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Thursday, March 21

Ostara, In the House of Mama Stacey

Ostara is a holiday I've been looking forward to for awhile as it was a sort of 'finish line' for this pregnancy.  In all the hustle and bustle of baby prepping however, I do not want to forget about Doodle Bug.  We have been trying to incorporate him in as many baby things as possible, like assembling baby furniture and picking out baby clothes, but don't want to ignore the holidays in the process.  I've been feeling pushed to the limits physically this week and knew we wouldn't be able to play out anything so adventurous as an egg hunt... but we want a little something fun still.  Here's what we did.

Our celebration was broken up into two days.  We have an elderly neighbor who is raising her grand-niece and who doesn't always have the means or energy to do the "kid stuff".  When I learned that as a family they had never dyed eggs and had no Easter plans (they're Christian), Doodle Bug and I made some plans to share our spring celebration with them. 

Doodle Bug helped me make Irish Soda Bread and a creamy potato soup.  (sorry, no pics... it was YUMMY and gone quickly)  I got the recipe for the soup from a book, but this one from Pillsbury is pretty darn close: Home-Style Potato Soup.

We then made Bird's Nest cookies and topped them with jelly beans.  They took all of 20 minutes to put together, even with my wonderful son's help. LOL



Needed:
12oz bag of milk chocolate chips (substituting vegan semi-sweet chips makes this a VEGAN treat!)
8oz (1 cup) creamy peanut butter
12oz bag of chow mien noodles
Jelly Beans (again, use a vegan brand if that's your goal)

We poured the chocolate chips and peanut butter into a glass bowl. Two 30 second rounds in the microwave and some brisk stirring melted and blended everything right up. We dumped the entire bag of chow mien noodles in and stirred it up.

I used two tablespoons to spoon clumps of the mixture onto waxed paper and Doodle Bug placed 2-3 jelly beans on top of each. They cooled within 15 minutes. 


While I cooled about two dozen hard-boiled eggs, Doodle Bug ran over to fetch the neighbors.  once everyone was gathered around the table, I let the kids dissolve all the egg dyes into various containers.

The kids drew on the eggs with the wax crayons and dipped and dyed and mixed to their hearts content.



My neighbor and I sipped on peach juice with frozen strawberries and a splash of seltzer water (my own quickie version of a virgin sangria, ha!) and chatted while the kids did their thing.  It was a pleasant evening.


On the actual morning of the spring equinox, we let Doodle Bug sleep in (we often keep him home from school on Pagan holidays that involve an element of awesome in the morning) and then surprised him with a basket of goodies.



His favorite item was a DVD of "Wreck-It Ralph", a movie he's been begging for.  He also got a spread of seed packets, a superhero shirt, and some sweets.



Next, we made a batch of super fluffy pancakes (we tried a new recipe from Zesty Cook) with a side of scrambled eggs and veggie bacon.  We piled onto the couch as a family, snuggled under blankets, and watched Doodle Bug's movie together.



Afterwards, we had intended to take a family tour of the maternity ward at the hospital where we will be welcoming our little girl into the world, but they were full up with birthing mamas and asked us to try again another time. 

It snowed and Doodle Bug geared up to play king-of-the-snow-pile.  When the neighborhood children got home from school they redoubled their efforts to conquer the snow mounds and then had lightsaber battles.  Ah, boys.

For dinner, Mama Stacey threw some dough ingredients into the bread machine to whip up a homemade pizza dough.  We assembled two cheese pizzas with roasted red pepper sauce.  At six o'clock, as a dazzling bit of sunlight came in through the dining room windows for all to enjoy, the pizzas came out of the oven and Doodle Bug came in for the night (dripping wet!).



It wasn't a picture perfect, ritualized holiday, but it was ours.  From our home to yours... Happy Ostara!

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