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 that...you 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 →


Noah's Back to School Night writing assignment. Write a letter to your parents and tell them a few things about school. Details to include: 1) Something you like ("the commutative propertay") 2) Something you LOVE ("the cromebooks") 3) Something new you're learning ("divide and multyply") 4) Your favorite subject ("math is very esay.") 5) How you felt on the first day of school ("excited")... And... 6) How you feel about school now. So yeah. An update in his own words. We're all really, really enjoying third grade so far. Read more →


Every Morning There's a Halo

Noah woke up this morning convinced that he and his dad were going to play Transformers together. I'm not sure where the idea that he'd been promised a pre-breakfast playdate came from, since our typical weekday mornings are not exactly padded with a lot of downtime. It's more like: Alarms go off, feet better be hitting the floor. Pajamas off, clothes on, bodies downstairs. Mom to blearily follow and promptly brew the coffee using the power of muscle memory. And then it's a sea of constant motion and tasks with a wary eye on the clock at all times. But then this morning, seconds after Jason stepped out of the shower, a heartbreakingly impossible request: "Dad, you wanna play Transformers with me?" Meanwhile, Ezra was lying on his back in the hallway, buck naked and making floor angels, having apparently gotten distracted by the ceiling light fixture somewhere between "pajamas off" and clothes on." "Not right now, buddy," Jason told Noah, who of course translated "not right now" into "I'll be there in five minutes." He ran to his room to finish setting the toys (all Jason's handmedowns from the 80s) up for battle, shooing his brothers away because we... Read more →


First Day, First Crisis: Done & Done

I decided to shoot a little video yesterday of the boys getting off the school bus. I now have about six minutes of other people's children getting off the school bus. Because my children? Were not on the bus. The bus driver was about to shut the door when he noticed me standing there, my phone still pointing at the exit and a Tina-Belcher-like uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh starting to come out of my mouth. "Uh oh," he said. "Who are we missing?" "Noah and Ezra?" I replied, as I continued to pointlessly record this interaction. For posterity. For remembrance of the day I waited over 30 minutes for a bus that did not contain any of my children. "Yeah," he looked back. "They never got on today." I finally stopped recording because my phone rang. It was Jason, and then our call was immediately interrupted by the school's number, and then I screwed up both calls and accidentally hung up on everybody. Probably because I was too busy sprinting back to our house with my 30-pound toddler in my arms to interact with a touchscreen properfly. I knew immediately what had gone wrong with Noah — last year he had a standing... Read more →


Oh my God, these two. Third grade and kindergarten, respectively. Two down, one preschooler to go. "That's enough pictures," he informed me after I attempted to get a solo first day shot. He's been waiting for today his entire life. Kindergarten! Noah's school! New friends! New playgrounds! The school bus! WHY ARE WE STILL STANDING HERE? They walked hand-in-hand to the bus stop, like mighty giants. Noah had been feeling pretty anxious about going back to school, until we visited his classroom on Friday during an Open House. The class list revealed a few of his best friends from previous years of school, the class library is stocked with Harry Potter and Bunnicula, and his new teacher is lovely and warm and sweet. Suddenly this morning couldn't come soon enough. Ezra probably hugged me two dozen times this morning out of sheer, body-shaking, omg-level excitement, but the minute the bus appeared around the corner he was off like a shark backpack attached to a laser beam. Ike doesn't start school until next week. He walked back home with us, acutely feeling the sting of being the baby brother. Cheer up, Ikey. It'll be your turn before you know it. Before... Read more →