children, health, home, life, web

Something to Talk About

3 Months!

Everything has happened, so let’s have a photo dump:

1. Halloween happened and it was awesome.

Ghost Bride and Harry Potter
Ghost Bride and Harry Potter

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.

My BABY in a WEDDING DRESS.
My BABY in a WEDDING DRESS.

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!

Now I have TWO strong hands.
Now I have TWO strong hands.

2.  Joshua became a Cobra Kai.

Serious kid is serious.
Serious kid is serious.

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.

Regardless of which side, your vote didn't matter.
Regardless of which side, your vote didn’t matter.

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.

“hair crayons” are exactly what they sound like.

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:

Santa is shorter in person.
Santa is shorter in person.
His elves are adorable jerks, though.
His elves are adorable jerks, though.
It has a HOOD!
It has a HOOD!
He couldn't care less that is has a hood.
He couldn’t care less that is has a hood.

6.  We had a blizzard and it was horrifying.

Behold the wrath of Mother Nature!
Behold the wrath of Mother Nature!

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 getting ready, 2017.  Time to get serious.
I’m getting ready, 2017. Time to get serious.
entertainment

Goodnight, Demonslayer

There’s a monster that lives ‘neath your bed
Oh for crying out loud it’s a futon on the floor
He must be flat as a boardThere’s a creature that lurks behind the door
Though I’ve checked there 15 times
When I leave then he arrives
Every night

Tell the monster that lives ‘neath your bed
To go somewhere else instead
Or you’ll kick him in the head

Tell the creature that lurks behind the door
If he knows what’s good he won’t come here anymore
Cause you’ll kick in his butt at the count of four

Goodnight demon slayer, goodnight
Now it’s time to close your tired eyes
There are devils to slay and dragons to ride
If they see you coming, hell they better hide

Goodnight, goodnight, goodnight
Goodnight my little slayer goodnight

Tell the monster that eats children, that you taste bad
And you’re sure you’d be the worst that he’s ever had
If he eats you, don’t you fret, just cut him open with an axe
Don’t regret it, he deserved it, he’s a cad

Tell the harpies that land on your bed post
That at the count of five you’ll roast them alive
Tell the devil its time you gave him his due
He should go back to hell, he should shake in his shoes
Cause the mightiest, scariest, creature is you

Goodnight demon slayer, goodnight
Now it’s time to close your tired eyes
There are devils to slay and dragons to ride
If they see you coming, hell they better hide

Goodnight, goodnight, goodnight
Goodnight my little slayer goodnight

I won’t tell you, there’s nothing ‘neath your bed
I won’t tell you, that it’s all in your head
This world of ours is not as it seems
The monsters are real but not in your dreams
Learn what you can from the beasts you defeat,
you’ll need it for some of the people you meet

Goodnight demon slayer, goodnight
Now it’s time to close your tired eyes
There are devils to slay and dragons to ride
If they see you coming, hell they better hide

Goodnight, goodnight, goodnight
Goodnight my little slayer goodnight

Goodnight, goodnight, goodnight
Goodnight

This is easily one of my favorite songs, let alone a Halloween standard.  It’s beautiful and I say that completely without sarcasm.  The violin.  The violin!
children, crafty, life

First: Catch Up [Blog Draft]

[BLOG DRAFT] 12/20/15

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.

I’m the party star,  I’m popular, I’ve got my own car, I’m popular

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.

Absolutely and painfully accurate.

On the plus side, I know how to use paint brushes and Robin is super laid back so it was easy.

She was a perfectly happy Asian-y Elsa.

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?

Yeah, no problem. Let me whip that right up.

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.

Serious Ichigo is Serious

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]

02/20/16

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…I don’t know what to do with this information.
life, miscellaneous

Ghost Story

Halloween is one of my favorite times of the year: the weather finally has a chill in the air, football is in full swing, Hallow’s End, and of course, all of the spooky stories and TV shows. In this modern age, we can really watch ghost stories on TV anytime, but I remember as a kid how exciting Halloween TV was–the ghost special of Unsolved Mysteries? YES! Tree House of Horror? YES, PLEASE! Halloween I and Halloween II back to back on TV? YESYESYES!

We routinely check out something like 20+ books a week between school and personal books. I set up a reading list every year during the summer so that I can start requesting books and DVDs starting at the end of September. Right now, we have windows open, costumes on the sewing machine, skulls in the living room. It sets the mood and we always have a good time. With all the ghost stories going around, I thought I would throw my hat in with a story that happened to me in the house I grew up in.

In my teens, I had the upstairs bedroom which had been renovated from attic space. There were two rooms, one each for my brother and sister who were both significantly older than I was. Over time, I lived in one room or the other; this particular story takes place in the green bedroom, formerly my brother’s room. I think I moved into that room around 14 or 15 years old. There were no windows in the room, just an obscured skylight that let in light, but wasn’t clear enough to see through. The skylight was on the slanted part of the ceiling and for some time I had my bed beneath it but at some point, being the angsty teen I was I ended up covering the skylight so that no light entered the room at all.

I lived a Spartan existence void of color and proper angles.

As you can see in my insanely accurate and realistic rendering above, I actually positioned my bed in the closet. The closet was just deep enough for clothes but stretched the width of the room so there were a lot of storage boxes and junk in both corners. There were old clothes in the closet as well, so it wasn’t functional for me. The twin sized bed fit in to the closet perfectly with the accordion doors open (I didn’t know how to take them off at the time) so the closet acted like almost a canopy. Unrelated: I used to glue pictures of cute guys to the wall in the closet. So if you were a good looking musician or actor in the 90s, HELLO THERE.

I want to believe.  Like, super believe.

In retrospect, the trigger was Ouija boards and other spirit boards. There was a particular Ouija board that we used multiple times at my house. It belonged to a friend and supposedly had one dominant spirit that spoke through it . We used that board in my house during slumber parties, sleep overs, etc multiple times since junior high school. In fact, I wrote a story about a Ouija board for the junior high’s annual literary book that got a lot of attention because of how scary it was. EDIT:  It was a terrible story written by a 12 year old.  I do not recommend it.  I had played with Ouija boards at other people’s houses and it was always a spooky but fun experience. No one ever thought anything of it and neither did I.

Tawny Kitaen sounds like a fake name and it is. Whitesnake forever.

Things started to change when I slept in that room. I don’t remember what came first: weird feelings in the room or making my own Ouija board. First I’d just use large sheets of scrapbook paper with the Ouija board words and letters written on it. A planchette could be anything, really, so from just other paper or clear plastic make up lids. We’d play and then when we were done, we’d throw the paper away. This happened a few times until I had the great idea to use a permanent marker and draw out a Ouija board on a small table I had. It looked like wood, but was actually plastic, about the height of a coffee table, but not as long. It was heavy but had wheels that were exceptionally squeaky. This table was made in desperation because so many things had been freaking me out and I wanted to find out what was happening.  Little things like light tapping, creepy out feelings for no reason, and cold temperatures. There is an air conditioning vent in the room but at that time, it didn’t make the room cool in the least. Unless you were right next to the air vent you wouldn’t feel anything. There was one air conditioning unit for the house which was enough…until the attic was renovated. It wasn’t until much later that additional air vents were added which made it more comfortable so usually it was annoyingly hot nights and days spent downstairs or out of the house completely.

One night I was laying in bed, head at the foot of my bed, not in the closet, and watching TV.  I had my back to the chair in the corner.  At first, I didn’t notice anything but I kept hearing a tapping noise from behind me but explained it away as the noise from the television.  When it kept happening, I turned the TV off to listen and for a minute it stopped.  I was relieved and as I was about to turn the TV back on the tapping was back and I felt completely terrified.  I never once turned around but I could feel something there, in the chair, looking at me.  You know when you stare at someone and think to yourself “look at me! look at me!”?  That’s what it felt like.  I never turned around.  I got up, grabbed my clothes off of the floor (it was HOT, okay?) and walked to the door.  I was trying not to panic but I wanted to scream my head off and run downstairs and cry.  I am not sure why, but I felt like I absolutely had to retain my composure, so I said out loud, “I’m leaving now.”  I had gotten about two steps away from the threshold when the door slammed behind me.

THE DOOR FUCKING SLAMMED ON ITS OWN BEHIND ME.

The stairs were steep and wooden, like the stairs on an outdoor deck.  I ran/jumped/fell down the stairs as fast as I could.  I don’t remember much after that except I knew I wasn’t going back up there.  I ran the experience over and over in my head, trying to find an explanation.  The most common theory from people I told was that I was just scared and I must have accidentally pulled it with my clothes or it got blown shut.  These are perfectly reasonable ideas except that I wasn’t wearing any clothes (I generally left that out in retelling) and there isn’t any way that the door could have just swung shut.  The carpet was a regular, plush carpet and the door always scraped across the surface.  You could shut the door fine but you had to use force; slamming the door was difficult, though not impossible because if you remember, I was a teenager.

I started sleeping in my Dad’s office/hide out.  There was a bed next to the desk, and on the desk was an old stereo, probably from the 70’s or 80’s.  It was a tiny room, with just my Dad’s desk, a twin bed and storage shelves. I didn’t like the silence and of course, the general terror I was feeling so I turned on the radio.  It had the dial for tuning, but there were only a handful of stations that were close enough to come in clearly.  When the station was tuned in fully, there would be a green light next to the red power light.

Like this, but not. Bigger, no faux wood. Bigger knobs. Close enough.

I was listening to WCIL at a normal volume and it slowly began to fade out.  I was annoyed, not scared.  So I tuned in to the next station, an oldies station. This was actually my favorite station at the time because CIL was so hit and miss regarding good music.  Anyway, I listened for a song or two and again it got quieter and quieter.  I started to feel the panic welling up inside of me, but I really didn’t want to believe this was happening.  It had been a few days and I honestly thought that if I just stayed out of my room I’d be okay.  I thought I was done.

I hated country music, but on to the country music station it was.  Same result.   I was crying and panicking but doing it quietly.  Again, I don’t know why, and I still don’t know why to this day.  I didn’t want to act scared.  The rational answer for the stereo thing would be the simple fact that it was old, except that it had never happened before or after as long as I was with someone or if it was daytime.  It happened one more time at night while I was alone but I left before it could do it repeatedly.  I ended up sleeping on the couch in the living room, all the lights and TV on.  This lasted for a couple of weeks until I got in trouble for sleeping on the couch–my parents thought I was just staying up late to watch TV.

I have no idea why they thought that.

I didn’t go up to my room unless I was with a friend and it was during the day.  One time, a friend left her purse upstairs so she ran up to get it.  This was in the middle of the afternoon, after school.  She flew down the stairs. white as a ghost, so to speak.  She was screaming at me, wanting to know what the hell was wrong with my room. She knew of course, but “what the hell is wrong with your room!?” seemed to be the only thing that she could say. When she calmed down, she explained that she hadn’t seen a thing, but was just terrified when she went in to my room because she felt like someone was in there with her.

At least I didn’t feel all that crazy anymore.  Or maybe I was just happy that someone else was crazy, too.

I really wish there was some kind of amazing ending to this story.  Priests, maybe.  Voices or blood running down the walls.  But there really isn’t.  As an expert clueless group of teenaged girls, we decided that the best thing to do was to cover the Ouija board I made so as the genius idiot I am, I painted over the top of the table to obscure everything I had written on it.  This didn’t really do anything other than further ruin the table so sneaked the table to the curb one trash day and that was that.  I got in trouble a few weeks later when it was discovered that a piece of furniture had just disappeared from the house.  I said that I broke it, which is actually not entirely a lie in my opinion.  Nothing particularly terrifying happened in that room again to my knowledge, but it was never comfortable again.  It was never ‘my’ room after that.  I moved into a different room eventually and went on to have terrifying experiences in there that seem completely unrelated to the terrifying events in this story.  Those were more bizarre, but actually more explainable.  Or at least more easily rationalized.

So do I think I was being haunted?  I guess it depends on what your definition of haunted is, but yes, I think my playing around, trying to talk to spirits did something.  I feel like a lot of my experience in that room was unexplainable even though I really did want a rational reason.  It was in that room when I started having seriously bad dreams and night terrors.  They weren’t regular or often–that didn’t happen for a couple more years and they came about on and off for more than a decade.  I had other strange (terrifying) experiences in the house, living on my own, living in my own house now.  I don’t think about this often, but when I do, I wonder if that experience was some sort of catalyst for other strange occurrences.

Or, maybe it’s all nothing?

children, home

Belated Halloween

Since it’s almost Thanksgiving here in the States, I thought I would wish everyone a happy belated Halloween!  We didn’t do much in terms of decorating; we only did a few knick knacks around the house.  One thing we do is read Halloween stories every night.  Some of our favorites are Room on the Broom, The Widow’s Broom and The Disney Scary Storybook  Collection.

We overbought on candy as we do every year because I am always hopeful that we’ll get a bunch of trick or treaters.  There are kids that live right next door and right across the street and they either didn’t go or just didn’t go in our neighborhood.  Very disappointing.

Another disappointment:  Josh didn’t go trick or treating.  He was so bad he didn’t get to go.

Yes, I punished my 5 year old child’s punishment by taking away a once a year event.

Dear god, I hope this is my epitome of being a tiger mom because I will tell you: it sucked balls big time.  I love my boy.  My first born baby boy.  My sweet, innocent, beautiful amazing man child.  To be fair, he can also be a total ass.  He is 5 years old and  gives me the silent treatment.  He’s also got a death stare.  He simply picked the wrong day to go toe to toe with me to see who was the bigger asshole and I won.  I don’t need to go into details but essentially he refused to answer a simple question and subsequently refused to talk all day.  Have you ever heard a 5 year old not talk all day?  I thought that this was a complete and total impossibility like vagina dentata or non-annoying hipsters or something but it happened.  He didn’t even talk to Dad (his favorite parent of all time) which got him in worse trouble.

He was going to be Batman, and at some point in the day I bet he wished he really was since Batman’s parents are dead.

So instead, Dad took Robin out and she turned heads all night:

How the hell is this my beautiful child? Seriously.

One of my friends asked if I made her costume and I just laughed and laughed and laughed.  No, got it from Wal-Mart but I did do some alterations:

That there is pure talent. Rubber bands are the new talent, by the way.

I didn’t want to ruin it, so rubber bands were my best option.  I was afraid that sewing it would damage the delicate (cheap?) fabric and since it’s so big, we’re definitely using it again.

Even Wendy got in on the Halloween cosplay action:

Wonder Wendy to the (slow and waddling) rescue!

Josh finally talked around dinner time and wants to wear his Batman costume next year.  He’ll be okay.  I hope he learned that there are worse things in the world than not talking to your Mother.  This was taken the next day:

Or maybe these are just my kids dressed up as happy kids?

And thus ends my story of the Halloween that was and the Halloween that wasn’t.  I got good candy and so did the kids (whether they trick or treated or not).  I’m hoping we’re all in better Halloween spirits next year.

crafty

Halloween Quilt Update

I thought I was way more done than I am, which is a recurring theme in my life.  I always think things are better than they are and then I get my reality check.

I realized something last night.  That quilt is going to be one big mothercover:

Not dainty.

I’ve been doing some embroidery since the blocks are so big.  I wanted to do something a little different and special with this one.  I told the Mr. that I hope the kids fight over it when I’m dead and he said they’d have to pry it from his cold, dead hands.

I love being in a Halloween house.

Blurry because I was drunk. Or I'm just a shitty photog.
We are Siamese if you please. We are Siamese if you don't please. In other words: gfy.
This one is super textured-y and reminds me of Sprees. ZOMG DO YOU REMEMBER SPREES?
This is one of my favorites.

The embroidery isn’t meant to be elaborate or anything.  Or really even good for that matter.  Just fun.  Can’t we just have some fun for once?  HUH?  CAN WE?

I think before the end of the month is a realistic time frame.  To get the embroidery done.  And maybe the quilting?  Probably not the binding.  Whatever.  I will get to some sort of stopping point this month because as always, I’m anxious to get started on something else!

children, life, work

Rock //insert myself// Hard Place

I posted a note about this on Facebook but I wanted to expand on it here. Because this is my blog and my place to whine about things. Where to start, where to start? Essentially, Halloween weekend brought about a HUGE family decision: I’m quitting my job, taking the kids out of daycare and becoming a SAHM. It wasn’t so long ago that I didn’t even know what SAHM was (an acronym for stay at home mom). I was never the stay at home type. And then I had a baby. And worked full time. And commuted. For two hours a day. And tried to actually keep a house and be a mom and a wife and a good worker. And then I had another baby.

And then it all kind of fell apart.

This year has been rough. Two deaths, a hospital stay and now a life altering decision that changes not only my life but the lives of my family. Crazy stuff. I never thought of myself as the praying type, but I feel like I talk to God in my own way and I’m glad an answer has revealed itself.

The idea of not working was akin to winning the lottery. It just doesn’t happen to people like us. But my industry went South and is still there. I own my own business for tax purposes but I contract for one person and she has gone off the deep end. Imagine working for a three year old. The conversations would go something like this:

What do you want to do?
I want to eat lunch.
What do you want for lunch?
I don’t know.
Do you want a hamburger or a hot dog?
Hamburger.
Are you sure?
Yes.
Are you sure?
Yes.
Are you sure?
Yes.
Are you sure?
Yes.
Are you sure?
Yes.
Are you sure?
Yes.
I’m going to go make your hamburger now.
Okay.
Is this how you want your hamburger?
Yes.
Are you sure?
Yes.
Are you sure?
Yes.
Are you sure?
Take it off the bun.
Okay. How about now?
I want ketchup.
Okay. How about now?
Take off the pickles.
Okay. How about now?
I want it.
Are you sure?
Yes.
Are you sure?
Yes.
Are you sure?
Yes.
Are you sure?
Yes.
Are you sure?
Yes.
Are you sure?
Yes.
Here is your hamburger.
Gross! I want a hot dog! Why didn’t you get me a hot dog?!?!?

Now imagine this is not a three year old, but a grown adult. Did your head fall off? Mine did.

The issues with school are actually nothing to joke about. I’m sad that we’re leaving because the decline in care made me seriously feel that my child was in danger. And this after I bought cupcakes for the Fall Festival:

Photobucket
This pumpkin looks like a fat, cross-eyed Asian dude.

Photobucket
This is more money than I should have spent on a fat, cross-eyed Asian dude.

Also, look at that last picture again. Do you see the sell by date on those cupcakes? WTF? Are they made of plastic?

Honestly, if work was decent, I’d find a new daycare. If daycare was decent, I’d find a new job. But both just going to shit all at once with no end in sight forced us to make a new solution. Aut Viam Inveniam Aut Faciam

One more week to go. I’m sad at this turn of events. Scared of the unknown. Excited for a new adventure. Check back in 10 days to hear my laments of being home with the kids all day, hah!