Bug,  Family Matters,  Super Dad,  Tis the Season

Happy Birthday America, Let’s blow stuff up!


One of the many reasons we didn’t go to camp this last week is that the Fourth of July celebration is probably one of our favorite holidays to celebrate with Toby. Toby doesn’t have a lot of time to hang out with us so we take the time he does have very seriously. And by seriously, I mean we like to blow stuff up.

You see, Toby really likes fireworks. Unfortunately because of where we live (and our pansy-ass city council), fireworks are not allowed. We’ve tried the mentos and diet coke bombs and exploding confetti but nothing is as fun as real fire and loud noise. So this year we had a plan.

wave your flag

bbq-ing bro

First we had a little token barbeque with my brother, CC and my niece, Superchic. We figured we might as well get together since the other half of the family is off having fun at camp without us. They can celebrate with campfires and roasted marshmallows, lakeside views and mountain air but we’ll celebrate with margaritas, hotdogs and whatever we can find on television that is suitable for all ages—aka the National Geographic Channel. It wasn’t bad. We didn’t even suffer from any mosquito bites.

crackle pop

Then we all piled in our cars and drove over to a friend’s house who lives in the burbs of a nearby town that does allow fireworks. Toby had bought several bags of legal explosives the day before and put on quite a show for us. The kids seemed to be into it. They were a little frightened by the loud pops and bright flashes but a little fear makes it more fun I think.




“Aaaaaaaaaaaaaagh! My eyes!!!”

(Is Superchic crossing her fingers, hoping not to die?)

scary fireworks

Our little celebration got me to thinking…I’ve celebrated America’s birthday in so many ways over the years. I’ve hiked up hills to watch public shows from three towns overlap. I’ve made-out with boyfriends at tailgate parties on the Indian Reservation, I’ve watched crazy street scenes with hoodlums lighting off illegal fireworks, I’ve watched parades in Disneyland and even made champagne toasts on the patios of the mega-rich over-looking the ocean…I’ve pretty much done it all.


But I have to say that sitting on a curb with my kid, watching her Dad light stuff off is something I cherish. We might not have had the big mega explosions or the pretty lake reflections but we do have each other and the beginning of a tradition that will probably be a big deal in Bug’s life. Sure, other kids have great memories of fishing or playing baseball with their Dads but Bug is going to have great memories of her Dad blowing stuff up.

Toby watching Bug

God Bless America.


  • Julie HU

    Did I read in a previous post that it is your birthday today? If so, Happy Day! (In the event it is next week – Happy Day a week early!) I have never posted to your site but enjoy reading it. Thanks for the neat craft ideas!!

    SAJ says: Yes, it is. Thank you. :)

  • Jamie

    Bug is too cute, i love the adorable looks on her face. Her jacket is awesome, my daughter has the same one….gotta love Target! :)

  • gingermog

    Happy Birthday again Brenda I hope you had a great day. Your 4th of July celebrations looks marvelous. It reminds me of the UK’s Guy Fawlks night in November, where we build bonfires, light fireworks and um burn an effigy of poor old Guy Fawlks himself… put to death because he tried to blow up Parliament. Geesh what a blood thirsty history ;P

  • Melissa

    Ha, Toby’s comment cracked me up! Happy Birthday SAJ! You’re right, Bug will always love those memories of her dad. My dad buying and blowing up fireworks for all the kids on our block has always been one of the memories I remember most fondly.

  • Kuky

    Sounds like a wonderful 4th. I like where you say “great memories of her Dad blowing stuff up”, hee hee hee!

    And happy birthday!!

  • Melanie

    Love it! Way too look on the bright side, ha ha, ok dumb pun! Yay Toby! Being a Canadian, I can so relate to all the Canada days past, including making out with my later to be hubby, on our roof top watching the fireworks. Nice post!

  • Aunt Jaynette

    This year the old man pass the “punk”….the thing you light all the fire works with…to the 14 year old. I’m sure he felt so grown up to be lighting everything on fire.

    Happy Birthday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Jennifer

    Happy Birthday!

    Blowing stuff up is AWESOME! We traveled to my aunt and uncle’s house where fireworks are still legal and I was so happy that the girls were able to have the same experience I had as a kid. One of my cousin’s even pulled out a bunch of illegal fireworks. I don’t think my girls will forget that night anytime soon, hahaha.

    Glad you guys have another great memory for Bug to store in her smart lil noggin.

  • a Chris

    Hey, hope you had a happy birthday.

    Hmm. Fishing vs fireworks…I know which I’d choose. Anyway, how many people’s Dads, who go fishing frequently, actually take the kids with them more than once in a blue moon? :/ Maybe lots for all I know (though I still doubt it). Argh! Don’t mind my cynical rambling!

    I’ll bet this Fourth of July will win a permanent place in Bug’s childhood narrative, so good on you and Toby and the rest of the clan.

    Your pictures make me ache to run home from work and give my little girl a big hug!