For Carter’s 3rd birthday, we decided to keep the festivities low key, and just spend the weekend together as a family. We had a few things planned that we thought Carter might enjoy and we were looking forward to a fun weekend.

On Friday night, for Carter’s birthday dinner, he chose The Melting Pot – a fondue restaurant. So maybe this wasn’t exactly his first choice, perhaps it was Allison’s first choice, but we all went along with it. Initially, I was a bit hesitant to bring Carter to a restaurant where the risk of burning was always within arm’s reach, but he had been prepared “stir things up” all week, so there was no turning back.

At the end of the night, dinner went well. Carter was very intrigued by the fondue forks, their different colors, and their many different uses – including as a mustache. When the initial food came, he was much less interested in the fondue dipping, than he was with just eating his favorite items, but we convinced him to give it a few tries. During the main portion of the meal, Carter finally got to put his stirring skills to good use, all the while asking when the chocolate dessert was coming. When we finally reached the dessert, Carter was in awe of everything on the plate and, to no one’s surprise, it all went quickly.

Back home after dinner, we took a few more photos to preserve Carter’s final hours as a two year old and that glorious smile.

The next morning, Carter got to eat a donut of his choosing, while admiring the birthday balloon he had been asking for. Then it was time to head to the lanes and give bowling a try for the first time. With the ramp all set up, his bright orange\pink ball, and some pizza to feed his competitive appetite, Carter looked like a regular out there. All those frames of monster bowling at home were now paying off. With a final score of 78, we left impressed with his first time results.

The day ended with Carter wearing the family birthday hat, and nearly inhaling his ladybug and bumblebee cakes, after he shared a little with Allison and I.

Sunday brought the beginning of the end of the extended birthday celebration and also Mother’s Day. A walk in the morning to a nearby creek/”waterfall” and a hefty brunch rounded out the weekend, and another great year in the books for Carter.