These are some of the suggestions I got when I asked for some ideas to do for Easter with a toddler:
- Dye eggs - a million different ways to dye and decorate them.
- Use plastic eggs and put toys, M&Ms, or even grapes in them.
- Hiding the Easter basket around the house.
- What to fill in the Easter basket - chocolate bunnies, a couple of toys, puzzles, and stuffed animal
- Plant Jelly Beans in the ground.
- Put stickers on the Easter eggs.
But here are the two comments that really resonated with my soul:
- "We have always tried to connect our kids to Jesus in all aspects of Easter. From little up we talked about finding the eggs reminding us that if we look for Jesus in a tomb, we won't find Him there. So our tradition was that our kids would always yell, "he is Risen" if they found an egg. It was so awesome on Sunday morning to hear the voices of little children declaring. "He is Risen" all around our yard. Resurrection eggs are good too."
- "In our family we start with the Lenten season. Its a great time to prepare for the mind blowing concept of eternal life. Home decors are great conversation pieces"... "For instance, we start with love (hearts and red), palm Sunday is green, we have the passover meal and read or narrate the story of the passover, good Friday we have jute and red, Saturday is just the same, and Sunday there is purple, green, and gold." "We sow a seed in a glass jar and it grow by Easter and eventually there is a seedling....We always have an Easter party and invite someone who doesn't yet have a conscious relationship with Jesus and we share Jesus' story."
These two showed me that a fancy filled Easter basket isn't what is going to bring true delight to my little one and this next baby. True joy during these Jesus centered holidays are brought to life by sharing the true meaning and not by fleeting goods.
About two weeks before Easter, I bought Shepherd an Easter Curious George book, a watering can, small garden tool, and sidewalk chalk to put in his Easter basket along with some candy and stuffed plastic eggs. Josh immediately said no to the Curious George book and nicely asked me to take it back. He said I could just give Shep the other things without it having to be for Easter. At first I was in a fury about the whole ordeal, but then I took a moment to think about what was important during Easter. I decided I agreed with Josh's reasons, which were to take away the expectation for gifts and implement Jesus more in to the mix.
We did end up doing an Easter egg hunt with our friend's church. We also dyed eggs using vinegar, water, and food coloring. Really, Shepherd just threw an egg in to one cup of color and immediately signed "more" for another "ball" and threw it in the next cup. There wasn't an egg uncracked. We did read Shepherd a children's book talking about Jesus rising from the dead, but it was from a child's point of view. We also celebrated Palm Sunday the week before letting Shep wave a palm branch around church. We'd like to implement even more of Jesus, but who knew that there were so many traditions to choose from and so many decisions to make together with your spouse on the subject? Whether a tradition is "Christian" or not, how cool is it that we can look for ways to connect it to the message of the gospel. I want Shep and Baby 2.0 to experience Easter egg hunts and hollowed out chocolate bunnies, but I also want them to understand why the holiday is so important. I don't want my posts on Facebook to be solely about "what the Easter bunny brought." Because Jesus is the reason for the season, a cliche not only appropriate for Christmas, but for Easter too.
How far along? 32 weeks
Baby weighs the same as: coconut
Total weight gain: 33 pounds still. Thank the Lord, my weight gain has slowed down. My midwife this past week did suggest I take it easy on the carbs if I was worried about my rapid weight gain. I mean let me give you some context. First she asked me if I was watching my carb and sugar intake, and I said, "no" before she even finished her sentence as I was thinking about Wendy's I had the day before. So I guess I could lay off those Ramen noodles, sour punch straws, and Wendy's spicy chicken sandwich. THE BABY KNOWS WHAT HE OR SHE WANTS and mommy gets it without a blink of an eye. *sigh* I was so healthy once upon a time.
Waist Measurement: 39 1/4 inches still
Maternity clothes? Yes. I have been starting to wear my maternity pants to work sometimes, because scrubs have even become uncomfortable. Some of my coworkers have suggested I buy maternity scrubs and I just turn into the little blue engine that could saying I think I can, I think I can, I think I can make it 8 more weeks in these super uncomfortable pants I keep putting on my body every day.
Stretch marks? None still. Phew.
Sleep: I have increased my bathroom visits to twice a night again.
Best moment this week: I didn't mention this in Week 31, but I LOVED seeing Shepherd wave a palm branch around church on Palm Sunday, hunt tirelessly for Easter eggs, and really get to experience Easter sunday at church - vest, bow tie, and all!
Movement: This little guy or girl likes to stretch a lot! I constantly feel him or her towards the left side of my big belly.
Food cravings: Nothing in particular, but my food had better have meat in it.
Miss Anything? Yea - I miss not feeling like a sack of flour is sitting on top of my bladder at all times only to pee out a tablespoon of urine. OVER. IT.
Gender: I mentioned the cutest middle name to pair with our boy first name, and it kind of made me excited to have another little boy. I am over this whole surprise thing. It is a good thing we aren't having any more ultrasounds, because I don't think I could handle not knowing the gender any longer.
Symptoms: Possible feet swelling? I am not really sure, but at the end of the day I cannot wait to take my tennis shoes off and put my feet up, because they hurt after work.
Belly Button in or out? Out
Wedding rings on or off? On