Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Kid dates...Tea party

Something that we have tried to do this year as a family is to schedule date nights with the kids. We have done this off and on in the past and have not been very consistent with it. So, I really wanted to recommit to it this year. I feel it's something worth prioritizing. I think the thing that has helped the most to keep us on track with this is, at the first of the month I actually write down a day for each kid on the calendar for their date night. If something comes up than we move the date to another day. So far it's worked and I think it's something they look forward to. I personally enjoy having that one on one time with each kid and I think they LOVE it as well.

The date night consists of doing something with either mom or dad that doesn't cost much money or no money at all. The kids get to choose who they want to have their date night with and what they want to do. I have given Emily a pedicure for one of her date nights. Derek has taken Tyler to the temple to do baptisms. Hayley has chosen to go to a park or have a picnic lunch at home. The possibilities are endless...playing tennis, golf, swimming, hiking, getting a redbox and having a little movie party, going on a walk or bike ride, at home spa, shopping etc. etc.

This month I talked Hayley into having a tea party for her date. Since I just got this new tea set I wanted to try it out. She agreed. The nice thing with Hayley is we can do her date during the day when the older kids are at school. We had our tea party yesterday. We set the table with the new dishes and teapot. Hayley got to choose the menu. Her favorites...mac and cheese, tomatoes and chocolate milk. Got to love that combination. :) She made sure her baby doll came along and set up a high chair for her.

During our little luncheon Hayley wanted to do our "conversation" questions that we do as a family at dinner time. She would pick the slip of paper out and we would each talk about the questions. She was shocked to hear that one of my first jobs was a bagger at a grocery store. That threw her for a loop. We had a nice little time together. We finished it off with some cookies and some reenactments of "Sound of Music"...singing and dancing with her telling me who I was either Wiesel(that is what she thinks Liesel's name is) or Gretel. She is on a big "Sound of Music" kick right now. Good thing we have the movie and soundtrack. :) It really only took 30 minutes out of my day to create a lasting memory. After that I went on with the daily tasks of laundry, cleaning, carpool, dinner etc. etc. When I look back on the day those 30 minutes were the most important minutes of the day.

I know I've got to cherish these moments with her because before I know it she will be at school all day and these moments will be gone. Grateful for the fun time we spent together.

I truly believe we have to make a conscious effort in those things we feel are important or else other things will take over. Life is beyond busy but I also think if we really work hard at trying to set aside some time for those things that have meaning and purpose then it will happen...I'm not saying it's easy but it is possible. I'm not saying I'm perfect on this either...just trying to do a little better.

The table setting. I will be doing a post on the Tulips...inspiration from a dear friend.
She dressed up in one of her favorite dresses.

Helping get the table set for the big event.

Her favorites...

And she just HAD to make a funny face.


Jill said...

I love everything about this post. You are such a good mom Andrea. What a fun memory! Hayley is so funny. I could almost hear her laughing after hearing you were a bagger. ha ha. I love the tomatoes as part of her tea party meal of choice. Isn't she a doll?...and hasn't this Sound of Music kick gone on for a while?... I love you guys! May I request an invite to the next tea party?

Hopeful Homemaker said...

You are awesome! I need to get much better at things like this. Thanks for the gentle nudge, and for the cute pictures of Hayley, her favorite foods, and your darling new tea set!

D-9 said...

We do date nights too with the kids, except it is with Dad and on the anniversary of their birthday. What a beautiful table. Take care.

Alicia said...

I love little Hayley:) Jill is right, you are a good mom Andrea. Thinking of you often and you will continue to be in my prayers:)