Sunday, April 24, 2011

TWO! And Easter. And Parents on the Brink.

It seems I've had an unplanned blogging break, with no passable excuses or explanations. Sorry about that, folks. I'm back to bring you a breakdown of the magic that was Easter 2011/Lucy's Family Birthday Celebration.

Yes, that's right, Lucy has a birthday. It's tomorrow, in fact, which is nice because it doesn't ACTUALLY coincide with the whole "son of God rising from the dead" and "furry Bunny hops around and delivers candy and whatnot" anniveraries so many marked today. My baby is now less than 24 hours away from being 2. I'd love to get all sentimental and teary, but alas, that would not be a true reflection of M family life these days. For sentimental and teary, I suggest that you instead read the post I put up last year. Much more touching than the below will be, I'm sure.

Especially since it's still fresh in my mind that our four-year-old told our almost-two-year-old to "shut it" several times today, that the two-year-old was certainly loud enough to deserve it, that each child received AT LEAST 3 times outs (it's possible I lost track) in the handful of hours we were actually home, that the two-year-old chucked both her plate and her water cup across the table tonight to great mayhem, that the four-year-old has already broken one of his sister's new birthday toys and has in general become a big, selfish pain-in-the-ass since it's not HIS BIRTHDAY OMG LIKE HE NEVER GETS ANYTHING EVER. Add in various forms of candy and cake and a trip to the zoo and it made me want to actually DONATE my kids to the zoo. Because I don't think I could sell them for much.

And sometimes they spit, so they'd fit right in with the camels and whatnot.

The trip to the zoo was actually quite fun - a friend from work volunteers there on occasion, and offered to take our family and another family on a tour of some of the zoo hotspots. It was fun and informative and really, one of the best trips we've had to the zoo. Which is saying quite a bit, as we like to go a few times a year and generally enjoy ourselves every time.

But the kids clearly used up their quotient of "cute and well behaved" while at the zoo, so that didn't leave much for the other parts of the day. Not that I mean to sound ungrateful about the idea that they chose to use up all of their best behavior reservior while we were surrounded by hundreds of people, because I am very, very grateful for that timing, such as it was. But still. A leetle extra niceness to aid in properly celebrating Lucy's birthday before the onslaught of the work week would have been nice.

The day went thusly:

6:20-ish: M. miraculously wakes before the little ones and gets out of bed, while I slumber on. Makes coffee.

7:00: Lucy wakes up, starting whole "Easter" thing - baskets and subsequent egg hunt where children are completely inept at finding eggs RIGHT IN FRONT OF THEIR FACES; Finn finds all of Lucy's eggs for her, but misses most of his own; Finn becomes convinced that the Easter Bunny likes Lucy better than him; M. and I make noncomittal but semi-comforting noises and drop MAJOR hints about remaining Finn eggs. All eggs eventually found.

7:30: Sugar coma achieved. Breakfast.

8:50: Leave for zoo, after solid 40 minutes of wrestling kids into clothes, packing snacks, and doing the minimum to ensure that we adults are semi-presentable.

9:30: Arrive at zoo, spend a couple hours learning and watching and walking and sweating. Eat lackluster but expensive lunch at zoo restaurant.

1:00: Head home. Kids are loud and annoying for entire car trip.

2:00: Arduously but successfully convince Lucy that it's naptime, though it is in fact an hour AFTER naptime. Furiously de-wire and extract presents from boxes, wrapping a few to give the child "something to rip" due to the vague understanding that kids like "to rip things." Wrap "gift" for Finn, at his insistence, that he picked out for himself while shopping for his sister. Watch him open "gift" a mere 20 seconds later, with a passable job of acting surprised.

3:30: Desperate to silence whiny 4-year-old with "nothing to do", wake up almost-two-year-old who is definitely NOT ready to be done napping with several renditions of "Happy Birthday to You". Feel flattered when she applauds my singing despite extreme sleepiness. Help almost-two-year-old open gifts. Run interence with four-year-old, who wants to play with said gifts.

3:45: Cupcakes, candle and singing. More sugar.

4:00-8:00: Break up fights. Console. Dole out time outs. Pick up carry-out food. Cajole kids into eating. When that doesn't work, threaten kids into eating. Give up ever getting two-year-old to actually eat. Give more time outs. Wonder, yet again, just what the appropriate response is to a child who has just asked for dessert despite not eating ANY dinner. Contemplate the whole zoo donation thing. Wrangle kids up into bath and, finally, bed.

Now: Quiet, and wine, and left over chocolate. And photos & videos for you.

Checking out the zebras, which we learned are definitely black with white stripes.

Taking a break outside the lion exhibit.

Checking out her new dollhouse from Grammy and Bumpa (and fun accessories from Mimi and Papa).

Finn models Lucy's new sun hat.

Lucy is clearly excited for all her presents, no?

Cupcake mess.

Demonstrating that as one gets older, one is a little better able to contain the cupcake mess. Just a little.

One of Lucy's favorite presents appears to be a little Elmo camera that M. picked out for her, since she keeps stealing ours and using it (and draining the battery).

It is obnoxiously loud, but she loves it already.

Finn tried his hand at lacrosse.

Here, a preview of the cake we are bringing in to Lucy's classroom at daycare tomorrow to celebrate her birthday. Inspired by her love of the show "Jake and the Never Land Pirates", we made a pirate treasure chest. The plan is to strew some bracelets and whatnot inside the chest and around the outside, to serve as party favors and make it look a bit more like an actual, full treasure chest. I wasn't sure if I'd be able to get a picture of the dressed-up cake tomorrow, so I captured one for posterity's sake tonight. I am typically not one to make fancy/theme/decorated cakes, so this was a bit of a stretch for me. It may have caused some marital strife.

For your viewing pleasure, a segment of the kids' attempt at Easter egg hunting. You'll notice that Lucy mostly does other things, like playing with a balloon. Finn wanders around aimlessly, sort of looking, but mostly complaining about how few eggs he's found. If you are eagle-eyed, you will an egg in plain sight right above the kids' easy chairs in the bookshelves. And Lucy eats a peep.

Here is a video of Lucy demonstrating how to use one of her Easter basket treasures. And an uncomfortable A. who realizes that it has been more than 36 hours since she last showered and has NO business being on film.

This is a video of Lucy's reaction to the Giant Anteater, who was curled in a ball with his head hidden under his big fluffy tail. Every so often he twitched his tail to expose his face, completely shocking Lucy each time.

And finally, the "blowing out the candle" moment. Notice a certain 4-year-old's stealthy snatching of his preferred cupcake before the flame is even extinguished.


  1. A very full weekend! I can't watch the videos at work but I'll check them out tonight. I'm particularly looking forward to the hedgehog one. I wish we had a zoo closer to us! And great job on the cake! It totally looks like a treasure chest.

  2. Happy birthday, Lucy! I am really impressed by that cake! I've never seen you do anything like that. Way to go!

  3. I like how you captured all the smiling faces on film and the bad behavior with words. That is a truly thorough recollection of a day. :)

    Happy 2 to Lucy!

    And yes, the four year old. I have heard my almost-five year old utter some sighs this past year that would put a teenager to shame. the closer to five we get, the better it gets. But keep the zoo information close, just in case.