July 9, 2017: Fourth of July

Happy belated 4th of July! That was pretty much the big excitement of our week. The boys both marched in our town’s parade in the morning. Well, Sam rode in the wagon, rather than marching, but he participated. Both boys are now officially Cub Scouts (Sam starts in his Lion den this fall), so we figured it’d be fun to have them both march (or ride, as the case may be!) with the pack.

My dear husband, being a procrastinator by nature, realized at 8pm on July 3rd that we ought to have some flags for the boys to carry. So he sent me to the drugstore and the Dollar Tree in search of them. Not surprisingly, they were sold out. As luck would have it, though, the Den Mother was prepared—apparently she had been buying 4th of July decorations for months and stockpiling them, so she had plenty of festive bunting and flags to decorate the wagons and give the kiddos.

It was a warm morning, but we had fun. I do love our little town’s sense of community! Everyone turns out for the parade, so our tiny four-square-block downtown is filled with people. So much fun!

In the staging area before the parade:

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Very briefly, he wore his cap:

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My goofy scouts!

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Can you tell Theo was too busy playing with his pals for me to take pix of him? I have like a zillion of Sam:

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Managed to snag a couple of Theo, though. Don’t ask me what this dance move is! Looks very Pulp Fiction to me!

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Last day wearing his blue shirt—he’s a Webelo now, so he’ll be wearing the tan shirt come fall!

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Dancing to the music:

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The pack with their fearless Cubmaster:

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Tricked-out wagon, thanks to our Den Mother!

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We got to follow Camp Four Paws! They are active in the pug rescue group. Hard to see, but the black dog sitting on a blond woman’s lap is a pug!

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Playing after the parade:

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We spent most of the rest of the day just relaxing at home. Chris and I both even fell asleep for ten minutes in our chairs, which is unheard of! (One of our two kids is DEFINITELY NOT QUIET, so sleep rarely happens unless that child is also asleep.) Chris made the all-American dish of tostadas (ha!!!) for dinner with his homemade salsa, and we had a nice dinner out on the deck before heading to fireworks.

This amuses me because Theo is incredibly clever about coming up with hopefully compelling arguments for things he wants to do. He likes to pound his fists on the table. I can’t stand it. (It’s loud and unnecessary. Loud things startle me, so I don’t like it.) He announced, “It’s time to pound our fists on the table three times for Jesus before we eat!” We don’t actually pray before meals, but I think it was his plan to try to get us to believe this was some form of prayer. Nice try, buddy.

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Sam is an incredibly meticulous eater. Watch the careful progression of dipping a chip in “sa,” as he calls salsa:

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This was our most successful year at fireworks since Sam was a year old! Both boys were pretty chill and really enjoyed it. A neighboring city puts on a big show at a high school football field every year, and it’s a lot of fun. The resident frozen custard food truck is usually there to serve up goodies, and this year was no exception. Theo and I waited in line 45 minutes to get custards for everyone, but it was SO worth it!

They always have a band to entertain people while waiting for fireworks, and this year’s band was exceptionally good. It was a 1980s cover band, and given that Chris and I are both children of the ‘80s, we loved hearing all the songs! The band was surprisingly good, too. Cover bands can be hit or miss, but this one was quite good!

The fireworks show was awesome, as always. Sam was frightened by the first two, but then quickly realized it was really cool and sat on my lap, clapping his hands. He actually fell asleep at one point during the thirty-minute show, but he woke up with the booming of the grand finale, and he sat straight up and applauded. It was quite cute!

Theo has always loved fireworks, but he gets really antsy with so much waiting. This year, though, he did much better in terms of keeping himself calm until the show began. It was a welcome relief!

Although I’m super excited about our eight-week road trip next summer, I will miss 4th of July around here. I do love the traditions we’re forming!

Theo finished up at his camp this week, and overall it was a great experience. He is adamant about wanting to go back in two years (when we’re in town for the summer again). His last day at camp was a trip to the local Six Flags amusement park, which I think he’s only been to once, so he was really excited about that. (I love roller coasters and enjoy amusement parks, but with our kids at such different levels in terms of what they want to do, it’s a little tough at this stage to make a family outing of it. Thus, we really haven’t gone. Which is probably a good thing for our pocketbook!)

Theo starts the local Parks and Rec camp he did last year on Monday, and he’s looking forward to it. Meanwhile, Sam is enjoying CRP and is talking up a storm! This week I realized that “Wawawawawa” is actually his way of saying “I want,” which makes it a whole lot easier to figure out what he’s saying at times. Also, we went swimming on Friday night, and he kept sticking his tongue in the water. Then he looked at me and said, “I eat…ter!” “Ter” is how he says “water,” so I know he was saying “I eat water”—a full sentence! Exciting times, people…exciting times!

The funny thing is, he always says “I” very quietly but then yells “EAT!” for some reason. So you nearly miss the “I,” but then hear “EAT!” and occasionally whatever word he’s trying to use for whatever he ate. It’s an interesting inflection, because I think most of us put the emphasis on what we’re eating (subtly): “I eat BACON” or “I eat CHEESE.” (Granted, we don’t yell it out.) But Sam’s is more like “I EAT water.” It’s funny how a change in emphasis affects how you hear and process a statement! It takes me a minute to realize what he’s saying because the emphasis isn’t where I’ve learned to expect it.

Admittedly, though, my hearing kind of stinks. Funny little story: A few days ago, Chris mentioned to me that someone “needed to go see a doctor about their ears.” I replied, “What do you mean, they need to go see a doctor about their years?”—assuming he was talking about a gerontologist or something. Which is pretty much definitive proof that I should probably join said person in visiting a doctor about their EARS. 😉

Saturday we attempted to go to a car and airplane show in San Jose, but it was blisteringly hot. The forecast had said a high of 86 degrees, so we thought if we went right when it opened, it probably wouldn’t be too bad.

Um…yeah. It was dreadful. For one thing, the high ended up being something like 96 in San Jose that day—the weather forecast was a full ten degrees off! And second, while mornings around this area are usually okay and the heat hits in the mid to late afternoon, on Saturday it was grossly hot even in the morning.

So, we lasted about 45 minutes and then called it good. We were all hot and sweaty, and Sam gets overheated pretty easily, so we gave up. Instead, we picked up smoothies for lunch and then went over to Grandma Kathy and Papa’s to spend the rest of the afternoon. We ended up having dinner with them before heading home.

At the car/plane show:

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On Sunday, my one request for the day was that we do something not in the heat. So, Chris decided we should head up to the Lawrence Hall of Science, which is in the Berkeley hills and much cooler. We had a good time there for a couple of hours. Chris and Theo watched a 3D show on the solar system at the planetarium and checked out some of the motion exhibits. Meanwhile, Sam and I explored the sand and water exhibits outside, visited his favorite ball-in-the-spiral exhibit, and then checked out the motion exhibits.

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We tried to go to our favorite Indian restaurant for lunch, but the line was wrapped around the building. So instead, we ended up at a seafood shack near the marina where I couldn’t eat anything (pretty much all fried food, which kills my gut), but we discovered that Sam has another food he likes: fried clams! If only he’d add some healthier options to his diet…ah well. I will say, he did chase down those clams with an apple/carrot/orange/cucumber smoothie, so that’s something.

Grandma Diane, this one’s for you—Theo is eating CATFISH!

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Behold, the fried clam (and the healthy smoothie in the background—I’m giving us a pat on the back for a rare healthy food ingested by this one):

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Anyway, time for pix. And if you missed it and are interested, I had a blog post earlier in the week about POTUS’s choice of language, which I found quite frustrating. Click here to read it.

Ramen salad with marinated cucumbers, carrots, and roasted mushrooms, topped with peanuts. Super yummy!

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Violet was in heaven:

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I realized, as Sam and I arrived to meet Auntie Jeanette for lunch one day, that I had dressed him in his I Love Bacon shirt…and we were eating at a vegetarian restaurant! I thought that was rather amusing.

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Now that Sam is with me most of the day (except three hours each morning in CRP), he joins me on errands. At Target, he insisted on carrying the basket, even though it’s nearly as big as him and he could hardly lift it!

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This was another ramen dish with roasted mushrooms and soft-boiled eggs. I can’t remember what else was in it, but it was delish. I’m a sucker for eggs of pretty much any kind!

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I think this wins best box meal of the week: basil fettucini with sautéed cherry tomatoes, corn, and spinach, with a light parmesan sauce. SO tasty!

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Okay, there’s a lot exciting in this video, even though it’s of a puzzle you’ve seen him do before! You can see him attaching a word to each letter. You can see him fitting the pieces together…and then asking for help when he can’t do one. You can hear the incredibly cute way he says “YASSSSSS” for yes. You can also hear the incredibly cute way he says “Ooops” with his little lisp. You can see him find X after W without me prompting him for what letter comes next. You can hear him say a two-syllable word: zebra! Two-syllable words have been incredibly hard for him, so this is super exciting! Anyway, enjoy.




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