As you may have heard, my little three-year-old is quite the Doc McStuffins fan, so that was the theme of this year's festivities, and she was excited about it!
The birthday girl!
We agonized over how best to work our schedule for the morning of the party. Adding an infant to the mix really complicates things, you know? We finally figured out a very workable plan that would allow for early set-up, E.J.'s nap and Ellie's timely arrival at the party. Naturally, E.J. had other plans and threw his sleep schedule all out of whack, thus negating everything we planned. So, thinking on our feet, Eric ran out to the grocery store to pick up food essentials in the morning while E.J. napped, and when E.J. woke up Eric and I took him with us to the party pavilion to set up, arriving at about 9:30. My dad brought Ellie over shortly thereafter, and other family members soon arrived to help as well. I was in a bit of a panic that we did not arrive to set-up until two hours before party time, because in years past the winds have been epic at that pavilion and set-up has taken way longer than I planned. I don't know if I actually did a decent job scaling back a little this year, or if the wind-less day was our biggest helper, or what it was, but we were set up and ready to go with plenty of time to spare before guests arrived! Hooray!
We are ready to party!
We really didn't have much of an agenda for this party. I didn't come up with a game or anything to have available, and we asked that our guests not bring gifts, so really the only planned events were lunch and cake. When everyone arrived, we spent a lot of time just hanging out, eating, and chatting with our friends and family (I love these parties because it gives us a chance to finally see friends that we rarely have time to visit with during normal St. Pete trips, so it's great to spend some time catching up!).
Things are underway!
Cathy, Kelley and Ronnie
Ellie sneaking an early cupcake with Grammy
E.J. hanging out with Papa
E.J. did his best to make the rounds, but he mostly wanted to snuggle with his mama all day! And who am I to deny a sweet baby his most heartfelt wishes?
Ellie with a couple of her friends on the park bench swing. These two have been at each of her birthday parties so far, which means a lot to us! And it's so fun to look back at pics of them from past parties - they're getting so big!
Of course, we also had people sign our "Big Book of Boo-Boos" guestbook and we had some fun with our Doc McStuffins-themed photo props!
Photo prop fun!
Soon it was time to sing "Happy Birthday" to Ellie. We sat her down with a candle in her cupcake, gathered 'round and sang!
"Happy birthday, dear Ellie! Happy birthday to you!"
Then she blew out her candle...
All by herself!
VIDEO: Happy birthday, Ellie!
After that, we largely just chatted with our guests as things started to wind down and people began to head out.
Some people did bring gifts for Ellie, so before officially calling the party a wrap (no pun intended) we let her open them up. She got some very nice things and was quite pleased!
You're three, Ellie!
New basketball hoop from Grammy!
New Doc McStuffins sleeping bag!
Pretty present from Aunt Molly, even though she couldn't be there (she had some lame excuse about being about to give birth two days later, sheesh)
And that was it for the party! Everyone who remained was so kind and helped us clean up, then we went back to my dad's house to eat leftovers and decompress. The rest of the afternoon included Ellie's first attempt with roller-skates (her birthday gift from my dad) that went...poorly:
They did not behave quite as she expected.
...and a nap using her new sleeping bag (from Great Aunt Debbie) that required a tent made of bedsheets.
Now that's the way to nap on your birthday.
If you ask me, it looks like a lot of fun to be three!
Happy to be three!