My two favorite holidays as an adult are Thanksgiving and 4th of July. Both are centered around social gatherings with family and friends and plenty of good food. Unlike Christmas, there isn’t a ton of preparation with a month’s worth of shopping and decorating (I do enjoy the Christmas season as well). As a kid, my 4th of July consisted of watching (or marching in) the local parade in the late morning/early afternoon, a gathering at my parent’s house, and an evening topped off with a private fireworks show in the backyard. Now that Mike and I are married, we’ve merged our 4th of July celebrations to be inclusive of both families – so we spend the late morning/early afternoon at a large town gathering in the park with his family (a longstanding tradition for Mike), and then have dinner and did fireworks with my family. Last year was the last year for the firework show in the backyard, it had gotten quite large and we’ll just say that it rubbed someone nearby the wrong way, so that was the last year of that. Not that I would have been awake for fireworks this year anyway.
With Mike working the entirety of the long weekend, Luke and I were on our own for the day. He took a stellar early morning nap, during which time I was so excited for the rest of the day’s festivities that I laid out our clothes, our back-up clothes, and everything else that we’d need for the day. Since Luke concluded the “4th trimester” as some call it (basically the first three months when a baby sleeps a bunch and doesn’t do much else), I’ve learned that days when we’re off of our usual routine (we’re not on a schedule, but there’s a usual flow to our day) the goal becomes to keep Luke happy on what little napping he’s willingly going to do (my Mother-in-Law correctly labeled him a Party Baby, aka doesn’t want to miss out on the action when lots of people are around). I’d hoped that he’d stay awake long enough to us to make the 1 minute drive to CVS to pick up bug spray that would be safe for him (which we didn’t even end up using hah) and then for him to fall asleep for the rest of the drive to my in-laws.
Luke was out cold by the time we got to CVS (seriously, 1 minute, 2 if there’s traffic) and I carefully held him as we made a bee-line for the bug spray. As expected, he woke up in CVS – but thankfully was back asleep for the next 15 minute leg of our journey. The goal was to then transfer him into his stroller and let him take the rest of his nap at our picnic site. But he was awake by the time we reached the rest of the family. He held out as well as could be expected for a baby who had only taken a fraction of the nap that he would have usually taken, and we lasted long enough to celebrate my sister-in-law’s birthday with gifts and cake.
After he peed on me (somehow that never happens at home or at my parent’s house… where I actually have clothing readily available – though I thought I’d packed an extra pair of pants for myself, but apparently I just packed shirts) and eventually became quite whiny (we got a solid 2.75 hours in), I decided it was best if we made our exit and went home instead of straight over to my parent’s house. I drove as slow as possible and took a less-than-direct route to ensure as long a car nap as possible (sometimes he’ll stay sleeping after a car ride, and sometimes his eyes will pop open upon reaching our destination). After the 20 minutes that I made it take to get home, Luke stayed asleep for another hour (!!!) and I puttered around my bedroom trying to figure out the parental logic of: if you have two pairs of jeans that currently fit, and your baby has spit up on the first pair (this was before we even left the house) and peed on the second pair, which pair do you wear to your next event? The answer ended up being neither when I noticed that the chocolate ice cream on my sleeve wasn’t coming out (I gave Luke a couple of tiny tastes of ice cream and he wiped his mouth on my sleeve) and I changed into a maxi-dress.
Luke was a bit of a roller coaster the rest of the evening, but that’s par for the course starting around 5pm each night. He ate bananas while the rest of us got to dine on delicious BBQ grilled chicken + sides, and we dipped a cheerio into the BBQ sauce (not spicy) to see what he’d think – after a thoughtful/pensive face at first, he seemed quite okay with it (though that was the only taste of that that he got). As we were leaving my parent’s house I noticed how light it was outside. It felt strange heading home so early (8pm), but honestly, after I put Luke to bed, the tired set in and I doubt I could have made it out and about much longer myself. So after I wrap up this entry, I’m going to go listen to the fireworks from my bed, hope that they don’t bother Luke, and thumb through Martha Stewart Living before falling asleep.