The beach. The beach is what up. Just FYI. Point the first: My children -- my lousy, wretched, terrible children -- have insisted on waking up at 6:30 am every morning of this mini-vacation, and for that I am ready to...uh...I don't even know what I'm ready to do to them, I'M TOO TIRED FOR RETRIBUTION. Point the second: Shovels. Shovels as big as toddlers. Madness! Point the third: We're smuggling about half the beach home in our children's thigh rolls and underwear pockets. Don't tell anyone. Point the fourth: We're leaving today, so I better get back out there with my big-ass shovel. Read more →


22 Hours in Philly

So. Yeah. That was fun. Those of you on the Twitthing already know, and probably feel like you know too much. But for everybody else: I got sick. Like, really terribly embarrassingly, what-do-you-MEAN-I-have-to-ride-in-an-elevator-to-get-to-a-bathroom sick. (Over the weekend, Ezra had one of those mysterious out-of-nowhere barfing incidents, where he just puked up an entire meal and then went on with his life just fine. Flash to 72 hours or so later, and INCUBATION COMPLETE! FULL ADULT-SIZED VIRUS MORPH ACHIEVED! NOW IS THE TIME TO DIE!) So. Yeah. I woke up yesterday feeling...not great, but not terrible. A little off. I blamed a shitty night of sleep, since I woke up multiple times convinced that I'd overslept and missed my 8:30 am presentation, only to look at the clock and see that, no, it's 3:15 am, jackass, simmer down. I tried to eat a bagel and just...couldn't. I blamed this on the fact that it just wasn't a very good bagel, ignoring even more signs that my body was getting ready to revolt. (I would make a terrible protagonist in a Dan Brown novel, don't you think?) The rest of the morning was a blur -- the first session went okay, even... Read more →


So...I'm leaving in just a couple hours on an honest-to-God business trip, with a suitcase and everything, like a fancy business woman, who regularly gets asked to speak at social media conferences. Social media! Have you heard about this shit yet? I think it might turn into something one of these days. The Hulk, probably, or that thing from Cloverfield. But no lie, I'm going to be at immunize.org's Social Media Summit in Philly, co-paneling sessions about...blogs. And Facebook. Mostly on a pretty basic level, which, THANK GOODNESS, because otherwise I will run out of web-related expertise in the first 10 minutes. Still, though. I should probably write down some notes, or at least make sure Facebook hasn't reset my password or something. "And this is the login screen! All you do is...wait, fuck, hang on." The funny thing is that public speaking doesn't phase me in the slightest. Speaking in front of a room full of people, riffing about topics that I may have just a smidge more than a passing knowledge of? Cake! Pie! Bring it! Meanwhile: TRAVEL. OMFG. WE ARE ALL GOING TO DIE. So I am currently channeling all my copious amounts on anxiety onto an... Read more →


Oh, so hey. Remember when we went on that awesome vacation? Way over a month ago? Yes, that. I finally went through our photos and uploaded 100 or so of my favorites to Flickr. We took 700 photos, by the way. Each frolic on the beach or dip in the pool necessitated at least 150 near-identical shots of the children, apparently. It's like we planned to create an Our Vacation Flip Book when we got back, lest we forget a single precious arm movement. Anyway, you can view the set here. Don't everybody rush over at once. Also, if you're thinking about taking a trip to Bluefields, here's the deal: 15% rate reduction with $100 spa credit for new full-week reservations with rental dates between now and November 1, 2010. Code is AMALAH. Go to their reservations page, or call (202) 232-4010 or vacations@bluefieldsvillas.com. Yay! Read more →


On the first day of our vacation, I took Noah to the beach. Just us. Jason was putting out one last work fire. Ezra was...well, he was eating, having already figured out that 1) all the food here was delicious, and 2) he could get into the kitchen via an always-open back door, and that there was ALWAYS someone in there cooking something, and they were ALWAYS happy to give him a taste, like an over-eager puppy begging for scraps. So Noah and I went to the beach. I might as well have taken him to the dentist, because he did not want to go to the beach, because of the ocean. He did not want to go near the ocean. He did not want to look at the ocean or hear the ocean. NO OCEAN. He stood as far back on the sand as he possibly could, practically climbing up a wall of rocks in his bare feet, adamant about the NO OCEAN part. The ocean in Jamaica is not like the ocean here, which knocked Noah over two summers ago and he has refused to go near since. (He holds a mean grudge, I've learned.) It's calm, shallow.... Read more →


I woke up in the wee small hours of the morning today, just barely awake enough to wonder WHY AM I SO COLD, a thought that semi-occurred to me as I padded off in the general direction of the bathroom, right before I collided with the hard, unyielding edge of my closet door. Oh. We're back home. The bathroom's a bit more to the right. We're back home, where it is snowing, where it will apparently be snowing FOR THE REST OF OUR LIVES, or at least the rest of the weekend. The villa staff did all of our laundry for us in Jamaica, so our suitcases are full of fresh clean..shorts. T-shirts. Tanks and sundresses. Bathing suits. I am tempted to just zip everything back up, shove it in a closet (I know just the one!) and sort it all out in June. This weekend I am going to go through the roughly 40,000,000 photos we took and dust off my old expired Flickr account and upload them there, just to spare you the boredom of looking at 25 virtually identical shots of my preschool cavorting in the sand, dozens of sunset pictures, and there was this one day... Read more →


I get the sense the staff here is worried that we are bored. We are not bored. We are, most likely, the boringest guests they've ever had. They keep reminding about about the hiking and snorkeling and fishing and kayaking and tubing over waterfalls, and we smile blissfully from our chair/chaise/hammock/other-place-where-we-have-planted-our-sedentary-butts and assure them that WE ARE FINE. WE ARE HAVING THE TIME OF OUR LIVES. RIGHT NOW, RIGHT HERE. WITH THE SITTING. (We did massages. In our room. Practically rolled off the bed onto the table and back again. It was delicious.) Every morning we wake up with the boys, cuddle for a bit before throwing open the windows and doors to survey the view and remember OH YEAH, we're in heaven, still. We pour ourselves some strong coffee our night watchman makes before he heads home. (I actually feel safer here than at any tourist-y peddler-targeted resort, but because we're so out in the middle of relative nowhere there are guard dogs and round-the-clock staff on the properties.) (And by "guard dogs" I mean a couple docile lumps of snuffully wuffully who's-a-good-boy-who-wants-a-scritchin' furbags.) The nanny makes the boys' breakfast (bananas and cereal for Noah; eggs, fruit and French... Read more →


A typical early morning pile-up. Checking out the view from the master bedroom. Checking out the view from....um. There. Slightly skeptical, sandy. Only complaint so far: It's just OH SO CROWDED AROUND HERE. Climbing his first tree. And getting appropriately contemplative about it. Exploring, or possibly on a deranged quest to get back to the house kitchen WHERE ALL THE FOOD IS NOM NOM NOM PAPAYA PINEAPPLE CHICKEN FRITTERS SCRAMBLED EGGS HOT SAUCE Taking time from my busy schedule to sit upright. Slightly. Bushed babies. Read more →


I did not buy this magazine. They have like, every magazine on the planet out in the living room and it was there when we got here. It was THERE WHEN WE GOT HERE. Whatever. I'm reading it for the Obama articles and stuff. I barely even noticed the five-page spread about whats-his-abs there. I'm totally going to read the latest issue of The Atlantic next. Or maybe whatever has Lady Gaga on the cover. Read more →


I didn't even go to bed last night. I took a packing break and a nap at some point between 2 and 2:30 am; we left for the airport at 3. (And yes, that was THREE TO THE A TO THE M.) We got on a plane. Two planes. However many planes. I put "writer" as my occupation on my customs form and the officer was all, "SO WHAT DO YOU WRITE, AMY STORCH?" And I was all, "Uhhhhhummmmonlineparentingcolumns?" He let me into the country. Some guy tried to hustle an iPhone from my four-year-old. We drove across Jamaica and saw orange groves and burning sugar cane and poverty and cook shacks and beautiful children in their spotless school uniforms. We stopped at a roadside stand and ate the most incredible jerk chicken I have ever tasted while talking with kind people who were easy to talk to. Ezra also ate a ridiculous amount of that chicken, then gnawed on a drumstick before giving up and just dipping his hands in the hot sauce and licking it straight off his fingers. Noah saw a rooster. He is still talking about that unbelievable, real-life, amazing, cock-a-doo-ing-damn rooster. We are indeed here... Read more →