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February 2016
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April 2016

8 Hours of Cooking in 2 Minutes or Less

This post is sponsored by The Crock-Pot® Brand. I received my very first Crock-Pot® slow cooker at my bridal shower. We didn't register for anything and really didn't want a ton of stuff, but a slow cooker was one of the few items I requested my mother and future MIL suggest if anyone asked for a specific idea. (Being completely broke college students with loans and rent and two big do-it-ourselves moves scheduled within our first six months of married life, we admittedly hoped the lack of registry would signal that HEY CASH WOULD BE GREAT to our friends and family.) (Most people got the hint. Everybody else bought us the exact same set of casserole dishes.) Today, we own three different slow cookers: small, medium, and large. Clearly, we have truly arrived. When I was little, my mom would make these beef-and-vegetable stews in her slow cooker that even I, a horribly awful no-good picky eater, would devour. I think because the way the house would slowly start to smell all savory and delicious throughout the afternoon, and my stomach and taste buds would involuntarily start to crave whatever I was smelling. When I was working outside the home,... Read more →


I don't know what to say. Yesterday a friendly waiter asked Jason and I how our "day was goin' so far" and instead of answering "fine" like a normal human person, I think I just sort of stared at him with my mouth hanging open, like I didn't understand the question. Luckily my brain DID manage to send the abort signal before I said something like "yeah fine except my dog literally just died like two hours ago, so now I'm going to need all the nachos in this restaurant." (I really did consume a ridiculous amount of nachos, though.) Ceiba is gone. She died in my arms, on our couch. She spent the entire morning on our laps, being stroked and rubbed and babied. Max was next to her as the sedative took effect, Jason was was petting her the entire time. She didn't react at all to the second shot, but simply drifted away from us. It was the best death we could have possibly provided for her, but it was still a death, and I am gutted. Ceiba was the tiniest member of the household, but now that she's gone, the house doesn't just feel empty, it's... Read more →

Laughter Through Tears

Allow me to present the greatest photo in the history of #BabyIke #NOTTIRED: Apparently Ike and Ezra decided to play a late-night game of house, resulting in Baby Ike being carefully and compactly tucked into Ezra's doll crib. Where he then stayed until midnight, completely sound asleep, when I found him and moved him to his regular bed, like a real drag. Ezra was deeply displeased with me and the theft of his real-life baby in the morning. "You nearly gave me a heart attack!" he scolded, "I was so worried!" Ike denied anything out of the ordinary happened until I showed him the picture, at which point he was still like, "this proves nothing, I was just pretending to sleep." #NOTTIRED4LYFE Read more →

Countdown to Goodbye

Slightly morbid but necessary update: We've arranged for a vet to come to our home on Wednesday morning to help Ceiba pass while the boys are at school. They understand Wednesday is our Goodbye Day and that she won't be here when they get home. In the meantime, we're all working on a Memory Box, full of pictures and drawings and even a teeny tiny Ceiba made out of Lego. We'll include things like her collar and favorite toys when the time comes as well. I have opted to get her ashes back and plan to scatter them on our new work-in-progress garden. No one else in the house wants anything to do with any sort of remains, but I have a mild panic attack at the thought of her just leaving our house and it being like...welp, that's that! So I'm doing that part solely for myself. We've been pretty straightforward with the boys about everything -- no sugarcoating so far, but lots of assurances that being sad is totally normal and it's okay to cry or feel other things, like anger or fear. I'm really proud of how they're handling things and working through it each in their... Read more →

So Long & Thanks For All the Waffles

Thank you, Internet, for the huge loving wave of kind thoughts and condolences. I really had no idea so many people had so much genuine affection for my little dog, and it was an unexpected bright spot in an otherwise total shithole of a day. So Ceiba has cancer. It is all very bad news. The cancer diagnosis was...not a huge surprise to us. Jason basically called it as soon as we got her first negative UTI result. I needed to cycle through a few more of the treatable possibilities first, but over the past couple weeks -- thanks to the blood and drastic weight loss -- I came to the same conclusion. I was possibly holding out hope that it was bladder stones, but deep down I was fully expecting the worst. Making it official and shifting our worry into our reality, though, is rough. Really awful and rough. Her prognosis is not good. There is no realistic treatment option at this point. We won't put her through chemo and surgery would be incredibly invasive (as the tumor is inside her bladder) and dangerous for a dog her age. There's a drug treatment that MIGHT slow the tumor growth... Read more →

Snakes on a Yellow House

This morning I successfully shooed a tiny baby snake off my front porch with a snow shovel. This afternoon I successfully gazed upon a squirming heaving pile of tiny baby snakes without losing my shit. Really growing as a person, over here, guys. I predict full-scale capable adulthood by the age of 55. So I never told this story, as it seemed unwise to write about at the time, but a couple weeks before we listed the townhouse for sale, I was straightening up the basement (AKA OBSESSIVELY DECLUTTERING AND FAKE STAGING) and discovered a huge wet spot on one of the futons. My first thought was CEIBA YOU ASSHOLE, until I felt something dripping on my head. I looked up at the ceiling and the stucco-textured ceiling was wet, bulging, and actively dripping water. HOUSE YOU ASSHOLE. It was coming from the dishwasher, specifically (as discovered by the emergency plumber we immediately called in) from a plastic water reservoir that had been CHEWED THROUGH. BY MICE. Now, we had not seen any evidence of any mice since Jason's Great Ethical Catch & Release Crusade of 2010, which coincidentally ended around the same time I spotted a big-ass garter snake... Read more →

Dog Drama, More and Again

When I picked Ceiba up from the pound post-Grand Adventure*, one of the workers who'd cared for her told me there'd been some blood in her urine that morning. "Uh oh," I said, before blabbering on to her about our ongoing saga with accidents, the multiple urine and blood tests that all came back negative for multiple conditions, the re-crate-training that seemed to help until it didn't, and the ultimately unsatisfactory diagnosis of a old-age-related behavioral problem, likely linked to dementia. But obviously, bloody pee is some next level shit (SEE WHAT I DID THERE), and means that we've missed something. I brought her home and watched her carefully (frankly, beyond obsessively) and everything actually seemed okay for the next couple days. No blood that I could observe, so I wondered if maybe it'd been a fluke from the stress of the whole ordeal. Then Monday morning I came home from dropping Ike off and was immediately greeted by a red-tinged puddle right by the front door. We were back at the vet with another urine sample within a couple hours. Once again, no sign of an infection. Bloodwork ruled out all the most likely culprits. But there was definitely... Read more →

World Wine Domination

This post is sponsored by Blue Apron Wine. This is the sponsored post I was born to write. Wine. Wine wine wine-y wine. Oh look, more wine. In summary, wine. The end. Okay not really. But oh, what a happy delivery this was. Six 500ml bottles (about 2/3 the size of a regular bottle), three whites, three reds, each one selected to pair with our upcoming meals from Blue Apron Proper. Delivered right to our door like some kind of boozy Christmas miracle. Along with some dinner-time reading for wine nerds. (We are totally the nerds who read every word about the wine and vineyard, attempted to identify each of the listed flavors and notes, and saved the cards of our favorites so we can track them down -- or wines like them -- for much re-purchasing.) We're actually not big white wine drinkers, and I admit I was worried we'd get a box full of big oak-y syrup-y Chardonnays that we hate, but instead we received three pretty unique whites we'd never tried before, and ended up loving every single one. It helped that the suggested meal pairings were. Spot. On. We tend to just grab whatever bottle we... Read more →

That's So Ezra, Part Four Million and Three

Actual voicemail I received: "Hello, this Nurse [Redacted] from the Health Room at [Redacted] Elementary school. I'm calling about Ezra, who was brought here earlier after getting hit in the head by a door, and he's fine he's fine he's fine, he's back in class, but um...I just...well, I'm just a little confused by some of the stuff he said while he was here and am worried that maybe he isn't so fine after all, so can you please call me as soon as possible?" Actual conversation I had: Nurse: Okay, so an adult accidentally swung a door open directly into Ezra's head and knocked him over. He came here for an ice pack and since the injury involved his head it's policy for me to ask a few questions to make sure there's no disorientation or confusion. Me: Okay...this could go one of several different ways... Nurse: He answered everything correctly, his name, how old he is, what grade he's in...until I asked him to name the people in his family. Me: Mmm-hmm... Nurse: It all started out clear enough, Mom, Dad, Noah, then...Ike? Is that another brother? Me: Yep, that's all correct. Nurse: And then he started talking... Read more →