“Mom, what is tomorrow?” asked Lacy before heading to bed on the 3rd of July.
“The Fourth of July,” I said.
“I know, I know,” she shook her head, “But what is it CALLED?”
“The Fourth of July?” I asked, not really sure what she was fishing for.
“Mom. I KNOW that. What ELSE is it called?”
“Independence Day?” I offered.
“Right. Oh, right. I remember now.”

She’s SO official, friends. So very official. If only her mother would hurry up and get on the same page (Fourth of July? Humph. Lame.)
Our Independence Day was FULL of goodness.
We started off our day by going to the Park where there was games, booths, and a Volleyball tournament. Our own Family Founding Father was on the winning team:

The kids weren’t interested in watching Dad play, so they ran around the park with tickets in hand and cotton candy on face.

I was Dad’s main cheerleader. ‘cept I wasn’t that good.
“Did you see that, babe?”
“Um… see which thing?”
“When I _________.”
“Oh, I must have JUST looked away…”
I didn’t miss everything, and I was able to catch a bump using my camera’s continuous picture taking thingy trick:

And I did finally catch a picture of him serving… one that included him AND the ball. Watch out for my professional athletic photographer debut:

Alice enjoyed most of the first part of her first Independence Day by sleeping in her stroller. But when she was awake, she was just darling. All 6 month old babies are just darling, but mine? She’s THE Darling.

You can’t argue with that face. It’s downright darling.

That afternoon, we lazed on a shaded deck with friends and ate hot dogs and dip and chips and watermelon and iced sugar cookies while misters kept us cool and thunder rumbled in the background.
“…while the little ones play[ed] on the floor with the dogs.”
Actually, the little ones played on a water slide in their swimsuits and barely took time to eat anything. Alice drank blueberry lemonade with me and eventually fell asleep.
I was so jealous of her nap under the water misters.
There’s no pictures of The Perfect Afternoon because I was busy not moving. You can’t move when you have a sleeping baby on top of you.

We drove from one friendly BBQ to one family BBQ (though to be fair, they were equally as friendly).
And then we headed out to park in our favorite family spot for Fireworks. We park sort of behind the mountain the fireworks are shot off in front of. It gives us a close up view and a pretty non-crowded spot.
The kids sat together and enjoyed their light-up rings my cousin Rachel picked up for them.

Then they split off into their respective pairs.

I split off with my pair for a second as well… just long enough to prove that I was there this Independence Day.

The kids were so excited when Grandpa and Grandma pulled up with their load of sparklers… this picture cracks me up.
Never before have these children held so still all at once, but sparklers are worth waiting The Good Wait.

The pay off:

The rest of my pictures are on my phone which can’t be accessed right now… so they’ll have to wait. The kids went nuts over the fireworks, and Alice Michelle hardly minded them at all. They certainly didn’t interfere with her evening nap.
But during the fireworks, she did start running a fever.
She ran the fever all night and is still a little heating pad this morning. She’s all smiles, so I’m not too worried. But I do feel for her. It isn’t fair to be so hot on the inside when it’s already almost 100 degrees on the outside.

More pictures of our Independence Day to come!

The Perfect Crime

My husband is off work for a week. It’s our yearly vacation.
We usually GO somewhere, but this year we can barely afford to stay home (buh duh duh *cymbal crash*).

We planned our week out meticulously so that not one day would be wasted. My husband and I created a Master Plan of Staycationess. It’s the perfect blend of productivity and laziness, hard work and hard play.
Yesterday we planned to deep clean the house (so we’d have a clean place to Stay. cation) and eat a free lunch at the cafeteria (this was mostly for Lacy’s sake, so she could show her Dad where she eats lunch while school is in session). Then we came home to rest and continue cleaning before the BIG Monday event… an evening showing of “Finding Nemo” at the local pool (the $1 per person admission was ecofriendly enough for us).
“Go get a book,” I told the kids as we walked through the door after eating lunch, “Take it to your bed and lie down.”
I tried lying down, but it didn’t work. I got back up, went to the computer and started working on my blog book that I’m only FIVE years behind on. And that’s five years worth of ALICIA blogging. AND blurb’s booksmart software won’t import from this type of wordpress blog (the kind you pay for). It’s an overwhelming mess, but it will be demesstifyed… one hour a day. And really. I’m grateful I wrote down the things I did. They make me laugh until I cry.
As I sat and copy/pasted text over from my blog to my book, I felt a change in the air pressure of my home.
We have a swamp cooler, so every time a door or window opens, everyone in the house becomes aware of it. The baby was napping, I had my eye on the front door… my husband was lying down on our bed. I knew it could only be one thing.
The CHILDRENS. They were sneaking out! I waited for a few minutes, and wasn’t surprised to look out of the window and!
(Do you see what I see?)

They were BACK in the cow trough.
I say “back” because it’s ezzatly (my dad’s pronunciation, and it’s his trough, so it applies here) where I found them Sunday afternoon.
I thought for a minute about how to handle the situation. They had snuck out of rest time which was dishonest. I wasn’t too concerned over the fun they were having, but there had to be some kind of consequence. I’ve been working lately to give the kids more natural consequences since they’ve been working better than anything else.
So. What IS the natural consequence of playing out in water in the middle of a hot day with no sunscreen on?
Surely a slight sunburn (neither of them have been sun burned before) would teach them just enough of a lesson. And besides, the playing would wear them out and they’d sleep better. AND I could get more cleaning done with them occupied.
I called my husband over, we investigated their bedroom and found evidence:

Shifted curtains.

The little hoodlums.

And yes, since you ask, my son IS stark nayked.

I waited and got some good cleaning in (after blog booking the entire month of November 2010) and then I opened the window and called to them. This is the “uh oh, we’re caught” expression I captured. It’s priceless unto me.

I eventually got them back inside, told them that they would NOT be able to go see Nemo at the pool unless they successfully cleaned the porch (which was riddled with their toys) and their room (also riddled).
I threw their wet clothes into a hot bleach wash and threw them into a hot bubble bath (no bleach, promise).

Once the porch and room were clean and homemade corn dogs were in our bellies and we’d spent a little time with some friends having a quick family home evening on Freedom, we headed to the pool.
We swam for an hour and a half while “Finding Nemo” streamed in the background. We got out of the pool, bought two cupcakes and then ran in the school grass until we were dry.
and by “ran” I mean the kids. I stretched out in it. Lacy was called back in because she won a door prized (a gigantic marshmallow treat).
I couldn’t WAIT to get home. I KNEW the kids would pass out just as we walked past the clean porch and into our house. We stripped them down, put everything into a hot wash… got everyone into PJs, did scripture study, fed the baby…
My husband and I were anticipating a late night movie. WITH swearing!
We put on a thirty minute cartoon for the kids (Wind in the Willows) and… that’s the last thing I remember before the kids waking me up and saying, “HEY! Fix the TV!”
The kids had proceeded to watch 5 more classic Disney cartoons while their parents snored on the couches! They’d watched so many that even our gaming system started asking questions, “Are you sure you want to keep watching?” It asked.
“Go to bed,” I slurred out, “It’s late… bed…”
“But MOM! We wanted to jadsaljawe;oajisdoa;dsoiawjfe.” (I have no idea what they’re saying when they both talk at the same time. Especially when it’s midnight.)
“Bed.” I said. I think.

I still can’t believe it. HOURS of trough swimming. More HOURS of pool swimming. Grass running. Room cleaning. Porch sweeping.
And STILL! STILL!! Their energy levels are officially unnatural.
But then again. So are mine.

And the REAL clincher to this whole thing? There’s no sunburn in sight which can only mean one thing: we’re in for a summer of troughing.

And where was Alice Michelle during all of this craziness? She was scared out of her poor little mind, that’s where. (Hold out for the end of the video.  The first half is dry.)