Let's Get This (Obligatory Back-to-School Blog) Bread

(Do not ask, as no explanation shall be given.) It's the first day of school. If you're counting along at home, this means: 1) They're 8th, 5th and 3rd graders now. 2) It's the first day of Noah's last year of middle school. 3) It's the first day of Ezra's last year of elementary school. 4) It's the first day of Ike's last year of attending the same school as at least one of his older brothers. Next year we'll be spread across the elementary, middle and high schools, and our morning routine will turn into a never-ending hellmouth-y marathon of competing alarms, departure times, and somehow -- I am sure of it -- even more cereal. 5) WE'RE ALL VERY OLD AT THIS POINT. Once AGAIN, Noah is ~not pictured~ as I mercifully freed him from the first-day photo ritual. Just picture the little tiny turtle baby you so fondly remember, only as tall as I am and with much larger feet. Also some facial hair, WHAT IN THE WHAT. ("It's not like this is something to celebrate!" he fumed. "Summer is over and school is here to ruin everything AS PER THE USUAL." Then he slipped his headphones... Read more →

Renaissance Family

This is our last week of summer vacation, and I am sick with a head cold that I suspect I caught at the Renaissance Festival this past weekend. (Though given the lengths some people go for 100% time-period accuracy I should be grateful that it's just a cold and not the plague or smallpox.) (This is also accurate. He has a new costume for next weekend that's some sort of muscle-bound executioner. He's looking forward to sentencing people to death for littering and/or cutting in the privy line.) (Ezra also has a wonderful new costume that didn't arrive in time for opening weekend so he had to go with Alexander Hamilton and was NOT HAPPY ABOUT IT. And although he received multiple compliments on his "fine nobleman's jacket," he told anyone who would listen about the Great Costume Injustice. "I wanted to be a scribe but Dad didn't order my costume in time and so they made me wear this instead." [NOBODY MADE HIM WEAR ANYTHING!!] He was later distracted by Many Foods On Sticks and then a side quest for find the Perfect Author's Satchel. Which: ??? I dunno but it cost me $28.) (Yeah. I know. Those weren't... Read more →

Hacking the Back-to-School Hand-Me-Down (plus GIVEAWAY)

This post is sponsored by thredUP. photobombin ur sponsorships again yay You might think that, with three boy babies, the hand-me-down game would be pretty straightforward. And for awhile, it was! I shuffled onesies and footie jammies from child to child, removing anything too worn out, replacing the modest wardrobe gaps only as needed. As they grew, the hand-me-down bins got a little bigger and keeping them organized got a little more challenging (still never found that missing bin of size 3T shorts, btw!!), but overall, our annual back-to-school closet lift-and-shift system worked. And then the babies grew into people. People with opinions. Noah and Ike prefer to live in the standard-issue boy-uniform of Under Armour shorts, Old Navy jeans, and a variety of graphic tees. (Though by the time Noah's clothes shuffle on down the chain, Ike's been ending up with fewer and fewer wearable options.) They're doubly easy because they both like anything that's blue or orange. Any old video-game character will do. They each pick out one pair of (blue) sneakers and wear them until they fall apart, and will happily walk out the door in clothing that's visibly ripped or stained or inside-out if I'm not... Read more →

Summer Cereal Wars

We're currently getting the back deck and wood trim painted, which is one of those homeowneryship things that costs like, ALL of your money and leaves you with...well, everything pretty much looking exactly the same as before. (They're also power washing the siding, which has grown slightly greenish since we moved in, so we at least get to Make Yellow House Yellow AgainTM.) It's a very unsexy unfun home improvement, and it's taking forever because every day it starts raining right after the crew shows up. (That has got to be one of the All Time Top 10 Most Exciting Paragraphs I have ever written in the history of this blog, no? Perhaps later I shall set up a live video feed of the freshly painted window trim so we can all watch it dry together.) This morning they asked me to remove all the window screens, which I did, while the cats looked on in escapist glee. I of course managed to injure my fingers not once, but twice in the process, and drop one screen down the side of the house. ("HEADS UP!" I yelled to absolutely no one below, for no discernible reason.) Then I grumbled and... Read more →

It, Chapter Storch

A couple weeks ago, Jason ordered a life-size Pennywise cutout to prank Noah with. It's HORRIBLE. Truly the devil's own work in laser-cut novelty cardboard. I mean, look at this shit: First Jason hid it in Noah's room -- and then hid himself around the hallway corner, phone in hand and set to record. Noah's initial reaction was actually unimpressive. A quick GAH!! and a door slam, and then a wise-and-exasperated DA-A-AAAD. The next morning the stupid thing was positioned directly outside MY bedroom door, and the kids were treated to a much more hilarious OH SWEET JESUS CHRIST reaction from me. It now lurks around every corner and doorway. Ezra and Ike claim to hate it, yet are thoroughly delighted with the ongoing game of "startle the grown-ups out of their wits" by moving it around the house. Walking in from the garage? Doing laundry? Stepping out of the bathroom? THAT'S NICEEEEEEE. (I admit that I regularly put it right in the garage entryway to scare Jason because I am a petty child. He always blames Noah, and thus restarts the Great Jumpscare War all over again. It's the cirrrrrrcle of Storch.) One time I caught Noah in the... Read more →


Our marriage is now officially old enough to buy its own beer. Which was not something either of us could do (...legally, anyway) back when we started dating. Or something half of us (me) could do when we got married. (I miss that dress. And those shoes! The Dharma haircut not so much.) 21 years, several crappy apartments, even more crappy jobs, a couple massive political/religious 180s, seven moves, seven pets, nine tattoos, one beard, a few pounds and three kids later, he's still my favorite person on earth, and I'd marry him again tomorrow if I could. But since we already did that last year, we're going to do this instead. You can take your relationship (way, WAY) out of the 90s, but I guess you can't take the 90s out of the 40-something Gen Xers who are like, SO PUMPED FOR IT. Happy anniversary, J. Thank you for this wonderful life I get to live with you. 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 →

Everything That Happens When Your Significant Other Joins An Amateur Ping Pong League

1. First, they will attempt to convince you to also join an amateur ping pong league, as their team needs three more people. 2. You will tell them NO. Never in a million years will you join an amateur ping pong league, because you are terrible at ping pong and even more terrible at losing. 3. They will text all your friends to see if THEY want to join an amateur ping pong league. 4. Your friends all respond with their personal favorite variation of a WAIT WHAT? gif and then politely change the subject. 5. The league will manage to sign up three other teamless/friendless losers and complete the team. 6. They will volunteer to be team captain because "nobody else wanted to." 7. They will be lying. And also a little giddy. 8. It's actually kind of cute! 9. A very specific, very fancy ping pong paddle will arrive in an Amazon box. You will laugh at the fancy box and ask them if they actually plan to carry the paddle around in the fancy box. They will say no. 10. They will be lying. A specialty paddle care and cleaning kit will show up along the way... Read more →

Up For Air

Hiiiiiii. How are you? I've been okay! Okay. Well, that's probably a flat-out lie, or at least a wild exaggeration. It's actually been a rough couple weeks. Everything's fine, of course. I've just been...kinda sad again, and overwhelmed by...everything, again. Kids have camp drop-off at 8:30? Gonna squeeze in at least three vivid anxiety dreams about fucking it up between the hours of 1 and 5:30 a.m. Conference call at 10 a.m.? Better start worrying about Skype not working by 9, triple check the meeting invite around 9:30, start staring at clock at 9:45, then contemplate various imaginary reasons for missing it altogether at 9:59. Two whole text messages from two whole separate people? Better just ignore those for awhile (because they COULD just be saying hi but they ALSO COULD be full of bad and terrible news and/or calling me a bad and terrible friend). Can later just pretend my phone broke, or something. (SPOILER ALERT: they were just saying hi.) Things have regulated back out this week, I'm happy (what a word!) to report. I've made the jump between "getting through the day with the bare minimum of necessary executive functioning to survive" and like, "being a normal... 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 →