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Vanessa Lachey's son told his mom he wants "pancakes and donuts with sprinkles!" at this party

By Claudia Harmata and Georgia Slater
December 20, 2019 11:45 AM
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Christmas is always a little extra special for the Lachey family.

Almost three years ago, Vanessa Lachey and her musician husband Nick Lachey welcomed their third baby, little Phoenix Robert, on Christmas Eve.

However, the birth was a complicated one, as he was born 10 weeks premature following an umbilical-cord prolapse — and was later hospitalized when he contracted respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).

Despite his difficult start, little Phoenix is now a healthy little boy and coming up on his 3rd birthday this month, and Vanessa, 39, tells PEOPLE she’s excited to finally throw her youngest baby his first-ever birthday party.

“I’m excited. He actually knows he’s turning three this year, so this year we’re going to have his first birthday party,” the actress says.

The mom of three went on to explain that having his birthday on Christmas Eve has been a challenge when trying to plan a party for her youngest child — and that after his first year, the family simply wanted to celebrate their “miracle baby” together.

“His first year, obviously Christmassy. We were just like, ‘Oh my gosh, he’s here. Our miracle baby is here,’ ” she says. “Then year two, he was still too young, and it’s Christmas Eve. Nobody wants to come to a birthday party on Christmas Eve.”

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Now that little Phoenix attends preschool and has seen his older siblings, brother Camden John, 7, and sister Brooklyn Elisabeth, 5, celebrate their birthdays, he asked his mom to throw him a party — with a special theme request!

“He said, ‘Am I having a birthday party?’ Because he’s seen his bigger brother and sister and he’s been to some [classmate’s parties],” the proud parents shares. “And I’m like, ‘Yes, Bubba, what do you want?’ He goes, ‘pancakes and donuts with sprinkles!’ And I’m like, all right. He’s like, ‘And syrup.’ I said, ‘Okay buddy.’ ”

“So, we’re going to do a breakfast the Saturday before Christmas,” she adds.

Vanessa Lachey
Lachey family
| Credit: Vanessa Lachey/Instagram

The star admits that she’s just as excited as her son for the celebration, because she loves “to throw a good party.”

“So any reason for me to do that, and I was surprised, we sent out the invites and I was like, ‘Look, if nobody comes, at least we have our little family and a couple of friends.’ But the whole class is, I think with the exception of one,” she tells PEOPLE.

WATCH: Nick and Vanessa Lachey Share The Evolution of Their Love Story

Following Phoenix’s birthday celebration, she is excited to have her family come into town to celebrate the holidays as well.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BrTEnbwnIFC/Vanessa Lachey/Instagram
Lachey children with Santa in 2018
| Credit: Vanessa Lachey/Instagram

“We always love doing family traditions during the holidays, but I think they become even more special because Phoenix was born on Christmas Eve,” she says. “I just love being home with the family. Honestly, it’s go, go, go all year, and it’s really nice that everything shuts down over the holidays.”

“And we’re really lucky this year that we get family,” she adds, explaining that of Nick’s brother, Drew Lachey, and his family will be visiting. “We’re excited to have them here because when we used to live next to each other in Cincy [Cincinnati], we always had Christmas together.”