Sunday, April 18, 2004

I thought I should share some of our recent activities. I was particularly amused by Easter and leads ups to it. For some reason Easter really captured Aidan’s attention as something coming close to Christmas – did the Easter bunny always know what we were doing just like Santa Claus? And a week or so ago – How does Santa get down off of the roof? And I know how he goes up the chimney {how} by putting his finger by his nose. He so truly believes at present – what fun. He and Quincy have been practicing their bunny hops up and down the hall. He can do a standing jump 3’ long. He also hops over the train track quite a bit – and sometimes his brother… Quincy loves to practice his hopping too – I have far from natural bouncers here – other kids have been making that trampoline at Acrosports go up and down like crazy from their start at 18 months. Quincy was over 2 when he figured out how to do a 2 footed jump – and he can’t put them together yet. He does a mean Seat Drop however. And very nice forward rolls. He also led the way in hands free off the sofa rolls at Cousin Ellie’s house onto the sofa cushions on the floor. Soon imitated by all.

I haven’t gone into any of the religious aspects of Easter and have just talked about it in terms of a spring celebration – hence the eggs, bunnies etc. Aidan really wanted my Friday before Easter school project to be Easter or bunny related. Instead I thought we should make birds nests (for eggs to go in). I had an early chiropractor appointment then the kids and I hit a median and picked up a few bags full of sticks and grass and other natural debris. Then off to walk to lunch with friends Theo, Lillian & mom Karen – she watches Quincy for me now when I teach and I watch Lillian on Thursdays. At school I had the kids build their nests in paper bowls “since we couldn’t take home trees” you know. They were also allowed to cheat and use glue to hold everything. They all received a plastic egg of their choice (with 3 jelly beans inside) to take home in their nests. It was a fun project.

On Saturday we awoke to a nice sunny day (apparently the fog rolled in midday) – by 11.30 we were on our way south to Redwood City and our 1st brunch and egg hunt of the weekend. Ahhh. Up in the low 80’s, brunch on the deck, a warm swim for all afterwards to work off a few of the calories before the dessert course. Sarah had each kid find different colored eggs in the garden – about 5 or 6 maybe per kid – a couple with chocolates and others with small toys, and a couple presents besides. My kids were liking this Easter thing. We left around 5.30 only to shortly afterwards stop off at a park/playground for a little bit before stopping at a bar-be-que place. Home at 8.30 or 9. Exhausted kids! Aidan started to get a bit worried about the Easter bunny visiting his home while he slept and requested sleeping in our bed. Pete told him that the Easter bunny didn’t come right until dawn so no worries. I worked diligently at stuffing quite a few eggs – either 2 jellly beans or 3 chocolate covered soy beans per egg – or a small rubber animal or car. They got about a heaping tablespoon of candy each – poor deprived children! Also small chocolate bunnies from Sees Candies. I spread eggs throughout the house – some right under Pete’s nose while he read – he had no idea! Too funny. In the morning Aidan woke up first – and I think maybe I was in with him or I was already awake. Pete went back to sleep with Quincy in our room (Quincy had already come in in the middle of the night). Aidan was very excited to see eggs and was busy scooping out their locations all over the place – but was OK about waiting for Quincy. When Quincy woke up 45 min or so later (he had had to go w/out his nap the previous day after all) Aidan was very very cute – he tried to give Quincy helpful hints on where to look for eggs. No desire to gather them all to himself. Quincy just very earnestly asked when could he open his eggs?! Quincy tends to stall at about 3 eggs – wanting to open them and eat or play with the innards and we have to remind him he can put them in the basket and gather more…

We then had to hustle a bit as we were due downstairs at 10 for another hunt. John & Kerry have been hosting Jake & Kazayah from next door for years. There were 10 eggs per kid in the backyard – some quite hard to find although others in plain sight. They set a beautiful table as usual – complete with Royal Worchester (?) Beatrix Potter figurines. Fruit salad followed by warm cinnamon buns. Good eats. The boys all headed back outside to play for a while after eating. Fortunately! Kazayah started opening her eggs – they were all STUFFED with candy. I decided to liberate my kids of some candy and left them with only one or 2 pieces each. Then it was time to head off to Cousin Reiffs house where we were supposed to show up at 11.30 (joining a gang of 27!). Phil & Julia really have party hosting down – she is 8 months pregnant and makes it all look so easy. They had rented a couple of tables and all tablecloths and dishes – which all can be returned dirty! What a nifty plan. Yummy food as always. My contribution was a tart from a new cookbook – actually 2 tarts stacked – a pecan nut one on the bottom topped with the chocolate truffle filling. Rich. We also had our last (4th) egg hunt of the weekend. Phil hid the eggs – and let me say he was by FAR the hardest bunny! Eggs were NOT visible – you had to dig inside bushes or stand on parent’s shoulders. But with enough help they were all uncovered.

We of course have been trying to limit the kids candy intake. I had bought them a count down chocolate calendar from Trader Joes – a deal at 99 cents. One chocolate each morning in April until Easter. That was quite a hit. Aidan is diligently asks before eating any of his egg candy (I think they are just about done with it all now a week later) – and I think he doesn’t think about it except that he sees Quincy diving in. Quincy is smarter – he doesn’t ask (as we often say “not now – after dinner/lunch/tomorrow” – he just opens and eats. He is much more secretive about his escapades than Aidan (who broadcasts everything he is up to). One day we found Quincy with his hand inside Aidan’s piggy bank (paper mache pig – Quincy made the hole a bit bigger…) – he was mining for change to put in HIS froggy bank. I have also caught him several times having dragged up a chair and opened the drawer where we keep loose change – for the same reason of course.

So Easter weekend was a big one for the kids. They also received their fleece blankets grandma Thompson had sent their way. Every night since they have insisted that they must sleep under those blankets (although Aidan is long enough that he pops out the bottom end so we add a blanket at the bottom). That led us into Spring Break week. We joined some school friends at Crissy Field on Tuesday – a remarkably warm and sunny day after all. Wednesday we joined quite a lot of school folks over in Oakland at Fairyland – although we mostly hung out with Theo & family. Thursday we had a stay at home and play with our brother and toys day while Mom struggles with ESPP tax implications for hours. The boys really needed some downtime and playtime together. Friday we headed over to hang out at Cousin Ellie’s house – Julia is now a stay at home mom. She made us very nice paninis for lunch… We got home around 1.30 – Quincy was about to drop from so many missed naps. I managed to persuade Aidan that a nap wouldn’t be so terrible. I grabbed maybe an hours rest and the boys were down for THREE hours! Wow. I got a lot of stuff done around the house – some countertops that hadn’t seen the light of day in 6 months or so got cleared off. We had to get ready for Saturday you know…

Saturday Nanma arrived on The Big Plane. I had a haircut scheduled downtown mid-afternoon and Pete had the idea to head to Coyote Point Museum (very near airport) so I was left behind. I got the place in reasonable shape for the cleaners and then cleared out. A beautiful day in the mid 60s. I decided to head down to the Ferry Building where the Farmers Market was going on. Such a great location on the water and a beautiful remodel to the building – and great produce – much of it organic – and several cafes etc. I grabbed some English Shelling Peas (the kids love them) and a few other things before sitting down overlooking the bay to enjoy my beet, candied walnut & feta salad. I topped it off with Cabernet Blackberry Sorbetto and Mocha Chip Gelato. Yum. Nice to have an afternoon to myself. The rest of the gang enjoyed a Thai lunch and the Museum – they got to try honey from their bees even! The kids passed out late afternoon on the way home although Aidan’s nap was short. They managed to make quite a large train track out the bedroom into the hall before dinner was served up. Aidan couldn’t wait for Quincy to wake from his nap – so they could blow up Nanma’s bed on the floor for acrobatic time.

Today, Sunday, we made plans to meet Aunt Ginette back at the Ferry Building. Too bad it has been grey and a bit drippy all day. We still had fun as it involved a train ride. And Aidan got to start out with some of the local artisan cheese and bread followed up by an hour of a singer/songwriter performing in a bookstore there – with full kiddie participation. It was really just our 2 and 2 other kids for most of the time but they had fun. Sunday is Garden Market day so we bought a couple plants and I got some more yummy organic strawberries and some organic veal shanks. We tried out a new restaurant there too which was good. The kids have enjoyed having the afternoon to their own imaginary games though here at home. They played train for a while. Then pretended to sleep (complete with many blankets and animal friends). Aidan has this past week been very interested in giving hugs – especially to Quincy. He is quite cute and asks him first if he can give him one – but he does this at least ½ dozen times a day! They also played “heading off to the office” – had to hug everyone goodbye and grabbed the car keys and pretended to leave. Well, that is probably more than anyone wanted to know about our past week! Bye for now.

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