A Very Bleakman Birthday

Isabella's birthday festivities wrapped up with her big family party in my grandma's garage on Saturday. I'm not sure whether this is an Italian thing or a "west-side-of-my-city-Italian-thing," but every year my grandma and other various relatives and their neighbors turn their garages into living space. They install screens in front of the garage doors, set out some furniture, and voila! Instant porch/four-season room/hotbox when filled with 30+ people and steaming food.
It's also the only spot large enough to accommodate all the members of the Isabella fan club, until next year when we're in our big new air-conditioned house.
On Friday we made our annual pre-birthday trek to Schoen Place on the canal to get ice cream and feed the ducks. My little girl has changed so much in the past three years, but it's nice to know that her desire to swallow her ice cream whole hasn't:

August 2007

August 2008

August 2009

On the morning of her birthday, Isabella woke up and opened her presents from me and the hubs: an easel and a Plan Toys dollhouse, with a few sets of furniture.

After that, we put her in her room for awhile to read books and rearrange her furniture (these are the activities that comprise naptime now), and then it was time to put on a pretty party dress, squeeze the twins like melons for a photo op, and head to grandma's.

The theme was Clifford, of course, and Aunt Karrie outdid herself with this year's sign. Given Isabella's love affair with all things Bleakman, the sign prominently featured Clifford's grumpy old neighbor.

Isabella declined the opportunity to plant a big one on Bleakman's wrinkly old-man cheek, and instead settled for staring lovingly into his bespectacled eyes.

Soon it was time for cake. We ordered the cake from the same person who did Isabella's first and second birthday cakes. I had asked for Bleakman on the cake, but apparently, she couldn't do it. Still a very cute cake, and it tasted just as good as it always has. Mmmm... cake. How I love you. Why do you have to be so bad for my thighs?

Isabella wasn't as into having "Happy Birthday" sung to her this year as she was last year. She was a big shy throughout the song...

...but afterward began to tear through the presents like nobody's business. Last year, I ended up opening half of them, since she wanted to stop and play with each one after unwrapping it. This year, she was all about the unwrapping.

(Do you remember when you were this flexible? No? Me either.)

The weekend ended with an art lesson from Aunt Karrie, who took some time away from contemplating motherhood...

...to offer Isabella some lessons on how to use her new Magna-Doodle to its fullest advantage. In keeping with the Clifford theme, I give you:

"Bleakman's Gesture of Neighborly Love"


"Emily Elizabeth Gets a Job"

Isabella had an amazing 3rd birthday. Thank you so much for all your birthday wishes for her.

Some of you have emailed me asking me for updates on the house/moving situation, and I promise I will post about them next.

9 Responses to “A Very Bleakman Birthday”

  1. # Blogger Jamie

    I love all of the pictures and the Clifford theme.

    The picture with the twins turned out very cute. I hope I eventually have luck getting decent pictures of all three of my brood. :)  

  2. # Blogger Mom24

    Kristi, it looks like such an awesome day. I'm so glad for her. I bet she's going to thoroughly enjoy being 3. What perfect presents she got from her Mommy and Daddy.

    That dress is beautiful!  

  3. # Blogger Lis Garrett

    Since I've already commented on many of your photos on Facebook, all I have to say is YOUR SISTER IS AWESOME! I laughed so hard at her Magna Doodle pictures. LOL!  

  4. # Anonymous Sugar & Ice

    Happy late birthday to Isabella! The birthday party looked like a huge success! I love that she loves Mr. Bleakman :).  

  5. # Blogger Christine

    At first I thought "Etch a sketch" instead of Magnadoodle and was insanely impressed. Now I'm just normally impressed with Karrie's skills. Seriously though on an Etch-a-sketch, that would have been mind blowing!

    I'm so glad that that you all survived and had fun w/ the birthday activities! I can't believe she's so big.  

  6. # Anonymous Lisanne

    Cracks me up that she loves the "Bleak"! Too funny. Oh, those sketches. Priceless. So your sister is thinking about having a baby?!?  

  7. # Blogger Holly at Tropic of Mom

    Those Magna Doodle sketches are hilarious!

    I remember that photo of Isabella eating ice cream from last year! So glad she had a perfect party. You're the best mom.

    And I love the picture of the three kiddos together. They couldn't possibly be more cute.  

  8. # Blogger Ramona


  9. # Blogger Ramona

    I simply can't believe that Isabella is 3 years old already!!!! Time sure does fly. Love the Clifford theme, my knowledge of kids shows is limited, but I seem to recall a Big Red Dog, and you the theme was perfect. You outdid yourself, and I LOVE the Birthday poster! I think its wonderful that you and your sister continue the tradition...even if it is a garage!  

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