anagramofbrat: (team tatro (2015))
We've been averaging a snowstorm a week since January up here in Ye Olde Newe Aengeland*, to the point where I think all the kids in the state of Massachusetts may have had school on one Monday since the semester began. D: Boston and the surrounding areas have been getting it really bad - I think they've had maybe a collective five feet of snow in the past few weeks and things out there are a complete disaster any kind of transportation-wise. New York MTA had to lend the Boston MBTA two giant rail snowblowers for track clearing, even. (Fun Fact: those machines are honestly called Snowzillas. Seriously, google it.) This has made kid weekends super challenging, and with the current snowstorm finally petering out this morning, Tuesday finds me with a day taken off from work and the kids still here because the roads have been utter shit for the past 48 hours. Thankfully school has been cancelled for the past couple of days, so that isn't a factor, but apparently Kidzilla's class now has Snow Day homework they have to do in case of school cancellation so she's been meeting the news of yet another snow day with alarmingly grown-up groans. On one hand, yeah, there's been a bit of scrambling with the change in schedule, but on the other hand having them here a couple of extra days has on many levels been really fun.

I've decided that Wee Beastie is, in fact, a Neverland fairy. I say that mostly because I often joke that he's too small to hold more than one emotion at a time, so as a result all of his emotions are all-encompassing forces of nature. When he's happy, he's a ball of zoomy radioactive joy. When he's sad, he is inconsolable and Everything Is Terrible. When he's angry it's like a storm descends in the room, he's all violently flailing appendages and screaming. It is certainly a Thing To Behold/worry about.

After he pitched a mega fit last night about having to go to bed which ended with him punching [livejournal.com profile] cell23 square in the nose (not kidding about the violent flailing), I sat with him for a little bit after his time-out to calm him down and we had a long, surprisingly interesting chat about how he experiences big overwhelming emotions. He concluded independently that angry was his biggest feeling, and when he gets angry it's "too big for me" and that's why he has trouble controlling himself. I told him the quote from Peter Pan about how fairies are too small to be more than one thing at a time, and he got this solemn little expression on his face (hilarious, btw) and was all "Yeah. That sounds correct."

He is, indeed, a funny little bug.

Anyway, we agreed that we need to work on making more space for big emotions. I've been wanting to get him involved in some kind of directed physical activity/martial art so he can vent off some of the pent up physical energy for a while but owing to budget constraints on both sides of the state and the additional difficulty of only having every other weekend to work with on ours it hasn't really been practical. Still, this morning I'm taking another stab at looking at some options for him. The local Tae Kwon Do school seems pretty promising aside from the scheduling hurdle; I may stop by later in the week to take a closer look at it and see if the every/other schedule can be worked with/around. That is if it ever stops snowing long enough for anything to dig out and reopen around here. If anything, their summer camp seems tailor made for him with a week of martial arts, playing with horses and learning to swim, so that is something to sock away money for at the very least.

In other news, along with getting bitten with what seems like every creative idea ever (and thus being paralyzed with indecision about which to work on at any given time, since the Super Bowl I've been having intense needs to Color Things. This led to a rediscovery that I absolutely adore geometric patterns and mandalas, a ridiculous number of which are available free on the internet, so as of Sunday I've decided to try to color one per day, be it with actual markers/pencils/crayons or digitally. I've only done two so far and I'm not sure how the one-per-day bit is going to work out long term as I tend to gravitate towards the ones with intensely complex patterns, but I do indeed find the process very brain-unclenching.





Well, we'll see. I do need some sort of anxiety reduction type thing to do on the regular for a while, but previous attempts at meditation have already shown that I suck at it - in fact sitting still with nothing tangible to focus on tends to make my anxiety worse. (This is why I tend to not work well without music or some kind of background noise - silence freaks me the fuck out.) This is also sort of why I miss having a commute - driving tends to calm my brain down right quick as well. Maybe when the roads clear, considering the free fall gas prices have been in for the past little bit I'll do more of that too.


* I made that spelling up. don't have a historical accuracy cow at me please.

Ten

Sep. 7th, 2014 11:06 pm
anagramofbrat: (team tatro (2014))
The way too rapidly becoming not-small blonde completed her first decade among the earthlings today. She was duly rewarded for her efforts with a butt-ton of Minecraft stuff and her dad doing goofy cute things with her breakfast this morning:



Both Drew and I are in a bit of a state of shock about this, much as most grownups are when confronted with the advancing age of a child they care about. I mean, he's been all like "didn't I JUST bring her home from the hospital?" all weekend. I joined her story a wee bit later - I'd been visiting Janra in the farmhouse while people were over for games and happened across a baby fussing on his bed and trying to soothe herself by sticking her even-then-giant feet into her mouth. So clearly I had to sit and tickle them until fussing became giggles because, baby feet are basically made of yes. (And drool, but lets skip that part.)

As always when confronted with a Milestone Moment I go hunting around in my archives for relevant stuff. As such, I present you with Kidzilla's first guest appearance in my journal:

"That baby is ridiculously cute. Especially when she grabs two big handfuls of my hair in her chubby little hands and very carefully and solemnly inspects it strand by strand before either letting go or yanking hard up and down on it while letting out this precious toothless gurgle of utter delight. Good thing black women don't have nerve sensors in their scalps after age 7."

Anyway. I'ma be over here frantically not freaking out about everything that needs to get done in the next five days and feeling ancient, lol. Like Drew said in July for Beastie, I never get older on my own birthday. I get older on theirs.



HOW. Fuck you, Time.
anagramofbrat: (no more caffeine for you)
Woke up to find this in my inbox. Laughed ass off.



The floating pikachu head remains creepy, tho.

ETA: aw, there's one of just the short folk too.

anagramofbrat: (team tatro (2014))
Well and Happy New Year. In addition to making appearances at [livejournal.com profile] esotericscribe's party, [livejournal.com profile] cell23 and I spent most of our New Year's Eve throwing a mini-bash for the kids. We dressed up and had snacks and watched the ball drop, and laughed at all the cold people in Times Square and toasted the new year and errthang. Well 3/4s of us did. Wee Beastie balked at changing into his good outfit at the last minute. Eh, what can ya do, he's six.

Since we had [livejournal.com profile] aersi and [livejournal.com profile] deliriumdeva pop over from the other party for the express purpose of watching Drew assemble the weird Popin' Cookin' candy the kids' uncle sent them for Christmas (y'all... this candy. I can't even - it's so... O_o) I had them snap some pictures of the four of us, because Reasons. A serious one first:



Then several silly ones, but this one came out the best:



To quote from [livejournal.com profile] 11th_letter, "this is what we show the world, this is how we really are." Except that top photo ain't fooling anyone. Also It doesn't matter who is wearing the Pikachu mask, it is ALWAYS creepy-looking.

I had myself a bit of a cry about half an hour after the new year - Dad was always the first call I'd make after midnight. It felt so wrong just... not being able to, and I kinda freaked a little. It's okay. Grieving, process, etc. [livejournal.com profile] cell23 and Kidzilla hugs plus Moonbeam climbing into my lap to sit and purr (she has never been a lap cat, despite being a rabid cuddler, so this was a Big Deal) helped.

But yeah. New Years was rung in. Tomorrow we take the kiddos back to their mom's... and then... back to life, back to reality, back to the here and now. NGL, its going to be weird and too quiet in the house when they go and I'm going to miss them horribly, but I'm kind of looking forward to being able to unearth my house from the detritus of Typhoon Tatro.

Oh hey also new kidlet icon. They were overdue for an update.
anagramofbrat: (winter holiday)
Drew and I are having our first Christmas with the kids at home.. This necessitated a bit of a mad rush yesterday as he hadn't done any of his shopping and I wanted to pick up some more stuff aside from the bits I'd Amazoned already. Plus with the bajillion teeny wrapped presents they'd gotten from from their aunt and uncle in Japan, we really needed some stockings to keep them from getting lost or becoming cat toys.

I'd say I did well.



Can I just say I'd incredibly amused that Netflix subtitled the yule log?

We spent a bit of the evening out with their mother's family for Christmas Eve Chinese food, which I'd never done before. Pleased to report that Ginger Garden has improved considerably since our first, terrible trip there; may have to revise opinion on it. As of now, we've just finished the wrapping, the kids have been put to bed after being allowed to open one present each and watch the Grinch, and I'm looking intensely forward to the mad scramble of wrapping paper tomorrow as the kids burrow in to discover what all they've gotten. I overindulged on them by a LOT, but I'm not feeling too terrible about it seeing as its sort of my way of honoring Dad's memory. Christmas was his jam, and he had sooooooo much fun spoiling all of us, so I'm just paying the spoilage forward.

The next 24ish hours are going to be mad hectic, so to all of y'all I leave the following thought.

anagramofbrat: (team tatro (2012))
So this afternoon, when I attempted to shake parmesan onto my lunch, the can made a rather alarming KACHUNK noise. Not something you expect out of your sprinky cheese. I set the can down, unscrewed the lid, and...

Apparently we have to talk to the kids about not leaving pencils in the parmesan now? O_o

A photo posted by ARBT (@anagramofbrat) on




...the HELL?

The pencil could not have gotten in there by accident - someone (we suspect Beastie) had to open the fridge, get out the cheese, unscrew the top, drop in the pencil, screw the top back on, put the cheese back, and close the fridge.

I ain't even mad, just incredibly confused. I'm thinking something like the following went down: Beastie wanted to annoy Kidzilla, so he took her pencil while she was doing homework, put it in the cheese, and probably gloated to her that he hid it where she would NEVER find it. But I don't think I'm ever going to find out for sure; chances are by the time I see them next they'll have forgotten it happened at all, let alone WHY.

*sigh* Kids, y'all.
anagramofbrat: (do want)
I generally enjoyed the 50th special (especially the 10/11 OTP) though it didn't truly knock my socks off or anything. (And there was a fair bit of Moffat Moffatting Moffatly all over the Moffat.)I did have a MOMENT when this happened though:

shh... spoilers. )


I did watch An Adventure in Time and Space last night though. I was not expecting it to be as touching and well done as it was. I actually teared up at the end. And I have apparently also grossly underestimated David Bradley's ability to act outside of grumpy scenery chewing villains - his William Hartnell was at first kinda grouchy and unlikeable but by the end if you haven't fallen in love with him you are a monster incapable of feeling.


In other news today was kinda low key and mostly spent tching at Kidzilla for leaving her school board game project until the last weekend before its due to get it done while helping her out, but not tching too hard because she has four parents worth of bad procrastination habits to inherit. But I think she gets the whole "start it earlier, its much less stressful that way, trust me" lesson. Also beading. Lots of beading. I'll post my counts later.

I suppose tomorrow it'll be back to angsting about car stuff and money crap and impending family holiday. *sigh*
anagramofbrat: (team tatro (2012))
Kids are here. Ye gods, it's good to have LilBeast off of screen restriction, it's a far less tension filled house. Still have to get after both kids for overindulgences with their various screens, but what can you do.

I'm really enjoying Lil'Beast's obsession with My Little Pony. I think obsession is the right word when he refused to get a Twilight Sparkle plush doll because it wasn't a Princess Twilight Sparkle and therefore she didn't have wings. Also he's doing NaNo - only 50 words per day, what do you want, he's six - and what is he writing of course but MLP fanfic. I am dead from cute, though I'd be lying if I didn't also enjoy cell23's various expressions of OH DEAR GODS HELP WHERE IS THE WHISKEY whenever Brian goes off on a tear. But hey, he was also patiently proofreading and offering suggestion to kiddos writing so it evens out.

Miss Kidzilla and LilBeast had collectively racked up about $75ish in Barnes & Noble gift card money over the past year, so we took them out to spend it today. My lord, though it is hard to get these kids out the door for shopping, even if it's something for them. But some fun stuff was picked out and a reasonably decent time was had by all. I also taught the kids how to properly set the table for dinner, which they liked doing and did well at, so I'm going to see about making that part of the lunch and dinner routine at least.

I continue to improve. I still have itchy spots, but it's the uncomfortable itchy of healing as opposed to the uncomfortable itchy of WTF is wrong with me, which honestly is somewhat worse at times. But hey, I can eat and kiss things and people and and talk and it just feels at worst like I stood out on a windy winter day with no chapstick. Still coping with disproportionate emotional reactions to things and apparently my obsession for keeping things clean wasn't just a yesterday thing. Also we've hit that point where I can tell the medication is fucking with my blood sugar because hungry like the motherfucking wolf all the damn time, not to mention mood fuckery. I'm not minding too much - a return of the appetite after its prolonged absence is welcome for the moment, but I have to watch it so that not everything I'm shoveling into my face is pure carbohydrates. I don't want the diabeetus.

Still I hope I can wean off of this shit soon. Starving snapping turtle is not a good look for me.

There is progress on the bead front, fueled by roid mania and the electro-synth-industrial station I built on iTunes radio and have been listening to since Friday. (Aww, the Haven top40, the memories.) Not as much progress as I would like as I had to rip out most of a row to fix a counting mistake I made days ago (luckily I could adjust the pattern quite easily to accommodate most of it so I didn't have to start ALL over) and also to repair a skipped bead in one row, which was throwing the counting in subsequent rows off. Ugh. But luckily the mistakes were in reasonably discrete areas and were fixable, but I did lose about an hour or so's worth of work. Ah well. Some is better than none.



2245 / 25840 beads. 8.688% done!

I forgot to add that I spent a little time updating the php program I use to generate patterns so that it now highlights what row I'm working on and advances to the next with one click. Makes seeing where I am easier and probably helped catch the counting error I made. Bah.

Was just reminded that this week is going to be a rough one - one year ago starting tomorrow (today?) was the week we lost the kids' maternal grandmother. Ouch. Battening down the hatches, since her loss is still hitting [livejournal.com profile] cell23 some kinda way.
anagramofbrat: (team tatro (2012))


That is a very happy little girl with an electric purple 3DS already completely engrossed in her birthday Pokemanz.

How...? nine...? what...? when...???

They grow up so fast.
anagramofbrat: (team tatro (2012))
The meeting of the Tiny Nerdlings was accomplished today and other than one major meltdown where the bossy stubborn six year olds butted heads over how to play a game they made up about dragons in space* and about 20 minutes of "EVERYTHING IS TERRIBLE" sulking, all three kids from that point got on like they'd known each other in previous lives. Yes, all three - Kidzilla to my surprise wanted to come out to the playground with us, and she and C got on quite well. And Drew and Matt got along as well. So mission accomplished there.

After getting an appropriate level of hot and sweaty at the park (My gods, the humid today Eeeeeeuuuuggggggh) we wandered over to Flayvors of Cook farm where ice cream and visiting the cows happened.



Apparently being sniffed by a calf tickles like whoa.

C gave both Kidzilla and Beastie hugs when it was time to part ways and all three of them seem enthusiastic about meeting up again.



Aaaagh they're all so damn cute I can't stand it.

Also can I just squee over Google+'s auto-awesome feature? take a bunch of photos in sequence, or that all look reasonably similar, and G+ will either animate them or arrange them contact sheet style. This has resulted in all sorts of unexpected animated hilarity when I upload pics. Also in this case, rampant cute.



* from what I can tell; they tried to explain it to me and it was just complicated kid word salad.
anagramofbrat: (lizard happy)


Maybe a bit later I'll do the week in words, too.
anagramofbrat: (Default)
This is so weird to me. I've never in my life had a paid vacation week. Like ever. I have severe problems wrapping my head around the whole idea of "so I'm going to be about 182 miles away from work, my computer won't be on so I can't remote in... and I'm still getting paid? What is this sorcery?"

Things have been happening, like crushing, soul destroying heat not only here but pretty much the northeast US from about Michigan eastward and Virginia? northward. five days of 95+ weather, ha ha yeah no thanks. Texas come get your wack ass weather please, we don't want it. Thankfully it broke tonight; it is by comparison deliciously cool outside, and the Vineyard is not slated to get above 80F all week. Yessssss.

Today has been nuts as well, what with the Squire yard sale this morning (during which Lil'Beast tried his best to sell his sister), followed immediately by Lil'Beast's birthday party. HOW IS HE SIX. I seriously can't with how fast these kids have grown up; earlier this week I looked at one of my first albums of pictures of them from about four years ago and I mayyyyy have had a The BEHBEHZ THEY GROW UP SO FAST AAAAAGH STOP IT moment complete with tears. I blame period hormones for that one - this month's was terrible. They've been getting progressively worse; I'm wondering if this is just what I have to look forward to until this monthly stuff finally stops. But anyway. The day was hectic, but survived; we're mostly packed, and tomorrow Team Tatro West will drive out to the cape, board a huge ass ferry, and end up in Martha's Vineyard for a week at Chateau Browne, Oak Bluffs edition. I'm a bit stressed about it, but whatever, we'll be fine.

I leave y'all with a picture of Himself trying to shovel his usual square of blue frosted cake into his face all at once. Some things don't change.

anagramofbrat: (team tatro (2012))
ARBT ‏(@anagramofbrat) : Wee Beastie is grounded from anything with a screen this weekend. Dis gon be rough. #passwordsandunplugs

ARBT ‏(@anagramofbrat) : Also when I'm freaking out on Sunday because I forgot where I hid the power cable to @cell23's box, tell me it's in my altar drawer.

ARBT ‏(@anagramofbrat) : On the other hand part of me is kinda looking forward to the growls of frustrated 5 year old when he inevitably ties to be slick and fails.

ARBT ‏(@anagramofbrat) : and that part of me is probably why the world should be glad I don't do this full time. #troll #yourchildrenwell #stepmamashell #slowlygoby

ARBT ‏(@anagramofbrat) : Aw shit, earwormed myself. Fuck it. ♫ Don't you ever ask them why, if they told you you would cry, So just look at them and siiiiiiiiiiigh ♫

ARBT ‏(@anagramofbrat) : ♫ ...and say U MAD BRO? ♫ *guitar strumming*



Weird things sometimes happen when I think out loud on Twitter.

But yeah, lil'Man is on technology lockdown. (Schoolwork issues.) He isn't going to be happy this weekend. And neither are we. :/
anagramofbrat: (team tatro (2012))
If a child asks you "What's photobombing?"



LIE TO THEM.
anagramofbrat: (team tatro (2012))
I made the Boston Run* by myself this evening, as I had the flex time in my schedule and the kids needed to be picked up a day early.

I do and I don't mind the drive out. On one hand, it's a long drive and I love those. Just me, the road, whatever music I want on the radio and a lack of self-consciousness about singing along to it. I don't get too much road time anymore, and it's starting to show around the edges - I'm getting a lot of the same problems I used to have when I was first beginning to drive back, not to mention my eternal squirrelliness about left turns - I pretty much drive like Zoolander models. Part and parcel of not really driving much anymore I guess, but it bothers me that I've gotten visibly rusty at Actual Driving. But I digress. It was a chance to drive, yes. On the other hand, it's to a destination to which I only go because I have to, along a route that frankly makes me want to drink afterwards, and it is, when you come down to it, about five hours total in the car.

All that said, the end result is worth the aggravation, which is getting to hang out with my two favorite small people.

About two thirds through the trip back, we usually stop at the Wendy's off of Rt. 2 in Gardner for something vaguely snacky, either because the kids didn't get dinner before pickup or because the grownups in the car got hungry. It's just become sort of a thing now - we'll sometimes change it up and stop at Friendly's, but most times we end up here and the kids have come to expect it as our normal pit stop, to be skipped only if no one feels like eating or going potty. Tonight I had to wake them out of dead sleeps to go in and eat; their sleepy grumps over their food amused me enough to take a picture.

Photo by anagramofbrat

Of course once I looked at it, I realized I'd taken an almost identical one before. I looked it up when I got home just to prove I wasn't crazy.



Yep. Not the same booth, but pretty much the same picture, same car-weary grumpies, same kids, minus almost three years. Wow. I kinda want to take another picture of them three years from now at Wendy's. For science. Or something.

Every so often I'll get a picture of Kidzilla where she either seems older than her age, or there's some hint of what she's going to look like when she grows up, and I'll just kinda sit and look at it and just marvel at how damn quickly time flies, how fast they are growing up, and lastly, and maybe more poignantly, how long we've all been doing this. I mean, I've known them both since Kidzilla was small enough to still find her toes fascinating and possibly tasty, but that's sort of different from being an active part of their lives and doing my little bit to poke them here and there into being whatever people they end up being. I mean... this was about how big they were when [livejournal.com profile] cell23 and I became A Thing:



Needless to say they're a wee bit bigger now, but my gods, where the hell did the time go, seriously.

The other thing all this reminded me of was my own childhood and how much of it was spent in the backseat of my mom's car. I was amusing Kidzilla over her chili** by telling her tales of driving to Ohio to visit my grandmother, and just what a desolate wasteland I-80 through Pennsylvania is, and how I always knew we were getting close to Grandma's by the change in gas stations (is SOHIO still a thing?) and more relevant to my interests, the sudden appearances of Bob Evans. Oh Bob Evans. I realize it's the midwest equivalent of Friendly's and therefore probably terrible, but 5-14 year old me still has a soft spot for their chicken soup with the fat noodles. Anyway, the thing that made her eyes get all big was the idea that we'd spend all day and almost all night in the car just getting there. Certainly put 3 hours into perspective, anyway. 'Course, they spend most of the trip asleep...

Anyway. They're tucked into bed finally. It feels weird having them here on a "school night" everything about today is telling me FRIDAY and it's not. Tomorrow morning I have to get all of us up and out the door - Me and [livejournal.com profile] cell23 off to work as usual, but first I'm driving them to their Pepère's to hang for the day. But then, kid weekend, progress as usual.

Time to shower, sack out, and pray it'll be a bit warmer tomorrow morning. Least I don't have to be at work at ass forty five.



* I keep wanting to make Kessel Run jokes every time I say this. Problem is I haven't yet found a way to make River sound anywhere near as cool as the Millenium Falcon. I could say that I make it in less than 3/4ths of a tank of gas, but in the age of hybrid cars that's just not impressive. I suppose it's impressive that Teeny Weenie Blue Car of Nondescript Doom has racked up almost 160K worth of Boston runs over the past four years and change and not fallen apart yet.

** Holy crap! She's outgrown kids meals! That's a super new development. Does this mean we finally get to introduce her to the wonderful world of Beyond the Mac and Cheese option on menus???
anagramofbrat: (Default)
740 / 25500
(2.9%)
I wanted to get row five done today but lost a couple hours of beading time due to a misplaced needle and no spares, since I'd forgotten to bring them with me to cell23's parents' this afternoon. The misplaced needle turned up right before we left, in my nephew's sock. D: To his credit, he didn't freak out, just went "ow," plucked the needle from his foot, asked whose it was, and when I sheepishly admitted it was mine, sternly lectured me about how I should be more careful with my things.

Shame is being admonished by an 11 year old.

Eh, it was counterbalanced by me making casserole, feeding it to the kids, and having them declare it to me their new third favorite food. So, there's that. Of course, Kidzilla then made us both sit through The Adventures of Food Boy as her Saturday Night movie. Some day, when she is a teenager, I will PUNISH her for that. >_< And for Young Hercules in 3D. Then again maybe this is the universe paying me back for dragging my sister to see Masters of the Universe when I was about her age. That movie is amazing when you're eight years old and terrible just about anytime else.

I put on Toys as brain bleach after the kids had gone to bed. That is a strange ass movie. Very pretty, but super weird.

To bed with me, I have a bell performance and I have to be at church at ass o'clock tomorrow morning. >_<
anagramofbrat: (bee on the grape!)
I'm not sure how it came up last night while over at the Geoffroy's, but I think I was singing "Shaving Cream" to the kids in an attempt to keep Lil'Beast from singing the word "Butts" over and over during dessert. (We'd gone over to have dinner... I have Things To Say about the meatballs that invariably turn up in that house via Anna's grandfather. Mostly along the lines of PUT THEM IN MY FACE NAU KTHX.) Anyway the conversation shifted to Dr. Demento, whom the kids hadn't heard of, but I think the idea of there having been a radio show entirely dedicated to silly songs appealled mightily to them. Anyway, at some point Dave dug out the 20th and 30th anniversary Dr. Demento collections and graciously let me borrow them. Ripping them onto my iPod right now.

The downside of this is that the conversation reminded Lil'Beast of "Fish Heads" which I'd taught both kids last year. Oh, how that folly bit me in the ass. Lil'Beast proceeded to sing the chorus of it. Repeatedly. For half an hour straight. At the top of his lungs. Nothing like a five year old to ruin one of your favorites.



Okay, he didn't ruin it, but man, I think all of us were ready to kill him after a while. Quite sure the silence left in the house by us going home was more a relief than haunting, though.

Always a little boggled when I'm reminded that "Fish Heads" is almost as old as I am. Also that one of the guys went on to play one of my favorite science fiction characters about a decade or so later (Lennier from Babylon 5), not to mention played Will Robinson from Lost in Space as a kid. lolwhat small universe.
anagramofbrat: (ed)
Kidzilla and I were curled up giggling over Animaniacs clips on the iPad, one of which being "Nations of the World." We'll ignore for the moment that it's the world circa 1990 - it's still a fucking brilliant bit of geography lesson.

Here, watch it. I'll wait.



Done? Right. So the clip finishes, and Kidzilla says "But he didn't say South Africa!"

*cartoon blink*

She's absolutely right. He doesn't. DA HELL. STOP SCARING ME WITH YOUR OBSERVANT SMART KID AWESOMEPOWERS.

I'm gonna go be over here and be quietly astounded that Ms. Not Quite Eight Yet noticed that on viewing #1 and I have been SINGING this song for 22 years and failed to notice once.
anagramofbrat: (writing)
New glasses are new! And shiny! And dyeeeerrrrrgh! I'm still adjusting to them three days later. It was crazy, I put them on for the first time and WHOA NELLIE THE CLARITY IT BURNS US PRECIOUS! Which is all well and good, it was just a major adjustment. My old lenses were so scratched up and the coating was so dead that the having the new shinies on was... yeah. Whee.

The nice bit is that for the first time I have a workable sunglass type thing. The new hotnesses had a little clip on shade option so I ordered it. Sunglasses, man. I AM IMPERVIOUS TO THE EVIL DEATH RAYS OF THE DAY STAR WHILE DRIVING! Or something.

The last interesting thing about new glasses is that now that I have the new ones, all the dysfunctional patterns of behavior I'd unconsciously developed to accommodate the old busted ones are actually noticable now that I don't have to continue them. I used to hold my head at a weird angle when bending over or looking down to keep the old ones from falling off. Don't have to do that anymore, but noticed I still was last night when I was gathering up the laundry. Blerg. The other is that I hadn't noticed how close I was sitting to various computer screens or holding books and devices. Too close. It's kinda nice to be able to sit back and still see what I'm doing. Probably better for me too from an ergonomic standpoint. Plus they're cute. I'd camerawhore, but between allergies and having the Cold that Doesn't end, my nose has erupted into this special tantrum of cold sore mayhem. It's gross, and I hope it gets at least marginally presentable by Pax. But anyway. New glasses are awesome.

The weekend in general was a good one, mostly hanging with the short people doing quiet things. Lil'Beast was having a super hug and cuddle sort of weekend, which was a nice change. And Kidzilla continues to be her amusing self. I've been especially tickled by the fact that she's already developed a fantastic flounce - she now leaves the room in a hilariously indignant huff if either we tease her past a certain point or fail to behave like her interpretation of rational serious grown-ups. I always thought that was more of a teenager skill, but at seven, she's got it down and it is funny as hell.

One of the things I've been enjoying about their visits indirectly is that Kidzilla actually really likes Doctor Who and has been watching the newer series with her father on Netflix. Being the giant fanboy that he is, [livejournal.com profile] cell23 is over the moon that she's enjoying it. Yesterday we all watched "A Good Man Goes to War" and it was really fun watching Kidzilla react to the various bits of the episodes, even if a lot of the humor went over her head. (The Sontoran's line about "superior lactic fluid" still cracks me the fuck up.) But that first moment when the Doctor makes his surprise appearance on Demon's Run? She bounced in her chair and clapped her hands; it was adorable. Makes me sort of wonder if the Sarah Jane adventures are on Netflix, though awww, Elizabeth Sladen... *still sad*

In addition to the glasses I also acquired a working printer/scanner thing on Friday, and seeing as I had things to print yesterday afternoon (more on that in a bit) I got it set up. This wouldn't warrant mentioning other than it's Fisher Price My First Wireless Printer (what the hell is this wifi witchcraft? THE FUTURE) and watching the cat warily trying to ascertain what sort of intruder this thing was was unexpectedly hilarious. She'd walk up and sniff it, then it would suddenly start printing and she'd be all AAAAGH IT MOVED HOLY SHIT RUN AWAY!

Why is cat trauma so fucking funny?

Anyway, the reason to print stuff is that [livejournal.com profile] thedavin made an attempt to resurrect Drinktank, which from what I understand was a short-lived Squirekids writing workshop involving a nonzero amount of alcohol, and I decided what the hell, I'd go both to spite my socially anxious hermit tendencies and to jumpstart my writing some. Also get over that whole crippling fear of people reading my shit. It turned out to just be me, [livejournal.com profile] thedavin and [livejournal.com profile] bloodandsmoke in attendance, and none of us drank, but that said, we did join [livejournal.com profile] thedavin's family dinner (which was quite with the tasty) and had an enjoyable evening critiquing each other's work. I got some good feedback on the story intro I'd brought with me, as well as some suggestions for where the story could go afterwards. Reminds me, I need to type up the notes I'd made on both of their contributions and send them out. But anyway afterward I went home and spent some time implementing the suggestions received and starting to scribble down ideas for the next step in the story. Clearly the exercise was good for me, as [livejournal.com profile] cell23 did comment that it was nice to see me on a roll again. Anyway, we will definitely be doing it again next month. If anything, it will give me Things To Work On during my PAX downtime this weekend.

Holy shit, PAX is this weekend, eeeeeeeeeee. I don't really anticipate having all that much spending cash - when do I ever? - but the excitement of the rest of the Squirekids going is infectious and I am excited about the panels I want to attend and the list of exhibitors. I will probably spend some part of this week assembling my convention survival gear (ha). But yeah, I'm getting excited and looking forward to Friday.
anagramofbrat: (team tatro)
So I checked the forecast this morning to see if, much like yesterday, I could get away with wearing capris to work. Weather.com cheerfully informed me it was going up to some ridiculous high seventies number. What. It's March. I can't. Well, hopefully the fog'll burn off and the air will dry out some. This morning's chilly damp did nothing for the cold takin' holt in my chest and head.

But speaking of freakishly warm weather, it was just as gorgeous yesterday, so after a little arm twisting we convinced both kids that an afternoon at Groff Park was necessary. It because readily apparent that no one needed coats out there, not even with me changing down to a significantly lighter (and frankly better fitting) raincoat; they all eventually got peeled off and flung in the car. After that it was mostly just hanging out and playing with/observing the kids, which was its own degree of fun. Kidzilla is shy and reserved and prefers to play pretend games in her own head or with us rather than engage with other kids. That said, those games are pretty brilliant - yesterday she proposed all of us pretending to be Greek God(desse)s, though my interpretation of Demeter left her in slightly disapproving giggle fits, seeing as I extrapolated Demeter's dominion over grain to being the Lady of the Breakfast Cereal and kept demanding offerings of oatmeal, Honey Nut Cheerios and Frosted Mini-wheats. Come on, how often do you get to run around a playground yelling "I AM THE LADY OF RAISIN BRAN?" It's fun, try it.

Lil'Beast on the other hand, is a charming, sociable trip. He will play pretty much with anyone (especially little girls his size and bigger - we caught him chatting up eight year old girls), but does get rather frustrated and tantrumy if they don't play whatever game he's on "correctly." That is, according to him. Other than that, the other thing I noticed is he's pretty fearless in terms of tackling playground equipment - he was climbing around on some of the higher equipment in a fashion that had both @cell23 and I having mild heart attacks, but didn't phase him any. (Kidzilla, by contrast, in the last couple of years has developed a touch of acrophobia and in general tends to approach new challenges with trepidation.)

I don't know, these kids constantly surprise me. It's fun watching them figure out how the world works, even if sometimes prompting them on how to do it properly and sometimes independently has challenges of its own. Mostly, I'm just constantly boggled at how big they're getting. It seems like they were infants yesterday, and suddenly they've become small people with their own personalities and opinions and challenges, and I am constantly all "wait, when did that happen?" and kind of terrified that I'll blink and suddenly Kidzilla'll be graduating with her medical degree and Lil'Beast'll be, well, not so little, but probably still something of a charming beast. (Insert quip about apples and trees and how his dad inspires the same amount of loving need to whap in the head with a rolled up newspaper.) Honestly I'm glad I get to come along for the ride, and I can't wait to see what sort of grown-ups these two make. Well, okay, I can wait. It's gonna be a sad day when they're both too big to pick up, flip upside down and tickle.

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