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."


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.


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!

Monday, September 15, 2014

A Wicked Rad myCharge Portable Power GIVEAWAY!

The kids are back to school, but Moms know that's only the beginning! Now that the school year is in full swing, there's no slowing down. In fact, things can start getting pretty hectic this time of year between your work and your kid's homework, after-school clubs and sports, music lessons and carpools, birthday parties and play dates...the list goes on and on!

Even the most organized Mom (aka not me) will tell you things can change at the last minute, and Moms of all people can't afford to run out of power... we mean for your phone or tablet, of course! myCharge knows how important it is for you to stay charged and connected all day—and all school year—long, so they're giving the gift of portable power so you're never left in the red!

To keep you charged and connected myCharge is giving 3 lucky winners each an iPad mini with a myCharge HUB 6000 portable charger! <---SO RAD! The amazingly compact Hub 6000 features built-in cables and connectors for smartphones, tablets, e-readers and more. Get up to 27 hours of additional talk time for your devices, as well as integrated, quick-charge wall prongs. The Hub series is commonly known as the “Swiss Army Knife of portable power devices.

Additionally, 40 winners will each receive an Energy Shot compact portable charger for their smartphones that delivers an additional boost when you need it most. They come in a variety of styles and can give you up to 10 hours of talk time! (Please note, smart phone not included in giveaway).

So Moms, stay out of the red this school year! myCharge is here to keep you charged and connected! For more information on products visit the myCharge website or follow them on Facebook. You can find myCharge products available at retailers such as Target and Kohl's.

Fill out the entry form below September 15, 2014 - October 15, 2014 for your chance to be one of 40 winners to receive an Energy Shot Charger (10 winners randomly selected each week) and one of 3 grand prize winners randomly selected on October 15, 2014 to receive one iPad Mini with a myCharge HUB 6000 portable charger. Entrants must be at least 18 years of age or older, must live in the United States and have a valid shipping address. See giveaway form for complete list of rules and details. 

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This is a sponsored post from myCharge.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

I AM the boss.


I'm Ava. I'm 6 and in the first grade. I've lost nine teeth! It totally grosses my mom out when I'm wiggling a tooth and finally get it out. I think it's funny to make her squirm.

I have a little brother who is annoying but I love him. His name is Ethan or sometimes we call him EZ. We have a cat who never lets me pet him. I don't know why he doesn't love me, I would love to cuddle all day with him.

I'm a great artist. I can draw pretty much anything. I'm also really good at using the iPad, as long as they aren't learning apps.

I love a lot of things but I get angry easily. It's hard for me to say why I get so angry when something doesn't go my way, I just do.

I hate it when I have to work for something. Working is stupid and hard. I don't like it and it makes me mad. I'm scared I won't do it right, so why do it at all?

That's why I hate reading. My mind doesn't keep the words in my brain for me to remember easily and it frustrates me so much. So much, that I get angry and don't want to learn how to read. Well, I guess I do want to learn how to read but it's just so hard. I'm not good at it. When I can't figure out a word I feel stupid. My parents say I'm not but that's not how I feel inside.

My mom and dad made me do the reading program at school last year. I hated that. I hated leaving all my classmates. They were getting to do fun stuff while I had to learn how to read. AND THEN, my mom and dad made me see a reading tutor over the summer. That REALLY made me mad. But I secretly liked the tutor, she was nice and gave me candy at the end. I didn't like that she would send notes home to my mom about what I'm supposed to do before I see her next. Homework, ugh. Stupid homework. Stupid reading. It makes me feel so stupid because it's so hard.

My mom tries to get me to read all the time and I hate it. It's annoying. Why can't I just play? Why can't you just read it to me like you always do? Why do I have to learn to read? It's so dumb. So then she gets really mad and frustrated with me. Sometimes I really try my hardest and a lot of times I reeeeally don't want to do it so I get sassy. My mom hates that most of all.

I know I shouldn't talk that way but I don't care because I'd rather get in trouble for being sassy than have to read. My brother, EZ, doesn't have to do homework. Mom says it's because he's still too little but will have to learn someday. I bet he'll be better than me. I don't like when people are better at something than me. It's not fair.

That's something my mom says I need to stop saying. It's not fair. She says that I'm better at drawing than EZ and is that fair to EZ? I know what she's saying but I choose to ignore it. Hmph.

I do like to go the library though. So many books! I'm a big girl so I should be able to read chapter books like big girls do. I don't know why I have to keep reading the baaaby books. But chapter books are hard for me. It's so frustrating. I do want to learn how to read and I know I will someday because my mom won't stop bugging me about it. Man, she's annoying like that. I know she's just trying to help me, at least that’s what she says. I know I need help. She told me she would buy me a Kindle like hers when I learn how to read. So cool! I want a Kindle with a cover that has lots of bright colors. Maybe with rainbows and horses. I love horses.

I like school. I like my friends and my teacher. They are all really cool. The work isn't too bad. I just wish I could learn how to read. Why can't it just be easy?

I just feel dumb that reading is hard for me.

But guess what?

I just learned how to ride my bike without training wheels. Talk about frustrating! It took forever to learn. My mom told me one day that I'm the boss of the bike. That I shouldn't let the bike win. I'm the boss. She told me this over and over. At first it was annoying but then I got it.

I AM the boss.

I had to be the one to tell that bike what to do. And I did it. I rode my bike. Not just once but a whole bunch of times, up and down the sidewalk.

That night my mom made me do my reading homework, which I obviously hated but I decided that I was the boss of that book. My mom helped me with the hard words but I read most of it. I sounded out words and I tried really hard. I showed that book who's boss. I wasn't going to let those words win and beat me.

I AM the boss.

When my mom is proud of me she gets really goofy. She starts to squeal and gets super excited. It's embarrassing but it does make me feel good to make her proud. It tells me that I'm doing a good job.

You guys should have seen her when I finished that book. She was jumping up and down and kissing me all over the face, telling everyone that I learned how to ride my bike AND willingly read a book to her. See what I mean about being goofy? It did make me feel good even thought I was embarrassed. The attention makes me uncomfortable but deep down I was super proud of myself for not giving up.

Sometimes my brain tries to tell me I'm stupid but I know I'm not. Reading is still really hard but I'm trying harder than I ever have before. I know I can do it. I just have to be the boss.

My name's Ava and I AM the boss.

Friday, August 29, 2014

What's in Your Kid's Toy Box?

You know how kids nowadays have a stupid amount of toys? Well SparkBox Toys had an ingenious idea to do a toy rental program. That's kinda sorta what it is. They have a subscription service that you can sign up for that's either every 4 or 8 weeks, or if you really want to get fancy you can do a whole year. You can keep the toys for as long as you wish (no late fees) but when you return the box, they will send out a new box of toys to keep your child engaged, happy and less likely to get sick of their toys. Kind of like when I stand in front of my full closet complaining I have nothing to wear.

But say your kids LOOOOVE a particular toy that comes in the box and refuses to part with it even with the promise of a new toy. SparkBox's got you covered, you can buy the toy from SparkBox at discount to the retail price. Rad, huh?

Ok so now you're thinking that's cool but used toys... ewe. GERMS! Not in this case because BEFORE SparkBox sends the toy out to a new child they hose it down with bleach and light it on fire, essentially killing all germs. I'm kidding but they do have a stringent sterilization process (which you can read about here). They make sure all the toys are up to par and then shrink wrap the toys so all the bits and pieces stay together. They even send a mesh bag that you can put all the loose parts from the toys in. These people were thinking ahead. They have mesh bags, I have a junk box of random toy parts.

The toys are educational and age appropriate. Ava was bummed because she's too old. That doesn't mean she didn't claim every toy as her own. The boxes contain four toys. EZ received a wooden shape puzzle, a thing where you open the doors to discover a wooden piece inside, a LeapFrog ABC laptop looking thing, and blocks. Guess which one he decided he wanted to keep? Ok I'll just tell you. The blocks. Because they make good tunnels for his cars. His words, not mine.

All the toys come with a card that help you, as the parent, figure out how to use the toy in an educational and stimulating way. Ya know, rather than giving the kid the toy and just saying, "Have at it!" It's nice to have a little guidance for playtime. I know that sounds silly but seriously, does anyone else get bored playing? I do. I can only play Barbies for so long (~2 minutes) before my brain short circuits. The cards give me ideas of different ways to play.

There is something nice about knowing you are getting top notch toys that don't clutter your house. This never happens in my house. My house is spotless. *brushes crumbs off the couch* EZ still has a little time left for these toys. SparkBox Toys are geared for ages 4 and under but honestly, Ava (who's 6) played with these toys for a solid half hour. Fist bump, SparkBox. You my homie.

Be sure to check out SparkBox Toys' website to find out more about the company, their philosophy and toys. And it's imperative to follow them on Facebook and Twitter because social media.

Seriously... LOOK AT THIS PICTURE (ignore the pajamas)! THEY AREN'T FIGHTING! WHOOP!

Disclaimer: SparkBox Toys gave me a free one month subscription and one toy to keep from the box in exchange for a blog review. The opinions expressed herein are mine alone and do not represent the opinions of SparkBox Toys

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!
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