Misting fans? Check. Cooling towels? Check. Passport wallets? Check and check. Cute new bathing suit? Hellzyeah check. 400 dozen bottles of sunblock? Check check checkity check. Laptop? Naaaaaahhhh. Next week is our 19th wedding anniversary. And while we originally planned to "save" a big special vacation for our 20th next year, we ended up changing our minds. After all, 2017 marks 20 years together, which should also count for something. Also, both of us really, really need a vacation. A real one, sans kids, without a work meeting or two squeezed into the agenda to justify the expense, or a trip sponsor/brand to satisfy with a quota of blog posts and regular properly hashtagged social media check-ins. A vacation where BOTH of us leave our computers at home and go completely off the grid, un-damn-reachable, do not bother me, I do not care if your website is on fire. So that's what we're doing. We're going to Mexico. I am going to see some pyramids. I am going to lose my ever-loving archaeological-tastic mind. What I won't be doing? Blogging. Checking social media. Reading the goddamn news. I've turned off my breaking news alerts (aka my Outrage Attack Dailies) and... Read more →


Amy's Brain: dog dog dog doggie doggo dog dog to dog or not to dog hello yes this is dog and look this is another dog too many dogs dog dog dog Amy's Blog: no dog yet but look Jason got a new tattoo and is now contemplating a half sleeve because I am a corrupting influence I love it. The kids are big fans too, because look! It's them! On Dad! They're like, famous or something. We're probably corrupting them too. I was supposed to get my cover-up work done last week but the appointment had to get pushed back to this Sunday. Then on Tuesday we're having a home visit with a PUPPY (still a pittie rescue) because we all know I said NO PUPPIES and that basically means I will 100% cave and do exactly the opposite of that. (See: NO MORE DOGS! And also: OKAY ONE DOG BUT NO MORE CATS!) (Speaking of corruption, Noah has now taken to peppering his speech with appropriately-placed BEEPS. Like, not actually swearing; he's literally going around muttering things like "What the BEEP? Holy BEEP! MotherBEEEEEEEP!" Ezra, meanwhile, is SCANDALIZED that there are kids in his YMCA camp who say... Read more →


(Mah Innernetz went down on Tuesday morning and was finally restored late last night. No work, no play, just futile router rebooting every hour on the hour and racking up massive data overages from Verizon Mobile while waiting on Verizon FIOS to get its shit together, trapped in a super frustrating ouroboros of corporate bullshit.) First of all, happy birthday to this guy: Here he is with his birthday present, which I 100% had nothing to do with: In addition to Friday night soccer*, Jason's newfound return to outdoorsy-sportsy-ness now includes bike riding. Like on trails and dirt and stuff. He is currently scouring Craigslist for a bike for me, which is adorably misguided. To give you an idea of the last time I rode a bike, please consult this terrible blog post from 2003, only the fourth post ever published on this site, back when I had no clue what I was doing and wrote a lot of angry Open Letters to strangers and stores and the Oxygen Network. I do not particularly want a new bike. I'd really rather get a new dishwasher, as our current one is barely functioning and I am like five minutes away from... Read more →


Jason and I took a little getaway to D.C. this weekend in honor of Father's Day and his upcoming birthday (Thursday, somebody remind me). We got all dressed up for a fancy dinner and an evening at the theeeeeatah. (In the full series of selfies, you can actually SEE the curls withering from my hair from the good ol' D.C. humidity in real time.) The show was WONDERFUL, although the guy sitting next to me appeared to disagree, as he refused to applaud and then muttered "What the fuck was that?" to his wife as we exited our row at the end. I did not hear her answer. The Sound of Music was playing in the other auditorium, so maybe that would've been more his speed than a genderqueer punk rock drag show about a botched sex change operation and a Greek mythology-fueled mental breakdown. Maybe try Google next time, sir? Anyway, we loved it and happily made our way back to our hotel, looking forward to sleeping like the dead for as many hours as we desired. We had an overnight sitter and there would be no small nightmare-having children or head-jumping cats all night. That was technically true,... Read more →


Last year, around this time, I decided to get Jason a smoker for his birthday/Father's Day. He'd had one on his Amazon wish list for ages so I figured that's the one he wanted. (I did not know anything about smokers, except that you use them to smoke meat things, and every time we go to someone's house and Jason sees they have a smoker he's like the kids encountering someone else's epic Lego stash.) But when I went to actually check his list, he'd added several different models. And then I began to learn that the world of smokers and smoker accessories is very contentious and complicated. Do you go electric? Charcoal? Propane? Wood pellet? Digital bells and whistles? Super old-school and basic? The internet is full of people with VERY STRONG OPINIONS yelling at each other over this issue. Just Google "what kind of smoker is best" and they'll probably show up at your house to yell at you in person. I tried to feel Jason out on his opinion, only to learn that he didn't really have one. He "needed to do more research." Oh, lands, save yourself! I tried to drop hints that maaaaaybe he could... Read more →


Jason recently started attending pick-up games at a local indoor soccer place. It's been something he's been talking about doing for ages, but considering the last time he played any "serious" soccer was at least 20 years ago, he was understandably a little nervous about it. Finally he just accepted that he might very well be the worst player there, but dammit, he was going to show up and play. His first time out, he scored three goals. He came home exhausted and sore and completely ecstatic. He missed playing even more than he realized, he said, and it was thrilling how the skills he assumed were completely dormant after all that time just...started coming back. He wasn't the worst player there, but that didn't even matter. Because dammit, that person still decided to show up and play, and had a great time doing it. The next day we got to talking about it, about why he never did join a league or find a pick-up game -- our old place in Bethesda was literally a block away from a public field. Sure, some of it was the typical "what if I suck now/can't keep up" worries as middle age... Read more →


So Jason woke up this morning with pinkeye. Naturally, I am terrified for my own life and staying far, far away from him. Which sucks, because I really do like the guy but NEVER EVER AGAIN AM I DEALING WITH THAT BULLSHIT. (I did at least hurl a handful of my doctor-recommended eye drops at him before I ran screaming from the room.) Since I'm pretty sure the vast majority of you guys come here EXCLUSIVELY to find out the latest greatest trends that all the cool kids are talking about these days, but like, underground, because I'm very well-informed but also indie, let me tell you about a little-known toy fad currently sweeping the nation, or at least Ezra's second grade classroom: The Rubik's Cube. Suddenly all Ezra wanted in the world was a Rubik's Cube, because everybody else suddenly had a Rubik's Cube. And while I am always conscious about the perils of peer pressure and was fully aware that this toy would amuse him for approximately 45 seconds before being tossed aside in frustration, I was also like OH THANK GOD HE'S TALKING ABOUT SOMETHING OTHER THAN FIVE NIGHTS AT FREDDY'S and bought him a Rubik's Cube.... Read more →


Jason was lucky enough to take a couple days off this week, and spent them either 1) getting at least one of the two children responsible for most of the screaming/tattling/HE'S BREATHING MY AIR sort of hullaballoo out of my hair, or 2) spending quality one-on-one time with our middle and youngest children, reinforcing good positive attention behaviors with a side of spoiling and all that jazz. Technically a bit of both, I suppose. Both days involved the aquarium and copious amounts of dessert. Jason also sent the following photo as evidence of Ezra's Scrabble prowess, but in doing so revealed himself to be a dirty cheat who plays acronyms and two-letter words the second I'm not around to challenge that shit. (Note: Jason won't play Scrabble with me anymore.) Last night it was my turn to treat a kid to a special time out, and I landed either the best or worst assignment, depending on how you look at it. I took him to see DanTDM Live at the Baltimore Hippodrome. Who is DanTDM, you might ask? A perfectly reasonable question that I'm still not sure I can answer. DanTDM is a small and highly energetic British human who... Read more →


Last night a friend of ours came over for dinner and brought his two (2!!!) sweet and friendly Labrador Retrievers. Beau thought it was the best! dinner! party! ever! and not just because Jason fed him some of the chicken. He was just SO happy and excited to have those other dogs here. But now today I can't shake the feeling that my Beau Bear is sad, and misses his new friends. All morning he kept whining and begging to go outside to see if they were out there, somewhere. He seems to realize now that they are not. Maybe it was all just a dream -- a wonderful, waggy-tailed dream. AND YET, DESPITE ALL THIS EVIDENCE THAT BEAU NEEDS A BIG-DOG FRIEND, negotiations with my husband have stalled, because he won't even have them with me. (Although Rey's all, I SEE UR INNERNET HISTORY AND THINK U SHOULD CHILLZ, WOOMAN.) Read more →


This weekend the calendar ticked over into April, and lo, there was much rejoicing in Amy's brain. There was also the simple pleasure of watching a five-year-old pretend to be a cat for several hours, complete with his revolutionary costume of the day: (BTW, officially on the hunt for a drama camp/afterschool program for my smallest biggest ham. Anyone local have any recommendations? Not looking for anything stage mother-y/next great child star-ish, just want to get this kiddo an outlet for his raging LOOK AT MEEEE performing-and-pratfall-itis.) Cats. Also in full-on LOOK AT MEEEEEEE mode. On Saturday night Jason and I saw Rent, Again, For the Sixth And Probably Not Final Time. Although at this point we know the show so thoroughly well we notice when the conductor is pacing the show a half-beat too quickly, and have detailed best-to-worst rankings for every Mark/Roger/Mimi/Collins/Angel/Joanne/Maureen/Benny/Joanne-Understudy-Who-Gets-the-Big-Seasons-of-Love-Solo we've ever seen and, in summary, are probably incredibly annoying and tedious about the whole thing. And now we have matching shirts! We are THE WORST. On Sunday we spent the entire day tackling garden and yardwork crap. Jason got the vegetable garden ready out back while I hauled in many, many bags of mulch to... Read more →