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Archive for March, 2012

Establishing Easter Traditions

Disclaimer: If you are under the age of 12 years old: Spoiler Alert! Stop reading this post. But then again, I am not sure anyone in that age group would be reading this. Anyway…

Easter is in two weeks and just recently my husband and I looked at each other and for the first time realized, “oh crap, WE are the Easter bunny!” Thankfuly, this epiphany hit us whilst at Target. Hello $1 aisle. How are you? Please rescue me for yet another holiday.

[Now, I am fully aware that this aisle is full of plastic crap made exclusively in China and the moral damage and implications of thoughtlessly, American-ly filling my basket with unnecessary, shiny things for the immediate gratification and temporary satisfaction of simply grabbing as much as I can, as fast as I can. Yes, I am that kind of fussy human that preaches talks about sustainability and fair trade and organic and materialism/capitalism and minimalism. But what I have also learned in the 12 months and 4 weeks of being a mom is that convenience often trumps all other previously held notions or preoccupations. C'est la vie. But back to the point of this post...]

Sofie's First Easter 2011

A picture from Sofie’s first Easter, which was a non-event really because my husband got very sick and it was slowly going around to each of us, so it was more of an infirmary than a day of easater egg hunts and brunch. *Please note the Target $1 aisle bunny ears.

So, (back to Target) I started frantically grabbing as much shiny pastel easter bunny themed and toddler friendly stuff as I could hold we  lovingly filled our basket with a few $1 items, which spawned a great conversation about our favorite traditions for this lovely spring holiday and celebration of our faith.

In my family, my mom would hide our elaborate Easter baskets outside in our yard and garden, so that on Easter morning we would gather each other as a family (we had strict rules about the kids waking each other up before anyone saw any of the surprises or walked into the kitchen area to see the breakfast feasts for Easter or Christmas! We fought a lot as siblings, but we were religious about this courtesy and camaraderie with one another on our favorite holidays.)

Me and my baby brother on Easter morning!

My family would:

  • hunt for our Easter baskets, which usually each had different colored cellophane wrapping, and open them up together as a family. Our baskets were filled with the classic Easter candies like peeps, egg shaped chocolates, often a See’s candies Easter themed box of chocolates and suckers, some toys and a whole lot of joy. My mother was amazing at making our holidays magical. In my child’s mind, those Easter baskets were the equivalent of Willy Wonka’s factory-colorful, fanciful, delicious and decadent. These are big shoes to fill as a mom!
  • get dressed in our spring-y sun dresses, hats and white sandals
  • head off to mass held outside in the Arizona sunshine
  • head over to my Aunt’s house for brunch, an Easter egg hunt, swimming, playing games  like crochet or ping pong, and lazing about in her citrus orchard of a yard. Another word about the Easter eggs hunts at my Aunt and Uncles’ house. When we were young, these were elaborate and the gold egg always had money in it. This was literally GOLD to us, in our younger years. Now, looking back, I am pretty sure it was a handful of coins or a single silver dollar (bonus points here!), but it made your whole day if you found this special egg. Eggs were hidden all over their large property, in the citrus trees, on the roof, in the pool, you name it, it was a HUGE event.

One of my husbands favorite traditions is the Easter bunny’s footprints leading up to their Easter baskets in the living room. His mom would make bunny foot prints using powdered sugar. Totally cute! That would have totally blown my mind as a kid. And as a parent, I pretty much live to see Sofie’s mind blown with delight.

We plan on recreating many of these favorites for our little family. What are your favorite Easter traditions?

Check out my Pinterest board for Easter inspiration!

Sofie Drops a Beat

Sofie, now 12.5 months old and an official toddler, is a proven, most-superb dancer. For those of you who are dancers (and by dancers I mean those who can’t resist a good beat, whose bodies move as if on their own accord, cosmically connected to the intoxicating movement of music), you would love this kid. She’s a booty shaker.

Recently, we went to campus to pick up my husband to run an errand as a family and we arrived early and found ourselves walking around campus waiting for “daddy”. While waiting, an undergraduate student drove by in his presumable parent sponsored brand new white two door BMW with the windows rolled down blasting some dubstep. As soon as she heard the beat, Sofie stopped in her tracks, momentarily distracted from hunting for leaves to pick up and put in her mouth, to raise her hands, stick her butt out and shake her bootay side to side. Buh, buh, buh. Dropping a beat, toddler style. I could not have been prouder in that moment!

I had a feeling I would really like this kid. I had a feeling when…

  • her first cry was a pouty bottom-lipped, square chinned inhale
  • she we would raise her hands  above her head in a classic “praise Jesus” kind of way every time she wasn’t swaddled to fall asleep
  • she was an enthusiastic eater of all amazing things (think kale, spinach, beats, salmon) as early as a 6 month old
  • her first acknowledgement of our Golden Retriever was a deep and full body belly laugh that lasted most of an evening
  • as soon as she was mobile she was a fast study as a tremendously talented cat tail puller (poor kitty!)
  • she started using a defunct remote controller as a phone that she holds to her ear with her shoulder, arm raised out in front of her walking around the room, babble talking followed by bursting laughs out loud as if in the midst of a hysterical conversation with her best friend

Yes, I fall in love with her more and more every few minutes. She and I share some pretty fun, quirky traits. God clearly has a great sense of humor!

Ease Your Aching Back

 

I have tossed and turned the last several nights. My back hurts. The kind of hurt where if you move the wrong way, you gasp and freeze and pain shoots into your guts. Okay, that might not be accurate. I tend to be dramatic sometimes. But you get it, back pain. We have all had it. Anyway, I read this little ditty of a tip a few weeks ago on a blog I am in love with, Mama and Baby Love, and let me tell you, IT WORKS.

So, first, raid your dogs toy basket, go on a walk by a tennis court or run to your closest Target and get yourself a tennis ball. I raided our Golden Retriever, Zoe’s basket of balls.

Zoe's Basket o' Balls

Next, lay on the floor, put the ball between you and the floor and rub those knots right out of your life. Its not exactly comfortable while doing this activity mind you, but you will thank yourself later.

The only thing I did differently is not use a sock. Not sure what the sock actually does, but I was eager to try the tennis ball trick and before I invested my time in finding a sock that worked, I plopped down on my dog hair covered floor and started working out my back knots. Ahhh. Still worked like a charm.

Give it a try and let me know if it works for you!

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In related news, as I am writing this post, my sweet husband send me a great article on Cheap Ways to Relieve Your Aching Back from another of our favorite blogs, Get Rich Slowly. Perhaps I have underestimated just how much complaining to my husband tossing and turning I have done the past few nights. Sorry, honey.

In not-so-related news, Sofie just slept 2.5 hours, which helped facilitate the writing of this blog post. Thank you, honey. I hope you still sleep tonight.