The big THREE.
July 16, 2012

Charlotte’s birthday is on Friday.

“How do we have a birthday?” she asked me late last week when I told her that she would be turning three.

We considered a variety of different ways to institute birthday traditions this year.  Should we try a birthday ring?  Maybe have a small family gathering?  Bake some cupcakes and let her go crazy with the frosting?  Go somewhere special together?

In the past, birthdays in our family have come and gone without much fanfare.  There is usually a small family dinner, but there are not always gifts or cards or cake or candles.  As Charlotte grows older, though, we feel an urge to create some enduring family traditions for her to anticipate and enjoy each year.

So we thought about how to celebrate her birthday and in the end, we decided to stick with what we already do.  Maybe next year we’ll set up some traditions that stick.  Maybe not.  We’ll see.


In other news, Charlotte picks all her own wacky outfits now.  And also, the house went quiet over the weekend and just as I was starting to get worried about what Donald and the munchkin were up to, they emerged proud as punch with Charlotte’s new ‘do.  “MOMMA!“ she shrieked, “I HAVE FIVE HORNS!“

“Can I have cake on my birthday?” Charlotte has asked every day since finding out that her birthday is around the corner.

“I think that can be arranged,” I keep answering her.

So then again, maybe we’ll be setting up at least one enduring tradition this year after all.  Cake, cake, here we come.  In mis-matched outfits and with five “horns” (aka “ponytails”) on our heads.


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  1. By on July 16, 2012

    What a great picture of your five horned little one !

  2. By on July 16, 2012

    Awww, she looks so grown up. Hope y’all have a fun celebration this Friday. Our Charlotte turns 2 on the 24th. We’re just having family over for dinner and I’m attempting a raydoe ( how she says rainbow) cake.

  3. By Heather on July 16, 2012

    I think cake and a special family dinner are all the requirements for a good birthday. Presents and parties are over kill. And I love her horns!! So cute!

  4. By on July 16, 2012

    We have a giant family so we’re killing all birthdays after 1 year. We’ll do a huge blowout with all our family and really, super, close friends for their 1st. It’s still about 50 people. GAH!

    For the rest of their years it’ll be a very small family affair—Their favourite meal, some birthday cards and a delicious cake.

    PS - Daddies are SO CRAZY!

  5. By Amber on July 16, 2012

    I can’t believe I’ve been reading your blog regularly since you were pregnant with Charlotte! And she is so beautiful at 3. Gah!

    As an only child I never had birthday traditions or even birthday parties growing up (which, I have to say, kinda sucks, and bothered me at the time, too). But that was because I was always so painfully aware that I was different than everyone else around me (socially, etc) and not having a birthday party exacerbated that knowledge. :P

  6. By on July 16, 2012

    ooh I bet she would love designing her cake and then coming up with fun ways to decorate it. Sounds like a traidtion to me. You know, they make edible glitter for cakes! (snicker, snicker)

  7. By on July 16, 2012

    Aw, man she is starting to look like a little girl (i e not a toddler) more and more…
    I love that I share a Charlotte Birthday - I think cake is all I want too :)

    <3

  8. By Jess on July 16, 2012

    Charlotte is such a pretty girl! i think she will love designing her own cake too..kids love to get hands on and create their own “product” lol

  9. By Sarah Christensen on July 16, 2012

    Sarah - Lol, edible glitter =)

    I think we’ll probably be making some “cupcakes” (okay, I’m a boring mom, it’s going to be sugar-free zucchini muffins) and some frosting/sprinkles for her to go to town with soon.  I’m sure she’s going to love it!

  10. By Sarah Christensen on July 16, 2012

    Amber - Isn’t it crazy to think how much time has passed?  And how big she is now?!

  11. By on July 17, 2012

    Oh, my heart!  She’s getting so big.  Can’t wait to see her turn three.

  12. By on July 17, 2012

    One of my favorite birthday traditions growing up is that the birthday person got to pick their favorite dinner.  Even if it was weird (and I’m sure that in my younger years it was), you got to pick and enjoy with no judgement :)

  13. By Danya on July 17, 2012

    Love her horns!

    An idea that I read somewhere (can’t remember where unfortunately), that I think will resonate with your parenting style is to buy a plate that looks different from your current set, and bring this out on special occasions.  So, say if you got a plate with a horse picture on it for example, you could serve Charlotte her dinner on this plate on her birthday, or when she loses a tooth, or when she has done something especially thoughtful that day, etc etc etc.  You and Donald could also use it for your birthdays etc.  A nice tradition don’t you think?

  14. By Sarah Christensen on July 17, 2012

    Danya - I LOVE THAT!  That’s a really cool idea!  That’s definitely a tradition I can get behind =)

    Jessica - My cousin had something similar that I’d completely forgotten about until your comment.  They got to pick whatever they wanted for breakfast.  She said the only bummer about it was that she was like nine years old before she realized that meant she could have cake for breakfast if she wanted to lol.

  15. By Ashley on July 18, 2012

    She looks so much like you in that last picture! I can’t believe she is turning 3. I remember reading when you were still pregnant with her!

    Happy birthday, Charlotte!

  16. By Sarah Christensen on July 19, 2012

    Ashley - Isn’t it crazy?!  I look at that last picture and it’s like, okay, well now I know what she’ll look like as a teenager lol.


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