Okay! Back to our regularly scheduled programming, where curse words are allowed and no discounts are offered. So Max. It's his kidneys. Not exactly a shock, but the...good? semi-good? not-horrifically-bad?...news is that his numbers currently point to only "moderate" kidney failure, meaning not any sort of imminent death sentence, and it's worth trying some diet and low-level interventions. We picked up some prescription low-protein food at the vet (and donated nearly all of the cans and kibble we had on hand to the vet's pet shelter charity pile), and will be injecting him with fluids about three times a week. I was worried he'd reject the special food and we'd end up mixing it with something else, thus reducing the effects, but the minute I opened a can and smelled how totally freaking gross it is, I knew it wouldn't be a problem. Anything that smells like rotten fish and dog farts is Max's jam, and he's already devoured several full cans of it. He even let me mix in some fresh pumpkin for further de-constipating efforts, which he's never, ever done before. THAT'S how pungently disgusting this food is. He's only had one fluid injection, and I know it's... Read more →

THANG ONE: Noah preformed in his very first concert with the school band. We had to rush out and buy this entire outfit, right down to the shoes, because we are sloppy heathens who don't own church clothes. Or even nice clothes. Noah was a bit nervous about the concert, even expressing hope over the weekend that he would catch the stomach bug from his brothers and be unable to perform. But he didn't, and he did absolutely great, playing front and center onstage as first chair (!!) saxophone. THANG TWO: CHRISTMASSSSSSSSSSS! Christmas! Christmas. Christmas Christmas Christmas Christmas. So! This is a story worth telling: Jason takes Noah to his saxophone lesson every weekend at a local music place, and about a month ago started sending me photos of this guitar (Epiphone Wildkat) they had for sale. It was used, in perfect condition, at a really good price, and every Saturday he'd take it off the wall and play it for a bit, falling ever more deeply in love. As he'd JUST purchased a regular guitar off Craigslist (to jam with/encourage Ezra, who only wanted a red "rock-n-roll" guitar for Christmas), I remained unimpressed, said no, and also I was... Read more →

Star Wars is a deeply special thing for our nerdtastic family, going all the way back to my very first date with Jason. We love it. Insane for it. Get a case of the warm and fuzzies just from thinking about it. Despite having our young hearts broken by the prequels, being able to introduce our children to the original trilogy brought back the love and magic big time, every time. (Ike, watching Empire Strikes Back for the first time last weekend. I've never seen him so blown away by a movie. When it was over, we said SCREW BEDTIME IT'S JEDITIME and let everybody stay up past midnight.) So there was no way -- NO WAY -- I was going to let my stupid-ass eyes (stupid ass-eyes?) stop me from attending the early Saturday morning showing of Force Awakens we'd bought tickets for ages ago. I was 99.9% sure I was no longer contagious (no red/pink, drainage, swelling, just the residual blurred vision but even that's markedly improving every day) but took all the proper washing/sanitation precautions and was extra mindful about keeping anything from touching my eyes. And it was wonderful. Just...all the wonderful things. I laughed, I... Read more →

I've been trying to talk Ike into a "real" haircut for awhile now (YES IT'S TRUE OH YE HATERZ OF TEH HAIRZ), but he's staunchly and solidly refused. The long blond hair is part of his identity and self-image now, so even when he's allowed me to trim his bangs and mayyyyybe take a little length off, I have to repeatedly promise that I won't cut the "long thing over his ears." Otherwise he won't "look like Ike." He watches everything I do in the mirror and demands that I show him what I've cut off the back, just in case I'm trying to go rogue. I've created a monster. The thing is, I'm lousy at home haircuts, especially now that Ike's forgiving curls aren't around to mask my uneven trims. I'm so afraid of messing something up I end up barely taking any length off, and layers? Angles? Wut? Is this math? We took Noah and Ezra for haircuts this weekend, and stopped for lunch at a restaurant first. As Ike was heading to the table -- dressed in head to toe blue, wearing his light-up Captain America shoes and a Superman shirt with a cape -- a waiter... Read more →

I called our county's Child Find office on Monday and requested an assessment packet for Ike. (Or technically for "Isaac," a name I only ever hear called out in doctors' waiting rooms, and I usually sit there for a few extra seconds like "Why are they looking at me? Who's Isaac? Oh, right.") So now all that's left on that front is to wait for the packet to arrive in the mail, fill out all the parent forms, send teacher forms to his school, wait for his teachers to return the forms, mail everything back, wait for a phone call to schedule an appointment, wait for said appointment, perform some ancient sensory ceremonial rituals involving obstacle courses and small toys hidden in shaving cream, and then maybe...MAYBE...we'll get some speech therapy before his fifth birthday in June, at which point he gets handed over to the school district and whole process starts all over again. (Do I sound chill or just jaded? I can't tell the difference anymore.) After I made the call, I decided our chalkboard wall needed a new family motto. Vinyl decal from Etsy, found here. NERD TIME: As a copywriter I have to quibble with the... Read more →

Well. I don't know what to say. Are you okay? I hope everybody is okay. *deep, weary sigh* Moving back around to my little myopic world, Ike attended a classmate's birthday party at a local gymnastics place with Jason. About an hour in he sent me the following: Goddamn birthday parties. What the hell is your problem with my kids? This was not a completely out-of-the-blue suggestion, by the way, but a nagging worry we've both had and been rationalizing away for a bit too long. Ike is not Noah, he is not Ezra, and developmentally he's always fallen somewhere in between his brothers' respective paces. But lately we're seeing more and more overlap with some of Noah's more...quirky little developmental hiccups. His vocabulary is solid but his pronunciation is poor and his grammar lags far behind his peers. He swaps words in ways that aren't wrong, but aren't necessarily correct either (i.e. "up" instead of "top"), and has trouble using more specific descriptive words so he defaults to the more general one ("arms" when he really means "fingers"). And these are all words/concepts he knows! He just seems to be physically struggling to pull the words up and out,... Read more →

So not long after hitting the publish button on Wednesday, the plague swiftly moved onto both Ike and I, which was swell. And entirely predictable. It had just occurred to me that the tired-grumpy-headachey-soreness state I was in was probably illness-related, and on my way to find the thermometer I bumped into Ike, who informed me that he had a cold. In his neck. Also this part, the forehead part of his face. We both had fevers, so we spent a cozy little sick day together. Ike hauled every book off the bookshelves one by one to his bed, where he buried himself in stuffed animals and honestly didn't complain all that much. While I stayed in my bed, literally accomplishing nothing but whining to people over text message while watching Missy Elliott's new video on an endless repeat, be still my 90s girl heart. (Scurries off to watch it again. Yep, everybody go home, my life is complete, let's just shut 2015 down already.) Still not feeling 100% myself yet, but determined to get a little bit more done today, like...taking a shower! Writing some words! Then possibly microwaving some soup. It's gonna be a big day, for sure.... Read more →

Ah, November. The leaves are dropping, the weather's all over the place (40 degrees! No, 60 ! Sun! Rain! More rain! Here's some wind! Now get those shorts back out cuz it's going up to 80 for some reason!)...and of course, everybody's sick. We're passing around a mostly symptom-less fever thing right now, most likely the flu because I lost the consent forms for them to get vaccinated at school and then the Target flu clinic was out of the mist when we went and then the next day Ezra complained of a headache and went to bed for three days. Then he was fine and Noah suddenly wasn't. (Go get ur flu shots ppl it's real and it's happening and it's COMING FOR YOU.) I feel fine so far, unless you count the fact that I am horribly, violently allergic to the ENTIRE WORLD UP HERE. Since we moved, my previously mild seasonal allergies are now like, major and not very seasonal, since I was allergic to everything in the summer and now it's fall and I'm still sneezing my head off. If I keep a constant, steady dose of allergy meds in my body I'm okay. Not great,... Read more →

We have counters! In real life the counters have a bit more brown/putty color in them and the floors have more gray, so it all ties together in a really nice neutral-as-shit boring way. But I still have some lingering pain from our house-hunting days when we're walk into a (clearly expensive as hell) remodeled kitchen that was chock full of...um...interesting design choices. Things we do NOT have: 1) The back panel for the peninsula because mystery. 2) Non-hideous lighting because I only just finally made up my mind. 3) The correct cabinet for this spot (it was supposed to be drawers for pots and pans, not doors) because we needed SOMETHING to go wrong and hold up everything else on this list, including getting the fridge out of the dining room. 4) A functioning dishwasher, sink or disposal because of that damn cabinet. 5) Cabinet hardware because of that fucking piece of shit cabinet. 6) A useless desk in this spot, sized for a hobbit. (This is a good thing.) 7) A pantry door because backordered. The (asshole) cabinet should be in this week, at which point the crew will come back and knock out all the remaining loose... Read more →

So as it turns out, the "putting shit back together" phase of the kitchen remodel is EVERY BIT AS LOUD AND IRRITATING as the initial "smashing shit to hell" phase. It's just a bit more rhythmic and water torture-y. The crew's been installing cement board since Saturday, and it's like: jangling of nails DRILLLLZZZZZTTTT jangling of nails DRILLLLZZZZZTTTT jangling of nails DRILLLLZZZZZTTTT ...for hours and hours on end. Our children are handling the chaos and noise just as I expected, which is terribly. Even though I'd generally describe the breakfast time decibel level around here as OMG WHY ARE YOU ALL SO LOUD STOP YELLING HERE PUT MORE FOOD IN YOUR FACE HOLES I HAVEN'T HAD COFFEE YET, they are all suddenly very Downton Abbey about their morning meal being disrupted by construction noise. Covering their ears and expecting me to DO SOMETHING about it, they cannot CONCENTRATE on the important task of eating an entire box of Corn Flakes in a single morning, also, where are the WAFFLES, Jeeves? In the freezer, staying frozen, because the toaster is in the family room and I don't feel like walking that far. much dismay and dramatic weeping We planned to spend... Read more →