Friday, August 24, 2012

three. three years. THREE WHOLE YEARS!

Today, my Rooney ((officially)) turns THREE.  THREE YEARS.  THREE WHOLE YEARS.  We chose to have his party last weekend, but today, being “the” day, my heart is full of emotion.  Will every birthday feel like this to me?  Three years I have celebrated the birth of this child, and so far, each pulls at my heart dearly.  My lifetime love and I swapped gazes at each other during dinner last night when mention was made of him turning three… at the same time we both half smiled and uttered “sad times.”  I quickly came to my senses though and gave a real smile (holding back the tear that wanted to drop) and said, “but honestly, we should be thrilled He has blessed us with a Rooney for three years – happy times, baby”.  In my heart of hearts I want to feel 100% “happy times,” but I LLLLOVE babies, and Rooney ranks right up there with the top five best ever babies, ya know, in the World – to me at least (well, and his Daddy, his NaNa & Papaw, his Aunt Weezer & Uncle Rarry, his Aunt Cain and even his great grandfather Mr.Eben).  He was just an “easy” baby, filling our lives with joy each day.  I prayed earnestly for my Rooney for 4 ½ years, so I suppose it is feeling how fast time truly passes that makes me emotional.  Friends tell me that every “season” of a child is beautiful and that with each year that passes you just enjoy them more and more…keep telling me this friends, because all I can tell you is that come August 24th each year all I want to do is hit the pause button and plan a trip to Target (If your water broke there with your first child then you can identify.  Wait, I’m the only one?  No way!)
Ok, enough heart-to-heart Mama talk…
Fun times!  It was so great for my lifetime love and I to both be able to say at the end of the day, when all the guests had left, what a SUPER day it had been for our family - such special memories.  We chose to have a “tool party,” because Rooney fills his days by hammering my interior walls & “sawing” on our fireplace.  We typically host most parties at our home, therefore I have learned that keeping the kiddos busy is key.
We had birdhouses for all the kiddos to “build” and paint.  I really liked having a group activity and will keep that in mind when planning future birthday parties!

Rooney had been telling us for several weeks that he wanted “sketti” for his birthday party… fortunately we talked him into hot dogs (no real arm twisting was employed… he has yet to turn his nose up at a hot dog or three).  I am ready & willing to host a “sketti” supper anytime, I just wasn’t sure that a gang of three year olds was the best crowd to test that out on.

I chose to make his cake.  I wanted to do a twist on the popular “banner” or “pennant” cakes, but I also wanted it to look “boy enough, it was a tool party, afterall!  The top layer was butter cake with strawberry preserves, and the bottom layer was chocolate with strawberry preserves.  Hold on to your hats folks, no buttercream!  With an August birthday in East Tennessee you just never know how hot the day will be, and while it certainly would not last if it were sitting out in the heat long, I do feel as though using Cool Whip to frost the cake is a great option, it is refreshing and not overly sweet (I always use lite Cool Whip and receive no complaints!).

I had a hodge-podge (I did mention East Tennessee, right?) of food items.  There were chili and chips to accompany the hotdogs, and several folks in our family are watching closely what they eat, so I made salad on a stick and had cute cartons of grapes.  Rooney has been hooked on popcorn lately also, so I figured I would put some out for good measure J

In order to keep little hands busy we also had Rooney’s water table set out (it was a HUGE hit) and two red wagons ready for rides… thrill rides apparently!  Thankfully this Mama was inside the basement tending to food & chatting it up, with my back to the door, completely unaware of the thrill ride my child took.  Our driveway is on an incline and midway up Doc James (I had to include his name, isn’t it the best?!) decided to let go of the wagon that Rooney was riding in.  I’m told it basically flew down the hill and came to a halt when it hit a tree just before his Daddy could stop it.  Please note that I am also told he was smiling HUGE the entire time it was racing down the hill and his Daddy reports that he asked to do it again and was mad when informed he could not.  Thank you Doc James for giving my Rooney the ride of his life (well, of his 3rd birthday at least) and thank goodness that I was not watching!

When it was time for Rooney to open his gifts, we started by handing him two dinosaurs (that I scored thrifting, of course).  His reaction was priceless.  No video, but it was captured in pictures.  Rooney surprised us all by putting on a show of “r-o-a-r-i-n-g” on & on & on.  It was histerical.  He had an audience and he took advantage of it!

Each gift was genuinely special.  So much thought was put into his gifts.  The lifetime love and I agreed that his interest and personality were pinned perfectly in each gift he opened.

Kind hearted Rooney took it upon himself (with no instruction from me!) to immediately go distribute a few hugs and thank-you’s while opening his gifts.  I pray his heart is always full of gratitude & thanksgiving, so yes, I was a proud Mama.

Beautiful friends &food, beautiful weather, and a child with a beautiful heart. A beautiful day, indeed. 
The days following…
As I mentioned, gratitude is very important to this Mama, and I am working to instill it in my children.  Just after Rooney’s party I kicked off his first year of homeschool-preschool, and it seemed only fitting to make Thank-You cards.  I had “tool boxes” that were purchased with several of the party d├ęcor items, so I had him glue them on blank cards & “paint” over them with mod podge.  I wrote a note inside (reading it to him aloud, of course).  He was asked to color each Thank You, seal them, and stamp them with our personalized address stamper (which he loved) and then place a tool box sticker on the envelope.  We finished a few a day until our list was complete.  Friends, know that he genuinely is loving the gifts, as is Sister-girl!

Thanks friends for allowing me to elaborate, and thanks to friends and family who shared in Rooney turning 3!
***BONUS PICS!  Because choosing what to include was wayyyy to hard!***

HUGE thanks to my friend Jenny Pennell of Jenny Pennell Photography in Cleveland, TN... my hands were rather full so she jumped in and shot several of these photos!  I HIGHLY recommend her - message me if you need her contact info!

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