Saturday, February 15, 2014

Valentine's Day with the Herd... the Good, the Bad, the scary Ugly

There are tons of things that I absolutely adore about Valentine's day... The sweet notes memories that always surface of he years of love I've shared with the High Roller.... The awesome family we have to love... But there are also some things that are less than dreamy... Especially when you're dealing with a Herd of four wild kids. Valentines Day has a way of making me feel incompetent or insecure in some ways... Like contributing to the Valentines school parties, or getting a gift for the High Roller... But I'm getting better at remembering those things aren't what the holiday represents. 

In preparation for the V-Day parties celebrations at school, I had found some amazing ideas on Pinterest to help the kids make for their friends to give them at the traditional card swap... I really really wanted to get a huge box of silly straws off of Amazon.com and print out these cute cards I found on the evil known as Pinterest... For years I have been too over stretched with responsibilities and time that I have done the bare minimum for the kids' valentines, and I've always felt a pang of guilt when they came home with awesome bags of valentines from their friends that were creative and generous, if not over-the-top at times. Now that LLL is two, and I'm not in crisis survival mode, I decided to do them proud this year.... But when we went to Target to buy the card stock and printer ink, the kids saw the ready-boxed character valentines and went nuts.... They had to have THOSE to take to school! I was slightly disappointed, and dare I say it, embarrassed that they would rather have those than the awesome idea I had found. I kind of tried to persuade them otherwise.... But then I remembered that these were for THEM to give THEIR friends... And if these were what made them happy, then that's what we should do. So we did. We brought them home, and I had them sit at the table, and we diligently began assembling them after they had addressed/signed the sides. 
They were very proud of their work, and we had a blast working on them... It reminded me that things don't have to be complicated for them to be enjoyable and rewarding. Love how much I learn from these people! As you can see, Butch Cassidy chose Batman, Sundance chose Despicable Me minions, and the Princess chose Hello Kitty. They had a fantastic time at their parties, and were proud that their valentines came with a token other than candy that would "last"... Although I'm not vouching for the sturdiness or longevity of the trinkets :) Erasers, temporary tattoos and little bracelets are exciting to kids! The Princess and I also made cupcakes to celebrate... She loves to bake... And LLL was thrilled to sneak one of the Princess' Valentine stamps away to her room... It must've smelled good:

After mentioning the candy... I can't ignore the fact that them bringing home tons of it on Valentine's doesn't ill me out. As a mom of four kids, this creates a nightmarish situation for several days by where people are constantly cracked out from sugar overload, begging me for more candy like a junkie begging for another hit... And if I'm super lucky, finding THIS in their rooms at 7AM on a Saturday :
THAT'S when you know it's going to be a hellish day. Butch Cassidy takes several days to detox from a single cookie... Imagine him after he's crammed a month's worth of carefully spaced out treats all in one sitting.... Kind of makes me think of a meth head or a gremlin that's been fed after midnight. The other kids aren't much better.... Insanely hyper, loud, annoying each other on purpose, disobeying.... It's a mess. I try to make them pour that energy into being productive around the house, because it's somewhat punitive for them and helpful for me, but that's difficult to do when you can't hold their attention longer than 30 seconds. But they're still my minions.... They'll do as I say! ;) 

The kids got sweet cards from my Aunt, along with $5 a piece to spend as they wish! They get so excited about getting mail... And she always sends them a card for holidays :) 
But all in all, it was a fun day. We watched the Charlie Brown Valentine special with them, and then the High Roller grilled us amazing steaks after the Herd went to bed. Wine, steak and laughing in peace with my sweetie makes for a fantastic night.

What did you do for V-Day?! Do your kids get cracked out on the candy too?! How do you handle it?