Tuesday, August 26, 2014

A Tribute to My Loves

I've inadvertently been on an extended blogger break. I guess I've had other things to focus on lately. End of summer, start of school, completely organizing my house (yeah, I have no idea what that's all about), turning one year older... take your pick. All good things for sure.

If you follow me on social media, you probably noticed that I love birthdays. I try to make them a big deal for my kids. Right now, they are young and birthdays are rad but as you get older they do get lamer. People forget, little or no presents, one foot on the grave, etc. Me? I love them. Yeah I'm a year closer to 40 but so what? I love my life. I poke fun at it all the time in a super sarcastic manner but I do love what I have and appreciate every bit of it. I still act and feel like I'm 14 (most of the time). So when it's my birthday, I GO BIG!

Which is why I decided to get a tattoo that I've been wanting for 6 years on my birthday (it was last Friday in case you MISSED it). I waited get the tattoo because I knew we weren't done having children after Ava and I wanted to be sure we were done. Once EZ came along, well... it was time.

I designed it which seems like duh since I design for a living. I have a tattoo board on Pinterest and tried a bazillion different fonts. I tried stacking the names and using an ampersand. That's the & sign in case you didn't know what that doohicky was called, it's not called the "and sign". Learn something new everyday!

The font is called Baltan. Since I'm cheap and didn't want to pay $150 for a font I used the sample text generator to get their names in the font. Made screen grabs, threw those into Photoshop, and pieced it all together. I'm not a big fan of hearts, especially for tattoos but I felt this worked to pull the piece together. I also wanted it on my left ribs, by my heart. Cheesy? Yes and I don't care.

My ribs? Ouch. Yes, homies, ouch.

When he touched my skin with the gun it felt like tiny razors cutting my skin. That shit hurt. The tattoo artist said that it's important to put the tattoo where you want it and not worry about the pain because the pain only lasts a little while when the tattoo will last forever. Smart man.

I cussed a lot. My first instinct when I'm nervous is to joke and laugh. I couldn't laugh or joke around because he was tattooing my ribs and I didn't want to fuck the artist up while he's doing his job. That was impossible so I breathed like I was going through labor. I kicked my shoes off during the process because my feet were getting sweaty. Pain makes me sweat. Pain also makes me feel like I'm going to throw up. I didn't throw up. YAY ME!

I'm not sure how long it took, maybe 45 minutes? It didn't hurt the whole time, just when he was actually tattooing so there were plenty of breaks. The pain stopped when he stopped. He worked backwards doing EZ's name first and then Ava's. Go figure that my difficult child was the worst part of the tattoo. No seriously, that "j" was a motherf*ckingb*tch of a letter.

I had my girls with me for support and one of the girls got her nose pierced! Tattoos and piercings on a Saturday night. We're old lady rebels!!

J loves it, my kids love it and most importantly, I love it. It's perfect. I was worth every second of pain.

P.S. I'm working on a follow-up post with all the hilarious pictures and VIDEO!!!  <-- Which contains a LOT of f-bombs, obviously.

Do you have any tribute tattoos? Tell me, show me! I wanna see!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

When you take the cat to the vet, don’t take your kids!

Taking Sam to the vet gives me a stupid amount of anxiety. It’s impossible to get him into the crate without one of us getting scratched and/or pulling a muscle. The kids swarm at the same time because MOMMY IS HOLDING THE CAT! I WANT TO PET! But Sam does not want to be petted. He pretty much only loves me and sometimes my husband, when I’m not around. The kids? He’d rather lick his own butt than associate himself with those fur-grabbers.
With the kids suffocating me like that it’s even harder to get Sam into the crate. His eyes bug out of his head. He grabs at the lip of the crate, paws splayed out in desperation. I can’t shut the door. My arm is stuck inside trying to keep his head in the crate, which also doesn’t let me shut the door. Sam is no longer the loving kitty I know; he is a wild beast in a fight for his life. It’s a tense couple of minutes. In the end, I’m always sweating and Sam is howling like he’s dying. BUT he’s in the crate. I win.
I’m sweating just typing this out.
Today is one of those dreaded take the cat to the vet days and we’re on a time constraint. The vet’s latest appointment was 5:30, which means I have to haul ass to get home, get the cat in the crate (see above), get shoes on the kids (5,000 shoes in the closet and not one matches), get everyone in the car (howling cat in crate and kids who are too easily distracted… squirrel!), and finally drive over to the vet’s office in little under a half hour.
Once inside the office everything is sort of okay.We sit and wait. The kids want the free dog treats at the front desk. I almost say, “okay, take one” but the receptionist gives me the stink-eye so I say, “They aren’t for little kids.” Pfff my daughter used to eat cat food all the time. She’s… fine-ish now.
They call us back to a teeny room with no A/C. Holy crap balls it’s stuffy in here, I think. Sam is terrified, but instead of trying to get away, he makes himself as small as possible, which is a hopeless because he’s 12 pounds of fat. His hair is coming out in tufts and flying all over the room, sticking to my already sweaty face. The kids are trying to climb up on the high counter to get closer to Sammy.

They succeed and are on the counter. At this point, I don’t even care anymore. They are making so much damn noise and it’s so fucking HOT. The vet comes in. So now it’s two small kids, three adults, and a terrified cat in a teeny-ass room with cat hair coming down like cotton in the middle of a sticky summer day. So fun.
Sam gets his shots and his check-up, and is all good. He can’t get into the crate fast enough to hide from all the poking and prodding from the littles. I don’t think having a thermometer stuck up his butt helped either.
While I’m checking out, the kids are still asking for free dog treats. UGH, just this once? I glance at the receptionist. She looks back like,you can’t be serious? Ok fine, I’ll be a responsible mama and not scar them for life with free dog treats. However, if they did have one they’d never ask for them again. Just saying.
While I pay the bill, EZ says he has to go potty. Ava offers to take him to the bathroom. The cat is howling again now. The vet’s office isn’t that big so I watch my kids go into the bathroom at the end of the hall. I finish with the bill but they’re still not out of the bathroom. I can hear them all the way down the hall (over the screeching cat) doing God knows what in there. My kids are not quiet children.
I stand outside the locked bathroom door and ask in my nice I’m-in-public voice, “What’s going on in there?” Ava says everything’s ok and that she’s helping EZ onto the toilet. (He hasn’t even gone yet? It’s been 10 minutes!) But then I hear tinkling and EZ says, something wanting to touch something-something, but I’m not sure because it’s hard to understand a 3-year-old’s voice though a door while a cat is screaming at you. I quickly lose my nice I’m-in-public voice and switch to panic mode: “DO NOT PLAY IN THE TOILET! AT LEAST FLUSH THE TOILET FIRST! WASH YOUR HANDS! OMG OPEN THIS DOOR RIGHT NOW!!! ”
did mention the vet’s office is small, right? Yeah, okay. That’s when I hear laughter erupt at the front desk. Dude, it was funny; I’d be laughing too. But I am too focused to care: “PLEASE STOP TRYING TO INFECT YOURSELF WITH ALL KINDS OF NASTY!”
The door opens and all four hands are dripping wet from (I can only hope) washing their hands in the sink. I push them out the door and into the car while the cat continues to scream from his crate.
It wasn’t until much later when we were all sitting on the couch at home that I noticed that EZ’s undies had only been pulled half-way up, exposing his bare butt.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Fifty Shades of I Don’t Wanna Be a Nympho

Happy Thursday, lovelies! I have a special surprise for you today. Her name is Kristen Mae coming from Abandoning Pretense. I had the pleasure of hanging with this rad chick for six hours at the airport. Yeah. Seriously. SIX hours. BUT!! It actually went by so fast.

I never met her in person before, only stalked her online. She's the first person I met at BlogU and the last person I saw when I left. And after all that time together, she didn't get freaked out by my weirdness and still wanted to be friends with me online. Aww. That's how you know you found a true friend!

Enough mushy stuff, let's get dirty. Raise your hand if you read 50 Shades of Gray. *RAISING HAND*

Raise your hand if you're going to to see the movie. *RAISING HAND*

Yes, they are super dirty. Yes, they are a bit degrading with the whole S&M and contracts and shit. BUT they are kind of hot in a weird way. I wouldn't say they are written all that well but you sort of ignore that, as long as you don't read them out loud.

On a college girl's trip, we read the book aloud. We were crying laughing because it's quite terrible but when you're reading it alone in your head... well... it's kinda hot. Ok the tampon thing was definitely not hot. I would use the word gross.

Anywhoosle, Kristen wrote about why she wasn't sure she'd ever want to read the books. Girl, I was scared to read them, too. That shit is intense! Also, that's shit you couldn't pay me millions to ever consider doing. Ever.

Call me a prude. A prude that will go see the movies though!


Fifty Shades of I Don’t Wanna Be a Nympho 

My sister’s been begging me to read the Fifty Shades of Grey Trilogy. Downright nagging me, even. She says it’s really a love story. She was right about the Twilight Saga, so why shouldn’t I listen to her? (Shut up, you know you want Edward to accost you.) And many of my online friends have been all twitterpaited for months over Shades. If so many people are talking about it, I might as well hop on the bandwagon and see what all the fuss is about, right?

But I’m scared.

I hear the books are really, er… steamy. (I had to say ‘er’ because it’s required when discussing Shades.) They’re definitely controversial; tons of stores have banned them already. From what I’ve heard, I can see why some might have their panties all in a wad over Shades. In browsing various articles about the books, I’ve come across a few words/phrases that scare me a little bit (a lot), too. Like ‘red room,’ ‘safe word,’ ‘contract,’ and ‘spanking.’ Even scarier: ‘anal beads.’ Really??? Anal beads are main-stream now? This is a matter of great concern for me, as I consider the anal orifice to be an exit-only one. I’m just not sure I can like anything that contains the words ‘anal’ and ‘beads’ sitting right next to each other in a sentence. And the worst one (well this isn’t scary, it’s just really dumb): ‘Laters, baby.’ What the F? I know, I know (I tell my sis), you have to read it to get it… but I’m not sure I want to ‘get it.’ I’m not sure I ever want to be in a mental place where I can think that ‘Laters, baby’ is a cool thing to say. Or funny or cute or ironic or whatever context it assumes in the books. “Mr. Grey, this is not professional.”*

Michal Marcol / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Dr. Drew Pinsky thinks Shades is a giant step back for feminism. (Though to be fair, his wife enjoyed the books – and she doesn’t think her husband has a right to meddle in other people’s fantasies.) But the feminism thing is kind of an issue for me too, because I do consider myself a feminist. Not the ‘stand-on-the-street-corner-holding-a-sign-and-hating-all-men’ kind of feminist. Just the regular ol’ ‘equal opportunity’ type. If I get excited about being chained to the bed, can I still call myself a feminist?

And there are other moral/ethical questions. If I read shades, will I become a nympho? Will I be able to focus on my kids, or will I blow them off in favor of a date with the jetted tub and a hand-held shower nozzle, like in that Saturday Night Live skit? (Though I have no idea why she was wearing a yellow rubber cleaning glove under there. What was that all about?) Will my neighbors still talk to me? Will people think I let my husband spank me? (After all, I do have a sneaking suspicion my brother-in-law has been spanking my sis lately. Dear God, help me.) Can I still go to Mass? Will reading Shades require a confession? Oh wait, irony alert. Do you think Shades author E. L. James knew that calling the central male character ‘Christian’ would piss a bunch of people off? Or at least, that it was totally ironic to do so? Well, if anyone’s going to hell for reading Fifty Shades of Grey, she’s totally screwed for writing it.

I’m sure my curiosity will eventually get the better of me (that, or my sister will hand me book one of the trilogy and point a loaded gun at me) and I will read the books. And I will become obsessed. Again. It’ll be just like Twilight. *SIGH* …I will be a nervous wreck, totally incapable of concentration. I’ll be reading under my desk at work (just part-time, but still), at stoplights, and while cooking dinner (Twilight made me burn several batches of biscuits). I’ll herd the kids to bed in a rushed frenzy so I can get back to my sordid fantasy-world. I’ll be mad at my husband for not being Christian Grey – like I used to be mad at him for not being Edward (Why does he need tosleep? And eat? And fart? Why can’t he catch me when I slip and fall as if I weigh no more than a feather? Or throw me across his back and sprint through the forest? Or fix dents in my car with just one hand? Or rescue me from psychotic undead villains? Why aren’t there any psychotic undead villains from whom to rescue me??)

At this point, I’m pretty sure there’s no getting around my sister’s pleas. I’m either going to read the books, or never hear the end of it from her. So sis, if you’re reading this: Alright, alright, I’ll go buy the damn books. Just don’t get mad when I don’t answer my phone for a few week because I’m too busy being naughty with the hubs in our newly-decorated spare bedroom. Ewwww, I’m trying to be funny but I’m creeping myself out.

Eh, maybe I’ll read them, maybe I won’t.

Updates forthcoming.

When Kristen Mae isn’t running absurdly long distances, washing poop out of her dog’s butt-hair, or taming her two booger-machines, she’s tossing her expensive master’s of music performance degree out the window by feverishly attacking her “writing career.” Kristen is the voice of Abandoning Pretense, where she tells the whole, uncensored truth about marriage, parenthood, and life. In addition to her blog, Mae shares hilarious and heart-warming tidbits of her life on her Facebook page, Google+,Twitter and Pinterest, and is also a regular contributor at ScaryMommy.com, Bluntmoms.com, Mamapedia.com and Mamalode.com. __________________________________________________________________________________________

Guess what? Kristen broke down and read the books. You can read her follow up post here. What did she REALLY think after reading the books?

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Never Caught A Single Fishy

There are only four weeks left of summer. Yeesh, what happened?! Only 154 days till Christmas!!! Yup, I'm one of THOSE people. Shut it! Christmas is awesome! Until then we are filling our days with all things summer. Like fishing.

Yeah, I don't know. It's my husband's idea.

There's a bunch of beautiful forest preserves near us that we don't take advantage of enough. Twice now, we've taken the kids fishing to one of these forest preserves that has a little lake. The first time was on a whim. Not at all planned out. I think you guys know I'm a planner? I'd like to introduce you to my husband, J. He's... spontaneous.

I moaned and groaned but J had already mentioned the idea of fishing out loud where the little ears heard. What is wrong with you?! They whined and whined until we were in the car to go fishing. Let's just say, I'm not an outdoorsy gal. J convinced me to go by saying that I didn't have to do anything, I could bring my Kindle and relax. I should have known better. I'm so naive sometimes.

I brought my Kindle but read the same sentence again and again because I was constantly being interrupted. I finally gave up and helped with untangling a line, pulling off seaweed, shushing the kids because their screams would scare away the fish, putting new corn on the hook.... yes, corn. J couldn't find any worms in the garden and didn't want to use hot dogs (because they are organic, nitrate free, expensive mofos). So he used corn. I wonder sometimes.

I think it's pretty obvious we didn't get any bites, other than from the mosquitos who just looooove my blood. No one else's, just mine.

As long as I'm not touching the worms or fish, I'm good. Fishing is relaxing. But my kids are not relaxed children. They are loud and have an attention span of a gnat. Both times we went, we were there for no more than five minutes before they were bored and hungry. Magically, J can easily ignore the whining children and get lost in his own fishing world. Instead of letting the kids whine it out and bug the shit out of the other more serious fisherman, I took them back to the car. They ate all the snacks in the bag. EZ whined about wanting to go back to bed, Ava rode her scooter up and down the parking lot asking 500 questions in rapid succession. So much for reading my book, huh?

Oh well, we did manage to have a fun as a family. It wasn't all bad and it wasn't all good but definitely good enough. That's what we are shooting for as parents, right? For these "fun" times to be good enough, because we tried. And I got some killer pics out of the deal. Thank you, Mother Nature's sunset and my iPhone.

What's your family doing to fill the last weeks of summer?

Monday, July 14, 2014

No, my phone case IS NOT a picture of Justin Bieber!

A year ago, I finally upgraded my phone to the iPhone 5. I had a 3 before and it was super outdated. I hate it when my technology is so outdated I can't upgrade to the cool apps. I must be cool. Cool = Good.

I still love you, Audrey!
After scouring the interwebs, I decided on an Audrey Hepburn case. I adore Audrey Hepburn. Instead of the typical Breakfast at Tiffany's photo, I went with Audrey dancing in Funny Face pic. I've had this case for about a year and it's protected my phone from a ridiculous amount of face-plants to the concrete. The case was getting a beating and the corners were starting to crack but it's AUDREY! I wuv her.

So then, I go to BlogU and I'm chatting with my ladies about something blog related, I think, and someone asks if that's Justin Beiber on my phone. What? Wait... what? Um. Noooo. And so everyone agrees that yeeeah it does look like Justin Bieber if you are looking it quickly. Good God, NOOOOOO!!!!

This has me thinking I probably need a new case but I put it off because I still love it and cases are expensive. Then, my nephew comes to visit. He glances at my phone one night and asked if it was Justin Beiber. WTF?!! NOOOOOO!!! JEEEZ! He doesn't even know who Audrey Hepburn is, which doesn't totally surprise me, he's 12. Now if, on two separate occasions, people think I have the Biebs on my phone then me thinks it's time to get a new case.

The timing couldn't have been more perfect when CaseApp contacted me to do a post. In exchange for an honest review they would send me a new case for my phone. SA-WEET!

My adorable new case from CaseApp.
Because I'm horribly indecisive, it took me a an entire week to come up with a design I liked. I loved all the designs they had, I just couldn't pick one to save my life. I chose a few pictures from Instagram and fiddled with the collage layouts to get the right look. This is what I came up with.

Ta-da!! I love it because it has my babies on it. Of course, any picture I chose would have been perfect but I'm always like, "Oh, this is good, or how about THIS one!"

It's super easy to upload your pictures to CaseApp and plop them into the layouts. You can pick backgrounds (like the yellow with white dots) or cover the whole phone in pictures. Whatever your heart desires. Not to mention, the custom cases run about $35, so you won't break the bank if you are looking to ditch a Bieber look-alike case... unless you want your case to have JB on it. Whatever floats your boat! I won't judge. But other people do judge, and I don't need them thinking a 35-year-old mom has that kind of love for Justin. Timberlake, maybe. But not Bieber.

CaseApp has custom cases for iPhone 4 / 4S / 5 / 5S / 5C / 5S tough (I have no idea what the 5S tough is), iPod touch 5 tough, iPad 4 / 3 / 2, iPad mini, and Galaxy S5 / S4 / S3. They also have skins for a ton of devices that I'm not going to list because it will take forever, but the skins include laptops. <-- Yay!

You can pay with Visa, Mastercard or dun-dun-DUN... Paypal, my fav! You can also get gift cards for the people you have no idea what to get! Easy, right? The shipping is fairly quick, about 5 days. I mean it's custom so it's not like you're picking it up from Target. The case is nice and snug and totally protected my phone when I immediately dropped it 10 minutes after I put the brand new case on. I should not be allowed to have shiny, pretty things.

Now GO! Go get a new case for your phone! Oh and be sure to like and follow CaseApp on Facebook and Instagram, where you can pick up some really cool design ideas!

Disclaimer: I was given a free case for CaseApp in exchange for a blog review. The opinions expressed herein are mine alone and do not represent the opinions of CaseApp
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