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December 2013
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February 2014

(Sorry, sorry. I guess when I said I would post this "tomorrow" on Tuesday I should have added "and/or whenever we don't get a dusting of snow and inexplicable school delays and/or closings." I spent 99% of my time yesterday either asking Ike if he needed to go potty or forcibly putting him on the potty and potty potty potty potty potty someone remind me why I thought this training business was a good idea again?) Okay! After easily writing an entire novel's worth of words about cloth diapering a newborn and then cloth diapering an older baby, I feel compelled to complete the series with a post about cloth diapering a toddler. Plus a little Purchasing Retrospective, in which I tell you what was worth buying and what ended up banished or just turned out to be be kinda "meh." (Any Amazon links are affiliate; links elsewhere are just straight-up "go here and spend money because it's good stuff" links and I get zero Internet pennies from them.) THE A-LIST AKA my favorites, the best, the go-to essential stash that dictates how often I wash diapers. When this stuff's all dirty, it's laundry time. Clockwise from far left: Cloth-eez... Read more →

If I'd bothered to get out of my pyjamas this morning, I might have taken a photo of myself spiking a football to illustrate today's post, because BAM. POTTY TRAINING ACHIEVED. FOR THE THIRD AND FINAL TIME. The toddler program Ike attends promises to get everybody potty trained by age three, and for awhile I was willing to be patient and wait for the teachers to declare him "ready"...while even dreaming of the Mystical Potty Training Unicorn of Ike deciding to be "ready" all on his own. But it turns out 2.5 years of diapering is my own personal limit of patience, and once it became clear that the only thing standing in our way was Ike's own stubbornness (i.e. His Royal Inherent Ikeness), I was like, "fuck this, I am down for a battle of wills, because my will is stronger and also I am bigger than you. SIT ON THE TOILET. DO YOUR BUSINESS. LOVE ME AND DESPAIR." And in the end, that's really the secret to potty training: You have to want it more. Well, that and a lot of paper towels. And a solid couple days of singular, obsessive focus. And more paper towels. And finding... Read more →

LADIES AND GENTLEMAN OF THE JURY: This is what Ike's Hairz looked like yesterday, after a good long nap: GLORIOUS, is how Ike's Hairz looked. Truly outstanding craziness, in every possible direction. Really good work, son. And I think that about sums up the remainder of my feelings on the haircut topic. Let us never speak of it again; let us only shove all of our fingers into those curls five hundred times a day until the poor baby's like, "STAHP IT, MAH HAIRZ." In other words, AS YOU (I) WERE (WAS). *** BONUS EZRA, FOR YOUR WEEKEND ENJOYMENT: Every morning, Ezra starts with the same question. "You know what dream I had?" he asks. What follows is not really ever an accurate description of a real dream, but more of a early-morning free-form short story/tall tale rap session. Every dream gets a title and a detailed cast of characters culled from TV shows, movies or books, with storylines inspired by completely different TV shows, movies or books, and Ezra delivers it all with the most dramatic, edge-of-your-seat delivery a 5-year-old can muster. It's like crossover fan fiction for the preschool set. (The Angry Birds Dream, for example, features the... Read more →

Noah got a haircut recently — a super-short cut, "like Dad's," his request — and while the stylist efficiently and unsentimentally buzzed the majority of his hair away, she asked, "We're cutting the little one's hair today too, right?" Um. As if. Not even. And no. Now that it's winter and there's no humidty, Ike's hair has admittedly lost most of the amazing, boing-y ringlets and mostly just kinda...flips and flops and waves around. After a bath, the curls tighten up a little, but most of the time he looks like this. Blond and shaggy with two long pieces on the sides that hang down kind of straight, probably just to drive the "cut that baby's hair already" advocates crazy with the urge to snip them off and even it out. I usually just twist them a little with my fingers before pushing them back behind his ears, where they temporarily blend into the rest of his wisps. I understand that not every parent gets quite so attached to their children's hair, and lots would think it's silly and futile that I'm putting his first haircut off so long, but...his hair makes me happy. His hair makes me smile. It's... Read more →

Snowing again. Schools canceled. My belief in my snow-repelling snowpant purchasing powers officially debunked. There is at least one child screaming his head off downstairs and I don't care. I can't care. ARE YOU BLEEDING? NO? BACK TO THE HOBBIT HOLE WITH YOU. /brings coffee mug up to lips with trembling hands, eyes office door warily The weather yesterday was quite lovely, so we at least got to take the boys to a playground for one last shot of Vitamin D before we were once again trapped in our home, as the DC metro region once again screeched to an hysterical halt in the face of a quarter-inch dusting of snow. (Okay, we're probably going to end up with a lot more than that this time, but still. Let me wallow in some cantankerous hyperbole for now. The federal government shut down and my husband fed our children leftover chocolate doughnuts for breakfast.) The playground was pretty fun, at least? Ike even insisted on having a go on the big kid swings... ...a decision I sense he regretted fairly quickly. But overall, it was a successful and utterly exhaustifying outing. (Also, doughnuts.) (Also also, we need to talk about Ike's... Read more →

Whenever I mention the latest crappy cold or virus that's ricocheting around our house, there's inevitably at least one comment along the lines of, "Wow, your family gets sick more often than anyone I know. The hell is wrong with you guys?" Of course, they're always perfectly polite about it (as you all are, honestly, since this is a motherfucking CLASSY corner of the Internet), but it does make me worry that I'm portraying us all as a bunch of weak, vitamin-deficient consumptives who should've been Darwined out a couple generations ago thanks to our faulty immune systems. In reality, it's more just a byproduct of having multiple children who go to multiple schools and classrooms. Here, let's do a visual. Say you have a child. Sooner or later, you may decide it's time send said child out of the house and into some kind of educational group or social setting. Daycare, preschool, gymnastics "class" where every primary-colored surface is given a perfunctory rub-down with Clorox wipes once a day by a staff of disinterested teenagers, etc. The peer population may start out small. But eventually, it happens. You show up one day and there's a child there who should... Read more →

The boys spent most of Sunday in the basement playroom, which is always a victory in an of itself. Even though it's where all of the toys and the furniture you are ALLOWED TO JUMP ON are and where Mom IS NOT, so KNOCK YOURSELF OUT with the FLAILING and the HOOTING and the HOLLERING, the basement playroom is always a second- or third-choice option for them. It's almost a punishment to go down there — with all those wonderful toys and wide open play spaces and non-pointy corners — especially since it's where I inevitably banish them after the seventh lap around the dining room table, while they make machine-gun sound effects and beat on each other with giant plastic crayon banks. True story. The basement playroom miracle is multiplied by infinity if they spend their time there doing anything other than bothering each other, tattling on each other, or haphazardly dumping basket after bin after bucket of toys out on the floor. ("But I couldn't find my red car! No, not that red car. Or that one. Or any of those dozen or so other red cars. MY car. The RED one. Mom, stop helping.") At first glance,... Read more →

I signed Ezra up for an afterschool yoga class. Because let us never forget how excited Ezra was about that afterschool soccer program he attended in the fall: Yeeeah. Pumped to the max about that. But since Ez gets a little shy/standoffish about group activities (and he quit karate one white-hot minute after Noah quit), we've been trying to nudge him a bit into trying new things. Plus the yoga class was crazy cheap and buys me an extra hour and 15 minutes of childcare once a week. Selfless parenting! I am good at it. Of course, Ezra had absolutely no earthly idea what "yoga" even was until yesterday afternoon. He thought I was sending him to "yogurt class." "But I don't like yogurt!" he wailed. This is true. Yogurt and mint-flavored things are literally the only two categories of food he won't eat. I have literally sent this child to school with leftover chimichurri hangar steak and brussels sprouts with blue cheese in his lunch, but a to-go tube of strawberry yogurt would be rejected with extreme prejudice because yuck. (He also won't eat Thin Mints. He's such a disappointment in so many ways, you guys.) But he LOVED... Read more →

I write about my children on the Internet. This is terrible. Thus, I feel it is only fair to occasionally write about the other things I do to my children that are terrible. This is one of those entries. Ezra asked if he could play with the iPad. I told him not right now, please put away the Play-Doh first, as there were currently twenty-goddamn-four cans ' worth of Play-Doh all over my kitchen counter. Ezra argued that the random Play-Doh lumps and glumps were all very imporant "food things" that he created for our "dinner" and "dessert." But not today's dinner and dessert, tomorrow's dinner and dessert, because it needed to "dry out." Then we could eat it. If I made him clean it up, we'd starve. Also, he'd be mad. At me. (Gauntlet! Thrown!) So...iPad? Yes? I repeated my request that he clean up the mess first, adding my objection to intentionally ruining our entire supply of Play-Doh. He responded by glaring the glariest, darkest glare his cherubic face could manage before storming over to our chalkboard wall. He picked up a piece of chalk and scribbled something out with great purpose. "THAT'S MY HEART," he announced, before... Read more →

During our final walkthrough of our house, I noticed that the full-length mirror in small room off the master bedroom was cracked. It was just a cheap mirror, somewhat half-heartedly bolted to the closet door, but our realtor wanted to make note of it and make the sellers replace it before we moved in. I persuaded her not to, since I planned to use the room as an office anyway and would have no need for a mirror there, and besides: A similar replacement mirror cost all of 25 bucks and if she thought I was mentally capable of handling even the slightest hiccup on our way to closing SHE CLEARLY WASN'T PAYING ATTENTION TO THE BASKET CASE SHE WAS CURRENTLY TOURING A HOUSE WITH. So we moved in. And we never replaced the mirror. At first I wanted decide on a design concept for the office, but then the final design concept turned out to be "the sort of room where a cheap cracked mirror actually makes a lot of sense." So it became yet another in a long line of our house-related Maybe Laters. Plus, it's not like the crack got in the way of the mirror's primary... Read more →