Saturday, March 2, 2013

Little Valentines

Well, it has been a cold, cold winter. Our family was fortunate to warm it up a little with a trip to Hawaii (and San Francisco on the way there and back). But now it is back to reality, and we at the daycare are trying to enjoy the bearable days when we can. 

Thomas an Oscar have been playing in the schoolyard after we pick Noah and B. up from school. Noah and B. travel back and forth from the yard to the playground, but the little ones know that they are allowed in the front yard only. Oscar could probably try out the school playground in the spring, when he's not wearing big boots and a snowsuit, and when it isn't too busy. It can get pretty wild on there when the kids are first let out for the day!

Anyway, they (Oscar and Thomas) don't seem to mind their limitations at all. Oscar at 2, is very skilled at befriending the school-aged kids, and he does so with minimal conversation. He always seems to understand what the game is, and jumps right in. He doesn't know that he isn't 4, and the other kids don't seem to realize it either!

Thomas is much more comfortable toddling around in his boots and snowsuit than he was at the beginning of the winter. He is more confident at getting around, and fusses when it's time to get back in the wagon to go home. Some days are slushy, and some days are a little icy. When it's a little icy, he may fall about 20 times, but this does not deter him. With his puffy snowsuit, he is not able to get himself back up, so my job is to set him back on his feet, and off he goes like a wind-up toy!

The kids made heart-shaped butterflies for Valentine's Day decorations. Doesn't our front door look beautiful? They also did other Valentine's crafts, but most importantly, all of them made a big Valentine's card for their parents.

We also made heart-shaped cookies. I made a batch with Oscar in the morning, when the older boys were at school, and Thomas was asleep. Leila is very clingy to mommy these days, and she insisted on "helping" by being attached to me in the carrier.

I could tell that Oscar does a lot of baking at home, since he really seemed to know what he was doing! He had flour all over him by the time the cookies were in the oven. I tried to capture his physical state in the pictures below, but he just would not, or could not, stand still!

The next day we iced the cookies and put sprinkles on them. I did the same activities with the older boys in the afternoon, when Oscar has his nap (and Leila and Thomas go down for at least a half hour too, if we're lucky!). I made some more batches of cookies at night, and we ended up with a lot of cookies!

When the icing had dried we put them in Valentine's treat bags and gave them to friends and family. They were so delicious!

 I loved how all the parents brought Valentines and treats for their child to give to all their daycare friends. We had a special Valentine's lunch when we had returned from retrieving the boys from school. I put their Valentines gifts from me and from their friends at their usual spots at the table.

They each got to have one of their treats before lunch.

We had Valentine's juice (fruit punch) and used Valentine's cups, plates and napkins. I would have gone all out and made heart shaped pancakes like last year, but Noah said he would rather have cheese on a bun, and after all the cookies we made, I deemed that a good enough reason to save myself the work. :)

After lunch Noah decided to open his bag of Valentines from his classmates. Boy, was that a trip down memory lane. Nothing had changed. Still a self-decorated paper bag, filled with little cards from so many friends. I know some people balk at Valentine's Day and call it a Hallmark Holiday, but who cares when you're 4 and it gives you this much delight? I still remember being excited with all the Valentine's cards I received in kindergarten. In the dead of winter, I think it's a great celebration.

The littlest Valentine was sick for the occasion. She was sick for almost the whole week....poor thing. Here she is in one of her better moments, opening up the gift she got from Thomas. Inside the box was a Valentine's bib. Too cute!

Happy Valentine's Day! (a little late)
The High Park Home Daycare Gang

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