Life is so busy right now. We are getting ready for a 2-week trip to Colorado for a conference. That means cleaning, laundry, and packing, as well as preparing everything for our house sitter. Add swim team practices, swim lessons, and swim meets into the mix, and life is moving pretty quickly right now. However, we did take the time to stop and celebrate Pepper's third birthday last weekend.
On Sunday we had a pool party for him down at our community pool. We served pizza and watermelon. Instead of cake, Matt made a mud pie. It's tradition in his family. When Matt was growing up, his mom noticed that at her kids' birthday parties, everyone ate the ice cream, but a lot of kids didn't eat cake. She solved that problem by making the switch to homemade mud pie. Here's the recipe.
1. Soften one carton of ice cream in the refrigerator for a few hours, until it is soft enough to spread. You can choose any flavor for this. Matt likes chocolate chip the best, while mint chip is my favorite.
2. Crush one package of Oreos (not Double Stuf) in the bottom of a 13x9 baking dish.
3. Spread the ice cream over the top of the Oreos.
4. Drizzle the ice cream with Hershey's syrup.
5. Freeze until firm.
The party was very laid back. The adults swam with the kids. We ate food. Pepper opened presents. We all visited and relaxed. It was a fun party.
He LOVES this dinosaur from his buddy Seth. He named the dinosaur Precious. I'm still laughing about that!
Monday was Pepper's true birthday. We got up early enough to open presents before Snapper's swim team practice. The tradition from my childhood that we've adopted is to decorate for the birthday child. My mom used to set up all my stuffed animals around my bed. She made signs with encouraging messages and hung them around my room, along with balloons and streamers. My gifts were all arranged with the stuffed animals. Since both my kids are light sleepers in the morning, we have adjusted that tradition a bit. Instead of decorating their rooms, I decorate the mantle in the living room.
Pepper's gifts from us were a Nerf gun, a cap gun, and a new bike. Snapper and I went halves on buying him a bike helmet. He was equally excited by each gift.
After swim lessons, we went and got Happy Meals from McDonald's--birthday boy's choice--and met Matt at work for lunch.
On their birthdays, I like to take portraits of the kids, but our afternoon portrait session got rained out. We hung out at home, and then when it cleared up, we went to Matt's softball game. Pepper loves to watch Daddy's ball games. It was an 8:30 game, so we were out late. Matt topped off a great day by helping take his team to victory--18-3!
Pepper is such a delightful little boy. In my next post, I'll talk a bit about how we've seen him grow and change in the last 12 months.