Ghosts of Nonsense Past

Would you like to use the bathroom? Check out the guest room, perhaps? OR WOULD YOU LIKE TO DIEEEEE???? "The basement's not a mess, is it guys?" "NO MOM IT'S FINE ALL CLEAN ALL GOOD. " (Please tell me someone else has a child with this particularly distinctive play style, better known as the "pull everything out until I have barricaded myself into a six-square-inch square of free floor space within a deep murky swamp of every toy I own.") And yes, those are the same Thomas tracks and trains from oh, so long ago. And yes, I've made oh, so many attempts at giving them away over the years. And yet they remain, much like the zombie toddler-sized socks that I keep finding and throwing out, finding and throwing out, over and over again, while also being haunted by much larger poltergeist child who keeps leaving his dirty socks on the dining room table. Because none of my living children will own up to being the dining room dirty sock leaver, oh nooooo Mom, it definitely wasn't meeeeee, those aren't myyyyyy socks, and there is no spoooooooooon. Anyway, looks like Infrastructure Week is going great! But. Wait. Is that...no.... Read more →


It Gets Better

If I had to name one aspect of parenting that I deeply, intensely hate, it actually wouldn't be the diapers or the sleep deprivation or the full-body bone-goop temper tantrums or even the look on your preshus beloved baby's face when you accidentally call him "sweetie" while saying goodbye in the middle school hallway. No, it'd be taking them to the damn dentist. Our past appointments easily take up several spots in my all-time top 10 Low Moments In Parenting list. We're talking screaming, kicking, crying. (Them, not me. At least not until we were back in the car.) I'd have to sit in the chair with them, pinning down their arms and legs with all the force my own limbs could muster, while a clearly pissed-off and tired-of-this-shit hygienist tried to assure them that "Mister Thirsty" was nothing to be scared of. (FUCK YOU MISTER THIRSTY, I'd think to myself, while also trying to think of post-appointment good-behavior incentives that didn't involve tooth-rotting junk food, lest the hygienist judge me even more.) We tried kid-only dentists, special-needs dentists, dentists whose lobbies were packed with video games and had televisions in the exam rooms. My kids would have none of... Read more →


High Crimes & Misdemeanors

I recently had to pass a drug screen and background check for work -- for a contract job I've had for over two years now and successfully not done while coked out of my mind and/or while committing various felonies, not even once, but I guess you can never be too careful with us shifty freelance types. I did not fail the drug screen, though I did initially fail the TAKING of the drug screen. Because I didn't pee enough. The ONE thing I needed to do that entire day was to pee in a cup and I couldn't pee enough in the cup. (This is what happens when you successfully medicate my anxiety, people. One time I showed up for a 20-week ultrasound with a bladder so full I burst into hysterical tears while signing in at the front desk and then spent a terrible 10 minutes in the restroom trying to pee just some of it out, but not all of it, because then we wouldn't be able to see the babyyyyyyy and find out the sex and everything in the entire universe would be ruined. RUINED I SAY.) I was directed to a water cooler in the... Read more →


This Old Dog

It's been awhile, but yeah, this poor, sweet old dude is still here with us. And unfortunately he isn't doing so hot at the moment. In more NEUTER UR GOTDAM DAWGS news, Jake's neuter surgery did not go particularly well or easy for him. After a couple cancelled appointments due to snow and other disasters, I finally dropped him off last week, then came home and happily wrote up a sunny adoption listing for him and went through our photos in search of the best/cutest/biggest-softie-eyed ones. This was the last thing! The last hurdle! A simple snip-snip and then he could move out of medical-case fosterdog limbo and into the forever-home adoption pool! I drove back to the vet that afternoon and he was rushed back into surgery about five minutes after I got there, because there was still a "bleeder" hanging around...down there...somewhere. The next day he came home, but without the Cone of Shame, and so he promptly licked his way to a couple busted stitches and an infection and ONCE AGAIN, dog dickblood (or...ballblood? general-genital-area-blood?) became a thing that happened. Happens. Is still happening. This morning I got the chance to impart to Ike a super-important life... 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 →


(Gasps for Air)

aaaaaaaaaaaeeeeeeeeiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii It's spring break, bitches. Although pretty light on the "break" part for me, personally. We're heading up to Killington, VT for a few days for our semi-annual "let's cram eight humans into a two-bedroom condo" visit with Jason's brother and family, where there is still SNOW and ICE and BULLSHIT. The seven other humans will probably ski and snowboard while this chicken human will stay inside and likely end up working most of the time. Work has kind of exploded all over the place for me, in the usual freelancing feast/famine cycle where I go from frantically emailing every work contact I know to remind them that I exist to suddenly juggling 25 deadlines at once. And of course the timing lined up perfectly with us deciding to go nuclear on the boys' bedrooms, so for the past week I've been either 1) working on Very Exciting & Important Technical Documents, 2) up to my eyeballs in IKEA furniture and Lego storage, or 3) just sort of lying on the floor and staring at the ceiling for a sec. I'm happy to report that the bedroom makeovers are about 99% complete, and everyone is very, very happy with the... Read more →


Trading Rooms, Part 2

(Thank you everyone for all your kind words and thoughts. Last week suckkkkkked but I am okay.) Once upon a time, when we ripped up all the carpet in Yellow House and had wood floors put in, we decided to cut a couple corners and save ourselves a couple dollars. The corners we cut were the boys' bedrooms, which all had somewhat newish-looking carpet. We figured we'd leave those rooms as-is and wait for the carpets to get destroyed over time and replace them only when we absolutely needed to. (Much like our approach to the kitchen appliances, and if you're keeping track I am STILL cooking and baking with an oven I hate with the fire of a million faulty oven coils, because the fucker fucking sucks but just won't DIE ALREADY.) (On the other hand, this happened, so it's like I got a brand-new dishwasher all over again.) ANYWAY. FLOORS. CARPETS. TRY TO STAY ON TOPIC FOR ONE BLEEDING SECOND. We regretted our decision almost immediately, because the boys' rooms became Animal Accident Central. Why pee outside in the snow or rain or your litter box when you can pee on some soft, inviting carpet? Especially if that... Read more →


Happy Bookiversary

Today marks eight years since my dad died. Every since, this time of year is difficult. Something akin to Seasonal Affective Disorder but not. Is Death Anniversary Affective Disorder a thing? Maybe PDDSD/post-dad-dying stress disorder? I don't know. I just know that I don't sleep very well, develop a very blahsy case of the blahs, and really, REALLY don't feel like talking about it, at all, with anybody, thank you very much. But this year I DID sack up and talk about it to my therapist, and not just in a dismissive, hand-wavy "oh, I'll seriously feel fine by April 1, nothing to worry about" way, but in a solution-focused "I need March to not suck so hard every year forever" kind of way. She advised me to find a way to untangle the Bad and the Sad and the Everything Else from today, and instead mark the day with something linked to the good and happy memories. She asked me to name one. Books. I remember his books. Hundreds and hundred of books, lining the hallways, his study, the floor-to-ceiling bookshelves in the living room. My own bookcase, packed to overflowing, because he would never, ever say no to... Read more →


Blue Light Special

This week we had to say farewell to Ezra's Magic Glasses. They lasted just over a year, which is a pretty good run for plastic glasses he insisted on wearing every single day, all day, from the moment he wakes up until he turns off the light to sleep. (This insistence was fueled by both a genuine need to avoid the dreaded migraines and the fact that he got constant compliments on his "super cool glasses" everywhere he went and so he adopted them as his Signature Lewk.) We tried in vain to glue them so he wouldn't have to face the computer lab without them while we waited for a replacement pair, but the frame kept breaking and the lens falling out. I gently suggested that maybe -- MAYBE -- he could give it some time and see how he did without the glasses, because well...you know. My children sometimes occasionally perhaps fall on the high side of the OVERLY DRAMATIC scale, and I do sometimes suspect his self-professed sensitivity to every single light bulb in existence is not 100% rooted in reality. Maybe 50/50 real need vs. middle child desire to stand out, plus the aforementioned compliments/attention. (They're... Read more →