So I get that Valentine's Day is a cheesy, unnecessary holiday birthed from crass marketing and consumerism, and it's cool to be all, "whatever, we don't do anything for Valentine's Day because we don't celebrate Hallmark Holidays blah yadda blah." But I married a romantic with a penchant for big gestures and special occasions. Not doing anything for Valentine's Day goes against his very DNA. So we celebrate Valentine's Day, but to prove that we're not complete lemmings, we don't celebrate it specifically ON Valentine's day. This year we went with February 13th. Yeah, that'll show 'em! Stick it to the man! (On Valentine's Day Proper we took the boys to see Kung Fu Panda 3, which wasn't technically terrible or anything, but I feel like the storytelling possibilities and overall concept of a kung fu fighting panda have officially run the full course and it is time to move on.) (Next up: Jujitsu Shrimp! Crossfit Honey Badgers!) On Saturday, Jason woke me up with the news that he'd booked me a surprise massage appointment, because he is amazing and also loves to ignore our "no gifts this year, right?" agreement every single time. Probably just to make me look... Read more →


As you may recall (because I didn't stop talking about it for like, over a month), our move into the Yellow House was...kind of stressful. As a result, we still have a lot of furniture that the movers just randomly positioned in rooms without much thought or plan, because Jason and I were too busy panicking over our disastrous closing/paperwork nightmare, plus all the various property laws we were breaking. JUST PUT IT ANYWHERE! JUST GET IT OFF THE TRUCK! THEN GET THE TRUCK OUT OF THE DRIVEWAY SO WE CAN PRETEND NONE OF THIS IS HAPPENING! The boys' bedrooms got the worst of it -- the beds were all plunked right in the center of the rooms, we didn't really divide up side furniture very well, so Noah's room seemed big and cavernous while Ezra and Ike were stuck in overcrowded smaller rooms, and the little floor space they had around their beds quickly became a embarrassing swamp of toys/clutter/laundry. We'd tell them to go clean their rooms and they'd look at us all helplessly, because they had zero idea where to even start. And I can't say that I blamed them. Their rooms were just not very nice... Read more →


THANG ONE: Noah preformed in his very first concert with the school band. We had to rush out and buy this entire outfit, right down to the shoes, because we are sloppy heathens who don't own church clothes. Or even nice clothes. Noah was a bit nervous about the concert, even expressing hope over the weekend that he would catch the stomach bug from his brothers and be unable to perform. But he didn't, and he did absolutely great, playing front and center onstage as first chair (!!) saxophone. THANG TWO: CHRISTMASSSSSSSSSSS! Christmas! Christmas. Christmas Christmas Christmas Christmas. So! This is a story worth telling: Jason takes Noah to his saxophone lesson every weekend at a local music place, and about a month ago started sending me photos of this guitar (Epiphone Wildkat) they had for sale. It was used, in perfect condition, at a really good price, and every Saturday he'd take it off the wall and play it for a bit, falling ever more deeply in love. As he'd JUST purchased a regular guitar off Craigslist (to jam with/encourage Ezra, who only wanted a red "rock-n-roll" guitar for Christmas), I remained unimpressed, said no, and also I was... Read more →


Star Wars is a deeply special thing for our nerdtastic family, going all the way back to my very first date with Jason. We love it. Insane for it. Get a case of the warm and fuzzies just from thinking about it. Despite having our young hearts broken by the prequels, being able to introduce our children to the original trilogy brought back the love and magic big time, every time. (Ike, watching Empire Strikes Back for the first time last weekend. I've never seen him so blown away by a movie. When it was over, we said SCREW BEDTIME IT'S JEDITIME and let everybody stay up past midnight.) So there was no way -- NO WAY -- I was going to let my stupid-ass eyes (stupid ass-eyes?) stop me from attending the early Saturday morning showing of Force Awakens we'd bought tickets for ages ago. I was 99.9% sure I was no longer contagious (no red/pink, drainage, swelling, just the residual blurred vision but even that's markedly improving every day) but took all the proper washing/sanitation precautions and was extra mindful about keeping anything from touching my eyes. And it was wonderful. Just...all the wonderful things. I laughed, I... Read more →


I called our county's Child Find office on Monday and requested an assessment packet for Ike. (Or technically for "Isaac," a name I only ever hear called out in doctors' waiting rooms, and I usually sit there for a few extra seconds like "Why are they looking at me? Who's Isaac? Oh, right.") So now all that's left on that front is to wait for the packet to arrive in the mail, fill out all the parent forms, send teacher forms to his school, wait for his teachers to return the forms, mail everything back, wait for a phone call to schedule an appointment, wait for said appointment, perform some ancient sensory ceremonial rituals involving obstacle courses and small toys hidden in shaving cream, and then maybe...MAYBE...we'll get some speech therapy before his fifth birthday in June, at which point he gets handed over to the school district and whole process starts all over again. (Do I sound chill or just jaded? I can't tell the difference anymore.) After I made the call, I decided our chalkboard wall needed a new family motto. Vinyl decal from Etsy, found here. NERD TIME: As a copywriter I have to quibble with the... Read more →


So of course, after a week of momentous firsts! and progress! and nostalgic amazement over ALL THE THINGS, we were due for a crash. There was an incident on the school bus on Wednesday, which I heard nothing about until Thursday, when I stepped outside to take Ike to preschool, only to find another mom from the neighborhood awkwardly waiting to talk to me. Because um, your kid punched mine. Could he...not? /head explodes all over the driveway There's a particularly brutal flavor of shame/guilt that comes from finding out your child did something just plain wrong, something he knows better than to do, and then a weird reflexive circle-jerk of searching for excuses or alternate interpretations or reasons why THIS IS ALL JUST ONE BIG MISUNDERSTANDING. And after talking with Noah, there's still a small, petulant part of me that feels like it WAS, as he seemed completely clueless/stunned that the other kid was upset or even bothered, it was part of a game, not really a "punch" at all, the bus driver didn't even notice anything, etc. But he was likewise completely clueless to the fact that he's much BIGGER than the other kid, so any sort of... Read more →


This morning was Noah's first IEP meeting at the new school, with the new team. It was, as always, thrilling and full of drama and I lost my cool and flipped the conference room table over at least twice. Wait, no. Opposite of that. It was actually pretty boring, since it was mostly about moving everything from our old county's IEP form to our new country's IEP form, which we received a couple weeks ago covered in Post-It notes explaining evvvvvvvvery single checkbox and code and category because everything from the old IEP transfers, but it's all just called something slightly different. If I came away with any great insight on moving a special needs child from one Maryland district to another that I can pass along to you, I guess I'd say that Montgomery County IEP forms allow a little more flexibility on a kid's pull-out hours and certain accommodations can be marked as "ONLY IF NEEDED." Howard County IEP forms are like, NO WAY, YOU GONNA DOCUMENT THAT SHIT DOWN TO THE MINUTE. (Also, you have to give them explicit permission to use wearable sensory tools like weighted vests, blankets, etc. on your child because they have technically... Read more →


It's been one of those days/weeks when personal blogging feels especially self-absorbed. I have news coverage from South Carolina open in all my other browser tabs and then I come HERE and like...what do I even write about? The biggest problem I encountered all week is that we're down to only one working iPhone charger so Jason and I are constantly fighting for custody of it, and I ordered a few more but they haven't arrived yet because the next-day shipping from Amazon Prime is taking soooooo looooonnnnnng yoouuuuuuu guuuuuuuyyyyyysssssss. Yeah. Okay, self. I guess I'll just post some pictures and try to think about things that are not terrible. This week's "Are We Really Moving Or Is Jason Just Pulling An Elaborate Prank On Amy To Get Her To Clean Shit Up" project was organizing the shelves in the basement. This, believe or not, is the "AFTER" and is the result of many hours of sorting and purging and (of course) at least one overly dramatic-looking injury: Note that basement photo does include the shelves in the corners. Those are still a damn mess. But look! There's an EMPTY shelf! There's no shit piled up on the floor except... Read more →


Last night, after dinner but before Game of Thrones straight-up murdered my soul, I asked the boys to stand together for a photo. I really don't know what I was expecting. Other than a perfectly accurate picture of what life is like around these three. Which is exactly what I got. Ike looks to Ezra... Ezra looks to Noah... Noah does his own thing and does not care if anyone can see him... And Ike needs a haircut. Just another typical night in the Storch household. Noah and Ezra will be home from school in approximately 45 minutes, and then shit will get real. I'm just glad they like each other. For now, anyway. Read more →


The first great crisis of Spring Break 2015 is here and happening, and has the ranks thoroughly divided. A single Lego minifigure is missing. It is apparently a VERY IMPORTANT minifigure, because its status as lost has rendered Noah's entire Hero Factory collection useless, because he cannot play Hero Factory without this minifigure. They have told me this minifigure's name 14 billion times, but I still have no idea who or what they are talking about. I think it's red? According to Noah, the minifigure was last seen in Ike's possession. Ike maintains that he put it back in Noah's room where it belongs. Again, according to Noah, this is a damned dirty lie because he's looked "everywhere" in his room and it's not there. I remain neutral, because I'm pretty sure looking "everywhere" involved little more than standing in the center of the room and sort of idly glancing around, the way he also looks "everywhere" for his shoes, which are typically three feet away and in his direct line of sight. And yet also nowhere to be found! Strange, that. After more fruitless searching (at one point they attempted to use Ike like a search dog, making him... Read more →