The Grifter's Defense

That feeling when you've de-fluffed and de-squeaked your favorite toy and haz ragrets. I suppose it's reassuring that the Internet is still the Internet, even after all these years. Dissecting bloggers' finances when they dare put up a donate button or Amazon wishlist or whatever (LOOK AT THAT GRUBBY FREELOADER BUYING STARBUCKS!) is a tale as old as 2003. I get it! I really do. But...it's my kid. My Ike. I owe it to him to do EVERYTHING I can to get him the best help possible, even if that means being the tacky-ass mommyblogger asking people who also care about Ike or enjoy reading about him would like to help him in this very specific way for this very specific purpose. (But it's okay if the answer is no! I won't pack up my blog and go home or anything.) I know I should just be like, whatever, but I found myself arguing with the shower wall this morning: The Vegas anniversary trip had been planned for (and saved for) for almost five full years. (We also tacked it on Jason's business trip to save on airfare and hotel.) We went super-cheap on our beach vacation (hence the whole... Read more →


All Creatures Great and Weird

So. Moving on! We had Ike officially assessed for dyslexia last week, and lo and behold, he is indeed dyslexic. Classically, wildly so. I'm not at all surprised, but now we're stuck in that annoying treading water period between diagnosis and treatment. We're waiting for a spot to open up at a private reading center, and an IEP meeting with the school is scheduled for later this month. I'm not super optimistic about the services the school can offer, and while I think we've found an amazing program that Ike will respond to really well, it's intensive and face-punchingly expensive. But of course we'll do it, because OUR BABY CAN'T READ GOOD. (Does anyone have any experience with Patreon? What do y'all think of that as opposed to say, a GoFundMe or just a PayPal donate button somewhere? Basically, what's the least tacky way to blog-grift nowadays, is my question?) (I'm taking on more work from several corporate clients already, before anybody tsk-tsk about getting a "real job." I have one! I have several! Also several painful neuroses and deep-seated anxiety issues about money and finances that my therapist says are okay to just acknowledge sometimes!) Anyway, back to the... Read more →


Beach House Rules, 2018 Edition

We're back from a lovely week away at the beach, where perfect days were sandwiched between hellish sleepness nights because the residents of the apartment above us apparently liked to run laps in combat boots while rearranging all the furniture between 3 and 5 a.m. We did not particularly love our rental this year, because 1) SEE ABOVE, and 2) We discovered during dinner one night that it was possible to very easily and accidentally trip the lock on the sliding door leading out to the second-story, screened-in deck from the inside, thus locking your damn ass outside. We were all completely stuck for about 20 minutes until we managed to get the attention of some people coming down a nearby flight stairs (who, thankfully, were NOT the nocturnal Sumo wrestlers from directly upstairs) who came inside our unit and rescued us. Meanwhile, we'd left the stove on and all the smoke alarms started going off, and I don't think I need to even TELL YOU who specifically and "accidentally" tripped the inside lock, right? Mmm-hmmm. Baby Ike is back on his bullshit. Also, 3) This was on the coffee table and haunted my every waking moment, because WTeverlovingF. But,... Read more →


Friday Happy

We're coming up on another anniversary -- our three-year anniversary with Yellow House and our new little neighborhood. I'd say it's still going well. I love the 1) curious attempt at an apostrophe between their names, 2) the abandoned attempt to spell "friends" before opting for the much simpler "BFF" and 3) the fact that Ike went back later and wrote the names of several other neighborhood friends because he didn't want to hurt anyone's feelings. This has been Friday Happy, something I just now made up as an excuse to end the week with something that made me smile real big. Read more →


Pacific Rim & Co.

Ugh. What a downer of a post to keep up all week. Let's get back to what this blog is REALLY about, which is hardcore punk rock. of course. The Reptilian Army from amalah on Vimeo. And here's a random selection of the pure joy that radiates 24/7 out of this ridiculous hammy child. This is his last week of swim camp, and then Noah starts a game design camp and then we're going to the beach. And Jason and I will be celebrating our 20th wedding anniversary next week! This summer got an undeniably rockiest of rocky starts, but I think we turned things around pretty well. Read more →


The Kids These Days

Noah finally finished It. And as promised, he was allowed to watch the movie version of his choice. He chose the new movie, and we enjoyed some nice ol' fashioned mother-son bonding time over classic horror-movie jump scares and a demonic child-eating clown. He LOVED It. Absolutely loved it. Every creepy, fucked-up second of it. Although it turns out he'd already found almost all of the more intense/murder-y scenes on YouTube without our knowledge, so that's some doubly excellent parenting right there. He's currently grounded from screens and the Internet for the rest of the week and trying to get around it by asking what other scary movies we can watch together instead, because he knows I'm a sucker. Do we go for Poltergeist? Stick with King and The Shining? The first Paranormal? Blair Witch? Exorcist? Gotta get him schooled on the classics of the genre for maximum nightmare fuel. Meanwhile, Ezra is attending a rock camp this week. He's the guitarist for a band called The Reptilian Army. This Friday is their first concert, and they'll be playing a Pennywise song (no idea which one! but he is very excited about it because Noah will think it's cool!) followed... Read more →


One Month On

We spent the 4th of July in Baltimore, then went up to Hershey, PA for the rest of week. The boys only had two requests for summer vacation: Fireworks and Hersheypark. We were happy to oblige. (And yes, of course Noah brought the Declaration of Independence to its birthday party. And Sonic the Hedgehog, because why not?) (My phone died barely an hour into our day at the park, so this is the only documentation of my physical presence.) It's now been a full month since it happened, the event, the attempt, the night it all nearly stopped but didn't. Sometimes it still feels very near and very close, while other times I look up at the sky and see fireworks, or the world whizzing past on a rollercoaster, and it fades far, far away. To a different time and place I have no interest in ever revisiting. Read more →


Being There, Part II

The game truck was there. Ezra's handmade GAME ON IKE! banner was there. His cake was there. (And it was delicious. A million billion thank yous to Isabel for making it happen.) His big brothers were there. All his friends and grandparents were there. His mom was there. And it was perfect. Read more →


Seven, Part III

Today our littlest biggest ham is 7 years old. He's grown and changed so much, and yet... He's still SUCH a Baby Ike. He still likes that nickname, by the way, and has made me promise multiple times to never stop using it. Once in awhile, anyway. Maybe when it's just us. Just as a reminder that no matter how big he gets, he'll always be my baby. At 7, he's bubbly and social and everyone is his friend. He'll flit from house to house in the neighborhood in search of playmates, until our entire cul de sac is filled with kids riding bikes, scooters and skates. Half of whom I've never even seen before. An epic game of hide-and-seek breaks out. The big kids play basketball until Ike talks them into joining the game, while he also hauls out bubbles and chalk for the little kids and the babies, who are not-so-secretly his favorite. He still stops by his old kindergarten classroom every morning before school starts to give his teacher a hug. Every. Dang. Morning. I asked him how he's going to find the time to hug her AND his first grade teacher next year, and he said... Read more →


Dinnertime Follies

One the Greater Ironies of my Internet career (or perhaps my Biggest Bullshit) is that I am routinely asked for advice on picky eaters. And I give it to people! When in reality, my track record for non-picky-eater creation is more like one out of three. I mean, Noah will absolutely eat what you put in front of him (thanks to this book, and a lot of occupational therapy), but I guaran-goddamn-tee you that when he grows up and moves out he will exist exclusively on boxed mac-and-cheese and dry cereal. And he will love it. His harrowing post-mommyblog memoir will be titled This Post Is Brought To You By Kale Salad, or How #BlueApron Ruined My Childhood. And Ezra, honestly, was just born a good and adventurous eater. Anything that I might have "done" early on that "helped" and could have possibly gotten up on a high horse about (blah blah homemade baby food blah blah restaurants blah blah exposure) was proven to be a load of shit by Ike. Who got all the same food and exposure and hardcore division-of-responsibility stuff as his older brothers, and who has spent almost seven years' worth of dinners sliding out of... Read more →