Sunday, September 16, 2012

Très Tres (Look Who's Three!)

Happy Birthday Eli! We're so glad to have another superhero in the family!
After church this morning, Eli got to open presents. Or at least he got to watch his sisters try to open his presents for him... Such a pity when the baby grows up and can do it all by himself!
Brooklyn enjoyed playing with his play-doh. (She wanted me to be sure and point out the equation: sun + rain = a rainbow.)
Talia just loves the new magnatiles. (Thanks NomiAnn and Papa Kay.)
And of course, despite all the quality toys around, Eli is enamored with the cheap air rocket that I picked up at the last moment from the dollar store.
Of course, I really oughtn't be surprised. Last night Eli celebrated his birthday with a rocket party at the park. Simple, yet fun.

As you can see from the picture, our rocket cupcake cones suffered a nuclear meltdown. You'd think after two years in St. George I'd know better than to bring chocolate outside in September.
No matter, the treats were still nummy. This cute little girl's family made Eli's adorable superhero cape.
The Diet Coke and Mentos rocket was also a gushing success. Here's Kajun, Eli's teenage pal, loading up the ammo. It's so cute to watch Kajun and his 11 year-old brother dote over Eli!
Blast-off! I'm not quite sure why Diet Coke explodes so much more than the generic variety, but the difference is startling.
Eli enjoys a hot dog with Kess Johnson and her Mom, Heather.
And here's Kolter, the youngest of the Johnson clan. Last year Kolter and Eli enjoyed lots of playdates while I taught Spanglish.
Brooklyn takes a break to eat.
If success can be measured in dirt, then Talia's face suggests the party was a hit.

While the past three years with Eli have passed quickly, it's hard to remember life before he was born. He's certainly enchanted both friends and family, winning the hearts of all with his easy laugh and smile. People often marvel at his generally content and easy-going personality. It's true--he's almost always happy--except for those rare moments when he isn't--and then you'd better watch out. Fortunately, the storm generally abates quickly, and Eli will break out with a chipper "I all better now!"

Eli is an unusual blend of the infantile and mature. He nimbly peels his oranges by himself (and then proceeds to eat them like an apple), yet he shows no interest in dressing himself. He colors meticulously and counts accurately, but potty training? Forget about it. In Eli's words, "You change my diaper." He took forever to start talking, but has since adopted a large vocabulary, clear diction, and complex phrase structure.

In general, Eli's simply in no hurry to grow up. He has embraced his role as the baby of the family, and he enjoys it. While his sisters graduated from the crib fairly early, Eli's only slept in a big boy bed for a few weeks since he never climbed out of his crib. Heck, he's never even escaped out of his bed! We tuck him in at night, and he calls out in the morning to let us know he's awake. Strange, very strange, but I'll take it.

The truth is, I enjoy having Eli as the baby of the family. We all do. He's just so darn snuggly and cuddly and cute. I melt every time he hunts me down, not to beg for a snack (although he does plenty of that, trust me), but to ask for a hug. It's been a joy to let him stay little, relishing the small moments together.

But now I'm a bit nervous. Because like it or not, Eli won't be the baby much longer. He's already starting to show some frustration at the belly that's slowly edging him off my lap as we read stories at night. While Eli's often generous, when we talked with him about sharing his old crib with his new sibling, he was definitely *not* interested. This next year may be challenging for us all, but I think in the end Eli will embrace his new role. I know he'll be a wonderful big brother, and we'll love him all the more for it.

Happy Birthday, Eli!


Tanja said...

Happy Birthday, Eli!!! Herzlichen Glückwunsch zum Geburtstag :)

Susie said...

Thanks so much for sharing his birthday with us via blogpost. It was fun to see and read. Sounds like a wonderful all around celebration! Wish we could have been there!!! Happy Birthday, Eli. We love you!

Susie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Brittney Richards said...

I can't believe he is three years old. I wanted to call, planned on calling to wish him a happy birthday, but the day escaped from us too quickly. I'm glad that he had a good day. He'll eventually adjust to not being the baby anymore.

Our Family said...

I so remember the day he was born. Hope you enjoy loving him every day. He is a time marker for me in some ways. Snuggle him more for me. So excited for your new babe also!