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Love in the Time of Children

Original post made by Jennifer Fogliani, Whisman Station, on Feb 20, 2012

"Can I get you anything from the store?" My friend, Sarah, asked when she called. There are no sweeter words in the English language for a new mother of three. I thought about asking Sarah to be my Valentine. And then I remembered what I forgot to get at the store.

"Can you get a Valentine's Day card for my husband?" I asked.

"Are you serious?" Sarah asked.

"I'm very serious. Grab whatever card you can and I'll make it work," I said and hung up the phone.

Sarah arrived 30 minutes later with the second to last card in the store. She teased me for waiting until the last second to get a card. And then teased me even more for having her pick it out. But with two young children of her own, Sarah certainly empathized.

It's not surprising that just weeks after having my third child, a romantic Valentine's Day would be the furthest thing from my mind. But I still wanted to find some way to acknowledge my husband on the day dedicated to love, even if it required a little help from my friends.

I had actually been thinking about what to get my husband, Norm, for a few weeks. During nap times and late night feedings, I scoured the internet trying to find the perfect gift - something he didn't already have. And then it hit me.

What he really needs and truly deserves is some time for himself. So I arranged three different activities - a day of golf with his friend, a sports massage, and a boys night out in downtown. I made three certificates and then put them in the Valentine's card that my friend, Sarah, picked out.

My husband's face lit up when he saw the three coupons I had made describing his golf, massage and night out. He laughed when I told him that Sarah had picked out the card. Romantic? Not Exactly. Appreciated? Absolutely.

For dinner on Valentine's night, I pulled left overs out of the freezer. My husband and I sat in front of the TV to watch an episode of our favorite show, CSI.

"Happy Valentine's Day," I said to my husband as we clanked our soda cans together. Just as we were about to take a sip, our 6 week old starting crying and our oldest, Josie, got out of bed for a glass of water.

"Happy Valentine's" my husband said as he gave me a kiss and got up to check on the baby and get Josie a glass of water. Romantic? Not Exactly. Appreciated? Absolutely.

Comments (14)

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Posted by Meme
a resident of Martens-Carmelita
on Feb 20, 2012 at 3:49 pm

More of the same formula. Something gained (children), something lost (me time, independence, no romance for Valentines' day). You're spoiled and your sense of lost entitlement is nauseating.

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Posted by Jennifer Fogliani
a resident of Whisman Station
on Feb 20, 2012 at 4:05 pm

@Meme I am sorry that you find my blog so repetitive and boring. If you are nauseated by my writing, then I'd suggest reading the many other articles in TownSquare and throughout The Voice. You might find them more interesting.

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Posted by Marshall
a resident of Castro City
on Feb 20, 2012 at 5:21 pm

Unlike your other reader, I find your blog entertaining and light hearted. We all need a laugh sometimes, obviously some more than others.

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Posted by Rosi
a resident of another community
on Feb 20, 2012 at 7:13 pm

Jennifer, absolutely wonderful! You are amazing.

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Posted by Rosi
a resident of another community
on Feb 20, 2012 at 7:17 pm

Wow, some people have no sense of kindness..let alone compassion. I think Jennifer writes honestly and intelligently. If you can't understand what she is sharing, then don't read her blog. I, for one, find her blog refreshing, insightful, and honest. And she is absolutely not spoiled. She reveals a loving and kind character, something we all could use.

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Posted by Elaine
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Feb 20, 2012 at 8:31 pm

Well I definitely would agree there are plenty of nauseating articles to go around throughout the Voice. And, that the author's entry themes ring similar most of the time--always complaining about something between the lines. It's no so subtle either. What did the author actually expect motherhood to be like? Try being a working mother or a single mother. Better yet, check out the film, "The Help".

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Posted by allyouCanEat
a resident of Castro City
on Feb 28, 2012 at 8:32 am

I dont get your blog. As if you are the only person who has a family and cute kids. As far as writing skills Im not seeing it. Just another Mom chatting about all of the cute things her Hubby and Kiddies do. Im not trying to be mean, but I feel your space could be used for a better over all use for the city, and its residents.


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Posted by Jennifer Fogliani
a resident of Whisman Station
on Feb 28, 2012 at 9:04 am


I am sorry you don't "get" my blog. Yes, what I write about are stories that many families can relate too - that's part of the appeal for other parents. As for my writing skills - I'd love to hear what exactly you aren't seeing that you'd like to see - I've been a professional writer for over 10 years. This blog is certainly written in a much lighter tone than other things I have written, but I still stand behind my ability.

And I am not sure what exactly you mean by blog taking up "space" as posting my articles on the internet certainly isn't taking the place of other content - there is plenty of room in cyber space for everyone in Mountain View to share their views. I choose to take advantage of an opportunity to share mine and put myself out there - instead of just sitting back and critiquing others.

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Posted by Tracy
a resident of Whisman Station
on Feb 28, 2012 at 9:26 am

There ARE many moms out there with working husbands and cute kids (in fact, this city is full of them, they're a huge demographic), but that doesn't mean that those mothers can't feel isolated in or challenged by their circumstances. Sharing one's experiences is a great way to inspire empathy, and to bring our community closer together.

What's so wrong with that?

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Posted by Sean
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Feb 28, 2012 at 10:56 am

I have to voice my opinion, Jennifer's blog has annoyed me from day one. All of these stupid stories and detailed events of every day events is indeed nauseating. Jennifer h=goes to the store to buy lettuce and makes a story about how Josie knocked a can off the shelf and Sarah picked it up for her and says "you can thank me when your older, Josie" sorry if that example is a spoiler for next week but seriously?

Oh, and your home all day and the best you can come up with for "Valentines Dinner" is frozen left-overs?

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Posted by Observer
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Feb 28, 2012 at 2:45 pm

I think everybody on here needs either to get a job or get help!

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Posted by Expat
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Feb 29, 2012 at 10:04 pm

I fail to understand why if the blog annoys you so much you continue to read it...or are you just looking to critique for the sake of it??

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Posted by Mary
a resident of Jackson Park
on Mar 1, 2012 at 8:04 pm

Thank you for such a great blog, it's so nice to hear that other parents go through similar things.

I am so sorry that people feel the need to be so offensive with their opinions-I wonder if their identity could be found out would they be so candid? Why read something that obviously isn't written to benefit you? I wish I had that kind of spare time!

Like this comment
Posted by cLoWn
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Mar 8, 2012 at 4:43 pm

Indeed, Mary. I'm sure the right person at MV-Voice can find my IP give it to there ISP and one week from now The Voice can un-mask this villainous character known as Detective, or Sean, Meme, or AllYouCanEat....or...or....I mean c'mon? can so many be so wrong? Why do you take such offense to other readers comments? I have happily lived in Mountain View for ten years, I have a ton of downtime at work, I visit this website daily and read most of the stuff that is posted, I choose to continue reading this blog cause it...well i do not want to get flagged but lets just say she has two degrees from Stanford and well....whatever. Awesome blog Jennifer keep it up!

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