I don't mean to alarm anyone... ...but according to our math... ...Baby Ike is five years old. I don't know how that happened either, but here we are. A fully-formed little boy with a big personality, who smiles with his entire body, who hurls himself around the house with the sheer force of a superhero-fueled imagination. A sweet little boy who still wants to hold my hand and cuddle, who quietly asks "but will you be with me?" before any new situation or outing, revealing a painfully shy streak underneath all that ham, bravado and cheese. He loves animals, great and small. If he had his way we'd have a horse in our backyard, maybe some bunnies, and definitely more cats, because you can never have too many cats. More cats mean it'd be easier for him to find one to hold. He misses Max and Ceiba so much, and talks about them often. I've caught him talking to their ashes more than once, telling them about our new pets, but reminding them that he still loves them. If you ask, yes, he is still mad about his hair, and is back to insisting on at-home bang trims ONLY so... Read more →

WORLD'S MOST CONVOLUTED DISCLOSURE: We went to Hersheypark this weekend as part of sponsored campaign with AlphaMom.com, which is where my "official" (and hopefully servicey-yet-entertaining) sponsored post will appear, probably sometime early next week. This is a non-sponsored post about a sponsored trip because come on, like I didn't take a million and one more photos than were technically required for the campaign and I have to put them SOMEWHERE, right? This was our very first big amusement park outing with all three kids. I've always been way too intimidated to even try, to be honest. And yes, someone was always hungry, or tired, or had to go to the bathroom right when we were nowhere near one, or wanted to go in a different direction than the rest of us, and Jason and I spent most of our park time obsessively counting heads. (Including heads that were not actually our offspring, several times, sorry little boys, but YOU ALL LOOK ALIKE IN THE POOL.) We had so, SO much fun. We are definitely going back. Especially since we had no idea we live barely an hour and a half away...I went to Hershey as a kid from my house... Read more →

What a week. With all the dog eyeball drama, cats jumping out of second-story windows and babies graduating from preschool, it's all been A Little Much. Make that way too much. Ike's preschool did a whole proper graduation ceremony, with hats and Pomp & Circumstance and songs (that Ike did not sing, choosing instead to cover his ears in protest) and awards and enough mini-cupcakes to send the entire graduating class into a final sugar-fueled frenzy. Ike won an award for being "kind and huggable" and hammed it up during his teacher's little speech about him, making a series of smug little faces similar to the one pictured above. I'm not sure it's fully hit me that not only is Ike done with preschool, we as a family are done with preschool. No more tuition checks, no more separate drop-offs and pick-ups, no more half days, no more days when the highest expectation is mostly to have fun and not bite anyone. Maybe fingerpaint a bit. This fall, all three of my babies will get on the same bus and go to the same pressure-cooker of an elementary school. For all of one year, before Noah moves up to sixth... Read more →

So I was going to write about how I had to take Beau to the vet yesterday because he got an (admittedly much-deserved) swat to his eyeball from one of the cats, but then that pet antic got roundly and solidly out-antic-ed today. Sorry, Beau, your eyeball will be just fine, and you gotta step up your trouble-making game. I was out back playing with Beau this morning. While inspecting all my newly-planted berry bushes and strawberry plants (they're not dead yet!), I suddenly heard a weird, scratchity-scrambling type noise coming from an...uppish area. It was quite loud and strange. I first looked up at the deck in confusion, then my peripheral vision caught sight of something dropping off the side of the house. It took my brain multiple seconds to process what, exactly, was falling to the ground. Roof shingle? Loose siding? Part of the gutter? No. It was a cat. A cat just fell out of my house. Specifically, it was Rey, tumbling out of my bedroom window. Yes, that one. So the previous homeowners did that real estate staging thing where you remove screens from windows to make everything look brighter or cleaner or whatever the hell... Read more →

I found this in the back of the refrigerator today. Okay, that's kind of a fib. I've known it's been there for awhile. Probably since the day after Max died. I just...couldn't deal with it, so it slowly got pushed further and further back. Out of sight, out of mind. After he was gone, I hastily dumped out the litter and scrubbed the evidence of his final decline out of the carpets in our bedroom. I boxed up his unopened food for the shelter and added Puppy and a tuft of his fur to the memory box we'd prepared for Ceiba. But this stupid, half-empty can of food? Hey man, it's a process. Don't rush me. Yesterday I created two separate GoFundMe campaigns to raise a little money for the two animal rescues we adopted from -- Tara's House and Kitties & Pitties. A couple Facebook friends had suggested something like that after Ceiba died, or asked where I'd like donations be made in her name. I remember thinking that was a good idea, but much like the can of cat food, couldn't really deal with actually doing anything about it at the time. The Maximillian Thunderdome Memorial Fund The... Read more →

At some point last night, both cats (now mostly officially known as Finnie and ReyRey, shutup) emerged from underneath our bed and decided it was time for a takeover. OF PERSONALITY. They played, they nuzzled, they cuddled, they had some cautious interactions with Beau, and settled down to sleep between Jason and I while we watched TV in bed. They let us give them each a dose of medicine and amazingly did not seem to hate and/or plot our demise afterwards. They then woke me up at 5 a.m. with a folie à deux-style catfit, racing around at top speed, meowing and tumbling and wrestling with each other (and my hair). They're still really skittish around Beau, who to be fair, is being a total spaz and can't seem to resist the urge to charge right at them -- totally playful, well-meaning and with tail wagging -- but understandably the cats are still like AW HELLLL NAH. (Also he keeps stealing their food, which certainly isn't winning him any points in the Not Super Annoying category.) The eye of ReyRey, which changes from bright green to yellow to orange, depending on the light. Rey did work up the nerve to... Read more →

The cats! The cats are here! I bet you want to see some cat photos. Good because I have a lot of cat photos. Outstanding camera work, self. We brought them home last night and they immediately fled under the first bed they could find. It was Ezra's and they stubbornly stayed put in his under-bed hoard pile for a few hours. The boy cat emerged first, tempted by some food, then happily climbed in our laps for some cuddles. Girl cat remained under the bed for awhile longer, only visible by her reflective Halloween-y eyes, but eventually got curious enough to explore a little bit and to accept some cautious petting. Once Beau was crated and the kids were in bed, they got braver and (I assume) spent the night wandering around the house, with occasional pit stops in my bedroom to jump on my head and meow in my face for no reason, like YOU'RE STILL HERE RIGHT. JUST CHECKING OKAY BYEEEEE. Beau is being very friendly, but at level that they are so not ready to deal with yet. He's like HI HI HI HI HI OMG HI HI LET'S SNIFF BUTTS AND CHASE AND BE BEST... Read more →

So on the one hand, it's probably some form of public service to immediately let visitors know that yes, a crazy person lives here. On the other hand, I'm totally HA HA-ing myself, Nelson style right now. What a dork. Look at how it's trying to blend in with the furniture all casual-like. (I am also simultaneously fretting about the corner placement, because I bet they'd rather have it in front a window or sliding door. But then you don't even need to come inside to know that the pets run this bitch.) Beau is both casually ignoring the influx of Cat Stuffs while also eyeing me like he knows something's up. (Their foster mom texted me a whole slew of new pictures, including them in a big ol' cuddle pile with her dog. I'm getting a cuddle pile guyzzz!!!!) Ike and Ezra, however, are OBSESSED with the cat tower and seem particularly entranced by the string of dangling balls. Um. Okay. Guess I've been overthinking Christmas. If the cats like it half as much as my human children do I'll consider it a worthy, yet still utterly ridiculous, purchase. (Monday is Catday! And they have names! Jason and kid-approved... Read more →


I'm having a minor-to-possibly-fatal case of writer's block this week. After tackling a Real Grown-Up Type Article (That Required Me To Read Science-y Stuff And Talk To A Fellow Grown-Up On The Phone And Everything) for AlphaMom on Tuesday, I was left with an unjustified sense of AND MY WORK HERE IS DONE-style accomplishment, and decided to spend the rest of my day staring merrily into space, mostly thinking about cats. The CATS. I also blame the CATS. Who are not here yet, but are almost all I can think about, along all the cat-related accessories that I can't stop buying. (I bought one of those freaking cat scratching post/condo/tower things, people. For my living room. And I purposely picked the one that was the most IKEA-ish, as if that makes it any less embarrassing.) This morning I pulled over to the side of the road to rescue what I thought was a tiny injured black kitten. It was a bag of dog poop. If you're wondering about our cats-to-be's names, GET IN LINE. Jason is passive-aggressively avoiding the discussion with me. Me and my long list of name possibilities I have typed up on my phone. I've sent it... Read more →

This post is sponsored by Blue Apron. I just had to do math on my fingers to figure out how long we've been using the Blue Apron service. It was either that or count the recipe cards, which, I mean: Hahahaha. It's been about 19 months, a whole bunch of posts and even more awesome meals. Less shopping and food waste, fun recipes to choose from, excellent and unusual ingredients, impeccable customer service. And my hippie side appreciates how hard the company works to constantly improve/streamline/reduce the packaging and sources food from sustainable fisheries and humane, responsible farms. Definitely makes how CONVENIENT the service is feel like even less of a trade-off. (And yes, I am typing this praise of my own genuine authentic free will and not because of some required list of talking points. SO THERE.) And now, for something maybe slightly different, I present 20 completely random cooking and life lessons that Blue Apron has taught me: 1) My children will eat ANYTHING if it's encased in a calzone. 2) Make kiddo-sized calzones for double the dinner yield, reheat the leftovers in the oven during breakfast, wrap in foil, and toss in their lunchboxes. Your children will... Read more →