4th of July, originally uploaded by Warren Brown Photography, available on Flickr, Creative Commons

We spent the 4th of July holiday at a small, local lake with my husband’s family. It rained most of every day and night that we were there, so the festivities were considerably dampened. On the evening of the 4th of July, there was a small clearing in the rain, so we were able to hop on the boat and head out to the middle of the lake where we could watch more adventurous folk shooting fireworks from all sides (and some stupid ones attempt to shoot fireworks directly at us – it is a small lake). I spent that brief interval between storms torn between enjoying the beautiful displays and the smooth water and hoping that each boom and zip did not wake up my sleeping baby when I was not home to comfort her, and I did not trust her grandmother to hear her cries should she wake up and realize that mom was not nearby.

Unfortunately, since it rained most of the weekend, Bear was not able to watch or appreciate the fireworks during her first real 4th of July. I was looking forward to watching her look of awe and wonder (and hopefully, not terror). Of course, she was around for the last 4th of July, but even I hardly remember that holiday since we were so mired in colicky babyness.

This weekend, Bear did not stop amazing me with all of her newfound abilities. I had purchased what is most certainly a torture-device of a life jacket for Bear to wear when she is at the lake, and for the first time this summer, I strapped her inside it and took her down to the dock to see the water. I had an entire conversation with her (one-sided, I’ll admit) about how she must wear the life jacket anytime we leave the patio and how it will keep her afloat should she ever fall into the water. I did not expect her to really comprehend any of my reasoning, however, a few hours later when we were back in the house, she carried her life jacket to me and gestured outside. She continued to this for the rest of the weekend when she wanted to go outside, and I was so impressed by her understanding and maturity! If only she had grasped that standing on a dock in the rain is not my idea of a good time!

Bear also learned to say (and sign) “please” this weekend. She now stands at her high chair begging to eat (on an hourly basis) saying “peas, peas, peas, peas.” At least the girl is polite!

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