In other, less polarizing news*, you want to know who's doing great? These fools. Or more accurately, these three wise guys. Are just great. Can't really speak for the cat, though. Over the past couple weeks, we've had both all our parent-teacher conferences AND Noah's IEP meeting, re-evaluation/pre-middle-school year edition. Let's recap. Noah's self-confidence has EXPLODED this year (possibly thanks to the social skills program he attended over the summer, plus a med switch that's been like night and day), and it's showing in just about every aspect possible at school. After almost failing math last year (but turning things around in the last semester), his latest report card was all A's and B's, he enjoys tests and studying and writing, keeps himself organized and on schedule, and is starting to open up to new topics and interests and friends. He continues to be amazingly self-aware and self-advocating, and just overall seems much happier and bubbly and just...yeah. Confident. It's a really good look for him. At his conference, his teacher mentioned his (obvious) love and passion for history and social studies, but said it was a struggle to redirect him from the non-fiction section and into more literary texts... 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 →


We took the boys to the National Archives this weekend to see the Declaration of Independence. (The Constitution and Bill of Rights are there too, but for whatever reason Noah decided the Declaration is the most exciting of the three, and thus the main attraction.) Noah and Ezra brought out their Williamsburg hats (paired with Marty McFly and Star Wars outerwear), and also along for the trip were Noah's favorite history book, a Bionicle and of course, miniature American flags for others. (Oh, and a stack of Lego Mixel building instructions that have become incredibly important to Ike for some reason. Hobbes and Mister Doorknob stayed home this time.) We spent more time getting there, waiting in line, and browsing the gift shop than we spent viewing the actual documents. They're a lot more faded than I remembered, and Noah wasn't able to make much out beyond the title and one loop of John Hancock's signature. So he decided to buy a replica and read that instead, using the text from his book to help him decipher the cursive handwriting. His ultimate goal is to memorize the entire thing. I do not see that being all that difficult for him,... Read more →


Three months after his dramatically embarrassing pool party rescue, Ike has officially started swim lessons. His skeptical stubbornness has also hit levels unknown, as he is bound and determined to Be Difficult at every class for no reason other than...oh who the hell knows. It's like his dinnertime shenanigans, just soggier. Now I have witnessed firsthand that this kid can do just fine in the water while supported by one of those backpack floats , and will happily doggy paddle from spot to spot without a wet-hair-care in the world. He'll blow bubbles in the bathtub and float on his back and mimic all the kicking and arm motions of "real swimming." He will do zero of those things at his lessons, at least when specifically asked to. He has a friend from school in the same group who is an enthusiastic participant, and he'll mimic that boy's waiting-on-the-steps kicking/splashing/daredevil stunts on the railings, but as soon as it's his turn with the instructor he goes into full-on NOPE mode. He'll kick, then stop kicking, and once he's reminded to kick, he snaps them rigidly in place and stays stiff as a board while his (suppppppper nice) instructor hauls him... Read more →


The great Marty McFly costume, which won for Mom Favorite because I bought actual useful clothing and accessories (ON SALE), combined existing wardrobe elements, and only spent $10 on that plastic-y cardboard Hoverboard . (Which I've been hiding in my closet because it's going to get destroyed in 3...2...1...) Noah loves it too, because with the jacket, vest and watch all being practical and non-costume-y, he gets to be Marty McFly every day. And who wouldn't love that. I'm asking. He met up with a group of friends from school while trick-or-treating and was so, so happy. The Green Ninja Redux: This time I did not even attempt a DIY o' Fail version, especially since now you can actually buy a real Lego Green Ninja costume . But Ezra chose this generic version instead, and added his own Ninjago headband . Other than some stains because he kept trying to wear it while also eating breakfast, he looked really great. I should have insisted on warmer underlayers, though, because he's home sick with a terrible cold today. As is Hobbes, who apparently ate too much Halloween candy last night and now has "the throw-ups." HMMMMMMM. Ike was Legolas , mostly... Read more →


Part One: In Which I Chaperone a Trip To a Pumpkin Patch For the Hundredth Time And it was predictably ridiculous, as my streak of being the bad weather luck charm remains unbroken to the end. About an hour in, the temperature plunged and the heavens opened, and an entire class of under-dressed kindergartners was soaked and chilled to the bone. I'd at least remembered to bring an umbrella and put a hat and mittens on Ike... ...but failed to notice that he left them behind at school. Also my umbrella was way too small to accommodate my small flock of charges, one of whom was dressed in a t-shirt and hoodie while even kids decked out in heavy parkas were visibly shivering. The trip was (mercifully) cut short, but not before we got pumpkins and some animal encounters in. ("Take my picture next to this sheep that I have no intention of actually standing next to.") (And then it oinked.) Part Two: Meanwhile, Back at G.Wash's Place... It was a day of dueling field trips, and Jason got to take Noah to Mount Vernon, where it did not rain AND they got fancy chartered buses with DVD players AND... Read more →


This post is sponsored by Blue Apron. Anybody remember all this, from the good old days, back before somebody taught Ezra how to put a hand on a popped-out hip, punctuate every sentence with a pointed "OKAY?" and a facial expression dripping with bershon? The little chef costumes had a pretty good run, but alas, he is officially far too gigantic for them now. Ike will wear it from time to time, unless Ezra hides in a fit of possessive pique GOD HE'S ONLY EIGHT SWEET MERCIFUL ADOLESCENCE. He recently got a styling new upgrade, though. (It was very important that I photograph him holding this pear, for some reason. He had a lot feelings about this pear.) Even more exciting was a proper grown-up cookbook, which he decided had to be for him, because Blue Apron must know what a good cook he is. I mean, they sent him an official chef-in-training apron and everything. And their Winter Cookbook, full of many of our favorite recipes and a whole bunch of new ones (including DESSERTS, which YAYYAYYAY). (The mushroom steam buns with purple potato salad are at the top of EVERYBODY's dinner wish list now. And I already have... Read more →


Ezra (and Bluen and Bube and Jimmy and Hobbes) had all their birthday dreams come true this weekend. Including this!! This is our friend's horse Ace. She's been offering to take the boys riding awhile now, and Ezra decided that sounded like a perfect birthday activity. To be honest, I was somewhat expecting Ezra to change his mind once he was there, live and in person with a Real Horse. And I think he was a little nervous, but not enough to hop right on and give it a try. He cut his first ride fairly short, but then after watching his brothers he decided he wanted to go again. After all, it WAS his birthday. He was much more confident the second time around. I haven't ridden a horse in FOREVER, so I broke myself in on the laziest, fattest horse in the barn. "Leisurely pace" doesn't even begin to describe it, but it was nice to realize I remember how horses work, more or less. Also, I didn't fall off and die. So, success! Noah went next. He rode therapy horses a couple times in preschool so he obviously loved this, almost as much as exploring the barn... Read more →


Something has gone terribly amiss in our hand-me-down clothing system. Clothing size math makes me crazy, but it seems everything has collapsed due to a bad ratio of non-worn-through-the-knee pants to children-with-weirdly-similar-leg-lengths, combined with our usual oh-crap-it's-suddenly-chilly-quick-try-on-last-year's-pants seasonal unpreparedness. (The Legs Collective, back in simpler, summery-er times.) Noah's now wearing clothes long enough that they're typically destroyed before they're outgrown, greatly reducing what I can pass down to Ezra. Ike's legs are insanely long that he's practically wearing the same pants size as Ezra (who is a good head taller but super extra skinny), leading to a critical pants shortage. Ezra has attended school all week in jeans that are noticeably two inches too short, which ALSO highlights his complete lack of socks. (I mean, we have millions of socks. There are literally socks everywhere. None of the socks match, and also we are still besieged by the mysterious Zombie Baby Socks, because all I ever do is throw out or donate baby socks and yet THERE ARE STILL BABY SOCKS IN THIS HOUSE. But matching socks that fit them now? Pffft. Pipe dream. I could go buy three dozen more socks tomorrow and we'd be tapped out by Saturday.)... Read more →


Pay no attention to the new design quite yet (unless you're on a mobile device, which in that case, you are very welcome, about seven years late)...Jason jumped the gun a bit by sending it live. His priority was getting all the ad zones set up properly because of all those sweet, sweet Internet nickels; he didn't realize I wasn't down with the default fonts and wanted to test out at least fourteen dozen alternatives. I think we're currently displaying option number four and we're still not there yet. And I know some other pages are borked thanks to the bizarre way I had things set up before. Also, if anyone can help with the header/logo thing and expand some design-y doo-dads across the sea of Every Guest Bathroom I've Ever Had Green, shoot me an email with how much Cash Money you will require. But whatever, it's a site that at least looks like it's from this Internet century and maybe Google will remember that I exist again. Our original trip to Hersheypark included two days' worth of park passes. We ended up spending one day at the park and the rest of the time at our hotel's indoor... Read more →