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If you’ve read my recent post about Valentine’s Day, you’ll know that I’ve vowed to keep things PG-13 this year. And let me clarify before you get any ideas about this blog – I’m still talking food and beverage. 

There will be no mass consumption of alcohol, no next-day apologies…no questions as to whether I’m still technically part of the family. 

I’ve pledged to do more of the Valentine’s Day activities that you’d expect from a mother of three. Baking? Check. Handwritten cards? Check. Chocolate? Yes, please, all of it.

This’ll be a new thing for me. I’m never one to pre-plan for Valentine’s Day. Christmas? Different story. I once ordered presents in August, just to get a jump start on my wrapping. A summer babysitter once innocently asked what all the boxes were for, and when I responded “Christmas”, I could see furtive glances towards the nearest exit.

But Valentine’s Day always surprises me. It takes up a small amount of brain space during the month of February – in the form of “I think it’s coming up soon.” And then, one day, the kids’ backpacks come home with a bulky mound of candy and Hallmark-emblazoned paper with rickety signatures, and gosh darnit, you’ve missed it again.

In an effort not to be the Valentine curmudgeon of years past, I visited our neighborhood Michael’s to pick up some supplies. By the way, have you been to Michael’s? I know that the prospect of visiting a big box retailer may be less thrilling for those of you living in suburban areas, but they just opened one up in Chelsea and it’s like Disneyland. For crafters. I’m definitely not a crafter, but I can get sucked into the moment if I’m in the right place.

There were multiple aisles of Valentine’s day gear from stickers, to heart-stamped tape, paisley-printed cardboard, and plastic jewels to tack onto your love notes. I’m embarrassed to say how much I spent, but I’m comforted by the fact that we’ll have Valentine’s Day crafting materials until my youngest reaches Middle school.

So that’s what we did this weekend. For 15 minutes. Just until the novelty wore off, prompting me to subtly remind {nag} my kids for the rest of the weekend that each child in the class needs a card, not just close friends.

And those reminders were just for the girls. Sam took one look at the heap of pink and red construction paper and decided that he’d prefer to build Ninja stars.

Apologies, friends of Sam. There won’t be Valentine’s Day cards this year. I hope that you’ll forgive me; it wasn’t for lack of effort.

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So what, you might ask, did we do with the other 47 hours and 45 minutes of our weekend?

This just about sums it up. Give a kid a plastic flying saucer and a snow-covered mini hill and you’ve entertained them for hours.

This would be “warm weather sledding”…

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And its seasonal counterpart “cold weather sledding”….

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I’m tired…are you?

That’s about as much Valentine’s Day prep as I can handle in one weekend. Over and out friends!

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