Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Winners Rock

We have a winner on the RIDEMAKERZ GIVEAWAY! I assigned every possible winner's comment a number, except for Anonymous, giving us 7 comments. Here is how the numbers were assigned:

1. Sports Mama
2. Johnson Team Mom
3. Scott and Jenny
4. Bandanamom
5. Rae
6. Tanner
7. Briannon

Here's what the Random Sequence Generator gave me:

True Random Number Service
Random Sequence Generator
Here is your sequence:
Timestamp: 2008-10-29 15:45:22 UTC

© 1998-2008
Mads Haahr Valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional Valid CSSWeb Design by TSDA

Briannon is the winner!! If she can't use it before Friday, I will contact the next number on the list! Thanks for playing everyone!!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

People and Places (RIDEMAKERZ) that ROCK!!

Being a Boymom Rocks. You know why? Cause I don't have to worry about about styling hair in the morning while we get ready for school. Another reason being a Boymom Rocks? I get invited to amazing events like the one we went to this weekend at RIDEMAKERZ!

The Boys in front of the RIDEMAKERZ Shop

I know, you have questions:

  • Is there a contest at the end of this post? (Yes, no skipping the whole post!)
  • What is RIDEMAKERZ, Boymom?
  • Who's the genius that thought this thing up?
  • Did you meet any other cool people?
  • What did you do there?
  • Why is RIDEMAKERZ so cool?
  • Is it really as fun as you make it sound?
  • Why didn't I get invited to the Sneek Preview?
  • Will girls like RIDEMAKERZ?
  • Will you go back to RIDEMAKERZ?
  • How can I get me some there a location near me?

People, PLEASE! Calm down and I will answer your questions in an orderly manner.

What is RIDEMAKERZ, Boymom? RIDEMAKERZ is like Build-A-Bear for boys, only with vehicles. Adults who are into cars will love it too! The basic premise is that kids of all ages get to go into a RIDEMAKERZ shop and build a vehicle from the ground up, then "trick out" their ride with accessories. RIDEMAKERZ rocks.

Who's the genius that thought this up? Ooh! Ooh! (She says as she wildly waves her raised hand in the air) I know this one! Because I met him! His name is Larry Andreini. He was at the Sneek Preview. He's the "ZEO" of RIDEMAKERZ. I asked him how he came up with the idea. Read here to see how it all went down. Larry is a super nice guy. He's really an unassuming, relaxed person. He talked to my boys and shook their hands and thanked me for taking the time to check out the store. Did you hear me people? He thanked me. He lets me come check out the store at a special sneak preview for free, and thanks me for being there. Plus, how many CEOs do you know who would come hang out at one of their stores and personally greet people? Not many. Larry Rocks.

Larry, the Boys and Jeff

Did you meet any other cool people there? Why yes! Yes I did! One of RIDEMAKERZ public relations guys is Jeff Bachman. Jeff was my initial contact with the company and he arranged for our visit to the shop. Jeff was so polite and attentive, he made sure when we first arrived that we had the chance to talk to Larry and get a few pics, then he walked us all the way through the process. He was so good with the boys, extremely patient. In fact, Little Man ended up having an issue with his first vehicle and Jeff helped him pick out a new one and get it built while I was helping Big Brother and talking to another cool guy, whom I will get to in a minute. I kinda felt bad when I got home and realized how much time Jeff took to make sure Little Man was happy while I was otherwise engaged! Jeff is great with kids...he will be a good dad someday. Like I said, Jeff was really polite and attentive. He took the time to answer all of our questions and made sure our experience at RIDEMAKERZ was worth our trip. And he's pretty easy on the eyes. Just thought I'd throw that in there. Jeff rocks.

Larry and Lee

The other guy I met while I was there is Lee Nadler. Lee is the ZMO (Chief Marketing Officer) and a really good guy. When I said earlier that I was busy helping Big Brother, that is only partially true. I kind of got distracted with thoughts of my blog and taking pictures of the shop for this post, so Lee stepped in to help out Big Brother while Jeff was working out Little Man's vehicle issues. Lee answered a lot of questions and we talked alot about how they worked to fine-tune the experience for the kids building their rides. Lee was extremely helpful in guiding Big Brother. Lee took a picture of me and Big Brother together, which I suppose needed to be done for the sake of the blog, but that one act almost knocked Lee off of the “people at RIDEMAKERZ who rock” list. I’m kidding, Lee! In his defense, I did say he could take the picture…I didn’t want to unload my issues on Lee. He seems too nice to be traumatized by my "lack of hot momness" issues, so I just went with it. He is such a genuinely caring person with the customers that you can’t not like the guy! Again, how impressive is it that the CMO was at the store to help?! Lee rocks, even with the picture taking incident.

Boymom and Big Brother Accessorizing

And finally, while all of the Crew Members at the shop were awesome and very helpful, Reggie really stood out for his efforts with Big Brother. Reggie was Big Brother's Crew Chief. Reggie took a lot of time to educate Big Brother on the inner workings of his Ride, which was good, because when we got home, Big Brother was the only one who knew where all the stuff was and how to put it together because Reggie did such a good job! Reggie was happy and upbeat and a really fun guy, which are all great qualities when you are working with kids all day. Reggie rocks.

Reggie and Kendra - the Boys' Crew Chiefs

Oh...I have to mention Kendra here, who was Little Man's Crew Chief. She was so patient and continued to try to work out the issues with the first vehicle, which they later determined had a technical issue. But she stuck with it the whole way and she and Jeff worked together to get Little Man's 2nd choice up and running very quickly. Kendra was really calm and very cute and I appreciate her efforts to make sure Little Man had something that worked. Kendra rocks.

What did you do there? I'll let Chip Foose show you in this video, where he walks you through the whole process. RIDEMAKERZ works with Chip Foose, who builds real live “Rides” on Learning Channel’s hit show ‘Overhaulin’. Chip consults with RIDEMAKERZ to help them create cool vehicular concepts. (That would be my description of what Chip does, I’m not sure those would be Chip’s exact words. I think it sounds cool though, so that’s how it’s goin’ down on this post). We didn’t get to meet Chip…maybe next time. I'm guessing Chip rocks, but do not have personal knowledge of that fact.

Why is RIDEMAKERZ so cool? Because I Am Boymom and I said so. Okay, really there are myriad of reasons. For one thing, it's really geared toward boys. It's very hands on, every vehicle is unique because the kids choose their own accessories. You make your ride a free wheel vehicle or remote controlled vehicle. You can choose to make it "Street" or "Monster." They have so many different accessories that you could totally remake your Ride every few months. It's a very progressive, evolutionary product. I like the fact that I can use the possibility of picking out some new accessories as a motivation for good behavior or reward for chores, whatever.

Brother chose Monster, Little Man chose Street, both chose remote control
As weird as it sounds, there are some educational benefits. My boys learned alot while they were there about how toys are made. They also learned the names of lots of auto accessories and of particular note, they had the opportunity to be creative in a more masculine environment. I think it's hard sometimes for boys to express their creativity the way they would like to in public. RIDEMAKERZ gives them an outlet to do this.

Another reason RIDEMAKERZ is so cool is because they thought through lots of little details. Like the fact that the decals are repositionable. Hellooo? How awesome is that? No little sticky pieces of paper getting peeled off and stuck to my tile or carpet or walls. It also means they can keep the old set of decals and save them if they want to change the look of the vehicle again down the road.

Big Brother and Cool Decal Chick tricking out his ride

The cool factor is also derived from the fact that many of the accessories are magnetized, so switching out things like engines and hood scoops and adding police lights are no big deal, they just stick right to the vehicle and are easily removed.

At the end of the process, you register you vehicle. You get a RIN, a Ride Identification Number, which is unique to your vehicle. You type out your own license plate and they print out a certificate of ownership for you to keep. Then later, you can get on the internet and look up your model and try out various accessories. At some point in the future RIDEMAKERZ plans to include interactive features like racing against other RIDEZ via internet. My boys will love that!

Big Brother registers his RIDE

Lastly, even if you aren't a kid, if you love cars you will love RIDEMAKERZ. It's a great place for dads and their boys to spend an afternoon bonding. I could totally picture a group of guys or a bunch of car enthusiasts hanging out and having a "night" here, building a really cool ride and talking shop. It's a fun atmosphere for car lovers. Car enthusiasts Rock.

John, Shelly and Casey sharing some family fun at RIDEMAKERZ

Is it really as fun as you make it sound? Umm, yeah! Would I lie? I got to build my own ride too, it was a blast! Probably one of the most enjoyable things we have done in a very long time.

Boymom's RIDE

Why didn't I get invited to the Sneek Preview? Because I Am Boymom and I Rock. There's only room for one Rockin' Boymom at a time at such a great event. Maybe next time, fellow Boymom.

Will girls like RIDEMAKERZ? Yeah, if they like cars. They have some girl body styles and colors and some really girly decals and accessories. Girls can definitely do RIDEMAKERZ. Girls also work at RIDEMAKERZ.

Will you go back to RIDEMAKERZ? Duh! They have fantastic cars and and the Crew rocks! My family has found a new hangout. I'm gonna have to learn some "car enthusiast" language so I sound like I have my Street Creds. I gots to be legit, yo.

How can I get me some there a location near me? Check out the website to see if there is a location near you.

This would be the CONTEST PART! If you live in the Phoenix Arizona general area, I happen to have a coupon for a free RIDE, courtesy of RIDEMAKERZ but it is only good for the Phoenix location and it expires on Halloween. So all you Phoenix Moms better get on the stick and leave a comment because this mini-contest ends Tuesday at midnight! Contests Rock.

I gotta go play with my RIDE now.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Living in House Full of Men

Sometimes it gets lonely being the only girl in the house. I have never been a super "girly" girl, but I do like some femininity. For example, it would be nice to have some of my hair accessories available for use in my hair, vs. being used to attack things or hold together a Star Wars Display.

And somehow, even thought the boys have their own bathroom, they keep gravitating toward ours for their showers. It's kinda weird when I have to share my shower with peeping army guys.

The bonus there though is knowing I am safe from terrorists while I shampoo.

(Man Down! Man Down!)

And then there's the husband. Even though he's not a drinker, this commercial pretty much sums up his romantic side.

All that being said, I love my boys. I love the little surprises I find in the pockets while doing laundry. I love the fact that if I let a little wind slip, I hear giggles and then all of the sudden find myself in the middle of an all out "Windy" war between the 3 guys. I swear one of these days one of them is going to poop his pants trying to win. I love that every time I talk about bad guys my men immediately start strategizing about how to protect the family.
Yeah...sometimes I miss the "girly" stuff, but then I let loose with one of those loud, long, straight from the belly belches that you only get from drinking soda and realize I'm right where I belong.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Too Much of a Good Thing

I just cannot get caught up with myself this week! I am behind on EVERYTHING! Plants are dead from lack of water and cat attacks, house is trashed, laundry piling up, need groceries. Cannot get a handle on things! I wonder if it has to do with the fact that my husband is home all day right now and will not leave me ALONE for one second!!!! God love him, he really needs a hobby.

Like maybe patching the woodpecker hole?!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

I'll be Reading You...

Blogs do funny things to people. I have been really busy the last few weeks and have been feeling guilty for the last few days about the fact that I am behind on my blog reading. I don't want my blog friends to think that I am lazy or that I have forgotten them or that I am some kind of lame fly-by-night blog buddy. Why am I worrying about reading blogs written by people that I don't know?! Seems kind of weird to people who don't blog.

But the truth is, I do kind of know these people. They share stuff about their lives on every post. They make comments on my posts and get to know my family, my issues, etc. I get to know them, their kids, their humor. And the truth is, I miss them when I get behind on reading their blogs. And I feel like I am not being a good friend when I get behind. Because real human connections are important to maintain, even when they happen over the internet.

Monday, October 6, 2008

The Smells of Autumn...

In keeping with my bodily function theme, my post today addresses state park bathroom smells. We took a trip for the kids' fall break and once we got to the site, we went to use the restrooms. You know how State and National Park outhouses and restrooms smell, right? They have that kind of piney/enzymey smell that lets you know someone is making a lame attempt to keep germs and bacteria at bay in an extremely public place that was built in 1936. Usually that smell is reserved for facilities that DO NOT have flushing toilets.

This restroom, however, did have flushing toilets, it was well ventilated and actually very clean and nicely built, with tile and new toilets and running water. So WHY did it still have that funky smell? Is it because it's government issue air freshener, so all state and national park bathrooms smell the same? Is it to remind us of the rests stops of yesteryear when we took eternally long family trips in station wagons crammed with too many people? Whatever it is, it needs to stop. Some of the 7 billion dollars we are spending needs to be used to buy the government some new air freshener! Have they heard of Febreze? Seriously!

So we went to Kartchner's Cavern here in Arizona, its right outside of Benson, which is south of Tucson. I will post pics of the trip tomorrow, but they don't let you take pics in the cave anyway. In fact, they don't let you do anything but walk through it. Can't touch anything. Nothing. You can't even touch the rocks that are almost touching you when you walk through the pathways that they built...which means someone had to touch something for the pathways to be built - right? boys both did really good with not touching anything. My husband was a different story. He thought the Park Ranger was a little too "Green" and pushy with her "don't touch the cave" agenda. He kept wanting to make a point that him touching a rock would not spread some kind of human anthrax virus through the cave. Dude! Can you just enjoy the tour?

It was amazing and beautiful and weird to think we were inside of a mountain, looking at all these incredible formations. Seriously, it rocked.

The gift shop DID NOT rock, it was really expensive and filled with all kinds of crap that had nothing to do with the caverns. We finally busted out the big bucks and spent $2 in quarters on the machine that smashes pennies. The boys were unimpressed. At least we have a souvenir.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


Blog posts are a funny thing. Some people, like Sue over at Happy Meals and Happy Hour are blessed with an infinite amount of creativity when it comes to blog post subjects. You only need to read her post regarding Pluto (the planet, not the dog) to verify this point.

Other folks, like me, want that kind of creativity, but find the daily grind to be a thief of all that is good in my brain. I go to bed with great ideas and plans, only to awake the next day with a full list of chores and an empty head, unable to pull together 2 cohesive thoughts as I scramble through the list before I have to go get the kids. So my blog, and my readers, suffer greatly.

Having said that, today's post is not all that creative, but funny to me and I think in 20 years it will either be funny or embarrassing to my son. Which is why I am posting it. Either way, I get to watch his face contort when he reads about what he said when he was 6. So, without further ado...

Today's Post:

***WARNING! This post involves POOP!! It also involves my child saying a really weird thing regarding POOP! So if POOP grosses you out, do not read this post! You've been warned.

The boys played in a local basketball league over the summer. A few weeks ago they had their last game. Little Man had just finished and we were leaving the gym when I felt the urge to go to the potty. The problem is, I kind of have, ummm...issues...with my gut. So when I feel that kind of rumbling that I felt, I knew this was one of those kind of gut attacks that required I be in a less public venue. So I figured I'd hustle home and deal with it there. We loaded up and I took off, home is about 15 minutes from the gym we were at.

The Goal: Get to bathroom at home as quickly as possible.

Plan: Drive like a bat out of hell and breathe deeply to keep everything relaxed and in place.

Obstacles: Old People on the Road (we live at the edge of a retirement community, in one of the biggest snowbird capitals of the world), traffic lights, unruly gut.

Defenses: Strong muscles, strong will, helpful child.

First thing out of the school parking lot I get stuck behind Retirement Rudy, who likes to drive at the speed of nothing. When I finally got around him I got stuck at the light. My gut is still rumbling, but not yet boiling. Light changes, moving down the road behind EVERY slow, old person in Sun City and I miss my left turn arrow because the Golden Girls in the car in front of me can't figure out the turn lane and just stop in the middle of the road. This messes up the 90 other old people in their golf carts and monster Cadillacs. Traffic comes to a complete stop and I watch my green arrow disappear. Now the gut is really starting to rumble and I am feeling pressure. You know...pressure. Down there. In the gluteus maximus area. I finally maneuver the bumper car marathon and get in my lane. I was sitting there, cussing the light and Little Man says, "Mom, you gotta go pee?"

I explain, "No Son, Mommy is stressed cause I really gotta poop and no one will drive today. I have to hurry home so I don't poop my pants!" (You couldn't have this conversation with just anybody, but a 6 yr old just rolls with it. In fact, they get it!)

Light changes, I screech outta there (safely screech, I do have my kids in the car) and am starting to think I might not make it. I verbalize this thought and my great, unselfish, always helpful Little Man shouts out his idea to help me: "MOM!! I will punch the poop back up so it won't come out!" Only a 6 yr old boy would think of punching poop to put it in it's place. I look over at his beautiful, smiling, innocent face. He is so thrilled with his idea! It never occurs to him that this whole idea is really...weird and icky. He's so solution oriented.

I look back at Big Brother, who is staring back at me with huge, dinner plate sized eyes and the biggest grin I have ever seen. He is on the verge of completely losing it. I still have to poop and am struggling to make it home in time, freaking out about the repercussions of not making it home in time! I realize that my response to this really weird solution, presented by my Little Man, needs to be well thought out...

So I blurt out the grossest thing I can think of: "Wow Little Man! How thoughtful and what a great idea! But I think I have diarreah!" His smile turns into a grimace and he looks at his brother, who is stifling a giant belly laugh, "I can't punch diarreah, that won't work then!" Big Brother absolutely loses it and rolls around all over the back seat, giggling and laughing and snorting...strangling himself on the seatbelt. "You guys are so gross! That is so disgusting!" It has still not occurred to Little Man that his ENTIRE premise was flawed, regardless of the type of poop he would have to deal with.

And then, slowly, the look on his face changes and he begins to see the errors in his calculations. "Mom, we have to think of something else...I can't punch your poop!"

Little Man and I are both laughing now too and I breathe a sigh of relief. I'm glad he got it figured out...punching poop is gross, socially unacceptable and down right wrong. And in order to do that you would have to...well...put your hand somewhere you wouldn't want to put it! Whew!! I was a bit worried there for a few moments that he wasn't seeing the BIG picture!

But apparently he did see the BIG picture, because his next comment went like this:

"Mom, your butt is huge. I wouldn't be able to find the poop!"

Thanks, Son. Glad you figured that out.

Oh, and in case you're wondering? I made it home. Barely.