i tried, a little, to get some things sorted out for packing for our trip to tyler. i made macaroni and oatmeal and pb&js to take for weekend eatings of children. oliver did me the great favor of napping. brian left work an hour early and we spent all kinds of time finishing our packing. i do not know why it takes so long to put things in bags and put bags in cars, but it was 8pm by the time we had moved ourselves on to the highway. and it was 10pm before we arrived at my parents' house. oliver stayed awake the entire time in the car, carefully clutching the plastic grocery bag he had packed with cut out scribblings, an egg container filled with seashells, and the $25 letter O he had decorated with photos for his school auction project.
upon our arrival, i discovered my menses had taken it upon themselves to make a return to my life. exquisite timing. it's not like i travel with a menstrual cup these days. brian was kind enough to head back out on a tampon/meds run. i spent the weekend looking like there was a massacre in my pants. it was pretty horror show with every couple of hours producing another tampon corpse. frightening.
anyway, we made with niceties before retiring to our separate quarters for the night.
the children slept until something insane like 8am. i was awake at 6:30. of course.
my father pointed out to oliver that the easter rabbit was hanging out in the back yard. and he was. along with the easter squirrel. they scurried away before oliver and grandpa made it out there to clip bay leaves from the tree for me and paul.
the four of us scooted out the door at the not so early hour of 11am to head to the mall. the line for easter bunny photos is always blissfully short when compared to the line for santa photos. almost too short, as it did not afford oliver much time to ramp up his courage. there was one family in front of us and oliver shifted and peeked to get a view of the rabbit. and then it was our turn.
i strolled casually up to the stranger sitting silently in the rabbit suit and said, "hey, oliver... would you like to give him a high five? but don't use the hand you were just sucking on." this just as the rabbit raised a gruesome left paw to expose what appeared to be years' worth of dirt and muck and green things? my reasoning for oliver not applying his damp hand quickly switched from not wanting to spread his germs to not wanting him to loosen up any viral bits with his moist fingers. really now. people hand their newborn babies over to those mitts.
oliver never did high five and i decided to settle violet into the rabbit's right arm to show oliver it's all cool. and violet, who had grinned at the rabbit from afar now took a good look from close up and began to wail. i quickly scooted oliver to the bunny's side and felt no need for him to get any closer. i stood just out of frame and reiterated to the girl snapping the shutter that i did not care if she didn't get a smile. speed was key here.
there was a moment where violet appeared to calm, just before wailing again. and that was the frame we took. we noted how the photo packages continue to increase in price as they decrease in the number of wallet-sized photo options.
we got on out of there and, once in the safety of the car, oliver confirmed he was pleased to have met the easter bunny.
it was a beautiful day and we were in the midst of azalea season, my favorite in tyler, so we took ourselves over to bergfeld park, where i was immediately overcome with the amazing feeling that is inhaling the scent of lilies, or something of the like. the park was uncharacteristically calm and there was no problem getting both kids into swings. we tiptoed down the hill to the creek where violet spent much time playing with grass and the things that can be found therein, while oliver delighted in throwing things that can be found in the grass into the creek and brian jumped back and forth from one side of the creek to the other, while i hoped that oliver would not try to follow suit.
we drove around for a few minutes in what felt like a little storybook village of quiet, old homes on brick-paved roads crawling with flowers and trees and shrubbery. it didn't even feel real, it was so pretty. and then brian forced me to take him and oliver to taco bueno for their lunch. while sitting there in a booth, i looked up to see david dickerson, with whom i had attended the same elementary, middle, and high schools. he was there with his wife and daughter. and then, out from the kitchen came orlando hill from my kindergarten class. it was a surreal reunion. at the taco bueno.
oliver refused to nap, even with the carrot of dyeing easter eggs dangling in front of him. in addition to issues with shoving his fingers into his mouth, oliver has also taken to chewing on his shirt. we're trying out a new rule that chewing on your shirt means it has to come off and this coincided nicely with the easter egg dyeing. i mixed up four colors from a box of adam's: watermelon red, teal, sunset orange, and purple. they weren't the most stellar colors ever, especially since we were using light brown eggs, but i just so happen to find beauty in what some might view as imperfection. sometimes. not always. for instance, i do not find beauty in my imperfect housekeeping abilities.
brian and i took a small getaway to the drug emporium with a sleeping violet. violet had managed to scarf down her entire stash of oatmeal and i had managed to leave the cereal on the counter at home. so, we went in search of more cereal. the second i stepped out of the car in the parking lot, i realized i had done a lousy job of eating properly for the day. i started sweating and feeling confused and weak. not a feeling i enjoy. we hustled our way through and returned home to take out from liang's.
oliver had spent much of the day traipsing through the pollen-covered grass, watering plants and himself. it was decided a bubble bath was in order and damn did he have a big time. his legs were going nuts with excitement in there.
it was very fancy as this was the first night away from home that we have successfully put both children down for the night in a room separate from us. i barely knew what to do with myself, sitting there unencumbered by slumbering, nursing, infant. i should have done some jumping jacks and a keg stand, but i settled for one beer and chatting with my parents before our bedtime.
the children did an egg-cellent job of sleeping in again, even if i didn't. violet appropriately chose this as the day to switch from making breastfed poops of a relatively benign consistency to oatmeal poops strongly resembling a disfigured chocolate easter egg. there was much consternation on her part with the arrival of each egg, which was practically one per hour. i watched as she sat topless in a diaper on the living room floor and undulated her little baby belly while working one out. assuming they cease giving her discomfort, we shall be pleased to see these nuggets continuing. in our world, they equal being able to roll poop into the toilet versus dunking poo mush by hand into toilet water.
while sitting on my lap in the living room, oliver spotted the easter rabbit again, which was pretty exciting timing. i later told him i'd heard a door shut and knew no one was in the living room and when i went to check, there were surprises left behind. i told him i'd seen the easter rabbit running across the front yard to the next house.
my father took oliver for a walk around the neighborhood so i could set up the egg hunt in the back yard. in his easter pail, i placed two keroppi coloring books i had found for a dollar apiece at target. violet received an eric carle book and brian a rapunzel chocolate bar. we let loose with the candy this year and used some plastic eggs and cardboard eggs filled with vegan easter cremes in the cutest old-fashioned molded shapes and vegan rabbit gummies and vegan bulk bin gummie fruit slices. there was also a small, dark chocolate bissinger's rabbit, a whole foods dark chocolate bar with almonds, and some fruit strips. my parents were kind enough to stick to vegan jelly beans, animal crackers, and raisins.
while waiting for my mother's return from two church services, i allowed brian to travel to the nearest starbuck's with the understanding that he would take away two small children and return with one small soy latte and to delay his return should the two small children fall asleep. they fell asleep. i watched my father prepare a ham for baking in the meantime.
once everyone was present and accounted for, now including my grandparents, we repaired to the back yard to get the festivities underway. it was a rather pleasant egg hunt and the first where oliver knew what to do unassisted, except from a gentle fingerpointing from me here and there. and the occasional very excited fingerpointing from my grandfather, as he just could not handle the suspense at times. oliver scooped everything right up.
i gladly changed from my skirt and into my sweats, just in time for easter dinner.
we eventually got all our crap packed back up and folded everyone into the car. violet napped. except when oliver was insisting on yelling repeatedly and waking her up so that she was screaming. there was a pulling of the car off the road for a talking to and another pulling of the car over to a gas station for a proper time out while i tried to convince violet to stop screaming.
the following day was good monday and this meant oliver was home from school. i put us in the car at 11:00 to take the kids to the galleria playland and oliver fell asleep about three minutes from our destination. so i flip flopped our plans and diverted us to the route to brian's office, where i planned to hang out in the parking lot until he returned for lunch. violet woke up, so i pulled her up to sit on my lap, where i could smell poo. i assumed it was just another easter egg and figured we'd clean up in a restroom inside soon. then, i discovered she was pretty wet and decided to suck it up and change her on the front seat. it was around this time that i discovered poop creeping out from her romper. and that the poop had left the faintest smudge on my pants. there was no easter egg in there. it was what appeared to be every bite of oatmeal she had ever eaten all spilled back out at once. it was not a good scene. considering violet was now naked in a diaper, i had no choice but to drive all the way back home for more clothing. we left without seeing brian and eventually made our way back to the galleria. i was pleased none of the other playland participants regurgitated violently this time.