Stuff that happened, Part 2

March through today has been pretty much all about Josh.  Good things and bad things and then good things again.  One thing I’ve decided is that I will be blogging less about him because he’s now at the start of that transition into manhood.  I can’t tell you how much I hate that word, manhood.  Not because of the actual word, but because it means my baby is not a baby anymore.  He hasn’t been a baby for a long time.  I rationally know this but he’s my first born and I’m weepy as fuck.  So let’s get on with it then.

All of these hyper sensitive emotions are because my baby son just turned 10 years old.  Double digits.  One decade.  One year closer to being out of the nest.  This should be a happy thing!  I am happy and blessed to have a perfectly healthy 10 year old son!  I am a total ass for being weepy about this and yet, here we are.

I’m super into Ansatsu Kyōshitsu and just binge read the whole series.

The birthday was fun for him but also fun for me to plan and execute.  He made this year a hard theme for me:  Blizzard Entertainment.  Not just one game, but all the games.

Challenge accepted.

First, the quests:

Time to go on an adventure!

Before we go any further, you can download the “LifeCraft” font right here.  I want to use it for everything, but oh well.  He had 10 quests with a total of 3,650 experience points.  One for each day of his life.  I’m not crying.  Not at all.

Magnus Finnegan Chesterfield also turned 2 years old this year. 15.1 lbs.

Since there are no party supplies actually licensed by Blizzard for any of their games I had to make do with my Macgyver-like skills.  Okay, maybe not Macgyver, but solidly mediocre art skills:

Overwatch and Hearthstone painted wrapping paper. Not pictured: Starcraft, WoW, D3, HotS.

Hearth Stones, Apexis Crystals, various mis-colored potions.

My crowning achievement!

Seriously, though, that fucking cake.  I had to get two 10″ pans which was basically two boxed cake mixes (I’m not a from scratch baker, sue me).  The top is actual icing from a company called Edible Prints on Cake.  It’s literally not literally magic.  If I can do it, anyone can do it.

For posterity, here is my 10 year old baby son opening his presents.  Wearing the pajama pants that he wanted his mom to make him.  Because one day he won’t want handmade things from his mom.  Who won’t want family parties anymore one day.  Who won’t want Magic cards and Attack on Titan swords or Star Wars light sabers.

*sigh*

The next big Josh thing to happen was that he quit his Tae Kwon Do school.  He quit about a week before he was to test from 2nd level brown to red belt.  It was only late summer when he joined the newly formed Black Belt Club and we paid out a ton of money for a new uniform, new gear, and a new higher monthly tuition.  His new instructor left (was practically forced out) and a new-new instructor was somehow amazingly ready to go within two weeks.  How convenient.

This entire year so far has been trying to adjust to the new teacher and his new methods but frankly, it just wasn’t going to happen.  There was absolutely no discipline in the class so the other kids literally –yes, literally– would run around and yell and scream and do whatever the hell they wanted to.  No reprimands from the teacher, nothing.  We went to the coordinator and discussed the situation and she told me “I’ve never seen him teach” so she’d have to look into it.

What.

Who hires someone that you’ve never seen teach?  We even showed her video of the stuff that Josh has to put up with to which she responded ‘unacceptable’.

Well no shit, Sherlock

Now, I don’t want to project my emotions or mental lunacy onto my children, but I can honestly say he was becoming depressed over this whole thing.  The boy who used to practice every day and was always so eager to go to class and learn was gone.  He wouldn’t eat, he was moodier than usual, withdrawn, and most importantly, he didn’t want to go anymore.  A total 180°.  He would gladly not go which used to be the ultimate punishment.  I won’t say much more because we’re still dealing with the whole thing but we made it very clear that he was quitting the school, not the sport.  The day we said “if you want to quit, you can quit”, he made a face akin to hearing that he was going to Disney.

We toured a few other schools but I think we’ve found a place that he will fare better at–it’s literally everything we wanted and it’s completely amazeballs.  The Grandmaster used to train the South Korean military, so there’s that.  It may be a couple of months before he can even start but he actually said he didn’t mind since he knew he was going to a much better school.  Could he be any more wonderful?

MY BABY

 

Dragon Con 2016 –or- How to Disillusion an Appropriately Expectant 9 Year Old

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 ConAs 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.

Fine.

I thought he'd want to keep this, but he literally doesn't care if I throw it away or not.

$45 worth of plastic and sadness.

Eternal member badges are picked up in one hotel, general admissions day passes are for sale in a different hotel.

Okay, sure.

He should start going by Ober.

He should start going by Ober.

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?

*whistles innocently*

*whistles innocently*

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.

Actual and exciting footage.

Actual and exciting footage.

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.

Good times.

Good times.

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.

Photo Dump: April doesn’t exist

Your Lie In April was so good.

I did *not* let Robin watch this.

I spent all this time away from blogging to watch tear jerking all the good anime on Netflix.  So good.  So good.

And pretty.

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.

So symmetrical! It doesn’t look like that anymore.

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.

Their interests are so similar I can barely tell them apart anymore.

Josh had a birthday.  He is 9.  MY BABY IS 9 YEARS OLD.

We had a theme. It was not laundry.

We celebrate Magnus’ birthday at the same time we celebrate Josh’s.

So dainty! One year and 12 lbs. Dainty, indeed!

My carpal tunnel, or supposed carpal tunnel, is in full swing.

My hands…

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 feel ya, Edith. I feel ya.