Fifteen

Jason randomly came across this video the other night, and after a good laugh at his six-year-old self, Noah asked us what in the world we were thinking, letting a six-year-old watch Wrath of Khan. It's so not age appropriate, Mom and Dad! Jesus Christ. v I asked him if he'd let me record an updated Wrath of Khan According to a 15 Year Old (Who Has the Entire Movie Memorized and Regularly Regales His Family With Dramatic Reenactments) version, but his only response was a withering look of Pure Teen Pity that I would even suggest something so unbelievably lame. Nobody blogs anymore, he reminds me on a fairly regular basis. I know, I know, I tell him. I don't even really blog anymore. You had a good run, he says. He doesn't mind if I blog about him -- he puts this blog in the same category as my minivan, or my affinity for Jeopardy! reruns and Taylor Swift. Just another Uncool Mom Thing That Moms Do. Moms! You gotta love 'em! So he's not the reason I haven't been writing. Nor is there any sort of family drama or offline intrigue or work kerfluffles or anything like... Read more →


tO qUIT OR nOT tO qUIT, pART tWO

A belated thank-you for all the feedback from...wow, was it only last week? Just a mere 47 impeachment news cycles ago? Anyway, thanks for all the feedback/advice/commiseration on whether we should let Noah quit the saxophone. (I didn't realize CAPS LOCK was on when I typed the original title of that post, then I decided to just keep that way for funz, and now here we are a week later, stuck with it again because STYLISTIC CONSISTENCY.) Your comments were all (mostly) very helpful, and I hope that it speaks to my growth as a Blog Person that FOR ONCE, I was able to read a ton of conflicting advice from the Internet without my head exploding like an anxiety balloon and/or me getting all snippy at people because THAT ADVICE IS NOT RELEVANT TO OUR SITUATION BECAUSE OF REASONS I COMPLETELY FORGOT TO INCLUDE IN MY POST. THIS COMMENT SECTION IS RESERVED FOR OMNISCIENT BEINGS ONLY. One of the background details I didn't include (because the post was already rambly AF enough), was that Jason played the saxophone as a kid. As did his big brother before him. His parents bought a really, really nice Yamaha sax for his... Read more →


tO qUIT OR nOT tO qUIT

A question, for you, O Internet: How do you decide if, and when, it's okay to let your kid quit? My children have quit lots of things. Every sport they've ever attempted, for example. I still have a garbage bag full of karate belts in the basement somewhere, probably buried under Ezra's cricket equipment. (That passion flamed out when he realized he actually wasn't any...good? At cricket? And that was fine, because I was likewise not any good at being Team Parent. I still have the t-shirt, though!) They're all good strong swimmers but begged to quit lessons once they hit the higher levels that involved the diving board and the unheated pool at the Y. And we let them quit because we got super sick of listening to them collectively bitch about it every goddamn Saturday morning. Ezra dabbled in guitar and attempted violin (arrgghhh my earssss) before finally settling on the flute -- which he loves! And actually IS very good at! Like kinda phenom good at! Which is great! Except it means the cheap little student flute we bought for $75 off Craigslist is no longer working for him and I just learned what an "acceptable" flute... 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 →


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 →


14

Noah Laughing from amalah on Vimeo. The sweet little baby who once laughed maniacally at a baby doll falling to its doom is now 14 years old. Here's his Official Birthday Portrait: Adorable!!!!! His penchant for horror movie villains aside, I couldn't be prouder of this smart, kind, gentle-hearted kid. Who loves animals and art and coming home to see freshly-baked cookies in the cookie jar. (We're both obsessed with the Reddit Murder Cookies, which are, in fact, totally killer and I've baked at least a batch a week since discovering them.) He's as tall as I am but still could use a hug after a long day and who doesn't yet completely find us to be the absolute worst. In fact, he seems to actually like us an awful lot, except when we're making him practice his saxophone. He's auditioning for Honors, Gifted & Talented AND All-State bands this year. He's not happy about it, but understands that -- sighhhh -- such is the burden of musical talent. He'd rather spend hours drafting his own ship design blueprints and building 3D versions on his computer (and then purposely sinking them, because TITANIC but also physics and reverse engineering). He's... Read more →


The Youths of Today

Noah saw It Chapter Two on Sunday with his dad and his best friend.* I chickened out and stayed home to surf Netflix in search of Other Soothing Shows with People Being Nice to Each Other Over Low-Stakes Things. (Now that Netflix has chosen to torture me on a deeply personal level by limiting my GBBO habit to one measly new episode a WEEK, like WHAT IS THIS, the dark ages? 2007?) Anyway, they had a blast. Much junk food and jump scares were enjoyed by all. Noah's review is that it's very good, pretty true to the book, kinda long but that's fine because he WAITED a long time for it, and not as scary as the first one. He really, really likes Bill Hader now, so I've spent the week compiling a best of Stefon playlist to watch with him this weekend. (No, I will def not let him watch Barry but you def should, I command it.) Here's something I was not expecting: Parenting a teenager is actually a lot of fun. And to think I was so scared of them, especially the ones in packs. But instead, it's awesome. You get to finally like a lot... Read more →


It's Happening

I currently have about a half-dozen questions of the Baby Sleep, How To Fix It, Oh God I'm So Tired variety in the Advice Smackdown queue.* And yet there is nobody around to tell me how I'm supposed to sleep with this bloody thing still moving around my house. They've more or less tired of the Jump Scare Game (though I've yet to let my guard down any time I open a door or turn a corner, which is a LOT of work in this ridiculously door- and twisty-corner-laden house), but I'm forbidden from getting rid of the clown until after Halloween, because they apparently have Plans. (Plans to get us dis-invited from every nice family neighborhood get-together, I'm assuming.) I finally shoved it (sorry, capital "It," can't disrespect a proper noun) out in our garage, facing a shelf in a well-lit area so my brain clearly registers it as a large piece of harmless cardboard vs. the hulking shape of death propped ominously in a far dark corner. (Which: Tried that. I died. The End.) Also, the door blocks it more or less entirely on your way out. Unfortunately, I didn't think about the other angle until I pulled... Read more →


We Need an Adult

Jason's been away all week for work, which means...well, not a whole lot except that I get to temporarily feel super superior at both ping pong and Mario Kart. (My kids are not that great at ping pong or Mario Kart.) I also didn't have anyone to watch the Democratic debate with last night, and thus no one to stop me from buying a BOOT EDGE EDGE t-shirt. I did stop myself from buying an Elizabeth Warren t-shirt because I realized it's probably tacky to wear a t-shirt that says the exact same thing as your forearm tattoo, and this is a fashion rule I just made up. Dress yourselves accordingly. (I'm still considering a tote bag tho.) Anyway, every time Jason travels I have this compulsion to send him photos of the kids eating any meals I make. Like as evidence that I am capable of providing our offspring with basic sustenance in his absence, even though I do 99% of the weeknight cooking anyway. But here! Behold the well-balanced meal I have prepared! Tomorrow will probably be frozen waffles and chocolate milk for dinner but not tonight! Tonight we feast across allllll the food groups! These particular photos... 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 →