Ah, November. The leaves are dropping, the weather's all over the place (40 degrees! No, 60 ! Sun! Rain! More rain! Here's some wind! Now get those shorts back out cuz it's going up to 80 for some reason!)...and of course, everybody's sick. We're passing around a mostly symptom-less fever thing right now, most likely the flu because I lost the consent forms for them to get vaccinated at school and then the Target flu clinic was out of the mist when we went and then the next day Ezra complained of a headache and went to bed for three days. Then he was fine and Noah suddenly wasn't. (Go get ur flu shots ppl it's real and it's happening and it's COMING FOR YOU.) I feel fine so far, unless you count the fact that I am horribly, violently allergic to the ENTIRE WORLD UP HERE. Since we moved, my previously mild seasonal allergies are now like, major and not very seasonal, since I was allergic to everything in the summer and now it's fall and I'm still sneezing my head off. If I keep a constant, steady dose of allergy meds in my body I'm okay. Not great,... Read more →

This Thing Is Still On, I'm Sorry

Back in 2003, just a couple days before Halloween, I registered the www.amalah.com domain. Then I sat on it for a few weeks before actually taking the plunge, and I hit the "publish" button for the very first time about a month later. Twelve years, three babies, 2,161 posts, 134,790 comments, the social media revolution, the rise and fall of the entire personal blogging establishment later, I'm not sure what it says about me that I am still -- STILL! -- the sort of person who forgets to update her stupid credit card information and accidentally lets her domain expire, and who still has an obsolete yahoo.com email set as her primary means of contact info, AND who doesn't even realize what's happened until multiple days later, like OH SHIT, GIVE IT BACK GIVE IT BACK IT'S MIIIIINE! (To be clear: No one else wanted it. Amalah.com was simply floating out in domain name limbo, slipping and sliding around the Interweb Tubes, which for some reason I am picturing to be kinda like waterslides. Wheeee!) Actually, I know EXACTLY what it says about me. Zero personal growth for the win, baby. (Also, I probably could have gotten everything back online... Read more →

Ike is currently at school, wearing rubber rainboots. It is not raining; it is not going to rain. I simply could not find his shoes this morning, anywhere. The shoe thing, SERIOUSLY. Now I will completely admit that my patience reserves are not always overflowing with zen-like parenting chill, but the shoe thing manages to tap them out completely like nothing else*, because every goddamn day, people. Someone's shoes mysteriously go missing, usually right at the exact second that particular someone needs to get out the door like NOW I MEAN IT. We have a closet. There is a shelf for shoes in this closet. The shelf, it is ample, and the closet, it is the first dang thing you encounter when you enter the house. I don't even care about the shelf; feel free to use that as a general suggestion and just take off your shoes and toss them in. For all that is holy, please just get your shoes somewhere in the general vicinity of the shoe closet. Nobody ever puts their shoes in the shoe closet, and this fills me with an irrational amount of eyebrow twitching rage. Especially when the words "I can't find my... Read more →

We have floors! And a full set of cabinets! Including one that is wrong and needs to be re-ordered! (Arrived with doors instead of drawers, nobody noticed at first because we were simply blinded with joy over having cabinets again.) Now we're just waiting on the countertops and new light fixtures to arrive, and to settle on a paint color. We went to the paint store yesterday, because for some reason we mistook ourselves for Confident Proactive Decision Makers and thought we'd be able to pick out not only a color for the kitchen, but an entirely new color scheme for the entire main level of the house. We'd start with the kitchen and then move into the dining room, living room, the foyer and all the various big ass walls and we'd come home with a whole slew of paint and FUCK YEAH HOME IMPROVEMENT. Instead, we were promptly overwhelmed with all the choices and frustrated by our inability to remember/recognize any of the paint colors we liked from the old house. (Although the million barely different shades of yellow-ish beige that tormented our touch-up/patching efforts for nine damn years are still all seared into my brain, probably forever.)... Read more →

We have (some) cabinets! That was as of last night, actually. By the time I left to take Ike to school we already had a few more, and the foyer looked like it was getting the final prep for tile. IT'S ALL HAPPENING. It turns out getting your kitchen remodeled is a bit like being pregnant. "How long will it take?" is the new "So what's your birth plan?" and then everybody really just wants to talk about how they were in labor for 175 hours before an unmedicated breech birth and also THEIR kitchen remodel started five years ago and STILL isn't done, so ha ha good luck with your "two to three weeks" and also your vaginal delivery. So far, so good, is all I can and will say. It probably helps that we're not doing any major structural changes, and also that the house isn't that old so we're free of the "WHOOPS THAT'S A LOAD BEARING WALL THAT IS MOST DEFINITELY NOT BEARING THE LOAD" snafus you get with older (or previously remodeled but maaaaybe not done very well) houses. (Our old condo in the city was built as a dormitory for war workers in the... Read more →

While Jason is away on business, I have been on full-time PROTECT THE GARDEN squirrel trap duty. (Unripened heirlooms still on the vine. Pretty sure he counted them before leaving for the airport. Maybe sang to them a little bit.) And I do mean full time. I'm not sure what's going on, because we caught like, two squirrels total last year, and maybe about two this year. And then THIS BLOODY WEEK we've trapped a minimum of two squirrels a day, EVERY DAY. (I mean, I've. I've trapped them. Apparently I am just better at it and missed my life's calling.) My kids are running feral and pretty much the only time we leave the house is when we catch a squirrel and need to drive it over the river, through the woods, and across as many big-ass highways as possible in order to guarantee that it won't return. I mean, go ahead and try, you little ratty-fluff-tail garbage animal, but good luck with that. So I don't know. Population boom coupled with an overall IQ drop? Because these things will not stop getting their asses stuck in our trap. We smear peanut butter on the underside of the spring... Read more →

The Day of the Beepening

Beep. Beep Beep. Beep. Jason and I were both working from home when the beeping started. It wasn't loud, but it wouldn't stop. Beep. Beep Beep. Beep. Jason didn't hear it at first, but of course after I asked what is SAM HILL is that BEEPING it was all he could hear. Beep. Beep Beep. Beep. It definitely wasn't anything in our house, and after opening the window it got noticeably louder. I went outside, but the beeping took on a weird echo-like effect in our quiet neighborhood and seemed to be coming from everywhere. It wasn't a car alarm, but after spotting a construction crew repairing the sidewalk up the street, I figured it must have something to do with them. Really annoying, but would probably stop soon. Plus, I needed to leave for my piercing appointment, so I didn't have to listen to it anymore ANYWAY. Have fun, Jason! Jason did not have fun. Jason was going BONKERS. The beeping would not stop. There was no escaping it. You couldn't help but fixate on it. You could hear it everywhere in our house. And in between the beeps your brain would stupidly think, "oh, maybe it'll stop this... Read more →

The late-30s life crisis continues. I am officially ridiculous. Sorry, Mom. :( A friend asked for company/moral support during her piercing appointment, and that quickly spiraled into me finally getting the navel piercing I've wanted ever since I was 16. Which was over 20 years ago. Okay, self. Now let's get off the teenage wish fulfillment train before it takes us a NKOTB reunion concert. I should note that this is the EXACT scenario that led to me getting a terribly regrettable tattoo when I was 19 years old. I went with a friend for support and was like, MEEEE TOOOO but I only had $50 and awful ideas so I got JASON tattooed on my back hip. It now looks more like JBLSHN because the work was so shitty and I picked a stupid font to begin with. I want to get some cover-up work done on it but haven't yet because every time I go to a tattoo parlor I'm like YAY STAB ME SOMEWHERE INSTEAD. And then every time I get something pierced I remember HOW MUCH I HATE GETTING THINGS PIERCED. I don't mind the actual procedure (and this one was especially easy because after a... Read more →

It's been one of those days/weeks when personal blogging feels especially self-absorbed. I have news coverage from South Carolina open in all my other browser tabs and then I come HERE and like...what do I even write about? The biggest problem I encountered all week is that we're down to only one working iPhone charger so Jason and I are constantly fighting for custody of it, and I ordered a few more but they haven't arrived yet because the next-day shipping from Amazon Prime is taking soooooo looooonnnnnng yoouuuuuuu guuuuuuuyyyyyysssssss. Yeah. Okay, self. I guess I'll just post some pictures and try to think about things that are not terrible. This week's "Are We Really Moving Or Is Jason Just Pulling An Elaborate Prank On Amy To Get Her To Clean Shit Up" project was organizing the shelves in the basement. This, believe or not, is the "AFTER" and is the result of many hours of sorting and purging and (of course) at least one overly dramatic-looking injury: Note that basement photo does include the shelves in the corners. Those are still a damn mess. But look! There's an EMPTY shelf! There's no shit piled up on the floor except... Read more →

Go Amalah, Go!

THRILLING HAIR UPDATE: I posted this in the comments section of yesterday's post, but as I'm probably the only person who reads them, I'll repeat myself. Thanks to all my fellow oily-scalped laaaaaaadddddies for all the advice and tips. I most definitely own dry shampoo and have been using it for many years. I have tried all the brands and spent ALL THE MONEY. (My favorites are Lush No Drought, although I recommend transferring it to an applicator bottle like this , because the original packaging sucks, and Not Your Mother's Clean Freak or Batiste But dry shampoo just hasn't been cutting it for me for months now -- I use it at night; wake up with an actual oil slick on my head. I wash my hair in the morning; need to apply dry shampoo by late afternoon. That's entirely too much product, not to mention the daily use of my expensive color-safe shampoo, which STILL causes my color to fade since I only use semi-perm. (Hair is way too fine for ammonia-based colors. Breaks right the fuck off. Plus semi-perm adds a little volume at the roots for some reason.) ANYWAY OH MY GOD ISN'T THIS ALL SO... Read more →