We had such a good time with family for Easter. We got together with Aaron's family and the kids had such a fun Easter egg hunt with the cousins. We also did a hunt with friends and then the Easter bunny stopped by our house with baskets and another hunt. Julian calls Easter, Easter hunt... The night before we also decorated eggs. We have also been working on our yard and garden and put a bunch of transplants from Aaron's mom's garden and their neighbors shared with us too. I am so excited for our plants to grow!
Gretchen is saying lots of fun words now. She says, bopbop (Grandma), shoe shoe, up, banana, cheese, mama, dada, ball (her favorite word), dog, and bum. She climbs around on everything like Spiderman and just likes to be suspended between the ottoman and the couch with her feet on one and hands on the other with her middle just hanging till she falls down. She loves to get into lots of things and to be close to her mommy and daddy. She blows on all of her warm food before she eats it. She also does a lot of funny chicken and interpretive dances around the house and likes to figure out how things work as she chatters away to herself. She is the cutest thing ever and she had soooo much fun hunting for her Easter eggs. She also loves to wear shoes, sweater or jackets, and hats. Gretchen is also an artist. She loves to put food all over her hair, face, and, and body and we have to keep all the crayons far and away. She found a gray one and Julian brought my attention to her doodles on the wall. She essentially colored on the bottom half of the entire hallway and dining room. That is a lot of coloring for a person a little over two feet tall, when did that happen?!
Julian still loves to play with friends and has also been playing for longer times on his own lately. He always points at the clock and tells me what time it is. He says "look mom, clock!" "Time to go to the beach," or "time to fly in a plane,"or "time to climb the mountain," or "time to go to the store" or whatever. It is so funny and he is always telling me to go to the super market or store to get whatever it is that we need or want. Mostly it is juice or legos. He also talks about mission bopbop. Aaron's mom and dad were just called to serve a mission in the islands of Kiribati and Julian calls it the beach mission and asks to go there too:0 He also loves to find the moon and the stars at night and if I ever want to lay down in the middle of the day he says "no Mom! Look! The sun is up!" Lately all the toys he wants to get go on the Santa list and Julian tells me about how Santa will bring him the present and he will open it and how awesome it will be. Not so cute but memorable things included putting a chair under the circuit breaker outside so that he could turn off his bedroom light. He didn't turn off his light in his room but succeeded in turning off the fridge which I discovered soon after but a couple days later he turned off the fridge from the inside of it which I did not catch until after a day of running errands and noticed that the inside of the fridge was completely warm. I checked the freezer and the ice cream was totally melted. Ah, that was a sad day.
Things to remember for the future: A month or two ago Gretch started to get red spots all over one side of her back. It seemed to be getting worse and spread down to her thigh and leg. It was all raised and patchy behind her leg and I was like oh no I hope she doesn't have measles or something. So before I called the doctor I looked online and realized it was probably eczema. I was so surprised because Gretch has never had anything like that before but she had a rash without any other symptoms so I thought I would see what I could do. I started washing her clothes in the cd detergent (Nellies, which is additive free of like everything) and then started to use my lotion bars on her skin. I was thinking that if it didn't start to go down in two days I would call the doctor and see if we could get started on the routine that we did for Julian. But after one day it was getting better and after three days it was almost completely gone. Her skin is totally soft now like it was before and I am not as diligent with the lotion but it is basically a non issue now. I was so excited I didn't have to take her to the doctor or start all the creams (that don't make it go all the way anyway:( The lotion bar recipes are all over the internet but it is essentially equal parts of shea butter (or cocoa butter which I have yet to try), beeswax, and coconut oil. I got the recipe from here. I melt it all together in a mason jar that is in a pot of boiling water. Then pour it into those little ice cube makers from Ikea. When they cool I pop them out and put them in a little tin or plastic container or a plastic baggie. If you have ever struggled with eczema it may be worth a try. I definitely want to remember it for the future because we struggled with it so much with Julian and I am so glad it didn't get bad for Gretch.
Apart from that all my mental energy has been bent on getting our budget in shape. We have a billion bills like everyone and have been working hard on getting things in order, especially after getting our house and fixing it up, having babies, and juggling student loans. I have been pouring over financial and retirement how tos and budget advice and the like for weeks trying to get everything just where it should go. It is so true that budgeting and really living in it is like getting a raise. I went from thinking that we needed some endless amount of money to meet all of our goals to feeling like we already have enough money. I am just so grateful that we can afford our home and bills and that we can save up for things that we want and that we are controlling our money and it is not controlling us. I feel the U.S. consumerism + internet = serious cases of keeping up with the Jones-es. It seems so easy to get caught up in all the things you could have and the list of innovations just continues to grow. There is just no catching up and I feel so much peace after looking over and over our finances and realizing that we have enough and we don't need that.
Here are some fun inter-generational pics we took with my mom and Grandma when we visited her and my cousin Evan, his wife Brittany, and their cute little girl.
And the kids with Great Bopbop: