Onward! To the next holiday! After missing out on much of the Christmas season last year due to Zombie Pinkeye (shudders) (phantom eye twitch) (emergency eyeball check), I decided we were wasting no time this year. Time to chop a tree and deck some motherfucking halls. We went SLIGHTLY less ridiculous with the tree size this time around, and as a momentous first, not only did my children not break a single ornament, they actually helped decorate the tree. As opposed to "helping" "decorate" by "hanging 40 ornaments on the same two branches." We also found all the outdoor decorations we bought on sale last January, so we're no longer that One Sad House with no lights or wreaths or other holiday whimsy. (Although we technically still have no wreaths, because although I am 110% sure I bought some red ribbon for both bows and hanging-purposes, it has yet to resurface. And Amazon is all, "oh, you want some outdoor ribbon? at this time of year? that'll be over a hundred damn bucks, you slacker." So our wreaths are still stacked up in a corner until I can go buy some non-price-gouged ribbon at an actual store, which: Christ. That... Read more →


Ezra: Mom, I really wish I could learn how to vacuum the floor. Me: ... Me: BEHOLD, I AM MAGIC WISH-GRANTING FAIRY. KNOCK YOURSELF OUT, CHILD. For whatever reason, after school on Monday, Ezra suddenly noticed there were still Cheerios all over the kitchen floor. Now, there are ALWAYS Cheerios all over the kitchen floor, this has been a constant point of crunchy underfoot irritation in my life for damn near a decade now, because the pincer grasp milestone is a crock of shit, but this was the first time any of them actually 1) noticed, and 2) felt compelled to do something about it. Me, again: I got out the vacuum, went over some basics, and barely got in a demo push before Ezra grabbed it out of my hands and went to TOWN on those Cheerios. The kitchen vacuuming quickly turned into bedroom vacuuming, then he decided to take care of the hallways and stairs. Then Ike, I shit you not, asked to join in the fun. Ezra finished off in the living room, tsk tsking over every stray Lego and broken crayon bit he came across and carefully picked up. Ike ran around collecting socks and mittens... Read more →


It's hard to believe we've been in the Yellow House for over a year. Especially since there are still boxes in the basement and several closets, and approximately 4,509.023 Yellow House-related projects we were totally going to do right away, and yet here we are. All the walls are still beige or brownish beige. I despise the ceiling fans with the force of a million ugly ceiling fans turned up to high. I still haven't replaced the super dark velvet sadness curtains in our bedroom. Framed art and photos sit propped against walls where I MIGHT want to hang them, but am still not emotionally ready to commit to a nail hole. Other than that, the house is very lived in and homey, by which I mean cluttered and messy as fuck. Not like, gross messy (unless we're talking about the boys' bathroom but WE DON'T SPEAK OF SUCH THINGS), but just...kid messy. Five people who tend to set objects down and wander away from them and three pets who all have a lot of toys/scratching posts/pet beds messy. Small child who is currently obsessed with ripping up small pieces of paper and scattering them everywhere and a mother who... Read more →


Our first year with a "real" garden has been... ...bountiful, to say the least. And very, very delicious. (Not pictured, because we ated them: turnips, radishes, carrots, kale, zucchini, peas, bell and chili peppers, most of which we'll be getting round two or even three of shortly.) It's also been a bit of a learning process for us, as 1) no human family, no matter how bonkers-crazy they are for tomatoes, can possibly consume the INSANE number of tomatoes we planted, and I say that as someone who has not eaten a non-tomato-centric lunch in four months, has made sauces and jams and salads and soups, and has given away bags of tomatoes to anyone who comes to visit. Also 2) TIMBERRRRRRRRR. Whoopsie. We're having some nasty weather this week, and last night the metal frame Jason screwed into the raised beds gave up under the weight of a 10-foot high cucumber plant. I didn't even notice until after I got back from the bus stop. And while I'm SURE our neighbors were THRILLED at the sight of our giant-ass plant dangling over the fence (at least upright it served as a improvisational privacy hedge?), they did not poach our... Read more →


We picked the boys up on Saturday, with Beau as a reluctant and extremely barfy passenger. Which was great because obviously Jason had SO much fun cleaning the minivan the day before, he couldn't wait to do it again. He did much, much better on the ride home, thanks to being reunited with his boys. And/or because he realized that we weren't systematically shipping family members off, one by one, until only the cats remained. The boys immediately made a beeline to Noah's new room, and it went over even better than I hoped -- I worried Noah's expectations would be higher than what I managed to deliver on, but in his exact words: "This room is AMAZING. Thank you guys!" /high fives self //smacks ear by accident For point of reference, here is a very bad, very glare-y before photo taken while we were prepping to paint: Biggest challenges included finding a shade of paint that somewhat downplayed the purple carpet, sanding down approximately four dozen handpainted daisies, and working around a towering inferno of toys, including an incredibly large replica of the Ghostbusters headquarters that Noah built on his own (aka NOT the skullfuckingly expensive set) and BEGGED... Read more →


It's 11:32 a.m. on Friday night now, and I just woke up 15 minutes ago. And it was glorious. And it's been that way all week, I have to admit. We dropped the boys off at their grandparents last weekend, spent one night in Philly (and still managed to squeeze in three different cheesesteak outings), and have spent the rest of the week here at home, sans kids. The first morning I woke up super early to phantom kid voices and that sense of OH SHIT WE'RE PROBABLY RUNNING LATE FOR SOMETHING. We stayed up super late for no other reason than we COULD, heading out to restaurants and bars and clubs just because LOOK AT US, WE'RE NOT PAYING FOR A BABYSITTER. And then we started sleeping in later and later until here we are today, bordering on full-time nocturnal. In the hours in between, we painted Noah's bedroom and I got to work giving it a low-budget Minecraft theme -- I'm sensing Noah will be a bit disappointed that we didn't paint the floor-to-ceiling pixelated terrain and sky he asked for, but sorry, it took us a full YEAR finally paint over the purple and yellow flowers in... Read more →


Yet Another Important Update On The Ongoing Cat/Box Situation: Somebody peed in the box. So now nobody gets to play in the box anymore, this is why you can have nice box things, you are gross guys, etc. Of course, the matter of WHO peed in the box is a mystery for the ages. So many bladders, so much nonsense. Speaking of mysteries (and nonsense), can someone tell me WTF this is? This is in our upstairs hall linen closet. It is some sort of pushable red button up near the top shelf. It has mystified us all ever since we moved in, although we have (SO FAR) all managed to resist the urge to PUSH THE RED BUTTON, OH GO ON PUSH IT, JUST SEEEEEEE, WHAT'S THE WORST THAT COULD HAPPENNNNNN? We didn't notice it during the inspection or anything and mostly forget that it's there but then I go to get some towels and I'm like guuuuuuuhhhhhwannapushwannapush. All my Google searches for "WEIRD RED BUTTON IN CLOSET WHAT DOES IT DO" and a million other variations have turned up...um, exactly nothing helpful. My first guess was some kind of panic button, as the previous owners did install a... Read more →


This morning I successfully shooed a tiny baby snake off my front porch with a snow shovel. This afternoon I successfully gazed upon a squirming heaving pile of tiny baby snakes without losing my shit. Really growing as a person, over here, guys. I predict full-scale capable adulthood by the age of 55. So I never told this story, as it seemed unwise to write about at the time, but a couple weeks before we listed the townhouse for sale, I was straightening up the basement (AKA OBSESSIVELY DECLUTTERING AND FAKE STAGING) and discovered a huge wet spot on one of the futons. My first thought was CEIBA YOU ASSHOLE, until I felt something dripping on my head. I looked up at the ceiling and the stucco-textured ceiling was wet, bulging, and actively dripping water. HOUSE YOU ASSHOLE. It was coming from the dishwasher, specifically (as discovered by the emergency plumber we immediately called in) from a plastic water reservoir that had been CHEWED THROUGH. BY MICE. Now, we had not seen any evidence of any mice since Jason's Great Ethical Catch & Release Crusade of 2010, which coincidentally ended around the same time I spotted a big-ass garter snake... Read more →


So we got a little snow. Twenty-seven and a half inches of snow, to be exact, which piled up in massive drifts thanks to the blustery, blizzardy winds. And on our driveway, over and over, until we finally gave up on shoveling. ("I like how far back the house sits from the road," I said, once upon a time.) Luckily, unlike LAST TIME, ALL THE OTHER TIMES, we did not lose power. Or water or cable or wifi or even our damn minds. Yellow House withstood the onslaught and kept us warm and dry and Xboxed and jacuzzi tubbed, And we thank you, Yellow House, but oh dear God next year we're buying a snow blower. Our cul de sac is about evenly split right now between the original owners who bought during the 90s, and new families like us, who all moved in over the past year or so. And who were all experiencing our first real snow all over our nice new houses and big fat driveways and winding front sidewalks, armed with shovels, while the other half of the houses were firing up gasoline-powered snow throwers and nodding at us like, "welcome to the deep 'burbs, city... Read more →


Last night we received a little appetizer to the Big Blizzard-o-pocalypse that's headed our way, in the form of maybe an inch and a half of snow. It was just enough to strike fear in our hearts and fire under our asses to clean up the garage enough so we could fit our cars inside. We have NOT ONCE, EVER, actually parked our cars in the garage. Despite a 2-car garage being Jason's main non-negotiable house hunting feature, we very quickly filled it up with crap and garbage and bikes and old kitchen cabinets and fancy new tools and extra floor tile and extra wall tile and Blue Apron boxes and pallets pallets PALLETS. Ta-da! Cars inside, basically just in time for the snow to stop. Of course, we did sort of run out of steam (and room in the storage area) after awhile. So that's...happening. We've definitely got our organizing-while-snowbound work cut out for us. This morning, the inch and a half was more like an inch, but schools were delayed two hours anyway, which screws with my work productivity more than an actual full snow day for some reason. I decided to just keep Ike home from preschool... Read more →