Monday, March 24, 2008

Take Two.......

So.....I'm thinking that maybe one post a month is all I'm up for. I've never been a diary-keeper or a journaler. I prefer to talk things out rather than write them down, which has lead to many interesting conversations between me and myself over the years. Sometimes I actually talk to other people too. It might also be the reason that although I love doing research and going to conferences and talking to other scientists about what's happening I would rather pull my fingernails out with my eyes than write up my findings. Just a thought.

But on to more important things - my children. We had a lovely Easter, though I must say that it was a very hectic week-end and I was sorely missing the days when they would happily sit on a blanket on the grass and drool on a few plastic eggs before heading off happily to nap for a few hours. Our day started off on the Saturday morning before Easter, madly scrambling around the house putting together Easter baskets and gathering the ingredients for the strawberry shortcake we were bringing to the family dinner. We had to do this on Saturday morning because we were leaving at 3pm to drive down to Vista for the wedding of our wonderful friends Eddie and Stephanie. That's Mr. and Mrs. Ibrahim to you. It was a lovely wedding, the weather was perfect, the venue was great, and of course the bride and groom were overflowing with happiness. We got to catch up with old friends that we hadn't seen for a while and hang out with the Luhr's clan, including Lo's mom who was down for the week-end. We even got a few dances in, but I have to admit that around 9pm I began thinking that going to bed would be a very nice idea. As I read that sentence, jumping as it does from dancing to going to bed, I can see that it might be interpreted in a romantic, lustful way. Sadly, the bliss I was thinking of was a different kind entirely and involved only me and my pillow.

Easter morning dawned way too early, given that we got home a little shy of midnight. However, it was all forgotten as the kids trotted into the living room for a little pre-breakfast play time. When Jack spotted his Easter basket he said in the cutest voice imaginable "Oh my goodness!", and then before diving in to it helped his sisters find theirs. Seriously. I can only hope he will be this perfect when he is 20. I thought it was very interesting to see what each child selected first from their baskets: Jack went right for the new Cars puzzle, Ava gleefully snatched up the My Little Pony in hers, and Cate made a beeline for the chocolate bunny. Yep, that's them in a nutshell.
Fired up on sugar (them) and caffeine (us) we decked everyone out in their new Easter clothes (see "pics" at right) and headed to church. As expected, it was packed and we were lucky to find a pew with enough room for all of us and my stepmother, Therese, and brothers, John and Stephen. They weren't having Sunday School that day, so the kids were in church with us. For about five minutes. When the service hadn't even started and already we were breaking in to my secret stash of toys I knew we were doomed. Thankfully John and Stephen volunteered to take them over to the nursery and hang out with them there. After the service there was a big egg hunt on the church lawn; they divide it into "4 and under" and "5 and up" searches. Most of the parents of the little ones are smart enough to fill the eggs with goldfish or cheerios, but there were a few packed full with M-n-M's and jelly beans. Seriously - are you on crack?!? Like they aren't going to get enough sugar today? A highlight of the search was Ava's finding of the golden egg, which earned a prize of a bucket of sand toys. She was so cute standing by Father Mark, smiling her shy little smile as he gave her the prize. She is such a funny little thing some times, and gets rather shy and embarrassed when the spotlight is turned on her. But she was very excited to get the sand toys and told us all about how she would use them when we went to the beach and would we be going to the beach today? No? How about tomorrow? Would we be going to the beach tomorrow?
After church we headed over to Danielle and Ben's to have lunch with them and their daughter Amelie. Ben put together a great egg hunt that kept them hunting for a good twenty minutes while Danielle soothed our weary souls with a fabulous frittata and chocolate-dipped fruit. We even got some cute pictures of all the kids together on the couch - no small feat given the amount of sucrose coursing through them.
Back home for a nap. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Sorry, let me get a hold of myself. Ahem. Back home to spend a few hours lying on the couch desperately trying to catch some sleep in the 10 second intervals between telling the kids to stop talking! and go to sleep already! I mean it! Right now!
Finally on to dinner with the family. I could write an entire book on this dinner and countless holiday dinners like it, but I figure you have families so you probably know the drill. All I can say is let these experiences be a lesson to you, so that one day when your daughter or daughter-in-law shows up with teary-eyed cranky children high on sugar and actively craving more you won't take that opportunity to remind her of the importance of sticking to a regular sleep schedule but will instead lead her to the couch and get her a margarita. Or maybe get her the margarita first.
Finally home, a quick bath to rinse away the sugar-coating, a few books, a few tantrums, and then.........sleep. At last the sugar coma kicked in, giving Brian and I a chance to exchange forlorn looks of love and longing before collapsing on to the bed. Ah, Easter. Is it really a whole year before we get to do this again?

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