I almost made it through Father's Day without thinking about my dad. Okay, that sounds horrible, and isn't really true. There's no way NOT to think about him, what with the sheer volume of irritating PR email pitches that pile up all month. "Don't forget about Dad!" they say in the subject lines, "Please please blog about some crap we think is perfect for your dad! Who is dead!" is how I sarcastically translate them, right before I dump them into the trash can, unread. It's a new yearly tradition, although the righteous anger I used to feel over some poorly targeted email blasts has faded over the years. (No, I am NOT getting an early start on my Father's Day gift guide. Because I am at my father's FUNERAL, motherfucker. UNSUBSCRIBE.) I almost made it through without thinking about my dad in any painful, punch-in-the-gut sort-of way. That's more what I meant. I focused entirely on Jason (who also had his birthday yesterday), so I had lots of extra planning and shopping to focus on, with a goal to give him an entire weekend of fun and presents and relaxation. We got together with friends, went to picnics and... Read more →


On No More Babies

It recently occurred to me — me, Queen of the Obvious, every bit as whipsmart as your average bowl of oatmeal — that I don't have any babies in my house. Nor do I have any imminently incoming babies. Ike will turn three on June 1st, just some 50-odd days from now. When Noah turned three, he was barely two weeks away from becoming a big brother. When Ezra turned three, he'd already been a big brother for over four months. There was always another pregnancy, another baby, to ease the transition of baby to toddler to boy. Despite Ike's insistance that we all still call him Baby Ike, he's all little boy now. His personality has exploded — all of a sudden he went from being a cute little mimicking thing to being himself. He has opinions and observations. He makes jokes and plays games. He's crazy for superheroes — he's firmly Team Marvel, by the way, so please purchase his underwear accordingly —and his favorite color is not just blue, but DARK blue. He sings and he dances, he thinks Happy Meals are the basically the greatest thing ever (whoops, my bad), and he never stops talking. Despite... Read more →


Sounding the Everything Is Okay Alarm For the Millionth Time

So I wrote about four sentences' worth of an entry yesterday, an entry I didn't really WANT to write but simply didn't know what ELSE to write: My mom was in the hospital. She'd been in the hospital since Friday. They didn't really know what was wrong and the tests were starting to creep up into the realm of OH SHIT. (At least according to ME. My mom was like, "whatever, I'm FINE.") And so I finally caved and figured that writing a blog entry telling the Internet about it was a slightly better use of my time than all the WebMD Googling I was doing, Dramablogging may be ill-advised at times, but my Internet browsing history was becoming a full-on experiment in terror, so I figured I better let it out. I only wrote four sentences because — as you may have surmised by all the past tense I'm using — that was when my mom called to report that the tests all came back normal and she was free to go home in just a few hours. Okay then! And so we can add this incident to my upcoming bestselling self-help book, tentatively titled "The Power of Bloggable... Read more →


Hey! Remember when Thanksgiving happened? I do the same thing every year: I intend to ROCK OUT with a whole slew of Thanksgiving-related blog posts. I make such a big goddamn deal out of the holiday in real life that you'd think my blog would reflect that. Maybe take a yearly dive into recipe blogging and 500-word entries about napkins. Show you the real depths of my vintage glassware obsession. (It's deep, man. Like The Descent, only with more bowls.) Instead, I completely freak out over EVERYTHING that needs to be done in preparation for Thanksgiving that my blog basically sits silent while its author runs around like a headless turkey hopped up on coffee brine in the distant background. Then I gorge myself on challah-bread stuffing and sleep for four days straight. IN OTHER WORDS, will y'all please indulge me and look at some pictures? You actually don't have to really look at them — I'll never know if you keep your Minecraft window open — just type a fake-appreciative mmm-hmmm in the comments and I'll be happy. First: Something old. Or, well. A lot of somethings old. I have cobbled... Read more →


So we (along with two million of our closest friends) lost power on Friday night during the storm LAND HURRICANE WHAT THE FREAKING HELL. We'll likely remain without power for several more days, because fuck us, that's why. (Also: massive trees and downed lines all over the place. That too.) It's been a long weekend of driving around in the car to keep our phones charged and our children entertained, which sounds easy until you suddenly realize oh hi empty gas tank and powerless gas stations as far as the non-functioning GPS can see because the cell towers are out and WHAT IS THIS LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE? I NEED INFORMATION ABOUT WHERE TO FIND COFFEE. But besides the fact that my children's bedroom is 90+ degrees and smells like the inside of a gym bag (and let's be honest, my children ain't much better), we are fortunate. We live pretty much in the dead honest center of where the storm touched down. The big trees that fell on our street missed cars and roofs and — oh jebus — people. I battled Wizard-of-Oz style mid-storm to get our wildly flapping screen doors shut and bolted but in the... 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 →


As in, ALL THE FOOD. ALL THE COOKIES. ALL THE WINE. ALL THE BRAIN CELLS. Hello! And happy 2012. Sorry for slacking off last week. After Instagramming the shit out of Christmas Day, I guess I got distracted by our hosting duties, my new-found mastery at making pâte à choux and filling it with horribly fattening delicious things, and Noah's pleas to assemble ALL THE LEGOS. If you ain't no punk holla We Want Legos WE WANT LEGOS! The Spongebob house (worst set EVER, was missing a ton of pieces and will fall apart if you breathe on it too hard) was a brief diversion from the True Meaning Of Christmas, however, which was: STAR TREK MORE STAR TREK GOOD GOD COULD THERE BE ANY MORE STAR TREK IN THIS PICTURE (Judging from the complete Enterprise Bridge Model Playset with Poseable Action Figures and Various Other Impossibly Tiny Pieces currently taking over my entire living room floor, the answer is YES.) "It's not that big, I don't think," my mom texted me re: this cardboard spaceship. Lies! Such lies! My mom was actually the one who had to go to the emergency room on Christmas eve. Her calf and ankle... Read more →


Allow me to come clean, albeit vaguely, for minute or two. I am fine -- Jason is fine, the boys are fine -- but several people I love are not. At all. I can't get into details about who and what and when, because these are not my stories to tell, but just to give you a basic sampling of ALL THE AWESOME THINGS HAPPENING RIGHT NOW, we have: inpatient rehab, depression, calls to a suicide hotline, impending financial doom, death, loss, suffocating grief, spread amongst several different friends and family members. All at once. BOOM. Hi! You're welcome! Love, August. (P.S. Fuck you.) I am not a "fixer." I kind of get bugged by "fixers." You know the type. You tell them your problems and they immediately pepper you with helpful, practical suggestions, and you're like: Wait. Did I make it sound like I was done wallowing? Because I'm pretty sure I'm not done wallowing. So could you please dial it back to sympathetic head pats and save your to-do list of Actionable Items To Better My Own Situation for later? (Note: Jason is a fixer, though I have successfully managed to make him recognize this as a character... Read more →


I haven't cried since that night. I've teared up a couple times, my voice has wavered now and then, I've stood deer-in-the-headlights style at a party waiting for the topic of conversation to move on from cute stories about other people's fathers, but I haven't cried. That is, until this arrived in the mail: That's my dad's thumbprint. I took the impression while sitting with him after I could no longer talk with him. Some people take photos or locks of hair, I rolled up balls of purple-and-white putty and gingerly pressed his fingertips into them. This is it, I thought the whole time. This is IT. I suppose I'd known before then -- after all, I'd specifically requested the compound be overnighted ahead of our visit, just in case. On the Friday before he passed away I told him about Janessa and the fingerprint jewelry she offered to make for me and my mom, and I felt...weird, like YO I KNOW YOU'RE DYING AND ALL BUT IMMA GONNA MAKE ME A NECKLACE, OKAY? He didn't think it was weird at all. He thought it sounded like a lovely idea. Still, though. I left the compound in my suitcase until... Read more →


Hidden among my father's rows and rows of books -- every book that had ever landed on the high school English curriculum list, plus a few from the banned column, for good measure -- was an impressive stash of Cliffs Notes. I remember being surprised by the huge number of yellow-and-black-striped study guides one day while digging around for something to read, something more challenging than the pathetic selection of Christian young adult fiction-with-a-Jesus-message my school's library offered. I think I was on a Thomas Hardy kick, or maybe it was Vonnegut by that point. Either way, I knew I'd find something that would alternately impress and/or horrify my own English teacher, but I wasn't expecting the Cliffs Notes. I knew exactly what they were, and how most of my peers used them: For cheating. You read the guide and not the book, and hopefully gleaned enough information to bullshit your way through class discussions and tests. They were a safer bet than renting a movie version that might have changed everything, but of course they cost a lot more, and you ran the risk of having a teacher or parent catch you with them. And then there was my... Read more →