charlotte | for valentine's day.

for the sake of comparison, here's last valentine's day.

this year, H and i were both in charlotte for the holiday again. mainly because friday and monday were both state holidays, so it made for a long weekend without having to take time off of work. (time off, for H. i am still unemployed so i can do whatever i want, whenever i want.) (lol, right.)

i arrived in the early afternoon on thursday and met up with my dad to go shopping for my mom, for valentine's day. (super sweet.) later, we relaxed back at the house and watched a marathon of blue bloods, which is basically my dad's love language.

bailey and i got in some good cuddles.

after T got home from work, i got to hang out at her house and was pleasantly surprised to find that luca and i are, once again, friends. (because last time it was a little touch-and-go for a while.)

H arrived the next day, bearing gifts. (this ninja turtles sweatshirt.) he was THRILLED. although, not a huge fan of wearing the hood. he would put it on to show you, but then he'd push it off.

over the next few days, we had lots of sister time, lots of luca time, and spent lots of time laughing until we cried.

while hanging out at my parents' house, H brought out the doll house and tub of furniture. T had texted a few months ago when they had these things out, so none of it was new for luca, but it was fun to watch him play with (not the right term. destroy?) the toys we played with when we were little.

and um, yes of course i spent some time setting up the house and creating an entire family dynamic for the dolls that lived in it. how could i not??

(we don't have any dad dollhouse people, so we always include something about how he's out of town for work or something.)

T snapped this photo (and a few others) because she thought it was hilarious that luca and i were both playing, but with separate toys.

later, he would come over and, one by one, throw each piece of furniture out of the house, even taking the roof off and all. he was basically a human tornado that
destroyed the lives of my family living inside this house.

at this point, T had come over and sat down. (after taking so many photos of me playing with it by myself, she decided to join.) i handed her the girl with blonde hair and pointed out that she was the blonde one and i was the brunette one. at the same time, we put our girls in the house. she put her girl at the kitchen sink as i put my girl on the couch. then we died laughing at how accurate that is to real life.

even on days when luca and i are friends, when he wants to hold my hand and lays on me when we're sitting on the couch, he still prefers his mom and dad when it comes to his bedtime routine. he wants them to change him, read to him, rock him before putting him in his crib.

on this night, after pretending we were wearing capes and running around his room (see: the sweatshirt draped over my shoulders), he put up a small fight, but eventually settled in and let me not only hold the book, but also read the words to him.

on another night, T had said something about having five guys for lunch, and luca repeated her but called it "four guys." so i said, "four guys?? where did the fifth guy go?"

without pausing: TARGET.

(luca loves target and asks to go there daily. usually because he knows he gets a toy almost every time he goes, but let's be real. aren't the things we don't need the real reason anyone ever goes to target?)

we went to old navy, because they were about to go on vacation to florida. while there was once a time we could go shopping, with him tagging along, perfectly content with a monster truck in hand, these days he's all about running. i chased him, and he chased me, around and around old navy while T shopped and lee was ...i don't know, silently thankful that auntie was doing all the running?

but seriously, if i stopped because i was tired or sweaty or thirsty (which i was, all of those things), he would look up at me and say, "again!" and "ready, on your mark, get set, go!" and if i didn't immediately go, he would put his head down and whine. and so, like any good auntie would, i kept running. again and again and again.

he got these cool new red flip flops he was really excited about. when we got home, he asked me to take the tags off and put them on his feet. when i asked him to come over and show me his new shoes, this ^ is what he did.

he's really into "watching something" on netflix –– which is a real thing he will say to you. he doesn't always ask for something specific, sometimes he asks to simply watching something. (and the way he says it is enough to make you want to say yes.)

the land before time is his current favorite. DINOSAURS, he calls it. and he does this thing during the universal fanfare at the beginning, where he sings "ba ba ba" along with it, like in the beginning of the minions movie. he imitates the whole thing, including putting his head down like he's falling over (like the minion does) at the end.

and then he looks up at you and says, "like minions!"

last but not least. i will leave you with this. a reese's cup sandwiched in an oreo.

highly recommended.