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November 2014
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January 2015

Facing My Fear Straight In Its Horrible Lava Face

So a few Christmases ago, Jason thought it would be "funny" to buy me a DVD copy of "Hill of Fire," the infamous Reading Rainbow episode that inadvertently triggered my lifelong phobia of volcanoes. He figured I — as a mostly reasonable, somewhat mature adult — would be able to watch it, laugh about it, maybe get a good blog post out of the experience, like the time I watched a terrible reenactment of Pompeii. Maybe it would even help!, he reasoned. I never managed to write that good blog post because I never made it through the entire show. He put it on and I kept having to leave the room. It was just like I remembered, and for some reason the realization that my childhood memories weren't NEARLY as warped as I assumed made the whole thing worse. It wasn't funny. It was HORRIBLE, and Jason learned a valuable lesson about maaaaaaybe taking people's most irrational fears a bit more seriously, and that no, I really wasn't making things up or exaggerating the depth of my volcanic terror: That show fucked my shit up proper, dude. Well, he learned that lesson for awhile, and then apparently forgot, because... Read more →

Things That Happened & Other Assorted Stuff

Oh yeah, look at me, blogging SO MUCH MORE, just like I promised. I am nothing if not hella consistent with being a huge goddamn flake. Anyway, here are some things that happened: 1) Jason indeed got snipped. He has offered to write a guest post about the experience, and I have accepted that offer, provided I am allowed to interrupt his entry with a lot of Parenthetical Editorial Comments. Please to expect follow-through on this idea at some point in late 2016. 2) While that procedure was literally in progress, I went and met my friend's brand-new baby boy. I held him, smelled his head, and even changed an up-the-back poop diaper like an old pro. Then I handed him back to his parents and drove home, possibly while singing DAMN IT FEELS GOOD TO BE A GANGSTA because nope, never again, not happening. 3) And oh. Right. Christmas. Childhood magic and joy and wonder and beef bourguignon. And holiday headlocks in matching candy cane jammies. 4) My recovery from the surgery continues. 4a) Incisions are all scabbed over and incredibly gnarly looking, so vanity is not at a high point right now, just yet. I've been taking pictures... Read more →

Mall Santa 2014: Ain't Hardly Even Trying

Due to my delicate condition, I outsourced the yearly trek out for the Mall Santa photo to my husband and mother-in-law last week. I shuffled around semi-usefully just long enough to get the boys in sweaters — as "sweaters" are about as close as we get to "dress clothes" around here, since collared shirts require ironing (fuck dat), and everything else they own proudly features a) a garishly colored, licensed cartoon character on it, b) some sort of orange-y red Mystery Stain, or c) both. So! Sweaters for everybody! Or...wait...unless... Crap, does everybody even own a sweater at this point? Turns out, they do! I was amazed. They all even seemed pleasantly coordinated, which...huh. A few minutes after they walked out the door, I realized that I'd just sent at least two children out wearing the same sweaters they wore in last year's Mall Santa picture, because that's the last time I gave a crap about sweaters. Note that I possibly bought them those sweaters while they waited in line with their father, ripping tags off and shoving them over their heads while all around us, families arrived with children in velvet dresses and sport coats and tiny babies in... Read more →

Memories of C-Sections Past

My surgery was originally scheduled for December 9th, a Tuesday. I was to arrive at a nearby surgical center mid-morning, all casual-like, basically the back entrance to where Us Vain Types would typically show up for consultations ("can you make me look like *this*?" while pulling back on skin), to buy super-fancy skin care products, or to get various toxins injected into various body parts. A freestanding medical mullet: Spa party in the front, surgical bloodbath in the back. But then, during my pre-surgery shower (with that horrible drying Hibiclens anti-microbial soap that my skin has STILL not forgiven me for using), I noticed my phone was blowin' all up on the sink counter. Call after call, followed quickly by a voicemail notification. A pipe had burst somewhere in the building overnight, and there was water leaking into a far corner of the OR. Surgery: cancelled. Womp-womp. Since I'm not a big believer in cosmic signs and symbols, nor am I always good at remembering that everything happens for a reason or other things that other people like to embroider on throw pillows, let me just say that TUESDAY WAS NOT A GOOD DAY and leave it at that. I... Read more →

Bedrest Sightseeing

The recovery process so far, in photos. THE SOCKS OF INDEPENDENCE: Seriously. I was so proud of myself when I got these socks on all by myself that I took a picture of them. Who's a big girl? I'm a big girl! Now can someone come help me put on some pants? Anyone? Hello? MY PRESHUSEZZ: A delightful assortment of medications for pain, nausea, and muscle spasms, plus an antibiotic and a blood thinner. (And Colace, which where the party's really at, yo.) (Guess which one isn't working. GO ON GUESS.) THE MAGICAL HEALING ELIXER OF MAGIC: Quite literally the greatest meal of my entire life, bar none, not exaggerating. (At least until my next meal. Which will probably be more matzoh ball soup.) MY MOST EXCELLENT COMPANY: The boys know I had "surgery." Despite many, many attempts to describe what, exactly, "surgery" is, why I had it (verrrrry delicately and diplomatically explained, ay yi yi), and why they shouldn't worry about me (but also why I would prefer if they didn't pile-drive my abdomen for a couple weeks or so, THANKS FOR YOUR COOPERATION), I think they are all still a little fuzzy on the concept. As long as... Read more →

All Tucked In & Ready For ZZZZZZ

Hello from the flip side, yo. I am typing this post-surgery, from my phone, while on ALL THE MEDS IN THE WORLD. Everything went well on Saturday, aside from the things that didn't, and I will spare you details because gross gross gross. (It involves the words "wear-at-home surgical drains" and "loss of suction" and oh dear, I believe I've said too much.) It's all good now though, and much less like a scene from Carrie. (AMY! SHUT UP!) (I was sent home with something called an "ON-Q" pain relief system, in addition to a bazillion pills. It's basically an IV of local anesthetic housed in a spiffy little fanny pack I wear around my waist. Tres chic!) It turned out that the umbilical hernia was far worse than expected. Very deep and much larger. The entire surgical team agreed that it was a very, very good thing to get corrected now, because that bitch was a total stealthy punk-ass troublemaker. (And it's the wound area that hurts the fucking most. Go figure.) And the ear lump was a classic ol' cyst after all, not a lipoma. It's all gone now, being biopsied (not concerned about it), and the scar... Read more →


So hey, here's some great timing. Right after pledging to turn over a new blogging leaf, I get to announce something that is all but guaranteed to alienate and/or annoy a very large chunk of whatever readers I have left. Internet, I've decided to get some work done. In the cosmetic surgery meaning of the phrase. It's also happening tomorrow. At the crack o' dawn. T-minus a not-significant number of hours. (To say I've procrastinated writing about this is a bit of an understatement, I guess. Can you blame me?) During my pregnancy with Ike, I developed an umbilical hernia. (You can Google that one.) Instead of going away, it's gotten increasingly tender and uncomfortable. Two different doctors recommended surgical correction before it gets any worse, as it can cause some nasty complications and become a whole medical emergency thing. (DON'T Google that one.) During my pregnancies with ALL OF THEM, my abdominal muscles separated pretty significantly, and my skin scretched out and nothing ever went back to how or where it was before. After kicking my ass into gear this year with diet and exercise, my muscles are strong but still several inches apart, and the extra skin is... Read more →

The Best Things In Life Are Free and/or Stolen From Hotels

I have determined — after a thoroughly comprehensive, scientific process —that the World's Best Face Soap is the round KenetMD-branded "Cleansing Bar" you get in Hyatt hotel rooms. I've always had a bit of thing for free hotel toiletries, but my love of this particular soap has officially crossed into deranged. I've been unable to find for sale anywhere, despite much detective work — Hyatt sells their shampoos and lotions but not the soaps, the manufacturer sells the "Massage Bar" but not the "Cleansing Bar" and they are NOT THE SAME THING, BELIEVE ME I KNOW MY HOTEL SOAPS — and maybe even hassling/creeping out a copywriting client in the hospitality procurement industry, like, hey this is weird but do you ever get free soap samples can you get me some soap hey I need some soap c'mon man soap soap soap. NO, AMY. PLEASE STOP TALKING ABOUT SOAP. *picks nervously at perfectly moisturized-and-blemish-free face while rocking back and forth because I'm down to my last nubbin of soap* So the greatest thing about my trip to Austin last week — more than the magical journey of self-discovery via list-making, the practical work-y knowledge gleaned — was that my company... Read more →

Hashtag Rebel Dinosaur

I was away AGAIN last week, in Austin, an amazing, awesome city I did not actually get to see much of beyond the confines of my hotel. I had a nice view from my room, but other than that, it was a long week of cycling between a hotel conference room, the Starbucks in the lobby, back to the conference room, the hotel restaurant, conference room, my room, lobby bar, conference room, conference room, lobby bar, lobby bar, lobby bar. I was there for this workshop, and also to confront my own dorkdom because I totally freaking loved it, although there was a moment at 9:30 a.m. on Day One when I texted my coworker (who was one whole chair away) that I was "not going to survive this." Not so much because of the content of the sessions, but more because I'd stupidly done the math and realized I'd been awake for 22 hours straight the day before and was running on less than four hours sleep, and THAT'S WHEN they told us to pull out a piece of paper and do some personal and professional goal setting via a writing exercise. AMY'S BRAIN: No. No I will not.... Read more →

Dinner in Real Life, Blue Apron Style

Back in July, we tried Blue Apron out for a week. Well, three nights, originally. We prepped, cooked and snapped pictures of three pretty fabulous meals, and I wrote my sponsored post. Turns out that wasn't quite the end of things between us and Blue Apron, though. We signed up about a month later, after constantly talking about That One Week and how great it was — not having to menu plan or shop for the weeknights, the different take on old standby dishes, the recipes we NEVER would have tried otherwise, the new ingredients the kids gobbled right up like it was no big thang. We've been cooking with Blue Apron every week since, and you guys. I am so in love with this service I would write this post for free. (I am not. But hey. Gotta pay for my Ricotta & Lacinato Kale Calzones and Chicken Hiyashi Chuka fix SOMEHOW, right?) (Our full recipe stack of happy meals past. Pretty sure I'd save this in a fire.) Every Saturday, our beautiful boxes of ingredients arrive — we do a meal plan for four people, which is PLENTY for our family, with lunch leftovers for someone the next... Read more →