Happy Valentine’s Day

There are basically two types of people in this world — those that become pathetic saps over a contrived Hallmark holiday and those that, well, don’t.  And it IS possible to switch teams.  I used to be one of those saps.

We used to make dinner reservations weeks in advance at a fancy restaurant that we couldn’t really afford, and my husband would dutifully bring home overpriced flowers.  And every year for many years I made a chocolate cake in a heart-shaped cake pan.  I will have to dig up the photos and scan them.  They should be good for a laugh.

But after 3 kids and 13 years of marriage, I have decided that I’d rather go out to eat when the restaurants are not filled to capacity with lovey-dovey couples, and I much prefer spontaneous flowers over flowers purchased out of guilt and fear of retribution (with the caveat that flowers are flowers and I make it a policy never to begrudge the giving and receiving of flowers, no matter what the motivation.)

My husband brought me flowers the night before I left for Blissdom, which was totally sweet and spontaneous, and that meant far more to me than flowers on the day that Hallmark dictates.  So I told him that I would be perfectly happy if we spend Valentines Day this year at home catching up on 24 and Lost.

I’m not totally heartless, though.  I spent yesterday morning at the grocery store purchasing steak and fingerling potatoes for a special family dinner, and I even picked up a heart-shaped cake in remembrance of years past.  Of course, I spent the whole day yesterday thinking it was the 14th and didn’t realize till I started banging out my post late in the afternoon about my over-planned day that it was only the 13th.  I think I need a vacation.  Oh wait.  I just had a vacation.  So scratch that.  I think I need my family to take a vacation while I stay home and just veg for a long weekend.  Doesn’t that sound absolutely divine!?


Because I am not one to change my plans easily, I went ahead and prepared our Valentine’s dinner last night, which was providential because at 10pm last night while I was sitting here at the computer, my 3-year-old started waking up and crying out intermittently.  Usually she does that once, and when we go up and cover her and snuggle her for a few minutes, she goes right back to sleep.  But last night after it happened several times, I decided to go on up and crawl in bed with her for the night.

I scooped her up and carried her into our bed (she always ends up there eventually; might as well just cut to the chase) and snuggled down under the covers and cradled her next to me as she pressed her squishy, soft cheeks into my neck and tucked her chubby toddler legs in between my own.  As I kissed on the top of her silky head, I thanked God for our health this winter (it really has been remarkable, with the notable exception of C’s scarlet fever over Christmas vacation.)  There has been so much talk of sickness on the interwebs, I felt an overwhelming sense of gratitude for our overall good health.  As I continued my prayer, I asked for continued good health.  Even though I know we are no more deserving than the next household, it never hurts to ask for special favors, right?

I kid you not, I prayed that prayer FIVE MINUTES before R started crying out and complaining of a tummy ache.  I got her up and put her on the potty and, long story short, she proceeded to discharge her dinner three times over the next hour.

Now I’ve said before that I’m worthless in a crisis situation.  I am also worthless in a puke situation.  I don’t exactly lose my head as I do in a crisis, but I become completely helpless.  Besides the fact that I am tempted to retch right along with her, I have no idea what to do with the mess that ensues.  And where was my husband, the official cleaner upper of all things messy and disgusting?  Off recording his podcast.  How convenient for him.  Thank you and goodnight.

By the time he got home, R was a puking pro and I had her pretty much trained to direct her discharge into the toilet.  She’s a quick learner.  It also helps that she’s a tad OCD like her mother and was more than willing to be taught the finer points of regurgitating with minimal recoil.  We all settled into bed around midnight, not sure what the night had in store for us.  My biggest fear is being puked upon, but I didn’t have the heart to make her stay alone in her own bed.  Fortunately, we made it through the night without incident and awoke to a child who showed no sign of the distress of the night.

While this morning has been blissfully uneventful, I can’t help but feel like I’m just waiting for the next shoe to drop.  I guess it’s a good thing we didn’t secure a babysitter and make dinner reservations.  We will spend our Valentines Day watching vigilantly for signs of pukeage while we strip the beds and apply Lysol to every available surface and reminisce of more romantic Valentine’s Days of years past.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Join the Conversation

23 thoughts on “Happy Valentine’s Day

  1. I feel the same about Valentine’s Day. I would rather go somewhere fancy on our anniversary than on a cold day in mid-February! We are staying in tonight as well. Sounds like a horrible night for you! I hope that is the worst of it! And, as always, I love the pics!

  2. Oh my goodness, you are a riot! We are not too overboard, but I do a breakfast for the kiddos…been too long to stop that now 🙂

  3. “We will spend our Valentines Day watching vigilantly for signs of pukeage while we strip the beds and apply Lysol to every available surface…”

    Isn’t that every woman’s dream?

  4. We decided a couple of hours ago to stay in tonight and enjoy ourselves at home. The crowded restaurants aren’t really our thing. We want to go when it’s quiet and the service is up to par.

  5. Sorry but I like Valentines day, and heart shaped cakes, well anything to do with cake is fine with me! We do not get a babysitter and go out though, it is overcrowded, and home made food is just as good!!

  6. I am not a Valentine’s Day person either.. I actually wrote a post about it earlier this week as well. I hope no one else gets sick at your house. Our whole family got the stomach junk going around as well.. yuck!

  7. Ugh. Nice way to start out the love holiday. I hope no more puke comes your way! And I’m digging the spoon collection in the backgroud of your 1996 picture….I have one very similar.

  8. Aren’t y’all cute. We have never done anything too fancy. When we were dating I suppose we went out to dinner. Husband hates the idea of flowers, so I rarely get them. Our anniversary is Monday and eventually we will celebrate that (too busy right now).

    As for the puking, I hope it has stopped and not spread. When one of our kids has the throw-ups (that’s what we call the stomach bug) I cover the living room floor in towels, cover their pillow with a towel, and lay them down next to a bowl. If they miss the bowl, I just pick up the towel and toss it in the wash. I sleep on the couch while they sleep on the floor. Minimizes mes and we all get some rest.

  9. Nothing says I love you more than cleaning up the puke for you!

    My dh tends to be on the other side of the Atlantic when are kids start to throw up 🙂

    Hope everyone has recovered, and you have an enjoyable Valentine’s Day.

    We gave up on the meals out a long time ago too. I did make dh breakfast in bed (pic of the breakfast on my blog), and he cooked dinner tonight up at the cottage.

    No sick kids here…..yet!

  10. Wow, you and I are completely the same in regard to how we deal with vomit. Don’t hate me for telling you this, but neither of my girls has yet to puke. I think the Lord has given me break due to an especially horrific situation involving a busy Dallas tollway, a sick cousin, and projectile vomit that impared my vision out of my windshield. (Shudder at the memory!) Anyway, hope that tonight is vomit-free, and Happy V day! Loved the cute pics!

  11. Hubby and I have never been big on Valentine’s Day. With both kids having a birthday right before, we would rather make their day special and have date nights later on. It just seems to work for us.

    Hope there have been no other sings of the vomit monster!!

  12. Three kids and 13 years of marriage has done the same for us, too! I’m right there with you on the whole Valentine’s Day thing.

    Sorry your little one is sick. You had me cracking up when you said you were worthless in a puking situation. The same virus hit our house a few weeks ago. I was holding our youngest when she started puking all over me and the floor. I had no idea what to do. I literally froze. I had to call my husband in for reinforcement.

  13. Poor kiddo! Watch everyone carefully – sorry to say that it travels through families before moving on. And in this case, thank you for not living next door :}

    So far, we have dodged it but I am not holding my breath – maybe I should, it may help!

  14. Darcie’s comment is cracking me up! I agree with you – its an over commercialized day and I’d rather go out to dinner when its less crowded. Although I have to admit, the chocolate strawberries at Wegman’s last night looked incredible!
    Glad the pukes are contained.
    I’m spending my night cuddled up in bed with Ian watching TV. I don’t want to be anywhere else!

  15. We completely forgot today was Valentine’s! No card. No flowers. No nothin’ (as my 2 yr old says). And it was ok. 11 years and 4 kids later I don’t need my hubby to demonstrate his love with flowers and expensive gifts. Changing diapers. Cleaning the bathroom. Washing dishes. THAT is my current love language. LOL!

    I have been puked on by my then 3 year old son, at a Mexican restaurant, when I was 3 months pregnant with my 3rd child, in front of my MIL, FIL & Aunt/Uncle in-laws, while on a trip for a funeral, the night before we flew home. And he did it THREE TIMES before I gave up and went to the hotel.

    I think I should have gotten an award for that night!

  16. I’m with you on the Valentine’s day plans. ALthough I have always been like that because I don’t like crowds, etc.

    However, I find nothing wrong with the heart cake!

    Sorry about the sickness. Hope everyone feels better soon!

  17. hope all is well now and no sickness. we are having a valentine’s dinner tonight after the little man goes to bed. yesterday was spent hanging out at a 4 year old’s birthday party.

    but we aren’t the big dinner out on valentine’s day either. we don’t like the crowds 🙂

  18. Sounds like a perfect Valentine’s Day – spent with all your lovies!

    We don’t go out to eat anymore either – but we are all over the chocolates!

  19. We don’t really “do” Valentine’s either. I usually make my special Red Velvet Cake, but skipped it this year due to my toothache issues.

    So sorry to hear about your daughter. Poor thing. I hate it when little ones get sick like that. My son did that when he was close to a year old. He was so scared I just scooped him up and hugged him, puke and all. It was gross, but at that moment I couldn’t even think about it. Once I got him calmed down and realized I was covered in puke…not so nice!

Want More?

Jo-Lynne Shane on Instagram

Click an image below.

Follow @jolynneshane