that birthday candle.

That birthday candle.
I swear, ever since Lucy's party, I've heard nothing but "Birthday Candle". I'm feeling a little Jan Brady about the Birthday Candle, to be real honest. If I had a nickle for every question I got about that birthday candle over the last few weeks, well, I'd have about a dollar, but that's beside the point. The point is, you people are apparently very easy to amuse and impress.

And so are my friends.

If I knew a candle from the dollar store was all I needed to get attention, I mean, let's just say I definitely wouldn't have needed to get my belly button pierced in college and this blog probably wouldn't exist.

But that's all beside the point.

The point is, that Happy Birthday Candle.

Like I said before, Fe's friend Christine picked up the Happy Birthday Candle from her local dollar store for Lucy's birthday. Shoot flames + the dollar store = winning combination.

We all know that.

Christine was so thrilled that we liked the Happy Birthday Candle, she bought me 3 more. I'm calling it a Birthday Candle windfall. More importantly, the Birthday Candles that kept my friendships intact.

Because for Dania's birthday all she wanted was a Happy Birthday Candle.
Emy had also requested one for Dania's party.
So had Andrea.

Basically, I was feeling some Birthday Candle pressure from all sides and if I didn't produce, well, let's just say this friend group has voted people off the island before and I was prepared to have my torch snuffed if I failed to produce a candle for Dania.

And that is why we love Christine. It's like she heard my prayers.
Three Happy Birthday Candles later and I was in business.
Dania is what you would call a "delicate beauty".
That's her birthday "cake" (it's like a friend group dessert tradition. Kind of hard to explain, but kind of like eating heaven. If heaven is white cake mix, 1 cube butter, and cherry pie filling.)
It's such an unassuming little candle. At this point, you could cut the anticipation with a knife at our house.

And then it flamed so much that Chuck had to take down the smoke detector.
I said it was because Dania was getting so old (too many candles) and then she reminded me that I'm a year older than she is and then I didn't want to talk to her for a while.

It was sparkler-ing (is that a word? Is now.).
And we were laughing.
But then the laughter stopped.

Because there was no happy birthday song.
It was a devastating blow.
The candle shot flames. It did the sparkler thing. It spun into a flower, but no sweet melody. Just silence. I was ready for the stoning to begin, but Chuck suggested we just try another one.

So round 2.
I mean we already had the smoke detector pulled down. Why waste a good thing?

Some people were not convinced that this was going to work.
Some people were jumping off the great bandwagon we call "The Happy Birthday Candle".

Even as the flames shot towards the heavens, there was still doubt from the previous failed candle. It was a tense birthday moment. Tense.

But there it was. That bad boy really started to sing (literally and figuratively).
And that was one heckuva happy ending for this story (mostly because I was pretty sure I'd be ostracized if this hadn't worked).

It really is the greatest candle ever. Here's my thoughts on the whole "pink candle debacle": I've used 3 of these dollar store candles now and have enjoyed a 66% success rate. If I can see even a 10% success rate with a dollar store item, then I'm a satisfied customer. This thing is amazing. Christine is amazing for finding it and seeing the limitless potential.

You can buy them online too, but they're a little more expensive than the dollar store.
But, um, worth it. Totally worth it.

apparently, we hosted a seventh grade dance.

I promise I was not playing Gangsta's Paradise OR Waterfalls. This happened on it's own.

We had Dania's birthday party over the weekend, except it didn't really look like a birthday party at one point. Because, see, apparently we were also hosting a middle school dance.

Somehow that the party became completely segregated.
Boys on one side.
Girls on the other.
We even had a kitchen table between us as a gender barrier. It was actually kind of nice.
This was about the time the girls noticed that they might as well have been wearing white eyeliner and singing "This Is How We Do It." They got a nice giggle out of the situation (not Mike, just an actual situation).
The boys were oblivious.
I'm pretty sure I could have redressed them in flannel and Timberland boots and passed out Tamagotchis and they still wouldn't have noticed.
Bless Sean's heart though, because he was the only one brave enough to cross the great divide and ask the birthday girl to dance. I swear I could almost hear "Kiss From A Rose" playing in the distance, but I can't be sure.
The girl side gave the Dania the obligatory "thumbs up" and approval during their dance. Emy gave Dania a Cootie shot when she came back to our side, because I'm pretty sure Dania was contaminated by boy.

The End.
(what? I'm done typing and I can't think of an ending, so that's it. I'm out.)

well, this pretty much takes the cake.

This happened today at Child Prison.

What'd ya think the odds are that she did the "yawn move" beforehand?

not much else to talk about.

Really, nothing is going on around here. Unless you want me blogging about report cards. If that's cool with you, then we've got something to talk about. I could just start handing out life report cards while I'm at it.

"Susie is a delight. She has made many friends. However, Susie is struggling with her focus and has difficulty maintaining attention on anything other than facebook, blogger, or general internetting."

I think Susie's parents might be in for a little parent-teacher conference, just my professional opinion.

What I am doing a great job of (Great.Job.) is not proof reading my report cards. I should get credit for their done-ness, I just want them to be squeaky clean and perfect (like me. wink.)

Oh, but this, this was the highlight of my day.

They announced new nuun flavors. (nuun is pronounced noon).
Are you not familiar with nuun?
Settle in. We'z abouts to have an NBC "the more you know" moment.

nuun, in short, is amazing. I'll liken it to Gatorade, but I'm taking that back instantly, because unlike Gatorade, nuun has no sugar and 6 calories. It's full of electrolytes, which PK says is important (PK dies for nuun). It comes in a tablet, I drop it in my water bottle. No powder. No contributing to landfills. And since it's in a tube, I carry it in my purse so I actually remember to drink it (win).

And it tastes bomb. And now there's more bomb tastes.
I'm super psyched.

PK said I should probably share nuun tonight with you all, and when The Father speaks, you listen.

Go buy nuun.
It's at QFC. And here.
(and Val, it's gluten free.)

i've procrastinated long enough.

Bottom line, Lucy will be 19 before I post the rest of her birthday pictures. At the rate I'm moving anyways. Whatever. We'll call it: Report Cards 1, Susie 0.

It's funny, because when my friends have their birthday parties, I blog within 24 hours out of fear. Since Lucy isn't an avid blog reader, I'm not feeling the pressure from her. I guess I don't feel like I owe her anything [slash] as long as I have Bubba, Lucy will love me. It's simple science.


Last year, when Lucy turned one, we threw a gala in her honor. Gala. I mean, really, that's what it turned into. We had about 50 people over, I cooked for days, decorated every square inch of everything, and Lucy tottered around the whole time a bit stunned with the ol' fingers-in-the-mouth. There was a lot going on.

This year, we went for a total 180.

It was just "us". Shelley, Lu, Fe, PK, Me, and Chuck. Just "us".
And somehow,, this party was louder, wilder, and, let's go with, more extreme than last year.
This is our Birthday Girl in her pre-party pictures (which I snapped because the lighting was good, her outfit was still clean, and pre-dinner meant her face would need less dried food removal in photoshop. win.).
Anyone else dying that she is two?

Oh and FYI, she's telling people she's six. As in "How old are you?" "I six." And then she giggles because she knows it's funny. We're working on not laughing at our own jokes. It's going about as well as teaching her to juggle.

Three weeks ago, Lucy was present and attending at the opening of, let's call it, a few gifts at Christmas time. Three weeks ago (save for the tricycle that Bubba gave her) she couldn't have cared less. She really didn't open a single one, she wasn't patient for the openings, and she wasn't too enthralled, nor of the understanding, that these were gifts being given to her. Frankly, she was a little rude and I haven't received a thank you note yet. Fe says she wasn't even two. I say, call Emily Post.

But at this party.
She knew.
She had it down. Apparently, three weeks and two days past two is the exact moment when Lucys "get" the present idea.

"I sit with them."
"They mine."

"When we open?"

She mastered the excited look.

Even when it was just a box for all she knew (although, I might point out that it's a Nordstrom box and that's exactly how my face looks when I unwrap one of them bad boys).

Or something she couldn't see or understand.

In the end, she got a baby doll (she promptly named her "Hugh"). A cradle. We gave her a unicorn pillow pet ("I get my'corn"). Lots of clothes, books, and sparkle shoes. And yes, that's a tent that Shelley got her for the playroom. "My House!"

Shelley made a gorgeous Banana Carrot Cake.

It was divine and velvety and fabulous. Kind of like Shell.

We sang Happy Birthday.

She blew out the candles.

I convinced her to take a bite from the side (Shelley = thrilled).

And then Dad came in with The Big Bopper.
It's from the Dollar Store (from Fe's best friend Christine -- they've always had a dollar store gift limit on their friendship). This one was a gem of a gift.

It started as a giant fireball. Literally, peaking at about 18 inches. Plumes of fire.

Then it started shooting flames (and by flames, I mean sparklers, but it might as well have been flames shooting into those streamers).

The grand finale was opening into a flower, spinning, whilst playing Happy Birthday. By this point we were all scream-laughing and Lucy was TERRIFIED. Not at the ball of frames on top of her cake, but her family.

Hands down, best cake topper ever. Classic Christine Gift.
I will be buying hundreds of them. Candles will no longer do.

Shelley decided to close out Lucy's birthday show with a pinata. There wasn't a lot of pre-thought or planning into this (as in, where were we going to hang it?) and it was pitch black and pouring outside. Once we convinced Shelley not to HOLD the pinata in her living room, we agreed beating it on the ground was the most sensible thing to do.

That's the end of a plunger that Lucy's using. Classy.

PK gave it a good smacking.

Bubba broke it wide open.

Lucy was so happy with the killing and we started to wonder about the message this pinata sent. Animal on the ground, beat it with a stick, candy comes out.

Good luck Betty cat.

(I'm pretty sure Lucy can understand the difference between paper animal and living animal. Pretty sure).

There it is.
Pre-19th birthday, so I'll count it because I'm posting before she's legal in Canada. Win.

they're called 'birthday nails' now

Friday was Lucy's 2nd Birthday.
Yesterday, we did "Birthday Nails".
Tonight, we do "Birthday Dinner".

Apparently, Lucy is getting birthday parties based on age. Last year, she got one party. This year, she gets two parties. I'm fine with this as long as we can all agree to do this fairly. By fairly, I mean I am really looking forward to the "28 Days of Susie" come March. Chuck is too.

We did "Birthday Nails" yesterday for Lucy because how else do you celebrate your 2nd birthday than at a nail salon? For us, this was an easy decision. Let me tell you why (I know you are dying to know).

We've gone to this salon for about 13 years or so. Half way into our tenure there, Jennifer bought the shop  and her, Annie, and Tina took over. We love them. In so many years, they've become family. We call them "sister" and they call us the same. They call Fe "Mom" because their's still lives in Vietnam and Jennifer and Tina are about my age, so we all fit.

And the answer is, yes, we get our nails done that often. Remember my last nails post? There are a lot of nail opportunities out there and Shelley and I capitalize on them all.
Last year, Jennifer came to Lucy's 1st party. She brought her son, Annie's daughter, and some other friends. Like I said, we're family.

So, Shelley decided to go "Family Only" low-key on Lucy's party for this year.
And by "Family Only" she meant us and the girls.

Party hats.

Birthday cookies.

Birthday Nails.

We all wore party hats, because this was a party people.
Lucy is two.
Lucy was a little more street savvy at this nail appointment. She knew exactly what was about to happen and what was going on.
She also knew she wanted blue nails.
Her and I talked about how we don't actually do "blue nails" because the Spice Girls aren't actually making music anymore, but it fell on deaf 2 year-old ears.

Oh and for the record, it may have been her birthday, but that little Miss owes me one Original Mango A-Go-Go with energy.
It started, "Here sister, I help you with that."
Then it moved to, "Sister, I hold this for you."
And finally, "Sister, give me my juice."
I said, "No, my juice."
"No, it's ma'juice."

And then she actually stuck her tongue out at me and did a "stinker face".
So I rewarded that by giving her the rest of my Jamba Juice because I found it HI-larious.

If you can believe this (I know it will be a stretch), we kind of "take over" the salon when we get there. As in, we think it's our house, we think we own the place, and we act accordingly (and by accordingly, I mean rather out of control).
We're loud and giggly and unapologetic.
I bring my camera which is obnoxious for everyone involved, bystanders too.
We get into anything and everything.
And we like how pretty we look when we're there.
We do chair races back and forth.
Note that my Jamba Juice is still being held hostage.
Double note the amount of birthday party garbage that we've thrown around the place.

And that is what we call "Birthday Nails".
If you happen to be in Bellevue, you should probably stop by 4 Your Nails Only.
We'll probably be there.
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