Knowing Whitley would get to spend her actual birthday with her mommy, on Thursday, I tried to treat it as if it were the actual day she turned three. First up, was to figure out where she wanted to go or what she wanted to do.
Her choice, "I want to go to your mom's house". "I want to play with Mackie and see the horsies".
Oh. Well, that's great. I was thinking she'd ask to go swimming, or to the trampoline place, or something along those lines (that I didn't really have to energy or desire to follow through with), but this, I think we could make this work!!! With a call to Mom, and arrangements made with Christi (who planned to celebrate the day with us), we loaded all three girls and carseats into the car and headed out to Mom's.
First up in the adventures was heading to the back yard and garden to take in all of the fresh berries (Elsie's face was stained in these pics from devouring the raspberries and blackberries) and even pick out a pumpkin that Mom wanted to etch the girls' names on while still on the vine so that it would scar the name upon picking. There was also a lot of play with Mackie - frisbee, apple throwing, racing. Elsie's come a long way in her interest and desire to be around dogs!
Next up, a visit with Mom's horses. Whitley was the one who wanted it, but again, once she saw this big, beautiful animal, she said, "I'll stay with Mackie on this side of the gate!".
Ah c'mom....this horsie being scary? Nope. River is a big ol' softie.
But, Elsie was a bit concerned too. She wasn't ready to touch her either. Emery (tucked into Christi's Ergo) wasn't scared a bit!
Even at this point, Whitley was still not enthusiastic....
I love that cuddle moment with River and Mom in the background...
And, this one as well...obviously, Mom knows exactly where River's sweet spot is to scratch.
Safe behind the gate.
Since we were out there, and since I'd never had the chance to meet them, I thought it might be worth it to take a walk through the fields to see the neighbor's alpacas.
I was super impressed with how friendly they were. This guy - this face - just cracks me up every time!
This is a copy of what I wrote on Instagram about this guy:
"My mom said that among the herd of four alpacas her neighbors have, the black one is the most stand-offish. He actually was the one that came closest to me, and upon further inspection, we think it might not be that he's a snob, it's just he's so embarrassed by that bottom snaggle-tooth! =) Glad he felt like I'd love him despite it! #animalmagnetism #passedonfrommom #knowagoodalpacadentist?"
As I suspected, the walk back involved tired girls - so we took turns hoisting them on our backs (and in Emery's case, fronts) to get them back to the house.
Then it was "show and tell" of all the fun stuff inside the house - the fish tank, the mini tramp, a balance disk, and the very special rocking horse my dad made for us when we were kids.
And then, a priceless tickle fest with Grandma... =)
Since we were already out that direction, I thought the next destination ought to be Shotgun Creek Park - another 12 minutes further north.
We grew up playing out here and I was hopeful the wading area/creek would still be a draw for our girls - and the playground would still be functional.
Yes, and yes. (For the record, I didn't warn Christi about this potential activity, so Elsie was caught unaware without a swimsuit. As she loves to be a "nakey-baby" - it wasn't a problem at all).
The water was just as cold as I remembered it, so the girls warmed up rolling in the sand.
We were thankful for the outside showers and baby powder I had in my car to thoroughly rid the girls of the sand before we moved to the other side of the BLM recreational area to the playground. Whitley was thrilled they had swings and Elsie was thrilled they had slides. We were all by ourselves at this gorgeous place - definitely a great choice to come here!
Both girls were asleep by the time we passed Mom's house on the way back to Eugene (a rare nap for Whitley these days). Knowing we wouldn't be able to transfer the girls without waking them up, I drove Christi through every location of our history in Springfield - where I worked, where we'd lived, etc. Certainly worth it if it meant a longer nap.
Sure enough, the girls did wake up upon arriving home, but we continued to all hang out and celebrate Whitley's birthday with the fun company. =)