Miranda Grace Turns 3 and Visits from my Parents

We had visits from both of my parents (first my dad, then my mom) at the end of April and beginning of May, and the timing was really perfect. I’d been feeling a bit lonely, and Matt’s semester was approaching its end but not quite close enough that we could really feel it yet. Plus Miranda’s third birthday fell right in the middle of their visits. This is the first year she’s really understood about her birthday and been excited for it, so it was really special to her to have visitors here around her day.

Actually, we’ve celebrated it as more of a “birthday season.” Miranda gets overwhelmed with too many gifts all at once, but she loves having one or two special things per day spread out over a longer period of time. Both she and CaiQun have been enjoying their new train set pieces.


They are also very into arts and crafts right now, and we have been blessed with an abundance of stickers, glitter glue, and other art supplies!

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But it’s not all about the gifts! We also had fun just celebrating Miranda’s birthday and had some great times with both of my parents while they were here. My dad and I went out for ice cream with the girls on Miranda’s special day, and we frosted and decorated cupcakes together. Sorry for the lack of photos of that…I was rather involved in the frosting and decorating process! The girls enjoyed a lunch of french fries and ketchup and clementines, at Miranda’s request, and we went out for dinner at our favorite Chinese restaurant in town. My dad loves to eat at different restaurants, so we went out more while he was here than we usually do in the course of a month! Here’s CaiQun rocking the chopsticks.


The girls also had a lot of fun just playing at home with my dad. He was here for about a week, so it was a nice, long visit with him!


The girls enjoyed playing with Magna tiles with him…


…and we played outside with sidewalk chalk…


…and reading books is always a favorite activity around our house!


We were also blessed with some nice weather, so we went to the park and walked and played one day.


My dad gave Miranda two classic games – Candyland and Chutes and Ladders – for her birthday, and one day he attempted to teach her how to play Candyland. However, she was insistent that looking for a square that “matched” meant that her blue person could only stand on blue squares, that those cards were just a meaningless accessory. I think we’ll try again in a few months 🙂


About an hour and a half after my dad left to head back to Baltimore, my mom arrived. One night she and I took the girls out to run an errand. Unbeknownst to us, Miranda had brought a sheet of her new stickers with us, and when we parked and opened the back doors of the car to get the girls out, this is what she looked like.


According to her, having stickers on your eyes helps keep you from “throw-up-ing.” How this works or why she was at risk for “throw-up-ing” at that time, I have no idea, but I guess I’ll just be thankful her home remedy was a success!

For another interesting look, check out this photo of the girls at the grad students’ open studio night that weekend. They chose their own outfits.


We also enjoyed some time at home with my mom, though. We are a book-loving family 🙂


Our visit with her went by pretty quickly, but we’re always thankful for time with our families when we get it. Living far away from everyone in both of our families, it doesn’t happen as often as any of us would like, but we enjoy what time together we have.

Even CaiQun seemed to enjoy both of my parents. I wasn’t sure how she would do with their visits. She’s a lot more comfortable with people coming to our house now, but they would be the first overnight guests we’ve had since we came home from China, and I didn’t know if she would remember my mom from our trip to China or not. She warmed up to both of them pretty quickly and was happy to play with them and interact, though she definitely still knew that Matt and I were dad and mom – really the best scenario we could have hoped for!

And now I am mom to a wonderful three-year-old! The time has flown by, and I’m sure that will continue. I’m so thankful for my little Miranda Grace (though she now interrupts when I refer to her that way to inform me, “Mom, I am big Miranda Grace now”) and the privilege of being her mother.

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