Judges: Good morning, and welcome to this session of Simulated Congressional Hearings. You have been brought here as constitutional expert witnesses to answer the question "Why did we go to war?" in regards to the American Revolution. Before we begin, please introduce yourselves, and tell us what you hope to be when you grow up and why. The Rest of the Group: Veterinarian, teacher, doctor, etc. Because they love animals/school/helping people, etc. Noah: I want to be a time traveler because I love the movie Back to the Future. *** The presentation begins. Kid #1: BOOM. Kid #2: KAPOW! Noah: What's that? Kid #4: That's the SOUND of WAR. Judges: Dammmmn that's good. *** Judges, during follow-up questions: So Noah, you mentioned really liking Back to the Future. What do you think it would be like to take the Delorean back in time to the Boston Tea Party? Noah: That would be pretty cool. I'd join and help the patriots. Of course if any British soldiers started firing at us I'd be wearing a bullet-proof vest from modern times. To, you know, avoid death. Judges: Probably a good idea. We appreciated your obvious passion about your subject matter today. Noah:... Read more →


The Loop, Part 2

Noah likes to take a pre-dinner bike ride around the neighborhood. It's part of his routine whenever the weather is nice: come home, snack, homework, load the dishwasher, ride his bike around the same set loop two times, maybe three, then back for dinner. I've encouraged him to explore the neighborhood a little more, but he got a little lost doing that not long after we moved so now he prefers to stick to the same path. It takes him around to the street directly behind our house, and he likes to wave at me if I'm outside or at the kitchen window. I wave back. The other night, I missed the wave. I was at the stove making dinner. Ezra and Ike came in from playing on the swingset and set the table. I put dinner out and realized Noah wasn't back yet. Which, okay, that's fine, he'll probably be back in a few minutes. He wasn't. I checked the garage for his bike, scanned the street out back, then the front. I went to his room on the off-chance he'd come back and retreated there to play without anyone noticing (his stealth move to get out of further... Read more →


Quote of the Day

Nay, of the year. Of the DECADE. Noah, to Ike, who was whining loudly about his sock getting wet: "It'll dry! It'll be fine!" It will dry. It will be fine. This, from the kid for whom socks in general were once a regular source of meltdowns, who required special-order sensory socks without toe seams, who most certainly would've required a fresh dry change of socks IMMEDIATELY after stepping in something wet, oh my God, are you kidding. It's easy to get bogged down in the tiny details of the present, with how things are right now, because their future seems too big to worry about. Parents of typical kids make the jokes about "no kid goes to college in diapers" or "I promise he won't still ask for a bottle in junior high," and of course, that's all true. But there are kids in college who special order their socks. There are kids in junior high who wear noise-cancelling earmuffs and sit on special seat cushions. (I know that one is true because next year it'll be mine.) There are adults who struggle every single day with so many things, and it's easy to picture your child's struggles following... 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 →


IT'S ROSÉ WEATHER, MOTHERFUCKERS. (Or, if you're my fruit-and-vegetable-texture-adverse child, it's purplish-brownish yogurt/spinach/frozen-berry-blend smoothie weather, which admittedly isn't as pretty, but he swears is delicious and solves quite a few nutritional/digestive concerns. Plus it puts the stupid-expensive blender Jason bought me last Mother's Day to good use.) I always spend this time of year in half slack-jawed amazement at how happy and mentally healthy this sort of weather makes me, and half in scrunched-forehead confusion at the idea that there are places with this sort of weather ALL THE TIME, places were I could hypothetically live and feel like this year round, because? I don't know. I like to babble bullshit about "liking having different seasons" when honestly, at least two out of four of our seasons can probably go fuck themselves. We met with the middle school's special education team yesterday to officially plan Noah's transition. It went well. I had to push to keep a few goals and accommodations in place because technically he's achieved said goals and doesn't currently use those accommodations, but given our history with rocky starts to new school years (and how hard the transition to a new school turned out to be last... Read more →


We survived, both the drive and the trip itself. Post-road-trip/mini-vacation crash aside, today is kind of a rough day over here. So forgive the lazy mass posting of photos without much storytelling. (NOT PICTURED: AMALAH, THE GIANT CHICKEN GIRL WHO DOES NOT ROLL WITH THIS SKIING NONSENSE.) (That's Jason's niece on the left, also known as Ike's Favorite Person.) (She made him a pom pom puppy, now known as Ike's Most Treasured Possession.) What is it with vacation homes that suddenly make board games so attractive, by the way? We have a huge stack of dusty games that no one ever wants to play, that get taken out maybe once a year just long enough for an essential piece or two to go missing. But whenever we go on a trip it's like the goddamn National Chutes & Ladders Tournament and Operation Invitational. It's so old-fashionedly wholesome. (Ike cheats at Candyland something terrible, though.) Post-skiing entertainment at the lodge was a bit more their usual speed. Netflix cartoons, hot chocolate and chicken wings. "I did awesome at skeeting. My favorite part was when I fell in the snow on my belly." Ezra spent the weekend bargaining with us over what... Read more →


Happy Friday! Not much to report from here, as usual. Really only here to phone something in real quick so I can go play outside in this perfectly normal 70-degree February weather. Hopefully the sun doesn't explode while I'm out there. One semi-related follow-up to Wednesday's post, where the reality of "Noah's going to middle school" hit many of us like a sack full of existential bricks, the school yearbook staff requested baby photos of all the fifth graders. And like many modern parents with way, way too many millions of digital photos scattered across old laptops, flash drives and cloud storage, I went and swiped some random pics off the Internet. Specifically, this post, which is really dumb so don't go read it, instead, look at these photos and try not to wither into old-age dust. The squirrel cheeks, OMG. I can still remember the EXACT sound of the cooing noise he was making at this moment. 100% without a doubt contemplating the possibilities of time travel. (ALL TOGETHER NOW) ...we'll bleed and fight for you, we'll make it right for you. If we lay a strong enough foundation, we’ll pass it on to you, we’ll give the world... Read more →


We had an IEP meeting this morning, a pretty big one. It was the first of TWO meetings planned for the transition to middle school (heyyyy there, fellow olds!) and this was also a "re-evaluation" year, which involves a metric shitton of testing and assessments to determine exactly how Noah's disabilities are impacting him at school. Of course, in my paranoid, neurotic brain, you can go ahead and replace "how" with "if," and then spend a few sleepless nights practicing the imaginary arguments you're going to have when the IEP team decides your child no longer qualifies for any services or accommodations, bye bye, have fun in middle school, watch out for the grizzly bears, good luck to ya. (That did not happen, by the way.) We knew going in that Noah did very well on all of the individual tests and assessments. His grades this year have been outstanding, and barring that one unfortunate debating debacle early in the year, behavior reports describe him as focused, hard-working and an all-around delightful, well-behaved kid. In some schools, yes, those positives can be spun into a "it's time to reduce services/increase mainstreaming/drop to a 504 plan" kind of discussion. Our school,... Read more →


Happy Valentine's Day! It's going GREAT. Noah came down with a pretty bad cold on Sunday, I got it yesterday. Last night was Jason's customary home-cooked, multiple-course Valentine's-dinner-that's-not-on-Valentine's-day-SO-THERE-OR-SOMETHING extravaganza. I coughed and sniffled my way through it, then gave us both a miserable nights' sleep (cough cough hack wheeze cold hot cold hot couch) and an equally hellacious morning because neither of us could bear to face the day on like 40 minutes of sleep. (On the other hand, there were homemade pork belly buns. Jason went to Momofuku without me recently and took a pretty impressive stab at recreating them for me, AS HE SHOULD. Then there was creme brulee, my favorite dessert in the world, which I did not photograph because I was too busy eating it. There are two more in the fridge which will make a nice balanced lunch and afternoon snack.) I'm doing some work and drinking some tea laced with Zicam and then joining poor Noah in a much-needed nap. He's feeling better than yesterday but still not super great, and I realized he's missing his very last elementary school Valentine's Day party ever. And I was so prepared!! At least I flaked on... Read more →


Ezra lost a tooth over the weekend, obviously an exciting moment for him...but now that all three of them are in their peak tooth-losing years, it's become less of milestone for us and more of a endless mouth-based cash-sucking scam. (I swear there was one week last month where Noah lost a molar at the dinner table almost every night. Which 1) wow, there's nothing quite like the sight of children passing around a bloody tooth stump to really help the appetite, and 2) HOW R U EVEN CHEWING, BRO.) Long story short, Jason and I both completely forgot about the lost tooth and whiffed on the tooth fairy duties. I remembered approximately 0.32224 seconds after waking up and jumped out of bed, hoping to catch him sleeping in, but alas, they were already downstairs and poor Ezra was super, mega disappointed. I went down and blathered some lame excuse about how he probably just lost the tooth too late to get added to her list for that night, blah blah she'll surely come tonight. As soon as I walked out of the kitchen I heard Noah drop the truth bomb: NOAH: You know the tooth fairy isn't real, Ezra.... Read more →