Oh yeah, look at me, blogging SO MUCH MORE, just like I promised. I am nothing if not hella consistent with being a huge goddamn flake. Anyway, here are some things that happened: 1) Jason indeed got snipped. He has offered to write a guest post about the experience, and I have accepted that offer, provided I am allowed to interrupt his entry with a lot of Parenthetical Editorial Comments. Please to expect follow-through on this idea at some point in late 2016. 2) While that procedure was literally in progress, I went and met my friend's brand-new baby boy. I held him, smelled his head, and even changed an up-the-back poop diaper like an old pro. Then I handed him back to his parents and drove home, possibly while singing DAMN IT FEELS GOOD TO BE A GANGSTA because nope, never again, not happening. 3) And oh. Right. Christmas. Childhood magic and joy and wonder and beef bourguignon. And holiday headlocks in matching candy cane jammies. 4) My recovery from the surgery continues. 4a) Incisions are all scabbed over and incredibly gnarly looking, so vanity is not at a high point right now, just yet. I've been taking pictures... Read more →

Due to my delicate condition, I outsourced the yearly trek out for the Mall Santa photo to my husband and mother-in-law last week. I shuffled around semi-usefully just long enough to get the boys in sweaters — as "sweaters" are about as close as we get to "dress clothes" around here, since collared shirts require ironing (fuck dat), and everything else they own proudly features a) a garishly colored, licensed cartoon character on it, b) some sort of orange-y red Mystery Stain, or c) both. So! Sweaters for everybody! Or...wait...unless... Crap, does everybody even own a sweater at this point? Turns out, they do! I was amazed. They all even seemed pleasantly coordinated, which...huh. A few minutes after they walked out the door, I realized that I'd just sent at least two children out wearing the same sweaters they wore in last year's Mall Santa picture, because that's the last time I gave a crap about sweaters. Note that I possibly bought them those sweaters while they waited in line with their father, ripping tags off and shoving them over their heads while all around us, families arrived with children in velvet dresses and sport coats and tiny babies in... Read more →

We took the boys to a Christmas tree farm this weekend. We came home with a very beautiful tree, a bag of kettle corn, and a gigantic sticky puddle of spilled hot chocolate all over the minivan. Have you ever gone on a family outing, taken a ton of pictures and then realized — once you were home — that basically every photo you took is an outtake, with somebody being a weirdo in every single shot? Just me? Okay then. Cheesy Facehole Board, Attempt #1: From L to R: Ezra's making a pirate face, Noah's eyes are closed, my hulking shadow is distracting, and Ike is... Oh, Ike is just LOVING this. Cheesy Facehole Board, Attempt #2: This time we have Suspicious Side Eye, Squinty Scrunch Face and Kid Who Smells Something Terrible. Cheesy Facehole Board, Attempt #3: I don't even know what's going on with Ike's face in this one. Either the sun was in his eyes or this is honestly what he thinks counts as a "smile" these days: Cheesy Facehole Board, Attempt #4: Ezra has now graduated to talking like a pirate, Noah is about to mime projectile vomiting because that's never NOT funny, and I... Read more →

Over the past week, we have attended three different parent/teacher conferences. Which I guess makes sense, given that we have three different children, but still. What a damn timesuck that ends up being. Something to consider for any ongoing family planning purposes, you guys. . All three conferences were fairly uneventful. Ike enjoys learning about animals and seems very comfortable "exploring the classroom space." (Translation: wandering around like a hopped-up ping-pong ball.) He is going through a "big vocabulary development phase." (Translation: He never ever shuts up.) Occasionally he can be quite "independent" (stubborn, difficult, made of NO, the perfect embodiment of every 3 year old ever) but is easily "redirected" (look Ike, it's something shiiiiiny!). He is not a big fan of the Montessori "Practical Life" activities. (Translation: Table dusting? Floor mopping? Silver polishing? WTF decade do you people think this is? Child labor laws and Dyson vaccuums. Look 'em up, assholes.) Noah enjoys...oh, throws up hands, Noah enjoys school and has the best teacher in the universe who responds to his occasional rigidity with all the calming flexibility of a gentle, graceful birch tree, who absolutely adores him and says things like, "oh, my heart!" when describing his... Read more →

Halloween was such a non-event this year it hardly seems worth mentioning. Except that...you know...Halloween was such a non-event this year. Noah decided a couple months ago that he wanted to be a Ninja Turtle. He didn't know which one, and lately being asked to make a choice between several options or to pick a "favorite" really stresses him out, so we randomly picked Raphael for him. And Leonardo for Ike by mistake; he asked for Michaelangelo but I screwed it up and bought the wrong one. (I am getting really terrible at this stuff; a selective form of toy-and-cartoon-related dementia, or just a willful ignorance to hand over my remaining precious brainspace to the names and rich cross-merchandizing backstories of loud and obnoxious cartoon characters. Meanwhile my children want to talk about absolutely nothing else besides Teenage Transforming Mutant Ninja Angry Birds. Or something. I dunno. I'm rereading The Hunger Games, get off my lawn/battle arena.) Noah and Ike were thrilled with their costumes, at least, and Noah was especially comfortable wearing his and pretending to actually BE Raphael. Still not a big fan of Halloween decorations, either on houses or in stores, but considering the nearby mall hauled... Read more →

I totally bought Ezra the wrong Transformer for his birthday. He wanted Prowl, the Autobot, Battle Masters edition; for some reason this translated in my brain to Strafe, the Technobot, Construct-Bots edition. I still have no idea what at least seven or eight of those words mean. Lesson learned, though: Strafe is blue, while Prowl is yellow. But not like, Bumblebee yellow. Also, Battle Masters don't actually transform into anything, which, okay, I give up, these toys are stupid. Luckily, my mom has this birthday thing down and knows to just send them money rather than attempt to decode whatever Extreme Robot Ninja Lizard With Super Clutch Fisting Action Power the boys are rambling on about. So we ordered the correct (NON-TRANSFORMING) Transformer (WTF) and it arrived and is apparently so flipping awesome a fight broke out over it before I'd even gotten it out of the package. (Which to be fair, probably took me 20 minutes, because the toy was literally roped to the box in about 15 different places and then the box was coated in about three layers of packing tape just for good measure. HELLO ADULT AND YOUR CLUMSY MEATHANDS. I AM HERE TO MAKE YOU... Read more →

For his birthday, Ezra asked for exactly four things: 1) A chocolate cake with chocolate icing. 2) A Lord Business LEGO set. 3) A very specific Transformer that oh God I hope I bought the correct one THEY ALL LOOK ALIKE. and 4) A party dress for Bloon. So we took a recent scouting trip to a Big Box Toy Store — the POINT of which was to figure out exactly which Transformer he was talking about, which I completely blanked on while scrolling through Amazon because THEY ALL LOOK ALIKE and there are fourteen million variations of the same robot and now I'm utterly amazed at my parents' ability to always get me the exact pose of Strawberry Shortcake I had my heart set on. "The Strawberry Shortcake with the watering can! The GREEN watering can. And not the BENDING DOWN one. The STANDING UP one." While we were there, I figured Ezra might want to have a say in Bloon's party dress selection as well, so after some disoriented wandering around in search of the doll aisle, I asked an employee where we might find doll clothes. "Like for [DOLL BRAND I'VE NEVER HEARD OF]?" he asked. "Um,... Read more →

Congrats to Neena and Courtney, who won the 6-month subscriptions to NatureBox! I am officially pretty jealous. For anyone who didn't win, you can still try for free via this link. Ezra's love affair with school lunch ended somewhat predictably, and abruptly. Cafeteria-style pancakes are better in theory than reality, as anyone who has ever gotten their little hopes up over a bad hotel breakfast buffet can attest. "I would like you to pack my lunch tomorrow. I will buy lunch again in five days. When I'm six. On Tuesday." (Leftover chicken banh mi with extra pickled carrots and cucumbers, go-to granola bar of laziness, and a freshly-baked chocolate-chip banana muffin.) Jury is out on whether his dissatisfaction with the school lunch offerings was the deciding factor or, you know, the freshly-baked chocolate-chip banana muffins. I feel like I've mentioned this before, but in case I'm senile: We make this outstanding recipe from King Arthur Flour, ommitting the rum/coconut flavor, walnuts and cinnamon chips. We use mini muffin pans instead of the standard size, and also found that nine times out of 10, you can skip the paper liners if you just grease the pans really well. (And even they... Read more →

Hot Lunch Mess

So after all that lunchbox talk, Ezra decided that he DID want to buy lunch at school after all. He decided this on Thursday but didn't tell me. Instead, he simply "forgot" his lunchbox at school, on purpose. Because he figured no lunchbox = no lunch from home = buying lunch at school = PROFIT. But he didn't tell me the "on purpose" part, and still made no mention of wanting to buy lunch until Friday morning. I handed him an older, back-up lunchbox and was in the middle of reminding him to bring BOTH lunchboxes home when he promptly lost his shit. HE HAD A PLAN. A PERFECT PLAN. WHY WAS I RUINING HIS PLAN. I usually float the idea of buying the school lunch to Noah a few times every year, once the lunchbox fatigue really kicks in and we're out of milk boxes and I'm making sandwiches using the end pieces of the bread because that's all that's left. An emphatic NOPE is always the response, which I guess is fine because I haven't really heard much praise for the school food, and I know Noah would ignore every available option that wasn't pure starch-n-cheese. (Their school's... Read more →