24 September 2008

Jane is THREE!

Jane had a wonderful birthday! Thank you to everyone who called, commented, emailed, and such. She loved every bit of it. Her face LIGHTS up when she hears someone sing "Happy Birthday" to her. After getting the first glimpse of her cake Monday morning, she just kept talking about how everyone would sing "Happy Birthday to Jane". She peeked in the fridge maybe a dozen times just to bask in the anticipation of the evening.

I was hesitant to plan anything like a party for Jane because I was worried it would completely overwhelm her. In Thailand, she gets SO much attention everywhere we go. Sometimes she can tune it out (people walking by will clap, whistle, yell, or touch her face or hair and it hardly phases her anymore), but sometimes it's overwhelming and I end up holding her nuzzling into my neck until we are in the clear. I didn't know how she would do with ALL the attention on her, but I'm happy to say it was a complete success! We kept the numbers VERY small, and just invited a few of her favorite people (I wish we could have invited them all!), and she was glowing the entire evening. We invited Ashly, Vibushen, Dipu, Napa, and Nan over for a simple evening of pizza (Jane's favorite) and cake.

Jack and Jane were so excited about everyone coming over. I was amazed the cake didn't even have candies missing until it was time to eat! I did NOT expect that.

Some days I try to deny that my daughter loves princess stuff. We even held out with using the "P" word for a while, trying to delay the exposure. I just don't like all the commercialization of it. Not too long ago, Jack started calling her "princess" and the truth is... she loves it. So we decided to give in, and embrace it by doing a castle cake (plus, this was just a really FUN cake to make!) and letting her be the princess of the day, as if she isn't every day!

Jack was even getting into the theme... what a good brother!

Jane's been close with Ashly for a year or so now. She adores him, and he always takes really good care of her at church when I am in meetings and such. He and Vibushen arrived with toys and loads of treat to spoil Jane and Jack. They both were loving it!

Jane opened this super-frilly dress and immediately started stripping down. She pranced around the house from one loved one to another, peaking in every mirror in sight. My goodness, this girl is spoiled. I think she got at least 1,000 hugs and kisses that night. We were so glad Dipu was feeling good enough to be there, although I don't know if we could have made him stay away! He was in the hospital with shingles just a couple of weeks ago, poor guy. We're glad he's doing much better!

Napa arrived with a puppy that dances and sings. Jane was dancing and flapping her ears all over the place (although this picture doesn't show that for some reason!), and as you can see, everyone was getting a pretty big kick out of it. I don't think there's ever been a party for a three year old where everyone is SO exclusively focusing on the three year old! Even our dinner conversation was mostly all about Jane.

The BIG moment...

Jack was finding himself pretty attached to Napa this night. I was so happy he could enjoy himself so much, even with the focus mostly on Jane. Napa made Jane a scrapbook with all the pictures of her they'd taken over the last year and many love notes for Jane when she's older. It is such a treasure, and with something like that, I can't imagine Jane ever forgetting them!

At one point, Jane invited Napa and Nan into the play room and didn't want them to leave. She loves having company, and by the end of the evening, she and Jack were just figuring out where everyone could sleep for the night, so no one had to go home.

Here's the whole crew: Jeff and myself, Nan, Dipu, Jane, Napa, Ashly, and Vibushen. We were so happy these special people would spend their evening with us. They truly have made Jane's experience in Thailand incredible. How could she not have good memories when she's been SO loved by so many? We love you guys!

One last one from that day... we were sad that Preeya couldn't join us for the evening. She had plans, but I know that Jane would also have loved to have her there. She loves showing Preeya all her fun dresses and toys, and calls out her name when we walk in the house many days, even when she's only here very little. Preeya was sweet to remember Jane's birthday and brought her a couple of fun gifts that suited Jane PERFECTLY!

As a family, we decided to do one of Jane's favorite things once again... swimming. We had a little waterpark recommended to us that we thought we'd try out over the weekend. Can you tell Jane was a little bit excited to get out there?

It was almost empty, cheap, and not too sunny. It made for a nice morning and fun family time!

This is pretty much how they are the entire time we're in the pool. They are fish, and I love it!

We had a fun birthday morning where we finally could give Jane her doll house we've been waiting for! She loved it, and surprisingly, so did Jack!

I love the expression on her face in this.

Jane and Jack feeding their "babies" with the bottles Jack gave Jane.

We had a nice, relaxed day and met Jeff in the park after work for a ride in the paddle boats. Jane was too young to do this for Jack's 4th birthday, so this time she was excited to get on! Jeff peddled, and Jane fed the fish!

Jack and I had fun together, and Jack even peddled some of the time. I felt like I was riding Jane's tricycle the whole time. I don't think they were built for us tall foreigners!

I thought this view was nice. The building on the left with the red/white symbol is Jeff's office. He's on the 32nd floor, and because of that he's actually felt earthquakes that I didn't feel at home on our 15th floor. Interesting.

A few fun facts about my Jane... she NEVER stays in the same clothes once we get into the house. She immediately changes from dress to dress. Today, in just a few hours, she's been through 6 different outfits (some of them 2x!).

She has developed an interesting way of speaking lately. Her "R" sound has changed after being around other children with accents. Plus, right now she always says her words with a hard "T" sound, like in water, pretty, mountain, or caterpillar. She's even started to say a hard "T" for "D" sounds, like Da-tee (daddy), or shoul-ter (shoulder).

She has a thing with doors, cupboards, and drawers. She will always close them, even if she has to walk out of her way to do it. Sometimes, she'll walk into the kitchen to tell me something and close all the cupboards I'm working on without even realizing it. She often has to close the doors and turn off the lights herself before bedtime. If I do it, she has to re-do it. (To my dad and any other therapists out there, is this something I need to worry about???)

Almost anything can be made exciting if you say it with your voice raised up a couple octaves.

When I sing to her at night, I always have to end with "Twinkle".

She loves sticky rice, chicken, spaghetti, pizza, and tuna fish.

She always sleeps with "pink", her favorite blanket. She understands surprisingly well when we have to tell her that "pink is dirty", and she picks another favorite.

Jane's been resisting growing up in her own ways. She still prefers to do #2 in a diaper, which after a year, we're still working on. Slowly but surely! Also, she still prefers to sleep in her crib over her big girl bed (although she does let her dolls sleep in it). I'm not so worried about this one. After all, who wants to mess with a girl who sleeps 12-13 uninterrupted hours and wakes up happy? I hope this resistance to grow up will reappear when she's about 13.

She loves books. Her current favorites are Are you my Mother? and Where the Wild Things Are.

She loves Diego and Dora, and frequently talks about Leatherback sea turtles and Humpback whales.

We love our little Jane. I never knew how I would be as a mother to a girl, but I'm confident that girls are FUN. I think I'd even take another one!

Happy Birthday Jane!


Marilyn said...

Hey Mindy--
I found your blog through facebook a while ago and left a comment on one of your earlier posts, but if you're like me you never check your old posts, so I'm saying hi again. I love your pictures of your cute little family. What a darling 3-year-old! It looks like you guys are having so much fun in Thailand. It's been fun for me to see all your pictures and imagine what it would be like to actually live in such an exotic location. :) You look great and I'm glad you and your family are doing so well. It's crazy how old we are all getting--you remember Rachael, she has 4 boys now, and I've got 3. She lives in Canada but we keep in touch through email. I love the internet. It is so cool to me that I can just read your blog and find out how you are doing, half a world away. Anyway---I hope you have a great day! Thanks for sharing on your blog--
Marilyn (Nelson) Nielson

Joanna said...

How fun to hear from Marilyn! And how fun to read about cute Janie's 3rd birthday. I wish we could have been there to celebrate that adorable girl's life. We are so glad she's in our family and can't wait until we get some face-time with her again! Christmas Day is just not coming soon enough!

Emily said...

What a fun post to read about Jane- thanks for sharing her day with us- we missed not being there. We love you!

Andrew & Vanessa and kids said...

What a fantastic blog about Jane. We love you, Jane! I thought about her all day yesterday and can't wait for Faith and Jane to get together and be Princesses! Jane's new pink dress was adorable!
I could have read that blog all day - you are a great writer! Love you, Mindy!

Sylvia at home said...

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It's always such a joy to view your posts. Now I got my own one, too. You are welcome to take a look at


Sylvia YOU

Jennifer said...

I LOVE her pink ruffle dress. It's adorable. Can't believe she's 3 already. She's quite the swimmer too. Maybe your kids could give my kids lessons.

Kami said...

Happy Birthday Jane! (A while ago!) We made that exact same castle cake for Maryn's 3rd birthday! These little girls and their princesses! I've heard they grow out of it around age 7, though...then they are onto Hannah Montana. I'd rather stick with princesses, I think! :)

Anonymous said...

happy b day jane I love your pink frill dress, come here and let me take it off and give u your special present u r going to feel sooooooooooooooooooooo good