Austin's 3rd birthday was "Tigger-ific!"
The department was decked out in orange and black and his cake had both Winnie-the-Pooh and Tigger. At three, Austin had formed new friendships so many children attended this party, in addition to family.
(I did not realize we put him in the same shirt two years in a row!)
At one point, while I was taking pictures, I asked him to "turn it around" so I could see what he got. He took me literally and turned the toy plus himself all the way around!
Austin's big gift from us that year was a swing set which lasted for years and years. The swing set moved with us from house to house and held up long enough for Noah to play on it as a toddler too.
3 was a changing year for Austin. He started preschool that fall and so quickly my little baby became a little boy. Austin loved school though and making new friends - and girlfriends! He had his first crush at this age and back then he wasn't embarrassed to talk to Mom about her.
When we took Austin to get his 3rd birthday pictures made, we discovered he loved posing for the camera. However the photographer positioned him, he would "freeze" that way until she moved him again. It made her job very easy.
Austin used this charm to his advantage too. He learned to bargain at three and if he wanted something, he'd hold his fingers up to say "just a little bit".
His imagination ran wild at this age. Every day he was a different character from a cartoon or book. He loved to role play and tell me who I had to be and who was going to be.
Austin's prayer at dinner at this age was: "God great, God good, Thank you food. Amen!"
We started giving Austin his first allowance during his 3rd year. He would earn money for cleaning his room or helping set the table. Little did I know, this tradition and work ethic would carry him through to his teens. Austin was always eager to work and loved to save money for big purchases of things I wouldn't splurge on.
And my favorite - something he told us every single day (and did up to his last day with us). He would say I love you, but at this age it sounded like "I Wub You!"