And So It Begins

Ezra and Ike both attend a small after school art program on Thursdays. They adore it. Ezra's the only fifth grader (and thus the oldest), and his art is routinely heaped with praise from the teacher and gets rapt, awed wonder from a pack of kindergartner fangirls. He goes for more realism with a ton of hidden details, while Ike has more of a pop art aesthetic with lots of plays on color and proportion. Obviously, they are both artistic geniuses, but I am really running out of places to hang their masterpieces, week after goddamn week. Last Thursday, the teacher asked everyone to draw a tableau of "things you need if you have the flu." Um. Okayyyy. Timely, I guess? What's next, a portrait of their favorite fallen Democratic primary candidate? A mixed-media collage of sensible 401(k) investments to withstand a bear market? Clockwise from top left, Ezra will require: Orange juice, "Flu Medicine," what appears to be toilet paper in a tissue box, a get well card from his family, drawing/writing supplies, his glasses, a journal, cough drops, and his ADHD medicine. Ike envisions more of a looming hellscape where his room gets taken over by two-story sized... Read more →

A Girl's Night In (+$300 Giveaway!)

This post is sponsored by Weekly Tasting. If anyone were to ask Jason and I what the secrets are to our long and happy marriage -- hypothetically, anyway, as absolutely zero people have actually asked us that question -- we'd probably list the following: 1) Regular date nights 2) A similar sense of humor 3) A mutual ability/willingness to apologize for being an idiot sometimes And personally, I'd probably add: 4) The occasional night away from each other 5) Wine Amazingly, for this post, I got to experience both #4 and #5 at the same time. So a couple times a month, Jason and I give the other person the night "off." Jason goes out to attend a sportsball exhibition of some kind, then the next week it's my turn to hang out with friends, see a movie, or just LEAVE THE DANG HOUSE for a change. Although as nice as it is to get out and socialize with other humans on a more regular basis, I kinda have to admit that I almost enjoy the nights in alone just as much. I make something fun/easy for the kids' dinner, then order take-out, assume total control of the TV remote,... Read more →

Friendsgiving 2016

We hosted our second-ever Friendsgiving potluck on Saturday, and once again, I forgot to take any pictures to prove that it actually happened and people actually showed up, or that the whole thing isn't just a yearly shared delusion of ours, where Jason and I serve multiple turkeys to a collection of brooms and mops we've placed around our dining table. (Traditional roast turkey on the left; deep fried on the right. Possible sighting of a human guest's arm in the background.) But seriously, we had about 25 friends and neighbors this time, which was much, MUCH more reasonable than last year's ALMOST FORTY, most of whom never left the kitchen because we stupidly put all the booze and appetizers in there. This year I was a lot more strategic in food/alcohol placement so we more or less avoided any bottlenecks, although setting up the bar in the lower-level family room meant every time you wanted a refill you were going to have to deal with some stairs. So you know, drink responsibly folks, or you're gonna end up as a party foul anecdote on the Internet. No one fell, but the night before the cat did this: On Friendsgiving... Read more →

World Wine Domination

This post is sponsored by Blue Apron Wine. This is the sponsored post I was born to write. Wine. Wine wine wine-y wine. Oh look, more wine. In summary, wine. The end. Okay not really. But oh, what a happy delivery this was. Six 500ml bottles (about 2/3 the size of a regular bottle), three whites, three reds, each one selected to pair with our upcoming meals from Blue Apron Proper. Delivered right to our door like some kind of boozy Christmas miracle. Along with some dinner-time reading for wine nerds. (We are totally the nerds who read every word about the wine and vineyard, attempted to identify each of the listed flavors and notes, and saved the cards of our favorites so we can track them down -- or wines like them -- for much re-purchasing.) We're actually not big white wine drinkers, and I admit I was worried we'd get a box full of big oak-y syrup-y Chardonnays that we hate, but instead we received three pretty unique whites we'd never tried before, and ended up loving every single one. It helped that the suggested meal pairings were. Spot. On. We tend to just grab whatever bottle we... Read more →

Killingme, VT

This was Them, last Thursday morning, approximately one minute into our drive up to Killington, Vermont. This was Me. Jason's brother has a condo at the ski resort, and it's been over 10 freaking years since we've gone there, much to my ski bum husband's displeasure. But making the drive while pregnant, or with a baby, or with someone still potty training (and we've had at least one of those things going on every winter for the past decade) has always killed any chance at visiting. This year we had no such excuse, other than my own abject terror. (This was Me approximately two minutes into the drive, marking the occasion of Noah's very first ARE WE THERE YET?) The boys watched DVDs the entire way up and trashed the minivan with spilled juice boxes, granola bar wrappers and upended containers of fries. Ike at least took a long nap, while the other two took turns covering the whining shift. Our GPS promised to get us there in 7.5 hours; we arrived well over 12 hours later thanks to five different people's out-of-sync demands of food, caffeine and bathrooms. (And of course just about every bathroom demand came about 30... Read more →

How I Did It

So I know I've danced around the "I LOST WEIGHT!" topic a bit. I've mentioned it but haven't really gone into any specifics since I wrote about our grown-up behavior chart, which was...Jesus, last JULY. I was down about 10 pounds then; I've since dropped another 15. I'm now really and truly back to my "pre-pregnancy" weight -- and I'm talking the FIRST pregnancy, 10 years ago. It's a good weight, a comfortable weight, and smack dab in the middle of the healthy weight range for my height and frame size. (I am made of Bird Bones.) After I posted that photo on the Social Media Thingies this weekend, a few people asked me to share the How. It's sadly, nothing extraordinary, earth-shattering, nor guaranteed to get you a bikini-ready body in 30 days. I have no magic bullet or snake-oil supplement or One Weird Trick to share here. I lost 25 pounds because: 1) I ate less. 2) I exercised more. 3) And I kept doing these things even after I hit my weight loss goals, and moved gradually into a maintenance plan. A maintenance plan that STILL involves eating less and exercising more, compared to my old habits.... Read more →

Happy New Year From the Village Idiots

We stayed home on New Year's Eve. Grilled up some steaks, made some baller sweet potatoes, sent the kids to bed at the usual hour, settled down on the couch to watch a movie, be exceedingly boring, etc. After blowing through enough wine and cocktails to bring down an elephant on a metal band's tour bus, we decided to switch to bubbly for the big countdown moment. Jason opted to amp the excitement up even further with a champagne-bottle sabering demonstration. It was very important to him that I record this moment. (Language NSFW. We talk like I write! HAPPY 2015 MOTHERFUCKERS!) Read more →

Lowered Eggspectations

So here's what you missed, during the Great Blog Outage of a Few Days of 2014: Me as a real-time walking exhibit of Pinterest Fail, because I decided to get obsessive over Easter eggs for some reason. Easter is not my holiday jam. I always forget about it, and when it comes on the heels of a week-long break from school I'm generally just sort of over life in general. My own mom used to go All Out for Easter — baskets were like a mini-Christmas morning! there was a cake shaped like a bunny and a big fancy meal and candy freaking everywhere omg candy candy candy! — so I'm not sure what happened. I suck at it. (Maybe because my love of holidays now is firmly carb- and entree-driven and I'm just not really that into ham.) Before spring break, Ezra's preschool class dyed Easter eggs, once again reminding me that my kids' teachers have so much more energy and patience than I do, because I cannot even remember the last time we dyed eggs: I buy the plastic kind and fill 'em with whatever bagged candy is on sale. (Though to be fair, this is Ezra's teacher's... Read more →

Home Alone

Oh oh oh! AND THEN! Jason left for a short business trip yesterday, right after I got back from my suuuuuper-relaxing dental appointment and a milk/eggs/cereal run, because I know how to Treat Mah Self. And I do mean short. As in, he's already on his way home now. Less than 30 hours of solo parenting. Way less once you factor in 1) sleep and 2) the fact that I mostly hid from my children all afternoon yesterday. I put Ike down for a nap, deposited every blinky-gaming-type phone/tablet/screen we own on the coffee table for the older two, then barricaded myself in my office and tried to get work done. Nobody was to bother me unless they were bleeding. Profusely. Y'all know where the band-aids are, work it out. (AWKWARD RECIPE SEGUE LIKE A BOSS) Even dinner was leftovers, for God's sake — I made some rice and nuked up bowls of our Surprising Recipe Home Run Success of the Month, aka a curried lentil and swiss chard stew with chickpeas, aka one of those ideas you get that flies in the face of all good sense and logic and totally works out anyway. My kids — a couple... Read more →

No One Can Resist My Treat-y Balls

Snowing again. Schools canceled. My belief in my snow-repelling snowpant purchasing powers officially debunked. There is at least one child screaming his head off downstairs and I don't care. I can't care. ARE YOU BLEEDING? NO? BACK TO THE HOBBIT HOLE WITH YOU. /brings coffee mug up to lips with trembling hands, eyes office door warily The weather yesterday was quite lovely, so we at least got to take the boys to a playground for one last shot of Vitamin D before we were once again trapped in our home, as the DC metro region once again screeched to an hysterical halt in the face of a quarter-inch dusting of snow. (Okay, we're probably going to end up with a lot more than that this time, but still. Let me wallow in some cantankerous hyperbole for now. The federal government shut down and my husband fed our children leftover chocolate doughnuts for breakfast.) The playground was pretty fun, at least? Ike even insisted on having a go on the big kid swings... ...a decision I sense he regretted fairly quickly. But overall, it was a successful and utterly exhaustifying outing. (Also, doughnuts.) (Also also, we need to talk about Ike's... Read more →