Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentines 2013 (Or: The Surprise Health Benefits of Paper Pea Pods)

It has been a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day week at work.  (And not just for me: it's the week before February vacation and it's been awful for everyone.)

I was lazy this weekend and didn't make Valentines with the kids.  I had in mind what I wanted to do with them, though, and we didn't need 8 million.  WHM only has 4 kids in his class, including him!  And CAM has 18, including her.  So I was lazy, knowing we could do them Monday or Tuesday.

But Monday stunk.

And Tuesday, we took a family trip out to Target. (Remember, it's an endeavor now -- so it's not ridiculous that we make an event of it.  We usually go out to Target and then eat dinner, and that's our night, kids!)  Among other things we needed to pick up, I wanted to look at their Valentines to decide if I was going to make them with CAM and WHM, or if we'd find something too cute to pass up.

(On our way home from school, CAM and I had already stopped at the store and purchased some extra buttons to make the ones I had in mind.)

Now, I am the first to admit that sometimes am frivolous with money, or at least I splurge on things that might not make sense to people.  But I am also the first to admit that I am downright cheap about the weirdest things.  Valentines?  It physically HURTS me to spend $18 on store-bought Valentines.  HURTS me.  And after last year's Valentines (which were themselves making up for the year before's -- oy vey), I couldn't just do store-bought little folding cards.  (I mean, I could, but ... I've let my kids and myself down enough already this year.  They wouldn't know the difference, but I would.)  

But there was Mick, in the aisle at Target, arguing for spending $23 on Valentines.  $23!!  That buys 2/3 of our family dinner!  (We had a coupon.  See: "I'm cheap," above.)


I spent a solid 20 minutes hemming and hawing and calculating and contemplating, rummaging through the picked-over Valentines section, and then finally said forget it.

I did it.

Mick's argument:  "I know you, and you're going to not make the Valentines tonight which means you have to do them all tomorrow and it will be too much and you'll be all stressed and I'll have to deal with it."

Wrong -- I knew they were going to be easy.

But whatever.  I rationalized it that if I hurried up and did them with the kids Wednesday night then it was possible that Mick could return all the unused Valentine stuff to Target with the receipt and still get full price back but would he mind driving all the way back to Target and would the round trip eat up the "savings" of returning the Valentines we don't want?  I made myself crazy.  I'm awful like that, I know, but I convinced myself that I could convince Mick to go back if I asked.

I'm sick even writing this out.  I could have bought a few bags of tootsie rolls and made pretty little Valentines bags.  But nooooo, we got $1 each little Tootsie Roll banks ....

(Side note: I opened one and in retrospect, they have a boatload of Tootsie Rolls in them.  I was very pleasantly surprised and probably would have had to spend close to $18 on bags of candy to achieve the same volume.)

Anyway.  In the meantime, we got an email regarding CAM's class party, and I found myself needing to send something in -- and of course, I have no "easy to send in to school for a class party" food -- no unopened bags of chips, no fruit snacks in large quantities, nothing.  So the tootsie rolls?  Well, maybe they'd work, after all ... maybe Mick wasn't going to have to drive to Target.

And on top of that, yesterday I was so angry and frustrated at work that I almost took a half day to come home and cool off.  Instead of doing that -- which would, in the end, punish me because it would be my own sick time I'm wasting -- I sat at my desk and steamed, resolved to do nothing (nothing!!) related to "real" work.  And so, I cut out pea pods.

Yep, you read that right.  I cut out 25 pea pods.

While Mick cooked dinner last night, (you read that right, too -- homemade tomato seafood soup, no less!) I cut out hearts.  Those were the two things the kids couldn't cut on their own.

Then, after dinner, we wrote and glued and stuck ...

... and these were the result:

Not too shabby, huh?!  I'm especially proud that although I did the hard cutting (and really, CAM could have cut the pea pods, but I knew it would take her a long time to cut out 25 of them), the only other thing I did was write the "To/From" parts and put down the glue dots.  The kids put the buttons on, put the pea pods and the hearts on, and CAM wrote her name and her friends' names, and WHM signed his own name.   I love that these valentines were really from and by the kids. 

Best of all, the crafting and the time with my kids was rewarding enough that I calmed down enough to function.

And now, I don't even need to move to Australia.

It's really amazing what a few pea pods can do!


1 comment:

  1. You are one devoted pea-pod cutter-outer. And I'm again bummed about our no-candy rule. Tootsie Rolls rock!