Tag Archives: playdate

Valentine projects

Valentine’s day might be my favorite holiday…in my mind it is, anyway. I can imagine some pretty nice ways to spend it. It doesn’t have the same let down of New Year’s Eve, where when it’s over, you are facing JANUARY. Valentine’s day is looking ahead to spring, maybe with some St Patrick’s, spring break, Easter thrown in there.

You don’t have to buy gifts for so many people like Christmas, and you don’t have to even buy a gift at all. Valentine’s day encourages handmade cards and cookies and stuff! You don’t have to watch any parades, cook any 5 course meals, visit any cemeteries, attend any family picnics, construct any gift baskets, boil any eggs, wear any particular color, drink any particular beverage, or try to find the best place to view fireworks while avoiding mosquitos.

To me, it’s all love and dessert and a little bit of crafts.

You don’t have a significant other, you say? That matters not. You heard me. You don’t have to be in a relationship to enjoy Valentine’s Day. Really! In college, I made frosted sugar cookies for my friends. I sent cards to relatives. I bought little gifts for people who were special to me. I ate chocolate with abandon.

But I realize I’m weird. I know not everyone is going to get on board with my vision. But if you are interested, this is what we got up to this year:

1. We had a valentine-making playdate with my daughter’s friend. It was cute, they were happy to see each other. They ate a lot of strawberries. Not very many valentines were made….

2. I made these little cherry hand pies for dessert. I got a heart-shaped pie mold from Williams-Sonoma a number of years ago, but when I tried making pies with it before, the dough cracked and flaked apart to badly. Last summer, I started experimenting with more flexible doughs for sweet pies and found that using half butter, half cream cheese made a much more elastic dough. It rolls and works like a dream.

3. We went out for sushi, my daughter was a perfect angel, she got little presents from her dad and I, a friend, her grandmother. It was all very sweet. She ate dragon fruit.

4. We came home and had our pies and ice-cream, the little angel went to bed, and her dad and I had some chocolate fondue and watched a movie.

A pretty nice way to spend a February 14th, I’d say.

Easter Eggs

I have been preparing eggs for the Easter egg hunt I’m hosting tomorrow for one of my playgroups. I suddenly panicked today that I didn’t have enough eggs and ran out to get more. I tried to remember how I felt about the contents of Easter eggs at events I went to as a kid and whether or not I found them disappointing. I have this complex that all the kids are going to open the eggs they found and go “Really, lady? This is so lame.”

I vaguely remember going to egg hunts at my tiny township’s park, where the eggs contained tickets that you could trade in for prizes at the end and sometimes quarters. The prizes mostly consisted of small plastic toys. I don’t remember being let down by this, but who knows, maybe I had artificially low expectations?

I told my husband a couple weeks ago that I had thought about posting this egg hunt to another playgroup’s facebook page, but had decided against it since I didn’t want to have so many kids that I wouldn’t be able to make enough eggs. He said “yeah, you’d have to boil a lot more eggs.” I replied “What? Come again?”

Apparently, he had to hunt for hard-boiled eggs as a kid. Bwahahahaha.

But it’s okay. I don’t feel that bad for him, since his childhood was pretty much filled with any toy he could have possibly wanted, according to all reliable accounts.

On Easter, I always woke up to an excellent basket of chocolates and gifts hidden in the most sadistic way. And the older you got, the harder the search and the less hints provided. And we always dyed eggs, with relative seriousness. I remember my cousins battling it out for who got multiple-hours-long access to specific colors so that they would achieve rich colors (NB: Brown eggs are best for this.) My grandmother was always so pleased at our egg-based artistic accomplishments. Most of my memories of Easter involve her in some way, so while I miss her all the time, I am most aware of it when I look at my Easter eggs and wonder if anyone else will ever truly appreciate the fine craft of a egg that’s been held steadily, while partially submerged, in several different colors, for a very long time.

This will be the first year my toddler gets to dye her own eggs. I fully expect to appreciate them, hastily dipped, cracked, and muddied with colors as they may be. I’m sure my grandmother would have loved them too.

Playdate for the Cat

I told my husband, about a month ago, “when we got back home from our summer travels we should think about getting a playmate for the cat,” who has been lonely in our apartment without us for longer than I’m comfortable leaving him in the care of petsitters.

Well, instead of “playmate for the cat” he hears “playDATE for the cat.” And asks, perplexed, “playdate for the cat??”

I think I laughed for like 2 minutes. When I finally came up for air, I say:

“Playdate for the cat??! Can you imagine a worse type of animal for playdates?
Strange cats hissing at each other, hiding under the bed for hours, the growling and batting… Oh god.”

Then I laugh some more before I finally manage to tell him I had said “playmate, and no not the playboy kind.” We then discuss all the various animals worse than cats on playdates: beta fish, cocks, badgers, male llamas…

But just the mental image of cats on playdates still makes me laugh.