Jack’s Easter Tie

Casey had a brand new Easter dress and an Easter bonnet to wear on Sunday, but Jack just had a pair of khakis and a dress shirt.  So on Wednesday, when this tie tutorial on the Little Birdie Secrets blog popped up in my Google reader, I decided to make it immediately.  Actually, first I asked Jack if he wanted a tie.  He was a little ambivalent.  Then I showed him some cute owl fabric I bought and he liked the blue and green owls and said I could make it for him.  

At this point, it was the day before our 4 day trip to Ocean City for Easter weekend and I had packed nothing.  There has been a quilt sitting on my dining room table for ever and I haven’t touched it in weeks.  But I decided I should make a tie.  
Thankfully it was simple and easy to make except for burning my fingers with steam a few times.  I called on Jake and the Neverland Pirates to entertain the kids for a bit and created a cute little tie for Jack.  The worst part was getting him to try it on.  He wasn’t completely resistant but he thought it was a good time to be silly and it made buttoning and unbuttoning little buttons and trying to gage how long it should be difficult.
Our modeling session went pretty well though…

And here’s the little secret…it goes around his neck with a piece of elastic instead of being tied!

Easter Weekend

We loaded up the car and headed to Ocean City to join Pat’s family for Easter weekend.  When we went in February, I packed based on the temperature and failed to factor in the wind and it was so cold there!  The fleece wasn’t enough – I needed my down jacket.  This time, I thought I packed enough warm clothes, adding a cardigan or sweatshirt with every outfit and I was still freezing.  I missed my fleece.  When I took the kids to the playground on Friday, I had to resort to using the rock climbing wall as a wind break to stay warm.  By Sunday it finally warmed up and everyone was asking each other if they had thought to bring sandals or flip flops or shorts.

Thankfully the Easter Bunny knew to look for us in Ocean City.  He brought a very Star Wars themed bag of goodies for Jack and some Star Wars and Princess themed items for Casey.  I slept awful the night before Easter…kind of reminded me of when I was little and would listen for the Easter bunny or keep waking up and wondering if it was time to get up yet.  This time I was worried because I didn’t tell Jack and Casey to yell from their bedroom when they were awake.  I didn’t want them to come out and see their baskets before I could catch their reactions.  I also wanted to make sure we were all up early enough to play with toys, eat breakfast and get dressed before Mass at 8:30.  So I woke up three times in the night to check the time and then we ended up having to wake Jack and Casey anyway.

Jack was hilarious when he woke up.  He was still a little groggy from sleep but so excited because he knew that it was Easter morning.  The first thing he said was “I bet the Easter bunny hid something in Brady’s stroller for us to find!”  Hmmm, the Easter bunny didn’t think that that was the first place the kids might look or even think of as a good hiding place.

We all had a wonderful weekend together with delicious food, great company and the entertainment of watching 5 cousins, all under the age of 5 play and interact with each other.  It seemed like a pretty relaxing weekend at the time, but when I think about everything we did, it seems it was quite a busy weekend.  We went to the playground, got Jack a haircut, snooped around the hardware store, tried to teach Nana about Star Wars, drew a Star Wars character guide for Nana, colored in our new coloring books, went to a children’s craft fair, said hi to the Easter bunny a few times, played baseball & soccer, shot discs in the air with our new toys, played with new toys, played with the babies, went to church and sat nicely, went swimming in the pool, played at the beach, rode bikes around the neighborhood, went to an egg hunt, took part in an egg/spoon race, walked around the neighborhood, fought lightsaber battles with Jedi Bob (who apparently knows Yoda), played with bubbles, watched a little tv, watched the Flyers lose and win, cleaned the beach house for the next renters, played hide-and-seek, red light green light, and Simon Says and ate a lot of animal crackers and “dirt”.  And there was more but I think that pretty much captures the weekend pretty well.

Easter Party

Since this week is spring break, Jack’s Easter party at school was on Friday and I was the party planning mom.  I was trying to bookmark ideas I have seen on the internet since Thanksgiving but at the last minute, I just went to Disney’s Family Fun website and found everything I needed.  It was really 6 days before the party but it felt like last minute to me.

I had to come up with some snacks and a craft and then we had an Easter egg hunt.  I made these cute little carrot gardens for the snack.  The dirt is pumpkin hummus and I don’t think any of the kids ate it.  A few ate some of the unadorned carrots that I also brought.  To make the carrots, I used a toothpick to put a hole in the top of the carrot and then stuck a sprig of parsley in each one.

This is my favorite part of the snack…the bunny face sandwich.  I used sandwich rounds, fluff for the face, peanut butter for the ears, pretzels for the whiskers, a strawberry marshmallow bit for the nose and chocolate chips for the eyes.  We had some fruit on the side and carrot cake cupcakes for dessert.  The cupcakes were pretty delicious…they were this recipe from the Smitten Kitchen blog.  

While I was crafting my sandwiches before the party, Jack’s teacher was working on another craft with the kids.  She called it a Harry Potter-esque bunny face.  The kids looked pretty kooky with their big glasses and big bunny teeth.

For some reason we decided to sneak a learning moment into the egg hunt so I labeled the eggs with numbers and each child was supposed to find one of each number.  They were a little too excited to care what numbers they got and started throwing eggs into their basket.  Then the parents ended up going around to each other and asking, “Does anyone have a 10…I have to two 8’s but we need a 10…” and trying to make sure everyone had the same amount of eggs.  Oh, and the craft was the Easter egg basket that they are all holding.  We turned green paper bags into baskets and decorated them with stickers.  

It was a fun little party but my party planning skills are on break until next year…when I will have two classrooms of opportunity to sign up for parties!

Rotten Eggs and Broken Backs

Last February, I wrote (here) that Pat had started yelling “Last one up is a rotten egg!” to try to encourage Jack and Casey to get upstairs for bathtime.  It’s been over a year and it never. gets. old.  Especially to Jack. Almost every single time we go up and down the stairs at the same time he has to say it.  Most mornings now he says something like, “Mommy, Mommy, you need to hurry or you’ll be the rotten egg.”  Or sometimes he whispers to Casey in a conspiratorial voice to try to encourage her to get down the stairs faster than I do.  (Although most of the time I still carry her downstairs in the morning.  I guess it’s a ritual because I know she knows how to walk.)  I guess I can’t get over the fact that it is still a fun game despite the 3-4 times a day that we play it.

Another game that doesn’t get old started with my mother.  She taught Jack and Casey the little saying, “Step on a crack and you’ll break your mother’s back.”  There are a lot of cracks in this world.  Jack and Casey notice every single one of them and inform me that they are either stepping on them or jumping over them.  I’m not sure how they decide whether it’s a good day for breaking my back or a generous day of sparing me the pain.  When they step on a crack I pretend to cry out in pain and that’s hilarious.  I suppose that only encourages the game, but it’s so much fun for them that I have to play along.

No one tells you about these hazards of parenting…smelling like a rotten egg and broken backs.  I’m glad there are no cracks on my steps.


The Star Wars Obsession Continues

A couple of weeks ago I found a book at the library called  Lego Star Wars: The Visual Dictionary.  It has pictures of every Star Wars Lego set made in the last 10 years.  When we first got it from the library it was in really good shape, almost new.  Since then, Jack has thumbed through it so many times that it now looks a little “aged.”  I decided he needed his own copy of the book and when a friend told me they had it at TJ Maxx, I stopped by and picked it up for him.

The book I bought came with a special mini-figure of “Celebration Luke.”  As soon as he saw the mini-figure, he went crazy.  “Mommy!  Mommy!  It’s Luke!  It’s Celebration Luke!  I didn’t have that one Mommy!  This one came with Celebration Luke!  Now I don’t have to use the other one that isn’t really Luke!”  I pretended I didn’t know that the book came with Luke and it was a surprise to me and he just kept talking about Celebration Luke.  I’m not sure he got that excited on Christmas morning.  Pat and I were talking last night about how Jack makes you want to buy him things because he is so excited about them and he loves playing with them.  And yet, we don’t really need to buy him any of them because he has turned all the other Legos in his collection into intricately built spaceships and is constantly working on a new space creation.  He even created his own R2-D2.  

Every night we read little tidbits from each page of his book about the different sets or the different mini-figures.  The facts and information he has picked up from this book and other Star Wars books we have gotten at the library are incredible.  Last week when my parents were in town, I heard him explaining something to Grampie about Star Wars and it was verbatim out of a book we had read.  In fact, I’m not sure Jack has talked about anything besides Star Wars in the last few weeks.

But we can’t leave Casey out of this obsession either.  She’s not quite living in a Star Wars world like Jack, but she’s absorbing a lot of it too.  She started out with a pretty good impersonation of Chewy and now she sings the Darth Vader theme song right along with Jack.  They were watching Empire Strikes Back in the car a few days ago and she said, “Mommy – Leia loves Han Solo.  But Han Solo is getting frozen now so Leia loves Luke.”  At which point I made sure she knew Luke and Leia were brother and sister.  The cutest thing about Casey though, is listening to her say everyone’s name.  I love it when she says Padme Amidala.  We got a new book at the library today that has a group picture of everyone standing together.  Casey can tell you everyone in that picture and it’s so cute that I had to get a video of it: