Last night a friend of ours came over for dinner and brought his two (2!!!) sweet and friendly Labrador Retrievers. Beau thought it was the best! dinner! party! ever! and not just because Jason fed him some of the chicken. He was just SO happy and excited to have those other dogs here. But now today I can't shake the feeling that my Beau Bear is sad, and misses his new friends. All morning he kept whining and begging to go outside to see if they were out there, somewhere. He seems to realize now that they are not. Maybe it was all just a dream -- a wonderful, waggy-tailed dream. AND YET, DESPITE ALL THIS EVIDENCE THAT BEAU NEEDS A BIG-DOG FRIEND, negotiations with my husband have stalled, because he won't even have them with me. (Although Rey's all, I SEE UR INNERNET HISTORY AND THINK U SHOULD CHILLZ, WOOMAN.) Read more →


It's Spring Break! And it's shaping up to be a disaster. Well, disaster-ish. That hysterical blind-to-privilege mommyblogger definition of disaster. The children have no camps! No activities! They are all just HERE. In the HOUSE. With ME and EACH OTHER and my DEADLINES. I did this to myself, yes, entirely. My new contract gig still hasn't set a start date so I didn't want to plunder our flexible spending account just yet for childcare expenses. I figured I could get away with reducing my hours across existing clients a bit this week, maybe just work half days if possible. But then this morning the news came in that my background check is done and lo, I am not a criminal unworthy of writing web site copy, and they have like a hundred and four projects they want me to work on immediately once the final rubber-stamp comes down. Okay. This could get interesting, very quickly. I sat down with the kids this morning and went over the day's schedule and some detailed instructions. No screen time or TV until chores are done. You will play outside as much as possible, I mean it, you will not mimic your mother's pale,... Read more →


This was last Thursday: Outside in t-shirts, flush from playing basketball, waiting for Jason to arrive for back-to-back-to-back parent/teacher conferences. The weather was warm, the sun was shining, the most perfect sibling shot only slightly marred by some aggressively unfortunate pencil placement. This is today: (No, we didn't lose Noah. He's playing outside now too, but just wasn't in a picture-taking mood today or Thursday. My camera roll is chock-full of him posing next to a whole bunch of Very Important Lego builds, though.) We didn't get nearly as much as predicted, at least, and after last year's mega-blizzard this is a fairly tame-ass storm. But it's March. Marrrrrrch. So close and yet so far/cold/damp. Beau is not a fan, as evidenced by the muddy/slushy LET ME BACK IN THE WORLD IS BROKEN OUT HERE footprints all over the door. He later worked up the nerve to frolic outside with the boys and their sleds, then came back in and made a soggy beeline for my pillow. The cats spent part of the morning looking out the window while whimpering in wide-eyed panic but seem to have calmed down since. Definitely ready for spring to get sprung, tho. Read more →


This weekend we started work on Big Serious-Ass Vegetable Garden 2.0... By setting up the world's lamest grow operation ever in the basement. We're planning once again on two jam-packed raised beds and about a half-dozen containers. It's a lot. Please note my use of the word "we," which is a lie. I helped clear out some boxes and assorted junk and Jason did everything else. I went back upstairs, poured a glass of wine and took pictures of my pets. Weekend productivity: NAILED IT. Last year none of our seedlings grew and we ended up buying plants instead. We started them too late, I think, and didn't account for colder temperatures in this basement vs. our old one. So in addition to the starter trays and grow light, a heat mat and digital thermostat have joined the setup. We're going with SLIGHTLY fewer tomato plants this year, but probably still too many. Summertime visitors to Yellow House should once again expect to have large bags of tomatoes hurled politely handed to you, no really, I insist, come on, you're not leaving until you take some, Jason, block the door, they're trying to escape without taking any tomatoes, etc. Read more →


We're coming up on the year anniversary of The Worst Week Ever, when we lost both Ceiba and Max in hideous, rapid-fire succession. So it's been interesting that over the past couple weeks I've fielded an unusually high number of emails with questions about the new pets. Specifically, how/when/why-type questions about our decision(s) to adopt them, from readers who are either dealing with a recent loss (or double whammy like ours, I'm so sorry Jen, 21017 can suck it), or are considering adopting themselves and want some honest real-talk about the process. And while answering these emails, I've probably written like, enough words to fill four blog posts about it. So...let's re-purpose some shit! FAPQ #1: How did you know you were ready to adopt a new dog? I dunno. I kind of didn't? The boys brought up the possibility of a new dog almost immediately after we broke the news about Ceiba's cancer to them. Jason was like, "That's a good idea." I was like, "Slow your damn rolls, you monsters, she's not even dead yet." And then I spent the next few days mourning deeply for that dog, the one that wasn't even dead yet. The appointment to... Read more →


It's Friday! Therefore, time for what doesn't happen quite enough to constitute a "tradition" but happens just enough to maybe be a "thing," here are some photos I took this week that didn't quite find their way into their own post. Did you know they made a Broadway musical about the Titantic? Like a TAKES ITSELF SUPER SERIOUSLY LES MIZ-STYLE OPERATIC SPECTACLE MULTIPLE TONY AWARD WINNING musical? That opened the same year as Titanic: The Movie came out has absolutely nothing to do with Titanic: The Movie? Much like David S. Pumpkins, it's its ownnnn thang. I somehow had no idea, and probably would have accused you of lying presenting alternative facts, but now I can confirm it does exist, as I have seen Titanic: The Musical with my own eyes. (Not on Broadway, obviously. But in Northern Virginia, OBVIOUSLY.) (I do not think I was supposed to take this picture. Do not tell anyone, especially the Internet.) My review: The staging was impressively 100% amazing, especially since the original Broadway production was NOT designed for this small, theater-in-the-round 360° setup. The cast was uniformly excellent, as was the orchestra, which somehow managed to cram onto a tiny gangplank near... Read more →


A local brewery hosts a monthly dog- (and kid-) friendly pint night. We've been talking about taking Beau to one for ages now, always debating whether he'd like it or cower like a nervous stress-pee seizing wreck like poor old Ceiba. On the other hand: There is beer. And beer is good. Let's give it a try! It's official: Beau is a dog who LOVES LOVES LOVES being around his doggy friends. Look at that face. (The dog's pretty cute too, I guess.) The kids made a couple excited rounds to Pet! All! The Dogs!! (after getting permission from the owners, natch) and then settled down with food truck pizza and their holy blessed screens, while Beau kept one of us making laps around the room almost all night to happily sniff butts and...yeah. That was pretty much his jam. There was a looooooootttt of butt sniffing. He was so happy! Lots of dogs and head pets and new laps to jump in! Let's do this every night! And then Beau met the love of his life, a beautiful Golden Retriever therapy dog at the next table over. Beau's obsession with this dog was...intense. Playful tussling and tail wagging gave... Read more →


It's cold and icy and blah out there, but I seem to have mostly recovered from whatever cold/sinus bullshit was going on last week. Or else I've just accepted that not being able to breathe through my nose super-comfortably is the way I live now, and probably will until spring, when the pollen comes along to fully suffocate me from inside my own face. (Yes, I'm going to see an allergist for testing and shots and all that, but clearly I am not ready to let go of my gloomy pessimism and penchant for colorful language about the mucus situation.) There's shockingly little to report from around here, honestly. The kids get up, go to school, and even the level of morning chaos is at an all-time low. Everybody takes care of their own shit, I float around the edges offering reminders about library books and lunch boxes, then tsk tsk after they've barreled out the front door because we still aren't 100% on clearing your own breakfast dishes or throwing away your banana peel. Speaking of bananas, both real and figurative, Ezra had a playdate this weekend at a neighbor's house. I'm sorry to report that his long-time engagement... Read more →


Not much to report on these days, as you probably surmised from the fact I recently wrote an entire post about a ladder in a box in our foyer. Which yes, is still there. Although this was also happening there this morning. Night after night I resist the overwhelming urge to pose The Damn Elf in compromising, dirty ways and then my kids are like, Hobbes is going to ride Jingle all day and I wonder how in the world I ended up being the only adolescent boy in the household. (FOR NOW. I SHALL ONE DAY TEACH THEM MY WAYS.) Noah has been invited to audition for our county's Gifted & Talented band, which was like whoa, what? Jason and I went full proud crazy stage parents for about 15 minutes but then Noah gave us a firm, "NOPE, not interested." We're obviously not going to push him (especially since he remained unmoved by several bribes involving trips to various important historical landmarks), but it's a touch frustrating. His natural musical talents are streets ahead of his INTEREST in his musical talents, and he definitely takes it all a bit for granted that it all comes so easy for... Read more →


So tomorrow we're hosting Friendsgiving (get vacuuming, kids!) and then Ezra's birthday party is on Sunday and I'm all asdlkafjedonfvoenkfv right now so let's just post some pet photos and call it a day. Or half a day. Or half-an-ass day. Whatever. I was all ready to take Mr. Bo Bear here for another professional groom and haircut, then realized that selfishly, I really need him to stay as fluffy as freaking possible right now. (I mean, look at that ridiculous face. Don't you feel better already?) So I gave him a bath at home, trimmed up his nails and all the fur around his snout, eyes and paws that seemed to be bothering him. This is at least slightly blog-notable because after we adopted him, he was very defensive about his mouth and paws. I once tried brushing/trimming a small tangle on his snout and he snapped at me (then immediately felt TERRIBLE and curled up on my lap crying and wagging his tail, all DON'T SEND ME AWAY I DON'T KNOW WHY I'M LIKE THIS), and I've never tried again since. Same with holding his paws or otherwise restraining him long enough to trim his nails. This time... Read more →