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November 2013

Two things! First, this happened: I decided Ike's Doc Brown costume might be a little too high maintenance to send into preschool ("Dear Teachers, Please put band-aids on his forehead and use the attached teasing comb on his hair. I would like to see at least three inches of volume in all directions."), so this morning I raided the hand-me-down costume box and dug out our trusty Old Navy Monkey suit. Despite Serious Ike's Serious Face, he actually really likes the costume and refused to take it off once we got home — I believe his expression in these pictures is directed more at the whole "Halloween Parade" business, which was little more than a cluster of costumed toddlers being led around the parking lot by a rope, while three times as many adults shuffled behind them with cameras and phones and a lot of overzealous waving. For the record, no, the "is that a banana in your pocket" joke does NOT ever get old. Okay, maybe a little. For compare/contrast purposes, here's Noah the Old Navy Monkey and Ezra the Old Navy Monkey. Funny how Noah is the only kid I could ever document SMILING in the monkey suit,... Read more →

Thank you, thank you for all your comments, suggestions and general nap-madness commiseration yesterday. I ended up going with an improvised Option 4, which consisted of: 1) Letting Ike fall asleep in car, as expected, around 3:00 p.m. 2) Transferring him to the crib once we got home. 4) Stomping LOUDLY outside his door around 5:00 p.m. 5) Creeping into his room shortly after and making some sneaky background noise: sliding a laundry basket around, opening and closing the closet doors, stacking books back on a shelf. 6) Creeping back out the instant his head lifted off the mattress like a Ninja Poltergeist Housekeeper. 7) Heading downstairs to start dinner. 8) Wait for it... 9) Wait for it... 10) Oh look! Ike woke up! "All on his own," too! WINK WINK NUDGE NUDGE. So it wasn't a very long nap (by his standards), but by changing up the waking process I sucessfully avoided the Grouchy Grouch Asshole Toddler From Hellpants mood. He was smiling when I retrieved him and only slightly clingy and whiny, and even that disappeared after a couple minutes of Transitional Cuddling. (And you will never hear me complain about Transitional Cuddling. GIMME ALL UR CUDDLES GIANT... Read more →

(What Would The Internet Do?) So I write that advice column, right? And I love it and the questions I get asked never fail to challenge me and/or sock me right in the feels. But it's funny because the questions tend to come in topic-waves — suddenly and inexplicably, everybody's asking stuff about cloth diapers. Then I get a run of mother-in-law problems. Then a bunch of special needs parenting questions roll in. Currently, we seem to be elbow-deep in toddler food-related issues (i.e. the not eating of it, usually) and naps. Oh my God, NAPS. Everybody is asking about naps because everybody's babies have all decided to stop taking naps. It's a worldwide epidemic/uprising out there right now. Meanwhile, I'm wondering who the hell is going to answer MY nap-related question, because da fuq if I know what I'm doing right now either. About a month ago, we changed Ike's school schedule — for a variety of reasons, mostly because we were concerned about his speech development. He had a satisfactory number of individual words, but wasn't really combining them and he was really hard to understand. He was also starting to toe walk and get overly picky about... Read more →

So Ike's costume = A HIT. We attended the school Halloween parties on Friday night and almost everybody "got" who he was. (And thus, me = smug as hell; drunk with power. And seriously considering buying a red puffer vest for myself, since Jason claims he CAN'T dress up as Marty McFly without shaving his beard and he won't shave his beard just for trick-or-treating because COMMITMENT TO SPARKLE MOTION. HE DOES NOT HAVE IT.) I managed to coax some pretty impressive volume out of Ike's hair, but I actually think the band-aids are what pushed him solidly out of generic mad scientist territory and into the " that...omg" realm of pop culture recognition. Which is good, because this morning, as we were leaving for school, he decided to attempt walking down our front steps outside all by himself. He managed to navigate exactly one step before falling face-first and eating it on the pavement, while I stood there slackjawed behind him, wondering why I thought there could've been any other possible ending to that scenario. So NOW he actually has a huge red lump on his forehead that actually requires a band-aid. He's method! Who knew. (After naptime I'm... Read more →

Okay, so...Halloween spoiler alert? I was planning to wait to post photos but the last piece of Ike's costume arrived today and I'm now way overly excited about it. And honestly, what the hell else have I got going on in my life to talk about? Fun with laundry piles? Places I Was Late To This Week and/or Times I Got Lost? Or Why As An American Citizen I Demand A Better Cordless Vacuum Cleaner To Deal With My Floor Crumb Problem? Or maybe I DID wait to post these photos and you're actually reading this... the future. Things are heavy here, man. We're gonna need more gigawatts. At least 1.21 of them. And watch out for the Libyans. *** GEDDIT YET? Eh, who needs you. I'm amused and that's all that matters. EVERYTHING YOU NEED FOR A LAST-MINUTE TODDLER DOC BROWN FROM BACK TO THE FUTURE (or mad scientist/Young Frankenstein/Dr. Horrible/whatever else he'll probably get mistaken for) COSTUME: Toddler Lab Coat, Size 2/3 Adjustable Welding Goggles Band-aids on forehead A collared shirt (technically should be a Hawaiian print, but I didn't have one the hand-me-down box and bleeeeehhhhhdidn'tcareenough to spend money on one) Pens and nerd junk in... Read more →

I seem to be hopelessly and endlessly trapped in a loop of OMG SO BUSY AND YET ACCOMPLISHING NOTHING (with bonus excessive adverbs). I feel like I should have a Story of Substance & Worth Telling for you by now, but instead it's been nothing but work! More work! Laundry! No, more laundry than that! Sticky breakfast dishes growing ever stickier! We're out of milk/eggs/cereal! Time to go get that kid! And now the other one! Soccer! Appointments! Conferences! Phone calls and more work and oh great, the cat just decided to vomit up three days' worth of food up and down the upstairs hallway. And WTF, we're out of milk again. In other words, here are some pictures from my phone. Ass, thy name is Half. More brotherly bonding with screens. And no, Noah is not really wearing glasses — they're part of his Harry Potter costume. That he picked out. Himself. Willingly and unprompted. He likes wearing the glasses around because "sometimes different is fun." *falls over dead* Speaking of Halloween, I've opted to skip the hand-me-down costumes for Ike and put together a costume that is 100% based on That Hair. I can't wait to baffle and... Read more →

Attack of the Shoegoblins

Quite honestly, there is NOTHING that shoots my parental cool level down faster — from cucumber to completely non-existent — than watching one of my children try to find something. Wait, that needs clarification: Watching one of my children try to find something that I've asked them to find. If the missing object in question is a specific 5-pronged grey LEGO piece — no, that's light grey, I need dark grey — my children will search diligently and thoroughly until the piece is found, like good little archaeologists of modern-day pointlessness. (Ask me about the great search for "Lord Garmadon's hands," by the way. Hands. LEGO hands. Purple ones. Was like searching for a specific grain of kitty litter in a sea of...slightly bigger grains of kitty litter.) If the missing object is like, their shoes or backpack or something, on the other hand... MISSION IMPOSSIBLE. ALL IS LOST. BETTER WANDER AROUND PRETENDING WALL CORNERS ARE INFLATABLE BOUNCEY SURFACES FOR AWHILE INSTEAD. (Seriously, if I ever had some kind of medical emergency and needed one my children to dial 911, my only hope of survival would be to keep a phone duct-taped to their faces at all times, and then... Read more →

This one, for some reason. This one is getting me. How is he five? How is he so great, so lovely, so fragile, gentle and small and yet bursting with a personality that's easily 10 times his size? This one, I have no words for. Except for these: I love you. We love you. We're so lucky to have you. Happy birthday, funny boy. (Music: One Foot Boy by Mika) Read more →

My in-laws came to visit this weekend in honor of Noah's and Ezra's collective Neverending Birthday Season, and on Friday night my mother-in-law asked Jason and I if we wanted to them babysit so we could go o- Amy & Jason: SORRY CAN'T HEAR YOU WE'RE ALREADY IN THE CAR BYE Okay, so we took the time to make a dinner reservation and buy tickets for an 8 pm showtime of Gravity. I also spent a couple minutes de-diaper-bagging one of my handbags. I dumped out diapers and wipes and spare outfits, the extra Take n' Toss cup that might have been clean but who are we kidding here, a bib and some granola bars and bug spray and wadded up tissues. I added a powder compact and a lip gloss and high tailed it out of there, leaving behind a magnificant pile of child-related crap on my kitchen counter. At dinner, I went to retrieve the compact and discovered that I'd missed a few things: Clockwise, from top left: 1) Elmo figurine 2) Isle of Sodor refugee James 3) Naughty cop/dominatrix éclair from Wreck-It Ralph 4) Two (2) goddamn Lightning McQueens (from our collection of fourteen goddamn dozen) 5)... Read more →

I took Noah to a toy store this week — he'd accumulated a pretty decent amount of birthday cash and gift cards from generous friends and family, and was naturally determined to blow it all on hats LEGOs. We were at that store for a long, long time, as Noah carefully considered his options and worked out the price tag math. (There was also a sale going on, which mostly revealed my incompetence at explaining math concepts like "buy one get one 40% off" to a second grader.) He decided to buy a Legends of Chima set — yet another giant 4,000-piece ship-type thing that will take him two days to build and 40 seconds to fall apart and morph into something else — and a small set of LEGO Friends. For those of you not living with wall-to-wall LEGO carpeting, "LEGO Friends " is the newish line designed to bring girls back to the brand. The minifigures are all girls, and shaped more like tween-y Polly Pockets than the boxy traditional LEGO people. And instead of shit like NINJA SWAMP BATTLE COPTERS the sets are more like EMMA'S CUPCAKE BAKERY & PUPPY HOSPITAL. But you know, they are very... Read more →