Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Griffin is Three!

Griffin is really into birthdays.  Any birthday.  Real ones.  Imaginary ones.  You name it...he loves it!  And lucky for him, our three-year-old had quite the celebration this year! 
The festivities began with a party at school with his friends.  It was also pajama day, so it was extra fun for our birthday-lovin'-pajama-lovin' boy!  I'm guessing it's because of the many birthday parties he's had at school this year, but Griffin knows the drill (and we have make believe birthdays often to practice the drill).  1. Present the cake.  2. Everyone join in on an enthusiastic round of "Happy Birthday to You."  3. Clap and say "yay!" after the song.  4. Blow out candles.  5. Clap and say "yay!" after the candles.
Griffin got a little caught up at #4.  He had the hardest time blowing out those three little candles!  haha...It was very cute.  Then he, and all his adorable classmates, dug into their cupcakes.  Most of them with no hands.

After his school party G was running a little fever, which made for some fantastic snuggle time with his Mama.  I'll take it!

The next day, Saturday, was the day of Griffin's first REAL birthday party!  He invited his sweet friends and went to Catch Air to celebrate.  For me (and probably every other adult there) it was a bit overwhelming!  This place was so crowded with lots of other kids and lots of other parties, but G didn't care one bit!  All he knew was that his friends and family were there, he got to dance with Buzz Lightyear on the dance floor, and he got to eat cheetos, pizza and cake!  More importantly, he got to do the whole cake, sing, clap, candles, clap routine all over again.  He was one happy birthday boy!


This was the best we could do for a group shot.
From L to R: Henson Griffin, Chase M., Josiah Harper, Griffin, Jack Robinson, Dayon Harper (holding Carson), cousin Jackson, and cousin Leah.  Not pictured: Leah Sineway and cousin Blake.

"I was so surprised that they turned out the lights for my candles!" 
He said this for days after his party.

And even though we said no gifts, some sweet friends brought them anyways and this was, of course, a highlight of the party for Griffin.  This boys LOVES to open a surprise!

Lucky for Griffin, it just so happened that Chad had to be in Orlando for a work conference later in February.  We took this opportunity (and free place to stay) to take Griffin to Disney World as our birthday gift to him!  He was soooo excited to go to "Mickey's house!" 
We started with a full day at Magic Kingdom.  Neither Chad nor I had any idea what to expect out of Griffin.  I don't think anyone would describe him as a dare devil, so we weren't sure if he would enjoy the rides in the least, or if it would all just be a bit too overwhelming for him.  
We started out simple with a ride on "It's a Small World" and he really enjoyed it!  It was fun for Chad and I to see the awe in his eyes as he turned and looked at everything.  He was really taking it all in and was loving it.  (Phew, maybe this wouldn't be a huge bust after all.)  In fact, he loved all the age appropriate rides, even the ones that went up high or went in the dark.  It helped that Disney makes it nice and easy for Mama or Dada to be right by his side on all of these rides.

I just love this face!  It was something kind of scary in the Winny the Poo ride.

I have to mention that it was FREEZING on this particular day.  I bet it was the coldest temps Orlando saw all winter.  No joke!

I'd say meeting Buzz was a highlight of the trip.

A highlight for me was watching G and Chad on the iconic Dumbo ride.

Our sweet boy.  Look at that face!

Another highlight.  A hug from Mickey and Minnie!

Terrible picture, but we had to have one in front of the castle, right?
Griffin really did a great job.  He was happy to ride in the stroller when we were hurrying from ride to ride and he was fairly patient while waiting in the lines.  It was fun to be able to take a break and sit and watch a parade come down the street right in front of us, all while enjoying a chocolate covered Mickey ice cream treat!

Waving to the characters as the pass on the parade floats.  See the chocolate all over his face?  That's a happy boy.
 I think it was pretty close to 4:00 when the little man decided he'd had all the fun he could handle.  We were strolling over to our next attraction and G passed out cold.  We let him sleep for 30 or 45 minutes and then asked him if he wanted to do any more rides.  I think the only thing we had left to ride were the Tea Cups.  He decided he was done for the day, but he wanted to head back to the Buzz Lightyear ride and make a big purchase....

Griffin had gotten some cash for his birthday and was excited to spend his "very own monies" on whatever he wanted!  He decided on this Buzz toy and was so proud to pay for it with his money.

After a full day at Magic Kingdom we picked up dinner and headed back to the hotel.  Chad and I were exhausted and were sure Griffin would conk out early too.  Turns out we were very wrong.  That power nap of Griffin's gave him energy to last for quite a few more hours!  He had a blast jumping on the hotel bed and was just wired.  Chad was asleep way before Griffin.  I think he ended up nodding off to dream land around 11:00pm.  Whew!
The next day Chad had to work, but Griffin and I met up with my college roommate and BFF Lindsay and her son Carter at Animal Kingdom.  It was another fun, filled day and especially nice to be able to catch up with friends!

Donald is a favorite of Griffins.

Griffin fell asleep during a LOUD live performance of The Lion King.

A fun day with Lindsay and Carter!
Overall, I think the trip was a great success.  Guess I should mention that Carson was having a good time visiting Boo and Papa Don while we were at Disney.  It was nice to be able to focus our attention on Griffin and making him feel special.
Griffin, you are such a special boy and we love you so very much.  You are a spunky and smart three year old and we think you are so much fun.  We have learned that you are quite stubborn and very opinionated, yet you've got such a sweet and sensitive heart.  You are clever and funny and make us laugh every day!  You love telling jokes, especially ones that you've made up yourself and they make no sense at all....even funnier, right?  You really don't like sharing your toys with Carson, yet you can't stand to hear him cry and say things to us like, "I think he's hungry.  I think he's sad.  You need to rock him." etc... Thank you for looking out for Carson.  You are a sweet big brother!  You've got such a wild imagination and it's so fun to listen to you play and hear what kinds of adventures you come up with.  This vivid imagination of yours had made night time difficult though.  You often wake up screaming from bad dreams and you tell me about scary trains in the shadows.  (Sounds spooky!)  I've started calling you my roomate because you've been sleeping on the pull out couch in Mama and Dada's room the past few months, though this week we have tried you and Carson in the same room again and it has worked fairly well.  (Fingers crossed for continued success.) 

Your dad and I tell ourselves all the time to stop and enjoy these moments.  In 10 years I'm sure I'll long for the days where you wanted to come sleep in our room and needed me to make you feel safe after a bad dream.  And though sometimes we roll our eyes behind your back and force a laugh, I know we are going to miss you saying out of the blue, "Okay, I've got a joke for you!  Knock, Knock!"  Pretty soon you will be doing all of the eye rolling and you'll be too big for me to send to time out.  Haha.  Until then, we will cherish these moment we have with the most amazing three year old boy we know!

ONE MORE THING!  (I had to come back and add this because I think it's so funny and cute and a little bit sad.)  Over the last month or so, you have started calling us Mom and Dad instead of Mama and Dada.  It sort of came out of no where.  You started saying it every now and then, but now you say it more often than not.  Lord knows I didn't want to be called "Mama" my whole life, I just didn't expect plain old "mom" and "dad" so soon!  You sound so grown up.  I will say, it's still the sweetest sounding "mom" and "dad" we've ever heard.