It's Household Procrastination To-Do List Season

So Jake left us for his new home on Friday, which: SAD, but also I'm still pulling clumps of his fur out of the robot vacuum so it's like he hasn't really left! Good god, did that dog shed. I could knit us three new foster dogs with what I lint-rollered off the couch this morning. This weekend I painted our dining room, after four full years of bitching about it. (Turns out one person's deep and abiding love for "rich deep chocolate browns" is another person's "oh my god why is everything in this house the color of poop?") Okay, it was more like painting one and a half walls vs. a full room, BUT STILL. You know how we do here. YEAR ONE: I don't like that dark brown in the dining room. I am going to complain about it on a near-daily basis. YEAR TWO: I don't know...maybe green would look nice? Grey? Blue? Peach? White? Wallpaper? Metallic stencils? Shiplap? Purple? YEAR THREE: Ugh. We'll have to prime first, so never mind. YEAR FOUR: HAPPY SATURDAY MORNING I JUST SENT OUT SAVE THE DATES FOR FRIENDSGIVING AND I REFUSE TO HAVE ANOTHER FRIENDSGIVING IN A POOP BROWN... Read more →


BATTLEBOTS

VACUUM ROBOT vs. PING PONG ROBOT. THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE. ("Holds over 100 ping-pong balls!" 75+ of which are now somewhere under your couch.) And then mere minutes after being reset and sent along on its merry vacuuming way, the vacuum robot celebrated its victory by dragging and then hurling a kitchen stool down a flight of steps. Because sure, why not. This household clearly needs more weird. Also a ping-pong ball retrieving robot. (Just kidding. That's what human children are for.) Read more →


Happy-Sad Ever Afters

I didn't want to jinx anything, but early last week I got the news that someone submitted an adoption application for Jake. His very first one, 10 full months since he came to live here, and a mind-boggling TWENTY-SEVEN months since he was found as a stray in Georgia. That's a really long wait, and I kept trying to temper my CAPS-LOCK-level excitement with the knowledge that not every application results in an adoption, that this might not be the right home or fit or blah blah blah. And of course, my excitement was already tempered with the knowledge that if Jake gets adopted, that means Jake gets adopted. I drove him 45 minutes in the pouring rain to meet the potential adopter and an adoption coordinator at her home yesterday. The rain stopped the very second I pulled into her driveway and got a glimpse of a huuuuuuge fenced-in backyard, and what looked like a hiking trail running beside it. Oh, damn. Nice. The adopter had to put her (very senior) male pit bull down a few weeks ago, and was hoping to adopt a (senior but not THAT senior) male dog as a companion for her six-year-old female... Read more →


Cakewalk

Not going to lie, one of my primary reasons for having so many children was to have more people to bake (highly amateurish) birthday cakes for. And after many years of fielding many varied requests, all three boys have more or less settled on their birthday cake of choice. Noah always asks for a Victoria sponge sandwich cake. Ike wants the same one-bowl chocolate cake recipe I've been baking him since preschool, which eventually landed on this specific variation with grapeseed oil. (I dump the wet ingredients into a large measuring cup so it's still technically a one-bowl recipe because fuck washing bowls.) Although every year he does change up the shape, frosting and decorating details, just to keep me on my toes. (I swear one of these years he's going to request an three-tiered octagon cake with dark chocolate frosting that is also blue, somehow, and yellow candles that turn into tiny rockets that spell HAPPY BIRTHDAY, IKE! in edible red smoke and also the whole cake doubles as a party pinata full of candy and money.) (And I'll be like, okay, I'll see what I can do, but are you sure I can't interest you in a giant... Read more →


This One Goes to Eleven

I was scrolling through the hundreds of thousands of photos I've taken over the years, looking for any that screamed EZRA! in an especially Ezra-y way. I found this video from May 2015. Ezra was six. Noah was nine and Ike was just a couple weeks away from turning four. I'm not sure why I recorded it. It's just the kids running around before dinner one random night. But it reminded me I need to record more videos of them just running around before dinner on more random nights. Ezra is being SO EZRA! Ike is being SO IKE! And even Noah manages to be OMG SO TOTALLY NOAH! in a three-second cameo. Their personalities are all there; the way they interact with each other is all there. Like then, exactly like now, the same as it ever was. Ezra is 11 now. He still checks Ike's hands at the dinner table. He still indulges Noah in whatever Noah feels like doing. He still starts 90% of his sentences with, "You know, Mom..." He still eats cherry tomatoes fresh off the vine. (Now we just grow three times as many for him.) Yesterday I brought home a small wooden lantern... Read more →


Hobbies

So we've been going to the Maryland Renaissance Festival a lot lately. I guess our multiple season passes to multiple musical theater seasons weren't dorky enough, and the bins (ALSO MULTIPLE) of costumes (EVEN MORE MULTIPLE) required didn't compete with the space currently occupied by all of Jason's ping pong accessories or the industrial-grade meat slicer that he bought because he made bacon one time. There is apparently a not-very-large leap between attending a Renaissance Festival for the first time and thinking I do not get this, I do not get any of this at all and becoming a person who is like, SUPER INTO IT, maybe a little TOO INTO IT. And that leap appears to be somewhere around the purchase of 1) your second beer and 2) a flower crown. After that, you might as well go all in. (I keep getting a ton of hair compliments on IG/FB and I keep yelling that no, I do not deserve those compliments as the "hair" is a ridiculous clip-in extension that I got on Amazon for $9.99. My hair stops around my shoulders; everything past that is a lie.) (The clip-in color does admittedly match my actual hair color... 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 →


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 →


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 →


The ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, Saga

Whenever my blog posting frequency starts to dip, I notice a slight uptick in semi-concerned texts and emails. AMY R U OKAY R U OKAY AMY? Perfectly understandable, given the wild brain ride I've dragged everyone along on over the past...year? Two years? (I dunno, check the archives and see if you can pinpoint the exact second this blog became less "ha ha ha, let's all laugh at an exaggerated yet breezy re-telling of some dumb thing I did" and more "wow I am truly a dumb scrap of worthless jittery garbage but like...ha a aaa? ha HaAAAa? is ThIs How u d0 teh HumoR?") But I am okay! Very, very more than okay! The best I've felt in a very long time! My keyboard, on the other hand... Truly the REAL dumb scrap of worthless key-shedding garbage. The comma key fell off about...two months ago, and I kept stubbornly attaching it over and over again, only to have it pop loose again a few sentences later. So then I'd re-attach it again, but HARDER. (And since I route my text messages through Google Hangouts, this meant SEVERAL of those "hey just checking in hope all is well" texts got... Read more →