You know what my kids love? Stickers! Do you know what they don't love? Sticker books. Or paper of any kind. Please do not send them any more stickers. I feel like they have enough. Go ahead and bookmark this for any upcoming Gift Guides For Parents You Secretly Hate, though. Wait, didn't I scrape you off already? Are you respawning? Shit. The weirdest thing about stickers is even after you've gotten rid of all the stickers, kids will always -- always -- find more stickers. TRULY. LIFE FINDS A WAY. (One time Ike ran out of stickers and decided to cover the entire bottom half of his door strips of Scotch Tape, which I guess was a little worse than stickers.) (Still, though. Please no more stickers. I could use more Scotch Tape, but only if it comes in a locked safe of some kind.) Read more →


I've been working from/in my actual "office" every day for the first time in awhile, to better bounce back and forth between laptops (three) and email addresses (four), and to have room to spread out piles of documents and keep everything separated by client (five) and basically not rely on keeping everything straight in my head, oh god no, let's not do that, that's how things end up forgotten about and/or on fire. I haven't worked down here in awhile because one time, not long after we adopted them, the cats hid in the closet and got accidentally trapped overnight, and both of them panic-peed on the carpet. And unlike the Lego bins, getting cat pee odors out of carpet is basically impossible. We've managed it PRETTY well, with both professional cleanings and buying our own carpet deep cleaner and using it regularly (like pretty much every time we vacuum), along with throwing just about every pet stain/odor related product on earth at the problem. So it usually smells just fine (though I think vaguely carpet-cleaner-ish), but other times the smell starts emanating from the padding below and I'm just like, I'm out, I'll be working from the couch again... Read more →


This weekend we started work on Big Serious-Ass Vegetable Garden 2.0... By setting up the world's lamest grow operation ever in the basement. We're planning once again on two jam-packed raised beds and about a half-dozen containers. It's a lot. Please note my use of the word "we," which is a lie. I helped clear out some boxes and assorted junk and Jason did everything else. I went back upstairs, poured a glass of wine and took pictures of my pets. Weekend productivity: NAILED IT. Last year none of our seedlings grew and we ended up buying plants instead. We started them too late, I think, and didn't account for colder temperatures in this basement vs. our old one. So in addition to the starter trays and grow light, a heat mat and digital thermostat have joined the setup. We're going with SLIGHTLY fewer tomato plants this year, but probably still too many. Summertime visitors to Yellow House should once again expect to have large bags of tomatoes hurled politely handed to you, no really, I insist, come on, you're not leaving until you take some, Jason, block the door, they're trying to escape without taking any tomatoes, etc. Read more →


We celebrated the beautiful weather (and everyone's so-so recovery from the cold that wouldn't die from last week) by getting outside and tackling some yardwork. Lots of leaves and twigs and small branches to collect. Our trees like to shed many different things all year round. My contribution: ...aaaaand my children's: We paid them a dollar. Got what we paid for, I guess. Today is a professional day at school so everyone is home for the fourth straight day. We're running out of entertainment options, although my "Anybody Who Whines About Being Bored Gets Assigned Housework"rule is working out splendidly. The house has never been cleaner! (This broom and dustpan combo set is the perfect size for your littlest servants, incidentally.) Ezra eventually caught on, and decided to get ready for our next family protest instead. Can't argue with that last one. Read more →


So this arrived a couple days ago. An early (and gigantic!) Christmas present from Jason's parents. It is a ladder. A proper, tall-enough ladder that will allow us to 1) paint some of the stupid-high walls and ceilings, 2) dust the ceiling fan blades, and 3) decorate the top of our Christmas trees without the use of a rake and Swiffer Duster extend-o handle thing. (That does not extend enough to dust the ceiling fan blades, ironically enough.) It is so fancy it comes with a whole DVD on how to use it. This is officially the most grown-up gift we have ever received. Or maybe the most obvious of hints to get our shit together. (Nahhhhhhhh.) But seriously, painting! Can possibly realistically happen! Goodbye beige and various beige-y shades of brown! Say hello to...oh God, hopefully not something that looks like a different color at first but then mostly comes out beige once it's on the whole wall. I should probably get the ladder out of the box and out of the foyer first, although y'all know our incredible track record on that sort of thing. And with that, #LADDERWATCH has officially commenced! Peace and blessings to your family... Read more →


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 →