In retrospect, I'm not sure why I thought it would be a good idea to schedule a doctor's appointment on the same morning Ike started summer camp. I mean, I can see it from the perspective of a normal human being, like: 1) Ike's summer camp is basically no different than Ike's preschool, except we walk in a different door to a different classroom. 2) The doctor's office is only five minutes away from Ike's summer camp. THEREFORE AND ERGO, it is perfectly reasonable to assume that I should easily be able to drop Ike off at 9:30 and be on time for a 10:00 appointment, barring some kind of never-ending string of minor timesucking disasters. Riiiiight. Let's review. Minor timesucking disaster #1 occurred when they called to confirm my appointment and cheerfully informed me that, as a new patient, I actually needed to arrive no later than 9:30. In my head I went "hmm" but my mouth agreed that sure, I will be in two places at once, no problem. Disaster #2 occurred when I waited until this morning to look at the list of items Ike needed to bring to camp. I'd remembered to pack his lunch but... Read more →


So on the one hand, it's probably some form of public service to immediately let visitors know that yes, a crazy person lives here. On the other hand, I'm totally HA HA-ing myself, Nelson style right now. What a dork. Look at how it's trying to blend in with the furniture all casual-like. (I am also simultaneously fretting about the corner placement, because I bet they'd rather have it in front a window or sliding door. But then you don't even need to come inside to know that the pets run this bitch.) Beau is both casually ignoring the influx of Cat Stuffs while also eyeing me like he knows something's up. (Their foster mom texted me a whole slew of new pictures, including them in a big ol' cuddle pile with her dog. I'm getting a cuddle pile guyzzz!!!!) Ike and Ezra, however, are OBSESSED with the cat tower and seem particularly entranced by the string of dangling balls. Um. Okay. Guess I've been overthinking Christmas. If the cats like it half as much as my human children do I'll consider it a worthy, yet still utterly ridiculous, purchase. (Monday is Catday! And they have names! Jason and kid-approved... Read more →


This morning Ike insisted on bringing his current-new-favorite-toy-ever in the car on the way to preschool. It's a crappy plastic toy from a Happy Meal (come at me bro) and also kind of creepy: It's the dog from Adventure Time, but his torso has been replaced with a rigid plastic spring. So he...kind of wobbles? You can...sort of stretch him out but not really that much? It's literally hours seconds of fun WTF! Now Ike has never seen Adventure Time. Noah went through a incredibly brief phase where he watched it, and we have at least one t-shirt and pajama set from that period floating around the hand-me-down chain somewhere. But it never really stuck. Probably because I actually found it to be somewhat entertaining, and my children are allergic to any children's television programming that DOESN'T make my eyeballs and eardrums recede into the depths of my skull. Anyway, this toy has been the Best Thing Ever for a good 24 hours now, but on the way to school Ike realized he didn't know the dog's name. So he asked me. "Oh, um, hmm," I replied, drawing a blank. My brain immediately loaded up the show's theme song, which... Read more →


At some point after Ike was born, I took a pretty big step back from the "blogosphere community." It was partly deliberate (newsflash: some people be crazy, or at least crazy exhausting, also I hate Twitter with the fire of All Of The Suns). But mostly I just didn't have the emotional or practical bandwidth for a ton of long-distance virtual friendships or conference hopping, and all the online gossip/cliquish-ness that occasionally plagues both. Too many kids and freelance gigs and loads of laundry to worry about imaginary Internet reputation points any more. So while once upon a time, 99% of my friends were people I'd met via some Internet-related connection, I'd say the opposite is true these days. Most of my friends never heard of my blog until we've gotten to know each other and I have to awkwardly explain what it is that I "do." None of them give a shit about how many Instagram or Twitter followers I have/had, and as a result of this shift I like to think I do a better job of reaching out in person these days (rather than just posting shit on the blog/social media and letting life events dribble out... Read more →


So I casssssssually mentioned in Monday's post that Beau is a runner. That was...ever-so-slightly understating the situation by like, fourteen million words. His foster mom warned us about it: Keep him on the leash at all times outside, even within the fence. Don't open car doors until you've got a firm grip on it. Watch him around doors in the house, because he can bolt out like a flash. And the more you chase him, the faster and farther he'll go, because YAYAYAY THIS GAME IS FUN LET'S KEEP RUNNING FOREVER. Both Jason and I had dogs just like that growing up, so we assured her we understood the behavior and would be very, very careful. And we'd thoroughly explain the situation and need for caution around opening doors to the boys. Yeah that's going GREAT. On Friday night we went out for a quick dinner. I put Beau in his crate and went outside to the car. Noah was still inside, trying to track down a full selection of screens and chargers and whatnot, and suddenly I looked up and Beau -- off leash, not yet tagged or chipped -- went shooting out of the garage and over to... Read more →


This morning I successfully shooed a tiny baby snake off my front porch with a snow shovel. This afternoon I successfully gazed upon a squirming heaving pile of tiny baby snakes without losing my shit. Really growing as a person, over here, guys. I predict full-scale capable adulthood by the age of 55. So I never told this story, as it seemed unwise to write about at the time, but a couple weeks before we listed the townhouse for sale, I was straightening up the basement (AKA OBSESSIVELY DECLUTTERING AND FAKE STAGING) and discovered a huge wet spot on one of the futons. My first thought was CEIBA YOU ASSHOLE, until I felt something dripping on my head. I looked up at the ceiling and the stucco-textured ceiling was wet, bulging, and actively dripping water. HOUSE YOU ASSHOLE. It was coming from the dishwasher, specifically (as discovered by the emergency plumber we immediately called in) from a plastic water reservoir that had been CHEWED THROUGH. BY MICE. Now, we had not seen any evidence of any mice since Jason's Great Ethical Catch & Release Crusade of 2010, which coincidentally ended around the same time I spotted a big-ass garter snake... Read more →


The Game Changer That Wasn't

Late last week, in a fit of wine-induced TREAT YO SELF, I bought myself a light-up alarm clock. Specifically, this Phillips Wake-Up Clock mentioned in this Gizmodo post, which sings its life-changing praises. I have wanted one every since I read that post, but could never bring myself to spend $70 on a damn alarm clock. That's what phones are for. Or husbands. Or cats. Or any one of the three alarm clocks down the hall in my kids' rooms that they all regularly sleep through. But then I would go back and re-read that post, getting an almost inappropriate amount of pleasure from dreaming about the life-changing power of the light-up alarm. I am terrible in the mornings. Because mornings are terrible. Especially now, in the winter, when it's grey and cold outside and my bed is a deliciously warm cocoon. And it's so much nicer to burrow back under the covers and sleep jusssssst a little bit longer than to get up and confront the fact that I am a puffy-faced grease monster in the mornings, and stuck in a default mode of VERY VERY BAD MOOD for at least an hour after I wake up. A light-up... Read more →


I noticed a couple topic requests for Further Yakking About from the comments on the last post, and as I am in a procrastinating mood and have nothing better to yak about, let's do it: 1) The time-limit parental control thingie. Our kids used to solely play with our old, discarded iPhones. Plus an iPad that was technically still mine and I don't remember giving up custody but eventually it was chock full of nothing but kids' games and was always sort of sticky. I was never really happy with the parental control options in iOS. App purchases and downloads required a password, but I wanted to be able to set time limits, block certain websites, and just sort of generally know what they're up to without having to literally sit there staring over their shoulders. (And thus, having to listen to the Angry Birds theme song over and over and over and over...) There are two choices with options like that: Amazon Fire Kids Edition with the Amazon FreeTime subscription service, or a tablet with full Windows 10 installed and Family Safety enabled. At the time, we didn't have an xBox or anything, and Noah was DESPERATE to play... Read more →


Garages are so overrated. In my defense: 1) Our garage is a really, REALLY tight fit for the minivan, even with the mirrors closed. 2) The previous owners left a ton of shelving/storage crap in the garage that makes it even worse. 3) Today was literally the very first time I've even attempted to back a car out of a garage, ever, like in my entire life. 4) I was running late. 5) I forgot to make coffee. 6) I'm a virgin who can't drive. Anyway, it's been a great day for idiots doing idiotic things! I'm loving today! And now I have to go drive my busted car all over creation in search of 50+ Valentines for my kids, because I fail at math and calendars and for some reason thought I had until Monday. But of course I don't have until Monday, THERE'S NO SCHOOL ON MONDAY WHEN IS THERE EVER SCHOOL AT ALL AROUND HERE. I'm sure whatever Valentines or Valentine craft supplies left in the stores are going to be super top notch and awesome. At the very least hopefully I can find some card stock and ink cartridges and spend the rest of the day... Read more →


10 Surefire Tips to Smooth Schoolday Mornings

1) Before the school year begins, let each child pick out their very own alarm clock for them to completely ignore every single morning. Having three different alarm tones blaring is a surefire way to make sure you never oversleep and can start shouting at your unconscious children right on time. 2) If a child doesn't have any clean shirts in his closet, it's best to dig one out from the bottom of the hamper to make sure it wasn't worn recently enough for anyone to notice. 3) Teach older children basic breakfast preparation skills, both for themselves and their siblings, for maximum screaming when older child goes on a cereal-withholding power trip. 4) Bros before Hoes and Coffee before I Make Anybody Eggs. 5) Pack lunches the night before. Keep lunchboxes in the fridge for optimal frantic grabbing at the last possible minute. 6) If you plan to send in anything special that needs to be heated up or prepped in the morning, make sure your children have back-up money in a school lunch account, because YOU KNOW you gonna forget that shit and send them to school with like, a juice box and some pretzels. 7) Have dedicated,... Read more →