Camp Storch

One full week of summer vacation down, please nobody tell me how many there are still to go. My big job — the corporate freelance-y consultantish one that I mentioned every now and then, a job I really, really loved — was paused abruptly in early March, and ever since I've been in a sort of limbo with it. They want me back, they keep promising to give me hours again, but probably not until next month. And "next month" has since gone from meaning "early April" to "mid-May" to "June-ish" to "let's talk in July." I've done a bunch of short-term projects in that time, and have several excellent leads on other long-term work, but right now I guess I'm still technically in between gigs and I'm not really a fan. (None of this work is Amalah-related, by the way, just to try to wave off the inevitable GET A REAL JOB, YOU DUMB BLOOGER comments. I do freelance marketing/copywriting/editing/corporate-blog-creating/stuffs. All very boring and "real" and I rarely ever write about poop. I work pretty steadily and it's been the best fit for our family's crazy schedule, vs. a 9-5 office job, but it can definitely be ebb/flow and... Read more →


Typepad went down again on Monday, which you may or may not have noticed. I hardly did myself, though to be fair I woke up looking for reasons to go directly back to bed. So I did. And while Typepad was back up on its feet by yesterday, alas, I was not. I was still in bed, taking actual for-real sick days, knocked heartily down by tonsillitis. Well, should probably make that actual for-real "sick days," with the air quotey-quote things. Because you know how it goes. The blog/writing gigs/freelance client work all got the shaft, but I still had to take Child A to Place Z and give Child B the form for Thing Y and get Child C from Place X at noon and make a lot of peanut butter and jellys. I took a lot of naps but always had an alarm set to go off in time to pick up the next child from school. Then I'd bring them home, scatter some foodstuffs and old iPhones on the kitchen counter and drag my ass back up to bed for another blessed hour of ice chips and moaning. Yes, I'm exaggerating. My throat totally hurt too much... Read more →


A Case of the Mondays That Lasts All the Way To Friday

I'm having blogger's block, I think. (It's like writer's block, only more second tier and hacky.) I blame the weather. It's spring and it's freezing and there's snow on the ground and my phone keeps buzzing with ARCTIC SQUALL NOR'EASTER WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY YOU'RE ALL GONNA DIE alerts. It's making me exceedingly grumpy and I don't feel particularly "funny." Like, my minivan's battery died on Monday, stranding me and Noah about a half hour from home, but thanks to our particular minivan's state-of-the-art rocket-computer-car-from-the-future-ness, I learned that instead of — oh, I don't know — turning on the battery indicator light to tell me the battery was dead, the car's computer basically freaked out and turned on ALL of the indicator lights and several beeping alarms, while also flashing random conflicting warnings on the info screen about the car's anti-lock brakes failing, insufficient fluid levels and a busted VSC system (whut?). Now, usually that's the sort of thing I can easily drama-queen into a longform tantrum of madcappery and fail. But then the next day it fucking snowed again and the grumpiness took over and I couldn't work up the energy to give a shit. It was just the goddamn... Read more →


On Being the Best At Everything Except the Opposite of That

So yesterday kind of blew. On multiple levels. Multiple levels of blowing. Hmm. That's quite a visual I just painted for myself. First, there was work-related blowing (ABORT ABORT MAYDAY ON THE BLOWING TALK) — nothing apocalyptic or anything, just one of those days that finally snaps you out of the "freelancing/consulting is the best job in the motherflipping world!" mindset and reminds you that oh. Right. It can also be an unpredictable monster of a rollercoaster with one sudden jerky corner that blows out your eardrum. Stop getting so attached to your projects and sack up, start hitting the pavement, diversify, etc. (And that's exactly what I plan to plan to do, once I wallow in a pity party for jussssst long enough.) (No, I didn't get fired, and fingers crossed, everything will be back to normal in a couple months. BUT FAR BE IT FROM ME TO BE REASONABLE, NON-PANICKY AND TO TAKE THINGS IN STRIDE. YEE HAW.) Anyway. Whatever. Everything is fine. That's also what I said to Noah yesterday morning, when he came into our room and — after getting told no, he most certainly could NOT play with the iPad before school, I don't care... Read more →


Schools are closed. There is supposedly ice out there. (I SEE NO ICE. I SEE ONLY RAIN, SLUSH AND SADNESS.) I have no milk or eggs. Children devoured all the bananas and the final bag of cereal that was supposedly "family sized" in one sitting. (NOT SIZED FOR FAMILIES MADE UP OF THREE HOLLOW CARB-HAPPY HYENAS.) I have two conference calls, 12 marketing campaign messages and a project proposal to write, plus a dentist appointment. (AND THAT'S ALL BEFORE NOON.) I don't know why I started framing this entry like this, with the whining followed by the yelling. (BUT NOW I FEEL COMPELLED TO CONTINUE.) This is clearly going to be a super productive day for all of us. (OH HEY WONDERING WHERE OUR COUCH CUSHIONS ARE? IN THE WASH. BECAUSE NEWLY POTTY-TRAINED TODDLERS ARE THE WORST. THE GROSSEST AND THE WORST.) Read more →


Whenever I mention the latest crappy cold or virus that's ricocheting around our house, there's inevitably at least one comment along the lines of, "Wow, your family gets sick more often than anyone I know. The hell is wrong with you guys?" Of course, they're always perfectly polite about it (as you all are, honestly, since this is a motherfucking CLASSY corner of the Internet), but it does make me worry that I'm portraying us all as a bunch of weak, vitamin-deficient consumptives who should've been Darwined out a couple generations ago thanks to our faulty immune systems. In reality, it's more just a byproduct of having multiple children who go to multiple schools and classrooms. Here, let's do a visual. Say you have a child. Sooner or later, you may decide it's time send said child out of the house and into some kind of educational group or social setting. Daycare, preschool, gymnastics "class" where every primary-colored surface is given a perfunctory rub-down with Clorox wipes once a day by a staff of disinterested teenagers, etc. The peer population may start out small. But eventually, it happens. You show up one day and there's a child there who should... Read more →


(This post is sponsored by Hipiti.com.) I get a lot of email. Like, more than that. A lot a lot a lot. This is by no means a humblebrag about how ever so popular I am, or anything. I probably get a very small handful of ACTUAL emails from ACTUAL people who count. Opening the laptop in the morning usually reveals a crop like this: ONE Mamapop distro thread about Sparklecorn 2012/gossip item/posting schedule that devolved rapidly into an animated .gif war at some point the night before and now contains 73 messages. ONE email from a friend, or maybe my mom or sister. ONE email from a nice friendly blog reader. SEVENTEEN DOZEN assorted newsletters I did not sign up for, you rat bastards. SEVENTY-FIVE HUNDRED spammy PR pitches of the Wil Wheaton collating variety (i.e. Hello Blogger Mommy, I have been reading your blog AMALACH for several months now and love it! Your recent post about your dog/baby/houseplant really hit home and is what prompted me to write and offer you the chance to interview Dr. Martin Van Hornsplotch on the role that non-organic orange juice may have played in the TomKat divorce.). FIVE blog-related businessy emails that... Read more →


Assorted Epilogues

I. Jason, the last man standing, is down. I repeat, THE HUSBAND IS DOWN. He is by far the least disgusting patient, at least, and his illness has resulted in absolutely nothing I had to clean up. II. But! Noah is fine. Ezra is also, finally, oh-thank-God fine and at back at school today. I don't think I need to tell you that, humor and poor-poor-me snark aside, I was really, really worried about that one. I have never seen any of my children that sick, for which I know I am lucky, because it obviously could have been so, so much worse. He's lost a ton of weight and is still sleeping approximately 18 hours a day, but last night around dinnertime he asked for scrambled eggs and meatballs and macaroni and steak and polenta and cheese and chicken and was basically grabbing anything from the fridge he could get his hands on to eat. A jar of mustard! A pomegranate! Parsley! Whatever! (Except for what's left of the raspberries. Those are being pointedly ignored.) Ike is improving but probably needs another day to be back at 100%. I'm still washing a lot of diapers. And if you, like... Read more →


...let me COUNT THE WAYS. I cleaned vomit off the top bunk. I cleaned vomit off the bottom bunk. I cleaned vomit off the bunk bed ladder and the floor. I cleaned one child's vomit out of the hair of another. I cleaned up after the world's grossest fucking diaper, BAR NONE. I cleaned up...the crib. Enough said. I cleaned vomit off the wall of the nursery, and the rocking chair. Also my brand-new, dry-clean-only sweater that I was stupidly wearing because that was before reality set in and all hope was shattered into a million disgusting, crusty pieces. I called the on-call pediatrician to find out if I needed to take my terrifyingly listless, still-unable-to-keep-solids-down-after-72-hours toddler to the ER or not. I went to the store for more Pedialyte only to realize I was standing in the stationary aisle, staring at sympathy cards and slowly going mad with fever. I came home and experienced some...digestive distress. I lay in bed and moaned at the ceiling fan while Jason baked the children COOKIES, since Noah was feeling so much better and Ezra...well, Ezra would probably be fine too, right? I lay in bed and muttered feverish I TOLD YOU SO'S... Read more →


Penn State. Unfortunately. I ran upstairs last night and shook Jason awake. JoePa! They fired JoePa! And then we stayed up for hours watching ESPN, watching the students wander aimlessly around downtown while the eternally-present-and-obligatory group of drunk dickheads smashed some shit up for no reason, just like they did 14 years ago for reasons I don't remember. We won? We lost? We were pissed about increased late fees at the library? I don't know, but it always ended with a couch getting pitched off a balcony and set on fire. FUCK YOU COUCH YOU ARE DRUNK. We stayed up watching the Paternos step outside their house -- a house I remember driving by, and the whole car went reverently silent once it was pointed out, because it was JoePa's house -- to blearily thank the "kids" who'd gathered on their lawn, only to be completely flummoxed and shocked by the giant seething mass of media that swarmed their doorstep instead. Because they probably still don't get it, how big this is, how awful. That it's not that you didn't do "enough," it's that you didn't do anything. You didn't do anything. Nobody did. At 19 years old, I didn't... Read more →