Monthly Archives: February 2012

February Fun

We have clean clothes. We have food. We’re having dinner as a family. We played outside for hours today.

This week is so much better than last week. (Even if Finn did throw me a nap curve ball today)

I had to keep reminding myself that it was February as I slathered the kids up with sunscreen and watched them play.  At one point I almost started thinking that I was getting a little warm, but then I bit my tongue.  Be strong, woman.  July is going to be here before you know it. Enjoy this.

And enjoy it we did.  I didn’t do my afternoon load of laundry (so now I’ll be folding into the night). I didn’t start dinner when I should have. But it doesn’t matter. We were not about to waste away a perfect day in February.



Finn had fun getting dirty.

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Mia had fun with chalk – one of her favorite outdoor activities. Guess you could say she had fun getting dirty too.  Chalk….love-hate it.

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Mom, that’s a boot house.  Where the old lady lives.  Because it has a window.

Can I just say how great it is when they get to the age where they draw something and you no longer have to pretend that you really do see that it’s a pirate with a hook, Mom! (Because Mia could always tell you were faking it…)

Of course, it’s all fun and games until somebody starts EATING the chalk.  Apparently, if you dip it in your water cup it helps it not taste so…um…CHALKY??!?


You know, because what’s cool these days is to eat your chalk…

and WEAR your noodles.


Would somebody please tell this kid he’s got it all backwards? Although he’s got the skills and the model look going. It’s hard to tell but he has a couple of spaghetti noodles around his neck like a scarf.


It’s a good thing we think he’s cute.

And that the chalk package says “non-toxic”.

Crazy Little Thing Called Love

This week is crazy, not entirely because it included all the fun of Valentine’s Day, but that sure didn’t help in the “Mommy’s going crazy department.”

It’s Family Weekend for me at work so that means I’m dragging kids to work most days this week and working late most nights either there or from home.  My favorite will be the very last hurrah: a reception on Saturday for 900+ people that starts at 10:30pm.  10:30? Ok, so maybe I don’t go to bed early anyway, but I’d rather be at home picking my excuses for delaying bedtime rather than that.

But then it will be Sunday and it will all be over.  As much drama and chaos as the next 3 days will hold, just as quickly it will all be over.  Painful and Wonderful all at the same time.

So, even though most of my running around is because of work, Monday night had its fair share of V-Day prep.  Mark and I don’t really do much for it – restaurants too crowded, no need to spend tons of $ on chocolate and flowers – but we did celebrate as a family.  Valentine’s is fun with the kids. They pick out stuff for their friends at school and then have a little party.

But before there’s fun, there’s a lot of mess.


Yes, that would be Finn underfoot, trying to get to the stuff.   He was successful, by the way.

We went for simple and cheap this year.  Ok, so I could have done a little less tag attaching (mental note for next year?) but in the end it went pretty fast. And by the way, I found inspiration for all of these ideas online.  There really is no shortage of cute little valentines for kids to give.

Here’s Mia, “signing” her valentines.

Even though she started out with enthusiasm (her idea), halfway through she lost steam:

  • Mia: I’m done.
  • Joy: OH, no you’re not. You have to do them all. If some of your friends don’t get your note they’ll be really sad.
  • Mia: (tilts head, looks at me very seriously) This is going to be a lot of work for me.

Really?  Let’s just go there for a sec, shall we? “A lot of work for me”…huh, and here I thought it was a lot of work for ME.  I stand corrected.

We took a break and resumed with added energy a little later.

Her hard work – glow sticks (she picked them out of the line up of suggestions): You light up my day!


Finn “chose” balls: Being your friend is a ball!


His contribution was to test all of them out first.  Yes, every ball he gave to his friend was first thrown all over the dining room.  It’s the right thing to do – make sure each one is a worthy gift.

Honey for the teachers: Thanks for beeing a beary sweet teacher!


And for Mark, “Riesens I love you” with a reason tied to each one.  Somebody at work said that I must be quite smitten with him.  It’s true.


(We were clearly on a roll in the pun department this year)

Finally, at the party at school. Always funny to see toddlers enjoying sugar and cute to see preschoolers getting excited about delivering their valentines.


Finn giving me flirty eyes, and enjoying every single bite of his cookie.


Mia, working on one of her crafts.

And now, don’t mind us but we’ll be over here being really busy about other stuff and we’ll get back to you next week.

The Big Date

There was a lot of excitement at our house today.

Someone had a big date planned this evening and couldn’t stop talking about it all day.

Her first real date.  A big deal indeed.

How can she be old enough already? Obviously she isn’t.  But in some ways she is.  She got it.  She grasped the specialness of it all.  True, she loves any kind of social agenda, but it was the fact that it was just her and somebody special that had her so beside herself.  Today, Mommy? Today is the day? 

And what girl doesn’t love that feeling?

She wore her favorite dress. She got to accessorize with pink (of course). She used a hairdryer on her hair (!). She packed her chapstick in her purse.  She felt ready.

I could see myself in her.



She had picked out a gift for her date.  She couldn’t wait to give it to him.  When she went to “sign” her name, she got frustrated and was about to cry because she couldn’t “do it right”.

Oh, why do so many of us try so hard for everything to be perfect? For fear that our special someone will think less? Silly, really.

She ran through the house, asking every 3 minutes if it was time yet.  Staring at her new headband in the mirror.  Twirling her purse.  Is it time yet?

I know that anticipation.


She waited for her date to come.  And when she heard his footsteps, she squealed across the house and danced in front of him. It’s time! It’s time!

I watched her all day, and especially those last 15 minutes, and I just wanted to soak it all in.  I was so happy for her.  I loved watching her smile at everything, the spring in her step, the true joy when she realized her special someone had finally come for her.


(Yeah, duh.  She is 3, you know.)




Then, Daddy gave her a present for her to open.



A new necklace.  And she knew she was deserving of it.  She was beautiful for her date.  At one point she told him, “You want to go with me because I’m a princess. And I’m a princess because I’m wearing a dress.” There’s obviously a lot that could go wrong with some of the things in that statement, but the important thing was that she knew that her daddy wanted to be with her that night.

And why wouldn’t he?  The girl gives out chocolate.


So off they went on their date.  Pizza (and gelato!!!) and a Daddy/Daughter Dance.





And the whole time they were gone, I was so glad they were able to do that.  I knew that they were having a great time.

By the way, so was I.  Because I had this little guy keeping me company.



You can tell he had his cool on for me. You know, man of the house and all.

And don’t be making fun of the jammies.  We had snow flurries here today, so snowman pajamas totally count as appropriate attire.

They finally came back home.  Mia ran into the house and hugged me like she hadn’t seen me in weeks.  She missed me…even after all that…(does this mommy’s heart good).

The look on their faces said it all.  They were happy.  Dad was beaming.  Mia was bouncing.

And guys, to hear a 3 year old tell about a date is one of the best things ever.

“Allbody wearing skirts like me!” – the need for a girl to know that she wore the right thing starts young.

“Dad kept saying come on let’s go and I said no no no no no, I want to stay!”

“I got a balloon and a rose all by myself!”

“I need my flower in a bucket on the table next to my bed so that I can look at it alot”

“I saw my friends!”

“I dance and dance a lot!”

“I miss you, Mom. I cry a little because of that.”  And then she smiles…to tell me that she was just kidding but that she knew that would make me feel better.

I tucked my little girl into bed way past her bedtime and smiled, mirroring the smile that was still on her face.

It was a big day at our house.

I watched my daughter go through her day with joy, anticipation, satisfaction.  I know not all days will be like that.  There will be many days when she’s crying and feeling defeated or alone.  And I pray that I will know how to be the support person she needs. A mother, a friend, somebody who has lived through most of what she’s feeling and gets it. The good and the bad.  I hope that I will know how to pass wisdom to her, that she will always feel loved and special.

And as I stand back and watch her, I learn too.  Watching her and seeing what I go through in my own life – the joy, the heartache, the feeling of inadequacies, the wonder of having somebody coming home to me – and learn how to embrace that all better.  She lives it fully and dives head on.

Because today is a big day and she’s going to give it her all.

But let’s also make something clear.  She’s not dating anybody but daddy until she’s 27.