I love July 4th. I really love all holidays, but July 4th is the closest after my birthday, and I'm usually still so ensconced in birthday mode that it all just gets wrapped into one ball of fun.
And Sadira loves July 4th, too...except for one minor detail..
She hates them.
Like, with a passion.
Her feelings toward fireworks (which I can only explain as one-third fear/one-third annoyance/one-third rage) are not limited towards Independence Day. She also hates fireworks on New Year's Eve, after sporting events, at DisneyWorld, anywhere. She even refused to go to a Ravens' game with me last year because of the threat of fireworks going off in the beginning of the game. And girlfriend LOVES her Ravens.
About a week ago we had a horrible storm and our electricity was knocked out for just over a day (and we were lucky---some people are STILL without power) and when the power came back on, some people in our neighborhood celebrated by setting off fireworks.
(This is pretty normal for East Baltimore).
And Sadie LOST. HER.SHIT.
It wasn't ALWAYS like this. When Sadira was smaller, she actually enjoyed the fireworks...I even have proof! But somewhere along the way she's become traumatized by them. I have no idea how, the whole thing confuses me too.
So a few weeks ago I tried talking to her about her issues with fireworks--or as they've started to be called--the "F" word--to try to sway her a bit. I asked her what she doesn't like about them, specifically. Is is the noise? Are the too bright? What is it?
"I just don't like them, Mommy. And they're too noisy."
"Well that's no problem, we can just get you earplugs!"
She could not be convinced.
I figured I could keep working on her, though.
So I did. I mentioned it about another week later (to the same result). And then again last week (still no budging). And then finally made one last ditch attempt on Tuesday night, the night before the 4th.
"Really Mommy? Are we really talking about those earplugs again? This is ridiculous."
This is what my four year old said to ME. It took every bit of self-control not to say, "you wanna know what's REALLY ridiculous? A four year old who doesn't like fireworks! And is depriving her family of a classic tradition and beautiful Fourth of July memories because she won't try out earplugs!"
But I didn't.
Instead I decided we'd try to make the most of the 4th sans fireworks.
I decided to dive into the Independence Day celebration in other ways. If I couldn't celebrate the festivities, I might as well be festive! And festive we were, thanks to Pinterest. I decided to tackle a few Pinterest projects that I had pinned months before, but were appropriate.
I give you....
Pindependence DayFirst up was the food. Pinteresters love to play with food, and there was no shortage of ideas on how to turn your dishes patriotic. We started with these:
Here is the original:
And here was the process for making ours (they used melted white chocolate, we used whipped cream cheese frosting which I already had on hand). Oh yeah, and my Preakness pal Sutton helped.
Next came cupcakes, which I also found on Pinterest.
Here is the inspiration:
And here were ours (gotta admit, I like ours a little bit better!):
Then I had to make the fruit salad that I had promised my grandmother I'd bring. Inspired by this:
We ended up with these (on the ends...apparently forgot to document these with the regular camera, so here's a camera phone pic of the spread):
And then there was the decor...
Thank you Target dollar section for these beauties:
Here's the original:
Since we don't have golf course lawn, we knew these wouldn't turn out as perfectly as they did in the picture, but we did head over to Mommom and Poppop's house and surprise them with stars on their lawn. I was actually pretty impressed with how well they came out...mostly considering Sadie pretty much did them all herself, minus cutting the stencil out.
Showing off the surprise to Mommom and Poppop...hope it doesn't rain, or you'll have a papier mache lawn! You're welcome! :-)
Sadira and Ms. Mary...or another opportunity for me to show off these four stars, haha:
So after brunch at my grandparents', we came back home to host our own little get together with my Mom, Sutton, Melissa and Olivia. After a few hours of eating, relaxing, eating, chatting, and eating, we decided to head to Melissa's to let the girls run in the sprinkler, and set off some small fireworks.
Only I didn't call them fireworks to Sadie...I called them SPARKLERS. ;-)
Of course this resulted in Olivia and Sadira getting into an argument about what type of explosives would be involved in our evening...
"Sades, they're fireworks."
"No, we're just going to do sparklers."
"No, my daddy got some fireworks too."
"But I don't like them, so we're not doing them..we're just doing sparklers."
Not the F-word!!
I was hoping that because we weren't going to a big field with a crowd, and because they were smaller than standard fireworks, and because she MAY be distracted by the fun of being at a friend's house, that Sadie wouldn't really NOTICE that we were actually setting off fireworks...
So I just quickly distracted them and changed the topic, "hey girls! Look! Mini-American flags! Here ya go, go sing a patriotic song!"
And off to Melissa's we went. :-)
Everything was great...at first.
They ran through the sprinkler...
Ate more food...
Put on a great performance...
And had an all-around great time.
Mr. Jason unleashed the fireworks.
They really were the little ones, see?
Pretty, sparkly, not too noisy, not too loud...just like giant SPARKLERS, right?
Not so for Sadira...who watched them with an anxious look on her face, hands on ears, and frequent protesting:
We were able to distract her for a bit sparklers...(ya know, real ones, not the kind I had lied about)...
And everything was going pretty okay...until the neighborhood fireworks started...
...and they stretched from Melissa's house to my house and pretty much every street within a 15 mile radius.
The F word.
There was lots of mulling around with a distressed look on one's face:
Covering ears with hands...
Recruiting others to cover her ears as well...
At some point I think I reminded her of the "ridiculous earplugs" that I had suggested weeks earlier...
....she was NOT amused.
Despite the traumatic fireworks, we still had a wonderful 4th of July. Here's hoping that you and your family enjoyed lots of F-words...fireworks, festivities, family, friends, food, and fun.
Happy Birthday America!!!!