The Million Hour Bathmat

I'm not a very big Pinterest user. I have fits where I go and pin three dozen near-identical home project ideas that I will never look at again, and then I go so long without logging in that both my browser and my brain have completely forgotten my password. Twitter gives me anxiety, Facebook makes me depressed, Pinterest is why I have a dozen dead succulents in my kitchen. Jason, on the other hand, freaking loves Pinterest and regularly falls down the wormhole, texting me link after link of things he is TOTALLY gonna build/cook/make/whatever. And a couple times he maybe actually did! (Still waiting on a patio table, console table, bathroom shelves, shiplap bedroom wall, and backyard treehouse.) Anyway, once upon a time and several hundred bottles of wine ago, he came across a tutorial for making a bathmat out of wine corks. Wow, that looks really cool! And seems pretty easy, especially because step one is literally to just drink a ton of wine to collect the corks. WELL I FOR ONE AM SOLD. And so we began saving wine corks. From nice bottles, special bottles, crappy bottles. We'd order wine at a restaurant and I'd snatch the... Read more →


An Ode To All the Crap I Found On Top of the Fridge

The great kitchen appliance I'm Not Dead Yet tour lumbers on. The refrigerator's ice maker broke and leaked water everywhere (something I discovered while sitting downstairs in the basement, when water began dripping on my head halfway through The Cloverfield Paradox). And then that duct-taped shelf randomly un-duct-taped itself the very next morning and took out a dozen eggs and a bottle of mustard. Jason attempted to fix the ice maker, but after spending 10 minutes behind the fridge he realized it was a goddamn miracle the thing was running at all, or not currently on fire. (Maybe it was! Maybe the water leak just canceled it out.) Bitch was old. And very much on its last legs. Not going to lie: I straight-up clapped my hands and cheered. New fridge! New fridge! (In case you're wondering where all this money we suddenly seem to have came from: We took out a home equity loan a few months ago to fund several projects, like the floors and a new patio out back that is getting underway later this week. We also included some buffer/padding money in case of something going over budget or, say, all our major appliances turning to... Read more →


Appliance Purgatory

In an attempt to keep costs down on our kitchen remodel, we opted not to replace any of the appliances. They were all pretty old and not particularly stylish (shiny, black, basic), but they worked. They probably wouldn't work much longer, we guessed, but we could live with them for now. We'd replace them as needed, once they officially gave out and died. It turns out Appliance Death is not exactly a cut-and-dry sort of thing. Much of our lives since have been spent locked in existential debate about the fate and mortality of our stupid appliances. The dishwasher "died" on a semi-regular basis from the day we moved in, but we found it could usually be revived with a couple vigorous slams of the door. If that didn't work, we just needed to pop open the control panel and replace a particular fuse that kept blowing. Also the top rack was prone to popping off its track and falling off completely if you pulled it out a touch too far. That cost us a couple dishes every now and then, but hey, it's all just Ikea and Goodwill crap. Other than all of those things, the dishwasher works! It's... Read more →


Um. Brr.

It's currently 11 degrees outside (-1 with windchill), but apparently that's downright balmy compared to what a lot of ya'll are currently dealing with, as we're at least not digging ourselves out from piles of snow and/or frozen iguanas. We're mostly just piling on the layers*, gathering around the fireplace, and basking in the warming glow of some good ol' fashioned Fire and Fury, along allllll the schadenfreude-y popcorn our doomed planet currently has to offer. Here we are preparing to make the one block trek up to the bus stop. We made it as far as our driveway before I was like, fuck this bullshit, get in the car, we're driving. Sorry again, planet. *This includes a heavy layer of warm-body-seeking cats and dogs** at all times. **This weather justifies the purchase of some absolutely ridiculous pet sweaters Y/N? Read more →


Merry Crashmas

We decided to keep things simple this year, so instead of visiting a tree farm, we picked one up pre-cut from the nearest lot. And for the first year ever, all three kids were actually genuinely helpful. The tree got evenly and uniformly decorated (as opposed to 17 ornaments stacked up on a single bottom branch) and -- perhaps even more monumentally, they didn't break a single ornament. The tree looked perfect. A few days later, however, the cats were like, HOLD OUR BEER. (BB-8 NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!) Thankfully, the majority of our ornaments are the of the cheap shatter-proof or kids arts-and-crafts varieties, but we still managed to lose a good number of the delicate, sentimental kind. (Trying not to look at the shards of the very last 70s vintage glass ball from my childhood Christmas tree in that last photo.) Jason and I propped the tree back up, frantically redecorated and scrubbed the crime scene of mass-needle-carnage evidence before the kids got home from school. Of course, it took Ike all of 30 seconds to notice that several of "his" ornaments were either missing or on different branches and we eventually had to come clean and admit that yeah, we're... Read more →


Enough Said

(Photo unrelated to post topic, for reasons that shall become clear. But look! Floors are done and lazy-cat-approved!) It's an...interesting time to be the mother of a 12-year-old boy. Puberty has hit our household like a ton of bricks launched from a Death Star. Stuff is changing. Girls are suddenly a thing. And we're having a lot of frank and honest conversations about hormones, boundaries, consent, and social cues. Also, butts. Meanwhile, every time I read the news I can't help but think that, hey, some of these grown-ass men clearly missed out of some of this SUPER BASIC INFORMATION back when they were 12 years old, because JESUS CHRIST. We might not know entirely what we're doing as we navigate this brave new phase in parenting, I can at least pledge this to my son's peers and fellow grown-ass women of the future: We're trying. We're really, really trying. So presented without further context (because none is needed, I think you get the gist, safe to say that if this list is intended to be useful for you, YOU GET IT, YOU KNOW, YOU FEEL ME DAWGS), here are my Current Top Best Book Recommendations: American Medical Association Boy's... Read more →


Almost There But Not Quite Yet

We have (some) floors! (Wow. Photos of...a floor. A new high point for this blog.) They are very pretty and shiny, though. They shall surely be covered in muddy paw prints and stepped-on crayon nubs in no time, but for now I am very much enjoying this fleeting moment of sparkling newness. The banging overhead is at a fever pitch today, as the rooms directly above my office are getting installed. Then it's the stairs and thresholds tomorrow, and then we can officially move everything back and get our Christmas trees and lament our lack of area rugs. Also, the new floors are really revving up my already-existing desire to paint over all the beige walls, which, knowing me and my inability to choose paint colors, means you can expect those photos sometime around 2027. Last night was Ezra's first violin recital at school, which featured 94 third graders plucking at strings to produce something that seemed somewhat reminiscent of music, but only if you squinted really hard. Also a lot of kids swinging their violins around like swords. Not Ezra though, he took it all VERY seriously and spent the pre-recital lineup/setup time quietly practicing, and then bowed with... Read more →


Boom Bang Sigh

It's happening! Operation Let's Wreck Some Yellow House Shit Up is finally happening! I'd like to give a big shout-out to that moment when you move your couch for the first time in like, two years and are confronted with all your failings as an adult human being. Dismantling and moving our bed yielded a similar lint/cat toy/string-cheese-wrapper bounty, but also $20! We're rich! And also kind of vile. Let's run for Senator. Anyway, it's very bangy and screechy here today and the smoke alarms keep going off, much to Poppy's dismay. We are living in the basement for the rest of the week with a lot of furniture and closet contents. I was planning to go work from a Starbucks or something but forgot to retrieve any pants from upstairs (specifically, they are all piled up in the tub in the master bathroom) before the work crew arrived. So I suppose I am trapped down here for today until they leave. But hey! No pants! Not a bad deal. Read more →


This Is Your Brain on Friendsgiving

9 a.m.: I wonder how long I can stay in bed and pretend this isn't happening. 9:15: GET UP GET UP GET UP 10:00: Time To Fuss Over Flower Arrangements! 10:30: It's probably too early to put out chips and stuff, right? 10:35: (Realizes Jason bought Cheetos) 10:40 - noon: (Stress-eats Cheetos) 12:01 p.m.: Rearrange All The Flower Arrangements! 12:30: Ike has announced his intention to take a rolling Friendsgiving attendance/headcount on Post-It Notes. It's good to have a purpose. 1:00: OMG no one is coming 1:45: OMG everyone is coming 1:47: Ike has re-made the Friendsgiving banner. 2:00 - who even can remember: HI HI HI HI HI HI I LIKE EVERYBODY HERE SO MUCH 2:05: Where is my wine glass? 2:30: Oh, there it is. 2:35: We aren't going to have enough food. 3:00: Holy shit there is so much food. 3:02: WTF lost my wine glass again. 3:15: One turkey down, two more to go. 3:45: I should not have filled up on Cheetos. 4:00: Ike has redecorated the bar area. 4:15: Guess I'll just get a new wine glass? Is that allowed? 4:16: Oh right. This is my house. 4:30: Deep-fried turkey is the best turkey,... Read more →


Amy vs. Bookcase

Me, all year: Oh yeah. we host a big Friendsgiving thing the Saturday before Thanksgiving. It's really fun. You should come next time! Me, the week of Friendsgiving: GAH GAH GAAAAAAH WHY DO WE DO THIS GAH GAH AHHAGS GAHAHAGA JPFNZCMZXC,M.CZXLDFJD We're up to three turkeys this year. One roasted, one deep-fried and now, one smoked. Jason is making the stuffing, I'm doing boozy cranberry sauce and gougeres. Ezra is handling the sweet potatoes and the other two are whining about all the Doritos and Capri Suns that I've told them they aren't allowed to have yet. I need to figure out the logistics of two pies and a cheesecake sitting in our freezer and of course, clean all the things and declutter all the surfaces. Last week my therapist (BOOM) (THAT HAPPENED) asked me if there was anything in particular stressing me out about the party and I said, "the stupid fucking bookcase in the living room." So, back up. We impulse-bought an Ikea bookcase instead of a proper TV stand/entertainment unit right after we moved in and almost immediately regretted it. It was too big and didn't really go with anything else in the room. But we never... Read more →