Yesterday after the girls got home from school, we headed out to run some errands. Our main objective? Decide on some cards for Valentine’s Day. (Look at me, planning for V-day two whole entire days before cards were needed! So much better than last year!) We hit the dollar store, followed by the craft store. Picked up some odds and ends, rhinestones and new gluesticks, candy hearts and stripey twine and cardstock and mini dinosaurs. I sort of had a rough idea of the direction I wanted to go in, thanks to the various pins I’ve seen over the years that just sort of embed themselves into my subconscious.

I decided our best plan of attack would be for me to prep all the pieces and then show the girls a step-by-step for putting them together. So last night after the girls went to bed (and I got the kitchen cleaned up), I set to cutting up cardstock and divvying up rhinestones, and then put together a little template to show the girls what we’d be working toward. Of course, I knew I’d want to grab a quick pic of how adorable it all looked, all set up for crafty time, but the light in that kitchen is SO WEIRD and impossible to white balance that I decided to leave it and grab one in the morning before we started.

And then morning got here, and Fiona woke up and asked to use my iPad and I said “no, go find a book” and she said ok and walked out of the room and I promptly fell back asleep.

A little while later I woke up frantic, remembering my painstakingly laid out craft project. I raced downstairs, sure that all my work would be destroyed, that she would have sliced up all the pre-cut pieces, that there would be marker scribbles just everywhere, and all would be lost.

I should have given her more credit.

She had glued the white paper to the pink, picked out and glued on a couple rhinestone hearts, and correctly copied all of the text, complete with what we ended up calling “explosion marks” all around the edges. She’d counted out the same number of candy hearts, put them into a baggie with a dino. All that was left for me to do was punch the holes and tie the string.

I was super impressed.

Dinosaur Valentines {this lemon yogurt}

And so we set to. After about 3 cards, Fiona decided that that was just too many words for her to write all by herself, so we decided I’d do the first part and she could glue on hearts and just write “Dino-mite!” on the front and sign the back. Violet was content to play with dinos and eat candy hearts, so I wrote all the words on the front of her card, and she just glued on hearts. We happily toiled for longer than I thought they’d last, maybe an hour or so?

But eventually, they left me. Fiona had fully finished maybe 8 cards? Out of 40. And Violet had done 4, out of 10.

And then they abandoned me.

Dinosaur Valentines {this lemon yogurt}

We needed a new approach. One that would allow us to all still be friends at the end of this. So they went and jumped on the trampoline in the basement while I did all the gluing and most of the writing. All that was left for my girlies to do was sign their names (and, as previously mentioned, Fiona did the Dino-mites). It was a much more attainable goal, and I’m gonna be honest with you- I love the crap out of this pinteresty shit. Like, seriously. Maybe I’m one of those people who people look at and are all “man, they need to get a life”, but this IS my life and today was the funnest day we’ve had all week.

Dinosaur Valentines {this lemon yogurt}

Violet finished hers pretty quickly once we got into the flow of things (she’d write her own name, and we’d write her friends’ names {and her e’s. e’s are tough} together), but do you know how hard it is for a 5yr-old to write “Dino-mite! Love, Fiona” 40 times? It’s hard, y’all. That is a LOT of words.Dinosaur Valentines {this lemon yogurt}

If I said we finished the project without the use of some bribes I’d be lying. But once we went to a “play donkey kong country for 5 minutes and then come in and finish 2 cards and you can go back to your game for 5 more minutes and repeat” system, things started settling into a rhythm. And once we added the “Hershey kiss for every 5 cards finished” incentive plan, we really started flying through the rest.

Not counting the break between 5:15-6:45 when Fiona had to go to her Girl Guide meeting, we worked on these cards from about 7:30 in the morning until 7:00 at night. But we finally finished.

It was so worth it.Dinosaur Valentines {this lemon yogurt}

Still, I seriously hope she has a smaller class next year.