My baby is not a baby anymore. Sniff, sniff. How did this happen? One day she's all squished and squirmy and has no control of her own body, and then she's...well, she's this:
Beautiful and silly and very mischievous at times. A big girl indeed.
These last few months have been nothing if not crazy in terms of schedule and house keeping responsibilities. Most of that is because we are getting ready to move to Charlotte and start a new campus of our church there, so we're trying to sell this house and find a new one. Lots of travel, lots of cleaning. And Allie isn't exactly great a the tidiness thing yet.
So when we began thinking of Allie's birthday, inviting 10 little kids to our house for cake, ice cream, juice and various sugary and staining items, didn't sound so fun or helpful to the "let's-keep-this-house-spic-and-span-for-prospective-buyers" cause. We decided that two is the perfect age to do something a little lower key.
One is a big birthday, if not for the kid, but for the parents. It's a time to step back and say, "I kept this kid alive a whole year." There's great social pressure to do a 1 year old birthday party, a smash cake, the whole nine yards.
The three year old birthday is a pretty big one, we've found, because the kid actually has an opinion of what she wants. Ella was
slightly completely obsessed with Dora the Explorer when her third birthday came around. And so the theme of her birthday was really a no-brainer. She cared about who came (and who didn't) and still remembers most of the day.
But two? Well, two is what I've affectionately named "the year of the breather" because a two year old rarely has a specific list of birthday party guests, themes, and menus that she desires. And, a two year old will probably not remember her birthday party (or lack thereof). Granted, this term, "the year of the breather" is only appropriate when put in the birthday party context. Certainly it does not belong within any other conversation revolving around a two year old.
And that being said, I thought about what our two year old likes the most. And I came up with Family, Fun, and Food. Not necessarily in that order all the time. In fact, as I mentioned in this post, Allie likes eating more than most people 16x their age (me, at 32--yes, I just revealed my age, gasp)! And since we are trying to get the girls excited about moving to a new city soon, we decided that celebrating her birthday in Charlotte would be really fun. So we invited John-John, Pepper, Channing and Mama Nissi and Papa John to meet us at Monkey Joe's, and indoor bounce park, in a part of the city near where we are thinking of planting the church and living. (Pappy was out of town and couldn't make it, but he was invited, of course.)
Everyone had a lot of fun (including the adults). But maybe no one more than the birthday girl. Bouncing is her thing.
After we bounced ourselves silly, Brandon and I had the opportunity to take the family to two possible church locations that we are considering. It was great to get their feedback, and by the end of the tour, we were all pretty set that one is going to be better suited for RWOC Charlotte than the other.
Next we went to a local restaurant, but there was a long wait. No problem. We Berrys are resourceful. We transformed John and Pepper's Subaru into Party Central, brought out the gifts and cupcakes (who doesn't like to eat dessert first?) and kept everyone entertained as we sang "Happy Birthday", laughed and talked in the beautiful weather until the
dinner bell rang buzzer buzzed calling us inside to dinner.
Allie received some fun new toys, books and clothes, though she was painstakingly slow to open each one. At some point Big Sister couldn't take the suspense any more and had to "help" Allie tear into them a little faster.
So my baby is growing up. She's doing two-year-old things like tantrums and potty training. She's talking in full sentences now and loves to carry on conversations with anyone or no one at all. And I'm enjoying every minute of it. What a sweet blessing Allie is in our lives. We are so thankful to the Lord that He has entrusted her to us.
Happy Birthday, Allie!