Thursday, July 10, 2014

4th of July weekend

The 4th of July weekend didn't go quite as expected, but was still a wonderful, long weekend... partly because it was long and I didn't have to work for 4 whole days. I had Friday thru Monday off which was pretty awesome. I kinda felt like we should have planned a weekend away until I realized that I would get a 'me' day on Monday and that was pretty exciting.


I had been promising Riley a night in the tent in the back yard, but for one reason or another (mostly rain) it hadn't worked out until this day. It might not have been the best choice since it was the day before the 4th and plenty of neighbors had already started celebrating with fireworks and my kid hates loud noises. After we set up the tent and made dinner I convinced Riley to go for a walk with me. Jesse did legs at the gym and said they felt like rubber... and they must have because he didn't change his mind even when I announced that we would be stopping for frozen yogurt on our walk.

Usually, she just east some of mine, but really wanted her own this time.

I'm guessing we settled into the tent a little after 8:00 pm and I set Riley up with a movie. Even though it was past her bedtime I knew she wasn't going to go to sleep anytime soon. I was going to read, but played on the iPad for awhile. 

But then the random neighborhood fireworks went off and it was 'convince Riley that the fireworks were not going to hurt her' time. I tried to get her to look at the fireworks, but she acted like I was trying to torture her. She had just seen fireworks on a video at school so I thought she might think they were at least cool to look at even if the noise scared her, but nope - she wanted nothing to do with it. 

And yet, she wanted to stay out in the tent. Her big eyes were filled with tears and she had a scared look on her face, but she was determined to sleep in the tent. She seemed to think I had some control over all the neighbors who were lighting fireworks so she was a little frustrated with me too, I imagine. She laid there with her hands over her ears along with my hands over her hands, and for awhile she wore her headphones. At one point I tried to turn over to fall asleep (the fireworks were quite random with huge breaks between), but she just crawled on top of me trying to get me to cuddle with her. After a couple bathroom breaks and offers to let her sleep inside she finally fell asleep close to midnight in the tent... and then woke at 5:15 and would not go back to sleep. *sigh*

Friday - 4th of July

Bright and early Riley and I headed back into the house. Jesse has a bad back, but it's been feeling great the few days prior to this so he wasn't going to mess anything up by sleeping in the tent. Riley crawled into bed with him and ended up sleeping another hour or so. I headed upstairs to sleep and tossed and turned before I probably got another hour under my belt. At 8:00 am (so late for me) I finally got out of bed and wanted to get this day rolling, even if I was exhausted. 

We started out with a trip to the Bauer Berry Farm to check out their strawberry patch. We'd never been to this location before, but I was quite happy with their set up and it's not too far away from our house which is a huge deciding factor for me. It's nearing the end of the strawberry season here so I was hoping we'd still get a good batch. We were directed to our row which was already partially picked that morning, but apparently not very well. This left us with a bunch of small strawberries at first, but then you could tell where the earlier pickers had stopped as the berries became larger and more plentiful.

Strawberry patchin'

Photo credit: Riley

We picked way too many strawberries, but I was able to freeze most of them. I should have done more as I haven't been able to keep up with eating the rest and already they are beyond ripe.

I didn't once pick up my DSLR this weekend because I didn't want to haul that around with me, but I wish I had so many times... like next to this filed of dried grass. It looked so much prettier than captured here. Also, love how I can ask Riley to go stand by something now and she totally goes into pose mode and not always silly face mode. I'm glad she still tolerates me taking so many pictures of her. After I take a picture I usually hear "let me see, let me see". Someone likes to see herself on camera. :)

Ready to freeze

We stopped by the grocery store at some point this day and picked up the fixens for strawberry shortcake - one of my favorite deserts. The rest of the day was pretty mellow. We played outside, attempted a nap, cooked dinner on the grill... and hoped to go see the fireworks that Riley previously agreed to, but she put the kibosh on that after hearing the fireworks the night before.

We hoped that since she didn't nap she would crash at bedtime and not be bothered by the fireworks, but that was just silly to think that would actually happen. Once the first really loud BOOM went off she started crying and didn't want to be left alone. I was across the hall watching a movie on the iPad in bed. I had a migraine and was actually hoping to go to bed early, but after Jesse's attempts at calming Riley didn't work we agreed she could sleep in bed with me like she did last year. So I continued to watch my movie while Riley was supposed to be sleeping next to me. Jesse had given Riley a mantra of sorts that went something like "Go away fireworks" that she was to repeat to herself, but she didn't think it worked, because... well the fireworks didn't go away. So I came up with a new one for her along the lines of "you can't hurt me fireworks", which seemed to make more sense to her.

The city fireworks started around 10 so she and I talked while she had her hands over her ears. I told her about fireworks that don't go "boom" like sparklers and some that make more of a whistling noise. She got really excited about this and said she wanted to see those in the future. When I took a pause in the conversation she asked me to keep talking about the sparklers. I think she realized that talking helped her ignore all the popping and boom noises she was hearing. I finally got her out of bed as I wanted her to see some of the fireworks. From our house you can see some of the higher ones above the trees so we headed back to Riley's room where the view is the best. She really, really didn't want to look, but when she finally allowed herself a peak she loved it. Absolutely loved it and at some point even took her hands off her ears. 

After the fireworks were done she kept talking about how proud she was that she took her hands off her ears and that she was so brave. It was pretty cute. Unfortunately, we were up until at least 11 this night - another late night.


We work up not having any plans for this day, but ended up with a pretty full day. After the gym, we met up with my in laws for lunch and then after Riley's nap/rest we headed over to West Medicine Lake. I often forget about this park, but it's such an easy place to get to from our house and has a kid friendly beach and a playground. We didn't bring swim suits, but I'd like to come back here sometime soon to play at the beach.


Wow, this was just a really lazy morning which I don't often give myself permission to have. We did keep ourselves busy at some point with purging a lot of Riley's toys. Luckily she was on board with giving so many toys to other children although she was a little confused when we dropped 4 bags of stuff off at Good Will. Apparently, she thought we were going to bring them to some kid's home.

Then we made the brave move to go to the Mall of America on a weekend, but it really wasn't that bad. And Riley actually agreed to go on a ride. We've had minimal success with this in the past so we were surprised that she selected to go on this Swiper car ride where the cars whipped around the ends. Not only did she love it, but she wanted to go a second time (and perhaps more if we didn't insist it was time to go home).

Clearly unflattering picture of me, but look at how excited my kid is!


This was going to be my day... well at least part of it as Jesse got home just before 2 and shortly before that some guy came to measure our windows (we're getting new windows!!!). I went to the gym in the morning and then went for an overdue massage.

I won a gift card at work for a massage about 2 - 3 years ago, but just never made it a priority. Today was the day. I used to have an amazing massage therapist, but she moved onto a new position in holistic care far from me. I've seen a couple massage therapists since then, but none have quite fit the bill for me. Part of it is because I have a jacked up body and don't do well with deep tissue type massage. The last woman I went to was clearly new and kept referring to her teacher. She was nice and fine and all that, but wasn't great.

This time this massage place told me that this guy was supposed to be the perfect guy for my chronic pain as he has clinical experience, but I didn't love him. He said a lot of things that were right on about my type of pain so I trusted that he knew his stuff, but he didn't really follow what I asked  (he also talked too much, and had rough hand skin which kinda grossed me out - is that weird to say?). I felt ok when I left and I didn't have the pain I was afraid I might have getting worked over like that, but I certainly didn't feel relaxed like I had hoped (honestly, I recently had an MRI that I felt more zen after than this).

Oh, and he played with my hair and then pulled it, but didn't tell me what he was doing at first. Yes, I was a little weirded out by it especially when he noted that he was jealous of my thick hair, but he finally explained what he was doing.... apparently, it helps stretch your fascia muscle on your scalp.

Anyhoo, I don't really want to complain about it, because it wasn't terrible and he did teach me a couple things about some muscles. And in the end, I had a pretty good morning on my own. I even picked up sushi for lunch and had some alone time before the window guy came over. I might have to schedule more days off just for me.

And next year? I'm optimistic that we'll see fireworks, but will probably settle for watching them through the bedroom window again. Riley can't hate them forever, can she?

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