When we got home, Acelyn was pooped from her busy morning and looked super sweet falling asleep on my shoulder. Nolan also took an awesome nap that afternoon and we all got to rest and relax around the house together.
The next morning, we decided to check out the Discovery Children's Museum. Nolan and Jason had checked this out last year, but it was my first time and was excited to see how fun this place was! We spent a good couple of hours there and Nolan had a blast exploring each different exhibit area. His favorite was by far the water area, and he loved wearing the smock and running around placing the balls in different parts of the exhibit to discover what they would do.
We ventured on, where he used his imagination to be a pirate on a pirate ship and a king in the castle. He also loved playing veterinarian and shopping in the grocery store!
Another favorite area was the temporary Clifford exhibit. He's never watched a day of Clifford but was totally into the different parts, especially the dog bowl of bones. We spent a good 15 minutes watching him load up bones and dump them into the dish.... so simple, yet so fun for him!
My phone then decided to die, so I wasn't able to take many other photos, but we had a blast and even ran into nap time because we were having so much fun. Luckily, Nolan barely made it home awake, went straight for his nap and took another great one for the afternoon (always a good sleeper... just extra long with all these fun days planned)!
Monday was the 4th of July, so we obviously had to take an obnoxious amount of pictures!
I made a fun 4th of July flag jello poke cake that we chowed down on after dinner, before fireworks!
I had been talking about 4th of July and fireworks all week with Nolan (as we learned about this through our Tot School theme for the week), and tried to prepare him for what the fireworks would be like, knowing that he is very timid around loud noises and anything remotely "scary". I showed him videos of fireworks as well as videos of him playing with the poppers and sparklers from the year before, hoping this would help him be a little bit more brave than I expected for this year's experience. After dinner, he was excited to go outside to "do fireworks", and we gathered our Pop-its, sparklers and smoke bombs. We started with the sparklers, and although he kept his distance, he enjoyed watching Daddy light them up and spark away.
We tried out the Pop-its, and he was instantly afraid, but slowly warmed up once he realized it was kind of fun to throw them himself! After throwing a box of those around, Jason lit up a smoke bomb and tossed it into the street. I thought for sure Nolan would enjoy these, especially with all of the different colors.... and I couldn't have been more wrong. He.was.terrified. He screamed and cried bloody murder and I'm surprised our neighbors didn't come outside to see what was going on! We tried to convince him to go back to the Pop-Its or sparklers, but he was convinced that fireworks were awful and chose to go inside and to bed!
Fast forward through bath time and our bedtime routine, as we were getting ready to head off to bed, Nolan saw some fireworks going off through our bedroom windows. We allowed him to stay up and watch some through the windows, and as we saw most of our neighbors outside lighting their own off in the street, we convinced him to come back downstairs and outside to watch (since that's exactly was he was doing inside!) He agreed, and although he was hesitant at first, he actually warmed up to watching the fun, tamer fireworks in the street and loved that he was staying up past his bedtime!
Our neighbors had some "big" fireworks that they started lighting off a little before 9PM, and I thought that would be the end of Nolan's calmness and that he would freak out with the loud bangs, but he was excited about it and was proud of himself for being so brave! Acelyn was outside with us for most of the night, and slept through everything. Such a great baby!
We lasted until 9, when the Mission Hills fireworks started going off, so we watched from our driveway and had a great view of an amazing show! The pictures didnt come out well at all, and looked much better in person. I'm so glad they moved their fireworks so close to home- we have a great view and can't wait to be so close to a fun, traditional event when the kids are older!
Although fireworks and such didn't go exactly as planned, I'm so proud that Nolan decided to enjoy the end of the night and hope that each year gets easier for him and more of a fun experience! We had an amazing busy weekend, and it's the on-the-go moments like these that make long weekends so enjoyable!