Friday, April 25, 2014

The Passover/Easter Ear Infection Bonanza!

Last Friday came with my parents' arrival in town and the knowledge that I had not yet done Passover dinner, now several days late. I brought the boys to day care only to have them sent home with a fever several hours later. Luckily I had done enough in the few hours they were there to make Passover dinner happen.


Matzoh Ball Soup

I started off with perhaps the best matzoh ball soup I've made to date.

Mediterranean Braised Brisket

Brisket Gravy

I also made a braised brisket with gravy which I braised with orange peel, herbs, and my poultry stock from the freezer.

Carrot and Turnip Tzimmes

Instead of regular carrot tzimmes I made them with turnips and dried cherries this year.

Olive Oil Potato Gratin

For starch I made this olive oil potato gratin which turned out very well.

Grilled Asparagus with Lemon and Orange Zest

Grilled asparagus with lemon and orange zest were served as an accompaniment.


And of course I made haroset, Jen's favorite dish right along with matzoh ball soup.

Grandpa and Nana at Passover Dinner

Jen, Elliott, and Grandma at Passover Dinner

In general the lateness of the Seder was made up for by the quality of the food and company.

Matzoh Crunch

He'Brew Funky Jewbilation Batch 001/999 2012

For dessert I served up matzoh crunch and this strong He'Brew beer from 2012. I was the only one who had any of the beer but the matzoh was enjoyed by all.

Digging Out Fire Pit

The following day began with me digging out the fire pit to get it ready for Easter.

Grandpa and Martin

Dyeing Easter Eggs

Easter Eggs

In the late morning we dyed Easter Eggs which consisted of Jen and my mother dying the eggs while the boys tried to eat as much glitter as possible.

Elliott Eating Corn on the Cob with Grandpa

Later that night we went to Grandma and Grandad's for dinner where Elliott refused to eat unless, that is, he was in Grandpa's lap eating all of his food. He enjoyed some corn on the cob. I imagine it must be nice to eat corn on the copy when you have tiny little spaced out teeth like he does. No flossing necessary afterward.

Elliott Eating Cioppino with Grandpa

Easter Morning Suprises

Easter Morning greeted the Wombats with lots of gifts and candies. The candy was mostly for Mummy and Daddy.

Martin With Giant Peep

This was fine as Martin's primary interest was in the Peep bunny.

Grandpa Watching Videos with Elliott and Martin

And both of their interests were still in watching as much Elmo, Curious George, or videos of planes taking off and landing as possible.

Grandpa Blowing Bubbles

In the morning Grandpa showed them some bubbles outside starting Elliott off on a bubble binge that would last twenty-four hours.

Easter Brunch

Easter Brunch

Easter Brunch

Easter Brunch

Bagels and Cream Cheeses

A sizeable Easter brunch spread was put out in the late morning of which the boys were mostly interested in eating Grandma's banana muffins. I can't blame them though I stuck with the smoked salmon.

Martin and Pete Getting Ready for Easter Egg Hunt

Jen put them in hats which made them look like Dusty from G.I. Joe and they got ready to hunt out the eggs which were hid in plain sight around the yard.

Elliott Suited Up and Ready for Easter Egg Hunt

They were also well prepared should and sandstorms sweep through the area.

Easter Egg Hunt Festivities

Easter Egg Hunt Festivities

Easter Egg Hunt Festivities

The hunt went pretty well. Elliott took a more aggressive role toward seeking out the eggs whereas Martin was happy to find one or two then just bumble around in the yard.

Elliott Throwing Back Easter Eggs

After catching all the eggs Elliott tossed them all back into the yard like a true sportsman.

Elliott Contemplating Feeding Pete his Bunny Cookie

They were then rewarded with Nana's bunny cookies which were instant hits.

Martin Eating Bunny Cookie

Martin with Bunny Ear

Martin took to sticking his finger up like an ear.

Martin Goring with Bunny Ear

Then, in a fit of confusion from Grandad's bull impression where he gores the boys, he decided that bunny ears were also good for goring.

Martin Watching Lamb Cook

After their nap Martin got to get a good glimpse at my lamb cooking over the open fire in the back yard.

Elliott Blowing Bubbles

Elliott continued with his bubble binge.

Easter Cheese Plate

We started off with a nice Easter cheese plate while the lamb cooked.

Elliott and Grandpa

Grandma Showing Martin Easter Book

And both boys got to look through their goodie baskets from Grandma.

Leg of Lamb on Spit

Spit-Roasted Leg of Lamb with Rosemary and Garlic

The lamb turned out nearly perfect.

Baked Ham

I also served up a baked ham for those not too keen on lamb.

Roasted Rainbow Carrots

I served up roasted rainbow carrots.

Roasted Tri-Color Potatoes

Also I roasted tri-color potatoes.

Grilled Artichokes, Fennel, and Asparagus with Roasted Red and Yellow Peppers

This salad was made from grilled artichokes, grilled asparagus, grilled fennel, roasted red and yellow peppers, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, and parsley.

Berry Pavlova with Whipped Cream

Blackberry and Lemon Curd Pavlova

And Jen made two incredible pavlovas for dessert.

Elliott and Daddy Joking by the Fire Pit

After dinner Elliott hung out with me by the firepit and amused me with hilarious stories of his escapades.

Evelyn in a Basket

Then, Lauren continued the trend of wanting to put Evelyn inside of strange things and take pictures by putting her in this basket and forcing me to take the picture.

Sorry, Evelyn. It wasn't Uncle Nate's idea.

Grandfathers and Steps

Before bed the boys had endless fun climbing up and down the steps with their grandfathers and nearly falling on numerous occasions.

Evelyn Watching Sesame Street

The boys were sick on Monday and Evelyn also got sent home from day care. We watched her for a while and the only thing that could get her to stop crying after ninety minutes was setting up an iPad and playing Sesame Street.

Screens are both the salvation and the ruin of child care.

Nana and Sleeping Evelyn

Eventually she grew sleepy and fell asleep on my mother where she stayed until Lauren was able to return from work.

Found in the Yard: An Old Pair of Scissors

As spring continues to spring more things continue to be found in the yard, like this old rust pair of scissors!

Found in the Yard: A Pot without a Bottom

And this ceramic pot with no bottom!

Playing at the Doctor's Office

In the morning on Monday we took the kids to the doctor again since they'd been cranky and irritable for far too long. Apparently their ear infections had not completely healed so they needed to be put on the next level of antibiotic to hopefully get them to return to normal. The irritability they'd been expressing for the past week.

Marting Crying Because he Can't have a Cookie for Breakfast

This morning, before school, was a series of epic meltdowns culminating with Martin's defeat after being told he could not have an unlimited number of cookies for breakfast, something he deemed to be quite unfair.

I'm kind of wishing that Elmo, cookies, and those Cozy Coupe cars never existed. They pitch a fit any time they see any of them. They also refuse to ever sit down when eating. Their perfect life would be walking around all day, eating cookies, driving around in their Cozy Coupes, and having Curious George playing on a screen in the background. They will sometimes largely ignore the show but when it stops you'd better have the next one queued up!

I am told, by numerous jerks, that this will only get worse. Everyone says the "terrible twos" are a myth and that three is the real age where things get difficult. This is a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad thing to tell a parent. Why would you share this? Why not just shut up and keep to yourself yet. Three, apparently, will be like the worst nightmare we can imagine.

And we haven't even hit two yet.