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Ike: That's Ezra, Noah, Mom and Dad. Dad is mad and yelling I LEFT MY PHONE IN THE CAR! Me: Um. Okay...are you that little person on the end there? Ike: Yes. That's me. I'm standing by PopPop's grave. We're all there to visit his bones in the semescary. Me: ... Ike: Dad's really mad he forgot his phone. Read more →


More #StuffPoppyAte

In other non-home improvement news, Poppy ripped open almost-new bag of cat food yesterday and promptly horfed the entire thing down in under five minutes. Or however long it took me to go from, "hmmm I don't like the sound of that" to finding this in the living room: (AND OF COURSE: It was a bag of expensive specialty cat food. Rey's on an elimination diet as we're trying to pinpoint what our vet thinks is a protein allergy. She is one high maintenance dumbass, but she's like, my high maintenance dumbass, you know?) (TANGENT: I had a doctor's appointment yesterday in Baltimore and not long after I got there Jason texted me asking about Rey's whereabouts, as someone on Nextdoor reported seeing a stray black cat on the road right by our house. She'd been on our bed when I left and for the life of me I couldn't think of a single rational explanation for how she could possibly have gotten outside but you KNOW I came up with several irrational ones* and was low-key terrified until I got home and could confirm that yes, she was still right there on the bed.) (Then I got in the... Read more →


The Storches Did A Thing!

Not long after we moved in, we hat electrician come by and do a couple random jobs -- fixing some faulty plugs, installing extra outlets, etc. We also asked him to wire up some wall sconces and switches in our bedroom. Which he did, and when he called me to come observe that everything was working, I realized that he'd sliced out a huge slab of the drywall rather than...I don't know, I'm not an electrician but I've had this exact job done at two previous residences and neither time resulted in a giant gaping hole running between the outlets. "I know a good drywall guy for that," he said very nonchalantly. I bet you do, I thought bitterly, imagining some sinister organized electrician/drywall referral racket. I told him we'd make the repair ourselves. Which, of course, we did not. We simply pushed the bed back in front of the hole and figured we'd deal with it whenever we finally got around to painting the room. We did not paint the wall, but we (Jason) did fix the hole. And then we (both of our asses) did something else: We hung wallpaper. Wallpaper! Who does that anymore? Nobody at all,... Read more →


The Million Hour Bathmat

I'm not a very big Pinterest user. I have fits where I go and pin three dozen near-identical home project ideas that I will never look at again, and then I go so long without logging in that both my browser and my brain have completely forgotten my password. Twitter gives me anxiety, Facebook makes me depressed, Pinterest is why I have a dozen dead succulents in my kitchen. Jason, on the other hand, freaking loves Pinterest and regularly falls down the wormhole, texting me link after link of things he is TOTALLY gonna build/cook/make/whatever. And a couple times he maybe actually did! (Still waiting on a patio table, console table, bathroom shelves, shiplap bedroom wall, and backyard treehouse.) Anyway, once upon a time and several hundred bottles of wine ago, he came across a tutorial for making a bathmat out of wine corks. Wow, that looks really cool! And seems pretty easy, especially because step one is literally to just drink a ton of wine to collect the corks. WELL I FOR ONE AM SOLD. And so we began saving wine corks. From nice bottles, special bottles, crappy bottles. We'd order wine at a restaurant and I'd snatch the... Read more →


An Ode To All the Crap I Found On Top of the Fridge

The great kitchen appliance I'm Not Dead Yet tour lumbers on. The refrigerator's ice maker broke and leaked water everywhere (something I discovered while sitting downstairs in the basement, when water began dripping on my head halfway through The Cloverfield Paradox). And then that duct-taped shelf randomly un-duct-taped itself the very next morning and took out a dozen eggs and a bottle of mustard. Jason attempted to fix the ice maker, but after spending 10 minutes behind the fridge he realized it was a goddamn miracle the thing was running at all, or not currently on fire. (Maybe it was! Maybe the water leak just canceled it out.) Bitch was old. And very much on its last legs. Not going to lie: I straight-up clapped my hands and cheered. New fridge! New fridge! (In case you're wondering where all this money we suddenly seem to have came from: We took out a home equity loan a few months ago to fund several projects, like the floors and a new patio out back that is getting underway later this week. We also included some buffer/padding money in case of something going over budget or, say, all our major appliances turning to... Read more →


The Wonders of Technogoly

After mentioning Ezra's migraines last week, my friend immediately texted the suggestion of getting him a pair of anti-blue light glasses. Immediately after that, I got a call from the school's health room. Ezra was there, complaining of a headache. His eye was visibly twitching and he was worried he might throw up. They'd tried Ibuprofen and some time lying down in a dark room, but nothing was helping. When I arrived, he looked pale and miserable. "It was Technogoly again!" he told me. "Technogoly always makes me catch a headache!" (Technogoly = Technology = Computer lab.) I ordered him the glasses as we walked back to the car. Glasses! (And also a lurking Instant Pot. We finally caved to the craze and have since gained 25 pounds from homemade Indian food. It's really amazing and WE LOVE IT but it will probably photobomb 75% of my photographs given that I have nowhere to store the damn thing.) Ezra's now made it one whole week plus one Technogoly class without ANY headaches at all. I told him he only needed to wear them for screens but he likes them so much he only takes them off too sleep. Which probably... Read more →


Waving Through a (Train) Window

Jason had a jaw-dropping early Valentine's Day surprise in store for me this past weekend: A quick trip to New York City, dinner at Craft, and FRONT ROW seats to Dear Evan Hansen. LIKE. WHAT. AND ALSO !!!!!! (He also arranged for our friend to stay here and watch our children, meaning we got overnight babysitting for the cost of a delivery pizza dinner.) Here I trying to avoid having my picture taken at dinner: (Or possibly checking out my cleavage, which. Yeah.) Here is the dessert that I announced I was far too full to even take a bite of after a several-course tasting menu, but dang, it's pretty: (Please note that I ate every single, solitary bite of this dessert, including the decorative chocolate dots.) Here I am trying to avoid having my picture taken at Dear Evan Hansen, but Jason wouldn't let me hide my entire face behind the Playbill: Here is the view of the stage from our seats: I've never sat so close at a Broadway show, and my initial worry that we weren't going to have the best view was quickly put to rest because holy crap, when you're that close you get an... Read more →


It's a Batman Rollerblade Party

Ezra asked for roller skates for Christmas. ROLLER skates, not inline skates, he insisted, several times. Then he completely forgot about this request, as did his wonderfully amazing parents who would never overlook their middle child's Christmas list that he left sitting right there on the kitchen counter for Christ's sake. But he didn't ask Mall Santa for roller skates, so after realizing their omission (around 11:45 p.m. on Christmas Eve), I figured maybe they were more of a temporary whim rather than something he really, really wanted. Especially since 1) he'd never been roller skating, 2) had never asked to go roller skating, and 3) I am 99.9% sure he only knows roller skates exist because of Calvin & Hobbes. Looks like fun! Let's try it. But alas, on Christmas, Ezra surveyed the room of unwrapped present glory and asked the dreaded question. "Where are my roller skates?" I reminded him that skates weren't one of the things he asked Mall Santa for, and he nodded for a second before destroying me once again. "But I mailed a letter to the REAL SANTA and asked HIM for roller skates." That's right. He did. I even took pictures! I am... Read more →


January Blah

Oh! Look at the date. Just one more day 'til February Blah. Yay. I've been locked in a somewhat all-consuming battle for health, both in brain and body and in the bodies of my children, who are every day getting sent to classrooms utterly decimated by the flu, a variety of stomach viruses and God knows what else. I'm stuffing their backpacks with donations of hand soap and antibacterial wipes and crossing my fingers our flu shots hold, but today I still woke up with a cough and a sore throat and an overwhelming feeling of blaargh. Meanwhile, poor Ezra's developed migraines and is getting regularly knocked down with them, which oh my God. As a fellow migraine sufferer (and thus, likely the genetic reason he's getting them), I am soooo sorry, buddy. He can't even swallow pills yet and here I am, dosing fucking adult-sized migraines with grape-flavored liquid. (Yes, we're working with his doctor to make sure there's nothing else going on, but all signs so far just point to: Wow, migraines at nine years old. That sucks!) And since we're on the topic of hollow, useless apologies to my children, I have another one to offer on... Read more →


Brighten Up

This post is sponsored by thredUP. After the Great Floorsplosion last month, the contents of my closet remained scattered across the house for awhile -- most of my casual clothes got dumped in the bathtub, while the dressier stuff lay draped over furniture in the basement in various piles. Dresser drawers were stacked haphazardly all over the place. I decided to take advantage of the chaos and attempt yet another closet purge/editing/inventory project. After boxing up anything summer-y and everything that no longer fits (grumble grumble), I realized that I was sorely lacking in some nice basic sweaters and long-sleeved tops, and clothing in ANY other color besides black. So much black! Like my soul! I could hear the tsk of my mother's tongue. But you look so pretty in jewel tones, she'd say, as I left the house in head-to-toe black, all wannabe 90s-era grunge, with overplucked brows and fourteen coats of eyeliner. And so, when offered another shopping spree at thredUP (the world's best and largest online thrift store where you can find over 35 thousand brands at up to 90% off) (hi hi yes please thank you), I went in with a vague sort-of wish list: cozy... Read more →