February 13, 2012

Valentine's Day

I wholeheartedly believe that Valentine's Day a Hallmark holiday, but one you really can't get around as far as your loved one is concerned (who wants to be the only one not acknowledged, even if it is a frivolous holiday?). So now that we have our toddler in the family, I want to get him involved, too (and hopefully do his future girlfriend/wife a favor by giving him a leg up).

One thing I like to to for all holidays, big and small, is buy a book to add to our collection. For Valentine's Day we got Elmo Loves You, which actually is not the best book ever, but it has Elmo and give us some talking points for love and Valentine's Day. I try to keep it at the top of the rotation as the holiday approaches.

Also, this year I was very excited to learn that M's daycare class is going to do a valentine exchange. The valentines won't be for any one child in particular, but we were asked to sign them from him and I am already envisioning a sweet little encounter of passing them out to each other. I went back and forth about if we should make some simple ones ourselves from construction paper, or look for a fancy-but-simple idea on Pinterest, or if we should just buy a box of commercial valentines with his favorite character on them. I decided we'd buy some commercial ones (zoo animal themed, as it turns out), but let him 'decorate' them by coloring with crayons or adding stickers. It seems he was very interested in pointing out and naming the animals, more so than decorating, but I like that he was involved in the process.

I thought we should also do some v-day themed food for the week, and made a batch of our favorite whole grain muffins* during M's nap on Sunday, with raspberries instead of the usual blueberries. I forgot that we still don't have our muffin pans here with us, so we baked the batter in a 9x11 pan, and cut into squares. They turned out just a yummy, and the raspberries were quite nice. I did find some ideas for some heart-shaped hard boiled eggs** (the oval variety are a weekly staple in our house) that I hope turn out OK for lunches.

Last, but not least, what will hubby and I do to celebrate with each other? Since we haven't established a babysitter here yet, we have decided to meet up for lunch instead of a nice dinner out. In our East Coast lives we rarely had the opportunity to meet up in the middle of the day, but now we work less than a mile apart from each other, so we are trying to make the effort to meet for lunches more frequently, Valentine's Day included (hopefully our meetings continue to permit!)

What crafts, activities, and traditions do you share with your family for Valentine's Day?
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*Whole Grain Muffin Recipe from Real Simple. We swapped raspberries for blueberries this go 'round. We also tend to omit the zest if we don't have it on hand.

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