Christmas Cookies

I LOVE CHRISTMAS COOKIES! Addison and I started making Christmas cookies when she was about 4 years old and we’ve made them every year since then. And they get better every year too. This year we made our frosting. And last year we found the best sugar cookie recipe. It has almond extract in it AND you don’t have to chill the dough. If you’ve ever made cut-out sugar cookies you know how amazing that no-chilling-the-dough part is.

This year we let the boys help. They LOVE helping in the kitchen. And I love letting them help. I mean I love sharing my love of cooking and making cookies with them. Idk how much I love them actually helping. They have 6 hands. 6 hands that want to touch everything. And 6 hands that want to turn the mixer on/off/up/down . . . whatever setting I don’t want it on. But they loved it and so did I.

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They especially loved eating the cookie dough. IMG_4450IMG_4455

And the hands.IMG_4456

And then I made a second batch without little people helping. Apparently I’m not much better on my own. So we ended up with a batch of red cookies. #cookiefail. So . . . maybe don’t put the vanilla right next to the red food coloring. Or maybe read the labels. I measured it out, poured it in, then busted out laughing. Ha! We had to make some white frosting after this but otherwise no big deal.IMG_4458IMG_4459

We let the boys decorate some cookies too. Don’t worry. They ate the ones they decorated. .James mostly just wanted to decorate his cookies. He didn’t actually eat them. (I threw them away. It’s still safe to eat our cookies).IMG_4462

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And we ended the night with new Christmas jammies. I LOVE THEM! IMG_4479

Addison and I finished decorating the cookies after the boys went to bed. And we maybe ate cookies instead of dinner. Tis the season right?!IMG_4487

Oh and because it’s a milestone, here’s Mason and Logan with their first ever Frappaccinos today at Target.

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Don’t worry. James was at Kroger with daddy and he had Starbucks too. Not a Frappaccino obvi because dad isn’t near as cool as mom (or he makes better decisions that me). But still he had a good time too.

 

Festival Season

We love festivals! Ok maybe I love festivals and I drag my kids along. But they love them too. I promise. This year we went to several. I got a few pics each time. Our favorite was the Food Truck Festival. Logan now asks for food trucks and it’s pretty freaking adorable.

Food Truck Festival

I took all 4 of my kids to the food truck festival by myself. Yep. By myself. Brave? Maybe. Best idea ever? Definitely. So worth it.

We had ice cream first. Because of course. Ice cream is basically the best thing ever.

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We had suckers too. Giant suckers. Which are called lollipops. Big suckers are lollipops. Little suckers are just suckers. Now you know.

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And we had some other food too. Mostly desserts though. Oh and Coco met us there. Logan may have peed on her. Oops. Oh and Mason used a porta-potty for the first time. Like a champ. Logan maybe should have tried it out too. James refused because it was stinky. Good call James.

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And probably my favorite picture from the food truck festival – Mason taking it all in . . .

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We’ll be back next year. And maybe we’ll hit up some real food too. Maybe not. We love desserts.

Hillcrest Harvest Fest

Harvest Fest is one of my favorites every year! This year we decided to take the kids. It was soooo hot! Unseasonably hot for October. But we still had fun.

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We make our kids carry their own stuff now. Total game changer.

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Logan passed out. Hard.

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Mason got tired of walking so he just sat down in the middle of the street

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Mason tried to drive us home. Good try buddy.

Random Fall Pictures

I’ll go ahead and add in my fave fall pictures that haven’t made it into any other posts because, well, we all know I’m behind. And we also all know I love to share. So we’ll just call this random sharing time. Enjoy!

The boys played soccer this fall for the first time. And I use the term “played” loosely. They were not very cooperative. Maybe in the spring . . . . They did like the construction site across the street though. And Logan even touched the excavator!

Addison cheered this year so we went to some football games. The boys liked it. They especially loved playing in the field house. And of course they liked the mascot.

Ok and a few more randoms:

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Candy in Mommy’s bed

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Yep. This still happens. Please make it stop!! Or send wine . . .

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The boys LOVED Eleanor!

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Ok that’s it for this catch up!

Potty Training Triplets

Potty training triplets is probably one of the worst parts of having triplets. Trust me. Potty training sucks. For one kid. Potty training times three is definitely not for the weak. But I have good news! It can be done! I’ve learned a few things so I figured I’ll share. Because of course I love to share. Disclaimer though: we’re not perfect. And there’s no right or wrong way. Even though we were pretty successful, we’re not completely potty trained. I think it’s safe to say James is fully potty trained. But Lolo still poops in his pants. Pretty much every day. Mason JUST figured out pooping like last week. And they all still have accidents. So it’s still a work in progress.

We tried several approaches before we found one that ultimately worked for all 3. We tried casually introducing the potty first. Huge failure. They hated it. They started using potties at school last fall. And by “using potties” I mean they had them in the classroom and sometimes they looked at them.

About 6 months after we introduced potties at home and school, Mason caught on at school so we started sending him to school in undies. Everyone said “oh once one gets it the other two will imitate and catch right on.” Well guess what? Everyone lied. Or they don’t have triplets so they should offer opinions on these types of matters. Needless to say, Mason has been wearing undies for several months. No one wanted to be like Mason though so we had to do something else. 

Next we tried the “just send them to school in undies and they’ll hate being wet” method. Guess what? Didn’t work. Logan gave zero f**ks (edited for the old people ya know) about being wet. This method resulted in me cleaning out like 9 sets of shorts and undies each night.  Shoot me now. Seriously I threw away so many undies.

So what ultimately worked? I know you’re dying to know. If you’re still reading. NAKED POTTY TRAINING. Seriously. Naked potty training is THE. WAY. TO. GO. Trust me. Just do it.

So you’re probably wondering what naked potty training entails. Well, it’s pretty simple. The kids stay naked and you watch for tells and direct them to the potty when you notice they need to go. We picked up on the tells pretty quickly. You’re supposed to carry them to the potty even mid stream if you catch them in the act. This leads to some trails of pee but it does work. The thinking behind naked potty training is that kids can feel that they need to go when they aren’t wearing clothes. My kids are much less likely to pee on the floor while naked than if they’re wearing undies.

Technically most naked potty training programs (like the Oh Crap method) entail a 3 day boot camp. And you don’t introduce undies for a while. We didn’t have 3 days. And I’m pretty sure free ballin isn’t daycare approved. So … we did 2 days of naked potty training.

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James caught on at the end of Day 1. No accidents Day 2. (And for the record I didn’t allow him to wear rain boots until he stopped peeing everywhere). Day 3 was Monday and he had no accidents at school. Y’all this is a kid who had pottied like 2 times ever. And I’m sure each time was an accident. Oh and James discovered that he can pee standing up. So that’s fun. He’s learned to aim though so that’s super helpful. Any by aim I mean he at least attempts to get it all in the potty. So I guess that’s better than lots of guys. 

He tried this method too. Luckily he quickly abandoned this method. IMG_8150

Logan peed in the potty at the end of Day 2 one time. But 2 days later he stayed dry all day at school. And Mason was already somewhat potty trained when we did the naked weekend.

We ended up doing a second naked weekend about a month after the first one because we had some regression. And by “we” I mean Brian. I was out of town. NOT potty training my kids. Get yourself a Brian when potty training time comes. You can’t have mine though. He’s mine. After the second weekend of naked time we’re almost completely trained.

One downside to naked potty training – James discovered that he likes being naked. In the afternoons when we get home, he tells me “I wanna be naked” and takes all of his clothes off.  Chances are, if you come to my house, at least one of my kids will be naked. Also, they’ve rubbed their little balls and penises on everything. So if that bothers you maybe don’t come over. Ha! Some day I’ll have a clean house without boy parts out on display.

Some tips/life lessons/fun facts on potty training:

  1. Just. Go. Naked. 
  2. You cannot have too many potties. And you definitely shouldn’t require that all potty-ing must occur in the bathroom. My kids will seek out their potty of choice. And it’s never the same one.
  3. Bribery works. My kids got 2 skittles, 2 jelly beans, 2 m&ms, whatever for going potty. They can pick their own candy from the “purple bowl” for poop. James sometimes picks raisins. I haven’t told him those aren’t candy. They’ve recently discovered the Lindor truffles in the purple bowl. So I expect that those will be gone soon.
  4. Don’t let your kid/kids have your phone during potty time. They’ll never get up. And definitely don’t let them watch egg videos on YouTube. If you’ve never seen these egg videos consider yourself lucky. In case you’re wondering, it’s an adult opening Easter eggs to find toys inside. Sometimes the eggs are covered in play doh. It’s as horrible as it sounds. 
  5. Take your potty with you when you leave the house. My kids refused to sit on public toilets for a while. So that’s fun. But they will sit on a potty in the van like it’s totally normal.
  6. And speaking of public toilets . . . they don’t catch boy pee so you have to teach them to point it down. Mason is a pro. The other 2 not so much. James sometimes expects us to hold him hovering over the big toilet so he doesn’t have to sit down.
  7. Cleaning: I rinse out undies with hand soap. Soak in a sink with thieves household cleaner if I’m not washing kids laundry that day. And clean floors with thieves household cleaner too. Hardwoods and carpets. Seriously thieves cleaner is amazing. I mean it. Same cleaner on all surfaces. Safe for my kids. Gets all the things clean and non stinky. 
  8. Poop undies from school go in the trash. Again. Trust me. It’s not worth it. Buy more. 
  9. Boxer briefs on little boys are the cutest thing ever. I got mine at primary.com and I love them. Kinda expensive so I’m waiting until they get a little more consistent on the pooping in the potty because I don’t want to throw those away.
  10. Little boys don’t know that they have to aim when standing up. I haven’t figured out how to fix this. Do I teach them to hold their little penis and point it? That seems pretty impossible. There must be a way. Regardless, aiming is clearly not something boys just do (Yeah we all knew that).
  11. If you have stool in your bathroom, little boys will stand on it to pee in the big potty. Standing up of course. And see above. They won’t aim.
  12. Bring paper towels or something to clean up pee when you go out in public. Or your kid will pee in the middle of Sam’s on a Sunday and you’ll have to guard the pee on the floor while also getting paper towels, all while attempting to remain incognito.
  13. Just laugh at the pee everywhere. You have no choice anyway. The other option is to take it personally and get upset. And no one wants that.

Oh and huge bonus. Little boys in undies are adorable. 

So the moral of this story is . . . potty training can be done. It’s a shit show. Literally and figuratively. But it can be done. Don’t forget the wine or whatever you drink. You’ll need it. And my pediatrician told me “every kid ends up potty trained so don’t stress about it.”

Three x Three

Have you ever heard anyone call a three year old a “threenager?” Well it’s a thing. What exactly is a threenager? Well the official definition is this:

Threenager (three-na-ger): a 3-year-old who acts out, pouts, complains, and has the general attitude, angst, and mood swings of a teenager.

And I have three of these. They’re lucky they’re very cute.

And in case you don’t believe that my kids have attitudes, here’s exhibit 1 and exhibit 2:

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I also have a real teenager. She fits the definition perfectly.

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They do things that make me want to strangle them, run away, drink heavily, and the list goes on. But I just drink. And not so heavily. Just a little.

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So the question everyone asks all the time – and I mean ALL. THE. TIME. – is how do we do it. Well here’s a typical day:

We wake up, sometimes before 6 because James hates us and likes to wake up to see the sunrise, and always with Logan in our bed. Yes, we’ve made the switch to toddler beds.

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It’s not fun. I don’t recommend it. I bought a wake up clock and set it to 6:20 and that works about half the time. Just for James though. Logan pays no attention to the clock. he does whatever he wants. Anyways, James wakes Mason up (we hear him over the monitor saying “May-May time to get up!”) One morning they were quiet. I should have known better. But I came out and found Mason and James painting. PAINTING. With paint. On my dining room table. Luckily it was Crayola paint and it came right up. But still. Paint. Before I had coffee. They’re trying to kill me. I’m convinced.

Every morning James comes in and demands cereal. Every. Single. Morning. That kid loves cereal. His faves – Crapton Crunch, Fruity Pedals, and Daddy’s Cereal. Logan likes to sleep in so he’s the last one up.

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Luckily Brian is a morning person. Me? Not so much. I’ve been told I’m mean in the mornings. I don’t believe it. But now we get up a little earlier than before and we get ready with 3 little people running around. One morning I went to get in the shower and turned around to this:

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I couldn’t even be mad. Ha! He thought it was hilarious. Some mornings the boys like to help with makeup.

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He has the open mouth thing going and everything.

Mason and James also request spiky hair most mornings. They get to choose between “just in the front” or “all over” spiky hair. And Mason can do Blue Steel. Because he’s awesome like that.

IMG_7932On the way to school we watch movies. They LOVE Zootopia so we watch that one a lot. Logan thinks the bunny’s name is Zootopia. So he says things like “Zootopia’s sad” and “Zootopia fell down.” James knows her actual name is Officer Judy Hopps. I just bought them the movie Cars which they absolutely love too.

You know what else they do in the car? They argue. About everything. Even made up things. Like the type of fake lego cake that James has brought to the car. Or whether it’s raining or not raining. And whether that’s daddy’s car even when they can clearly see that it’s a woman driving. And they claim things as their own. For example, if a firetruck drives by, Logan will yell firetruck! And then claim “that’s my firetruck!” and of course James will want it to be HIS firetruck. Oh and Mason likes to sing songs. Which is awesome and very cute. Except that James does not like when Mason sings songs. Especially when he sings “Down at the Dizzle.” And I can only assume he made this song up because I cannot figure out what it is, where it came from, or if it has any other lyrics. When I asked the boys, James told me “I don’t know. They’re French words.” So yeah. Unhelpful.

Logan also knows where every single excavator is located in the city. He identifies them by yelling EXCAVATOR!!! Very cute. Very very loud.

After school they get a Popsicle if they make it all day in big boy undies without any accidents. On Fridays we still go to Starbucks. They all know this. They don’t always get cake pops though. I let them pick. Mason’s favorite is the octopus cookie. Logan usually gets a chocolate cake pop or a chocolate chip cookie. And James usually gets a pink cake pop. And about half the time he changes his mind AFTER I’ve paid and then he demands that “Mommy change it” so I end up with an extra cake pop. If you live by me and you want a cake pop on Fridays, there’s about a 50% chance I have an extra one.

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Oh yes. We’re also potty training. Stay tuned for a separate post about that. Oh and they demand cereal for dinner every night. They don’t like to eat much else. After dinner we take a bath (or shower), watch a little tv (Daniel Tiger or Mickey), then story time, then bed. And by bed I mean we lock them in their room until they fall asleep. Trust me on this one. We tried staying in the room until they fell asleep. Nightmare. This way works better for everyone. We take a lamp in for story time then take it back out with us. And I’ve removed pretty much everything from the room. They have a sound machine, wake up clock, and a diffuser. That’s it. And it’s working. They tend to fall asleep within 15 minutes. And we watch them on the monitor.

One night I looked on the monitor and couldn’t find Logan. So I went in. He was in the chair. Passed out. I’ve found Mason under his bed before. But if they’re asleep, I’m happy. Asleep is really my only goal.

IMG_0431‘As sleepy as this kid is though, he wakes up around 11 every night. Sometimes I’m still up when he wakes up. So he interrupts my only quiet, alone time. Ever. But again, he’s very cute.

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Mason and James don’t sleep in my bed if I can help it. They are horrible bed mates. Luckily Mason rarely wakes up and James usually chooses Daddy’s side of the bed.

Here’s a few more pictures from the summer time. I have lots of catching up to do and I’m going to try harder to post more often! For now, more pictures of my kids.

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Mason

Mason loves socks. Ha! And my shoes. But mostly my socks. When people ask me what my kids like I struggle with an answer for Mason. But I finally figured it out. He’s mischievous and he just likes to get into stuff. Usually stuff that’s not his. But he’s very happy, independent, and can always find something to play with. He asks me “I’m your sweet boy Mommy?” Love! And he’s so smart.

Logan

Logan is a tiny little dictator. Ha! He LOVES all things that go. Trucks, cars, construction equipment, emergency vehicles. His favorite – excavators. We have lots of excavators in Little Rock. Oh and chocolate. This kid is my son for sure. And he’s a sleepy, snuggly little guy.

James

James is the self-appointed leader of the 3 and he also thinks he’s an only child sometimes. He wants what he wants and he wants it now! He loves play food (and most real food too!) and legos. He has the sweetest smile, but he’s known as “whiny James” a lot of the time. This one tests my patience. A lot. Then he asks for hugs and kisses. He knows my limits the most I think.

What else have we been up to? Well a lot. Potty training, toddler beds, summer time, dance competitions, a somewhat new law practice, lots of trials, my sister has been living with us for the summer, I did the Whole 30, and I’m training for a half marathon. Crazy. I may have lost my mind. Luckily I have wine. I missed it so much during my Whole 30. I’ll write about that experience soon too.

 

Summer with Zizzie

Zizzie is Lizzie, my sister. She goes by Lizzie, Wizzie, Zizzie (and other things I can’t write here). Not her actual name Elizabeth. Not ever. Mason called her Zizzie and it stuck. Best. Nickname. Ever. My kids LOVE Zizzie! And she spent the whole summer with us! Yay! So fun! My kids LOVE Lizzie! It was a change but we loved it. Even Brian. The boys have started including Zizzie in our family. And they say Zizzie here when we pull in the garage. So cute. Now we FaceTime so they say it’s Zizzie every time the phone rings. So cute!

Lizzie is my way younger sister. She kinda looks like me, sounds just like me, and is almost but just not quite as cool as me and as smart as me, and definitely not as nice as me. (Mean is in our genes apparently because somehow I’m the nice one). We may make similar faces.

I saved this blog post for today because TODAY IS HER 21st BIRTHDAY!!!  Here she is drinking her first ever margarita (wink wink):

Lizzie taught the boys some pretty awesome things this summer. They now dance for a bite. And they (ok mostly just Mason) ask for ice by saying ice ice baby. Ha! And James says “hup nanas” whenever he sees Lizzie, even on Facetime. “Hup nanas” obviously means help bananas. Which of course means I want to help make a smoothie. That one took me a while to figure out. But they love to help make smoothies.

And they love to drink smoothies. Little beggars.

And Lizzie also introduced them to peanut butter.Which they also love. But I don’t love. So no Lizzie means no peanut butter. Sorry guys!

Addison now loves smoothies too. And she knows how to make them. So that’s a bonus.

We had some other perks to having Lizzie here all summer too. Addison loved it. And Lizzie knows how to do hair. Big plus.

My kids just love Lizzie. Maybe because she’s the crazy aunt. Maybe because she’s fun. Maybe because she’s kinda like me, and almost as awesome.

Lizzie and I also got out a few times. Like this night when we went to a concert.

I LOVED having her here this summer! We had so much fun. We both love Mexican food. Because, seriously, who doesn’t. I’m not surprised AT ALL that Lizzie went out for margs on her birthday. I say good choice. These are the kinds of texts and snapchats I get from Lizzie. Ha! It’s always a surprise to open one up!

And of course we share a mutual love of selfies.

Except that one time Lizzie licked me during a selfie. No thanks dude.

Lizzie also likes taking selfies with my kids. Mason especially.

Oh and we love to shop. Thanks mom! One time Lizzie got these super America-tastic Converse. She loves America more than anyone I’ve ever met. So of course we watched all of the Olympics, even the weird sports like ping pong.

Happy Birthday America!

We had a great 4th of July weekend! Brian’s brother and his family moved back to Arkansas, we went to the zoo, the boys played in the water a few times, and of course we played with cousins. So fun! Oh and we watched fireworks. Of course there were fireworks!
Of course we started the weekend with cake pops. Because the weekend starts on Friday and on Fridays we get cake pops.
James holds onto his for a while then hides to eat it. So no pics of James and his cake pop. But don’t worry. He had one too and he definitely liked it.
Saturday we had a laid back day at home. First we played outside in the water. The boys LOVE outside. They aren’t so sure about the pool though. They must get that from Brian. My favorite picture in a while though is this first one. Lolo LOVES the hose!

Mason actually does like the pool.

James just loves being outside in general.

And I got a Mason-Mommy selfie 🙂

Before we went outside we played inside. The boys moved their chairs to a new location. Still in order. But James always sits in Lolo’s chair. Unless Logan wants to sit there. Then Logan gets it. Because he’s the boss.

We did a little reading too. And he got up there all by himself.

They sat like this on their own! Not in order. But they sat right next to each other!

And a new obsession – wearing big people shoes. They love my heels! Ha! Brian does NOT love that they love my heels.

They also love their aunt Zizzie. They all took a fake nap in the kitchen because Zizzie did it.

Sunday we went to the zoo! And we took a few friends! 14 Manns in all! The boys loved the zoo this time! Every time we left an exhibit James said and signed more! 🙂
I look like a giant in that picture! Yikes! I’m not I promise! The Manns are all just really little. I’m normal sized!
Another favorite picture! The boys LOVE Nina and Pop! And they loved feeding the fish (or dropping fish food NEAR the fish).
I got a few other zoo pics but not many!

The boys got out of the wagon for a few minutes and looked at the lions.

And this was my attempt at getting a pic of my 4 kids (OMG I have 4 kids – that thought crosses my mind every time I say that I have 4 kids!)

After the zoo we just took it easy the rest of the day. Until the boys learned a new trick. At first it was ok when it was just these 2.

Then their little friend joined them. And decided it would be fun to STOMP STOMP! They had to get down once that became the fun new game. We still have a coffee table but I’m thinking it’s nearing the end of life.

Then we made it to the 4th! The sat together again! And out of order again!
The boys got new haircuts again. They did great. And Brian did much better too! No bald spots!
Brian HAD to do fireworks so he got out some daytime fireworks as soon as he could! Mason was asleep but Lolo and James watched from inside. Lolo loved it the most!

Addison isn’t a huge fan. She developed a weird fear of fireworks last year. But she pretended to like them pretty well.

Then we went to Nina and Pop’s house for a cookout and more outside fun! The boys had a blast!

Our niece Josie is apparently a big fan of my blog and she wanted to be “famous” so she made sure I took lots of pictures! The boys loved playing in the bubbles too so it was a win-win.

Josie also helped take pictures so here’s one of me!

The big people had fun too! Until Baby Caroline stole the bean bags from the Baggo game.

Then this happened. Ha! They were empty I promise! But this is my future in about 20 years I’m sure!

Look at this smile!

And this one!

See I wasn’t lying! They were empty!

Then this happened! They ALL 3 GOT IN THE POOL!

Oh and we attempted a family picture. It was a fail.

Brian and Addison stayed and went to a fireworks show and shot off some fireworks. The boys and I went home for bedtime. For them. I watched fireworks from my front porch. Happy 4th!