(I apologize for the earworm post title. But it popped into my head and now I'm stuck with it and now you all must suffer with me.) Ike started preschool yesterday. Once upon a time I suppose that would have been a Whole Entire Long-Winded Blog Post in and of itself, but...nah. At least three different people asked me if *I* was okay yesterday, probably expecting a lower lip tremble or a soft, off-key rendition of Sunrise, Sunset, but...nah. I drove him to school at 9:30. We walked in and he gave me a couple big-eyed wary looks about me leaving him, but then there was some Play Doh so bye Mom, I'm good, I got this. The school is barely five minutes from our house, so I came home, got some work done, then went and picked him up at noon. (He'll stay for lunch three times a week starting next month, but it's not a full-day program.) We came home and Ike promptly dozed off face first into his lunch because I guess that was some crazy intense Play Doh session. It's only been two days, but he seems to really enjoy it and looks forward to going... Read more →

I lost Ike in the house this morning. For about 20 terrifying, heart-pounding minutes. Goddamnit, child. Yellow House is obviously a bit...bigger than what we're used to, both in number of rooms but also floors and hallways and nooks and crannies. It's technically classified as a colonial but it definitely has some split-like features, with a lot of half-levels and mini-stairs. The lowest part of the house is the unfinished area of the basement. Up just a few steps is the finished area (rec room, office, etc.) that opens to the backyard. Up from THAT is the family room, plus a powder room/laundry area/exits to the garage and lower deck. Another mini-stairwell takes you up to the kitchen, dining room and front living room. (This level also has the front door and an exit to the upper deck.) Then it's up again -- make a right to the kids' bedrooms (pause to gaze over the railing and upon the lovely family room several flights down and see that lo, it is once again full of Lego). Make a left and go up the final few steps to the master bedroom suite. (We parked the ladder outside just in case you... Read more →

I spent most of Sunday tackling the kids' toys. I sorted stuff into baskets and bins and organized everything into these two (amazing! deep! illuminated!) closets in the basement. And I mean ORGANIZED. The contents of the play kitchen may or may not be sorted by FOOD GROUP. So, naturally, five minutes later... That was ALL IKE, by the way. Two-plus years of Montessori education in action, yo. Luckily, it was a pretty quick and painless clean-up thanks to the bins! bins! I am obsessed with bins!!, and Ike and I had good long talk about playing with ONE THING AT A TIME and with less of an...aggressively nuclear kind of play style. (Not pictured: the play kitchen at the end of that hallway, dumped completely over on a pile of defeated Ninja Turtle villains.) My next project was setting up some bookshelves in the kids' bedroom hallway, so they can pick books out before bed. And it actually looked JUST LIKE THIS for almost a full hour. That's a damn personal household best. Read more →

When I told the boys on Tuesday that we were going to see Yellow House (and they'd get to go inside), their initial reaction was along these lines, again. Much jumping and clapping and shrieking with glee. But then a little later... Uh-oh. Now, Ike is definitely a cuddler. But he has different cuddle styles based on his mood. And THIS cuddle ...facing me, head on my shoulder, one hand deep in my hair for comfort...this is a classic "I'm unsure about something and bordering on a little scared" cuddle. Poor little guy. He's been trying SO HARD to join in his brothers' OVER THE MOON excitement about moving, but it's clear there are still big gaps in his understanding of what's happening. We made him an "Ike Is Moving!" book through TwigTale* that has REALLY helped, but I think Tuesday threw him for a loop. We weren't supposed to be going to the Yellow House yet. The movers hadn't put all our boxes and things and toys on the moving truck yet. Were we leaving it all behind? Were we coming back? Where was Dad? What about the pets? We cuddled in silence for awhile and then I started... Read more →

It's been one of those days/weeks when personal blogging feels especially self-absorbed. I have news coverage from South Carolina open in all my other browser tabs and then I come HERE and like...what do I even write about? The biggest problem I encountered all week is that we're down to only one working iPhone charger so Jason and I are constantly fighting for custody of it, and I ordered a few more but they haven't arrived yet because the next-day shipping from Amazon Prime is taking soooooo looooonnnnnng yoouuuuuuu guuuuuuuyyyyyysssssss. Yeah. Okay, self. I guess I'll just post some pictures and try to think about things that are not terrible. This week's "Are We Really Moving Or Is Jason Just Pulling An Elaborate Prank On Amy To Get Her To Clean Shit Up" project was organizing the shelves in the basement. This, believe or not, is the "AFTER" and is the result of many hours of sorting and purging and (of course) at least one overly dramatic-looking injury: Note that basement photo does include the shelves in the corners. Those are still a damn mess. But look! There's an EMPTY shelf! There's no shit piled up on the floor except... Read more →

Last night, after dinner but before Game of Thrones straight-up murdered my soul, I asked the boys to stand together for a photo. I really don't know what I was expecting. Other than a perfectly accurate picture of what life is like around these three. Which is exactly what I got. Ike looks to Ezra... Ezra looks to Noah... Noah does his own thing and does not care if anyone can see him... And Ike needs a haircut. Just another typical night in the Storch household. Noah and Ezra will be home from school in approximately 45 minutes, and then shit will get real. I'm just glad they like each other. For now, anyway. Read more →

And so the first (and last) week of ME & IKE & SUMMER VACATION comes to a close. We did pretty okay. We left the house for two different end-of-school year parties and Ike agreed to change out of his pajamas both times. A couple bumps and bruises but no ER visits or a significant amount of destruction. Today, not so much on the pajama thing. But for the record, Ike did not ask to watch TV or play with a tablet/screen even ONCE this week, so we did not do either, at all. (Perhaps he finds Click the Camera as fucking annoying as I do?) He let me work. He amused himself. He asked for crayons, Play-Doh, books and the occasional help with a puzzle. THIS KID AND PUZZLES, by the way. Who knew? I did not. Because I am a terrible parent who keeps all our "big kid" puzzles in a locked cabinet to prevent the boys just grabbing box after box and dumping them all over the floor. So poor Ike has never played with our puzzles until this week, when he found two (still sealed, never opened) Peanuts puzzles I got in the $1 section of... Read more →

Yesterday afternoon was Ezra's end of year party slash kindergarten graduation. I'd possibly be more SUNRISE/SUNSET about it if the highlight hadn't been 20-plus 5- and 6-year-olds performing a parody version of "All About That Bass" called "All About First Grade." Not exactly an event dripping with pomp and circumstance. Ezra only seemed to know about half the words, but he performed with extra sass and hand gesture flair, and added an extra booty shake at the end for good measure. There was also a slideshow about every child's favorite thing about kindergarten. Ezra said it was a field trip to the Imagination Stage, and posed for the following photos as an accompaniment. I don't know, you guys, but I'm starting to suspect this kid is maaaaaaaybe a little bit of a ham. I sense some theater camp in our future. I had Ike with me, who was practically vibrating with excitement beforehand about getting to see Ezra in KINDERGARTEN, in the ACTUAL KINDERGARTEN ROOM, where there would be OTHER KINDERGARTNERS. I've been literally unable to convince this child to change out of his pajamas even once since preschool ended, but yesterday he was dressed and sitting by the front... Read more →

Go Amalah, Go!

THRILLING HAIR UPDATE: I posted this in the comments section of yesterday's post, but as I'm probably the only person who reads them, I'll repeat myself. Thanks to all my fellow oily-scalped laaaaaaadddddies for all the advice and tips. I most definitely own dry shampoo and have been using it for many years. I have tried all the brands and spent ALL THE MONEY. (My favorites are Lush No Drought, although I recommend transferring it to an applicator bottle like this , because the original packaging sucks, and Not Your Mother's Clean Freak or Batiste But dry shampoo just hasn't been cutting it for me for months now -- I use it at night; wake up with an actual oil slick on my head. I wash my hair in the morning; need to apply dry shampoo by late afternoon. That's entirely too much product, not to mention the daily use of my expensive color-safe shampoo, which STILL causes my color to fade since I only use semi-perm. (Hair is way too fine for ammonia-based colors. Breaks right the fuck off. Plus semi-perm adds a little volume at the roots for some reason.) ANYWAY OH MY GOD ISN'T THIS ALL SO... Read more →

If you ask Ike how old he is now, he will first say he is five, because he wants to go to kindergarten. Then he will say that he is zero, because he is still a baby. Neither of these answers are correct. He is four years old now, officially. I ran into a seemingly never-ending barrage of technical issues yesterday while trying to complete and upload his birthday video. I could have posted it late last night to get it up on his official birthday date, but. You know. There were chocolate cupcakes to eat and and a Lego Bionicle set to build. (Recommended age range on Bionicles, FYI: 8-14. He needs a little help from Noah to get started and then takes over and builds them perfectly himself, usually just from looking at the picture on the box. He might be shaky on the whole counting thing but fingers crossed we can get him into a decent state school on a Lego scholarship.) He is four. He is not a baby or even a toddler anymore. He is loving and goofy and rough and tumble and cuddly and sweet and stubborn as hell. He adores his brothers more... Read more →