Our July 4th Story

This post is sponsored by RealTimes

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For the past four years, our family has headed out to eastern Long Island for July 4th, alternating between the Hamptons and North Fork.  There’s something special about sitting around a bonfire on the beach, watching bright lights bursting in the starry sky, with the crisp breeze from the water. The kids are always claude in red, white, and blue, love to make their own smores, while they watch and cheer the fireworks.

This year, we rented a house, with two other families, on the Peconic part of the North Fork. The quaint little house was located right on the beach, and it couldn’t have been situated better for all of our six little kiddies, ages 6 and under. Unlike ocean water, the bay was calm and gentle, ideal for novice swimmers, with the most beautiful seashells and tons of little crabs to dig up. The watersports options like paddleboards, kayaking, or just chilling on a raft, kept us all entertained for hours. Anything and everything cooked was made on the barbecue, which has become a novelty when you live in a NYC apartment. The kids played endlessly with each another, while us mamas caught up on what’s been going on in our lives over the past few months, and the dads did a bit of the same. It’s so relaxing,  and I usually never want the weekend to come to an end.

We arrived bright and early on Friday morning, and for the first time in a long time, I unplugged for a whole weekend. I blame this partially on the poor wifi, but it gave me an excuse not to be tied to the phone for the weekend. Fortunately, all my deadlines had been met for the week, so I was relieved to leave anything outstanding to be handled on Monday.

What we didn’t expect to happen that weekend was for little Siella to need to get stitches. It was mid day July 4th, and we just returned from the beach. We were on the back porch, where she had just finished a sippy drink, and walked inside to throw it in the garbage. I can’t tell you exactly what happened next, except the loud bang from her falling to the floor, followed by a scream like I’ve heard before. I rushed through the door, to find her lying on the floor, clutching her eye, with blood dripping down her face. With her whaling and squirming, it was tough to determine exactly where or how badly she was cut, so I immediately thought it could be a serious eye injury. I screamed for Jason, and he ran for the car, so we could get her to the hospital. Fortunately, our friends had just come back to the house, allowing us to leave Ryder and Gemma behind. Having spent very little time on the North Fork, I realized we were driving away from the house, with no direction, so I managed to google the hospital, 20 minutes away. Having dealt with stitches on Ryder’s thigh in recent months, we were concerned about scarring on our perfect little baby’s face. The hospital informed us that there was no plastic surgeon on call, and we would need to settle for a ER doctor to sew her up, or pretty much, go to another hospital. With street closed from the July 4th festivities, we knew the latter was not an option. Our ER doctor had a similar experience with his own child years ago, and he too insisted on a plastic surgeon. After a few phone calls, he miraculously found someone available on the holiday, who drove two hours to help us.

Over those two hours, Jason and I kept Siella calm, by playing games and telling her the stories behind the times when we both had stitches as kids. This kept her mind at ease, but this quickly changed when the doctor arrived. Siella needed to be restrained, and naturally, she was completely freaked out by the process. It took three nurses, plus Jason and I to hold her down, and the things she was yelling will probably haunt me forever. I fought as hard as I could to hold back the tears, telling her everything was going to be ok. Her cries continued, and worsened with each stitch. Finally, the doctor finished, and she sat up, and the horrible screaming stopped. Once the room cleared, with blood shot eyes and a swollen face, she took a fifteen minute nap in my arms, and woke up like nothing ever happened. It was by far one of the most difficult and scariest experiences I’ve had as a parent.

We arrived back to the house to find that our friends had prepared dinner, and even bathed Ryder and Gemma, who were both ready to watch the fireworks. After that traumatic afternoon, I quickly showered Siella, and was expecting to put her to bed, but she surprised us and wanted to stay up to see them.

There were lots of fireworks displays on the water with the nice show, just down the beach at a neighboring beach club. Our bonfire raged, and the kids toasted marshmallows, mashed their own smores together. Jason and I stood there watching our kids enjoy the show, hugging each other extra tight after that awful parenting task we just endured. I started to cry. I think my tears were a combination of pride in the celebration as an American with the freedom to make choices, nerves from our hospital stint, and relief that my daughter wasn’t seriously injured.

I am happy to say the rest of our weekend out east was incredible, which I can share with you here, through #MyRealTimes Story of photos….

RealTimes is an app that automatically creates beautiful and engaging video stories from your photos and videos, helping you capture and share your adventures. You can edit your clips with special effects, titles, and even add custom music to tell your story, your way. Individual photos and videos backup automatically into your RealCloud, a private cloud drive that you can access on any smartphone, tablet, PC or TV. They automatically organize in an easy-to-navigate timeline, and you can create albums to keep collections together. The RealPlayer technology allows you to share your stories, photos and videos with anyone on any device, even if they don’t have the app, perfect for Grandparents. When speaking to my mother when we returned she asked to see photos and I was quickly able to message her the bulk of photos we took just from the weekend.

I am excited to announce that SITC will be partnering with RealTimes at the Blogher conference, next week in NYC. If you attending, stop by the booth, where we will be giving away a HUGE prize.

Now, I want to see your “Stories.” I am giving away a $100 gift card to Target and a one year subscription to RealTimes Premium to one lucky SITC reader! Upload any photo your family traveling this summer, and tag #MyRealTimes. Follow @strollerinthecity & RealTimesApp on Instagram. One lucky winner will be announced on July 15th 2015 at 9pm EST. I will also be crashing the RealTimes IG account over the weekend, so be sure to follow along!

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