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August 2015
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October 2015


It's all Lego. Bionicles. Minecraft. There's a still-unwavering belief in magic, and a brain that spins in a million different directions with a million different thoughts, ideas, theories. What if, and why, and most importantly, why not? He joined the school band and learned to ski and decided moving wasn't so scary after all. He's considering vegetarianism, for ethical reasons, and computer programming, for adding-Herobrine-to-Minecraft reasons. He'll still kiss and hug me goodbye in front of the kids at the bus stop, doesn't want a girlfriend because EW but has friends that are girls, but only if they like Ninja Turtles. To be honest, he prefers his brothers to his peers because they understand him, they accept him. They break his Legos and make a mess of his room, but he can talk to them about Bionicles for hours. They won't ever tell him to stop in the middle of a story, because that's impossible for him, almost physically painful. He talks about his feelings using the characters from Inside Out. He describes what things are like for him, he is articulate and self-aware and self-advocating. He retreats to his hammock swing in the basement when he needs to, when... Read more →

Some Random, Truly Thrilling* Yellow House Life** Updates

1) Jason bought a foosball table off Craigslist over the weekend. We put it over by the basement bar area, because we are completely in denial about what Life With Teenagers is going to be like. Does IkeaHackers have ideas for installing alarm-capable padlocks on an EXPEDIT shelf? (Probably!) I feel like I should describe the ordeal involved in buying such a big, heavy and awkward piece of equipment off of Craigslist and bringing it home, but I'm sure y'all have been there, done that, watched the same YouTube demos on how to remove all the second row seats from a Toyota Sienna because you got the damn thing IN but couldn't get it OUT thanks to the third row seatbelt deciding to jam. So let's just move on, because the kids can't get enough foosball and it's great. The triumphant look of Dadding Well Done. (Why yes, that is a wine bottle holder shaped like an upside-down deep-throating unicorn on top of the bar bookshelf. Because we know how to keep things classy. Also, even if you have a moral opposition to clicking on bloggers' affiliate links, I implore you to click on that one just to see the... Read more →

Get Your Prep On

This post is sponsored by Blue Apron. (Tomato, watermelon & farro salad with seared halloumi) In the comments on my last post for Blue Apron, a few of you cried foul on the claim that all the recipes can all be made in under 45 minutes, and wanted to know if I was some kind of knife skills wizard, or if I was just straight up lying like a dirty lying liar, a fraud, a cog in the Blue Apron Misinformation Machine. To which I say, calm your tin foiled butts, I don't cook with a stopwatch running, maybe sometimes it takes 50 minutes, also it's really all about practice and prepping tools. My knife skills are DEFINITELY nothing spectacular -- I've always wanted to take a class, because right now if I were to go on Next Food Network Star I'd totally be that contestant that I shout at every season, like you got cast on Next Food Network Star! Take a damn knife skills class before you get on the plane, idiot! (Does no one else do that? No? Okay.) I will absolutely admit that the very first meal I cooked with Blue Apron -- while undeniably delicious... Read more →

Bluen & Bube Fashion Show

Every week, when recycling day rolls around, I'm always CONVINCED that this! This will be the last time we'll have a ton of empty boxes to drag out to the curb. We gave a majority the "nice" boxes away to friends, and now the ones we're unpacking now are the smaller, crappier boxes that ended up shoved in random places, or shit we moved directly from the storage area in our old house to the storage area of our new house, most of the time having no clue what was even inside them. But our new storage area is uncomfortably full already, and the attic isn't easily accessible/finished enough to be useful, so I've started slogging through everything with a brutal eye and a giant garbage bag. One of the things I came across, however, was a trunk full of my favorite childhood toys. Some Disney figurines, a bajillion Strawberry Shortcakes (THAT STILL HAVE THAT FAKE BERRY SMELL OMG HOW), a bunch of Cabbage Patch dolls, plus one slightly hideous plastic/rubber baby doll with matted hair. I got her for Christmas and immediately named her Baby Feels So Real, because I couldn't read yet and truly thought that was the... Read more →

New IEP Hotness

This morning was Noah's first IEP meeting at the new school, with the new team. It was, as always, thrilling and full of drama and I lost my cool and flipped the conference room table over at least twice. Wait, no. Opposite of that. It was actually pretty boring, since it was mostly about moving everything from our old county's IEP form to our new country's IEP form, which we received a couple weeks ago covered in Post-It notes explaining evvvvvvvvery single checkbox and code and category because everything from the old IEP transfers, but it's all just called something slightly different. If I came away with any great insight on moving a special needs child from one Maryland district to another that I can pass along to you, I guess I'd say that Montgomery County IEP forms allow a little more flexibility on a kid's pull-out hours and certain accommodations can be marked as "ONLY IF NEEDED." Howard County IEP forms are like, NO WAY, YOU GONNA DOCUMENT THAT SHIT DOWN TO THE MINUTE. (Also, you have to give them explicit permission to use wearable sensory tools like weighted vests, blankets, etc. on your child because they have technically... Read more →

The Bed in a Box That’s Now In My Office

This post is sponsored by Leesa. Stay tuned for big ol' discount at the end! Somewhere (admittedly low) on our New House Features priority list, was space for a proper, grown-up guest bedroom. Our friends and family have endured years of sleeper sofas and futons, less-than-ideal bathroom set-ups and minimal privacy. I really hoped we might end up with a house that at least allowed us to offer them a room with an actual door. That's a tall order for a family of five, especially since any bonus bedroom or den would need to serve as my office. So it looked like it was gonna be futons in the basement playroom for houseguests again. But after setting up my modest bit of office furniture, I realized we could absolutely fit a full-sized bed in the room as well. A room with a a door, a generous walk-in closet and was steps away from a full-sized bathroom. A bathroom that was NOT my children's primary bathroom, and thus not completely disgusting. It would be snug, but worth it. (My last office was technically a small "bonus room" off our master bedroom, and so small that most of the homeowners with our... Read more →

For Stacy, In the Event That It Is Too Late

When the phone rings late at night, there are really only two options. Disaster or butt dial. When I answered my phone late last night, I was hoping for the latter, only to be greeted by quiet sobs instead of the muffled sounds of his back pocket. The worst part is when he said who it was, her first name, my mind went momentarily blank with confusion. Wait, Stacy? Which Stacy? I know more than one Stacy. And none of those Stacys made any sense in this context, in this particular sentence: Stacy killed herself. And then the wires connected and the lightbulb switched on. Oh my God. STACY. NO. I've spent all day trying to write about, well, anything else. Sponsored post draft was due, then some dry-as-hell copywriting, tweaking of some landing page headlines and scouring through campaign analytics to find room for improvement. Blah, blah, blah. Let the people who were closer to her tell their stories -- not people like me, who foolishly allowed her to vanish from the Internet without following. People like me, who have such a cluttered mess of a social media life that I'd be all but guaranteed to miss any posted... Read more →

Three Important But Hopefully Unrelated Things

1) We signed the contract and placed a deposit on a kitchen remodel yesterday! Sadness Kitchen of Bland Blahness will soon be no more, although it only JUST occurred to us that oh, this means we have to pack up everything in the kitchen AGAIN and live out of boxes and on crappy takeout food AGAIN. Pfft. NOTE: We are not doing any of it ourselves, nope nope nope sirree, other than a modest project of relocating some of the cabinets to the garage. This hopefully means the remodel go mostly smoothly, with only about a 75% chance of disaster, like us causing the back wall of the garage* to collapse in on the laundry room. The thing I am MOST looking forward to, actually, is replacing the floor tile, which extends from the kitchen all the way to the front door, and is similarly blah but pretty cracked up in places, and also possessed by a vengeful rage spirit from an early 2000s remake of a J-horror movie starring Buffy the Vampire Slayer. FACT. On our very first night in the new house (during which we MAY or MAY NOT have been residing there 100% legally), I woke up... Read more →

Decorating, Trial & Error (& Error) Style

We're at the "decorating" part of the moving in process. All the essentials are out of boxes and in their (tentative, until I change my mind and redo everything in a fit of work procrastination) proper places, and our running list of things to buy is now mostly decorative as well. (Previously it was: "MOAR TRASH CANS!!" and "ALL THE PAPER TOWELS!!") We need a coffee table or two, and some non-see-through curtains on a couple windows, but everything else I've written down is like: "A Vase Or Basket Or Some Shit For Stairwell Landings," or "Something Big For Big Wall And Other Big Wall." Clearly, I have a true and singular design vision. "Something Big." "And Preferably On Sale." I found a cool wooden starburst mirror on sale in downtown Ellicott City, which was on sale probably because I'm the only person STILL referring to starburst mirrors as "cool," but it was 1) Big, 2) On Sale, and 3) Not Too Heavy So I Was Pretty Sure Could Carry It To My Car. It really wasn't THAT heavy, but oh God, it was definitely big. And awkward. I took up most of the sidewalk and could barely see over... Read more →

Everything Is Awesome

(I apologize for the earworm post title. But it popped into my head and now I'm stuck with it and now you all must suffer with me.) Ike started preschool yesterday. Once upon a time I suppose that would have been a Whole Entire Long-Winded Blog Post in and of itself, but...nah. At least three different people asked me if *I* was okay yesterday, probably expecting a lower lip tremble or a soft, off-key rendition of Sunrise, Sunset, but...nah. I drove him to school at 9:30. We walked in and he gave me a couple big-eyed wary looks about me leaving him, but then there was some Play Doh so bye Mom, I'm good, I got this. The school is barely five minutes from our house, so I came home, got some work done, then went and picked him up at noon. (He'll stay for lunch three times a week starting next month, but it's not a full-day program.) We came home and Ike promptly dozed off face first into his lunch because I guess that was some crazy intense Play Doh session. It's only been two days, but he seems to really enjoy it and looks forward to going... Read more →