And How Was YOUR Day?

It was on this exact day in history when I realized that I needed to make a change. That the working-outside-the-home thing and I were not a good fit. That my poor already-meager brainpower reserves were overextended to the breaking point, making each and every venture into the outside world fraught with danger and the potential to snowball into a comedy of errors, or at least a story that could only be told with at least a dozen "...AND THEN!" transitions into the next circle of absent-minded hell. That being required to walk out the door remembering my keys AND my lunch AND the daycare bag AND the work I'd brought home the night before AND my shoes AND where I'd parked the car AND the baby, omg the baby was just too much. Something had to give. Five years and a whole extra kid-and-a-half later, this remains probably one of the most self-aware things I have ever realized about myself. Five years later, and it still holds true that the simple decision to "get out of my pajamas" is usually the exact point where my day goes completely haywire. For the record, I am only required to Leave The... Read more →


DISCLOSURE TALKYSPEAK: Thanks to American Express for sponsoring posts today about small businesses. American Express is presenting Small Business Saturday, a way to honor the local merchants who are the backbone of the economy, this Saturday, November 27. They're offering statement credits to people who shop at small businesses, advertising for small-business owners, and donations to Girls Inc. for "Likes" of the Small Business Saturday page on Facebook. Join the celebration by clicking the "Like" button at the bottom of this entry and then visiting the Facebook page to learn more about the program and read the terms and conditions that apply. ACTUAL AMALAH-TYPE TALKYSPEAK: I cannot lie. I just spent three hours in the car. Three long, torturous hours. Procuring our Thanksgiving turkey. It wasn't supposed to take three hours, of course. Half hour up to the farm, 15 minutes there selecting the bird, another 20 minutes or so wandering around with the boys, visiting with the -- ahem -- pardoned birds still wandering around the pens and the cows and what-have-you, taking adorable photos with them all decked out in Thanksgiving-y outfits I done picked out special...and then a half hour trip back, high on life and the... Read more →


Halloween, take three: Noah's struggles with Halloween and dressing up ebbed and flowed this year, with one costumed activity being a roaring success and the next causing a meltdown of epic proportions. It was like spinning the wheel in Sensory Roulette. So I had no idea how his classroom costume parade party would go on Friday. When I arrived with Ezra in tow (and in costume), Noah had steadfastly refused to put his costume on while his friends got dressed. But then another mother showed up with a tray of chocolate cupcakes. "See those?" I fibbed. "Those are for kids who wear their costumes." BAM. Obi-Wan Kenobi IN THE HOUSE. And on parade. With his faithful sidekick Yoda, seen here shortly before losing a shoe in the parking lot at some point. Other than some mid-parade WHERE ARE THE CUPCAKES ALREADY fatigue, he did great. Ezra did too, though he did tend to gravitate to some very non-canon props. And then: FEASTING. Halloween, take four: Trick-or-treating. The main event. Noah not only agreed to wear his costume with absolutely zero protest, he even allowed me to put on the cheap-ass synthetic-fabric tunic and rubber belt portion of his Jedi outfit... Read more →


I'm fine! I'm fine! The EVERYTHING IS OKAY alarm is going off at full volume, I promise. Much like our neighbor's car alarm two nights ago, in the middle of the night, to which we responded by getting up, muttering a lot of curse words before slamming the window shut. The next morning, we discovered that another neighbor's house had been broken into around that time, along with a good half-dozen cars in the area. Including ours. Although "broken into" makes it sound more dramatic than the reality, because our cars were unlocked. coughMORONScough. Nothing was taken from mine, though the glove compartment and center console had both been opened and tossed around, but they didn't even snag my phone charger or the stack of Emergency Tissues. (Here's what a dork I am: When Jason told me about the break-in, I was like, OH MY GOD THE ERGO CARRIER WAS IN THE TRUNK DID THEY STEAL THE ERGO CARRIER?) ("Um. No. That wasn't really the kind of thing they were after, babe.") ("Well, shows how much THEY know, because that's a really expensive carrier and they could totally make like, $80 at a consignment store. I'D steal an Ergo carrier.")... Read more →


I am feeling much better today, thank you. Not so much better, mind you, that I am capable of delivering a super-coherent blog entry or anything. I've yet to venture beyond Saltines, white rice and strawberry Jell-O, which means the best I can do for you today are some semi-deranged blood-sugary bullet points. Aren't you excited NOW. 1. Remember the tree that fell down after The Tornado That Apparently Happened While We Were In The Mall? This is what it looks like today: IT'S ALIVE!!!! No, actually, it's really not. A crew came by last week, hacked off all the branches, removed a couple of smaller trees that this one had taken out on the way down, and then just...propped it back up. And left it. You can still see the separation all around it on the ground, like a giant Christmas tree skirt, the only indication that this tree is NOT ACTUALLY ATTACHED TO ANYTHING, like it used to be. You know, like it was on the day it BLEW THE FUCK OVER. Things That Could Possibly Go Very Wrong Here: a) Another storm. b) Another EARTHQUAKE. c) Some goddamned wind. d) Passing texting/drunk/mascara-applying drivers and/or bicyclists. e) Birds.... Read more →


We went to the mall on Sunday, mostly because it was officially Too Damn Hot For Life outside and had run out of other indoor time-killing options. Life lesson time, boys: If you get bored, just go somewhere and buy shit you don't need for awhile. Anyway. The lights flickered once. Twice. We decided to leave, let the power go out and lead to mass looting at Build-a-Bear. We noticed it was raining really hard through the skylights, but by the time we got outside the sun was shining again. The only evidence that a tornado had touched down nearby was...well, there were a lot of leaves all over the ground. Oh. And shit like this: That brownish...thing? That's the underside of a really big tree that just up and fell over. It peeled off a nice layer of the earth's crust and mantle on its way down, and yes I said MANTLE because BOO-YAH GEOLOGY 101. Preparing me for moments like this and not much else. (My drive-by cell-phone photography skillz: YOU LOVE THEM.) Not surprisingly, we lost power as a result of the storm. As did over 300,000 other homes in our area, which I swear is like,... Read more →


Jason caught another mouse* last week -- a particularly feisty one that scratched at the trap all night and kept me awake until I kicked Jason in the shins and told him to move it outside or shove in the garbage disposal or something. He put it in the basement because he worried something else might attack the trap and eat it off the back deck and WHAT A SHAME THAT WOULD BE. The next day, he drove it all special to a big huge field far away from houses or office buildings or my goddamn good baking sheets. He turned away after watching it dash off into the high grass, but turned back around when he heard a tremendous SWOOSH...just in time to see the hawk flying away with the mouse in its claws. *I KNOW. Oh God help me, I know. The first person to mention exterminators or poison traps or very small rodent-sized atomic bombs is more than welcome to come over and beat my husband with a common-sense stick, because my arms are plum tired out. *** In other Stupid Nature news, a family of rabbits has moved onto our front lawn. It will likely not... Read more →


Jason Storch, Mouse Trapper M.D., caught himself another one this morning. He was quite proud of himself. The dog and the cat, on the other hand, were all nonchalantly hanging around the trap, waiting for me to put their kibble down, COMPLETELY UNFAZED by the live mouse SITTING RIGHT THERE in a clear plastic box, and did not seem to be all ashamed of themselves and their utter uselessness. Also! This: Is EVEN MORE BULLSHIT. That's a dishtowel covering up today's Gladware-encased rodent offering, on the front seat of my car, as the whole "release" bit of Jason's catch-and-release plan fell to me this time. ME! Technically, Jason offered to take care of the mouse...later. Like, "I have to go somewhere around 4 p.m. so I'll do it then" later. I pointed out that while it's fine and great that he's so determined to trap the mice humanely and all, there's something about keeping the things trapped in cheap plastic containers all day --wallowing in piss and shit and probably terrified out of their feeble stupid tiny poop-pellet-sized disgusting brains -- that strikes me as kind of cruel. (Also cruel: My suspicion that he likes keeping the mice around because... Read more →


My weekend got EVEN BETTER, if you can believe it. After staggering downstairs in search of coffee on Saturday morning, I was greeted by the usual sight of Jason making pancakes for the boys. Oh, and this, sitting on our kitchen counter: BELIEVE IT. I took one look at that tiny pointy seizing rodent poop monster -- on my COUNTER, in my GLADWARE, which once held CHRISTMAS COOKIES -- and turned around and marched right back out. Noah climbed down from his stool -- and his breakfast, which was also on the COUNTER, just INCHES away the scratchy disease-ridden furball -- and chased after me, imploring me to come look! Come look, Mommy! He's our FRIEND, Mommy! Don't worry, Mommy, it's just a little mouse, and he's a friendly mouse, Mommy. He took my hand and pulled me back into the kitchen, where Jason was practically on the floor laughing at Noah's earnest reassurances (the very same patch of floor where this very same blinky jumpy dwarf rat thing had been brazenly skittering around at all hours of the night for weeks, BY THE WAY). I indulged Noah and looked directly into the big bulging eyes of the furry helldemon... Read more →


So about the mouse. It continues to elude Max's completely uninterested clutches, and Max continues to not give a flying fuck. Last night Jason and I heard something crunching on kibble in the kitchen, along with a metallic clang -- like one of the pets pushed the food and water bowls together while eating. Except that -- you guessed it -- both of the pets were sitting on the couch, with us. Jason jumped up and cautiously peeked around the doorway, but the intruder was already gone. I proceeded to have a full-body attack of the itching creepy crawlies while Jason checked the humane traps (I KNOW, OKAY) that he'd placed behind the stove at the assumed point of entry. The good news is that a mouse had gone into the trap. At one point or another. The bad news is that he'd clearly had no trouble CHEWING HIS WAY OUT. "So, that's that." I said. "We'll get some nice toxic traps that break their backs or fry their brains or something, right?" He mumbled something while opening cabinets and pulling out casserole dishes or whatever and I went back to the living room. Turns out? Jason had a plan.... Read more →