(Mah Innernetz went down on Tuesday morning and was finally restored late last night. No work, no play, just futile router rebooting every hour on the hour and racking up massive data overages from Verizon Mobile while waiting on Verizon FIOS to get its shit together, trapped in a super frustrating ouroboros of corporate bullshit.) First of all, happy birthday to this guy: Here he is with his birthday present, which I 100% had nothing to do with: In addition to Friday night soccer*, Jason's newfound return to outdoorsy-sportsy-ness now includes bike riding. Like on trails and dirt and stuff. He is currently scouring Craigslist for a bike for me, which is adorably misguided. To give you an idea of the last time I rode a bike, please consult this terrible blog post from 2003, only the fourth post ever published on this site, back when I had no clue what I was doing and wrote a lot of angry Open Letters to strangers and stores and the Oxygen Network. I do not particularly want a new bike. I'd really rather get a new dishwasher, as our current one is barely functioning and I am like five minutes away from... Read more →


It's been two full days since school ended approximately 84 years ago. Getting work done has been...challenging. Every morning I lay out a schedule for everyone -- exactly what chores need done, spaced in between blocks of outside time, reading/writing time, instrument practice -- that must be completed before I will even consider any screen time requests. Then I head to my office and close my door, hunker down on a task for exactly 30 seconds before the someone barges in to tattle on someone else or ask where something from the dishwasher goes. (IT'S A SPOON, CHILD.) Also, can I go on my screen? Mom? Mooooom. Mooooommmmmmm. I feel like I've been snappy and scoldy and super easily annoyed; even perfectly valid questions and complaints are being met with a built-in WHAT NOWWWWW level of irritation. Camps start up next week, which no one is all that excited about, but I'm sending them anyway because I believe it will be a enriching and positive experience for my children to be around adults who aren't ready to bite their heads off in a Pavlovian reaction to the sound of a door opening. I was writing a column for AlphaMom this... Read more →


It's the last day of school! You're mere hours away from summer vacation! Now line up outside so I can take one of a photo and do that "look how you've grown/changed" comparison thing. Look excited, or something. Wow. Tough crowd. (According to MY compare/contrast thing, Ike's hair is longer and he's wearing shoes he outgrew in January, Ezra's legs have grown approximately 25 inches, and Noah's been wearing the same dang shirt since August. Sounds about right.) Read more →


It's been a momentous couple of days around here, starting with Noah's elementary school graduation on Friday. Which...okay, we all showed up dressed for that "casual classroom party" vibe and instead discovered that OH NO THIS SHIT IS FULL ON SERIOUS POMP AND CIRCUMSTANCES. Girls were decked out in fancy dresses; some of the boys were in suits and ties. The mom next to me was all dressed up and brought balloons and roses. I wore workout clothes and brought my phone. Thankfully Noah spent most of the ceremony in the last row so no one could judge his shorts and Minecraft t-shirt...at least not until the super fomal certificate processional at the end. D'oh. The best part -- BEST -- was when the principal announced he'd received a very important letter for the graduates and read some kind of form letter about dreams and accomplishments and America blah blah blah. "Sincerely," he read, and then paused dramatically, "Donald Trump." Dead fucking silence. A few people rolled their heads back to suppress laughter and everybody else stared at the floor. I glanced at my forearm and swallowed an obnoxious snort. The graduates were not impressed. It was fairly delicious. Noah... Read more →


This morning was Ike's kindergarten graduation "concert," an adorable yet tuneless affair, made slightly more memorable by the speedy and efficient mass exodus at the end by parents rushing out to get to a TV or computer to watch the Comey hearing, which started right around the time Ike's class was singing The World Is a Rainbow. (I'm watching it now, knowing full well that it's infinitely more interesting than anything I could post here.) Tomorrow is Noah's 5th grade graduation. Perhaps we'll linger a bit longer afterwards. Meanwhile, perhaps we've maybe, possibly, finally found our TBD. Read more →


As someone born two days after Christmas, I always thought Ike had it made with his June birthday. Unfortunately, I've realized that although he's not competing with a major holiday, his birthday does tend to get a bit lost in a flurry of end-of-school-year and sibling activities. On his actual birthday, we had to rush through presents and his birthday dinner in order to get Noah to his band concert on time. (Ezra wrapped up a semi-deflated ball that Ike likes to steal from his room, along with a handmade card. Noah stuck around to confirm a lack of Minecraft/FNAF-related presents and then kinda wandered off.) Thanks to a Woody costume and an ice cream sundae (complete with a candle and singing waitstaff), he didn't seem to mind the day's crowded schedule that much. (Also a bulk package of composition notebooks helped. They fill these up by the dozens.) Saturday was pretty booked up too, with music lessons and an end-of-year picnic at school, which they were all clearly thrilled about attending. But hey! Pizza for the MILLIONTH MEAL IN A ROW. (Ezra's Hobbes is literally disintegrating, guys, and I fear his days are numbered. If anyone sees a similar... Read more →


Six years ago today, our family was officially made complete. Six years ago today, we welcomed the funniest, sunniest little boy on the planet into our lives. Today I sent him off to his almost-last day of kindergarten with a hastily put together "special birthday snack" to share with his friends. It is, embarrassingly, just 22 plastic sandwich bags with only five or six Doritos each, because that was the only store-bought, nut-free snack we had on hand that was both unopened and non-stale. Because I completely forgot about the special birthday snack. Until Ike reminded me last night, and I watched his face fall as he recognized the signature OH SHIT expression on mine. It's hard to be the Baby Ike, sometimes. He was actually thrilled about the Doritos, since I think he's only ever had them at parties, or perhaps as someone else's special birthday snack. "My friends are going to LOVE these chips," he declared confidently as we packed them up. (It came out more as my fwends are going to WUV deez chips, which of course we're working on, but dang it the lisp just makes everything he says sound even cuter.) He's much better about... Read more →


So this happened. Ike's getting an IEP. Welcome to the club, kid. But he's getting it for the least dramatic reason possible, at least by our household's standards: He has a pretty bad lisp. He needs some speech therapy. Okay. I asked his preschool teachers about the lisp last year -- they weren't too concerned, given his age. He was likely outgrow it on his own. (I looked into speech therapy anyway last summer, only to learn that articulation disorders aren't covered under our insurance and the cost would be YIKES.) The elementary school, on the other hand, absolutely provides services for articulation disorders, so I flagged it as a potential concern on every piece of enrollment paperwork that I possibly could. I asked his kindergarten teacher about the lisp at our first parent-teacher conference -- she'd noticed it, yes. She also wasn't too concerned, given his age, but agreed to have the school's speech pathologist stop by and speak with him. She did, and blah blah blah not too concerned, given his age, blah blah let's wait and see. And so we've waited. AND GUESS WHAT. He hasn't outgrown it. At all. Not even a little bit. He can't... Read more →


Most Patient Cat of the Week, Who Knows On Some Level That I Could Put a Stop To All This If I Wanted To: Photogenic Cat of the Week, Whose Handsomeness Cannot Be Overshadowed By a Nearby Rando Laundry Basket: And Yet, Counterpoint, This Glorious Idiot: (Bonus points for Kermit finger puppet that has been claimed as a cat toy seemingly pondering the horror of his new torturous existence.) And Finally Some Random Non-Ladybug Nature That Happened, Because I Am Sometimes Still Surprised To Realize That I No Longer Live In the City, Even a Full Decade Later: WE'RE IN UR SUBURB, EATIN' UR SHRUBBERIES Read more →


Jason was lucky enough to take a couple days off this week, and spent them either 1) getting at least one of the two children responsible for most of the screaming/tattling/HE'S BREATHING MY AIR sort of hullaballoo out of my hair, or 2) spending quality one-on-one time with our middle and youngest children, reinforcing good positive attention behaviors with a side of spoiling and all that jazz. Technically a bit of both, I suppose. Both days involved the aquarium and copious amounts of dessert. Jason also sent the following photo as evidence of Ezra's Scrabble prowess, but in doing so revealed himself to be a dirty cheat who plays acronyms and two-letter words the second I'm not around to challenge that shit. (Note: Jason won't play Scrabble with me anymore.) Last night it was my turn to treat a kid to a special time out, and I landed either the best or worst assignment, depending on how you look at it. I took him to see DanTDM Live at the Baltimore Hippodrome. Who is DanTDM, you might ask? A perfectly reasonable question that I'm still not sure I can answer. DanTDM is a small and highly energetic British human who... Read more →