Sunday, July 28, 2013

Moving on...

I'm going to be a little out of pocket, and didn't want to have poop at the top of my blog for the next several days.

With that in mind, look!  Adorableness!

The kid loves his doggies.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Just in case you were wondering... with an 18 month old can pretty much be summed up by watching the following two videos:


I'm losing my mind. Also, Banner's teachers are saints.

Y’all. It has finally happened.  I’ve gone insane.

(I know, I know. Business as usual.)

For some reason, I am completely convinced I am going to accidentally leave Banner in a hot car. On days that I take him to school, I will sometimes walk BACK out to my car an hour or so after arriving at work just to make sure he isn’t there. Even though I vividly remember dropping him off at day care. I can replay conversations I had with his teachers and other parents in my mind, visualize what his classmates were wearing – everything. But I still have to go back outside and check. Because part of me is terrified he is slowly cooking to death trapped in his car seat inside my car. And, well, let’s just say I’d never forgive myself. Just imagining this scenario makes me tear up.

The thing is, I understand how easy it would be to forget. Mornings are so hectic for us. Waking up, picking up after the dogs, getting everyone (two and four legged) fed and ready for the day, remembering that school needs more wipes or diapers or that, OMG, it is SPLASH DAY at school and I completely forgot to pack a swim diaper, towel and swim trunks. Regardless of how early I wake up, I’m almost always still running late. Half the time, I find myself calling my neighbor to ask if I closed the garage door because I can’t honestly remember if I hit that button or not while backing out of my driveway. And that was only two minutes ago. By the time I drop Banner off at school and get to work, I need a nap and it is only 9 AM. Never mind those days when our routine is changed at the last minute, or if Trev ends up taking Banner to school on my day (or vice versa). And Banner doesn’t help matters, either. Like his mama, the little guy is generally pretty quiet and subdued in the morning. Half the time I think he goes back to sleep during our fifteen minute commute from home to day care. It helps that Banner’s school is in the complete opposite direction from my office, because at least I don’t have to worry about going on auto-pilot as long as I am heading northwest instead of southeast. But Trevor? He has admitted to overshooting the exit to Banner’s school. He has always remembered, and circled back around. But, still. Scary, right?

Of course, isn’t always possible for me to go back outside to check my car, so I’ve also been known to call school just to confirm what I already know: THAT BANNER IS THERE AND NOT IN MY CAR. Except it sounds crazy to call when I rationally know that I just dropped him off. So half the time I find myself completely distracted in morning meetings or on conference calls as I try to invent some new reason why I’m going to calling school (yet again) today. It was great the week he had his 18 month shots, because I’d just ring to remind his teachers that it was completely okay to give him Tylenol if he needed it (by Friday, they were both like, “Yeah. We know. Tylenol. We got it”). But the rest of the time, I’m just making sh*t up so I can focus and get back to work.

And I get that it is a million times better to be safe than sorry, but I KNOW I DROPPED HIM OFF! I REMEMBER IT. Still, that pesky little voice inside my head keeps suggesting otherwise. It is awful.

(Told you I am losing it.)

Still, on the bright side, calling school randomly to check to make sure I really DID drop Banner off (as opposed to simply dreaming that I did) DOES have its perks.

Case in point: A couple of weeks ago I called, and Natasha answered. She had to yell because it sounded like every kid in the class was crying hysterically.

Me: “Hi, Natasha. It is Banner’s mom. I was just calling to check to see if I, uh, remembered to put Banner’s shoes on this morning.”

Natasha: “Yep. He is wearing shoes.”

Me: “Oh, good.”

Natasha: “So, uh…is that all?”

Me: “Oh, yeah. I just couldn’t remember and it was bothering me. I’d hate to be THAT mom that forgot to put shoes on her baby.”

       [Laughs awkwardly]

       “So…uh, what’s going on? Is everything okay?”

Natasha: “Yeah. Everything is fine. Why?”

Me: “Well, it sounds like everyone is crying.”

Natasha: “Oh, no. They aren’t crying. They are having a yelling contest. They are all screaming ‘AHHHHHH’ as loud as they can.”

Me: “Sounds dreadful. Is Banner participating?”

Natasha: “Yeah. He started it. He is the loudest one.”

That’s my boy.

[Shakes head]

Thursday, July 25, 2013

An update on Oy! Oy! The Envoy!

My car was supposed to be ready on Saturday.  Then Monday.  Then Tuesday...maybe.  Then Thursday. 

And now?  It won't be ready until August 8th or 9th.


Because getting a new computer to control my brakes is easier said than done.  Because said computers are backordered.  Which, according to my service tech, really means that GMC isn't making them anymore and have no plans to start up again anytime soon.

(For the record, I'm pretty sure those things aren't the same, but who am I to argue at this point?)

So, the new plan is to send my existing (failed) brake computer in to be refurbished.  And, well, this might take awhile.

Trevor's concerned because he is not sure he trusts anything that has FAILED previously to be miraculously trustworthy after it has been "refurbished".  Kind of like the proverbial "Fool me once, shame on you.  Fool me twice, shame on me" school of thought.  But we aren't talking President Bush on Saddam Hussein here.  We are talking about a flipping computer chip.  I'm sure once it has had it's little mind erased and reloaded, it will be perfectly fine and reliable.

I mean, where would any of us be in life if second chances didn't exist? 

Right?  Right.

The good news is that - theoretically - a refurbished brake computer is much cheaper than a new one.  Especially since I already own the one that will be refurbished.  At least that is what they keep telling me. 

I'm just not sure I trust car people anymore.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The day the sippy cup died...

Banner likes a "wa-wa" for the road.  I usually oblige, because it keeps the "I'm uncomfortable because I'm too big to still be rear facing in this flipping car seat" hysterics at bay.  And, call me crazy, but I find the process of driving much more enjoyable without all the screaming.  Especially after a long day at the office and in rush hour traffic.

With that in mind, imagine my face when I discovered his only sippy cup at day care had a giant crack in it mere seconds AFTER I had filled it with milk for the ride home. 

Oh, and by the way, Banner is at my side chanting "wa-wa, wa-wa, wa-wa" and looking up at me expectantly.

Yeah.  Exactly.

You don't have to be a parent to understand that situations like these generally don't end well.

So, I did what any reasonable parent would do:  I made a band aid for the cup so it wouldn't leak all over the car on the way home:

I thought it was brilliant. 

Unfortunately, Banner was less of a fan:

He threw the cup to the ground like the mere idea of it had insulted him and ruined his life.  And then proceeded to MELT DOWN in dramatic fashion.  Because - oh, woe is me! - how can you be expected to go on when your sippy cup has a paper towel taped to it?! #firstworldbabyproblems

(He obviously got this trait from his father.)

(Thanks for going along with me on that.)

Luckily, Maddy came over, showed interest in his cup and *gasp* picked it up.  Which suddenly made the cup worthy again, because hole or no hole, toddlers assign value to objects based on who has them (as in, "Why do you have that?  It is MINE!  I NEED THAT NOW OR I WILL DIE!" kind of way).  Hence the sippy cup that had taken a giant crap on Banner's existence only seconds before was suddenly acceptable again simply because some other pint-sized human was all like, "Whatever, dude.  Free milk!"

So, with a commanding, "No!  Mine!" the cup was (rudely) reclaimed, and Banner discovered that the paper towel and tape did not, in fact, alter the taste or condition of his milk as he had previously suspected.  And just as suddenly as all the love and joy was sucked from the world, it was restored.

Thank you, Baby Jesus.

I'm telling y'all, toddlers are completely irrational a$$hats sometimes.

Friday, July 19, 2013

The day Trevor might have been right. Maybe.

My car, y'all.  My hot mess of a lemon car.

Ever since I bought my Envoy in 2004, it has been a problem.  Well, not the car itself, but the computer system has been a nightmare.  It is my normal to be at an intersection and have my car suddenly go berserk and die.  I'm used to it, though, and don't even give the situation a second thought.  Because, generally speaking, all that needs to be done is to calmly put the car in park, turn it off and then turn it back on.  This resets the computer and WALLAH!  Problem fixed.  Most of the time, I don't even need to put the hazard lights on because I've fixed the problem before the light turns green or the cars behind me have registered a delay in the flow of traffic.

Of course, it wasn't always this way.  There was a time, early on, where my car dying would cause me to panic.  I'd turn it off, get it going again and make a beeline for the dealership.  They'd hook it up to the diagnostic computer and find...well, nothing.  Because I had reset the computer when I had turned off the engine, and whatever problem that had occurred to make it die in the first place had been erased from memory.

It only took a handful of experiences rushing to the dealership, spending money on diagnostic exams that yielded nothing because "the problem could not be duplicated" and being treated like some sort of car hypochondriac by the service techs before I became absolutely desynthesized to any kind of dash board warning light or sudden engine death.  I've simply gotten into the habit of NOT getting my car checked out (outside of regular maintenance, of course) because I assume that there is nothing wrong with it.  Which is rather alarming when I remember situations like the time in 2007 when my gas tank cracked due to some sort of structural problem common to vehicles of my make and model.  Or in 2009 when my instrument panel had to be completely replaced because my odometer decided to stop working.  Or that horrible time I was driving home from a work-related conference in another state and my car died multiple times on a major highway going 70+ mph.  

Okay, so maybe my car has a history of being a potential death trap.  But it hasn't succeeded, so I'm willing to forgive and forget.

(Thanks for going along with me on that.  For the sake of argument and this story.  Because I've already written a lot of words and I don't want to start the telling of this story over.)

(With that in mind...)

Suuuuuuuure, there have been problems.  But only like three or four biggies in over nine years of vehicular ownership.  It hasn't been the norm.  Every car has it's moments.

Because, again, MOST of the time, warning lights in my car mean absolutely nothing, so - when a new problem arose in my car last month - why wouldn't I poo-poo a few alarms, lights and warnings regarding my car's brake system?  Especially, when I could make said alarms, lights and warnings go away simply by turning my car off and back on again?  Because those are the very signs that suggest "nothing is wrong as usual" and I've conditioned myself over the last nine years to simply ignore them and pretend nothing is actually happening.

Except it did keep happening, and then I mentioned it to Trevor in passing and he got all "you've got our child in the backseat" kind of hysterical about it.  Because "those are the brakes" and "stopping is important" and blah, blah, blah.  So, about three weeks ago, we took it in and...well, NOTHING.  

Just as I expected.

Again, they could find nothing wrong with my brakes.  $50 and an oil change later, I was back on the road.  Granted, the test DID show that I should probably start thinking about getting new brakes sometime in the next 8,000 to 10,000 miles, but nothing immediate.  The dealership wasn't able to duplicate all the brake-related alarms, lights and warnings that I had been experiencing, but this was nothing new to me or my car.  Just another weird mystery computer glitch.  Nothing new about that concept in my world.  And so I kept driving.  The glitch kept happening, but it was sporadic and responded to the good ole "turn the car on and off" method.  So I wasn't worried.

Until, that is, last weekend.  I went to the gym on Saturday.  No problem.  After my five mile run, I drove across the street to get gas.  Again, no problem.  Turned on the car after filling up.  PROBLEM!  All the brake alarms, lights and warning starting going off.  So, I turned off the engine, waited a few seconds and started the car again.  More alarms, lights and warnings.  I tried again.  Warning! Warning! Warning!  Fourth time a charm?  Nope.

Annoyed now, I moved my car into a parking space in front of the 7-11 and away from the pump, and called Trevor.  His recommendation was to turn it off and wait a few minutes before trying again.  And, guess what?  It worked like a charm.  No more alarms, lights or warnings!

Except the alarms, lights and warnings were back again the next day, and the day after that.  What's more, it started happing EVERY time I drove anywhere, and I was getting very tired of all the beeping, flashing and SERVICE BRAKES IMMEDIATELY-type messages.  And, what's worse, Trevor started to get all paranoid again and kept making comments about Banner's safety in my car.  Which is annoying when you JUST HAD the brakes tested and were told that they were fine.

So, since I had to work on Monday this week, I took today off to deal with the car situation.  Figuring Banner would prefer to do just about anything other than hang out at the car dealership, I dropped him off at school before heading across town.  I was almost to Sewell before I realized that this was the first trip I had taken anywhere in days where the blasted alarms, lights and warnings HADN'T gone off.  Knowing full well that the dealership wouldn't be able to find the problem without them, I proceeded to drive around aimlessly for over an hour waiting for them to appear.  Because, you know, why not.

They finally did go off, though, and I made an immediate beeline for the dealership.  There was an awkward moment, after I exited my car to let them record my mileage, when I lunged at and very nearly tackled the service guy who made a move to suggest he was nano seconds away from turning off my engine.  Because I was pretty sure that I'd have another fruitless visit if the computer got reset, I completely overreacted.  Thankfully, the service tech seemed to understand and even humored me by putting a purple post-it note with the words "DO NOT TURN OFF ENGINE" in all caps on the dash.

Bless him and his patience.

It took a couple of hours for them to run all the diagnostic tests, and the results were...well, not good.

Apparently, my brakes are controlled by a computer.  When I hit the brake, a message is sent to said computer and the computer tells the car to slow down or stop.  The brake pedal is nothing more than a glorified computer button.  I don't know why this surprised me so much.  I guess I assumed that my car was too old to have anything except good ole mechanical brakes.  Which I suppose is silly considering that this is 2013, not 1953.  I don't question things I don't pretend to understand.

But I digress.

The computer that controls my brakes has failed.  It needs to replaced immediately.  Because, without a working computer, it doesn't matter how perfectly fine my physical brakes are or how many more miles they can go until needing to be replaced.  If the computer doesn't tell the brakes to stop, the car might just keep going until it encounters something, make it stop.  Like a brick wall.  Or another car.  Which?  Not good.  Especially with my precious baby in the backseat.  

Additionally, some hose that controls my power steering has a hole in it and one of my brake lights is out.  Because, you know, why the f*ck not?

Also, the dealership is out of loaners, rentals are at a premium for whatever reason this weekend and no one has an extra car laying around that I can borrow.    


Oh, and when I was told about all of this, my phone was about to die, my sister wasn't answering her phone (she was supposed to be my ride and we were going to grab lunch) and I found out the estimate to fix everything would be around $2,000.

I'm not sure if it was the combination of all of this or if it was the mere thought of calling Trevor and admitting that he had been right about my car all along, but I broke down in tears right there in the parking lot of Sewell.  It wasn't pretty.  It was the kind of cry where the harder you try to stop, the uglier the cry becomes.  I'm pretty sure I scared the other customers.

Luckily, my brother and dad were able to come and pick me up.  We went to lunch and then William drove me home.  Trevor was able to pick up Banner this afternoon, and now I'm just sitting on the couch trying to count my blessings and assure myself that everything is going to be okay.  Because, really:  Banner is safe and asleep in his crib.  My car has never actually failed to stop.  I don't need a car this weekend.  My mom can help get me to the dealership on Monday afternoon.  I have credit cards and a fund set aside for an (eventual) new car.  I can afford the repairs.  Everyone who saw me at Sewell today was a stranger and (even if I did ugly cry) it is unlikely I will ever see any of them again.  It is going to be okay.  Really. 

So what if me and the Envoy have possibly irreparable trust issues?  I can get over it until the time is right to ditch it's "I cry the car version of 'wolf' so much that no one believes me when there is a legit problem" mechanical a$$ and move on?  Right?


I'm so having popcorn for dinner tonight.  I've earned it.

Update (or, you know, "some bonus thoughts"):  
  1. Just reread this and realized that I've basically been in an abusive nine year relationship with an a$$hat of a car.   
  2. The ugly public cry may have been the result of very little sleep coupled with a lot of bad (and expensive) vehicular news.  Last night, I was roped into seeing THE CONJURING.  And I use the term "seeing" liberally because I was wearing a hoodie and only saw about 15% of the movie.  Despite not actually watching most of the flick (and drinking a "large" wine at the theater to cope), I still managed to have several nightmares last night which left little room for anything resembling restful slumber.    
  3. Dolls are unnecessarily creepy.  This is neither here nor there, but the sun just went down and now all I can think of is Annabelle.  Who, according to my sister, was a Raggedy Ann doll in real life.  OMG, I DON'T NEED SUPPLEMENTAL INFORMATION.
  4. I should stop watching scary movies.  Please take note, TREVOR.  You owe me a nice PG rated cartoon now. 

Update II (11:07 PM):

Trevor just read this post and said, "So, basically, the whole point was that I am right and I agree".  To which I respond, "No, Trevor.  Absolutely not.  I only alluded to the fact that you might have been right in a very non specific way.  You should reread the title and take note of the words 'might' and 'maybe'."

Also, stop sending me texts that read, "clap, clap, clap".  

Thursday, July 18, 2013


OMG.  The figs, y'all.  THE FIGS.  We have so many.  And the temps around here for the last five or six days have been in the 70s and rainy.  It is like summer went on vacay and spring decided to sub in for a few days.  You just don't see anything in Texas but oppressive heat this time of the year.

BUT...back to the figs.  The cooler temps and extra rain have made them soooo sweet and juicy this summer.  Banner and I eat them right off the tree every afternoon.  It has been divine!
(Well, except for the dogs who STILL, after four years, cannot responsibly dine on figs without making themselves ill and...well, explosive.  Stupid dogs.)

One afternoon's haul.

I've been telling everyone I know to come over and grab them before the season is over (or the birds and squirrels take 'em first).  But, so far, there have been enough for everyone (and thing).  My neighbor took a giant bag last week to make preserves, Alba and her sister each filled a sack, my mom claims to have helped herself to "several pounds" on Monday, I brought in a bunch for a fig-loving coworker and my brother left the house last night with two grocery sacks full to make fig chutney this afternoon.  We've had figs out the wazoo!

Best fig summer EVER.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Reading with Grandpa Buddy and the thing about the mints...

In other news, my dad stops by to see Banner at school after physical therapy (he had back surgery in May).  His visits usually involve Starbucks mints.  As in:  My dad offers and Banner gladly accepts.

Well, my dad was unaware that Banner knew how to sign.  Much less that Banner would always sign "more" after taking a mint from the tin and eating it.  As a result (I am assuming that getting more mints was the impetus), Banner has learned his new favorite word:  "Mo" (more).

Now dad's biggest problem is breaking the mint-"mo" cycle.  Especially, since Banner follows "mo" with "peas" (please).  No wonder grandparents spoil their grandkids.  They are being completely manipulated by adorable little mint-seeking tyrants!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

If you show a boy a puddle...

...he is going to get wet.  Really wet.

 The kid just LOVES the rain.

Monday, July 15, 2013

18 Month Checkup and the whole thing about the car seat...

I know I say it ALL THE TIME, but OMG how is my baby a year and a half already? 

Last Monday (July 8th), Banner had his 18 month checkup.  An appointment that I have been dreading ever since January when the little guy may or may not have had an adverse reaction to one of his vaccines.  I thought we were due to have a MMR booster.  And that terrified me because it was one of the shots Banner had at 12 months that had been mentioned as a possible culprit for his 105.3 temp that landed him in the ER.  I had expressed my concerns at Banner's 15 month appointment, and my pediatrician gave one of the vaccines they normally give at 18 months at 15 months to cut down on the number of shots Banner would receive at once in July along with said "dreaded booster".   

But, y'all.  I was wrong.  I must have misread the vaccine schedule, because I worried over nothing.  Apparently, Banner doesn't get another MMR booster until he is FOUR YEARS OLD.

Trevor's not surprised.  He is always saying that I have 99 problems and 98 or 99 of them are completely made up scenarios in my head that I'm stressing about for absolutely no logical reason. 


All Banner ended up getting was a Hep A booster.  No fever.  No hospital visit.  Just a screaming toddler who was easily distracted by the thrill of getting to put his shoes back on a mere 30 seconds after the needle stick. 

That boy loves his goooz (shoes).

Meanwhile, I probably have at least 600+ new white hairs from six months of worrying and fretting.  OVER A SHOT THAT DIDN'T EXIST.  Story of my life.

As far as Banner's stats go, he has only grown a fourth of an inch since April but is STILL in the 96%.  He weighs in at 28.8 pounds (80%) and has a head circumference of 49.5 (85%).  He is officially bigger at 18 months than my childhood friend's son was at 2 years, and that kid is a perfectly average size for his age.  A little above average, actually.

Which leads us to the following issue:

Trevor was hoping to get permission to turn Banner's car seats around, but the AAP now recommends that a child rear-face up to age two (as opposed to the law that mandates children rear-face until they weigh at least 20 pounds AND are one year of age).  Since Banner is as long, if not longer, than many two year olds already, he is looking a little cramped and ridiculous in the backseat at the moment. But the pediatrician would still like Banner to face backwards until he maxes out our car seat's rear facing height limit.

So...will he make it until January?  Probably not.  Our Peg Perego Convertible allows a child to sit rear facing up to 45 lbs., as long as the child's head is at least 1" below the headrest edge. But while there are ten headrest positions available, only one through seven can be used while the seat is in the rear-facing mode.  And, guess what?  Banner is already on seven.  This most likely means that we will be forced to flip the little guy to forward-facing before the end of the summer.  Trevor is counting down the nanoseconds.  Because when you are well over six feet tall and drive a tiny little hybrid, every spare millimeter of space matters.  And, to be honest, at 5'10, I can't wait to ride shotgun with my knees NOT touching the dash board in my husband's car.  Still, for the sake of the kiddo's safety, we are going to wait to make the change for just a little while longer.  Adult vehicular comfort be d@mned!

Seriously, mom?

(I'm a catastrophist, remember?!  If I could put Banner in a bubble I probably would.  Especially after being rear-ended with him in the car six months ago.)

Plus, once he makes the switch, there is no going back.  Driving around town is SO much more interesting when you can actually see where you are going.  It is going to blow his little mind.  And he is already so excited to go for a ride in the "ka" to begin with!  He is going to love it!

Until then, though, Banner doesn't know what he is missing, and I get to pretend he is safer in my hot mess of a lemon SUV facing backwards than he would otherwise be facing forwards.  Win-win.  Well, unless you are Trevor.  Then, you know, grumble, grumble, grumble.

I mean, what's new, right?


Toddler Art...

Trevor didn't think this one was worth scanning.

Independence Day Art.

This will be tossed sooner than later because the shaving cream won't dry. 
A better name would have been "the mess that keeps on giving". It's a miracle
I got it home without getting yellow foam all over the interior of my car.
The same can't be said for my shirt or Banner's pants.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Learning to fly...

How do you make an 18 month squeal with glee?  Have his daddy and uncle play Toddler Toss in the swimming pool.  Banner was in HEAVEN. 
We really need to get that boy some floaties.
Best part about this photo?
Banner's hair blowing in the breeze!



Happy, happy boy!

Post flight reward?  A nice, cold Coors Light.
(Just kidding)

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Independence Day Recap…

Banner with a banner.  A legit Bannerman, if you will.

I have always loved the Fourth of July.  The red, white and blue, the parades, the food, the poolside fun with family, the fireworks, the history of land, sacrifice and country - I just can't get enough.  It is one of my favorite holidays of the year.  And it is somehow made all the sweeter by doing the same things I used to do as a child with Banner.

Because I am nothing but a sucker for history and tradition. 

If you don't believe me, see LAST YEAR'S POST.  Because our holiday itinerary was essentially identical to last July's.  And while you are at it, can you believe the difference between 6 months and 18 months?  Lordy.  They really do grow up so fast.

We started the day at the annual Park Cities parade.  My dad still lives in the house I grew up in, which is half a block from the parade route.  It warms my heart that 30 some odd years ago, I was Banner's size and watching the same parade in almost the exact shady spot off of Preston Road.

Although, I don't think I had a fabulous pint-size folding lawn chair when I was his age.  Trevor picked this one up back in April for under $10 at the Christmas Tree Shop out near the Galleria.  I had completely forgotten about it, but talk about perfect!  Well done, Trev.  Well done.

And the baseball cap?  Compliments of Uncle William.

Just like last year, Adam brought breakfast tacos, and we all sat around watching the smallest member of the family drink in all the Independence Day festivities around him.  Which he absolutely LOVED.  It was cuteness overload (at least for THIS mama) to watch him wave his little flags and dance to the marching bands and various songs being blasted broadcast from the passing parade floats.  He may have been a little overwhelmed at first, but by the end he totally owned it.

He even got special attention from the HP cheerleaders.
Trev was jealous and immediately started regaling his
son about "daddy's high school football glory days".
Poor baby.

If only Auntie Ah-meh had been there to see it!
(She decided to sleep in after telling everyone else to be sure and arrive extra early the night before!)

Parade expert.

He was sad when it was over and kept
looking down the street for more floats.

After the parade was over, we walked back to Grandpa Buddy's to regroup and cool off before heading out for a late morning Starbucks pick-me-up in the Village with William, Claire, Adam, dad and Joie.  We had brought Banner's dragon wagon, and he entertained us all for nearly an hour climbing in and out of it (and on/over everyone else) before making it VERY clear that "someone" was in dire need of a nap.

And nap he did.  For OVER three hours.  Obviously, we need to go to more parades. ;P

Dancing man in the DCC's Founder's Room...

The nap was an awesome thing, and totally gave the little guy the extra energy to stay up WAY past his bedtime, dance for hours and thoroughly enjoy the fireworks.  Which was awesome because the show at the DCC was absolutely spectacular this year.


After last July, we avoided the DCC valet like the plague in favor of the good ole self park options in the underground lot.  Good thing, too, because the line for the valet post fireworks was a hot mess just like last year.  Instead of waiting for an hour for our car like Grandpa Buddy, though, we simply walked the "extra distance" (ha!), climbed in the hybrid and drove away.  Banner was asleep before we left the parking space, and slept until nearly 10 AM the next morning.

It was a good day.