Qixels are for Mommies.

There are certain things we buy our children for Christmas only because we love them. With dread and self-loathing, we purchase those sets that we know will lose two pieces on the first day and never work again, those million-tiny-parts that we are quite confident will be scattered throughout our house in 23 minutes flat, and those toys we KNOW they won’t play with but they’re just sure they neeeeed.

But every now and then, we buy something for our kids out of love for ourselves. Something we know we will enjoy as much – and sometimes more even – than they will.

Thus was the case this year.

Noah had a very thorough list of things he wanted for Christmas, but I bought him something I wanted. And not one set of that something, but four. Because I wanted it that badly.

Qixels.

Qixels are the modern version of perler beads (except you use water instead of the oven to fuse them together) and the “boy” version of Beados or Aquabeads, which Ali has been enjoying for quite some time. But Beados roll away, the templates are boring, and I personally do not find them satisfying to work with. Qixels are sturdy, square plastic blocks that fit onto a frame and you create objects, usually with a template underneath, that end up looking like they’d fit perfectly into the Minecraft universe.

Qixels

The minute I beheld Qixels for the first time I knew this is what had been missing from my life. It reminded me of my childhood beading days long gone – I was beyond into the beading scene in my wild junior high days. So much so that my parents would drive out of their way on family vacation when I knew there was a bead shop nearby.

(I don’t know how I knew this. There was no internet. How did one attain such knowledge back then?)

Qixels offer that same delightful pleasure of multi-colored creation, but are a much quicker experience, which is needed in my time-conscious state of adulthood. And as a bonus, I knew my son would enjoy them, so how could it be bad to buy something that we could do together?

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The kids do Lego with Daddy (I suck at Lego), they do Minecraft with each other (I cannot get into Minecraft), but there’s nothing that Noah and I do together. But Qixels could provide.

And…you could say it totally did.

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This collection doesn’t even count the Qixel village he’s already given away in Sunday School.

(If your kid is in Noah’s class and came home with a cute little monster, chances are, I made it.)

I was immediately and unapologetically hooked.

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I found the most efficient ways to sort my Qixels and get them onto the frames. I found the exact amount of water that should be spritzed to make sure all the Qixels permanently stuck together, but still minimize dry time. I even began branching out on the templates, adding my own touches, like the awesomely funky purple belt and shoes on this cop,

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Creating commissioned Items for Noah, like a ninja,

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making twists on blank templates, like this tacky LSU fan,

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(I didn’t set out to make a tacky LSU fan – the blocks decided that),

And, my Sistine Chapel, taking a picture of a race car off a box,

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and slowly and methodically using it to help me create Lightning McQueen.

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I am not artistic in the least but in that moment I felt like the love child of Michelangelo and Pixar.

I wasn’t the only one being creative, though. Noah created an army of “Old Men” – this same character over and over, a delightfully jolly big-eared fellow.

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I lined the old men up in front of our creations and began thinking of them as pawns. Ooooh – a Qixel chess set. We could totally make that happen.

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Only later did I realize that Noah was making a tiny army of Jeff Sessionses.

Jeff Sessions Qixels

Chris took note of our obsession and bought Noah a tackle box in which to keep our his Qixels. The delight of the organization of our craft scored Chris many kisses. From me.

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But the thing about Qixels is, you always need more. When you’re creating tacky football fans and tiny Attorney Generals at our pace, they quickly deplete. And since I might have been creating at a slightly quicker clip than Noah, I might have also felt guilty about my over-Qixel usage (at his insistence and glee, but still…), so I also might have began to buy refill sets at an alarming pace. (Thankfully, they’re fairly inexpensive.) My Google search history is full of things like “bulk qixels” and my eBay and Amazon searches are full of attempts to get Qixels at a discount price. Noah basked in the benefits of his mother’s obsession, excitedly cheering when I’d open another refill pack.

This past Tuesday was when I knew it had gone too far.

Noah heard me open the door to get a package off the porch. Or rather, Noah heard me open the door and, from his position upstairs, assumed I was getting a package off the porch.

“Mom! Is that more Qixel Refills?”

“NO…Why would you think that??”

(But it totally was. And I hid them before he came downstairs.)

Guys, I might need a detox.

November 10: National Day of Rainbows and Unicorns.

“You know what the world needs more of today? Rainbows and Unicorns.”

These were my thoughts when I opened up Facebook.

Two minutes into my feed…

“Unicorns. Rainbows. Stat.”

Five minutes in…

“I NEED A UNICORN CRAPPING A RAINBOW THIS INSTANT.”

I opened up my Bitmoji app to try and find the picture of my cartoon self doing just that,

 

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…Only to discover that my Bitmoji front page looked just like my Facebook feed.

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And then I remembered.

I had just the thing that I needed. Nay, perhaps what all of America needed. Or all of the world.

This summer, we discovered something quite accidentally. Noah was playing with the hose in the bright summer sunshine, and I noticed the effect.

I ran in and got my camera and pleaded, begged, and bribed him to let me take pictures.

“PLEASE let me take a picture of a rainbow coming out of your butt. I’ll buy you THREE pieces of candy if you’ll let me take a picture of a rainbow coming out of your butt!!!!”

The pictures weren’t perfect, so I never shared them (except with a friend who has an especially strange penchant for unicorns pooping rainbows.)

My plan was to recreate it again and try to get the arc just right and make sure the end of the rainbow connected from where it was supposed to come just so.

But alas, the summer got away from us and I never worked on my photography project.

But that’s okay.

Because America just needs rainbows today. Not perfect rainbows – just any old rainbow will do.

Therefore, I hereby declare it National Day of Rainbows and Unicorns.

So here you go.

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He’s no unicorn, but he can poop a rainbow. So basically, he’s a unicorn.

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And if you still need more Unicorns Pooping Rainbows, then by all means watch this:

So go out there and spread some rainbow and unicorn love. Send me your cute kids, your puppies, your funny videos, and for sure share if you have someone or something pooping a rainbow.

That’s all I got, America.

How Hamilton is Actually a Parenting Self-Help Guide.

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Haven’t you always assumed that life would be more fun if it were a musical?

Me neither.

I never did understand how people could sing their lives in perfect rhythm and rhyme in real time – not to mention in harmony with their fellow life-livers.

However. Hamilton has changed my mind.

Due to the constant barraging of praise for Hamilton from those around me, I decided to give the soundtrack a listen on Spotify during a run. It was the most delightful thing my running ears had ever experienced – an engrossing storyline set to music that is both brilliant AND will make you run faster.

Since that inaugural, life-changing, interest-in-history-inspiring run, I have had no other songs in my head. I skipped an entire week of my Spotify “Discover Weekly” playlist. I made Chris listen to Hamilton on his birthday (he’s now a fan), and I have experienced the best runs of the summer, all while living and dying with A dot Ham.

And as it has been my brain’s story-on-repeat, it has also made it into my parenting. And thus, I am finally living that musical I never wanted to, belting out lines full of passion at my children when opportune moments arise.

If you haven’t listened yet, I insist that you do so (but not with the kids in the car – who knew the founding fathers had foul mouths and sketchy girlfriends? A Beka didn’t teach us that.)  And, once you’ve listened, here is my compilation of the lines best sung to your offspring, along with some suggested opportunities for their use…

 

“Moooom! Why do I have to clean my room??”

Because you’re Half-dead sittin’ in your own sick, the scent thick…

“But I can’t!! It’s too messy! Can you help me??”

The ten-dollar founding father without a father
Got a lot farther by working a lot harder
By being a lot smarter
By being a self-starter!

“Hey Mommy can I have a snack I don’t like this shirt I need a new pillow will you buy me some candy but I don’t WANT to go to the store when are you making dinner?”

While we’re talking, let me offer you some free advice.
Talk less, Smile More.

“Hey Mommy I told Daddy about your secret chocolates…”

Fools who run their mouths off wind up dead…

“Moooooom! She hit me with her light saber!”

Chaos and bloodshed are NOT a solution!

“Give it to me right now!”
“No! It was mine first!!”
”Uh uh! I found it!!”

I am about to send a fully armed battalion to remind you of my love!
Da da da dat da dat da da da da ya da!

When you see that kid toying with doing exactly what you just told them not to do…

You keep out of trouble and you double your choices!

When the children are ignoring you at record levels, just belt out at your highest volume…

The problem is I got a lot of brains but no polish
I gotta holler just to be heard
With every word, I drop knowledge!

Every night in bed with your spouse, talking about the children….

We are outgunned!
Outmanned!
Outnumbered, outplanned!

When you tell the kid to go do a chore and they try to distract you with a giant hug…

And no, don’t change the subject,
Cuz you’re my favorite subject,
My sweet, submissive subject!

When all the kids are asking for something different at once…

I cannot be everywhere at once, people –
I’m in dire need of assistance!

Texting the babysitter…

We are a powder keg about to explode
I need someone like you to lighten the load. So?

“But Mom!! She started it!”

Love doesn’t discriminate,
Between the sinners and the saints…

“But why am I getting punished, too?”

Death doesn’t discriminate,
Between the sinners and the saints…

When you catch the kid red-handed…

The challenge: demand satisfaction
If they apologize, no need for further action…

When the kid spills apple juice on your MacBook….

Pick a place to die where it’s high and dry!

When you get that text that the husband is on the way home…

No one has more resilience,
Or matches my practical tactical brilliance!

“But Mom! She tattled on me!!”

You have no control:
Who lives, who dies, who tells your story!

When they get their own apartment and then ask for money…

What comes next?
You’ve been freed
Do you know how hard it is to lead?
You’re on your own
Awesome. Wow!
Do you have a clue what happens now?
Oceans rise,
Empires fall,
It’s much harder when it’s all your call!

When you try to give them a kiss and they squeal and wipe it off…

You say our love is draining and you can’t go on
You’ll be the one complaining when I am gone…

You use this line every day. Obviously.

Ev’ry day you fight like it’s
Going out of style!

When the kids come home totally spoiled due to the The Grandparent Effect.

It must be nice, it must be nice to have
Gramamma on your side…
It must be nice, it must be nice to have
Gramamma on your side…

When the charming, adorable, endlessly endearing (to everyone but you) two-year-old has finally pitched the last fit you can handle…and it’s only 9:08 on a Monday morning…

Somebody gimme some dirt on this vacuous mass so we can at last unmask him!

When you hide under the covers in your bed so your kids can’t find you…

I’m erasing myself from the narrative!

When you find out the hard way that Daddy let the kids have loads of candy right before bed…

I didn’t say anything that wasn’t true –
Your father’s a scoundrel, and so, it seems, are you!

I have the honor to be your obedient servant,

R dot Call