Like Blogger, Like Sons

Some of you may remember that power outages were a frequent occurrence and regular problem in our old house and neighborhood. We lost power almost every time it snowed, or rained really hard, or there was some wind, or somebody sneezed a little too loudly while standing a little too close to the power lines, etc. Sometimes it would be out for a few hours, most of the time it took at least a full day, and occasionally it went out for multiple days at a time. Make that multiple occasions, actually. You may remember all that, but it was made clear to me this morning that my children absolutely do not. Around 6:24 a.m., a couple of our smoke detectors started beeping. (OH GOD DO YOU ALSO REMEMBER THE BEEPING?) We realized the power had gone out, like huh. That's honestly never happened, and is still one of my Top Five Favorite Things about this house and our neighborhood: Underground power lines that don't get knocked out by falling tree branches every other goddamn day. Glory be. We peeked out a few windows to confirm that it wasn't just us -- the entire neighborhood was completely dark. We heard... Read more →


Things That Do Not Work, Part Three

(Things That Do Not Work is a sporadically running feature on things in my house/life/general existence that Do Not Work. Sporadically means "I haven't written one of these since March of 2019." Try using it in a sentence today! Anyway, here is Part One and Part Two.) This towel rack. It Does Not Work. This particular towel rack was left behind in the kids' bathroom by the previous owners, probably because they learned, as we have, that it Does Not Work. No one uses this towel rack. Except for me, when I hopefully and foolishly hang fresh, clean towels on it every laundry day LIKE A SUCKER. THE FLOOR IS OUR TOWEL RACK NOW, MOTHER. There is a photo somewhere, in the deepest recesses of my camera roll (aka last month), of two towels I discovered on the floor of their bathroom. One is absolutely covered in black mildew spots. The other has been peed on -- likely quite recently! -- by a dog. I will not post it here, because it is entirely too disgusting. (Apologies to all of my friends and family members who received said photo in an ALL CAPS text message from me. You are the... Read more →


ON SECOND THOUGHT

Anybody got any recommendations for nice-looking fake trees that I could maybe get on sale right now? Because look at this shit. Although, honestly, I just swept up the carnage and burned it all up in our fireplace. Jason came inside from dragging the tree-corpse to the curb and said our neighborhood smelled amazing! *** Hey, remember when I had a baby? Don't ever do that, because look at THIS shit. A smallish-large niche corner of the Internet lost its mind over that, while he was just like, "GREAT, another THING I have to DO now. It never ENDS, these days." *** (I just now watched the yard trim collection guy pick up, toss, and mulch our giant-ass tree. It took him barely a minute, but I bet he hates us now.) (Yes, it snowed! Don't worry, they didn't cancel school for that piddly lil' covering. They simply closed three hours early yesterday and had a two hour delay this morning for maximum schedule fuckery. YOU CAN STILL SEE GRASS, PEOPLE.) *** Look at this shit, for no particular reason (other than BFF doggo adorableness, of course): We originally decided that we wouldn't take in another foster dog until the... Read more →


Christmas Tree Farm Massacre

Sometime before Thanksgiving, Jason wondered if we should consider getting an artificial Christmas tree this year. I looked at him like he'd sprouted a second head, and that second head was suggesting that we go vegan, give the dogs away, and consider getting an artificial Christmas tree this year. We were both raised in Artificial Tree Households -- my mom told me I was allergic to real trees; his mom couldn't stand the needles and mess -- and our mutual dislike of the fake trees was something we discussed during our engagement. I would take some Claritin and we would be a Real Tree Household. Our first real grown-up rejection of our upbringing. Then my in-laws generously gifted us with their giant (and super expensive) fake tree and most of their ornaments. And because I didn't want to offend them with my Controversial Tree Views (on top of not going to church! and registering as a Democrat!), we dutifully used it for our first couple Christmases, hauling it from one rental apartment to another. I have no memory of where we even stored the thing in a few of those places, but after we bought our condo in DC I... Read more →


Entertainingment

Once again, we threw a huge party and did not take a single photo of the actual party. Perhaps this is all a strange, yearly hoax where we only pretend to throw a huge party and like, know people and have friends. Or perhaps Friendsgiving only happens in our sick, twisted minds and we really spend the day drinking and conversing with ghosts! Here are the things I DID take photos of, in no particular order: Ezra created a scavenger hunt for the kids, complete with a big box of prizes. I had to ask about the "Stupid Hello Kitty" -- was there a smart Hello Kitty out there as well, like as a trick? -- and he explained that it was a Happy Meal "girl" toy that Ike got by mistake. "It's not stupid because it's a girl toy, though," Ezra clarified. "It's stupid because she's supposed to be a superhero but when you press on her head and it just kind of raises the arms a tiny bit and it's just..." He trailed off, visibly disgusted at the lack of product design that went into this particular Happy Meal offering. (The "Launch Pokeball" was the Happy Meal "boy"... Read more →


Adventures in Chaperoning

HI THERE! WHO'S READY TO CRUSH SOME SHIT TODAY? lol jk that mug is full of Theraflu, not coffee. I don't have the flu (we "believe" in the flu shot around here, because it is the flu shot, not Santa Claus), but some absolutely brutal cold -- or some amalgram of multiple colds from Jason's work, the kids' schools, that field trip to the Maryland Germ Factory Science Center I chaperoned last week -- that will not let me live or breathe or go 10 minutes without coughing up a lung. I didn't want to or even intend to chaperone the field trip, because I am really terrible at interacting with other people's children and never know how to handle my pack of charges. ("So you like, go to school? That sucks.") I shoot for being the Cool Chill Mom but instead end up being the Awkward and Ill-Prepared Mom who has terrible Time Management Skills. I forgot to ask about bathroom breaks until we were suddenly in a panicked sprint to find the nearest restroom two floors away; I couldn't find an empty table at lunchtime so we all ended up eating on the floor in a random corner;... Read more →


A Square Lamp in a Round Hole

Many, many years ago, we went to West Elm for pillow shams and also left with a lamp for our dining room. (A wee Ezra was helpful enough to document the shopping trip at the time.) All lighting was 10% off, and then there was an extra 40% store-wide sale going on, and so we got this $399 chandelier (in discontinued grey), comprised of hundreds of (INDIVIDUALLY! WRAPPED! IN TISSUE PAPER! AND TAPE!) seashell bits and bobs for...definitely less than that. This lamp was the only non-furniture thing in our old house that I insisted on bringing with us when we moved. This lamp was non-negotiable. This lamp was a Hill That I And Any Subsequent Real Estate Deal Would Die On, even against the most strenuous advice of our agent. (The same agent who made alarmingly critical noises about the MAIL SLOT on our front door, and so I rushed out to buy SPECIAL POLISH for the mail slot. AND THEN, when the special mail slot polish failed to deliver the desired pop of curb appeal, I replaced the entire mail slot because YES, THIS NEW MAIL SLOT WILL SURELY SELL THIS HOUSE!!1 !OMG!!1CRYTIME!) (This lamp was very important... Read more →


BATTLEBOTS

VACUUM ROBOT vs. PING PONG ROBOT. THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE. ("Holds over 100 ping-pong balls!" 75+ of which are now somewhere under your couch.) And then mere minutes after being reset and sent along on its merry vacuuming way, the vacuum robot celebrated its victory by dragging and then hurling a kitchen stool down a flight of steps. Because sure, why not. This household clearly needs more weird. Also a ping-pong ball retrieving robot. (Just kidding. That's what human children are for.) Read more →


Cakewalk

Not going to lie, one of my primary reasons for having so many children was to have more people to bake (highly amateurish) birthday cakes for. And after many years of fielding many varied requests, all three boys have more or less settled on their birthday cake of choice. Noah always asks for a Victoria sponge sandwich cake. Ike wants the same one-bowl chocolate cake recipe I've been baking him since preschool, which eventually landed on this specific variation with grapeseed oil. (I dump the wet ingredients into a large measuring cup so it's still technically a one-bowl recipe because fuck washing bowls.) Although every year he does change up the shape, frosting and decorating details, just to keep me on my toes. (I swear one of these years he's going to request an three-tiered octagon cake with dark chocolate frosting that is also blue, somehow, and yellow candles that turn into tiny rockets that spell HAPPY BIRTHDAY, IKE! in edible red smoke and also the whole cake doubles as a party pinata full of candy and money.) (And I'll be like, okay, I'll see what I can do, but are you sure I can't interest you in a giant... Read more →


Hobbies

So we've been going to the Maryland Renaissance Festival a lot lately. I guess our multiple season passes to multiple musical theater seasons weren't dorky enough, and the bins (ALSO MULTIPLE) of costumes (EVEN MORE MULTIPLE) required didn't compete with the space currently occupied by all of Jason's ping pong accessories or the industrial-grade meat slicer that he bought because he made bacon one time. There is apparently a not-very-large leap between attending a Renaissance Festival for the first time and thinking I do not get this, I do not get any of this at all and becoming a person who is like, SUPER INTO IT, maybe a little TOO INTO IT. And that leap appears to be somewhere around the purchase of 1) your second beer and 2) a flower crown. After that, you might as well go all in. (I keep getting a ton of hair compliments on IG/FB and I keep yelling that no, I do not deserve those compliments as the "hair" is a ridiculous clip-in extension that I got on Amazon for $9.99. My hair stops around my shoulders; everything past that is a lie.) (The clip-in color does admittedly match my actual hair color... Read more →