Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Passover and Easter

This past weekend we celebrated spring with Passover (and an Easter egg hunt).

Our first seder was at Jane and Ed's house, and Jane had thoughtfully set the kids up with coloring books, crayons, and a bag full of stuffed toys to represent the 10 Plagues.  The boys were able to sit at the table and stay fairly engaged through the whole seder (which was, fortunately, short and sweet).

For the past few weeks, they have been singing, especially Benjamin, all the Passover songs.  Benjamin would sing the first question from the Four Questions nonstop, to the point where Charlotte began to sing it as well, because she is a parrot.  But of course, come seder time, he clammed right up.  Asher ended up singing it, with my help, while Benjamin ate parsley.  Yes, he would rather eat parsley than sing a question.  Asher sang all 4 questions with me, and then he sang the Hammer Song and Dayenu and the Frog Song in a beautiful, clear voice.  I was so proud of him!  To think that my boy who stood up and cried at his Hanukkah Show 2 years ago was now able to sing these songs to a table full of adults, all by himself- so wonderful.

Charlotte would have none of the seder and just played by herself in the playroom.  She also would have none of the food- she is getting more and more picky.

The second seder was at a friend from grad school's house.  We were 6 adults and 7 kids, which was chaotic but fun. Our hostess made favor bags with something to represent each of the 10 plagues, so there were many toys to play with and bubbles spilled.  The kids ate at one table and the adults at another, so we managed to get in a little bit of conversation while we ignored our children and the chaos they were creating.
The kids' table

Movie time so the grown ups can eat in peace
 On Sunday Eric went for a long bike ride, and I took the kids to Trader Joe's, which is a heartbreaking endeavor on Passover.  Asher was in tears asking for his favorite foods (crackers, Cheerios, pasta, waffles) while I denied him all of them.  And the free samples were cookies or cake. I spent a ton of money trying to make up for the fact that we can't eat our favorite foods.  Asher was also hungry all day long, because he is picky and won't eat things like fruit, yogurt, or cheese.

This is our first year keeping Passover all the way through inside and outside of our home.  In previous years, we would see Eric's parents for Easter in the middle of the week or have some event come up that we let stop our Passover-keeping.  The last time I kept Passover for myself was the year the boys were born!  But this year, we are home, and the kids are in school, where they're required to bring kosher-for-Passover lunches.  The boys are also old enough to understand what it means to keep Passover, and so it is important that we keep the tradition.  They've overall been great- Asher has accepted that his favorite foods are gone, and just keeps asking in a matter of fact way when we can go back to eating normal foods.  We keep Passover fairly loosely- no flour, but we don't worry about things like corn and legumes, which are not actually kosher for Passover but really don't bother me.

I have made an effort to meal plan all 3 meals a day so that we aren't caught with nothing to eat and no ideas of what to cook.  I have made some delicious food with very few, if any, substitutions- meatloaf made with matzoh meal; creamed spinach; roasted potatoes and vegetables; flourless chocolate cake.  Eric made a frittata for the kids while I was at work.  Tonight Eric offered Asher cookie butter ice cream and Asher said, "I can't have that, it has cookies with flour in it!"  So the boys have really caught on and are doing well with it.  I'm proud of all of us.  I initially thought I would lose weight since I can't eat cookies or crackers, but now I think I'm going to gain weight, because I'm always eating since I never feel full.  I am such a carb addict!

On Sunday afternoon we went to an Easter egg hunt at a friend's house.  The kids had a great time finding eggs and eating chocolate.  We only do Easter if we are with Eric's parents, but the boys know it is a time for candy, so they weren't going to miss out on the opportunity.
Charlotte and her basket
 Monday was perfect spring weather.  The kids went to school in the morning, and I ran errands and tried to be efficient.
Charlotte is wearing my dress from when I was a baby as a shirt.  She got tons of compliments.
 In the evening, we had our first dinner outside. The kids played outside every waking minute, the TV was never on, and I hid all the iPads and they've stopped asking for them.  Everyone's mood was so good.  I keep thinking we should live somewhere where we can be outside more than half the year, but Eric says we're not moving.
Dinner outside
I turn 35 on Friday, which has had me in a snit all week.  I know 35 isn't actually all that old, but it feels significant somehow.  I was going to put the kids in school and take a girls' day with my mom, but there's no school on Friday, so I will spend my birthday with my beloved children, which isn't all that bad, either.

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