Saturday, February 14, 2015

Happy Valentine's Day

     Lately Nursing school has been taking up more and more of my time, which means my amazing husband has found himself filling in my shoes more often than not.  He's been wonderful about it, and I've really been impressed with just how quickly he willingly took on my share of the load so that I could devote more time to my studies.  That being said, there's definitely been a huge learning curve, for both of us, and what would this blog be without a funny story or two (or more) of my sweet husband navigating his way through this new uncharted territory?
     Just about every pay day, y'all have read my stories of misadventures to the commissary, and you've heard (and ignored) my pleas to remind me to not bring my husband to the store with me in the future.  Well the other night, I decided to be smart and send my husband to the store by himself.  He asked me to go with him, but I declined because Monkey needed help finishing her homework, and I still had some homework of my own to take care of, so off he went to the store alone.  Five minutes after he left I got a phone call.  It was J, telling me that the commissary was closed (it was Monday, of course) and that he'd be headed to Walmart instead.  I thanked him for the head's up (as this would mean he'd be gone longer than expected) and hung up the phone.  About three minutes later my phone rang again.  It was J again, asking if Rouse's would be better than Walmart.  I told him it really didn't matter to me.  Rouse's is a tad more pricey, but it's locally-owned so I let him decide, and got off the phone in order to help Monkey with her homework.  Another 5 minutes went by and my phone rang yet again.  It was J.  He wanted to tell me he chose Rouse's and what would I like for dinner?  I told him I'd leave it up to him since he was cooking.  I told him I really needed to concentrate on my homework now that Monkey was finished with hers.  I reassured him that I trusted him to make these choices alone, and then I got off the phone.  Ten minutes later, it rang again.  Guess who?  J wanted to know if I wanted tacos for dinner.  He'd just grab some ground beef, since we had most of the other ingredients at home.  At this point I should have said "yes that's fine dear" and left it at that, but I was trying to finish up some stuff on my computer and I was not thinking clearly, so I said something bout having a burrito for lunch and not really wanting Mexican food again.  Then J started asking about various types of meat I may be interested in, and I lost my patience, asked him to figure it out, and got of the phone hastily.  At this point I realized I wouldn't get much studying accomplished, as Monkey was finished with her chores and getting bored, so as I got out the craft supplies, I called my sister because she had asked me to call her earlier that day.  As I'm filling her in on my husband's antics, I hear a beeping noise on the line.  J again!  I put my sister on hold only to have my husband ask me if I preferred flaky biscuits or the Grands.  Apparently he had settled on breakfast for dinner, and just wanted to hear my voice telling him that was a good idea.  I told him to stop calling me and just come home and start cooking.  I hung up, switched back to talking to my sister, and decided I would never send him to the store alone again.  That notion was only confirmed when 5 minutes later there was another beeping sound in my ear.  I didn't answer that time, and he finally stopped calling.  I think he missed me, because he came come with a King Cake and a bag of Hershey's Kisses with Almonds :-)
     As much as I pick on him, I am going to miss my husband this weekend.  He's going to his mom's so that Monkey can enjoy the Mardi Gras parades.  I stayed behind to study for my OB/Peds final exam.  The house is very quiet without them here.  Of course, this means my husband is getting out of Valentine's Day.  Somehow he manages to do that every year.  Oh well, it really isn't that important of a holiday in my opinion.  If it were my birthday or an anniversary, I may be more upset.  I was really more upset that I wouldn't be able to make special snacks and crafts with Monkey than anything else.  I did make up for that a bit, though, with these cute lunches and by helping her make some special goodies bags for her Valentine's Day party at school.

Heart Chef's Salad (Kinda)

     Okay this one didn't quite come out the way I wanted it, but it was still a yummy lunch, so I'm including it.  I laid out a couple of slices of ham, topped that with a layer of sliced Monterrey Jack cheese, and finished it off with a layer of salami.  I log-rolled the whole thing, and sliced it into little rounds.  I positioned two rounds each on a toothpick.  They were supposed to look like hearts when I did this, but I didn't quite get it to work at 0530.  Unless you turn your head and squint, that is.  I shrugged it off and placed the toothpicks on a bed of lettuce and spinach and added a few diced tomatoes and slivered almonds.  I included a bit of Italian dressing, some strawberries, a few Wheat Thins, and a NutriGrain bar.

Cupid's Lunchbox

     For this lunch, I simply cut two slices of bread and a couple slices of ham using a heart-shaped cookie cutter to form the sandwich.  I added a cheese stick with a sweet message written in permanent marker on the wrapper.  Next I threw in some celery sticks and a few crackers.  The final touch was a pair of Cupid's arrows that I made by threading blueberries, orange wedges, and strawberries onto a wooden kabob.

 DIY Lunchable: Valentine's Version

     I know I use this idea a ton, but it's just so versatile.  I cut two types of cheese (Colby Jack and Monterrey Jack) into heart shapes.  Next I cut turkey pepperoni slices into hearts.  I added a bit of blueberries and strawberries I had cut to look like hearts.  I also included some Ritz crackers (not pictured) for Monkey to make cracker sandwiches with.

DIY Mini Pizzas: Valentine's Version

     This is another one I've done before, but by cutting the pepperonis into heart shapes it makes it a special Valentine's lunch.  Included in this box was an English muffin cut in half, shredded Mozzarella cheese, turkey pepperonis cut into hearts, homemade pizza sauce, Wheat Thins, blueberries, and strawberry cut into hearts.

     I love making these special lunches for Monkey, and I hope one day she looks back fondly on the memories and sees that her Mommy just wanted to do something a little extra to make each day special for her.  Speaking of little somethings to make someone's day special, let me show you the little goodies she packed for her Valentine's Day party at school yesterday.

Aren't these goodie bags cute?
      First I found some cute goodie bags at Walmart.  Monkey picked out her favorite design.  We brought them home and filled them with the following goodies:

     First I printed off some hearts that said, "You are all 'write' Valentine!" on white card stock.  I let Monkey decorate the hearts while I punched two holes in the hearts to thread a cute Valentine's Day pencil through it.

     Next I printed off labels that said, "Your friendship blows me away, Valentine!" on white card stock.  I cut two slits in the label, and Monkey helped me thread Blow Pops through the labels.

     Then, I printed out these cute Valentine's Tic Tac Toe boards onto card stock, cut them out, and placed them inside snack-sized Ziplocs with ten Red Velvet M&Ms, five of each color.  Lastly, I added a label for each of her classmates to the outside of the bag.  You can skip this to make it easier on the teacher, but Monkey has a crush on one of the little boys in her class, so she wanted to make sure he got a specific bag.

     The baggies were fun to put together because Monkey was very involved, coloring, organizing, placing, and making sure each of her friends got a personal little Valentine from her.   The time we got to spend together making them almost make up for the fact that I won't get to spend time with her at the Mardi Gras parades....almost.    

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