Well, we are back. I have to admit our big attempt at an off-the-grid vacation did not go exactly as planned, but my commitment to (mostly) staying off social media was probably a win for all of y'all, as you were spared an AWFUL lot of complaining. It started with this, the evening before our flight to Cancun. We'd been gloriously clueless, right up until we arrived at my Weather Channel-watching in-laws' house with the kids. By the next morning, the potential tropical cyclone seven had been upgraded (downgraded?) to Tropical Storm Franklin, a truly terrible name for a storm because we all know Franklin is a whiny little bitch. But it looked like our flight would get there a few hours before the worst of it, and while we'd likely lose a day to rain, Cancun wouldn't get hit TOO badly. As long as we got there, we agreed, we'd be fine and make the best of it. And we did get there! Right on time with the sun still shining! We managed to hit the pool, beach, outdoor restaurant, two swim-up bars AND a jacuzzi tub before the first of the raindrops started to fall. And fall. And... Read more →


Misting fans? Check. Cooling towels? Check. Passport wallets? Check and check. Cute new bathing suit? Hellzyeah check. 400 dozen bottles of sunblock? Check check checkity check. Laptop? Naaaaaahhhh. Next week is our 19th wedding anniversary. And while we originally planned to "save" a big special vacation for our 20th next year, we ended up changing our minds. After all, 2017 marks 20 years together, which should also count for something. Also, both of us really, really need a vacation. A real one, sans kids, without a work meeting or two squeezed into the agenda to justify the expense, or a trip sponsor/brand to satisfy with a quota of blog posts and regular properly hashtagged social media check-ins. A vacation where BOTH of us leave our computers at home and go completely off the grid, un-damn-reachable, do not bother me, I do not care if your website is on fire. So that's what we're doing. We're going to Mexico. I am going to see some pyramids. I am going to lose my ever-loving archaeological-tastic mind. What I won't be doing? Blogging. Checking social media. Reading the goddamn news. I've turned off my breaking news alerts (aka my Outrage Attack Dailies) and... Read more →


Hours spent in Philadelphia, total: 27, ish Hours spent on trains: Three Hours spent waiting for trains that were late: One Hours spent in meetings: 12 Hours spent in meetings thinking about when we get food: Nine Hours spent in meetings resisting urge to slide dramatically off chair and under the table every time someone said, "hold up let's revisit that last slide for a sec": At least four Number of times I felt irrationally important and grown-up like because I was wearing an ID badge I had to swipe to go to the bathroom: 11 Number of nostalgic favorite snacks from my Pennsylvania childhood consumed and frankly disappointed by: One Number of cheesesteaks consumed with tremendous enthusiasm: Two Number of salad portions politely accepted on plate: Three Number of salad portions discreetly hidden under a napkin and thrown away: Two Point Seven Five Number of inexplicably tiny hotel room hair dryers used: One Number of times I ordered business cards to bring to meetings: Two Number of typos I made on the first order: One Number of actual business cards distributed: Zero Number of work things to do as result of meetings: 4,20583u70q303q55uj7 Number of children who greeted me... Read more →


We survived, both the drive and the trip itself. Post-road-trip/mini-vacation crash aside, today is kind of a rough day over here. So forgive the lazy mass posting of photos without much storytelling. (NOT PICTURED: AMALAH, THE GIANT CHICKEN GIRL WHO DOES NOT ROLL WITH THIS SKIING NONSENSE.) (That's Jason's niece on the left, also known as Ike's Favorite Person.) (She made him a pom pom puppy, now known as Ike's Most Treasured Possession.) What is it with vacation homes that suddenly make board games so attractive, by the way? We have a huge stack of dusty games that no one ever wants to play, that get taken out maybe once a year just long enough for an essential piece or two to go missing. But whenever we go on a trip it's like the goddamn National Chutes & Ladders Tournament and Operation Invitational. It's so old-fashionedly wholesome. (Ike cheats at Candyland something terrible, though.) Post-skiing entertainment at the lodge was a bit more their usual speed. Netflix cartoons, hot chocolate and chicken wings. "I did awesome at skeeting. My favorite part was when I fell in the snow on my belly." Ezra spent the weekend bargaining with us over what... Read more →


Hi! Hi hi hi. I am writing this, live and in-person from New York City, but on my phone because I cannot get the hotel's WiFi to work. So I shall be brief because this feels like I'm typing a really really long text message and the only times I write really really long text messages is because I'm either super mad at someone ("here is everything I would say to you on the phone but won't because I don't call people on the phone!! thus I shall attempt to resolve our conflict in the least productive way!!")...or if I've been ignoring their text message for a long time and have to explain my bullshit reasons for doing that. So since I'm not mad at anyone, let me state that my bullshit reasons for ignoring my blog are 1) yesterday was my birthday, 2) Jason surprised me with a little just-us getaway to NYC, and 3) I'm 39 now, Jesus. I feel like that will be an excuse for a lot of things, going forward. The weather here has been gorgeous so we've mostly just done a lot of aimless walking, shopping and drifting from wine bar to wine bar.... Read more →


Pay no attention to the new design quite yet (unless you're on a mobile device, which in that case, you are very welcome, about seven years late)...Jason jumped the gun a bit by sending it live. His priority was getting all the ad zones set up properly because of all those sweet, sweet Internet nickels; he didn't realize I wasn't down with the default fonts and wanted to test out at least fourteen dozen alternatives. I think we're currently displaying option number four and we're still not there yet. And I know some other pages are borked thanks to the bizarre way I had things set up before. Also, if anyone can help with the header/logo thing and expand some design-y doo-dads across the sea of Every Guest Bathroom I've Ever Had Green, shoot me an email with how much Cash Money you will require. But whatever, it's a site that at least looks like it's from this Internet century and maybe Google will remember that I exist again. Our original trip to Hersheypark included two days' worth of park passes. We ended up spending one day at the park and the rest of the time at our hotel's indoor... Read more →


At da beach, hangin' with kids, hangin' with friends, hangin' with Hobbes. Who has apparently been hangin' with the spiked beach punch pretty hard. Wow, get yourself together, man. If Beach House Week 2016 has a theme, so far it's been a tie between Things You Should Not Eat: (SPOILER ALERT: Duh. This is a terrible idea. So bad. Even more vile than your wildest fever dreams are able to comprehend. My children, of course, loved them. I still threw the package out while they were sleeping because I WANT A BETTER LIFE FOR THEM, A LIFE WITHOUT THIS ARTIFICIAL ABOMINATION.) (On the other hand, while Maryland blue crabs are ALWAYS something you should eat, especially while at the beach, maybe don't attempt to eat like, 40 of them, even between four motivated adults. That's an awful lot of crab and a pretty tremendous mess.) (Especially after pigging out on Velveeta nacho dip and chips just a couple hours earlier.) //PHOTO NOT FOUND ...and theme #2, aka Burying Small Children In The Sand Is Fun: Burying Ike from amalah on Vimeo. Unburying Ike from amalah on Vimeo. (Noah was having none of the burying business, naturally, but he's here and... 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 →


Before I left for my (brief, more-time-on-planes-than-on-the-ground) trip to California (for all of one day at the Mom 2.0 Summit), I had a LOT of shit to get done. Important shit. Like this: My track record for chaperoning field trips in horrible weather remains almost impeccable. If there's an outdoor activity planned, the temperature will inexplicably drop 20 degrees that day. If there's a hayride involved, it's going to rain, so prepare yourself for a damp butt. I was supposed to chaperone Noah's fourth-grade field trip to Annapolis that morning, before realizing I was double-booked. Triple booked, actually, because Ezra had a doctor's appointment to get his hearing re-checked, so Jason had to cover that one, right before I bailed on him for the next two days. Whoops. So yeah. Ezra recently failed a hearing screen at school. Just like he failed a hearing screen back in preschool. That time a follow-up revealed nothing out of the ordinary, and the doctor suggested that he was just too little to understand the testing instructions. This time the follow-up revealed that his eardrums are misshapen. That's usually is the result of chronic ear infections or allergies, neither of which really applies to... Read more →


This was Them, last Thursday morning, approximately one minute into our drive up to Killington, Vermont. This was Me. Jason's brother has a condo at the ski resort, and it's been over 10 freaking years since we've gone there, much to my ski bum husband's displeasure. But making the drive while pregnant, or with a baby, or with someone still potty training (and we've had at least one of those things going on every winter for the past decade) has always killed any chance at visiting. This year we had no such excuse, other than my own abject terror. (This was Me approximately two minutes into the drive, marking the occasion of Noah's very first ARE WE THERE YET?) The boys watched DVDs the entire way up and trashed the minivan with spilled juice boxes, granola bar wrappers and upended containers of fries. Ike at least took a long nap, while the other two took turns covering the whining shift. Our GPS promised to get us there in 7.5 hours; we arrived well over 12 hours later thanks to five different people's out-of-sync demands of food, caffeine and bathrooms. (And of course just about every bathroom demand came about 30... Read more →