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 →


Total Eclipse of the Elbow

Hellooooooooo. It's been a week. A magical week, full of much learning about elbows and why you should not break them. Also, there was an eclipse, that, I dunno, I was personally pretty underwhelmed by. I watched an orange circle slowly get covered by a black circle and the world was not plunged into dramatic darkness. It maybe got a little extra shadow-y for a minute? Maybe not even that? Did I miss something? Am I dead inside? Should I go back and edit out at least three commas from that first sentence? (Answer to all those questions is yes, probably.) Anyway, I hope everybody's eyeballs are fine (with maybe one exception). Now back to my elbow, which is NOT fine, but could be worse, because damn, elbows are complicated. Amy's Elbow, Inside & Out A follow-up with a orthopedist confirmed that yes, I fractured the nubby pointy bit of my elbow, also known as the olecranon. Which sounds vaguely science fiction-y. The good (?) news is that the break non-displaced: the nubby pointy bit is cracked but still intact, and the crack is lined up nicely to heal without surgery. Although my very cheerful doctor very cheerfully informed me... Read more →


Checking Out

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 →


Look Out We Got Some Middle-Aged Badasses Over Here

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 →


The Biker Family

(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 →