Great Independence Day this year! First thing in the morning, I celebrated independence from my alarm clock. Chris entertained Mark (who got up at his usual 6:30am, grrrr) and I got to sleep in. What's even better is that after I woke up at around 9am, I got to spend another half-hour in bed reading - something I haven't done in years.
In the mean time, Chris took Mark to buy some fireworks. Of course, he couldn't wait for the evening and soon was teaching Mark to throw Pop-Its. Mark was having lots of fun with them.
Since we didn't have any plans, we just stayed home and watched our garden grow (and yes, it is more fun than it sounds). We've already picked quite a few tomatoes and a couple of cucumbers. As a matter of fact, the first thing Mark does when out in the garden is going to the cherri tomatoes, picking one and eating it on the spot. He then goes over to the cukes and looks for one ready to pick. If he finds it, he pulls it off the vine and bites right into it. Now, if Mark would only munch on a sprig of parsley and nibble on a leaf or two of basil, he'd be having a kind of deconstructed salad. Just wait 'til the watermelons get big, LOL.
Back to the 4th of July... Back in the house, Chris noticed that one of the gallon jugs of milk was about to expire and decided to try making some mozzarella. And then he used the whey to make ricotta... And then whatever was left he used to bake bread with... All turned out very yummy! See, now we can make our own sweet butter (made it last weekend), cheese, and of course bread. Add fresh tomatoes and basil and we can open our own little restaurant, LOL.
In the evening we all went over to our friends (and neighbors) for some 4th of July grilling. There were several other toddlers there, all about Mark's age and LOTS and LOTS of toys. And of course, drums, including real ones. Check out the videos at the bottom of this post.
We briefly went to the Fairgrounds to check out the taiko drums demonstration by Triangle Taiko. Mark loved the hands-on part where all the kids were allowed to drum to their hearts' content. (Apparently Triangle Taiko has a program for toddlers - will check it out!) When we got to the performance, he watched for a bit, but there were too many people around making it hard for him to see and he was tired as well. So we went back home.
Or rather, we went back to our friends' house for some fireworks. Now, I don't like fireworks of the kind that are set up in yards and driveways. Mark didn't like them much either. He actually got scared and started crying so I took him into the house and let him drum on big drums for about half an hour.