4th on the Court

We have been referred to as a commune, we have been called cliquey, us ladies, we have have been compared to Desperate Housewives. I couldn't agree more, Bravo would for sure have another real housewives hit if they rolled in here with their camera crew.

Yelling out the window to borrow an egg, texting each other to see what we are doing for dinner, spending afternoon hours on lawn chairs while children run rampant, cheering on those that are potty training, asking if anyone needs anything on their run to the food store, car pooling to the tennis courts; this is just a tidbit of daily summer life on Prairie Court.

The 4th was no exception.

For the past 3 years we have always had other plans on the 4th of July, while the Court had its party. This year we went back and forth, but eventually decided to stay home and join in on the festivities.

Here is the thing. The P-Court gang cooks out at the very least of one time per week during the summer months, or from the first sunny warm day, to the first official frost that lasts until noon. So in my mind, how on earth can the 4th of July be any different then any other cookout we have together? Here's how.

Preparations for this day began weeks in advance.

First and foremost with the fireworks being provided by the #1 Pyro on the Block. There were a few that were in contention for this title, but for the 3rd year in a row I am going to go ahead and give the award for #1 Pyro on the Block to,drumroll... my neighbor Brian. I will go ahead and leave out his last name so that his panties don't get in a bunch, but really, this is quite the honor for him. Now you know this was an easy pick, he wins really by default, he was the only one who traveled across state lines to bring them back. Last year I made fun of Brian for the amount of fireworks he had bought and where he had them stored...under their bed. I warned his poor wife Steph that if there was a fire at night, she and he would be sky rocketing the moon. This year he took it one step further and purchased twice the amount of fireworks and stored them in his basement so that each member of his family could take the trip to the moon in the comfort of their own home. He is so thoughtful and clearly loves family vacations.

So now with the entertainment out of the way, which my children and I thoroughly enjoyed previews of for two weeks every other night or so. The following is worth mentioning, since the awards committee took all efforts into consideration in regards to achieving the Pyro title. The timing would be perfect, I would just be lying my children into their beds, be tip-toeing across the hall, and 'crack, boom, screech, laughter...'. I would jump 3 feet into the air and my children would spring up immediately begging to run outside and see the show. Even more conveniently, he would stop at one or two, so that I got to hear them whine and cry in their over exhausted state for like 30 minutes. Good times. Valiant effort.

We then move onto the food.

Each of us ladies were put in charge of different sides, appetizers, desserts, so on and so forth. I kid you not when I tell you that for the past 7 days, my neighbor Michele has gone to Walmart on each and every one of them, and at the end of the week topped it off to a trip to the Super Walmart to be certain that nothing was over looked. Each time returning with bags of things. Sometimes there would be several trips to and from her van. It was quite the sight, I couldn't help but be inquisitive. I mean, she even got 2 pinatas earlier in the week at one Walmart, then later went to the Super Walmart and liked two other ones there better, and so then decided to return the others to the original Walmart. All this for pinatas people, that's how intense this party planning is.

E waiting on his turn at the pinata...patiently...had to capture this rare moment:

You might be wondering well who was bringing the meat? You can't have a 4th of July picnic without something to barbecue you fools! Don't you worry...keep reading.

The setting up began on Friday evening. Plastic chairs and tables were delivered and set up courtesy of Mr. Miller. A food tent went up, and grills were moved into place. Saturday morning, my husband got up with his alarm at 8 a.m. This is a picnic people! There are only three things that can get my husband to spring out of bed when the alarm first sounds.
1.Tailgating for an Eagles game.
3.Party Preparation for parties that include the following:
-silly picnic games, like washers and that ladder ball thing
-a keg

On any other day I have to get perpendicular to his body so that I can use the full force of my legs to push him out of bed.

As I am padding around the house in my bare feet trying to get oriented, scratching the sleepies out of my eyes,and only to find I had no coffee, I look out the window to see inflatable pools being filled and my husband pacing the front lawn on the iphone, summoning the troops. aka: men still in bed.

I then pad over to my neighbors still in my pajamas, aka, Brian the Pyro's home, in search of coffee. I find them getting prepared to go to the pancake breakfast in town. My husband,after wishing everyone a Happy 4th of July like they all partook in the signing of the Declaration of Independence, then announces that he too will be going to the pancake breakfast. I spring into action, dress the cherubs quickly in their patriotic attire and send them out the door to go with their Daddy, I mean they can't miss out on a pancake breakfast in the park...so what if I wanted silence when making my dishes...ok and to also maybe sip my coffee and check in on facebook.

Fast forward one hour, I am now half way through my dishes, still in my pajamas, and the troops come marching in the door announcing they want their bathing suits on. Party has now officially begun.

I walk over, again to my neighbors, in my pajamas one more time to find my husband to watch the cherubs while I rid myself of the stench that comes with cooking all morning, and find that the meat mobile has rolled into the Court. My friend Steph's father, has a trailer hitched to his pick up that is towing a meat smoker, that is going to cook pieces of pig all day long that we were going to feast on later...along with you know, burgers, hot dogs, chicken...ok, so meat was covered.

On my way back to my own place, I pass my neighbor Nick placing flags into gardens and tying star balloons onto things, my husband filling a pitcher of beer for those standing around the smoker from the beer meister,because all parties need a beer meister,duh, and my children taking flying leaps into an inflatable pool like they were going to compete in some belly flop contest later. This people, is a celebration.

I later walk over to my other neighbor Danielle's home to check on how she is doing since she is making the pound cake, from the recipe I listed right here on this blog. I walk in and she looks exasperated and there is a hunk of what seems to be charcoal in my bundt pan on her stove top. As it so happens, I need to make an addendum to the recipe, which is now completed. Sorry Danielle. But the second attempt was flawless and delicious, and so wonderfully decorated, right?

However, her sister Karen thought it would be hilarious to bring over the original cake and claim it as her own homemade dessert. If I had not been laughing so hard, I think people may have actually thought she was being serious. I even think someone might have taken a piece so she didn't feel so bad. Mmm...looks yummy, right?

Pictures of my cherubs munching on their favorite and edible picnic food:

O.K., so real quick I am going to interrupt this post to point out two things that make my daughter ridiculously cute...1.her munching away on that cob of corn like nobody's business, and 2. those freckles sprouting all over her face. Back to the blog...

Picture of me and favorite 2 year old cherub at the picnic, who due to a large amount of people he wasn't familiar with surrounding him, was letting his attachment issues get the best of him. So much so that I think given the option, he would have crawled back inside of me:

Throughout the day, there was food, there was games, there was fistfights and wrestling matches between Ethan and Evan, who are supposed to be the best of buddies,(seriously what has gotten into these boys, they actually get in knock out drag down fights, just wait until they are 15 fighting over some girl...horrors!), and there was indeed fireworks set off thanks to Brian. So many, that at one point there was so much smoke that I couldn't see further then 3 feet in front of my face.

We woke up this morning to the aftermath, and as I peeped out my window, it turns out that the clean up crew did not come through the night. We rolled out of bed and got to work. You know, besides them waking up my children, the second thing I really love about fireworks is the mess they make after exploding. It literally looked like it rained scraps of paper. So about 10 giant trash bags, and 3 hours later, clean up was over, and round two was well under way...leftovers...Holla! Did I just type Holla? Too much sun.

Right now there is snoring all around...everyone but me has been knocked out cold since 9 p.m.

I am quite fearful of the wrath of which is my daughter which I am forecasting with 100% probability that will hit tomorrow morning when she finds out that the 3 days of her neighborhood being party central has come to an end. Anyone want to come over and break the news to her for me while I escape out the side door. Anyone? Hello? Come on...

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