this thing is still about things

Category Archives: home

Well, shit, it’s June


Okay, so the biggest news that I’ve been choking on for the past month and a half is that the Mr. is finally his own boss!  I don’t even know how to convey how terrifying and exciting and overwhelming this has all been.  When I think about it, I well up with tears because of how proud I am of him, and how relieved I am that we are all a family again.  He was a partner at his previous firm but with an hour each way commute.  Obviously this means not seeing him in the morning at all and some days not seeing him until 8-9 PM.  So the kids barely saw him at all, and by the time he got home he was physically and mentally drained.  We knew this going in.  We worked this out 8 years ago (OH MY GOD 8 YEARS WTF) because it didn’t make sense for me to work financially considering the cost of daycare and the expense my 1 hour commute put on us.  So everyone sacrificed and everyone was miserable.

I have no desire to dredge up the past, but I’ve blogged very sparingly about any marital problems because there are some things I don’t want to tell the world.  Poop?  No problem.  An argument? Fuck that.  I swear we’re both stubborn as shit and never seem to change until we’ve both burned everything to the ground.  After 15 years of marriage, I think we have finally built the house of bricks instead of straw if you know what I mean.

I can’t tell which one of us is which.

So enough of that, the good news!  The Mr. now works from home!  I have even more work to do now!

Wait, no.  That last part sucks.

He left his position in April, and while we had discussed it, there was never a firm date.  So when it happened, I went into full panic mode because things needed to get done.  NOW.  I’m not going to lie, I was annoyed.  Put out, if you will.  Because we have a home office.  But the Mr. didn’t want the home office for his office.  He wanted my classroom.

My classroom.

I get tense and annoyed when I think of this.  I do.  But contrary to popular belief, I am a rational, sane adult at least half of the time.  As you can see by the AMAZING piece of artwork below, the classroom is in the quietest part of the house and is easier to close off when necessary.  We have an open floor plan house which is great because I can scream my head off in the kitchen and everyone can hear. Very convenient.  So the classroom that I took so much time and energy to set up had to be moved out, walls repaired, painted from ceiling to baseboard and then swap about 180,000 lbs. of books and furniture.

Not to scale. This is not a house for ants.

Good night, chalkboard. Good night tray.

Good night, puzzles. Wish you could stay.

And, since he was still working, I was doing the majority of it on my own.  I am moderately handy, and would be even more so if I wasn’t such a lazy asshole.  It may shock you to hear, but I was very, very bitchy.

Bitchy? Oh no….

I wasn’t exactly mad, just complainy.  Whiny.  But I take pride in my work and feel bad when it’s not up to standard but I think I did a decent job on the office.  The Mr. likes it, and while these are just work in progress pictures, I still think they look good.  Looks even better now that it has all of the shelving in and work papers all about.

Repaired, primed, painted. Ceiling, walls, trim. This office furniture we’ve had since 2003 I believe.

This window was my favorite; it’s east facing so the morning light is really pretty through the trees.

Honestly, I know this is all for the betterment of our family, and who the hell has money to pay anyone to do anything?  All we have is sweat equity.  For now at least.  I don’t have any pictures of the new classroom mostly because I didn’t paint shit and I’ve busted a hundred and eleventy holes in the wall trying to hang up a giant white board.  6 x 4 is really, really huge but we got a good deal at Office Depot.  It’s also magnetic!  And it was on sale for $75.  It’s white, it’s a board, it dry erases, and magnets stick to it.  What more could you ask for?  I did it and I was actually proud of my work for once.

By default, I am an employee, so had to do other work.  Like build a website.  Because yeah, sure, why not.  I am sure I can write all the copy for an industry that I am only slightly acquainted with. Sure.  Holy Fuck.  If we had the money I would have gladly paid someone to build us a nice website but we don’t have thousands of dollars for that.  What we do have is a few hundred dollars to use templates and then have me overhaul the whole thing for weeks until it’s presentable.  I made so many mistakes.  So many.  But the biggest mistake came from the beginning by purchasing a WordPress template from TemplateMonster and no I’m not going to link it.  FUCK THOSE RIP OFF ARTISTS OH MY FUCKING GOD.  What a bunch of patronizing little shits they have working there.  Here’s how it should have gone:

  • Pay $75 for the template we wanted.
  • Use their affiliate website to do a simple upload “one click and you’re done”.
  • Personalize website.
  • ????
  • Profit

But no, that literally was not the way it went.  First, after dicking around with it for hours, I finally get it uploaded.  And this is what it looked like compared to what it was supposed to look like:

Looks like the inside of a cataract.

Their customer service said “it looks that way because you didn’t install it right.  We can install it for you for an additional $50.”  NO I work on it for a few more hours and I discover something amazing: the file that was sent was incomplete.  How did I know it was incomplete?  Because I followed their online tutorial and there was a whole step with this file that I did not have.  So I get back with customer service.  I need this file.  “did you unzip the file?”  Yes, the file in question isn’t there.  “Are you sure?”  Yes, I have two eyes that can see things.  “Well, if you installed it correctly it wouldn’t look like that”  FUCK THIS FUCKING SHIT.

So like an asshole, I pay for them to install it because by now I knew it was a fucking scam and I just needed to get shit done.  Everything is uploaded and ready to go.  All the text, code, pictures, etc were in the template purchase price.  However, everything was still blurry like you see above.  “Oh, if you want to use the pictures you’ll need to download a program to clear them up for an extra fee”

I stayed calm.

Nah, I totally didn’t.

So long story short, don’t purchase through Template Monster.  It was one of the worst customer service experiences I’ve ever had and the only reason we paid them to install it was because they already had us by the balls.  It is intentionally done, and every person I came in contact with had a different reason why this did’t work and why that didn’t work.  It’s not better than paying thousands for a good site but it’s the best we could do for now.

I am not going to link the website here because it’s got enough personal information on it that I’m not comfortable with sharing but I do have to say I’m actually proud of the work that I put into it.  I worked the majority of the copy and found as many royalty free pictures online that I could.  I had it reviewed by a lot of different people in different fields and got some good feedback and constructive criticism which made the website even better.  So from the paint on the walls to the design of the logo to deciding if I want the buttons to be square of a rounded off square, I put a lot into this.  Ad yes, I am appreciated and that’s actually better than getting paid.

Besides, it’s not like I’m not spending all the money anyway.  And I’m glad that I have some sort of useful skill other than napping.

At this point, the office thing is done and I only have to worry about social media advertising.  Yeah, sure, no problem.  The kids are lamenting the end of their almost two month school hiatus due to my complete and total preoccupation with all things business.  Jut as an update, Robin started a new violin instructor this year and has learned more in 5 months than she had all of last year.  We found a new (more expensive!!!) school for Josh and he’s on track to learn more in two weeks that he did one on one for four months with is previous teacher.  So everyone else is doing pretty well.  As for me?

An attempt is being made.



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.


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.


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?



It’s May…?


Well, balls.  So much for keeping up with my life.  EVERYTHING happened since I last blogged.  EVERYTHING.

I have been ridiculously busy and for the most part, it’s been a good busy.  Here is a short run down:

  • Josh’s birthday
  • multiple naps
  • car accident
  • ChÜberlist update
  • presents for ME
  • new job
  • home remodel
  • quit class
  • video games
  • new website
  • old pains are new again

So. Many. Things.  I *will* update.  I know you’ve been waiting on the edge of your seat for all of my exciting updates.  Second only to watching paint dry or grass grow (they tied for first place).

Soon. Sooooooon.