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Sunday, February 15, 2004

A Beary Special Valentine's Day!

Spaulding: Considering that Mommy and Daddy have always intentionally ignored Valentine's Day... Teddy: ...they say that they show their love for each other every day and Valentine's Day is merely a greeting card company ploy to sell more stuff in an otherwise dead month for greeting card sales, so they refuse to go along with it... Spaulding: ...Valentine's Day has become quite an event in our little Teddy Bear World! Teddy: It started last year, when Spaulding and Lady decided to celebrate the day, even if Mommy and Daddy aren't big fans! Spaulding: We made plans early, which included having Axlerod and Teddy watch the kids while Lady and I had some private time, just to cuddle and talk. Teddy: But they also decided to give each other romantic, specially made for the other, cards that Mommy helped them make! Spaulding (blushing so much he looks like a crimson bear): Oh, yeah! I remember her card! And I can't believe how close she came to my card for her! ::::::::::::::::::::::::He continues to blush with a big smile on his face, knowing that it was such a special thing between the two of them that neither were going to go into any detail of what those cards were. Lady, who is here to help with the journal entry along with the rest of the family, is also blushing as much as Spaulding. Fortunately, the kids are more interested in helping with the journal, so they don't notice enough to ask anything about what's happening.:::::::::::::::::::::::: Teddy: Now Daddy was watching Mommy helping Spaulding and then Lady make their cards, so he got to thinking about his own cute, sweet, and beary special, little Teddy Bear--ME! All: Kehehehehehehehehehehehe :::::::::::::::::Teddy, in shock, looks at the others for an explanation for the laughing. It brings more laughter, which he simply doesn't understand. He has all the confidence of a "beary special" Teddy Bear, so doesn't consider what he says as boasting, which is exactly why everyone is laughing.:::::::::::::::::::: Spaulding: Since Mommy and Daddy don't celebrate Valentine's Day, it was no big thing for them to go out grocery shopping on Valentine's Day, last year. Lady (still blushing a little): Actually, I think they went out that day to give us some alone time too! ::::::::::::Spaulding thinks for a moment, and then nods in agreement while the blushing rises a little more again.::::::::::::: Teddy: Hey, Valentine, you were there, why don't you tell the story? Valentine (delighted to tell the story, but a bit bashful with everyone suddenly looking at her): I was sitting on a shelf in the "Seasonal Aisle" with all the other Easter decorations, particularly other stuffed bunny rabbits, lambs and chicks, when a huge hand pulled me off my shelf, turned me all around, as the beary big person... Teddy: ...Daddy!... Valentine: ...yeah, but I didn't know much at that time, not quite being born yet! I think he was checking to see if I had any flaws! Teddy: You're perfect though, so he didn't find any! ::::::::::::::::::The whole family smiles as they nod in agreement.:::::::::::::::: Valentine (blushing more now and looking at her long feet): Well, he rushed me over to Mommy... Teddy: ...even though you didn't know she was Mommy yet... Valentine (nodding in agreement and looking into Teddy's sweet face): ...and asked her if she thought I would be a good size for someone named Teddy! Dee (trying to be helpful): Oh, you're perfect for Teddy! Valentine (blushing again): That's what Mommy said, even though I didn't know who or what a Teddy was back then, not being born quite yet! Teddy: Daddy was sad to see me without someone special on Valentine's Day, so he had to buy me someone to love for all my beary own! The way Mommy tells it, they really rushed to put the groceries away, looking forward to seeing my face when they sprung this surprise on me! Ding (having experienced a few crushes of his own, so early in his young life): It was a great face you made too! You smiled so big, I thought the two ends of your mouth were going to meet on the back of your head! Axlerod: I was afraid that Daddy was going to drop her, when she started speaking her first words... All, in unison): "Hi, bunny! Hop along with me! Boing boing boing boing boing boing boing boing! Happy Springtime! Boing boing boing boing boing boing boing boing!" Kehehehehehehehehehehehe Lady (to explain to those who read this journal): Valentine is the only one of us to have the ability to speak out loud in Peoples World! Teddy: The minute I pulled her out of that bag, she became officially born! Axlerod: And you officially fell in love with her! All: Kehehehehehehehehehehehehe Valentine (suddenly finding her courage): And I fell in love with him too! All: Kehehehehehehehehehehehehe Lady: We were nice enough to let her get to know everyone without rushing in on her or overwhelming her though! Valentine: I dunno about that! On the shelf, we were often handled by little kids, so we used to think we were all going to homes with kids in them. Sometimes the kids were beary little and tried to suck on our ears or foot. Sometimes they would be grumpy and toss us clear across the aisle. Most of us wanted to grow up with little kids,...or, at least figured we would grow up with little kids! I never expected to belong to another stuffed animal! Never heard of such a thing! Teddy: Well, if it helps any, officially you belong to Mommy! Valentine (again feeling shy, but also bold enough to say what's on her mind): No, I belong to you, Honey! All: Kehehehehehehehehehehehe Valentine (over her shyness again): But still coming to a new home and meeting so many stuffed animals at once was scary! Good scary, like going down a sliding board for the first time, but scary! All: Kehehehehehehehehehehehe Dee (feeling very grown up like compassion): Did we make it easy on you? Valentine: My memories are fading of before being born and of being newly born, but I do remember three things that made me realize I was home and beary loved. Dee: What were they? Valentine: The first was you giving me your summer dress to wear, so I wouldn't be cold. It didn't fit so well, but it made me feel like part of the family. ::::::::::::::::::::Dee blushes as Valentine looks at Teddy.:::::::::::::::::::::: Valentine: The second thing was waking up one of those first mornings and finding myself leaning against your shoulder as you held my paw so nice and warmly! :::::::::::::::::::Teddy now blushes.:::::::::::::::::::::: Valentine: And the third thing was Mommy actually ordering, just for me, my beary own special snaps for my beary own overalls, complete with the pink calico, so no one would mistake me for a boy, even if I wear overalls! That's when I knew I really belonged and wanted to live here always--kids or not! Ding (puzzled and glanicng towards Dee): Aren't we kids? All: Kehehehehehehehehehehehe Valentine (with her big smile that mirrors Teddy's smile): Of course you are, but I meant the Peoples World kind! All: Kehehehehehehehehehehehe Spaulding (after listening to this story, remembers why they all came to add to the journal this day): We will also be talking about this Valentine's Day too, right?! All: Kehehehehehehehehehehehe Teddy: Sure, but we had to start at last Valentine's Day to s'plain why this one was so beary important! ::::::::::::::::::::::All nod in agreement.::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Dee (feeling just a little more connected with the grown up stuffed animal gals at the moment): This year, we all had something special in mind! Ding: Last year, we were still too little to know much about Valentine's Day, but with watching what happened when Aunt Valentine joined our family... Spaulding (with a proud Poppa smile on his face): ...and my son having a couple of crushes in the last year... :::::::::::::Everyone smiles at Ding, but know if they laugh, he will lose his confidence altogether.:::::::::::::::: Ding (blushing, but feeling a bit more connected with grown up stuffed animal guys at the moment): ...and watching our parents showing affection to each other all our lives.... Dee: ...and watching Uncle Teddy and Aunt Valentine fall in love so quickly and then getting married with our parents on Easter last year... Ding: ...this year we all wanted to make the day doubly special--in celebration of Valentine's birthday and as a day that we show how much we love each other! ::::::::All applaud Ding and Dee's little speech with geniune agreement and joy.:::::::::: Lady: We each had our own little ideas of what we wanted to do for one another. Valentine: We had so many plans that we were afraid that we would get all crossed up with the plans if we didn't tell everyone else. Axlerod: Being the patriarch of the family.... Teddy: "Patriarch!" Good word! Dee (not ashamed to ask at all): What does it mean? Spaulding: Every family has one person they look to for guidance, or to make a decision if no one is in agreement.... Lady: ...Generally, it's either the oldest or one of the oldest members of the family, because they have experienced more over the years, hopefully knowing all the other members beary well and basing their decisions on that knowledge.... Teddy: ...If that person is a gal, then she is called the "matriarch," because "matri-" means "mother.".... Valentine: And, like in this family, if that person is a guy, like Axlerod, then he is called "patriarch," because "patri-" means "father." :::::::::Ding and Dee think this over and are awaken shortly afterwards, so they don't miss anything.::::::::::::::: Axlerod (smiling at his grandchildren as he realizes how much they are like the rest of the family): Well, being the patriarch of this family, I was the one everyone was seeing for advice and ideas. It didn't take long before I noticed that some of these ideas were conflicting with other's plans. :::::::::::All look at him with confusion and surprise, not realizing, that each of them wasn't the only one to go talk to Axlerod.::::::::::::: Axlerod: And, since I often go to Mommy for help too, we both found out it was getting more complicated then we originally planned. We had to do something quickly, or there would be hurt feelings on the day of the year when that just isn't supposed to happen! :::::::::Axlerod and Mommy look at each other and nod solemnly.::::::::::::::::: Axlerod: Mommy knows that for some strange reason, we don't always like telling Mommy and Daddy our adventurous plans! :::::::Glancing at Mommy, Axlerod knows she is about to explain why, even if she hates interferring with their journal entries and prefers just to be the one who takes down all they say.:::::::::::: Axlerod (quickly to stop Mommy): Actually, we talked that over too, and figured out that we stuffed animals hate to tell Mommy and Daddy our adventurous plans because we don't want them to feel badly because they can't always come and we don't want them to worry too much about us while we're gone, even if I stop time while we're gone and they don't know we left! Spaulding (kind of embarrassed to say this, but feeling the need to say it so his children know that he knows this too): Also, we just like to go places without feeling like having our Mommy and Daddy HAVE to go with us! It makes us feel more grown up! :::::::::::Ding and Dee, knowing the feeling well, drop their jaws as they discover their parents know it too.:::::::::::::: Axlerod: So, before everything got out of hand, I had us gather for a family meeting last Wednesday night, after Teddy and Spaulding finished their last entrance into this journal... Teddy: ...and after dinner, of course! All: Kehehehehehehehehehehehe Axlerod: You need surprises for Valentine's Day and for birthdays, so I divided everyone's plans into two parts:... Lady: ...the first part was the surprises that we could keep even after agreeing on the second part. Valentine: And the second part was stuff we would all be doing together---like who's making dinner and where we were going to eat! Axlerod: That was the problem developing! The gals wanted to surpirse the guys with a specially made hotdog metloaf, but the guys were planning on taking the gals out for dinner! Then there was also the problem of what to do. Since it is such a beary special day this year, we had to go somewhere and do something, but could we do that without worrying about taking care of Mommy and Daddy?! Teddy: I particularly didn't want Valentine to make dinner, since it was her birthday too, so she should be treated like a queen for that day! Valentine (with her very biggest smile): As if you don't treat me like a queen every day! All: Kehehehehehehehehehehehe Dee: I already planned to help my Mommy and Aunt Valentine to make dinner, so I offered to help my Mommy more, so Aunt Valentine didn't have to cook at all! Valentine: BUT, I wanted to do something specal for Teddy for Valentine's Day... Ding (speaking to the readers): Are you confused yet?! All: Kehehehehehehehehehehehe Axlerod: That's when some of the secrets everyone was telling me came in handy! Several family members had secret plans on where they wanted to take others, but Valentine was one of them, and she wanted to have a picnic, of sorts, at the Alice in Wonderland exhibit in the Please Touch Museum, which is a museum in our home city of Philadelphia, PA specially created for kids! Dee (also speaking to the readers): Stuffed animals, no matter how old they become, are always kids! My grandpa, Axlerod, is a kid, a beary old kid, but a kid still! He's just an older then me kid! All: Kehehehehehehehehehehehe Axlerod: For Valentine's birthday AND for everyone else to celebrate their love for one another, I decided, with everyone's permission, that instead of Valentine contributing to the day by cooking something special for Teddy, we would all go to The Mad Hatter's Tea Party, on behalf of Valentine! Valentine: Sounded good to me, if it sounded all right to Lady. I did promise to help make dinner! Lady: And I felt funny having the birthday gal make her own dinner on his birthday, so it sounded great to me too! Dee: I figured that I'd be able to help more with just Mommy cooking, so I liked it too! Ding: What was beary cool about that meeting is that we all could keep our individual surprises for each other, without having to tell everyone ahead of time! Dee: We all had surprises too! Ding and I were in charge of making a card for Valentine's brithday and a card for everyone for Valentine's Day! Axlerod: Everyone knew they were the card makers, so the only other one to make a card would be Teddy for his wife! They were all great cards too! Ding: It took two tries before we made cards that could be printed, and colored and given! Dee: At first we went to my favorite web site for paint-by-numbers... Ding: ...and the two of us painted a beary fun Valentine's card all by ourselves... Dee: ...only to find out that we couldn't print it!!!! Ding: We worked quite a while on that, and since Grandma... Spaulding: ...Mommy, as the rest of us call her... Ding: ...was helping everyone with their surprises, we only had a little while to make up for it! Dee: Grandma helped us search the Net until we found Ding's favorite coloring pages and then helped us color a birthday card from all of us... Ding: ...Uncle Teddy made his own personal beary special card for Valentine with Mommy's help... Valentine (with great delight): It said that his life was great before me, but now that I'm in his life, his life is soooooooo incredibly GREAT! Can you think of anything nicer to read?! Dee: Did you like our card too?! Valentine: Oh, it was gorgeous--and colored so beary well too! My favorite colors for a birthday cake and balloons! :::::::::::::::::Ding and Dee blush but smile with delight.:::::::::::::::::: Ding: We also found a great coloring page of a box of chocolate in the shape of a heart that could be cut out and taped under what looks like a real top for a box of chocolates! Dee: It was a lot of fun to color too! Did everyone like it?! Lady and Valentine: It was perfect! Thank you! :::::::::::::::Everyone else, including Grandma, nod in agreement.:::::::::::::::::::: Teddy: Spaulding gave me the idea of what to give my Honey for her birthday---the only birthday I know where the WHOLE world celebrates with us! Spaulding: It was an easy idea, since we still had all the stuff needed to do it, after making Daddy his magical key chain and Teddy his macho bracelet, both with their names on them! Teddy: Mommy bought a kit that we can make bracelets, keychains or necklaces with plastic beads and string, and a whoooole bunch of square beads with letters on them. Spaulding gave me it, and it still had enough letters to make Valentine a waistlet... Valentine: a bracelet for my waist... Teddy: ...she really likes it and it looks great on her! ::::::::::::Everyone, including Valentine, nods in agreement, as Valentine rubs her paws along the letters of her name.:::::::::::::: Spaulding: I didn't want to spoil the specialness of Valentine's beary own birthday, but it was also Valentine's Day, and I wanted to do something special for my Laaaaaaaaady! While Mommy secretly measured Valentine's waist, I had her measure the crown of Lady's head too! I s'plained to Mommy the headwear that I wanted her to make my dear, sweet Laaaaaaaaaaaaady! ::::::::Lady steps out in front of everyone, like a model down a runway, and shows off her new light green ear warmer. Everyone ooh's and ahhh's in admiration.::::::::::::: Spaulding (still happy with his choice): I asked Mommy to make it wide enough to be used as either an ear warmer or as a head band to pull her ears back a little, but that it had to be a light green to go along with the light green trim around her faux fur coat. As usual, Mommy made it perfectly! ::::::::::::::::All nod in agreement as Mommy blushes.:::::::::::::::::: All: Kehehehehehehehehehehehehe Axlerod: There was one more group decision to be made before we celebrated together! All: Which day would we celebrate Valentine's Day on?! Axlerod: Yeah, we know that sounds like a no brainer, but in this family sometimes we have to organize everything according to how Mommy and Daddy feel! Lady: There is one day, every week, where Daddy has the energy to do something fun! Teddy: And since it coincided with Valentine's weekend, Daddy announced earlier in the week that he would take Mommy out for brunch to celebrate Friday the 13th! All: Kehehehehehehehehehehehehe Spaulding: I told you that they don't celebrate Valentine's Day! All: Kehehehehehehehehehehehehe Axlerod: Since Daddy and Mommy were going to need all our napergy on Valentine's Day, we all decided to celebrate our special day on the same day as Mommy and Daddy! Valentine: I sure am glad we aren't surperstitious! Teddy: Superstitious?! Who are you kidding? You don't go anywhere without your two rabbit's feet! All: Kehehehehehehehehehehehehe ::::::::::It takes a while for them to all settle down after that laughing fit!::::::::::: Axlerod: We went to the Please Touch Museum's Alice in Wonderland exhibit, while Daddy and Mommy were out. Lady: I brought a beary big hotdog meatloaf just in case others would be joining us! Valentine: Since the Mad Hatter and March Hare were home when we went to their place for our tea party, I'm glad you did! All: Kehehehehehehehehehehehehe Teddy: We found out why those two are considered crazy! Spaulding: Know what they have at their tea parties? All: Coffeecoffeecoffeecoffee!!!! Kehehehehehehehehehehe :::::::::::Again it takes a while for them to settle down after that laughing fit!::::::::::::: Dee: They also had NeHi in the frig, so Ding and I could also drink something while we eat. Ding: We're too young to drink coffeecoffeecoffeecoffee. We usually drink milk, but on special occasions, or during special dinners, we are also allowed to have one beary big NeHi of our choice! Lady: OK, so, Teddy Bears only drink and eat in Teddy Bear World, which is a pretend world, but still, I'm a mother, so just can't cotton to the thought of my kids ALWAYS eating bad things for them, even if we do eat them all the time! I'm a Mom. I can be like that! All: Kehehehehehehehehehehehehe Valentine: The children, who were going through the exhibit as we came in, stayed and celebrated our party with us, the Mad Hatter and the March Hare. Axlerod: With Mommy taking care of the housework and all, plus trying to help us create our beary own web den, it's been so busy lately that we never had time to tell our Beary Buddies about are party! Spaulding (embarrassed and sad): I'm sorry, Beary Buddies, but we will catch you the next time, even if the next brithday in our family is in August! We're getting the Web Den finished and haven't seen you enough lately, so will be making plans to get together as soon as our Web Den is published! We didn't even have time to tell our neighbors downstairs, or the Need-To-Be-Adopted Bears in the basement! Teddy: Still, it's not every day that you have a party with book characters! We're going to have to start considering adventures back in the Astras soon, instead of in Peoples' World! ::::::::::::::::All nod in solemn agreement.::::::::::::::::::: Valentine: It was sad when the party was over, but we did get back home before Mommy and Daddy did! Axlerod: Since Mommy and Daddy were out, I only slowed down time, instead of stopped it! Spaulding: That gave us ample time to nap with them when they did get home! Teddy: Just because the party was over, didn't mean our celebration was over! After dinner that night, still had to show off our secret projects--like the cards and presents! Dee: And I got to show off my beary secret project that no one but grandma knew about! I made two birthday cakes---one for that day, and one for the following day, so Aunt Valentne could have a birthday cake... Ding: ...that looked just like the one in the picture that we drew... Valentine: ...except the one in the picture didn't have hotdogs in the middle... All: Kehehehehehehehehehehehehe Dee: ...on her REAL birthday! Spaulding: Good thing she made two too! Teddy: We managed to eat all of the first one that night, so there would have been no leftovers the following day. Spaulding: It's Daddy's fault! He gave us a small cup of coffeecoffeecoffeecoffee late, and what goes better with coffeecoffeecoffeecoffee then birthday cake?! All: Kehehehehehehehehehehehehe Valentine: My beary first birthday was beary, beary special! Thank you, everyone! Lady: And Valentine's Day was also beary, beary special! Axlerod: Out of all we made and did, the best part was still being together and knowing we are loved beary, beary much! Teddy : And for all reading this, who have Teddy Bears, let it be known... Spaulding: Even if your bears don't say it out loud... Dee and Ding: "Remember, you are beary, beary loved all year long!" Lady: And, if you don't have one--what's holding you up? Go get yourself a Teddy Bear! Valentine: Or any kind of stuffed animal! Teddy: Soooooooo, until next time...

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