Thursday, November 20, 2014

It's a good thing I didn't choose teaching as a profession.

Jeezum, this year has been quite the blur. Hasn't it? Thanksgiving is NEXT FREAKIN WEEK, YO!! In one week, I'll be putting up all my Christmas decorations and I'm stupid excited about it. I'm about half way done with my shopping already too. Shush yo mouth. I like to be prepared.

So what's new with you?

Me? Not too much. Ava is still a sassafrass and a half. EZ still sucks balls at sleeping at night. He's also right smack in the middle of being a three year old who WANTSANDNEEDSEVERYTHINGBUTDOESNTKNOWWHATHEWANTS... WAAAAAHHH!!! <-- Caps lock pretty much sums him up right now.

Trying to get him dressed in the morning is the bane of my existence. He's taken to making the decisions on he wants to wear. Unfortunately his mom is a jerk and refuses to let him wear sweatpants every. single. day. Don't even get me started on shirts. It takes him about 20 solid minutes to pick something out and half way through his day he'll change his mind. I'd like to say I don't cave but I can only have my skin grated on so much. The whining... ooooh the whining... and a 3 year old's independence. So that's something.

Ava is kicking ass and taking names at reading. She's been working so hard and I had a long talk with her teacher over the phone, even before the parent teacher conference because we had a lot of concern. Ava's teacher put my fears at ease. I'm grateful her teacher is super kickass and on top of her game. If Ava didn't have someone like her I think Ava would seriously be struggling.

School is fucking hard and learning to read is even harder. You don't realize it until you have to actually teach someone HOW to read. For example... Ava has spelling tests each week. The words have to be sorted into specific columns along with spelling them correctly. So like, drill goes under the column where all the words end in -ill. Get it? Easy, right? Well this stupid mom didn't catch on until Ava had TWO weeks worth of spelling tests. Her tests were coming back HORRID because her mom is a dumbass and didn't realize they had to be spelled correctly AND sorted correctly.

Mah bad.

Now that we've had many weeks of tests, we are finally in the groove and by looking at the list of words I can tell right away which ones we'll need to work on. Pretty much anything that has as blend, like the word drill.

I gave Ava the word drill. She puts it in the right column, thankfully she has no problems with rhyming but she spelled it jrill. J-RILL. wha?

I asked her what that was supposed to be. She snarkly says, "Jrill, mom." Like I'M the dumbass and to be fair incidents like above would make me be snarky too. I said that drill starts with a D not a J. She said Noooooo it's JJJJJRILL!! Um no. It's not. HOW DO YOOOU KNOW?! Oh no you didn't, child.

After a lot of arguing she said that's what she hears so that's what she's going to write. Pfft! Sorry kid but that ain't going to fly. Make the J a D and get over the fact that you can't change the English language. Believe me, I've tried, it ain't happening unless you write a blog, then you can make up any ole thing you want.

BOOM. drops mic.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Every Child Deserves A Bright Start!

It's no secret that Ava has a little trouble reading. So when I was approached to participate in a “Happy Readers, Healthy Kids” blogger briefing for Nemours ReadingBrightStart! I couldn't help but SCREAM, YEEEESSS!!!! YES, YES, YES!!!

I looove to read. I always have a book I'm reading and Ava sees that. She wants to be able to read mommy books and I always tell her it takes a lot of practice but some day she can.

Ava is getting a lot of help from her school and we work on read every single night. Each night is getting better and better but there are some nights that make me want to stab myself in my eyeballs with frustration. You know you've all been there too. Don't lie.

We just read door on the last page, so what do you think this word is? Frog? NOOOO GAWW!!! IT'S DOOR!! DOOR IS THE WORD!!

She's also started to take kyu-ki do and that's helping build her confidence that she actually can do whatever she puts her mind to.

Not only did I think this webinar would be great for Ava but EZ's (who is 3) language is exploding and before we know it he'll be sounding out words to Dr. Suess books too. Side note: I never realized how amazing Dr. Suess books are. As a parent it's incredibly annoying to be tongue twisted with all the dang rhyming. But all the literary stuff Ava has too learn is right there in the books. It makes her feel good about herself because she can read them. :)

During the webinar, Dr. Laura Bailet spoke with us about ReadingBrightStart! She's the Operational Vice President of Nemours BrightStart! and a licensed school psychologist. Which means she's way smarter than me. Way smarter.

The ReadingBrightStart! website is totally free (free, freee, FREEEEE!!!!!) and set up for parents of children birth to five years old. Ava is six but I feel that she's reading on a lower level so I can still find lots of recommendations here. I would like to note that my kid isn't dumb. We've been reading to her since she was born. She will be reading just fine but needs a little extra help to get going. This website arms parents like me with information on how to help! 

When Ava started learning how to read I thought, she's so screwed. I have no clue what I'm doing here. And I didn't, I still don't! I have more information now and I'm learning as she's learning exactly how to teach her so it sticks in her brain. Reading is so complex. Why are their silent e's? Why do two words spelled the same sound different? PFFT! BEATS ME! But that's the way it, sorry you were born into a language that makes no sense. 

Did you know? If a child is not reading at grade level by the end of first grade that child only has a 10% chance of reading at grade level by the end of fourth grade. WHA?! SERIOUSLY?! This statement makes me sad. It also makes me realized how much I've taken my ability to read for granted. 

The good news is that Nemours ReadingBrightStart! is "dedicated to helping children reach their full potential."

Ok, ok but who is Nemours?

While Nemours is widely known around the world for our pediatric medical expertise, we’re also one of the country’s leading children’s health systems. We reach out beyond the walls of our hospitals and pediatric practices to places where families live, learn, work and play.
Through research, prevention, education, philanthropy and advocacy – as well as our clinical care – Nemours gives kids the very best chance to grow up healthy.

Through funding from the Nemours Foundation, Nemours ReadingBrightStart! was formed. 
They:
  • Have a bold, innovative approach
  • Identify children at-risk for reading problems
  • Provide targeted educational activities
  • Conduct and publish research to demonstrate effectiveness
On the website you can take a free (there's that word again) preschool reading screener that tells you if your child is on track for their age. As of right now, EZ is on track. Cool. Once you are done with the screener it gives you loads of information what to do with the results. The website is jam packed with all things reading. 

Reading is so important and sadly there are so many kids who don't have the access to help but Nemours is trying to change that. As a united front we can all change that. 



*The opinions expressed are mine and mine alone. In exchange for a blog post written for Nemours, I was given a good bag of books and a gift card.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Gorgeous, Dah-ling. Simply Gorgeous.

A few days before my birthday I received these GORGEOUS flowers in the mail from The Bouqs Company. J came home and was instantly like, "Whaaa? Who are those from?" I said, "Helloooooo, I told you that I would be getting a free flower arrangement for doing a blog post."

Theeeen, he was all, "So I don't need to give you flowers for your birthday?"

He received the death stare and I got another bouquet of flowers on my actual birthday. From my husband. That HE paid for. 

Anywhoodle, these flowers were so stunning. I had a hard time choosing which bouquet to pick. I decided on a lovely bouquet of white roses that would be perfect for my kitchen. I was afraid they would die after a few days like the grocery store ones because I'm not good with checking water levels. I have two kids. Acceptable water levels in vases are for people without kids who still have their memories. They didn't die! They stayed alive for way longer than I though they would.

I know that Halloween isn't exactly a flower giving kind of holiday but it could be! Especially for people who really love Halloween, like me. Are you reading this, J?

Or you could celebrate Day of the Dead on November 1st & 2nd.

Movember the whole month of November

Saxophone Day.

World Kindness Day.

Thanksgiving Day.

Black Friday.

Festivus.

Christmas.

New Years.

Does it really have to be a holiday? No, it does not. Any ole day will work to give a gorgeous bouquet of flowers to someone you are thinking about, care about, and/or love. Now you should just get clicking to check out all The Bouqs Company has to offer.

<-- Look at these FLOWERS!! Send (to me) this spooky Bouq full of orange and white ranunculus. I had no idea that's what those flowers were called. I'm certain I'm pronouncing it wrong so I'm going to call them pretty rose-looking flowers that aren't roses.

I don't know about you but a vase full of flowers helps me overlook the death traps of toys and laundry all over my house. One look at these flowers puts mama in such a GOOD mood that I don't even care the kids are eating in the living room even though I specifically told them not to.

Get beautiful bouquets from eco-friendly farms, starting at just $40 - FREE SHIPPING. Send a smile!

The Bouqs - Premium Farm Direct Flowers

*Like stated above, I was gifted a bouquet of flowers The Bouqs Company in exchanged for a blog post. The opinions above are mine and mine alone. 

Monday, October 20, 2014

Glitter Pumpkins for those who hate carving *raises hand*

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays, it's a close second to Christmas. Like every other 6 year old girl, Ava is going to be Elsa from Frozen. She then decided EZ will be Olaf, daddy will be Sven the reindeer, and mommy will be Anna, Elsa's sister. This is going to be interesting.

So we went to Goodwill this weekend and collected all the materials needed to make mine and J's costumes. EZ's nana bought a freakishly cute Olaf costume online. J and my costumes are going to be a tad ghetto but we will werk them like they are made of gold.

Halloween... we are READY FOR YOU! BRING IT!!!

Even though Halloween is fab, I doubly hate carving pumpkins. They are messy, gross and hard to carve. Blech. We still had to do something with our pumpkins and thanks to Pinterest we glitterfied those bitches! I can deal with glitter (that's what vacuums are for). I can't deal with pumpkin guts.

I took the kids to Joann and let them pick some decor stuff. Googly eyes, pom poms, glitter and BAM! SUP-AH FUN PUMPKINS! 

I put some Elmer's glue in a bowl, gave them paint brushes, and let them have at it. I did need to intervene during the glitter sprinkling process because EZ got a little out of hand. He wanted everything in the house to be sparkly. *jazz hands*

Oh. I sprayed the entire pumpkin with clear coat to help keep the glitter on. It works as long as there isn't a small child rubbing their hands all over it like it's made of kitty fur.

I highly recommend not bothering to comb your children's hair before you start. Why? I don't know, just one less thing to do. Also bed head is great for stay-at-home-Saturdays.






Since these fabulously, blurry, unprofessional photos were taken, the pumpkins have lost a bit of glitter due to little hands that can't stop touching everything they shouldn't touch. Also EZ's lost a couple pom poms and eye balls. I blame the cat.



Tuesday, September 23, 2014

I hate rocks.

So we've been stripping the stain off our deck for the last 10 years. Ok maybe not 10 years, more like 2 months. We only have the weekends to work on it and sometimes those days are rainy or full of other shit we have to do that usually involve kid activities.

Naturally, I decide ALL things need to be done while we are working on the deck (mostly J, I'm pretty much there just for support, like fetching ice water). I was sick of being in the house and doing cleaning things that are part of being a "responsible" adult. So I decided to rebuild the flagstones on the landscaping in front of the house. All by myself.

Pff. Step aside, bitches. I got this.

First things first, every single rock in the rock bed had to come out because we stupidly didn't put a weed barrier down before we put the rocks in about 7 years ago. Rocks sink. And after 7 years the rock bed was starting to look more like a dirt bed. I pulled on my gardening gloves and thought, "This will be easy. I'll just rake them up."

No.

Rocks don't want to be raked up. Especially when they are embedded so deeply in the dirt. I then thought I should pull out my trusty IKEA kneeling pad and start using my hands.

OH. MY. GOD.

About half way through, I realized there was no way I could stop now but JAYSUS THIS F*CKING SUCKS! I tried to get my kids in on the fun but they are too smart. Picking rocks one by one from the dirt was beneath them. Who raised these kids? They are acting like royalty all of a sudden! Forget it, I'll do it myself.

I then took all the flagstone out and power-washed each one. Note to self, power-wash the flagstones where they lay so you don't have to put them back in place like a frackin puzzle that took two solid hours of figuring out. I put all the rocks in one of those huge bins you get from Target. My idea was to wash them off in the bin until I noticed the bin was heaping with rocks and I would need a second bin to wash the rocks. And a shovel.

Lord help me.

I figured that if I used the power-washer on the rocks the dirt would fly off and this would be easy. I need to stop assuming shit is easy when I do it. It took FOREVER to wash those rocks. A few times the power-washer went all spastic and sprayed inside the bin weird, resulting in everyone in a 100 foot radius getting drenched. Ava was not pleased with me and was even less pleased when I started to laugh at her splattered with mud. I couldn't help it, I was too far gone at that point to care.

It took three solid days to complete my awful/genius/money-saving project.

I'd like to say I did all this on my own but there were times where I needed J's muscles. Have you seen my arms? Like twigs, I tell ya! He wasn't too pleased to have to stop what he was doing on the deck to help me and my "super awesome, this is going to be so easy" project.


I'd like to say I learned my lesson but no. Last weekend, I decided to paint the back side of the bookshelves in the living room at 4:30 on a Sunday. Weeee!!! My husband LOVES me!
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