Here's one of many reasons I love living in Holland: Christmas, Easter and Pentacost all have TWO days instead of just one! So today we celebrate our Second Easter Day, which is traditionally done by eating all the leftovers from First Easter Day, and going to Ikea. It may come as a shock to you that we will actually not be joining in the second half of the tradition. That's because Second Easter Day is known nation wide as the busiest shopping day ever. We lucked out when our lovely friends Loek and Emily invited us over for dinner, so that's where we'll be headed as soon as Max wakes up from his afternoon nap (which usually lasts until about 2.30pm).
Easter is being good to us this year! Sander had Friday off as well and we took the extra time to finish some more projects in the house. We upgraded our closet so it will actually hold all of our clothes (we couldn't fit any of the hanging clothes in there before and had them temporarily 'hanging out' in various places in the house) and we made new shelves for the closet that was freed up by finishing our closet. All this storage space we have now is sooo wonderful! Dutch homes are NOT designed for storage, especially in the big city so it was always a hassle figuring out how to get our huge amount of STUFF to 'disappear'. Something we experienced chronic failure with, I might add. The house always looked messy before because there was just too much stuff for the space. That's what you get though when you try to cram a family of 5 into a 90 m2 appartment. That's all changed now! We have room to breathe! Room to play! Room to actually sit at the dining table with guests! ROOM FOR OUR STUFF!!!
Saturday was another busy but fun day. We did our grocery shopping for the week and while Max had his nap the girls painted the eggs I had boiled earlier in the morning. Sander set everything up at church for members to be able to watch and listen to General Conference, and brought home chicken wings for lunch. Check out what a hit they were:
I later cooked dinner and we watched movies until bedtime. But....before we went to bed we made sure the Easter Bunny paid us a visit, hid the eggs, and left 'every girl and boy, baskets full of Easter joy'.....
Oh nearly forgot to tell you about one particularly stressful thing that Saturday! So, my finicky firstborn has been taking to eating as slowly and as little as possible for dinner. It's become an interferece and really takes away from the dinner experience for the rest of us, and the attention we are able to give the other 2 kids. Alas for Lara I have watched The Supernanny, Dr. Phil and all those wonderful shows and knew I had to 'pick my battles'.... and that was one battle I felt confident enough I would come out of being the victor.
For some reason, this particular time, the one time I decided to 'bring it on', Julia copied her sister's behaviour and would. not. eat. I figured it was just as well, teaching them both the same lesson in 1 go, saving me time and another battle!
So here's how it went down... When I saw that everyone but the girls had finished what was on their plates (mexican food... guacamole made from scratch...mmmmm) I gave those two the bad news: they were to remain in their seats until they too had finished their dinner, to the very last bite. I told them I didn't care how long it took, I had time.. but if they chose to take too long then that would mean there would be no time left for dessert and cartoons. That hit home with Julia.... she finished in about 20 minutes and had her reward.
Lara, on the other hand, became the Queen of Dinner Table Drama.
I alternated between leaving her alone at the table with her food, and keeping her company... I was kind but I stood firm. She wanted cuddles, more drink, to just go to bed.... she tried to bargain (I'll eat 3 more big bites and then I'm done, right?), whine (I'm soooo ALOOOOOOONE!), and beg (please please please mommy can I just go to bed, I feel siiiiick...). I stood firm. She could have cuddles, another drink and go to bed.... as soon as she emptied her plate.
Are you curious to find out how long she lasted at that table? It was longer than I had anticipated but apparently 6-year-old girls can have quite a bit of stamina.
She sat in that chair for a total of THREE HOURS. Three whole hours! We had long gotten Julia to bed, it had turned very dark and Lara looked like, well, like she was defeated, but we had won the battle! She was proud of herself for finishing, received her cuddles and went to bed tired, but with a lesson learned: If you ask for it, you eat it. Oh had I not mentioned that part yet? Yes, we let her choose how much she wanted at the start of the meal and gave her fair warning that we wanted her to finish what she took.
I WAS VICTORIOUS!
We knew the kids would be easy to handle on Sunday morning because they had to stay focussed to ensure they ate all the chocolate the Easter Bunny left them, and perhaps even some belonging to a sister or brother. Max actually learned to say 'Chocola' this weekend, though he pronounces it 'Ookoolaaaaaaaaaaa'. Our Easter brunch was yummy for our tummies, and we kept our PJ's on. I made Egg Salad for the first time in my life (turned out gooood), we had fresh strawberries and warm buns straight out of the oven.
After brunch Sander was off to church again to make sure stuff worked, and he stayed to watch the Priesthood Session of Conference, while the kids and I had a bath. Originally oma Marianne (Sander's mother) was going to join us sometime in the afternoon but unfortunately she felt ill and decided it best to stay home. That in turn caused us to decide to forgo the huge, elaborate and labour intensive meal we had planned to make, and have left-overs instead (we still had a ton of mexican food and zuurkool stamppot in the fridge). To make up for the disappointment we kept the planned dessert: Chocolate Fudge Layer Cake with Marshmallow frosting and Strawberries in the middle. We all helped and I just know it was the love and fun that went into making that cake was what made it uber-delicious!
Oh, and Lara finished her dinner in 30 minutes this time.
All in all a Happy Easter was had, and is still being had. It was especially nice to have General Conference in the same weekend as Easter this year because we really got to focus on that which is truly important: making sure that our Saviour did not suffer for our sins in vain. Wait, that sounds as if we made sure we sinned extra.... ah you know what I mean: as President Uchtdorf spoke so eloquently during the Sunday Morning session, we must be His hands, His voice... His heart.
Alright boys and girls. The first bit of the title of this post is no lie so here is hopefully a little bit of a fix for you music addicts. First up is a song I came across last week. Max and I danced to it. I danced. T'hat's saying something these days! I love this girl's style!
Secondly I would like to share my latest cover song. No dancing in this one folks!
That's it from me for today! But I'll be back....