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Katie B's Parenting Journal

Entry 28 ~ February 14, 2011
My Funny Valentines

Katie and RandyHappy Valentine's Day! Obviously I am writing this on the special day. Actually, I am one of "those people" that think this holiday is a too commercialized and puts too much pressure on people. The other day, Randy and I were walking through the store picking out Valentines for the kids' classmates, teachers, and the neighbors. Randy commented on how we go to all this trouble getting gifts for other people, but we never get anything for each other. I suppose it's true. I take any opportunity I can to let the neighbors know that we appreciate them. I want to make sure the kids' teachers know we love them too. As for Randy... well, I tell him I love him every day. He tells me too. I don't need a box of chocolates to remind me. I guess my love language is not gifts. I love when he vacuums for me. Or when he does the dishes because he knows I'm tired. Some times he'll walk through the door after work with a yummy latte. It's every day of the year that he is my knight in shining armor. And in my defense, I did spend the morning shopping for his birthday gift (which is next month)! So tonight we will have a nice candlelight dinner with the kids. They will each get a small box of chocolates and we'll get to hear all about their fun parties at school. Then when the kids go to bed, Randy and I will probably collapse on the couch and play cards until bedtime. Romantic, right? Maybe not, but it's our life right now and I wouldn't trade a minute of it!

Much like the rest of you, it's this time of year that I feel like winter is getting the best of me. The sun doesn't shine enough and it's cold and dark. We have gotten the frigid temperatures much like other parts of the country. A couple of weeks ago, school was canceled for two days in a row due to below zero temperatures. It didn't get above zero for two days. We just aren't used to it being that cold. It was nice to have some bonus days at home with the big kids, but it was too cold to go outside and play. Then we were hit with a nice snow. We can handle that. And now the temperatures are almost spring-like. This will most definitely be the pattern for the next month. I'll rejoice for the warm days. We have been able to walk to school to pick up the kids and they have been able to play outside for hours. It's so nice to get these sneak peeks of warmer days!

Unfortunately, our long healthy streak ended abruptly last week. Lilly got croup and was really pretty sick with the cough and fevers for almost a week. Last night was the first night that she didn't have a fever and she definitely seems much better today. She still has a nasty cough and stuffy nose, but I feel like she's on the mend. And of course, the older kids all have minor colds. I am hoping that it stays minor for all of them and we can dodge any more fevers or bad coughs. But I also know that since we are a family that loves to share, we will probably be sharing this for a while.

Owen and Ella have finished up the second trimester at school. We haven't had their parent teacher conferences yet, but all the major projects have been turned in and presented. It seemed like there was so much work this last trimester, but both kids have done well accomplishing all that they've needed to do. And it will start all over in another week or so! We signed up Owen, Ella, and Connor for spring soccer which will begin next month. I think we must be a little crazy as all three will be on separate teams this season. There will be lots of practices and juggling game schedules. The nice thing about spring soccer, however, is that all the games are played at the same park. So Randy and I will probably get great exercise going all over the park to watch all their games! They are all looking forward to it, though, and we really enjoy getting out to watch them each play.

Connor is finally signed up for preschool in the fall. I'm not sure if I've written about my indecision with preschool, but it has been a year long struggle to figure out what will be best for both Connor and the rest of us. I was finally able to get him signed up and he will get to be in class with two of his good little friends and also his cousin. I think it will be really fun for him. He is so ready. He was ready this year, but I wasn't. But now that I've decided, I can look forward to having three mornings a week alone with my sweet little Lilly. Having sent two kids off to school already, I know how precious this time will be. I have enjoyed Connor so much this year. I'll miss him a lot when he's in school!

Friday night, Owen's class had a stargazing night at school. One of the fifth grade teachers set up a high powered telescope and the kids and parents were able to get a good look at the moon and Jupiter. It was very cold, but a fun little outing for Owen and I. When we got home, I commented to Randy about how I don't feel connected with Owen right now. He wants to be big and independent and doesn't seem to listen to me or even want to be around me much. I know it's a part of growing up, but it's a little heartbreaking. The next morning, I was awoken by Owen. He handed me a Valentine card that he made at school. He told me that he had to be sneaky after school on Friday. He got the card out of his backpack without me seeing and sneaked it upstairs to his bed. He put it under his blanket so that he would remember to give it to me first thing Saturday morning. I asked him if Daddy knew about it and he said no, that he did it all by himself. Then my broken heart went right back to melting. Stargazing with my handsome little guy and then a Valentine's surprise.

Just when I think I'm going to lose these kids' hearts forever, they do something like this. What an amazing treasure! I hope you all find these great treasures in you children too.

~ Katie

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