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.

Kenmore’s Vacuum Has Found a Home

There are some things my close friends know about me that you may not. First, I am a mom that let’s her babies climb up the slide, not wear helmets, put sticks in their mouths, play in dirt, and pee in the bathtub. Second, I enjoy a clean floor.

Just take me at my word on the first part, and let’s speak of the second. I’m pretty much living under the worst circumstances to expect my floor to be clean. Primarily because I live in Brooklyn, New York. This is a place where the sidewalks are used more than most, as we are pedestrians in the extreme. We walk everywhere. This, coupled with the fact that there are many of us, literally living on top of one another, creates a dirtier-than-most landscape. Add to that the fact that some of us have pets (not me), and that others of us encounter circumstances where a bathroom may not be accessible (not me!), and our highly-used sidewalks also become surfaces full of…eh…nastiness.

So walking everywhere means my shoes are dirty, you know? And living in Asia for a few years way back convinced me that outdoor shoes stay outdoors. Duh. So that’s the process in my home but still, I have toddlers. Dirty, messy smoosh-food-on-the-ground toddlers. And I have guests that balk at taking their shoes off. And I have a husband that has been convinced to leave his shoes outside, but then defies all logic by walking outside barefoot at times. And then walking inside with those same bare feet that’s right. Barbarian.

Listen, I know I sound a little sacked out in the OCD department but this is just truth talking. These are my realities. So, what of it? Well well well as it would happen, Kenmore asked if I’d like to review a new vacuum they have.

Would I? Heh…I mean. Sure! But I kind of expected to be a bit ambivalent, because vacuums typically do not do the job I need them to do. Not entirely. I even considered just using it once then selling it on ebay and using the cash to go to Atlantic City to fund my children’s future college educations, but then everything changed. I used it and then I loved it, and knew it had found a home with the Nelson Calls.

Why? Why love a vacuum enough to write about it? Stay with me because I’ll break it down quickly.

Kenmore Intuition 31200

This is the Kenmore Intuition 31200. Kenmore lists its main selling points as its immensely suck-tastic (my words, not theirs) motor – the “3D Inducer Motor” (read that with an echo and it sounds pretty awesome). Seriously, it’s crazy strong – this machine picks everything up. They also tout a bunch of things you’d expect – HEPA filtration, various attachments and wands, height adjustment and its color – “Bahama Green, a beautiful, soothing bluish green tone inspired by the color of Caribbean waters”. HA! I love you Kenmore but seriously? Soothing? Whatever. Here’s my take:

Nevermind the baby on the speaker. An 8 y/o is vacuuming my house!

While this machine is pretty heavy, it absolutely rules because it has a dirt sensor. It seems to work beautifully, lighting up red when the floor is still dirty. Green is the signal to move on, there’s more floor to clean. Your work here is done! Congratulations! Now go tackle the rest of your square feet! But more important than that satisfying feeling of being Green-light clean, is this vacuum’s appeal to the younger set to see if the light works for them.

Yes, I see that toddlers have scaled the Entertainment Center. But did YOU see the Green light? CLEAN!

And do you understand what that means? It means that at least once a day, my child asks if he can use our new vacuum to clean the floors. This means my floors are beautifully clear of Brooklyn debris, they are Green-light clean. This quiets the noise in my mind about what has been tracked into my home, and frees up time for me to watch those boys climb furniture with no helmet and no soft landing, eat frozen treats from unlicensed vendors, and live dangerously in all the ways that don’t mess with my Mary Poppins Spit Spot floors.

Know What I Love About Summer?

Anson, Smith, Roan, Sheppard and Me.

In the Summer I turn into the person that maybe I am most meant to be. I wear sunscreen but my freckles come out anyway. I wear less clothing than I would ever dare at any other time of year, and there’s no way make-up is even trying to make an appearance. Lots of times I have sand in my hair, and I pretty much exist off fresh berries and cold water. I try to keep away from schedules (other than a rigidly constructed sleep schedule for the wee young ones, obviously) and try to say “Yes!” to as many requests that come my way from Roan.

Toddler Yoga. Very Zen.

If I weren’t so happy in Brooklyn, I would have to live on the beach. But luckily, there are amazing beaches minutes away. Which I understand most people don’t believe, but I’ve got the grains of sand and seashells to prove it. There is something about water, wind, sun and sand that make an ocean day absolutely fulfilling. My only plan for this Summer is to get there as many times as possible. And with Smith and Shepz warming up to all the weird sensations the beach brings, I think I may have two more water warriors in the making. Roan is an addict already, like his mom. All of my happiest childhood memories were on a beach. Anson and I got married on the beach. Hopefully I’ll die on the beach. (Not for another 60 years though please).

Finding Mom's toes.

Just like the rest of my life, the simple things work for me. Big plans stress me out, I’m not built in a way that benefits from them. I can’t handle summer camps, classes, memberships, or grand vacations. Just a little sunscreen, sand, shovels, a blanket and snacks. As long as my boys are around, this is perfection.

One-Shoe-Drunk

Walking down Hicks Street on Saturday afternoon, Roan and I crossed paths with a very extremely drunken lady. She was all wobbly, and was being led by a guy with a firm grip on her upper arm. It didn’t look suspicious, though. More of a tight “I’m here for you to defy the gravity that is playing tricks on your intoxicated feet” hold. She had the typical drunken stupid smile on her mug. She was probably pretty cute when not ruddy-faced and sloppy-haired, and she was wearing a supercute summer outfit, minus one shoe.

So. We crossed paths with a drunken lady being assisted by a dude. Roan stopped in his tracks, and just stared. He turned around as they kept walking, and studied the man, the woman, and the circumstance. Then he turned to me and did the universal “What in the Sam Hell was that?” face. So I offered this gem:

“That was one drunken lady”.

That gem was not enough, and my eldest man-child did the universal “Keep Talking” face.

“I guess she just drank too much today. And now she’s drunk. And she’s also lost a shoe”

Roan countered, “I bet you’ve been drunk before.”

Well.

So, we’re going to have that talk?

Well.

I told Roan that yes, actually I have been drunk before.

But then I was magically able to blame it on my Mormon parents, and that they never drank alcohol – ever - thus depriving me of any responsible drinking role models. Sadly I was left to learn it all on my own. Over and over and over again. And again. Etc.

As I wound this Big Share down, I felt it was important to edit and filter my life story just enough to give myself a heroic and moral quality: so I added that I do now know my own limits, and will likely never walk down a Brooklyn street with one shoe missing and a tight grip keeping me upright. I tried to impress on Roan that it’s not a fun nor a funny thing to get that wasted. But it happens. And hopefully you have a friend nearby to get you home. And find your shoe.

Then the words that came from Roan’s mouth melted my moderate-and-responsible-drinker’s heart:

“I hope if I’m ever drunk enough to lose a shoe, you’ll be there to help me.”

I may just get that tattooed on my bicep.

Laughter + Sex

More graphic baby cannibalism. Sorry.

My baby boy Sheppard laughed today.  A big full-on undeniable belly laugh.  I have been anticipating this with all my heart – and working really working for it.  I tickle.  I sing.  I dance.  I make crazy raspberry-noises.  I am an idiot in the finest fashion, for the most noble cause.  A baby’s laugh is worth being a fool for.

It sounds like this, "Ska-Weeeeee-gurgle-oooo!"

But it was this guy that coaxed it.  And before you say it, I know what you’re thinking: what a weird toy.  I mean, it kind of looks…like…a….

Chan

Mushroom, right?  That’s what you were going to say, what with the feet, the long body, the head – yep.  Mushroom.  Imagine that.  What will they make kids toys look like next?  Anyway, this guy whose name is Chan, makes a squeaky sound that apparently is totally giggle worthy.  Shep totally lost it for Chan.  So now, Chan is my new best homie.  Big day here.  Smith is less impressed with Chan.  Chan can not be all things to all people.  Chan knows that.  Chan is ok with that.

Saving his belly laugh for something worthy

On a different note, have you ever had an experience where you’re a total moron?  Hi, have you met me?  This is my world.

Sunday I went to the Brooklyn Baby Expo, arranged by A Child Grows in Brooklyn.  Aside from having all the latest greatest baby guru gear and such, there was a nursing lounge.  Obviously with the twins in tow, I was destined to visit.  As I entered the lounge, I realized it was sharing space with Babeland, a NYC sex toy shop. HA!  HA!  HA!  I thought – now whomever organized this has a sense of humor.  People can be checking out these gadgets and toys while us mama’s are on the couch nursing – it’s like a living breathing art installation/cautionary tale!  Sex leads to babies!!  Beware!  And twins…..?!?!  Well.  I saw more than a few people look at me and immediately pick up a condom.

I sat down on the nursing couch, and got the babies all latched on.  I fancy myself to be a bit of a Tom-Cruise-a-la-Cocktail character with nursing these guys.  A flip here, a spin there, behind the back over the shoulder and voilà!  Twins are latched on! A woman walked over from the Babeland table, and sat next to me.  She was wearing a name-badge which I saw but did not read. Obviously she’s with Babeland.  Probably bored.  Wants to talk.

So talk I did.  All about sex.  I mean, this is what she does, right?  And I’m no prude I can talk sex.  Sex.  Sex.  Sex.  (Can’t wait to see who drops by this post directed from Google.  Sorry guys.  Probably not what you were hoping for.  Anyways…) It’s not that I got graphic or obscene or anything like that, but you know.  Just the ol’ “When in Rome” mentality, or  more to the point, “When Hanging Out With a Lady From Babeland” mentality.  She eventually moved on to the next nursing woman on the couch and as I was getting ready to leave the room, I heard her introduce herself….

“I’m the lactation consultant….”

Crap.

But at least we know what it takes to get a belly laugh from me.  That would be this.

Valentine, Be Mine (With Prizes!)

While I understand that it is patently uncool to like Valentine’s Day, I LOVE IT.  Because I love love.  And I love YOU, I LOVE YOU and I don’t care who knows it!  There I said it.

What, you’re not going to say it back?

Awkward.  High School all over again.  Panic Attack.  Crap.  Hang on while I go smoke a clove and listen to the Smiths.

Ok.  That’s cool, no pressure.  Not the point of the post today anyway.  Today, I’d like to give you something.  Just a token of my affection, a “Thanks, dude” for hanging out here every so often.  And you (yes you even though we had that weird “I love you” then silence moment) may very well win one of my prizes.  Your odds are good.

You know who else I love besides you?  I love Brooklyn.  I love Mother Brooklyn because she’s an old funny woman with a salty mouth and big robust fat loving arms.  Within her arms she holds her children – all the artists and authors and illustrators and bakers and candle stick makers.  And guess what?  A few of my Brooklyn based brothers and sisters have offered up their goods to give out to my readers.  All you need to do to win them is leave a comment here.  Say what you will.  In fact, that may be the perfect opportunity to correct your earlier silence in our, “I love you” exchange.  But you can tell me anything.  Do you love this holiday?  Hate it?  Why?  Winners will be chosen randomly on Monday.  There will be three winners.  Here’s what you get:

Where’s Walrus? by Steven Savage

This wordless book illustrated by Brooklynite Steven Savage is the tale of a rebellious walrus who has escaped from the zoo and wears clever disguises to elude the zoo keeper.  I’m a huge fan of the style of illustration in this book, not too cutesy, very clean and modern and plus?  I’m a sucker for anything having to do with a walrus.  Who isn’t?  P.S. Wordless books are like gold for the younger set who can’t read but want to feel big and successful in handling a book on their own.  A different story can be told every night, from different points of view, even switching up main characters.  The cool style and palette used in this book would even, I dare say, make it an awesome coffee table book.  But then again, my coffee table has three dirty diapers on it as we speak.  Moving on…

I Am!  ¡Yo Soy! by Kelli Bettenhausen

Kelli and her sister Kendra have put together a board book which shows infants and toddlers doing simple actions, described in both English and Spanish.  Now, there are a multitude of reasons why this book is intellectually and developmentally stimulating for the children lucky enough to have it read to them.  But in the household Nelson-Call, it is favored as part of our ritual every single night for Roan to read it to his infant twin brothers.  The reasons are two-fold: Roan enjoys donning an impressive Spanish accent and believes with all his heart that he is now mostly fluent in Spanish.  And as a result of this, there is at least a little comic relief in the normal wrestling match known as “bedtime for babies” as I get to hear my brilliant seven year-old child butcher (beautifully, though) another language.  Both the content and pictures in this book are basic yet profound ways to begin the dialogue with your kids about how special they are.  (If you’re in my hood, you can buy this book at our favorite local stores: Madison Rose, Book Court, and Gumbo).

Maid Marian Muffins by Jamie & Jessica Vander Salm

Illustrated by Ana Benaroya

I’m a sucker for people doing what they love.  That’s why this story of a girl who solves the problem of procuring a proper muffin by making her own warms my dark heart.  This story is based on the real life Jessica who is a bicycler-baker and can be seen below and all throughout Brooklyn selling her wares.  Now.  Listen up gear heads and screen lovers – this part of the prize is an app.  If you win you can specify if you’d like it for iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad.  So if you don’t have an iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad (really?  You don’t?), you’ll have to give this to someone who does.  Otherwise, this cool app has 36 pages of gorgeous illustrations and storytelling.  There’s also a feature for you to record your own story and have it be told.  Roan likes this feature.  I’m not saying he stays true to the real story.  I’m not saying anything at all.  Ok, look how amazingly cute Jessica is:

I know, right?

So.  To re-cap.  Leave a comment.  Get the chance to win a set of three prizes.  They are cool and if you don’t have kids well c’mon don’t make me tell you about re-gifting, ok?  We’re clear?  Happy Valentines Day!

My Suggestions To Help You Be The Best Gift-Giver, Ever!

Every year there are about one zillion posts by bloggers like me who give advice about what the in-est, hot-est, rad-est gift of the year for the holidays is.  I dunno about youse guys, but I typically get all glassy-eyed when I read them.  It seems like just another way to show me things that I’ve seen in the stores, things I cannot afford, do not want, or refuse to spend my 401K on.  (I don’t have a 401K.)  (But I have a savings account in a piggy bank that has a few rubber bands, some lint and a crisp $5 bill in it.)

What I enjoy seeing, however, are ideas for unique things – gifts that would be amazing to give, and even more amazing to receive.  Not tokens of mediocrity. Nay.  Things that are meaningful.  So hopefully you can find some of those things in my list here – these are services and products that are not your typical gifts, but things that are personal, some a little expensive, and all things I would love to get.  So it’s kind of a list of things you should buy for me disguised in an Oprah-esque “My Favorite Things….” model.  No one ever said bloggers were not self-serving.  Right?  No one ever said that, I’m pretty sure.

Video Montage from Willow Street Films

I’ve shown off the work from this company before, but have to bring it back for this list.  Aubrey Hardwick has a talent for sifting through your hours and hours (and hours) of home videos and putting them together in a shorter more beautiful and watchable way.  She’ll also show up for any occasion (invited, of course) to film it and put a gorgeous, cohesive little ditty together to give to friends, relatives and if it’s possible, combinations of those two categories.  I’m having problems embedding the videos – so click these links to be taken to them.

Kick It! from Aubrey Hardwick on Vimeo.

Or this style – which was created for a birthday party and given out as a gift:

First Birthday Montage from Aubrey Hardwick on Vimeo.

Contact Willow Street Films here.  [Update: Oh la la look what Aubrey offered!: For Willow Street Films there is a 20% discount for anyone who tells me that Jodi sent you! Happy Holidays.]

Burton Wells Photographers

Remember back in the olden days when pictures were shot on film and developed in an actual darkroom?  Remember those occasions where you’d have a special day where you got all dressed up and had a proper picture taken by a proper photographer? (I am not talking about JCPenny here.  No offense JCPenny.)  (I am also not referencing your husband and his fancy pants SLR that distracts the hypothetical anesthesiologist while you are hypothetically giving birth).  Let’s make a deal with each other and help bring this tradition back!  Old School is cool, baby.  And I just happen to be in the know about a photography studio in Boerum Hill, and the work these people do – I won’t even use my lame-o vocabulary to try and describe it.  You must see their superpower magical ultra style on their website, here.  And here are a few examples to whet yer whistle:

Goatmilk

I was recently reminded as I was holding a naked baby that my favorite baby is a naked baby.  Second only to that is a baby in beautiful soft cotton, in something that isn’t busy or pokey or scratchy or trying too hard to be really really cute.  Basically, a baby in baby underwear is what makes my heart pitter and patter.  So the appearance of Goatmilk on the children’s clothing scene is like a revelation to me.  This line is inspired by the classics – simple and organic and will make you want to eat any baby whole who is lucky enough to be wearing it against their baby skin.  I can barely drink these pictures in without needing to order the entire line ASAP for all my boys.  Unfortunately, the line isn’t available in Retail stores until January, and online in early February.  Worth the wait though?  Obviously.  (Goatmilk will be sold at some of my favorite stores including Acorn, Eggy, Monkey & The Bug, Petit Bebe and Sweet William.  Go here to buy online.)  (But not until February.  Remember?)

Boys Tank

Onesie

Diamond Striped Pointelle

Thermal Set

Portraits by Lori Nelson

The uber-talented and strangely great-looking Lori Nelson has impressed everyone with the magic of her paintings.  Totally fanciful situations with gorgeous backdrops and landscapes, often with a stray breast showing or an errant hot-dog being eaten.  Lori has begun an adventure of marrying her unique, beautiful style with portraiture of real people.  For a limited time, she’s accepting commissions, with backdrops full of things that are meaningful to you.  Love the Brooklyn Bridge?  It’ll be in the background.  Is there a favorite toy your kid cannot live without?  Put it in the background.  She polishes these portraits off with a super-shiny thick layer of resin which gives them the most ethereal and polished look.  Here’s an example of two of these portraits – they connect, but are separate pieces.  What better way to capture the total magic of being a child?  Lori has this ability to paint children the way we remember them.  Gorgeous, dreamy, beautiful and forever young.

Emmie and Boone

Contact Lori here, and I haven’t actually asked her for permission to do this, but mention Pistols and I’ll bet she’ll hook you up with a super-good deal.  (Otherwise I’ll tell on her to my mom.  Did I mention she’s my sister?)

And so.

Another great thing about each of these things I’m recommending, is that they are all created by people who I know, who are hard-working and honest and kind and sweet.  And more talented than me.  Do you have ideas to add to my list?  Please, let me know in the comments!

Happy Holidays friends!

I Understand That I Am A Crazy Lady.

[I'm Totally Stoked Note from Jodi: The Today Show picked up my post about Roan wanting to get his ears pierced.  Look at my name under the hot lights of the Today Show Logo here!]


And Now, Crazy Town:

This weekend I began my countdown.  Only 17 days….now 16….now 15….not so much because I’m anxious to have these boys, but because there’s just so much to do! For instance, what would happen if I went into labor, and the hall closet hasn’t been organized yet?  What if our returns to Zappos haven’t been processed by the time these babies arrive?  Worst of all, imagine if all the umbrellas on the floor of the coat closet are still on the floor when the twins are born, as opposed to being hung neatly on hooks which I’ve clearly expressed my wish to have happen?

The worst kind of crazy is the kind that you can see happening, but have no ability to dilute.  Welcome to my special edition/confession of  The Jodi Crazy, and please utter a phrase of hope for my poor husband, who in his ever-earnest quest to take care of me during this pregnancy has not complained even once, as I task-master the living daylights out of him.  My only consolation?  I’m not the only crazy pregnato.  This is just what happens, what with some delicate balance of hormones and babies and chemistry and science, we just get like this.

In fact, while Anson was on his 6,932nd chore of the day which took him to a local hardware store, he ran into a fellow father-to-be who in the interest of confidentiality and not throwing this father under the bus I will call “Freddie” instead of Eddie.  So “Freddie” was also at the hardware store, buying flowers to plant in his backyard.  Anson wouldn’t give up their conversation in full to me but I have a feeling it was one of commiseration, empathy, and camaraderie, as “Freddie’s” wife is due with their fifth (!!!!!) child right at the same time I am.  And all my husband could/would tell me was that as husbands of pregnant ladies, who are almost done being pregnant ladies, these husbands agreed that their wives were slightly psychotic.  And you know?  I couldn’t even get mad at that because geez.  It’s true.  Can’t get mad at the truth.  I mean, I could if I wanted to, because I’m pregnant.  But I won’t.

Fear not though, the weekend wasn’t all work!  For me, at least.  Other than making lists of things to do for my main man, it was all fun and games.

Roan and I went to a fashion show sponsored by the Brooklyn Indie Market, which is run by an awesome woman called Kathy Malone who took me by the hand and marched me to the front of the line for the bathroom when I mentioned that I had to go.  Brooklyn Indie Market understands pregnancy, I’m just saying.  So they had a Steampunk fashion show.  Via Wikipedia, Steampunk:

A sub-genre of science fiction, alternate history, and speculative fiction…in other words, based on a Victorian perspective on fashion, culture architectural style, art, etc.  Steampunk is often associated with cyberpunk.

Ya dig?  More or less it is just an awesome array of fabulous costumes that I knew Roan would be ga-ga for and as it turns out, so was I.  Check out a few snaps:

Kathy Malone's Back, A happy guy, and my sis Lori Steampunking it up

Performance by the Lola Lola Dance Theater

Steampunk Dude Seriously Working It

Corsets seem especially cruel, but beautiful

This woman was breathtakingly gorgeous. She made Ro giggle.

And the most beautiful image of the day?  I came home to a coat closet that looked like this on the door:

The calming feeling of umbrellas that have a place to go. Now I can have my babies.

Speedy Delivery! (No, not the babies, yet)

[Special note from Jodi: I was lucky enough to get to review the BumpIt Up Bliss Pre-Natal Package at the completely spectacular Peninsula Spa.  Check out my review at Momtrends!]

When I first moved to New York with my family, my sister Lori had already been here for a few years.  Of course, I had, too.  I mean, I lived here in my late teens and early twenties, but then had to sianara this wicked little town to pull my head out of a certain stupor it landed in due to this, that and the other thing.  (Which is, by the way, one of my favorite NYC sayings. “This, that and the other thing”, usually articulated in between snaps of gum in a thick-as-syrup accent and with no sign of what this, that or the other thing are.  Catchy though – use it like this, “She was getting on my last nerve, complaining about this, that and the other thing.”    See?  Pistols + Popcorn is an edumacational website.  A+ for everyone who begins using the phrase on the regular.)

So, when I moved here again for Part II of my Living in New York story, this time with my family, I was surprised to find that my sister had started ordering things on the internet.  She ordered shoes from Zappos, furniture from Crate & Barrel, books from Amazon and groceries from Fresh Direct.  ”But you live in New York.”  I had to protest.  ”People come here from thousands of miles away to shop in stores.  New York stores.  You can internet shop in Utah.”  It made no sense to me.  In fact, it offended me just a bit.

But of course, if you fast forward to me today, it’s a different story.  Five years later, I am sitting on my couch, in my pajamas, afraid to take a shower lest I miss a delivery scheduled for today from the delivery trifecta: FedEx, UPS, and USPS, which are all scheduled to knock on my door today, with booty and bounty for yours truly.

We have rain boots on their way for Roan, a Halloween Costume for Roan, prezzies from my homie in Cali The Biter, a nursing pillow for tandem twin nursing (Which I’m going to consider turning into a competitive sport.  It just sounds like that much fun), an unspecified package from an unspecified sender which has been attempted to be delivered here once before, and the big ultimate dog – six boxes from a company I’m trying to get sainted as they are sending me their product to review.  A product I need.  A product that takes SIX boxes.  More on that later.

I know, right?

The moral of the story is that I’ve found out that the greatest expression of being a true New Yorker is not to frequent its many beautiful and diverse stores, but to have everything brought to your doorstep.  Of course – I’m not a true New Yorker so I get my feet pounding the tough pavement more often than not, because I’m still starstruck at each beautiful building and busy street and the smell of Nuts 4 Nuts.  I’ve just retreated, a bit because I’m full of babies and am worried that my belly with startle the citizens of the city.  Let’s face it: New Yorkers are tough and gritty, but a freakshow is still a freakshow.

Also?  The doc told me at the last appointment that these little ducks are sideways.  YAY for my children, chosing the most messed up position to hang out in.  I mean, breach is fine, vertex is fine.  Whatever.  But this sideways biz is giving me a backache.  I think I’m going to go stand on my head in the corner to see if that motivates them to move.  Hopefully the rush of blood to my head will not prevent me from hearing my front door buzzer.

Celebrating Babeeeeeeeeez!!

This is the most delicious cake I have ever eaten, made by my friend Christina.

This past weekend, two superpowers named Kara and Lori joined forces to throw a Baby Shower for these babes who are going totally bananas in my belly.  I’m guessing that most people have a similar reaction to Baby Showers, Weddings, and Funerals.  They attend them out of a sense of duty, but not necessarily love for the actual event.  Not to say they don’t want to join in the communal celebration/mourning, but it does seem a little forced more often than not.

I just would like to make it clear that MY baby shower had no such people.  Or, if there were folks who were not excited about it, once they stepped foot into Kara’s warm and amazing-smelling home, they became drunk with love of this particular Baby Shower.  See, Lori and Kara created this event in a simple way.   Amazing food and a welcoming environment mixed with a bit of champagne, and me being allowed to invite all these women who are truly the best ladies I’ve ever met.  We sat in sun-drenched rooms, simply talking to each other and waiting for another sampling of food to fit into our bodies from the spread that had been communally created.

I wish this was Scratch'n'Sniff.

Roan popped in and out of the celebration, bouncing from our home across the street over to Kara’s to make sure I wasn’t diving into the prezzies without him.  He was also smitten with the crepes (slathered with nutella and whipped cream) created by Lori.  I’m guessing he ate 245 of them.  Give or take a few.

Roan earned the title of "Present Opening Ninja" on this day

And the gifts – I know it’s tacky to go on and on about “Well, I got this, and I got that, and…..blah blah blah” but you know?  My friends are just really generous and kind, they know my family and they know me.  I’ll just leave it at this – I’m so grateful for these people in my life.  I am surrounded by more love and kindness than I probably deserve, and when I get a group of 25 wonder-women in one room, all of whom are looking out for me – it just knocks my socks off.

My friend Teri sent this pic with the caption, "Does it feel real yet?" Oh boy, does it.

And 24 hours later, I am still full of crepes and cake.  Yum.