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The BIG 3!

3 Years ago...
I was loitering up and down the halls of the UCLA maternity ward.
21 hours later, he was ready.
Within 17 mins, our sweet boy fell out.
Literally, from standing position.

By suggestion of our midwife, I caught him myself.
Feeling his soft round head, I lifted him out and up, to my face.
His tiny eyes unstuck, one at a time...thurp, thurp.
Hello Sunshine.
And we met for the first time...outside of our womb.

3 Years later...
A party to celebrate growth & LIFE.
His Birth-Day.

We asked what he wanted....
"Some cake, and park...with my friends."
Simple enough.

Some gardening gloves at the store sparked the idea.

 Daddy always makes the signs.  And bakes the cake.
Mama designs & dresses it.

Last year's creation...

ICING-LESS designs.
Powder sugar, fresh blueberries, and mint leaves finished the tier cake.
Stacking mini-cupcakes = no cutting.  We just passed the cakes out, post-blowing.

And this year's entry...

A wiggly treat...
Mini loafs resemble blocks of earth for the worms to burrow through.

Strategically placed toothpicks took the place of icing in "gluing" this all together...soil and worms.  Some were cut in half to add to the burrowing effect.

This was a fascinating centerpiece for the kids to investigate...lots of wide eyes and tiny fingers counting the crawlies.

The Garden Buffet.

We designed a "Best Buds" garden where Zozie planted and is growing his closest friends.  A tiny bamboo stake labeled each seedling. 
This was reflective of all the new friendships that we have cultivated since our move to the East Bay.
To see this tray filled with all these SWEET varieties of Cuteness...
This is one crop we are so grateful to harvest.

As for the cakes, we upgraded from Minis...to Full size.  Still without icing, we added the sugar back by giving each child his own worm.  This sparked a variety of conversations amongst the kids:
"I have a red worm."  "I have a green one."  "Where's my cake?"  "Do you have one too?"  "Zozo has the big cake with lots of worms."  To simulate grass, we inserted a sprig of anti-bacterial sushi grass made of cellulose.

They see it, and can't have it...YET.
Pure torture.
A steady stream of 2-3 kids would circulate the Best Buds garden, eye-ing their pot, asking repeatedly if "it's time yet?"  Waiting patiently, or impatiently, until the songs (Chinese & English) were sung and candles were blown.

All 15 kids passed with flying colors!
There really IS a difference between 2 year olds and 3 year olds.
Try this last year?  Ya right.

kids find their name in the garden

got one!

dig in...

mama dishes out the Big Kids cakes...

silly cousins...
The party wrapped with a take home gardening project for the kids.
Sorry moms & dads...it wouldn't be a HapaLab post without some "work" eh?

We sent em' packing:
1)  A potted Peniny of their choice
2)  A small round pot
3)  A pair of gardening gloves
4)  A set of garden stakes and labels
5)  A garden tote (can be used for crafts or art supplies too)
The parents were asked to help the kids re-pot the Peniny when they got home.  Wonder how many of those flowers will remain after a month? 

The day ended with Zozie wiping down his birthday chalk signage:

A recap of the beautiful buddies at our garden party...
See the full album at The Chowda House.



  1. What a beautiful party!!

  2. What a great idea. Everything looks so beautiful. The guests, the mother, the children, the weather, and the sweet birthday boy. Happy Birthday Enzo! You little cutie.

  3. A new reader of your blog... What a beautiful party! I love the garden theme! The cupcakes are so unique! Love it!

    Vari @ Buttercup Ink xx


  4. Thanks everyone! The wormies were silly enough for the kids to love it...threw it together under $150 in a few days. Park parties are the best, no clean up! Thanks for reading Vari:)

  5. This is so inspiring - I'll be planning my little guy's 3rd birthday in a few months and he's a big fan of gardening (and WORMS!) so I'm book-marking this post! Thanks so much for sharing your ideas!

  6. Thanks Emme! Do share if you decide to do your own wriggly party:) Kids and dirt...can't go wrong, right?

  7. What a well designed party? Have to talk to you to design a theme
    For 5 y.o katelyn.