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In Aaron's words, "We can check that off our list for the next decade."

One of my latest reality checks has been that our kids are growing up way too fast, and we are really boring parents. Hence our new attitude as parents to do more, go more, and play more as a family.

Aaron has a really big, and really fun extended family who planned a really fun 4th of July. The plan was to meet at the MTC field at 6-ish, bring your own dinner, play some games, and then enjoy a beautiful show of fireworks from the Stadium of Fire.

"Let's do it!" Aaron said. "OK!" I said in my bravest voice. Because, really, I am not a brave mom. I am not a roll with the punches kind of girl. Because I am that mom who, when her kids start freaking out, packs up and leaves whatever store, function, activity, or fireworks show we are at.

But if Aaron was up for it, then I guess I kind of was too. I kept reminding myself that part of the deal was Cafe Rio, and Aaron's family. (I really like his family, and Cafe Rio). So I made sure we had everything we could ever want or need while we were there. Bottles? check. Snacks? check. Blankets & sweatshirts? check. Pajamas? check. Camera? check. Shampoo & conditioner? check?

1st stop- Cafe Rio. 2nd stop- MTC lawn. 3rd stop- shady tree. After we all met up and ate our dinners, we played The Candy Bar Game, which is my new favorite game. (Thanks to Aunt Karen for the Blue Symphony bar... I am saving it for the right moment of pure uninterrupted enjoyment.) Up to this point, life was good. "It was worth being brave!" I thought.

This is the part where Cousin Michelle had the right idea. She packed her little family up, said her goodbyes, and looked at me like "Are you sure you don't want to do what I'm doing?", or at least I thought "Am I sure I don't want to be doing what she is doing?". And really, I should have been doing what she was doing. But I was brave.

And then we got ready to watch the fireworks. And then my kids starting being crazy and bad. And then I noticed that Jack had a fever. And the infant Tylenol I had in my diaper bag was on it's last drop. And then the kids were cold, and the sweatshirts were lost... and my good life was slowly slipping away. And the stress began to build. And I took some very deep breaths.

But it was almost over, and the boys settled down, kind of. And the finale was just beginning. And Jack started screaming. It was 3.5 hours past his bedtime, he was fevered, and he was done. I tried his paci. He didn't want it. I tried his bottle. That didn't work. At this point I was sweaty. (Does anyone else get sweaty when their kid cries in public?) And I was stressed, and I was done being brave. I asked for the keys, walked to the car with a screaming, sick baby, and wondered over and over why I didn't follow Cousin Michelle home.

It took us 75 minutes to get home. And a bottle still had to be made. Diapers changed. Tylenol administered. Kids put to bed. Contacts taken out.

But we were brave. And we survived. And it was fun to see the fireworks with Josh & Cally and Chad & Sara. And we have some great memories.

And this is all I have to say to my husband... next time, check yourself BEFORE you wreck yourself!


mom said…
LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL that is a very funny story. I knew I should have gone to help with the boys, an after thought I had. I hope Jack is over his fever, it's because you cut his hair off he lost all his strength.
You will never forget that 4th I'm sure.
RACHIE said…
I totally know your frustration! I get all worked up before we even leave for any outing.

All I can say is, I have been there. I am sure you looked completely are a total pro Mandee!
grandma jojo said…
me sweaty? never! unless of course the temp is above 68 deg.
you are so funny. i love your stories. you haven't told the curled up in the fetal postition, banging your head on the dashboard story on your blog yet. love to have it in print.
Alifinale said…
Oh so funny and I feel your pain and I only have 1 child. But she has been super fussy crying all the time lately and it makes me sweat. So sorry that the end of your night was not so happy - but the rest sounded pretty great.
Deby said…
I'm with ya Mandee! I have passed up a lot of invites to things because of
1) the time of day (naps and bedtimes to be considered)
2) any other children there? babyproofing? plants to be shredded?
3) how would others take it when (not if, when) Alexis has a meltdown and starts to throw a bit of a tantrum or scream
4) how much work is it for me to pack everything up, haul everything around and then unpack when we get home

Sometimes when you think it is worth it, it is NOT and other times it so IS. It just depends on how much strength I think I have that day.
Laura said…
Oh, you were a real trooper, Mandee!

I've been there especially on Christmas Eve with a sick child in our van. Someday, you will go back and will never forget this holiday, and will be able to share the stories constantly.
Kim said…
I have to say your story cracked me up. Since I saw you at Steph's and I told you I stalked your blogg, and then you told me I had to comment. I love the blogg, the stories crack me up and the pictures are completely adorable.
Katie said…
Just keep thinking, "It's for the kids!" You will have some good memories some day too but you are a brave woman!
Cally said…
Like everyone else said, it's all about making memories. I'm sure your kids will appreciate your braveness when they get kids of their own.
It was fun to have you guys there with us. Same time, same place next year? You don't have to answer right now. :) It's like going through forget how bad it was and do it all over again. Right?

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