Family, Olive

The big birthday

Last weekend, we celebrated Olive’s third birthday. Because I am a good person, I am going to spare you all of the “how the hell is she three!?” teeth-gnashing and just skip to the good stuff.

(Okay but just ONE thing…three years ago she was this tiny 7 lb brunette…

what on earth!?)

Sigh. Anyway, waaaaaay back in early summer (have I mentioned I love planning birthdays?) I asked her what kind of party she wanted.

“A dinosaur party” she stated emphatically. Everyone knows that almost-three-year-old’s must be obeyed, so I got to work planning a fantastic prehistoric bash! We made a Pin-The-Tail-On-The-T-Rex game, dinosaur footsteps leading up to the house, dino decorations, and party hats – and an ambitious (for me) dinosaur cake.

My mom always went out of her way to make our birthdays unbelievably special for us when we were kids –  from the very second you woke up, you were treated like a queen. I was so, so excited to do the same thing for O.

The day before her party, we loaded her into the car and took off for a secret adventure. We drove for an hour and a half and finally arrived at the Royal Tyrrell Museum – filled with dinosaur fossils and bones and facts – such facts! Plaques galore! I think the bones were a bit lost on her, but she loved the gift shop 😉
Then it was home again home again to get ready for the party!

I have known what I was going to get Olive for her birthday for a while now – ever since she started preschool, she has been obsessed with the little play kitchen they have there, so I decided I would make her one for at home! I found an old night stand at Value Village for $10, and over the next three weeks I had so much fun transforming it! (I will do a separate post showing the process 🙂

I set it all up the night before, and on Sunday morning she walked out and saw it, and she was so, so excited. Our whole family got together and contributed to this project – I made the thing (all by myself!), my mom added utensils and little secondhand pots and pans, my sister Lizzie crocheted the most amazing  fruits and vegetables for her to play with, and my mother-in-law made tiny oven mitts, tea towels and-  the best thing ever, matching aprons for Olive and I! (Enablers! I’m surrounded by enablers!)



She (and her little cousin Ada) absolutely loved it!

Then we started decorating. I avoid balloons because plastic, so we spent the night before creating paper pom poms and hanging streamers – just getting reeeeal crafty, dinosaur-style.





Mawney’s birthday is Oct 2, Olive’s is Oct 5, and Ada was celebrating an early birthday (Nov 7) so I made them all special party hats. This kid is surrounded with so much love, it’s amazing.





We call this one, “Crazy Eyes”



Olive asked for her hair to be done in Triceratops horns. So here we are!


DSC_4109 (1)

It was a brilliant birthday, and I was so happy to be able to celebrate this special day the same way I celebrated welcoming this daughter of mine into the world three years ago. A bit tired, bursting with anticipation, and surrounded with loving family.

Happy Birthday, Olive Grace.

Previous Post Next Post

You Might Also Like


  • Reply James October 9, 2015 at 1:38 PM

    That is seven shades of awesome right there!! That mini kitchen is epic!! Brilliant job!

  • Reply Meghan October 9, 2015 at 2:15 PM

    Oh wow! Aves would have gone crazy!! Seems as though our little people have a lot in common! Great Job, Madeleine.

  • Reply Rhoda October 9, 2015 at 3:28 PM

    Madeleine , Great job on the Stove. You amaze me more and more every post. Happy Birthday to your beautiful Olive Grace

  • Reply jamie October 9, 2015 at 5:15 PM

    awesome! and p.s: if you buy balloons made of natural latex (most are, you’ll know by the smell & /or bitter taste) that’s not plastic, it’s from a tree.

    check out this link:

    and this one:

    maybe you’ll decide that in the grand scheme of disposable items, balloons aren’t particularly evil, at least not any more so than single-use paper, especially since balloons don’t require the tree to be cut down like paper. of course all products have a carbon cost in manufacturing and shipping, but i doubt balloons are worse than paper, which also creates dioxin (when they apply chlorine bleach to the cellulose fibers) and uses a ton of water.

    of course, if you reuse the crepe paper puffs, the more times you reuse them, the better they will rank, and balloons can’t be reused, so nothing can really improve their rank. but still i think that, aside from how awful they are when they pop, balloons aren’t so bad, and using them won’t revoke hippie-mom status! 😉

  • Reply Lisa October 9, 2015 at 9:12 PM

    Happy birthday Olive and well done mum for getting her this far! x

  • Reply Inna October 10, 2015 at 11:03 AM

    Oh wow! It’s amazing what you’ve done there!…and I was so close of skipping anything of this sort for my daughter’s 1st bday next week…cause I thought she wont remember or understand anything anyway (and I’m soooo tired…)…but hey, you just changed my mind..or better say – inspired me!..ofc she will enjoy it, and the pics will be there to show her later.. Ah, sometimes being constantly tired and sleepy- we forget what’s important. Thx for reminding me, Madeleine! 🙂 and deffinitely need to save the kitchen pic for later- it’s absolutely fantastic how u did it 🙂

  • Reply Sarcastically Katie October 11, 2015 at 11:44 AM

    I laughed about your “Enablers” comment because my mom actually always used to dress us in the same color top. She did it because I was BEST FRIENDS with everyone and would wander off a lot. So if that ever happened (my poor mother, I was a very curious child) she could look down in her panic and remember what I was wearing because we matched! Silly, but pretty clever I think!

  • Reply Boo - Sweet Madeleine November 2, 2015 at 12:42 AM

    […] who paints wooden eggs for her to find on Easter instead of chocolate, and says no gifts at her birthday party, and asks her to choose three pieces from the pile on front of her, the fun doesn’t disappear […]

  • Leave a Reply

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.