Frankenstorm Sandy. Looks Like We Made It.

Sheppard stepping out to survey the world post-hurricane

The high drama of big storms is something that we eat up. There’s a tension of excitement as we hope to hang on to power and water, a neurotic checking of battery power in our phones and computers. As Frankenstorm Sandy descended upon my family, we took the approach we always take – lazy preparation, with crossed fingers and secret enjoyment of the unpredictable weather and its consequences which were totally out of our hands.

Smitty riding through tree branches and leaves

It’s a little tricky to articulate in a way that makes sense, but I suspect it rings true for most people. It’s not that we enjoy a natural disaster, and I’m not unconcerned for my family’s safety. I’m all too aware of the suffering it’s caused, and had a sleepless night last night worrying about the hospital patients being evacuated from NYU Hospital, and all my favorite things on Coney Island being eaten up by the ocean.

After two days in-house, time to go out. Nevermind the Hurricane.

But I do enjoy the community that rises to the surface. People make eye contact on the street, homes open up. Smiles are given out freely and people no longer seem to feel threatened by one another. The bigger threat – nature – brings us back to zero, I suppose. Us vs. the world. All of us versus something much more powerful than all of us.

The day the storm was blowing in, for a last Halloween pre-party hurrah in the park

And Twitter and Facebook. Social media outlets that I use sporadically became my lifeline and information go-to sources. With Internet and Cable out, the 4G on my phone was keeping me company last night. It’s funny peculiar that the pithy “I’m thinking of you in NYC” statements from celebrities and musicians and followers and strangers and far-away friends suddenly really mean something. One after another in my Twitter timeline, people saying “hang in there.” A status update I entered on Facebook saying “I’m Ok” gathered immediate attention from my friends and family, letting me know they were thinking about it too. Thinking about me.

That feels good, when the wind is knocking on the window in a fairly violent manner.

But here in Zone B, about 100 yards from the evacuation zone, we were right as rain. We kept our power on; flickering and threatening to give up on us, but kept it nonetheless. Our water stayed on and none of our windows gave way. Our walls held up and our roof stayed on and no huffing and puffing by Sandy brought us harm. Smitty and Shep ran around the house naked making windy noises with their mouths, and Roan celebrated the two (and counting) days off from school with friends, confetti, music videos, play-doh, food, movies and much tackling of his father.

Capes are actually awesome to wear in Hurricane weather. Very dramatic.

It’s not over yet but the worst part is done. I predict that tomorrow’s Halloween will bring more kids out-of-doors than ever. With parents ready to leave their four walls, and kids bursting with pent-up energy. And a hangover of community spirit that will hopefully stick around for a while.

I Met Johnny Depp at the Park, and am Now His Emergency Contact

I mean, what are the chances, me just hanging out at the park, and then running into Johnny Depp who then takes an immediate interest in me, shares a few of his toys, and based on almost no conversation at all pretty much implies that I’m his best friend now? Chilling. I’m also pretty sure that based on his reaction to me, I am now his emergency contact for when things get heavy.

This is the only way I can illustrate Smitty’s reaction to a child he saw at the park, dressed head-to-toe in a Batman costume, complete with a mask and obviously, “A KEEEEEP!!” (that would be “cape” to those of you who don’t speak Smitty). Smith spotted him in the swings, being pushed by his Grandfather (or was it Alfred?) right when we entered the park. Smith screamed. He screamed in the same way my head would explode if I saw Johnny Depp swinging in the toddler swings 10 feet away. “Mat-man!” And then again and again, with no subtlety or nuance, pointing to Batman himself who was much shorter in real life than he appears on-screen.

Not surprisingly, we had to get costumes of our own.

I asked if he wanted to go swing next to him and Smith answered “NO?” because that’s his go-to for when things are exciting. So I placed him on a big statue of an elephant, facing swinging Batman, so he could just stare at him and point. The 3-year-old Batman was eating up the attention, smiling and laughing for Smith. He had his hands in flying position, and would wave at his newest fan about every 20 seconds. Each time he waved, Smitty screamed “Mat-man!” and then in case I wasn’t paying attention, “MaMA!! MAT-MAN!”

Yes. I see. It’s Batman.

So Smith finally got the nerve to go swing next to his hero, whose cape was catching the wind just so perfectly it almost looked like a CGI special effect. Smith sat next to Batman, sideways in his seat and kept saying “Hi.” Eventually Batman grew tired of his swinging time, and went to go play with some filthy awful park toys that give me cause to shudder each time my boys play with them. I look away when they lick them because I just can’t with that. Obviously if you’re Batman these things don’t scare you. But he kept looking for Smith, who had eyes locked on him and would always give a salute, or a flying mime for my boy.

Eventually Batman had to go home for a bath, dinner, story and bed. But recognizing the depth of his power, Batman walked up to Smith and gave him a hug goodbye. This pretty much freaked Smitty out because even though it’s Batman, dude. Personal space. Still, the story was told for days after by Smitty, and went something like “Mat-man swing!” or “Mat-man park!” or “Mat-man Keeeeeeeeep!” It’s Smitty’s first star-sighting and his mother can certainly commiserate on the the exciting nature of these things. No one loves a good brush with celebrity more than me. I recognize Smithy’s enthusiasm for it, and am just glad that he met child-Batman and not dark tortured crime-fighting Batman. I also believe I have a thing or two to learn from my boy. Instead of just playing it cool and hoping the hamsters running around in my brain don’t howl too loud when in the presence of great celebrity-ness, I can apparently just go ahead and stare, point, stalk, follow and say “Hi!” approximately infinity times to them, with stellar results.

Swearing + Sharing: Twins at 23 Months

Swingers

Every night, Roan sticks his bottom lip out and makes a very sad face before Smitty kisses him goodnight. “Roro is sad. Roro needs a kiss” he says, and Smith, large with the power to grant happiness to his older brother always rushes over and plants a giant smackeroo on Roan’s sad face. He doubles-down with a hug and caps it with his version of “I love you”. (Roughly: “I-yu-yo”). This has become so much a routine that Smitty will not kiss him goodnight until Roan pretends he’s sad. If Roan just asks for a kiss, Smith replies with “Sad? Sad. SAD? SAD!!”

He wants to make things better.

Leaf Jumpers

Sheppard on the other hand, has created what I can only describe as baby swear words. They are not imitations of his father or me swearing (because obviously we never swear.) Nope – my Shepz has found some sounds that go together and roll off the tongue that express extreme frustration, anger and sometimes sadness. Sheppard’s swears are not random either. They are consistently used and eloquently placed in his sentences. To wit: “Mama? Mom? MOM! Sheppy snack? Nack? NACK! NACK!” And then….”BALLA-BALLA-BALLA-BALLA NACK!”

Or if Smith takes a toy? “BALLA-BALLA-BALLA-TOY. S-s-s-s-s-mith balla-balla-balla-toy. SAD!”

(I suppose I should be writing BA$#A-BA$#A-BA$#A so the swears aren’t spelled out so graphically but we’re all adults here are we not?)

Artists

But these two creatures are also learning the super important and impossible lessons of sharing etiquette. Toddlers hate to share. Hell, I’d say it’s safe to say that most adults hate to share. But Sheppy and Smith are getting it down at lightning speed with only a few minor tweaks needed at this point. To illuminate some nature vs. nurture stuff, some kids are just built to share. Smith is one of those kids. He can have a toy and 8 out of 10 times if Sheppy wants it, he’ll give it up and move on to the next. This is great news for me because Sheppy is built in a way where he wants pretty much everything that Smith has his hands on. So we’ve tried to implement a process where Shep doesn’t turn into a bulldozer grabbing machine. He has to ask, using the words “trade” or “share”, and he has to either sign the word “please” or say it. After he (always) gets what he wants, he has to say “thank you”. And it’s pretty smooth for the most part. Except that Sheppy in his brilliant boy mind has been able to bend a few rules so that he will at times bypass the sharing and trading step, grab a toy,  run away with it yelling “thank you” over his shoulder.

Balla-balla-balla toy thief.

Crime Fighters

They are best friends though, and that is without a doubt. When it is time for bed, they run to their cribs. I am being totally literal here. They run. We put them in and sing a quick song, get an “I-yu-yo” from each of them and make an exit. There are no tears. There are not pleadings for us to stay. There is only the sound of bouncing springs and the mimicking of each other’s speech. There is always laughter and when it finally stops, there are two boys splayed out on top of blankets with sweaty necks. I check on them before I go to sleep and cannot believe my stupid dumb luck that I actually get to have these two ridiculous love bombs in my life. Sheppard and Smith could not be more different from each other, but they also just could not be more perfect for each other. I am one lucky balla-balla-balla mother.

My Soren: Three Years Ago

This past weekend was a tricky one for me. Saturday was October sixth. And October sixth, three years ago was when my son Soren died. I was six months pregnant with him when I was told that he had a problem with his kidneys, the words “incompatible with life” were uttered, and after countless blurry consultations with doctors who couldn’t give me any good news, Anson and I realized we truly had no choice but to end the pregnancy. It was a choice, but not one that we saw coming. It was our choice, but not one that we chose. We had to make the choice, but we would have given anything to not have had to choose it.

Still, sometimes I wonder how I could possibly have chosen to end the pregnancy.

It’s not a fair line of thought and I recognize that. I’m not a monstrous person, waiting to make really awful situations worse by doing the wrong thing. I would never enter a conversation with someone who would make me defend my decision, because it would just end with me either punching them in the eye or collapsing in tears. But I can defend it and have had to about one zillion times, to myself. Truthfully I haven’t stopped accusing myself of wrongdoing yet. I don’t think I ever will. As a mother, I constantly think I haven’t done exactly my best by any of my children. Should I have let Soren’s story play out differently? Would it have been a better and happier ending? It’s just impossible to know. All the medical evidence told me that no, it would not have been happy for anyone. Least of all him. But there are stories of remarkable things happening, and who knows. It’s a twisty treacherous road to go down when I wonder these things.

I believe with all my heart I did the right thing, yet I still feel responsible for the outcome. I didn’t roll the dice with my son’s life. I couldn’t bear to watch suffering like that. I just couldn’t bear the thought of Soren suffering. Or of Roan suffering the loss that would have likely happened shortly after his brother’s birth. The odds weren’t good. They were terrible. I just couldn’t. So I didn’t.

I debate about writing these feelings down, and publishing them. It’s a chance for someone to hit me hard in a place where I am not protected at all. But that has not happened, at least not in a way that has hurt. And in fact, I have had the opportunity to lend support to women who have been handed similar awful situations, and been able to stand next to them as they walk through it. It helps me to know that I can be a voice of calm and camaraderie during a time of inconceivable sadness. So I offer my story up again, as a reminder that these things happened. Soren existed for a short time, and I will never be done with the sadness of missing him. But three years later, life has moved forward and is so beautiful. Three years and two babies later, Soren still has a place carved out in my heart that belongs to only him. But that place is surrounded by love for my three other sons and my husband.

In whole, it is a happy heart. Not entirely peaceful, but happy, and that is enough.

Not All PR Pitches Are Whack

So I’ve been waffling lately, considering what it is I’m doing here on the Internet, why I’m doing it, and at times if I should even continue doing it. I wrote a post called “Un-branded: A Manifesto“, about feeling a little ambivalent about doing sponsored posts, and the feedback I got from my readers helped me clarify how I felt about that. Basically what it comes down to is this: I will not review products, services, movies, books or activities unless it really is interesting to me. Not just beneficial as in free stuff and big bucks, but I need it to actually be interesting.

Sounds basic, right? But JEEEEZ it took a long time to get there in my head. The funny thing is that since I’ve decided that, I’d say the PR pitches I receive have more than tripled. What the? Anyway. I’ve ignored most of them but there are perks to being a Pistol. The major main huge thing is that Roan feels pretty much like a cool guy when I get invited to go places that he actually wants to go. And when he’s proud of his mom, I levitate.

So we’ve got these two really fun activities lined up over this month through Pistols + Popcorn. First, this Sunday Roan and I are going with super-uber-fans Sachin and Ajay to watch the Harlem Globetrotters at the new Barclays Stadium here in sunny gorgeous Brooklyn. We’ve been invited to a meet and greet with the legends themselves at Jay-Z’s 40/40 club. Heh. You don’t hear that every day on the Mommy Blog circuit, no? Roan’s convinced the H-O-V will be there somewhere, putting dishes away or cutting limes or some such since he owns the club and who knows? I’ll get a picture with Jay if it comes up. Otherwise, expect some photos of Roan looking cool standing next to some Globetrotters next week. (By the way, their people told my people that if any of my readers want to attend, they can get discounted tickets here, by entering the code HGMOMMY for this Sunday’s game.)

Also in a few weeks, Roan and I will be traveling with our homies Lola and Javi to lovely Park Slope (an entire 3 subway stops away) to visit a new shop called Hiho Batik. This place looks BOMB. I’ll tell you all about it after I’ve done it, but if you want a sneak peak of what we’ll be doing checkitout here.

And now a toddler kissing his twin toddler brother:

kiss.

Ten Things I Have Not Been Paid to Tell You About, But Still Love

I wrote a post not that long ago, sort of flexing my worry muscle about writing reviews, selling out, seeming insincere etc. The crux of the feedback I got was that YUP! Reviews seem pretty meh, but if I need to do them to get paid, well go ahead and basically you (the reader) will just skip them.

Which is well and good but I think my gut was right – this place isn’t a spot where I want to market things to people. Especially since most of you have all of 45 seconds to yourself and seriously? If you’re spending even ten of those seconds to check in with me, I’m not going to try to sell you anything. I pretty much recoil from sites where I feel like I’m in a showroom, and don’t ever want to turn Pistols into that.

So – full disclosure – today I’m writing about products I love for my family. Just stuff I love, that we use daily or at least regularly. I have not been paid or compensated or asked to write any of this. Basically, this is just a me-to-you-over-a-cup-of-joe kind of post (Kind of a bummer that these “Mommy Blogs” have turned into places where such clarification is needed, no? I’m over that. You probably are too.)

As most of my readership knows, I am friends with Lynn and Harald, the owners of Appaman clothing. Roan has modeled for their catalogues in the past, and Shepz + Smitty are the recipients of huge amounts of generosity from the Appaman company. But what I’m not sure everyone knows is that this company lives and breathes good karma. They are givers, in the extreme. There is almost never a time where they are not actively fundraising or donating to a great cause. So. Would I love their clothing even if it were made of fiberglass and razor blades? Probably yes. But as luck would have it, our Appaman shirts, hoodies, sweaters, hats and gloves are all made of exquisite fabric, in the best of colors. Their stuff lasts forever, and ends the sad sad song of mothers of boys who bemoan the fact that only girl’s clothing is cute. My boys look crazy cute anytime they’ve got their Appa-swag happening. The winter coats the twins just got are easily the softest most comfortable and luscious things I have ever touched. So much so that Roan tried to squeeze into one. They are awesome. I love Appaman as a concept and I love Appaman clothing as….eh…clothing!

This board book by Margaret Wise Brown has mesmerized Smith + Shep since they were around six months old. I do not know exactly what it is. The repetition and the cadence certainly are calming, and we have burned through two copies and need about six more. I do believe this may be the best children’s book ever written.

This. Thing. Changed. My. Life. The evenings were kind of a drag for us. Babies were getting tired, but since there were two of them, I had a hard time bathing them on my own. So they would complain and cry and barely make it until bedtime. Enter this crazy uncomfortable-looking plastic contraption. My sister Lori triumphantly entered my home one evening with one in her hand that she had found on the curb. (This is how we do in Brooklyn. Put things outside for others to take. Lori is particularly adept at finding awesome curbed items.) I spent $12.95 the following day on another one and voilà! The evenings were magical. My twin boys would sit in these forever. And be happy splashing and cooing and laughing. Also, quite relaxing, as evidenced by the snoozefest happening in the pic. And they were totally safe! My boys lasted in these from around three months to nine months. I’ve had probably 30 emails from mom’s of twins asking what these are from when I’ve posted this picture previously. So here you go – the link is above.

  • Vaseline

Right? Like you don’t know? But this is for the cheap skate low-brow I cannot spend $100 on specialty moisturizer for my eyes woman. Listen. I’m probably the least-qualified person to give advice on skin care. I’m a Cetaphil cleanser girl, and a whatever is on sale face moisturizer devotee. I’d love to be a lady that could rub baby unicorn fetus infused cell regenerating serum inside my eyeballs to make me look twenty years younger but alas. That is not my life. So here’s what’s up. When I was in my twenties I had disposable income. I went to a dermatologist and asked her what fancy pants eye cream I should use so I could maintain my twenty-something skin elasticity. She told me on the down-low that vaseline was a great choice, around the eyes, at night. She also told me that some people couldn’t tolerate it, but that if it didn’t bug my eyes, that’s her top recommendation. So that’s my one and only beauty secret. Cheap. Easy. Just like me.

I go through way too many baby wipes to have some sub-par thing happening all up in that mess. They are essential in cleaning the rears of two dudes who enjoy plenty of fruit and I just don’t even need to tell you what that means, am I right? They also are a huge part of me being able to tolerate a day in any given Brooklyn park what with all the invisible (and even worse, visible) muck that my boys get into. These wipes seem to be the best for my needs. Not too fancy and thick, not scented, and a super convenient plastic package with a snap-close top. I just do not understand any other top. Also: cheap. Excellent.

I find these absolutely horrendous. Each of my children, as well as the neighbor’s children disagree. When I open up a fresh bag of Seaweed Snacks, it is gone in about 45 seconds. No lie. The toddlers love them. The big kids love them. And there is no fake-cheese residue stuck on their fingers afterwards. Win! (Because then I don’t embarrass myself by licking it off.)

We are always looking for a great series to watch with Roan. They are not that easy to find. It’s a difficult bridge to gap, that of holding an adult’s interest without being too intense, and holding a child’s without being too simple. This TV show has us totally hooked. Robert Carlyle nails a super creepy yet absolutely endearing Rumpelstiltskin. Streaming on Netflix and I think the second season is just about to begin.

So that’s actually seven things. In the interest of being honest, I’ll not change my title and just admit that I bit off more than I can chew. The babies just woke up and are having some sort of high-jump contest I can hear over the monitor. Roan, who is home with a mystery illness (I think he caught a case of “It’s-Monday-I-Can’t-Bear-To-Say-Goodbye-To-The-Weekend-ness”) is asking for toast, and I am not done. Yet, I am done. So, please help me – let me know your favorite household things. Things you use, regularly that have to do with the kids, with the food, with the anything. You in essence, will complete me. Thank you.

Levi Leipheimer: Internet Bully

I have one brother.

His name is Fatty (or more formally, “The Fat Cyclist”. ) He was born as “Elden”. But Fatty is his name on the street. Of the internet.

There’s some hotshot biker named Levi Leipheimer who is twitter-picking on my bro. Observe:

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So now…these two are going to ride their bikes at each other.  I suggest you click here to find out the particulars, and I suggest that you get in on the action – there are some great causes involved. And food. It’s about to GET REAL for Levi. (My $$ is on Fatty. Obviously. Otherwise he’ll tell on me to our mom.)

UPDATE: This just in from the twitter feed:

Heh. My allegiance may be swayed….”Loverboy” was a teenage favorite of mine….

Awesome.

Mystery, Starlux, School, Project Runway, Mondo, Breathe.

You know when that somewhat histrionic friend of yours posts vague status updates on whatever media outlet they’re addicted to? The ones that hint at something great, terrible, impending, or happening, but they won’t just come out and say, “Yo. This is what happened. It made me feel this way.”? And it bugs you, partly because the Human Being inside yours naturally curious about things that are unclear, but also because it’s pretty lame to post something and then clarify that you just actually cannot post about it.

I never do that.

Except now, I’m going to do that.

There’s a project I’m working on and due to the nature of the project, I really can’t talk about it in a public way. So normally I’d just work on it, and leave my Pistols and my Popcorn out of it, but I want to shout from the rooftops now that “Yo! I’m working on something! And it makes me feel really good and happy and productive! And it has nothing repeat nothing to do with children, parenting, me, or my family!” And that’s basically all I can say due to the dangerous nature of me being involved with it. Ok ok just kidding about the danger. But, yeh. I just thought you should know. And I’m sorry that I’ve just become that guy that does that one thing. But I hope we can still be friends.

Moving right along.

Roan - Wild

Epic past few weeks. Epic has become the most overused and totally annoying word in the jibberjabber world of teenagers and pop culture but too bad because I’m an adult, and I’m using it correctly. The end of the summer has happened, and so did our last BANG BOOM POP WOW chronology of events.

Hotel balcony, fake palm tree. Love.

First – as a family, we actually left the eight-block radius we rarely travel outside of (though we stayed in the Tri-State Area). We went on a vacation with my sister Lori and her family, to Wildwood, NJ. Now – full disclosure – at no point did I ever trade, barter, influence or hint at any type of potential review for this hotel we stayed at so our experience there is likely to be exactly the same as yours would be.

Wildwood Boardwalk

And it was totally epic. HAHAH – kidding – it was totally awesome. (Awesome is back, right?) We stayed at a place called the Starlux Hotel. It was lovely. A clean and surprisingly warm pool. A bubbly hot tub. A cool hotel suite (2 bedrooms, kitchenette, balcony, living room) for $135/night (off-season, FYI). They set up cribs for the tiny twin tyrant masters, they had free bicycles to cruise along the boardwalk with, they provided shovels, pails, and boogie boards for the beach, and even have a complimentary washer/dryer. The staff could not have been any more friendly or helpful. One morning they opened the pool early because Boone and Roan asked them to. Seriously. They gave my sister a stamp to mail her rent check. They doted on the twin boys. And always had coffee ready for us in the morning.

Delux Starlux

You’re in NYC looking for a quick beach weekend getaway? This is the jam.

Summit Street Gang, First Day of School 2012

The tragic ending is that the night we came home was the first school night of the year. Roan started fourth grade the next day. (Actually, Roan is a bit square and loves school, loves his friends at school, and was probably ready to get away from the park circuit I had him on during the summer. But still. He likes to pretend that starting school is a drag so I go ahead and help him spin his little fiction.)

Heidi Klum literally glows. She is from a different planet, here is the proof. Tell a friend.

The upswing is that Roan missed the second day of school to attend the Project Runway Season 10 finale taping at Fashion Week. Oh man my son and I love going to this thing. It’s just a little crazy to be a few rows behind Harvey Weinstein, Michael Kors, Heidi Klum, Nina Garcia, Debra Messing and Jennifer Hudson. Like, I totally could have nailed any one of those people in the head with a grape, had I chosen to do so. How many people can say that?

Roan + Mondo

Most importantly, Roan got to talk with Mondo, our favorite Project Runway celebrity. That guy is a supercool dude. He took a nervous 8-year-old boy and put him at ease, showing the greatest interest in the pillows that Roan has been designing. I want to fold Mondo up, put him in my pocket, and bring him with me everywhere I go.

But that’s probably illegal so I will not.

Right? So. Now it’s time to breathe, eat some goldfish crackers, watch a little Yo! Gabba! Gabba! and ask Fall….whatchu got to compete with this Summer finale, hmmmmm?

What Can You Do? Easy. You Can Help.

When my boys are sick, I move everything around in my life to make them feel totally and absolutely taken care of. As a child, I almost enjoyed being sick, because of how my mother would care for me. I think it’s a sweet thing, to be able to lavish total comfort on a child who needs his mom or dad or brother or sister – it’s one of those few times you know you’re doing exactly what they need.

Obviously, if I couldn’t take care of my boys when they were sick – if there wasn’t the correct medicine, if there were no movies, if I couldn’t feed them Popsicles and build up pillows and blankets to ridiculous heights – if I couldn’t make them feel better and promise they’d be well within a few days, I don’t really know how I would cope. And we all know there are parents in the world who have that situation. There are kids who are sick, and they are loved desperately by their parents, and they cannot be promised that health is right around the corner. So those parents need help – from their family, from their friends, from us.

I have a reader named Gillian who is determined to help her friend, who has a little girl with a disease called Cystinosis. Here’s part of an email I received:

Thus, we have my November Endeavor – to run the Pensacola Marathon, and in so doing raise at least $2000 for cystinosis.  Years ago, a very dear friend and former running partner of mine gave birth to the sweetest blue-eyed girl you’ve ever seen, a little girl who remains tiny and ill due to the vicious effects of this terrible disease.  I don’t know much about cystinosis – all I know is that her body produces cystine crystals which collect in her eyes and kidneys, compromising her eyesight (already, at 5, she is struggling with this), and likely making her first kidney failure occur at around puberty, at which point she will need a transplant.  I have a 4 year old and 2 year old myself, and . . . well, you’re a parent.  You know.

Yeh I do. I’m hoping you know, too.

This is one thing I will never hesitate to do – to put the word out that there is some good you can do. Because good is good. Good for those helped, and really good for those who do the helping. There are so few times in life you can be certain that you’re doing the right thing, but hey – here’s one of them.

To donate to Gillian’s cause, to help out a little 5 year-old girl, and to let her parents know they’ve got a team of people they don’t know behind them – click here and give what you can. I know, I’m broke too. But still. Some things are worth stretching for. Click here for Gillian’s Causes Page.

I Ain’t Missing You at All

Anson is out of town now, for a long two-week stretch in Minneapolis. I do wish that I could report that he was meeting with Prince, revisiting the Purple Rain days, but alas Anson is too young to appreciate the historical significance of the land where Morris Day, Appolonia and Prince created the most tragic of all love triangles. Instead he is likely riding a Sponge Bob roller coaster in the Mall of America.

Abhorrent, my young child-groom.

Three Boys

It was a pretty awful farewell, though. I’d love to report that his walking out the door went smoothly but there were tears. And stuttered sobbing. And then more tears. All three of our sons were wailing at the same time after he left and I almost ran away because for the first time, ice-cream couldn’t fix it. Can I just repeat that? Ice-cream couldn’t fix it. That scares me. I still kind of need a hug.

Bad Food

I think the gut wrenching sadness was mostly caused by the extremely fun-filled days preceding Anson’s goodbye. First of all, grandparents were in town. Anson’s parents, Duane and Tamra came to Brooklyn to visit, so Anson took days off work, which freed up all sorts of possibilities. There was major Dad face time for all the sons. Happiness like that, multiplied by major face time with grandparents simultaneously is pretty impactful. Out of the two of us, Anson is the most fun and the most lenient (I know, shocking.) Good (bad) food flows, nap times are pushed, hygiene is ignored, and clean floors are abolished. And obviously, with grandparents around? It’s just ridiculously awesome. (Although I must interject that my mother-in-law made my heart sing with joy because she cleaned my house. I know I shouldn’t let her, but sheesh. What a treat.)

Shepz+Smitty, Grandpa+Grandma

On top of that, Roan’s favorite band, 2NE1 (a Korean girl pop group) was performing in New Jersey on Friday night and we had the best seats in the house (once again my friend Kaskade pulled some magical rock star strings. I’m beginning to owe that guy.) This concert led to possibly my happiest moment ever with Roan, when he let go of his collected and calm persona and rocked his gorgeous little heart out. Fist to the sky, belting out who-knows-what-they-mean lyrics in Korean, and having kisses blown to him by his most revered icons, there was something I’ve never seen in my boys eyes. It was light shining straight out of them. He was lit from within, flourescently happy. I couldn’t take my eyes off him.

2NE1!

This day was followed by a Roan + Me spa luxury day with two of our best friends, Issey and Jen. The four of us spent the entire day at Spa Castle which is  four-story Korean sauna/bath/pool/massage/restaurant experience. Intensely perfect in every way, we got home water-logged and relaxed to our cores.

Video games, pizza, soda, movies, board games, walks, runs, scooter time, BBQ, Chinatown, shopping, did I mention eating? I’m just saying there was a lot, a whole real big huge bunch of fun packed into a five-day span. And then…

It was time for Anson to leave, with his parents out the door about five minutes later.

It’s hard not to be sad about that much fun and family time ending. Roan and I have decided we have it alright though, because we have each other and well…poor Dad. He’s working early in the morning, with hotel food and the Mall of America his only comforts. I’m guessing it probably is pretty tough on him to leave us behind. So much so that I’ve stopped telling him how Smitty + Shepz couldn’t wrap their little heads around him not being here this morning. “A Dada?” over and over. And how Roan is counting the days until he’s home.

And there’s me. Luckily I have to smile and keep trucking for these boys because otherwise I just may notice how much I miss that guy as well. Two weeks he’ll be gone, and I know – it could be worse, and we’ve gone longer stretches without him around. But he’s an amazing dad and an amazing husband. Makes it sad when he’s gone. I guess that’s a great thing. It will feel so much greater, in retrospect, after he’s home.