Fourth of July at The Family Kitchen

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We were in the car today for a mere 15 hour trek. After spending a week in Utah with family and a few new favorite EFY counselors and kids, we smooshed our bodies in the minivan and worked our way through the long, grey roads of Cedar City and St. George, across a colorful corner of Arizona, and into the barren wasteland of heat and high winds which stretches from Mesquite, Nevada to Barstow, California. All to get to my beloved sister’s house in sunny SoCal.

With each length of the journey came a new stage of “The Road Trip Moody Blues.” At first, the children were content. Sharing. Giggling gregariously at dainty jokes and the occasional soda-burps escaped from a siblings lips. It was all in good fun. Things were going well.

We then moved from content to getting The Gas-Station Snackies. The Cheeky Hubby isn’t terribly fond on the concept of eating in the car, (a philosophy I was quickly converted to after scrubbing carpet-ground pieces of wet, red licorice from the floor of our former vehicle. Never again, I declared, fingernails stained with the saliva-laced candy hunks. Un.amazing.) But knowing the kids were older and significantly more mature than they were when the licorice event occurred, we tossed back waterbottles and little packages of Zots (retro-candy is cool, but retro-candy on the road? Uber chic.)

Snacks appropriately ingested, it was time for The Napping Stage to rest it’s gentle hand upon the occupants of our car. These first three stages of road travel are tremendously lulling. They get you thinking that you’ve done a terrific job with this whole parenting gig. They make you consider the proud concept that you’ve raised a car full of lovely, mannered lamb-chops.

But then. Stage Four hits. Out goes the three-phase bout of confidence. Because it’s time, my friends, for The Post-Nap Sours.

The Post-Nap Sours begin slowly. They catch you unawares. The kids are groggy. They wipe their cupid eyes and rub themselves slowly from sleep to awake. They look around, survey the surroundings. You peer back from your perch in the front seat, wink and smile. Hiya there buddy, you say. How was your nap?

Bad. The kid responds with a wrinkled nose. I’m bored.

Do you want to listen to music? No. Do you want to play with daddy’s iPod? No. Do you want to read a book? No. Do you want to find the ABC’s on road signs? No comment. Eyes are rolling.

But you see, The Post-Nap Sours don’t last long. No, it’s not enough for just one child to teeter in the backseat with misery rising in his heart. Nay. He has to bring the other children into it. This is the phase of road-tripping with kids, otherwise known as The Mind-Numbing Whine and Compainers. There is a poke. Sometimes a pinch. Today there was a lick. The little kid licked a big kid. The big kid started whining, which made the little girl cover her ears, kick, and complain, which sent the big girl into a tizzy fit of anger.

And me, sitting there in the front seat, arms six inches too short, and voice six volumes too quiet.

Have no worries. This phase ended. At some point between the 106 degree wind in Vegas and the 108 degree heat in Baker, California, everyone stopped crying, whining, poking, prodding, picking, and licking.

Which meant only one thing. Time for the stage of Late-Night, Stir-Crazy Maniacal Laughter.

And, I wish I were talking about the kids.

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It’s been a busy week for me. Has it been a busy week for you?

We’ve been busy over at Babble, too!
Be sure to check out my don’t-miss Fourth of July recipes at The Family Kitchen:
Firecracker Potato Salad
Red, White & Blue Pantry Potatoes
Fourth of July Centerpieces You Can Eat
Stars & Stripes Marshmallow Krispie Treats

Plus, stay tuned for tons of incredible summer recipes and stories, the Coach’s Oats prizewinner, and the final, suspenseful chapter of “Meeting The Marvelous Tartelette

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13 Responses to “Fourth of July at The Family Kitchen”

  1. 1

    ♥peachkins♥ on June 28, 2010 at 4:58 am Reply

    it's sort of a busy week here too… those potatoes look delish!

  2. 2

    DeBie Hive on June 28, 2010 at 8:06 am Reply

    Oh, how many times I've made that same drive. I totally get it. LOL Have fun in SoCal!

  3. 3

    Eliana on June 28, 2010 at 8:08 am Reply

    These potatos look perfect for summer. Love that they are not fully of fatty mayo!

  4. 4

    Cookin' Canuck on June 28, 2010 at 8:12 am Reply

    We have taken many long road trips with our kids and I think you summed up the stages of the journey perfectly!

  5. 5

    shannon abdollmohammadi on June 28, 2010 at 11:28 am Reply

    love the recipe and the pic is so cute!!

  6. 6

    Wahzat Gayle on June 28, 2010 at 1:10 pm Reply

    giggle I feel for you

  7. 7

    Bonnie on June 28, 2010 at 1:33 pm Reply

    This post feels so familiar, like deja vu? Oh wait, we've been there and done that. So funny. It was so nice to meet you at Cristie's last Wednesday with Tartelette. I never got my gum but it didn't matter because it just nice to have you there.

  8. 8

    amy on June 28, 2010 at 5:50 pm Reply

    Thanks for stopping by my blog today! Hope you are having a great summer day! It is HOT here!
    XO. amy :)

  9. 9

    Shannon on June 28, 2010 at 6:31 pm Reply

    Sorry this is kinda random…Do you have a suggestion for keeping up with recipes? I have food magazines, I have index cards, I have pages ripped out of magazines and scribbled recipes on notebook paper. Any suggestion on how to keep up with them in an organized way?

  10. 10

    A SPICY PERSPECTIVE on June 29, 2010 at 7:14 am Reply

    Super cute photo! The potatoes look great too!

  11. 11

    Anonymous on June 30, 2010 at 11:27 pm Reply

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  12. 12

    Tickled Red on July 1, 2010 at 12:10 pm Reply

    Those are some purty spuds!! And great smiles : Glad to see both.

  13. 13

    Susan from Food Blogga on July 1, 2010 at 7:10 pm Reply

    Look at those adorable faces! It was worth all the hours and stops after all. Have a fabulous time!

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