Saturday, February 14, 2015

The Day of Love

I see no reason to hide the truth: I love Valentine's Day. It may be my favorite holiday after Thanksgiving. It probably ties with Christmas. I just think it's fun. Red and pink and hearts and sweets and roses.. swoon.

I usually make a big deal out of it.

So on Wednesday, for Jaguar's little weekly toddler class, I started the week of love by making heart shaped red velvet cupcakes to share with all the kiddos and mommies.

A little foil rolled into a ball and placed inside the Pampered Chef Brownie Pan makes cute little heart shapes!

Off topic for a second: Jaguar loves his Busy Bees class, but it drives me crazy. I mean, it's not the class that drives me crazy; the class is great with great parents and a great instructor with great activities. But Baby Jaguar doesn't follow those great instructions. Instead, he spends the entire hour running around, not doing what the others are doing, destroying the obstacle courses and games the teacher has set up, and trying to escape out the back door into the parking lot. I spend the entire time trying to convince him to join in or at least try not destroy the equipment or run away from my sight. I expend more energy at this class than he does. But he loves it!

Okay, so back on topic. The kids all had fun at their party, trying to understand what the Valentine card exchange was all about (ten toddlers aimlessly wandering around trying to hand cards to equally uncertain toddlers) and getting red cupcake all over the place. I tried to get some photos of Jaguar at the party, but this is the best I could get. The rest were even blurrier. He's fast.

Fifi and Lolly had their Valentine parties at school. Lolly's class made their mailboxes in class, so we only had one to create at home. After last year, when Fi created her very own totally-hers mailbox that didn't win any prizes (and made her sad), I gave her permission to search Pinterest this year for ideas. She wanted to do something Harry Potter for her mailbox and we came across this little gem of an idea.

The Monster Book of Monsters. Easy to make and really cute. She won "Most Creative" in her class. Which feels kind of like a cheat since we found the idea on Pinterest so "creative" might be kind of a misnomer. But she was happy, and it was a pretty cool idea!

So then, Friday morning (our pre-Valentine's Day), the kids woke up to a special surprise.

A special visit from our Elf on the Shelf, Banoffee Pie! Lolly and Fifi gasped with surprise and Jaguar cried out, "Pie!!" when they woke up and found him. Banoffee brought the kids some new Valentine's plates, bowls and cups (that he cleverly purchased last year in the post-Valentine's sale at Kroger for 500% off) and a plate full of pink chocolate chip cookies. He was kind enough to leave the remaining cookie dough in the fridge for Scott and I.

(You know this spatula is about to be discontinued at the end of the month, so if you want one, go get it now... wink!)

This image pleases me.

I intended to make heart-shaped pink pancakes for breakfast like last year, but my pancakes turned out a bit of a disaster. Since Scott was crowned Pancake King in our home, Bisquick just doesn't satisfy anymore. Not even pink Bisquick that ended up not being heart-shaped but had heart-shaped strawberries. I, however, thoroughly enjoyed my pink pancakes with chocolate chips. (You will notice a Valentine's trend growing here that is decidedly not keto-friendly.)

Now, MY plan for Valentine's Day was to start out by going to my favorite gym class, Cardio Dance Party, and dancing my heart out (so many puns! Well, a couple.) in my new black tank top with red lips bought specifically for that class, my red heart socks, all my heart-shaped jewelry and a Valentinesy headband that I'd made the night before with the leftovers from the fabric bookmarks I'd made for the girls' teachers. But at 7:30am, work called and asked if I could come in to cover for someone. Sigh. So I missed my dance class, which makes that the third Cardio Dance Party holiday class I've missed in a row... Halloween... Christmas... now Valentine's. But hey, extra money!

Bookmarks to show my appreciation for wonderful teachers!

Oh and I was wearing my hair in what I hoped would look like hearts but ended up looking more like cinnamon rolls.

(Can you see the headband?)

Lolly's and Fi's hair looked much more convincing and a lot less like breakfast food.

I also planned to do the grocery shopping and errand running on Friday, but after we came home from work, wee Jaguar came down with a high-ish fever, relegating the rest of the day to the couch for cuddling and sleeping and trying to drink water (Jaguar, that is). Which means I didn't have time or energy to get dolled up for my date with Scott that night, but hey ho, I was wearing my lips tank! And I got to snuggle with my hot water bottle baby boy who never wants to snuggle anymore. The only silver lining to having a sick child.

I took the children to my mom's house for a sleepover after they came home from school. My mom and stepdad rock, by the way, for taking Baby Jaguar even with his fever, which, I should add so I don't look like a terrible mother, had no other symptoms at all. David set him up with popsicles, water, blankets and cuddles all night while Mom organized a Valentine's fun night for the girls, so Scott and I could go out and have a super sweet date night! Painting With a Twist!!

Let me tell you, that was SO MUCH FUN. Scott is a self-proclaimed art dunce, but he's wrong, his painting came out looking great. They take you step by step through how to make your painting, making it very difficult to screw up. We had so much fun, and Scott even said he'd go back again. Success!

We then used our Olive Garden gift card from Christmas to gorge ourselves on salad and breadsticks and wine. We even shared a white chocolate raspberry cheesecake at the end. Then rolled ourselves into the car to go home. I could barely move. Carbs. It was a perfect date night.

A quick skip over the next several hours to this morning (wink) and after a leisurely lie-in with no kids rapping at our door (though we did have two cats who weren't happy about waiting for breakfast) Scott and I treated ourselves to a super romantic, child-free breakfast at Waffle House (that's where the magic happens, right?) before arriving for our super romantic appointment with our tax preparer. Nothing says Happy Valentine's Day like a double waffle and a 1040! Throw in some hashbrowns and a Schedule C, and things really start cookin'! Ya'll know what I'm saying.

But seriously. Happy days.

Sigh, Valentine's Day, you blessed day of commercialized, Hallmark-cheapened love, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways.

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