Fi is three

Ok, so Fiona is now  three-and-a-half.  An important distinction at that age, I have come to find out. However, this post is one of many which I started but just didn’t finish and post. I’m not sure why….it just got lost on the second page of my draft posts!  So here it is, an-“unbirthday” post to celebrate Fiona at three years old. So just rewind seven months and pretend that it is January 26, 2012.


In the morning of her birthday, Fiona looked like this:


At the end of the day, she looked like this:


You’ve got to figure then, that it was a good day, right?  So here is how it all went down….

First, Fiona woke up to find her new IKEA play kitchen. At first we were confused that she only took one look at it, and then turned around and went right back upstairs. It made sense when she returned moments later…

…with her play food- a gift from Grandma Russell, which we had let her unwrap the night before.  I was impressed that she knew exactly that those gifts were meant for each other, and she got right to work/play.

This entertained her while “Daddy” made Mickey Mouse pancakes for breakfast. Next she was able to pick another gift to unwrap from her basket.

On her first birthday, I “did” her hair for the first time.  For this birthday, it was the first time that I actually blew her hair dry, so we pretended that she was at a salon.  A fancy one, where the stylist starts taking the pictures when the client does funny faces.

I wanted to try taking pictures using some fabric as a backdrop. It was a good practice for me, but it was hard because my fabric pieces weren’t very big and in the room there were too many windows and not enough wall space to put it on.  Good for lots of natural light, but then in some it looks funny to have the fabric over the window where the light is shining through unevenly.

Also, it was hard given her height in respect to where I had to hang the fabric, but when I put her on a step stool, it was too tempting not to just jump off of it. (her, not me).

Of course once I figured out how I wanted the lighting, camera settings, which fabric background I like best etc. etc., she ended the photo shoot with a reason I couldn’t ignore. I like the ones I got though; I felt they captured her personality well:

After the photo shoot, we made pizza dough. I let her take charge more than usual. I videotaped this, and three minutes worth of us making the dough is in the video following. It’s not that interesting, so you may want to skip over it. I just like putting it on so I can hear how she talked at that age & its a fun example of the kinds of things we like to do together.

The most exciting thing that happens is me almost shouting at Fiona, “NOT your elbows,” when she is kneading the dough. I guess it got a bit confusing to her when I kept saying”use the heels of your hands.” After watching, I realize I need to chill out a bit when supervising her.  I mean, how can you expect a 3 year old to NOT squeeze a soft dough ball?

After the dough was made and put in the refrigerator for a cold rise, we set out on the town. First we went to Cavenders, to go boot shopping for Fiona.

I’ve got the boots and the bowlegs, PLEASE can we get a pony?*

We didn’t buy anything…it was a scouting mission, but I took a picture of the top three boot contenders. She had a lot of fun prancing around in the boots and trying on the hats. Oh, and her falling-down cowboy dance (in video below).

I finally went back and bought her one of these three pairs in April- can you guess which one I chose?  Picture of her in them in this post.

Next we headed to South Congress, where we hit up a toy store and a candy store.

Monkey See Monkey Do is an incredible little shop on South Congress. It’s probably more of an adult toy shop (ok, that’s not exactly what I meant, although there are some risque things in there) than a kids toy store. It has a fun focus on monkey related items, hence the title, but it ranges from silly gag gifts to classic toys to imported Japanese treasures.

Fiona had fun just looking at everything. I intended for her to pick out her own gift, but it was a bit much for her at her age I think. So I hand-selected a cute little matroyshka doll/minute timer with a matching set of measuring spoons for her play kitchen. We had too much fun playing for me to take any pictures.

The next stop was almost right next door- Big Top Candy Shop. This is one of those classic candy stores that has just anything you would ever want as far as candy. Nostalgic items from childhood to a strange section of bacon-themed sweets to a fun selection of bin candies.  I let Fiona pick whatever she wanted. She self-regulated though, to my surprise. (As shown in the video below).  I would have let her get more, as I planned to use the candy for “potty treats.”

Finally, she got to pick out her birthday cupcake, which is what we decided to do in lieu of a birthday cake. We went to Hey Cupcake, which is a food truck across the street. She was serenaded by the guitar player who we always see there- you can hear in the video. Oh, and her cupcake of choice was “Sweetberry”- Strawberry cake with a strawberry cream cheese top.

By that time, the sun had started to set, and Rijen was done with class. We picked him up from school and went home to make the pizzas.  In keeping with the theme of the day- Fiona in charge with me trying not to be too much of a “helicopter parent,” I let her decorate her pizza.

Quite liberally applying cheese.

Very excited to finally eat, after a whole day of anticipation.

She also requested that I make a heart-shaped one.

Whew, and if you thought the day was over, there were the rest of those presents she had been waiting all day for….

…and we still hadn’t sung Happy Birthday.  We skyped with Rijen’s sister Sarah & family so that there were more guests at the party but we could keep all the cupcakes for ourselves! Just kidding, we would have preferred to have actually had family with us!

It was great to devote a whole day to things that I thought would be fun and special for Fiona & Austin was the perfect setting for that. Or maybe it was a little bit of me living vicariously through Fiona. That’s one of the perks of being a mom, though right?

Special thanks to Leif for being really cooperative with everything we did that whole day. I don’t even remember him being there at all, but of course he must have been in the stroller or in the front pack during everything.  I guess that was his present to Fiona, being a good baby for her birthday so I could focus on her.


Video of putting the pizza toppings on & singing Happy Birthday:

For reference:


* Thank you Anne, for the caption on Fiona’s picture! I laughed at all of them, but thought yours fit perfectly!


5 responses to “Fi is three

    • Oh well, math and blogging is all relative right? 3.5 just sounds better than three and seven months. I’d rather you catch a math error than a grammar error- and now I hope I have you scouring for those too!


  1. Megan’s pet peeve about kneading w/the elbows finally is caught on camera. I enjoyed Leif’s cackle, in the last video. I imagine he was secretly planning to sneak out and eat the rest of the cupcake in the middle of the night.


  2. Pingback: Coming to You Sporadically Since 2009…. | RIJ & MEG·

  3. Pingback: ╭ ( o‿ o#)ᕗ100th Post Celebration Pt.II ! | RIJ & MEG·

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