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 →


Wow, I just realized how completely overboard I've been going lately with the CATS CATS CATS stories and photos. It's like, are the kids still around? Has anyone checked on the kids? Yep, still around. And clearly very busy. (He actually seems genuinely fine with this.) Noah is just days away from his 11th birthday, Fellow Olds. And while he still hasn't voiced any displeasure/resistance to making appearances here, it's rare these days to have anything really significant to report about him. Current life goals involve learning to program so he can get a job at Minecraft and make enough money to buy a Delorean, then quit the Minecraft gig and be a full-time professional time traveler. He'd be happy to tell you his theories on time travel, if you have approximately 17 free hours. Also I spaced out this morning and poured milk in his cereal, which was the single worst thing I have EVER done to him, especially since it was the LAST BOWL OF CEREAL. He ate maybe three mournful bites and then made himself some rage-toast out of spite. Mark this date down and Never Forget. Noah clearly will not. (I just got up to pee... Read more →


A few weeks ago, Beau learned how to open the back sliding screen doors with his paw. Or more accurately, with his toenails, which flash forward to today, has resulted in the screens looking like so: Awesome. He's such a smart dog!! Also SO MANY STINKBUGS INSIDE NOW. Before the damage got this bad, however, the main problem with Beau's new skill was that he'd let himself outside and then come back inside before I realized that he'd even done it, leaving the screen door wide open for God knows how long while I tapped merrily away on my laptop in a room far, far away. So that's how Rey got out of the house a few days ago. (Not to be confused with falling out of the house.) I realized the door was open, and then Finn started howling his alarms that he couldn't find her/Dumb Baby Did a Dumb Thing Again, Human Person. I crept outside the basement door and sure enough, there was a small black lump on the far, far side of our yard, and two bright yellow-green eyes peering at me. Inscrutable as ever, I had no idea if she was terrified or basically baiting... Read more →


It's been a week, you know? Good time for some cats. Oh look another cat. Hi, other cat. Nothing but cats. Okay, cat and one dog. Okay, dog and other cat. Okay, two kids, too. And that's all I've got. We're off to the beach for a bit and I've barely started packing, unless you count the kids' suitcase that I never unpacked after their week with the grandparents. That's good to go, because FORESIGHT. And EPIC LAZINESS. Which I always knew would pay off at some point, in one small way or another. Read more →


We picked the boys up on Saturday, with Beau as a reluctant and extremely barfy passenger. Which was great because obviously Jason had SO much fun cleaning the minivan the day before, he couldn't wait to do it again. He did much, much better on the ride home, thanks to being reunited with his boys. And/or because he realized that we weren't systematically shipping family members off, one by one, until only the cats remained. The boys immediately made a beeline to Noah's new room, and it went over even better than I hoped -- I worried Noah's expectations would be higher than what I managed to deliver on, but in his exact words: "This room is AMAZING. Thank you guys!" /high fives self //smacks ear by accident For point of reference, here is a very bad, very glare-y before photo taken while we were prepping to paint: Biggest challenges included finding a shade of paint that somewhat downplayed the purple carpet, sanding down approximately four dozen handpainted daisies, and working around a towering inferno of toys, including an incredibly large replica of the Ghostbusters headquarters that Noah built on his own (aka NOT the skullfuckingly expensive set) and BEGGED... Read more →


This post is sponsored by Wisdom Panel® Canine DNA Tests. Beau's original adoption listing said he was a mix of Miniature Schnauzer and Yorkshire Terrier. We have no idea if his owners gave that description when they surrendered him to the shelter, or if it was just a guess made by a vet or the rescue group or what. We do know that the "Schnauzer" part seemed to mostly be based on his pre-haircut appearance, because once his fur was groomed it was clear his actual snout wasn't all that Schnauzer-like after all. His foster mom agreed, and added her personal guess of terrier breeds mixed with wire-haired Dachshund, based on his legs and feet. Our vet said he was all terrier: Yorkie, Jack Russell, Cairn, and probably a good smattering of others. When I would play around with online tools and surveys based on his physical appearance, I would get wildly weird results, like Pomeranian and Shih Tzu. The guessing game can be fun at first, but also hugely frustrating. What ARE you, dog? I've been sent photos of several Beau doppelgangers from all over the country -- crazy identical pups, right down to eyebrow coloring and the flippy... Read more →


One very notable difference between the New Pets vs. The Ones I Still Can't Really Talk About Without Getting Weird is how many stupid nicknames they have. Although "nicknames" isn't really correct, since I keep taking their existing one-syllable names and making them longer. I'm a blabbering baby talk idiot, all of a sudden. Max was always just "Max." One time Jason overheard me call him "Maxi" and was like, ew, stop that, he's not a menstrual product. Ceiba was occasionally called Ceibs (pronounced Saybs) or Ceiby (rhymes with Baby), and I sometimes called her Girly. But even that comes NOWHERE close to the number of ridiculous names I've caught myself using lately. For example, in the past 24 hours, I have called my pets all of the following: BEAU: Beau Dameron (cuz obvs that's his full name) BoBo BoBear Bowie BowieBo Flippy Flops Scruffy McShugs (he needs a haircut) Potato (I have no idea) FINN: Finnie FinnFinn FinnieFinn FinnieFinnFinn (STOP) Finnster Purrmaster Flash (STOP EVEN MORE) Bitey (if you stop petting him before his liking you will be gently nibbled on) Silver Fox REY: ReyRey Reybie (realized once I said it that it sounded like "Rabies" and have since... Read more →


Thanks to all the snow days, Noah and Ezra's school added a full extra week to the year. However, I am officially calling foul on this extra week, because it appears to be utter bullshit. There's no homework, band practice or library visits. Desks were thoroughly emptied on Monday. Every notebook, workbook, and folder already came home. Even Noah's paper textbook covers are sitting in the pile, along with all their crayons and pencils. We live close enough to the school that I can hear playground noise practically non-stop. When I asked Ezra what he was even DOING at school I got a convoluted report of extra story time, movies and building a fort out of empty boxes in the art room. Noah simply shrugged and said, "Nothing." Which, fine! It's like a week of daycare, for free! But honestly I think we'd all just rather sleep in a little bit and not have to worry about finding clean shirts and matching socks and packing lunches even though today and tomorrow are HALF DAYS and yet lunch still happens at school and that will never make sense to me. (At least Ezra agreed to buy his lunch and use up... Read more →