I left for California on Thursday, by the way, although it hardly seems worth mentioning, since I'm back already. I spent about 36 hours in San Diego; it rained for approximately 34 of them; I left my hotel room maybe three whole times. One of those times was to speak to a room of about 50 pregnant or breastfeeding moms about the current state of mommyblogging, during which I am sure I came across as some kind of dinosaur, smacking my gums together while talking about Teh Olde Days, back before ads or sponsored posts or Twitter or Instagram or Amazon drones or whatnot. IN MY DAY, WE DIDN'T EVEN CALL THEM BLOGS. WE WROTE IN OUR ONLINE JOURNALS. SOMETIMES WE POSTED WISH LISTS AND SENT EACH OTHER BOOKS. BOOKS THAT WERE MADE OF PAPER, FOR CHRIST'S SAKE. About 15 minutes before I was scheduled to speak, I got a text from Jason: shit Noah had a half day This was...not news to me. This was...not supposed to be news to Jason, either, as we'd had several discussions about the day's logistics before I left. I texted back. Yes? Why? There was no response, which was not exactly reassuring, especially... Read more →

So. The beach. The beeeeeach! We got back on Saturday and it already feels like a hojillion years ago. Okay, maybe not that long. Just a lot longer than four piddly little days, though. But you know me. It's all zero to hyperbole, all the time. I didn't really plan to go the full week without posting; it just sort of happened. I realized I've blogged daily or at least semi-regularly through every single vacation or trip I've taken for the past 10 years and decided that I was tired of doing that. Though to be fair, I would not have taken quite a few of those trips if it hadn't been for this here double-u-double-u-dot-website-thing. I have not completely misplaced my gratitude, by any means, it's more like my posting fingers came down with a heady case of laziness and a slight laptop allergy. Besides, there was so much to DO besides sit on the couch — a rather uncomfortable wicker couch with craft-store-foam cushions covered in that same nautical striped fabric that every beach rental in the world has, along with the same seashell accessories and ocean-y sayings all over the place. Did you know that an ocean... Read more →

Great Storch Family Tornado of Destruction Summer Tour 2013

For some unfathomable, completely mysterious reason, we were...not...invited back for a visit with Jason's great-aunt and uncle at the beach this summer. I guess the Great Storch Family Tornado of Destruction Summer Tour 2012 was just too rockin' out. Too radical to the max. Some peeps just can't hang with our flow, our awesomeness, or our overall uncanny resemblance to a traveling mosh pit full of pointy toddlers. So we're going it alone this year. Our usual beach house partners in crime couldn't make it either, thanks to "work" and "no time off" or possibly "DEAR GOD YOU HAVE SO MANY CHILDREN TO KEEP TRACK OF." This means 1) there will probably be a lot less late-night kitchen experiments involving reheated Velveeta, and 2) I have to remember to pack everything myself, since I'll have no one to bum forgotten essentials from. That shouldn't be a big deal but let's all remember who we're talking about here. Last year I forgot washcloths and feminine products. The year before I forgot pillowcases and food. Obviously, there are things like "stores" and "stuff" at the beach, but I try to make it a point not to go to "stores" and "stuff" with... Read more →

This post is sponsored by Colonial Williamsburg. Book your stay at Whenever I take my children someplace new, I learn something new about them. You'd think I'd remember this and take them to new places more regularly, but instead I tend to overthink trips and destinations and convince myself that no, they're not old enough for that place or well-behaved enough for that one. I get bogged down in logistics (car? train? hotel? packing? gaaaaah?) and completely underestimate my kids' capacity to find something fun about...well, pretty much any place on earth. This past weekend I learned that Noah is quite the fan of George Washington. I had no idea. He ran up to every single costumed person and asked them if they knew George Washington. He chased after several older men on the off chance they were George Washington, only to be more than a little deflated to learn that they were not. I can't lie: At one point there were tears. TEARS. He wanted to meet George Washington that badly. Ezra, on the other hand... ...was much easier to please. (Though that still didn't stop Jason from spoiling him rotten at the gift shop, with a COMPLETELY... Read more →

In spite of...all that happening, I really had a terrifically wonderful time in Vegas. Jason and I successfully and repeatedly committed a good six out of the seven deadly sins — save for wrath, I think. Never really felt too wrath-y, except for that one moment where I thought I overheard a pack of drunk guys calling me a "hobbit" on my crutches and I was all, "EXCUSE ME, ARE YOU SERIOUS?" And then they were all, "What? Nah! We said you were "mobbin' it" on those crutches cuz you were going so fast and shit." And then I was all, "Oh, okay, sorry. It's just been kind of a long day." And then they walked away and I was all, "Wait. Is "mobbin' it" even a thing? I am not sure that's a real thing." Anyway, I still do not know if "mobbin' it" is or is not, in fact, a thing you can do on crutches, but I am entirely too busy to look it up on Urban Dictionary because of the whole post-vacation home suitcases children email work KABLOOEYNESS. (Which you KNOW is actually a thing.) I am mostly off the crutches now and can walk pretty... Read more →

OH HI. I ran off to Vegas. I did not get married or remarried (though I did basically find the wedding chapel OF MAH DREAMS) or spend several days locked on a roof with a chain-smoking monkey. In fact, the biggest trouble I got myself into involved getting mildly scolded by a hotel employee for sneaking into the Microsoft SharePoint 2012 conference without a badge. (Okay, I didn't sneak into the conference itself. I just sat in the developer's lounge and used the wifi for a few hours to edit and post conference-related blog posts.) (I did steal a cup of conference coffee, though. Possibly two cups. I KNOW, RIGHT? Who am I and when did I become such a scofflaw? VEGAS, BABY.) Let's see...other interesting things that happened in Vegas that will not stay in Vegas because what, like I have shame or a sense of propriety? 1) I won money! We're not big gamblers, but you can't go to Vegas and not put a few bucks into the weirdest branded slot machine you can find, especially one that is reaching soooo far to make any sort of sense in any sort of context, like... MALTESE OF FORTUNE KITTY... Read more →

Oh. Hi. I went to Blogher. While there, I cry-talked about my boobs to Samantha Bee, threw a party, suffered a nervous breakdown about said party, smeared unicorn cake on the faces of friends and strangers, fell down the stairs at a Broadway theater, and then brought a life-sized Harry Potter cardboard stand-up home on the train like an idiot. This morning I woke up to the sound of Noah yelling, "STOP STARING AT ME!" at the cardboard stand-up. Then he punched it. It fell over. "HARRY POTTER, ARE YOU OKAY?" Ezra shouted. (I should mention this was all happening before the sun was up.) "HARRY POTTER IS OKAY," Ezra reported. Well, good. I guess? We are all good here too. I guess? I need a little bit more time to get my head and thoughts and photos in order, but here's one story from the very first day, which COULD HAVE been my last, because...well, you'll see: On Wednesday morning, Jason and I drove up to Pennsylvania to drop the boys off at their grandparents' house. Then we went immediately straight to the train station and finished the trip up to New York. When we got there, it was... Read more →

1) The shower. Okay, first of all, you need to know something about our Ocean City vacations. We stay for free with Jason's great-aunt and great-uncle, who retired there. Who are very nice and gracious and welcoming, but also COMPLETELY KIND OF TERRIFYING. I mean, first, they're in-laws. Distant in-laws. That's baseline intimidating already. And all my in-laws have this quiet, measured, Germanic stoicism about them, which is the complete opposite of my family. We're a bunch of hand-talking Irish drunks with voice immodulation syndrome. Plus...well, they are very particular and set-in-their-ways and they keep their condo impeccably clean and organized, having mastered the "living in small quarters" thing to an enviable degree. And then we show up. And basically wreak havoc and disaster all over the damn place. Every year the amount of STUFF we have to lug there grows exponentially. Not surprising, given that every other year we seem to show up with a whole new family member in tow. More suitcases, more bags, more toddling towers of childproofing terror. Now with bonus lightsabering pool noodles! They like children, at least. And they especially like babies a whole lot. But they don't particularly like said babies and children... Read more →

We're away AGAIN this week. Visiting family in Ocean City. I know, right? I don't really know what we're thinking, taking all these exhaustifying vacations and creating preshus childhood memories and crap. Speaking of which, the following photo is quite possibly the best representation of life with three children I have ever managed to take. And quite possibly just the greatest photo ever, flat-out: Not to oversell it, or anything. But come on. As sybdix commented (when I posted this on Instagram), this is life with three kids: Carrying one, helping another and trying not to step on the third. Yes, exactly. And any day when you manage to not drop and/or step on anyone is a raging success. The teaching/helping step is optional. Posting this week shall be light yet not-completely-non-existent. (But completely-over-hyphenated-as-per-usual.) I'm taking the week off from Mamapop, but don't let that stop you from reading all the other awesome stuff less-highly-overrated-than-me people are posting. (HYPHENS ARE THE NEW CAPS LOCK!) Oh, and my summer schedule at Alphamom is dropping down to one Advice Smackdown a week. Which is killing me because that column is like, the ONE PLACE ON EARTH where people occasionally seem to listen... Read more →

At the airport: On the plane: At the dinner table, night #1: At the lunch table, day #2: At the beach: At the beach: At the beach: On the bus back from De Palm Island (home of the water slides): (Not pictured: Ezra, Ike and Mama similarly tanked out in the back row.) At the dinner table, night #3: (TRIFECTA ACHIEVED.) In the crib: In the bed: (More photos at the Amalah's West blog here and here.) Read more →