valentine's day {not just for lovers}

this is the first year where we've had more than just ourselves to think about... more than just candlelight, hearts and loooooooove.
well, we still have love, but a different type... it's not the lovey-dovey chocolate love.. it's the waking to comfort you while your teeth are trying to break through your gums type of love. it's an adjustment that i find well.. interesting... and am really quite happy about. (if a little clueless.) so, this year, i'm trying to think of what would be appropriate for wren. granted, she's 8 months old, and will never remember, possibly ever care. (as with most of our traditions for babies.) but, since it has a value to me- i've decided to do something.
i'm going to make her a list of sorts of all the things i love about her... what she's doing now, and how she makes me feel. i haven't decided how to preserve it. (i say "preserve" rather than "present" because if i presented it to her she'd just stick it in her mouth.) when i finish it, i'll post about how cute it is. it will undoubtedly be cute. maybe a tin? or a jar? we'll see what i can come up with. (read: find when i google for ideas)
some ideas that are good for 2, in romantic love, can also be adapted for families. like the "list" that i'm doing for wren.. it could just as easily be "things that drive me wild" for my husband.

  • take a vacation. as a family... yes.. like we needed another excuse to do that. but, what better time to foster love and affection than valentine's day? being a screwed up kid really turned me into a screwed up adult where love is concerned.. and teaching your kids that time is of value and a great way to show love- rather than gifts- can be life changing. and remember, money isn't what's important. i'm not talking disneyworld here (though that would be fine)... camping in the backyard is just as magical for your 5 year old- i promise!
  • do your child's favorite thing. just like your husband would (or should) buy you a spa treatment for a special occasion.. it's nice to remember things your kids wanted to do- but maybe you don't have the time or money for regularly.
  • cook heart shaped food. i know- simple right? pancakes, pizza, sandwiches, burgers, veggies, anything that can be cut! easy i know- but kids love it.
  • decorate. decorate the house, their bedroom doors, their faces, cookies, cakes, bars or candies... make your OWN valentines. (i know, it's not swinging by wal-mart the night before the school party to grab up the last of the dora boxed sets- but it's meaningful.) it's always fun to get into the mood of the holiday. i have it on good authority that you can NEVER cut too many paper hearts.
  • make a list of "sweet" words... talk about when to use them, and how we show people we care. generally this time of year is a good one to talk about feelings.
  • amberperrodin.com's potato stamped valentines
    made with her daughter
  • remember fun family times. you can do this like the "reasons i love you"... be creative.. decorate a jar, shoebox, tin... draw a picture, a timeline, or photo collage. what a great tradition to go over every year the favorite times from the year before.
  • if you're into history, and making your kids more well rounded.. tell the history of st. valentine.... or, all the histories. the basic idea is that he was loving. (and not the romantic kind.) feel free to omit his death, based on your child's tolerance for beatings and beheadings.
  • make a coupon book. (again, same concept as with husband.) a trip to the zoo, to their favorite park or restaurant, date with daddy, movie with mommy.. extra book at bedtime.. you get the idea.
  • do something to show love. not just for your family, but for others. make cards for a nursing home, visit a homeless shelter and hand out clothes or food...
  • remember your civil servants. take cookies or candies or valentine's to the police department, firemen, bible class teachers and/or elders, widows, and/or special family friends... anyone who isn't often remembered. talk about why you appreciate them, how we show love, and why we show it the way we do.
my husband is still away. so that makes focusing on wren a little easier... it does make creating "family traditions" a little more difficult.

    what are your valentine's day traditions?


    amber perrodin said...

    thanks for mentioning me! We are definitely gonna do some of these ideas....what a great post! Thanks for the inspiration.

    *preserving {love} ideas:

    fill up a jar (made by you or grandma!) & add to it every year.

    write the words on matboard surrounding photo of Wren or wren-prints of feet & hands.

    draw a bird. fill it in with words of love. frame it.

    get a piggy bank and convert to a bank-o'love :)

    write it on fabric squares and make a mini-quilt or pillow

    start a V-day scroll.

    start a handpainted footstool she can use forever with mamma's love words written all over it!

    buy an old book at thrift store (25 cents or less) paint over pages, and rewrite the book all about Wren.

    write things on separate papers, drop them into a shadow box=cute display+deeper meaning.

    wrensmommy said...

    love love love

    of course i mention you- you're my inspiration. :)

    Lisa said...

    I have been wanting to make my kids a board book for ages! I found a few places online but haven't tried them:

    And DIY kits:

    Though not sure how drool-proof those would be ;-)

    You know me, photos!! I think with some journaling that would be a great keepsake.

    I love the quilt idea, and the "bird of words" too! I'm envisioning one of those modern art typography things where the shape is created by words of different lengths/font sizes.. there must be an app for that!

    Brian and Stephanie said...

    Ooh, I love all these ideas and now I really wish I would have looked on here sooner! We'll have to implement some of them next year...