A few of us have been dreadfully sick this week, myself included, and my sweet, adorable husband has taken such amazing care of us. The man made me fresh squeezed orange juice, brought me hot tea and hot water bottles and, for last night's dinner, some chicken pho. I haven't been especially hungry, but this was just exactly what I needed, hot, brothy, a little spicy (with the addition of some hot sauce) and chock full of good things. He is all kinds of wonderful.
On Valentine's Day, before we all got hit with the bug, an elderly neighbour lady invited the big girls to a tea party at her house. They decorated Valentine cookies and ate strawberry sundaes. Mrs. Anderson is amazing. She has a level of refinement and class that you don't see a lot of anymore, and she has passed it on to her daughters and granddaughters. She has hosted the occasional tea party before and it's always a white-napkins-and-silver-tea-service affair with amazing homemade cakes, cookies and sandwiches, grapes in a silver grape server with silver grape scissors and the good china. She's an excellent example of what I love about my neighborhood. I love living in the kind of place where these kinds of intergenerational friendships flourish. I was lucky enough to have that as a kid, and it has been a gift of immesurable value. She also makes a mean sugar cookie. Normally cookies are nothing but a vehicle for frosting to me, but these were something to write home about. Very buttery and flavourful. I will have to get her recipe.
While the girls were at their party and the babies were napping, I had some one-on-one time with James making banana pudding for our Valentine's Day dessert. I love these times. He can be kind of a monkey, like any three year old boy, but when it's just the two of us I get to see his sweet side and hear what's going on in his perpetual-motion-machine of a brain, most of which involves dinosaurs and Captain America.
Speaking of dinosaurs... "It's just like the Jurassic Period, but with rainbow spaghetti instead of sand." - James Griffith. I think this was one of his favourite activities ever. Unfortunately, I made the mistake of walking away from it to check the laundry. Then, in a misguided attempt to help me clean it up, one of the big girls broke out the vacuum cleaner. This is the sort of thing you don't think about before you have kids. You don't imagine yourself one day, far in the future, picking rainbow spaghetti out of a vacuum cleaner. Luckily these kinds of things, while not amusing in the moment, can be pretty funny in the retelling.
This is not all the same picture. It is not even the bulk of the series. Preschoolers and toddlers have apparently been embarking on a photo project, Pictures of the Top of my Head, while their mother was distracted. It has a Warhol-esque feel to it, don't you think?