Tuesday, July 8, 2014


The 4th of July is behind us again.  It was the same as it is every year, which, in this situation, is why I like it so much!  Dances, parades, demo derbys, and lakes mixed with beer and junk food and general outdoor fun...it makes a perfect summer holiday! 
A few things were different this year.  I had two babies to maneuver to their babysitter on street dance night instead of one.  My cousin has a baby now.  I happened not to be pregnant this year (2 out of the last four!) but my sister and standard 4th drinking partner is.  Also there is a new (and improved and airconditioned!) farm house and a newly finished lake house.  Bathrooms!  SO MANY BATHROOMS! 
Tessa spent some time with her baby cousin.  They have only met once before. 

She couldn't resist the hospital issue green pacifier! 
Ben realized this year that small town parades are just huge candy and novelty grabs and he caught a bucket (a novelty from an elevator that is also intended for farmers to use for their moisture test samples during harvest) and then we filled it to the brim with candy.  Then Ben kept skimming off of it all afternoon and then we hid it and he found it and basically ate nothing but crap all day. 

The parade order was the same as always:  The veterans marching the flags, police escorts, fire trucks and rescue vehicles, random classic cars, family groups, politicians, teams and businesses, old tractors, and horses.  We all know why the horses go last!
Happy birthday USA!
The usual parade silliness...
Crazy altered tractor pull tractors...

A huge cow float.  The cow used to be on the roof of a grocery store.

This pickup used to be Justin's!  A teenager purchased it and apparently he is on the baseball team.

A implement dealership was throwing out a limited number of miniature tractor keychains and they threw one right to Ben!  He loves his "tiny tractor"!
Here are a few pictures of Tessa and my cousin's daughter Lauren in their 4th of July red, white and blue.
Tessa and Uncle Pete.

Poor Lauren!  Just wait, Tessa, until she can crawl!

The demolition derby was nice this year.  The weather was pleasant and cool instead of 95 degrees and like a sauna like usual so sitting outside was enjoyable.  It was kind of short because there weren't many cars entered compared to other years.  Apparently the prophesies are coming true...old crappy cars with metal bodies from the 70's and 80's are dwindling in supply as the fiberglass cars of the 90's become the crappy cars of today.  Also, there are more derbies happening each summer because it is a popular summer activity (?).  To add an extra heat there was a round with pickups this year.  I guess they are the wave of the derby future! 

Feast your eyes...they are about to be smashed!
We took Ben this year.  It was Justin's idea.  I was hesitant because it was during his usual nap time and could have turned into a nightmare.  However, it went fine.  He wore his ear protection that he wears at football games and was quite mesmerized by the cars. 

Eventually, after a brief fussy period where he was alternating between clinging to my mom and trying to run around, the best case scenario happened:

Poor tired boy...
After the derby and supper we headed to MN to the lake.  We got there just in time to take in everyone's fireworks displays and it sounded like an awesome, patriotic warzone.  Complaining about other people's fireworks is rampant on social media but you will never hear me complain about enjoying someone else's $100's go up in a blaze of glory.  I also love the smell of gun power in the air. 
Tessa loved playing around outside all weekend. 
She's on the prowl for sticks and grass to shove into her mouth!
Ben had some water adventures.  He went kayaking with whoever would take him which he loved.  He doesn't look gleeful because he is mesmerized. 

That's his cousin Blake in there and yes he's got a fake pirate sword!

Ben and Dada kayaking.

This is my brother in law water skiing.  He's pretty good at it. 

Yes, he's only using one ski as he zooms all over the lake.  I waterskied too, for the first time in two years.  I got up on the first try, made it pretty far, lost control and let go of the rope when the boat was turning over it's own choppy water, face planted and lost both skis when I was trying to get up in the choppy water, and finally got back up and made it back to the dock.  I have it in mind to overcome my mental issues with skiing over the wake when turning.  The one ski thing...I don't know about that ever happening!
Speaking of water skiing, my arms are very sore from my short spin around the lake.  The places that are sore are muscles that never feel sore from anything else.  Mainly, the dreaded "batwing" area of flab on the inside of the upper arms are burning.  This is an area every woman wants to improve.  I need to find out what kind of weight lifting will simulate the motions of water skiing. 
So, now that the Monday after a 4 day weekend buzzkill has passed, I have another trip to look forward to because Justin and I are going to Wyoming tomorrow.  He has to go to work and I am going with.  My family used to live in Wyoming and travelled all around the area on vacations when I was young (like 4,5,6 years old young).  We are going to visit the city we used to live in and maybe see Mount Rushmore on the way back.  Because of this, I won't be writing on here until next week so this is the time that I am going to share some monumental news...
BEN WHIZZED IN THE TOILET LAST NIGHT!  I am so excited about this.  Potty training is very intimidating to me and it is hard to imagine him ever not wearing diapers and I am in such a diaper groove that it's almost hard to give it up in favor of hurried bathroom trips in stores and on the sides of roads.  We have a lot of progress still to make but this is a start and makes me feel less terrified of the huge task ahead.

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