Rip-off Artist

Now that we have recovered from Land Beaver Day and Beyonce Bowl, it is time to turn my house into a child labor factory and crank out some lovingly homemade valentines. My kids are really looking forward to it because they have no idea what is in store for them.

My mom is a retired art teacher (and by “retired” I mean “not teaching anymore but got her Ed.D. for fun, whee”). When she was visiting over the holidays we went shopping at Paper Source, the store where I could almost justify destroying my children’s financial future for some beautiful paper products. Somehow, as I was hypnotized by the sturdy cardstock and loopy fonts, my crafty mom convinced me that I could make the valentines that were on display in the store. And not just make them, but that I could make them better than Paper Source, and get my kids to help. Please note that I had not been drinking. Much.

So we stole a Paper Source catalog (OK, they were free, but I felt so Thelma and Louise, ripping off someone’s idea!) and went to Michael’s with a long list of supplies. Approximately six days later we emerged, tired and dehydrated, with piles of red paper and glue sticks and stickers. Which all cost more than the pre-made kits at Paper Source. Um.

After talking up the projects for weeks to the kids, I finally made some examples this weekend. They really are adorable, and look like only slightly crappier versions of the Paper Source valentines:

But they are kind of hard to make, and I predict my kids will make two before they are bored and things devolve into bribery and threats. Each one took me a good 15 minutes, and I am a really good cutter and gluer. Seriously, that’s on my resume, right next to my law school honors (which are totes going to be put to good use over the next week as I spend 20 hours cutting out hedgehogs and heart-shaped guitars).

My daughter is going to give out the hedgehogs in honor of her beloved Piney Porky McHedgypants. To complete our Paper Source rip-off, we’re writing “Hedgehugs and Kisses” on the back. All of her pre-school friends who cannot read will love it: “Oh, L is so clever with her thoughtful play on words – ‘hedgehugs’! Now can someone help me get this crayon out of my nose.” My son is giving out the guitars, and I’m going to force ask him to write “You rock!” on all of them. He will be pissed off about it probably after the sixth valentine, and will try to convince me that he just has to sign his name because, in fact, some of the kids in his class do not rock at all. Happy Valentine’s Day! Love is in the air.

And even though my mom got me in to all of this, there is something kind of magical about having a grandma who was an art teacher. She can talk me in to trying any art project, and in between the moments of negotiating and complaining, I’m sure the kids and I will have fun. As great as our grandma is, though, this is the kind of bad ass grandma I would want on a road trip. Except for all of the stopping for tickets, it would be amazing. But why didn’t the cops stop her sooner? And how did she not make it to her granddaughter’s dance after all that trouble? Well, at least they all have a good story to tell.

I hope I can say that after we make our valentines this week.

It IS Tricky

This weekend is big in my house: Groundhog Day on Saturday, followed by Superbowl Sunday. My kids are very excited for Groundhog Day, in part because I told them that groundhogs can also be called whistle-pigs or land beavers, which made us laugh hysterically for what I hope were very different reasons. Here is a romantic land beaver that is OK to look at while you are at work:

Romantic Whistle Pig

Last year we watched the video of Punxatawney Phil coming out of his hole over and over, and let me tell you, it never got any less weird. First of all, the groundhog comes out of a place called Gobbler’s Knob, which no matter how you say it sounds dirty. Second, the grown men dressed in period costumes who pull the named rodent out of his man made den…I am done with that sentence – there is nothing else to add to fully convey how weird it all is. Here is a picture of some of the, oh, 75 or so old men who participate in the offering up of the whistle-pig to Al Roker, King of the Meteorologists, for their annual sacrifice.

Punxatawney 2
Shortly after this picture, Phil was beheaded and made into nuggets.

Once my kids recover from their whistle-pig hangover, it will be time for the Superbowl. For all of you sports fans, it looks like two teams will be playing against each other in between the commercials, and one of them will win.

In case you have not been following The BeyHive or any other important news for the past six months, let me be the first to tell you that Beyonce is doing the halftime show. It should be a good show because (1) she is almost certainly not going to lip sync, and (2) she is trying to make us all believe that Destiny’s Child is not to have a reunion on the halftime stage but OH THEY ARE. I know this because I have extremely well-placed sources Michelle Williams is a terrible liar.

While Beyonce gets a national stage (again) this weekend, I think it’s about time her little sister got some attention, too. Solange is so stylish that she looks like all the best clothes in Anthropologie (not this stuff) combined with all the non-annoying parts of hipsters (not these guys, who might all be lovely people but this is the first image that came up when I Googled “hipsters are annoying”). I could listen to Solange’s song “Losing You” for hours, which I confirmed just today. I dare you to only listen once.

If I attempted to wear any of the outfits Solange is wearing in this video, people would reasonably assume that I was some sort of hobo clown. And yet she looks amazing. Could Beyonce do that? Yes, and probably better than her little sister, but whatever. Interesting fact: that “wahhh!” noise you hear over and over in the song, the one that sounds like someone kicking a bird, or the noise Edith Bunker might make when surprised? That is actually me.

And here is just one more younger sibling who deserves some attention (although I have a feeling he probably demands plenty of attention on an hourly basis). This kid has some sweet moves, which are only enhanced by his mom and older sister’s total embarrassment:

Water that lawn, little brother.

I Heart Celebs

Alert, alert, the Golden Globes are on tonight! Even though my husband keeps saying, “This is like your Superbowl!”, no, it is not, the Oscars are my Superbowl and the Golden Globes are my NFC playoffs. I just Googled “important football games” to come up with that.

[Side note: Al Roker is interviewing celebs on the red carpet now, and instead of listening to a single word Julia Louis-Dreyfuss is saying, all I can think is that Al Roker pooped himself at the White House. And I don’t know which was worse – that he DID THAT (I can’t even type it again), or that he then sat down in a staged “hard-hitting” interview to promote his book and in a misguided attempt to open up to his fans, he actually revealed that HE DID THAT.]

So yesterday was my husband’s birthday. This was his birthday present (well, the one I can show you pictures of, rowr!):

Do you know what that is? Because I didn’t. It is a bar you hang in a door frame so that you can do pull-ups in various positions throughout your house. He actually wanted this as a present. Do you know what I would do if someone gave this to me? I would flail my weak, flabby arms in the air and be totally offended, and then ask for some help lifting the box into my car so I could return it to the store. This is just one of the many ways in which my husband and I are different: he is not particularly sensitive (one might say “insensitive”) and I am extremely sensitive (or “constantly reasonable and predictable”). Also, he has upper body strength.

So my husband opened his present in the morning and then got a few hours by himself over the weekend, and we had a nice dinner with friends. That he cooked pretty much on his own. That was his birthday. For my kids’ birthdays, I plan weeks and months ahead of time, spend hundreds of dollars and days planning, and try to make every party meaningful and fun. And right as I am starting to feel a tinge of guilt, both for doing next to nothing for my husband and going overboard for my kids, I stumble across an article describing how Beyonce and Jay-Z spent $200K on Blue Ivy’s first birthday party. And while (1) I am sure the article is mostly not true, (2) Beyonce and Jay-Z could probably find $200K in the cushions of their solid-platinum-yet-perfectly-comfortable couch, and (3) a diamond encrusted Barbie doll just sounds dangerous, the article made me feel better. At least I am not spending $200K on my kids’ birthday parties, right?! Once again, thank you, Bey and Hova for putting things in perspective.

And now I have to wrap this up because I just saw Benedict Cumberbatch on the Golden Globes and almost fell off my couch. And his date for the evening is wearing a turban. Seriously, is he real?! I need to go ask my husband if I am hallucinating. More than usual, I mean.