Easter in an Eggshell (Nutshell)


I have spent days, weeks, months... okay not months, but I have spent a lot of time dreaming of the Easter holidays. I was going to read so many books, go on so many adventures with Reuben, catch up with so many people, get so much sleep, eat so many chocolate eggs, and maybe even do a little bit of exercise. But when Easter came around, what did I do? I got sick. I got well and truly sick. My body went into shutdown and my migraine felt like I'd had little Reuben feet trampling on my head for a week... oh wait, I did. Toddlers don't do sympathy, and they certainly don't do rest (they also don't do personal space, he actually does stand on my head). In fact, Reuben has been a little maniac since finishing creche. When I was dreaming of the holidays, it also didn't cross my mind that my 2 year old would also be holidaying and therefore pushing every boundary he could get his hands on.

So while I haven't been able to do everything I'd planned to do over Easter, I tried to make the most of the days when I felt like a 75 year old instead of a 95 year old - although on Saturday I did drive through town with my purse on the roof of my car and had to be flagged down by another car. The driver looked at me like I was crazy, then he looked at Reuben in the back seat feeding his snot to a dinosaur and he didn't look so surprised any more. Here's what we got up to when I wasn't downing paracetamol and Reubs wasn't super glued to the naughty chair;

- We stayed in our jammies and made breakfast at 9am. Then again at 3pm. And then again at 7pm.
I was very sick of sausages and eggs by the end of the day, but I'll never be sick of Reuben's happy little 'I will eat sausages until I die' face.
Close enough Reubs.

- An adventure to Ikea.
Okay I know what you're thinking, "Reb, we know you were sick but that is a poor choice of adventure". But seriously, Reuben LOVED it. In the showroom he could play with all the household utensils he isn't allowed to touch at home, he could bounce on as many beds as he wanted without breaking them, and there was no chance of him escaping out the door because Ikea is a one-way system. Once you're in, there's no going back. Of course this means I went in for one item but was forced to spend a ridiculous amount of money on a ridiculous amount of stuff, but sure... all part of the adventure (ask me if it's still an adventure when I'm in my overdraft). After we collected all of our unnecessary yet wonderful purchases, we got lunch AND ice-cream for £2.50 - Amen to that. The rest of the afternoon was spent at Ikea's play park - I know right, what don't they have? And if that isn't enough to convince you (they should be paying me for this promo), Ikea in Belfast is right beside the airport and if you go upstairs you can watch all the planes land outside. Reuben was speechless. And it was blissful.

- Cleaning. Lots and lots and lots of cleaning.
You wouldn't know it by the sheer state of my house, but I really am a big fan of bleach. And every so often I like to bleach my whole house from top to bottom and scrub everything in sight. On Reuben's last day at creche I ditched the library and had a date with my mop and toilet brush. It was a glorious sight - The walls were sparkling, I could see my own reflection in my toilet, and the bleach fumes were intoxicating.
That evening I was just waiting on my phone call to accept my award for 'World's most stunningly shiny house', when I realised Reuben had been too quiet for too long. I went into the hall and followed BLUE HAND PRINTS on the WHITE walls the whole way up the stairs into my bedroom and then into Reuben's bedroom where he was clearly creating a modern masterpiece. Unfortunately that modern masterpiece would cost him a great deal by the time I was through with him. He was full of remorse until I was scrubbing it off with my back turned, and he whipped out a felt tip marker and got drawing again. Easter crafts were pushed to a whole new level - and so was my will to parent. Toddler free to a good home, anyone?

- St. George's Market. On Easter Saturday we woke up at 11am. Yes that's right, 11am. Granted I lost count of how many times we were awake during the night so instead of feeling refreshed and well rested, I felt lazy and sluggish. Reuben felt on top of the world, what's new? I felt guilty for wasting what seemed like half of the day so I decided to ditch the to-do list (it was painful) and declare a 'lets do something we've never done before' Saturday. This lead us on a spontaneous trip to St. George's Market which I've been meaning to go to for so long but we always go back to Castledawson on a Saturday morning. We people watched with coffee and crepes, and Reuben danced with the Indian guy beside us. With the live music and copious amounts of chocolate and cheese, it was hard to keep Reubs in his pram. He even wondered up to a stall and handed a man some money from my purse. Easter really hasn't been a good time for my bank account. 

Oh boy. The crepes were almost as tasty as his face. Almost.
- Disney on Ice. If you've read my blog before or know me in the slightest, you'll know this wasn't our first time at Disney on Ice. You'll also know Reuben I am a massive fan, so I was very thankful when my mum bought us these tickets for Christmas. I'm mostly thankful because I was very close to sticking Reuben in a babygrow and chancing my arm at the 'Under 2 goes free' advantage. The first time we went Reuben was horrified at the flashing lights and I had to leave early. The second time he was very excited by the cars but couldn't understand why he wasn't allowed on the ice...and I had to leave early. The third time he sat for 20 minutes, threw an almighty tantrum...and I had to leave early. But this time he excitedly talked about seeing Mickey Mouse every day for a week straight. And any time I announced we were going out, he screamed 'MICKEEEEEEY MOUSE' (which was quite a let down when we were just going for milk). He LOVED the show and sat through all of it, naming the characters and squealing.

Never too much Mickey - Go hard or go home.
It would be cruel to let Reubs dress up alone

The film for these cameras costs an arm and a leg & my mum wasted
a snap at Reuben grimacing and me pulling my 'your ticket cost £25 so shut up
and enjoy it' face
Very serious about a post-disney ice-cream

I can only hope that some day someone will feel about me
the way Reuben feels about ice-cream. 

- Easter Sunday- the BEST day.
This was the morning the clocked changed so we lost an hour of sleep and I lost an hour of egg hiding. When I was hiding them all round the house for Reubs to hunt for and the clock suddenly struck 2am, I really did stop to question my sanity... and then I got back to dispatching the eggs. I had such a joyful morning with Reuben eating chocolate for breakfast, reading his new book, and telling him why Easter Sunday was an especially exciting Sunday - JESUS IS RISEN. I'm not sure if he quite understood my celebration but he joined in anyway! I couldn't help but dance around my living room and thank God. WE HAVE SO MUCH HOPE. When Jesus died he defeated sin and death, and allowed us to have a personal relationship with God and walk in freedom. Hallelujah - all day, every day! I'm also still finding little eggs in random hiding places. The celebrations go on and on (As does God's love and grace).

- Here is Reuben's not-so-stylish Sunday Style from last week. This outfit had a lot of potential but his post-football wrinkly-shirt and scruffy hair didn't do much for his look. His little brogues completely made up for it though. This photo was taken mid-sneeze and I dare you not to sigh at his adorableness.

- North Coast Adventures. After church on Easter Sunday we joined my parents at their caravan in Portrush and although we didn't get to take full advantage of it due to my lack of energy or desire to do anything but lie in a heap, and just try to make it through the day without Reuben setting the place on fire, we did have a lovely few days nonetheless. We coffeed a lot at Lost & Found and took our friend Anna to the beach for a spontaneous splash in the sea and roly-poly race down the sand-dunes. There's something very freeing about running through waves and rolling through sand with a 2 year old. Toddlers do life so well. Afterwards Reuben drove us to get dinner and we ate with a view at the cliff-side, and he told us about his love for chicken, chips, and tractors. These are the days I hope he might remember.

Just before anyone calls in the NSPCC, he was sitting on my knee. And he wasn't
actually driving. Well, not very far anyway. 

We might have got him all washed down but I'm still finding sand
when I scratch my hair. 

- From one coast to another - Bangor. 
We FINALLY got to spend a day in beautiful Bangor where my friend Sophie has the privilege of living. After approx. 12 hours there I have decided that if I ever get to the stage where I can't cope with uni or Belfast or life in general, then I'm going to buy a boat and live in Bangor's harbour. Reuben can get a job riding the Pickie Puffer Train at the play park and we'll spend his income on ice-cream for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Unfortunately we didn't take many photos as we were constantly trying to stop Reubs from making a beeline for the harbour. This was a particularly testing day and I spent more time disciplining Reuben than I did catching up with Soph. I am forever thankful for friends who don't mind our conversations being interrupted every couple of seconds with, "REUBEN IMA COUNT TO THREE" and "NO REUBEN, NOT THE ROAD!!!".

- Holi Festival
I make it no secret that I was absolutely devastated when I had to cancel my flights back to India when I found out I was carrying a little Reuben foetus. So this weekend all my dreams came true when I got to introduce Reuben to everything Indian at the Holi festival. The festival of colour is also known as the festival of sharing love and it celebrates the beginning of Spring. I think I left a piece of my heart in India so these days I'll take any excuse to celebrate my love for it. And Reuben will take any excuse to throw coloured powder at everyone. He had the best afternoon dancing and being chased around the arena. I forced him to experiment with lots of different Indian food and I've never seen him gobble his plateful up so quickly. It was a dream come true for me... even if his nappy wasn't exactly a dream the next morning.

I must apologise as my blog posts always end up being longer than planned... I get a little carried away. But thank you to everyone who makes it to the end of them! When I sit down and really think about the last couple of weeks, I realise just how much fun and how many blessings we've had amidst the illness and assignment stress. And the holidays aren't over yet as Reuben and I are off to Amsterdam very early tomorrow morning/this morning/a couple of hours time/why am I still awake? I can't wait to check out of life for a couple of days and explore a new city with Reubs.

I hope y'all have had a lovely Easter whatever you've been up to!! 

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