Ezra: Mom, I really wish I could learn how to vacuum the floor. Me: ... Me: BEHOLD, I AM MAGIC WISH-GRANTING FAIRY. KNOCK YOURSELF OUT, CHILD. For whatever reason, after school on Monday, Ezra suddenly noticed there were still Cheerios all over the kitchen floor. Now, there are ALWAYS Cheerios all over the kitchen floor, this has been a constant point of crunchy underfoot irritation in my life for damn near a decade now, because the pincer grasp milestone is a crock of shit, but this was the first time any of them actually 1) noticed, and 2) felt compelled to do something about it. Me, again: I got out the vacuum, went over some basics, and barely got in a demo push before Ezra grabbed it out of my hands and went to TOWN on those Cheerios. The kitchen vacuuming quickly turned into bedroom vacuuming, then he decided to take care of the hallways and stairs. Then Ike, I shit you not, asked to join in the fun. Ezra finished off in the living room, tsk tsking over every stray Lego and broken crayon bit he came across and carefully picked up. Ike ran around collecting socks and mittens... Read more →


We took the boys to the National Archives this weekend to see the Declaration of Independence. (The Constitution and Bill of Rights are there too, but for whatever reason Noah decided the Declaration is the most exciting of the three, and thus the main attraction.) Noah and Ezra brought out their Williamsburg hats (paired with Marty McFly and Star Wars outerwear), and also along for the trip were Noah's favorite history book, a Bionicle and of course, miniature American flags for others. (Oh, and a stack of Lego Mixel building instructions that have become incredibly important to Ike for some reason. Hobbes and Mister Doorknob stayed home this time.) We spent more time getting there, waiting in line, and browsing the gift shop than we spent viewing the actual documents. They're a lot more faded than I remembered, and Noah wasn't able to make much out beyond the title and one loop of John Hancock's signature. So he decided to buy a replica and read that instead, using the text from his book to help him decipher the cursive handwriting. His ultimate goal is to memorize the entire thing. I do not see that being all that difficult for him,... Read more →


This will probably be the last thing I'll post here about He Who Should Not Be Tweeting, as I know we're all desperate to change the subject and move on. But since the comment section has been especially passionate this week...I want to at least acknowledge everybody's input and thank you for all the myriad of perspectives you provided. It was uniquely helpful to see such a lively mix of both people who I'm on the same damn depressed page with and from those of you on the other side of the aisle. Thank you for sharing, truly. I did take a bit of offence at the accusations that it was entirely my own "fault" that my children were upset at the results and have a deeply negative view of the president-elect. That obviously I alone shaped and planted that opinion via carelessness or brainwashing. So lemme address that. A quick look at how many websites have featured some kind of "What Do I Tell My Children?" article, or perspectives from teachers with classrooms full of children either terrified for their friends/families (or chanting "Build That Wall" in the lunchroom), pretty quickly shows how difficult it was to shield children... Read more →


I... I don't know what to say. I'm shocked and disappointed and genuinely fearful in a way I've never been, post-election. My brain did indeed do an excellent job of protecting me from trauma and refused to see this possibility as something that could actually happen. Him? Not Her? Seriously, HIM?? (This was a lot funnier like, five days ago.) This morning I lay in the fetal position in bed, unable to do anything but stare blankly at a spot on the floor as it slowly sunk in that I was indeed awake, that this was real life, with the weight of everything that now hangs in the balance -- health care, the environment, the Supreme Court, reproductive rights, marriage equality, religious freedom, wars and walls and ignorance and sexism and xenophobia and Trump U trials and tax returns and four solid years of "oh Jesus fucking Christ, NOW WHAT?" news coverage -- crushing down on my chest. I listened to my children sobbing over their cereal bowls downstairs and Jason's sad, resigned voice as he tried to reassure them that everything would be okay, words he'd clearly rehearsed but didn't necessarily believe yet. "He's a bad person!" Noah practically... Read more →


Ezra would like to share some thoughts on today's election, along with some actual for-real head-banging and hand-wringing over the news that kids aren't allowed to vote. Which I kind of agree would probably have elevated the national conversation during this endless waking nightmare of a campaign season. The kids are all right, even the ones running around in just their underwear. And for the grown-ups in the room, if you haven't already: Muchas gracias. Read more →


Three months after his dramatically embarrassing pool party rescue, Ike has officially started swim lessons. His skeptical stubbornness has also hit levels unknown, as he is bound and determined to Be Difficult at every class for no reason other than...oh who the hell knows. It's like his dinnertime shenanigans, just soggier. Now I have witnessed firsthand that this kid can do just fine in the water while supported by one of those backpack floats , and will happily doggy paddle from spot to spot without a wet-hair-care in the world. He'll blow bubbles in the bathtub and float on his back and mimic all the kicking and arm motions of "real swimming." He will do zero of those things at his lessons, at least when specifically asked to. He has a friend from school in the same group who is an enthusiastic participant, and he'll mimic that boy's waiting-on-the-steps kicking/splashing/daredevil stunts on the railings, but as soon as it's his turn with the instructor he goes into full-on NOPE mode. He'll kick, then stop kicking, and once he's reminded to kick, he snaps them rigidly in place and stays stiff as a board while his (suppppppper nice) instructor hauls him... Read more →


Noah had his annual physical today -- his first time at our new pediatrician's office, oddly enough, as he hasn't had a single sick visit or injury or general health concern since we moved. This makes for a fairly boring check-up, although Noah remained in a low-level state of anxiety because I'd warned him he most likely was going to get a shot. He brought his Marty McFly jackets and his history textbook along to help keep his mind off of it. (Just when I think this kid's love of history can't get any better: He's now borrowing additional books from his teachers [as he's devoured all the main school library's offerings and still can't get enough] and I catch him reading them under his covers at night, or reading charming bedtime stories about the Boston Massacre to his brothers. Okay.) I already wrote a Big Whole Screed about the HPV vaccine at AlphaMom last year, but just to have it on the record here as I am a Wee Bit Het Up About This Topic, and want to make it clear that I followed through on everything in that rant: Yes, Noah got his first Gardasil shot today, and... Read more →


The great Marty McFly costume, which won for Mom Favorite because I bought actual useful clothing and accessories (ON SALE), combined existing wardrobe elements, and only spent $10 on that plastic-y cardboard Hoverboard . (Which I've been hiding in my closet because it's going to get destroyed in 3...2...1...) Noah loves it too, because with the jacket, vest and watch all being practical and non-costume-y, he gets to be Marty McFly every day. And who wouldn't love that. I'm asking. He met up with a group of friends from school while trick-or-treating and was so, so happy. The Green Ninja Redux: This time I did not even attempt a DIY o' Fail version, especially since now you can actually buy a real Lego Green Ninja costume . But Ezra chose this generic version instead, and added his own Ninjago headband . Other than some stains because he kept trying to wear it while also eating breakfast, he looked really great. I should have insisted on warmer underlayers, though, because he's home sick with a terrible cold today. As is Hobbes, who apparently ate too much Halloween candy last night and now has "the throw-ups." HMMMMMMM. Ike was Legolas , mostly... Read more →


Part One: In Which I Chaperone a Trip To a Pumpkin Patch For the Hundredth Time And it was predictably ridiculous, as my streak of being the bad weather luck charm remains unbroken to the end. About an hour in, the temperature plunged and the heavens opened, and an entire class of under-dressed kindergartners was soaked and chilled to the bone. I'd at least remembered to bring an umbrella and put a hat and mittens on Ike... ...but failed to notice that he left them behind at school. Also my umbrella was way too small to accommodate my small flock of charges, one of whom was dressed in a t-shirt and hoodie while even kids decked out in heavy parkas were visibly shivering. The trip was (mercifully) cut short, but not before we got pumpkins and some animal encounters in. ("Take my picture next to this sheep that I have no intention of actually standing next to.") (And then it oinked.) Part Two: Meanwhile, Back at G.Wash's Place... It was a day of dueling field trips, and Jason got to take Noah to Mount Vernon, where it did not rain AND they got fancy chartered buses with DVD players AND... Read more →


This post is sponsored by Blue Apron. Anybody remember all this, from the good old days, back before somebody taught Ezra how to put a hand on a popped-out hip, punctuate every sentence with a pointed "OKAY?" and a facial expression dripping with bershon? The little chef costumes had a pretty good run, but alas, he is officially far too gigantic for them now. Ike will wear it from time to time, unless Ezra hides in a fit of possessive pique GOD HE'S ONLY EIGHT SWEET MERCIFUL ADOLESCENCE. He recently got a styling new upgrade, though. (It was very important that I photograph him holding this pear, for some reason. He had a lot feelings about this pear.) Even more exciting was a proper grown-up cookbook, which he decided had to be for him, because Blue Apron must know what a good cook he is. I mean, they sent him an official chef-in-training apron and everything. And their Winter Cookbook, full of many of our favorite recipes and a whole bunch of new ones (including DESSERTS, which YAYYAYYAY). (The mushroom steam buns with purple potato salad are at the top of EVERYBODY's dinner wish list now. And I already have... Read more →