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 →

When I wrapped up my work on Friday afternoon, I felt awfully damn good and smug and having-shit-generally-all-together-like. Which means I woke up this morning to EVERYTHING BEING ON FIRE. Which is great. Just great. Me and my business pajamas approve. So basically today has been the grown-up worky version of my entire weekend, which was a non-stop blur of this: And this: And this: And this, this and this: At least nobody is bleeding? In either scenario? Just a couple small kicks to the head. WE'LL BE FINE. Read more →

So this finally, officially happened. Friends of ours are expecting and took the crib away this weekend, which was a weird mix of "aww" and "good riddance, giant heavy-ass thing we never use anymore." We've had that crib in our house for about nine full years, and while it wasn't always in constant use for nine full years, we at least had plans in place to fill it with another baby eventually. So it stayed up and assembled the whole time. No plans. No babies. Smell ya later, crib. This isn't really an official "after" photo of Noah's tiny new room, since it only reflects what we accomplished in a single weekend, which isn't much. Wait, no: We accomplished 1) going to Ikea to purchase this bed/desk combo, 2) reveling in the fact that ALL THREE of our children are height/age eligible for the children's area, 3) getting paged back to the children's area after 10 damn minutes, 4) booking back to the children's area expecting an Ike-related potty disaster, only to be told "He's not listening. We have rules. He has to leave," and I immediately assumed "he" was "Noah" and internally debated pulling the special needs card, until... Read more →

WRITER'S BLOCK. DAMN IT. I DON'T HAVE ANYTHING INTERESTING TO WRITE ABOUT. BUT NOT WRITING MEANS I SHOULD FIND SOMETHING TO CLEAN AND/OR TAKE A SHOWER AND I DON'T FEEL LIKE DOING EITHER OF THOSE THINGS. WHY AM I YELLING. HEY LET'S LOOK AT SOME RANDOM PHOTOS FROM MY PHONE. One of the many blurry photos that still fail to fully capture the spirit of the boys' favorite game, "Everybody Jump Off The Arm Of The Couch And Pile Up On Mom." Play it today with your own 140+ pounds' worth of boy-children! Ike diagnosed me with a bad case of falling down and getting hurt (CHILD GETS ME, RIGHT?) and bandaged me up with a few dozen Ninjago stickers. It was cute at first but then every last one of these stickers ended up sticky-side down on the floor, where they demonstrated remarkable sticking power for a bunch of years' old novelty stickers. There's been a lot of scraping and cursing ever since. (But at least my leg is all better now, according to Ike.) This is how I felt about going back to blonde: This is me now: I'm ridiculous, I'm aware. But happy enough to actually smile... Read more →

Jason and the boys are pretty into the World Cup. I am...sometimes in the room while the games are on. I can appreciate the whole thing — especially if we're out viewing it at a family-friendly dining establishment that boasts an excellent beer selection and decent fries, so I can feel like we're all bonding while also stuffing my face for 90+ solid minutes — but my overall enthusiasm for/interest in soccer remains at this level: But watching the games has definitely sparked the boys' (previously tepid-to-nonexistent) interest in the game, and they've been dragging the soccer goals and ball out regularly for their own World Cup tournament. This is the World Cup, BTW: I don't know. But it's a very big deal. (I also like how Ezra insists on wearing a proper soccer jersey, but neither of them will listen to my suggestion that they wear proper shoes, no matter how many times the stupid Crocs go flying farther than the ball.) The competition is fierce, yet wildly, unevenly matched. The concept of letting your little brother score just one measly goal, come on, man, have a heart is not one that Noah is familiar with or interested in,... Read more →

1) Get ready to be wildly impressed, because it's been quite a week. Obviously. 2) I gave my children over to the cult of Minecraft in exchange for not being bothered for the next 48 solid hours. Noah played Minecraft for the first time at a friend's house last weekend, and went predictably nuts over it. At least, I assume that's a predictable reaction? Minecraft seems to be one of those things that every kid his age is going nuts over, and another one of those things that pushes me deeper and deeper into Uncool Mom Territory, because Noah goes on and on about it while I nod blankly and glaze over, and my brain is all I DO NOT CARE ABOUT THIS. DISENGAGE. So at first I figured, okay, I'll get him the game. It is...a game, right? Like an app? I actually was not entirely sure. I really missed out on even the most basic of information about what we were talking about, and I am now officially basing my parenting/media choices on whether or not 1) other kids' parents seem cool with it, and 2) Target sells kid-sized t-shirts of it. That's the bar now: IT CANNOT... Read more →