It actually happened clear back here, but here’s what we did on the big day: We got up really early to surprise her with her favorite thing: helium balloons.2012-10-01 Lucy's birthday 61012 (I love this little kit you can get at Walmart or Target:)2012-10-01 Lucy's birthday 61014 We snuck them ever so quietly up above her bed and woke her up with her first happy birthday song of the day.2012-10-01 Lucy's birthday 61021 We may have been even more excited than she was…but it was close.2012-10-01 Lucy's birthday 610192012-10-01 Lucy's birthday 610902012-10-01 Lucy's birthday 610272012-10-01 Lucy's birthday 610282012-10-01 Lucy's birthday 610302012-10-01 Lucy's birthday 610332012-10-01 Lucy's birthday 610382012-10-01 Lucy's birthday 610372012-10-01 Lucy's birthday 610442012-10-01 Lucy's birthday 61047(We have two new “daughters” to keep Ariel company.) I went to meet the birthday girl at school for lunch.2012-10-01 iPhone 61309 And paid a visit to the “bane of my existence” sitting proudly there in the hallway:2012-10-01 iPhone 61319 Yes, the squinkie machine… The one that causes tears for kids who don’t have quarters and fighting amongst those who do and want to trade and can’t.  Oh, and those who willingly share their quarters and then cry because they realized they really didn’t want to share after all. I guess it’s a good money-making thing for the school but boy howdy is all I have to say about that. So needless to say, I think Lucy’s fav. gift was this:2012-10-01 Lucy's birthday 61053 …because it was filled with these:2012-10-01 Lucy's birthday 61055 (quarters) The post-lunch-line for squinkies:2012-10-01 iPhone 61314(I’m serious…wow…and do you like Lu’s clip-on earrings she insisted on wearing for the big day?) I was amazed how patiently all the kids waited and how kind to each other they were.  I was even more amazed when two random kids came and asked Lucy if she’d give them one of her quarters and she smilingly obliged both times.  When I picked up my jaw off the ground I realized maybe the squinkie machine isn’t so bad after all.2012-10-01 iPhone 61321 After school Lu’s friend brought her more balloons…and a stuffed dog and flowers too.2012-10-01 Lu's birthday 61785Sweetie pie. Lucy’s birthday tradition is camping in the back yard.2012-10-01 Lu's birthday 61786It’s always different  who makes it the whole night in that thing, and this year Lu was the only one who actually ended up falling asleep there.  So we carried her in when we went to bed at midnight. 2012-10 Lucy's birthday2012-10-01 Lu's birthday 618022012-10-01 Lu's birthday 61804 She had planned her Hello Kitty rainbow cake for ages.2012-10-01 Lu's birthday 61773 …and practiced blowing out candles a bunch as well.2012-10-01 Lu's birthday 618262012-10-01 Lucy's birthday 610622012-10-01 Lucy's birthday 61066 It was her best birthday ever…. …until a few days later when she realized she didn’t get a friend party.  There’s always next year.

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  1. It was because of you that I learned about Squinkies, and my 4 1/2 year old is in LOVE with those things. They actually have allowed us lots of happy dinners out as he plays with those things!! Love all of the pics, and especially the ones of Claire and Lucy on the sidewalk with that gorgeous sun shining behind them!

  2. Lucy is a ray. of. sunshine!!!!!! All those birthday smiles of hers have blessed my day! Happy Birthday, sweet girl! And thanks for continuing to share, Shawni! xo

  3. I'm new to your blog, came across it last week and have loved reading your posts. Loved this one, loved the balloon idea and can't wait to try it with my son… well when he gets a little older. Thanks for your inspiring posts, you have a beautiful family.

  4. Oh, your precious Lucy!! She is such a precious little angel–even though I know at times there are frustrations! That makes her normal, right? She looks like she loved her birthday and that's what matters. And I love that she shared her quarters! You have taught her well.

  5. Great pix of Lucy's birthday:). I always love how excited all your family get excited about everyone's birthday.

    Helium balloons are brill. I bet Lucy was excited when she saw them.

    Does it get really hot in the tent even tho it's midnight?

    What are squinkies? I've never heard of them. That would be a great motivational tool to get children to earn money.

    Thanks for a great blog.

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