earlier this month, our tiny just-born baby mateo turned 3. he started the day with a special breakfast of pan au chocolat and leche and naranjas. i told him, as always, the (edited) story of his birth, mostly how we waited and waited and waited, but how he was so cozy inside my belly that he just didn't want to come out. :)
this year was fun because he could really get into the anticipation of his day coming, especially after seeing me, ruby and his uncle's birthdays so recently. he was so excited.
after breakfast he opened his gifts. 3 was different than 2 opening-wise. when he was 2 he had to play and put on each gift immediately and had no interest in moving on the the next one, but at 3 he was excited about each card and gift, but couldn't really relax and enjoy them until everything was uncovered.
he was equally excited about the cards he received, can you tell?
and an absolute highlight for him was when something needed batteries and we had to stop everything so he could help his papi put them in.
he and luke played in a kids tent sent from his grandma. we had to laugh when we set it up because this "kids" tent is bigger than our family tent! of course he loved it.
luke planned to make him a swing for his birthday for his one gift from us because every day he looks out his window at our tree and says "i wish papi could make me a swing" in complete innocence and sincerity. but we found one for $2 at savers the day before his birthday, and of course mateo isn't interested in the details of where it came from.
his special birthday lunch request was "ta- ki-cos" (taquitos) so we indulged him in that.
we had planned on having a little playdate with friends the weekend before, just like we've done for all of his birthdays, but the weekend was over-booked for us so we decided to have a monday evening picnic on his actual day with our friends. we had it at the secret pond down the street from our house. it ended up being pretty dreamy. we were afraid no one would be able to come on a monday during finals week, but everyone did and it was perfect. we made 3 quiche (broccoli, cheddar, caramelized onion and port-mushroom, leek, gruyere, and a bacon-green chile, i am listing them because each year luke and i wonder which kind we made the last year) like we do on all of his birthdays and also a potato salad and fruit salad and a beet dip and random snacks. looking at this photo i realize i never had a chance to make the table pretty. :)
this blurry shot is one of the only ones i have of him. he ran mostly and ate and played with his friends. it made my heart so happy to see him with little friends, since it has taken awhile here to make some.
i brought the rainbow from our house and the hanging puffs from ruby's day and the birthday banner and at the last minute grabbed every hangable wind chime and string of bells from our house for the trees. it was SO windy, that was the only not so perfect part of the evening. we had kites for the kids but apparently they required some kind of set-up, so running around was the preferred activity.
the magic hour came and the sun glistened and we ate and picnicked and enjoyed this little community we've found here.
mateo had been asking for weeks for "blueberry cake" for his birthday so i made him blueberry cupcakes. here he is during his birthday song about to blow out the candle, except the wind got to it first. he didn't mind of course since all he really wanted was to eat the cupcake.
all in all, it was a pretty great day celebrating him. he felt special.
ps, thank you thank you thank you for all of your emails and calls and comments on ruby's finger. they went straight to our hearts.