The holidays wouldn’t be complete around here without an extra special birthday. Our little Christmas miracle is what we called our first little girl. She was due only a few days after Christmas and made an early appearance days before our favorite holiday. She’s had the biggest heart and smile to match since she was born, and as she turns three very very soon, I can’t help but look back on all of the beautiful moments we’ve shared with such an amazing little person. And now here we are, about to celebrate our first baby girl turning 3 with a little sister by her side. So much has changed and so many amazing memories are being made, I just wish they’d slow down with this whole growing up thing.
Anyway, to commemorate this momentous day we’ve given our little girl an extra special birthday party that’s just about her. The past few years we’ve had a couple wonderful parties that Mommy and daughter have loved putting together, but this one I think was my favorite so far. Turning 3 meant going from baby to big girl, looking forward to and loving the party idea and let’s just say the presents, well she jumped on opening those the second we announced that it was time. This time around she completely understood the wonderfulness of a birthday party and loved every second of it. From planning to the big day itself, she had a tiny hand in every part and I wouldn’t have it any other way. So without further ado, Come Join Us Under The Sea Because My Little Mermaid Is Turning 3!
Picking a theme was the toughest part. She threw out a few of her favorite ideas for party themes until she settled on Little Mermaid. It’s one of her favorite movies right now and conveniently includes her favorite pastime, the beach! Once the theme was chosen, onto the invitations. I normally love to do a photo invite but I couldn’t pass up this adorable option on Etsy by ZPartyDesigns, conveniently in the party colors. With an adorable tweak on the wording and a little addition of our address as Ariel’s Grotto, voila this two sided invite was born!
Once the invites were sent in their hot pink envelopes chosen by the birthday girl, it was onto the decorations. The party colors were light pink, aqua, blue, and silver, which made for adorable, sparkly decorations that were very under the sea and very birthday girl. First up was the birthday banner. I couldn’t find a banner that fit the color scheme so I added a DIY birthday banner to my to do list. This was totally doable, a little time consuming yes, but the end result was so beautiful. Plus, the birthday girl got to help with the gluing part which was an added bonus for my eager helper. With some scrapbook paper, glue, and ribbon, and some help from some tiny hands, the birthday banner was made (and now saved in a memory box).
You can’t have a birthday party without some balloons! The life size silver 3 and Ariel were just too cute to pass up and were obvious favorites with the birthday girl, but we also decided to mix in a few aqua and light pink balloons which were perfect play toys for days after (Win for Mommy!). Okay, so we opted for the dessert table in the kitchen this time around so I knew I wanted to make it look as under the sea as possible, equipped with fish, seahorses, and starfish all cut and painted by Mommy and daughter. It was crafting central around here the week of the party, from the birthday banner to the fish, we were busy girls! My toddler had tons of fun painting the fish and I think they added just the right touch to the coral looking garland (And yes, that’s flounder you see in there, Mommy may have painted that one!).
The balloons and fish were great but my favorite part of the decorations was the Big Fringe Garland (idea courtesy of Oh Happy Day). A lot of cutting went into these massive rolls of crepe paper but I can’t help but feel like we’re under the sea with multi colored coral or seaweed flowing around us. Thankfully my husband and I teamed up on this one the night before after the little ones were in bed, cutting either side of each color and then tackling the hanging (that was a project and a half but totally worth it). The end result though we loved, and the next morning when our soon-to-be 3 year old walked into the room she smiled and jumped around in excitement, the best reaction a Mommy could ask for!
Some big fringe garland, balloons, and a birthday banner decorating the dinner table! A little mix of gluten free tortilla chips, cheese, carrots, and broccoli with definitely not gluten free sandwiches and crackers, don’t worry I kept some safe versions of each of these snacks to the side for myself.
Now onto the sweets, the highlight at least I know for the birthday girl. First up, Mommy made gluten free cupcakes, actually everything free, decorated with love, pearls, and dinglehoppers of course. Even though my little girl can eat gluten, all baking in our house is now strictly gluten free. I on many a holiday and birthday watched the dust from cake mixes or regular flour fly up in the air and I literally cringed thinking about where it was landing, so no more gluten baked goods around here. And with our resident allergy nephew in attendance I decided to just go all the way and make them everything free (gluten, milk, egg, and nuts), And I must say they looked and tasted great thanks to Bob’s Red Mill vanilla cake mix and the applesauce/egg substitution.
Thanks to Pillsbury Gluten Free Funfetti, Mommy and daughter baked some delicious cookies that we could add to the sweet table. This was my first trial with the new mix and I have to say these turned out delicious! They were soft and chewy and reminded me of their regular sugar cookie mix from many years ago.
The piece de la resistance though is this beauty made by Classic Cake Company. The good news though Classic Cake Company could’ve easily and safely made a gluten free version of this amazing cake but my daughter is safe with gluten so we went that route. I absolutely LOVED how this cake turned out! They really take my ideas and turn them into beauty. Now if only I could brave putting together a cake of my own one of these times, that’s a little too scary for me right now with these two little munchkins around but maybe by their 18th birthday I’ll surprise them. Okay so back to the Ariel masterpiece! From the deliciously tall chocolate on chocolate stacked cake and gorgeously made seashells, coral, and starfish to the silver 3 on top that’s shaped like a, yes it’s a fork, (idea courtesy of my dear husband) to my favorite edible Ariel image on the front, every bit of it was just gorgeous and delicious according to the birthday girl herself!
The sparkly, silvery dinglehopper 3 was such an amazing topper, and with those realistic, shiny shells around it, it was such a great combo of under the sea and Little Mermaid.
With three tall, pink candles lit and the lights dimmed our curly haired little mermaid was ready for her big moment. A smile from ear to ear and big eyes studying the glowing candles, she waited for her wish patiently and when the time came her little self huffed and puffed (and with Mommy’s help at the end) blew her three candles out. It was a magical moment, one that brought tears to my eyes and reminded me of the little baby that we were celebrating only three years ago.
Dinner, check! Cake, check check! And then the announcement my miniature had been waiting for, “Time for presents!”, her cue to head straight to the family room to start ripping them open, and that she did before anyone else got there. Thankfully she takes her time opening gifts because she only got halfway through her first one when I caught her red handed and paused her for just a few seconds until everyone was in place. And when she was given the official go ahead, nothing could stop her. She was a polite, present opening machine who responded to each and every one with an excited “Oh my gosh!” and huge smile. Responses that are exactly who my little girl is and give her Mommy and Daddy the warmest feeling, reminding us of every ounce of her that is always that sweet.
It was a wonderful party, equipped with two Disney princesses, a lot of fun, and so much love. It was a party I hope she’ll always remember because I certainly know we will. And even though I’m a little sad that we just celebrated our baby’s 3rd birthday, when to us she’s still that squishy newborn, I’m so happy and grateful for the little person that she’s becoming and I couldn’t be a prouder Mommy!
So to my baby girl who’s not such a baby anymore,
Your year of 2s have flown by and you’ve changed so quickly from baby to little girl. As you turn 3 very very soon your Daddy and I just wanted to tell you a few things. First, always stay true to who you really are, the smiley, energetic, funny, and loving little girl that you were born to be. God has given you some amazing gifts with a smile and sense of humor that light up a room and a heart that’s bigger than I’ve ever seen. And even though you’re becoming a bigger kid as you say, bear with Mommy and Daddy because we still see you as our first little miracle. No matter how big you get, we’ll always see that sweet little baby staring back at us.
Second, as you turned 2 1/2 this year we gave you a best friend for life, a sister, family that’ll stick by you no matter what, cherish her. You’ve become an amazing big sister, caring for your sweet baby sister with more love than I ever thought you had in that little body. Always love her that way, keep protecting her like you do now when you cover her with a blanket to keep her safe, and always keep her smiling, you light her up with your kisses, your smile, and your love, never stop sharing that.
Finally my sweet baby girl, stay innocent as long as you can. Live in your world of Disney, where magic is real, your best friends are squishy and fuzzy and make perfect bed buddies, and where giving these friends big hugs and kisses live in person is a dream come true. Stay in that world as long as you can my precious baby because it’s a beautiful one. Keep those dreams and all of the magic in your heart always.
Happy 3rd Birthday My Christmas Miracle!