Nothing says Easter like the tattoo shop

At this point in the school year, it’s hard to decide if a three-day weekend is a wonderful time spent recharging in order to power through the next few weeks or if it’s pure torture, teasing me about the blissfully unscheduled summer months ahead.  While part of me thinks that I’d love to just charge through the next 34 school days (No weekends! Let’s just get this over with!), the part that slept late Friday morning was all, ‘”I could not have worked one more second this week.”

J ended up heading out for a brief side gig Thursday night through Friday, which threw a slight wrench in my Friday plans.  See, I have a tattoo that’s has a um….mistake (how this happened is a blog post for another day).  Long story short, I didn’t want to reschedule my laser removal appointment because I’ve been lazy enough over the past year and only had one laser treatment when I could have potentially had six and had the entire ordeal corrected by now.  Instead, every time someone looks at my tattoo I just continue to wonder if they notice that it’s wrong and are just too polite to say anything, or if they, like me, have poor attention to important (and permanent) details. And then I think, “I really should get that fixed.”

Because the removal place is in the back of a stereotypical  tattoo shop (complete with naked lady artwork on the walls), into which I dragged my three school-age children, I can’t decide if I win Worst Mom of the Year or Kick Ass Mom of the Year.  They made sure to tell me that they heard a few inappropriate words while waiting, but nothing worse than anything that’s come out of their own mouths (<—– not a joke, unfortunately).

Since J had worked practically 36 hours straight from Thursday morning until Friday night, I made the executive decision that we would skip the church Easter Egg Hunt Saturday morning in order to give him a chance to sleep in.  When we finally got moving at about the crack of noon, we just ran a few errands.  We picked up eyeglasses for the younger two, then had to buy dog food and Easter shoes.  But not at the same place.

That evening my precious mother-in-law took care of the kids while J and I ran more errands. Sometimes I have to pinch myself to realize this life of glamour we lead is real.  We had a romantic dinner at Taco Bueno before declaring ourselves “hard core next week” regarding our eating and exercising habits. Then we shopped for Easter basket goodies.

While we were at Target buying All The Candy (it really wasn’t THAT much), I realized that I should have boiled the eggs for dyeing on Saturday afternoon rather than take that glorious nap I enjoyed. But since I’m nothing if not a chronic procrastinator (see ‘purchasing Easter shoes on Saturday’ above), we ended up boiling and dyeing eggs at 9:30 on Saturday night. With an early wake up time on Sunday. It was as peaceful and grace-filled as you can imagine.

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Sunday was a great day spent enjoying family and candy, but only once we got past the “don’t you dare spill that on your Easter clothes before I take some pictures” breakfast hour.  For breakfast, we made Resurrection Rolls together, which is one of our favorite Easter traditions.  We had an Easter Egg Hunt after lunch, then spent time chatting with family.  The evening was quiet, and I got to finish reading a book, so that totally counts that as another Easter miracle to celebrate!

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Budget-Friendly Easter Baskets Ideas for Tween Boys

Easter Basket

(Sidenote:  It feels ridiculously weird to use the word “tween” to describe my 10 and 11 year old sons.  “Tween” connotes someone so much older than my baby boys.  If I think too long on how quickly they’ve grown and how quickly they’ll be leaving our house (make no mistake; they WILL be leaving), I start to feel a little panicky and my heart begins beating too quickly.  Then, I hear them yelling at one another in the next room and I wonder why I think they even deserve Easter basket treats to begin with!)

Unless it’s peanut butter and chocolate (which is the best dessert combination in the world), candy is a “take it or leave it” kind of thing for me.

Actually, I kind of hate candy.  Mostly because my kids always bring home boatloads of it from various school functions and holiday gatherings.

It all starts with Halloween.  I love that my kids have memories of dressing up and trick-or-treating, but, after school parties and door-to-door begging/threatening, we always end up with an obscene amount of candy. Once I throw away all the crappy stuff like Twizzlers, Now and Laters, and Smarties (keeping the chocolate), we still end up with more sugar than a family of 5 should eat in a decade.

By the time I get around to throwing away the vestiges of the Halloween candy, it’s time for Christmas candy.  No one eats those Starlight mints or candy canes, so more goes into the trash.  But the CHOCOLATE!

Just as I’m tossing out the Christmas candy leftovers, it’s time for Valentine’s Day.  Then Easter comes right around the corner and the candy is driving me insane and controlling my life and I need a Xanax.

My candy-related issues always cause me to seek alternative ideas for Easter baskets.  And boys, for whatever reason, are more difficult to buy for than girls.  And then OLDER boys are even MORE difficult to buy for because they want all the things that cost all the money.  I simply can’t afford to put video games and high dollar itunes gift cards into their baskets.

So I put my brain to work and came up with some ideas for older/tween boys that won’t break the bank.  Here you go!

1.  Sunglasses– Several stores have super inexpensive sunglasses.  My go-to shops are generally The Children’s Place and Old Navy.

2.  Flip Flops– You can’t beat 2 pairs of flip flops for just a few bucks.  Again, check out TCP and Old Navy.

3.  Cans/Bottles of Favorire Drinks- Yes, sodas and Gatorade-type drinks are special treats in our house.  My boys would LOVE to have a couple of bottles of Gatorade all to themselves.

4.  Movie Tickets– If I were to do this idea, I’d purchase tickets for the whole family and then each child would get one ticket in their basket. Make it a matinee and save even more!

5.  Pajamas- Target usually has inexpensive PJs, but you’ll probably get more mileage if you go to the store rather than shop online.  The current ones online run about $12/set, which is still a little steep for this cheapskate.  You can generally find sleep pants in store for under $10.

6.  Bandaids– Yes, my boys still want their own bandaid “style.”  Heaven forbid they have to use a Hello Kitty bandaid in front of their friends!  If I’m buying them for the family, I’m getting the cheap classic tan ones.

7.  College/Team Paraphernalia– We’re HUGE Baylor fans in this house, so I know my little bears would love a small BU token, like a magnet, temporary tattoos, eye black, lanyard, pen, etc.

8.  Office Supplies- My boys both love to write and illustrate, so they’re constantly stealing the printer paper, much to J.’s aggravation.  Having their own packs of colored notebook paper, composition books or spirals, colored pens, etc. would thrill them.

9.  Favorite Snack or Food Item- One of my boys loves fruit snacks/gummies. Another one loves chips and popcorn.  We don’t buy any of that on a regular basis, so getting snacks like these in their baskets is a special treat that’s NOT CANDY.

10.  Homemade Coupons- I didn’t appreciate the joy of having children until they were old enough to unload the dishwasher and take out the trash by themselves.  Now, there are chores that I simply won’t do because my children need to learn good work ethic…right?  But they might like to legitimately get out of those chores sometime, so I found some really cute ideas for homemade coupons to stuff in eggs here, here, and here.

11.  Earbuds or iPod accessories- We can never find earbuds and chargers when we need them.  These are a steal!  And if they’re crap, well, at least you didn’t spend much on them.

12.  Coins- Throw a few quarters in some plastic eggs, and BINGO!  Happy boys!

If all else fails and you’re at your budget but the basket still looks meager, just buy a smaller basket!