Well, we are back. I have to admit our big attempt at an off-the-grid vacation did not go exactly as planned, but my commitment to (mostly) staying off social media was probably a win for all of y'all, as you were spared an AWFUL lot of complaining. It started with this, the evening before our flight to Cancun. We'd been gloriously clueless, right up until we arrived at my Weather Channel-watching in-laws' house with the kids. By the next morning, the potential tropical cyclone seven had been upgraded (downgraded?) to Tropical Storm Franklin, a truly terrible name for a storm because we all know Franklin is a whiny little bitch. But it looked like our flight would get there a few hours before the worst of it, and while we'd likely lose a day to rain, Cancun wouldn't get hit TOO badly. As long as we got there, we agreed, we'd be fine and make the best of it. And we did get there! Right on time with the sun still shining! We managed to hit the pool, beach, outdoor restaurant, two swim-up bars AND a jacuzzi tub before the first of the raindrops started to fall. And fall. And... Read more →


Misting fans? Check. Cooling towels? Check. Passport wallets? Check and check. Cute new bathing suit? Hellzyeah check. 400 dozen bottles of sunblock? Check check checkity check. Laptop? Naaaaaahhhh. Next week is our 19th wedding anniversary. And while we originally planned to "save" a big special vacation for our 20th next year, we ended up changing our minds. After all, 2017 marks 20 years together, which should also count for something. Also, both of us really, really need a vacation. A real one, sans kids, without a work meeting or two squeezed into the agenda to justify the expense, or a trip sponsor/brand to satisfy with a quota of blog posts and regular properly hashtagged social media check-ins. A vacation where BOTH of us leave our computers at home and go completely off the grid, un-damn-reachable, do not bother me, I do not care if your website is on fire. So that's what we're doing. We're going to Mexico. I am going to see some pyramids. I am going to lose my ever-loving archaeological-tastic mind. What I won't be doing? Blogging. Checking social media. Reading the goddamn news. I've turned off my breaking news alerts (aka my Outrage Attack Dailies) and... Read more →


I took Ike to see my hairstylist yesterday, who wasn't super optimistic she'd be able to do much beyond a very close clippering, but was determined to at least TRY to keep Ike looking as much like Ike as possible. (Shoutout to Kiera at Bombshell Salon!) Every other stylist in the place looked at him and said to me, "oh evvvvvvvvery kid does it, I swear." Then they turned to him and said, "I bet that was pretty fun though, right?" A quick reminder of the before: (For both state of his hair and general mood.) And now! The triumphant after: A little bit of genius, a little bit of witchcraft... ...and yep, a little bit of Trumpian combover. It'll likely require some product until those front bits grow out to keep the camouflage in place, but I think we can do that. He's incredibly happy and relieved and really quite pleased with his new look. "Don't I look SO CUTE AND GREAT?" he asked his brothers as soon as we returned. (He still thinks he's going to let it grow back out, though. After rejecting all the short hairstyle inspiration pics I showed him, he asked me to Google... Read more →


I was down in the basement finishing up my workout when Ike appeared at the top of the stairs. He said he had something to show me. "You'll never believe this, Mom," he said. "Now that I'm six years old my hair is different." My stomach sunk. I turned around. It sunk even more and took my heart with it. "OH IKE," I shrieked, "OH NOOOOOO. WHAT DID YOU DOOOOOOO?" I knew what he did, obviously. He'd gotten the scissors (again) and cut his own hair (again), but this time it wasn't just one small random snip off the top. He'd hacked his bangs off entirely, almost to the roots in some places, and taken off large random chunks around the sides of his head. Only the long, straight locks in the back were untouched. I more wanted to know WHY. And of course, the unanswerable, perpetual question of CHILD WHAT WERE YOU THINKING. "Did you want your hair short? Because we could cut your hair short! Oh, Ike, why why why did you do that?" "No!" he responded, shaking his head and looking slightly stricken, "I still have long hair! I just wanted to make the front look cute... Read more →


Ike had his six-year routine physical yesterday, and in Classic Ike style, it ended up not being as routine as I was expecting. He's on track height-wise, shooting up over three inches this past year. Weight-wise...not so much. He's always been a skinny thing, but consistently 25th-percentile-or-so skinny. He gained just a tad over a pound this year, which knocks him all the way down to the 12th. And while growth charts are certainly prone to some year-to-year weirdness, our doctor was very much Not Happy and Rather Concerned with Ike's weight. At barely 39 pounds, he's underweight for both his age and height, and it's just super inconsistent with his growth so far. Now, we dealt with our fair share of Dinnertime Pickiness Drama Shenanigans this year, but I really thought 1) he's been doing much, much better for several months now, and 2) we were more than making up the calories of a smaller dinner elsewhere throughout the day. Good breakfasts, a generous lunch, lots of healthy snacks. He drinks whole milk and loves cheese and yogurt and granola bars and fruit and chicken and steak and fruit/vegetable smoothies. He doesn't drink soda or get regular candy and... Read more →


Hours spent in Philadelphia, total: 27, ish Hours spent on trains: Three Hours spent waiting for trains that were late: One Hours spent in meetings: 12 Hours spent in meetings thinking about when we get food: Nine Hours spent in meetings resisting urge to slide dramatically off chair and under the table every time someone said, "hold up let's revisit that last slide for a sec": At least four Number of times I felt irrationally important and grown-up like because I was wearing an ID badge I had to swipe to go to the bathroom: 11 Number of nostalgic favorite snacks from my Pennsylvania childhood consumed and frankly disappointed by: One Number of cheesesteaks consumed with tremendous enthusiasm: Two Number of salad portions politely accepted on plate: Three Number of salad portions discreetly hidden under a napkin and thrown away: Two Point Seven Five Number of inexplicably tiny hotel room hair dryers used: One Number of times I ordered business cards to bring to meetings: Two Number of typos I made on the first order: One Number of actual business cards distributed: Zero Number of work things to do as result of meetings: 4,20583u70q303q55uj7 Number of children who greeted me... Read more →


Ezra and Ike attended a kids' cooking camp this week, which has been delightful, especially since Ezra sweet talked his counselor into letting him bring home an extra cupcake for "his mom who really loves cupcakes." I originally signed them both up thinking they'd be together, so Big Bro could help keep Little Bro out of trouble (or at least keep his head out of the ovens, or something), but they were divided into different age groups. Ike's been pretty mad about that, which may or may not have been a reason behind the Incident Report we received: According to the camp nurse: "Isaac complained that he had something in his nose. Asked Isaac to blow hard to remove the object from his nose." According to Sir Isaac himself, he "dropped a bead on the table and it bounced back up into [his] nose and got stuck there." WELL AT LEAST WE GOT TO KEEP THE BEAD. Read more →


Late last summer, I discovered dozens of wild raspberry bushes in the woods behind our fence in the backyard. There were only a few stray berries left by that point, but Ezra and I did our best to harvest every last one we could. And I promised him that we'd pay better attention this year and maybe we'd get a few more. We started out picking just what we could reach through or over our fence, since we were a little wary of all the bugs and thorny things back there. (Of course we collected them in half of a Lego Star Wars planet. WTF else would you use?) Then one day, after watching Ezra pine for the dozens and dozens of bright red berries just beyond our reach, I said screw it, and hoisted him (and then my own ass) up and over the fence. Turns out, it's magic back there. Yes, there are thorns and mosquitoes and uneven rock paths. There are prickly vines to duck under, that catch and snag your hair and clothing and refuse to let go. There's a small stream that fills your shoes with muddy water, if you take a bad step on... Read more →


This post is sponsored by PURA D'OR and 2MinuteClub. After my last sponsored post on 2MinuteClub's skin products (which I am still using, still loving, BTW), a wholllllllle bunch of people asked me if I'd tried their best-selling Facebook-famous shampoo and conditioner. I said that I had not, but really wanted to, and...well. Mayyyyyyyybe if they were happy with the skincare post they'd let me try the hair care line next. BOO YAH. First, here's what I'm dealing with: Super duper fine hair. I have a ton of it growing out from my oily-as-anything scalp, but thanks to the aforementioned fineness, plus coloring and heat styling, it gets increasingly dry and brittle as it grows out. Which means lots of breakage and fly-aways and split ends that require regular trims. Which also means I have been trying to grow my hair out to my Goal Length (of just below boob level) for approximately 700 years. I'm still several inches short, since I eventually end up having to cut back most (if not all) of the growth progress thanks to the dryness and breakage. Now I know I could stop 1) coloring and 2) heat styling, but y'all. Come on. Frizzy,... Read more →


From The Complete Poems of Robert Frost 1949 When I see birches bend to left and right Across the lines of straighter darker trees, I like to think some boy's been swinging them. But swinging doesn't bend them down to stay As ice-storms do. Often you must have seen them Loaded with ice a sunny winter morning After a rain. They click upon themselves As the breeze rises, and turn many-colored As the stir cracks and crazes their enamel. Soon the sun's warmth makes them shed crystal shells Shattering and avalanching on the snow-crust— Such heaps of broken glass to sweep away You'd think the inner dome of heaven had fallen. They are dragged to the withered bracken by the load, And they seem not to break; though once they are bowed So low for long, they never right themselves: You may see their trunks arching in the woods Years afterwards, trailing their leaves on the ground Like girls on hands and knees that throw their hair Before them over their heads to dry in the sun. But I was going to say when Truth broke in With all her matter-of-fact about the ice-storm I should prefer to have some... Read more →