It's hard to believe we've been in the Yellow House for over a year. Especially since there are still boxes in the basement and several closets, and approximately 4,509.023 Yellow House-related projects we were totally going to do right away, and yet here we are. All the walls are still beige or brownish beige. I despise the ceiling fans with the force of a million ugly ceiling fans turned up to high. I still haven't replaced the super dark velvet sadness curtains in our bedroom. Framed art and photos sit propped against walls where I MIGHT want to hang them, but am still not emotionally ready to commit to a nail hole. Other than that, the house is very lived in and homey, by which I mean cluttered and messy as fuck. Not like, gross messy (unless we're talking about the boys' bathroom but WE DON'T SPEAK OF SUCH THINGS), but just...kid messy. Five people who tend to set objects down and wander away from them and three pets who all have a lot of toys/scratching posts/pet beds messy. Small child who is currently obsessed with ripping up small pieces of paper and scattering them everywhere and a mother who... Read more →

Something has gone terribly amiss in our hand-me-down clothing system. Clothing size math makes me crazy, but it seems everything has collapsed due to a bad ratio of non-worn-through-the-knee pants to children-with-weirdly-similar-leg-lengths, combined with our usual oh-crap-it's-suddenly-chilly-quick-try-on-last-year's-pants seasonal unpreparedness. (The Legs Collective, back in simpler, summery-er times.) Noah's now wearing clothes long enough that they're typically destroyed before they're outgrown, greatly reducing what I can pass down to Ezra. Ike's legs are insanely long that he's practically wearing the same pants size as Ezra (who is a good head taller but super extra skinny), leading to a critical pants shortage. Ezra has attended school all week in jeans that are noticeably two inches too short, which ALSO highlights his complete lack of socks. (I mean, we have millions of socks. There are literally socks everywhere. None of the socks match, and also we are still besieged by the mysterious Zombie Baby Socks, because all I ever do is throw out or donate baby socks and yet THERE ARE STILL BABY SOCKS IN THIS HOUSE. But matching socks that fit them now? Pffft. Pipe dream. I could go buy three dozen more socks tomorrow and we'd be tapped out by Saturday.)... Read more →

Less than a week before Noah's birthday, I still didn't have a present for him. Or even a vague idea of what present to buy him. I mean, obviously it was going to be Something Lego, because look at how Not Enough Legos We Have: (We bleached and Nature's Miracled the entire stash, just to be safe, then laid them outside to dry. And then we forgot about them and it rained. And then it rained again and again and now they are finally ALMOST dry and falling through the cracks in the deck and it's basically my Lego Anxiety Dream brought to terrifying life.) What Noah REALLY wanted was a discontinued Back to the Future set. Which I found on eBay for a pretty ridiculously high price, considering the size of it, and so I informed that NOPE, NOT HAPPENING. PICK AGAIN. His SECOND choice was a not-discontinued but even more bonkers expensive Ghostbusters set, because he has suddenly landed smackdab into the 1980s fanboy demographic. I again said sorry, no, we're not buying anything that expensive. His third choice was disappointed silence. Crap. One of the many small businesses from downtown Ellicott City is an independent Lego seller/reseller,... Read more →

Eleven years ago, this happened. Our (not-so) little perfect baby arrived. And everything changed forever. Last night during dinner, Noah held his hands up, fingers spread wide. "Starting tomorrow I won't be able to show how old I am with my hands anymore." Into uncharted territory, once again. He looks just like his dad. He got a small, adorable smattering of freckles across his nose this summer and sandy bit of blond back in his hair. His feet are officially bigger than mine and I can just rest my chin on the top of his head, and at least once a week he'll turn a hug into a jump, just to make sure I can still pick him up, even if it's a struggle and only for a minute or two. It's still all Legos and Minecraft and comic books, along with a deep interest in the many theories and philosophical aspects of time travel. This year, however, he's doing his biography book report on Alexander Hamilton. ("SIT DOWN JOHN YOU FAT MOTHER BEEEEEEEEEEP" is his favorite most inappropriate turn of phrase. Probably my bad.) He would like everyone to vote for Hillary Clinton, our first Girl President, a milestone... Read more →

Our first year with a "real" garden has been... ...bountiful, to say the least. And very, very delicious. (Not pictured, because we ated them: turnips, radishes, carrots, kale, zucchini, peas, bell and chili peppers, most of which we'll be getting round two or even three of shortly.) It's also been a bit of a learning process for us, as 1) no human family, no matter how bonkers-crazy they are for tomatoes, can possibly consume the INSANE number of tomatoes we planted, and I say that as someone who has not eaten a non-tomato-centric lunch in four months, has made sauces and jams and salads and soups, and has given away bags of tomatoes to anyone who comes to visit. Also 2) TIMBERRRRRRRRR. Whoopsie. We're having some nasty weather this week, and last night the metal frame Jason screwed into the raised beds gave up under the weight of a 10-foot high cucumber plant. I didn't even notice until after I got back from the bus stop. And while I'm SURE our neighbors were THRILLED at the sight of our giant-ass plant dangling over the fence (at least upright it served as a improvisational privacy hedge?), they did not poach our... Read more →

A few months ago, we went to a baseball game with some friends. As we snaked through the arrival crush, our friends made a bee-line for the much shorter bagless entry line, at which point I gestured to my over-sized tote and apologized. "You know, so much crap because KIDS." The kids were...not there. They were home with a babysitter. And yet I was there, lugging around a giant bag that was maybe 1/4 full of crayons and tissues and old receipts and random Legos and a ton of other stuff I 100% did not, would not use at a baseball game. Handbags long ceased to be must-have fashion accessories for me...the bag I was carrying at the time was just a free canvas tote from Mom2.0 because YAY IT'S MACHINE WASHABLE...but after sooooo many years of diaper-bagging it, that moment in line was a weird, freeing moment of revelation. I don't need to carry all this shit anymore. It's been years since anyone's been in diapers, or even been a moderate-to-high accident risk requiring a backup change of clothes. I don't carry snacks or sippy cups or plastic stacking toys anymore. We keep sunscreen and bug spray and hand... Read more →

Pay no attention to the new design quite yet (unless you're on a mobile device, which in that case, you are very welcome, about seven years late)...Jason jumped the gun a bit by sending it live. His priority was getting all the ad zones set up properly because of all those sweet, sweet Internet nickels; he didn't realize I wasn't down with the default fonts and wanted to test out at least fourteen dozen alternatives. I think we're currently displaying option number four and we're still not there yet. And I know some other pages are borked thanks to the bizarre way I had things set up before. Also, if anyone can help with the header/logo thing and expand some design-y doo-dads across the sea of Every Guest Bathroom I've Ever Had Green, shoot me an email with how much Cash Money you will require. But whatever, it's a site that at least looks like it's from this Internet century and maybe Google will remember that I exist again. Our original trip to Hersheypark included two days' worth of park passes. We ended up spending one day at the park and the rest of the time at our hotel's indoor... Read more →

Wow, I just realized how completely overboard I've been going lately with the CATS CATS CATS stories and photos. It's like, are the kids still around? Has anyone checked on the kids? Yep, still around. And clearly very busy. (He actually seems genuinely fine with this.) Noah is just days away from his 11th birthday, Fellow Olds. And while he still hasn't voiced any displeasure/resistance to making appearances here, it's rare these days to have anything really significant to report about him. Current life goals involve learning to program so he can get a job at Minecraft and make enough money to buy a Delorean, then quit the Minecraft gig and be a full-time professional time traveler. He'd be happy to tell you his theories on time travel, if you have approximately 17 free hours. Also I spaced out this morning and poured milk in his cereal, which was the single worst thing I have EVER done to him, especially since it was the LAST BOWL OF CEREAL. He ate maybe three mournful bites and then made himself some rage-toast out of spite. Mark this date down and Never Forget. Noah clearly will not. (I just got up to pee... Read more →

A few weeks ago, Beau learned how to open the back sliding screen doors with his paw. Or more accurately, with his toenails, which flash forward to today, has resulted in the screens looking like so: Awesome. He's such a smart dog!! Also SO MANY STINKBUGS INSIDE NOW. Before the damage got this bad, however, the main problem with Beau's new skill was that he'd let himself outside and then come back inside before I realized that he'd even done it, leaving the screen door wide open for God knows how long while I tapped merrily away on my laptop in a room far, far away. So that's how Rey got out of the house a few days ago. (Not to be confused with falling out of the house.) I realized the door was open, and then Finn started howling his alarms that he couldn't find her/Dumb Baby Did a Dumb Thing Again, Human Person. I crept outside the basement door and sure enough, there was a small black lump on the far, far side of our yard, and two bright yellow-green eyes peering at me. Inscrutable as ever, I had no idea if she was terrified or basically baiting... Read more →

Hi! Hi hi hi. How are you? I am fine. Everything is fine. Very very busy with non-blog work and then we had to travel to New York for a family wedding on Saturday and oh, absolutely, the whole thing started out as a planned day trip and ended up being a complete and utter clusterfuck as per my usual travel exploits, and while I suppose it would make for a classic Idiots Doing Idiot things story, the real reason things unraveled on us as badly as they did obviously kills the potential/appropriateness of humor. Long story short: Getting out of Manhattan and onto the very last NJ Transit train of the night was no easy feat on Saturday, and involved several unnecessary and/or aborted Uber rides, a lost credit card, a frantic sprint on and off the subway and a lot of REALLY oblivious, slow-moving Mets fans. None of it was very fun, but we made it home and the wedding was just lovely. (We also finally took some pictures of us together!) Another reason for the relative silence here on the blog is that FINALLY, in the year of our Lord 2016, I am redesigning the fucking thing.... Read more →