Things That Do Not Work, Part One

Hello and welcome to the first installment of a series I just made up about things that Do Not Work in my home/life/general existence. You know what Does Not Work? This alarm clock Does Not Work. This is the Sonic Bomb Extra-Loud Dual Alarm Clock with Red Flashing Alert Lights and a Powerful Bed Shaker, which we bought for a certain 13 year old who needs to get his ass out of bed in the morning but who lo, does not get his ass out of bed in the morning. We tried several different alarms before this one -- an alarm directly next to his head paired with another one placed on the floor on the other side of his room. A different and slightly louder alarm tucked away on the top shelf of his closet. Even our own screeching voices yelling at him through the Echo Dot he keeps tucked under his pillow. He slept through all of them, or worse, would make the journey down from his bunk bed while still asleep, turn the alarm(s) off, and then climb right back in bed with absolutely zero memory of doing so when I showed up at his door 20... Read more →


13 is Fake News

So this video came up in the On This Day feature of my cloud drive, and at first I was like, awwww, look at baby Noah from like, what, five years ago? Six? When we were all still so passionate and hopeful that this madness had to end? No. Two. Two years to the day. View this post on Instagram "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." A post shared by Amalah (@amalah) on Jan 29, 2017 at 4:26pm PST It's only been two years of this chaotic bumbling bullshit, but also: It only takes two years to fully turn a sweet little boy into a giant-ass man. Noah is almost as tall as I am. His shoes are gigantic. I ordered him a bunch of shirts in the largest size of the Old Navy kids' department and by the time they arrive his arms were already too long for them. He eats...so much. So very, very much. But apparently all of... Read more →


A Re-Run, But Worth It For the Sweaters

Okay, so I know we just did the whole Santa photo post, BUT BUT BUT WAIT THERE'S MORE. There was a professional photographer at the party and I just got these, and I simply must inflict them upon you. 'Tis the law of the mommyblobs, and I do not dare disobey. This is just Santa photo PERFECTION, and it only took us 13 years. And well, a few extra tries this year too. Look at that human! And now look at this human for a mind-blowing compare/contrast. We old, kiddos. I realized this was Ezra and Ike's first and only time they've gotten solo time with Santa. They made the most of it and asked for a lot of pricey electronics and roughly half the stock of books at Barnes & Noble. Ezra recently found a Pokemon card set I'd bought for Ike and accidentally left in the car. This unfortunately shook his already-wobbly belief in Santa and he asked me to tell him the truth. I got about four words into it before he changed his mind and decided he'd rather not know after all. ("This is my surprise sweater." he explained. Okay then! One must always be prepared... Read more →


Not-Mall Santa 2018

I think this is my favorite one yet. The boys still aren't too old for our annual visit to Mall Santa, but when offered a Non-Mall Alternative Santa, you can bet your ass that Jason and I decided we were EXACTLY too old for Mall Santa, and went with a way less-stressful version. Our (amazing and saintly patient) real estate agent threw a holiday party this weekend and invited Mr. Claus and a photographer for the kids. No lines, no shopping madness, just an incredibly patient Santa who probably learned more information about Titanic than he'll ever know what to do with. (The Titanic even came with her own wish list. The Heart of the Ocean diamond and some lifeboats.) The sweaters were Jason's idea this year, and he even braved not one, but two Target Hellscapes in order to procure all three of them. I had to go yesterday to fill a prescription and was like, FUCK THIS SHIT UNTIL 2019 HAVE YOU PEOPLE NOT HEARD OF THE INTERNET GAAAAAHHHHH oh DAMN 10% off Christmas wreaths I am DOWN. Read more →


A Bruh To Remember

So Titanic is totally the new George Washington. View this post on Instagram And we haven’t even BEGUN to discuss whether Jack could’ve fit on that door... A post shared by Amalah (@amalah) on Nov 14, 2018 at 4:39pm PST Noah is next-level obsessed with all things Titanic right now. Movies, books, documentaries, endless recreations in the bathtub, you name it. His twin life goals right now include a ride on Titanic 2 and making enough money to raise the original wreck before the ocean eats it. (How he'll achieve the second goal is a little fuzzy. It's either inventing time travel or "something with computers.") I, too, went through a pretty big Titanic phase around his age, so it's been fun tracking down all the books I read and still remember pretty vividly. One of my favorites was A Night To Remember, and I promised him I'd re-read it after he was done so we could talk about it. (That is a Very Big Deal for a Spectrum kid, as he's aware most conversations about his obsessions are more like endless, one-sided lectures.) He read it, he loved it, he's already watched the movie version four times. And as... Read more →


Weekend Updates

UPDATE #1: I folded the laundry! All of the laundry! I guess I should've taken a photo to better communicate just how much laundry we were talking about, but it was too embarrassing. Even depressed people are entitled to some small slice of vanity, right? Anyway, it's all put away now, and I even tackled the spring/summer closet changeover to fall/winter. Then I took a nap. UPDATE #2: Speaking of the changing of the seasons, our patio toads have left us to hibernate for winter. I will miss them terribly and hope they'll be back next year. Maybe I'll register them as emotional support toads and let them loose on an airplane! UPDATE #3: Ike's IEP meeting...happened. Given the glacial pace of assessment testing (since the independent assessments we paid for didn't line up 100% with the district's standards, aaaaaaahhhhhhhdjvojfohfvoiwehfgpeh), Ike will be lucky to get formal supports and services in place by...Christmas. Aaaaaaahhhhhhhdjvojfohfvoiwehfgpeh times eleventy. So we are very, very relieved we jumped on the ONE OPEN SPOT his reading program offered us and didn't dick around any longer. He loves going, and while it's not an overnight fix or anything, I can already see some confidence creeping back... Read more →


Ready to Meme

Work really took over my attention this week...(along with three camp-less boy children running around the house during their last gasp of summer vacation and all I can say is Bionicles. Bionicles everywhere. Places where no Bionicle should be, like in the dishwasher, my bed, the goddamn toilet.)...so I'm going to cheat today and re-post something from social media that most of you have already seen. But what better way to spend your Friday than watching it again and again and again, because honestly it gets funnier and funnier and funnier each time? Jason installed a new motion-activated security camera by our garage, and about 10 minutes after I tasked Noah with taking the recycling out to the curb, he sent me the following bit of footage. A post shared by Amalah (@amalah) on Aug 28, 2018 at 1:31pm PDT Classic Noah. Downright ICONIC Noah. Read more →


The Kids These Days

Noah finally finished It. And as promised, he was allowed to watch the movie version of his choice. He chose the new movie, and we enjoyed some nice ol' fashioned mother-son bonding time over classic horror-movie jump scares and a demonic child-eating clown. He LOVED It. Absolutely loved it. Every creepy, fucked-up second of it. Although it turns out he'd already found almost all of the more intense/murder-y scenes on YouTube without our knowledge, so that's some doubly excellent parenting right there. He's currently grounded from screens and the Internet for the rest of the week and trying to get around it by asking what other scary movies we can watch together instead, because he knows I'm a sucker. Do we go for Poltergeist? Stick with King and The Shining? The first Paranormal? Blair Witch? Exorcist? Gotta get him schooled on the classics of the genre for maximum nightmare fuel. Meanwhile, Ezra is attending a rock camp this week. He's the guitarist for a band called The Reptilian Army. This Friday is their first concert, and they'll be playing a Pennywise song (no idea which one! but he is very excited about it because Noah will think it's cool!) followed... Read more →


One Month On

We spent the 4th of July in Baltimore, then went up to Hershey, PA for the rest of week. The boys only had two requests for summer vacation: Fireworks and Hersheypark. We were happy to oblige. (And yes, of course Noah brought the Declaration of Independence to its birthday party. And Sonic the Hedgehog, because why not?) (My phone died barely an hour into our day at the park, so this is the only documentation of my physical presence.) It's now been a full month since it happened, the event, the attempt, the night it all nearly stopped but didn't. Sometimes it still feels very near and very close, while other times I look up at the sky and see fireworks, or the world whizzing past on a rollercoaster, and it fades far, far away. To a different time and place I have no interest in ever revisiting. Read more →


School of Not-Quite-Rock

Last night was Ezra's second violin "concert," an elaborate affair that required fancy new dress clothing and shoes, a super-rushed meal at McDonald's in order to make the required 30-minutes-before-show-time arrival, then waiting around doing nothing for at least 45 minutes with his supportive but super-bored siblings. (The amount and sheer intensity of mobile-phone use going on in the background of this photo is impressive.) Finally, about one hundred or so third graders slowwwwwwwwly took to the stage and extended risers, each carrying a stringed instrument that none of them had never touched before last October, proceeded to play three five-minute "songs," and then slowwwwwwwwwwwly filed back out again. It was not quite the assault on my eardrums I'd been expecting, given how green these kids are (and judging from some truly, painfully screechy practice sessions at home). This was their first performance using the bows (last time they all just plucked at the strings and avoided that classic "dying cat stuck in a grand piano" sound), and while I don't know what "Farmer's Hoedown" is technically supposed to sound like, I am pretty sure I could identify their "Ode to Joy" even if it hadn't been printed in the... Read more →