Monday, September 3, 2012


On August 21, our firstborn turned three years old.  So before his birthday, we had to hurry and cram in one last visit to the zoo before he is too old to get in for free. After our last zoo trip, Jared wanted to see the otters first thing.  Unfortunately, the otters were dozing in their den this time, but the bears in the next exhibit were sufficiently entertaining.  
 The second most important stop was at the bunny hutch, of course.  By the time we got there, a sleepy Eloise was just about done with the zoo.
 She was happy to drive the tractor, but that fun had to end sometime, and when she was done driving, she was ready to go.
 We just had one more quick stop for our turtle to visit his shell. . .
 . . . and to say goodbye to the penguins. . .
 . . .  and then we could go back to the car, by way of the playground.  We still have our zoo pass until October, but we will have to go without Daddy, since Jared will have to use our extra pass from now on.

Jared's actual birthday was on a Tuesday.  As he requested on Father's Day, he got waffles for breakfast and steak for dinner.  We had a play date with a new friend, Gray, in the morning, spent most of the rest of the day at home with one child or the other napping, and all woke up in time to pick Daddy up from work and drive to the toy store to pick up Jared's birthday present from Mom and Dad: a tool kit, complete with a battery powered drill.  You can tell we are really on the ball with birthday shopping (not!).
Jared opened it while I was finishing dinner, and got right to work fixing things.  First he had to fix the packaging the kit came in.
 Then Daddy's elbow needed a little drill action.
 The tool set has been a huge hit.  It has to be put out of reach at bedtime, or else it becomes a huge distraction.  Jared and Eloise sit and play with the pieces for long stretches of time, allowing me to shower without anyone pounding on the shower door for a change.  Eloise has even added, "Tool!" to her limited, but rapidly growing, vocabulary.

Here is Jared with his steak.  He informed me that he is old enough to need a knife at the table, now that he is three.
 This is how men eat steak.

We had a birthday party for Jared the Saturday after his birthday.  Jared wanted to have a dog party, so I made this impressionist dog dish cake, based on one in the book "Spot Bakes a Cake," which was the inspiration for the dog party.  We were planning to have the party at the park near our house.  We had everything ready, and we were loading up the car, when Todd discovered that our car wouldn't start.  Apparently Jared had turned something on playing in the front seat while I took groceries in the previous day, and the battery had died.  Our neighbor, Amanda, sent her husband, JJ, over right away to charge our battery, but when it was getting extremely close to party time and the battery wasn't charged yet, JJ offered to shuttle a few of our party supplies over the park for us so that we could make it on time.
 In the end, I decided that the cake would be too much of a hassle to take to the park, since the kids and I ended up walking over, and Todd already had his hands full.  We had cupcakes, a vegetable tray, fruit salad, ice cream, and bone shaped sugar cookies, so no one missed a little bit more cake.
One great thing about a party in the park is that it provides its own entertainment.  Here are most of our party guests (over the age of two) climbing the park web.
 The candles on Jared's cupcake stayed lit for about thirty seconds before he blew them out.
 Here is our family portrait with the birthday boy.
 It was a really beautiful day for a park party, and a great chance to get together with a lot of our friends.  I can't believe how many great friends we have made since we moved here.
 Later that evening a friend came over and helped us get the battery in the car charged so that we would be able to drive to church the next morning.  Thanks Eric!
Jared is very proud of his new status as a three year old.  He frequently tells me, "I can do that myself because I am THREE."

We took Jared in for a checkup shortly after his birthday.  He was enormously relieved to learn that he isn't scheduled for an shots for another year.  He had a great time asking the doctor a million and a half questions.  At three years and two days old, Jared weighs 34 lbs., putting him in the 75th percentile, and is 37 inches tall, putting him in the 40th percentile.
We couldn't be happier to have this inquisitive, smart, helpful boy in our family.  Happy birthday, Jared!

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