Not long after the Vet Bill of Unspeakable Horrors — I believe our credit card was still hot to the touch — Ceiba starting limping. Limping isn't a zero to X-ray thing with her, as Min Pins tend to have trick kneecaps (luxating patellas, if you wanna be all science-y about it). Ceiba's knees haven't bothered her in years, at least not as frequently as when she was a puppy, but I still assumed that was the problem and her kneecap would pop back into place on its own, as usual. When it didn't, I stretched and massaged it, then puzzled a bit because her kneecap felt fine, at least to my inexpert fingers. Later I realized that all that stretching and massaging seemed to have made things worse, because her leg was now noticeably swollen and I was an asshole. I told Jason it was probably time to go back to the vet — and while at first he protested with this wild, terrified look in his eyes, like oh god oh no not again with all of the money — he agreed and took her to the emergency vet for an examination and x-ray. Good news: 'Tis merely... Read more →

1) The shower. Okay, first of all, you need to know something about our Ocean City vacations. We stay for free with Jason's great-aunt and great-uncle, who retired there. Who are very nice and gracious and welcoming, but also COMPLETELY KIND OF TERRIFYING. I mean, first, they're in-laws. Distant in-laws. That's baseline intimidating already. And all my in-laws have this quiet, measured, Germanic stoicism about them, which is the complete opposite of my family. We're a bunch of hand-talking Irish drunks with voice immodulation syndrome. Plus...well, they are very particular and set-in-their-ways and they keep their condo impeccably clean and organized, having mastered the "living in small quarters" thing to an enviable degree. And then we show up. And basically wreak havoc and disaster all over the damn place. Every year the amount of STUFF we have to lug there grows exponentially. Not surprising, given that every other year we seem to show up with a whole new family member in tow. More suitcases, more bags, more toddling towers of childproofing terror. Now with bonus lightsabering pool noodles! They like children, at least. And they especially like babies a whole lot. But they don't particularly like said babies and children... Read more →

This is the last post of the Sauza sponsorship, and I apologize for both the semi-awkward timing and for...well. You'll see. In honor of the Sauza Fireman & Kitten Amazingness video, I ordered a twee little beret for my own animals. Oh, how funny that would be! They would look so dashing and jaunty! Like this! ZOMG. But alas, the beret, it was backordered. I was thwarted by upside-down supply/demand economics! A run on the kitty-beret market! Dump your orange juice futures and invest heavily in felt! I SHOULD HAVE STOLEN THAT PINK ONE I KNEW IT. So in desperation I went to the local big-box pet store in search of the Most Ridiculous Thing I Could Put On My Pets' Heads. I found it, all right. In the form of a doggie doo-rag and some Super Ironical pink skull-and-crossbone hair bows. These items may or may not have come from the "Bret Michaels Pets Rock" apparel collection, which is actually something that actually exists, God save us all. Anyway! Maximum LOLCAT potential unlocked! Now all I had to do was put said Most Ridiculous Things on said pets' heads and the Internet laughs would flow like tequila. Right? Right.... Read more →

Last night, while we were all enjoying a delicious dinner of grilled chicken chicken and ratatouille (well, except for Noah, who threatened to punch our house apart [WITH HIS FISTS!!!] if we ever made him eat such things again), I noticed a single, compact little turd had suddenly appeared on the floor next to the table. Now, the problem with having a cat and a very small dog is that it is literally impossible to tell their poop apart. And yes, this is a problem. One that we are very familiar with. Hey kids! Who wants to play another round of Who Pooped On The Floor? But since we were eating, I opted not to really ponder over the source From Whence The Turd Of Mystery Flowed, and instead quickly cleaned it up and flushed it away and then... Another one. This time right in the middle of the kitchen, on the path I'd just walked through no more than 30 seconds earlier, when it was definitely poop free. Someone was Stealth Pooping, you guys. And it didn't end there. After dinner, I found one in the living room, then two more under the dining table, and then Jason found... Read more →

Fifth disease. Ezra has it. Now, if you're anything like me (read: insane), you hear the words "fifth disease" and think HOLY SHIT, DISEASE? THE FIFTH ONE? OUT OF HOW MANY? LIKE, ON A SCALE OF THE TOP TEN MOST TERRIBLE DISEASES YOUR PRESCHOOLER CAN GET? Not so much. It basically means: He had a cold, and then got a rash. Oh, and it looks like someone backhanded him across the face a couple times. No biggie. *** I recently ordered a retractable clothesline for our backyard, pledging to take my dirty hippitude to a new level: I was gonna hang my baby's poop-rags outside to dry, in the sun, in front of God and my dog and the one neighbor who can see into our yard. It started out well. It even made Ye Olde Annoying Instagram! Aw, how pretty! Points deducted for not using vintage upcycled shabby chic wooden clothespins from Etsy, however. I was only about halfway through the diapers when I posted that, and once I finished I sat up on the deck and admired my obnoxious hipster old-school handiwork. Look at me! I own a perfectly functional electric dryer but no, I am conserving! I... Read more →

We have family coming to visit in about...oh, NOW. Family who have never actually been to our house, live and in person, since we moved here almost five years ago. Which means I have spent the last five hours FRANTICALLY trying to clean and organize everything so it actually looks like we've lived here for five years. Instead of...five hours. It's your lucky day, unlabeled box of mystery that we never unpacked because clearly your contents were never missed! You're finally getting unpacked moved to an out-of-the-way spot in the basement! They have a three-and-a-half year old little girl. So that's four children, all five years old and younger. Here. In the house that I am now questioning cleaning up in the first place. WELCOME TO HELL, NOW WITH 25% MORE PRINCESS CRAP. Even the dog got all fancied up for the occasion. By which I mean bathed. WAT DOIN? WATER MAKES IMPOSSIBLY TINY LEGS MOAR IMPOSSIBLY TINY I HAZ NO IDEA WAT JUST HAPPEND Anyway, I better go take out the last of the trash and re-check that the liquor cabinet is stocked locked. PRAY. Read more →

THING #1: LIFE INSURANCE. WAIT WHAT? In perhaps the ultimate "try to make THIS topic interesting" challenge ever, the folks at asked me to contribute a blog entry about life insurance. How did I do? Don't answer that. But maybe just go read it? It's about Ceiba? Remember her? She remembers you. Aww, wookit. THING #2: SHOPPY SHOPPY SHOPPY And then! In perhaps the ultimate "Amalah can be bought very easily" example, Old Navy sponsored a series of posts over at Babble Voices about going shopping with your children. So I went shopping with my children. Then I wrote about shopping with my children. See how that works? ASTOUNDING, I KNOW. My post went up today. And while I don't want to spoil anything for you (since my blog posts tend to be so high drama and suspenseful and all), Ike totally got a onesie with a mummy on it. Dude, don't move, but I think Mom has finally gone up and around the bend with this stripey clothes business. THING #3: BOOBS Yep. THING #4: TORNADOS WITH FRICKING LASER BEAMS ATTACHED TO THEIR HEADS It's Back To School Night at Ezra's preschool. I hope there are snacks. There... Read more →

In which Ceiba is introduced to the new laminate floors in the basement... MY GOD WOMAN. WHAT HAVE YOU DONE. WHAAAAAT HAVE YOU DONNNNNNE. MY VERY BEST FAVORITE CARPETED PEE SPOT! IT WAS RIGHT HERE! I WILL SEEK OUT RESPONSIBLE PARTY. THEN DESTROY. AHA! PREPARE TO BE SNIFFED AT FORCEFULLY. HMM. OKAY. HI. IS MAYBE NOT SUCH A BAD SORT AFTER ALL. WILL JUST GO UPSTAIRS TO POUT. WAIT A SECOND. WAT'S THIS? *** So that's been happening. Randy came and ripped up the hideously befouled carpet and put down laminate and my dog is all THERE IS NO TRACTION OR ABSORBENCY PANIC PANIC BZZZZZTTT OVERLOAD. Oh, and everybody please say hi to Randy, as he is a long-time blog reader, at least he was before I was all, "Thanks for reading! Now please come fix everything at my house that is broken. Which is a lot of things. Also, BEWARE OF ALL THE PILES." Then I wandered around in my pajamas and a ponytail all the time, just to completely shatter the illusion that bloggers are cool, together people who are at all worthy of respect or admiration. But then I bought his silence with a couple Chipotle burritos.... Read more →

I got an email the other day from someone asking me if, by any chance, I was ALSO the author of a different blog. Like, a blog beyond any of the other four frillion sites I contribute to, maintained under someone else's name and life story, all sneaky-seekrit-identity-like. I cannot even imagine having the copious amounts of free time one would need to pull off something like that, and also the organizational skills. Like, is this the blog where I'm a boring suburban mother-of-two with a penchant for sucker-punching my readers in the vaginas at the end of every post, like "funny funny Star Wars run-on-sentence funny BAM! EMOTIONAL KAPOW! WHO'S CRYING AT WORK NOW, SUCKAH?" Or is this the blog where I'm a fabulously carefree 20-something in Los Angeles who blogs about all the interesting people she sleeps with and spells everything The British Way, because she thinks it makes her sound fancy? Or is this the blog where I'm a 40-something dude who posts a lot of Stargate fanfic and bitches about all the major dramazzz at this year's ComicCon? I AM SO CONFUSED. I DON'T KNOW HOW SUPERMAN DOES IT. Anyway. So I get this email and... Read more →

So help me, I'm potty-training the baby. I KNOW. Okay, so far it's technically been more of an exploratory mission to gauge potential interest, but early results appear to be promising, though the paper towel usage readouts have been...lengthy. Also: damp. But still. I think we're on the verge of a breakthrough, because the kid's got heart. He's hungry. He wants it. Eyes on the big boy pants prize. His coach is just having a hard time with the fancy iPhone app she got to help her with the timing. Also: keeping her business/sports metaphors consistent. Obviously, this is not a process I shall be extensively documenting, but here is a photo that I believe demonstrates that yes, I am fully aware of how insane I sound right now: WAT. IS THIS WEIRD? THERE'S A KID WITH NO PANTS ON OVER THERE, LEAVE ME ALONE. Read more →