Nothing says the 4th of July like fire. Since becoming a father, my husband's array of fireworks suddenly seem like they fit squarely within the confines of the law. It's not to say that he used to set off illegal fireworks. It's just that I remember years when I thought, "my, that display seems to go awfully high." I also remember going to other people's houses where everyone dove under the Adirondack chairs at the sound of a siren.
My memories of the 4th of July are of cousins who were allowed to light fireworks off of the cap to our well. We weren't allowed to play on that cap but for some reason, the big boys were allowed to play with fire there. It's a fond memory, peppered with slight feelings of gender inequity.
Now that we have kids, I am a mom. People start lighting things and I'm yelling, "YOU ARE GOING TO BLOW YOUR ARM OFF." I never thought I would be that person but here I am. Frankly, I don't care that I am that person. Do you have any idea how many people were in the emergency room today for injuries that could have been avoided? I'm just saying.
So I may have prepped my kids for the 4th of July with stories of getting burned by sparklers. I know, scandalous. The funny thing is, my husband apparently had already scared them with stories about getting burned by sparklers. Who knew that so many people had stories about getting burned by sparklers? I got a hole in my favorite skirt and a burn on my leg from a sparkler. Those things are dangerous. When we finally rolled out our little fireworks display, it was only when the sparklers came out that a hush fell over the crowd.
Nate went running into the house. Ethan held his sparkler until nearly the end, when he dropped it and ran. Me?
Held mine over my head, twirling it as fast as I could. I figure they have all the time in the world to learn to not be afraid of sparklers. It works to my advantage that they are now.
Happy Independence Day! Are you decorating your bikes and wagons for a neighborhood parade? Are you in the kitchen whipping up some yummy potatoe salad for a get together? Will it be a private firework show with sparklers in the backyard or are you heading out to join the masses for the big light show in your city or town?
We are headed back from a lovely beach vacation with tanned faces and rested hearts. While we endure the holiday traffic home, check out these 4th of July fun links:
Take the Knowledge of the Fourth quiz here.
How about all these amazing firework photos?
Don't miss the best place to celebrate on the fourth, you can catch A Capitol Fourth at 8pm on your local PBS station. It will be live! Did I mention the muppets from Sesame Street will be there?
Have a safe and happy day from all the Supersisters!
Ethan wanted to get his father something specific for Father's Day, but I don't remember what it was. The only part I remember is that it cost money. I shut him down.
You can see by that haircut that we are doing a little cutting back here at Chateau Cookie. I always swore that the last luxury I would give up would be $14 haircuts for the kids. Either we have reached that point or maybe that chocolate was more luxurious than a head of hair that does not look like it had a plastic cereal bowl slapped on the head and cut around.
I cut the hair today. Having watched the barber on more than one occasion cut a divot out of the head of a child who suddenly decided he really wanted to know what Oprah's Book of the Month was this month, I was afraid. But this is what Father wanted on Happy Father's Day so this is what I did.
Of course I started with Ethan because I thought he would be better behaved. Unfortunately he has that hair. I don't even know what that statement means but I have heard it often. This doesn't make any sense because if you cut 30 heads of hair 5 days a week, is there really a head with that hair? It looks frightening but at least it is out of his eyes.
Then I cut Nathan's hair. There is something heady (pun intended) about wielding clippers. His head looks relatively tolerable to live with but his bangs look like Lombard Street in San Francisco. He was so busy trying to shove the cut hair down the drain of the sink I had him perched on that I just gave up trying to get them straight. You know how it goes with bangs. You keep trying to fix them and then you end up looking like that girl from Northern Exposure. Sometimes it's better to just walk away from something and revisit it later. It's not like I just ruined his prom picture or anything.
The boys then spent the rest of the day chasing their father around the backyard as he did things with cement. There were multiple changes of clothing and eventually ice cream at our favorite spot since it was free-ice-cream-for-dad-day. Other than ruining all photos of my children for the next 6 weeks, I'd say it was a good day.
How was yours?
Father's day is right around the corner and what better time to throw some link love in the manly direction. Here are some fatherly picks worth checking out:
Wanna shock Dad with a super cool gift this Father's Day? How about this awesome shirt telling the truth to the world. A cold one in his hand should follow.
These got the Dad seal of approval from Jorge (who peeks over my internet shoulder) while I was shopping on etsy at our house.
Got a green dad? Check out this awesome repurposed gift. Fashion rules!
I spent the better part of last night getting lost in Matt's world. Any parent feeling alone will be inspired by his resolve and love.
Dad Gone Mad is fresh, funny and will remind you to not take anything too seriously, especially yourself.
Did I tell you about the time I interviewed my mom for a speech class in college? The assignment was to give a compelling arguement on why I deserved an A. I got the A. Kevin interviews his dad to take his youtube popularity to new levels.
Let the memories of your dad fill up the comment box. Send us your best links to anything and everything dad related too. For just one day, it is all about the guy who loves you no matter what.
It hasn't been my most stellar year of mothering. I have discovered a new level of hard I didn't know about yet. The sheer number of little people, the drama of a three year old with a lovely and yet intense personality, the needs of a baby. I kind of thought I had this thing under control up until now. It's a gift really, being humbled and joining the ranks of real parenting. Even though I like to reflect (i.e. mildly obsess) on my parenting on a regular basis, this Mother's Day I find myself with new and confusing feelings.
I'm not sure I deserve all the hoopla of honor, I have never been so edgy and made so many mistakes. It's been more of a triumph of survival and I'd be horrified and hurt if there was no fanfare at all. Sound familiar?
This is the year when I remember I birthed these children.
This is the year I discover how forgiving children are when they proudly present me with a macaroni necklace made at school.
This is the year to tell my husband what I would like to do because I need to know I am loved regardless of my performance.
This is the year to remember the 1,000 tiny things I do to keep this family going.
This is a year for self care, forgiveness and a new start.
This is the year that I run towards what brings me joy so I can bring it back to my family.
This is the year I tell my mom I understand her and love her in a new way.
Are you having the opposite kind of year? Do you desperately need everyone around you to see you in all your mothering glory?
Every mother I know seems to have a love/hate relationship with Mother's Day. What's your feeling about it? Tell us in the comments.
Life's most urgent question is: what are you doing for others?
May this day remind us the importance of teaching our children what is right and good and kind.
I officially declare 2009 as the year of the nap. No seriously, we all need a nap don't you think? 2008 proved to be a challenging year for my family, hard on all levels and ways. I think more than anything, we need a rest and lots of recovery. More play, more fun, more sleep. Is it a pipe dream my friends? We are experts at lounging over here so I'm guessing it will be a returning to our roots a bit.
My friend Jen Lee has this great podcast about a cherry pie and all the lessons simple things can hold. Kissing perfectionism goodbye, letting go and being together is the thing. I can feel it.
Much peace and joy to you and all those you hold dear all as you start this new year of 2009.
By now you are in a holiday-induced coma, vowing to yourself you will never let yourself eat this many Christmas cookies ever, ever again. I feel your pain, sisters. I'm right there with you. While you contemplate all the nutritional changes you'll make in the New Year, let me direct you to the finest of the web this last week.
Amy Sharp of Doobleh-vay has a fantastic solution for saying thank you this holiday season. Skip the handwritten notes (which too often never make it to the mailbox anyway) and try this lovely web-friendly bit of gratitude instead. I think any grandparent in America would be pleased as punch to be thanked in this particular way.
Do you feel like you spent too much money this holiday season? Now is as good a time as any to get back on the bandwagon and recommit to becoming a picture of fiscal responsibility in 2009. If you need a sister or two to help you get back on track, join the Poverty Party and make saving (and no more frivolous spending) fun.
And last but not least, if you think this is the very last year you can pull off Santa at your house, take this good advice from Brene Brown--mom extraordinaire--who helped her own dear girl receive the truth about Santa without losing any sparkle or magic to her holiday.
The big Christmas morning surprise: A Wii
The kids: excited beyond belief. Jack, in particular, was delirious
The Wii nickname: This started quite a discussion amongst our family members. We thought the Wii should be named the Wiigado after our last name Salgado. Jack disagreed.
"I think we should name it God because it IS Christmas and that's what Christmas is all about. You know, God the baby and everything." he insisted.
"Huh, that's true." I said. (actually considering the idea)
"We can NOT name the Wii GOD." Jorge said under his breath.
Wiigado won, although I think the Wii will be worshiped for a while.
And Santa did appear at our front door. At 5:35 p.m. Something about making sure that everyone had been good this year, that good behaviors lasted until bedtime, taking baths and that bedtime come soon so Santa could finally come down our chimney.
Sure he had forgotten his hat and The Boy noticed something funny about his beard.
E: Mom. What is up with Santa's hair on his face? Why does it look like that?
Um, because it's polyester? Flammable yet very soft?
There were questions about how Santa arrived, where the presents were, why he came early and why couldn't he just drop the presents off now. Little faces pressed up against the window as Mom tried in vain to explain that Santa's sleigh had disappeared in a flash and little voices asked how Santa's sleigh could be so fast and shouldn't we have heard him fly away. Discussions regarding our wood stove insert blocking the chimney.
I feared that perhaps Santa's 90 seconds had been a few too long but The Baby was rushing up the stairs, his fat little legs moving as fast as he could.
Nathan: Baff, Mommy. Baff.
K: Santa told you to get a bath?
Nathan: NOW, MOMMY. NOW. Ho, ho, ho.
Well, alrighty then. I can see now that I was throwing the Santa card/be-on-your-best-behavior/don't-make-me-call-him-because-I-have-his-cell-number on the wrong kid. There's no doubt this little one believes. I fear he has absolutely no idea what he believes in, but if a large man in a red suit shows up in your living room and tells you to get a bath, I guess you had better do it.
Here's to lots more years of rushed baths and hurried bedtime stories before Santa comes. And to all a good night.