My Brand is Crisis

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 →

Killingme, VT

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 →

You'd Think After a Week of Not Writing I'd Have Something to Talk About Besides Soap.

Second (and last) long-ass business trip on the month is over. Nothing like working a ton of 17-hour days in a row and then coming home all, "OH MY GOD I ACCOMPLISHED NOTHING AND NOW HAVE SO MUCH WORK TO DO." It's good to be home again. And to not have to go ANYWHERE else for a good long time, except maybe to go buy some wine. It's also good to have blog readers who Really Get You. Big thank you to Kristen who MAY or MAY NOT have used her important J-O-B connections to hook me up with a very special room service delivery of ALL OF THE HYATT SOAPS. Seriously. Look at all these fucking soaps. (Not including the three additional non-packaged soaps in active rotation in my soap dish, shower and travel toiletry bag. YASSSSSS.) So I suppose I finally have enough soaps to stop panicking about running out before the next time I stay at a Hyatt. Maybe. Possibly. (NOT LIKELY.) Also, because we're sharing and I try to be a very honest and transparent blogger, I have one last confession. This happened: I suppose this is the final nail in the I'M A PROFESSIONAL BLAWWWWGGGGGER... Read more →

The Best Things In Life Are Free and/or Stolen From Hotels

I have determined — after a thoroughly comprehensive, scientific process —that the World's Best Face Soap is the round KenetMD-branded "Cleansing Bar" you get in Hyatt hotel rooms. I've always had a bit of thing for free hotel toiletries, but my love of this particular soap has officially crossed into deranged. I've been unable to find for sale anywhere, despite much detective work — Hyatt sells their shampoos and lotions but not the soaps, the manufacturer sells the "Massage Bar" but not the "Cleansing Bar" and they are NOT THE SAME THING, BELIEVE ME I KNOW MY HOTEL SOAPS — and maybe even hassling/creeping out a copywriting client in the hospitality procurement industry, like, hey this is weird but do you ever get free soap samples can you get me some soap hey I need some soap c'mon man soap soap soap. NO, AMY. PLEASE STOP TALKING ABOUT SOAP. *picks nervously at perfectly moisturized-and-blemish-free face while rocking back and forth because I'm down to my last nubbin of soap* So the greatest thing about my trip to Austin last week — more than the magical journey of self-discovery via list-making, the practical work-y knowledge gleaned — was that my company... Read more →

Hashtag Rebel Dinosaur

I was away AGAIN last week, in Austin, an amazing, awesome city I did not actually get to see much of beyond the confines of my hotel. I had a nice view from my room, but other than that, it was a long week of cycling between a hotel conference room, the Starbucks in the lobby, back to the conference room, the hotel restaurant, conference room, my room, lobby bar, conference room, conference room, lobby bar, lobby bar, lobby bar. I was there for this workshop, and also to confront my own dorkdom because I totally freaking loved it, although there was a moment at 9:30 a.m. on Day One when I texted my coworker (who was one whole chair away) that I was "not going to survive this." Not so much because of the content of the sessions, but more because I'd stupidly done the math and realized I'd been awake for 22 hours straight the day before and was running on less than four hours sleep, and THAT'S WHEN they told us to pull out a piece of paper and do some personal and professional goal setting via a writing exercise. AMY'S BRAIN: No. No I will not.... Read more →

There and Back Again

Well hello there, blog full o' tumbleweeds. How's it hanging? So I went away for a few days there to a conference in Santa Barbara, California. A non-blogging, non-just-an-excuse-to-squee-and-party conference, where I actually spent every minute of my time either in conference sessions or in a semi-circle with coworkers while we worked and planned and over-strategerized our marketing funnels. At night there was good food and even better wine, but still like, Business Wine. (You know, where every delicious sip must be weighed against the ever-increasing odds of Saying Something Dumb or Regrettable in front of work people.) Overall, it was pretty uneventful. I didn't show up at the wrong airport or lose my luggage or cause any sort of international incident. I didn't get much sleep or free time, and the entire trip sort of faded into a hazy, four-day quest for either decent coffee or a place to charge my phone. *** On the flight out, the middle seat in my row was empty. A pregnant mom with a baby in her lap asked the woman with the aisle seat if she'd possibly consider switching to HER aisle seat just one row up, so she could put her... Read more →

The Great Baby Ike Rescue

It wouldn't be an All-American Olde Fashioned Tymes Storch Family Vacation without a little drama or injury of some kind, now would it? The only Jamaica-related injuries sustained last week were 1) me bashing up my shin pretty nicely, during the packing process at home, after getting my foot tangled up in a Big Wheel in our basement storage area while attempting to gracefully step over it in order to get my underwear off the drying rack, and 2) I dunno, Jason got a weird rash from one of our sunscreens? Pretty good, as these things go for us. Which left us in dire need for a little excitement and/or threat of mortal peril. HELLO! HAPPY TO BE OF SERVICE! We had just sat down to our next-to-last lunch on our next-to-last day when we realized Ike had gotten up from the table already. Being the fiercely protective mama bear that I am, I shrugged and mumbled something (through a mouthful of fried chicken) about seeing him right over there a few seconds before, he probably went up to our bedroom or something. I was right. But! One small extra thing. And here's one of the quirks of staying in... Read more →

Last Day

We leave tomorrow. And then cycle of endless plotting on how soon we can get back here begins anew. I know I'm technically supposed to be writing words here, but there just...aren't any to fully and adequately describe how special this place is, how much I'll miss it, and how much of a blast we all had here. The food, the fun, the people, the feeling like you are in the middle of a heavenly, luxurious paradise but also in your own cozy, homey home. It's perfect. The memories, they will burn bright and awesome. Thank you so much for everything, Bluefields. *** As of tomorrow, please note that my family is officially free to come crash your vacation. Just, you know, putting that out there, in case you find yourself with an extra seaside master suite or something OH THE HUMANITY. Code is: jamalah,mon Code is good for 7 nights off-peak rentals in the 2014 season. Bookings from NOW until Saturday the 21st of June: First 5 bookings pay for 6 nights and get one night free, plus an overnight nanny for one night of your choice. Bookings from the 21st of June to the 12th of July: Overnight... Read more →

Eat, Sleep, Eat, Love

The revolutionary (chef) costume for today: I didn't even realize Ezra had packed his "outdoor cooking" apron (it has a picture of a grill on it, soooo...), but I guess it's good to be prepared. In this case, for a personal invitation to come hang out with James the Jerk Master as he prepared Bluefields' weekly jerk chicken lunch. It was... cute. So very, very cute, I thought I couldn't even stand it. Until... Ike got himself a bite of the chicken. And Ike got himself a special pre-lunch to-go package of the chicken. Which he ate completely, in record time. And the next thing I knew (translation, the next time I did a head count and realized we were down one child), this was happening: Ike, in the OTHER chef's costume, out there pulling chicken off the grill in front of a live audience. Look out, Bobby Flay. Or anybody else who thought they were maybe getting some chicken for lunch, because I think Ike thought anything he helped with would be his to eat. He did end up sharing with all his friends at the kids' table, however. The drumsticks were a particularly big hit over there,... Read more →

If You Teach a Blogger To Fish...

I did indeed wake up before 5 a.m. yesterday, put my ass a small fishing boat with two local fishermen, and set off onto the great big ocean, past the sunrise and out to where it's nothing but endless, beautiful, unnerving flatness. Jason loves to fish and goes as often as he can (usually catch-and-release fly fishing), but I've never been, never tried, and so I can safely say my only goal for the day was to not thoroughly embarrass myself. (This is not me trying to be mysterious. This is me still too terrified of falling out of the boat to fully turn around for a photo.) The whole idea behind the deep-sea fishing excursion is to catch actual fresh fish for your actual lunch and dinner that day, which jazzed Jason to no end. I was...not that optimistic. On our way out and back, we passed directly through a huge school of dolphins. (And while I've never been one of those OMG DOLPHINS people, I have to admit that the only possible reaction being that close to them is OMG DOLPHINS!) FInally, it was time to fish. Our guide cast my line and handed it over to me,... Read more →