Our Blue Apron Anniversary

This post is sponsored by Blue Apron. So we've been Blue Apron members for...wow, three full years now, officially. Every Monday, two boxes show up on our doorstep. (We find that two boxes of the 2-person plan feeds our 5-person family perfectly, often with leftovers. Blue Apron also has a 4-person family plan but we found the portions a touch smaller and the meals more kid-friendly than our kids really need. YMMV.) We unload the ingredients, pull out the recipe cards, map out when we'll make what, and bam. Our dinner menu planning and shopping is done for the week, in less than 10 minutes. We have tried other meal delivery services in that time, but have always returned to Blue Apron time and time again. Some are just too expensive and/or the prices advertised don't include the shipping costs (tricksy hobbits). Others consistently sent us rotten ingredients and reaching customer service was a labyrinth of response-less frustration. (BA lets me report missing or damaged ingredients directly from their app, and I always hear back with an account credit within a day. Their customer service is fabulous.) Another one promised super fast, zero-prep meals but relied heavily on processed foods... Read more →

The Kindness of Internet Strangers

When we last checked in on Ezra's beloved Hobbes, he was not doing so great. SHOCKINGLY, his condition has not improved over time. He is worn and threadbare, his body covered in holes and his painted eyeballs faded into plain white plastic cataracts. Considering he's like, a 25-cent toy from a Dave & Buster's claw machine that Ezra takes everywhere, it's probably a miracle he's held on for this long. But still, I asked if anyone knew where I could procure a replacement Hobbes-like tiger. Well look what just showed up, right in time to go trick-or-treating tonight with Calvinz and his red wagon: Everybody say hi to Hobbes II! Thank you so so SO MUCH to reader Michelle for kindly and generously donating her time and mad sewing skills to make this adorable Hobbes for Ezra. (WHO IS SO THRILLED TWO HOBBES THAT'S TWICE AS MANY HOBBES GUYS!) He carefully packed him in his backpack last night for today's school parade, then snuck back downstairs to retrieve him because "Hobbes I is having trouble sleeping without his buddy." (Also last night: "Hobbes I is staying home tomorrow because he says he's too old for parades.") (Also this morning: I... Read more →

Poppy the Big Good Dog

Miss Poppy started obedience/doggy manners training a couple weeks ago, and already she's well on her way to being the valedictorian of Dog School, and only SORT OF because there's only one other dog in the class. Honestly, Beau probably needs training more, but it was part of our adoption agreement with Poppy's rescue because she was still a puppy. (We had to pay an additional $50 deposit that we get back once she's completed a properly certified/acceptable training program.) She's a good girl but a big strong girl who already has 20 pounds on Ike and can knock him flat with an overly-excited greeting. Beau gets a free pass on those same not-great behaviors because he's so small. He pulls on the leash during walks but like, nice try, pipsqueak, behold my SUPERHUMAN STRENGTH. Poppy sees a squirrel and I'm like, PLEASE CHILD I HAVE A WEAK ELBOW NOOOOOOO. Likewise, Beau jumps up on people and it's like, "Awwww, look at the little Ewok Toto standing up on his hind legs and bouncing around like a coked-up kangaroo! That's so adorable!" Poppy does the same thing and I end up looking like this: None of it's aggressive, of course.... Read more →

The Dog Ate My Fall Wardrobe

This post is sponsored by thredUP. Stuff Poppy Ate, an Addendum: 21) Amy's favorite jacket. RIP, favorite jacket. This jacket was a Target find -- one of those great "I want something exactly like this but do not want to put any effort whatsoever into shopping for something like this" items you randomly spot on a rack on your way to pick up some paper towels. It was perfect. I wore it constantly in the fall and last spring, dressed up, dressed down, you name it. I LOVED this jacket. (Good thing I also really, really love that dog.) My first instinct when seeing the dog-shredded sleeve was to check and see if Target still sold it. And indeed, they do. For $40. I did not remember paying $40. And I did not particularly feel like paying $40 all over, again. Spending another $40 would mean that technically, I spent $80 on a faux leather moto jacket from Target. (Don't try to argue with my brain logic here. It has very specific views about how money works.) Thankfully, thredUP to the rescue. (thredUP, in case you haven't checked it out yet, is the largest online resale shop where you can... Read more →

This Prob Could've Been a Tweet

Our iron broke yesterday morning. Jason discovered this when he went to iron Ezra's shirt for picture day (which woowowowowowwww tells you everything you need to know about Him As A Dad vs. Me As A Mom), and it wouldn't turn on or heat up or anything. Good riddance. I hated that iron, as the steam setting never worked properly and always just dripped puddles of lukewarm water all over my clothes. Ten years, at least, I've hated that goddamn iron. Should I have just replaced it at some point? Of course! But then 1) that's one less thing in my life to bitch about, and bitching gives me life, and 2) come on. Does anybody remember the plastic wrap? I used that wretched, useless plastic wrap down to the last wretched, useless inch. Of course I'm not replacing a terrible iron. So I ordered a new iron. And was delighted to realize that I could get one delivered the same day, for FREE. Like, I sat there for multiple minutes contemplating this logistical and technological marvel. What a time to be alive, when irons will magically show up at your door mere hours after your old one gives up... Read more →

Hams on Tour

As I mentioned in Monday's post, we spent Ezra's birthday weekend in the Poconos, at the super-family-and-kid-friendly Woodloch resort. (This is not a sponsored post. I was invited as a travel writer for AlphaMom, where a proper review-type post will appear soon. Woodloch comped our room and meals, but beyond that I'm not being paid for this post, or nor am I obligated to post about the trip at all. But like I would EVER pass up a chance to bore y'all with a bunch of my vacation photos, lololol.) (I bet they knew that, too.) ANYWAY, the boys had a ton of fun. There were: Bumper cars! (Not pictured, me, who went on them one whole time!) Go-karts! (Not pictured, Ike, who was like naaaahhhhhh don't think so.) (This was more his speed.) An indoor pool! And hot tub! And waterslide! And Halloween costumes, characters and bonus treat-or-treating! (Ezra went as Calvin [and Hobbes], Ike as Woody and Not-Pictured-Noah was Marty McFly again.) (And yes, that last one is indeed David! S! Pumpkins!) A petting zoo, pumpkin patch and painting... And ham. So much ham. (That was us "practicing" our scared faces just before I took him on his... Read more →


When someone else gets hurt -- be it a skinned knee or bruised feelings -- Ezra feels it. And I mean feels it, physically, to the point of tears. He then rushes to fix things, to make things feel better. Ice packs, Band-Aids, some candy, a dollar, a promise to always be your friend. His best friend in the entire world is a little girl who lives up the street. We took a trip to the Poconos this weekend for his birthday and he spent almost all of his birthday money to buy her something from the gift shop. He likes buying presents for people. "I feel their happy," he says. One time she went away and brought him back a snow globe. He accidentally dropped it on the bus and it broke. His heart shattered right along with it. "It was so beautiful," he wept into my shoulder. He's stopped ordering off the children's menu (unless there are corn dogs; he really loves corn dogs) because he wants to eat things that look more like what he sees on cooking shows. (Obviously he's a big Masterchef Junior fan.) Helping with dinner isn't enough anymore, he wants to makes things... Read more →


*Please note that in today's performance of DIY, the role of "Yourself" will be played by "Your Husband" because Yourself has had bronchitis for over a week now and feels like shit, but really, You know Yourself would've come up with some other excuse anyway. So when we last left off with the Saga of the Bathroom That Absolutely No One Cares About Except Me, Deeply, this was the state of things: (A reminder that all this chaos was self-inflicted fallout from a simple leak in the shower door. We were completely fine with this basic-ass, late-90s bathroom until a new shower door turned into a new shower and ZOMG, the new shower is so nice! And now everything else in the room looks like hot garbage! Like me, in every group photo ever. I feel you, basic-ass bathroom.) We forgot to take any official "before" photos, so here is a suspiciously elongated one from our house's real estate listing: (Oh yeah, sure, you literally keep nothing on your sink counter except a jar of decorative seashells and I totally didn't unplug our toothbrushes and dump them in the next room along with the half-empty handsoap and my hairspray for... Read more →


Yesterday morning I dropped Noah off at his school and watched him head inside, wheeling a suitcase behind him. He's off on a two-day, two-night field trip to an outdoor adventure camp by the Chesapeake Bay with his classmates. All 300 of them. Who decided all these tiny babies were suddenly ready for this shit? Who decided the grownups were? It was nice to see that most sixth graders are still willing to publicly hug and kiss their parents goodbye, and that this was a Big Deal for plenty of other families -- some cars were packed with moms and dads and grandparents and siblings to wave off their newly official Super Big Kid Who Takes Suitcases Overnight Now. Other kids were clearly sleepaway camp veterans, bouncing out of cars with an overstuffed duffel bag because maybe they have a better understanding of what "several changes of inner and outer clothing" actually looks like for two days at one of these places -- I just kept adding stuff until there wasn't anymore room for stuff. What if his sweatshirt gets muddy? What if all his socks get wet? ("It'll dry! It'll be fine!") Electronics of any kind were strictly prohibited,... Read more →

Some Comforting Idiocy in Times of Trouble

(I always feel the need to hedge Posts Like This [mundane, complain-y, privileged AF] during Times Like These [seriously, how many national emergencies/tragedies/horrors do we have deal with right now?] and be like: I know. I know! I'm really upset and distressed about it all too in real life. But here is where I come to try and be kind of funny on the Internet. So Imma do that. Hugs for everybody.) Once upon a time, several blog posts ago, I revealed the secret shame of the demogorgon shower sludge, and our less-than-super-adult approach to doing anything about it. (At least anything that would cost us more than a tube of Denial Caulk.) But finally we had a plan and an contractor and things started happening: Demolish-y things! Gateway to the demonscape things! We decided to bump the shower out to the edge of the wall and tile up to the ceiling, and replace the shower basin with a mosaic tile floor. We had three and half boxes of tile leftover from our kitchen/foyer remodel, which wasn't going to be quite enough. Which at first was a big old ARGH because we'd bought discontinued tile (discounted to only $1.50 a... Read more →