Sunday, April 12, 2009

Sugared-Up Kids (of the past)

Happy Easter! If you had been at my house in years past, you'd have seen this sight:

Kids with baskets loaded with POUNDS of candy... everything imaginable! A few springtime toys sitting next to their baskets: a water slide, water guns, Frisbees, sidewalk chalk. But the focus was the candy. I used to pile the candies high in the baskets and top them off with those miniature boxes of Fruit Loops and Cocoa Krispies (for breakfast!) As soon as the kids rolled out of bed at 6am, you'd see them shoveling chocolates in their mouths, glassy-eyed and trembling with sugar-rush. Not that chocolate was *that* exciting, really. Sugar was a pretty regular, daily foodstuff for them back in the day. But still, they shoveled it in. Not unlike their mother.

Last night, my teens asked, "Will there be any candy in our baskets tomorrow? Or just non-candy stuff?" It surprised me that they'd ask. I guess they really have noticed over the past year the dramatic decline in sugary/junky foods. And oddly enough, I think they'd have even been okay with completely "non food" Easter baskets. I might even try that next year! But this is how it went:

Yesterday I took my two youngest kids to an Easter Egg hunt. I have fond memories when my older four were little and we'd go out to these events. They were always SO excited! I miss those days... now, they're pretty much too old to care about that kind of thing (and too old to participate anyway... it's for ages 12 and under). But I got another taste of the vicarious thrill of the toddler hunt with my daughter this year! She raced around with her Easter basket, picking up plastic eggs in the grass until they were all gone... collected by a huge swarm of toddlers with baskets. This year, I was surprised and pleased that all the plastic eggs contained toys, rather than candy: stickers, little planes, rings, tattoos, bouncy balls. She had a great time!

Then, at home we continued the usual tradition of dyeing hard boiled eggs. We dipped and painted and stamped and drew until we had a good amount of beautifully decorated eggs.

Last night, I prepared a pan of French Toast to sit overnight in the fridge and bake in the morning. (For those interested... a loaf of sliced cinnamon swirl bread, tucked tightly into a 9 by 13 pan in 2 layers... then I poured over a whisked-together mixture of 5 eggs, 2 cups of milk, 3T sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, and a dash of salt. Then covered it tightly with plastic wrap and left to soak in the fridge overnight. Baked at 350 degrees for 45 minutes this morning). I also made some lean sausage links and orange juice. We sat down this morning *before* any candy was consumed for a nice family breakfast.

The baskets:

Yes, there was candy. They each got the traditional chocolate bunny (nothing gigantic, just small ones). They each got a Moon Pie, one favorite candy bar, 3 "gold" chocolate coins, and ten or so foil-covered little chocolate eggs. The boys each got 3 Little Debbie oatmeal pies, and the toddler got some marshmallow Peeps.

The older kids' baskets had things they would each enjoy: swim goggles, white-out pens, pencils, a video, a boomerang, cell phone minutes, scented markers, and a couple of $2 bills. My daughter got some necklaces, a princess book, markers, a couple of tiny My Little Ponies, and those silly "pill" things that you put in water and they turn into little sponge animals. She was THRILLED.

No one is going nuts with the candy, either. I think they plan to savor it since they don't get it very often anymore. And later today we will do our own Easter egg hunt in the backyard, finding plastic eggs that I filled with jelly beans, quarters, and golden Sacajawea dollars.

Oh, and there's one other difference you'd see if you could peer into the past and compare it to today. Instead of seeing a 278-pound mother desperately shoving chocolate into her mouth all morning, with piles of shiny foil wrappers all around her, today you'd see a 227-pound mother sipping her coffee and not the least bit interested in ANY chocolate candy, with NO plans to sneak and snatch peanut butter cups from her children's baskets later. Now *that's* a big improvement!

Have a wonderful Easter. Be good to YOU today. Enjoy your life, breathe the air, and smile! Life is not just about chocolate anymore.


Ria said...

Sounds like a really nice, healthy family day!

Your french toast bake recipe sounds incredibly good, and I love the fact that most of the "fixing" takes place the night before. Thanks for posting it :)

Ceres said...

What a wonderful, positive-energy-loaded post :-) Happy Easter to you too!

Tena said...

Happy Easter to you and your family! You've come a long way, woman!

Mmmmm, I can smell that French Toast...

SnowdropMN said...

Amen! Happy Easter, love your blog:)

redballoon said...

Wonderful things you're doing, Lyn, not just for you but for your entire family. What an inspiring start to the week for me (it's already Monday here).
Thank you and Happy Easter!

Janene said...

That is wonderful that you are able to cut back so much from years past!
Changing old habits is very hard!
I am very proud of you!
Happy Easter!

spunkysuzi said...

Sounds like you had a great Easter :)

Anonymous said...

You're account of your day lifted my spirits even higher! Liberation! Jubilation! Gratitude!