Easter extravaganza

The Easter Bunny is way too prevalent on Easter weekend. The kids participated in three easter egg hunts and got two baskets of goodies. Our tummies are rolling in chocolate and sweet tarts.

After we all ate a box of Oreos!The first hunt was in Grandview on Saturday morning. They host it at the local park for kids up to 10 years old. Ri’s been going since she was a baby and Mario, too. It used to have a lot more eggs and a lot fewer people but this year it seemed like there was a ton of folks and a lot fewer eggs. They make up for the fewer eggs with giant packs of Oreos, animal crackers, and Rice Krispy treats. The kids line up at 10 am and by 10:01, the hunt is long over. The kids walk away with packs of Oreos and rice crispy treats and no eggs. We have our stock of treats for the next month. Why do it if this is why we end up with every year? I love my traditions and this is one that I have known since I was little. My grandmas both hid eggs for me at Easter and I loved hunting them down. I loved opening up the plastic eggs even if all I found was a jelly bean. So, my love has been passed down to M&M and they seem to love it, too.

The cousins hitting the trailsWe headed out to my parents’ farm on Saturday morning with Jon’s parents. Patty sat in the very back between Maria and Mario because they fount over who got to sit next to her. She resolved the fight by squeezing herself in between them in the third row seat. Of course, anyone else would be smooshed but she fits right in the small space with her tiny self! Mario cozied up to her as they watched Kenny the Shark (an awesome Discovery Channel find for $1.50 at CVS). Maria helped her put in her earring and tutored her on the features of her iPhone. She kept us all laughing with her commentary, which sounds like it’s out of the mouth of a fifty year old rather than a six-year-old. At one point, Patty asked Maria if she would get the $5 egg at my cousin’s house (each year one egg has a $5 bill in it). Maria said that she would let her cousin get the $5 egg because her cousin was having some rough times and needed it more than she did. God love her old empathetic soul.

The farm provided an awesome time with the wildflowers blooming and the trails awaiting our footsteps. Nothing better than eating a humongous meal of ham, potato salad, macaroni and cheese casserole, and butter ball rolls and then taking a hike through the woods. You start out feeling like you can’t move but by the end of the trek, you can actually take a breath without having to unbutton your pants. And within ten minutes of the hike, you can eat more! Rock-n-roll!

The bro and meThe kids rode the horses – Maria has got the strong thighs for it. She looks like a natural on Taz with those thighs and good posture. Mario looks like a little jockey all tiny and delicate compared to the regal horse. We even found the first toad of the year! Mario and Maria tried to grab it for me but it sensed trouble and hopped in a pipe.

My little bro and I got to hang out a bit, too, which is always a treat. He is twenty-three and trying to get his band more noticed and on the scene. He has been contemplating Toronto and Chicago but has recently decided on sticking with Columbus because Columbus has a decent music scene and it is a heck of a lot cheaper. It’s fascinating to talk to him about his music – it is all so innate in him and he rattles off descriptions of playing notes and feeling the music that I could never experience. His band, Alpine Ghost, kicks out some funky, alternative rock, and I would buy all his CDs in a heartbeat.

On Sunday morning, we woke to two little kids begging to see if the Easter Bunny came to our house. I acted like I was hitting the bathroom and hid eggs outside. They came down to baskets full of jump ropes and silly putty and candy. They scoured through the baskets excited to see all their presents and ready to move onto the eggs outside. That Easter egg hunt only lasted a minute longer than the Grandview one. They found all the eggs in less than 2 minutes. They are like police dogs with drugs – they sniff out those eggs like pros. I purposefully filled their eggs with candy I would not eat so that I would not be tempted to eat it while I filled them. However, I filled them right next to the extra Girl Scout cookies so I went through a box of Thin Mints and a half of a box of Do-Si-Dos. I would have been better off with peanut M&Ms.

Of course, what else to do on Easter morning than head to Tim Horton’s for some Easter donuts?! We strolled down while I read a book to them. Yes, I have gotten quite good at reading to them as I stroll them down the street. After Tim Horton’s, we strolled to the river to get some Easter rocks to paint. We were going to give them to Grandma Lolo and Papa Rod and the Heile gals but only got a few done by the time we had to go because we had to stop by my friend’s house to walk her dog. Maria loved this chore because she keeps talking about how much she wants to train and walk dogs. She is hilarious with dogs, and humans for that matter, when she is in charge. The dog’s name is Charlie, and all I heard from her was a command of “Charlie!” and then a loud clap. She does the same thing with her little cousin Gracie when she “watches” her. When Gracie does something she shouldn’t, Maria yells “Gracie” and smacks her hands together for a loud clap. She does not mess around!

Some of the Heile cousins!And then we made the drive to Cincy. Mario slept the entire trip while Maria played on my iPad. When we finally arrived, we met Lou, my mom’s new pup. He is a British coon hound and he is a gorgeous thing. So tame and sweet. Maria was in heaven walking him around the house. Mario played with his boy cousins, play fighting them and taunting them. They taunt him back, though, and he gets upset. Cousin Laura made him the cutest shirt in the world – she sewed a fishing rod and fish on a white t-shirt. It is precious and he loved it. She asked him to pose in it for her blog, and he stood on the chair performing every pose possible until she finally had enough. Ask the boy to pose, and he will gladly oblige.

The kids ran around with all of their cousins all night, and begged not to go when 8 pm arrived. Aunt Ann was in town from DC and she is always a hit with Maria. Maria seems fascinated with her probably because she is always dressed in nice clothes and jewelry but she still acts silly. She is that aunt that lives far away and is so exotic to kids but yet so down to earth and fun when she is in town. Maria begged to go back to Julie’s condo with her so we gave in and let her since the condo is on the way to the highway. She was ecstatic. When we picked her up later, I saw her and Ann in the window, and Maria was just staring at her while she spoke. So darling.

The four contestants for the egg hunt!The Heile’s fest was a whirlwind as always. Volleyball, Easter egg hunt (Maria and Mario did not get the $5 egg again this year!), DQ cake, hugging, frisbee, basketball, and lots of good-natured yelling (poor Jon!).

We arrived home at 10:45 pm – both Maria and Mario asleep in their car seats. Maria awoke at 7 am crying hysterically about not wanting to go to Kids Club. Twenty-five minutes straight of bawling hysteria. On a Monday morning. Seriously? That was not what I needed to get me off to a good day. But who am I kidding? There was no way that this Monday morning was going to be good anyway. I just spent a week in Florida and two days eating non-stop sugar and hanging with family. Monday was going to be back to reality. So I wanted to cry with Maria when she was throwing down tears but I held it together and acted like all was just peachy keen. And eventually, it was when we were all off of work and school and back in the house again eating chocolate peanut butter cups.

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