I woke up really bummed on Valentine's day because my back was really sore and one of the side effects of the steroids seems to be a raging case of PMS-like irritability. We didn't have any plans for the day, I hadn't planned a special breakfast, and I hadn't made cupcakes for the kids like I had wanted to. Somehow, I managed to explain all of this to Ryan calmly without any screeching or crying, and he made it a really, really nice day for all of us. After Wes's soccer game we headed to the fancy grocery store downtown, which is featuring chocolate this month. Wes and I were looking forward to this all week, so I popped a couple of anti-inflammatories and got in the car. I was rewarded with an amazing chocolate mousse cake that I took home for dessert and a dark chocolate and sea salt bar that Mary and I shared while the boys were on the playground. We also bought asparagus and bacon and some sourdough bread because it was a fancy dinner night, dangit. Then we hung out on the playground in the 80 degree sunshine and let the kids run wild.
Mary fully exercised her Fourth-Baby-Privilege. First she had to stay close, then she had to stay with James, and then, do you see Mary? Oh, there she is at the top of the slide.
James was looking cute, wearing clothes Wes wore like two weeks ago I swear.
Shortly after Charley and Wes went inside to get refills on their drinks we heard a familiar voice yelling "Mom!" and turned around to see them on top of the balcony. Erm.
Close up. It's so cute when they flout our instructions to come straight back and check in.
And then we went home where Ryan and Charley grilled dinner (grilled sesame chicken and bacon-wrapped asparagus) in the back yard. James asked me for four dollars then rode his bike to the end of our culdesac to buy a box of Samoas from our neighbor. While I was talking to the neighbor, I heard Charley and Ryan yell "WOOOAAAHHH!!" from like halfway down the street. Later Ryan asked me "Did you know the marinade we used was flammable?"
Naturally, we had a two-course dessert, beginning with chocolate fondue, which was an unqualified success. Also pictured: the place where I spilled the only tiny glass of wine I allowed myself (given all the druuugs I am on right now just so I can stand up) all the heck over the place. Sad.
The kids demolished two pounds of strawberries and an entire container of chocolate in less than five minutes like water buffaloes attacking a herd of gazelles at the watering hole. Or something.
I keep looking at these pictures and thinking it looks like we're having a party, but nope. There are that many people at every family dinner.
Speaking of parties, after we got the kids in bed, Ryan set me up on my chair with my assortment of pillows and ice packs and then brought in a plate of fancy Brie and crackers and a personalized beer tasting flight. We spent a pleasant hour listening to music and sipping different kinds of beer and then read quietly until bedtime. It was really the perfect Valentine's Day.
...until Mary awakened at two o'clock in the morning because she didn't have her lovey, which Ryan found after she went to bed and attempted to wash. After two hours of Mary angrily yelling (not crying, YELLING) from her crib (and after trying cuddling, patting, singing, ibuprofen, and the humidifier), I got the lovey out of the mixing bowl where it was soaking in a detergent solution on the counter, wrung it out, rinsed it under the tap, rolled it up in a dishtowel and wrung it out again, then tossed it in the crib still damp. Mary quieted immediately and fell asleep. In the morning we found a layer of gray sludge on the bottom of the mixing bowl. The lovey smells much better now.
To really make the weekend perfect, Charley played the prelude at church this morning with our friend Mrs. B. and Wes and James sang in the choir. It's amazing to watch them be such confident little people doing things they love!
Also: LOOK AT THAT SMILE COULD YOU JUST DIE?