Better Now

I've been procrastinating on a Brain Update (among many, many other things, thanks for that lovely bit of self-sabotage, anxiety, you bitch), but hey, here goes nothing. The medication is definitely helping, although it also makes me: 1) Throw up 2) Gain weight (HOW CAN BOTH OF THOSE THINGS HAPPEN WHAT IS HAPPENING) 3) Ask you to repeat everything you say, a bit louder this time, so I can hear you better over the goddamn ringing in my goddamn ears. Antidepressants are weird. I don't particularly enjoy the side effects, obviously, but when I think back a few months, to the unmedicated alternative...well. I'll just buy some bigger pants and drink some ginger tea. Hey, it's like being pregnant! Only without the baby part, or the urge to clean things. Ugh, this house. Since I wasn't exactly live-blogging the worst of it, I'll just say, in the understatement of the decade, that things were not very good. Things were very, very bad. Everything else I've tried to type here instead sounds super dark and would probably scare my mother too much, so I'll just leave it at that. Please don't let things get that bad, dear people. It's hard to... Read more →


Kung Fu Ezra

Ezra and his magic glasses attended his first for-real, serious cooking class. It was everything he dreamed of and more. It was taught by a for-real, serious chef, who complimented his knife skills as "perfect." It took place in a for-real, serious chef's kitchen, stocked to the rafters with every spice and kitchen tool imaginable. He was allowed to explore and touch and taste whatever he wanted. He chose the Dim Sum class because it sounded the "most hardest." (Also because of Kung Fu Panda, I'm pretty sure.) We made a variety of dumplings and spring rolls, with different fillings and folding/rolling styles. He and I were tasked with making the shrimp dumpling filling for the class, and he admirably did almost all the chopping and measuring and even dug into peeling and de-veining the shrimp, which neither of us had ever done before. (He did ask me what the black stuff was and I told him that it was shrimp poop, which embarrassed him. "You didn't really need to say that," he told me, but then carried on bravely with his de-pooping duties.) (Turns out I don't have an actual shellfish allergy after all, but more of a "sensitivity."... Read more →


The Idles of March

Happy Spring! It's so refreshing after a long, depressing winter to wake up to a beautiful sunny day full of promise and renewal. OH FOR THE LOVE. Schools are canceled again and even the boys are completely over it at this point. The first thing I heard this morning was a loud, concerning-sounding crash in the hallway outside, followed by a couple whimpers and a small voice saying, "Maybe we should not have done that." And to think this was us on Monday night, outside making s'mores in bathing suits and light jackets, enjoying the big outdoor landscaping/hot tub project we completed JUST IN TIME to cover/lock everything back up before getting slammed with several inches of solid ice followed by buckets of (still ongoing) snow. This was us last night, right after it was announced that schools were closed. We'd just finished watching Dolphin Tale and I figured fuck it, let's stay up and watch Dolphin Tale 2: 2 Tale 2 Furious, because we can all sleep in tomorrow morning. Unless, of course, you two goobers decide to ride down the stairs in a baby doll stroller at 7 a.m. instead. (And yeah, Ike is suddenly ["suddenly"] incapable of... Read more →


PatiOHHHHHH

Well look at that! It's a patio. (Weird pipe thing is the conduit for powering the hot tub, which arrives on Tuesday, so look for updates typed by severely pruny fingers every day after that.) Those are some of the most uninspiring photos on earth, but they were all I could snap before they had to cover the entire thing with plastic sheeting to protect it from the coming snow storm. It's still wrapped up, waiting for the crew to come back tomorrow-ish for the final touches, including replanting all the grass that got mercilessly destroyed and churned into swampland during construction. And we did indeed get snow! And for the first time in the history of my children's existence on earth, waking up to some fresh snow on the ground did NOT automatically equal a day off from school, or even a delay. They were LIVID. Downright INDIGNANT. What do you MEAN. How do you DARE. We are being sent out in the frozen WILDERNESS to DIE or GET OUR SHOES WET. When I informed Noah that no, I would not be driving him two whole blocks to the bus stop because the sidewalks were perfectly clear, he collapsed... Read more →


The Wonders of Technogoly

After mentioning Ezra's migraines last week, my friend immediately texted the suggestion of getting him a pair of anti-blue light glasses. Immediately after that, I got a call from the school's health room. Ezra was there, complaining of a headache. His eye was visibly twitching and he was worried he might throw up. They'd tried Ibuprofen and some time lying down in a dark room, but nothing was helping. When I arrived, he looked pale and miserable. "It was Technogoly again!" he told me. "Technogoly always makes me catch a headache!" (Technogoly = Technology = Computer lab.) I ordered him the glasses as we walked back to the car. Glasses! (And also a lurking Instant Pot. We finally caved to the craze and have since gained 25 pounds from homemade Indian food. It's really amazing and WE LOVE IT but it will probably photobomb 75% of my photographs given that I have nowhere to store the damn thing.) Ezra's now made it one whole week plus one Technogoly class without ANY headaches at all. I told him he only needed to wear them for screens but he likes them so much he only takes them off too sleep. Which probably... Read more →


It's a Batman Rollerblade Party

Ezra asked for roller skates for Christmas. ROLLER skates, not inline skates, he insisted, several times. Then he completely forgot about this request, as did his wonderfully amazing parents who would never overlook their middle child's Christmas list that he left sitting right there on the kitchen counter for Christ's sake. But he didn't ask Mall Santa for roller skates, so after realizing their omission (around 11:45 p.m. on Christmas Eve), I figured maybe they were more of a temporary whim rather than something he really, really wanted. Especially since 1) he'd never been roller skating, 2) had never asked to go roller skating, and 3) I am 99.9% sure he only knows roller skates exist because of Calvin & Hobbes. Looks like fun! Let's try it. But alas, on Christmas, Ezra surveyed the room of unwrapped present glory and asked the dreaded question. "Where are my roller skates?" I reminded him that skates weren't one of the things he asked Mall Santa for, and he nodded for a second before destroying me once again. "But I mailed a letter to the REAL SANTA and asked HIM for roller skates." That's right. He did. I even took pictures! I am... Read more →


January Blah

Oh! Look at the date. Just one more day 'til February Blah. Yay. I've been locked in a somewhat all-consuming battle for health, both in brain and body and in the bodies of my children, who are every day getting sent to classrooms utterly decimated by the flu, a variety of stomach viruses and God knows what else. I'm stuffing their backpacks with donations of hand soap and antibacterial wipes and crossing my fingers our flu shots hold, but today I still woke up with a cough and a sore throat and an overwhelming feeling of blaargh. Meanwhile, poor Ezra's developed migraines and is getting regularly knocked down with them, which oh my God. As a fellow migraine sufferer (and thus, likely the genetic reason he's getting them), I am soooo sorry, buddy. He can't even swallow pills yet and here I am, dosing fucking adult-sized migraines with grape-flavored liquid. (Yes, we're working with his doctor to make sure there's nothing else going on, but all signs so far just point to: Wow, migraines at nine years old. That sucks!) And since we're on the topic of hollow, useless apologies to my children, I have another one to offer on... Read more →


Ezra's Cookbook

In other Cookin' With Zah news (assuming you are not sick of Cookin' With Zah news, because I am not, will not, can not, ever get sick of Cookin' With Zah news), he's putting together his own cookbook of original recipes. Fully illustrated, too. He's taking it VERY seriously. He's got several dozen pages in a binder, and adds new ones whenever imagination strikes. That's not to say that the original recipes are...workable, quite yet. Or even fully legible. Ezra inherited both Jason's terrible handwriting and his cavalier, improvisational approach to cooking/baking. Just eyeball the flour, it'll be fine! Don't have an egg? Use cheese! Lid fell off the cinnamon jar? Today I present the judges with Cinnamon French Toast pan-fried in cinnamon butter and topped with a blackened cinnamon crust, please enjoy. Most of his ideas have SOME basis in reality -- he wants to bake a sweet potato pie, I can find a recipe for a sweet potato pie -- but then he chafes a bit when it's clear that we're not 100% really following his concept for a sweet potato pie. So I'm always torn between letting him experiment a little...while trying to guide him towards a... Read more →


Surfacing

Last week, Jason and I decided to have an impromptu mid-week date night. This in and of itself was somewhat significant, as I haven't been too keen on things like "leaving the house" and "putting on pants" for the last few months. We went to one of our favorite restaurants (alas, no House of Cards cast and crew this time). I picked a half-order of tortellini to start and the braised short rib as an entree. They were both great. Exceptionally great. I couldn't stop talking about how great it all was. "I am really enjoying this meal," I said at one point, mid-delicious bites. Then I froze. I put my fork down. I looked at Jason and repeated, with a bit of dazed wonder: I am enjoying this meal. *** During my first appointment with the psychiatrist, she asked me what I liked to do for fun. Any hobbies, activities I particularly enjoyed? I stared at her as my mind drew a blank. ...Fun? ...En-joyed? What even were those words? "I liked going to restaurants," I finally came up with. "Eating out, trying new foods. Cooking and baking with my kids, having people over and entertaining." She smiled and... Read more →


The Three Wise Hams

This week has been a messy bitch of early school closings, delayed school openings, and our first kid semi-down for the count with a cold. I believe making it illness-free until January is a family best, though, so go us! It shall now ping-pong around our household for the next week and a half, with at least two of us getting stuck with a persistent dry cough until April. IT IS OUR WAY. Also our way. Best not to question it. In other photos-in-search-of-a-blog-post news, Jason recently got the chance to take Ezra (and Hobbes, natch) to his very first Ravens game. (I've called dibs on everybody's first Broadway musical; Jason claimed all the sportsball and Monster Truck Jams.) The weather wasn't great but they stuck it out for the full game -- it helped that our team actually won, but really the key to holding Ezra's interest in any live sporting event is to simply keep feeding him. (It also helps to have seats with views of the cheerleaders, apparently.) Thumbs-up and bunny ears to some quality Dadding, right there. Ezra had a blast. Ike felt a little left out -- the tickets were free from a friend who... Read more →