So this happened. Ike's getting an IEP. Welcome to the club, kid. But he's getting it for the least dramatic reason possible, at least by our household's standards: He has a pretty bad lisp. He needs some speech therapy. Okay. I asked his preschool teachers about the lisp last year -- they weren't too concerned, given his age. He was likely outgrow it on his own. (I looked into speech therapy anyway last summer, only to learn that articulation disorders aren't covered under our insurance and the cost would be YIKES.) The elementary school, on the other hand, absolutely provides services for articulation disorders, so I flagged it as a potential concern on every piece of enrollment paperwork that I possibly could. I asked his kindergarten teacher about the lisp at our first parent-teacher conference -- she'd noticed it, yes. She also wasn't too concerned, given his age, but agreed to have the school's speech pathologist stop by and speak with him. She did, and blah blah blah not too concerned, given his age, blah blah let's wait and see. And so we've waited. AND GUESS WHAT. He hasn't outgrown it. At all. Not even a little bit. He can't... Read more →


The Loop, Part 2

Noah likes to take a pre-dinner bike ride around the neighborhood. It's part of his routine whenever the weather is nice: come home, snack, homework, load the dishwasher, ride his bike around the same set loop two times, maybe three, then back for dinner. I've encouraged him to explore the neighborhood a little more, but he got a little lost doing that not long after we moved so now he prefers to stick to the same path. It takes him around to the street directly behind our house, and he likes to wave at me if I'm outside or at the kitchen window. I wave back. The other night, I missed the wave. I was at the stove making dinner. Ezra and Ike came in from playing on the swingset and set the table. I put dinner out and realized Noah wasn't back yet. Which, okay, that's fine, he'll probably be back in a few minutes. He wasn't. I checked the garage for his bike, scanned the street out back, then the front. I went to his room on the off-chance he'd come back and retreated there to play without anyone noticing (his stealth move to get out of further... Read more →


This post is sponsored by thredUP. I've mentioned once or 100 times that I'm not a big fan of clothes shopping. I'm very impatient and get discouraged too easily -- I don't like the first thing I tried on! These dressing room lights are killing my self-esteem! This is boring and my feet hurt! -- and I also don't have that awesome "shopper's eye" that translate how something looks on the hanger with how it will look on my actual body. Obviously I love online shopping but I still get really indecisive and unsure about clothing. I am an e-commerce cart-abandoning nightmare. Jason, on the other hand, totally has the shopper's eye. He also finds shopping fun, and even relaxing, both online and in person. I know. He's either a gem or an insane person. As a result, I'd say he easily buys about 80% of my wardrobe these days. Which is admittedly awesome and convenient. So...shine on, you crazy diamond, I guess! So when thredUP expressed interest in a second sponsored post (along with a tempting $150 shopping credit), I knew I wanted to outsource the grunt work this time around, and I set Jason loose on the site... Read more →


I had a consult with a tattoo artist to finally, FINALLY get some cover-up work done on the truly terrible, highly regrettable J-A-S-O-N ink on my back left hip. Remember that? If not, yeah. I got my boyfriend's name tattoo'ed offset tramp-stamp style when I was 19 years old. Classaaaayyyyy. While I still like the guy very much, I really hate the tattoo. It was poorly done, embarrassing almost immediately (I mean, WHO DOES THAT? Besides impulsive and slightly tipsy 19-year-old girls away at college whose roommate is getting a daisy on her ankle oh wait okay never mind), and now it's 20 years old and completely warped and faded -- and annoyingly visible enough over my pants' waistline and two-piece bathing suits. I thought about just getting it removed, but always decided against that. It was a stupid thing to get done, but just like getting married less than a year later at 20 years old was ALSO not typically considered the greatest of ideas...we did defy a whole heapload of odds to remain married and happy this many years later. The tattoo has always felt kind of tied to that, and "erasing" it just never appealed to me.... Read more →


You know what my kids love? Stickers! Do you know what they don't love? Sticker books. Or paper of any kind. Please do not send them any more stickers. I feel like they have enough. Go ahead and bookmark this for any upcoming Gift Guides For Parents You Secretly Hate, though. Wait, didn't I scrape you off already? Are you respawning? Shit. The weirdest thing about stickers is even after you've gotten rid of all the stickers, kids will always -- always -- find more stickers. TRULY. LIFE FINDS A WAY. (One time Ike ran out of stickers and decided to cover the entire bottom half of his door strips of Scotch Tape, which I guess was a little worse than stickers.) (Still, though. Please no more stickers. I could use more Scotch Tape, but only if it comes in a locked safe of some kind.) Read more →


Jason recently started attending pick-up games at a local indoor soccer place. It's been something he's been talking about doing for ages, but considering the last time he played any "serious" soccer was at least 20 years ago, he was understandably a little nervous about it. Finally he just accepted that he might very well be the worst player there, but dammit, he was going to show up and play. His first time out, he scored three goals. He came home exhausted and sore and completely ecstatic. He missed playing even more than he realized, he said, and it was thrilling how the skills he assumed were completely dormant after all that time just...started coming back. He wasn't the worst player there, but that didn't even matter. Because dammit, that person still decided to show up and play, and had a great time doing it. The next day we got to talking about it, about why he never did join a league or find a pick-up game -- our old place in Bethesda was literally a block away from a public field. Sure, some of it was the typical "what if I suck now/can't keep up" worries as middle age... Read more →


I've been working from/in my actual "office" every day for the first time in awhile, to better bounce back and forth between laptops (three) and email addresses (four), and to have room to spread out piles of documents and keep everything separated by client (five) and basically not rely on keeping everything straight in my head, oh god no, let's not do that, that's how things end up forgotten about and/or on fire. I haven't worked down here in awhile because one time, not long after we adopted them, the cats hid in the closet and got accidentally trapped overnight, and both of them panic-peed on the carpet. And unlike the Lego bins, getting cat pee odors out of carpet is basically impossible. We've managed it PRETTY well, with both professional cleanings and buying our own carpet deep cleaner and using it regularly (like pretty much every time we vacuum), along with throwing just about every pet stain/odor related product on earth at the problem. So it usually smells just fine (though I think vaguely carpet-cleaner-ish), but other times the smell starts emanating from the padding below and I'm just like, I'm out, I'll be working from the couch again... Read more →


Plot twist: Jason has uveitis, not pinkeye. Because clearly regular ol' pinkeye is far too pedestrian for our tastes around here. We prefer the rarer, more obscure forms of eyeball discomfort. The more underground diagnoses, if you will. Epidemic Keratoconjunctitis? You've probably never heard of it. Now pass me the artisanal steroid eye drops. Uveitis is not contagious, although that didn't stop me from getting soap in my eye in the shower yesterday and spending the next hour or so convinced I was dying of pinkeye. (Spoiler alert: I'm fine, just dumb.) Also feeling a touch overwhelmed on the work front. I've been solidly in the "ebb" stage of the freelancing flow for the last few months, popping in occasionally with clients like "need anything? no? not yet? how about now?" while networking my ass off in hopes of landing something new. Which I did! And it's a big one! Like with a fancy badge and a giant laptop and lots of cool shit to do. And then LITERALLY on my FIRST DAY of the gig, I came home to a flurry of emails from three other clients all HELP HELP WE NEED YOU TO WRITE ALL THE THINGS HERE... Read more →