Outwitted. Again.

Right, so we’ve switched to the toddler beds. The ugly plastic Buzz Lightyear ones instead of the sweet cool modern wooden ones because ROAN.

Smitty + Shepz couldn’t have been more excited. It was a party in the extreme the first night. Jumping, singing, jumping, dancing. Jumping. An impromptu rain splashing and puddle jump interlude in the backyard and then more jumping. When they went to sleep, they slept hard and happy. My boys knocked it outta the park on the first night.

This, I chalked up to my awesome job preparing them for the leap. I’d been talking to them about being good listeners, following rules, and most importantly not ever ever no never ever getting out of bed before the owl turns green. This is the owl. He turns the color green at a specified time. I’ve specified 6:45 AM  because sadly, that’s the latest I can push it.

Please work, Mr. Owl.

Please work, Mr. Owl.

We’re still working on obedience but I do know my boys understand the concept.

So. Nap time. First one ever in the Buzz Lightyear Abominations which they love, and I knew it was going to be tough. I was prepared. I sat by the door for about an hour, coming in with swift and heavy-voiced judgment each time one of the boys got out of bed. Each time I handed out a verbal mean-voiced “Get back into bed right now I mean it and stay in bed, stay in bed!” Shep would put his palms to the ceiling and assure me, “I’m trying!” Thassrite. I used my mean voice. Even though he’s trying. Respect that.

Finally they were both asleep, and I congratulated myself on a job well done. Upstairs I got busy doing all the things that need to be done in this superspecial 3-hour time allotment I have, which now I only had 2 hours of. No problem.

With my heart warming up towards the beds now stuffed with delicious toddlers in them, I grabbed my phone to snap a picture. I super-Mom-stealthed my way into their room, which sat there with two empty beds.

Really guys?

I looked around. Zero toddlers. In the closet. Zero toddlers. Roan’s room. Zero toddlers. I mean. COME ON.

Knowing I would have to admit submission and tap out of this round of sleep wars if what I suspected was true, I slowly opened the door to the back yard. The back yard which held two very naughty twin toddlers, riding their tricycles with the smuggest and happiest grins on their faces.

“It’s ok mama” Smith offered.

“I’m trying!” Shep assured me.

Which I now am somewhat dubious about believing the sincerity of.

Truth Hurts, And it is Also Ugly

It’s usually at the very last moment, with a toddler, that you’re willing to make a big change in their life. You’ve finally figured a few things out: what + when they’ll eat, what freaks them out, and what makes them laugh like they’re drunk on breast milk again. And more, ever-so-more, more more more importantly, how to help them go to and stay asleep.

I’ve been lucky with the young twin dudes. We went all-in with sleep training and it paid off in spades. They’ve slept through the night since they were around six months old, and have been taking three-hour naps until…

…they realized they could escape their tiny prison-cribs.

It had to come some day but I wasn’t totally ready to accept this was happening. The final straw was little Mr. Smitty crawling up the stairs during nap time, meowing like a kitten saying, “Smith is in bed! I am a kittty cat!” Really? Subterfuge (albeit not very good) at this age? I guess you’ve earned the right to lose the crib.

I’d skip the toddler bed except that the space we have lends itself to small beds right now. So I started researching and pricing them out and found two little beds I thought would be cute and were really affordable. They were modern and sleek, furniture I’d buy on a bigger scale for myself. I clicked “buy” and was excited to share with Roan what was going down.

Cute. Sleek. Modern. SOLD!

Cute. Sleek. Modern. SOLD!

Roan’s looked at me with a shake of his head and a come-to-Jesus tone, asking, “Mom, who are these beds for? YOU or THEM?”

“Them?”

“Riiiight. So this is a big change for them. It needs to feel positive. They are not going to be excited about these beds. ”

“They’re not? They’re not.”

And Roan, after about an hour of counseling his parents, won the round of design vs. abomination with these two beds ordered, and the other two cancelled:

Plastic, themed out the yin-yang, ridiculous, and OURS.

Plastic, themed out the yin-yang, ridiculous, and OURS.

I only regret that Roan didn’t have Roan advocating for him as a toddler.

 

Less = More

Cheers Big Ears

Cheers Big Ears

I’ve often felt like it was pretty silly when bloggers take the time to apologize and explain to their readers why they’re not posting very often. I mean while I’d love to believe I’m so important that people are putting work, family and social lives on hold while refreshing their browser waiting for stories about my life – it’s probably just not so.

So there is no apology coming from me, but you know – just a nod of the head, a raise of the eyebrows and a happy smile that you’re still checking in. The thing is, the less I post on Pistols + Popcorn, the better my life seems to be going. I definitely don’t have as much time as I once did to record every day. And that’s a happy thing for me. I am a crazy kind of person, one who feels at the top of her game when slightly overwhelmed with things that matter.

That’s probably the reason I enjoy these twins so much. Shepz + Smitty often gang up on me and overwhelm me with all sorts of sensory stimulation. Whining, laughing, singing, smooshing sticky things onto my pants, daring to climb very un-climbable things and most of all demanding all the affection in the world. Which I have for them.

The serious business of eating ice cream.

The serious business of eating ice cream.

This morning after breakfast and kissing Big Bro Ro + Daddy-O good-bye, I took my two boys into the backyard. While I sat on a chair, they ran after each other and played a game of throw the ball into the little house, then throw the ball out of the little house. They did this circuit of play, trade, share, grab, leave, + come back over and over. They really enjoyed being with each other. And I sat on this chair, with the sun on my face and coffee in my hand. And I thought you know – finally. I am in this pocket of time where they’re not so big that they’re getting away from me, and they’re not so small that they need me constantly. It is a really happy time. And that guilt I had with Roan at this age, that I wasn’t a fun enough play companion because I could only last so long in his 2-year-old world – that’s no where with these two. They have each other, all the time. Sometimes that makes things harder, but more and more it’s making their lives much more fun.

Cheeeeze.

Cheeeeze.

So while they sleep during their daily nap, I am allowed to work on my side projects, things that have nothing at all to do with them or their bro or their dad. It’s just my stuff. And I love it. It’s a balance that has been struck, a gift that gets me out of my own head and into  a different space without even having to leave home.

But the side projects leave me less time to record all the small stories. And that’s ok. I’ve realized that not everything has to be recorded or even remembered. Living in the moment has its merits. This past weekend I went to Spa Castle with Roan. I didn’t take any pictures. I’m not going to detail our trip in writing. It was enough to just go with him, and spend hours in bubbling bade pools and hot saunas, talking about nothing. Everything. Life probably doesn’t have to be recorded. It’s enough to just appreciate it, as it comes.

So these entries will be further apart, but will keep coming. It’s a sign that life is good, that it’s being lived.

[Note: I've switched to a new computer with new computer-y stuff that doesn't always make sense to me. In doing so, I've lost the list of people who used to be emailed each time I posted. So. That's not happening anymore. Sorry.]

Facebook Weirdo Claims My Kids. Bah.

My 3 sons. MINE.

My 3 sons. MINE.

I’m a pretty optimistic person, the kind that doesn’t really sweat the “what if’s” in every circumstance. So while I know that my kids’ pics could be seen by bazillions of people, I also know that they probably won’t be, because there is so much information, so many images, so many people out there also adding to the noise of the internet that I stand out very little. I’m cool with that. I don’t want to be famous. I don’t want to worry about public opinion. I write because I’d like my sons to be able to check out their childhoods online. Really, that’s it. If it’s helpful to anyone else, that’s a huge plus. If it’s funny to other people, a big ego boost. But my drive is to do this for my family. It’s our journal.

But my zen approach to this was tested about two weeks ago, when I received this email:

 I thought you might want to know that someone on FB has stolen a bunch of picture of your twins and is passing them off as his adopted twins “Levi and Louis”. I don’t know for what purpose since the profile is mostly private, but you can see the profile here in case you want to report it:
https://www.facebook.com/craig.l.james.98

 

Ruh-Roh.

I thought maybe it was some weird scam or prank or trick, but it wasn’t. Some guy has a Facebook profile, with pictures of Smith and Sheppard in a photo album, posing as his adopted twin boys.

Creeper Creepy McCreepster

Creeper Creepy McCreepster

Immediately I went into combat mode and was going to find him, and….say something really mean! ha. Ok, my combat mode isn’t all that fierce. I did all the things a person can do to try to report it, all with no results. The pictures are still up, and he has not responded to my requests to take them down. Facebook has denied all my attempts to shut his account down. I’ve messaged his friends, with no response.

And you know what?

I figured out it didn’t matter, actually. I mean, it’s creepy as creepy can be. I can’t figure out why he would do it, but then again there’s a lot of stuff on the planet I cannot figure out. So I’ve added it to the things I do not understand. It’s kind of a big list.

A few friends have suggested I try to be more private with my pictures, that I be more careful about what I write. It would probably be a good idea, but that’s not the way I roll. I’m as careful and protective as I can be in this world, without caving to anxiety over the stuff I can’t control. I love sharing my boys with my online friends and family. I learn from telling our stories. And I have just recently started visiting older stories with Roan – ones we had both forgotten. The stories have pictures of us together, growing up and changing. They are here, on my site. On our family’s site. It’s valuable to me, in a way that could never be captured any way else.

I mean, how could I stop posting stuff like this? It’s too much. Must share.

Straw glasses. Classic.

Straw glasses. Classic.

Smitty + Shep in their finest Appaman duds.

Smitty + Shep in their finest Appaman duds.

 

 

We Should Help Now

Today is my birthday, and I’m very clear on what I want. I want to re-write a story, I want to fix it. I want to help a woman I know, who has found herself living in a devastated and destroyed world. Her world cannot be fixed though. That is because her two children are dead, and it was by her hand. They were five years old, and four months old.

Lisette Bamenga

Lisette Bamenga

Lisette Bamenga was a teacher at Roan’s school. This woman has one of those faces, the kind that when you call her up in your mind there’s a big grin, always. She is a teacher who Roan speaks of with a smile, recalling how he got to meet her baby when she brought her by for a visit. Ms. Bamenga was one of his favorites. And it makes no sense to anyone who knows her, how she has ended up as the villain in this story.

This is what I know. Lisette Bamenga didn’t get help at a time when she needed it. If there was a point where she asked for it, or if there was a point where she was denied it, I do not know. And because I do not have the fortitude to tell her story, I point to this well-written article, authored by one of her fellow teachers, Olivia Ramsey, and published in the Huffington Post:

For women who are not predisposed to postpartum depression and psychosis, we can push through, unhappy with the circumstances but knowing that this is what we have to do for our babies and our families. We suffer situational depression and lean on our co-workers, families, and friends to help us through. For Lisette and other women whose mental state is more precarious, the stress of juggling sleep-deprivation, caring for an infant and an older sibling, the demands of a full time job, and holding a marriage together is more than enough to trigger an acute postpartum psychosis. Lisette will never recover from this. She has killed her babies. Her life is over.

We don’t know the details yet about all that happened, or exactly how Lisette found herself in such a deranged state. But we can know with certainty that this country’s parental leave policies did nothing to protect those poor children. We should be ashamed.

When I had the difficult discussion with Roan about these events, the first thing he said was, “I want to help Ms. Bamenga”. His impulse amazed me and inspired me. And finally, last night he talked to me about it again. There’s a group of parents and friends who are constantly fund-raising to help pay for Lisette Bamenga’s defense fund. They will be having a bake sale and yard sale later this month. Roan asked if he could make something for it, and if he could donate some of his toys.

And then he explained to me that I needed to write about it, to ask people to help her. He told me this with the assertion of an adult correcting a child. And he was right. If there is anything good that can come from this tragedy, it’s the awareness and acknowledgment that this woman deserves our help now. It’s late. The damage is done for her family. But she deserves to be defended, and to have the care now that she didn’t have access to when she needed it so critically.

So for my birthday this year, I ask that you join Roan, me, and a handful of people who are trying to help Lisette Bamenga get access to an adequate defense and ultimately the best placement for her after this tragedy. She is a woman who fell critically and desperately ill, and it went unnoticed until it was much too late. Rather than horror, there needs to be sympathy. Rather than a gawking spectacle, there should be a circling of the wagons around a mother who was failed by a flawed system. Most importantly, we should all hold tight to our own children, and be so incredibly grateful that we can do just that.

Please give $5, $10, $100 – really anything you can. Donations will go directly to Lisette Bamenga’s Defense Trust.  I will be creating a card with names of donors to give to Lisette, so she can understand that she is supported and loved. This does help. We should help now. Click here to donate using PayPal/Visa/Amex/MC/Discover.

 

Space to Breathe

I realized something yesterday. That at about 2 years, 4 months and 15 days after my twins were born, a thing happened. A cloud passed, light was let in, and warmth radiated a bit more comfortably from the planet. This all happened yesterday.

Sheppard. Chopper. Who's Bad?

Sheppard. Chopper. Who’s Bad?

Yesterday our family decided to fire up a chocolate fountain that was gifted to Anson from a recent photo shoot he worked on for West Elm. We stocked the house with pretzels, potato chips, pound cake, strawberries, whipped cream, shortbread cookies, Peeps, and marshmallows. Then we called in the troops: the neighborhood boys are girls, their parents, and a cat called Chuck Norris. Our maiden voyage with the chocolate fountain yielded somewhat lumpy chocolate results but it was gobbled up nonetheless. After a ridiculous amount of sugar, we all went into our backyard for an hour or so, then moved to the front to play “Kick the Can”.

Sheppard and Smith played with their friend Leela, riding bikes/trikes/scooters/anything with wheels up and down the street. Roan, Sachin, and their dads ran around the block hiding, running everywhere, ambushing the can for bragging rights. I watched my little ones talk to delivery guys, and then try to keep up with the bigger girls.

I watched them.

I stood back and got to see them interact in the world without holding my hand, or being held by me. They were confident and happy, being little adventurer pirates up and down the block. They played and went fast then slow, fell down then shouted, “I’M OK!” triumphantly. And that’s when it smacked me right in the kisser: these boys, all of my three boys are at amazingly fun ages.

Smitty and Shepz no longer have to watch kids play while they squirm in my arms. They don’t have to stay right in front of me, at an arm’s reach. They are brave enough and capable enough to go down the block. They have been told that Superman does not want them to go into the street without an adult so they do not go into the street without an adult. They attack each other and then work it out. And Roan. He proudly has the ability to walk three blocks away from home, crossing two streets, with enough money in his hand to grab some drinks for everyone. On his own. Yesterday he confidently led his two friends on this journey.

They returned somewhat more grown up.

So telling, this picture.

So telling, this picture.

I do love the time in life when a baby needs me for everything. But it is exhausting and it is more than exhausting when there are two. I am ready for these guys to play in this world. Under a careful and watchful eye, mind you. But still – out of reach. I welcome their independence and am so proud of each of my three sons that they yearn for it as well. Their safe feeling in this world, the trust they have for it, is my biggest source of pride. And their ability to navigate it, even in these most basic ways creates a little more breathing space for me. This is a happy time.

The Forgotten Gift by Susan Nelson

Susan Nelson

Susan Nelson

One of the most acute losses in my life was that of my sister-in-law, Susan. Married to my brother, Elden, this woman was kind and somewhat soft-spoken, but with a fighter’s spirit and love enough to fill one thousand universes. Susan fought breast cancer for years and years, finally succumbing to it in August of 2009.

My sisters and I would take turns being with Elden and Susan’s family, to help with their four kids and care-taking of Susan’s needs. My sister Kellene did the lion’s share of helping.  I always wished I had even one-tenth of Kellene’s intuition and ability to help. Still, on one of my visits, Susan gave me a manuscript to read, and very shyly asked if I would look it over. I began reading it next to her, while she slept. After an hour or so, I moved from her room into the Family Room, and sunk into a corner on the couch. I realized I was straining to read it and looked out the window, surprised that the sun was on its way down. Hours had passed, and I was absolutely wrapped up in this story.

I woke Susan to talk to her about it. It was so well written, and I could hear her voice clear as a bell in it. Susan sat up as much as she could, and we started talking about the characters, who they were based on, and some of the references. It was a treat to talk to the author while reading her story. Even more so because this was one of our longest conversations, with Susan’s energy at an all-time high for that trip. She loved this story. She really loved talking about it. I really loved reading it.

I finished the manuscript and praised it over and over to her. She insisted it wasn’t finished and I told her I thought it was. I felt the ending was exactly as it should be, leaving me wanting more but feeling resolved. She let me put a copy of it on my computer so I could read it with Roan when he got a bit older.

I had one more visit with Susan, one more collection of days spent with her, but I do feel that the talks we had about her book were some of the last real conversations we had. Our  last days together were some of the hardest I’ve spent. I watched my brother and his children lose their wife and mother. I was there to witness them saying good-bye to her, and had no way of helping, no way of changing or buffering what was inevitable.

Available on Amazon

Available on Amazon

And now it is almost four years later, and my brother has found a way to publish this story that meant so much to Susan. The book is a wonderful read on its own, it is one I would recommend even without such a personal connection. But with the added love I have for the author, I now ask that anyone who enjoys a good read go here to buy a copy of “The Forgotten Gift”, an interrupted novel by Susan Nelson.

My brother, Elden, best describes what the sales of this book will mean to his family on his site, Fat Cyclist:

Where the Money’s Going

Last July, I was kind of at the end of my rope. My 17-year-old son — already prone to depression — had been really struggling since his mom’s illness and death.

Finally, I had found a program that was really helping, but my insurance company  was actively fighting me on whether they should have to cover his treatment. Eventually, they did cover his treatment, up to a point.

Then they stopped. And now that’s thousands and thousands of dollars we need to come up with, both for the treatment he’s had and the treatment he continues to receive.

By the way, my son is now doing great. He’s back at school full-time, and is headed off tomorrow to participate in an academic decathlon. Also, he and I are training together to run in a five-mile race next weekend.

I have to say, I think Susan would be really pleased at the idea of her novel covering the treatment that has done her son so much good.

Susan, Elden and their eldest son.

Susan, Elden and their eldest son.

Read the rest of his entry here. And by all means please pass this story on. My sister-in-law has an amazing legacy left for her children. Hundreds of thousands of dollars have been raised in her name towards fighting cancer. Her personal battle has inspired many. And now her creative and magical side gets to shine, through this story. This is the Susan who I remember. Not the fighter or the iconic cancer-battling poster child , but the woman who was still so child-like and smiling. The woman whose eyes actually sparkled when she listened to Green Day and played Snowboard Supercross. This woman who loved being a mother more than anything, and whose children clamored to hear her read to them and tell stories. The fiction she spins is beautiful and easy to get lost in. The reality behind it is that you get to help her family by enjoying it. Click here.

 

 

Friday Night Party

Friday night, and the bass is turned up loud. Old school speakers thumping House, heavily influenced from Chicago, and the crowd is jumping. Literally, jumping. As a siren squeals in the song, voices start mimicking the sound and it’s almost too much….until the breakdown. All eyes turn towards the disco ball in the corner, reflecting a clean white light and creating irresistible reflective bubbles all around the dark room. A sweet-faced boy with killer moves and an obviously cared-about look smiles at me and offers me a lollipop. It’s my third of the night, but I take it anyway. After all, it’s the weekend. And I wouldn’t want to turn him down.

Casa Call Club on a Friday night.

Casa Call Club on a Friday night.

Two more boys, shirtless, run around maniacally chasing each other. Laughing and dancing, like they’ve been waiting for this night all week. Without a thought as to who is watching them, they sing along with the song, “I Love Yoooooooo”, louder and louder. They don’t stop until one falls down clutching his belly from laughing too hard and rolling around on the cushions on the floor. Also, he is wearing no pants. Neither is the other boy for that matter. There is a lollipop stuck to the cheek of his bum.

On the list. Knows the DJ.

On the list. Knows the DJ.

A handsome man stands next to me in the doorway where I’ve been watching the party with a beer in my hand. He clicks my drink with his, throws his arm around my shoulder and whispers into my ear, “Did you ever imagine? When we met that this would happen?”

Masking tape streamers. Dad's fun idea/safety hazard.

Masking tape streamers. Dad’s fun idea/safety hazard.

Nope I didn’t. When I met him in a nightclub fourteen years ago, I had no idea we could create this chaotic hysterical awesome party family together. Our Friday nights are spent in much the same atmosphere they were back then. Music, dancing, celebrating the end of the week. The nights end earlier, with less regret but usually more broken things and bubble bath water splashed everywhere. I feel bad for anyone who feels that having a family is boring or holds them back. The family is the party. Masking tape streamers, an awesome playlist, and kids who can step one two – coolest Friday nights on Earth.

Done Breastfeeding

If you don’t want to talk about my breasts, you’ve come to the wrong post, buddy.

My sons have all been natural-born suckers. Through no valiant or hyper-vigilant effort of my own, I have been a breastfeeder for the masses, or so it seems. I mean, breastfeeding two kids at once for two years? Massive. But it really hasn’t felt hard or difficult or anything other than normal. Feeding Roan was the same way. He was happy to breastfeed or bottle feed or just eat. And he drifted between all three mediums until he decided not to, and that was that. Around age two years and a few months, he was done breastfeeding and told me so.

Smitty and Shepz have been champion breastfeeders. And until one week ago today, I was still breastfeeding them at night, right before bed. It was easy and sweet, a chance for the three of us to cuddle up and be quiet. They would always hold hands, and Smitty would do a bit of intermittent verbal free association during the process, kind of giving an overview of how his day played out for him. “Smishie fall down. Roro School. Sheppy not share. Mama hide. Fast car. Special Snack.” Sort of an end-of-day highlight reel, in-between gulps of milk.

It would seem that I’m one of those ladies who really really really believes in breastfeeding for ages but I’m not. It’s just been the easiest thing for me and my boys, the right way for us to go about what we do. But I figured out that now we’re at a stage where it’s just going to be harder and harder to take it away and I’m thinking these two are not going to call it off anytime soon. So. I decided to break it off, quick and clean last Friday night when Roan and I spent the night away. That was the first night they went to bed without me.

It went smoothly, couldn’t have been better. But the next night when I was back, but not offering it up? Not as smooth. I had a big plan as I often times do. Just replace the breastfeeding session with a reading session. Something they love and can look forward to. Something special and cozy, filled with love and attention. And with Anson, Roan, Smitty, Shepz and me piled on the bed reading Goodnight Moon and The Big Red Barn, I thought about how easy this transition is. Until we put them to bed and they were all, “What. The. What?”

And there was a bit of crying and I felt sad. I felt really sad. They haven’t cried when going to bed for over a year. I thought about how lame it was for me to stop, because really it wasn’t putting me out at all, and they liked it and what was the downside again? Hmmmmmm. But I am a woman of strong intent and even when logic fails if I’ve made a decision I stick with it. This is why I ran several businesses successfully which should absolutely not have succeeded. Because I’m stubborn like whoa.

So the next night was better and the night after that the best. They’re into the new groove, it’s a good routine we have now. I now remember that I stopped because I cannot breastfeed them forever, I stopped because at some point I have to. They even joke about not nursing, asking for it and then quickly saying, “Noooooo!” in a funny joking way, like they had asked me to travel to the moon with no pants on, and obviously they would wear pants because the moon is cold.

I suppose there are upsides to this now. I can spend nights away, babysitters can come and put these boys to bed. But just as I miss those quiet times from years ago with Roan cuddled up tight in my arms, I already miss these two bigger and bigger boys sandwiching me and holding hands. Parenthood is a funny thing. It’s the best the worst the happiest and the saddest. And the fastest. That’s the hardest part. Too fast.

Burning It Down

So. I started thinking about shutting Pistols + Popcorn down. Nothing has happened that I’m unhappy with, but there are a few things that bug me. Mostly all the PR pitches I get. Now, I could come across as self-important by saying that – I mean it comes across as sort of…”Oh, look at me I’m so important that all these companies want to partner up with me! ME! Yes, M-E!”

"Hey Pistols? Yeh, it's Popcorn..."

"Oi! I told you not to call me here!"

But it’s not like that. I know that all the corporations in the world have figured out that word-of-mouth is the best bet for their advertising dollar, and what’s more word-of-mouth than a Mommy Blog? Trusted and true. So they go after us, even if their product has nothing to do with our audience. It’s obvious that they don’t read the blog, most of the time, and then this sort of yucky “We LOVE what you do you will LOVE what we do and your readers will be GRATEFUL for the introduction” type of thing I keep getting. That’s probably why it grosses me out. I just don’t want to use my sons and our stories to sell stuff. That’s not why you stick with me, that’s not what you’re here for. And that’s definitely not why I’m here. Each email I get asking me to do it makes me a little more aware of all the advertising happening here, on the sidelines, and I’m just not down with it anymore.

What will we do without the millions of dollars of revenue she made?

I want to keep writing, and I want to keep it real. So I’m turning this into a commerce-free site, starting next week. I’m going to redesign this site (and when I say “I’m going to” obviously I mean “Anson is going to”) and reclaim all the real estate that has belonged to advertisers and big ultra-business. I’m burning it down to the ground where it’s just me and mine. And all of my readers are invited to hang with us, here in the ashes.

I suppose we will live off of juice sippy cups and love

I think I’m going to enjoy this place a lot more. Hopefully you will too. I will not accept anything to review, unless it’s a service actually provided by a friend, or a reader. Someone who really actually is invested here and wants to share something with me. And something I would actually talk about with friends. So pardon the quiet for just a little while, and come back in a few. Hopefully you’ll like what you see.