Noah spotted the photo on my computer screen immediately. Of the dozen or so colorful Windows live tiles cheerfully flipping around with updates, he zeroed right in on that one in particular. “Spock!” he shouted. He spotted the headline a few seconds later, before I even had a chance to even finish my internal groan of “ohhhhh nooooo.” “He died? Spock died?” His voice dropped at least eight volume levels, and his always amped-up body froze. There was no way or reason to sugarcoat it, so I explained that yes, the actor who played Spock had died earlier that day. This month marks the four year anniversary of my dad’s death. It really doesn’t feel like that much time has passed, and yet when I do the math and realize that Noah was only five years old when he lost his Pop Pop, it feels like an eternity. He was a baby! Noah remembers, and will talk very objectively and matter-of-fact about it, which is a nice way of way of saying that yeah, My Quirky Kid Is Quirky and doesn’t always phrase things in the most sensitive manner. “Your dad died. It’s too bad you don’t have a dad... Read more →

Whoa. What happened there? Days turned into weeks and now it's February and even my family members are texting me now like, "Uh. You alive? Everything cool?" I was in Florida this week for work, a long series of 17-hour days and no free time and the best part is that I get to do it AGAIN next week, to a different part of Florida. This week was Orlando. I brought the kids some free maps of Legoland and Harry Potter World from my hotel as souvenirs, because I am an amazing parent who never leaves room in her suitcase to bring them back anything good and/or wildly overpriced. (Except for YAAASSSSSSSS more Hyatt soaps. Although this week the maid figured out my hoarding game and cut me off after two soaps. Dammit.) Within an hour of arriving at my hotel, I watched a guy trying to flirt with the concierge, who apparently is attending college for healthcare management. He wished her luck in a tough field, then walked away, but stopped to bellow "BECAUSE OBAMACARE" at me and my slightly startled (and non-eavesdropping) coworkers. "BECAUSE OBAMACARE" became one of many team refrains for the week and our go-to excuse... Read more →

Oh yeah, look at me, blogging SO MUCH MORE, just like I promised. I am nothing if not hella consistent with being a huge goddamn flake. Anyway, here are some things that happened: 1) Jason indeed got snipped. He has offered to write a guest post about the experience, and I have accepted that offer, provided I am allowed to interrupt his entry with a lot of Parenthetical Editorial Comments. Please to expect follow-through on this idea at some point in late 2016. 2) While that procedure was literally in progress, I went and met my friend's brand-new baby boy. I held him, smelled his head, and even changed an up-the-back poop diaper like an old pro. Then I handed him back to his parents and drove home, possibly while singing DAMN IT FEELS GOOD TO BE A GANGSTA because nope, never again, not happening. 3) And oh. Right. Christmas. Childhood magic and joy and wonder and beef bourguignon. And holiday headlocks in matching candy cane jammies. 4) My recovery from the surgery continues. 4a) Incisions are all scabbed over and incredibly gnarly looking, so vanity is not at a high point right now, just yet. I've been taking pictures... Read more →

Due to my delicate condition, I outsourced the yearly trek out for the Mall Santa photo to my husband and mother-in-law last week. I shuffled around semi-usefully just long enough to get the boys in sweaters — as "sweaters" are about as close as we get to "dress clothes" around here, since collared shirts require ironing (fuck dat), and everything else they own proudly features a) a garishly colored, licensed cartoon character on it, b) some sort of orange-y red Mystery Stain, or c) both. So! Sweaters for everybody! Or...wait...unless... Crap, does everybody even own a sweater at this point? Turns out, they do! I was amazed. They all even seemed pleasantly coordinated, which...huh. A few minutes after they walked out the door, I realized that I'd just sent at least two children out wearing the same sweaters they wore in last year's Mall Santa picture, because that's the last time I gave a crap about sweaters. Note that I possibly bought them those sweaters while they waited in line with their father, ripping tags off and shoving them over their heads while all around us, families arrived with children in velvet dresses and sport coats and tiny babies in... Read more →

We took the boys to a Christmas tree farm this weekend. We came home with a very beautiful tree, a bag of kettle corn, and a gigantic sticky puddle of spilled hot chocolate all over the minivan. Have you ever gone on a family outing, taken a ton of pictures and then realized — once you were home — that basically every photo you took is an outtake, with somebody being a weirdo in every single shot? Just me? Okay then. Cheesy Facehole Board, Attempt #1: From L to R: Ezra's making a pirate face, Noah's eyes are closed, my hulking shadow is distracting, and Ike is... Oh, Ike is just LOVING this. Cheesy Facehole Board, Attempt #2: This time we have Suspicious Side Eye, Squinty Scrunch Face and Kid Who Smells Something Terrible. Cheesy Facehole Board, Attempt #3: I don't even know what's going on with Ike's face in this one. Either the sun was in his eyes or this is honestly what he thinks counts as a "smile" these days: Cheesy Facehole Board, Attempt #4: Ezra has now graduated to talking like a pirate, Noah is about to mime projectile vomiting because that's never NOT funny, and I... Read more →

Over the past week, we have attended three different parent/teacher conferences. Which I guess makes sense, given that we have three different children, but still. What a damn timesuck that ends up being. Something to consider for any ongoing family planning purposes, you guys. . All three conferences were fairly uneventful. Ike enjoys learning about animals and seems very comfortable "exploring the classroom space." (Translation: wandering around like a hopped-up ping-pong ball.) He is going through a "big vocabulary development phase." (Translation: He never ever shuts up.) Occasionally he can be quite "independent" (stubborn, difficult, made of NO, the perfect embodiment of every 3 year old ever) but is easily "redirected" (look Ike, it's something shiiiiiny!). He is not a big fan of the Montessori "Practical Life" activities. (Translation: Table dusting? Floor mopping? Silver polishing? WTF decade do you people think this is? Child labor laws and Dyson vaccuums. Look 'em up, assholes.) Noah enjoys...oh, throws up hands, Noah enjoys school and has the best teacher in the universe who responds to his occasional rigidity with all the calming flexibility of a gentle, graceful birch tree, who absolutely adores him and says things like, "oh, my heart!" when describing his... Read more →

Halloween was such a non-event this year it hardly seems worth mentioning. Except know...Halloween was such a non-event this year. Noah decided a couple months ago that he wanted to be a Ninja Turtle. He didn't know which one, and lately being asked to make a choice between several options or to pick a "favorite" really stresses him out, so we randomly picked Raphael for him. And Leonardo for Ike by mistake; he asked for Michaelangelo but I screwed it up and bought the wrong one. (I am getting really terrible at this stuff; a selective form of toy-and-cartoon-related dementia, or just a willful ignorance to hand over my remaining precious brainspace to the names and rich cross-merchandizing backstories of loud and obnoxious cartoon characters. Meanwhile my children want to talk about absolutely nothing else besides Teenage Transforming Mutant Ninja Angry Birds. Or something. I dunno. I'm rereading The Hunger Games, get off my lawn/battle arena.) Noah and Ike were thrilled with their costumes, at least, and Noah was especially comfortable wearing his and pretending to actually BE Raphael. Still not a big fan of Halloween decorations, either on houses or in stores, but considering the nearby mall hauled... Read more →

I totally bought Ezra the wrong Transformer for his birthday. He wanted Prowl, the Autobot, Battle Masters edition; for some reason this translated in my brain to Strafe, the Technobot, Construct-Bots edition. I still have no idea what at least seven or eight of those words mean. Lesson learned, though: Strafe is blue, while Prowl is yellow. But not like, Bumblebee yellow. Also, Battle Masters don't actually transform into anything, which, okay, I give up, these toys are stupid. Luckily, my mom has this birthday thing down and knows to just send them money rather than attempt to decode whatever Extreme Robot Ninja Lizard With Super Clutch Fisting Action Power the boys are rambling on about. So we ordered the correct (NON-TRANSFORMING) Transformer (WTF) and it arrived and is apparently so flipping awesome a fight broke out over it before I'd even gotten it out of the package. (Which to be fair, probably took me 20 minutes, because the toy was literally roped to the box in about 15 different places and then the box was coated in about three layers of packing tape just for good measure. HELLO ADULT AND YOUR CLUMSY MEATHANDS. I AM HERE TO MAKE YOU... Read more →

It's been a few years since one of their birthdays really and truly unnerved me. Nine, for some reason, is an age that does. Nine. NINE. One year until TEN. I don't feel old enough to have a nine year old. But obviously I am. My years of parenting babies and toddlers are almost completely behind me now, and that's only "almost" if you include Ike under the toddler umbrella, which: Okay, but barely. I've got maybe six more months before that's officially ridiculous. Nine. He's a quirky nine, but self-aware of his quirks and self-accepting of most of them. Frustration swirls to the surface occasionally, sometimes anger, but mostly an over-the-top positivity and excitement that can only be expressed at top volume while he tells you absolutely everything he knows about Ninja Turtles. He can stop himself now, though. He'll ask you first now, like an earnest, door-to-door missionary: "Are you interested in Ninja Turtles? Would you like to talk about them?" A yes brings a look of immense relief and happiness to his face, a deep breath before he can uncork the thoughts and words in his brain and let them out. All of them, at once right... Read more →