We celebrated the Pagan elements of Easter on Saturday this year. This is a step up (or down, depending on how you look at it) from past years when we have ignored the Easter Bunny altogether.

You might remember that we pretty much ignore Santa too. This has nothing to do with any qualms I have about lying to my children. Just my own personal struggle to merge the sacred and secular in a way that feels comfortable for me.

But I knew this year I wanted to try Easter baskets, and so I have been talking about the Easter Bunny for a while. (Like, a week.) So I thought there might be some 'magical' element to an elusive bunny leaving a trail of jelly beans around our house. It was absolutely a hit, and the girls loved it. But after finding baskets and digging into their candy Ella said, "Thanks for the candy, Mom." So it is safe to say that she doesn't believe in the Easter Bunny either.

Oh well. There's always the tooth fairy!


The great outdoors.

So I have this vivid memory of when I was a kid. I don't know exactly how old I was, but I'm going to guess between seven and ten. And my mom made us go play outside.

Our yard wasn't fenced, we were on a corner lot and basically used the whole neighborhood as our playground. There was a huge pine tree out front that was a favorite spot of mine. And I don't know where or what I was playing on this particular day, but I know that a big dog came roaming around our yard, and so I ran to the front door to go inside. But (not kidding) my mom would not let me in.

Now I don't remember exactly what transpired prior to being banished outside, but I do remember sort of understanding why I had to stay outside. I was aware that when we were told to play outside, it was in some ways a punishment. Or maybe a preemptive measure against some worse punishment. In short, we were driving her crazy.

So there we were, Laurel and I, cast out of our own home, scared out of our wits at this dog. So we did the only thing that made sense. We shut ourselves in between the screen door and the front door (for protection, you know) and screamed and banged on the door with all our might.

I assume she let us in eventually, because I am here today to tell the tale.

I reflected on that day today. I may or may not have been locked in my room at the time. And my children possibly could have been banging on the door, screaming, crying in desperation.

My poor mother.

Why couldn't we just leave her alone?!

All she needed was a few minutes of peace! Just a few minutes!

And so today I laughed. And laughed. And laughed. Because that memory finally makes sense.


Look, Mom!

"I took a picture of your bum!"

"Oh! So you did. Thanks, Ella."

I will have to check an etiquette book. Because, to be honest, I wasn't sure what the polite response was to someone taking a picture of my rear.

In other news, Max can get himself into the sitting position independently. As of 3:30am today. You will go far, son. But not that far if you keep waking up ready to begin a new day at 3:30 every morning. That choice will bring you nothing but broken, exhausted parents.



Paul went to Atlanta this week on business, and before he left, he made a list of things he needed to pack.

Ella asked me to read the list. And I am not gonna lie. I couldn't. His handwriting is awful. But that is really just a side note. She also asked why there were lines crossed through all the words. So I explained the concept and moved on.

Later I was clearing up and found she made her own addition to the list. It was too endearing not to share.


Ice cream cake.

Let me just begin by saying, it was delicious.

I think this is the first time I have purchased an ice cream cake in the history of our marriage.

I made an ice cream cake for Ella's birthday. And I have asked for an ice cream cake for (possibly) all of my birthdays. But, as it turns out, I don't get everything I ask for. And Paul just can't wrap his head around paying twenty five dollars for a dessert.

So I brought up the ice cream cake with Paul prior to the purchase. He was hesitant (at best) about the idea. "Thirty dollars for a cake!" (He always rounds up.) "We could use that thirty dollars and buy a great gift."

"Um, yeah, Paul. Ice cream cake is a really great gift."

Then he took another tack. "You made ice cream cake for Ella, why can't you do that again?"

"It just didn't taste as good," I told him.

"I thought it tasted great!" he countered.

"Paul, you snuck bites of ice cream out of the freezer until all that was left was frozen cake. You didn't like the ice cream cake. You liked the ice cream."

I wouldn't actually say that Paul "gave in". But we did (and by we I mean me) buy an ice cream cake for Charlotte's birthday. And it was amazing. And, in my opinion, worth every penny.


Birthday Parties

My kids have never had a "friend party", this is mostly due to my own laziness-- or my own awareness that I have enough going on in my life that I don't need to add to the chaos by planning a party for toddlers. Either way. :)

But Charlotte has three friends who have birthdays within a week of hers. (Two of them are twins.) So one of my friends decided that we should throw a joint party during one of our playgroups.


All I had to do was show up with balloons and oranges.

It was really fun and low key. And not super memorable. But I recently made the first year I blogged into a book, and going through those posts made me realize that I don't spend much time on the minor events of our life. I do okay on day-to-day and major changes. But birthdays and holidays are usually celebrated with very little pomp, and since I tend to want to write about the things that we do that are interesting, they don't quite make the cut. We celebrate basically like everybody else.

We haven't had our family birthday party, yet. Her actual birthday is Wednesday. So she will get gifts then. And maybe a cake if she is lucky. Or an ice cream cake if she is really lucky.

Ice cream cakes were our family tradition when I was growing up. I have good memories of sneaking into the deep freezer and picking the icing off the leftover cake.