Monday, April 13, 2020

Easter at Home, during a Pandemic

It was surprisingly pleasant! Who knew that dyeing eggs bright colors and eating a lot of ham could temporarily put a lid on that bottomless well of aching horror?

Even though we still have full days of school (it's a small comfort to know that my children's schooling is the one thing that hasn't been completely disrupted by the pandemic, considering how  most other children are struggling right now with the annihilation of their school routine on top of all their other stressors), much of that time that the kids used to spend being shuttled to and from extracurriculars, as well as the extracurriculars, themselves, is now free.

Instead of spending that free time sitting on the couch and staring with dead eyes at the wall, for the past week, at least, we've been spending it making ALL THE EASTER CRAFTS.

We spray painted wooden eggs out on the driveway, then decorated them with paint pens and acrylic paint. They turned out amazing, and we loved them.

I taught Matt to blow out eggs, then went a little crazy and ended up blowing out about a dozen on my own (head rush!!!), and then went even crazier and tried filling some of the eggshells with cement and some with plaster.

The cement did not work for me AT ALL... almost as if the random cement that I just happened to have in my garage isn't the exact right kind of cement for making Easter egg molds. Imagine that!

The plaster of Paris worked perfectly, I guess. I mean, it technically worked. Tape off the small hole:

Enlarge the larger hole and then fill it with plaster of Paris:

After about an hour or so, spend WAY longer than you ever wanted to spend in your entire life peeling eggshell off of plaster--

--and then marvel at this. Completely. Typical. Egg:

I guess that if you 1) wanted a reusable Easter egg, 2) did not have any wood or papier mache eggs to use, and 3) DID have plaster of Paris, this would be a good way to DIY some non-egg Easter eggs to paint, but eh. My plaster egg looked identical to every other egg in the world but was a billion times more annoying to make. I am definitely a wooden egg person all the way!

The kids and I made embroidered felt Easter eggs while listening to podcasts and then the first hour of our new Dracula audiobook (only fourteen more hours to go!). These were awesome, too, and were super useful during the kids' Easter morning clue hunt, on account of these eggs can be hidden in very obnoxious places that three-dimensional eggs can't:

Also awesome? I dragged out my under-utilized set of silk dyes for the kids to use to dye our chicken eggs:

These resulted in epic Easter eggs, you guys. EPIC!!!

Check out those saturated colors, those deep jewel tones! And I don't even understand how some of the eggs came out of the dye bath with that metallic sheen?!?

I was actually sad yesterday when we peeled them all and made them into deviled eggs. They really were almost too pretty to eat!

Alas, Syd found the process of hand-molding crushed shredded wheat mixed with melted butter and marshmallow to be so disgusting that it quite spoiled the fun of eating the resultant shredded wheat bird nests:

It didn't spoil the fun for me, though! They were delicious!

Matt had his own DIY build: a drill-powered LEGO egg decorating machine!

Will, especially, LOVED this drill-powered egg machine. She used Sharpies and Prismacolor markers with it, and the eggs came out really pretty! 

The Easter Bunny traditionally leads the children on an Easter morning clue hunt to find their baskets--I swear that our Easter Bunny was doing this years before the Easter Bunnies of all the Instagram influencers! Matt and I generally linger in bed and listen to doors and cabinets slamming, stuff getting kerfuffled during frantic searching, kids loudly bickering as they run around the yard at too early o'clock on a Sunday morning, etc., and only come out when there's a silence that means that each clue hunter's mouth is too full of candy to gripe at her sister.

I don't know what everybody else's Easter Bunny does, but our family Easter Bunny pretty reliably gives the kids too much candy plus a couple of presents that I'm confident they're supposed to share, but instead they always want to divvy ownership of. Later, I will have to talk Will into sharing this wood carving kit with Syd--

--and Syd this sticker mosaic kit with Will:

Our weather forecast was dire, so I was worried we wouldn't be able to have our insanely competitive Easter egg hunt outdoors this year, but fortunately, the rain held off long enough for me to madden the children by hiding 100+ Easter eggs really, really, REALLY WELL!

I don't know why the kids get so competitive over this, as it's literally just our stash of reusable Easter eggs with zero prizes to gain, but at one point Syd found an egg right where Will had just stepped, and in retaliation Will lost her ever-loving mind and just started crawling through the grass to hunt. And then Syd tried to swoop down on the entire basket of eggs that Will had abandoned when she started crawling, and Will got to her feet, ran at her, and chased her off with a stick!

We more successfully divvied up responsibility for Easter dinner, even though we didn't get to eat it until after 9:00 because for some reason Will's math class still met on Easter. Yawn!

Matt made the ham, the mashed potatoes, and the Cadbury Egg martinis for the adults, Will made roasted carrots, Syd made roasted asparagus, I made deviled eggs, and Syd and I made an absolutely epic garden cake.

I had wanted to make something exactly like this Betty Crocker garden cake, and was more than a little worried when my best efforts were making it look exactly like trash, instead, but hallelujah, Syd stepped in with a grass tip and good design skills--

--and our final cake was the cutest thing that I ever did see:

Alas, we didn't have enough room in our bellies to even taste it after our 9 pm Easter dinner! Ah, well... garden cake is also delicious for breakfast.

Easter isn't such a big deal to us (over dinner last night, Will was all, "So, today is Jesus'... birthday?"), and honestly, I think this is by far the biggest fuss we have ever made over it, even counting when the kids were small and wanted to dye eggs every day for a month!

It was vastly more of a sugar fest than my body needed right now, but it turns out that it was exactly what my heart needed.

I'll remember this Easter fondly even when the lawnmower is still hitting random eggs in August...

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