Beer n' BeauBeauBear

A local brewery hosts a monthly dog- (and kid-) friendly pint night. We've been talking about taking Beau to one for ages now, always debating whether he'd like it or cower like a nervous stress-pee seizing wreck like poor old Ceiba. On the other hand: There is beer. And beer is good. Let's give it a try! It's official: Beau is a dog who LOVES LOVES LOVES being around his doggy friends. Look at that face. (The dog's pretty cute too, I guess.) The kids made a couple excited rounds to Pet! All! The Dogs!! (after getting permission from the owners, natch) and then settled down with food truck pizza and their holy blessed screens, while Beau kept one of us making laps around the room almost all night to happily sniff butts and...yeah. That was pretty much his jam. There was a looooooootttt of butt sniffing. He was so happy! Lots of dogs and head pets and new laps to jump in! Let's do this every night! And then Beau met the love of his life, a beautiful Golden Retriever therapy dog at the next table over. Beau's obsession with this dog was...intense. Playful tussling and tail wagging gave... Read more →


Midweek Blahs (& Mental Health Check-In

I came down with a bad cold on New Year's Eve, and ever since have been stuck in a "I'm feeling better/wait no I'm not" loop. Is it the same cold? A new cold? Allergies? Some kind of combination cold/mold sinus monster? I have no idea anymore, but I do know that it's making me look and feel like this: i am comfy but also grumpy leave me alone in couch buttcrack okay? I continue to force myself to rise up from the couch buttcrack occasionally, so as not to undo some of the small mental health best practices and small victories I've achieved over the last couple weeks: I've added at least 30 minutes a day of circuit training-type exercise to my 30 minutes a day of SAD lamp time, and while I know this is not BRAND NEW INFORMATION or anything, and merely proves I have the memory of a goldfish, but: Wow! Getting regular exercise sure does help! Whodathunkit, golly gee, alert the lamestream media, etc. I don't know how many times I've learned this exact lesson, and every time -- EVERY TIME -- I swear up and down that that this time -- THIS TIME --... Read more →


Obligatory Halloween Photo Parade

The great Marty McFly costume, which won for Mom Favorite because I bought actual useful clothing and accessories (ON SALE), combined existing wardrobe elements, and only spent $10 on that plastic-y cardboard Hoverboard . (Which I've been hiding in my closet because it's going to get destroyed in 3...2...1...) Noah loves it too, because with the jacket, vest and watch all being practical and non-costume-y, he gets to be Marty McFly every day. And who wouldn't love that. I'm asking. He met up with a group of friends from school while trick-or-treating and was so, so happy. The Green Ninja Redux: This time I did not even attempt a DIY o' Fail version, especially since now you can actually buy a real Lego Green Ninja costume . But Ezra chose this generic version instead, and added his own Ninjago headband . Other than some stains because he kept trying to wear it while also eating breakfast, he looked really great. I should have insisted on warmer underlayers, though, because he's home sick with a terrible cold today. As is Hobbes, who apparently ate too much Halloween candy last night and now has "the throw-ups." HMMMMMMM. Ike was Legolas , mostly... Read more →


Next Year They'll All Want Ponies

Ezra (and Bluen and Bube and Jimmy and Hobbes) had all their birthday dreams come true this weekend. Including this!! This is our friend's horse Ace. She's been offering to take the boys riding awhile now, and Ezra decided that sounded like a perfect birthday activity. To be honest, I was somewhat expecting Ezra to change his mind once he was there, live and in person with a Real Horse. And I think he was a little nervous, but not enough to hop right on and give it a try. He cut his first ride fairly short, but then after watching his brothers he decided he wanted to go again. After all, it WAS his birthday. He was much more confident the second time around. I haven't ridden a horse in FOREVER, so I broke myself in on the laziest, fattest horse in the barn. "Leisurely pace" doesn't even begin to describe it, but it was nice to realize I remember how horses work, more or less. Also, I didn't fall off and die. So, success! Noah went next. He rode therapy horses a couple times in preschool so he obviously loved this, almost as much as exploring the barn... Read more →


How Does Your Garden Grow (and Grow) (and Grow) (oh crap)

Our first year with a "real" garden has been... ...bountiful, to say the least. And very, very delicious. (Not pictured, because we ated them: turnips, radishes, carrots, kale, zucchini, peas, bell and chili peppers, most of which we'll be getting round two or even three of shortly.) It's also been a bit of a learning process for us, as 1) no human family, no matter how bonkers-crazy they are for tomatoes, can possibly consume the INSANE number of tomatoes we planted, and I say that as someone who has not eaten a non-tomato-centric lunch in four months, has made sauces and jams and salads and soups, and has given away bags of tomatoes to anyone who comes to visit. Also 2) TIMBERRRRRRRRR. Whoopsie. We're having some nasty weather this week, and last night the metal frame Jason screwed into the raised beds gave up under the weight of a 10-foot high cucumber plant. I didn't even notice until after I got back from the bus stop. And while I'm SURE our neighbors were THRILLED at the sight of our giant-ass plant dangling over the fence (at least upright it served as a improvisational privacy hedge?), they did not poach our... Read more →


Coasting

Pay no attention to the new design quite yet (unless you're on a mobile device, which in that case, you are very welcome, about seven years late)...Jason jumped the gun a bit by sending it live. His priority was getting all the ad zones set up properly because of all those sweet, sweet Internet nickels; he didn't realize I wasn't down with the default fonts and wanted to test out at least fourteen dozen alternatives. I think we're currently displaying option number four and we're still not there yet. And I know some other pages are borked thanks to the bizarre way I had things set up before. Also, if anyone can help with the header/logo thing and expand some design-y doo-dads across the sea of Every Guest Bathroom I've Ever Had Green, shoot me an email with how much Cash Money you will require. But whatever, it's a site that at least looks like it's from this Internet century and maybe Google will remember that I exist again. Our original trip to Hersheypark included two days' worth of park passes. We ended up spending one day at the park and the rest of the time at our hotel's indoor... Read more →


Late Summer Wrap-Up of Nothing in Particular

Oh, hello blog. You're boring! Life is boring. I don't actually mind boring, though. Noah finished up four weeks of a summer school program for social skills, and despite originally being supppppperr not-so-on-board with the whole riding the BUS to SCHOOL in the SUMMER, that is UNFAIR MADNESS, he ended up having a really great time. When we showed up to the open house, we immediately bumped into a boy who Noah had an on-again/off-again/on-again friendship with all year. A boy who I admittedly did not always think the most charitable thoughts about during the off-again part, but who lit up with a huge, excited smile at the sight of Noah, and rushed over to give him a big hug. His mom and I looked at each other like, ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, okay, I get it now. That friendship is solidly on-again, as are two new friendships with two other boys in his grade. I think 5th grade is going to be pretty great. Ezra and Ike are finishing up a school-prep camp together this week, and are also having a surprisingly amount of fun despite the heavy academic focus. Learning can be fun! Especially with your brother there, even if the... Read more →


How Many Storches Does It Take To Change a Light Bulb

ANSWER: Just one, but it'll cost ya a Lego table. Oh the brickmanity! Amazingly enough, I had absolutely nothing to do with this. Jason decided to install one of those fancy app-controlled, color-changing light bulb systems and thoroughly misjudged the strength of the crappy MDF and cardboard table while swapping out bulbs in the ceiling. The crash was tremendous. (He's fine. So are the light bulbs.) Note, however, that all the Lego plates survived intact, furthering my belief that even after a global fiery apocalypse, there will still be Legos to step on. Also, as my children work to salvage and remove as many plates as possible, this is officially the most attention this table has gotten since I made them the damn thing. And so we say goodbye to the last remaining vestige of the Isle of Sodor. I shall of course be replacing it with something from IKEA, because life is a flat circle and also Jason spent all our money on designer light bulbs. Read more →


This is the Birthday That Never Ends

Ike had his first "real" birthday party this weekend, aka the kind of party where we sacked up and invited his entire preschool class to an actual organized party, rather than just half-assedly inviting a bunch of our friends over to barbecue and eat cupcakes in the backyard. Five years old calls for a proper birthday party, I think. Ike chose a pizza-making party at a local restaurant, blatantly copy-catting his classmate who had the same party not that long ago. But hey, the party package included invitations, cookie decorating, pre-made goody bags and I didn't have to clean up a thing. I like how you roll, child. Jason did have to pitch in and help with some dough shaping, which apparently was MUCH harder than it looked, AMY, STOP LAUGHING. Poor Noah was having a fairly severe sensory freak-out over the tie-dye wall decor and getting flour on his hands, and also a touch of I'm too big for this shit existential crisis, but participated anyway to make Ike happy.* I offered Ike the choice of whatever kind of cake he wanted, figuring he'd pick something that would require a professional decorating job, but no. He wanted a plain... Read more →


My Brand is Crisis

Before I left for my (brief, more-time-on-planes-than-on-the-ground) trip to California (for all of one day at the Mom 2.0 Summit), I had a LOT of shit to get done. Important shit. Like this: My track record for chaperoning field trips in horrible weather remains almost impeccable. If there's an outdoor activity planned, the temperature will inexplicably drop 20 degrees that day. If there's a hayride involved, it's going to rain, so prepare yourself for a damp butt. I was supposed to chaperone Noah's fourth-grade field trip to Annapolis that morning, before realizing I was double-booked. Triple booked, actually, because Ezra had a doctor's appointment to get his hearing re-checked, so Jason had to cover that one, right before I bailed on him for the next two days. Whoops. So yeah. Ezra recently failed a hearing screen at school. Just like he failed a hearing screen back in preschool. That time a follow-up revealed nothing out of the ordinary, and the doctor suggested that he was just too little to understand the testing instructions. This time the follow-up revealed that his eardrums are misshapen. That's usually is the result of chronic ear infections or allergies, neither of which really applies to... Read more →