Sunday, March 18, 2012

Mark Turns 3!

At the end of February, Mark turned 3!  It's so crazy to think it's been three years already since he was born and changed our lives forever.  We bought a big used set of Thomas the Train stuff last fall and have been saving some of the add-ons for birthdays, holidays, and other occasions/bribes as needed.  Well one day early in February he was playing in our room and saw something Thomas-looking from the handle hole of the printer box under our bed.  Before I realized what he was up to, he had opened the box and found our stash.  I let him pick one out and told him it was his birthday present.  We even wrapped it so he could open it.  As you can see, he was thrilled and had to show Audrey too.  There is some train track invention in our living room (most often created by Bryce or me) most of the time.  He loves playing with it, but almost always wants one of us to play with him.

To help break up the monotony of Bryce's 12-week surgery rotation, I braved a trip to Colorado alone with the kids.  Thankfully the travel itself was fairly uneventful.  Susan, Brian, Grace, Kate, Joy, and Ryan were able to come out to meet Audrey so we had everyone except Bryce (common theme these days) there to hang out.  One of many fun things we did was have everyone except Audrey go to an Air Force hockey game.  I grew up on these hockey games so I was really excited to take Mark to his first one. The hockey part was okay, but the popcorn and Sprite, and of course, the 'tractor' (Zamboni) were awesome.  At the start of the second intermission, they have a competition where people throw soft rubber pucks, trying to get closest to a target at the center of the ice.  Mark was so upset.  He kept saying they needed to clean up and was very relieved when the youth hockey players picked up the pucks so the Zamboni could finally come out.

While we were in Colorado, we decided to have a little family birthday party for him.  We made a Thomas cupcake train I found on Pinterest.  It was a huge hit with him, as well as Kate (and Grace).

Presents of course were welcome.  Pretty much everything was Thomas or Cars, except for his play doctor kit, which he loves too.

The Wiechmann grandkids:  Grace, Audrey, Mark, and Kate.

The birthday marathon continued after we got home.  On his birthday, Mark, Audrey and I went to Chick-fil-A for lunch and he got to play on the slides.  Bryce had to work fairly late so we just opened a few gifts right before bedtime.  Ironically, Mark was upset he didn't get anything Cars or Thomas.  Somehow the other presents he had gotten earlier didn't count.  Luckily he had received some money from grandparents so we went to Walmart the next day and got some little Thomas and Cars toys and now everything is fine.  It was nice that I could 'give in' with an excuse so he could still be happy.  He does like his tool set now.

We decided that we're only going to do larger friend parties on even years.  But, he had already picked out a cake on Pinterest that he wanted, so we had a very low key party at the church with a few of his friends.  We play volleyball with some couples on a few Saturdays a month while the kids play/watch a movie in the nursery.  So, we all just came a little early and they played a couple of games and had cake and ice cream.  Very simple, but it was fine by Mark as long as he had his '3 Thomas cake'.

We love Mark so much.  He has really grown up a lot in the last little while.  He is understanding so much and his vocabulary/sentence structure often takes us by surprise.  He's showing more interest in learning activities, and will even participate in games with friends.  Most recently, he likes things in waves.  For example, he wants to watch the same movie or TV series for a week or two straight (Cars, Thomas, Mickey) and then as suddenly as it started, he goes to a new one for another week or two.  He still thinks eating is a burden and cries/whines when I ask him what he wants to eat for any meal.  The only nice thing now is we can somewhat reason with him enough to get him to tell us what he wants to eat.  Fruits and veggies are still a work in progress.  Hopefully by 4!  He is a wonderful brother to Audrey and very possessive of her.  He has a friend with a baby sister only a few days younger than Audrey and they both are very clear that Audrey is Mark's and the other little girl belongs to his friend.  It's so cute.  Happy Birthday, Mark!


Susan said...

IT was so fun to be a part of one of his birthday celebrations! Looks like he had a wonderful birthday month! Miss you all like crazy!

Kay said...

He's so adorable! And I can't believe how big Audrey looks already. I'm glad he had a fun birthday!

Erin G. said...

Those are super cool cakes. I'll have to take a look on pinterest before Max's birthday comes up. And Audrey is so big! and adorable!


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