Ezra. You are sunshine and stubbornness. Independent, yet anything but a loner. A mimic, but with your own ideas about anything. Easygoing right up until the moment you've been pushed just far enough. Fearless, except for when you are not. You still seem so small to me, but your personality is as oversized as the 2T hand-me-downs currently are. You make friends everywhere you go, charming adults with your smile and cheerful greetings and offers of plastic cupcakes or empty teacups. You are easily the best two-year-old conversationalist I've ever met, chatting about everything from shoes to elbows to WALL*E to choo choos to meatballs. You can kick a ball or hit it off a tee with a bat, you think stretching your arms behind you while crouching before tossing them up in the air counts as jumping, you can walk down the stairs alone, slowed only by your tendency to stop and applaud for yourself. You watched some big kids breakdance once and now like to put your head on the ground and kick your feet when music comes on. If your big brother can do it, well dammit, you're going to give a good try too. You love... Read more →

What It Looks Like

A lot of families, as part of the path to diagnosis and treatment, videotape their children's behavioral...quirks, I guess. Tics. Possible symptoms. Just so the doctors or therapists or evaluators can "see" what you see at home. We've never done that, at least on purpose. Noah's school does a lot of videotaping for therapeutic/assessment purposes, but I've always just INTENDED to capture the normal happy fun stuff. I say "intended" because if I go through old videos of Noah I'm often kind of retroactively shocked by something we inadvertently captured that's like, "THAT. RIGHT THERE. THAT TURNED OUT TO BE THING." Noah tip-toeing across the living room; screaming in terror the first time we put him on a teensy pedal-less baby tricycle; telling some great-sounding story that we would only later realize was little more than an echolalic script. We're still in insurance limbo. We haven't heard the results of our last and latest appeal, which will dictate whether we get to 1) file a grievance with the state, or 2) finally get a couple months' of bills paid right before filing for YET ANOTHER request for an extension of benefits, bwaaaaaaaaahhhhzzzzzzzbbbtttt etc. I also need to go back to... Read more →

This Damned House

(I wrote -- and intended to publish -- this entry on Friday, but Vimeo was taking FOREVER to do whatever technogidgetgabble it does to videos and I kept waiting and waiting and waiting for it and then I got bored and decided to bump this post to today. Which is why I am not bitching about HAVING NO POWER AGAIN, thanks to a fucking TORNADO, like WHAT THE HELL, first a tiny earthquake and now a tornado and I swear to God, there better not be a mildly-inconveniencing volcano next week that like, singes and ruins everybody's hair before BlogHer or something gaaaaah.) A couple months ago, in a burst of GREATEST MOTHER EVER-fueled delusion, I came across this printable craft thing on Disney's website: a 3D paper version of the house from UP. Why would this particular papercraft make me the GREATEST MOTHER EVER? Oh. Oh ho ho ho. Exhibit A: So yeah. Noah kind of loves the house from UP. He adores it. He builds version after version out of Legos and Duplos and one day we came home from camp to find that the babysitter had cut his peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich into the shape of a house, complete... Read more →

Watch Out, Kobayashi

Or Joey Chestnut, or whoever else out there would like to challenge my toddler to a cupcake-eating contest. Child has the cheek capacity of several dozen frosting-crazed squirrels. I SWEAR. Read more →

Yes, Woman. It's Yummy. God.

Okay, so this is lame and mommy-indulgent and all of 19 seconds long, but I am uber-compelled to show off Ezra's newest (food-related, of course) trick: What? He's BRILLIANT. SHUT UP. Read more →

One Year, Take Two

It's not fair, this past year. It whizzed by in crazy-fast-forward mode. Blink, three months. Blink, six months. Blink blink, 10 months. And now here we are. 12 months. One year. On the cusp of toddlerhood, with his true babyhood vanishing into the few fat rolls he still has on his legs. His delicious, crazy little legs -- he's so ready to walk but can't quite get that last bit of balance going, though he's down to needing a single solitary finger against the wall or furniture or hooked around mine. He can suddenly do so many things, and I have no idea when he started doing them. He signs what he wants, he plays pattycake and soooo big and waves hello and goodbye to everyone he sees, he dances, he sticks his tongue out and furrows his brow while concentrating on his set of nesting cups, he mimics sounds and can point out Mama and Dada and Noah, he picks up a comb and immediately tries to attack his brother's hair with it. It's ridiculous, the little things that stun you, but there it is. He knows what a comb is for. Wow. Of course I miss the baby.... Read more →

The Life of Four

Oh my God, you guys. I have a FOUR-YEAR-OLD. And in less than two weeks I will have a ONE-YEAR-OLD. I should have planned things better, because this double whammy of birthdays is turning out to be hard on the liver. At this rate I will have hardly any babies left at all. Damn you January and your mysteriously fertile properties! PLUS I have to do a whole other stupid video montage every year, like, five minutes after I finish the first one. That's not QUITE so terrible, as I do really enjoy making you guys cry. Suckers! Speaking of the upcoming Ezra edition, based on our gobs of footage and photos, it appears we have not actually taken that poor baby out of his high chair since he was about six months old. I'd say a good 75% of it involves him eating. Rolling over? First steps? First words? Eh, sorry Ez, I don't quite recall. But holy shit, check out this 20-minute clip of you eating corn on the cob. So glad we didn't miss THAT tremendous milestone. So now Noah is four, fully four, and can officially start attending The Preschool this afternoon. Right now, the only... Read more →

Four Years

It's funny, as he gets older, my determination to stay away from mushy, embarrassing sentiment wavers more and more. He's no longer a baby or a toddler but a KID, and yet when composing this entry in my head, my first impulse is to fill is chock full of pet names and flowery goopy declarations of love and pride. "Mo-oo-oom," I can already hear him saying...but when? Two more years? Longer than that? Less? We spent so much time this year focused on the future. Worrying about it, planning for it. Determined to prepare him for the next step, the next year, the next experience. We became Mama and Papa Bear, growling at anyone who dared question the potential of our cub, demanding that the forest clear a safer path for him...while also tearing our fur out because holy crap, this is hard. And yet, oh, this boy. He is still my heart. He is still so smart and adorable and funny. He is such a kind, loving big brother and a kind, loving person. He surprises me every day, every hour, sometimes, with the things he says and thinks and can suddenly DO, just like that, and I am... Read more →

Public Service Announcement

It has been brought to my attention that reader Kari declared yesterday's post "the EXACT OPPOSITE of birth control," and that many, many of you agreed with that assessment. Did you not read the part about the screaming? The terrible, terrible screaming? That he does in lieu of using anything remotely close to the English language? All the time, for everything and sometimes for no reason at all? Oh, I see. The photos of the happy, angelically cute baby distracted you from that part. Well then. I'm afraid I'm going to have to break out the big guns. For your sake. For the overpopulated planet's sake. YOU MUST HEAR THE TRUTH. Why You Should Not Have Babies, Exhibit #342 from amalah on Vimeo. I think he's saying he would like more cantaloupe. Or maybe more souls. Could really be either. ANNOYING DISCLAIMER: I gave him more cantaloupe. I did not purposely withhold cantaloupe for the purposes of this video, or sit there eating cantaloupe in front of him like Kate Gosselin.* He was simply expressing his supreme displeasure over my refusal to give him more than one piece of cantaloupe at a time, because if I gave him six pieces... Read more →


Well, NOW how am I supposed to get anything done, ever? Yeah, this blogging thing was fun and all but TICKLISH BABY GIGGLES YUM GOTTA GO BYE. (This is technically the second time I got him to laugh. The night before I coaxed some giggles by screaming "GRILLED CHEEEEEESE!!!!" right in his face.) (What?) Read more →