I had a miserable cold this weekend, the kind that consumes your thinking until you’re pretty sure you’ve always lived this way, gasping openmouthed for air and feeling the skin on your nostrils peel away from all the blowing, and the only thing that made me feel slightly less awful is that Dylan had the same cold. Not that I want him to be sick, of course, but if he was going to be sick, it was nice (?) that I was sick at the exact same time so we could commiserate together. He’d raise his red-eyed face from one couch and peer at me, lying surrounded by wet tissues on the other couch, and he’d say “I can’d even remember what it’s like to breathe through by dose!” And I’d be like, “I DNOW, right?” Then we’d split an ibuprofen and cough weakly into our respective blankets while Riley rolled his eyes.

We did manage to rally for brunch yesterday, although I think that might be the last time I drag everyone out for an over-priced affair that features dried-out salmon and the thousand-yard-stare from a resentful employee who has been staffing an omelet station since 9 AM. It was nice having someone else cook on Mother’s Day and all, but I bet ordering a pizza would have been more satisfying and I wouldn’t have had to take the easy-access Kleenex out of the top of my bra.

It was a really good Mother’s Day. I’d just spent Saturday at the coast with the boys while John was traveling, so we’d had some nice just-us time together. They gave me cards and a delicate yellow orchid, the weather was summery and perfect, John washed my car, the three of them trooped off to Home Depot to bring me home a lawn chair I’d been eying.

Also, I asked John to take our photo and I can’t believe how big these kids are:

Parenthood is really something, isn’t it? I’ve been going through a bunch of old posts lately, pulling together content for a pregnancy/new motherhood memoir/journal/whatever (I’m going to self publish and it’s either going to be funny and awesome or it’s going to be a hot mess, but either way I’ll have a record of that time that lives somewhere aside from my archives), and it feels like actual thousands of years ago that I was marveling at the confusing staticky image from my first ultrasound (awwww, it’s … Skeletor?), but also like it’s not remotely possible that I could be the parent of two almost-teenage humans because didn’t this all happen, like, yesterday?

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We recently decided to replace our carpeting which was a real mess: a mishmash of three different styles, two original and who knows how old; one room used as a sneaky pee zone by the cat, another sporting a faded orange macaroni and cheese stain from an Unfortunate Barf Incident. Also, right after we ordered the new carpeting John accidentally spilled a container of magenta printer toner, which definitely sealed the deal.

I am really pleased with the comfy new carpet, which is a Stainmaster style that’s amusingly called “Subtle Glamour” (“My, what is it about this poorly-lit room featuring cheap TJ Maxx wall decor and littered with filthy boy-socks? There’s just something so … glamorous about being in here”), but oh holy christ was it ever a giant pain in the ass to clear the rooms for each installation.

Bookshelves, bureaus, furniture, it all had to be picked up and located elsewhere, and the most challenging part by far was our 3-seater couch, which is one of those ridiculous WALL-E recliner deals that somehow weigh eleventeen jillion pounds because of the metal undercarriage. They’re all rounded edges, so there’s nothing to grab onto, and the whole thing had to be tilted on its side to get through a tight doorway, and all I can say is that during the whole process both John and I reenacted that classic Friends scene multiple times while playing both characters at once.

It’s all done now and hopefully we’ll never have to move all that crap again without burly professionals, and as part of my investment in not having to replace a urine-drenched floor covering any time soon I bought a cat litter box, because while I have been enormously resistant to doing so it’s clear our one outside/inside cat has become devoted to staying inside because our outside cats Mean Girl the shit out of her when she goes out (ugh this whole explanation is crumbling under the weight of terrible grammar, sorry but there are just SO MANY CATS).

The problem with the cat litter is that there is not one single place in our house where a box can be unobtrusively located. We don’t have a laundry room (the washer/dryer are in the garage), or a, I don’t know, random room isn’t a bedroom or kitchen or human bathroom. So I got one of those shit-igloo things, as recommended by a similarly space-restricted friend, and it is in the hallway, which is subtly glamorous AF.

And THEN we had to sort of … ease the cat into it, because her brain is basically a single Raisenette and at first she was like I WILL NOT STEP FOOT NEAR THIS TERRIFYING THUNDERDOME so we left the lid off for a while and did everything short of getting in the litter our own selves to show her it was an Emotional Safe Space and oh my god.

Anyway, that part wasn’t much fun, but it turns out the most unpleasant part about all the carpet-related wranglings wasn’t the heavy lifting or the litter box strategizing, but rather being confronted with what the underside of most of our tables looks like. Have you ever really looked under a table, particularly if you have kids?

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