I heard him wake up while I was still laying in bed.
"Why did you put these here??" he called.
I found him standing behind the streamers. "I can't go through them! You need to take them down."
"It's not my birt-day yet. Later. Not yet. Just later."
But as soon as Kent mentioned the presents waiting downstairs Nicholas changed his mind.
"Oh, it is my birt-day today!"
We let him open one present first thing in the morning.
$15 tunnel from IKEA. Best birthday present ever. It's been a week, and he still plays with this tunnel for hours at a time, every single day.
Then, while I was in the bathroom I hear him,
"Oh wow! It's a...."
So we let him open just one more present that morning. A road rug.
Kent's friend from high school brought her little boy over to play while they went to a wedding that afternoon. It was crazy boy fun-driving hot wheels cars across the kitchen and filling the tunnel with balloons.
Nicholas loved the streamers I put up on the walls--told me "Those signs mean 'Happy Birthday to Nicholas!"
Kent's mom, his brother Mason, and my brother Josh came over for dinner--baked ziti, homemade bread, peas, and watermelon. We ate dinner outside, then came in for cake and ice cream and presents.
For weeks Nicholas had been asking for a "cake with a pink fish" on it. We substituted an orange fish cake. He LOVED it.
And a tip to the future me? Decorate the cake the day before the birthday. Trying to decorate a cake (with a three-year-old's help), clean the kitchen, make dinner, babysit another three-year-old, all while trying to make the day special and happy for your three-year-old? Not such a great idea.
But we had so much fun that night when everyone came for the party.
Nicholas with Uncle Mason and Grammer Teresa. And his very own Taco truck!
This is what a family picture looks like in real life.
A whole day of "birthday-ing" made for one very tired and very spoiled little boy.
Uncle Josh kept him smiling, though.
We drove up to my parents' house the next night to celebrate all over again. Fish cupcakes, more presents, and another round of "happy birthday to Nicholas!" (Nicholas sings too, the whole song, then blows out his candles one by one.)
I'm not sure how he's three years old already,
but oh how I love my boy!