I started a few traditions when he turned one:
1. I put balloons in his bed in the morning right before he wakes up. He woke up this morning and in the most excited voice said, "Woooowwww." And he ran in to thank me over and over again.
2. I trace his hand every year to see how much it has grown.
3. I write a letter to him every year, add the number of dollars for the number of years he is, and put it in his treasure box. I'm not sure when I'll give him all of the letters, but it will be fun to read them together.
4. We release a balloon in honor of his Donor (a very special time for us)
We are heading to my mom's tomorrow for the week. My nephews will be there also. I'm looking forward to hanging at the beach, not rushing around, letting Sidekick soak up the fun with his cousins, and getting away from work.
His birthday party will be towards the end of the month. I rented out a indoor play area at a church. We invited about 20 kids, so this is a real party for him. He wanted a flower theme (whatever that means), so I turned his idea into a 70's theme, complete with "groovy" cupcakes and each kid will make a tie-dye shirt. I also wanted him to know that a birthday is a good time to be thankful for things. He loves books and as been obsessed since he was about six months old. So, we are doing a book drive and donating the books to a great organization.
So... we made it four years. While three was really rough because he was a total "threenager", I hear having a "fournado" has it's own set of challenges. Regardless, I am truly blessed to have him in my life, and I cannot imagine what my life would be like without him. I'm so proud of the boy he has become, and I've never loved anyone the way I love him.
UPDATE: We went to release the balloon after I picked him up from school. Sidekick decided he was going to send up the balloon to God to thank him for his Donor. He really seemed to have a plan with regards to where this balloon was going. It was a hot day and as we were walking to our favorite pond, the balloon popped. I got such a great picture of his reaction, and it just made my heart sink a little bit.