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 →


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 →