Thursday, March 3, 2011

Lincoln turned 3! (and his train party!)

Yes, his birthday was nearly 4 months ago & I'm barely getting around to blogging about it. However, I've had a pretty good reason (and if you don't know about it, then I'll get to that later). Before I post about Lincoln's train party, I wanted to just post a few pictures and just write a little bit about him. These pictures were taken a couple weeks before his birthday by Adrian of Canyon Photography. She was awesome. One way that I say you can tell a photographer that does great family photography is that you can't tell which member of the family was having a rough time during the session. Bingo! That was Lincoln this day. While he had his happy playful moments, they were fleeting. And he (like many 3-year-olds) did not want to stop to pose for a picture. I still think Adrian managed to capture some great shots of him.

Our little Lincoln is an exuberant little person, full of so much energy and emotion. He has no inhibitions when it comes to expressing those emotions - be those joy, excitement, anger, or affection. He's a very physical little guy. He loves to wrestle, run, climb anything...and to cuddle. He is unbelievably tender and sweet at cuddle-time, and also very resilient with how rough and tumble he is.

Lincoln is quite an independent person most of the time, but will also run to greet me with a hug after only being apart for a short period of time. He's not much for talking on the phone, but if he can get your ear in person he'll jabber on non-stop. He is anxious to "get bigger" like Noah and start going to pre-school (this fall), but we have yet to be able to break him of his beloved night-time binky...and we've struggled getting him to have ANY interest at all in using the potty. While he loves these baby-ish creature comforts, be careful not to call him a baby (even affectionately)...he has even popped out his binky in his sleep to correct us by saying, "I'm not a baby, I'm a boy".

I don't remember the what the scenario was when this picture was snapped, but I'm so glad that Adrian provided us with web-quality photos of those we didn't buy because this is such a Lincoln face. And don't you just love his blue eyes too?
Before moving on to his birthday party, let me list a few more things about Lincoln:
  • Stats: 38 inches tall, 36.8 lbs (at his 3 year checkup in November, but I'm sure he's grown since then!)
  • He loves his fruits (any kind) and veggies (especially peas).
  • His favorite food is beans (especially black beans)...and even though this is a more recent addition, I have to add that he's become a big fan of noodles lately too.
  • He still takes a big nap in the afternoon...wearing only a diaper (clothes must come off), and hugging his panda bear.
  • He is excited to give his big brother a huge hug every day when we pick Noah up from school.
  • He frequently gets hurt (a lot more often than Noah ever has), but if it's bad enough to require consoling a quick cuddle or kiss better almost always does the trick (and then he goes right back to whatever he was doing when he got hurt).
  • The last 6 months or so before his birthday he was obsessed with trains (and while he still loves, them...he is really into Buzz Lightyear now).
And, because of Linc's love affair with trains a train birthday party was a natural choice. I found out about an awesome railroad park here, and I was even more excited when I found out that they have a birthday party railroad car that they host parties in (including 2 party hosts that run the party for you)! Unfortunately, there weren't any dates available in November when I called (3 months in advance) fact, all the park's other ramadas were booked too! *sigh* Luckily I found out that the park had other non-reservable picnic table areas (first come, first serve), so we opted for a morning party with the idea of just getting there super early for setup. The nice thing (or not, depending on when you asked me) about going this direction with the party is that I got to put my own touches on the party's theme & presentation. So! Let me give a rundown of the party! Starting with the invitations...

Monica with Mprintsdesign did these adorable train ticket style invites. She was super helpful getting them personalized and sent out...and even offered to have them sent directly to each guest since I was running short on time by the time I got them ordered. I wish I had a picture of the front of one of the envelopes too...the couple that I had her mail to me directly were ordered with blank envelopes. Those that she mailed directly had the addressee and return address printed on the envelopes in the same font with a little train (like this). Anyway! How cute are these?!

I took the party's color scheme from Creative Imaginations Lionel Scrapbooking Kit. I used that paper to decorate boxes with a train car look to serve the food. I saw those ideas on a party blog sometime last year & fell in love with it! We picked breakfast foods that the birthday boy especially likes (here's our little birthday boy before the party)...

Oversized waffle cones (purchased from Coldstone) decorated with stickers from the scrapbooking kit...they were used to fill up with yogurt, granola, fruit, or any combination thereof.

Anyone who knows Lincoln knows that his absolute FAVORITE thing in the world is fruit - especially berries. So, we had plenty of those.

I have to mention that there were also bagels, cream cheese, OJ, milk...and Jamba Juices (that Jayson was so nice to bring for the party) whose flavors even matched our color scheme!

Mark completely took on making the cupcakes (not that anyone who knows him would be surprised) using a recipe for mixed berry cupcakes I found on another blog's train party post. We were also going to make a chocolate cupcake for variety, but I was working on making the little chocolate molded trains (as well as chocolate engine suckers) at 1:00 that morning...and after I messed up the first batch, I regretfully tossed that project aside and decided that I should just concentrate my efforts on finishing making the cupcake picks. So, we stuck with one flavor of cupcakes (the birthday boy's favorite).
While I am glad that we did at least have the orange cupcake liners that matched...I have to mention the cupcake wrappers that accidentally got left at home. That link isn't the website that I ordered from (I got a much better deal on amazon), but their picture is cute...although the color is off in the photo (they are much deeper of a blue). I was sad to not have these intricately cut cupcake wraps that I loved (and that were the first item I bought ahead for the party), but if that had to be the one item that was forgotten, so be it. And I'm quite sure that the birthday boy didn't care one bit.

Here were the cute little favor bags. It had little conductor hats for the kids, wooden train whistles, stickers, etc.

Time for the party! Jayson & Dani.

Aunt Diane, Sarah (Mark's sweet cousin) & her husband Tyler.

Mark & Lincoln enjoying some breakfast.

Danielle & Tristan.


Rebekah, Sabrina & Durham.

Singing "Happy Birthday" to our little guy.

Don't you just want to pinch those 3 year old cheeks?! I love that happy little guy.

Blowing out his candles...

So pleased with himself.

Lincoln enjoying his cupcake.

Present opening time!

Our unsuccessful attempt at getting a "brothers picture" after the presents were opened. Wrong timing. There was nothing we could do to get either of these two to look away from the new toys and take a this is what we got:

Time to break the piñata! We normally have done pull-string piñatas at our house, but with this being our first outdoor birthday party (hurray for Arizona weather) we decided to give things a crack with a "real" piñata. As you can imagine, Lincoln loved it!

Each of the kids got a couple of turns getting some solid swipes at the piñata (they sure make those things sturdy now-a-days). Here's Noah:


Morgan (note Lincoln cheering for her in the background...both feet off the ground):

We tried to get a picture of all of the kids as the train drove past. Another silly idea for timing of a photo...of course the kids are going to turn their backs to the camera and look when the train drives by! Ha!

Durham, Morgan, Noah, Lincoln, Tristan, Carter.

Donna & Carter.

I had to snap a picture of baby Brady. His mom had him covered up from the sun in his brother's hat and he was just hanging there asleep. Cracked me up.

After we passed out balloons to the kids and tickets to ride the train, the kids took off running across the field...

Noah & Tristan stopping to pose by a railroad sign.

Linc waiting to ride the train.

Mark stayed back at our party spot and snapped a couple quick pictures and a video clip of the cute little train ride.

Lincoln loved the train ride (of course). I could hardly get him to look at me for a picture of video clip he was so enthralled. I did barely catch him saying, "That was so fun..." after coming out of a little tunnel though:

After the train ride the party was "officially" over, but we (along with Danielle and her boys) stuck around to play on the playground and later take a ride on the park's carousel too.

Danielle with Tristan & sleeping Brady, and Mark with our boys.

To wrap up the party, let me include two quick Lincoln quotes:

Completely unsolicited, Lincoln said, "This was a great party. Thanks, Mom!" (did he just mature 3 additional years in one day?)

After the party Linc was tired and asked me to carry him to the car. While I was carrying him I snuggled him and told him how much I love my baby. After that the dialogue went something like this...
Lincoln: "I'm not a baby anymore. Remember, Mom? I'm a BIG boy!"
Mom: "That's right. I forgot. I love you, my big boy."
Lincoln: "I love you big Mom"
Hmmm...I'm not sure how flattering this new title is, but it seems to have stuck for the time being. Lincoln pulls out the "big Mom" title when he's feeling particularly affectionate though, so at least that's cute.

We spread out some of the present opening fun for later (from grandparents, cousins, etc). So many thoughtful gifts - thank you, everyone!

And since Lincoln was still on a party, cake, present high all day...we saved our gift until the next day. We got this sweet train table (which I was so-o excited to get a rippin' deal on buying from someone on Craigslist). Lincoln had just woken up from his nap and didn't know that he was coming down to a present - hence the, "Don't picture me" (Don't take pictures of/video me)...and momentary confusion after seeing the train table "What you do this?" (When/how did you do this?). But I love the eventual "Hurray!" that he does (with the cute hand gesture).

The boys love the train table.

We're so blessed to be your parents, Lincoln...and we can't believe that you're already three! We love you so much, sweet little guy!......and, we know that you'll be a great big brother too! That would be why I dropped off the face of the earth (blogging and otherwise) for several months. I have been so super sick (even more so than I was with Linc). We did another round of IVF in October (using the rest of our frozen embryos) and it worked. I hadn't been feeling well before the party, but right after the guests left I threw up in the garbage can right at the park (good timing, at least)...and didn't start keeping things down again for a solid 16 more weeks after that. I'm still nauseous, but nothing like I was...and I'm more than half way to our 3rd little miracle!


M & S Eagar said...

Congratulations Holly! So exciting. I'm due with a little boy on June 25th. He's giving us a run for our money though. You can see some details on our blog and more on facebook in case you're interested. Anyway, I was just mostly curious when you're due? Glad to hear you're feeling a bit better. Hang in there.

Jana said...

We wish we could have been there for the Birthday Boy's fun day! I love the blog! So many cute pictures of Lincoln and his party. What a great party! We love that little boy so much!

kathy w. said...

How cute is he? And the party turned out so cute, too. Happy Birthday, Lincoln!

Also, I love the family pictures in your next post. You have such a lovely family.

Vickie said...

Congratulations on the pregnancy!
Your family is so adorable.