I've been working from/in my actual "office" every day for the first time in awhile, to better bounce back and forth between laptops (three) and email addresses (four), and to have room to spread out piles of documents and keep everything separated by client (five) and basically not rely on keeping everything straight in my head, oh god no, let's not do that, that's how things end up forgotten about and/or on fire. I haven't worked down here in awhile because one time, not long after we adopted them, the cats hid in the closet and got accidentally trapped overnight, and both of them panic-peed on the carpet. And unlike the Lego bins, getting cat pee odors out of carpet is basically impossible. We've managed it PRETTY well, with both professional cleanings and buying our own carpet deep cleaner and using it regularly (like pretty much every time we vacuum), along with throwing just about every pet stain/odor related product on earth at the problem. So it usually smells just fine (though I think vaguely carpet-cleaner-ish), but other times the smell starts emanating from the padding below and I'm just like, I'm out, I'll be working from the couch again... Read more →


Plot twist: Jason has uveitis, not pinkeye. Because clearly regular ol' pinkeye is far too pedestrian for our tastes around here. We prefer the rarer, more obscure forms of eyeball discomfort. The more underground diagnoses, if you will. Epidemic Keratoconjunctitis? You've probably never heard of it. Now pass me the artisanal steroid eye drops. Uveitis is not contagious, although that didn't stop me from getting soap in my eye in the shower yesterday and spending the next hour or so convinced I was dying of pinkeye. (Spoiler alert: I'm fine, just dumb.) Also feeling a touch overwhelmed on the work front. I've been solidly in the "ebb" stage of the freelancing flow for the last few months, popping in occasionally with clients like "need anything? no? not yet? how about now?" while networking my ass off in hopes of landing something new. Which I did! And it's a big one! Like with a fancy badge and a giant laptop and lots of cool shit to do. And then LITERALLY on my FIRST DAY of the gig, I came home to a flurry of emails from three other clients all HELP HELP WE NEED YOU TO WRITE ALL THE THINGS HERE... Read more →


Another reason to perma-love this time of year: It's pet adoption anniversary season!! AKA any excuse to spoil the animals while also eating human cake. Beau's officially been with us for just over a year now, and now that he's fully settled in I swear he's pretty much the dictionary definition of A Good Boy. "Who is a good boy?" I ask Google. "Beau is a good boy," says the search results. (While Alexa chimes in her agreement from across the room.) I still sometimes wish we had more solid information about his life before us, although when I think about some of the behaviors he had initially I realize it was all probably pretty damn bleak and we're better off not knowing the details. (Besides his HASHTAGRUNNING and defensiveness around food and sleeping children, we also had to carefully ration his water. If he saw a full water dish he would desperately and rapidly drink every drop, and then promptly throw it all back up. He wasn't used to having enough water. I'm so sorry, little doggo. That will never happen to you again.) (He's fine with his water dish now, and doesn't have an aggressive or nippy bone... Read more →


It's Spring Break! And it's shaping up to be a disaster. Well, disaster-ish. That hysterical blind-to-privilege mommyblogger definition of disaster. The children have no camps! No activities! They are all just HERE. In the HOUSE. With ME and EACH OTHER and my DEADLINES. I did this to myself, yes, entirely. My new contract gig still hasn't set a start date so I didn't want to plunder our flexible spending account just yet for childcare expenses. I figured I could get away with reducing my hours across existing clients a bit this week, maybe just work half days if possible. But then this morning the news came in that my background check is done and lo, I am not a criminal unworthy of writing web site copy, and they have like a hundred and four projects they want me to work on immediately once the final rubber-stamp comes down. Okay. This could get interesting, very quickly. I sat down with the kids this morning and went over the day's schedule and some detailed instructions. No screen time or TV until chores are done. You will play outside as much as possible, I mean it, you will not mimic your mother's pale,... Read more →


This weekend the calendar ticked over into April, and lo, there was much rejoicing in Amy's brain. There was also the simple pleasure of watching a five-year-old pretend to be a cat for several hours, complete with his revolutionary costume of the day: (BTW, officially on the hunt for a drama camp/afterschool program for my smallest biggest ham. Anyone local have any recommendations? Not looking for anything stage mother-y/next great child star-ish, just want to get this kiddo an outlet for his raging LOOK AT MEEEE performing-and-pratfall-itis.) Cats. Also in full-on LOOK AT MEEEEEEE mode. On Saturday night Jason and I saw Rent, Again, For the Sixth And Probably Not Final Time. Although at this point we know the show so thoroughly well we notice when the conductor is pacing the show a half-beat too quickly, and have detailed best-to-worst rankings for every Mark/Roger/Mimi/Collins/Angel/Joanne/Maureen/Benny/Joanne-Understudy-Who-Gets-the-Big-Seasons-of-Love-Solo we've ever seen and, in summary, are probably incredibly annoying and tedious about the whole thing. And now we have matching shirts! We are THE WORST. On Sunday we spent the entire day tackling garden and yardwork crap. Jason got the vegetable garden ready out back while I hauled in many, many bags of mulch to... Read more →


Happy Monday! Today I am best visually represented by this photo: Which is to say fat, cozy and in no mood to extricate myself from this couch groove. Mostly because of this, which Jason made on Friday night. (I helped! I made rice and prepped stuff and also kept his drink glass filled.) Homemade saag paneer and rotis. Enough to feed an army, or at least all of us throughout the entire weekend and again for me, for lunch today. (We made the cheese using this super easy DIY kit, the saag is a bit of a mash-up of these two recipes, and this is the bread.) Saturday morning I went to the YMCA to work out, then promptly came home and shoved another bowl of it in my face. Goals! We also took the kids out for some local exploring. Our poor little downtown continues to steadily recover from the flood, and the boys' favorite vintage toy store has finally reopened. (You might remember the owner as the hero dude from this video.) (The sidewalks aren't as pretty as they used to be, but I'll take this over GIANT GAPING DOOM CHASMS.) The kids were SUPER excited to see... Read more →


This weekend we started work on Big Serious-Ass Vegetable Garden 2.0... By setting up the world's lamest grow operation ever in the basement. We're planning once again on two jam-packed raised beds and about a half-dozen containers. It's a lot. Please note my use of the word "we," which is a lie. I helped clear out some boxes and assorted junk and Jason did everything else. I went back upstairs, poured a glass of wine and took pictures of my pets. Weekend productivity: NAILED IT. Last year none of our seedlings grew and we ended up buying plants instead. We started them too late, I think, and didn't account for colder temperatures in this basement vs. our old one. So in addition to the starter trays and grow light, a heat mat and digital thermostat have joined the setup. We're going with SLIGHTLY fewer tomato plants this year, but probably still too many. Summertime visitors to Yellow House should once again expect to have large bags of tomatoes hurled politely handed to you, no really, I insist, come on, you're not leaving until you take some, Jason, block the door, they're trying to escape without taking any tomatoes, etc. Read more →


Happy Friday! Not much to report from here, as usual. Really only here to phone something in real quick so I can go play outside in this perfectly normal 70-degree February weather. Hopefully the sun doesn't explode while I'm out there. One semi-related follow-up to Wednesday's post, where the reality of "Noah's going to middle school" hit many of us like a sack full of existential bricks, the school yearbook staff requested baby photos of all the fifth graders. And like many modern parents with way, way too many millions of digital photos scattered across old laptops, flash drives and cloud storage, I went and swiped some random pics off the Internet. Specifically, this post, which is really dumb so don't go read it, instead, look at these photos and try not to wither into old-age dust. The squirrel cheeks, OMG. I can still remember the EXACT sound of the cooing noise he was making at this moment. 100% without a doubt contemplating the possibilities of time travel. (ALL TOGETHER NOW) ...we'll bleed and fight for you, we'll make it right for you. If we lay a strong enough foundation, we’ll pass it on to you, we’ll give the world... Read more →


We're coming up on the year anniversary of The Worst Week Ever, when we lost both Ceiba and Max in hideous, rapid-fire succession. So it's been interesting that over the past couple weeks I've fielded an unusually high number of emails with questions about the new pets. Specifically, how/when/why-type questions about our decision(s) to adopt them, from readers who are either dealing with a recent loss (or double whammy like ours, I'm so sorry Jen, 21017 can suck it), or are considering adopting themselves and want some honest real-talk about the process. And while answering these emails, I've probably written like, enough words to fill four blog posts about it. So...let's re-purpose some shit! FAPQ #1: How did you know you were ready to adopt a new dog? I dunno. I kind of didn't? The boys brought up the possibility of a new dog almost immediately after we broke the news about Ceiba's cancer to them. Jason was like, "That's a good idea." I was like, "Slow your damn rolls, you monsters, she's not even dead yet." And then I spent the next few days mourning deeply for that dog, the one that wasn't even dead yet. The appointment to... Read more →


This post is sponsored by The Bouqs Company. I waited a long time to take the Christmas decorations down. The house looked so bright and cozy with them around, and they made me happy. I mean: Eventually, the number of pine needles all over the floor became less bright/cozy/happy-making and I finally dragged up the boxes and put everything away. Luckily, I had the perfect replacements already sitting on my doorstep. VALENTINE’S DAY HERE I COME. (Seasonal Affective Disorder say whaaaat? It's totally spring up in this place!) Bouqs.com is officially my go-to site for ordering fresh flowers now -- for myself or friends and family, since the flowers 1) aren't cut until you order them, so they last an impressively long time, 2) are absolutely bonkers gorgeous, duh, 3) are grown at sustainable, eco-friendly farms because I really do love this crazy planet of ours, and 4) giving/getting flowers that were grown on an ACTUAL VOLCANO is just kinda badass. (Third-party certified by both The Rainforest Alliance and my cat.) (Just making sure I trimmed the stems properly, of course.) Yep. Those'll do. (I kept the BB-8 ornament out. BB-8 just feels like a year-round decoration.) BAM (Officially sense... Read more →