Easter is coming up quickly. Easter brings salvation and family traditions. This Easter has brought a few challenges to our home.
The first challenge is that our family is vegan. This is a welcome challenge, but requires a bit of creativity either way. Every holiday tends to have some sort of challenge to work around when it comes to being vegan, but fun new traditions can be born out of that challenge.
For Easter, egg dying is the biggest vegan challenge. We would not buy eggs to boil whether we were dying them or eating them. Last year, we bought craft eggs to dye, which you can read about here. The craft eggs were vegan, but they floated, which presents an issue when you are trying to dye them. Nothing we tried (including poking holes in them) could get them to sink. So this year, I wanted to find something different. I tried to find something else we could dye, especially since I really liked the silhouette effect we used on the eggs last year, but I didn't have anything on hand that would work well.
So we didn't dye anything. Instead, we covered the tree in our front yard with chalk and made decoupage "dragon eggs".
Our finished Easter chalk tree in its entirety (left) and up close (right)
Our son adding his part to our Easter chalk tree
Our Easter chalk tree- I think the colorful branches made it look really interesting.
The chalk does not hurt the tree, and it creates a pretty awesome finished product. Also, anyone who can hold chalk and reach the tree can participate! It is pretty fun for little ones. This is definitely going to be our Easter tradition to permanently replace egg dying. (You can see more photos at the end of this blog post).
|All of our finished "dragon eggs". The pink one with only a few scales is L's egg.|
|My "dragon eggs". The brown one is meant to look more realistic and the black & purple is my idea of what a Night Fury's egg may look like from How to Train Your Dragon. I think the brown one came out best of them all.|
The decoupage eggs are more challenging. I admit this probably wasn't a great project for our son. It required touching glue (not a great thing for my sensory-sensitive child with autism) and a bit more dexterity in the hands than he currently has. We originally were going to make string eggs, which may or may not be easier to make, but ditched the string for dragon scales. In mid creation of our string eggs, with glue on our hands, I looked around for inspiration online for our paper decoupage eggs and found the dragon look here. L's egg looked much less... like an egg.
|Materials needed to make a string decoupage egg|
|Chalk eggs for this year's Easter egg hunt|
We filled his Easter basket with a few gifts and books, including some vegan comics. I recently found vegan comics that you can order for free from PETAkids. Having autism, L gets hyperfixated on things, which can be a strength or a weakness. Being vegan is no different, and I consider it a strength. He takes being vegan very serious and lectures everyone any time he finds them eating animal products. He always says "We don't eat animals". Despite his age, he is quite mature in the way he speaks about it. Just the other day I heard him explaining to my Dad that he does not eat cows milk, he eats soy milk. Every now and then, out of the blue, he will say "Did you remember that Pappy ate chicken?! I don't eat chicken. We don't eat animals." or "Did you remember Uncle Ryan ate turkey?! I don't eat turkey. We don't eat animals." (this part referencing Thanksgiving two years ago!). So given that this is something that he is passionate about, I signed him up for PETAkids' Cutest Vegan Kid Contest. If he wins, they will award him a little gift pack, which I know he would adore. The contest includes a popular vote, so I would appreciate any votes to help him win a prize that I know he would certainly appreciate (especially with his upcoming surgery-see below). You can vote for him here!
|A bud on the chalk tree, just starting to release flowers|
|Fully bloomed flowers higher up on our Easter chalk tree|
So given his upcoming surgery, he has had to be totally isolated- no friends, no family, no going into any public place even the grocery store, no therapies, no doctors' visits unless absolutely imperative- for two weeks. Isolation means no Easter egg hunts (we found a great one put on by the local Parent-to-Parent), which L is always exceptionally skilled at, no church service, and no family gatherings. L will also have to be isolated for a while afterwards, and we don't know how long it will take him to recover enough to visit with friends and family. The isolation afterwards is a huge bummer, since his 4th birthday happens to be only a few days following his surgery. We will, of course, do something fun- just the three of us- so I just hope that he at least feels well enough to enjoy it all the same. I just hope that he will come out of the surgery with either answers or solutions and recovers well.
Happy Easter! He is risen!
L and his Dad drawing with chalk on the curb
My husband's (left) and my (right) dragon eggs while drying