School of Not-Quite-Rock

Last night was Ezra's second violin "concert," an elaborate affair that required fancy new dress clothing and shoes, a super-rushed meal at McDonald's in order to make the required 30-minutes-before-show-time arrival, then waiting around doing nothing for at least 45 minutes with his supportive but super-bored siblings. (The amount and sheer intensity of mobile-phone use going on in the background of this photo is impressive.) Finally, about one hundred or so third graders slowwwwwwwwly took to the stage and extended risers, each carrying a stringed instrument that none of them had never touched before last October, proceeded to play three five-minute "songs," and then slowwwwwwwwwwwly filed back out again. It was not quite the assault on my eardrums I'd been expecting, given how green these kids are (and judging from some truly, painfully screechy practice sessions at home). This was their first performance using the bows (last time they all just plucked at the strings and avoided that classic "dying cat stuck in a grand piano" sound), and while I don't know what "Farmer's Hoedown" is technically supposed to sound like, I am pretty sure I could identify their "Ode to Joy" even if it hadn't been printed in the... Read more →


Pennywise and Poundfoolish

My children, historically speaking (and spoken with all the love and genuine affection in the world), are giant chickens. They've bailed on Disney movies. They run from TV commercials with dramatic music. The mere presence of my Walking Dead comic compendiums on our bookshelf continues to upset them to this day, and they've never even peeked at the pages inside. Every movie or TV show this side of Nick Jr. is met with the same running commentary: Is it scary? Who's the bad guy? Does anyone die? Is there a monster? Who is that? Does something bad happen? You have to tell me before something bad happens, okay? Some of this is entirely our fault, of course, We've made a few bad calls along the way (most notably Guardians of the Galaxy, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, That One Scene In Force Awakens You Know The One I'm Talking About, etc.) and they don't necessarily trust our assurances that no, really, this movie isn't scary, it's just exciting. But still. Guys. It's Coco! It's Pixar! The only people here who will be sobbing, emotionally traumatized messes by the end will be the adults AND WE ALL KNOW IT.... 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 →


A Start of Some Kind

I was really, really hoping my first post of 2018 would be non-Sad-Ghost depression related, but seeing how we're three days in and I shall be leaving the house for the very first time today since New Year's Eve* simply to get my meds adjusted, I guess I should just break the seal already. *The highlight of the evening was me bailing on a party several hours early because I forgot how to human. You know that feeling when you're trying to make small talk with a stranger and suddenly can't remember what kind of facial expression is appropriate for the words coming out of their mouth? So you focus too much on what your face is doing and completely miss that they've asked you a question until they're just staring at you in confusion while you smile at them all psycho-Joker-style? Or when the whole room is laughing about something and you're consumed with panic because what if you try to laugh and start crying instead? No? Just me? Okay. **But a Lyft arrived like one minute after my brain officially NOPED out and they didn't charge surge pricing! I came home and watched cooking shows all night instead... Read more →


The Morning After

Merry Day-After Christmas! Please enjoy this random assortment of child-like, hammy joy. (We take our PJ game very seriously around here, if you couldn't tell.) Our dining room is now Lego assembly central, while Ezra put his MasterChef Junior Breakfast Cooking Set to good use this morning and made French toast with a side of burning the house down, as he decided to get started without 1) waiting for me to wake up or 2) actually reading the enclosed recipe card. Be safe out there, kids. Read more →


Mall Santa 2017

A look back through the years: * 2005 * 2006 * 2007 * 2008 * 2009 * 2010 * 2011 * 2012 * 2013 * 2014 * 2015 * 2016 * And the tradition continues, because why not just keep it going 'til college at this point? I believe this is our best one yet, by far. In conclusion... ...and many happy LOLs and much hamming to you and yours. Read more →


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 →