The Kindness of Internet Strangers

When we last checked in on Ezra's beloved Hobbes, he was not doing so great. SHOCKINGLY, his condition has not improved over time. He is worn and threadbare, his body covered in holes and his painted eyeballs faded into plain white plastic cataracts. Considering he's like, a 25-cent toy from a Dave & Buster's claw machine that Ezra takes everywhere, it's probably a miracle he's held on for this long. But still, I asked if anyone knew where I could procure a replacement Hobbes-like tiger. Well look what just showed up, right in time to go trick-or-treating tonight with Calvinz and his red wagon: Everybody say hi to Hobbes II! Thank you so so SO MUCH to reader Michelle for kindly and generously donating her time and mad sewing skills to make this adorable Hobbes for Ezra. (WHO IS SO THRILLED TWO HOBBES THAT'S TWICE AS MANY HOBBES GUYS!) He carefully packed him in his backpack last night for today's school parade, then snuck back downstairs to retrieve him because "Hobbes I is having trouble sleeping without his buddy." (Also last night: "Hobbes I is staying home tomorrow because he says he's too old for parades.") (Also this morning: I... Read more →


Hams on Tour

As I mentioned in Monday's post, we spent Ezra's birthday weekend in the Poconos, at the super-family-and-kid-friendly Woodloch resort. (This is not a sponsored post. I was invited as a travel writer for AlphaMom, where a proper review-type post will appear soon. Woodloch comped our room and meals, but beyond that I'm not being paid for this post, or nor am I obligated to post about the trip at all. But like I would EVER pass up a chance to bore y'all with a bunch of my vacation photos, lololol.) (I bet they knew that, too.) ANYWAY, the boys had a ton of fun. There were: Bumper cars! (Not pictured, me, who went on them one whole time!) Go-karts! (Not pictured, Ike, who was like naaaahhhhhh don't think so.) (This was more his speed.) An indoor pool! And hot tub! And waterslide! And Halloween costumes, characters and bonus treat-or-treating! (Ezra went as Calvin [and Hobbes], Ike as Woody and Not-Pictured-Noah was Marty McFly again.) (And yes, that last one is indeed David! S! Pumpkins!) A petting zoo, pumpkin patch and painting... And ham. So much ham. (That was us "practicing" our scared faces just before I took him on his... Read more →


Nine

When someone else gets hurt -- be it a skinned knee or bruised feelings -- Ezra feels it. And I mean feels it, physically, to the point of tears. He then rushes to fix things, to make things feel better. Ice packs, Band-Aids, some candy, a dollar, a promise to always be your friend. His best friend in the entire world is a little girl who lives up the street. We took a trip to the Poconos this weekend for his birthday and he spent almost all of his birthday money to buy her something from the gift shop. He likes buying presents for people. "I feel their happy," he says. One time she went away and brought him back a snow globe. He accidentally dropped it on the bus and it broke. His heart shattered right along with it. "It was so beautiful," he wept into my shoulder. He's stopped ordering off the children's menu (unless there are corn dogs; he really loves corn dogs) because he wants to eat things that look more like what he sees on cooking shows. (Obviously he's a big Masterchef Junior fan.) Helping with dinner isn't enough anymore, he wants to makes things... Read more →


Some Update-y Odds & Ends

Ike had his weight check and successfully gained a pound. Not a huge amount, but enough to satisfy his pediatrician for now. He also shot up ANOTHER inch in height, so I think we have our answer as to where his body prefers to utilize it's calories: Towards total devotion to the fine art of outgrowing all his damn clothes. Meanwhile, I gained like five pounds during the same time period, as the switch to whole milk string cheese did nothing to impact my personal string cheese consumption. Luckily! I am healed enough to ride my bike every day again! Which was a thing that started happening this summer, much to my own lazy ass' surprise. And it was one of the first things I whined about after breaking my elbow, perhaps because I knew that I'd prove perfectly capable of eating string cheese left handed. I am staying off hills and could probably get smoked by a toddler on training wheels, but still. I am outside doing a thing! Back in the realm of the Inside Kids, Ezra came home from school last week and announced that he was taking up the violin, as it has been his life... Read more →


Something Rotten

(But first, an elbow update: Good tidings and huzzah! My latest x-ray revealed enough healing for me to ditch the splint and sling and focus on getting my range of motion back. I'm not allowed to lift anything heavier than a cup of coffee [official doctor's orders] and it's still pretty painful and gimpy-stiff, but my arm is freeeeeeeee from the mummy wrappings and I will definitely not need surgery. I am currently taking bets on how long it will take the five gloriously long fingernails I managed to grow during my weeks as a one-armed lady of leisure to break off. I'm guessing I'll lose at least one by the end of this post.) As I mentioned earlier, I somehow got talked into attending the Maryland Renaissance Festival/Faire thing on Monday. It's...not really my thing, to put it mildly, but I figured the kids would like the jousting and at the very least I know I enjoy watching both Shakespeare and people letting their nerd flags fly. And beer. There is beer. This is an acceptable outing. These outfits are also acceptable. Ike brought the hat from home and we rented the rest of the pirate garb. And you... Read more →


Middling

Well, hi! Look at me, typing and working. I am now allowed to take my arm splint off for UP TO 20 MINUTES A DAY for typing and work. Do you know how much I'm going to accomplish in that precious 20 minutes? Probably not very much! There is so much going on and so much to talk about and write about (omg Texas r u ok luv u plz have some money so v sorry), but today I'm just going keep things as myopic as possible and point out that Noah, my Noah, your Noah, OG Blog Baby Noah, is officially a middle schooler. Congratulations, we are all ancient now. Be careful out there today. Don't break a hip. (Affiliate link plug here but like, I'm being "authentic" and shit: We got him one of those Gizmo Gadget GPS watches last month and it is an excellent little doohickey. If you've got a kid on the Spectrum or any kid, really, who wants/needs more independence and freedom but isn't ready for a full-featured phone with data and games and distractions and all that, I highly recommend it. Noah loves it.) (Mentioning it mostly because 1) he's obviously wearing it,... Read more →


A Post That Is Not About My Elbow

(HA HA SUCKERS, of course Imma talk about my stupid elbow.) Another week, another doctor's visit, X-ray and this time, a bonus ultrasound. We can now add "tricep avulsion" to my diagnosis, which basically means my tricep muscle cracked off a tiny piece of my olecranon (aka ye olde nubby pointy bit) in what I like to imagine was a fit of super-strong tricep Hulk rage. Also I have a HUGE hematoma under there too, literally bigger than all the elbow bones put together, so I look forward to watching my elbow turn 500 different shades of purple in the weeks ahead. It'll be like watching the eclipse all over again! SEGUE TIME. Here is my elbow out in the wild. Please note my ability to hold a beer remains unaffected, blessed be to the alcohol gods. A friend of ours scored us three kids' vouchers for free Orioles tickets for them and deeply discounted tickets for us, which meant we could take the money we saved on tickets and blow it all on hats. Lesson learned, do NOT wait to panic-buy five hats at the baseball stadium because you didn't pay attention to where your seats were and anticipate... Read more →


Memberberries

Late last summer, I discovered dozens of wild raspberry bushes in the woods behind our fence in the backyard. There were only a few stray berries left by that point, but Ezra and I did our best to harvest every last one we could. And I promised him that we'd pay better attention this year and maybe we'd get a few more. We started out picking just what we could reach through or over our fence, since we were a little wary of all the bugs and thorny things back there. (Of course we collected them in half of a Lego Star Wars planet. WTF else would you use?) Then one day, after watching Ezra pine for the dozens and dozens of bright red berries just beyond our reach, I said screw it, and hoisted him (and then my own ass) up and over the fence. Turns out, it's magic back there. Yes, there are thorns and mosquitoes and uneven rock paths. There are prickly vines to duck under, that catch and snag your hair and clothing and refuse to let go. There's a small stream that fills your shoes with muddy water, if you take a bad step on... Read more →


The Biker Family

(Mah Innernetz went down on Tuesday morning and was finally restored late last night. No work, no play, just futile router rebooting every hour on the hour and racking up massive data overages from Verizon Mobile while waiting on Verizon FIOS to get its shit together, trapped in a super frustrating ouroboros of corporate bullshit.) First of all, happy birthday to this guy: Here he is with his birthday present, which I 100% had nothing to do with: In addition to Friday night soccer*, Jason's newfound return to outdoorsy-sportsy-ness now includes bike riding. Like on trails and dirt and stuff. He is currently scouring Craigslist for a bike for me, which is adorably misguided. To give you an idea of the last time I rode a bike, please consult this terrible blog post from 2003, only the fourth post ever published on this site, back when I had no clue what I was doing and wrote a lot of angry Open Letters to strangers and stores and the Oxygen Network. I do not particularly want a new bike. I'd really rather get a new dishwasher, as our current one is barely functioning and I am like five minutes away from... Read more →


Large, Larger, Largest

It's the last day of school! You're mere hours away from summer vacation! Now line up outside so I can take one of a photo and do that "look how you've grown/changed" comparison thing. Look excited, or something. Wow. Tough crowd. (According to MY compare/contrast thing, Ike's hair is longer and he's wearing shoes he outgrew in January, Ezra's legs have grown approximately 25 inches, and Noah's been wearing the same dang shirt since August. Sounds about right.) Read more →