Sunday, April 20, 2014

Easter Weekend 2014

Happy Easter from the Gotham Wingards!
Easter weekend this year was a busy one. 

Saturday morning started with an Easter egg hunt in Duboce Park.  If you’re not familiar with our neighborhood, Duboce Park is at the end of our block.  It’s an important part of the neighborhood with an off-leash area for dogs (which is in constant use from about 5:00 a.m. to midnight), a great area for lounging and picnicking, and a playground with an area for toddlers and another one for the “5-and-over” set.  Most any picture you see of our kids on a swing or a slide will be from the playground in Duboce Park.  We feel really lucky to have such a great park only two minutes from our doorstep, literally.
The Easter egg hunt was a great success.  It started only four years ago and it’s organized by the church across the street from the park.  This year about 150 kids showed up.  The hunt was more of a kiddie scramble than a hunt.  The eggs were simply spread across a big swath of lawn and divided into sections by age group.  Cornelia was in the two-to-four bracket.  At the word “Go!” a tsunami of kids flooded the area, and the eggs – which apparently numbered more than 1,000 – were gone in about three minutes, literally. 

Coco and I almost missed it.  Not surprising, getting out of the house with two adults and three kids under three often involves delays.  About seven minutes before the scheduled start at 9:00 a.m., Coco and I took off from the house.  I had one of the twins strapped to my chest.  I was hustling Coco down our street and when we rounded the corner into the park and I saw the mob up the hill, I really started tugging and pulling her and insisting that we go faster.  Fortunately, she got excited and started running too.  We made it with a few minutes to spare.  Ken arrived after the scramble started (with Twin #2 strapped to his chest) and as I was following Coco through the middle of the melee.  He had just enough time to snap a few pictures. 

After the egg hunt we had to dash back to the house, re-group and then head back to the park for a birthday party at 10:30 a.m.  On any given weekend, there are at least one or two kiddie birthday parties in the park.  Sometimes there are even “blow-up bouncy houses.”  On those days we have to avoid the party part of the park otherwise Coco will insist on crashing the party or more specifically crashing the bouncy house.  This weekend was Tanner’s birthday.  She lives down the street and turned one.  The highlight of the party was Bubble Man.  Bubble Man shows up for a good number of birthday parties in the park.  His bubbles are pretty amazing; they range from huge kid-sized bubbles to a gazillion bubbles all at once.  They all come from massive pole and rope bubble wands.  Anyone would find the show fun and as you would expect kids go nutty for it, shrieking, laughing and chasing the bubbles across the park.  After Bubble Man finishes his work the kids get their turn to play with a varied assortment of more kid-sized bubble wands. 

It turns out Bubble Man was actually hired by the kiddie birthday party under the next tree over from Tanner’s party.  But, if you hire Bubble Man for a party at Duboce Park, you’re hiring him for all the kids in the park and the parents probably know this – or they realize it pretty quickly. 

After the birthday party, which was followed by lunch and naps (during which Ken dashed to the store to work and I worked online for a couple hours), it was time to color Easter eggs.  Jules and Elias from next door joined us for egg-coloring and their mom Jenny joined us for a glass of wine.

On Sunday, Easter morning came early.  All three kids were up before 7:00 a.m.  Fortunately Coco didn’t remember the Easter Bunny was making a delivery so we didn’t have to rush downstairs and start the sugar-fest right away.  We didn’t wait too long to remind her though, and downstairs we went.  The Easter Bunny had filled Coco’s basket as well as the baskets she had picked out for Flynn and Margot.  And the Bunny had graciously delivered via "special Bunny delivery” additional baskets from Grandma Mary and Grandpa Roy.  

At 9:30 a.m. we were off to the neighbors for brunch.  We were back at the house by 11:30 and then Skyped with Grandma Mary and Grandpa Roy while Coco opened the Easter baskets they sent via Bunny. 

Then we packed a picnic lunch and headed to Duboce park – yes, our third visit to the park in less than 36 hours – where we spent the afternoon.   Coco got to do some of her favorite things – fly a kite (which is a new favorite thing), play “stomp rockets” (foam rockets shot to the sky by stomping or jumping on an air pump; I don’t know what it’s really called but I call it “stomp rockets”), and of course play in the playground.  Coco doesn’t actually have a “stomp rocket” however anyone who brings a “stomp rocket” to the park shares the “stomp rocket” with all comers – and Coco is not reluctant at all to join in any game she finds interesting.  Margot and Flynn enjoyed the picnic as well, mostly just rolling around in the grass.

After our picnic in the park, all three kids passed out for their afternoon naps.  And that was pretty much the end of the festivities for our Easter weekend.

The kids are doing great.  Flynn has been on the verge of crawling for more than a month but still hasn’t managed to pull it off.  He is clearly going to be a very active and very physical little boy and I think he’ll be quite chatty and extroverted.  He started rolling over early and now rolls all over his crib, the floor, or wherever he happens to be laying.  He likes to be held in a standing position so that he can push with his legs.  He loves to make noise.  For a while his favorite sound was something that could only be described as a bird squawk.  His favorite sound now is a raspy-throated “haa” sound which is a bit unsettling.

Margot has become quite a quiet and demure little girl.  (Read some of my early posts about Margot and you would not have seen this coming.)  She rarely gets upset and doesn’t make a fuss or a ruckus.  She seems content to let Flynn take the lead on the physical feats (although she does throw a fit when he grabs and pulls her hair).  These are the typical daily scenarios for Margot:

In the morning she’s often the first of the three kids to wake up.  She’ll be rustling about in her crib, but not crying or fussing.  She might play with her rattle a bit.  You creep over and check on her and she’s looks at you. “Oh, I'm sorry!  Did I wake you?  Please, don’t mind me.  I’ll just wait here for a bit until the others to wake up.  No need to make a fuss for me.  I’m sure you’re tired, what with those other two . . . um, challenges . . .?”

Midday, she’s typically watching Flynn roll around on the floor, then get on his hands and knees to try to crawl and the fuss with frustration that he’s not getting anywhere near the rattle he wants so badly.  She looks at him.  “Let me know when you get that figured out -- whatever it is you’re trying to do.  I’m fascinated, and I’m sure it’s worth all that effort.  By the way, you know Daddy will fetch that rattle for you if you simply reach for it and then look at him.  He does it for me all the time.”  

At night when she goes into her crib, she looks about.  “Oh, is it that time already? <yawning and stretching> Well, I guess it has been a long day and that bottle this evening was really quite lovely.  Good night, Daddy!  And please do turn down the light on your way out.”  Meanwhile, Flynn is in next crib screaming and shrieking, red in the face and crying, furious that he’s been put to bed.   

Our attempt at an Easter morning photo.
We're gonna spend the next decade trying to get
three kids to smile and look at the camera all at the same time.