Monday, April 13 2020

spicy jelly beans, spider hunting, and easter eggs




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Dear Journal,

Good morning, everyone! Did you all have a restful Easter weekend? After Marissa’s birthday, a day off, and a holiday weekend, I did more than my fair share of lazing around. I even took a weekend off evening exercise. Today, I’m feeling well-rested, as I should be.

Today, I’m looking forward to jumping into a regular, productive work week. Yesterday, Marissa informed me that we are officially less than thirty days from her due date, and though we’ve been chipping away at the pre-Miles preparation, I think it’s time to kick things into high gear. If all goes according to plan, this week will be filled with reading over insurance plans, packing go bags, and teeing everything else up for the big day.

Sip. We had a wonderful Easter Sunday. I had great luck at the grocery store yesterday morning. Not only was I able to pick up a thawed Easter ham, but I managed to also snag some Easter candy, eggs, and a few rolls of toilet paper. I returned home, setting my bounty on the dining room bar.

“You did pretty good with the candy, but you didn’t get very good jelly beans. Here try this one,” said Marissa holding out a jelly bean. I popped it in my mouth to study the flavor.

“Ew, gross. What is this… sage?” I asked, grimacing.

“I think so,” said Marissa. “They are spice flavored.”

“Well that explains why they were the last bag on the shelf. OK, but at least we got plenty of chocolate, we can work with that,” I said optimistically.

The rest of the morning, Marissa returned upstairs to work on Rodney’s mural, and my job was to keep Rodney busy in the kitchen for as long as possible. Together, we removed the ham from the plastic, padded it dry with paper towels, scored the skin, and gently placed it in the oven on a roasting tray. We were out of clove and star of anise, so I had Rodney pick out the clove and anise flavored jelly beans from the bag and add them to the water for seasoning. Just kidding - we had enough of the real stuff - no jelly beans required.

We turned our attention to sugar cookies. We carefully read the instructions on the box, then proceeded to pull apart the dough and place them on a baking sheet. Sugar cookies are an ideal activity for running the clock with a three year old. Perfectly safe, virtually no chance of a mess, and it’s as time consuming as you want it to be. I’m sure with how slowly Rodney was moving, we could have stretched it out to 20 minutes if we tried. “There you go, dude,” I encouraged. “Make sure you place them all evenly - these are gonna be awesome.” I continued to pretend to adjust them on the plan, letting Rodney do every minute of work.”

We moved the cookies to the oven, placing them on the rack below the ham. We huddled by the oven, peering into the dim window with anticipation. The smell of clove and anise was already strong in the air.

“Dude,” I said. “You think our cookies are going to taste like ham?” Rodney’s eyes got big as he pondered the question. The oven timer rang.

We set the cookies aside, and being all out of Rodney time wasters for the morning, I set him loose to play with toys. I worked on the computer, letting him fiddle with things in the dining room. Some time later, Marissa came down the stairs.

“What happened here?” she said, standing with hands on hips in the dining room. I spun around in my chair, gasping at the sight of potting soil dumped out onto the floor.

“Woah. Did not see this going on, sorry hon,” I said apologetically. Rodney wandered into the dining room to defend himself.

“What were you doing in the plants?” questioned Marissa.

“Um, vlirgblirberl,” said Rodney shrugging. He leaned up against Marissa’s leg and whispered something up to her.

“He says he was looking for spiders,” she repeated.

“You know I think I even commented at how dirty his hands and feet were. But I thought we just hadn’t bathed him in a while. Gross!” I laughed.

After cleaning up the aftermath of houseplant spider hunting, we got Rodney upstairs for a nap. Marissa napped on the couch while I tended to the ham. An easter ham is not very complicated. Did you know that it’s already cooked? An oven is only involved just to warm the damn thing up. A ham is uncomplicated, but still very hard work. From the time I popped it into the oven with Rodney at 2, I removed it from the oven and brushed it with honey mustard glaze every twenty minutes until dinner time.

“It was kind of nice,” teased Marissa. “Because I could ask you for things from the couch every twenty minutes - you would be up anyway.”

Dinner preparation crescendoed into setting the table, lighting a candle, and peeling off tinfoil. I turned on some quiet Bocelli. With great delight, I used Marissa’s blowtorch to brulee the crust of the ham. All that was missing was a family seated at the table.

“What are you guys doing up there?” I called out upstairs.

“Sorry,” said Marissa. “We had a really bad diaper to deal with. And Rodney ripped his Bible.”

Rodney followed Marissa down the stairs, looking guilty.

“What’s this I hear about you ripping your Bible, dude?” I questioned. Rodney shrugged.

“Something was up with it,” he said. What a mystery.

We sat at the table and feasted on ham, roasted spruitjes, and sweet potatoes. After dinner, we filed into the living room to set up an easter egg hunt. Rodney paced around the living room with delight, looking for plastic eggs. Afterwards, he helped re pack the eggs with dog treats, and we sent Ollie and Ziggy into living room for the same game. They hungrily stalked the living room, and their look of intensity made for a funny pairing with the fuzzy bunny ears we had them wearing.

Thanks for stopping by this morning. I hope you have a wonderful Monday.