Thursday, April 24, 2014

Easter Weekend, Part Two

As I mentioned in my last post, normally we just stick around Buffalo from Friday through Sunday on Easter weekend, but this year we had to come home early because of the lacrosse game on Saturday.  So, instead of doing church with my parents and going to their Easter breakfast and Easter egg hunt (which, admittedly, would all have been a little challenging with the gluten-free issue--although I had a plan if we did go), we opted to stick around Rochester for the morning and go to our own church.  We haven't gone to our church on Easter in years, possibly since 2008 if I recall correctly.  We had to rush a bit to get ready because it was 45 minutes earlier than our usual Sunday service, but even with some Easter basket/egg hunting, we were only a few minutes late.  

When Jacob woke up he was excited to look for his Easter basket.  The Easter Bunny had also hidden 10 eggs for him to find.  Let me tell you, it was a bit of a challenge to find places where they could be somewhat obvious so as not to take hours to find, but not to be totally easy either.  I have determined it will be a little better when there's two of them looking!  Jacob isn't a very good looker sometimes!  Still, with a little prompting at times, the hunt was a success and he was the proud owner of 10 eggs filled with jelly beans.
He found his first egg and started snacking right away.  Also to note in this picture is the egg hidden under the candle holder below the TV and my lovely $2 Easter egg garland that I made on top of the entertainment center.


He stumbled upon his basket (hidden behind the car and tunnel in the back left of the picture below) and seemed to like its contents--Frozen DVD, Clifford book, one of those flapping solar flowers, and assorted candy.  Notably missing was a chocolate bunny, which tend to not be gluten-free.  Turns out that Dove chocolate bunnies are okay, so I picked a couple of those up on clearance the other day and will keep them as rewards.  At least I know for next year!
He's busting into the chocolate coins already!
We rushed to get ready for church, and I tried so hard to get a picture of the boys looking cute in their outfits.  I failed.  This was as close as I got:

Carter would not sit still, and it was a challenge getting any good pictures of either of them for the rest of the time they had their nice clothes on.  But seriously...Jacob in a tie?  So cute.  Carter is wearing the same outfit that Jacob wore for his first Easter, though Jacob was about nine months old vs. 14 months.  The shirt was a little big on Jacob but fit Carter just right.

Carter's Easter basket was pretty simple, because I wasn't willing to go the candy route just yet.  I got him two books and a light up bouncy ball.  The one book is based on the "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie" series and has the mouse finding Easter eggs all over his house (good for counting and colors), and the other is a religiously themed Easter book that tells the entire story of Holy Week (and its importance) in a really kid friendly way, which I loved. 

Church was a little crazy.  As I mentioned, we got there a couple minutes late, but fortunately the mass chaos I was expecting wasn't an issue.  We had an easy time getting a parking spot and seats in our usual family room.  They had cute little packets for the kids with stickers to make an Easter scene, a coloring book, and a couple other activities.  Jacob started doing the word find without me even noticing, and the first couple words he found were backwards and diagonal!  I was shocked!  As the service went on he had a bit of a meltdown because he didn't like his sticker arrangement and made a mistake on the word find.  He wanted another packet but I didn't want him to take one because there were still two more services.  In the end I noticed there was a packet opened but barely touched on an empty chair, and I told Jacob he could have that one at the end if no one came back to claim it.  That helped.  Otherwise, the music and message were nice and Carter was a little antsy but manageable.

We went home and I worked on preparing some food for our trip to Buffalo, and once that was ready to go, we headed out.  We stopped at Craig's Aunt Marie's on the way.  It used to be the main gathering place for the whole family, but that has waned a bit over the years as everyone has gone off to do their own things.  Still, we make it a point to go because we don't see them that often and we love hanging out with that branch of the family.  It also happened to make for a convenient lunch stop.  Jacob filled up on Jello (I know), and Carter ate his weight in ham.  As we got ready to leave, we did get one good group family shot for the day...

We went off to Craig's brother's house and had a day full of food and fun with his side of the family.  Jacob couldn't wait to see his cousins, and spend most of the day trying to convince everyone to play sports--and they did for quite a while since the weather was beautiful.  The food is always amazing, and I couldn't resist any of it.  Even with his restrictions, Jacob had plenty to eat.  I made cheesy potatoes and gluten-free cupcakes to add to the mix, and with the kielbasa, ham, and fruit, Jacob was pretty much good to go.

Carter didn't really get to nap much beyond our drive to Buffalo, and no matter what I tried he would not be rocked to sleep.  Unlike Jacob, he really needs to get to a terribly cranky place before he will fall asleep.  He doesn't like to be rocked very much, and if there's anything going on he wants to be there.  Instead, he was just clingy and a little cranky.  But cute nonetheless...
 

Before dessert, there was an Easter egg hunt for the kids.  Jacob's finding abilities were definitely challenged once again, but hopefully as he gets more experience, he'll get better.  I think it just doesn't occur to him that someone would both hiding an egg in certain spots.  Even though he can overthink everything in normal life, when it comes to looking for eggs, I think it's almost like he can't imagine someone putting that much thought into hiding an egg into a sneaky spot.  Or he just sees the big picture and can't focus on the details...at least not someone else's details.  Still, he didn't do too badly...


In the meantime we all exchanged some gifts.  Mostly we just get a little something and some candy for the kids (our niece, nephews, and Craig's cousin's two girls).  Our kids got spoiled with one big toy each, plus some clothes and a couple little things.  Carter's big toy was a drum full of instruments!  It came with drumsticks, jingle bells, a tambourine, a shaker egg, a rattle, and the drum itself.  He loved it!

Shortly before we left, Carter finally fell asleep on Craig.  Angelic, isn't he?

The good news is that we had sleeping kids on the way home and they went down pretty easy once we got home.  The even better news was that Jacob had off on Monday, as well, so there wasn't a rush to get up that morning.  He was still awake bright and early, but at least we didn't have to rush around.  In fact, we didn't get Carter to daycare until around 10am!  We had a lazy morning otherwise and were planning on heading out to Strong Museum for the day around lunchtime.  We went to McDonald's for lunch, and then headed out to the museum.

Strategically I waited to take him until Monday because I figured not all schools would be off on Monday and it should be less busy that during the prime time of spring break.  The added bonus was that Craig ended up being off, so he could go, too.  Our first priority was to head upstairs to the new exhibit we hadn't seen, which was dedicated to games.  They already had a video game arcade section, but this new part added in exhibits on board games and other tabletop games, as well as hands-on opportunities to play bubble hockey, air hockey, foosball, dominoes, puzzles, and lots of other things.  I personally enjoyed attempting this giant Perplexus ball, where you need to turn a giant ball to move a tiny silver ball through a path full of obstacles. 

The boys obviously gravitated toward the bubble hockey, and even I got in on the games.  Oh, and did I mention that Jacob wanted to dress like a pirate?


Standing with the suit of armor representative of role playing games
Jacob wanted to wear pirate gear because he wanted to play on the one ship.  He liked ringing the bell on the ship, but this was the funnier moment, where Craig tried to recreate the movie Titanic on the front of the ship!

Jacob had fun making this giant move and talk...

...and made himself a king with a crown, robe, and throne.

He attempted to put on a little show for us, too.

We moved on to the Berenstain Bear room, where he and I had fun last time we were there.  He served Craig and I a variety of foods in the restaurant, and played in a couple other stations before we moved on, since we were starting to get a little short on time.

Along the way to the mini-Wegmans, we stopped to attempt pictures here--Spidey Style!
He's almost got it :)
We also stopped in the special exhibit that highlighted animation.  We didn't spend a lot of time here (let's just say that every other traveling exhibit in that same room that we've ever seen has been way better), but we did try to be foley artists (the people that make sound effects in movies).  It was hard!

At the mini Wegmans, Jacob gravitated right to the newest space in the store, the prepared foods section.  He put on his apron and started serving us...

I ordered chicken parm, mac and cheese, and veggies.  Craig had a pork chop and corn.
Mmmmm....plastic.
After getting served we did some shopping (mostly for gluten-free foods!), checked out, and started making our way toward the exit.  Along the way I relived my childhood in the Sesame Street section (which we almost skipped entirely...sniff) because they were showing the first episode of Sesame Street and it featured some of my favorite shorts! 

I also got Jacob to take a picture with this giant chair.  He's getting so much better at posing...finally!

Oh, and we did sit on the Sesame Street steps and I took our picture on the monitor :)

We stopped in one last room and played around a bit, but Jacob's favorite part of the day came when he and Craig played Xbox Kinect football. 

They played twice, for quite a while each time, and Jacob was loving it!  One of these days we'll probably have to get a video game system like this, but I'm not sure I want Jacob wanting to play it all the time!  He said it was his favorite part of the day.

Overall we had a good time.  We had a few moments trying to transition to other activities, but for the most part he was good and we ended up having a good time...and without all the crowds I was expecting!  He was exhausted and fell asleep on the way home, which made for a challenging evening, but it was still nice to give Jacob a day to be the center of attention like the old days.

That brought our crazy long weekend to an end, and what a weekend it was.  We're back in the groove now, just in time for another weekend.  Thank goodness for four-day weeks!  Not too much planned for the weekend, but lacrosse did start this week so our quiet weekends are rapidly coming to an end.  Now if spring would just get here and stay here, that would be great...

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