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May 2014
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July 2014

Cuisine de Zah

If there was ONE THING we had — had Had HAD! — to pack for Jamaica (besides the obvious stuff like underwear, bathing suits, Bloon, Bubby, LEGO, blinky screens, etc.) was Ezra's chef outfit. Because we told him there was a chef here, therefore, Ezra had to come prepared for maximum helping potential. And no, MOM, the jacket and hat weren't enough. Ezra pointedly added the potholders, a spoon, spatula and a "pie serving thing, for pie." Can I note that there is not, in fact, any kind of official Hey Kids Let's Crash The Kitchen And Chef It Up activity at Bluefields? Because there is not. Ezra was not about to let that stop him from rolling up those Melissa-and-Doug-costumed sleeves, however, and getting to work. (Also, turns out that if your kid shows up fully dressed for an activity, most grown-ups will be like, "WELL, HE'S GOT THE HAT." and help make it happen.) The lovely and talented Chef Rose taught him how to make Jamaican pepper pot soup, starting with how to prepare callaloo. = The idea that we can't get callaloo in the U.S. kind of blew her mind (it's like turnip or collard greens, only...tenderer?... Read more →

Having a Great Time, Wish You (and Everybody Else in the World) Were Here

We're here. I am more than a little concerned that this place is far too good to be true, and that it is all a dream, perhaps some kind of hallucination after I had a psychotic break in the hallway outside customs in the Montego Bay airport, because our flight ran out of immigration forms at row 27, and all five us were in row 31, and thus had to fill out all five forms while sitting on the floor of a long narrow hallway, loose passports and children and backpacks spread all over the place, trying to fill in the correct information but we were rushing too much and kept making mistakes, like putting Ezra's passport number on Ike's custom form because the baby photos on their passports look too much alike. And then everybody had to go pee at different times and Jason kept missing signature fields and like, three extra flights arrived and lined up while we were still stuck in that hallway and ARGLE BLARGLE GAH GAH GAH WE ARE NEVER GETTING OUT OF HERE EEEEEEEEEEEEE. Of course, we did get out of there, eventually. We emerged exhausted and frustrated and annoyed at everything and remained... Read more →

T-Minus a Bunch of Hours or Something

We leave for Jamaica tomorrow morning. Which: NO COMPLAINTS. I SWEAR. I AM TOTALLY CHECKING MY VACATION PRIVILEGE. But our packing and final preparations are complicated slightly by the fact that Jason is currently in Ohio, and won't be back until very late tonight. So it's pretty much all on me. Which is all but guaranteed to end super badly. I'd make a joke about somebody not having any underwear but underwear is far too obvious of a thing to forget, plus I've checked everybody's underwear stash already and it's all good and there. Which means the thing I've forgotten is probably even worse, like pants, or all of my clothing. So not much time for dicking around here today — I've pre-written a nice stash of Advice Smackdowns, so if you were concerned about missing a day's worth of questionable advice, don't worry about it. I've got you and your terrible life choices covered. But I need to finish packing, care for my children, and talk Ezra down from the ledge he's climbed over what he should put in his backpack. I was thinking everybody could bring their best bedtime stuffed toy(s), some doodling notebooks/crayons and maybe a small... Read more →

School Year Scorecard, Three Kids Version

In honor of today, Ezra and Ike's first official day of summer vacation, and Noah's second-to-last day of second grade (an occasion we already marked by accidentally oversleeping until 15 minutes before it was time to catch the bus), let's review how we did this year, logistically speaking: (All results are estimates, except for the ones that are not.) Number of times we missed the bus: One Number of times we almost-but-not-quite missed the bus: Way more than that Boxes of cereal consumed by children: Epic Gallons of milk consumed by children: Mind-boggling Bananas consumed by children: There's probably an entire species of monkeys that went extinct from starvation thanks to us. Average number of pancakes consumed every morning: Eight, because I am mean and won't let them eat any more pancakes than that. Number of fights over who gets the dark blue plate: 180 Number of breakfast table stomp-offs, Ezra: 90 Number of breakfast table stomp-offs, Ike: 90 Number of children who do not give a crap about the dark blue plate: One Number of dark blue plates in stock, September: Four Number of dark blue plates in stock, June: One Number of dark blue plates in stock, once... Read more →

Ike's Third Year

Well, it happened. He's three now. I don't think he can quite believe it either. It is kind of a lot to handle. We never figured out what "pirate treasure" was, but in between the day in the backyard with family and friends, the bubble machine , water table , endless watermelon slices, barbecue chicken and corn on the cob and rolls (ROLLS!) and a ton of superhero and dinosaur-related gifts, he never asked about it. He did ask for his birthday A LOT, however, from the moment he woke up until this moment right here. Where's my birthday? I want my birthday. "My birthday" = a cupcake. Naturally. He skipped his nap. He spent all day outside, running, jumping, shooting water guns, chasing bubbles, hitting whiffle balls, and trying to climb his first tree. I'm just surprised he managed to stay awake and not faceplant right into his birthday. But no, he powered through pretty admirably. He liked his birthday a lot, he said. I did too. I liked this whole year a lot, actually. Still-and-Always Baby Ike, you're a wonderfully awesome, great big kid. Ike's third year from amalah on Vimeo. Music: When Can I See You Again,... Read more →