Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Dinner Deals and Empathy

As previously mentioned, I'm having the dining room and kitchen floor repaired soon. Which means I've moved all my stuff out of the dining room, and a lot of stuff out of the kitchen, so the contractor can get to the floor. "Stuff" in this case includes the dining room table and all the chairs.

So we're eating in the living room, which for the kids is the biggest treat ever.

Except that the number of meals I can make that we can eat in the living room without making an enormous mess is pretty limited. So I told them last night that we'd have some occasional fast food.

Penny wanted Chick-fil-A. Alex wanted Burger King. (Mind you, both of them were voting based on which playground they favored rather than the food they wanted.)

There was no compromise, so eventually I told them to put a sock in it, and we went to the McDonald's drive-through and brought our dinner home. I asked Penny to please not get french fries, since her blood sugar has been wobbly lately, and as a consolation, I promised to heat up some brussels sprouts for her when we got home.




You heard that correctly. My daughter is willing to accept brussels sprouts as a fair trade for french fries.

I'm pretty sure it's one of the signs of the Apocalypse.

Anyway, we got home and I started divvying up burgers and sides and microwave-steaming some brussels sprouts, and they said, "Can we watch a movie while we eat? Pleeeeeeeeease?"

I intensely dislike the TV-while-eating phenomenon (largely because I am, myself, highly susceptible to distraction) but... no dining room table anyway. Might as well. "Okay, fine. What are we watching?"

Alex picked out Despicable Me, but Penny whined. Apparently, she doesn't like the minions. I am flabbergasted and sad; the minions are awesome. But it's not like I can force her to like them. Alex then picked out Monsters Inc.

Yeah, that's good. I haven't seen it in a while. So we popped it in and settled down to our dinner. The kids enjoyed it; they laughed riotously and asked me to rewind a scene or two so they could watch again. Then we got to the almost-end, where Sully has to take Boo home and then leave her... forever.

Alex lost it. He crawled into my lap and started sobbing his heart out.

I hugged him tight and promised him that it would be okay, reminded him that at the end, Sully gets to see Boo again, and he calmed down to watch again. But he snuggled up against me instead of returning to his previous seat on the ottoman, and failed to laugh at the wacky antics until they revealed Boo's mostly-repaired door.

I admit I was a little surprised; I wasn't sure, at 5, that he actually understood what was going on, or possessed enough empathy to be sad for others' partings. But apparently I was wrong.

Huhn. We may be in for a slightly rough period, if he's going to be that sensitive to movie mawkishness.

Well, at least he likes the minions.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Checking In

So, life. Life continues apace.

The kids continue much as reported in the previous update. Penny's birthday is two weeks from today and she's been doing a countdown for over a week. I don't have any really big exciting presents for her, so I hope she's not too disappointed. Both of them have been taking advantage of summer to stay up late -- I don't make Alex go to bed until after 8:30, and Penny's been staying up until 10. I expect there to be much wailing and gnashing of teeth when I make them dial it back for school, even if it's only going to be by half an hour.

Most of my energy has been going to the house lately, quite honestly. The front porch has been repaired, and the fix on the dining room floor was supposed to start today, so I scrambled to get the painting done over the weekend... and two hours after we finished, my contractor emailed to tell me another job had been postponed due to weather and so he wouldn't be able to start my floor until next week. The forecast for this week is fairly reasonable, though, so hopefully that won't push out too much further.

I'm pretty happy with my paint, though! John and Sam came over to help me, for which I am eternally grateful. (It was supposed to be John and Dad, but earlier in the week Dad was helping John repair a broken gutter and his cheap-ass ladder crumpled under him and he fell. He got away with only a broken finger, but it sounded pretty harrowing -- Dad's brains got scrambled enough by the fall that he still doesn't remember anything between standing on the ladder and being in the emergency room a couple of hours later.) Anyway, here's some crappy cell phone pictures of the new paint:

Just those two walls are blue in the dining room; everything else is creamy white, about half a shade lighter than what was in there before. And a lot of the blue will be covered up when I can put the hutch back in the room and hang my pictures back up, so it won't look quite so overwhelming then. I'm VERY pleased with the yellow accent wall in the kitchen, though. I've got a picture to hang on it that's going to make it just sing.

I'm pondering alternate placement of my furniture and other less-intense home improvement projects (e.g., new fixtures, wall stickers) for when this is all done.

It's been just over a year since Matt moved out, so I called my lawyer last week and he's prepping the documents so we can get the ball rolling on the divorce. Not much to say there, really; it feels like a non-event, a bureaucratic ribbon on a package already purchased.

I'm editing a lot and writing a little; check the sidebar for my latest story release. Human Aspect is a little more wide-audience than most of my other stuff, being a coming-of-age fantasy story. And KT/Lynn and I are buffing up the shorts we've been writing all year so we can get them assembled into a collection and submit it. I'm really excited about that one -- it's all over the map, and was oodles of fun to do.

And I'm still crocheting, though I haven't accomplished much in the last month, partly because I've lost time to rearranging stuff and furniture to clear the dining room and kitchen for the repair/renovation, and partly because my initial idea for Yog-Sothoth turned out to be way harder to do than I anticipated, so I had to scrap it and start over:

And that's about it at the moment. I keep telling myself that I should go back to writing here every day, just so I don't lose track of the minutiae, the passing thoughts and the anecdotes. But it may be a while before I feel settled enough to make myself get back into that habit.