The theme this year had to be Trains - specifically GeoTrax. Robbie has been captivated by them since Christmas 2009 when he received his first starter train and track set from my sister in law Rachel (she has 2 boys a few years older than Robbie!). Best gift ever for a little boy, by the way. So my mom and sister collaboratively painted his most cherished train ("Aero and Eric") onto a big piece of foam core board and the colors of that train were what I played off of for the rest of the decorations (aqua, orange and white). Robbie has been waiting patiently for the "Woo Hoo and Opie" train he picked out over a month ago, and was so happy to finally be able to open that gift.
I love a good birthday party, but I am working off of limited physical reserves these days (as in, he is lucky we threw him a party at all! haha), so I just ordered extra balloons to cover up the fact that I didn't do anything really creative or special with the decorations, etc. Oh, and I ordered a cake so massive that it became a joke throughout the day... granted, we had about 15 guests that were 'maybes' for attendance, and I didn't want to be short on food. But still - had everyone come, I still had twice as much cake as I would have needed. And sandwiches. And lemonade (which I forgot entirely to set out - thank you pregnancy brain!). But it made me happy to send lots of leftovers home with our sweet babysitter and her (new!) fiance, and we will just be eating lots of sandwiches this week for meals and ending our days with cake and lemonade. Not a terrible situation to be in.
It was fun to see the kids sitting around the table eating lunch together during the party - we all commented on how quickly they are growing and how old they suddenly seem! It's amazing to watch their individual personalities unfold in contrast to one another, and each time we gather together they seem to play differently. By the end of the day, when everyone else had left, Charlotte and Robbie were chasing each other in circles around the family room (for a good hour, maybe?) yelling out random things like "MACARONI AND CHEESE!" and cracking themselves up. That will definitely be a stand out memory from his third birthday, in addition to the time they were sitting together on the couch and Robbie was singing Justin Bieber's song "Baby, Baby, Baby... NO!" in Charlotte's face, and she would throw her head back and laugh hysterically each time he got to the "NO!" part. Over and over and over. And over.
The remainder of the weekend was pretty much spent in recovery - cleaning the house, popping balloons (Ellie's new favorite activity is holding balloons as the air slowly escapes through a small hole), searching for already misplaced GeoTrax trains, and doing massive amounts of laundry. I worked on my Bible study before bed while Rob paid bills and did our taxes. Does that make us sound old and boring or what?! I think Rob was probably anxious to go to work this morning, for the sake of getting out of the house. I just realized the only time he left the house at all this past weekend was to get coffee on Saturday morning.
This afternoon I go in for my (now) weekly OB appointment, and am so curious to find out what the doctor says when she checks me. All of these contractions lately have me hoping for some early progress towards labor but I'm not getting my hopes up. My mom plans to come over a fair amount this week to help me, which I'm so thankful for. The discomfort of the home stretch of pregnancy is tough to manage at times with 2 other little ones. I know I will be trading pain for chaos when this little one arrives, but I'm excited for the transition.
We are also anticipating moving my grandmother from my parents' home to an assisted living home in the near future. In the four months she's been there, her condition has changed so much that she needs nearly full time nursing care, and also rarely recognizes us. That is a hard decision for anyone to make about their own mother, and yet it is pretty clear that it's the right time to adjust her care and living situation. My mom has done so much over the past 4-5 months for my grandmother, and although it's not always been easy or straightforward, she has given all of herself as gracefully as anyone could. It has to be difficult to be so involved in the lives of loved ones at opposite ends of the spectrum at the same time - as my grandmother nears the end of her life, my little family prepares for our newest addition... and my mom stands in the gaps for both of us, helping in any way she can as often as she is able. I am paying close attention right now and hope to model my own choices later on in life after my mother's, for her sake and the sake of my own children who will one day be grown and starting their own little families, Lord willing. It is a blessing to be a part of a family that cares for one another in this way, even though it is of course not perfect.
I just heard birds chirping! Horray for little signs of spring on the way, and for the start of a new day. Later I will try to post pictures from the weekend's festivities once I gather them from those who remembered to take some. I am falling apart - barely a snapshot of my son's third birthday party? What kind of mother am I.