Saying Goodbye. Bang Bang Pop Pop.

Me, Sheppard, Roan, Anson + Smith

Me, Sheppard, Roan, Anson + Smith

I’m not so much a fade-to-black person as I am a cut-and-roll-the-swelling-anthem-and-credits kind of person. Even so, I’ve put off writing this post. This post where I say goodbye.

Smith, Roan, and Sheppard running the F Train to Coney Island

Smith, Roan, and Sheppard running the F Train to Coney Island

Pistols and Popcorn has done everything I needed it to do. I started it at a time where Roan and I had the majority of our time to ourselves. We shared our time with New York, letting her be the third-wheel in our adventures. I would plan things to do with him with writing about them in mind. I feel like it was a way to inject some adult conversation into our very child-centric days. And the way Pistols and Popcorn caught on totally blew my mind. These small entries about hanging with my kid – people care enough to read them?? Who knew?

Smitty, Shepz + Ro with Nathan's Famous.

Smitty, Shepz + Ro with Nathan’s Famous.

Over the years Pistols has helped me make decisions, lent me support, served as a sounding board, and sometimes helped me ride my high horse. Pistols propped me up and kept me wrapped up in my readers’ strength and support during some pretty hard times. It offered up interesting opportunities I never would have come across otherwise. It started friendships with people I have absolutely come to love. Most importantly, this place has served as a record of years of my family’s life.

Ro + Anson. This pose happens more and more often.

Ro + Anson. This pose happens more and more often.

And now it’s just time for me to say goodbye. Things in this life have changed, and I’m constantly grateful for the direction they keep moving in. I’ve been able to begin working with old friends, circling back to old talents. My free time now sends me on these ravenous scavenger hunts for all the right words for my new gig. I couldn’t be happier. I couldn’t be having any more fun. And these writing assignments are all during nap time, so I’m still loyal to the toddler park circuit,  being the mom who lets her kids climb up the down slide without an apology. Fear me.

Spiderman, Smitty, Sheppard, Spiderman, Roan.

Spiderman, Smitty, Sheppard, Spiderman, Roan.

I still have so many stories to tell. The twins, my Smitty + Shep, leave me full-to-the-eyeballs with stories on an hourly basis. But my Roan is getting older, and that is a thing I think about. I can no longer talk about everything he does and says with the abandon I used to, when he was a child. He is older. He deserves some privacy. And it just doesn’t feel right to be telling his stories anymore. And obviously, there is no way for me to talk about this family without including him.

Smitty + Me.

Smitty + Me.

I just see the signs, really. It’s time to say goodbye. The dumb luck part of it is that it’s ending in a Hollywood-happy way. Life is good. I have everything I ever wanted. I have way more than I ever hoped for. We are healthy, this family. We love each other in ridiculous amounts. We are stupid together and fight often and laugh and eat really good food. We have embarrassingly good friends. This is a nice place to leave it.

Thanks for being here. Thanks for your emails, comments and time. Thanks for sharing in this family and our weirdness. Bang pop.

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.

 

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.

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.

The Easiest Best Vacation Ever

Spa Castle (Image from website)

Spa Castle (Image from website)

Roan and I just got back from a high-priority, top-secret get away with our buddies Jen + Issey. (Ro forbade me from talking about it before it happened, believing it would jinx the likelihood of it actually happening.) After Anson got home from an exotic working vacation in freezing cold Minneapolis, my eldest and I flew out the front door and into our friend’s car, headed for paradise in a borough called Queens.

Sauna Alley (image from website)

Sauna Alley (image from website)

Since Mid-Winter recess was shortened from five days to two, courtesy of Hurricane Sandy, (kids in NYC missed a week of school during the storm and its aftermath. Had to make up for it somewhere.) I knew we had to smash an insane amount of good times in. So we charted a course for Spa Castle. This is a Korean spa, with five stories, and 100,000 square feet of  ”luxurious serenity”. The place is absolutely awesome and also hysterical. There are bade pools outside, and saunas everywhere. Roan’s favorite is the Ice Sauna, mine the lay-down-and-die sauna (I can’t remember it’s name.) It’s clean, everyone has to wear a uniform so there’s not a ton of hoochie-mama stuff hanging around to embarrass my young-but-old child, and mostly, it just feels like you’re nowhere near NYC. Roan + Issey especially enjoy the Korean cuisine, going totally native and ordering…wait for it…cheese fries. heh. Well, no matter. It comes down to this: anyplace that has a sleeping room is cool in my book.

My favorite pool.

My favorite pool.

A person who is especially good at relaxing can spend an entire day at Spa Castle. And my boy and our buddies? We are champion relaxers. However, there was more sport relaxing on our agenda.  After Spa Castle, we headed over to Hotel de Pointe, which is about a half-mile away from the spa.

Balloons. Fireplace. Buddies.

Balloons. Fireplace. Buddies.

Staying in the theme of Korean-based surroundings, this hotel is super modern and has an amazing AMAZING Asian American buffet. Now. Roan + Issey briefly visited the dinner food, but mostly they were paying attention (read: 4 visits) to the chocolate fountain and cotton candy machine. I couldn’t stop eating the Sushi because you know, it’s a buffet. And you’re supposed to eat a lot. I did my best but am certain that if Anson were there, it would have been a better showing. There’s such things as octopus and a myriad of meats I could never eat. All stuff that makes Anson’s eyes dance in little spirals. He’s a competitive eater. I’m nowhere near his league.

White leather helps everyone feel super sophisticated.

White leather helps everyone feel super sophisticated.

However, I am a champion Karaoke participator, and the hotel has private Karaoke rooms, which Jen + I forced our bashful children into. After a good 1/2 hour of the moms raising the roof, belting out everything from Nicki Minaj to Lady Gaga, the kids took over and THAT was a treat. Karaoke: it’s what brings out the rockstar in all of us (Pro-tip: No one can resist singing to Katy Perry.)

If only you could hear me sing...

If only you could hear me sing…

A good night’s sleep (obviously after staying up late and eating snacks from the Asian market downstairs) and we hit the breakfast buffet. Roan pretended to be a kid who is allowed to drink coffee and I decided to play along. He took maybe one sip and sat and stirred the cup in between bagels and croissants and toast and cereal and sausage. We all ate breakfast while still in our PJ’s and stared at the amazing view that is NYC.

Rooftop patio. Windy but alluring.

Rooftop patio. Windy but alluring.

Breakfast. Prop coffee.

Breakfast. Prop coffee.

This overnight vacation was amazing for us. No babies and no distractions. Just a sweet little pocket of quiet and indulgent time. Roan keeps talking about it like it was a dream, or something that happened ten years ago. He misses it already. Little does he know that mama has found a new favorite thing to do with her biggest boy. We will revisit this “vacation”. Proof that sometimes the simple and easy get away is more than enough. Travel time approx 15 minutes, by car. Memories seared for a lifetime. That’s the goods.

New Pistols New Project

Oh man, this feels good to me.

So welcome to the new Pistols + Popcorn. Naked and unbranded, no agenda and not trying to climb any high heights. Most likely I will reach new lows but heh, it’s all sport, right? I was ready for a change and this’ll do. Hope you like it too.

**************************

Roan and I just got home from the Project Runway season finale taping at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. This is our third time going, and has become somewhat of a tradition for us. We love going. I’m not sure what it does for my son, but I revel in walking on the razor’s edge of embarrassing him. As my Roan gets older, he gets a little more worried about what I’m going to say. In public. Out loud. At Fashion Week. 

So knowing this and seeing the slightest bit of mistrust in his face as we are surrounded by fabulous people everywhere, I whisper in his ear, “I think now would be a good time to talk about the changes that are going to happen with your body. I think we should have a little discussion about puberty.”

And I can pretty much guarantee that no one ever has rolled their eyes that far into the back of their head and lived to tell, no one except Roan Call. It’s not that I like to see him suffer. Mostly I like to see him laugh in spite of his overwhelming instinct to “shhhhsh!!” me. And then, I whisper, as the Pièce de résistance: ”Pooooooo-berrrrrrrr-tyyyyyy

Thassrite, Poo-berty.

I had a teacher, around 7th or 8th grade who had the enormous misfortune of teaching my class a chapter on reproduction. It wouldn’t have been so tragic had he been able to pronounce puberty correctly, but alas, he could not. Puberty was “Poo-berty” and each utterance was met with giggles and snickers and snorts. I mean, maybe he was a tomato to-mahto kind of guy and just couldn’t be bothered to care how it should be pronounced. But forever and ever and ever if I have to talk about puberty it will be a joke. Shout out to you, Mr. Marty!

Mondo + Roan

Mondo + Roan

I’ve told Roan that story, and as you’ve probably guessed, my child will forever and ever think of puberty as poo-berty, and as somewhat of a joke. But this kind of dialogue works for him because he’s not really into the gravitas of a heart-to-heart love blossoms and so does your body kind of discovery discussion with his mother. So we joke, and he has the facts, and lives in fear of me breaking it all down for him in front of Heidi Klum and Michael Kors.

But I did not. We spoke not of puberty but of fashion, and Roan will still hold my hand during the show. He had his picture taken with his favorite Project Runway winner of all time, Mondo. He had his favorite collection and I had mine. We are beginning to have different aesthetics in fashion, which probably means he is no longer my little shadow.

Roan + Kooan

Roan + Kooan

As we exited the show, a photographer touched Roan on the shoulder and asked if he could take his picture. Of course, Roan agreed to it and struck a perfect pose. Then another photographer joined, and soon there was a group taking pictures of my boy. I’m not sure who they thought he was or if they just enjoyed his awesome Jeremy Scott wing shoes. But Roan moved on from the crowd without even mentioning it. That’s his style, really. Always amazed by the world but rarely overeager to talk about it. A passing mention, or sometimes a little chat if it pushes bedtime. His life leaves me feeling slightly envious. It’s all open to him, this world. I want to live like he does. Humble and confident, excited but not anxious. If I could be him, (minus the mother who likes to wind him up) that would be my perfect life. Luckily he agrees to take me along. Though if I keep up with the poo-berty talk that good luck might end.

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.

Picture Story

Smith likes Seaweed

Sheppard really likes...

...MEAT

Smith doesn't mind the snow

As long as mama keeps a warm lap close by

Roan continues his creative artistic streak

He can make art from anything

They cooperate

Share

And have good oral hygiene

It's a circus here, pretty much 24/7

Which leaves me today, with very little time to write.

Falling Dominoes

I’m guessing you’re exhausted.

After these holidays, most of us are reaching for that extra cuppa, or maybe just breathing a little deeper, trying to revive after all the excitement and fun of the holidays. If you’re like me, you’ve finished load 2,345,949 of laundry because everything in your home has been thrown up on. Several times. By several different people.

Welcome, 2013!

Approximately infinity popsicles were eaten in the past 2 days

So that’s how my family spent the break. Shepz began the throwing up festivities on the day after Christmas. I knew that obviously Smitty would follow suit, because they practically lick each others faces for twelve hours out of the day. Sure enough, at midnight the unmistakable sound of our child losing his everything woke Anson and me up.

Trying REALLY hard to play with zero energy

Trying REALLY hard to do homework, with zero energy

A few things about toddlers throwing up:

First off, it’s one of the rare things they do that no matter what, it’s not cute. It’s sad. Shep was absolutely horrified the first time he threw up. This is the twins’ first experience in that genre of being ill. So he was just totally surprised at the whole of it. Smith watched Shep a few times and would sort of laugh, then mimic in a way that felt more mocking than sympathetic, then got bored with it. Until it was his turn. At that point, he shared the horror that Shep had felt, probably to a greater extent. Turns out that Smitty is a heaver. From the moment he began until the moment I could get him back in bed, there was about three hours of sad sad sad heaving in about ten minute cycles. Poor kid. I ended up sitting with him on the couch, holding his head to my chest with one hand, with my other hand on a plastic bowl, singing “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” on a loop because if I tried to stop he made the sign language symbol for “more” frantically. This lasted, as I mentioned, for around three hours. At one point I reminded myself that what was happening was actually one of the more delicious times a mother can have with her child. Not the vomiting part, but having her baby (ok, toddler) snuggled up on her like a little ball, with his hands wandering up and down her arm. The weight of a sleeping baby is exactly Heaven on a mother’s body. It feels warm and just perfectly heavy enough. I decided I could sit here with Smitty for hours and be happy. Even if it was occasionally broken up with the violent heaving.

Post-Christmas tree, Post-Christmas Smitty

Smith, doing his best to stay awake

I did begin to despair because there was nothing I could do to help him. I wanted to keep him upright, hoping that would be a small assist. I wanted him to be comfortable so we cuddled under the weight of our coziest blanket. I wanted him to know I wasn’t leaving so I kept singing, even after his breath slowed down to a rhythm that suggested he was asleep. But that’s all I could do. Smitty couldn’t keep down even a drop of water so when he begged for water I had to distract him. Not that easy at 2:30 in the morning.

Smitty, Bear, Shep

When I finally got him to bed, I collapsed in my bed and then realized that I was next. I was going down. There was no doubt that it was my turn and I spent the next three hours going from my bed to the bathroom with my own horrible episode of this illness. When the sun came up and Anson woke up I told him about the night, that I was sick as well, and then Roan tore out of his room, racing to the bathroom…and…well you can probably guess the rest.

He was in rough shape.

A precious few moments when things felt ok

Smith + Shep

For those of you keeping track, that is four out of five Nelson Calls taken out by a stomach bug in less than twenty-four hours. Ridiculous. Anson was the last man standing and had the weight of many sick and needy people on his shoulders for that day. I disappeared downstairs for a good chunk of the day, just hoping that all was well. A few times I would resurface and do what I could, but honestly, I just wasn’t able to do much. Roan and I cuddled together in his bed for a while and I slept while he texted with his cousins in Utah. When I finally was able to get my feet under me I bathed the twins and put them down to bed. When I came back upstairs to recap the day with Anson, I knew there was trouble. Roan was asleep on the couch and Anson was just staring at the ceiling, clutching his stomach and looked the color of grey that isn’t pretty.

I grabbed Roan, locked the front door, shut the house down and wished Anson good luck with the next twelve hours. We all knew what was coming. That is the earliest the house has ever closed down for the day. Roan and I went to bed at 8:00. Anson was up all night, throwing up all night.

The miracle we all needed happened – everyone slept in. By our house standards that means anything past 7:00 AM. Nobody woke up before 8:00. I felt well enough to take on the sick kiddo-s, and told Anson to stay in bed. Other than a night-time relapse by Smitty, we were all on the mend by nightfall that evening.

New Year's Eve. After 24 hours of feeling healthy we three stayed up to welcome 2013

As Anson and I finished tucking all the boys into their beds and headed upstairs a weird almost euphoric feeling hit me. We talked about the past 48 hours like a war, one we had come back from as victors. It was overwhelmingly strong, this feeling that we had gotten through something together. I realized I had been on constant alert, trying to figure out who needed me the most, without a break for the last two days. And that we were all ok, almost back to normal, was such a giant relief, it felt like a gift.

Having a sick child, or having sick children, is one of the most stressful things a person can go through. This episode was trivial, I know. No one was ever really in danger, we all knew it would pass. But the vulnerability of being so invested, so tightly wound up with a person’s well-being is brought to light when that person is suffering. But it also shines a light on how a partner eases the burden. It made me so grateful that I am with a person who is equally invested, who is ready to dig in as deep as possible to keep them safe and well.

Roan: January 1, 2013

Being sick as a family, going down one-by-one like dominoes? Not the family vacation I would have planned. But Roan remembering his mama sleeping next to him while we got well, Smitty and Shep possibly being able to recall the comfort they found being close to their Dad and Mom when they needed us, and me always remembering how my husband shines at the times I need him to? These are the bricks of our family, our home.

Happy Birthday, RoRo

Roan, Nine Years Old.

Yesterday was Roan’s birthday. This boy turned nine right in front of my eyes, the same way he turned eight and seven and three and one. He did it in such a way that made me swoon with love, and clamor, just a little bit, for him to not do this all so quickly. I look at Roan and I can see a ghost in limbo. The spirit of a full-grown man, and the innocence of a brand new squishy-faced baby. He exists right in the middle of these two spaces, and as children do if we let them, he teaches me about who I am and what I value.

Smitty, Fork, Cake.

Claiming that he didn’t want a party this year, Roan was sent off to see The Hobbit on Saturday with his cousin and Auntie while Anson and I scrambled to bake a cake, get snacks and decorate. His besties were invited over for a sneak-attack surprise party and seriously? This is my new favorite way to throw a soiree. Secret in its nature, you really just can’t do anything much to prepare, it’s all done in the crunch. That is so up my alley.

Shepz, Knife, Cake.

When Roan arrived on the scene and had the unveiling of the party upon him, his first reaction was sort of terror. Like he just couldn’t arrive at the thing that made sense what with everyone yelling at him, and balloons and streamers all around. When it finally made sense, his comment was, “Well, I wasn’t expecting that at all.” And I was crying, because I was laughing that hard at my boy who was killing me with his cuteness.

Cake in Hair

Also, cake in hair

Yesterday was the actual day, and we decided to keep Ro out of school, pack some snacks and get to 34th Street, where Santaland lives at Macy’s. Smitty + Shep officially had their minds blown. The robotic animals, the trains that circle endless Christmas trees, the lights and the elves ushering us here and there were completely next level for them. Roan reveled in showing them how we visit Santa, how we trust him enough to sit on his lap (which actually none of them would.) Later on in the day Roan and I snuck of to get pedicures, and when we got home, there was more cake.

And then there was a cake fight.

And then there was just your basic rub-cake-in-your-own-hair shenanigans.

So, this is my life. Danger + excitement at every turn.

There is nothing funny about this mess.

Or, maybe there is.

My Roan continues to make me be that mom. The one that when you compliment him I can’t really say “thank you” because all I can do is agree. His magic has nothing to do with his parents. He has developed into his own guy, one that I am wildly fond of spending time with. I watch him with his brothers, how he is patient with them and wants to teach them. I watch how he measures the climate of his friend’s lives, and tries to keep balance with them. I watch Roan with his eccentric taste and highly developed sense of style and just wonder how I got to be this lucky, to be the one who gets to guide him for a few more years.

All eyes look to Ro for approval

Approve, he does.

Smitty, Shepz + Ro

Happy Birthday Roan. You make me so happy, every single day.