Cracky

Why is today still spring break? Why wasn't one whole week off from school enough? Why this one extra stupid day -- the same day, of course, that I traditionally spend alone and gleeful as I thoughtfully and judiciously "edit" the contents of my children's Easter baskets because THAT BUNNY HAD NO RIGHT TO BE SO GENEROUS -- of stir-crazy kids running around the house begging for peanut-butter eggs? And honestly, I'm not so sure Noah is particularly thrilled with being home with me anymore either. He's bored and done and over it too. Especially since I won't let him ride his little brother like a donkey anymore or swaddle the dog like an infant. I am No Fun, you guys. And he is done with me, professionally. *** You know what IS fun, though? The new car. The kids looooovvvvvve the new car. They want to live in the new car. Yesterday, in a fit of We're Completely Out Of Activities related boredom, we simply opened all the doors to the new car and set them loose in it to climb and explore and turn traction control on and off. Jason and I kicked back on the grass with... Read more →


The Great Confession

A long time ago, back when I only had one singular solitary child, my car had to go to the shop for a few days. I rented a car in the meantime, but when I arrived the rental place had given away the last mid-size class car I'd reserved. So they offered me a minivan. I think they thought I'd consider this a fabulous upgrade, since I was clearly SUCH A MOM and all, but I made a face, like, really? Ugh. My mom car is a Subaru WRX! It's a turbo. And a stick shift. It's fucking fast as shit. We used to take it to the racetrack for rally-car driving lessons. Until we got tired of replacing the tires so often. And, you know, we had to put a car seat in the back and a stroller in the trunk. And stuff. But I took the minivan. And to this day, I remember that moment out in the Enterprise parking lot when I opened those remote-controlled side doors and saw how easy it was to get Noah in and out, and all the interior room, and how smooth and quiet it drove and was like, damn, I could... Read more →


Welcome to the Nursery

No, not THAT one. That one's still an unspeakable pile of horror and disorganization and missing crib screws. I meant this one: Goddamn hippies. When we first moved from the city to the 'burbs we were pretty much incapable of keeping anything green alive (except for one hand-me-down decade-old jade plant), and in fact saw the tiny yard we have here as a plus: LESS FOLIAGE TO MURDER. We moved in. The jade plant promptly caught some disease and died. But we bought some herbs and stuck 'em in a planter out back. And then a tomato plant. Then peppers and zucchini and cauliflower and strawberries and onions and kale and butternut squash and beets and parsnips and leeks and homemade baby food and now it's a big production involving self-watering containers and concrete wire supports and composting and newspaper seedling pots and big ugly greenhouse light in our kitchen and I'm pouting because I don't have a deep enough pot to grow sweet potatoes in. YET, anyway. We have no immediate plans to move, though every time a single-family house goes up for sale in our neighborhood Jason and I play a game of imaginary landscaping and discuss just... Read more →


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 →


Turkey Run

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 →


Nerds on Parade

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 →


Crime & Punishment

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 →


Trees, Knees and God-Knows-What Else (Nonsensical Bullet Point Edition)

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 →


53 Hours

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 →


Bunnicula

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 →