children, crafty, home, life

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

 

children, crafty, entertainment, health, home, life

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.
children, crafty

Eso sí que es.

At least one girl is growing up in this house.  Birthday shopping is done and amazingly, birthday knitting is, too.  Which is saying a lot, since Josh’s birthday socks were something around…4-5 months late?

Generic and short. JUST LIKE ME.
He’s still happy and didn’t care that they were late. He wears them all the time because he’s secretly a really sweet little guy.

Now, Josh is a boy through and through.  When I ask for a picture, he will smile, but he rarely poses unless I ask him to.  In a fighting stance.  But out of nowhere, the girl has decided she likes to stand “the nice way” when I take her picture.  What. The. Hell.

AND she wrote her name on her name tag all by herself.
Seriously? Could she *be* any more girly? How is this girl mine?

The yarn is Yarn Bee in Apple Blossom and it makes for a great, thick sock.  I have it in an apple green and an icy blue which will be some stripey knee high socks for me.  Maybe.  We’ll see.  I like tweedy yarns.  Robin picked the yarn and it is really perfect for her:

Very gated.  I actually unraveled and re-knit after this picture.  1/2 inch length makes a big difference.
Socks for Mary Janes. Cute pattern but not very visible in this yarn. Oops. Click the picture for pattern.

Now, socks are a birthday tradition and doesn’t get counted as a gift.  It’s not a secret and the kids pick their yarn and I regularly fit the socks on them while knitting.  When I saw these ears and tail, I knew she’d love them, so I was eager to get started.  I finished this weekend:

I felt like a super genius when I put the bookshelf on the armoire. Doesn’t take much. Derp.

In case you were wondering, my leg is named Lorraine.  My head sadly has no name.  Right now I’ve got one a Christmas sock done for Josh and a bunch of swatches going.  They might even grow up to be something one day!  Yay!

life, news

Endless Days

The past few days have been cold, gray and rainy.  Perfect fall weather if this happened to be fall.   The nights are inky black.  Driving at night lately has been a test of my patience with all the rain and impossible visibility.  I don’t want to discuss this at all, but I feel it would be remiss to ignore it: 

More often than not, I prefer that my kids watch the news with me.  I explain things to them in a way that children can understand.  It’s an opportunity to understand things like the weather and to a more shielded degree what police and firefighters do.  But then things happen and I have to turn the TV off.

Gray, rainy days are best supplemented by sitting together on the couch or in my bed watching cartoons and cuddling.  I have an inherent need to touch and hold the people close to me at times like these.  Play blocks and kitchen.  Read books.  Chase the dog and make cookies.  Yes, even when I play Warcraft, my son cuddles up next to me and watches.

This is an undead death knight. Duh.

Saturday night, I fell asleep early, maybe 11 or midnight, and woke up at 4 AM.  So much for sleeping early.  The Mr. woke up and I kept bugging him until he was totally awake.  We laid in bed and talked and for hours and eventually played around on the computer.  Right about when he wanted to go back to sleep at 7, I made puppy dog eyes because I wanted to go out for breakfast with the family.  It was a happy and exciting morning for the kids and for me because we see Dad at breakfast an average of once per week.

So, even in the rainy gloom of a Sunday morning, everyone was happy.  And then on the way home I noticed all the flags at half staff and just lost my shit.  I can insulate myself from the world only so much.  Despite all of the silliness, immaturity and self proclaimed childishness, I am still an adult and a parent.  A parent with a child nearly the same age as those murdered in Newtown.  A parent with a child that could be in a classroom where the shooter visited.

From someone that I’ve known since we were 4 years old.

I don’t really have words to describe this.  There is a saying that if a person loses a spouse they are called a widow or a widower.  If a child loses his parents, he becomes an orphan.  But there’s no real word to describe what a parent is after they lose a child.  It’s something that I cannot imagine.  These are the thoughts that are rolling around my head now, so close to Christmas.  Life goes on for everyone else, but it amazes me to no end that life will go on for anyone in that town.  People are more resilient than they should ever need to be.

More silliness later, as always.

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.

children, crafty

Sweater Time!

Man, I’m dumb.  Sometimes, I can pick up things so fast and it immediately becomes second nature.  And then there’s the rest of my life where I am sharp as a marble.  For reasons totally unbeknownst to me, I hate reading directions.  I assume I can just do things because usually I can unless it’s yarn related.  And then, if I do read the directions, I assume I can just mix things up and change them to suit what I want to do; wing it, if you will.  I blame this on reading too many blogs written by people who are proficient at these skills.  People that don’t take a month to make kid socks.  I am torn between hating and wanting desperately to be these people.  Anyway…

I am almost done with my first top down yolk sweater and it’s super cute on Robin.  It only took me eleventy jillion years and a lot of frustrated throwing of things to get it to the almost done point.  Lots of ripping out.  Lots of trying on.  It was going to be a sweater dress but fuck that it’s going to be a long-ish sweater.  She’s 3.  It doesn’t matter.  The whole thing is based off of the I <3 U sweater but done all stupid and wrong and ass backwards and whatever.  I only have the bottom end to do but check out how much this kid loves it:

This is my favorite girl in the whole world.

She’s so patient.  Josh will be getting a sweater vest because again, I’m a lazy shit.  But it will be one he will actually wear this time because it will have skulls and crossbones and he’s approved my preliminary plans.  I’ve been approved by a 5 year old.  It’s not as easy as you might think.

FYI, he still wants me to make him a giant stuffed Pikachu.  Giant as in he wants one he can lay on.  Yeah, I think that’s crazy, too, but the even crazier part of me is thinking…always thinking…

crafty, home, life

OMGBIRDS

OMG I SAW THIS THING TODAY IN MY YARD AND I THOUGHT IT WAS A ROCK OR A STUMP BUT HOW DOES A ROCK OR A STUMP JUST SHOW UP OUT OF NOWHERE WITHOUT SOME FUCKING WIZARD ASS MAGIC AND THEN SHIT IT MOVED AND I WAS LIKE FUCK THAT IS A BIG FUCKING BIRD I AM SURE THAT BASED ON THE SIZE AND CROWEYNESS OF THAT BIRD THAT IT IS A CROW AND THEN OH NO FUCK THAT NOISE IT WAS A MOTHERFUCKING ROBIN THAT LOOKED LIKE IT ATE ANOTHER ROBIN AND I MADE MY HUSBAND GET UP FROM A GODDAMNED SATURDAY AFTERNOON NAP TO CONFIRM THAT INDEED IT WAS NOT A ROCK OR A STUMP OR A CROW BUT STEROID PUMPING DRUG ADDLED ROBIN JUST FUCKING SITTING THERE IN MY GODDAMNED BACKYARD AND DURING ALL OF THE UNBELIEVABLE HORROR I HAD TO KEEP SHOOING THE TWO YOUNG CHILDREN THAT WERE NOT NEARLY OLD ENOUGH TO BEHOLD THE SIGHT OF THIS TERRIBLE ABOMINATION OF A ROBIN THAT WAS AT LEAST TWICE THAT SIZE OF A NORMAL ROBIN TOO BAD I DIDN’T GET A PICTURE BUT MY CAMERA IS NOT A FANCY DSLRLMNOP CAMERA WITH A WIDE ANGLE LENS TO GET A SHOT OF THAT WIDE ASS ANGLED BIRD FUCK MAYBE IT WAS A CHICKEN DISGUISED AS A ROBIN BECAUSE I NEVER SAW IT FLY FUCK I TURNED AWAY FOR A SECOND AND IT DISAPPEARED MAYBE THERE ACTUALLY IS SOME SERIOUS FUCKING WIZARD ASS MAGIC GOING ON BACK THERE OR SOME SORT OF NEFARIOUS POULTRY ESPIONAGE OR MAYBE THAT ROBIN HAS SERIOUS FUCKING LOW SELF ESTEEM PROBLEMS I DON’T KNOW

In other news, I am still away playing video games and suddenly now there is a stye in my eye and it hurts really bad.  I hope you had a nice 4th of July and this applies to everyone in the US and abroad because why would I want anyone’s 4th day of any random month to be bad?  I’ll be back soon with boring stuff.  In the mean time, enjoy your summer.

Some people are having more fun than others.
children, entertainment, home

AK not necessary

As a product of the 90’s, I can never think “it was a good day” without qualifying that conclusion with the knowledge that a Russian assault rifle was unnecessary.

Determining the quality of my days since 1993.

I decided we all needed outside time because there was a package in the mailbox and Josh couldn’t get it out by himself.  I figured if I had to put on shorts and go outside, I might as well enjoy it.  I was surprised to find a gift to me!

I love tins! How did you know?

It was a complimentary gift from the HVAC company.  They were very appreciative that I spent a ton of money to replace two A/C units.  Thank goodness we did it just in time for the 80+ degree weather to go back to being cool and comfortable.  Even better than the tin was what was inside:

Most expensive cookies ever.

They were gone quickly.  The afternoon was nice, and we hung out in the front yard and soaked up the afternoon sun.  I was lazy and didn’t even make Robin put on pants.

Living the dream.

We played nature tracker and found this:

My daughter's egg.

Not a bad day.  Not a bad day at all.  Hopefully more days like this.

children, home, life

Anne Doye

I’m annoyed.  Like, annoyed in italics.  It’s partially due to stressors beyond my control like the Mr. going to the emergency room (three different trips for three different members of our family in as many months) and the upstairs A/C crapping out.

Fuck you, AC Slater.

And then I found prints on my deck and thought there might be a Rigby hanging round.

Sans coffee induced rabies, I hope.

Turns out they were just opossum tracks.

Possums or monkeys. Probably Possums. Also a cat going the other way.

Miscellaneous dumb shit that annoys me:

No, Amazon, I didn't mean "mapping the and and environment". WTF? Stupid.
Way to go again, CNN. Y u no grammar check?

Lastly, Josh is tap dancing on my last nerve.  It’s his birthday week and we’ve been trying to do fun projects this week.  He got this little number:

It's freaking so cute and little!

I don’t think he has the attention span to use it.  We have tried and I asked him flat out: “do you want to work on this or watch TV” and he refused to answer.  Not answering on purpose is the kind of thing that makes me just lose my shit.  Maybe we will try later.

But not today.

children, crafty, home

Deep Thoughts

1. I have this feeling that there is a monster living in the basement of the neighbor’s house. It watches me when I’m on the deck doing deck things:

Sing it, Rockwell!

2. I really like aprons.  This is my favorite one, and I wish I would have had it embroidered but it was a Christmas gift and my local embroiderer moved away.

Purple bunny is Robin's first poop toy.

3. Potty training is going pretty well.

Niiiiiice.

4. Except for this frustration:

Scumbag toddler.

5. Josh’s birthday is on Thursday and he will be 60 months old, LOL.  I hate that.  He’s 5 years old.  5 years old sounds older than 60 months.  He’s so little.

It's happening.

Today we’re making Plaster of Paris fossils today and tomorrow I’m going to teach him how to use a coping saw and miter box so we can make some frames for our puzzles.  I need some distraction while the new A/C units are going in.  They are only 25 years old, so I guess it’s time for the investment.  Good times.