Celebrate Weird Times C'Mon

Some photos from this morning, in honor of the! Last! Day! Of! SCHOOL!! Ezra's class was instructed to wear something "tropical," hence the choice of shorts. I tried to casually suggest a different shirt and was promptly shut down, because he knows the plaid and pattern mix is "a lot of look" and THAT'S WHY HE LIKES IT. Last night the kids were all Christmas Eve-levels of excited, with all of them rushing to put themselves to bed early so today would come faster. This resulted in most of them being wide awake and massively distressed at 2 a.m., and Ike somehow slicing his foot open and having zero memory of how he managed it. I actually thought we might end up in the ER over it, but luckily it turns out the area right between your toes is just kind of dramatically bleed-y, like toddler mouths and foreheads. He's fine! And I bet his feet have never been cleaner. SPEAKING OF FEET. AND ADOPTABLE DOGS. (And yes, I posted that last photo on IG/FB already and nobody could figure out Ike's sleeping/leg arrangement. I can offer you no additional help or insights; the kid just falls dead asleep on... Read more →


Pride & Ham

It's the last week of school here; or more accurately, "school," because it's all free time and movies and water balloons from here until Friday. Soon I'll be the mother of third, fifth and eighth grade children. One of whom is going to be officially taller than me in about five minutes. (Maybe even sooner if my hair keeps deflating in the humidity like that.) Nothing like a little Baltimore sidewalk pizza, amirite? This is the finish line of the annual Baltimore Pride High Heel Race, which you will be SHOCKED to hear I did not enter. Just watching it was the most terrifying 30-plus seconds of my life, as all the various ankle/knee/elbow/face/butt injuries I've accrued over the years flashed before my eyes. (I wore sensible flats aka combat boots.) (Someone pls buy me this shirt.) Ike's been wearing those necklaces and various lanyards everywhere since Saturday; please note that I at least removed the condoms from several of them before he went to school this morning. Jason and Ezra had to leave the festivities a little early to attend sushi-making class. Ezra only ended up eating about three pieces of actual sushi, because he ate every single leftover... Read more →


Eight. And One.

Saturday was Ike's eighth birthday. Sunday marked one year since my suicide attempt. So this weekend was...a lot. And I have a lot of thoughts and reflections and bits and drips of a post about the day -- and that day -- but I'm not really feeling ready to untangle that particular mental snarl. At least not quite yet. Saturday was my baby's eighth birthday. He wanted a super-chocolaty chocolate layer cake with vanilla icing and blue letters. And he wanted me to make it for him. I made the layers a bit too thick so the bottom one got a little crushed and lopsided under the weight, the icing turned out more glaze-like than I was expecting and kept melting off in the heat, and given that I already have the handwriting of a serial killer, piping letters on cakes never goes very well for me. But I was there. I was there and I made him a cake. Read more →


Makey Makeovers

OH RIGHT ROOM PHOTOS. PREPARE TO LOOK THE HELL OUT OF SOME FURNITURE AND SHIT. Ezra and Ike's room, before: (Minus a generous floor-coating of toys and clothes and there was an IKEA dresser on the verge of complete structural collapse just behind the door. It has since been burned in the fire pit.) Ezra's OWN ROOM, which is HIS and NOBODY ELSE'S, now: Those curtains were in the family room when we moved in. After I replaced them Ezra claimed them for his own room because they were "fancy." They are also gold damask and the kid literally chose a paint color called "Damask Gold," so I can probably stop writing about him now, because that tells you everything you need to know about who Ezra is as a person. I upgraded to a standing desk in my office (that I am currently...sitting at, because I am tired) and gave Ezra my old one. Ezra chose EVERYTHING else -- from the furniture to the bedding, which he (correctly) predicted would coordinate perfectly with the wall color. "This is all very me," he declared. He also decided he was ready to be a plant father to some bamboo. We're still... Read more →


An Ike Interlude

Today is our last day of spring break, and in lieu of typing words (which are just terribly passe now, as I learned this past week after watching several dozen of my 11-year-old niece's Tik Tok...videos? posts? tikkity toks?), here are a selection of photos, mostly of Ike, because he is now mostly the only child who still welcomes his parents' not-hips-to-the-Tik-Toks-of-today cameras: There weren't any beginner trails still open at Killington, so Jason agreed to take Ike down the mountain using a "special ski harness." I believe this photo captures the exact moment Ike realized the "special ski harness" was actually a "leash." The Storch men and Storch cousins, post-leash run. It's funny because the hat contains a dirty joke, and also because Ike kept walking around saying LOOK AT MY HAT I'M JASON. (I do not believe Jason has ever dabbed in his life, so the impression could use some work.) On the drive home from Vermont, we stopped at the Saratoga National Park to check out the battlefield, which was entirely too much "field" and not enough "battle" for their taste. (We also drove by General Philip Schuyler's house so everybody could sing-yell "THE SCHUYLER SISTERS" at... Read more →


Vignettes In Search of Coherence

Apologies in advance for this random assortment of stories with no real point or connection; I am simply too beyond obsessed with the Entitled Rich People With Kids Who Don't SAT Good College Cheating Scandal story that I cannot go a 10 full minutes without refreshing my news feed. It's like the universe knew I was fresh out of Fyre Festival and Theranos documentaries/podcasts/memes and gave me a little gift of righteous schadenfreude, with an extra topping of fraud and Influencers and A GODDAMN DESPERATE HOUSEWIFE. *** For the first time (....in forever) (gaaaahhhhh nooo what have I done) (I'm sorry, I could delete that and spare you but I refuse to suffer alone), I was NOT awoken by Noah's godforsaken foghorn of an alarm clock. Instead, I woke up to the blindingly bright flashlight on Jason's phone shining directly in my eyes at 6 a.m. while he frantically whispered: Blood. There's so much blood. He was running around pointing the light at the floor, at tiny drops of red near his side of the bed, out into the hallway and then to an alarmingly large puddle on the stairs. "I don't know whose blood this is!" he said. "But... Read more →


Solo: A Storch Wars Story

Jason's been on a business trip all week so I've been trying my best to hold things together on my own. Nobody tell him I've been soaking the dinner pots since Monday. Poppy jumped over the fence to chase a squirrel, Beau escaped out an open garage door, and Jake found and consumed an entire package of English muffins. Packaging included, save for a single twist tie. Oh, and Rey got her head stuck in a package of seaweed snack while Finn followed after her trying to clean her butt. . It's like, when getting all these dogs, I looked back on the semi-impossible toddler days of yore and was like, yes. Let's absolutely do that all over again. On the other hand, the human children are no longer toddlers or semi-impossible. Noah was so excited to see sandwiches for dinner he didn't even care that they were technically full of vegetables. Then last night Ike ate two full servings of chicken and was the first one to finish, so he ordered me to text J and report on this truly STUNNING development. He gave me a huge hug this morning and said, "Remember how great I was at dinner... Read more →


Of Dogs and Dance Parties

Remember the orthopedic bed Jake needed? The bed y'all so nicely bought for him? He completely destroyed it, the ungrateful jerkwad. He also destroyed two doorframes and ripped the carpet off the basement stairs. (Someone please adopt this wonderful charming amazing creature I beg of you.) His heartworm treatment dictates that he MUST stay calm and not exert himself in any way (because otherwise the dead worms will break into pieces and you know what you can just Google why if you want), so we have to keep him isolated from all the other wild and crazy animals a lot of the time since they whip each other into a crazy pack frenzy.* But Jake haaaaaates being crated, so for a little while we let him just lounge around in the basement, and everything was fine. But at some point he lost interest in the plethora of toys and chews and Kongs we leave for him, and started going full destructor mode on stuff like, books! Pillows! Paper! Anything he can pull out of the trash can! THE VERY WALLS AND FLOORS AROUND HIM. So fine, back into the crate he went, along with designated toys and blankets he's welcome... Read more →


Step Five

AND NOW WE DRINK. I must say, Ike's final IEP was worth the wait. The thrills! The chills! The supports and services! Almost 50 pages of red-hot reading/writing/spelling goals! We've got small group and one-to-one pull-outs! We've got handwriting and speech therapy hours! We've got testing accommodations and human scribes (?) and preferential seating! We even got summer school and the promise of placement in a hand-picked immersion classroom next year with full-time special education support. And another meeting in 60 days just to make sure we don't need to add another 10 pages or so. And another meeting 90 days after that because...I forget why, exactly. Maybe they just think I'm fun. (I did leave the house and then realize I was wearing a t-shirt with a marijuana joke on it, so that's actually kind of possible.) Basically, if the district offers it, Ike's getting it, effective immediately. I'm so relieved I could go lie down for seven hours, and not even from the bourbon. A Portrait of the Reader as a Young Man Read more →


A Brief Description of the IEP Meeting Process

Step One: You tell your kid's school that Hey, Something Ain't Right. Step Two: 30 days later, you attend an initial meeting to officially voice your concerns that Hey, Something Ain't Right.* A variety of tests and assessments by a variety of people are planned to confirm that Something Ain't Right. *Bonus points if you come prepared to this meeting with a pricey independent assessment that already confirms the Something, and by "bonus points" I mean hahahahahaha absolutely nothing you just played yourself, son. Step Three: 90 days after that, you attend ANOTHER meeting to go over the results of the tests and assessments, and SURPRISE: Something Ain't Right. Step Four: You wait ANOTHER 30 days for ANOTHER meeting, at which point a plan actually gets put in place to address the Something, and services and accommodations can officially begin for the Something. Step Five: Drink! So we had an IEP meeting yesterday for Ike, a meeting of the Step Three variety. The earliest he'll get help from the school is now mid-to-late January. I'm more frustrated than usual with this particular rodeo round because I've been sounding the Step One alarm since PRESCHOOL. Then all through Kindergarten. By first... Read more →