Wordless Wednesday: A Sweet Date

Well it only took all of us a full two weeks but everyone was finally healthy enough to meet up for our annual Valentine’s Day Pie Date last week.

And damn was it worth the wait.

This is the third year in a row that me and Ella have celebrated Valentine’s with our besties Leslie & Anna. Only this year, there were two new little ladies in tow.

Sweet Mia.

And sleepy Izzie.

Every year it seems these two get a little less adorable and little more sassy. And while they may have spent half the time arguing, they did sit and play together nicely for at least a few minutes.

Look at how they’ve grown in two short years.

The lunch menu is super delicious. Here’s the bacon and caramelized onion quiche. Super. Delicious.

Anna was quite serious about this mac n cheese.

But the sweets. Oh the sweets. The Salted Caramel Whoopie Pies were out of control. I may have inhaled it too fast to get a picture.

Even Mia and Bea (Cedella’s twin baby dolls) got to join us for the fun. They join us every where we go these days. And yes, Bea is naked. “Cause she likes to be nudie.” And yes, that’s a direct quote from Mommy Cedella.

And despite all the arguing over toys and such these two are incredible to watch interact. It’s like they’re sisters or something.

And then there’s the these two playing together at our house the next day. Two more BFF’s in the making.

Isora really likes to kiss her little friend. Sorry in advance Mia for all the kisses you’re going to be getting from this one in the future…

So glad we were all finally feeling good enough to keep our tradition alive. It’s great seeing the girls grow into the tradition each year, or hate it completely as the case may be. But it’s also a good reminder that these little things are the little things they’ll remember from their childhood. They’re the little things they will take with them into their own families and do with their own children. I love knowing that we’re building something each and every year and with each and every bite of pie.

It just reminds me once again that I really must get more pie in my life. Because pie is the new cupcake. Mark my words 😉

How did you spend your weekend?

Happy Wordless/Wordful Wednesday to one and all!!

Wordful Wednesday: The Doctor is In

Part of our attempts at Preschool at Home is to work on some imaginative play and following Cedella’s interests.

Well lately? She’s been interested in all things ‘Doctor’ related. Every time we go to Anna’s house to play she finds the Doctor set and drags it around the house.

Somewhere in our house she found a stethoscope and worn it around her neck all day. So I gathered some bits and pieces of Doctor gear around our house and I built her a little kit and set up a Doctor’s appointment for her Baby Doll. And yes, this doll is called Baby Doll.

I set up all her Doctor gear: glasses, stethoscope, thermometer and script pad. And her new computer. Because, as she reminded me, all Doctors have computers. Which is so very very true.

But really, she just wanted to include her computer in this game. This computer is the coolest thing she’s ever seen. And she tap tap taps away, just like her Mom. She may have officially gone over to the Tech Side of things. Thanks Grandma Becky!

When Baby Doll was ready she listened to her heart.

And took her blood pressure. Which she insisted that she was different even though she did the same thing.

And then she had to type everything into her computer.

When she was done taking her notes she wrote Baby Doll a prescription for a nap. Seriously. She said Baby Doll needed to rest so she could feel better. Smart kid. Wish she would follow her own advice sometimes.

It was so much fun to watch her imagine her way through this ‘appointment’. She created problems and talked through them. When she was playing with the computer she kept telling me to stop taking pictures so she could ‘do work’. I love that she wants to ‘do work’. And when she finally prescribed Baby Doll some rest, Cedella gently tucked the doll into her own bed, kissed the dolly forehead and tell her everything would be alright.

So it was no surprise that a few days later when we visited her BFF Anna that once again the Doctor kit came out. Only this time? It was Princess Doctor. And it was FABULOUS.

Anna said she had a tummy ache, so Doctor Cedella listened to her stomach to hear what was wrong.

Then she gave Anna a shot to make her feel better.

I think they both enjoyed it, huh?

Have you ever stopped to just watch your kids play? I say that because I never really had. Not without interfering in some way. But when she was playing Doctor by herself, Izzie was sleeping and I just sat back and took an occasional picture and watched her.

Slowing down for a moment and just really watching her imagine and play was pretty incredible.

Everything is so new and fresh and unique to her. Seeing things for the first time through her eyes is amazing.

To us grown-ups playing Doctor means to do simple tasks like checking your heart, giving shots or typing notes on a computer. (*Or something dirty. But please, we’re talking about little kids here. Let’s keep our minds out of the gutter.)

But for her it meant more than that. It meant taking care of Baby Doll, and making sure Baby Doll knew everything was ok.

My girl has the most unbelievable sense of compassionate and empathy.

Whenever another child cries or gets hurt she becomes very quiet and focuses on  figuring out what went wrong and how she can help them. And while I will gladly take some credit for teaching her to care for others, her intense connection to making others feel better is all her own.

Maybe Monk will grow up to be a Doctor. Maybe she’ll be an Artist. Or even the President. That is not important to me. What I hope is that she will grow up to be a kind, smart, confident and compassionate person.

And I think she is already on that path.

How do you instill the values of compassion, kindness and caring in your children? How do you use imaginative play in your house?

Happy Wordless/Wordful Wednesday to you all!!

 

 

Wordful Wednesday: The Zoo, the Park and the Trampoline

Since the days have been getting cooler and the days a bit shorter we’ve been enjoying the crisp air outside with our extended families. This time of year is especially busy for Michael so the girls and I are often left to our own devices.

On one such day we were got a chance to visit the Potter Park Zoo right here in Lansing with Aunt Jilnar (Michael’s sister). My sis and bro-in-law bought us a zoo membership for Christmas and it was awesome to be able to use it with her.

Since Jilnar lives in Chicago we don’t get to see her often enough, so we all really enjoyed being with her all day.

We got to see goats and chickens, monkeys and penguins. And the lions. We stared at the lions forever.

Then last week in an attempt to walk Leslie’s baby out of her, we took a stroll, hit up the local bakery Sweetie-licious, had a picnic at the park and Izzie tried the swings for the first time. Could that big ole grin on her face be any cuter? She loved the swing!

I’ve said it a million times but the friendship between Cedella and Anna is just incredibly sweet to watch. They fight like sisters and yet they can be so silly and loving to each other. But damn are they both Little Miss Bossy Pants!

(*And you know what? Our attempt helped, well, that and their family tent camping the night before she went into labor. Leslie had her baby this weekend!!!! A baby girl named Amelia!!!! So incredibly excited and happy for the whole family!)

And we finally got a chance to spend time as a whole family on Sunday when we went to our little cousin Salem’s 4th Birthday party. And though there were awesome blue Batman cupcakes, a zillion new toys and a pinata full of candy the real star of the show was the awesome new trampoline in the backyard.

When I asked Salem what her favorite present was, she said “the trampoline”. Which is easy to understand. Cause it’s pretty damn cool.

All the kids absolutely loved it. And while they jumped like crazy after the cupcakes and the candy all of us parents got to feel a bit like kids ourselves, smiling and laughing along.

It was a perfect afternoon spent with Aunt Jilnar and our cousins Mary, Glen and Salem. It’s always enjoyable to spend time with them.

How fortunate are we to have so many fun ways to spend our days and so many lovely people to share them with?

With the football season here it’s easy for our family to get so crazy, stressed and disconnected. But it’s moments like these that remind me how much we have to be thankful for.

A special thanks to the lovely Kristi at Live and Love Out Loud for the fabulous free collage templates that helped facilitate this fun post. Check out her page for some photo inspiration and fun freebies.

Thanks for stopping by and reading today! But I’d love it even more to hear from you. How do you reconnect with your family when life gets busy and stressful? Any tips for making those sparse family moments really count? Any recommendations on cool places to go with your family? Looking forward to your comments :)

Happy Wordless/Wordful Wednesday to all!!