A Square Lamp in a Round Hole

Many, many years ago, we went to West Elm for pillow shams and also left with a lamp for our dining room. (A wee Ezra was helpful enough to document the shopping trip at the time.) All lighting was 10% off, and then there was an extra 40% store-wide sale going on, and so we got this $399 chandelier (in discontinued grey), comprised of hundreds of (INDIVIDUALLY! WRAPPED! IN TISSUE PAPER! AND TAPE!) seashell bits and bobs for...definitely less than that. This lamp was the only non-furniture thing in our old house that I insisted on bringing with us when we moved. This lamp was non-negotiable. This lamp was a Hill That I And Any Subsequent Real Estate Deal Would Die On, even against the most strenuous advice of our agent. (The same agent who made alarmingly critical noises about the MAIL SLOT on our front door, and so I rushed out to buy SPECIAL POLISH for the mail slot. AND THEN, when the special mail slot polish failed to deliver the desired pop of curb appeal, I replaced the entire mail slot because YES, THIS NEW MAIL SLOT WILL SURELY SELL THIS HOUSE!!1 !OMG!!1CRYTIME!) (This lamp was very important... Read more →


Friday Foto Dump (NOW ON A MONDAY!)

(I put this post together on Friday morning and then...just...forgot to hit the publish button? And then I checked my Facebook notifications later that night and was like, damn, nobody had anything nice to say about Ezra's costume? WOW, OKAY THEN. But no, I'm an idiot who has only been at this blogging thing for SIXTEEN HECKING YEARS and still does dumb shit like that. Anyway, enjoy this blast from the past of Late Last Week!) I was right! Ezra was a DJ. (Specifically a DJ character he created in Roblox called "DJ Joey the Redstone Rapper." SURE OKAY I TOTALLY UNDERSTAND ALL OF THOSE WORDS GOOD GOING SON.) He built a strap-on turntable, complete with amps, spinning records and a headphone jack.. It was a HUGE HIT at school. Everyone thought it was amazing. It held up great all day, but unfortunately started shedding parts almost the minute we walked out the door for trick-or-treating, so he missed the group photo. I could only hold these homicidal manics back from the candy for so long, you know. (You can see the last minute repairs going on inside just behind ALL UR NIGHTMARES.) Here's Noah in a more wholesome context... Read more →


The Kids Are Alright. Weird, But Alright.

Happy Halloween! Noah's been ready for today for...awhile now. Ah yes, very normal and not at all creepy. His friend is coming over for trick-or-treating and scary-movie watching later, dressed as our dear friend Pennywise. (The cardboard cutout has spent October looking ominously out the front window of Noah's room, much to the dismay of several Postmates and DoorDashers.) Ike's prepared as well. He asked me to Photoshop out the swing and turn the chair into a building. I did neither of those things because I do not know how. I don't (yet) have a photo of Ezra's costume, which he made himself and kept shrouded in secrecy. He asked for an Amazon box, aluminum foil and duct tape at one point. Also hair gel and sunglasses. Oh, and all the straps from our luggage. He's either going as some kind of DJ or plans to ship himself out of the country with a new identity. Stay tuned! I admit I was a little concerned about his homemade costume -- that other kids might not get what he's going for or make fun of him for not having a "real" costume -- and found myself halfway through a sentence trying... Read more →


It's Household Procrastination To-Do List Season

So Jake left us for his new home on Friday, which: SAD, but also I'm still pulling clumps of his fur out of the robot vacuum so it's like he hasn't really left! Good god, did that dog shed. I could knit us three new foster dogs with what I lint-rollered off the couch this morning. This weekend I painted our dining room, after four full years of bitching about it. (Turns out one person's deep and abiding love for "rich deep chocolate browns" is another person's "oh my god why is everything in this house the color of poop?") Okay, it was more like painting one and a half walls vs. a full room, BUT STILL. You know how we do here. YEAR ONE: I don't like that dark brown in the dining room. I am going to complain about it on a near-daily basis. YEAR TWO: I don't know...maybe green would look nice? Grey? Blue? Peach? White? Wallpaper? Metallic stencils? Shiplap? Purple? YEAR THREE: Ugh. We'll have to prime first, so never mind. YEAR FOUR: HAPPY SATURDAY MORNING I JUST SENT OUT SAVE THE DATES FOR FRIENDSGIVING AND I REFUSE TO HAVE ANOTHER FRIENDSGIVING IN A POOP BROWN... Read more →


BATTLEBOTS

VACUUM ROBOT vs. PING PONG ROBOT. THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE. ("Holds over 100 ping-pong balls!" 75+ of which are now somewhere under your couch.) And then mere minutes after being reset and sent along on its merry vacuuming way, the vacuum robot celebrated its victory by dragging and then hurling a kitchen stool down a flight of steps. Because sure, why not. This household clearly needs more weird. Also a ping-pong ball retrieving robot. (Just kidding. That's what human children are for.) Read more →


Happy-Sad Ever Afters

I didn't want to jinx anything, but early last week I got the news that someone submitted an adoption application for Jake. His very first one, 10 full months since he came to live here, and a mind-boggling TWENTY-SEVEN months since he was found as a stray in Georgia. That's a really long wait, and I kept trying to temper my CAPS-LOCK-level excitement with the knowledge that not every application results in an adoption, that this might not be the right home or fit or blah blah blah. And of course, my excitement was already tempered with the knowledge that if Jake gets adopted, that means Jake gets adopted. I drove him 45 minutes in the pouring rain to meet the potential adopter and an adoption coordinator at her home yesterday. The rain stopped the very second I pulled into her driveway and got a glimpse of a huuuuuuge fenced-in backyard, and what looked like a hiking trail running beside it. Oh, damn. Nice. The adopter had to put her (very senior) male pit bull down a few weeks ago, and was hoping to adopt a (senior but not THAT senior) male dog as a companion for her six-year-old female... Read more →


Cakewalk

Not going to lie, one of my primary reasons for having so many children was to have more people to bake (highly amateurish) birthday cakes for. And after many years of fielding many varied requests, all three boys have more or less settled on their birthday cake of choice. Noah always asks for a Victoria sponge sandwich cake. Ike wants the same one-bowl chocolate cake recipe I've been baking him since preschool, which eventually landed on this specific variation with grapeseed oil. (I dump the wet ingredients into a large measuring cup so it's still technically a one-bowl recipe because fuck washing bowls.) Although every year he does change up the shape, frosting and decorating details, just to keep me on my toes. (I swear one of these years he's going to request an three-tiered octagon cake with dark chocolate frosting that is also blue, somehow, and yellow candles that turn into tiny rockets that spell HAPPY BIRTHDAY, IKE! in edible red smoke and also the whole cake doubles as a party pinata full of candy and money.) (And I'll be like, okay, I'll see what I can do, but are you sure I can't interest you in a giant... Read more →


This One Goes to Eleven

I was scrolling through the hundreds of thousands of photos I've taken over the years, looking for any that screamed EZRA! in an especially Ezra-y way. I found this video from May 2015. Ezra was six. Noah was nine and Ike was just a couple weeks away from turning four. I'm not sure why I recorded it. It's just the kids running around before dinner one random night. But it reminded me I need to record more videos of them just running around before dinner on more random nights. Ezra is being SO EZRA! Ike is being SO IKE! And even Noah manages to be OMG SO TOTALLY NOAH! in a three-second cameo. Their personalities are all there; the way they interact with each other is all there. Like then, exactly like now, the same as it ever was. Ezra is 11 now. He still checks Ike's hands at the dinner table. He still indulges Noah in whatever Noah feels like doing. He still starts 90% of his sentences with, "You know, Mom..." He still eats cherry tomatoes fresh off the vine. (Now we just grow three times as many for him.) Yesterday I brought home a small wooden lantern... Read more →