Assorted Weekend-ish Updates

DUMPLING UPDATE: Rey stole a dumpling! CAR UPDATE: The other driver has been found at fault for unsafe lane changing! Jason's car is toast, but they're giving us way more for it than we ever could've gotten in a trade in! We're even getting our deductible back! This is all very good news! Especially because he was putting off like $3,000 worth of repairs and had been ignoring the Check Engine light for months! Let this be a questionable lesson to us all! The bad news is that my husband now gets to shop for a new car and he is never more annoying to me than when he's shopping for a new car. It will take him months and he will test drive every car on earth. He will look at CarMax listing the way normal people look at Tinder. DUMPLING UPDATE II: Finn stole the dumpling! HAIRZ UPDATE: The only person in the world who is allowed to trim Ike's hair now is my hairstylist. Which sounds like it should be a pain, but she doesn't charge me much and swears Ike is always her best-behaved client of the day. Also, despite the holes in his pants knees... Read more →


Will It Instant Pot? Blue Apron Edition

This post is sponsored by Blue Apron. The first 100 people will receive $40 off their first two weeks of meals here! My husband finally caved to the Internet Multi-Cooker Hype and bought us an Instant Pot. He bought it just a couple weeks before Valentine's Day, which is when I planned to buy him an Instant Pot, because he loves to blow up my gifting spot every. Single. Holiday. (He got socks for V-day.) He is MORE THAN A LITTLE OBSESSED WITH IT. Him: (looks at phone, eyes widen, gasps) Me: OMG WHAT'S HAPPENING IS HE GETTING IMPEACHED Him: (shows me yet another Instant Pot recipe) — amalah (@amalah) February 9, 2018 (After I finish this post I've been tasked with taking his precious Instant Pot full of his precious pork chili verde to his office to enter a cook-off on his behalf because he's stuck in meetings elsewhere. It's cute that he thinks I know how to turn the thing on, let alone how to not burn the building down.) (UPDATE: He won first place. I graciously accepted the award on his behalf. If he asks, just tell him about the spoon.) Anyway. What? Oh right. Our lives... Read more →


Pave the Swamp

Look, it's a patio! Er...well, not quite yet. We admittedly chose the worst time of year to start an outdoor project, as the crew can't work in the rain or whatever the hell kind of INSANE WIND STORM swept in last night that canceled schools and sent everybody's trash cans dancing up the street. So right now we have a lot of dirt and rocks and pallets of pavers beautifying our yard. Also this! Which is delighting the boys to no end. Look at them, not even wearing jackets three days ago and now we're trapped in a sub-freezing bomb cyclone vortex of some kind. All very fine and normal and I am feeling really great about the climate right now!!! We're getting a patio for two three reasons. One, that area behind/under the deck gets absolutely zero sun and is basically a perpetual, unusable swamp. So trying to do anything in the backyard (be it gardening or s'mores or magical berry gathering) requires you to first wade through several inches of mud worthy of the Fire Swamp. Not pleasant, also take off your shoes take off your shoes omg children stop coming inside with those damn muddy shoes. Reason... Read more →


More #StuffPoppyAte

In other non-home improvement news, Poppy ripped open almost-new bag of cat food yesterday and promptly horfed the entire thing down in under five minutes. Or however long it took me to go from, "hmmm I don't like the sound of that" to finding this in the living room: (AND OF COURSE: It was a bag of expensive specialty cat food. Rey's on an elimination diet as we're trying to pinpoint what our vet thinks is a protein allergy. She is one high maintenance dumbass, but she's like, my high maintenance dumbass, you know?) (TANGENT: I had a doctor's appointment yesterday in Baltimore and not long after I got there Jason texted me asking about Rey's whereabouts, as someone on Nextdoor reported seeing a stray black cat on the road right by our house. She'd been on our bed when I left and for the life of me I couldn't think of a single rational explanation for how she could possibly have gotten outside but you KNOW I came up with several irrational ones* and was low-key terrified until I got home and could confirm that yes, she was still right there on the bed.) (Then I got in the... Read more →


The Million Hour Bathmat

I'm not a very big Pinterest user. I have fits where I go and pin three dozen near-identical home project ideas that I will never look at again, and then I go so long without logging in that both my browser and my brain have completely forgotten my password. Twitter gives me anxiety, Facebook makes me depressed, Pinterest is why I have a dozen dead succulents in my kitchen. Jason, on the other hand, freaking loves Pinterest and regularly falls down the wormhole, texting me link after link of things he is TOTALLY gonna build/cook/make/whatever. And a couple times he maybe actually did! (Still waiting on a patio table, console table, bathroom shelves, shiplap bedroom wall, and backyard treehouse.) Anyway, once upon a time and several hundred bottles of wine ago, he came across a tutorial for making a bathmat out of wine corks. Wow, that looks really cool! And seems pretty easy, especially because step one is literally to just drink a ton of wine to collect the corks. WELL I FOR ONE AM SOLD. And so we began saving wine corks. From nice bottles, special bottles, crappy bottles. We'd order wine at a restaurant and I'd snatch the... Read more →


Waving Through a (Train) Window

Jason had a jaw-dropping early Valentine's Day surprise in store for me this past weekend: A quick trip to New York City, dinner at Craft, and FRONT ROW seats to Dear Evan Hansen. LIKE. WHAT. AND ALSO !!!!!! (He also arranged for our friend to stay here and watch our children, meaning we got overnight babysitting for the cost of a delivery pizza dinner.) Here I trying to avoid having my picture taken at dinner: (Or possibly checking out my cleavage, which. Yeah.) Here is the dessert that I announced I was far too full to even take a bite of after a several-course tasting menu, but dang, it's pretty: (Please note that I ate every single, solitary bite of this dessert, including the decorative chocolate dots.) Here I am trying to avoid having my picture taken at Dear Evan Hansen, but Jason wouldn't let me hide my entire face behind the Playbill: Here is the view of the stage from our seats: I've never sat so close at a Broadway show, and my initial worry that we weren't going to have the best view was quickly put to rest because holy crap, when you're that close you get an... Read more →


It's a Batman Rollerblade Party

Ezra asked for roller skates for Christmas. ROLLER skates, not inline skates, he insisted, several times. Then he completely forgot about this request, as did his wonderfully amazing parents who would never overlook their middle child's Christmas list that he left sitting right there on the kitchen counter for Christ's sake. But he didn't ask Mall Santa for roller skates, so after realizing their omission (around 11:45 p.m. on Christmas Eve), I figured maybe they were more of a temporary whim rather than something he really, really wanted. Especially since 1) he'd never been roller skating, 2) had never asked to go roller skating, and 3) I am 99.9% sure he only knows roller skates exist because of Calvin & Hobbes. Looks like fun! Let's try it. But alas, on Christmas, Ezra surveyed the room of unwrapped present glory and asked the dreaded question. "Where are my roller skates?" I reminded him that skates weren't one of the things he asked Mall Santa for, and he nodded for a second before destroying me once again. "But I mailed a letter to the REAL SANTA and asked HIM for roller skates." That's right. He did. I even took pictures! I am... Read more →


The Three Wise Hams

This week has been a messy bitch of early school closings, delayed school openings, and our first kid semi-down for the count with a cold. I believe making it illness-free until January is a family best, though, so go us! It shall now ping-pong around our household for the next week and a half, with at least two of us getting stuck with a persistent dry cough until April. IT IS OUR WAY. Also our way. Best not to question it. In other photos-in-search-of-a-blog-post news, Jason recently got the chance to take Ezra (and Hobbes, natch) to his very first Ravens game. (I've called dibs on everybody's first Broadway musical; Jason claimed all the sportsball and Monster Truck Jams.) The weather wasn't great but they stuck it out for the full game -- it helped that our team actually won, but really the key to holding Ezra's interest in any live sporting event is to simply keep feeding him. (It also helps to have seats with views of the cheerleaders, apparently.) Thumbs-up and bunny ears to some quality Dadding, right there. Ezra had a blast. Ike felt a little left out -- the tickets were free from a friend who... Read more →


The Kindness of Internet Strangers

When we last checked in on Ezra's beloved Hobbes, he was not doing so great. SHOCKINGLY, his condition has not improved over time. He is worn and threadbare, his body covered in holes and his painted eyeballs faded into plain white plastic cataracts. Considering he's like, a 25-cent toy from a Dave & Buster's claw machine that Ezra takes everywhere, it's probably a miracle he's held on for this long. But still, I asked if anyone knew where I could procure a replacement Hobbes-like tiger. Well look what just showed up, right in time to go trick-or-treating tonight with Calvinz and his red wagon: Everybody say hi to Hobbes II! Thank you so so SO MUCH to reader Michelle for kindly and generously donating her time and mad sewing skills to make this adorable Hobbes for Ezra. (WHO IS SO THRILLED TWO HOBBES THAT'S TWICE AS MANY HOBBES GUYS!) He carefully packed him in his backpack last night for today's school parade, then snuck back downstairs to retrieve him because "Hobbes I is having trouble sleeping without his buddy." (Also last night: "Hobbes I is staying home tomorrow because he says he's too old for parades.") (Also this morning: I... Read more →


A Post That Is Not About My Elbow

(HA HA SUCKERS, of course Imma talk about my stupid elbow.) Another week, another doctor's visit, X-ray and this time, a bonus ultrasound. We can now add "tricep avulsion" to my diagnosis, which basically means my tricep muscle cracked off a tiny piece of my olecranon (aka ye olde nubby pointy bit) in what I like to imagine was a fit of super-strong tricep Hulk rage. Also I have a HUGE hematoma under there too, literally bigger than all the elbow bones put together, so I look forward to watching my elbow turn 500 different shades of purple in the weeks ahead. It'll be like watching the eclipse all over again! SEGUE TIME. Here is my elbow out in the wild. Please note my ability to hold a beer remains unaffected, blessed be to the alcohol gods. A friend of ours scored us three kids' vouchers for free Orioles tickets for them and deeply discounted tickets for us, which meant we could take the money we saved on tickets and blow it all on hats. Lesson learned, do NOT wait to panic-buy five hats at the baseball stadium because you didn't pay attention to where your seats were and anticipate... Read more →