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 →


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 →