Monday, April 25, 2011

easter tales

Yesterday morning the kids were awake before the crack of dawn.


Considering Charlie and I were up stuffing eggs until 1 AM, we were not. I honestly didn't think they'd be up that early, since they didn't go to bed until almost 11 PM on Saturday night. They are normally in bed by 8 PM, so that was approximately three hours past their regular bedtime. But, there were extenuating circumstances that involved an impromptu party at our neighbor's house and chocolate cake.

Anyway, William is standing over me on Sunday morning pleading that I please GET UP because EASTER IS NOT ABOUT SLEEPING while Carolyn and Elizabeth are staring out the window and commenting that there are no brightly eggs in the yard and what happened?


Did the Easter bunny forget to come to our house? Did he know that we MOVED?

"Oh no, the Easter bunny came to our house, alright!" I groggily assured my sweet tots.

(He was just planning to hide the eggs while everyone was still in bed sleeping. He certainly didn't expect that they'd be up before the sun...)

"When the Easter bunny hides the eggs around the yard, he casts a spell so that they are INVISIBLE. The spell is broken and the eggs only become visible once Mommy and Daddy are well rested and everyone in the family has woken up, dressed for the day and eaten their breakfast. The Easter bunny knows that if the little children can see the eggs right away, the little children will RUN outside before their tired parents are awake (that's not safe) and eat a lot of chocolate (that's not healthy) before they eat their breakfast. The Easter bunny is very smart that way..."

The kids thought about that for a moment, before quietly turning on their heels and retreating to their own bedrooms until the sun had cleared the horizon. As we heard their beds squeak as they crawled back in, my husband rolled over and said, "WOW. Good one, Jen. Did you just make that up?"

Yep. I sure did.

One should never underestimate my ability to be brilliant when sleep is on the line. Although that brilliance is apparently a fortuitous survival mechanism, since I have significantly underestimated the ability of our children to wake up after only six hours rest when chocolate and goody-filled Easter baskets are on the line.


Our neighbors, who were partially responsible for keeping our children up until 11 PM the night before, invited us to their home yesterday, for a beautiful Easter brunch.


After everyone in attendance had sufficiently packed their bellies full, we retreated to the yard where we were introduced to an Easter tradition that migrated to this country at least 100 years ago, with their ancestors from South America.

The tradition? Glitter Filled Easter eggs. Also known as: The Perfect Way to Spend an Easter Afternoon Running Off (some) Calories Packed on From Reckless Candy Consumption.


How it works is that throughout the year, whenever the family uses an egg, they preserve the egg by carefully slicing one end off and draining the contents out. Then, they rinse the shell and store it in an empty carton.

A few weeks before Easter, they begin the process of dying all of the eggshells in bright, beautiful colors. Once the dye has dried (try saying that 10 times fast), they combine a tablespoon of birdseed with a tablespoon of glitter and pour it in to the empty shells, so that the shells are filled approximately half way.


Across the opening and to hold the contents in, they cut and glue a small square of colored tissue paper. Then, they place the filled eggs back in to the carton where they are safely stored until they are LAUNCHED. Or ROCKETED. Or CRACKED over the heads of unsuspecting friends and family.


Sleep deprived little brothers are easy targets.


It really doesn't hurt. Unless you're three and have only had six hours of sleep.


Rest assured, Henry ... your big sister has got your back ...


And she made sure justice was served up, over easy.


I'd never heard of this tradition before but we all loved it and have decided to embrace it as our own. Not just because it was a HUGE amount of fun, but because I really enjoy coloring Easter eggs but do not particularly enjoy hard boiled eggs. Due to my "Waste Not, Want Not" conundrum, I have virtually extinguished a much-celebrated tradition. I say "virtually" because I have not stopped buying Paas dye-color sets on clearance sales every Easter, so have accumulated enough tablets for 50 dozen eggs. (Or, the approximate number our family consumes in a given year.)


Winning the category of "Up Crazy Early on Easter Morn" ... today I received an e-mail from my friend and fellow triplet mom, Jessica. Jessica also has four children, but in addition to her six-year-old triplets, she has an eight-year-old son.

A very intelligent and motivated eight-year-old son, I might add.

He recognizes that his younger siblings are growing faster by the day, so in an effort to stem the candy-collecting competition on Easter morning, he woke up sometime around 3 AM and while his triplet siblings were still in bed dreaming of solid chocolate bunnies, he snuck around the house and collected the jelly beans and chocolate eggs that the Easter bunny had left for the family. AND THEN, this is the best part, he snuggled under a blanket on a chair in the family's living room, turned on the television and dined on chocolate and jelly beans until he fell fast asleep. When his family found him at 6:30 AM in a sugar coma with a half eaten basket of candy, pandemonium ensued. By the Grace of Peter Rabbit, he wasn't successful at hijacking all of the candy, so the younger siblings still had some to hunt and place in their baskets.

Jessica provided pictures of the scene with her e-mail, including one that showed the Easter Bunny Bandit crashed out in a restaurant booth. The family had gone out to dinner that night and he apparently fell asleep, mid-bite, while eating his dinner.

Let this be a lesson to ye far and wide: Mischief is exhausting. Also, while a lot of people would reflect on the significance of Easter and be overcome with a feeling of humility, Godly love and forgiveness for the sins of mankind ... if anyone ever gorged on *MY* Easter candy, I don't know if I'd be capable of beating back the temptation to draw black bunny whiskers on their sleeping face with a Sharpie. And on their forehead, I might have to draw a bulls eye.

Because hidden away, I'd have 600 glitter filled eggs.


Just waiting...


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