Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Red dinner

Valentine's Day has a whole new meaning now that our family has grown. I remember getting so excited about VD when Andy and I were dating and married without kids. I'd spend countless hours scheming up the perfect gift for him, and Andy had his fair share of surprise gifts for me, too. Well, now we're 3 kids into the game, and I have no more expectations for VD. It doesn't mean I don't love my husband, it just means that our priorities change with changes in life. My focus this year was making VD a fun day for Kaden. I didn't spend countless hours scheming up the perfect gift for Andy or planning out where we going to go for dinner. Instead, I thought about making memories for my kids. When I think back to the Valentine's Days that I celebrated as a child, I remember that my mom always did something special for us. We'd have a special homemade "red dinner," and we'd find treats on our plates when we got to the dinner table. In fact, one year, my brother Steve and I decided we were going to decorate the table for VD and provide treats for our family. We rode our bikes to the local 5 and 10 store in town, and purchased supplies for our perfect VD dinner. I can't remember gifts I've been given for VD over the years (except for a few surprise bouquets Andy sent to me at work), but what I can remember is love shared as a family. This year I decided I'd start that same tradition with our family. When my mom prepared our special VD dinners, she'd try to have all of our food red or pink. I think she used a lot of food coloring, but it was still fun. It's harder than you think to prepared a red/pink themed meal! So, tonight, we enjoyed our VD colored dinner. We had lasagna (red sauce), rolls with red hearts on them, pink homemade applesauce, strawberries, red Crystal Light, and VD cupcakes for dessert. Kaden (my very crafty boy) and I had a blast decorating hearts for each member of our family this morning. Each member of our family found surprise treats on their heart plates when they sat at the table. Kaden was so excited for our special dinner all day, and was motivated to be a good boy so he could get his treats. Sounds great, right? Well, here's the reality. Both girls decided to scream through dinner and didn't want to sit in their Bumbo seats, so they were held while we ate (which is a difficult task when trying to butter a roll) and we listened to them scream. Kaden (who just so happened to wake up with a nasty cold) refused to eat anything because his stomach hurt (but of course it felt fine to eat a cupcake for dessert... hmmm), so we fought with him to eat while he spent most of his dinner time lying on the floor saying he had gas. Our food was cold because by the time we got everyone all set to sit down the food had been out of the oven for at least 15-20 minutes. We inhaled our food quickly just to get through the experience. The rest of the evening was pretty normal- catching up on emails, watching TV, a glass of wine, and dealing with 2 screaming babies who decided that they wanted to wake up at 10:30pm instead of going to sleep. Happy Valentine's Day, folks.

But, the day wasn't really all that bad. Andy brought home roses and surprised me with a massage- I can't wait to use that! Kaden was happy with his treats and when I asked him what was special about today, he said, "Jesus loves us!" That's my boy. And of course the girls looked adorable with their VD-themed outfits on.

Beautiful roses

Heart decorations

The table

Makenna with her present

Maya trying to get hers

Valentine's girls

Makenna- eating her present


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