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Ok, so I’m sure it’s hot everywhere in the country right now,  BUT…with our humidity it feels like we’re living in Atlantis. The only time we’re dry is the 4 1/2 seconds after we’ve toweled off following a shower.  It’s a deadly combo: hot, sweaty, sticky children = tired, cranky, whining parents. With all the activities for this holiday taking place outside, the million dollar question is…who’s bright idea was it to make it the 4th of JULY for crying out loud? Oh, yeah, I guess it was these guys:

All in favor of changing the day to the 4th of September....?
All in favor of changing the day to the 4th of September….?
Our day was packed full of  fun. It started at 9am downtown for the big Celebration parade. We got there at 7 minutes before 9.  A 7 minute wait is an hour forty in toddler time. Luckily, there was a vendor selling “Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice”. You can’t get any fresher:
It doesn't get any "greener" than this: a reusable plastic straw-thingy is inserted directly into the orange. You squeeze the orange while sucking out the juice. No cups, no waste and a novelty that makes your kids drink something that's good for them AND it takes about 7 minutes to drink...here comes the parade!

It doesn't get any "greener" than this: a reusable plastic straw-thingy is inserted directly into the orange. You squeeze the orange while sucking out the juice. No cups, no waste and a novelty that makes your kids drink something that's good for them AND it takes about 7 minutes to drink...here comes the parade!

One of the great things about living in Celebration is it’s small size. When there’s only a few hundred people watching the parade, your kid doesn’t have to fight very hard for any of the parade “goodies” thrown out to the crowd. No more dissapointed frowns directed at me like when parade swag flew over his head at the Pasadena, CA parades. If your kid has ever looked at you with one of those “looks”, you know what I mean when I say removing just one of them from my life was well worth the cross-country move. Both Nate and Zeke scored huge:
Bracelets and beads and candy...oh, my! Nate even managed to score a potted plant given out by the gaden club. He just flashed one of his heart-melting grins and the woman was defenseless.

Bracelets and beads and candy...oh, my! Nate even managed to score a potted plant given out by the garden club. He just flashed one of his heart-melting smiles and the woman was defenseless.

Zeke nabbed 2 rubber ducks, a flag and a woman's purse...without ever leaving his stroller.

Zeke nabbed 2 rubber ducks, a flag and a woman's purse...without ever leaving his stroller.

After the parade, we raced home to get ready for the family. We invited my brother, Scott; his wife, Melody and their twins, Hope & Paige. My cousin, Linda and her husband, Hector were coming with my Uncle Joey. We were so excited they were coming! That’s why we moved to this Humid Hole that’s just a mile and 1/2 north of Hades…to be near family.

Sometimes I wonder how I ever became a stand-up comic. I mean, what would lead me to such a weird profession? Then I spend a day with my family:
All I said was "Can I get a group photo of the guys?" My husband, Cowboy Mark. My brother, Harley Scott. My Uncle, Darth Maul Joe. And my cousin's husband, Harlequin Hector. And I'm the comic?

All I said was "Can I get a group photo of the guys?" My husband, Cowboy Mark. My brother, Harley Scott. My Uncle, Darth Maul Joe. And my cousin's husband, Harlequin Hector. And I'm the comic?

Dinner was awesome. That’s mainly because I had nothing to do with it. In case you don’t know, I’m extremely lucky to be married to a man that not only likes to cook, but is really good at it. That means our children will have nutritiously balanced meals and won’t ever get scurvy. (Which would be a real threat if I were in charge of meals.) My job? Purely janitorial. I can clean like nobody’s business. Which works out great for us because I can’t cook. Well, that’s not entirely true. I have been venturing into the world of desserts. In fact, Nate and I made a really fun 4th of July cake that I found online:
Licking the bowl was a huge motivator for me to learn to cook desserts. Getting to lick the bowl after making mashed potatoes...not really the same.

Licking the bowl was a huge motivator for me to start making desserts. Licking the bowl after making mashed potatoes...not so much.

Chocolate flag cake! How cute is this? And sooo freakin' easy: store-bought cake with white frosting. Blueberry stars with strawberry stripes. (No people were hurt in the making of this cake which was a miracle.)

Chocolate flag cake! How cute is this? And sooo freakin' easy: store-bought cake mix with white frosting. Blueberry stars with strawberry stripes. (No people were hurt during the making of this cake which was a miracle.)

Mark made tacos with Spanish rice. That’s the only meal besides pasta that vegetarians came make for their carnivore families that doesn’t make them miss their meat.
The fireworks were downtown, which is under a mile to walk. It’s a nice walk…in the winter. Walking downtown on July 4th felt like a stroll thru the Mojave.  But I have to give my family props…everyone walked and had a great time. It gets really crowded for fireworks. We actually get buses filled with people to come see our amazing fireworks display. The show was awesome. It  made us forget about the heat, the humidity and the crowds of sweaty people. We had a great vandage point as well, which was nice for the kids. It was Zeke’s first 4th of July. He actually stayed awake long enough to see the show. Well…1/2 of the show:
How do you fall asleep during a fireworks display? Open a creaky door during nap time and he's up, but exploding, screaming fireworks...zzzzzzz....

How do you fall asleep during a fireworks display? Open a creaky door during nap time and he's up, but exploding, screaming fireworks...zzzzzzz....

Nate managed to hold his own with his older cousins, Hope (on the left) & Paige (on the right). "Mommy, we're having fun, so don't say anything." I didn't know how to take that, so I just said, "OK, Nate...I won't say anything."

Nate managed to hold his own with his older cousins, Hope (on the left) & Paige (on the right). "Mommy, we're having fun, so don't say anything." I didn't know how to take that, so I just said, "OK, Nate...I won't say anything."

I’ll admit that when Hope & Paige were smaller, they REALLY looked alike. Especially when they had their haircut the same. But now, Hope’s hair is long and Paige got her hair cut into a cute, short bob. Now it’s easy to tell them apart…or you would think. For some reason, Nate cannot for the life of him, tell his cousins apart. “Mommy, which one is that?” “Nate, Paige has short hair. That’s Paige.” “Ok, Ok, OK….um…which one is Hope?” “NATE! Hope has long hair! That’s Hope.” He finally got so frustrated that he started calling each one of them, “Hope&Paige”. He went up to Paige and said, “Scuse me, Hope&Paige…wanna play Star Wars?” I almost choked when I heard him say to Hope, “Scuse me, Hope&Paige? Where is your sister, Hope&Paige?” They’re very good sports about it.
After the fireworks, we all headed home for the after show…
It's not the 4th of July without sparklers burning your hands...Go Paige!

It's not the 4th of July without sparklers burning your hands...Go Paige!

My brother (Uncle Scott) took over the "lighting of the sparklers" duty. I guess he was the most qualified, seeing as how he's a firefighter and all.

My brother (Uncle Scott) took over the "lighting of the sparklers" duty. I guess he was the most qualified, seeing as how he's a firefighter and all.

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It was a great day, in spite of the heat. “One for the books” as the saying goes. I do feel a little guilty about letting the real meaning of the holiday slip between the cracks. I vowed to explain to my boys what each of the holidays was about and why we were celebrating. But when I started telling Nate about our founding fathers and the Declaration of Independence…his eyes glazed over. I guess that’s what he was referring to when he said, “We’re having fun, so don’t say anything…!” {sigh}
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