Valentine's Day post, after the fact

I had some photos from Valentine's Day and accompanying stories that I wanted to share, and tonight is the night I finally have a chance to sit down and get my photos from my camera, organize them, and make posts. Life with a busy toddler.

This particular busy toddler made some lovely little valentines for his grandparents and great-grandparents, thanks to one of the moms in my AP group, who organized a craft day for us (more on toddler art in another post — she and I are organizing a lot of artsy playdates this spring). She found this fantastic idea on the internet to potato-stamp regular white paper with heart shapes, then cut rectangles out of the stamped paper and paste them onto slightly larger, folded-over rectangles of cardstock to make cards. They turned out amazingly well. Kent had never stamped before and wasn't catching on right away, so I ended up helping a bit while he fingered the stamps and got paint all over himself.

When we got them home and were putting them in envelopes, though, I decided to pull out rubber ink stamps and let him give them a whirl. He loved stamping that time. Now, he can't get enough of it. He stamped the backs of all the envelopes with a fun heart stamp, using my favorite ink pad, which has shimmery ink in varying shades of pink and purple.

After all the valentines were assembled and addressed, he carried them out to the mailbox while I trotted along with the camera. It's such fun to capture these little moments with him. He feels so important when we give him jobs like mailing letters, putting things in the laundry or trash can, dumping measured ingredients and stirring (sort of) while I cook, etc. I'm getting better at figuring out how to incorporate my curious little boy into routine tasks, and while it usually ends up taking a LOT longer, it makes the task more fun for both of us.

So back to Valentine's celebrations: I found some bread at Whole Foods the day before V-day that claimed to have white chocolate and orange in it, which I thought sounded like a winning combination. I wasn't sure what I was going to do with the bread, but then I figured out that it would probably make some butt-kicking French toast, which it did. I'm not much of a white chocolate person, but it turned out to be perfect with the orange in this dessert-y bread, and it's not overwhelmingly sweet, either.

Seek out the white chocolate orange bread, ye who shop at Whole Foods. Actually, if you have a Whole Foods within a day's drive of you, seek out this bread. You won't be sorry. I've been trying to find creative ways around syrup lately, so strawberries and powdered sugar were the perfect topping to our French toast, and there was coffee, of course. A weekend breakfast is not complete without our mugs of coffee on the table.

I had posted before about our modest Valentine's Day, but since no pictures were incorporated, it came off sounding fairly blah, except for all the Dagoba chocolate. We never go all-out for Valentine's Day, since Jack's birthday is two days earlier and I like to make a bigger deal out of that (note the leftover birthday candles on his placemat in our breakfast photo). I think this post does the holiday a bit more justice, though.

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Looks like an enjoyable Valentine Day to me. The little boy is so cute. What he is holding?!
The potato prints look great. I'm glad you took the plunge and hosted an art group/playdate! -Jean
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