Happy Birthday, Jacob!

Jacob is 9. Holy crap. Where did the time go? Seems like he was just this guy:

baby jacob

And now he’s this guy:
happy birthday!
In his last year of single digits. Crazy.

Jacob was super excited to get the entire Diary of a Wimpy Kid series from Grandma and Grandpa.
jacob birthday

Nicholas, however, was quite upset to learn that square box was not Wii Party. Because he totally expected to get gifts on someone else’s birthday.
sad face nico

But later on he made a really cute card for Jacob. And everything was right in the world.
happy birthday disco cat
It’s hard to see, but that is our cat Gamer and he’s saying “lol.”

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    Welcome to the Age of Over Sharing

    Lord help us. The kids have blogs.

    A while back I read an interesting article about how we’re the last generation of parents who grew up without the Internet.

    The premise was this: When it comes to our kids and the Internet, iPads, social media, smart phones, etc, etc, etc, we have no idea what we’re doing. Having grown up in the pre-digital age, we don’t get it. We don’t understand why our kids think they will die without the latest-greatest thing (whatever that is—we don’t know; we’re hopelessly lost). We don’t know where or how to set limits and restrictions. We don’t know what impact exposure (or overexposure) to technology will have on our kids, and we won’t know for years. We don’t know if we’re raising a generation of self-absorbed, narcissistic assholes. Or whether all this technology could be a good thing. Because we’re essentially cluelessly, collectively, fumbling thru it. Making stuff up as we go along.

    I’d say that assessment is spot on. We are fumbling, second guessing, hoping, praying and making all sorts of things up as we go along…

    Just like every generation of parents before us. Change “technology” and “Internet” to “MTV” or “TV” or any other noun representing a scientific advance or cultural shift. Parents have worried about whether they’re screwing up their kids since, well, always. Sure, things are different for modern-day parents, but we don’t have a monopoly on anything. Wondering whether you’re screwing up your kids is sort of the universal truth of parenting.

    And some of us are. Some of us have to be because there always have been (and always will be) screwed-up assholes in the world.

    When it comes to Jacob and Nicholas, I do a lot of this: “Uhhhhh…Ummmm…” Because, yeah, I don’t know. And they seriously ask for some new game or ap or something every. single. day. Technology is evolving so fast, I wonder all the time whether I’m denying them the opportunity to learn a skill that could prove a competitive advantage in the future.

    So when Nicholas made this sweet “blog post” in Microsoft Word and asked me to make him a blog, I said yes.

    nicholas' blog

    The “blog post” Nicholas made in Word. Notice how he knows how to place graphics. According to a screener questionnaire I took when submitting a resume, this qualifies him as an “advanced user” of Microsoft Word. ha ha

    So I made Nicholas a blog. He was unbelievably, jumping-up-and-down excited about it. Not to be outdone by his younger brother, Jacob needed one too.

    My 6 year old and 8 year old have blogs.

    I don’t know if this was a good move. Perhaps they will explore it with their therapists one day. But it’s hard to say “no” to something that gets them that excited about writing. As reluctant as I am to have them enter this brave new world where we are “friends” with people we don’t know and “likes” are a measure of self worth, I suppose it’s inevitable.

    I just hope that, as they barrel forward, they understand that it’s not the people who “like” you that matter. It’s the people who love you that do. And those are many.

     

       

      A midcentury dresser makeover

      Yea! to finally crossing some things off my to-do list. I bought this dresser at a thrift shop for $25…way back in September. It’s no lie when I say I have a million unfinished projects.

      It was pretty beat up and had water damage on the sides, but big, solid, 25 bucks and it fit in the back of my car? Done. Honda Fit is the best car ever, btw.

      midcentury dresser diy before and after

      Now, I know what you’re going to say. “Omg! Why did you paint the wood wah, wah, waaah.” For starters, the damage was extensive enough that refinishing the wood really wasn’t an option. It looks much better in the “before” pic than it really was. There is sooo much wood putty on the sides. And secondly, it’s mine.

      I do have serious, serious issues with painting wood. When someone paints good wood (especially if it’s painted white), sands it in random places and then TRIES TO SELL IT. Oh, yes. Shabby chic is still a thing here. Why will it not die! BUT if the furniture is yours, for your own personal use, that’s a different story. Paint it, decoupage it, cut it apart, whatever as long as you love it. Just don’t destroy it with a gross shabby-shite makeover, then try to sell it to me as “refurbished” or “updated” because it’s not any of those things. end rant

      So I painted it, and Jacob picked the color. It’s Pantone Zinnia, this great citrus orange, in Valspar Signature semi-gloss. I must have said, “Are you sure?” 20 times before buying the paint. I’m really happy he didn’t change his mind, because I love it. And it looks great with his blue walls.

      The lack of drawer pulls was a bit of a problem. “The cabinet in my room, how do you open it?”

      Now he has a space for his clothes, and we have more space in the garage. Just kidding. There’s a brutalist Lane dresser in it’s place now. Rest easy, wood nazis. That one won’t be getting painted.