does John ever actually freak out?

Susanne said...

Oh, I love that little Bella Boo too. I miss her dreadfully.

bec said...

I want my next birthday at your house. you remind me so much of your mom!

Shanda said...

So very very cool!!! I remember meeting you for the first time and thinking she was the most beautiful baby! Happy Birthday Bella!

Outlandish McCandlish said...

Happy birthday to the birthday girl. I will able to remember how old she is always. Please tell her how even though she doesn't know me, I planned my honeymoon so that we could see her when she was born. I love you all.

Sara said...

What a birthday! I love the lanterns. But I really love Bella Boo.

Michael n' Brooke Sanderson said...

So glad you updated you blog, I missed your hilarious retelling of stories. If you guys ever get to Salt Lake let us know we'd love to have you guys come over!

Brian and Martha said...

Wisconsin is the perfect place for wish lanterns. So, come and visit and we can send them off.