Monday, April 21, 2014

On Easter

­I had been looking forward to Easter Sunday for weeks. In the days leading up to it, I bought gifts for everyone's Easter baskets, picked out the kids' and my outfits, and dyed eggs with Evie. We had two parties to attend that day—Jeff's family's in the morning and mine in the evening. I looked forward to the mimosa (and adult conversation!) I'd have with brunch, and to watching my little cousins and daughter hunt for Easter eggs.

When Easter Sunday arrived, I was so caught up in our outfits and the Easter bunny and our hectic schedule (did I mention we went to two parties?) that I didn't even stop to acknowledge the true meaning of the day—what Easter is really about.

I grew up going to church every now and then, but by high school, sports and a packed social calendar took priority. I've always believed in a higher power, but I don't know him—or it—at all. I have no relationship with him (it? Her?). Because of that, I don't really know how to introduce my kids to religion. Eventually I'd like them to hear bible stories and attend church, but I want them to make their own decisions about what to believe and how to incorporate their learnings or beliefs into their everyday lives.

On Sunday, after the last eggs had been found, after I realized I hadn't reflected on the true meaning of Easter, I read this. (It's basically the Cliffs Notes version of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.) Maybe next I'll find some kids' books of bible stories for Evie and Maddox. Someday they'll need to know there's more to Easter and Christmas than candy and presents!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Egg Time

as a kid, i loved dying easter eggs with my mom and sisters, and we have plenty of home videos to prove it. my favorite video is of six-year-old me telling my four-year-old sister that her eggs hadn't been in the dye long enough. i told her to make sure her eggs were nice and bright before removing them from the dye and placing them—gently! slowly!—back into the egg carton to dry. when she'd remove her eggs from the cups of brightly colored vinegar (after they'd been soaking long enough, according to me), i'd snatch them from her little hands and put them in the egg carton myself. i was such an annoying (yet very cool) big sister!

this year i was excited to dye eggs with evie, but i promised myself not to boss her around like i did my sister so many years ago. i let evie do her thing while i snapped photos. (a huge thank you to my mother-in-law for all her help! she played with maddox and made sure evie didn't drink the cups of vinegar, among other things. evie thought the vinegar smelled yummy. weird kid.) the little munchkin did great—we ended up with just one cracked egg.

happy easter, friends!

^^maddox doesn't get what all the fuss is about. they're just eggs.^^

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Settled In

finally, we're all settled in as a family of four. i've gotten used to having two kids—two kids who need different things at different times. i've decided it feels good to be needed like i am. i've gotten used to being on my feet most of the day, to nursing a baby while hoisting a toddler onto the potty, to doing most things quickly and with one hand, to grabbing burp cloths off the floor with my toes because i have coffee in one hand and a baby in the other. my body's become okay with five or six hours of sleep every night. sometimes i even look forward to midnight feedings, when the house is still and it's just maddox and me, rocking and nursing in the dark quiet with no one and nothing to interrupt us. now, i don't even remember life with just one kid—and i don't want to. these days can be long and emotionally draining, but they're also very rewarding and, in a way, simple. i wouldn't trade them for anything. 

evie helps me change maddy's diapers by fetching wipes and singing songs to him while he's on the changing table. she shows him books, pets his fuzzy little head and hold his fingers and toes gently. she tells me he's sooooo cute, mimicking our friends when they meet him for the first time. i love spending time with just her. i take her to a tumbling class on monday mornings, which is so much fun because she's learning to jump and roll—and she absolutely loves it! she's so excited to play on the trampoline and climb through the fabric tunnel every week, and i'm excited to watch, and to help only when she needs me. when i see her following directions and interacting sweetly with the other kids, i'm the proudest mama in the world.

it's fun spending time with just maddox, too. yesterday we ventured to the grocery store for a "big shop" (growing up, that's what my mom called the trips when the fridge was completely empty; we needed everything). to my surprise, it's much easier taking maddy to the grocery store than it is to take evie! he was perfectly content strapped in the baby carrier, sucking on a pacifier, for the entire hour. he didn't ask to push the cart or eat the cheerios or hold the bagels or watch videos of himself on my iphone. it was the most enjoyable "big shop" i've had in quite some time.

and now, it's time to go! somebody's up from his nap.