Tylee is 3! (Decorations and Details)

I had a few different ideas running through my head for Tylee's birthday but kept being haunted by the fact that she would probably love a princess party. I just couldn't get over that I was depriving my daughter of something she would love just because I wanted something cuter. We finally decided to have the party at a shelter close to our house and ended up going a picnic theme. Unfortunately, a pink princess cake doesn't mesh well with red gingham so I mixed everything up and went with a pink picnic. It couldn't have turned out cuter!!
The spare room bed was covered in stuff for several weeks leading up to her birthday. Between Tylee asking 5 times a day if it was her birthday yet and all the stuff piling up in the house, I was ready for June 25th to finally arrive.  
I tried to do the party on a budget and ended up making a lot of the stuff myself. My awesome friend Alicia made me a bunch of stuff to print-at-home, therefore I ended up spending quite a bit of time cutting out circles (thanks for helping Jennifer and Rebecca!) but not a lot of money.
For example, in the picture above, I spent $2 on the pink bin at Target but added so much to the party by wrapping the silverware in napkins and tying on a 3. No matter what kind of party we threw - I would have bought silverware and napkins. So the extra cost? $2 bin and lots of some spare time! Totally worth it, in my opinion.
Same with this cute little 3! A bucket from the dollar bin at Target, some aquarium rocks, a dalrod, ribbon, a printable, and voila! You have a cheap decoration for the table. (Same goes for the pin-wheel that I made in the picture below.)

Ummm, yah, these were completely unnescarry but totally worth it. Anyone need any Mason Jars? No one took any home like they were supposed too.
(I completely copied the beer trough idea off Amanda. It was too cute not to replicate!)
And behold the famous princess cake! I heard about this thing for months - as did everyone else. About a week before the party I finally took her to Wal-mart and let her flip through the book to actually pick her cake out. On the way in, she decided that she wanted a Beauty in the Beast cake. Uh, no Tylee! Those are blue!! Thankfully, she decided on this pink one with all the princess'- I may or may not have bribed her.
Unfortunately, it was quite the whirlwind getting everything setup for the party and by the time everything was done and I was ready to take pictures, there were already people there. That was fine and believe me, I was glad someone finally came because Tylee was so excited! But the guys were already cooking, the coolers were in the way, stuff was on the tables, ect. Therefore, I was never able to capture the entire picture and show you how cute everything looked together. And I'm sad that I never got a good picture of the flag banner that I made or of the tables as a whole. Thankfully, I was there and I remember how cute it was. :-)  You can't take those memories from me!
Yummy pulled-pork sandwiches!
And beans! You didn't think those beans were good for you, did you?
It really was the perfect day. I feel like I did just enough to make her party special without going completely overboard. (I know you may think differently if it isn't your thing but I throughougly enjoyed every ounce of planning this party from start to finish.) Tylee had so much fun and that is really all that matters. I'll share some photos of the rest of the party soon.

Oh! And Happy Birthday Tj! Tylee was born on Tj's birthday so he is going to get the shaft for a few years. Tylee wasn't thrilled about sharing her birthday with him and kept telling him that girls like pink and boys like blue, so it was her party - not his. I don't think he minds having a pink birthday. Afterall - he got the best present he could've ever asked for 3 years ago!


Tidbits - 3 years old

Since it is going to take me awhile to get a birthday post together, I thought I would do Tylee's 3-year update with some funny tidbits thrown in. This girl cracks me up.
  • God forbid the TV be on something other than cartoons. Saturday morning she had asked me several times to turn on cartoons and I was ignoring her. Then she said, "Mom, say it with me. Turn...on...cartoons. Say it with me, Mom." When I didn't oblige she told me, "If you don't turn on cartoons, you are going to get a spankin." We've been hearing her say things back to us that we tell her. For instance she will say, "If you eat all your dinner, we can go to the park. Is that a great idea, Mom?" Or when we were in Branson I heard her tell Brax, "If you go to sleep now, we can go to the swim park tomorrow." She is definitely a little bossy.
  • The other day Dirt Road Anthem by Jason Aldean came on and Tylee told Tj, "This is Jason Aldean. He is a very good singer." I have no idea how she knew that but she was right! If you ask her who her favorite singer is she'll tell you Taylor Swift and Jason Aldean.
  • She is so independent that she gets her own sippy cup out of the drawer, fills it with ice and water, and puts the lid on all by herself. When I get home from work there are usually 3-4 dirty cups around the house because when she loses one, she just goes and gets a new one.
  • When we practice counting in the car, she cannot count to ten to save her life. I can't say I haven't been a little worried about this. However I just recently learned if you put objects in front of her, she can touch each item and count them up to ten. Apparently "rote counting" (usually) comes first but is basically just memorizing words with no association to actual numbers. One-to-one correspondence (usually) comes later. Go Tylee! (Unfortunately, I should probably mention she only knows one letter in the entire alphabet, T)
  • Every single night she comes into our room and has to tell me something. And every single night she tells me the exact same thing. "I am sorry I slammed the door, Mom." And I tell her that it is okay - I don't even remember her slamming the door. Then she says, "But why did you give me a spankin?" And I say, "Because we aren't supposed to slam the door. Now go to bed babe." And off she goes! I have no idea what she is talking about but apparently it stuck!
  • Likes/dislikes - Food: Macaroni and Cheese (I should have bought stock in this stuff), Popcorn Chicken, Yogurt, Square or String Cheese, Toast. Those are the only 5 items that I am guaranteed that she will eat. Play: We color a lot. She is very crafty. She likes to color in coloring books and also draw pictures on plain paper or with sidewalk chalk. Other than that, I would say that 99% of her play right now is role-playing with either her babies, doll house, or stuffed animals. She has quite the imagination. Television: She doesn't really have a favorite right now. I can tell she is getting older and prefers Tangled and Beauty and the Beast over Dora or Diego. She used to never want to watch some of the shows geared towards older kids like the Fresh Beat Band or The Upside Down Show but now she is pretty content with anything other than adult programming. Except Family Guy. :-S Good thing she doesn't get any of the jokes.
  • I think this is genius but either no one else gets it - or I am giving her more credit than she actually deserves - but when we role play with babies (or a stuffed dog or racoon) she changes the tense of my name when the animal is talking to me. For instance, she will say, "Mom, Racoony is hungry." And I will say, "Okay. Tell Racoony that we will eat when we get home." And she'll say (talking to Racoony), "Racoony, Chelse said we'll eat when we get home." Then she will hold Racoony (that is actually a Lemur) up to me and say, "But Chelse, I want a grilled cheese - not a hamburger." And I'll say, "Okay Racoony, I will make you a Grilled Cheese. What does Tylee want?" And Tylee will say, "I want a Grilled Cheese too, Mom."
  • Sometimes Tylee will stay in her pajamas for 3 days straight. (Tj calls her Hugh Hefner.) The second we walk in the door she runs to her room and puts on her pajamas and it is like pulling teeth to get her to put on clothes. But when we do put on clothes, every last thing has to match and she has to pick it out. Normally I let her dress herself (within reason) but trying to find an outfit we both agree on takes forever! School this fall should be interesting. We'll definitely be picking out clothes before bed.



The birthday party was a complete and total success! Its just gonna take some time for me to get through the 300+ pictures I took and a little time to process my thoughts!


It's almost here!


Branson 2011

*I'm going to throw all these into one post so that I can get it posted before Tj and Tylee's birthday and 4th of July.

I am 28 years old and have probably been to Branson over 20 times. I can count a handful of times I've missed as and adult and I'm guessing I didn't go as a newborn. My family has been making this same trip for my entire life - and I am still just as excited every single year. A few things have changed over the years but for the most part, we stay at the same place, eat at the same restaurants, and do the exact same things. And I love every second of it. We always start the trip off by eating at Lamberts, right outside of Springfield. If you've never eaten there, it is a MUST! So much fun and great food. I was a flash snob (as always) so my pictures from Lambert's turned out like this.

Then Lindsey took my pictures and turned it on Auto. Thankfully her pictures turned out a lot better than mine. I'm not a photograher! I am capturing memories! I need to remember that more often.
We got to our condo that night and got everything unloaded and settled in for the night. Tylee is in love with her cousins. And I think they like her a lot too!
First up? White Water! It is our least favorite between the two parks (Silver Dollar City and White Water) so we always do it first so we still have SDC to look forward to the next day. I was so excited to take Tylee and really hoped she loved it...but she didn't. She actually didn't even like it. She just kept saying, "I want to go back to the room." She finally warmed up to the smallest kiddie area (not the one for 2-3 year olds - the one for newborns and 1 year olds) so we hung out in there most of the day while the big kids rode all the rides and Brynna relaxed in the shade. White Water was definitely a different experience with a toddler vs. by myself.
My Mom and Lindsey finally took the little girls home so that Nathan, the big kids, and I could go ride some rides. Oh! And I got my 30 minutes all by myself in the sun - which is what I really wanted out of the entire vacation! Pure bliss. We made it back to the room, got everyone ready for the 2nd time that day, and headed to the strip for some Go-karts and the Ferris Wheel.

Tylee made it around twice before she started screaming, "I'm done! I'm done!" and they let her out.
Next up? Silver Dollar City! One of my favorite places ever. And I really have no idea why.
Tylee did better at Silver Dollar City but was pretty much done with the day after I took her on the Lost River. Thankfully I took a change of clothes because she was not okay with being wet. She liked most of the kiddie rides but did not like the big swing. She liked the train but didn't like the Robbers. She liked the dog show but did not like Diggity Dog. She kept saying, "Its not okay. Its not okay. This is not fun!" in her scared voice whenever the fake dressed up dog would come out. So everything seemed to be a catch-22. She wanted to go in the candy store all day but when it was actually time, she covered her nose the whole time saying, "It stanks." So...I guess the day was probably as good as you could expect it to be with a 3-year old. It was definitely a different trip than I'm used too (usually I go ride all the big rollercoasters all day with my brother and Nathan) but I can't say it was better or worse. I enjoyed being there with Tylee and making some of the same memories that I have as a child with her but she just wasn't quite old enough for it to actually be enjoyable. I guess there is always next year. And the next, and the next.