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February 2015
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April 2015

Bathroom of the Flies

This post is sponsored by Munchkin. Today I am writing about the most disgusting room in my house: My children's bathroom. Don't get me wrong, I try. I clean it more than any other bathroom in the house. We haven't been able to invest in a real update/makeover but I at least painted it, bought the coordinating towels/shower curtain/bathmat things, added extra storage, and hung cute-slash-funny-cuz-they're-true prints on the wall. (It's like a SAT question in action: Rank these three activities in order of Always, Sometimes and Ha Ha Yeah Fat Chance.) And yet every time I go in there it's disgusting all over again. Why is there toothpaste everywhere? What is splattered all over the mirror? How did all these Cheerios get stuck to this hand towel? Why are there two dozen band-aid wrappers piled in the sink? Is that lipstick or blood on the wall, oh my God, and WHY IS THE FLOOR SO STICKY? Sometimes I am tempted to just stop going in there. Just cede control of the bathroom to the children, close the door and never speak of it again. Maybe tie a white disinfecting wipe to the doorknob as a flag of surrender. That's... Read more →

Boss Cat

Some work-from-home days are more amusing than others. My home office is a goddamned disgrace right now, completely cluttered and messy and disorganized, and naturally my solution is to simply ignore the problem and work somewhere else, like at the kitchen counter. I'm sharing my workspace with a few stray Bioncles and breakfast crumbs, but overall it's a much more soothing environment. Of course, working in the kitchen means my brain is only a few feet from the refrigerator and it KNOWS it, so I didn't make it very long before the snack cravings took over. I decided to have a slice of BBQ chicken lunch meat, because lean protein and portion control and the five pounds my ass managed to gain in Vermont. Then I went to the bathroom. (Okay wow sorry I thought this story would be funny but my god it's taking forever and is full of boring build-up details like and then I went to the bathroom.) When I came back, Max was on the kitchen counter, chowing down on the lunch meat. He looked at me and went calmly back to eating. About a minute later he batted the empty bag onto the floor. And... Read more →

Killingme, VT

This was Them, last Thursday morning, approximately one minute into our drive up to Killington, Vermont. This was Me. Jason's brother has a condo at the ski resort, and it's been over 10 freaking years since we've gone there, much to my ski bum husband's displeasure. But making the drive while pregnant, or with a baby, or with someone still potty training (and we've had at least one of those things going on every winter for the past decade) has always killed any chance at visiting. This year we had no such excuse, other than my own abject terror. (This was Me approximately two minutes into the drive, marking the occasion of Noah's very first ARE WE THERE YET?) The boys watched DVDs the entire way up and trashed the minivan with spilled juice boxes, granola bar wrappers and upended containers of fries. Ike at least took a long nap, while the other two took turns covering the whining shift. Our GPS promised to get us there in 7.5 hours; we arrived well over 12 hours later thanks to five different people's out-of-sync demands of food, caffeine and bathrooms. (And of course just about every bathroom demand came about 30... Read more →

Fat Hot Ham: Liveblog Edition

A little background on some Inside Amalah Humor from the Olden Days: One time I tried to keep a dream journal/ideas notebook on my nightstand. One morning I woke up with pen ink all over the sheets and FAT HOT HAM scrawled on the paper. True story from the olden, lo-fi days. These days I've taken my inexplicable nonsense all high-tech and digital. Now I keep a running list of possible blog topics on the Notes app on my phone. You know, in case I have a Brilliant Idea that I will otherwise completely forget about 10 minutes later, and certainly won't remember when I'm actually sitting at my computer staring at a blank New Post screen. At that point, I'll only remember that I HAD an idea, some kind of idea, but beyond that, nothing. Something Maybe? Probably? Hmm. Not that the Notes I manage to get down are all that useful either. Those Brilliant Ideas usually occur to me late at night, or after some alcohol, or both, and turn out to not be all that Brilliant in the harsh light of day. ("That time some moths hatched in a bag of Trader Joe's slivered almonds and... Read more →

Snack Like You Mean It

This post is sponsored by NatureBox. The last time I ordered a delivery of snacks from NatureBox, I specifically picked out lunchbox-friendly snacks that my kids would like. From over 100 snack options! Which was like, ACK SO MANY OPTIONS! But it was a hit! I stole one bag of vegetable chips for myself and watched as the other four bags were quickly inhaled by my ever-ravenous pack of calorie monsters. This time? I was like, NOPE IT'S ALL FOR MAMA. We had an economy-size box of cheddar crackers, five varieties of cereal, and a dozen boxes of granola bars in my pantry (they were buy two get one free oh yeaaaahhh). I'd just made and froze a double-batch of mini banana muffins and we were fully stocked on bananas, apples and oranges. So with the kids clearly set on snacks for like...oh lord, the next 24 hours...I decided to see if I could find some snacks for me, and for my New Diet World Order (of Not Eating So Freaking Much and Backing Away From the Crap). Good snacks have been absolutely essential to my food plan: Since I'm eating much smaller meals, I need *something* to hold me... Read more →

How I Did It

So I know I've danced around the "I LOST WEIGHT!" topic a bit. I've mentioned it but haven't really gone into any specifics since I wrote about our grown-up behavior chart, which was...Jesus, last JULY. I was down about 10 pounds then; I've since dropped another 15. I'm now really and truly back to my "pre-pregnancy" weight -- and I'm talking the FIRST pregnancy, 10 years ago. It's a good weight, a comfortable weight, and smack dab in the middle of the healthy weight range for my height and frame size. (I am made of Bird Bones.) After I posted that photo on the Social Media Thingies this weekend, a few people asked me to share the How. It's sadly, nothing extraordinary, earth-shattering, nor guaranteed to get you a bikini-ready body in 30 days. I have no magic bullet or snake-oil supplement or One Weird Trick to share here. I lost 25 pounds because: 1) I ate less. 2) I exercised more. 3) And I kept doing these things even after I hit my weight loss goals, and moved gradually into a maintenance plan. A maintenance plan that STILL involves eating less and exercising more, compared to my old habits.... Read more →

My American Boy

A few weeks ago, I took Ezra to Target for some good old-fashioned blowing of all the allowance money. His choices basically tell you everything you need to know about the type of child he is: A sweet ass Bumblebee Transformer and a crib for his precious baby Bloon. The Transformer almost didn't happen, however, because Ezra was very torn between it and a set of "market stuff" that he wanted to get for Bubby. It was a $7 accessory set designed for one of Target's doll lines, in case your doll wanted to shop at her local farmer's market: A wide-brimmed hat, a basket, some fruits and vegetables, plus a couple tiny little dollars. After much debating, Ezra opted for Bumblebee and decided to save up for Bubby's Market Stuff for next time. He dutifully performed all his chores and daily tasks without complaint. He was a man on a mission. Market Stuff. Market Stuff! (In case you're curious, his chore responsibilities include: making his bed, putting his laundry away, setting and clearing the table, loading the dishwasher, doing his homework, plus help with general toy/clutter and keeping his room clean.) He also ate two or three apples every... Read more →

Praise Be to Thee, Oh Ye Life-Changing Boxes

This post is sponsored by Blue Apron, and SPOILER ALERT: There's a code for free meals at the bottom, if you prefer to skip my ramblings and get right to the good stuff. The best part about being asked to write about Blue Apron is that — as anyone who knows me in real life can attest to — ALL I DO SOME DAYS IS TALK ABOUT BLUE APRON. I have converted my sister, several close friends, a bunch of Facebook acquaintances, at least one coworker, and also this one girl I met at a party one time, who accepted my referral email invite probably out of fear for her life. “BLUE APRON,” I’ll say, wide-eyed, while grabbing your arm in a way that makes you a little uncomfy, “IS THE GREATEST THING ON EARTH.” I mean, don’t mind me, but here are just some photos of my three and a half year old eating Chef Mei Lin’s winning meal from the season finale of Top Chef: Crispy Chicken Thighs with Braised Lettuce, Kimchi and Maitake Mushrooms. And here is a photo of him LIKING IT. And here is a photo of my plate, which looks a little fancier but... Read more →

Snowstorm Dispatches

It's Snow Day four million and three. Conditions are deteriorating. *** As is my ability to spell "deteriorating" correctly on the first second third try. *** They have eaten all the waffles and are clamoring for more waffles. HOW CAN YOU EAT SO MANY WAFFLES? No one wants to go outside and play in the snow, because fuck snow. They're all tired of snow, and would rather climb on Mom's head while she types and cause her to reflexively protect her coffee cup every 2.3 seconds because BODIES and LIMBS and FLAILING MUPPET ARMS. *** My attempt at a Pinterest-y project of making ninja masks out of t-shirts managed to amuse them, but I can't stop thinking they look more like ISIS fighters than ninjas. This is...vaguely unnerving. *** Ezra lost another tooth yesterday. I posted an Instagram of him, with a caption reminding myself to not forget about the Tooth Fairy. Other people chimed in and we all bonded over occasionally forgetting about the Tooth Fairy, even though this time -- THIS TIME -- I totally wasn't going to forget about the Tooth Fairy. *** I forgot about the Tooth Fairy. However, after I remembered this morning, it seemed... Read more →

The Loss of Spock

Noah spotted the photo on my computer screen immediately. Of the dozen or so colorful Windows live tiles cheerfully flipping around with updates, he zeroed right in on that one in particular. “Spock!” he shouted. He spotted the headline a few seconds later, before I even had a chance to even finish my internal groan of “ohhhhh nooooo.” “He died? Spock died?” His voice dropped at least eight volume levels, and his always amped-up body froze. There was no way or reason to sugarcoat it, so I explained that yes, the actor who played Spock had died earlier that day. This month marks the four year anniversary of my dad’s death. It really doesn’t feel like that much time has passed, and yet when I do the math and realize that Noah was only five years old when he lost his Pop Pop, it feels like an eternity. He was a baby! Noah remembers, and will talk very objectively and matter-of-fact about it, which is a nice way of way of saying that yeah, My Quirky Kid Is Quirky and doesn’t always phrase things in the most sensitive manner. “Your dad died. It’s too bad you don’t have a dad... Read more →