We had our Independence Day celebration here. I barbecued steaks and chicken, and my mother brought over potato salad and rhubarb custard pies. Another family friend and charter member of Erik's fan club joined us, too. The guys attempted to fix my kitchen range, which has been malfunctioning in a giant way, requiring me to turn it on and off at the fusebox each time I cook a meal. They spent hours on it. I made a pitcher of sangria with apples and white peaches, and we visited, drank, and feasted until it got dark, when we migrated out to the back porch to watch the fireworks display off the top of the nearby butte.
Erik has been excited about the fireworks for days. He remembers them from last year and seems to have lost any anxiety he had about them. He had no nap all day and was still going strong by the time they began at 10 p.m. He ran back and forth between us all and refused to sit still, springing up and down and spouting off random lyrics from some of the songs on his favorite music CDs. Because we live far enough away, the sharp cracks and whistles of the fireworks were a bit muffled, and he had no problem with noise whatsoever.
There were two things that made my heart skip a beat yesterday. Erik climbed the ladder up to his slide in the backyard with very little assistance and lots of encouragement a couple of times. He also retrieved a container of bubbles, unscrewed the cap, fished out the plastic wand, and successfully blew bubbles alone yesterday for the first time. He talked up a storm while he did it, stringing together words in new ways and causing me and my mother to look at each other in amazement. He still has a strange and hilarious Cajun accent ("Ohhhh...lookidat!"). Earlier in the day when I turned on Fox News, he got right up in my face, tilted his head adorably, and suggested, "How bout we watch Elmo instead?" The past month has been absolutely amazing. We have witnessed another giant leap in development for Erik after months of a quiet plateau. He has been great fun to watch, and I am so incredibly proud!