Sunday, July 06, 2008

Double unos for the birthday girl

Happy 11th birthday to Erin!

What girl wouldn't love two celebrations for her birthday? Since Dan couldn't be with us on July 5, we had Erin's "Costa Rica birthday" last week and her real party yesterday.

Erin has asked to have her ears pierced since she first stepped foot in Costa Rica. It's a cultural norm for Tica babies to have earrings since infancy, and Erin was the only girl in her class with naked ears (perhaps in the entire fourth grade!). We decided to surprise her on her CR birthday with earrings.

The only place we found to pierce ears is an upscale jewelry store at the large mall, Multiplaza. When we arrived at the mall, I pretended as though I wanted to look at something in the store for myself (don't I wish—they had Cartier, Tiffany... but I digress. Oh, and it's worth mentioning that high-end shops like this are not open to just walk in—one has to go through a door that is guarded like Ft. Knox.)

I had arranged the surprise with the sales staff the day before, so they had the starter earrings ready, and I waited a minute to give Erin the impression I was actually shopping. I returned to the mall and begged Dan to come see the earrings I liked. I asked Erin which color she thought I should buy and then if maybe she'd try them in her ears. She looked at me quizzically, not understanding, and when I suggested we have her ears pierced, her face turned bright red and her jaw dropped. It was a perfect surprise!

The piercing was uneventful, other than Lauren commenting, "They're going to shoot a hole in her ear with that gun?" and soon Erin was the owner of pretty new earrings. She wore them to dinner at La Fabbrica that night where she enjoyed her own caprese salad and a margherita pizza. It was a great birthday in Ticalandia!

Enter July 5, Erin's actual birthday. The house was decorated with streamers, balloons, and a big Happy Birthday sign. We went for a ride with Grandpa in the convertible, shopped at Barnes & Noble (all those books—in English!), and met up with Grandma for lunch at Panera.

Later, we had a party here at my parents' house. The girls rode up and down the golf course in a cart with Uncle John and Aunt Shannon, did sparklers in the yard and snaps in the driveway, and we all enjoyed grilled brats and cheeseburgers, with cake and ice cream for dessert.

The highlight of Erin's birthday bash was the huge mess of fireworks my brother shot off behind the house. No ordinary fireworks, these were purchased from a guy my dad knows who does fireworks shows. They are some big shots and, unlike one would do in Costa Rica, my dad had to get a permit from the sheriff to shoot them off. This is a family tradition—the third time we've watched our own wild fireworks display—and the best way to end a birthday with a bang!

¡Feliz CumpleaƱos, Kid!


Justine said...

Wow Beanie, I'm sitting here staring at this picture of Erin with her sister and uncle, and I keep getting drawn to her legs. My goodness, they're like a mile long!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Happy b-day Erin!!!!!!!!!!!!

Justine :o )

Shelli said...

How cool is it to have an uncle who's a pyro?! Happy Bday Erin!! Take care of those ears.

Traci R said...

¡Feliz Cumpleanos

How fun to make it such a surprise.

Dina said...

Awww, so sweet!! Happy Birthday Erin! (OK a bit