posted in: Birthday, Monkey My Son 94 comments
Birthday cupcakes

Homemade chocolate cupcakes with coconut buttercream frosting. Everything was yummy, although the frosting looked like a big fat fail.

Someone turned three on December 29.


Three years of…… what exactly? Love, light, laughter, joy, contentment? Tantrums, meltdowns, worry, concern, tears?

Yes, of all the above. Three is not just his age, it’s the number of years I’ve been blessed beyond my imagination. I became someone else three years ago. Someone better? Someone different?

Someone’s mother. I look in the mirror and sometimes, I shake my head because I can’t believe I’m someone’s mother. 

But I am.

This guy’s mother. And he’s three.

Three year old boy

We did not have a big party on Saturday. We did not even have a big cake.

Birthday cupcakes

The holes in the cupcakes were caused by a very enthusiastic three year old jamming candles into them.


We spent the day the only way we knew how to. With some fun and laughter (and lots of pictures).

Three year old going down slide

He went down the slide many, many times.


We spent it as a family.

Family of four

This picture is so not perfect. But it is so us.


My dearest Monkey, may your fourth year be full of new experiences, more fun, more friends, more love.

Three year old




Thank you to my sister, Dr. S who spent the day with us and took these pictures.

In other news, Little Love Media is part-sponsoring a blog evaluation and strategy, as a prize for one lucky linker for Farewell, Stranger’s linkup from December 28 to January 4! Say farewell to 2012 in pictures. So fun! Link up now! 

Alison Lee is a former PR and marketing professional turned work-at-home mother. After a 10-year career in various PR agencies, and of the world’s biggest sports brands, Alison traded in product launches and world travel, for sippy cups, diapers, and breastfeeding. Alison's writing has been featured on Mamalode, On Parenting at The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, Everyday Family, Scary Mommy, and She is one of 35 essayists in the anthology, My Other Ex: Women’s True Stories of Leaving and Losing Friends. In 2012, she founded Little Love Media, a social media consultancy specializing in blog book tours, and because she doesn’t sleep, is an editor at BonBon Break, an online magazine. Alison lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia with her husband and four children (two boys and boy/ girl twins).

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  • January 4, 2013 sarah

    what are you talking about? that family photo is divine! It’s perfect. I do the same thing in the mirror and I’ve been in the game for 6 years. At what point do we stop asking ourself that? seriously? I’m a mother. Ever? IDK. Happy third birthday to your beautiful monkey!

    • January 4, 2013 Alison

      The family photo is the first time we’ve all been in a picture together, and the baby is nearly 8 months old. So it’d do. It has to.

      I don’t think we will ever stop asking, how? Me? Mother? Bahahaha! Then some small child will bang on the bathroom door demanding for his Mama. 🙂

  • January 4, 2013 Corsage

    Happy 3rd Birthday to your little man! My daughter turned 3 in Sept so I share a lot of your sentiments about this milestone! I too wonder sometimes if it is real that I am someone’s mother!! (And one for three whole years!)
    Corsage recently wrote…Farewell to 2012 in PhotosMy Profile

    • January 4, 2013 Alison

      Three whole years sound so short, yet so long, yes? How is that possible? I still can’t believe he’s three.

  • January 4, 2013 Lisha

    Happy Birthday, Little Man! And congratulations to you, Mama! Each year from this one forward goes by a little faster than the one before, so make sure you don’t blink.
    Lisha recently wrote…Finding Grace in the Candy AisleMy Profile

    • January 4, 2013 Alison

      I am totally not blinking!

  • January 4, 2013 Blond Duck

    He’s got such a pretty smile!
    Blond Duck recently wrote…Pound CakeMy Profile

  • January 4, 2013 Sue

    Happy Birthday, Dear Monkey…Happy Birthday to YOU! xx
    Sue recently wrote…A Resolution RevolutionMy Profile

    • January 5, 2013 Alison

      Thank you, Aunty Sue, says Monkey!

  • January 4, 2013 Elaine A.

    Oh, Monkey, so cute and handsome all at the same time! Happy Birthday to him! And those cupcakes look darn good to me!!
    Elaine A. recently wrote…Insta KateMy Profile

    • January 5, 2013 Alison

      They were good, they just didn’t look good 😉

  • January 4, 2013 Asianmommy

    Happy Birthday to your little guy!
    Asianmommy recently wrote…The Girl Mechanic of WanzhouMy Profile

  • January 4, 2013 The Dose of Reality

    Happy birthday to your son!! He could not be more adorable and I love your family photo. What a great day it looks like you all had! 🙂
    The Dose of Reality recently wrote…Damn You, Amazon.comMy Profile

    • January 5, 2013 Alison

      We did, it was awesome!

  • January 4, 2013 Kimberly

    Of course you started this post with a photo of cupcakes! How so very you! 🙂

    My oldest will be 13 this year (::dead::) and I still ask myself those questions. Happy birthday to your sweet little boy. xo
    Kimberly recently wrote…Essence of Now: A New Year, A New WayMy Profile

    • January 5, 2013 Alison

      Well, of course! #CupcakesWin

      THIRTEEN?? NO. Stop it.

  • January 4, 2013 Melissa

    Happy birthday to your little man! What a cutie pie! I can’t believe how much he’s grown. And BIG congrats to you on not just surviving 3 years of parental bliss, but ROCKING it. Your stories provide me with glimpses into my not-so-distant future, and I am taking copious notes. 🙂 Happy New Year!
    Melissa recently wrote…ChooseMy Profile

    • January 5, 2013 Alison

      Oh I don’t know about rocking it – maybe 20% of the time? #FakingItTilIMakeIt

      Quinn will be 3 before you know. Soak. It. All. Up. Now.

  • January 4, 2013 tori nelson

    Our boys are close in age! Three was a big year, wasn’t it? I kept waiting for this newly big-boy-ed person to wake up with a beard and dash off to work. I couldn’t keep up with all the growing 🙂

    Happy Birthday to you sweet boy!
    tori nelson recently wrote…Tiny Spark Series: Photographs of The HeartMy Profile

    • January 5, 2013 Alison

      I know! Three is so different from two, it’s rather startling and quite amazing. Thank you for the wishes!

  • January 4, 2013 Kim

    Happy Birthday to your boy! As a mom of a three year old, I understand completely: it seems a long time – yet really, oh, so short. You family photo is beautiful and such a lovely way to remember the day.
    Kim recently wrote…Instagram is Insta-resting. Very, Very Insta-resting.My Profile

    • January 5, 2013 Alison

      Three seems so big. *sniff*
      And thank you, it was a lovely day!

  • January 4, 2013 Susanna Leonard Hill

    So lovely! Happy Happy Happy Happy Birthday to your little monkey, Alison (that’s a happy for each year and one to grow on :))

    • January 5, 2013 Alison

      Aw, thanks Susanna, that’s so sweet!

  • January 4, 2013 thedoseofreality

    Happy Birthday to your sweet boy! I have found 4 to be a wonderful year! 🙂 Love the pictures!
    thedoseofreality recently wrote…Friday Feasts: How Pinterest Inspired Us To Change Our LivesMy Profile

  • January 4, 2013 Keely

    Anything with coconut in it could never be considered a “fail.” Also, your family is gorgeous. Also also? I need to link up. I NEED EVALUATION.
    Keely recently wrote…My Mom Wrote Me An Early Dismissal Note.My Profile

    • January 5, 2013 Alison

      It did taste yummy, but for the love of all things coconut, I CANNOT MAKE FROSTING OF ANY KIND.

      Thank you, I think my family’s pretty cute too. Even with all the funny face making scenarios.

      Evaluation! I hope you win!

  • January 5, 2013 Alexandra

    THe years whizz by. “The days are long but the years are short.”

    Indeed–my first baby, the one that made my chest ache from the love I felt for him, leaves next year for college.

    And I can barely type that out.

    Happy Bday, Mr big 3 year old!
    Alexandra recently wrote…2012 Highlights and Kind of Like a Pep RallyMy Profile

    • January 5, 2013 Alison

      Stop. It.
      Hugs, my friend, hugs.

  • January 5, 2013 Christine

    Happy Happy Birthday to Monkey! It sounds like it was a great day. I look in the mirror all the time and cannot believe that I am someone’s mother. It’s nuts. 4 is a very fun year!
    Christine recently wrote…Friday Round-Up: Intentions and PassionsMy Profile

    • January 5, 2013 Alison

      It was an awesome day. The year has already started to be quite good – yay!

  • January 5, 2013 Greta

    Three is a fun, and OHMYGOSH difficult age. It looks like you had a great day!!
    Greta recently wrote…2013: The Year of the Fun.My Profile

    • January 5, 2013 Alison

      Eeek!! Can it be worse than 2? Please say no.

  • January 5, 2013 Jessica

    Happy belated birthday Monkey!

    Three is a great age to be a kid. Full of independence, learning, and discovering. And a few tantrums. Keep chocolate handy. 😉
    Jessica recently wrote…Essence of Now: ReflectionsMy Profile

    • January 5, 2013 Alison

      Chocolate is always handy.
      I really look forward to this year, truly.

  • January 5, 2013 Mamaintheburbs

    Happy Birthday to your handsome son! And what a beautiful family you have!! Someone said it perfectly below, the years go by quickly, the days are a little longer. My daughter is three too, her bday was in October. It’s definitely a challenging year! She is already talking back to me and throwing more tantrums. But she gets more curious and beautiful each day. Enjoy being his mom! It’s the hardest job we will ever have to do!

    • January 5, 2013 Alison

      I’m already loving three. It’s like a tipping point to so much more, it’s awesome!

  • January 5, 2013 Alma

    I’m such a diitz I did not realize that the first picture was a “3” shape till i went back to look at the lovely pictures again. I love candid shot that are not perfect, it says so much more.
    Congrats to you and to him! Those cupcakes look amazing.
    Alma recently wrote…A New Year Giveaway!!My Profile

    • January 5, 2013 Alison

      My sister and I were convinced it barely looked like a three as well, but we did our best 🙂 They were pretty yummy!

      And thank you, it’s actually our FIRST family photo ever.

  • January 5, 2013 Alexa

    I love the family picture! Very cool new comment system you have going on as well! 🙂
    Alexa recently wrote…Finish The Sentence FridayMy Profile

    • January 5, 2013 Alison

      Thank you, I love it too!
      Don’t you just love CommentLuv Premium? So awesome. 🙂

  • January 5, 2013 Heather's Happenings

    What a handsome little boy! Happy 3rd birthday.
    Heather’s Happenings recently wrote…Protecting PhotosMy Profile

    • January 5, 2013 Alison

      Thanks Heather!

  • January 5, 2013 lisacng

    Happy 3rd to him!!!

    • January 5, 2013 Alison

      Thanks Lisa!

  • January 5, 2013 angela

    Happy birthday Monkey! It looks like a really perfect day!
    angela recently wrote…Rejection and Other PlansMy Profile

    • January 5, 2013 Alison

      It so was!

  • January 5, 2013 My Inner Chick

    Alison Lee,
    I LOVvvve your family. Adorable.
    I Want your cupcakes.
    I think you’re FAB! Xxx
    My Inner Chick recently wrote…21 Things I Learned In 2012My Profile

    • January 5, 2013 Alison

      Aw, thanks Kim. Love you. xo

  • January 5, 2013 Kristiina

    I love the picture of you all as a family! You all look like you would be fun to hang out with.
    Kristiina recently wrote…Happy SITS Day to Me! + {DIY} Pom PomsMy Profile

    • January 5, 2013 Alison

      We are totally fun. I mean, we took our first family picture at an indoor play gym. 😉

  • January 5, 2013 Kiran

    I, personally, love the family photo. By the way, he is beautiful (as if you don’t hear that a million, times, I am sure). He looks so much older than three. wise like mommy, probably. lol.
    Kiran recently wrote…Today’s Post Brought to You by the Letter SMy Profile

    • January 5, 2013 Alison

      He is also tall. Like more than half my height already. *hold me*
      Wise like Mommy. I like that. *runs to tell husband*

  • January 5, 2013 Susan

    Happy, happy birthing day! I adore the family pic!
    Susan recently wrote…I Don’t Gladly Give It UpMy Profile

    • January 5, 2013 Alison

      Thank you for acknowledging the birthing day for me, Susan. 🙂

  • January 5, 2013 Stacie

    Happy Birthday, looks like it was fabulous. I love the photo – way better than something more posed!
    Stacie recently wrote…Google Me Q412My Profile

    • January 5, 2013 Alison

      Thank you, Stacie, it was lovely!

  • January 5, 2013 Nicole Morgan (

    I know I have been under a rock or the equivalent of late – but is that the first family pic you have had in here? It is adorable and fun and so very sweet – like you xxx
    Nicole Morgan ( recently wrote…Cry me a riverMy Profile

    • January 5, 2013 Alison

      It IS the first family picture, because Nicole? The baby is nearly 8 months old and we’ve never tried to take a picture with all of us in it. I know, right??

  • January 5, 2013 TOI

    happy third birthday sweet boy. he is so cute!
    TOI recently wrote…Friday’s Letters #1My Profile

    • January 5, 2013 Alison

      Thanks so much!

  • January 6, 2013 Susi

    Happy belated Birthday to a handsome three year old who shares the day with my own big boy!
    Susi recently wrote…A New Year ~ A New Fill InMy Profile

    • January 6, 2013 Alison

      Thanks Susi, hope your big boy had a great day!

  • January 6, 2013 Lauren

    Lovely pics! No shame in a birthday celebration like that where only the ppl who matters are there!
    Happy belated to Monkey 😀

    • January 6, 2013 Alison

      Indeed. And thank you!
      (see you next week?)

  • January 6, 2013 tracy

    That family picture is so incredibly perfect! Happy Happy Happy Birthday! xoxoxoxo
    tracy recently wrote…What I Could Be DoingMy Profile

    • January 7, 2013 Alison

      Perfectly imperfect. 🙂

  • January 6, 2013 Leah

    Enjoy every moment! “The days are long but the years are short”!

    • January 7, 2013 Alison

      That is very true!

  • January 7, 2013 AnnMarie

    My favorite part of this post was when you said that three years ago, you became someone different. That is so true. So, so true. Their birthdays don’t just represent them getting bigger…they represent the moment we got on this roller coaster.
    AnnMarie recently wrote…TrustMy Profile

    • January 7, 2013 Alison

      I truly feel different. I think back to the time before the boys and it’s like looking at someone else’s life.

  • January 7, 2013 Elizabeth Kane

    I think cupcakes are perfect for kid birthdays. They’re like small personal cakes for each person 🙂

    It looks like you all had a blast. And I’m with everyone else on this family portrait – perfection.

    • January 7, 2013 Alison

      Yes, personal cakes! And thank you, we did have a blast.

  • January 7, 2013 anymommy

    Happy birthday, sweet Monkey! I have a three as well and it’s the best age. (Love that picture of your family.)
    anymommy recently wrote…Holiday routine, scheduling the joyMy Profile

    • January 7, 2013 Alison

      Thank you Stacey! It is a fun age. Less challenging than two. So far. Oops, spoke too soon? 🙂

  • January 7, 2013 Lady Jennie

    Monkey’s getting so big!!! Love the picture of your family together.
    Lady Jennie recently wrote…Life in the Trenches: Chapter 1My Profile

    • January 7, 2013 Alison

      He is! He’s so tall now, I can barely believe it.

  • January 7, 2013 Natalie

    I can’t believe he’s 3! Happy birthday to your boy (I know I’m late) and here’s to a great year! Looks like the perfect way to spend a birthday…with his family!

    • January 7, 2013 Alison

      I can’t believe it either, and thank you for the wishes!

  • January 8, 2013 Tonya

    3 is so so so much fun! Welcome and happy belated!

    Great family photo… I know how hard they are to get.
    Tonya recently wrote…SickMy Profile

  • January 8, 2013 Galit Breen

    Happy 3rd birthday to your sweet, sweet boy!

    {Love the family photo! That’s so very us, too!}

    Galit Breen recently wrote…That TugMy Profile

    • January 8, 2013 Alison

      Thank you my friend!

      (that photo was the best one out of several, hah!)

  • January 8, 2013 Katie E

    Aw, happy birthday to your boy! I love the family picture. And the fact that the cupcakes had already been poked at by an enthusiastic boy. A family birthday is perfect! I’m so excited that my girl who turns 9 this month told me she doesn’t want to have a party with friends because she just wants to spend it with her family.
    Katie E recently wrote…New Year, New Habits: Taking Meal Planning to a New LevelMy Profile

    • January 8, 2013 Alison

      Thanks Katie! Aw, gosh, NINE?? So lovely of her to just want to be with her family. She’s got her head screwed on right. 🙂

  • January 9, 2013 Leslie

    Aw, happy belated birthday to your not-so-little Monkey! Looks like it was a fantastic way to celebrate your little man. (And I just love the look of anticipation he has in that last picture!)
    Leslie recently wrote…Cool Crafts for Bland Winter DaysMy Profile

    • January 10, 2013 Alison

      Thanks Leslie! (he was fascinated by the candles!)

  • January 9, 2013 Jessica

    Happy Birthday, Monkey!! And happy third mother’s birthday to you!! xo.
    Jessica recently wrote…Walk slowly in motherhoodMy Profile

    • January 10, 2013 Alison

      Thanks Jessica!

  • January 12, 2013 Maureen

    Happy Belated Birthday to your handsome Monkey! He’s so cute and your family, Alison? Beautiful!
    Maureen recently wrote…A Boy And His Little FaithMy Profile

    • January 12, 2013 Alison

      Thanks Maureen!

  • January 14, 2013 Katie

    Happy birthday, Monkey!!! The oldest’s birthday is so special isn’t it? Because it’s a time marker for us as momma’s too…how long we have held this job title. I LOVE the family picture. Like lots. You are such an amazing family!
    Katie recently wrote…Project 365 {week 2}My Profile

    • January 14, 2013 Alison

      Yes, like a marker for us, that’s right!
      We are goofy – will we ever have a normal family picture? 🙂

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Alison Profile PictureI'm Alison. Writer, a mother of four (two boys and boy/ girl twins), social media enthusiast and book lover. A believer in the power of chocolate and hugs. Chugging coffee as I type. Want to know more?

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