When we arrived at Grandma's, the boys wanted to find their Easter buckets and get to egg hunting...Grace wanted to see her horses. Now. So, while Daddy ran her up to the barn for a quick visit, the boys scouted out where things were hidden.
As soon as Grace was in the door, they raced through the house collecting eggs. There was a moment of panic when no one knew where the tall one's bucket was, but Daddy saved the day as usual.
Grace loved all the candy - especially Pez - while the boys counted up their egg loot. Hayden was thrilled to finally have enough to buy his Pokemon DS game...and Bayley? is saving up for a NEW Pokemon DS game.
After our lazy morning, we all got dressed and headed to the McCauley Easter brunch. It's great to get to catch up on where everyone is - Jeff's cousins are globetrotters...one is in France, another is headed to Switzerland... This year marked the end of an era. Jeff's youngest cousin turned 13, and until now he's always been up for playing with the boys. It's sad that he's moved so far beyond Legos, but it was bound to happen.
Grace wasn't quite herself...which was probably due to the jellybeans and chocolate she kept eating...cute table decor, made for not so cute toddler behavior.
My laugh of the morning was when my boys plopped themselves at the grown-ups table. Anything to keep away from their sister. And when Kelsey's birthday cake came out? Hayden had to move closer to the cake!
The boynados woke early and started playing with Thomas trains. It is amazing how many toys they brought out to play with last week, while we were participating in TV Turnoff week. We opted not to observe Passover because the boys thought no TV and no grain was just too much. By Saturday Bayley declared "TV Turnoff week is worse than Passover!" I hope he remembers that next year!
Grace heard the boys...and decided parents were needed. And then, the boys realized they needed to check and see if the bunny had delivered anything for them. They bounded down the stairs to find their loot.
The good rabbit left them a few eggs...but didn't bother to count to make sure there were a number divisible by 3. Luckily, Grace didn't mind being shortchanged on Snickers. She's more of a jellybeans kind of girl.
The kids all found lamb nap sets - blankets and pillows - to make car tripps a bit more snuggly. Grace loved hers, and decided to try it out for a pretend nap.
I love the Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm in Woodburn. They have acres of blooming tulips, which makes for some amazing pictures. Last year we missed it since there wasn't a single weekend they were open without rain. Since the weather cleared up, I borrowed GramMo & took Grace down there in case I don't get another chance (rain scheduled for the weekend!)
I do think that the girl liked the tulips. However, she was not at all interested in having her picture taken. Even when there were easy photo ops, like benches to sit on, she wasn't having it.
In fact, I think the best picture I got of her face all day was when she decided to throw a tantrum because I wouldn't carry her after she decided to play in the mud with her boots.
Gracie & Ava are always getting together for some reason - usually because one of their mom's has something to do that would bore them. When I had to help them up the stairs I would say "one girl, two girls" as I took their hand or picked them up. Now, they've taken to saying it in place of "me too!" If you give one a handful of raisins, the other will pop into the pantry and say "Two girls!"
They're pretty good at sharing for being two and the baby of their families. Still, sometimes it comes down to "You has to share!" and "No! Just one girl. One. Girl."
The kiddos had to stay home for Grandpa Bill's birthday dinner. It was nearly their bedtime, and Nostrana isn't the kind of Italian place with mac & cheese or a kids menu. Besides, we'll do a birthday dinner again on Sunday where they can eat with their shirts off (as two-thirds of them tend to do).
We started with appetizers - delicious crostini with fresh cheese and prociutto, delicate gnocchi with tomato butter sauce & gorgonzola dolce sauce, and the mystery platter...okay, so everything was identifiable, but I needed the menu to serve as a decoder ring for the ham, braciole, smoked duck, and pimento cheese. True to my southern DNA, I smeared the pimento cheese on bread.
Jeff ordered a pizza from their wood burning oven, I opted for speck wrapped halibut. And then I came home and googled speck because I wasn't sure what it was (ham, BTW).
I had a delightful lemon cocktail - preseco, vodka & limoncello - while Jeff opted for beer. Anyone shocked? Didn't think so :)
The food was wonderful and our server obviously loves her job. According to Jeff, the service wasn't speedy, but we were a big, chatty bunch. I hadn't managed to see Staci since the baby announcement, plus her mom was in town and she's always such fun. Add in his brother's stint on the news (he went skiing earlier in the day with his helmet cam, and he did a sommersault instead of skiing, so they ran that. Must find a link) and we never ran out of things to talk about. I hope Grandpa Bill had as much fun at his party as I did!
Grace has decided that she likes wearing "ballerina clothes" and "ballerina shoes" and twirling...so she was quite excited to go to Tiny Dancers today. (I was not excited by the parking situation! Someone build a parking garage already!)
She was more into it than last time, but still had little interest in following instruction. When they were told to gallop like a horse, Grace got down on all fours and crawled! Which, hey, horses do walk on four legs not two. And it's not like she needs to wear new tights more than once.
Today was magic wand day, quite a thrill for the pre-preschool set. But my favorite prop had to be the legwarmers I found for Grace. SO CUTE.
"He put his arm through my head! Aaah! Quick, Mom, take a picture. He put his arm through my head! Aaah!" - Hayden
Since I picked up my new camera, the boys have been quite eager to have their picture taken. Of course, this usually means they want to do something crazy and have it documented...like the Burke version of wrestlemania that went on last night.
There were upside down children...
Bizarre wrestling poses, grunting and growling
And a strange game of let's sit on Uncle Tim's shoudlers and see if we can fall off. BOYS!
Since Miss Paula & family are running away from home, we moved up our annual egg hunt so they can explore the country without having to search out an eggy event for Abra.
While the kids explored the playroom, the momma's 'hid' the eggs. Last year a half dozen eggs were discovered in the summer, so we tried to make them as obvious as possible without simply dumping them on the lawn. The kids have a natural split - girls 5 and under, boys 6 to 9 - so we thought we'd let them be gentlemen and give the little ladies a head start. Hayden...wasn't gentlemanly. And since the other boys saw him run out, they followed in hot pursuit!
Luckily, the Freeman back yard is huge, so the kids spread out and attacked their own area. It seemed the older the kid, the more into the eggs they were.
The kids gathered up all (we hope) of the eggs and then went inside to sort through their loot. The little ladies ignored the candy for the most part, instead focusing on the dress-up rings, pencils, and bowls of fruit on the table.
You would have thought all that sugar would have pepped the kids up...but mine passed out on the way to Grandma's!
The mommies like to get together and do something fun for our birthdays. This year, we're trying to be more adventurous than the Cheesecake Factory. So to celebrate the last year Miss Paula is in her twenties, we went on an Epicurian Excusion from Portland Walking Tours. (Miss Molly had to work, thbbbt)
I got a bit worried when the tour began with the same three places as the tour Jeff & I went on - drinking chocolate @ Cacao, olive oil tasting at Benessere & orange tomato soup @ Flying Elephants. I enjoy all three, but I wanted something different. Luckily everything that followed was new.
I never would have found myself doing a salt tasting if not for the tour. The Spice & Tea Exchange let us try different salts on cucumber slices. I even had my mom buy some smoked salt so my BBQ contest loving brother could experiment with it.
At this point...we wanted food! Thank goodness Chez Joly was so generous with their samples. Crostini, crepe, and French onion soup. We spied a $25 price fixe dinner on their menu (salad, entree, dessert & wine) so may be returning.
We spent a lot of time at the next stop, The Park Kitchen...but didn't eat much. The garbanzo bean fries & squash ketchup were tasty, and the idea of making your restaurant as sustainable as possible is great...it just went on a little long. It would have been more interesting if the explanations were illustrated by the samples they served...which is probably easier for them to do in the summer.
Next, we went to the EcoTrust building for Hot Lips Pizza. This was the same seasonal variety I tried with Jeff in January - a squash sauce with broccoli & hazelnuts. I really like the juice sodas they make. After Jeff & I learned about them, we started buying them for the kids.
Finally, Miss Tina got her dessert :) Cool Moon ice cream served chocolate sorbet & trail blazer swirl and let us taste whatever else we wanted. Then, it was a quick hop on the street car back to the hotel we started at.
I had a great time, but I wouldn't take the tour again until the summer. Maybe things would have changed more by then. Is it worth the money? We got it on a special, which helps. If you know your way around Portland, you could get much more food for less money. But then, if you know your way around Portland, you might not be interested in the tour!