Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Up and Down Easter

We had a busy Easter weekend as usual, so busy and exhausting that I'm only getting around to blogging about it today!  Suffice it to say we all came home very tired, and we had very little problem getting the boys to sleep last night, too!  We had some fun moments and we had some not-so-fun moments.

Craig was on the road on Thursday, so I was alone with both boys in the evening.  I had a ton of packing to do and some food to make, but I still managed to squeeze in just enough time to color eggs.  Of course, bad mom that I am I probably don't let them do enough.  I try to let them pick out decorations (color, rubber bands, stickers, crayons, etc.), but I handle most of the dyeing myself.  Honestly, if one of those mugs go down, the clean-up is just not worth it.  I just don't have very gentle, careful boys.  Maybe someday I will, but not yet!  Of course, two of my eggs cracked--one pretty spectacularly--while boiling, so we only had 10 to decorate.  Still, they turned out pretty.
The ones with the stripes used rubber bands, the upper left one had stickers, and the middle one on the bottom was an attempt at a three-color one I had seen.  It was a fail, but it was pretty in its own way.

After bedtime I spent the rest of the night packing up clothes and all the other odds and ends, including Easter baskets, and I made gluten-free croutons for our traditional prunes and noodles dinner the following night.  I also had to pulverize a bunch of gluten-free Oreo-type cookies for the dessert I had to make the next morning.  I was up quite late but at least I got most of my work done!  I had taken off work on Friday and both boys were already off, so we had the luxury of sleeping in a bit on Friday.  Or at least being a little lazy.  Carter watched TV in my bed for a bit while I rested, but eventually we had to get the show on the road!  Breakfast, dessert-making, packing, early lunch...and then we finally we got on the road.

We got to my parents' house in the early afternoon and had some playtime before we headed off to my uncle's house for our traditional Good Friday family dinner, prunes and noodles (and a ton of other really yummy stuff as appetizers and dessert).  Shortly after we got there, the boys were running around like maniacs as usual.  No matter how much we tried to get them to stop, it continued, and all of the activity got the dog riled up.  Now, my aunt and uncle's dog is a sweetie.  A little overzealous sometimes, but generally very nice.  And apparently something about their chasing got him so out of sorts that he nipped at Jacob and got him on the side of his upper leg, just below his butt.  It didn't break the skin initially, but it did start bleeding a bit after a short while.  We iced it and put a band-aid on it.  It hurt him at first, but he seemed to recover quickly.  The worst part for him was actually having to put a band-aid on it, as he hates them.  This from the kid that used to beg for one for every little boo-boo.  All I can figure is that maybe the dog thought Jacob was trying to hurt Carter, and he was trying to defend him?

We ate our fill and enjoyed some family time before heading off to church for one of my favorite services of the year.  My parents' church's Good Friday service is so beautiful and moving.  The kids ruined it a bit this year with the usual ridiculousness--too much talking, not enough paper to draw on, etc., but it was nice to see my friend Heather, who was in town, and to at least attempt to get into the Easter mindset.

The only other thing of note on Friday was that it marked Carter's first attempt at sleeping in a non-enclosed space!  My parents had mentioned getting rid of the hand-me-down crib in my old room, and I told them whenever they were ready was fine, since it was about time for Carter to transition anyway.  He could still sleep on the crib mattress, just minus the bars.  I think Friday had been such a busy day that both boys went down relatively easily.  Maybe the novelty of the bed made it extra special to sleep in, but whatever the reason, he did well.

Saturday started out simply enough, with pancakes for breakfast and a lot of lounging around.  After breakfast my dad wasn't feeling well and had some lower intestinal issues.  He retreated up to his room to keep away from us, and we had a quick lunch before Jacob and I headed out for some shopping during Carter's nap.  I had promised Jacob we could hit up the Adidas outlet in Niagara Falls to look for some sneakers and summer clothes.  He pretty much only wants to wear Adidas these days, and despite my protests about the dozens of other things in his closets and drawers, he really only wears the same handful of outfits.  Sigh.  My concession to him was that IF the deals were good we could get something, but IF I got him a couple things, he'd have to either make the rest of what he has work for the summer or consent to getting some cheaper clothes from other brands.  The sneakers he wanted were $40, and I just could not spend that on shoes for him because he destroys his sneakers.  He shoves his feet into them while they are still tied, which breaks down the backs.  Then he doesn't re-tie them, or tie them tight enough, so his feet slide around and they get stretched out.  His shoes constantly look sloppy, and I refuse to spend that kind of money until he actively takes care of them better.  But we did find two pairs of shorts, two shirts, and one pull-over hoodie, all for less than $70.  Not my kind of cheap, for sure, but normal for most people, I think.  Some of it will end up being part of his birthday gifts.  He was happy, though, and the glee on his face when he was trying things on was pretty priceless.

We made a couple other stops after that, one to look for new dress pants for him, another to look for Easter stuff, and a third to wander around Hobby Lobby, which I love but rarely get to do since they're on the other side of town at home.  Jacob was rather well behaved for most of the trip--a couple stubborn moments, but as a whole not a bad shopping buddy at all.  I so wish we could clone that behavior and bring it out when he's near his brother!  Our last stop was at the candy store that provided most of the contents of my childhood Easter baskets--Platters Chocolates.  Yum.  I had checked earlier in the week to see what was safe for him.  I mostly wanted him to see all of the chocolate bunnies and smell how amazing it smells in the shop.  I miss being able to smell that!  We wandered around for a while considering the options, and while his preference was for the chocolate Buffalo wings and the cup of white chocolate "blue cheese", I made him settle on a large chocolate bunny sucker.  I got a smaller one for Carter and a couple other ones for Craig's cousins' daughters, who we'd be seeing the next day.  I wish I would have taken a picture of all the chocolate to show you here!

By the time we got back to the house, my dad's condition had gone downhill and the puking had started.  Ugh.  We definitely kept our distance, but I got a little extra neurotic whenever we had to use the bathroom upstairs...which happened a lot near bedtime in particular.  We had a pretty quiet night, at least as quiet as it can be with the boys chasing each other around constantly, but bedtime was miserable.  Carter wouldn't stay in bed and had a million excuses to get up.  He was also being loud, which prevented Jacob from sleeping.  All of it was driving my dad nuts, too.  I ended up having to threaten that the Easter Bunny wouldn't come, which did nothing for Carter but mostly just served to make Jacob frantic and extra mad at Carter.  Definite mom fail all around.  Eventually around 10pm they fell asleep and the Easter Bunny reluctantly hid their baskets.  However, he didn't do the planned Easter egg hiding.  He was a little rushed since they were up so late, after all. 

We managed to get ready pretty well on Easter morning, so the boys had a few minutes before church to hunt down their baskets.  Jacob found Carter's first, but it took some "hot and cold" to find his own in the kitchen cabinet...

Then he helped Carter find his...

Jacob got the movie "Max", which he really wanted, along with plenty of candy and a Playmobil hockey player.  Carter got a little Spiderman figure, a book, a little Duplo airplane set, and some candy.  Both boys also got these Dino eggs that you put in water and wait for them to hatch and grow.  I've grown a dinosaur in water before, but never before with the hatching aspect!  Carter's is starting to hatch and Jacob's is only cracking on the top layer so far. 

We reluctantly left Grandpa behind to head to church, knowing how much he loves singing on Easter.  We had a couple rough moments at church again, but we survived thanks to the many other vocal kids in attendance!  After church there was a breakfast in the gym.  The food was all generally a no-go for Jacob, but we came prepared.  I brought a couple gluten-free donuts, since there are usually donuts and pastries on the table.  We also brought leftover pancakes from Saturday, although I did bring leftover waffles from home just in case.  My mom nuked the pancakes, and we were good to go!  The rest of us ate pancakes, ham, and an egg-bread-sausage bake.

After breakfast we headed to the Easter egg hunt.  It's basically just a massive candy grab.  Carter started by picking up every Dum-Dum, so I encouraged him to pick up some Skittles and Starburst so I wasn't having to deal with constant sucker eating at home!

Jacob went with Grandma to his hunt, and he too picked up a ton of Dum-Dums!  Who knew they had something in common?!  I tried to get a picture as they started their sugar rush, but this was as good as it got... 

Jacob asked me to take a picture of his haul, specifically for the blog, no less...so here it is :)

On the way to the car, Carter couldn't help but run to the play area and go down the slide!  It was a cool morning, but it was starting to warm up enough to stand there while he did it a few times...

We headed back to my parents' house and started packing up.  Craig was originally going to meet us there, but with the illness floating around I decided we'd be better off meeting him along the way to his brother's house.  Eventually I got everything packed up and we met up at a Park and Ride lot where we could leave one car very close to the Thruway.  We headed off to meet up with Craig's family and started eating all of the wonderful foods.  Polish foods are so good at Easter!  By this point the weather outside was lovely, in the 60s and gloriously sunny!  Such a contrast to how it was earlier in the week, or even yesterday for that matter.  It was perfect weather for an Easter egg hunt!

 The boys were very happy looking through their haul...stuffing their mouths full of Peeps!

They spent a lot of the rest of the day playing outside.  Carter played around the playhouse...
Jacob and his cousins played lacrosse and hide-and-seek, right up until dark.  We had a lot of good family time, but it was time to go!  We crammed the car full of gifts--Legos for Jacob, new Batman dinnerware for Carter, throws for both boys, flowers, jelly, and salsa for me.  It was practically like Christmas!  The boys fell asleep in the car pretty quickly and went down to bed at home very easily.  We were all exhausted yesterday, and today wasn't much better.  The jury's still out on whether or not the stomach bug is going to get us.  I've been off for a couple days. Yesterday it seemed more like the extreme tiredness, overeating on Sunday, and nervousness about getting sick.  Last night my mom came down with the bug, which obviously made me extra nervous.  Today I went from feeling fine to feeling iffy, and back to fine.  Sometimes I think I'm just extra hungry from stretching my stomach.  Sometimes it seems like I'm on the verge of stomach cramps or diarrhea, but then I'm fine and it seems like it's all in my head.  So I have no idea what's up.  Carter spent a lot of time on my dad's lap before the illness, and while he has said for the last day that he has a "tummy ache", he seems fine.  Usually he says his "belly hurts", so the new terminology makes me wonder what's really happening.  But so far he's been fine.  But just as a little insurance, I have decided to try the grape juice trick.  Have you read about it on the internet?  If you're exposed to a stomach bug, drink three glasses a day for a few days, and it will change the pH of your gut and make it inhospitable for the virus.  Lots of people swear by it, so I figured it was worth a try.  Maybe we didn't get to it soon enough, but we'll see.  I'm hoping that if we make it through tomorrow, we'll be in the clear, since most hibernation periods seem to be 24-48 hours.  But we shall see.  The good news is that Craig is off this weekend, Jacob is off school all week (but going to the afterschool program), and I'm not super busy at work.  Definitely praying that this one passes us by...and that I start feeling normal soon.  Mama ain't got time for this!

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