Saturday, July 5, 2014

"Mera's Birfday"

Aka America's birthday.  Aka the 4th of July. ;)

I was reading last year's 4th of July post (I can't believe this was Ruby's 3rd one already!), and was pretty amused to see that we spent this 4th almost identically to the last.  Ok by me!

We kicked off the day with a patriotic breakfast of baked red white and blue donuts, which did not turn out all pretty like the recipe, but who cares?  Plus blueberries and raspberries.  Ruby was SO excited about the donuts!  I was excited that I'd made them the night before, so breakfast was festive and zero effort.


Then, just like last year, we put on our red, white, and blue, and headed down to the parade!  Ruby was really excited about this, too.  Especially when I told her it would be full of kids, dogs, fire trucks, candy, and grand old flags.  Which is what Ruby calls ANY flag she sees.  Grand old flag.  Always grand old flag.  I love that so much.

Walking to the parade with her own grand old flag.

Also like last year, we were able to snag a great parking spot, and an equally great spot to watch the parade.  I need to remember next year to bring our picnic blanket to drape over the curb like a bunch of other smarties did.  It was kind of dirty.  But whatever.  Ruby looked intense/pissed off in almost every picture, but she wasn't.  She was concentrating on taking it all in.  

She really just wanted to be RIGHT in front of or next to us - hard to take her picture that way!

Waiting for fire trucks.

Here they come!

And, of course, Sammy the Salmon.

These kids had sweet rides.

Gathering candy.

We were surrounded on either side by much older kids/teenagers, who were really intimidating to Ruby.  When the candy would go flying, she'd make a dash for it, only to have these older kids dive in front of her and take the candy that was nearest to her.  I was a little frustrated.  Not because I wanted her to have more candy (obviously), but because I could tell she was disappointed each time she reached for a piece only to have it taken out from under her.  I was also annoyed that these kids' parents let them do that to a toddler.

"Where'd the candy go?"

Highlights of the parade were when Ruby flipped off the firemen (accidently, of course, but very obviously), when she kept picking up candy and putting it into the other kids' bags (hey, she's good at sharing!), and when she picked up an Almond Joy and exclaimed, "Mommy chocolate!" and brought it to me (I plead the 5th on that one).

After the parade was over, we went looking for the two things we were interested in at the Heritage Festival last year, but didn't do.  And both weren't there!  We really wanted to give Ruby a chance to climb on/check out the fire engines, since she's been into them lately.  Last year we walked up just as they were finishing up, so this year we went there first...  And...  They weren't there.  I guess they didn't do that this year?  Or maybe they had an emergency?  Who knows.

So then we went to go get her a pony ride, aaaaaannnnd...  No ponies.  Boo!  There was some shooting obstacle course game in their place (because that's appropriate for children...).  Since we knew that Ruby would be too intimidated by the bouncy house and inflatable slides, we decided to head out.  No big deal, really.  We'd come for the parade, and had a good time!

Mr. G suggested we go out to lunch.  Ruby had been lamenting the loss of her purple Red Robin balloon (it deflated after weeks), so he asked her if she'd like to go there for lunch and to get a new one.  Would she ever!

Her face after we told her where we were going.

Luckily they were open.  Apparently Mr. G had forgotten it was the 4th of July (?!?) when he suggested it, but they were, and no crowd.  Nice.  Except...  They were all out of helium!  No purple balloon!  I can't even tell you how many times Ruby asked us where all the balloons went during the course of our meal.  Thank goodness this child handles disappointment well.

We could tell that she was tired from all the excitement, so after lunch we headed home for nap.  Ruby suggested we go to the party store for balloons, but that wasn't happening!

I had made the comment early in the morning to Mr. G, that Ruby was so lucky.  All of her 4th of Julys had had amazing weather!  So rare for Washington!  Well, of course, during nap the clouds roll in.  Boo!  We had big plans to fill the swimming pool after she woke up, but "Mr. Golden Sun" was hiding.  Ruby was happy to play with her water table instead, though, and we put her in her festive swim suit anyway, since she's so splashy these days!

Funny story, I walked outside to set up the water table, and felt a drip land on me.  I was like, "Ugh!  Rain?" then I looked down at my chest (where I'd felt the drop), and realized a bird had pooped on me!!!  So gross!

While I cleaned up, the rest of the fam busted into a bag of Boom Chicka Pop(corn) that I'd bought specifically because it was the 4th and had the word "BOOM" on it.  Oh, and I got the "minty" bag, because Ruby is obsessed with all things minty.

Turned out to be a good call, because the three of us ate almost the entire bag!  I don't even really like popcorn, but this stuff was good.  You can tell by the dog photobomb above that Braidy really wanted to try it, too.  Too bad, dog!

Side note:  Later, Ruby was carrying the bag around, talking to herself, and we heard her say, "That's 37!  There's a 37 on there!".  Mr.G and I gave each other wtf faces, because seriously?  How in the heck did she know that that number was 37 (it says "37 calories" on the bag)?!?  We're still blown away by that one.

In addition to her popcorn snack, I also gave Ruby some festive watermelon that I'd cut into star shapes and skewered to a patriotic paper straw.

This might be my new favorite picture of her.

She was SO tickled that the watermelon was star shaped!  And on a stick!  It seriously made me want to cut up other food into shapes.  It wasn't even that hard (I used a cookie cutter), so I guess I am totally turning into that mom.  

After a dinner of BBQ chicken, hot dogs, and more watermelon stars, we decided to go for a family walk around the neighborhood.  Ruby decimated her dress with watermelon juice, so she needed a little wardrobe change first.

Throughout the whole day, she'd been saying, "Did you have fun at the parade?".  Meaning she had fun at the parade.  We had told her it was a celebration of America's birthday, so on our walk, she kept singing "Happy Birthday" and told us over and over that she was going to "Mera's birfday party!".  Yep.  We about died.

We debated long and hard about whether or not to take Ruby to see fireworks this year.  They are illegal in our town, so unless you want to break the law, you have to go to an orchestrated show.  None of the shows around here started until after 10pm, so we ultimately decided not to do it.  It turned out to be a good call, because we could tell she was exhausted by 7:30 when she announced it was time to put on pajamas.  

You can usually see fireworks from our bedroom window, but with the cloudcover, there were almost none to be seen.  You could definitely HEAR them, though.  Luckily, Ruby was too tired to care.  The booms didn't stop her from going to sleep, and while she would stir when a really loud one would go off, she never got up, and slept straight on through till morning.

All in all, it was a great 4th.  Mr. G and I both have hopes that we'll have moved out of our tiny townhouse by the next one so that we can host a party (fingers crossed), and maybe just maybe Ruby will be able to hang long enough to see some fireworks. 

I hope you all had a lovely, fun-filled Independence Day! 

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