So Not-So-Baby Ike got his hair cut this weekend. He is still kinda mad at me about it. I fully admit that I accidentally created a Hairz Monzter, a kid whose long blond hair became a really big part of his self image and identity, and who would cry at the mere suggestion of a big kid cut. People have been making a fuss over his hair for as long as he can remember, and it set him apart from his brothers, or all the other boys at school. His hair made him unique and he definitely understood that. "I won't look like Ike," he'd wail, any time the topic of a proper haircut came up. He would tolerate "at home" haircuts, provided I promised not to cut too much off the sides. But I am terrible at cutting hair -- and no amount of online/YouTube tutorials helped improve my utter incompetence, particularly with a wiggly preschooler who refused to sit still. The small handful of times I managed to convince him to let a professional trim his hair or add some desperately needed layers/shape were just awful for him, with so much crying and anxiety. Plus he was so... Read more →

I've been asked that question a lot lately. Overall, I think the boys are coping with the double-whammy loss pretty well, albeit each in their own way, at their own pace. Noah -- who remembers the loss of his grandfather the most vividly -- is probably doing the "best," although that's really not the right word. He's the most pragmatic and accepting, it's pretty matter-of-fact to him now. As I already wrote when we broke the news about Ceiba, he very literally experienced every distinct stage of grief right there at the dinner table, one right after the other. After that, he was "okay," more or less. He understood why we had to put her down and would patiently explain it to his brothers ("she's sick and going to die anyway, it's our job as her people to make sure it's not painful"). He sought Ceiba out for extra love and attention during her last days, but was also very focused on the exciting possibility of a new dog. His rapid-fire approach to grief certainly came in handy with Max, as we had less than zero time to adequately prepare the boys for what was happening. They'd known he'd been... Read more →

Allow me to present the greatest photo in the history of #BabyIke #NOTTIRED: Apparently Ike and Ezra decided to play a late-night game of house, resulting in Baby Ike being carefully and compactly tucked into Ezra's doll crib. Where he then stayed until midnight, completely sound asleep, when I found him and moved him to his regular bed, like a real drag. Ezra was deeply displeased with me and the theft of his real-life baby in the morning. "You nearly gave me a heart attack!" he scolded, "I was so worried!" Ike denied anything out of the ordinary happened until I showed him the picture, at which point he was still like, "this proves nothing, I was just pretending to sleep." #NOTTIRED4LYFE Read more →

Special Needapalooza

I went to Noah's IEP meeting yesterday, our first "real" meeting with the new school. We had an initial "move everything from County A to County B and try to not let anything get lost in translation" meeting in the beginning of the year, but this was the Actual Annual Big-Deal one, where we determine services for the next 12 months. The good news is that...well, it's all good news. Noah has transitioned beautifully and his new team loves him, and even better, REALLY understands him. After years of being classified solely as a SPD/ADHD kid at his old school, to the point that the team seemed surprised by his eventual Autism diagnosis (and then had to rapidly overhaul his IEP), I think it was really beneficial to move into this school with the ASD code firmly in place. No question, Noah needs those specific needs met, and here is everything this school can possibly provide. His new IEP is strong, comprehensive and best of all, was written from the point of view that this is just who Noah is and how he thinks and learns. He is not a problem to be solved. He is a child who will... Read more →

I noticed a couple topic requests for Further Yakking About from the comments on the last post, and as I am in a procrastinating mood and have nothing better to yak about, let's do it: 1) The time-limit parental control thingie. Our kids used to solely play with our old, discarded iPhones. Plus an iPad that was technically still mine and I don't remember giving up custody but eventually it was chock full of nothing but kids' games and was always sort of sticky. I was never really happy with the parental control options in iOS. App purchases and downloads required a password, but I wanted to be able to set time limits, block certain websites, and just sort of generally know what they're up to without having to literally sit there staring over their shoulders. (And thus, having to listen to the Angry Birds theme song over and over and over and over...) There are two choices with options like that: Amazon Fire Kids Edition with the Amazon FreeTime subscription service, or a tablet with full Windows 10 installed and Family Safety enabled. At the time, we didn't have an xBox or anything, and Noah was DESPERATE to play... Read more →

So if any of you are regular-ish readers of the Advice Smackdown, you'll appreciate this delicious slice of piping-hot irony: Ike won't eat his dinner. Ever. A bite or two, at the most, followed by dramatic "yuck" faces, protests over non-existent spice levels, feigned gagging over textures, then a sustained and stubborn refusal to touch anything else on his plate. And whining. So much whining. It's funny because oh ha ha, how many times have I told other parents EXACTLY how to handle this type of behavior, like we had it SOLVED FOREVER and LOCKED THE HELL UP. Step One: Buy Ellyn Satter's book . Step Two: Do whatever Ellyn Satter says to do. Step Three: Be smug about it on the Internet. Ike has never known anything BUT the Satter method. He has always eaten what we eat, he has always been offered a wide array of flavors and textures, he has two older brothers modeling damn near picture-perfect table manners and eating habits. And he is not an unreasonably picky eater. At breakfast, lunch and snack time, he will eat anything and everything you put in front of him -- INCLUDING DINNER LEFTOVERS -- with minimal to zero... Read more →

Ike: *is off from school again because ha ha ha ha of course he is I should get a manny* Ike: *approaches me while dramatically rubbing his stomach* Amy: No. Oh no. Ike: My body doesn't feel so good. Amy: *internal screaming* Amy: Are you going to throw up? Ike: Maybe. Ike: My body needs to play on the Xbox. Ike: That will make me not throw up. And scene. BREAKING EPILOGUE: He just came into my room and tried the exact same thing, as I was typing this. Still haven't given him the soothing curative balm of the Xbox, but I did get him unload the dishwasher. Points for still being a tiny bit smarter than my four year old! (That face though... I feel like that face needs to play on the Xbox.) 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 →

So which three of y'all won Powerball? Can I borrow a couple mil? No? FIne. Guess I'll just have to keep blogging. If you follow me on Instagram, you know full and well that Ike is not tired. Ike is never tired. Ike is now four-and-a-half years old and has not taken a proper afternoon nap since we got rid of the crib, and the mere suggestion that he might possibly be tired and would benefit from a nap is met with bansheed shrieks and protests because he is HASHTAG NOT TIRED. Ten minutes later, everything is quiet because he's fallen dead asleep wherever he was at the time. I've learned to just roll with it. At least there's carpet here? A couple days ago he crawled on my lap and asked for a hug, mumbled something about not tired...and promptly dozed off. Yesterday morning, he woke up very distressed and going on and on about drinking too much water. "I drank too much water," was all I could get from him, over and over again. "There's too much water in me!" Then he laid down in his closet and went back to sleep. Okay, so no school for that... Read more →

As you may recall (because I didn't stop talking about it for like, over a month), our move into the Yellow House was...kind of stressful. As a result, we still have a lot of furniture that the movers just randomly positioned in rooms without much thought or plan, because Jason and I were too busy panicking over our disastrous closing/paperwork nightmare, plus all the various property laws we were breaking. JUST PUT IT ANYWHERE! JUST GET IT OFF THE TRUCK! THEN GET THE TRUCK OUT OF THE DRIVEWAY SO WE CAN PRETEND NONE OF THIS IS HAPPENING! The boys' bedrooms got the worst of it -- the beds were all plunked right in the center of the rooms, we didn't really divide up side furniture very well, so Noah's room seemed big and cavernous while Ezra and Ike were stuck in overcrowded smaller rooms, and the little floor space they had around their beds quickly became a embarrassing swamp of toys/clutter/laundry. We'd tell them to go clean their rooms and they'd look at us all helplessly, because they had zero idea where to even start. And I can't say that I blamed them. Their rooms were just not very nice... Read more →