I think it's important to do something special for those that we love. It's important to take time out, to let our loved ones know that they mean so much to us, that we're willing to take the time to make something special just for them, while thinking of them.
That is why we had a special Valentine's day. We finished breakfast, and I read one of Jonah's favorite books: I Love You More Than Rainbows by Susan E Crites. Jonah calls this book "Rainbows." He loves it, and makes references to it quite a bit.
Then I told Jonah that we were going to the zoo, and he insisted on reading the book where Curious George goes to the zoo and feeds all of the animals. After our books, we got dressed in our red outfits- Evie even had hearts on her onesie, because I told you I'm just that kind of mom- and went to the zoo. Yes, the zoo, in the middle of February.
The Cleveland Zoo has a wonderful indoor exhibit called The Rainforest. One step inside, and you forget about the cold Ohio weather instantly. Within seconds we had shed our winter coats, blankets, and sweaters to enjoy the warm humidity. If you are in the area, I highly recommend The Rainforest as a cabin fever buster. Not only is it warm, but this is the best time of year to enjoy it! Besides a couple of school groups, and a few homeschoolers here and there, the place is empty. Wonderful for taking toddlers or babies.
We saw some pretty amazing creatures and plant life. Jonah got to touch a snake, which he was still talking about at bedtime. He called it a "baby snake" even though it was full grown. I guess it was a smallish snake, so he dubbed it a baby. He also really liked the frogs. We spent quite a while looking at them and saying "ribbit!"
We ate lunch, which was of course heart shaped. Cutting a sandwich into a heart was actually much easier than I thought it would be. I simply cut the bottom corners off at an angle that brought the cuts to a point, then cut a wedge out of the rounded top, in the middle. The bread was already kind of heart shaped when I looked at it, I just had to polish it up a bit! I ate the scraps as a snack later, wouldn't want to waste perfectly good sandwich!
Starting around lunch time, Jonah started asking where the crocodile is. He wanted to see a crocodile. Jonah see crocodile, where crocodile, crocodile in there now.... I said more than a few prayers that there was at least one crocodile in the Cleveland zoo.. or at least something that I could pass off as a crocodile.
We were in luck! I am not sure if you can tell in this photograph, but that is a crocodile's foot just above Jonah's head. The crocodile was swimming and you could go under his exhibit to see him move through the water. Jonah was ecstatic. This really surprised me, because Jonah has NEVER shown interest in crocodiles! I didn't even know that he knew what one was until he began asking to see one! He also surprised me by naming the koalas, which to my knowledge he has never seen. I think he watches too much Go Diego Go, but then another voice is telling me that logically if he is learning about these things from that show, and is learning to talk about them, then maybe it's not such a bad thing that I let him watch it while I make lunch!
On the way home, we stopped and picked up some things to decorate sugar cookies, for dessert, and a special card for Daddy. Jonah picked one out that had a dog on it and that was for dads, and I picked a sappy lovey dovey one out for my husband. When we came home, Jonah drew a picture inside his card using red, pink, and purple crayons. He said it was a valentine's rainbow for Dada. He loves drawing rainbows- more on that later! Then Daryl came home with a heart shaped balloon for each of the kids and a card for me. It was a wonderful family valentine's evening! I hope every valentine's day is like this- well at least until the kids are old enough to date, then they might have different ideas of what Valentine's day activities should occur!