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 →


Just came here to post evidence that for a brief moment in time, my oldest child had a floor. A floor completely devoid of Lego. Because I spent an entire afternoon turning this: And this: Into this: (Why yes, those are Ikea bins with glued-on Lego collection logos I cut out of instruction books after personally separating out every applicable minifigure, accessory, vehicle, spaceship, Ninja Warrior Jungle Cycle Whatever The Fuck.) (Why yes, I am in-between projects at work and a new contract gig starts next week but in the meantime I have a lot of extra time on my hands HOW DID YOU GUESS.) And this: Which is basically EVERYTHING ELSE, but I assure you is 100% Lego, as I also pulled out everything non-Lego from our now woefully too-small Lay-n-Go bag : (Why yes, that IS an entire package's worth of green cocktail-sized napkins. Where do you keep yours?) The giant rando bins aren't the best long-term solution but until I can settle on the right Lego-organizing Ikea Hack, they'll have to do. I'd say more smaller, categorized bins but HA HA LOOK AT HOW WELL THOSE ARE WORKING: That's Noah's room right now. I hung up some... Read more →


Star Wars is a deeply special thing for our nerdtastic family, going all the way back to my very first date with Jason. We love it. Insane for it. Get a case of the warm and fuzzies just from thinking about it. Despite having our young hearts broken by the prequels, being able to introduce our children to the original trilogy brought back the love and magic big time, every time. (Ike, watching Empire Strikes Back for the first time last weekend. I've never seen him so blown away by a movie. When it was over, we said SCREW BEDTIME IT'S JEDITIME and let everybody stay up past midnight.) So there was no way -- NO WAY -- I was going to let my stupid-ass eyes (stupid ass-eyes?) stop me from attending the early Saturday morning showing of Force Awakens we'd bought tickets for ages ago. I was 99.9% sure I was no longer contagious (no red/pink, drainage, swelling, just the residual blurred vision but even that's markedly improving every day) but took all the proper washing/sanitation precautions and was extra mindful about keeping anything from touching my eyes. And it was wonderful. Just...all the wonderful things. I laughed, I... Read more →


One week ago, I looked in the mirror and said, "Yep, that's viral pinkeye, right there." And then went on my merry hand-washing way, because viral! What are you gonna do? "Well you can't just do NOTHING," Jason said a couple days later, staring at my eyes in horror. "You look AWFUL." I argued with him for a little bit, then Googled some more, eventually coming across a description of Epidemic keratoconjunctivitis. I texted him a link. "BAM. This is what I have." "STOP DIAGNOSING YOURSELF," was the reply. "GO TO THE DOCTOR." And thus, the journey began. Antibiotics, worsening symptoms, symptoms that could be something other than "just" pinkeye, a referral to an eye center that said oh, sorry, we sent ALL OF OUR DOCTORS TO A CONFERENCE TODAY ALL AT ONCE, WE CAN'T SEE YOU UNTIL MONDAY, a massive allergic reaction (IN MY EYES) to the antibiotics, more antibiotics, steroids, corneal abrasion and possible orbital cellulitis. I am happy to report that the journey more or less ended today, when the eye center's cornea expert looked in my eyes and said, "Yep, that's viral pinkeye, right there." More specifically, it's Epidemic keratoconjunctivitis, or EKC for short, which means... Read more →


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 →