The Loop, Part Infinity

It's IEP meeting season, again, and supercharged. It's Noah's re-evaluation year AND time to start planning for his transition to high school (!!!!!WAT!!!!!) next September. His meeting was mostly spent debating whether he continues to qualify for special education services, so...it was a short meeting, because surprise! He's got Autism. Still! Imagine that. My mother-in-law will be so disappointed. Must've been the flu shot. Or our lack of interest in essential oils. So he won't be losing any supports or services this year -- if anything, he'll get more, since the middle school team likes to send kids off to high school with fully loaded IEPs, and then let us decide once he's made the transition if anything is overkill or unnecessary. I was also expecting Ike's meeting to be similarly short and to-the-point -- we'd just had parent/teacher conferences and gone over alllll his reading progress and goals last week -- so of course, I was thrown for yet another loop when the team expressed their universal worry that Ike is showing symptoms of anxiety and depression. Wait. What? Oh. "He's just not the same Ike this year," the school psychologist said. "I've known him since kindergarten. Something is... 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 →


The Kids Are Alright. Weird, But Alright.

Happy Halloween! Noah's been ready for today for...awhile now. Ah yes, very normal and not at all creepy. His friend is coming over for trick-or-treating and scary-movie watching later, dressed as our dear friend Pennywise. (The cardboard cutout has spent October looking ominously out the front window of Noah's room, much to the dismay of several Postmates and DoorDashers.) Ike's prepared as well. He asked me to Photoshop out the swing and turn the chair into a building. I did neither of those things because I do not know how. I don't (yet) have a photo of Ezra's costume, which he made himself and kept shrouded in secrecy. He asked for an Amazon box, aluminum foil and duct tape at one point. Also hair gel and sunglasses. Oh, and all the straps from our luggage. He's either going as some kind of DJ or plans to ship himself out of the country with a new identity. Stay tuned! I admit I was a little concerned about his homemade costume -- that other kids might not get what he's going for or make fun of him for not having a "real" costume -- and found myself halfway through a sentence trying... Read more →


Look What You (IKE) Made Me Do

So I still haven't really figured out how to keep this blog from becoming little more than a repository for Shit I Already Done Posted On Facebook & Instagram, but a certain recent development feels like it merits a mention: Every time I think this house can't get any zooier we go and add yet another damn mammal. This one is Ike's fault, because how could we possible argue with this face and logic? Dammit, he got us. I sent the video to Jake's rescue and within an hour or two they sent me this photo: Dem paws tho A couple months ago, his owner brought him to an animal hospital in Baltimore and asked them to euthanize him. He wasn't sick, or old, or a behavior problem -- she just didn't want him anymore and felt that putting him down would be the best way to be "done" with him. The vet refused. So she left without him. He'd been living there ever since. The hospital staff all loved him, but unfortunately the clock was ticking down on their ability to keep him much longer. They were desperately trying to find him a rescue before turning him over to... Read more →


And the Emmy Goes To

Right. So I came here, blamed my lack of posting on my keyboard, bragged about my fabulously stable mental health and newly-restored ability to type commas...and then promptly peaced out for the rest of the week. Sorry. I accidentally watched that Back-to-School Essentials PSA video and had to go back to bed and cry for two days straight. (If you don't know what I'm talking about and are tempted to click that link...go ahead! Ruin your damn day! What do I care! Just wash all your eye makeup off first, find a nice safe corner to curl up in, and grab a pillow to muffle your sobs. Also try not to watch it while your children are literally walking out the front door to their bus stop like I did.) ANYWAY. Hair flip, check mah nails, change the goddamn subject. Today Ike starts an after-school drama program, the result of YEARS of me hinting/suggesting/pleading with him to put all of that copious ham and cheese where it belongs: THE STAGE!! (In tonight's performance, the role of Yorick's Skull will be performed by a fistful of bubbles.) The show is Elf Jr. (the Musical). And Ike is ready to play an... Read more →


Never Give Up, Never Surrender

Ike, on the other hand, did qualify for summer school given his status as a Kid Who Can't Read Good. He's been making slow but steady progress and the last thing he needs is a good ol' fashioned lazy summer backslide. So he'll be spending half days in July at what we're all calling IKE'S SUPER-FUN SUMMER READING CAMP FOR READERS THAT IS NOT SCHOOL OH NO NOT SCHOOL AT ALL. He still gets very overwhelmed when faced with too many words on a page and defaults to memorization and a lot of guessing. Although he's a pretty good at both, since those strategies managed to get him through several years of school without anyone* noticing his disability. But with a reminder to take his time (and a deep breath), he can do it. He can read it. His writing actually resembles words now, rather than just a long string of random vowels sandwiched between the beginning/ending sounds. He made Jason a little book for Father's Day, and only had to translate one page. ("It's you and me, Dad," he explained, pointing to two stick figures who sort of resembled The Scream. "And we're going AHHHHHHH WE'RE TRAPPED IN A... Read more →


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 →