The highs and lows of parenting and real estate.

Valentine’s Day Mania (And I Mean That In the Clinical Sense)


How does the Newlin/Real Estate Tangent family celebrate Valentine’s Day, you ask? Why with an overly elaborate and time-consuming art project with a pay-off that is completely disproportionate to the amount of work involved, OF COURSE!

I know, I know: you hate the big V day because it’s a commercialized holiday invented by the greeting card companies to force you to accidentally pay $6.95 (!!!) for an innocuous-looking paper (not titanium, gold leaf or even copper) card for your significant other (like I did yesterday). Your self-righteous disappointment with our society’s need to equate love with money (and your reticence to drop $20 on a nice bouquet of flowers for your wife, you cheap-ass) is duly noted.

But how can you hate anything about these sweet, smiling faces??

It's possible I was in an insane hurry to get this picture uploaded to the Walgreens photo center so I could pick them up and get them into the mail to various Grandparents, Aunts and Uncles so I over color-corrected and didn't realize it until it was too late to change. Or maybe I made the white parts pink on purpose for a festive Valentine's Day touch. One of the two.

OK, I know, you’re wondering what the weird red and gray thing they’re sitting on is, aren’t you? That is the elaborate art project: a giant heart constructed out of legos. And that feeling of confusion and disappointment you’re now experiencing? That’s the little-to-no pay-off part.

This is how it started: I was reading mommy blogs a couple of weeks ago and ran across this one. It was a post about the valentines idea that blogger stole from another blogger, who obviously stole it from another blogger. I think the idea was actually originally invented by Jesus. I took one look at it and thought, Look how easy and adorable that would be! She said it takes like 2 seconds! And it’s probably cheaper than the crap we buy every year. I’m stealing it too. I mean who am I to improve upon the work of Your Lord and Savior?

Fast-forward to last Thursday when Gray successfully talked me into taking the pictures to construct his valentines RIGHT THEN (he’s of an artistic temperament. He likes his projects and likes them NOW). Here’s a quick reconstruction of the mental process that led me down the lego rabbit hole:

Hmm… we probably need a cute background to take their pictures against. Something pretty and festive.

I saw that one blog with the apples in the shape of the heart… That was so cute. I should do something like that…

Maybe I’ll arrange the kid’s crayon collection in the shape of a heart and they can lay in the middle of it… no, Jonas would rain apocalyptic fire down on something like that in 3.2 seconds. It probably has to be more durable… LEGOS!

Thus began the 7 hour journey down the road of good intentions that started with the idea of a fun family project we could all participate in and enjoy and ended with me screaming, STOP TOUCHING IT YOU’RE WRECKING IT! Just go upstairs and leave me alone while I finish this!

This was hour 3-ish; after the kids had helped me separate all the red legos out of our massive bins of legos, and I had already attempted to create the heart three times and had to remove all the legos and start over because it wasn't working. It's harder than it looks.

This was by dinnertime. The kids were like, 'Look, it's done! Yay! Mommy will stop acting OCD now!' And I was like, 'Oh Darlings, it's only just begun,' in a totally creepy ominious voice.

At this point we ran out of red and I yelled at Jason for getting excessively creative over the in bottom left corner. I pulled out the bunches of the weirdly shaped legos he stuck all in one area and banned him from helping. This is also when he started refilling my wine glass extra full without me asking. I think he was hoping if I got drunk enough I would snap out of it. As if my tolerance is that low.

This was at 11:30 PM. My fingers were bruised and my knees were bloody. I suffered for my art. OK, everyone else suffered for my art as well.

So yeah, I think it’s pretty cool. 7 hours of my life I’ll never get back cool? Debatable. The boys, however, were happy with the final product they took to school this morning though:

And hey, if you need a giant prop heart to take photos in that may or may not look like a weird red lumpy indistinguishable frame-type thing if you get more than one person in it, you can totally borrow ours! At least until the kids want to play legos on it again and I have to spend 4.5 hours removing all of the pieces for them. So you’ve got 2 days. Let me know.

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