Friday miscellany: Valentine’s Day edition

We have a Valentine’s Day tradition in our house of celebrating with heart-shaped pancakes. I realized I hadn’t made pancakes in a while (something about the newborn and mornings…). So I hauled out the griddle and the food coloring and did my best to ladle these things out appropriately. I also wrote out love notes for all my family members. The 8-year-old and 5-year-old had (with help!) made me some lovely little Valentines too.

But lest this get too Insta-worthy (though I did post a pic of the pancakes…) here are a few other things that happened. A few children complained that they could not read my cursive writing. I mentioned in the 10-year-old’s letter that I loved doing our elaborate Lego projects together; the 8-year-old informed me that she did Lego projects sometimes too and, you know, I might want to get in on that (I had written several other things I liked and admired about her but…) The 5-year-old got very upset that a piece broke off the pottery he made for Daddy. Then when our nanny came, the 8-year-old and 5-year-old got so excited over when to give her the Valentine they’d made for her, and who would give it first, that they got into a full-scale brawl. Ah, love.

Some highlights this week: I helped at the 5-year-old’s preschool Valentine’s Day party and read A Piece of Cake, by LeUyen Pham. Long-time readers might recognize her from the opening story in What the Most Successful People Do at Work. It’s an inventive (and of course, well-illustrated) children’s book. Highly recommended.

My parents came over to watch the 8-year-old’s second grade play. She delivered her lines with aplomb. Afterwards, we had ice cream cake to celebrate Grandpa’s birthday.

We’re very much still in winter — the temperature will go down to 12 degrees tonight– but some of the afternoons have been mild enough to get out. I sat on the porch with the baby for an hour on Tuesday afternoon and read. I’m trying to see these times when I have a sleeping baby on me and can’t move as an opportunity to relax. If I don’t have any other kids around, this is easier. The other day, I managed to help the 5-year-old with the potty while nursing the baby. Good times.

My husband and I are celebrating our 16th anniversary of meeting and our 15th anniversary of getting engaged this weekend. Something of a full-circle moment: We got engaged in Bermuda in 2004. We were supposed to go scuba diving while there (I had recently gotten certified because my husband really wanted us to have this activity to do together…) but it was so cold and I really hadn’t enjoyed diving and so… I begged off. I’m sure this was disappointing to him, but now, this weekend, our 10-year-old is doing his scuba certification program (the pool part). So if I don’t dive or ski, at least I’ve produced several potential diving and skiing buddies for him.

I finally managed to dye my hair this morning (yes, I color my own hair). I often wear an old dark T-shirt to do this. I realized, as I put it on, that this was the South Bend Clay Colonials 1994 basketball state champions T-shirt. This was really a big deal in South Bend; there are signs when you come into town noting this. So it’s a bit funny to keep hearing about South Bend in the news for other reasons these days.

My goals for the weekend include a few naps. There are other things I need to do, but those are pretty high up the list.

For fun, I’m including a picture of the lovely sunset we had yesterday. I probably wouldn’t have noticed, but the 12-year-old spotted it and insisted I go look. Definitely worth pausing to savor.

6 thoughts on “Friday miscellany: Valentine’s Day edition

  1. Oh, that made me laugh so much…the reality behind the Instagram pic. Still adorable, even more so because it is so real!

  2. Ah, my husband and I are celebrating the 16th anniversary of our meeting this year too!

    A cold Valentine’s/President’s Day weekend in New York, a handsome gentleman (who now, looking back at the photos, was soooo young), some fancy dinners with friends, all leading to an intense conversation lasting well past last call. Such amazing memories – and neat to know that you were somewhere in the city meeting your husband that very night too!

  3. Love that you shared the reality of the kid’s mixed responses to your efforts. Their comments could have come from my own kids mouths.

    As my kids age, though, I’m growing increasingly confident they will only remember the positive (“Hey, remember how Mom always wrote us love notes on Valentines”) and not the (perceived) negatives (Hey, why didn’t she think to mention X).

    I think of my own childhood as pretty close to idyllic, and yet I recently lamented to my mother how I feel like all I do is give instructions, apply discipline, or tend to a wailing child. She responded that she felt like all she did when we were kids was say “No” to us, and yet I can hardly remember a time when she wasn’t cheerful!

    A+ for celebrating the holiday and making memories.

    1. @Elisabeth – thanks! Let’s hope they remember the positives. I think I have a few who really love to dwell on perceived slights…

  4. It sounds like your home and life are full of love!

    I love that your son brought you out to see the sunset. One of the things I tried to do as a parent iwas help my son notice the beauty of the world around us–the sunset; the puffy clouds in the blue, blue sky; the birds flitting through our backyard–and it always gave me a quiet thrill when he’d notice something like that and point it out to me.

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