Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Day

Today's small thing was to let someone know that you were thinking of them today. I did this before I even read Rachel Anne's assignment for today. This morning, when I got onto Facebook, I dropped by the walls of a number of friends and wished them a Happy Valentine's Day, sent them my love and let them know that I was thinking of them.

The one friend who stands out most right now in my mind and my heart is my friend, Erin. Her hubby recently deployed and she's home with their three kiddos, adapting to yet another period of time with him gone for the military. She is one of the most incredible women that I know and she knows that I think that too. I wish I was there today to bring her flowers and chocolate and coffee and to give her a chance to relax and rejuvenate, but we live many many miles apart and it's just not possible. But she was the first one on my mind when I got onto Facebook this morning. I visited her page, another friend's page (who doesn't like Valentine's Day - and then to boot - her grandpa died today too), and many more.

This afternoon, Hubby and I sat down and talked with the kids about some changes that we have decided to make around the house involving screen time and chores. We have decided to limit the kids' screen time to one hour per day. I am so tired of screen time being such a huge focus and the kids not knowing what to do with themselves without a screen in front of them to entertain them. We also decided that allowance will be freely given, chores will be done before screen time is allowed and it will be done with a cheerful attitude or screen time will not be allowed at all.

Natty complained and whined and cried about the changes, while JoNo buckled down and got right to work. JoNo went so far above and beyond that there will be little for the kids to do tomorrow. Well, there will still be plenty to do, but in comparison to what there was to do today, there will be very little.

Natty was incredibly upset and at one point, we sent him up to his room, where he laid on his bed, whining and complaining about the changes. I laid down on JoNo's bed across the room from Natty and we talked. He poured out the troubles that were in his heart and I just listened. Sometimes that is the hardest thing to do. I want to jump in, give him advice, tell him how to fix it, analyze it, whatever... But all he needs is someone to listen. Which, thankfully today, I did. And it seemed to do wonders for him as well. As I was leaving his room, I told him that he was welcome to come back down whenever he felt ready to.

Then, Natty and I made supper together tonight. We did a breakfast for supper, which is a family favorite. I let him do all the measuring and mixing for homemade pancakes. I didn't even supervise directly. I just told him what he needed and let him measure and pour, stir and mix and all of that. It also gave him a chance to show off some of his math skills, since we were doubling the recipe. Amounts like 2 1/2 cups of flour, he was quick to know was 5 cups with our modified recipe. And 3 teaspoons, he immediately knew was actually 1 1/2 from the original recipe. We changed it up and some of the time I would tell him the amount from the original recipe and some of the time I would give him the amount from the modified recipe. I figured a bit of a confidence boost would be good for his spirits and it was. He is very proficient in his math skills and I knew that having the opportunity to show those skills off and to cook at the same time would be a major mood lifter for him.

He also wanted to make a special pancake for Boo - so Boo got a Mickey Mouse pancake. Then he wanted to make a special one for Punky - so we made her a flower - complete with petals and a stem. I made a car-shaped pancake for JoNo, which he loved. It looked like a VW Bug. It was cute.

And to show my Hubby my love today, when I was helping the kids get their Valentines cards finished up before school, I also stashed away a bunch of mini bars of Hershey's milk chocolate. We had gotten a mixed bag of mini bars - Hershey's milk chocolate, Hershey's special dark chocolate, Mr Goodbar and Krackle. Hubby prefers milk chocolate to any other chocolate and I wanted him to know that I was thinking of him too, so I grabbed a bunch of the regular milk chocolate bars and "hid" them in a decorative cup next to the container where I put all of the leftover Valentine's candy. I let Hubby know about his "secret stash" of milk chocolate and he seemed quite pleased that I had thought of him in this way today.

But it is late now and I am tired, so I am going to end this now and tally up my point totals.

Points for today: 50 points!
Points for February:  380 points!

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