Top 10 Parenting Essentials For 4th of July

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I don’t know about you, but the fourth of July has always been one of my favorite holidays. While the heat, bugs, humidity and noise might not be for everyone, there is something about the excitement and anticipation in the air that I just love.

When I was a little girl, living in Cincinnati, my dad would pack us all in his crappy 1970s Cadillac Eldorado (sorry dad, it was) and head downtown, to Fountain Square, to watch the fireworks. He would bring a cooler of sodas (and beers) and some sandwiches and we would spend the whole day down there enjoying the sunshine (don’t worry, my stepmom was always the designated driver). These were some of the happiest times in my childhood and I couldn’t wait to do the same with my kids.

That being said, when the temperature is 97 degrees outside and you have three overtired, cranky, hopped-up-on-sugar kids in tow, it’s best to be prepared for everything.

1. Bug Spray

bug spray guy

No fourth of July celebration can be complete without a huge bottle of bug spray (and probably a few citronella candles as well) because nothing attracts mosquitoes like a bunch of sugar filled kids and semi-drunk adults eating BBQ chicken and burgers.

(Photo:  Birmingham Public Library (AL))

2. Sunscreen

sun burn

This is a no-brainer. Personally I pack all kinds of sunscreen. I have the waterproof kid’s stuff, the easy-peasy spray stuff and my personal fave the “I’m an old lady,” 3-billion-SPF face stuff, because dammit I have enough wrinkles!

(Photo:  ajgayner)

3. Bud Light Lime-A-Rita 


It’s not secret that I love me some margaritas, but I’m not about to drag a blender with me wherever I go. Also excellent in Popsicle form.

(Photo:  ramidogg)

4. Vodka

vodka 3

You didn’t think I was done with the booze, right? Ah, Vodka, the most versatile hooch around. You can mix it, make jello shots, or drink it straight up, Mad Men style. Nothing makes the fourth of July more tolerable than good old Vodka.

(Photo:  hal9k)

5. Kanye West’s Album, “Yeezus”

Yeezus 2

Because I need a coaster for my Lime-A-Ritas.

(Photo:  tema_keks)

6. Ashley Cardiff’s, Night Terrors

night terrors optimized

Mommy needs some entertainment too. While the kids get into their own shenanigans, I will be busy reading Ashley Cardiff’s new book Night Terrors, which looks amazeballs. It’s got sex, kitties, puberty, sex, Mormons, nightmares, sex, orgies and did I mention sex? What’s not to love?


7. Jay Z’s Album “Magna Carta, Holy Grail”

Magna Carta Holy Grail

I’ll keep my headphones on though, so I won’t disturb the constant stream of Umi Zoomi my kids require.


8. American Flag EVERYTHING

American Flag Baby

I will use any holiday as an excuse to get my kids all dolled up in some adorable outfit, and Independence Day is no exception.

(Photo:  XcluzivClothing)

9. Food That You Did Not Make

Potato Salad 2

I think every American family has a special fourth of July food that they look forward to every year. For my family that is POTATO SALAD. Specifically my grandma’s recipe for homemade potato salad that tastes like heaven, if heaven was covered in mayonnaise and happiness. It’s way too involved for me to bother with most of the year (you mean I gotta boil potatoes AND eggs?) but we can’t celebrate the 4th without it. NOMZ

(Photo:  lynn.gardner)

10. Ear Plugs

ear plugs

After a lifetime of loud music, concerts and other auditory abuse, my ears have been through enough. I can enjoy the light show without the noise, thanks.

(Photo:  Howard Leight / Honeywell Safety Products)