Assorted Weekend-ish Updates

DUMPLING UPDATE: Rey stole a dumpling! CAR UPDATE: The other driver has been found at fault for unsafe lane changing! Jason's car is toast, but they're giving us way more for it than we ever could've gotten in a trade in! We're even getting our deductible back! This is all very good news! Especially because he was putting off like $3,000 worth of repairs and had been ignoring the Check Engine light for months! Let this be a questionable lesson to us all! The bad news is that my husband now gets to shop for a new car and he is never more annoying to me than when he's shopping for a new car. It will take him months and he will test drive every car on earth. He will look at CarMax listing the way normal people look at Tinder. DUMPLING UPDATE II: Finn stole the dumpling! HAIRZ UPDATE: The only person in the world who is allowed to trim Ike's hair now is my hairstylist. Which sounds like it should be a pain, but she doesn't charge me much and swears Ike is always her best-behaved client of the day. Also, despite the holes in his pants knees... Read more →


Green Thumbs

We spent all winter mapping out grand plans for our yard and gardens. We've now spent most of spring waiting for the weather to cooperate and let us actually plant some damn things. If it would just stop SNOWING, at least, or plummeting down to near-freezing temperatures every night. That would be a nice start. On Saturday we had a rare burst of summer-like warmth and sun, and so we opened all the windows, dug out evertbody's shorts and t-shirts, then joined approximately 56,231,000 other Vitamin-D starved people buying ALL THE GREEN AND FLOWERY THINGS at the local Home Depot. The Adventures of Zah In the Enchanted Forest Minivan The kids all whined horrifically the entire time about the heat and the sun and the sweat and the my baaaaack hurts my leggggggs hurt I am too pale and video-game soft for such torrrrrrture. So once we got home and got everything unloaded and watered and debated ideal shrubbery placement all that, it was on the late side so we planned to wake up early on Sunday and get planting. Of course, by the time we got up it was grey and nasty and cold all over again. And then... Read more →


At Least It Wasn't Me, For Once

Hey, how was your week? Ours was POSITIVELY SMASHING. He's fine, Jason's fine, everybody is fine. His car... ...not so very much fine. Jason was driving home from work in a right-turn only lane when a car abruptly decided to pull out of the super-backed-up center lane without looking. Horn, brakes, screech, crash. His car suffered the most damage AND since no witness stuck around, he's automatically at fault for rear-ending the other driver. Which is fantastic! We're also assuming his car is a complete loss (we got it used and it's just not worth that much anymore), which is awesome because it was completely paid off and who doesn't miss car payments? WHO, I ASK YOU? RIP sexy Date Night Car. It's gonna be all beat-up minivan hotness around here for awhile. Read more →


Pennywise and Poundfoolish

My children, historically speaking (and spoken with all the love and genuine affection in the world), are giant chickens. They've bailed on Disney movies. They run from TV commercials with dramatic music. The mere presence of my Walking Dead comic compendiums on our bookshelf continues to upset them to this day, and they've never even peeked at the pages inside. Every movie or TV show this side of Nick Jr. is met with the same running commentary: Is it scary? Who's the bad guy? Does anyone die? Is there a monster? Who is that? Does something bad happen? You have to tell me before something bad happens, okay? Some of this is entirely our fault, of course, We've made a few bad calls along the way (most notably Guardians of the Galaxy, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, That One Scene In Force Awakens You Know The One I'm Talking About, etc.) and they don't necessarily trust our assurances that no, really, this movie isn't scary, it's just exciting. But still. Guys. It's Coco! It's Pixar! The only people here who will be sobbing, emotionally traumatized messes by the end will be the adults AND WE ALL KNOW IT.... Read more →


Chef Ezra's Shu Mai (aka Reasons To Have Children #159,045,730)

I am in the work weeds right now, the entirely predictable result of daring to take TWO WHOLE DAYS off and then spending the rest of the week ping-ponging around 17 different deadlines in a panic while completing exactly zero of them. So you know what that means, blobs? Time to post a recipe that maybe like three people asked for on social media last week and pretend like OH MY GOD SOOOOOO MANY PEOPLE ARE BEGGING FOR THIS RECIPE I MUST INDULGE THE WILL OF THE MANY, MANY PEOPLE. (But seriously, it's a good recipe. Teach it to your children well and let them make you dinner.) Chef Zah's Shu Mai (Steamed Pork, Shrimp & Mushroom Dumplings) (Adapted from dumplings we made at the Baltimore Chef Shop, with a few tweaks courtesy of Ezra) Ingredients: ¾ lbs. ground pork ¼ lb. shelled raw shrimp 1/2 cup fresh mushrooms (we use Shiitake, stems removed) 4 scallions 4 sprigs cilantro 1 small chunk of fresh ginger 1 ½ tsp. fish sauce 1 ½ tsp. salt 1 ½ tsp. cornstarch 1 large egg 2 tsp. toasted sesame oil Wonton wrappers Napa cabbage leaves (or parchment paper) Soy sauce (optional) Instructions: MISE EN... Read more →


Wednesdays are the New Mondays

It's hard to believe our spring break was cut drastically short this year after too many snow days, as every one of my children practically leapt out of bed this morning, thrilled at the prospect of school and getting fuck away from each other. It's been five days of a little too much togetherness, apparently. We didn't travel but instead filled the days with bowling, roller rinks, arcades and too many carbs. Oh! And Ezra got a new hairstyle and wanted me to share it with my "blob readers." Here's lookin' at you, blobs! He also finally, FINALLY lost that super-stubborn loose tooth, and had some demands for the Tooth Fairy. (He did not get 20 dollars, as we all know the Tooth Fairy is a punk-ass bitch around these parts.) Other exciting things that happened: We painted the master bedroom and bought a bedspread online that doesn't match anything like I thought it would, Poppy caught a squirrel and left its wheezing, flinching not-dead-yet carcass on the deck for me to find, and last night I had a dream about eating a fish that suddenly sprang to life mid-meal and flopped off the table and proceeded to bite my... Read more →


Better Now

I've been procrastinating on a Brain Update (among many, many other things, thanks for that lovely bit of self-sabotage, anxiety, you bitch), but hey, here goes nothing. The medication is definitely helping, although it also makes me: 1) Throw up 2) Gain weight (HOW CAN BOTH OF THOSE THINGS HAPPEN WHAT IS HAPPENING) 3) Ask you to repeat everything you say, a bit louder this time, so I can hear you better over the goddamn ringing in my goddamn ears. Antidepressants are weird. I don't particularly enjoy the side effects, obviously, but when I think back a few months, to the unmedicated alternative...well. I'll just buy some bigger pants and drink some ginger tea. Hey, it's like being pregnant! Only without the baby part, or the urge to clean things. Ugh, this house. Since I wasn't exactly live-blogging the worst of it, I'll just say, in the understatement of the decade, that things were not very good. Things were very, very bad. Everything else I've tried to type here instead sounds super dark and would probably scare my mother too much, so I'll just leave it at that. Please don't let things get that bad, dear people. It's hard to... Read more →


Kung Fu Ezra

Ezra and his magic glasses attended his first for-real, serious cooking class. It was everything he dreamed of and more. It was taught by a for-real, serious chef, who complimented his knife skills as "perfect." It took place in a for-real, serious chef's kitchen, stocked to the rafters with every spice and kitchen tool imaginable. He was allowed to explore and touch and taste whatever he wanted. He chose the Dim Sum class because it sounded the "most hardest." (Also because of Kung Fu Panda, I'm pretty sure.) We made a variety of dumplings and spring rolls, with different fillings and folding/rolling styles. He and I were tasked with making the shrimp dumpling filling for the class, and he admirably did almost all the chopping and measuring and even dug into peeling and de-veining the shrimp, which neither of us had ever done before. (He did ask me what the black stuff was and I told him that it was shrimp poop, which embarrassed him. "You didn't really need to say that," he told me, but then carried on bravely with his de-pooping duties.) (Turns out I don't have an actual shellfish allergy after all, but more of a "sensitivity."... Read more →