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May 2014
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July 2014

This post is sponsored by OneDay.com. My kids’ childhoods are pretty well documented, thus far, obbbbbbviously. I’ve written about them, taken a million photos of them — practically daily, with that cavalier glee that comes with being able to fit thousands of photos on increasingly tiny sticks of memory. NEVER DELETE ANYTHING! WHO CARES! KEEP SNAPPING! Every camera I own shoots video as well, so instead of busting out the camcorder for special events, I have hundreds of tiny clips of tiny slices of their lives: somersaults on the couch, words cutely mangled by toddler tongues, someone slowly dozing off at the dinner table after a big day outside. Perfect. And yet I’d be hard-pressed to find ANY of it, at any given time. I have both of Jason’s and my baby books stashed in the basement — if either of us want to know what our first word was or see what we looked like on our third birthdays, I could easily drag out the book and flip to the right page in a few minutes. If my kids were to ever ask for that sort of thing, I’d be more like: Please hold. I have to think where... Read more →


1) Get ready to be wildly impressed, because it's been quite a week. Obviously. 2) I gave my children over to the cult of Minecraft in exchange for not being bothered for the next 48 solid hours. Noah played Minecraft for the first time at a friend's house last weekend, and went predictably nuts over it. At least, I assume that's a predictable reaction? Minecraft seems to be one of those things that every kid his age is going nuts over, and another one of those things that pushes me deeper and deeper into Uncool Mom Territory, because Noah goes on and on about it while I nod blankly and glaze over, and my brain is all I DO NOT CARE ABOUT THIS. DISENGAGE. So at first I figured, okay, I'll get him the game. It is...a game, right? Like an app? I actually was not entirely sure. I really missed out on even the most basic of information about what we were talking about, and I am now officially basing my parenting/media choices on whether or not 1) other kids' parents seem cool with it, and 2) Target sells kid-sized t-shirts of it. That's the bar now: IT CANNOT... Read more →


The Summer House Rules

Dear boys, I understand the past week or so has been a lot of extra...togetherness for us all. I understand it has been heavy on the "let's kick it around the house while Mommy works and yells a lot" and light on the "let's get the hell out of this house before we kill each other," and believe me, I'm working on it. As God is my witness, there will be camp. Just probably not for all of you, and not at the same time, and regardless, we still gotta focus on not murdering each other anyway, probably, because REASONS. Again, I take full responsibility for my own failings here — I keep talking big talk about taking you places but then remembering that there are three of you and psyching myself out because being that outnumbered in public still scares the crap out of me — but I do think I have observed a few specific behaviors that I would like y'all to work on, both as a collective herd of wild animals and as individual special snowflakes. 1) Cups. Boys, the cup usage situation is out of control. It is B-A-N-A-N-A-S, as the kids might have said 10... Read more →


Camp Storch

One full week of summer vacation down, please nobody tell me how many there are still to go. My big job — the corporate freelance-y consultantish one that I mentioned every now and then, a job I really, really loved — was paused abruptly in early March, and ever since I've been in a sort of limbo with it. They want me back, they keep promising to give me hours again, but probably not until next month. And "next month" has since gone from meaning "early April" to "mid-May" to "June-ish" to "let's talk in July." I've done a bunch of short-term projects in that time, and have several excellent leads on other long-term work, but right now I guess I'm still technically in between gigs and I'm not really a fan. (None of this work is Amalah-related, by the way, just to try to wave off the inevitable GET A REAL JOB, YOU DUMB BLOOGER comments. I do freelance marketing/copywriting/editing/corporate-blog-creating/stuffs. All very boring and "real" and I rarely ever write about poop. I work pretty steadily and it's been the best fit for our family's crazy schedule, vs. a 9-5 office job, but it can definitely be ebb/flow and... Read more →


Back in May, we had another lovely family photo session with the lovely Wendy of Blue Lily Photography. Our shoot was in Rock Creek Park in the early evening, so we decided to head into the city a little early and get dinner at our favorite pizza spot. We all got dressed up, spruced up, and made it to the restaurant just in time to beat the dinner rush and snag a big table in the back. As soon as we sat down, I surveyed my dapperly dressed offspring and was like, oh, shit. I'd had them all wear their nice collared shirts to dinner, and I'd brought zero back-up outfits in case of a spill or other disaster. And by "disaster," I mean "thing that basically happens every single meal of our lives, and is as predictable as the moon and the stars and U R AN IDIOT, AMY." My children — Ezra and Ike in particular — rarely leave the dinner table looking like they need anything short of a good hosing off, or a go through the nearest carwash. They are messy, klutzy, dribbly eaters. Sure, the shirts were all just random things I'd grabbed at Old... Read more →


I still have not unpacked the boys' suitcase, even though everything inside it is clean and pressed and they are rapidly running out of underwear and pajamas. I don't even know why I'm procrastinating, other than: Wah. It's over. We're really back. We celebrated Father's Day by throwing out everything in the fridge that had expired or molded over while we were away, which led us to the strategic decision that we should go out for brunch unless we wanted to starve. Then we took the boys to see How to Train Your Dragon 2, basing THAT strategic decision simply on the fact that 1) it was really hot outside, and 2) it had a high percentage score at Rotten Tomatoes. But while (SPOILER ALERT) it is an incredibly well-done sequel and an excellent fantasy epic on its own and all that, I probably should have researched the plot a little more, or at least Googled "DO THEY KILL A PARENT OFF IN THIS MOVIE Y/N." Not that my kids seemed bothered by it in the slightest, just like they weren't particularly bothered by (MORE SPOILERS) both parents biting it 15 minutes into Frozen. Another movie, FUNNY STORY, I did... Read more →


It wouldn't be an All-American Olde Fashioned Tymes Storch Family Vacation without a little drama or injury of some kind, now would it? The only Jamaica-related injuries sustained last week were 1) me bashing up my shin pretty nicely, during the packing process at home, after getting my foot tangled up in a Big Wheel in our basement storage area while attempting to gracefully step over it in order to get my underwear off the drying rack, and 2) I dunno, Jason got a weird rash from one of our sunscreens? Pretty good, as these things go for us. Which left us in dire need for a little excitement and/or threat of mortal peril. HELLO! HAPPY TO BE OF SERVICE! We had just sat down to our next-to-last lunch on our next-to-last day when we realized Ike had gotten up from the table already. Being the fiercely protective mama bear that I am, I shrugged and mumbled something (through a mouthful of fried chicken) about seeing him right over there a few seconds before, he probably went up to our bedroom or something. I was right. But! One small extra thing. And here's one of the quirks of staying in... Read more →


We leave tomorrow. And then cycle of endless plotting on how soon we can get back here begins anew. I know I'm technically supposed to be writing words here, but there just...aren't any to fully and adequately describe how special this place is, how much I'll miss it, and how much of a blast we all had here. The food, the fun, the people, the feeling like you are in the middle of a heavenly, luxurious paradise but also in your own cozy, homey home. It's perfect. The memories, they will burn bright and awesome. Thank you so much for everything, Bluefields. *** As of tomorrow, please note that my family is officially free to come crash your vacation. Just, you know, putting that out there, in case you find yourself with an extra seaside master suite or something OH THE HUMANITY. Code is: jamalah,mon Code is good for 7 nights off-peak rentals in the 2014 season. Bookings from NOW until Saturday the 21st of June: First 5 bookings pay for 6 nights and get one night free, plus an overnight nanny for one night of your choice. Bookings from the 21st of June to the 12th of July: Overnight... Read more →


The revolutionary (chef) costume for today: I didn't even realize Ezra had packed his "outdoor cooking" apron (it has a picture of a grill on it, soooo...), but I guess it's good to be prepared. In this case, for a personal invitation to come hang out with James the Jerk Master as he prepared Bluefields' weekly jerk chicken lunch. It was... ...so cute. So very, very cute, I thought I couldn't even stand it. Until... Ike got himself a bite of the chicken. And Ike got himself a special pre-lunch to-go package of the chicken. Which he ate completely, in record time. And the next thing I knew (translation, the next time I did a head count and realized we were down one child), this was happening: Ike, in the OTHER chef's costume, out there pulling chicken off the grill in front of a live audience. Look out, Bobby Flay. Or anybody else who thought they were maybe getting some chicken for lunch, because I think Ike thought anything he helped with would be his to eat. He did end up sharing with all his friends at the kids' table, however. The drumsticks were a particularly big hit over there,... Read more →


I did indeed wake up before 5 a.m. yesterday, put my ass a small fishing boat with two local fishermen, and set off onto the great big ocean, past the sunrise and out to where it's nothing but endless, beautiful, unnerving flatness. Jason loves to fish and goes as often as he can (usually catch-and-release fly fishing), but I've never been, never tried, and so I can safely say my only goal for the day was to not thoroughly embarrass myself. (This is not me trying to be mysterious. This is me still too terrified of falling out of the boat to fully turn around for a photo.) The whole idea behind the deep-sea fishing excursion is to catch actual fresh fish for your actual lunch and dinner that day, which jazzed Jason to no end. I was...not that optimistic. On our way out and back, we passed directly through a huge school of dolphins. (And while I've never been one of those OMG DOLPHINS people, I have to admit that the only possible reaction being that close to them is OMG DOLPHINS!) FInally, it was time to fish. Our guide cast my line and handed it over to me,... Read more →