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May 2013
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July 2013

READERS BEWARE: There' s a ridiculous amount of boring dinner/cooking-type talk ahead. Also an inordinate number of parentheticals, even for me. I tried to make it funny. I tried and I probably failed. In other words, hold onto your butts, and may God have mercy on your souls. I have to admit I really enjoy rappin' with y'all about the cooking topic — trying to keep a family happy while not losing your mind with boredom over making the same damn recipe over and over and over again, and also trying to expand kids' culinary horizons without a full-on uprising at the dinner table. I've had a modest string of successes over the past couple weeks, happily enough. (Interspersed with nights when I was like, fuck it, here's mac-and-cheese and fishsticks; Jason, just pick up some sushi on your way home, okay?) (Last night was one of those nights. Ezra asked to try some tuna sashimi. I was very impressed until he spat it out half-chewed in disgust because DAMN, THAT WAS MY TUNA SASHIMI.) (Oh, and I also completely borked up something previously tried-and-true: Smitten Kitchen's most excellent chana masala. I overdid the cayenne and had the bright idea... Read more →

A highlight from this week's email from BabyCenter: First of all, stop calling my 2-year-old a preschooler. HE'S A BABY BABY BABY NAH NAH I CAN'T HEAR YOOOO. Second of all, this "long and lean" business you're preparing me for... MY, YOU DON'T SAY. PLEASE DO GO ON. I FIND THIS SUBJECT FASCINATING. Even Ike's all, "Plz. That growth spurt business is sooo My Preschooler LAST Week." Read more →


This is just a little something I recently learned that I'd like to pass along, both on the off-chance that someone might find it useful but also because OMFHeavenlyG. Children! Can get Athlete's Foot...on their scalps. A fungal infection called tinea capitis. A type of ringworm that is not really a worm, but more like Jock Itch of the Head. You will know your child has contracted Jock Itch of the Head because of ALL THE BALD SPOTS. BALD SPOTS FROM WHERE THEIR HAIR DONE FALLS OUT IN GIANT FLAKEY CHUNKS. (Go on. Soak it in. Let the image wash over you. Mmmm. Yes. My pain is now yours, young padawan.) In summary, children are vile petri dishes of God-knows-what and you should probably just wrap them up in yellow caution tape at all times and spray them with Lysol from afar. Also, just smear a little Lotrimin on their scalp a couple times a day and switch to Nizoral for awhile. Should clear it right up. Supposedly. Apparently. I DON'T KNOW I JUST HEARD THAT FROM A GUY. Read more →

So it looks like SOMEONE inherited his mother's considerable grace and poise. I got a call from the YMCA around 3 pm — or more accurately, a call from an unknown number that I ignored until I realized the same number then called our home phone number, then called my mobile AGAIN, like ohhhhkay that probably is important enough to warrant interacting with another human being, uggghhhhh — that Ezra had taken a "bad fall" at camp. Could I come get him? Cuz. Yeah. I've developed a pretty steely solid reaction to scrapes and cuts and bruises over the years, but even I wasn't fully prepared for this one. Ezra was sitting with the non-tore-up side of his face towards me as I approached, and then when he turned to look at me it was like, BAM. THE PHAAAAANTOM OF THE OPPPPPERAAAAAAA. I gasped, because he was still actively oozing blood around his eye and lips, which was wrong and bad because now he was upset and actively oozing tears. No one could really give me a clear picture of what happened, other than he was just walking one second and then face-down on the cement the next. A counselor... Read more →

Noah's Oil

This post is sponsored by the Honest Company. Have we talked about Noah's weird skin? I feel like we haven't talked about Noah's weird skin. Okay, "weird" probably isn't the right or nicest word — the cosmetics industry would probably just prefer I label it as "sensitive" but I think that undersells the full scope of crazy-making issues we've faced with Noah's skin. Up until he started preschool, he'd regularly get eczema every winter. But it didn't bother him at all. I never once saw that child scratch or rub at the CLEARLY horribly dry, angry raised patches that would appear and scatter all over his arms and legs. I've always guessed that his SPD had something to do with it — he was really underresponsive to temperature, so many he just didn't feel...itchy sensations, either? I don't know. I do know that at some point, his body suddenly switched on and decided to START PAYING ATTENTION TO THINGS. TO ALL OF THE THINGS. And while it's really nice to have a child who can tell you that you've accidentally turned his bath to boiling and who no longer steps off the bus wearing his winter coat even though the... Read more →

Go On, Guess Which One

OPTION #1: Teach your boy children to put the toilet seat down when they are finished. Remind them and guide them, stress to them the importance of this small gesture. Because it is polite and generally expected, and because you (as the lone female in a household of So Much Penis) still deserve to consistently encounter a properly configured seat during your own visits to the bathroom. And because the habit will carry over and ensure that they will not be viewed as disgusting savages in the homes of neighbors, friends, visiting dignitaries, etc. And lastly, you as their mother will be free to take credit for working so tirelessly to raise three such nice, well-mannered young gentlemen. OPTION #2: Do absolutely none of that, and enjoy up to 20 extra minutes of uninterrupted sleep every morning, as you will be spared the CRAZY LOUD RACKET of a desperate, half-awake boy child rushing into the hallway bathroom and violently flinging up the seat with a RIDICULOUS CLANGING BANG that wakes you up EVERY GODDAMN TIME and thus signals that yep, the kids are up, the toilet seat just woke the baby too so you might as well get out of... Read more →

THUNDER! MOMMY THUNDER THUNDER I HATE THUNDER! OH THE HUMANIT... Heeeeyyywhatareyoudoing, Mom? Hey sadz. Hey girl. Hey Ezra. Glad to have you back. (Ezra and Noah are attending swim camp at the YMCA for the next two weeks, by the way. This is officially Ezra's first time at a Real Big Kid Camp, With A Real Lunch Box And Everything. Have you ever sent your child off someplace new and then spent the entire day half-expecting the phone to ring so someone can berate you for sending a woefully unprepared infant out into the world by himself, you negligent monster? And then you're kind of surprised when the phone DOESN'T ring because he's probably doing just fine, but you maybe wish it would ring, because otherwise how are you going to know if your baby was able to open his water bottle by himself? Because you bought the wrong kind of water bottle at Target — the kind with a screw top instead of a flip — and it's been bugging you all day, and does he know not to throw out the ice pack and the plastic Goldfish container? God, how could you have forgotten to prep him about... Read more →

I'd start this post out with the usual barrage of OMG and I can't believe it but frankly, if this ISN'T the face of a newly minted second grader, I don't know what is. I guess this is as good a point as any to mention a little side plot line in our lives that certainly didn't FEEL little, even though I chose not to blog about it, but: We were planning to move. We've since changed our minds. Oh my God, 10 words to sum up over SIX MONTHS of crazy offline craziness. That's so not fair. We decided over the winter to put our townhouse on the market and look around for a single family in the same general area. We set an end-of-the-school-year deadline for ourselves and completed a monstrous to-do list of painting, fixing, improving, decluttering (or decrapifying, as we usually called it), you name it. All the stupid little piddly house shit you know you need to do but...don't. (Apologies for including "you" in my procrastination process, if you are not the sort who lets stupid little piddly house shit pile up around you until you are boxed in by shit mountains.) I packed and... Read more →

Home Is Where He Isn't, Anymore

Near the end of the long (looooonnnng) (stupid rain) car ride up to Pennsylvania on Friday, we passed a billboard for my dad's cancer treatment center. The billboard immediately after it was for the apartment complex where my mom moved after he died. "Argh," I said. Trips back home are weird now. I mean, PA is not my "home" anymore, and hasn't been for 15 years now, and my parents sold my "real" childhood home a couple years before that. But now that he's gone it feels even farther removed. More different. More not the same, more never to be again. And yet despite everything feeling so different, his memory starts looming large almost as soon as we cross the state border. The Phillies stadium, where we went to all those games together. That church we went to for awhile. The other church we went to for awhile. The summer jobs he'd drop me off at, the movie theater where he and I would go see movies that were too violent for my mom. (All movies were too violent for my mom.) The restaurants we ate at, the car dealership that used to be over there and that store that... Read more →

We went up to Pennsylvania to visit family this weekend. The three-hour drive up took six hours, my hairspray exploded in our suitcase and I forgot to pack the kids' bathing suits. Somehow, I don't think they minded. Nor were they particularly concerned with following proper Slip-n-Slide safety guidelines. Then again, neither was their father. Naturally, they couldn't get enough of it. Meanwhile, I was all "LET'S GET A GROUP PHOTO OF EVERYBODY LOOKING NORMAL." Yeah. That never really happened. But this did. And this. Then this. And finally all of this. So I think it was one for the WIN column. Read more →