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Monday, April 2, 2018

Spring Break 2018

As spring breaks go, ours was not one for the record books. It was actually quite boring, especially when compared with the spring breaks I saw happening with our FB friends. It makes me very happy that our girls are not on any social media yet because they had a great time for the most part with no comparisons to be made with friends.

We, or rather, I kicked off the week with a St. Patty's themed bunco night at our neighbor's house. The winning pot came down to arm and thumb wrestling to settle the tie.


Although Lucy and I had been felled for a day or two with a virus the week prior, Kate got it and it managed to settle into her lungs/chest where a dry cough took hold and would continue for 2 weeks. This meant a trip to the doctor on Monday and an asthma-like inhaler and plenty of lemon/honey/ginger water for the remainder of vacation.
We managed to get a lot of reading done. Bella was especially glad about that.
Since Kate can sit for hours and read, Bella usually chooses her lap for napping.
We had to venture into the city for our every-6-week dental checkup so we combined it with an afternoon in Chinatown. After lunch at our favorite szechuan place, we tried out a new Thai ice cream shop. We are always up for a show with our food.



Hand-rolled ice cream treats. Their toppings are super fun too. There are strawberries, fruity pebbles cereal and whipped cream on top of key lime ice cream rolls. The other has bananas, fruit loops and a pocky stick on top of oreo/nutella ice cream rolls. Both were delish.
We went into a lot of shops! The girls brought some of their allowance money to spend. My only rule was that in order to buy something, they had to speak only in Mandarin to the shopkeepers and they had no problem with that. As always, the shopkeepers love it when they find out they can speak fluently and will then pepper them with questions. 

Lucy was tired from the day and fell asleep in a rather awkward position.
A few weeks ago, our neighborhood youth committee held a fundraiser at a local jump place. We bought extra tickets since they were discounted so much and decided that a rainy spring break day was a great time to use them. I mostly got a lot of reading done and missed seeing them jumping but I did have a good view to the climbing wall and got in a few shots. Lucy made it to the top in no time.

Kate was next.
 She would make it to this point every time, then she would stop, look down and let go.
And that's pretty much a wrap on anything noteworthy. We read a lot, went for walks, painted, played basketball, watched movies, played board games, and cooked. Lucy had two appointments with a new speech therapist/oral myofunctional therapist as well but I'll save that for another post.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

A very wet, and then chilly, Easter!

Easter started yesterday when our youth committee sponsored the annual Easter Egg hunt on the islands. Unfortunately, the weather looked like it was going to completely muck up the plans, especially when the morning started with rain which turned to sideways hail which turned to big fat snowflakes and then back to rain. After many, many (too many to count) texts about what to do, we decided to just soldier on and have the hunt as planned at 10am. As fate would have it, although it sprinkled on us as we were putting the eggs on the islands, it stopped just as the kids started arriving and remained dry (if windy) for the 5-10 minutes it took for all 2400+ eggs to be found.

The Youth Committee celebrating that Easter would not be way-laid by the weather after all!
A generous neighbor set up a tent and provided bloody marys, mimosas and bagels.
The 8+ age group, anxiously waiting for the ribbon to be cut on the bridge.
The Easter Bunny headed over to the 4-7 age group waiting at their island bridge.
Time to gather eggs!



It was all over by 10:10 so we had one last morning libation and headed home.
After sorting through all the candy (what to keep, what to trade on the bus....) it was time to dye our own eggs. We started with our usual assortment of colors.
The girls got bored waiting for the color to set so they decided to draw on the table. I'm glad I never decided to paint it, instead figuring it would be the craft/kitchen table and would be prone to messes. I think now I'm going to love it even more as it will be a reminder of all the years we sat here, working on projects, eating, laughing, arguing, talking.
As has become our custom, we save one egg to put in the container that has all the colors combined. Some years it comes out purple, some years black, some years brown. 
This year, it came out kind of a muddy brown (it's the one on the end opposite the green). The girls added sparkle paint to jazz them up this year.
I joined in on the table-writing/drawing action.
Easter morning found their baskets filled with goodies.
Since it is also April Fool's Day, the first and largest egg in their baskets held a surprise.

 

Their baskets always have some sort of projects and the girls set to work right away.


While they were occupied with painting, Len   the Easter Bunny hid the eggs outside. Fortunately, there is a doorbell at the back door that chimes realistically enough to sound like the front door bell. When the bell rang, we all ran to the front door only to find...no one. But they did spy the eggs all over the front yard which sent them scurrying upstairs to put on warm clothes. We had a temperature drop of about 20 degrees from yesterday so the hunt was conducted in 25 degree weather. No Easter dresses for us!










Everybody had their name at their table spot. Kate put Nana's name at her spot for when she visits!
Fingernail art.



Kate's bunny is supposed to have a tail but it's rather awkwardly positioned...
Lucy's spot.

After a rather chilly afternoon walk around the lake, I set to work on supper while the girls played in the woods and Len worked on a jigsaw puzzle. Dinner was a Greek beet salad, pasta with fresh peas, asparagus, tomatoes, and spring onions in a lemon vinaigrette, ham, beans with pecorino and parsely, and cucumbers. It may have been freezing outside but it felt like Spring in our bellies.
 Hippity Hoppity Easter everyone!

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