Our princess turned three on the twenty-fifth. It has hit me like a dagger to the heart that my baby girl is no longer a baby. She is a girl. With long legs and pigtails and a smile that is so confident and so young, as if she knows a wonderful secret that she wishes she could tell you. Oh, Kjel. We love you so much!
The birthday weekend began Friday, when Steven joined us on our weekly pilgrimage to "Taco" (Costco). Sometimes Kjel also calls it "Socko" but "Taco" is the go-to. We decided to get real tacos at The Azteca after gorging on samples and filling the cart and filling up the car and then thought, we need more filling. So taquitos it was. Kjel mostly just hid under the table and screamed in her high pitch "singing" voice primary songs with "poop" inserted at various points - "Jesus wants me for a sun-POOP! To shine for him each POOP!"
But Steven, Will, and I ate. Way too much probably. Oh, the salsa.
Saturday morning, the kids actually slept in! Until seven! It was loco! And we immediately began birthday party prep. I made the cake as fast as I possibly could, bathed the monkeys, Steven picked up the balloons, and Will walked around eating various things off of the floor.
When the friends all came, dressed like princesses (Jonah was a superhero) and ready to party, we were stoked to get the whole thing started. Mostly because I thought Kjel might crash from the anticipation of her real, true, actual birthday party being just moments away instead of weeks or months away. Luckily, she did not crash, but quietly and somewhat stoically went about the celebrations in her princess dress with her Sophia crown.
To be honest, I'm not one of those amazing birthday party moms who has themed food and fantastic decor and exhilarating activities planned. We just ate a little, played some games, played outside, ate some more, opened presents, played outside some more. I thought it was fun.
Her real birthday, Monday, was also Memorial Day. We had our ward's annual Memorial Day picnic at the park which is probably my favorite ward activity ever. So by the time everyone was awake and had eaten and presents had been opened, it was about time to head over. Will crashed just moments before we would've left, so we let him sleep and Kjel and Gage played perfectly around the downstairs while Steven and I took a much-needed rest in our room.
The picnic was great, as usual, but poor Kjel kept coming up to me, pulling on my pants until I'd hold her, then saying, "But I just wanna go hooooome." Not whiny, just sweetly. This is what I love about Kjel, and Gage, too: They are cool with just doing their thang. If that means that no one else wants to do it with them, whatever. How to explain this. Gage quickly found his group of dudes that want to run around like ninjas, making things out of blades of grass and darting behind benches to hide from imaginary enemies. Kjel found her little friends too, and played for a while, ("Oh, hi Mommy. I'm just hanging out with my friends," she said while laying back on the grass with three other toddler girls). But then she just kind of wandered off. Not in a loner, insecure way, but in a confident way. It made me proud.
Anyway, we stayed for quite a while, then packed up and headed to Friendly's, where Kjel ate two french fries and an enormous Sundae. When everyone sang to her, she beamed.
Three wishes for my Kjelli-Girl At Three:
That your confidence will only grow
That your sweet prayers will stay as sincere as they are now
That you will never lose your nurturing nature