Ali Edwards Capture life. Create art.

February 20, 2012

Play By Play | Girl’s Weekend

Simon asked to go spend some time with my parents at the coast so Anna and I had a whole weekend by ourselves.

I’m actually pretty sure this was our first weekend all on our own. It was pretty great. Great to just hang out with her, great to let her pick out things to do and watch and eat, great to listen to her laugh and great to just have her upsets to deal with vs. two.

Here’s a run down of our adventures:

FRIDAY NIGHT | Ate mac & cheese and watched Babes In Toyland (Katie picked it up for us a the library earlier in the day). I let her sleep in bed with me and we read a couple stories before she finally fell asleep and I read until I finished Mockingjay.

SATURDAY | George the cat wanted to wake up earlier than Anna and I and he kept walking over us and purring really loud right in our faces. We finally woke up and Anna asked to watch The Princess & The Frog on my phone. I went downstairs to grab it, fed the animals, picked up my laptop, the newspaper, and some goldfish + apple juice and headed back upstairs. We lounged in bed for the duration of the movie.

Stripped the beds, carried the bedding downstairs to the laundry room and started that process.

Made some eggs and toast and Anna played legos and washed dishes in her little play kitchen (which is basically in our kitchen). I unloaded and re-loaded the dishwasher, cleaned the pantry, kept the laundry moving, cleaned out a couple drawers and she “helped” and chatted and worked on her own dishes and drawer.

We drew cats. And ate more goldfish and some Skittles. We watched Babes In Toyland again (I did a bit more sorting in the kitchen during the second half). Right near the end of the movie she had a melt-down, hit Lily, and ended up in her bedroom for some “quiet” time.

I left her up there for 20 mins or so and went to check on her and she was quietly playing with her Playmobil people.

We cooked together. Sausage and bean soup. To have someone interested in the food being prepared was awesome. Soundtrack was Coldplay’s Mylo Xyloto. We ate together (she had yogurt, oranges and a couple bites of the soup). Soundtrack was Dave Matthews on Pandora.

Did the dishes. Anna played doctor with one of her barbies. I love listening to her stories and conversations.

And then popcorn. And a cup of milk for her. And a couple rounds of Olivia on the DVR.

A meltdown on the way to bed. Stall tactics. Lots of crying. I get her in her PJ’s and get her in her bed. In and out of her room a couple times in-between making my bed and she finally gets that she’s in there for the night. I get ready for bed, check on her again and turn off the light, take a shower and start reading 1000 Gifts.

SUNDAY | When she wakes up we repeat Saturday mornings ritual. Iphone movie, banana muffin (+ a few crumbs) and reading the paper in my bed.

Bath-time for Anna in the big tub.

A trip to Sears to deal with a microwave that’s becoming an expensive fix (with a quick stop for a latte & kid’s hot cocoa – only she was very insistent that it was a “girl’s” hot cocoa vs. a “kid’s”). The microwave is one of those that’s built in above an oven and it’s only sold as a set with the oven. Awesome.

A stop to look for a new coffeepot, two stops at thrift stores. Come home with four new barbies, including two that have pink and purple hair and sparkly bodies. All barbies get a very good bath in the kitchen sink.

Lunch of left-over mac & cheese and strawberries.

A couple Dora episodes for Anna and magazine reading time for me in-between laundry folding sessions. Lots of “potty talk” – right on target for a freshly minted three-year-old.

Head outside for some weeding and picking up dog poop and dreaming about what that space could be. Thinking this may be the year that I really invest some personal time in that space.

Play soccer. Shoot a couple baskets out in the driveway. Lots of laughing. Clean up the yard stuff we got out.

Feed the animals.

Inside for edamame. We both love it. Black Butte Porter for me and apple juice for her. Watch a little TV.

Carry the baskets full of clean laundry upstairs and she helps me put clothes away in Simon’s room, in her room and in my room. Her interest in domestic stuff makes those sorts of chores just a bit more fun. She picks out her jammies. I help her put the top on and she does the bottoms.

She crawls up into my bed for some snuggle time and falls asleep playing a matching game on my phone.

I finish up this post, read a bit more of the paper, and then say a really big thank you prayer.


  • 1.
    dawn said…

    aawww this is so sweet, love the way you captured this with just words and no photos. It still felt like I was right there, can just imagine her little 3 year old meltdowns and attitudes. It is nice to have a little one help with the chores, cooking and keeping company beside you. I bet you both needed this weekend together. I’m sure Simon enjoyed his weekend just as much also.

    Our cat use to wake us up before we were ready and finally we started putting him in the utility room at night. It made me sad at first but after a couple weeks it was nice to know we could sleep in on the weekends.

    Happy Monday and have a good week.

  • 2.
    Lisa said…

    What a wonderful girls’ weekend! Love your heart of gratitude, Ali. I commend you on the awesome way you are focusing your thoughts and actions while navigating this new part of your journey. Oh, and sorry about the microwave.

  • 3.
    Vera said…

    Wonderful mommy+Anna time. Love it! I wonder how Simon’s weekend went?

  • 4.
    Debbie said…

    Thanks for sharing the details of your weekend. I loved reading each word. It’s great that you are able to enjoy some time in bed in the morning with Anna alongside. A great memory recorded.

  • 5.
    Allison said…

    Babes in Toyland used to be my favorite! I’d kind of forgotten about it… must see if I can find it. :)

  • 6.
    Janette said…

    Ahhh I just loved reading this Ali! My 3 daughters are all grown up now, but your story brough back so many wonderful memories of when they were little! My husband is a shift worker so there were many times it was just the 4 of us girls on weekends and I used to love that time alone with them! Sorry about your microwave issues – hope you get that resolved soon. Hugs!

  • 7.
    Ellie A. said…

    OH so amazing. Love. Right now I am enjoying my girlie time w/my baby girl. It gets “Interesting” in here w/Daddy & 2 boys and all the “noise” they bring so Wednesday-Friday is us time after the boys are gone & Daddy’s gone to work. She will be starting Kindergarten in September & be gone for the whole day & her being my baby truth be told I’m taking it harder then her. She tells me how not to worry that when I see the time and it says three- three zero she’ll be home shortly & tell me all she did. SIGH… YES love the stories during barbie play the peek into her imagination is something I am forever thankful. I think to myself WOW was I that imaginative at her age? She also is a “Super Chef” (as she calls herself) in the kitchen before I am there and asking What ingredients will be using today. I really think it’s another BIG reason why I do project Life because w/all the busy moments in our daily life it will be wonderful to go back into these albums and look at the “little things” that I was able to capture and then share w/her and let her know our special time is truly cherished. As well as the time w/my boys but there is something about a Mama & Girlie time that is super sweet. :)

  • 8.
    patty said…

    LOVE how you can make the everyday “stuff” sound like good fun!
    your focus on being G*R*A*T*E*F*U*L & moving “up” amazes me…
    thanks ali for sharing and teaching me how to have GRACE at any point in life….

  • 9.
    Wilma Cole said…

    Such a sweet weekend together.

  • 10.
    Aubree said…

    This sounds like a wonderful weekend! I love that your weekend didn’t need to be filled with “special” out of the ordinary things in order to be considered great!

  • 11.
    BARB T said…

    This was such a wonderful description of a great mom and daughter weekend. It brought back such delightful memories for me. I love that so many little girls, boys too, find the everyday domestic life fun. I hope you continue to enjoy these most precious days.

  • 12.
    Lori said…

    Hope you LOVE 1000 Gifts. It was a life-changing book for me.I am taking your OLW class and I just wrote it down on my gifts list yesterday…. all that I am learning in OLW and what I learn from the poise and strength you show as you walk through changing days. Thank you, Ali.

    • ….
      Kate madaus said…

      I love that book as well! It was life changing for me as well.
      Thanks for sharing your weekend Ali, always a sweet reminder of the simple and good things in life.

  • 13.
    Paula G said…

    Sounds perfect :) The book you started also sounds great. I embarked on The Hunger Games as a read aloud with my 14 year old daughter this weekend. We just finished reading all 7 Harry Potters aloud for the 3rd time (Aspergers = the definition of heaven is repetition!)….so I was excited to switch to a new series. I really should document our weekend the way you just did…may be our last “normal” one for a while due to my mom’s illness and it was a sweet one. I don’t want to forget the tears my daughter cried when the last page of book 7 finished – made reading thousands of pages over and over worth it. PS we may have shared some of the same words in our thankful prayer at bedtime last night.

  • 14.
    Jonnelle said…

    What a wonderful weekend! I’m sure she enjoyed that one-on-one time (as did Simon with your parents!). Thank you for sharing!

  • 15.
    laura g. said…

    what a great weekend with anna!

  • 16.
    Kendra said…

    What an awesome post….and weekend! Will you adopt me :) ?

  • 17.
    Cecilia said…

    How fun! Similar in many ways to my weekend with my 2year old daughter while dad was away studying. I remind myself that it may not always be just the two of us on the weekends and it helps me appreciate the time that much more.

  • 18.
    Ruth G said…

    It is amazing how simple and fun life is when you’ve alone with one child for a change! Sounds like it was a real “girls weekend”! With you reading Mockingjay my first thoughts were the Barbies that sound like they belong in the Capitol…

    • ….
      Ali said…

      HA! I totally thought that too!

  • 19.
    Christine said…

    Nice to see you do all the same chores all day that I do–I am sure a lot of people think you get to create all day! And I LOVED the Hunger Games series–just finished Mockingjay also!

  • 20.
    Liz said…

    Real nice Ali! Anna is one lucky ducky. Wish I were there to help you with the microwave. :)

  • 21.
    emily (justem) said…

    I loved reading this. :) Especially the parts about the melt downs. My daughter will be three at the end of March. It’s good to know that her behavior is not unique! ;)

  • 22.
    Debra Anderson said…

    Beautiful weekend. 1000 Gifts was one of my favorite books last year. I read it twice, once with friends. Savor it.

  • 23.
    Nicky H said…

    That sounds about as perfect as a weekend gets. :)

  • 24.
    madeline St onge said…

    What a perfectly fantastic weekend Ali. So fun even with the melt downs

  • 25.
    Wilda said…

    So So Sweet! My daughter is 11 months old and I’m so looking forward to those special moments when she can interact much more with me.
    Thanks for sharing!

  • 26.
    Bev W. said…

    Nothing could be better then this! I miss these times. Mine is all grown up…cherish the the pic!

  • 27.
    Julie M said…

    I love that you had a girls weekend. I love that one on one time with the kids. You never know how long they will want to be with you so you have to enjoy each & every moment that you can. Sounds like there were plenty of smiles to be had by everyone.

  • 28.
    Teresa said…

    Sounds like a great weekend. I am glad you got that time alone with Anna. My husband left on Sunday to go out of town but then my daughter got invited to a sleepover since there is no school today. I was hoping to have some time alone with her for the day. Well we have two more evenings anyway.

  • 29.
    Jessica said…

    this is so very awesome!

  • 30.
    Karen F from New Zealand said…

    Oh having that one on one time just cruising sounds awesome.It’s good for the soul. Great to see you had that time together and Simon would have loved going to your parents. Everyone so happy.

  • 31.
    Corinne said…

    goldfish? In our house ‘goldfish’ as sliced tinned peaches!

    • ….
      Ali said…

      They are little yellow crackers shaped like goldfish :) .

    • ….
      DaniW in Oz said…

      Ahhh, now that makes more sense – in our house goldfish are, well, goldfish!! I couldn’t imagine why you were taking them into your bed, and then later on, omg, eating them?!!! They must be an American brand, lol!!

      Love the stories, love the memory keeping, thanks for sharing xox

  • 32.
    Lori said…

    Do you like reading one thousand gifts? I read that last year and absolutely love it!

  • 33.
    Jenni Hufford said…

    what a great weekend!!! i can’t wait to hear what you think of 1000 gifts. it is an incredible book!!

  • 34.
    Jill S. said…

    How fun to have some girl time! I read 1000 gifts in December, and it’s the reason my One Little Word for 2012 is “gift” :)

  • 35.
    kat-in-texas said…

    Love your play-by-play, Ali! Fun times. Hope Simon had fun too!

  • 36.
    Lindsey N said…

    I cant wait to do things like this with my little girl. Shes 10 Months now, as much as I enjoy her now I will enjoy the little moments we have together cooking, cleaning, and shopping =)

    This post reminded me of the movie Marley and Me. Where there’s that portion of the movie where he just reads all these little stories.

  • 37.
    Ann said…

    I can’t wait to have some alone time with my girls!
    Have you ever seen the other “Babes in Toyland”? The one with Laurel and Hardy? (It’s also called “March of the Wooden Soldiers”). It’s a family tradition in our house to watch it at Thanksgiving. It’s a cute movie, but the Bogeymen might be a little scary for young kids. Still, one to watch someday!

  • 38.
    Brooke said…

    Sounds like a fabulous weekend. I’m just beginning to get used to some one on one time with my youngest (my eldest is in kindy). I love that you documented your play by play, I’m sure Anna would love to read it when she’s older. And how awesome that Simon asked for some time with his Grandparents.

  • 39.
    orange gearle said…

    I absolutely love this dairy. I have a little girl that is 2.5 (today!) and this sounds so familiar, and lovely. :_)

  • 40.
    jenr said…

    Love to hear about the girls weekend. I have a 12 year old girl who is a competitive swimmer. Our girls weekends are all over the southeast as we travel for meets. While it is not at home, I always look forward to this time together. We leave in March for 3.5 days to Greensboro for Sectionals and I am already looking forward to that time with just her!
    Also love the new Coldplay. Going to see them in Atlanta. Great selection of music :-) )

  • 41.
    Beatrice said…

    Awesome post…What are her favorite app games and movies right now?

    • ….
      Ali said…

      She likes apps that are “matching” games (her favorite (one is called “My Very First App” and includes art from Eric Carle) and still seems to like Monkey Preschool Lunchbox. She loves any and all princess movies :) .

  • 42.
    Lisa W. said…

    what a wonderful post…SO wonderful the one on one time with Anna. So sweet. I truly enjoyed reading and imaganing some of the things Anna did/said. Just so bittersweet:) Thank you Ali for sharing with us all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • 43.
    Karin Podolski said…

    Grear weekend! Don’t back down with Sears—they usually cave when you give them them the squeeze.

  • 44.
    cinback said…

    Ali, you look and sound so happy. I am glad for you.

    • ….
      Ali said…

      I’m trying :) .

  • 45.
    Amber said…

    What a sweet sweet weekend. I love the things they say at this age too. Whenever Tuesday tells me something; today it was, “It would not be good to have a crocodile in a petting zoo.” I ask why and the responses are so good I swear I could listen to her all day. Have you used the phone to record just audio of Anna yet? I do this with Tuesday all the time and there is something about it being just her sweet voice that I love so much. I haven’t decided what to do with all the recordings, but I love them so. Sometimes I listen to the best bits before I go to sleep and wonder what she could be dreaming about (possibly crocodiles at petting zoos tonight!).

  • 46.
    Melissa said…

    I love your blog as this is the first time I am posting. Then, I am sure you enjoyed your girls weekend but you are in my heart and prayers as I know it is still probably hard with the unforeseen changes in your life. My son is almost 3 and we have these days and weekends all the time and I was a single mother for his first 2 years that sometimes it’s pretty lonely with just you and the kids. My prayer while I was a single mother was not for my his dad and I to work things out but that every time he looked into our child’s eyes that he come closer and find God. 2 years later we got married but of course still have our rough patches as he works so much and many times I still feel like a single mother. But all I can say is, I truly enjoy that you still document your life if for anything the kids sake. That is truly amazing and shows how unselfish you are. Keep your head up and enjoy many more weekends and girls time!

  • 47.
    Camille said…

    Sounds like a fun weekend. I used to shre those a lot whne my daughter was small and her Dad and brothers went off on baseball playing weekends. I wouldn’t trade them for the world.I received a question from a friend that I like to share that helps me to remember the way Grace has touched my life, “What if you woke up tomorrow with only what you thanked God for today?” Made me think of all of the ways I am touched daily in my life. You have always helped me to look at life a little closer and enjoy the smaller parts of it. Thanks for that.

  • 48.
    Margalyn said…

    Did you like the Hunger Games Trilogy?!

  • 49.
    Amy P. said…

    Love this blog post! So fun to see how others live their lives. I am thinking that I should try this one weekend, a really good way to document life! Thanks Ali!

  • 50.
    Suz said…

    Minus the meltdowns, sounds like you had a lovely weekend Ali! Edamame is a popular snack for my family too.

    Happy Wednesday to you!

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