I was looking for things in the area to do with the kids that wasn’t crazy expensive -and- was somewhat educational. When I came across information of the mandir, I couldn’t pass it up.
I don’t subscribe to any specific religion and I’m not converting to Hinduism anytime soon. What I know about Hinduism comes from mythology and the only Hindu that I know, Apu Nahasapeemapetilon.
The campus is huge, gated, meticulous and incredibly beautiful. We stayed outside looking around at every little detail before going inside to attend the midday Rajbhog Arti ceremony. We were in the way back as to not get in the way of people praying. The detail in the hand cut marble, inside and outside, is really awesome. The kids were losing their minds at how big it was and how it was like a castle.
Now, while I know very little about Hinduism, I do know to be respectful and follow the posted rules. One of the rules that stood out was the restriction on photography/filming inside and outside of the mandir. I even emailed to inquire if we could bring sketchbooks (we could) because I didn’t want to be an asshole.
One of the best parts of our tour was a woman visiting the shrine. She was blatantly shooting video on her phone which really aggravated me. When the staff/volunteers began to approach her, she quickly put her phone away and made the “it’s okay” gesture at the men. They made her delete the photos and videos.
We had a great time, though to no one’s surprise the kids were not fans of Indian food. Too spicy or too bean-y or just too out of their comfort zone. I actually wasn’t much of a fan either, but maybe it was simply because it was prepared in a snack bar/cafe instead of a restaurant…which really doesn’t make sense because the snack bar/cafe food is usually super good in these out of the way places. No matter, a good time was had by all.
EDIT: OH SHIT IT’S PAST MIDNIGHT AND NOW IT’S FEBRUARY OH NO!
It’s still January! I’m not that late!
Here is my current list conveniently sorted in pseudo categories. As always, I’ll probably add more to the list just so I can mark it off my list because I like meaningless achievements.
One thing I didn’t put on my list this year: Quit smoking. I have always had that on my list as a gimme since I don’t smoke, but I’m trying to be an adult so I decided against it.
1. Lose 10% of my current total body weight. Unfortunately, NASA scientists are all busy at the moment so I can’t post any numbers right now.
2. Practice better drug adherence. I’m shit at taking medicine at the right time…and I’m terribly inconsistent. So basically, I am a child and need to be reminded about everything, every day, forever.
3. Get a haircut that I can maintain. I’m going to be 38 fucking years old this year. I should grow beyond the ponytail. Basically, I need to stop being lazy about my hair. For the record, I’m starting to go gray and I don’t give a shit about dyeing it.
4. Sleep like a normal human being. “OH I’M SO TIRED” Maybe if I wasn’t up until 3 AM every night and up in the actual morning hours I wouldn’t be so fucking tired all the time. As noted in #2 above, I am a child and need a bedtime and bedtime routine. I need to learn how to be an adult.
5. Be conscious about my appearance. I know this is a newsflash, but I am not a big fan of myself, in literally any way you can think of. Since I think so little of myself, I have basically gotten to the point in my life that I only care about what I’m wearing or what I look like so I don’t embarrass my family. When I’m out alone, I am an even bigger mess than usual.
1. I need a meal plan. Other than texting the Mr. at 6:30 with the usual “what for dinner?” Frozen breakfast is the first plan because that’s easy. Breakfast sandwiches and burritos, muffins, smoothie mixes. Then I’ll work my way up to having prepared food. I don’t know when I stopped really preparing meals to freeze. I did totally do it once, though now it had become more of a myth than anything.
2. I need a chore schedule. See #2 of Self. I am a child and need to be reminded about everything, every day, forever. Everything in my house is at some stage between cluttered and disgusting. My ultimate goal is to have a home that someone could stop by unexpectedly and I wouldn’t force them to stay outside.
3. Major Spring/Summer/Autumn/Winter cleaning. I need to declutter like no one’s business. I think if I haven’t used it in 10 years, I probably don’t need it. A handwriting worksheet from when Josh was 3 is probably also unnecessary to retain for his records.
4. Get the ice maker fixed. You’d think a simple task like calling a repair man wouldn’t take multiple years to do, but here we are. It gets its own number because it’s been literally years. I need to do this. Eventually.
5. Stop procrastinating on all of the minor repairs and projects. Here is a preliminary list of things that need to get done:
– mount and display Josh’s Tae Kwon Do belts and certificates
– hang blinds and curtains in kitchen
– regroup and hang family pictures
– hang up artwork that I bought 10 years ago OR donate it
– replace towel bars in kids’ bathroom and half bath
– repaint any rooms that need to be repainted (It’s been a long time and the kids’ rooms especially need paint in my opinion.)
1. Enforce a consistent school, practice, wake up and bedtime routine. Which mostly means I need to have a routine. I’m the worst.
2. School at the library or park once a week. They need to learn to work with distractions and we are too cooped up in the house anyway.
3. Have lesson plans one month in advance. I can always improvise, but not every day.
4. Be more regimented on practice for extra curricular activities. I’m the worst, the WORST at practicing violin. And Tae Kwon Do kicks.
5. Help the kids stay on task with cleaning their rooms. Did I mention I’m the worst at everything?
1. Finish hand quilting that giant king sized quilt.
2. Finish water color painting.
3. Sketchbook every day. Eventually.
4. Teach Robin to sew and to knit (those were her resolutions, so now they’re mine as well)
5. Knit at least 2 pair of socks.
6. Blog at least once a week.
1. Revamp the fish tanks.
2. Wash my car once a month (inside and out)
Whoooooo! So, 23 whole resolutions. To be fair, that’s a lot if I’m actually doing this. There are other personal goals I have this year but I’m not interested in airing all my dirty laundry to the world. Just the grossest pieces, I guess. I’m glad that I’m reviving the ChÜberlist; I’d like to believe that it means that I’m still alive and motivated on improving myself, even if it’s at a slug’s pace.
I want to make light of this and joke that she’s too young to start her emo stage, but holy crap, my baby.
She brought this into my room tonight because she wanted my opinion “if it’s any good or not”.
The world is mean
the world is nice.
The world is Not fair
The world is Fair.
NO the world is nice, mean
fair and not fair
like you and me.
Obviously I corrected ‘worold’ to ‘world’. She has expressed this level of thinking in her private journal (not her school journal) which she uses to handle her emotions and occasional Simpson doodle. I only read it when she asks me to, when she’s embarrassed to tell me something, for instance:
I’m beyond happy that she’s feeling out her emotions and being creative and all that but still. She should be writing poems about rainbows and unicorns, right?
Anyway… ChÜberlist 2017 – The Year of the Slug is on its way, but I’ve been actually doing some of the stuff on the list (starting, anyway) so I’ve been mildly preoccupied.
Everything has happened, so let’s have a photo dump:
1. Halloween happened and it was awesome.
Moaning Myrtle married Harry Potter? Nah. I asked Robin what her back story was and she said her father murdered her right before she got married. What the fuck, kid.
Her dress is a Cheapos Thrift find for either $5 or $10. I can’t remember now. I believe it’s a size 4, so lots of alterations. I appreciate how the kids seem to be taking turns wanting homemade vs. store bought costumes which makes me very grateful. My wrists are 99% now and I can do things. Without pain, even!
2. Joshua became a Cobra Kai.
Okay, maybe not. His uniform has sleeves, so he can’t be Cobra Kai. Yet. He joined the intermediate black belt training, tested for his second level brown belt (red is next!) and started weapons training.
I’m particularly proud of how dedicated he is. $200 of his own money went to paying for gear (weapons, bag, pads). He is getting $25 a month back from Mom and Dad, but he made the initial investment. He’s more mature and responsible than I am.
3. There was an election of some sort which I deem completely unnecessary for discussion here.
4. Robin started with a new violin teacher. She’s also now in a 1/4 size violin. She also had a birthday and it was all good.
5. Christmas! I honestly don’t have any good pictures of the kids from Christmas because I’m an asshole I guess. But I have the next best thing:
6. We had a blizzard and it was horrifying.
In case I didn’t feel crazy enough, I’ve decided to do ChÜberlist 2017 – The Year of the Slug. It’s already a couple of weeks late so I’m off to a great start.
I’m glad he didn’t spend much money at Dragon Con. He used the remainder of his money to buy some books and video games, but more importantly, he decided that he wanted to advance his Tae Kwon Do training. New classes: longer, more intensive, and more focused than standard after school classes. New uniform. New gear. New price.
I am thankful every day that we can afford to support our kids with what they love, but we’re also not stupid. He’s quite a serious kid, but he’s still a kid. The biggest prerequisite for Mom and Dad paying out more money was that he had to buy his own protective gear.
Two hundred dollars worth.
$200 for protective gear and a bag (which is really nice quality, by the way), $100 for a new uniform, and $25 per month extra for the intermediate class. The new classes are longer so it really is worth it and we can be much more flexible in our schedule.
Oh, and we’ll have to buy weapons, too.
My baby boy. With weapons.
I’m dying here. He’s growing up so fast–too fast. he’s had to be too responsible in the past and I can’t take that back and make it right. I don’t want a mama’s boy…but this is so hard for me. It’s stupid. I’m proud and I don’t want to ever hold him back but deep down, I just don’t want to get left behind. I know he still needs me and he will always need me in some way.
He does love me, you know.
I wish my dad could tell me if I’m doing things right with my son.
Fucking hell. I wanted to brag about my awesome kid and now I’m just sad. How the hell do you learn to parent when you don’t have parents?
I am done with my second carpal tunnel surgery so I can type again; I have more important things to blog about than my weepy abandonment issues.
Josh’s birthday was back in March and for his birthday activity, he chose to WAIT 6 MONTHS and save his money to go to the legendary Dragon Con. As I mentioned I was pretty jealous since Jim Butcher was a special guest author this year. He was there on Saturday but the Mr. and the boy went on Sunday which was fine—I didn’t want my son’s day wasted on getting an autograph for his mom.
A one day pass was $45. For a 9 year old.
Eternal member badges are picked up in one hotel, general admissions day passes are for sale in a different hotel.
Josh has been dreaming of this day for a long time and and was able to take $300 of his own hard earned and saved money. He was excited about typical convention things: tabletop gaming, trading card games, dice, dice bags, cool shirts, posters, etc. He is also a huge Battlebots fan, so when he saw there was going to be a Robot Battle exhibition on Sunday, that sealed the deal for the date of attendance. Unfortunately, he really got none of what he expected.
The Mr. hasn’t gone in 16 years—as long as we’ve been married? Coincidence?
So obviously, in that amount of time there were bound to be changes. For a 9 year old with practically carte blanche to spend at will, he should have been in nerd heaven. I expected him to come home broke and happy and exhausted. The Mr. was sure he was going to have to use fatherly veto power at least a couple of times during the day.
He spent a grand total of $55.
I honestly can’t believe how bad it was. To be clear, Robot Battles and Battlebots are not the same thing. This was made painfully clear with the exhibition of “Ant class” and “Beetle class” micro-bots in the semi-finals. The matches were broadcast via big screen so people could actually see the tiny things, but they were poor quality and black and white.
WHAT THE FUCK. Was Charlie Chaplin running the battle bots track? (The answer is no, because if he was it would have been very entertaining and possibly scary because he’s been dead for quite some time now.)
There was not one single booth selling gaming dice. Not one. Let alone a cool bag for said dice. He has a nice assortment but we don’t have a cool bag to put it in. I have been eyeing some cool dragon eye bags but he wanted to wait for Dragon Con so he could physically touch his options before buying. He’s pretty practical about money—more so than many adults (me included).
Here’s what he did buy: a new tabletop card game called Epic for $35 and a Fairy Tail tee shirt for $20. The card game sounds fun and he got to learn how to play at the booth. He has been trying to teach me how to play but I’m hopeless at strategy games.
Even more frustrating was that the tee shirt he bought was the same as the shirts that Robin and I saw at the mall. Same design, same price. So knowing that he could have just gone to the mall and bought the same shirt (and other cool stuff) he was even more aggravated. She and I went to the mall that day and had a great time just goofing around for **6 HOURS**and spent too much money.
The best part of the day at Dragon Con for Josh was getting to play arcade games with Dad—Street Fighter, Mortal Combat, all the fun stuff. For free. Robin and I spent $25 at Dave and Busters doing pretty much the same thing. We got home later than Josh and the Mr. That’s how much fun they had.
Just so frustrating. To see your child work so hard for something just to see them so deflated is really heartbreaking. They had tons of other things like superhero stuff and comics but he went with specifics in mind. Cosplay is fun and awesome and I’m always amazed at the dedication and talent that goes into really nice work but it seems to be the primary focus at Dragon Con now. I saw a lot of reviews that said how much they loved it and to bring the whole family. To the parade maybe, since it’s free.
I found an article from 6 years ago that sums it up well for someone traveling for an overnight stay; luckily, we’re local and they only wasted a day. I feel like there aren’t many complaints about Dragon Con because the people that go are going for exactly what they want: eye candy and cosplay. There’s nothing wrong with that, but god forbid you are interested in something else, like games or something pedestrian like that.
I spent all this time away from blogging to watch tear jerking all the good anime on Netflix. So good. So good.
I did set up my new 40 gallon breeder. This is one of the first layouts I had. It has changed a million times. I’ll do a separate photo dump dedicated to fish later.
I got a new 20 gallon long thanks to another $1 per gallon sale at Petco. I wanted it for Zenith, but I gave it to the kids instead. They wanted painted backgrounds.
Josh had a birthday. He is 9. MY BABY IS 9 YEARS OLD.
We celebrate Magnus’ birthday at the same time we celebrate Josh’s.
My carpal tunnel, or supposed carpal tunnel, is in full swing.
I’m cross stitching which is actually not the only thing contributing to the pain. Writing, typing, carrying heavy things, living, dying–all of these things seem to bring pain equally. I get to call a neurologist tomorrow for an appointment and maybe a conductivity test for my nerves.
I’ve had 2 deaths, and they were horrible. HORRIBLE.
Since I have the new 40 gallon tank up and running (more on that in a bit), I put the 10 gallon tank downstairs so the kids could have a couple of betta fish. We spent time deciding what type of betta, how to best divide the tank, how to decorate, etc. We cycled. We did our proper due diligence. We spent way too much money. And it was beautiful. Let’s preface this by saying it’s a tank for a 9 year old (HOW THE FUCK IS HE GOING TO BE 9 IN 6 FUCKING DAYS HOLY FUCKING BALLS) and a 6 year old, so the idea was to keep it simple so they could eventually take care of it themselves.
On the left you will see Smaug’s home complete with gold nuggets, a treasure chest, a busted up castle, charred plants and scorched earth. Plant’s on fire, yo. On the right, you will see Lily’s abode with treasure clam shell, sparkling jewels, lush, silky and plastic-y foliage and an umbrella of genuine dwarf water lettuce. Bellisimo.
Smaug was named after the famous dragon and Lily is a girl’s name even though Robin knows he’s a boy. Lily was a good fit anyway, he was beautiful, as was Smaug. We bought them, along with a betta for me, on Friday, along with all of the goodies to go into the tank. Total somewhere around $180. I know, right? “What the hell did you buy at the pet store?”
Four days later they were dead. Motherfucker.
Tank parameters were spot on. I racked my brain all day and as a family, we came to the conclusion that it was the gravel and or the decorations. Aquarium gravel toxic? No way! Yes way. In the most horrible yes way. When I was rinsing out the 20 lbs of black gravel, my hands were stained black. This has never, ever happened before and I’ve bought tons of gravel over the years. I washed until everything ran clear. Same thing with the gold gravel. So much glimmering water. It took me about an hour to rinse them both. My first reaction was holy shit, I can’t use this, but instead of listening to my gut reaction, I listened to whatever dumb ass part of me said “it’s made for aquariums, it’s not going to do anything!” There was also glitter in the tank which I believe came from the treasure chest. This is all just the dumbest fucking shit ever. HOW DUMB OF ME TO PUT AQUARIUM GRAVEL IN THE FUCKING AQUARIUM. WHAT A DUMB SHIT TO PUT AQUARIUM DECORATIONS INTO THE AQUARIUM. To be fair, no where does it say that I am supposed to add fish to an aquarium, so there’s that.
The kids were not upset as much as they were disappointed. They didn’t blame me even though I blame myself. Josh was the most upset as he has had his heart set on a Smaug for weeks. We searched for WEEKS. Weeks might as well have been years in kid (and overly excited Mom) terms.
My guilt is compounded because my betta is still alive. Meet Zenith:
He wasn’t in the poison tank, obviously. He’s in the main tank actually, in a mesh box. Gabrielle is going crazy because she has a crush on him. He’s beautiful. My guilt is tremendous, though. In a way, I wish he had died, too. That way it wouldn’t have been my fault, but that they were sick before we got them. Or, if anything, because it would be fair somehow that all the fish died. Crazy, I know. I don’t wish him dead, but I do wish this guilt would go away.
Everything is out of the tank; heater, filter, tank and thermometer have been rinsed with boiling water. The media was thrown away. New substrate, new media (from the 40 gallon) and a re-cycling of the tank. I need to get some carbon to make sure any residual death is taken out. Once it’s cycled again, I’m going to put a little tetra in it for a week to see if it dies. That makes me sound like a monster. I don’t really know what else to do, though.
On the upside, I haven’t killed any of my fish and my new tank looks great. I’m working on Zenith’s tank so I hope he’ll be in his tank by the end of the week.
I’m dead. After a long blog break, I usually say “I’m not dead” but nah, I’m dead. I’m writing this from beyond the graaaaaaaaaave! OooOOOoOooOOooooohhhhhh scaaaaaryyyyyyyy!
1.) Halloween was nutso. Robin was easy–one of many Elsas out that night.
It was our first experience with a wig and I have no idea where it is now. Probably completely torn up or at least unbraided somewhere. All I had to worry about was make up. Which is embarrassing, as I don’t wear myself.
On the plus side, I know how to use paint brushes and Robin is super laid back so it was easy.
Josh on the other hand…was a “challenge”. That’s the nice way to say his whole costume was a pain in the fucking ass. He wanted to be Kurosaki Ichigo, specifically in his (first) bankai state with hollow mask. Easy, right? RIGHT?
Oy. The jacket. Lined with red and white and fitted and straight shouldered and HOW IN THE HELL IS IT EVEN CLOSED IN THE FRONT. Hakama (pants)…NOT just ruffly pants. And let’s talk about that mask.
No, let’s not.
But I love my kids and I did my best. I FUCKING TRIED GODDAMMIT.
I didn’t do too horribly. But after working on the hakama for hours he decided he didn’t like it and just wanted to wear black sweats. I couldn’t blame him, really, but I really wanted to cry. Sometimes I need to remind myself that I’m doing things for others, it’s for others, not me. Believe it or not, my kids’ happiness is important to me and the little things add up. And no, I’m not going to get him straw sandals and tabi socks. The face make up did come out pretty well considering the cheap make up we used. I used this wonderful tutorial for a guide.
Amazingly, we met another Mom in the neighborhood who knew exactly who he was and even requested a picture. So glad to have met another anime nerd, and so close to home! [END DRAFT]
Daaaaaamn, I’m bad at this blogging thing. Did you know (why would you, but I’m just making conversation here) that this is my 10th year blogging? I’ve been blogging longer than my children have been ALIVE. You’d think 10 years worth of blog posts would add up to something but you’d be horribly, horribly wrong.
So, let’s see…October had Halloween, November had Thanksgiving, December had Christmas, January had New Year’s, February had Chinese New Year’s and now you’re up to date! See? Like 5 months of information in two sentences, give or take.
Since I have very little to say at the moment, have a gif and be on your way:
I am going to preface this post and the entire rest of my life with this statement: I’m in a piss poor mood. That should about cover it. For the past month or so, I have been on this weird, unending carousel ride of annoyance, exhaustion, inappropriate anger, despair, and general motherly weepyness. WeepineSs? Weep penis. Obviously this post is not about me growing up.
Robin is my youngest and turned 6 at the end of September.
MY YOUNGEST CHILD IS 6 YEARS OLD. For her birthday she requested red velvet cream filled cupcakes, breakfast at IHOP and spaghetti dinner with garlic bread. She’s so specific when she wants something. She’s getting really good at Lego building. She’s reading books with NO PICTURES WTF. She loves clothes from the thrift store that should be worn by girls 10+ years older than she is. I alter them for her size and age and she acts as if it’s the best thing ever. When she did her birthday shopping (Grandma money) she wanted a dress and this is what she picked out:
Then, we happened to come across this in a 5T which I was sure she couldn’t fit. BUT she does fit and I couldn’t be happier:
The Shy Little Kitten has always been one of her favorites. Thankfully she is still 6 and she still acts 6 years old for the most part. Stuffed animals. Being really sweet to the point that I am unsure if she is my child. Bursting into tears the second she’s done something wrong. So all is not lost, I suppose. She’s growing up, but she’s still my baby.
The thing that really killed me this year was the bed thing. I wanted this to happen and I didn’t want it to happen. THE BED THING.
She…she got a twin sized bed this year. Such a huge part of me wanted her not to be ready, for her to cling a bit longer to her baby stage. She was actually anxious at one point about getting such a big bed because she wasn’t sure how her stuffed animals would sleep on it. If they’d fall off or if there wasn’t enough room.
One thing she inherited from me is her uncontrollable desire to deface property. One day she drew all over her bedroom wall. When I asked her (screamed at her, probably) why, she said “it was an accident”. THAT IS NOT AN ACCIDENT DON’T GIVE ME THAT OH MY GOD She’s drawn pretty much every where she can: walls, doors, furniture, BOOKS. Obviously, she’s becoming very good at erasing and cleaning up her artwork. She got to keep one piece of graffiti. One guess as to who decided she could keep it:
Needless to say, that reminded me that I was actually for her getting a new bed. After getting to pick out sheets and agreeing to keep her old toddler bed mattress for her stuffed animals (and as a couch, for parties(?)) she was very pleased and even more so when she realized there was a new small throw pillow in with her new bedding set. Apparently she LOVES pillows.
I can’t even remember what the other horrible things were that I was going to talk about. My kids growing up are good and it makes me happy. It’s still horrible, though. I feel like the worst cliche mom right now. Maybe it’s because I feel that painful twang of my own age or mortality or possibly a heart attack. There are no more toddler beds in this house. No one uses a potty seat anymore. No one needs a step stool to wash hands. Josh is improving his Tae Kwon Do and will test (SO SOON?!) in November for his blue belt. Every single kid in his class is older than him by at least 2 years. He trains at home with me and on his own. Robin has learned more songs on the violin and is doing more complicated finger work and double stops so she can play fiddle tunes and beat the devil. Just sitting here thinking about is making me cry because MY BABIES. I am happy, I really am. It’s just that my happiness is surrounded by a thick, chewy layer of self pity. Twin sized bed means that I can crawl into bed with her without the fear of catastrophic structural failure. Advancing in their activities means they are are setting goals and nurturing their loves. *sigh* Just because it’s inevitable doesn’t mean it’s easy.