There comes a time when one learns to celebrate small victories. And I consider the fact that I am actually blogging about our 4th of July before the month of July is over, to be one of those victories.
So in celebration and recognition of this rather incredible feat on my part of editing all the pictures, I am sitting at my computer at 12:48 am with a bag of chocolate, to try and and come up with a coherent blog post that would actually be interesting enough for people to read.
Because lets face it, as ridiculously adorable as my children are, you probably wouldn't come back here every day just to hear me say, "my kids are ridiculously adorable."
Some people just can't handle truth like that.
Our original 4th of July celebration plans had not initially included the parade. Call us party poopers if you want but sometimes, fighting the crowd just ain't worth the hassle.
But I got some last minute insider information on where to park and where to sit. It's all about having friends in high places. Knowing people who have a float in the parade every year definitely has it's perks.
We're moving up in the world.
So we made a quick last minute decision, threw the kids into the car (only somewhat literally) and headed down.
It was the first time in my life I've ever sat near the beginning of any parade and let-me-tell-you, I will never be able to go back.
It would be like settling for tootsie rolls after have Cadbury chocolate. It's just... wrong! At the start of these things people are so liberal with their coupons and treats and whatever else they are giving out. We came home with so much stuff it was down-right ridiculous.
And the kids had a blast.
I trained them early-on to shout out "Candy!" whenever someone would walk close enough to hear them.
They got really good at screaming it out. So much so that I soon regretted every teaching them to do such a thing.
I think their favorite part of the parade was when someone dropped two giant bags of candy which burst open and spilled everywhere.
I think my children showed incredible restraint in this intense moment. I was so proud.
We came home with a ton of candy though.
I suppose this may not look like much, but this is a huge jar, and is holding the other half of what was not eaten at the parade.
We still have candy left over from the parade in this thing!
Please... come take it away.
After we survived the parade, we came home to get ready for the evening. We had invited a couple of families over for dinner.
Honestly, I think Hubby did that just so he could show off his new baby. Or... he wanted to invite people over so he had an excuse to go get a new baby.
Either way, he spent the entire afternoon assembling his new pride and joy.
The kids also thought the new grill was down-right awesome as well. Not because of the grill itself of course, but rather because it came in a big box, so they spent the afternoon trying to assemble a fort.
But sadly, we ran out of tape.
The kids were devastated.
As for me, I was attempting to minimize embarrassment by cleaning my house to give off the appearance that I had everything under control and that this clean thing comes naturally and that my house always looks like this!
But then one of the kids left the laundry room door open.
Totally gave me away.
I was also down-right embarrassed to realize I didn't have a single patriotic decoration to my name. It was a horrifying realization actually.
So I did the best I could with my construction paper.
Construction paper is my friend and has saved my bacon on more than one occasion.
You should have seen my wedding!
I even fooled myself into thinking I was so clever for making these drink cups for all the kids out of these old juice containers that I had been saving.
Don't look at me like that! At the rate my kids go though cups in a day, these make excellent back-up cups!
Still, don't let all those cute Pintresty ideas fool you.
These things are horrible if you are drinking soda because of the carbonation build-up that sends the soda dripping out of the straw.
Not that it stopped Claira from loving every minute of them.
And soon the party was rockin'!
Well, it was at least wet.
One of our friend's newest addition. Isn't she adorable?
When it finally got dark enough, the sparklers that someone had brought were busted out!
The problem was none of them would stay lit!
Poor Claira was so excited, then bummed, then excited, then bummed that the sparklers would work, then go out. Then work, then go out.
Luckily the glow-in-the-dark sticks saved the day.
By this time we were just too dang tired to try and go see the big, fancy fireworks. So, we let the kids watch a few that people were lighting around the neighborhood then promptly went to bed.
Just like I am going to do right now... at 1:48am.
I think I've lived just long enough, known just enough people, and have had just enough of my own experiences to understand that it cannot and is not always possible; nor is it ever particularly easy.
But I've also lived just long enough, known just enough people, and have had just enough of my own experiences to believe that sometimes, if you want to have a good day, you need to decide that it will be, then make it so.
And as my mom always says, "Sometimes you just gotta take it one day at a time."
Do you ever look back on something you've done and think, "Wow, that was... really dumb."
This morning, 4:49am.
Do you know what kind of people are out and about at that unsightly hour? Psycho people, like... joggers and over-achievers, that's who. (Oh... I'm just teasing because I'm jealous)
Okay fine. And people who work to help accommodate said psycho people.
So why was I, who is neither a jogger or an over-achiever... though I suppose the psycho part is arguable, doing up at such a time?
I was on my way to the store... in all my freshly-rolled-out-of-bed-glory.
I've never seen Walmart look so barren.
And why in heaven's name was I going to the store to stinkin' early?
Well, we were completely out of life's basic necessities.
Otter pops and ice cream.
Oh, and diapers for Claira. I suppose those were important too, considering we discovered we were clean out last night.
But that still doesn't explain WHY I was there so early!
Well, two reasons. First, I just... really, really, really didn't feel like taking all five kids with me just to get diapers.
True, I have made such sacrifices for chocolate, but diapers? Pish... totally unimportant.
Some of you might not understand but, the summer experience of taking all kids with me to all places you ever go is starting to wear on me... just a bit. It drives people to do insane things... like go to the store at five in the morning.
And also, because Hubby CLAIMED he was going into work early. But really, I think it was an evil ploy to get the covers all to himself. The only reason he was out the door at 7:30am was because Claira was crying for a bottle and I was in the shower!
*humph* I could have slept in a little longer after all! He owes me... big time.
Well when I got back I decided to pretend for an hour or two that I was a responsible adult.
I spent some time with my scriptures then did something I haven't done in a long time.
I even dug down deep into my health arsenal for moral support.
Then I... well I... went all psycho and... exercised! *gasp* I know right! Maybe those joggers and over-achievers are onto something here!
Or... maybe not.
'Cause now that I've blogged about nothing of consequence and all the kids are awake, I'm ready for bed!
After that year I swore off t-ball up and down, left and right, over and under, and yes, even diagonally. I was convinced I was the world's worst mom because I secretly wished lightning would strike the field in the middle of the night and t-ball would be cancelled for the season! Yea!
But alas, it was not to be, I had to endure to the end.
We had managed to survive it that year, but I wasn't ready to inflict more pain and agony upon myself on purpose! When the t-ball coach approached me about it last year, I could only cringe as I looked down at my super-sized baby belly and tried to imagine hauling five kids to the park days after delivering a baby and trying to keep track of all of them as they each went in a different direction.
Well, except for the newborn... obviously.
No can do. Not even with a diaper bag full of chocolate could I swing that.
When I told the coach there was no way, she offered to at least take on Savannah and bring her to the games and drop her back off again. Since Savannah really wanted to play, and the coach was being so helpful about it all, I agreed and even managed to attend her second-to-last game.
The very last game was at 8:00am, so I passed up that "awesome" opportunity.
I like to think of it as... prioritizing.
This year it was only the boys playing - on the same team, which was pure awesomeness. One t-ball game in any given day was more than enough, especially with a one-year old who still enjoys her naps... and eating everything she finds on the ground.
And I confess, I was expecting the worst. But truth be told, it was actually rather... fun this year. *gasp* I know right! I don't know who should feel more shocked! You or me!
But Savannah is finally old enough I can let her go off to the playground that is across the field by herself, and even take Alayna along, and know she'll be okay. Claira never wanders off, she likes to stay close to me. And with both boys off playing, it was... well, easy! It really was! I even cheered them on quite annoyingly loud and vigorously.
It's a side of me I never knew existed.
I really think the boys enjoyed playing together.
Except once, when they both ran after the ball, reached it at the same time, and after some WWE wrestling, Jacob was victorious.
Joseph threw down his mitt.
And crossed his arms.
And maybe even shouted some unsportsmanlike things.
It was hilarious.
Don't judge me, it was my off Wednesday.
But other than that, they got along pretty well.
Being t-ball and all, other than watching the kids frantically chase the ball all over the field, the best part of it was the batting and the running.
Jacob had his own unique style. He would literally be running towards first base before he finished out his swing. It was like... mid-swing his feet would just, start moving!
Joseph on the other hand, had gotten in trouble for unintentionally throwing the bat after he hit the ball. And since other kids were doing it as well, there came a rule that if you threw down the bat, you lost your turn.
Well, Joseph did not want to lose his turn!
He would swing, then pause to watch where the ball went for a moment, before carefully laying down the bat. Only then would he run towards first base.
All in all, it was a pretty fun experience.
I may actually be excited to do it again next year! Maybe....
Savannah can't play t-ball anymore since she's too old, but we agreed she could do a dance or gymnastics class of some kind. We settled on tumbling, and after trying out the class, she seemed to really enjoy it so we put her in for the next month.
When her class was over yesterday, I went to get her and as we were walking out of the building, I asked her how it went.
Her reply was, "Good... except my bum is all sweaty."
I have done a bit more garage sale shopping than usual this year.
My kids think garage sales are just about the greatest things ever invented, since bubble gum. I tend to let them pick out a couple items of their own and they get really excited about that.
In truth some of the best investments I've ever made for my kids have only cost 25 cents.
Usually at stores when they ask for something, my answer is "no", or "not right now". I confess that often times they'll look up at me with hope in their eyes and ask, "Is it cheaper at Walmart?"
Anyway, I'm finding it an interesting line to walk now that they are getting a little older and starting to want things a little less ridiculous. I don't want my children to have an entitlement attitude, but at the same time I recognize that they have their own personalities and interests and I want to nurture those.
I guess that's what "working for" and "earning" something is all about.
Anyway, besides the garage sales, several kids their age have been doing little sidewalk sales of their own. Popcorn, lemonade, face painting... lettuce from the garden.
So they have been wanting to do something of their own.
A couple weeks ago, he had found this superhero puzzle at a garage sale and he wanted it soooo badly. So I caved and gave him the necessary 25 cents. Unfortunately, he was greatly disappointed when, upon returning home and putting it together, found that three of the large puzzle pieces were missing.
So one day he announced he was going to have a garage sale and sell his new puzzle, "because pieces are missing and I don't want it anymore."
I really didn't think much of it until Hubby came home for lunch one day and asked, "Hey, do you know what Jacob is doing outside?"
After saying no, Hubby then informed me that Jacob was just... sitting outside in front of the house with his puzzle and when asked what he was doing, Jacob woefully replied, "I'm doing a garage sale to sell my puzzle but... *big sigh... hanging his head* no one is stopping."
Oh look! There's a car!
Oh man.... it didn't stop.
Needless to say, he was pretty bummed he didn't sell it. It was the saddest, cutest, funniest sight ever.
However, I'm thinking that maybe I should let my kids do a bake sale of some kind. They could help me make up some goodies and then they could try and sell them!
What do you think? Would you buy cookies from a bunch of little monkeys on the side of the road?
Much like my stomach muscles, my posts have become weak and flabby... with stretch marks. And I'm sorry for any new readers who thought they would like it here only to discover what a bloggy slacker I've become.
But hang-it-all, ever since Claira was born I struggle to keep up with just about everything!
You know how we always look at our kids while they're kicking and screaming in the middle of the store and think, "Oh... heavens. I know this is a stage, but I can't wait until they grow out of it!" Well, I think as an adult we still go through "stages".
So hopefully, I'll be able to grow out of this slacker stage soon.
*sigh* Or maybe it's that I've been eating less chocolate and more cookies. That might be the problem right there. Chocolate has always been the better of the two options, I don't know what I'm thinking!!
It's obviously a chemical imbalance or something.
Anyway, just because I haven't had the guts to tackle our 4th of July pictures yet, I thought I'd show you what I "up-cycled"... or "recycled" or whatever you call it.
I bought this thing for $5. Apparently, it's a doll crib/clothes dresser.
But I had other plans for it.
Hubby helped me fix the broken pieces and I repainted it.
It's going to stay in our kitchen and I'm going to get a couple of pretty indoor plants to put in the top.
What do you think?
And now, I have a question.
So, I found some shoes I loved several months ago. But they were just too far out of my price range. Nevertheless I put them in my on-line shopping bag and there they've sat for the last four months or so while I would lovingly dream about them.
Well, the site finally decided to have sale! Seriously, you have no idea how excited I was. It was truly ridiculous. So I caved (heaven help me, I did cave) and I ordered them.
Now, I'm a little taller than 5' 6.5" so I always just round up to 5'7". Because saying I'm a little taller than 5'6.5" just sounds ridiculous and long-winded.
So, I have a five inch heel limit on all my shoes. That already puts me close to six feet tall anyway so, I never go taller than a five inch heel.
Well here's my dilemma.
In the description of the shoe, it says it has a four-inch heel. Perfect! And now that they were on sale, including shipping the shoes were less than twenty bucks.
*sigh* Aren't they beautiful?
But the moment I pulled them out I knew something was wrong. The heel looked way longer than four inches, so I held them next to my five-inchers. Sure enough, they were half an inch longer! So the heel is five and a half inches long!
I love them, I really, really do. But do you think they are a bit much? Too tall and all? What do you think? Should I keep them and tower over everyone when I wear them? Or send them back.
Ahhh!! I can't decide!!
But I did find my first pair of super cute flats at Ross. I'm rather proud of myself for venturing out beyond flip-flops.