Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy Freakin' Fourth for crying out loud.

It's the Arch through an arch. Clever.

When I was little, I loved the idea of decorating for any occasion. The tackier, the better. Now that I'm an adult? I could care less. I actually care a little bit since I had the kids...why should my grouch patrol spoil all their fun?

So, on that note, today was the 4th of July.

Whoopidee doo.

Now, let me say this: I am so grateful to live in a country where I take for granted so many basic rights and freedoms. I'm awed that men and women lay down their lives so that I can float along making sarcastic comments about things and not decorating for holidays. I am blessed and I am damn lucky, and I know it.

It does not, however, affect my apathy for holiday decorations. I think I'm missing a decorating gene or something. Actually, it's probably more of a motivation gene now that I think about it.


I had a point.

Oh, right. Fourth of July. Mom and Richard got here around lunch time and the whirlwind frenzy that exists when the kids are near Grandparents begins immediately. Here were my big plans for today: cooking out (which actually R would do) and we'd go see the fireworks somewhere.

Well, that somewhere ended up being planned for St. Louis. I have to admit - the thought of seeing the fireworks over the Mississippi River? Really did appeal to me. And then? I found out the B-52's were performing AT the arch. Today. For FREE! Sweet! And what's that? I felt....excited....about the fourth of July.

Tiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiin Roof. Rusty! (Look it up if it makes no sense.)

We decided to take the Metrolink into the city. Easier. Cheaper. And so on. Only S decided to have a meltdown that lasted the better part of an hour. I should have stuck with my original feeling and let her just stay at the house with a parental unit, while the rest of the group went on ahead. However, the look of horror on Mom's face when I said that made me think that perhaps I was over reacting, so I withdrew the suggestion.

We finally got the Resident Diva in some clothes and into the car in time to pull up at the metrolink station, buy and then validate our tickets, only to have the doggone train pull away as we approached the doors. Isn't that just the luck?!?! Since it was a holiday, the trains were running more often, so another one came by in just a few minutes. Whew! The bonus plan? The trains had a/c. Excellent!!!!!
T making his 'silly face'

We got off the train, headed towards the arch, and were trying to catch a glimpse of the airshow that was going on. We were on a pretty shaded path, so it was difficult to follow the planes' flight patterns. But we could hear them! We got to the point where you had to go through a mild form of security. We had packed the kids backpacks with snacks, and lo and behold is this huge sign that says among other things, "no outside food or drink".


So we sat down on a bench and all had a snack. Due to my chronic over snack packing, there was really more than we could eat, so we decided to stuff some things in our pockets and try to get though the gates. Turns out? No need to be worried. They were apparently checking for video recorders and bombs. Peanut butter crackers? Not nearly as threatening.

Once we were 'in', we started to walk around. It was very, very, very populated. There were food and drink booths everywhere, so Richard went to get something to eat not involving toddler snacks and I rounded up the smoothie orders.

A smoothie? Was $5 a glass - and there wasn't even any alcohol involved. R comes over to help me carry the smoothie order back to the gang, and I feel a couple rain drops. The kids don't like the smoothies because it's heavy on fruit and very light on sugar. I saw them being was frozen fruit and ice. Which actually makes them more healthy, but that failed to impress the kids. Go figure.

And then the bottom falls out. Rain is pouring down. I'm all panicky because I had actually taken the time to...wait for it... shower, put on makeup, and do something with my hair! I'm concerned about the mascara running all down my face, but it turns out that Estee Lauder makes some pretty waterproof, hiney kicking mascara. It never ran. My hair was drenched, my shirt was soaking wet, and my glasses were all rain stained. Those silly food prep people. They didn't want the soaking masses to take shelter under their prep tents. Imagine. That's okay. Huddling under a tree was fun. F.U.N.

When the rain finally slowed down, we were all wet enough that we decided to just go. No good was going to come of the kids + rain+all the dirt and mud and wetness that was everywhere. Plus? We hadn't brought anything to sit on, and we still had four hours before the fireworks were going to start. And also? I saw tons of food and drink vendors, but not a single bathroom or port-a-potty. That's a problem. A big one. So, good-bye B-52's. I'm sad that I didn't get to sing along with Love Shack. R and I doing our drowned rat impression. No mascara racoon eyes - yay Estee Lauder!!!

So back we went to catch the metro. And we rode home. S was horrible on the train. Horrible enough that Mom switched seats with R voluntarily so he could deal with S. Yep, it was that bad.

As we were waiting for the train, Mom and I were joking around about being so wet in between trying to get the kids to stay to the back of the gray zone of train danger. (That is its own little blog entry, folks)

Mom: At least you'll have something to blog about (have I mentioned that she does not read my blog?)
Me: True.
Mom: I feel like I've been in a wet t-shirt contest. That's not a feeling I can say that I ever wanted to have. (Mom can be really funny)
Me: HA! So true. Here's the blog entry for today: Mom and I ended up in an involuntary wet t-shirt contest today in St Louis. Nobody won.
Mom: ::cackles with laughter:: Look over there - more contestants that didn't win.
Me: ::Snorting with laughter:: It's a six place tie for last place!

Good times.

Once we got back home and dried off, we took off for a local July 4th celebration. The kids were running on fumes and were just really hard to handle. We took the kids to the bathroom. R and T of course finished first, so I asked him to take S since the ladies room had just run out of tp and if R takes her, I don't have to see what she's touching with her hands. It's win win. And the men's room never seems to run out of toilet paper. As T and I are waiting, he's shuffling around in the dirt. He's so involved in creating either his own dust storm or doing imitation of PigPen that he's failing to notice that he's kicking dirt and rocks all over the people passing by.

Oh good grief! I calmly explain the situation to him and ask him to stop shuffling his feet in the dirt. Two seconds later? Feet shuffling, dirt flying, people being impacted. I tell him to knock it off. Two seconds later? Lather, rinse, repeat. GAH!

Finally, R and S come back and we walk back to our blanket. We have managed to pick the one spot where all the fireworks explode behind the tree line. Honestly, I thought it looked pretty cool that way.

200 ignored requests for the kids to stop running around and being obnoxious later, we put our feet down and say that we are leaving. We have now officially managed to spoil every single plan we had for the day. Hurrah.

After a brief but loud standoff in the parking lot involving T's angry refusal to leave his door closed (we were in R's car) while the car was in drive, we got to fight 1500+ other people to make it out onto the street. Our ten minute drive home took almost 45 minutes. The kids? They fell asleep within five minutes.

Happy 4th! I'm so glad I didn't make the festive fourth cake. I would have hurled it at someone today, I fear. Possibly myself because...yum! Cake!

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