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April 2014
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June 2014

The Art of the To-Do List, Amalah Style

1) Ike's third birthday is on Sunday a) HOLY CRAP WHAT b) Buy Ike's birthday present Figure out what he is even talking about when he says he wants a "pirate treasure" for his birthday, then buy whatever the hell it is, provided it is not, in fact, an actual pirate treasure because I'm trying to keep things under like, twenty bucks. c) Make a cake or cupcakes or maybe just thaw out a couple of those banana muffins I made last week that he seemed to really dig. d) Clean the house before family descends on us tomorrow and judges the filth. e) Finish Ike's birthday video, cry about it, post about it, gaaahhh maaahhh baby is gonnnne 2) Next week is insane a) Two different preschool "graduation" ceremonies that I don't dare skip b) End of preschool year picnic c) Wait, once preschool's over my children will, like, be here in the house with me? All day? All the time? That doesn't seem right. d) Noah's field day e) One last IEP meeting to finalize next year's code and plan, during which I should probably sack up and admit to his teachers that Noah will be missing the... Read more →

A Is For Awesome

It figured, I guess. After a fantastic week of zig, it was time to zag. Noah came home on Thursday (post-poetry reading, which was ADORABLE) with a big fat envelope of assessment results. And there it is. I've been trying to write about this since Friday, I've started and stopped and deleted huge scads of text and then CTRL-Z'd them back because they seemed like better than nothing. I finally just started over this morning; apologies if this mostly turns out to be disjointed and rambling. Not long after the psychiatrist finally said the word "Autism" out loud to me — a word I swear I have asked about and brought up to just about every therapist, teacher and assorted expert we have met with over the past six years, a word that NOBODY would ever commit to — I attended an IEP meeting. This year marks the final year that we can use the catch-all code of "Developmental Delay." In the beginning of the year I was a little stressed about that, since none of the diagnoses we'd been given prior to that point (sensory processing disorder, dyspraxia, etc.) are options for the school district. ADHD is, however, so... Read more →

Catch the Spirit

It's "Spirit Week" at Noah's school, during which each day is assigned a "theme" for the students to dress up for. Spirit Week has never been Noah's jam, historically speaking. It brings out all kinds of nerves and rigidity in him. So we've never pushed him to participate. Crazy Hat Day? No, thank you. Wear Pajamas To School Day? OH GOD OH NO OH GOD STOP NO. NO. This year, though, he's been surprisingly flexible about it. He wore his school shirt on School Spirit Day. His football jersey on Sports Day. He even came up with his own take on Wacky Day that allowed him to technically participate without triggering his anxiety: He wore a pair of shorts that were one size too small. "See, Mom?," he said proudly. "I look normal and like myself, but these shorts are a size seven. That's so silly. I'm so silly." Today was Character Day. Dress up as your favorite character or hero from TV, movies, video games, books, etc. I figured Noah would prefer to sit this one out, since it veers so closely into full-on Halloween/costume territory. I figured wrong, as usual. He dressed up as — who else? —... Read more →

Note That I Still Technically Did Not Get Out of Bed Today, But Not Because I'm Sick. Just Lazy.

Typepad went down again on Monday, which you may or may not have noticed. I hardly did myself, though to be fair I woke up looking for reasons to go directly back to bed. So I did. And while Typepad was back up on its feet by yesterday, alas, I was not. I was still in bed, taking actual for-real sick days, knocked heartily down by tonsillitis. Well, should probably make that actual for-real "sick days," with the air quotey-quote things. Because you know how it goes. The blog/writing gigs/freelance client work all got the shaft, but I still had to take Child A to Place Z and give Child B the form for Thing Y and get Child C from Place X at noon and make a lot of peanut butter and jellys. I took a lot of naps but always had an alarm set to go off in time to pick up the next child from school. Then I'd bring them home, scatter some foodstuffs and old iPhones on the kitchen counter and drag my ass back up to bed for another blessed hour of ice chips and moaning. Yes, I'm exaggerating. My throat totally hurt too much... Read more →

You Failed Me, Blog. You Failed Me Hard.

The bin of 3T shorts remains missing. At large. Presumably armed, dangerous and in desperate need of some Febreze. Look out! It's behind you! God, it's always in the last place you look, and then it murders you. Ain't that just the way. I really did hope and believe that by taking the disappearance to the Internet, I would immediately figure out where I put it, leading to an embarrassed, anti-climatic update post the next day. Like, whoops, I found the shorts in Ike's sock drawer, or on a shelf I'd checked six times already, or under my own butt because I've been sitting on it THIS WHOLE TIME. Whomp-whomp. Some of your suggestions actually did prompt me to look in a few new places, so thank you for trying to help — I realized there was a bag of clothing destined for a local drop-off box in Jason's car trunk, one that I packed up a couple months ago, but of course Jason promptly forgot about it.* I was all set to declare the mystery solved and send the person who made the suggestion a gift card, only to dump out the entire contents in our dining room and... Read more →

The Motherhood of the Traveling Shorts

Can someone — you, the Internet, Miss Cleo, Flying Spaghetti Monster, anyone — please tell me where the hell I put the bin with all the size 3T shorts? Because I have lost the bin with all the size 3T shorts and possibly, also, my mind. Not to be dramatic or anything (HAHAHA), but whenever I am asked*, "Amy, you have three boy children, how do you do it?" My answer is always the same: A ruthlessly efficient and impeccably organized system of hand-me-down bins. I have prided myself for years on my system, my ritual, my dedication to having the next size ready to go at a growth-spurt's notice, sorted by seasonal appropriateness and school vs. playtime quality. I believe that if you lose control of the hand-me-down cycle, the entire household structure will collapse into unspeakable chaos and probably catch on fire. *I am never asked that. And here I am, trying to figure out how in the world an entire oversized plastic bin full of clothing has gone missing. In this house, which is not that big, and not exactly flush with extra storage areas and hidey-holes where a bin could disappear into, never to be seen... Read more →

Halp I Can't Stop Eating All The Biscuits

Happy day after Mother's Day, y'all! I hope your Sunday morning celebrations were dispatched with ruthless efficiency. And maybe some extra butter on your toast. My Mother's Day actually started on Saturday night, very late, at a very, very (veryveryvery) inconvenient moment when one of my children barged into our bedroom to find out if it was midnight yet, and thus, "time for Mother's Day hugs." Me: NO IT IS NOT. DO NOT TURN ON THAT LIGHT DO NOT COME ANY CLOSER GO BACK TO BED. I was much more welcoming of the hugs the next morning. We'd agreed on no gifts, but Jason made my personal brunch favorite of biscuits and sausage gravy, the leftovers I admit I have been completely powerless to resist today, hence the post title that doubled as an all-caps text message I sent to him just now. One by one, the boys decided to join me for breakfast in bed, which was like inviting a litter of puppies into bed with you and scattering bacon-based treats amongst the covers. Everyone brought a bowl of Cheerios and a plate of waffles or biscuits and took turns opening and closing my Mother's Day card, which plays... Read more →

Montessori Mayhem: The (almost) Graduate

Today was the annual Mother's Day breakfast at Ezra's preschool. I realized that next year, I'll be attending it with Ike. But not with Ezra, ever again. I can't believe how fast this school year went. I can't believe it's almost over. And how far he's come. (So far. And even farther!) For September, he's offically enrolled in kindergarten at the public school, and he's very excited. He'll ride the bus with Noah and go to school with Noah and be a big kid like Noah. (And to kiss all the new ladiezz' hands, like a long-lashed, angel-faced BOSS.) It'll be interesting to see how the transition from Montessori to traditional education goes (especially since our elementary school — while absolutely wonderful in so many ways — can sometimes feel like an overcrowded pressure cooker), but there's no denying that Montessori has been absolutely amazing for him. Every brochure-type promise of a confident, independent and thriving learner has been fulfilled, and then some. In addition to his name, he can also spell "MOM" and "IKE" and writes me daily notes that read "PIK SK I PP MZA TEE." "That says I love you so much," he translates. "See the heart?"... Read more →

Happy Souvenirs & Fruit-Flavored Memories

I came here to post something happy and exciting and now I'm crying. Dang it, eyeballs! Long story short, and let's just get the justified feelings of jelusbitchpants out of the way: We're going back to Jamaica next month. Back to Bluefields Bay Villas. We went there four years ago, had the most unbelievable time, I blogged about it, and afterwards a whole bunch of you guys also decided to go there (and were nice enough to mention that you found them through my blog). I've stayed in touch with the owners off and on, and they've always been super-nice and open to the idea of us returning, but I always felt weird about specifically asking, like I was being grabby and inviting myself, until finally they called me and were like, "YO. STOP BEING A DORK. HOW'S THIS JUNE?" EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAHHHHHEEEEEEEEEEOMGGGGG. So that happened, but that's not why I'm crying. After we settled on dates and I booked our flight (full disclosure: Bluefields is covering the all-inclusive accommodations, we pay for our airfare, I receive no additional monetary compensation for posting, and everything I choose to post is my own and not being reviewed or influenced, yadda yadda), I asked... Read more →

Strepped Out

Noah's been sick since Saturday. Another round of strep, milder this time, but still. STILL. When trying to decide what topic to write about yesterday, and ranking the thrilling options on a scale of "That'll Do, Pig" to "gurl no1 currr," I typed "sick" into my blog's search field, just to see. Over 700 results, 10 solid pages of posts, 10 posts to a page, and every single one another repetive riff on someone in the household being sick. Colds, fevers, stomach bugs, viruses, flus and infections of all colors and stripes. Quite a few (DOZENS) of them are basically me writing about how I can't write anything REAL that day, because SICK. (And then I immediately follow up that excuse with 1,500 words about being sick. I am a very predictable monkey.) Further scientific exploration reveals 183 results for 'vomit.' 154 for 'puke.' 102 for 'barf.' 67 for 'hurl' and a suprisingly piddly 19 for 'yak.' You know, just in case one day I want to look back and read my life story, I've got a comprehensive record of every single time someone threw up. So that's covered, at least. Here, kids. I compiled and printed out some stories... Read more →