Finding the above photo on my camera made me exquisitely happy.
Well, The Fiery One has been full of major events as of late. First was a really really adorable Daddy-Daughter date night for Valentine's Day.
Atlanta is Chick-Fil-A Mecca. When we eat there, the employees (who are so insanely friendly sometimes they make me nervous) often bring out my food for me since my hands are full, they come check on us and refill our drinks and bring us extra sauce, give treats to the kids, and they're always hosting special events (local school spirit night, dress up like cow day, etc.). Right before Valentine's Day, they had a special Daddy-Daughter night that you had to RSVP for and everything. Els wore her sparkly shoes, Daddy put on a pink tie, and they had chicken nuggets and ice cream sundaes. She even came back with a carnation and a goodie bag. I swooned.
The Friday following her Valentine's dinner was her first mother's morning out. Look at my big girl holding her lunchbox and giving big brother a hug before heading out the door!
All of her clingy-ness and serious lung capacity had inspired several people who love and know me well to suggest I try a little one-morning-a-week playtime that did not include Mommy. As per usual, I was full of angst and hand-wringing about it, but it has been great! Her playschool is at a church a few miles away and is run by the most kind-hearted and adorable people. For example, on her first day she screamed hysterically when I left her, which was to be expected, but of course I drove away with a lump in my throat and felt like the devil. I was counting the minutes I felt I should wait before calling to check on her, trying really hard not to be one of the mothers the teachers had to discuss in hushed tones during staff meeting. Elsbeth's teachers beat me to it and texted me to let me know she was doing wonderfully, then e-mailed me a video of her playing happily. Can you believe this? I LOVE these ladies!
So now every Friday morning is Andrew/Mommy time, special hours for us to run errands and do art projects and eat lunch without interruption. He'll be starting kindergarten this fall (!), so some one-on-one time with my boy is pretty great. Last Friday we worked on Valentines and did some lovey art on the door to the porch.
And on Valentine's Day proper, we baked a really yummy strawberry cake while our sweet Nib was resting. This boy can really crack an egg! I'm thinking that by the time he's 5, Phil and I should be able to leave our breakfast order on the counter the night before and wake up to eggs and bacon sizzling on the stove.
Speaking (again) of Valentine's Day, I have to say I felt a little unromantic when Phil greeted me with a box of chocolates and a really touching card and all I had to offer in return was a hand-made creation I had worked on during my art time with Andrew. It was touching ... sort of ... in it's own special way ...
I'd like to close this post by making everyone aware of how deeply sacrificial I am as a mother. After breakfast on V-day, Andrew became very interested in the red, heart-shaped box on the counter. I decided, being that it was a holiday and all, we should each have a piece of chocolate right then (not that I wanted any chocolate at 9am ... I was making the day special for the children).
One hundred martyr points.
THEN I let Andrew pick his chocolate first. He chose a square one, which is almost always a caramel, which is my favorite. I let him keep it.
Two hundred twelve martyr points.
THEN I let him pick mine, and naturally he chose a round one. Filled with coconut. And I kept it.
Eight thousand four hundred eighty-seven martyr points.