Dream Shard Blog: The Scintillating Adventures of Our Household

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Aug '13

Carrisa Turns THREE!

On August 15, 2013 our sweet Carissa Rose turned three. She had a wonderful day. I’d been telling her that soon she would turn three, and then she’d be old enough for preschool, and she’s been looking forward to it. The day before she turned three I told her it was the last night she’d be just two years old. And as she went to bed that night she reminded me that it was her last night as a two-year-old. She has a good memory!

The morning of her birthday I didn’t remind her that it was her special day until the morning was about half over. But as soon as I did, she paused and her eyes lit up as this news sunk in. In an animated voice she talked about how she was three years old now. It’s so fun to watch her excitement.

We pulled out a helium tank we have and blew up a few balloons. That was hugely exciting for Wes and Carissa.


But the Big Event of the day was taking Carissa to Build-A-Bear at the mall. I’ve never been into stuffed animals myself, so I never gave it much thought. But a few weeks ago John and I were at the mall for dinner and noticed little girls coming out of the mall with Build-A-Bear bags and their new stuffed treasures inside. They looked so happy that we thought we should walk through the store before we went home. We did, and we observed the prices (which are naturally not cheap), but we came away convinced that out little daughter would absolutely love the experience.

And thus she did. The way it works is you pick a stuffed animal shell, fill it yourself (with an employee’s help) with fluff, give it a heart, and then you can buy accessories and clothes and print a birth certificate. Wes was quick to find a Hello Kitty one, and as soon as Carissa saw it, that was it. We took it to the fluff machine. The very, very nice employee showed Carissa how to use the foot pedal to fill her Hello Kitty with fluff.



You’ve got to watch this video. It is just so cute to watch her experience this. Also, notice that the employee is missing his forearm, but look how good he is at using what he has.

Bath time.


Honestly, cross my heart, I wasn’t planning to buy the stuffed animal any accessories or clothes. But as soon as her kitty was bathed she sidled up to the accessories wall and said that Hello Kitty needed some clothes.

OK. Why not? It’s her birthday. There were dresses and shirt/short combos, but since Carissa herself prefers shorts that’s what Hello Kitty got, too. I was turning to leave when I heard Carissa say, “Now she needs shoes!” and she was already perusing the selection. So. Hello Kitty ended up with some pretty snazzy wooden sandals.

However, I drew the line at the chair and car. But Carissa sure had fun playing with them for a while.


During this time Wes is mostly pulling these wheeled toys around the store (and out into the mall).


Carissa is happy. Off to print the birth certificate!



There’s a candy shop/ice cream store near the mall that we’d never been to before. We stopped in. Wes had an ice cream cone and Carissa had a huge sucker that the nice employee gave her for free since it was her birthday.



After dinner we headed to my parent’s new place and had a birthday celebration.

Oh, Carissa loves birthday parties! She throws birthday parties for her stuffed animals often, and we knew she couldn’t wait to have a real one for herself. As I buckled her into her carseat to go to the party she said, “I want candles on my cake!” Because her stuffed animals always have (pretend) candles on the (pretend) cake that she makes for them in her (pretend) kitchen.

We sang, she blew, and then we ate!



She ate her cake with such relish, enjoying every bite. She picked out the cake herself at the grocery store the night before. She was so sure she wanted the one with balloons on it, I couldn’t say no.


Then it was present time. Grandpa helped her open (along with all her cousins).



Besides the Hello Kitty, I really only gave her a backpack (which is practical since she starts preschool in a couple weeks). It’s a penguin backpack, since she’s really into penguins these days. But her grandma, uncle, aunt and cousins were uber generous and she received some really lovely gifts like a dress-up fairy costume with accessories, Hello Kitty book with little toy figurines, magnetic dress-up dolls, and the list goes on.


Her grandma provided goodie bags for all the kids, which I let Wes and Carissa open at home the next morning. It was like Christmas! Carissa kept asking if she could play with the toys she had just gotten, and which I had piled on the little kids’ table, and I kept telling her, Yes! They’re all yours! Play with them! The light in her eyes is unforgettable.

So she had a very happy birthday, thanks to the wonderful support of family and the beautiful innocence of being three years old. For a few days after she would say, “I’m still three!” (I think she was going for, “I’m three now.”)

And here’s Elizabeth!


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