Much Adulting Wow Not Really

Hello! It's been a bit. I have been quite the diligent little worker bee this past week, as one of my part-time freelancing clients suddenly morphed into a full-time 40+ hours stress monster. On the one hand, it always feels good to be extra productive (and hey, I'm paid hourly so MAKE IT RAIN OVERTIME), but on the other hand, weeks like that always serve as a reminder that I am so wired for freelancing and much prefer jumping from project to project throughout the day. (I didn't have any time to write about poop or in-laws all week! ) Otherwise my brain goes numb and I sort of slither off my chair from the mental exhaustion of Actual Grown-up Human Work at the end of the day. I am such a baby. They should probably not be feeding me so much coffee. Anyway, things are much calmer this week, except that we're hosting Friendsgiving this weekend and my anxiety is up to ELEVENSIES because either no one will come and it will be a disaster, or everyone will come and it will be a disaster. There is no in-between, obviously, also we didn't get the hardwood floor project started... 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 →


Hams on Tour

As I mentioned in Monday's post, we spent Ezra's birthday weekend in the Poconos, at the super-family-and-kid-friendly Woodloch resort. (This is not a sponsored post. I was invited as a travel writer for AlphaMom, where a proper review-type post will appear soon. Woodloch comped our room and meals, but beyond that I'm not being paid for this post, or nor am I obligated to post about the trip at all. But like I would EVER pass up a chance to bore y'all with a bunch of my vacation photos, lololol.) (I bet they knew that, too.) ANYWAY, the boys had a ton of fun. There were: Bumper cars! (Not pictured, me, who went on them one whole time!) Go-karts! (Not pictured, Ike, who was like naaaahhhhhh don't think so.) (This was more his speed.) An indoor pool! And hot tub! And waterslide! And Halloween costumes, characters and bonus treat-or-treating! (Ezra went as Calvin [and Hobbes], Ike as Woody and Not-Pictured-Noah was Marty McFly again.) (And yes, that last one is indeed David! S! Pumpkins!) A petting zoo, pumpkin patch and painting... And ham. So much ham. (That was us "practicing" our scared faces just before I took him on his... Read more →


Adventureland

Yesterday morning I dropped Noah off at his school and watched him head inside, wheeling a suitcase behind him. He's off on a two-day, two-night field trip to an outdoor adventure camp by the Chesapeake Bay with his classmates. All 300 of them. Who decided all these tiny babies were suddenly ready for this shit? Who decided the grownups were? It was nice to see that most sixth graders are still willing to publicly hug and kiss their parents goodbye, and that this was a Big Deal for plenty of other families -- some cars were packed with moms and dads and grandparents and siblings to wave off their newly official Super Big Kid Who Takes Suitcases Overnight Now. Other kids were clearly sleepaway camp veterans, bouncing out of cars with an overstuffed duffel bag because maybe they have a better understanding of what "several changes of inner and outer clothing" actually looks like for two days at one of these places -- I just kept adding stuff until there wasn't anymore room for stuff. What if his sweatshirt gets muddy? What if all his socks get wet? ("It'll dry! It'll be fine!") Electronics of any kind were strictly prohibited,... Read more →


Twelve

If you ask him how middle school is going, he'll say: "It's fine. It's long." And yet he still auditioned for (and was accepted into) the afterschool jazz ensemble, which he says "flies by so fast" because he likes the "jazzy music" and because his saxophone "is like, the main character of jazz." He's tall and lanky and huge and handsome and at least a couple girls have noticed, but he's not interested, no, ew, stop. (But don't you dare say things like girls can't game or code or use "throw/play/scream like a girl" as an insult because you will get an earful.) The kid who couldn't stand Halloween is now begging to go on ghost tours and jump-scare haunts. Next week he's going away on a two-night, outdoor education field trip with his class and I'm the only one who's even remotely stressed about it. "It'll be fun. All my friends are going." He still asked for a Lego set for his birthday, but probably mostly because he hasn't realized he can ask for gift cards to Steam yet. The Lego obsession is slowly giving way to video games and drawing comics and YouTube, though he still likes to... Read more →


Atypically Awesome

Jason and I binge-watched Atypical on Netflix a few weeks back (and if you haven't checked it out yet, GO NOW DO, it's wonderful). I could probably write a dozen blog posts on all the many, many thoughts and feels I have about this show (which I repeat, is wonderful), but for now I'm going to go off and ramble down a completely different tangent. HOWEVER, the fact that we watched it will be important later. (Now THAT's how you structure a coherent blog post, folks.) Back when Noah was officially diagnosed with ADHD, we teamed up with his doctor and therapist to talk Noah through his diagnosis, what it meant and what would happen next. We didn't take the decision to try medication lightly, and I certainly had no intention of just handing him a pill, like here, take this, without thoroughly explaining what it would do and what potential pros and cons we'd need him to self-report going forward. There was a book and several sit-downs and lots and lots of follow-ups and check-ins. And then his Autism Spectrum Disorder diagnosis happened. In kind of a short order. And...well, we didn't tell him. That sounds horrrrrrrible, I know.... Read more →


Something Rotten

(But first, an elbow update: Good tidings and huzzah! My latest x-ray revealed enough healing for me to ditch the splint and sling and focus on getting my range of motion back. I'm not allowed to lift anything heavier than a cup of coffee [official doctor's orders] and it's still pretty painful and gimpy-stiff, but my arm is freeeeeeeee from the mummy wrappings and I will definitely not need surgery. I am currently taking bets on how long it will take the five gloriously long fingernails I managed to grow during my weeks as a one-armed lady of leisure to break off. I'm guessing I'll lose at least one by the end of this post.) As I mentioned earlier, I somehow got talked into attending the Maryland Renaissance Festival/Faire thing on Monday. It's...not really my thing, to put it mildly, but I figured the kids would like the jousting and at the very least I know I enjoy watching both Shakespeare and people letting their nerd flags fly. And beer. There is beer. This is an acceptable outing. These outfits are also acceptable. Ike brought the hat from home and we rented the rest of the pirate garb. And you... Read more →


Middling

Well, hi! Look at me, typing and working. I am now allowed to take my arm splint off for UP TO 20 MINUTES A DAY for typing and work. Do you know how much I'm going to accomplish in that precious 20 minutes? Probably not very much! There is so much going on and so much to talk about and write about (omg Texas r u ok luv u plz have some money so v sorry), but today I'm just going keep things as myopic as possible and point out that Noah, my Noah, your Noah, OG Blog Baby Noah, is officially a middle schooler. Congratulations, we are all ancient now. Be careful out there today. Don't break a hip. (Affiliate link plug here but like, I'm being "authentic" and shit: We got him one of those Gizmo Gadget GPS watches last month and it is an excellent little doohickey. If you've got a kid on the Spectrum or any kid, really, who wants/needs more independence and freedom but isn't ready for a full-featured phone with data and games and distractions and all that, I highly recommend it. Noah loves it.) (Mentioning it mostly because 1) he's obviously wearing it,... 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 →


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 →