Yesterday was Ike's last day of school, so naturally I set new lateness records for the year, both for dropping him off and picking him up. I had one final day that required me to hold our shit together and I couldn't hack it. Shrug. It's noon right now and Ike is happily reading a book out loud to me while I work. We're doing super great! Okay, fine. It's a sticker book. It has no words so I have no idea what he's talking about. He's still in his pajamas, his buttcrack is hanging out because I think he's technically wearing Ezra's pajamas, and he's probably hungry. He asked to go to a restaurant but I can't go anywhere because I am Trying To Break The Greasy/Oily Scalp Production Cycle, which the Internet said requires going three days without washing your hair, followed by baking soda rinse on day four. Today is day four, post-rinse. MY HAIR LOOKS LIKE ASS. THANKS INTERNET. MAYBE I SHOULD HAVE TRIED RINSING IT WITH COKE. So all in all, summer vacation is off to a good start. Especially since I was under the mistaken assumption that the public schools also ended this week,... Read more →

This is our garden. We have sage, a batshit amount of parsley, two pots of chives, and a big mishmosh of rosemary, thyme, dill, and marjoram. Beans, bush tomatoes, and peas. Two sacks of potatoes. Delicious little radishes. Tons of not-quite-ripe strawberries that are straight-up torturing my children. Cherry tomatoes, carrots, beets... ...and a fucking squirrel trap. Squirrels became a big problem for us last year. We were super-ambitious and planted about twice what we have this year. They ate every single tomato. We'd go outside and find our big, gorgeous heirlooms lying in the dirt, half gnawed on. If there weren't any tomatoes, they went after strawberries, squash, melons...whatever else they could wring a little liquid out of on dry, sunny days. It was just two squirrels in particular. One had a bald spot on its butt and one had lost the tip of its tail. We named them Asshole and Stumpy. We'd see them on the fence and send Ceiba out to yap at them, but they'd immediately come back when the coast was clear. We tried everything. Those bobble-headed owl statues, special repellent sprays and predator scents, offering water and food on the OTHER side of our... Read more →

In Which We Learn Our Door Lock Does Not, You Know, LOCK

FADE IN: INT MASTER BEDROOM - NIGHT MOM and DAD are present. (CENSORED CONTENT) The door, previously believed to be securely locked, suddenly opens. CHILD stands in doorway. MOM: OH SHIT DAD: (grabs covers) CHILD: Mom? Why were you making that sound? MOM: What? No. NO. I have no idea what you're talking about. Go to bed. CHILD: No, I heard a sound. A sound like... CHILD does remarkably decent impression of Meg Ryan's famous "I'll Have What She's Having" scene from When Harry Met Sally. DAD: (bursts out laughing) MOM: (buries face in hands) CHILD: Why were you making that sound, Mom? MOM: Honey, I'm fine. We'll talk about it more in the morning. It's a...grown-up thing. CHILD: Ohhhhhh. Growing pains! I get it. MOM: Wha-? Uh. Sure. CHILD: Sorry about your growing pains, Mom. DAD: (is still laughing) MOM: Can you go back to bed, sweetie? CHILD: Okay, good night! MOM & DAD: SHUT THE DOOR PLEASE. FADE OUT Read more →

BETRAYAL BY CHOCOLATE: THE IKE STORCH STORY On Friday night, Jason and I were hanging out on the back deck after dinner. The boys were instructed to get pajamas on before picking out a movie to watch. Noah and Ezra were allowed to make a pit stop at the candy bowl for dessert; Ike had refused to eat any dinner so he was to go directly upstairs. Suddenly, we heard some very, very distressed crying coming from the kitchen. Ike was sitting by the candy bowl and wailing. "What's wrong, what happened?" I asked. "IT'S HOT!" he cried. "What's hot?" "NOTHING!" That was a damn dirty lie and we both knew it. "Did you eat something you weren't supposed to, Ike?" "NO," he sobbed. "YES." Yes, indeed. Out of all the clandestine candy options he could have gone with, he'd chosen very, very poorly: I purchased this chocolate at food & booze festival we attended a couple months ago, and I purchased it because the ghost peppers are like built-in portion control. It is physically impossible for me to shove all this chocolate in my mouth hole and that's a good thing. One or two small bites is about all... Read more →

BECAUSE I'M STILL NOT OVER THIS. Q: So why did you name her "Bluen?" A. Because she wears blue pajamas. (OMG) Q. Why did you add the "N" to her name? A. Because I did not want to name her Blue. (HEADDESK) Q. Is she still "Bluen" when she wears her pink party dress? A. Yes. (IT'S ALL SO CLEAR NOW) Q. How do you spell "Bubby"? A. (HOLY FUCKING SHIT I THINK I'M HAVING A STROKE) Read more →

Question: Have you ever gotten to a point where you are so thoroughly stressed out that you wake up every morning covered in a rash? And then you become convinced that the rash is from bedbugs, but bedbugs that exist ONLY on your side of the bed and ONLY bite you, and then you get even more stressed out and stop sleeping because GAAAAHHHH bedbugs and also persistent, recurring anxiety dreams. And then during the day you're basically a sleep-deprived anxiety zombie whose hands shake uncontrollably every time you think about all the things that are making you feel so overwhelmed, to the point that you can barely even type or hold a pen or apply topical ointment to your super-attractive stress rash? Yeah, me neither. (But I can confirm that no, we most definitely do not have bedbugs. So that's a plus.) Anyway. Changes afoot, big decisions to ponder. Necessary and positive changes, obviously, to address everything going on in that first big run-sentence-laden paragraph up there. I'm still trying to decide what and and when to get into specifics, though, and I'm sorry about that. (No, not pregnant. No, not divorcing. No, not signing up for fucking Pinterest... Read more →

Fat Hot Ham: Liveblog Edition

A little background on some Inside Amalah Humor from the Olden Days: One time I tried to keep a dream journal/ideas notebook on my nightstand. One morning I woke up with pen ink all over the sheets and FAT HOT HAM scrawled on the paper. True story from the olden, lo-fi days. These days I've taken my inexplicable nonsense all high-tech and digital. Now I keep a running list of possible blog topics on the Notes app on my phone. You know, in case I have a Brilliant Idea that I will otherwise completely forget about 10 minutes later, and certainly won't remember when I'm actually sitting at my computer staring at a blank New Post screen. At that point, I'll only remember that I HAD an idea, some kind of idea, but beyond that, nothing. Something Maybe? Probably? Hmm. Not that the Notes I manage to get down are all that useful either. Those Brilliant Ideas usually occur to me late at night, or after some alcohol, or both, and turn out to not be all that Brilliant in the harsh light of day. ("That time some moths hatched in a bag of Trader Joe's slivered almonds and... Read more →

It's Snow Day four million and three. Conditions are deteriorating. *** As is my ability to spell "deteriorating" correctly on the first second third try. *** They have eaten all the waffles and are clamoring for more waffles. HOW CAN YOU EAT SO MANY WAFFLES? No one wants to go outside and play in the snow, because fuck snow. They're all tired of snow, and would rather climb on Mom's head while she types and cause her to reflexively protect her coffee cup every 2.3 seconds because BODIES and LIMBS and FLAILING MUPPET ARMS. *** My attempt at a Pinterest-y project of making ninja masks out of t-shirts managed to amuse them, but I can't stop thinking they look more like ISIS fighters than ninjas. This is...vaguely unnerving. *** Ezra lost another tooth yesterday. I posted an Instagram of him, with a caption reminding myself to not forget about the Tooth Fairy. Other people chimed in and we all bonded over occasionally forgetting about the Tooth Fairy, even though this time -- THIS TIME -- I totally wasn't going to forget about the Tooth Fairy. *** I forgot about the Tooth Fairy. However, after I remembered this morning, it seemed... Read more →

Second (and last) long-ass business trip on the month is over. Nothing like working a ton of 17-hour days in a row and then coming home all, "OH MY GOD I ACCOMPLISHED NOTHING AND NOW HAVE SO MUCH WORK TO DO." It's good to be home again. And to not have to go ANYWHERE else for a good long time, except maybe to go buy some wine. It's also good to have blog readers who Really Get You. Big thank you to Kristen who MAY or MAY NOT have used her important J-O-B connections to hook me up with a very special room service delivery of ALL OF THE HYATT SOAPS. Seriously. Look at all these fucking soaps. (Not including the three additional non-packaged soaps in active rotation in my soap dish, shower and travel toiletry bag. YASSSSSS.) So I suppose I finally have enough soaps to stop panicking about running out before the next time I stay at a Hyatt. Maybe. Possibly. (NOT LIKELY.) Also, because we're sharing and I try to be a very honest and transparent blogger, I have one last confession. This happened: I suppose this is the final nail in the I'M A PROFESSIONAL BLAWWWWGGGGGER... Read more →