Friday, April 5, 2013

April 4, 2013 ~ Little Red Umbrella

Last weekend, Billy had multiple successful uses of the potty, so as a reward we went to the toy store to buy some toys and to buy some in reserve for future successful attempts.

His chosen toy? Was it a toy gun? A train? A stuffed animal? Something with batteries?

No, it was an umbrella.

There was a rack of umbrellas in the little girls' section (apparently boys don't need umbrellas). Most were pretty princess parasols, but they also had a bumble bee and a ladybug umbrella. He got to pick between the two and opted for the ladybug.

This is no ordinary umbrella. It's his new favorite thing. It goes everywhere with him. He takes it to bed with him. He takes it to the potty with him.

Sometimes he walks with it like a cane. Sometimes he does tricks with it- flipping it over his shoulder and swirling it around. Sometimes, he plays golf with it, or baseball. But whatever it's purpose for the moment, it's always with him.

"When's it going to rain, Mommy?" he keeps asking me.

Maybe one day he'll get to use it for its intended purpose.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Drawn In Thursdays: Mysteries of the Toddlerverse #2

Click to Enlarge

A true story from this week. This is what happens when Billy gets his very own umbrella.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

How I Explained Easter to a Two Year Old

Easter is a tough concept to grasp.

You've got this guy. He lived a long time ago. But he lives perpetually. On Good Friday he dies. Then on Easter he rises into Heaven to go hang out with God, the Holy Ghost and all of the angels and Saints.

Some of my more tongue-in-cheek friends refer to it as Zombie Jesus Day.

But how to explain it to someone that has no concept of religion?

Here's my version of the story (for toddlers):

There's a guy named Jesus. He has a house. We call it Church. Church is Jesus' house. Jesus has a big booboo. He's really sick. So we're all going to pray really hard for him. And if we pray hard enough he'll be all better and we'll all start singing.

Well, that was the best I could do.

How would you explain this particular religious mystery to a toddler?

P.S. I left out the reference to Ishtar and fertility rites and other sources of Easter traditions. Probably not that best topic for a two year old.

Easter Monday 2013

Again, daycare was closed.

We started our morning with an egg hunt.

Just Billy this time. The Easter bunny hid plastic eggs with candy and coins in them in our back yard. We got home too late for him to hunt on Easter, so we hunted the next day. Also, it was terribly rainy on Easter. Good thing the Easter Bunny came back Monday morning to hide all of those eggs for him. It was nice and sunny then.

He had a great time being able to hunt for the eggs that were easily hidden around the backyard. There was no rush and he found all of the eggs. He might have had a little bit of help...

Then it was time to empty the eggs. He got lots of candy in suspicious orange and black and red and green (shh! don't tell!) He also got some coins, which he put in his piggy bank. These were the very first coins to go into the bank. Lucky Billy.

After nap Grandma popped over for a visit. He got to show off his bounty.

Then it was off to the toy store to purchase another poop prize. Yep, more poop in the potty! He picked out an umbrella. He also got a garden shovel and Candyland- both being held in reserve for more poop. He's also already picked out a toy kitchen for his birthday. I'm hoping he forgets by then!


PS- I totally forgot to mention that yesterday during the family egg hunt Billy won two prizes. He got almost nearly the most eggs (3rd place) with 13 eggs and he got the $1000 dollar egg- for which he got a real 1000 bill- from the African country Guyana (worth 4.50 US). I think it's awesome. He will too in a few years.

Easter 2013

Well, I need to pull photos off of my camera, but for now I will share photos from my phone.

Here's Billy with his basket, already emptied of contents. He was so thrilled that the Easter Bunny hopped on by. He got chocolate, play doh, bubbles, chalk, a chicken that poops jelly beans (because we all need that), a stuffed bunny and a toddler Bible. I think he liked the Bible the best. He read it before getting into the rest of the basket- candy included.

The funny thing is that I don't talk about religion very often. Billy saw the toddler Bible in the store and wanted it. He picked it up. But, he seems to like religion a lot. So, the Easter Bunny got him the Bible. It's got colorful cartoons of some of the popular Bible stories and short versions of them told in a way that kids understand.

After opening the basket it was off to the shore for the family egg hunt.

It was very cold and drizzly out. But all of the cousins had fun hunting. Billy took awhile to warm up to all of these cousins. So many so close to his age. We visited with a small number from that branch- 40 or so- for brunch.

Then afterward we went over to my aunt's house for the bunny bash. That would be literally bashing a chocolate bunny with crab mallets. Billy had a fabulous time with this other group of cousins too.

He went no nap and up early and made it the whole day without getting cranky until the very end when we were back home. He had a wonderful Easter, overloaded with candy and cake and cousins. That's the best kind.

An Easter Vigil

Saturday was all Easter prep- as it should be. We dyed eggs, baked bunny rolls and attended High Mass.

Billy got to dye 18 Easter eggs. He liked the yellow ones. We made a lot of yellow eggs. Grandma helped us with the egg dyeing process. He got to sticker the dry eggs too. In hindsight, toddlers and stickers that don't stick well to eggs are a bad combination.

There was also some baking involved. Billy loves to cook, however he was relegated to just watching for this particular task.

In the evening we attended High Mass. This is the Easter Vigil, the most solemn and most beautiful of all of the Masses for the whole year.

If you have never been to the Easter Vigil, allow me to share what it is like. The Church is completely dark. It begins with a bonfire. This year the bonfire was in the courtyard outside. From that fire is lit the Pascal Candle. Everyone goes back into the completely dark Church. Then the Pascal Candle is slowly processed in. As it passes, each parishioner lights their own candle from the flame being passed through the crowd. A single flame becomes a thousand. The Church is lit solely by the candles of the parishioners and the Pascal Candle for the first part of the Mass. Then, the Gospel proclaims Jesus risen and the whole Church lights up and the choir rings out in song. It's very powerful symbolism.

Mass started right at Billy's bedtime, so we had no idea what to expect behavior-wise. He was grumpy most of the day from having a cold, so I wasn't sure we would make it very long.

He was fascinated by the bonfire and the part with the candles. Daddy gave him a candle to hold. It was Daddy's candle. Billy insisted. I wanted to take it away from him, but Billy insisted on holding onto it. I watched him like a hawk the whole candle part. He did fine, though. He was very proud of himself.

Then, almost shockingly, Billy sat quietly through the Mass. Now, most days he has difficulty sitting through a normal Mass- you know, the kind that run 45-1 hour. This was the Easter Vigil. We left right after the Eucharist (I know, I know...poor manners) which was 2.5 hours into the ceremony and there was still another half hour or longer to go. Yes, Billy was quiet and behaved for 2.5 hours in Church. Small miracle? We missed my favorite part, which is when the choir sings Handel's Messiah at the very end. But I doubted Billy was going to make it that long. I doubted I was going to make it that long. Next year we're going to rethink attending the Easter Vigil. Beautiful but too long for a little one.

Good Friday 2013

Well, I wasn't home with Billy- that was Daddy. Daycare was closed so they stayed home together. According to Daddy they didn't do anything.


Billy earned himself this baseball bat.

This is poop prize #1. Yep. He gets a present for every poop in the potty. (Might be too much information, but when you're potty training, this is a big deal).

He's thrilled with his new bat.