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.
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.
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.
Yes, I am back…I just went out for a pack of cigarettes…Right?
And I might have to go out for cigarettes again, so come close and listen…right now I’m sitting in my living room, two kids sleeping on the couch after a long, fun night of slumber party silliness. Cartoons until midnight? Stupid story telling time? Games and snacks and sleeping bags? All yes. Except they hate sleeping on the floor and have migrated to the couch and have sort of crowded me out. I’ve been laying here for over an hour not sleeping. Now I’m using my laptop sans USB keyboard so I get to go back and add spaces. Fun,right? Let’s begin:
Still crazy: The good news is that I have been seeing a doctor that may have me on the right medication. Bad news is the wait for an appointment is generally an hour+ after my appointment time. Add two young kids to that and it’s doubly tedious. To be fair, my kids are super good at the doctor’s offices since they have to go with me and i go all the damn time. Honestly, I am not doing the best job at mitigating my symptoms. I stay up too late, play video games too late, don’t take my medication at consistent times(I take my medicine, just some nights at 9 PM,other nights at 1 PM, etc). This really needs to change. I’m almost 36 fucking years old and I am not acting like a very responsible adult. One of the big things I really need to do is get a sleep routine. Currently,my sleep routine is ”play Warcraft until I fall asleep”, or sometimes “take an Ambien and play Warcraft until I fall asleep”.
I don’t stay awake for days nor do I have all the prior symptoms of sleep deprivation that I used to have but that’s not saying much. That’s like saying “all my bones are broken but at least I can blink now” or whatever. I’m bad at analogies lately, sue me.
So…yeah, I’m going to grow up eventually. The Ambien is great for knocking me out (as long as it’s taken on an empty stomach) but it kills me the next day. I’ve tried cutting the dose but I end up not staying asleep or not falling asleep on time and then sleeping late. Tonight for example: I am not, nor would I take Ambien when it’s just me and the kids. Since we’re playing slumber party, I can’t exactly be knocked out by 11 PM so I didn’t take any tonight. It’s currently 1:30 AM and I had been laying in the dark for an hour not sleeping. One thing I do is count backwards from 100 to 0, then 200 to 0, then 300 to 0. Obviously it doesn’t always work. Then I start thinking about shit from like, 16 years ago and think “What was my telephone number? Whatever happened to those shoes? Do I still have that ugly lamp?”
Kid stuff: school, school, school, violin, Tae Kwon Do, library, library, library, clean your room, don’t use up all the hot water taking a shower, you didn’t do your homework, practice your violin, blah, blah, blah. But it’s also: let’s take the day off and watch cartoons, let’s skip work and just make art all day, let’s play Monopoly/Pig/Operation/Risk/chess/Dungeons & Dragons/badminton, plant flowers, look for treasure, tell stories, read stories, make brinner, watch meteor showers, bird watch, solve puzzles. We’re nerds, so what.
The home school thing is going pretty well; I need to get them into something social though. They’re still young and happy to be with each other, but not having friends other than your siblings is not what I want for them. And it won’t be like that forever, but it’s just one out of the millions of things I worry about on my way to *not* screwing up my kids.
Mildly related: I hate the term “growing like a weed”. I get it (growing quickly) but I hate the idea of referring to my kids as weeds. They’re seriously growing so, so, so, so, much. Not like, pituitary gland much, but in the healthy-kid-why-are-you-so-many-inches-taller way. New shoes, new pants new shirts only because they’re not long enough. If I’d let them, they’d wear the same shirts forever because they’re not growing wider, just taller. The banana phase of growth, I guess. Robin is the worst because she wants to wear her old dresses and it’s always a resounding NO because they’re all too short now. I’ve already bought her some new ones. Long ones. I’d dress her like a small Amish boy if I thought I could get away with it, but I can’t. She has serious fashion sense and I don’t know where she gets it from. Maybe all of those Project Runway episodes while I was pregnant?
Josh is also growing up too fast just like his sister, but emotionally. He “doesn’t need me” to sit in on his Tae Kwon Do classes anymore, so if I need to get groceries, I should just go do that and then pick him up. I’m not crying about that, I’m sure a pipe has just burst directly overhead. He wasn’t being mean, he is just growing up. I still go, but when I have to pick up some things, I go and do that, too. Bittersweet.
Animals: I have been murdering fish for months, but I finally have it down to zero deaths. Zero deaths since February, whoohoo! Seriously, that is a major accomplishment for me. I started out with a betta. He died. Betta number two. He died. Guppies. Dead. Snails. Dead. Albino bristle nose plecostomus. Dead. Aquarium plants. Dead. Now I finally have everything pretty much under control: two blood red swordtails (Zangetsu and Benihime), a small school of neon tetras (Spaghetti and Meatballs) and a black kuhli loach (The Loach). I ended up adding two snails (Pigwidgeon and Snowball) because I’m dumb. The loach is a bottom feeder, but not necessarily an algae eater. So,snails.
I shaved the cat. Don’t be like that, you’re not 12. Spring time equals death for me and this year translated to the most allergy sick pukes I’ve ever had. I mean seriously. Loud. Wretching. I’m such a delicate flower. Jake and his long fur is formal and dignified, but since I’ve cut his hair, he now looks like a cross between a poofy Siamese and an adorable little lamb. Having a a cat get a lion cut is not as bad as it sounds, but it’s also expensive as hell and I don’t like the idea of risking his life to be put under anesthesia just for a haircut.
So, in a long line of great life decisions, I cut his hair myself. I started with just scissors and a comb. He looked like he had some sort of mange. Then I thought “razor comb!” and that didn’t really work at all except for the fact that he loves biting combs now. I finally bought a hair clipper and wrestled with him. I did get enough fur off to make it worthwhile, but he never tried to hurt me while he fought back. He was actually chewing on my arm at one point, but not nearly as hard as he could. Obviously he didn’t like the clippers but when I’d let him go for a break and call him back, he’d come right back to me. There’s also something incredibly satisfying about buzzing off so much fur. I didn’t go as short as some, but he’s sufficiently short haired enough that I am significantly less sick. He now likes to lay on my pillow while I sleep, either to cuddle because he’s chillier with less fur, or he’s slowly killing me through my allergies.
The shitty news is that Wendy passed away. Goddammit that fucking dog. I wasn’t ready at all for this. In fact, I had taken her to the vet about a week before she died because she wasn’t eating and I thought it was her teeth (it totally was) but the $300 estimeate for sedation dental work was more than what I could do at the time. This wasn’t going to make her ill as long as we addressed it within a month or two per the vet. But Wendy was having other signs of distress that I didn’t pick up on.
She had been sleeping on the bed with me and sometimes in my arms at night. I had an arm chair next to the bed so she could hop on that and then up to her blanket at the foot of the bed. I started to notice that she started sleeping more in the chair and I didn’t know why. Jake would sit right in her spot and she was super intimidated by him (he was a grump) but even when he wasn’t there, she seemed to just settle for the chair. When I’d call her to dinner or to go outside, she would take forever to get downstairs. I honestly thought she was just dawdling or lagging behind. By the time she had gotten to her destination, whether it be up or down stairs, she was panting. She had been losing weight because of the teeth thing, but not an inappropriate amount–she was supposed to be dieting anyway, so the vet was happy that she was just shy of 20 lbs. I just thought she was tired. Or maybe she had been doing something bad and then was hurrying over to me to pretend to be innocent. Every time I’d check for signs (and smells) of mischief, there was nothing.
Damn. When I put it all out like this it sounds so obvious but it wasn’t at the time. I just thought she was feeling old and fat and tired. No one else noticed anything wrong, not even the vet. But we weren’t exactly looking for problems. One nigh I noticed how hard she was laboring to breathe. I stayed up with her that Friday night and then again on Saturday night. That Sunday, the Mr. took her to the emergency vet and they euthanized her. I didn’t go because I hadn’t slept for two days and I was a wreck.
I’m so angry and frustrated. I feel like I failed her, failed her like I failed Boris. I couldn’t let her suffer and she was so far sick in her liver and her heart that treatment would have been astronomical, not to mention she’d be struggling and suffering. And treatment is never a guarantee. I didn’t want to prolong it, even if I had all the money in the world. I’m mad at myself, mad at the world, mad at the vets, mad at anyone who has groomed her, looked at her, been near her. Why didn’t anyone know?
Mostly I’m just mad at myself. I didn’t have her body brought because I just couldn’t take it. I’m mad about that, too. Being a sleep deprived emotional wreck makes decision making pretty awful. I regret everything. I should have taken her to the vet, I should have held her while she died, I should have carried her home and buried her in the yard. It should have been me. I miss her. A lot. Fucking jerk stinkopotamus dog with all the seizures and messing in the house and being so fucking needy all the time. I just fucking wasn’t ready. I only had three short years with her. That’s not fair. I’m still not ready. That fucking dog. I miss her.
In a real and rational sense, I know I did the right thing and I know I did the best I could. I tried to give her the best I could over the years and even tried to find someone to take care of here when I felt that I could not. I always seemed to find just one more sliver of strength to pull from and redouble my efforts in her care. She was the best snuggler and better for me than any sleeping pill. But reality and rationality were never my strong points anyway.
Nerdstuff: I’ve been playing Warcraft a lot (but not too much, really, I promise, I can quit any time) but I still only have one level 100. I’m not very motivated to get everyone else up to speed so I’ve been just acheivement hunting for the past few weeks. And playing Hearthstone. Having a good time being a filthy casual. Josh has been begging to play D&D so we’re all playing as a family now. I play their mom. I’m also a really crappy sorceress but my kids are half human, half dragon warrior and half human, half cat bard. So just like real life. Playing Risk usually devolves from a 4 person game to a 2 person game with a lot of staring at the board. We are doing movie night and game night on alternating Sundays and we have been playing things like UNO and Pig so there has been a lot of screaming and yelling and hexing going on. We are all competitive by nature and it’s hard not to yell with taunting glee when my 5 year old loses all her points.
I’ve been reading a lot lately, enough to make myself hoarse. I’ve been reading The Harry Potter series to the kids and using is as a discussion point for real life. We are waiting impatiently for the next and final book in the How to Train Your Dragon series, How to Fight a Dragon’s Fury. I’ve been reading from the library for myself, too, but mostly graphic novels because that’s about all I have the attention span for. Doesn’t matter, still excellent. Here are the ones I can remember off the top of my head:
The Mice Templar: I haven’t finished the series yet because my library doesn’t have all of them. WHY do they do this?! “Let’s get every volume of the series except for book 2″ What a great idea. I find this a lot, but usually only after I’m emotionally invested in a series. For some reason, I’m a huge fan of mouse featured works: Maus, Mouse Guard, Stuart Little, The Secret of NIMH, are a few examples,
CrossGame: I thought I was going to hate this, actually, but I was hooked immediately. I only originally picked it up from the library because it was big and I thought it would kill some time. Such a great story; I’m a big baby by nature, but holy cow, this made me bawl my eyes out.
The Graveyard Book: Volumes one and two. The story is told clearly and the art is wonderful. And it’s Neil Gaimen so there ya go.
I haven’t been very crafty lately. I’m just not motivated or feeling creative. When I do, the feelings pass before I can really get started on anything. I don’t know if it’s because of the medicine I take or if I’m just not pushing myself hard enough. Or maybe the medicine isn’t working as intended and my depression symptoms are coming back. At this point I really can’t care, I have more to occupy myself than I have in a very long time and I’m fine with that. The most creative thing I’ve done lately is draw some pictures on Josh’s birthday presents and that’s about it. I had great motivation not to screw it up and ruin his entire birthday.
Right now I’m pretty okay but I’m tentative about everything: kids, marriage, mental health, physical health. I don’t know that I’ll ever be fully comfortable with myself regarding any of those things, but maybe that’s good. With comfort comes complacency and let’s face it, I’m a lazy asshole. That’s partially the reason for the blog silence. Just lazy. But there was also a lot of focus on just living, reforging my marriage, parenting my children so I’m not exactly sorry. Also, can you believe how weird that sounds–“parenting my children”. I’m so old and suburban…but at least I’m also childish and irresponsible so it all works out. And if I don’t blog for another six months then I don’t blog for another six months and I’m okay with that,too.
January 24th was my Dad’s birthday. He would have been 65 years old. That seems impossibly young, or at least too young to just drop down dead. I’ve been the most ridiculous mess my whole life for the past week or so so instead of blithering on about this, I’d rather talk about any other damn thing.
This is the sweatshirt blanket I made in 2012 and I love it SO MUCH. I blanket stitched the edging on but now after 2 years of constant use and almost weekly washing, it’s falling apart. I’ve spent a fair amount of time in the past week ladder stitching it like normal (read: how it should have been done the first time).
No where on the prescription did it list ‘assholery’ as a side effect. And yet in the past week Wendy has pooped in the house TWICE and JUMPED UP ON THE COUCH TO PEE RIGHT ON THE MOTHERFUCKING COUCH! The fear and anxiety is ruining my life. I feel like a terrible pet parent because I am at my limit with this. MY FUCKING COUCH WHERE I SIT AND DO COUCH THINGS.
In other, less awful news, school is going well despite a complete and utter lack of motivation from all parties. We’re chugging along, and Miss Creepy did the most adorable thing while practicing rhyming words and drawing:
So, once upon a time (a couple of months ago or so) I was sitting in bed with the kiddos, watching TV, and playing around on my computer. I wasn’t even playing Warcraft, believe it or not, when Robin asked me to tell her the story of Arthas.
Luckily for her, I had recently read Rise of the Lich King and Death Knight. Did I mention that I love my library? They’re the bees’ knees. Anywho, I go on about Arthas and and his life as a Prince, his horse Invincible, how he tried to save his kingdom, and his eventual fall. I went on to describe the Scourge and how scary they were when she got really excited because she “she knew this part because it was in a song”.
Oh, really? What song?
Home on the Range
Now tell me that’s not the most adorable thing ever.
A cat is in my hat. The cat took my hat. I got a bat and then I got my hat.
2. Josh’s first short story:
A cat was napping under a table. A dog yelled at the cat. The black cat ran. Wendy ran after Jake. Jake hid under a tree. Wendy asked Robin where is Jake? Robin said I don’t know where Jake went. After Jake climbed down the tree, Jake went in a tent and slept in the tent all day. Wendy found Jake in the tent. Wendy slept in the tent, too.
The requirements I gave him: use at least two proper nouns, use adjectives, have a problem and a solution. I use naps as my solution, too. He’s currently reading a bunch of age appropriate Star Wars books and Where the Sidewalk Ends. He’s also a big fan of Frog and Toad and Owl.
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?
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.
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:
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:
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!