|At the end of a LONG day.|
My goal, this year, was to find a parade and carnival like that, to take the kids to. I thought this would be easy to do, since, you know, families like to celebrate Independence Day and all, but it was trickier than I thought. I had to enlist Oba's help, since I didn't know the area, and didn't want to find something super far away.
What we found ended up being the jackpot, and only a 40 minute drive from my folks' house. It was a full-day festival complete with pancake breakfast, parade, fair and fireworks. We ended up only doing the middle two, at the festival and had our own pancakes and fireworks to start and finish the day.
|Thing get a little crazy when waiting for a parade...|
|It finally came!|
A few minutes into the parade, people with the candy showed up and started tossing it at us. Jared couldn't believe it... they're giving us CANDY?! By the end of the parade, they were pros at batting their eyes and looking cute for the ones with a little bit of candy left. They also figured out how to open the wrappers and started munching on the candy--- even though it was 10 'o clock in the morning. Oh well... nothing says "Happy Independence Day" like sugar-rushed children!
They also got a couple of flags and balloons as favors. As soon as we got the balloons, each kid had theirs tied to their wrist. Apparently I didn't tie Annabelle's on properly, not even 10 minutes into having the balloon she turns to me and asks where it went. Uh oh. A quick glance up confirmed what had happened; she followed my eyes and then broke down. All out end-of-the-world toddler breakdown. It wasn't pretty. Luckily, the group sitting next to us had a multitude of balloons for their few numbered kids, and one of the Dads came over and saved the day. We said 'thank you' and to me, it showed me that nice people still exist. :)
|Our little kiddos on Little Ponies :)|
As we got closer to the ponies, I noticed Jared getting a little more apprehensive. I quietly reasssured him that ponies are nice and all he'd be doing is going around in a circle. Annabelle had no fears with the 'cute horsies' (what she called them). They both LOVED it. I couldn't get the guys attention to put them next to each other, but you can see they were practically across the circle in the pictures.
Since Daddy wasn't there, I took a video (pay no attention to the goofy Mommy giving the commentary):
Fantastic Fair Fun
|Food, play, and MORE FOOD!|
|What a slide!|
Then, we found the 'ticketed' items section. Besides lunch, it was the only thing you had to pay for. Through this 'midway' the kids got star necklaces, shared a white-chocolate strawberry, tried Cotton Candy for the first time, and got a fudgsicle. Since it was 'warm' for the Seattle, we found a nice open area for the kids to 'attempt' to eat their ice cream without getting messy. At least they had fun eating their ice cream and learned how a solid can turn into a liquid. :)
Once they were fully covered in chocolate, they wanted to try one more thing. An inflatable fire truck slide. Again, since it was free, they were off to the races. Aunt Meggie played dutiful Auntie by helping them get their shoes off and punting them into the truck. Annabelle was off like a rocket and Jared took his time. Both went down the slide, I got pictures and they came out saying they thought it was SO MUCH FUN and asked if they could do it again. Sure, what's the harm in that? First time is always the hardest, right? Not so much. The scenario seemed to repeat. Annabelle was up and down in a couple minutes or less. Once she was down, we all looked up to see where Jared was. The problem was... we couldn't see him. The kids who came up after him started to use the truck as a bouncy house (which happened to be right next to the truck) and it FREAKED him OUT. Big time. He would not come down the slide or the stairs.
So, off my 30-week-pregnant self went UP the stairs of an inflatable slide to talk to my son. We talked and he decided to go down the slide again (after a small push from Mom). Once he was down, I turned to the operator and asked him if I should come down the stairs or slide. He said, "take your pick." Oh man. I chose to slide. The whole way down I could hear my Mom and Meg laughing; I was just really glad my Dad couldn't figure out how to work my camera.
|Nothing says 4th of July like blowing stuff up!|
Once we convinced them it wasn't too loud, we got Jared to hold a jumbo sparkler and Annabelle got as close as sitting with me while I held the sparkler. I LOVE how Jared was STILL covering his ears while holding the sparklers (this might be because of Jiji and his ability to light a surprise noisemaker at the same time). The hit of the night seemed to be those and the snakes. Annabelle thought they were funny coming out of the ground like that.
By the end of the night, the kids were exhausted. After a quick bath, they each found a grandparent and passed out. I think this Fourth was a success! Yay USA's birthday!