Wednesday, July 27, 2011

August Challenge. . .STAY TUNED!!

I've got some news that I'm going to reveal on August 1st. More of a challenge, so to speak and I'd love to challenge some of you to join in on the fun with me. Still working out all of the details. . .so, I'm not entirely ready to do the big reveal just yet. Stay tuned!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Take Me Out To the Ballgame!

Last night, we indulged in a little bit of All American-ness.  A wholesome as homemade apple pie baseball game.  In response to Tyler's participation in the Anthem LemonAid stand, we were gifted with two tickets to a Richmond Squirrels baseball game.  Tyler hadn't even been to a baseball game yet so this was a new experience for us! 

Like any good baseball game, there must be food.  Check.

Yes, my son does have a tooth tatoo on his arm.  Thank You Dr. Dentist for helping my son to dabble in rebel-hood a little earlier than I had hoped.  I suppose if he has to get a tattoo, I would prefer it to be one of a smiling tooth encouraging him to brush his teeth.  Healthy. 

There must be mascot posing.  Check.

Tyler was simply in awe of Nutty.  He followed him around everywhere! 

I told you!  Everywhere.

He even danced with him.  Yeah. . .that's my kid.  Dancing.  In public.  Even Nutty looks disturbed.

And of course, with any good baseball game, there should be a little sideline autograph collecting.  Check.

This is all before the game even started.  Once the game started, Ty was mesmerized by it all.

Seriously.  He couldn't take his eyes off of it! 

This picture is about an hour time difference from the first one.  The kid didn't move.  Believe it.  It's real.

The only time he finally peeled his eyes away from the game was when the guy came through selling cotton candy.  He half looked around at me and asked me, "Mommy, can I get some Cotton Candy?"

No.  This is a first experience. . .not your last meal.  I don't do cotton candy.  Pure sugar = pure hyper kid.  I'm not that crazy.  Or patient. 

Of course, no baseball game would be complete without a picture of me and my little bug.  I love my little squeezy bean.  

I hope he had as much fun as I did!  He must have. . .he slept like a ROCKSTAR last night!  Who would have known that a baseball game is the perfect sleeping tonic for a five year old boy? 

A Little Lesson in Giving

In our area, there is an annual event sponsored by Anthem called Anthem LemonAid: Kids 4 Cancer.  Basically, kids all around the city will set up lemonade stands and sell lemonade for $1 and all proceeds go to benefit children in our area who are battling cancer.  This is an amazing program and I'm very passionate about what it stands for.  The folks at Childrens Miracle Network and our local Children's Hospital do an amazing job coordinating and organzing the event and then providing support to the families who are sponsoring the lemonade stands.  Additionally, all of the funds raised stay here in our local community.  As an extra added bonus, it allows me to get my kid involved and show him what it's like to give back to your community.  I'm blessed that my parents raised me to understand that there are opportunities for each of us to help someone within our own communities and I am committed to passing that perspective on to Ty.  So, each year I try very hard to select some opportunities where Tyler can get involved and see first hand what kind of an impact a little bit of hard work can make. 

This was actually our second year setting up a stand.  Two years ago, Tyler and his dad built him a lemonade stand to use at his first event.  This year, we touched it up a bit and used the same stand. 

Another really awesome thing about this event is that some of our local businesses get involved and allow us to set up our stands in front of their establishments.  In our case, we set up our stand in front of a local Panera Bread and they were even so nice as to provide the lemonade so that I didn't have to constantly mix and pour! 

The day was absolutely beautiful!  The weather was warm and the crowds were flocking to the location where our stand was set up.  Initially, Tyler was so excited!  He got so hyped up every time someone came up and asked to buy a cup of lemonade.

Then, people started coming by and dropping off donations. . .they didn't want any lemonade, just wanted to make a donation.  This got Tyler so excited and every time someone would do it, he would say something to the effect of "A Donation?  No lemonade?  That's so nice.  MOMMY. . .Look!  A donation!"  It was so stinkin' cute! 

As the day went on, Ty started getting a little weary.  He had been working so hard pouring those glasses of lemonade and collecting money that he decided it was time for a break.  So, I allowed him a short break and figured it was a good idea to let the little businessman replenish his energy with a snack.

And yes, I made him wear that hat all. day. long.  It was cute.  How much longer do you think I can get way with that?

However, soon the little bugger decided that one break wasn't enough and he would just self-select when his breaks were.  His stand started looking like this:

Notice something missing?  Yes, it's missing a businessman.  A little entrepreneur.  There was a band playing nearby and he was getting to the point where the band was much more engaging than the customers.  So, that left Mommy to take care of the customers.  It's okay though. . .it was all for a good cause. 

Overall, Ty had a very successful lemonade stand.  $89.35 raised in about 4 hours! 

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Purse Turned Bermuda Triangle

This is embarrassing.  Honestly, I'm ashamed to even show you.  By publicizing these pictures, it just shows that my friends are right.  My purse really is a bottom-less pit.  My friends joke that my purse is the Bermuda Triangle.  Once something goes in, it's never to be seen again because it can never be found again.  All this time I've laughed and shrugged it off.  What can I say?  I like big purses!  However, after countless more than I'd like to admit incidents of not being able to find my keys, I started realizing that maybe, just m-a-y-b-e my purse was too large full.  However, the proverbial line was crossed when my wallet was stolen the other day.  Yep, it was stolen.

Yes, this one.  It's not exactly small.  Does not shop in the petite section for clothing.  Nope, this sucker is indeed a plus sized lady.

  Yep, I was standing in line getting ready to pay at Target when I went to grab my wallet.  It was gone.  I instantly felt that incredibly frantic "my-head-is-going-to-explode" or "I-can't-believe-this-is-really-happening-to-me" feeling I realized that my wallet was NOT where I last put it.  In a fit of "this-can't-be" hysteria, I started frantically pulling handfuls of stuff out of my purse in a desperate attempt to locate my wallet.  Low and behold, there it was.  Hiding (yes, hiding!) at the bottom of my purse.  My purse had stolen my wallet.  Attention Target Security: You can call off the search party.  Oh yeah, and let that poor kid with the Mohawk go.  He might look slightly suspicious (or just goofy?), but I'm pretty sure he didn't steal my wallet like I might have claimed oh. . . 2 minutes ago. The cashier looked at me like I had lost my mind.  The guy in line behind me suggested that I might not have lost my wallet if I wasn't carrying everything I owned in my purse.  The tweens in line behind him, who were in such a rush to pay for that Justin Beiber poster, just rolled their eyes and let out (loud) exasperated sighs (yes, I heard you, you little twits!). 

 So, it was high time that the purse got a good de-cluttering.  I had reached my breaking point.  Heck, I  should have surpassed breaking point months ago. . .perhaps the day that I found 2 full Capri Suns in there and had no idea that I had been toting them around? 

So, on one particularly hot July Saturday afternoon, I settled down on my living room floor and decided to give the old purse a makeover.  What I found in there would scare off any seasoned Hoarder.  Be aware, what you are about to see might cause permanent damage. 

Within my purse I found:

  • Day Planner
  • Groupon Print Out
  • Candace Bushnell Book, 4 Blondes--it's okay. . but a good read when I'm bored
  • Children's Place coupon (20% off!)
  • Library Book Reading Tracker (for Ty, not me!)
It doesn't stop there. . .not even close.

  • Coin Purse (holds my gift cards--I love gift cards!)
  • Coupon holder (holds all restaurant and retail coupons that I have.  Where are my grocery store coupons, you ask?  Oh. . .those are in an ENTIRELY different BAG!)
  • Ziploc bag full of medicines/band aids
  • Sinus Spray (currently fighting a nasty sinus infection.  Boo.)
  • Lowes Build & Grow release form (more on that coming soon!)
  • Lowes receipt (an OLD Lowes Receipt!)
Continuing. . . .

  • an EMPTY sunglasses case
  • mini video game (Tyler's)
  • bottle of clear nail polish
  • bottle of baby powder
  • two packages of gum
  • mini tape measure (how else will I measure things in the middle of the store to see if they should come home with me?  Yeah...that's how I roll!)
  • Ipod (yes, I know it's totally old school.  But it works.  And I'm cheap.)
  • purse hanger (you know, they hang your purse so nicely and daintily from the table when you go to restaurants?  Yeah, my purse has NEVER seen that hanger before.  In fact, the only reason why this hanger is still intact is because my purse has never met it before.)
  • Altoids tin (not sure if there were any in it)
  • mini Purell
  • package of Wisp teeth brushing thingies
  • empty container of eyeglass cleaner (my little puddin' wears glasses)
  • two mini Snickers bars--mishapen.  sad.  they might still be yummy, though.  hmm. . . .
Don't give up on me yet. . .it keeps going. . .

  • two pairs of sunglasses
  • five tubes of hand lotion
  • two tubes Chapstick
  • seven tubes lipgloss (no, that wasn't a typo.  Count them in the picture.  I know it's sad.)
  • bottle of hand sanitizer
  • nasal decongestant inhaler (yep, I already told you I have a sinus infection)

  • three checkbooks (I don't even have three checking accounts so I have no idea what accounts these are all to!)
  • two lint rollers
  • rogue tampon
  • six packages of tissues (Hello! I have a 5 year old.  And a sinus infection.)
  • random assortment of receips/ticket stubs/notes/crumpled coupons
And that's just what I managed to get pictures of.  There was more.  Lots more.  Also found in my purse was:

  • another coin purse--this one actually keeps my coins
  • a list of clothes that Tyler needed for the summer
  • package of gum
  • tickets to an Ice Skating Rink (I got them in September.  They expired in June.  Sad.)
  • a coupon for ice cream
  • $10/$40 coupon for Bath & Body Works (I love.)
  • a partial package of Airheads
  • two pens
  • Starbucks gift card (no clue if there's anything on it)
  • four house keys which don't work on the door knob that I currently have (these keys are OLD!)
  • three hair clips
  • two hair ties
  • bobby pins (an entire package!)
  • expired Old Navy coupon
  • four more packages of gum
  • mini pair of scissors
  • expired restaurant coupons
  • Purell Hand wipes
  • three Advil Cold & Sinus tablets (where were those when I started suffering from this sinus infection?)
  • pink highlighter
  • a blister stick (I'm a trainer. . .I wear high heels. . .my shoes hurt my feet alot. . .blisters happen)
  • 21 Pepto Bismol tablets (again, not a typo)
  • a badge holder for my work badge
  • 10 nasty pieces of Trident gum
  • two mis-shapen Snickers bars
  • two mis-shapen Butterfinger bars
  • safety pin
  • three business cards
  • ANOTHER pack of gum
  • pair of earrings
  • another rogue tampon
  • paint swatch from my office
  • matchbook
  • sewing kit
  • two postage stamps (yay!)
  • FAKE Pandora charm (got screwed over on Ebay. . .sellers of fake stuff should ROT!)
  • my work badge
  • lapel pin for work
  • four heel/foot cushions (blisters.  these things sometimes help.)

OMG. . .Who in the world can carry around that much crap?  Here's a picture of all of the junk in a pile before I got to work sifting, sorting, and tossing. 

Holy smokes!  That's alot of stuff right there.  So, after about an hour of looking at everything and agonizing over whether I really needed it in my purse, my purse now looks like this:

I know it doesn't look that different but it feels like 82lbs have been cleaned out of my monstrocity of a shoulder bag! 
So what did I find out about myself during this whole ordeal?  That I like lip gloss.  And tissues.  And gum.  And house keys that no longer unlock my front door. 

What about you?  What do you keep in your purse?  Anything that is so beyond ridiculous that you are afraid to admit it?  Don't be shy. . .I won't tell anyone! 

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Why a blog?

The other day, I got asked by someone why I started a blog.  Afterall, I have A-L-O-T on my plate: I work full time, go to school part time, I'm a single mom, own a home (that's alot of work!) and I try to volunteer for the various organizations that I'm the most passionate about.  All in all, I barely have a free moment to myself.  Yet, I found myself actually wanting to start a blog and to share the different experiences that I encounter.  I've constantly got projects going on and I like to share how I do those.  I'm pretty thrifty and am always on the hunt for the best deals on everything from groceries to gas to house stuff to clothing for me and my son.  Basically, everything.  Rather than be a hoarder of that information, I'd rather share it with others.  I follow so many blogs that are geared toward ONE specific thing.  For example, some blogs that I follow are dedicated solely to DIY home improvement projects.  Others, are solely for deals and steals.  I don't desire my blog to be a niche blog.  If it totally ends up that way organically, than so be it.  I'll be happy with wherever the wind takes me on this one.  But, I am starting out small and just sharing with the world whatever the world seems to let me share with it.  So, what that being said, does that answer YOUR question about what my blog is all about?  I hope so.  Because I'm tired. . .and thirsty. . .and have alot of projects to go check up on. 

Peace Out, Homey! 

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Lowes Build-N-Grow

If you haven't heard about Lowes Build-N-Grow, you are totally behind the times.  It's like the best thing EVER to occupy a rough-and-tumble boy on a Saturday morning.  I've been making a real effort to get more involved in some of the "boy" things that Tyler likes doing and stop forcing my poor boy to bake cookies and cakes with his girlie Mama. Quite honestly, this boy stuff is hard!  It goes against every nail polish painting, make up brush weilding, cake baking bone in my body.  I just don't get the whole Backugan and Transformers obsession and I don't have anywhere near the energy level that a five year old has.  However, I truly enjoy the time that Ty and I spend together at Build-N-Grow.  Every other week (at least in our area), there is a workshop at our local Lowes where the kids get to build different projects with their parents.  This week, it was a tow truck.  Now, this is much more advanced than the projects that we usually complete.  This one required a significant amount of work from Mommy! 

So, for this one, we started out with all of the parts.  Wow, that's alot of parts.  Mr. Lowes Man, you mean you want ME to help this kid put this stuff together?  You do realize that I can't even hang a picture, right?  I mean, I don't even know how to work a screwdriver.  This looks intimidating! 

But, my little man wasn't afeerd.  Nope, he jumped right in by grabbing the hammer and thrusting the directions at me saying "Mommy, you have to read these because I can't read the words yet".  Lovely. 

So, while my baby was hammerin' I was readin'.  All along the way, I kept reading those directions and dutifully watching over my little baby bear making sure that he didn't nail one of his little fingies (fingers) to a piece of wood. 

Just look at that concentration:

We even got down on the floor to work! 

Little by little, we put pieces of wood together and they started resembling a truck. 

Once it started looking like a truck, I'm not sure who was more excited.  The little being that had created it or the Mommy that had supervised.  I was bursting with pride that my little man was such a carpenter.  I'd be lying if I didn't admit that I was a little proud of myself for being able to read those directions so darn well!

Once we got all of those pieces together, then it was time to put the stickers on.  Ty got so excited about this part because, in his words "Now it's a REAL tow truck!".

Sure enough, that little puddin' pop is right, it is a real tow truck!  What a fun Saturday morning!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

My First Post!

Here it is. . .losing my post virginity (Sorry Mom.  Sorry Nana.  It's just a saying. . .I swear!). . .I decided to start this blog for a number of reasons.  First and foremost, I have family and friends who are all over the country.  Comes from the days of my childhood when we never stayed in one place for very long.  I think it's because my parents were fugitives.  Cue Beavis & Butthead: "Breakin' the Law, Breakin' the Law"  Maybe it's because my sisters and I got us ran out of town everywhere we went.  Who knows?  Whatever the reason, I moved around alot.  Also, my family might deeply love one another, but I don't think any of us really like each other all that much.  Or, we all have serious body stink problems.  Either way, none of us live within close proximity to one another.  So, for all of the family that I have in the various US states and Europeon countries, this is for you. 

Another reason that I started this blog is because I have this strange affinity for doing stupid stuff.  It was only recently that I realized that other people actually enjoy laughing at my stupidity.  Who am I to deprive anyone of that pleasure?  So, if I do something stupid, I'll blog about it.  That way, you can join in on the fun too! 

I also desire to leave an impression on this world.  Even if it's the smudgy fingerprints that my son leaves all over every. last. thing. in this house, it's at least something.  I'm not much into scrapbooking or journaling.  My photography skills are nothing short of sucky.  So, blogging might be my way to leave some sort of legacy behind for my wee one to enjoy when he's all grown up and I've exhausted all possible opportunities to embarass him horribly.  Heck, maybe I can even blog about those! 

Let's start off the introductions, shall we?  I'm Aryn. . .pronounced like the more common spelling "Erin" but my parents were hippies (yes, fugitive hippies) and they both failed spelling in school.  Miserably.  The most interesting thing about the spelling of my name is the fact that every.time. I have to spell it for anyone, they always have the same comment "Hmm. . .interesting spelling".  Yes, I know.  Thanks.  I hold a deep seeded grudge against my parents for screwing up the spelling of my name.  While all of the other girls ran around with the personalized hair barrets and cute little personalized license plates on their bikes or backpacks, I was stuck with a name that was so EASY to pronounce but yet no one could seem to do so.  Because it was spelled wrong.  But, I'm not permanently damaged as an adult.  No.  Not at all. 

Here's a VERY rare picture of me.  Of course, it's not just me, but I'm in the picture.  That's rare.  Seriously.  There are very few pictures of me because I'm the one always behind the camera.  Yeah, I think the last picture anyone took of me was before I had my son.  Since then, no one has ever asked for a picture of me.  Only my son.  I bet you my mom doesn't even remember what I look like anymore.  But, she can describe every last detail of my son.  Right down to the birthmark on his butt.  That's how many pictures she requires of him.  But none of me.  Nooooo. . .none.  But, I'm not permanently damaged.  No, not at all. 

Speaking of my son, this is him.  The cah-uuuuu-test little five year old you'll ever set eyes on.  He's my little prince.  And I love him.  Even his butt birthmark.  Luuuurve him.  He also happens to be the funniest person I know.  He's got the most amazing sense of humor.  And he knows words that five year olds shouldn't know.  And uses them in the right context.  He's destined to be a rebel. 

Seriously, he's just so cute. . .here is another one of my favorite pictures of him.  He's the bees knees. 

Okay, I couldn't resist.  Just had to add one more!

And this handsome fellow is my other child.  My furry child.  He's a pit bull.  Doesn't he look mean?  Well, he's not.  He's actually quite a wussy dog.  He is the only dog I know who could easily take down a grown man but he totally doesn't know it.  He thinks he's a Pomeranian.  A little annoying one with a high pitched yap. He is a man of many names.  Officially, his name is Pete.  But, he's also known as Peter, Petey, Sweetie Petey, Peter Pie, PooPoos, Puppers, Pita, Pita Pit, Pete the Pit, and some others that I can't mention here because. . .well, this is a family place.  'Nuff said. 

Doesn't he look ferocious?  Trust me, he's not.  Not in the least.

I mean, just wook at dowse eyes.  Dey so pwecious!  Yes, dey are! 

And you HAVE to love a dog who has bat ears.  I mean, look at those ears!  They are a phenomenon! 

Ty and Pete are best friends.  They love each other.  At least, Pete loves Ty.  Ty, on the other hand, doesn't always share that same love.  He sometimes wishes the dog would stop chasing him around when he's trying to get in the bathtub.  It's weird.  Very weird.  

We also have a cat but he's old.  And grumpy.  And old.  And camera shy.  So, you'll just have to take my word for it that we've got an old cat.  My mom can vouch for me.   Yes, Mom, the cat is still alive. 

With nothing else to say (for now--pick your jaw up off the floor, Mom), I welcome you to my blog.  I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I hope to enjoy writing it!  I'll leave you with my son's favorite way to say Goodbye: "Peace Out, Homey!"