Quick Valentines: Stickers to the Rescue



Day Ten: Quick Valentines. Dress up some store-bought candy with stickers and then hide them in places where they can be found. 

Ok, this one is for all those people out there who are last minute OR have teenagers OR both. You know who you are!

I think my 17 year old still likes getting a Valentine from his mom. But… you can never be too sure. My hunch is, he’d  be so sad if I didn’t do Valentines–but only as long as I don’t stage some flashy public display that would embarrass him. So, yes to the candy. No to the balloon delivery at college. 

I would never do that, for the record. But you get my point. They’re temperamental creatures, handle with care. And if they don’t have a Valentine of their own this year, all the more reason to carefully litter their world with love. 

But this is also great idea for you last minute Valentine people!  All you need are some stickers and an imagination. Everybody likes a bit of chocolate, but you certainly don’t have to limit it to candy. Replace the fruit label on their orange or apple with a heart sticker and toss it into a lunch bag. Or sneak a heart sticker onto a much used water bottle, or on the front of a credit card in a wallet. Just make sure your sticker is someplace it will get seen. 

Like, say, a backpack!



(I took took this photo this morning while he was running around getting ready for class. I don’t even think he noticed me standing there with a camera!)

The upside to a simple sticker, is that if your teen finds this “love memo” in a very public place (like the cafeteria!) it’s not nearly as embarrassing as a writing all over their lunch stack, “I LOVE YOU SO MUCH. XOXOXO MOM.” 

And if you’re the last minute type, well– a sneaky little sticker might just save your holiday. (PS, if your local store is all sold out of Valentine themed stickers, check out your local business supply store. They often have gold foil heart stickers all year round!) 



Almost 3 in a homemade costume

Historically, Halloween is big business in our home. Our house all decked out in purple lights and spider webs. Homemade costumes obsessed over for weeks. Hard-core negotiations over candy in the supermarket holiday aisle.

However, last year found us in a hotel. This year, throwing around references to gopher wood and Noah’s Ark as the rain comes down in relentless sheets. While our weather is nothing like the images being broadcast of the wreckage of Sandy (we’re praying for you East Coast) this constant downpour has my kid retreating to  a youth group candy pot-luck and me considering turning off our lights tomorrow and munching on candy in front of a roaring fire.

Despite the change in plans, there is still the issue of a costume. Going to a church function puts a real crimp in any ghoulish ideas he might have entertained. I say might, because he recently told me, “Oh, I’ve outgrown the desire to scare people on Halloween.” Yay?!

And being nearly 16 creates a whole different dynamic to the costume considerations. Gone are the years when I could say, “Look at the great costume I made you, don’t you want to be a spider?!”  Now I have to find a subtle way of suggesting that the best way to combat your “I’m a science geek prodigy” reputation, is to go BIG. Make fun of yourself. Be silly. But no LARPing costumes. 

That would be weird. 

We’ve settled on something. I hope he’ll go, have a good time, and not obsess too much on how people react to his costume. I pray the other kids get his joke and are kind, because historically they’re not so good at either of those things. And I hold my breath against the impending tidal-wave of emotions that come with parenting a child nearly grown and gone. Gone, too, are the days without a thought or care of an empty nest. Or, if the thought did come, it was in relief. Then I’ll sleep. Then we’ll be alone. 

Because now it is. . . we’re nearly there.

Continue reading →

Camping With This Kid

Things that make me smile: One last camping trip to close out the season. 

Liquid Courage

Salted Caramel Latte — aka: a hazmat suit.


Teenagers should come with certain precautions. Especially teenagers with their own bathrooms. As much as I go out of my way to avoid it—sometimes, his room needs adult intervention. Geo is an engineer. Lost in his own time-space continuum that does not have maid service. Or any concept of clean. Last week he told me, “Me cleaning my room is like teaching monkeys to talk.”  So, armed with bleach and a certain amount of dread, I cleaned his bathroom. And then stepped out of his room and put on my angry eyes.

“YOU! Here’s a list of things you are picking up in that stye you call a room before I go any further. I’ll deep clean, but really…”

I’m not sure I’m going to ever recover.

IZ to the rescue. In case you’re new to this blog, IZ comes with his own super-hero cape. Usually in the form of a caffeinated frothy drink! 

He whisked me down-town, in this glorious weather (holy cow, a week of sunshine! Did I just jinx it?) for a Salted Caramel Latte at   the Astoria Coffee House and Bistro. 

And now, armed with a bit of liquid courage, I’m stepping back into that boy’s room to restore some semblance of order. Heaven help us, both!