Sunday, December 23, 2012

My Best Boy

Nope. It's simply not possible that this sweet stocking-stuffer was born five whole years ago. Somehow, he went from this adorable little munchkin:

To this big boy -- older now, in fact, than his sister was in the previous picture!

He's shown here with one of his birthday presents -- a toy 4x4 that you put together yourself with the toy drill/screwdriver/ratchet.

Okay, it's not really a drill. But it is pretty nifty. It's battery-powered, of course, but it has a standard direction-changing switch, and it came with three tips -- flat screwdriver, Phillips screwdriver, and a hex bolt ratchet. (I need to see if there are other toys you can buy that work with it, because the flat-head screwdriver wasn't needed at all for this set.) It took Alex a little while to get the hang of changing out the tips and figuring out which way to flip the direction switch, but he got it eventually.

There were a fair number of steps in the car assembly process.

First, you use the bolt/lugnut ratchet to put on the wheels. Then you switch to the Phillips head screwdriver to put the seats onto the chassis.

Then you put the main body on, locking it down with the spare tire in the back and the grill in the front.

Then you put on the hardtop, and finally, you're ready to ride! Alex decided the back of the car would be a good place to store the drill tips. Good thinking, Alex!

(And yeah, the directions do recommend putting the wheels on last, and we did actually did do it that way. My confession is that, in fact, I took these pictures while Alex was disassembling the car, in which process he left the wheels to the end.)

I admit that I was worried there were too many steps or that the use of the tool would be too complicated for him. But as I said, he caught on to the drill pretty quickly, and he figured out the vehicle assembly even faster. I helped him put it together the first time, after which he disassembled it entirely by himself, then put it back together with only one or two verbal hints from me (and help with one screw where the plastic threading is a little too tight for the tool's little motor).

And then, since Penny was watching a movie by this point and complaining about the noise, he took it into the playroom, where he completely disassembled it and reassembled it entirely without help.

And then did it again about half an hour later.

I don't know how much use he'll get out of this toy, especially once he gets his other birthday and Christmas presents, but it certainly seems to be a hit for today.

Happy birthday to my best boy.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Thus Begins

Haven't posted all week, have I?

That's 'cause I got sick and stayed home for a few days, and there wasn't much to talk about, really, except, you know, sick-people things, and that's not often terribly interesting. The short form: I was really, really positive it was strep, but it wasn't.

But when I got home from work today, I started the weekend. And -- you might ask -- how did I start the weekend, that prompts a late-in-the-day blog post?

Well, first I started it by turning on the house Christmas lights:

Then I opened a package that contained a new pair of shoes (the last of the things I'd ordered with my birthday money):

Then I inflicted a minor injury on myself:

It's a blood blister. Or, more precisely, a pair of them. On my pinky finger. Yes, it hurts quite a bit. I got it while putting up Penny's new curtains:

And now the boys who live across the street won't be able to watch her changing clothes any more.

And thus begins my weekend. Huzzah!

Friday, December 7, 2012

On Trees and Cheese

"Mom! I drew you a picture!"

"That's awesome, sweetie, thank you! Oh, what a really nice Christmas tree!"

"Yeah! I drew it with marker!"

"I see that. ...What's this on top?"

"It's a cheese! With a big bite out of it!"

"Um. Okay. Um. Why is there a cheese with a bite out of it on top of my Christmas tree?"

"Because I can't draw a star!"

Well, you can't argue with that.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Creepy and Cold (But In a Good Way)

I spent Thursday and Friday working from home in the hopes that Saint Nicholas-- wait, wrong hope. In the hopes that I'd get my heater/furnace replaced. But the company doing the repair had to reschedule me -- one repair scheduled before mine was running longer than expected, and they bumped up another one for a house that had no heating at all, not even emergency heat.

I suppose I can accept that. They're scheduled this time to come out tomorrow, so I probably will not be blogging.

Aside from that, I had a pretty busy weekend. I took a long lunch on Friday and went shopping, and knocked out almost all the rest of my Christmas shopping (I just have to order cards and my dad's annual calendar, and then take Penny shopping for a couple of her friends). I got some editing done, and made some Christmas gifts for the kids' teachers (except I need the kids to sign them before they're officially done, but I'll get them to do that tonight, and then I can wrap them and that's all done). I spent most of Saturday morning and a couple of hours Sunday night working on a book trailer for He Loves Me For My Brainsss, which is coming out in about a month.

Saturday afternoon, I went to KT and Kevin's for their Creepy Christmas Party. KT, being the music freak that she is, hired Jonah Knight to come and perform for her (I think it was part of a kickstarter, or some similar crowdfunded effort). I was expecting the kids present to be a problem, but aside from some in-and-out at the beginning, they were remarkably well-behaved. And the music was great, of course. I have a new favorite novelty Christmas song ("Bacon and Beer", which, alas, is not actually available for sale) and I didn't bring any cash with me to KT's party, but I will be sure to have some on hand at MarsCon. (And during the break between his two sets, Jonah agreed to let me use his zombie song as background music for my book trailer, whoo!) After Jonah finished singing, we had a Geeky Gift Exchange, in which the ring I brought was well-liked, and Greg kindly rescued me from the wacky wig I first opened so that I could go home with a fairly impressive Nerf gun. After that, all the ladies posed on the bed with Jonah (there was apparently a joke with his wife about groupies), and then we all went out to a Chinese buffet for dinner. Mm, Chinese buffet.

Pictures, you say? Why, yes, I do have pictures!

Sunday morning, I ran a bunch of errands, and then after lunch, I drove up to W&M campus to meet Elizabeth for a craft show. I'd forgotten about it being Grand Illumination night -- all of CW and campus were already swarming. It was insane. But I found a parking space over at Zable Stadium and walked from there (more or less in the break between the Old and New campuses) up to the Campus Center, where the craft show was being held. (Holy CRAP, am I out of shape... It's hard to believe that I once did that walk, and longer ones, several times a day, at top speed.)

The craft show was nice, though; I picked up a new necklace, and also stumbled across the most amazing handmade chocolate ever. It's made with, they swear, absolutely no sweeteners. At all. No sugar, no honey, no agave, no artificial sweeteners. Nothing. Just cocoa and salt. So the resulting chocolate is low in both calories and carbs. And unlike artificially sweetened chocolate, which tastes kind of like chocolate-scented wax, this stuff. Is. Amazing. And best of all: they have a physical store right here in Williamsburg. I bought some coffee spoons at the show -- I figure I'll split them between the kids' stockings (only instead of coffee, I'll give them warm milk to make chocolate milk with). Each coffee spoon is only about a third of a gram of carbs, which means Penny can pig out on all six of hers in one day if she wants!

I ended the day with some editing and some slouching about watching television, though I ended up staying up a good hour and a half later than I'd intended trying to finish the book trailer and get it uploaded.

All in all: an excellent weekend!

This coming weekend promises to be excessively busy, but it should all be loads of fun, so I'm looking forward to it.