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.

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.

Raising City Kids Pros vs. Cons

I love getting email from people who read Pistols. Usually the feedback I get is of the sweet + kind variety, from a person who wants to share a story or experience that is in line with something I’ve written. Sometimes I get emails of the heartbreaking variety, from someone who is going through hard times, maybe similar to the ones I’ve been through. But lots of the emails I get ask about parenting in NYC. I love answering the emails – I am a very good pen pal. But I thought maybe I could dedicate one post to the questions about parenting. What is it like to be a parent in NYC? Is it hard? Aren’t you worried about the safety of your children? How do you think it’s different than having kids in the suburbs?

Well.

There’s good and bad, obviously. Just as obvious, I happen to believe there is more good than bad with raising kids in a metropolitan area otherwise I’d be long gone. But I believe it entirely depends on if you can enjoy it or not. If you cannot, then duh. Go raise your kids where you’re happy. If you can enjoy it – there’s some huge perks to growing up in NYC. For instance…

On set for Goatmilk shoot

Opportunity.

Once Roan decided he was interested in modeling, it fell right into his lap. Being in New York obviously puts Roan in a great position to be cast for national campaigns, as well as cool indie labels. He loves doing it, and it’s all happening in his backyard, so to speak. His two twin brothers have had the good luck to be cast as well, though I think they’d pretty much do anything for goldfish crackers which is the currency they’ve been paid. I don’t know if they love it, but how cool will it be to show them when they’re older catalogues and pictures which are professionally and beautifully taken? Last week Sheppard did a photo shoot for Goatmilk, and the pictures that came from it? I should have been paying them. They are gorgeous. I’ll post them when I get them. And Roan got an email from a reader in Tokyo, who stealthily got this picture for him. He could not be any more excited to know his mug is hanging around in Japan.

With Love from Tokyo

It’s not just modeling. Is your kid into sewing, sports, trapeze, reading, community outreach, video games, etc.? Everything is here, quite literally. There are experts who want to share their ability with your kids in pretty much any area. I love that. It makes me so happy to know that whatever my boys are into, they can learn about it and do it here.

Iconic Stuff.

Let’s face it, NYC is full of recognizable neighborhoods, buildings and people. Everywhere we go, literally, we can see something that other people would have to use their vacation money and time to get to. Last Sunday Roan, his friend Sachin, Smith, Sheppard, Anson and I all went to Santaland to see Mr. Claus. Santaland itself is relevant as David Sedaris’ career as a writer was launched by his book about his experiences being an elf there. Not to mention it’s housed in Macy’s, home of a giant parade, and setting for “Miracle on 34th Street” (34th Street also is well-known for its rather famous skyscraper called The Empire State Building.) We went there on a Sunday afternoon, just for fun, no big deal. The boys loved it and took in all the iconic stuff as just everyday cool things. Of course, there’s the obligatory great/awful Santa pics:

First Santa experience. No tears this year.

Also no tears. Totally succesful.

If the weekend is slow, or we’re feeling ambitious, there’s a Statue of Liberty we can go see, endless museums, a gigantic park in the center of the city, old-time neighborhoods, a little town resembling China, and every single type of food available. That is something special.

Saying hello to our neighbor, Ms. Liberty.

Cool Graffiti/Art.

Street Art is coming into its own as a practical art form. I suppose because of this, there is an explosion of excellent art on building walls, street corners, sidewalks, manhole covers, garage doors – everywhere. It’s fun to talk about what we see, what it could mean, and if it’s appealing to us individually. Here are two plaques surreptitiously placed on the footbridge I cross every day on my way home. Do I like them? I guess. Mostly because they’re there, they’re funny, and they get Roan and me talking about art.

Footbridge Street Art

Immobility.

But of course, it’s not all fun + games being a mama in NYC. I do get stuck. Because I have twin infants/toddlers, no car, a limited amount of times I can ask friends to carry a baby, and endless insurmountable-by-stoller staircases. Riding the subway is a challenge with a stroller. Particularly a double stroller and I don’t even dare do it anywhere near rush hour. I’m just fortunate that I like my neighborhood because I spend a lot of time here.

Not actually as fun as it looks.

The Obligatory Mention of Disgusting Things.

Hand-in-hand with all the beauty of NYC is the undercurrent that everything, literally is pretty dirty. Even if it looks clean, there are way too many people around for it to be anywhere near clean. The subway is shiny with its smooth surfaces and dirt-hiding colors. But you know. At least I know. And I’m telling you, so you also know. Sidewalks are disgusting with dog pee and let’s be honest, human pee. I get very freaked out if Anson walks on the sidewalk barefoot (which he did this morning and I am still very “UGH!” about it) because even if you can’t see the pee, the pee is there! Everywhere! And he’s collecting it on his giant feet and bringing it inside and the babies are going to lick it off the floor and I’m falling down a big giant black germ spiral of anxiety….Ummm…ok I sound a little maniacal. Let’s move on.

Roan using his purple claw to defend against germs and criminals on the subway.

There’s also the ever-present threat of lice. Roan’s school and particularly his class are essentially a friendly lice-hosting environment. I cannot fight it so I just try to ward it off. Every Sunday I do a one-hour comb-out of Roan’s hair, to make sure there are no egg-laying blood-sucking buggies in it. Disgusting, right? I mean, why would I live in such a disgusting place?? Adaptation. I’ve been able to just categorize lice in my brain right next to mosquitoes. Annoying. Not harmful. Manageable. So I do what I can and it works to keep up my own little lice-free world at home. The rest of NYC I cannot control.

Filthy Gotham.

Filthy lovely amazing sweet home.

It’s not for everyone, but it is undoubtedly the place for me.

Baby Roan standing behind the Statue. Funny perspective, no?

Baby Wearing With Britax

Smith was totally cheating on his dad with The Baby Guy Jamie Grayson. Watchout.

On Wednesday,my sister-wife-life-partner-extra-strength-next-door-neighbor Lola packed up baby Sheppard, and I packed up baby Smith and we went on the F Train to New York City! It’s true! We took those babes into the Concrete Jungle and met up with The Baby Guy, Jamie Grayson as well as Karen from A Child Grows in Brooklyn and Melissa from Married My Sugar Daddy (Karen + Melissa together make up Buzzing Bloggers, a juggernaut team of can-do-ness and sunshine.) When we arrived at the pre-arranged meeting spot in the lobby of a hotel, I was super-duper happy to immediately run into Natalie Diaz from Twiniversity (who gave me the sleep training advice that has led to peace, love, mana from heaven, and smiles all around in this family of mine. Also the advice that started a fire-storm of strong opinions on this post.) Then there was Nancy Horn, walking around with her beautiful (and I do mean beeee-uuuu-teeee-ful) child.

I was there to look at the new Britax baby carrier which is going to be available to the public soon – early summer of this year. I walked away with two carriers for my two babies, and am here to say good news people! There’s a new sheriff in town when it comes to wearing a baby. There are a few things that are different about this here model. First – weight is distributed differently. Essentially, you’ll take more of the burden on your hips, and less on your shoulders and back. That’s a treat. Second – the baby is resting on a harness, so if your hip strap becomes undone, your child will not plummet to an untimely drop on his/her head. This was demonstrated to me by Jamie when he abruptly unlatched my hip strap which made my face go all contorted and my heart beat faster and my mouth say, “Ahhh @$#!” because I assumed my baby would fall out and be dropped on his head. This did not happen. And so. Yay.

Britax Baby Carrier. Does not make you look fat.

I now have five baby carriers. I like them all. But there are a few things about this Britax that has me reaching for it instead of the others. It’s super easy to put on. It goes over the head, and then two clicks and that’s that. It’s super padded for my shoulders and also for my baby’s fat legs. And my favorite detail is that it has a snap-on and off bib that you can throw in the wash because let’s face it people. Babies are kind of disgusting and always slobbering or spitting up. It’s lovely to be able to wash and change out that part of the carrier. The only detail that I think they missed is a front pocket which I do adore in my other carrier. So nice to have a zip pocket on a carrier that you can throw your phone or wallet into. Guess I’ll have to use my pants pocket. Ah well. Not a deal breaker.

The Britax baby carrier will be retailing for $129 – $139 when it comes out but they’ve pinky promised the Pistols + Popcorn staff (eh….me….) that we can have one to give away to a lucky ducky reader. Yahooo! Because the only thing I like more than getting free stuff for myself is getting free stuff for you. Stay tuned!

Car Seats – Necessary or Not?

I have to admit that I’m a little nervous about writing this post – I’m usually a little devil-may-care about what I put up here, but I think this could be a bit of a hot-button.  Especially because it’s me talking about my screw-up and calling out my fellow NYC mothers on their own blind-eyes.  I’d love to not have the screws put to me, but if they need to be, ok.  Just remember I’m a delicate little flower, and my birthday is coming up and also I’m a nice person that can be stupid at times.  So, this is the story -

I was walking down West 15th and 8th Avenue in NYC  with 7-year-old Roan’s hand holding my right hand and 4-month-old Smith bouncing in a carrier.  My left hand was gripping two pipe insulators I just picked up at a hardware store.  Add to that: Roan’s book bag, lunch box as well as a diaper bag hanging off my shoulder.  We’re alright, if just a bit awkward – but were making our way successfully towards the F train.  Roan then spotted an available taxi coming our way and suggested we grab it.  Before I could even say “yes”, my city-savvy child hailed it and honestly?  I was 100% down for it.  The occasional luxury of a taxi is something I can go for.

As we sailed down the West-Side Highway, I was thinking this idea was inspired.  Roan loves looking at the city from a car, and I always feel a little starstruck taking in the beauty of where we live.  We haven’t always lived here.  We lived in Utah before – where everyone has at least two cars, big plots of land, pets, backyards, space mountains, cars – wait.  CARS.  C-A-R-S.  I’m in a car.  With two children.  And no car seats.

It’s a dirty little secret in NYC.  Nobody really talks about the reality that mothers hop into cabs all the time with their children.  We don’t carry car seats around with us.  They’re not pre-installed in the cabs.  It’s what we do.  At least, that’s what I’ve seen.  When I moved here I don’t think I would have made this gaffe, but after living here for five years, owning no car and not really thinking about the logistics of riding in cars very often – it’s just become something far away from the seven bazillion other things I perseverate about.

Before anyone accuses me of not loving my children, of being a bad mom, or having the worst instincts ever for raising children, let me save you some time.  I’ve read the comments on other posts tackling this topic (although I may be the first idiot to actually say, “Eh, guess what I did?”  The other posts I’ve found are more of a witch-hunt for mum’s like me.  And the comments reflect that.  So you know, if it makes you feel better have at it and tell me I suck.  But I’ve already sort of sussed that out.)

But.

Is it really the huge mistake we all think it is?  Our knee-jerk reaction is to feel like car seats are 100% necessary all the time.  But there is research out there that has shown a death rate of 11.9% for children travelling in car seats involved in accidents, compared to a death rate of 11.1% for children simply wearing seat belts.  That’s not a huge difference.  The research is by no means conclusive, there are variables and information can always be skewed to show any perspective, no?

But.

I just wonder if we’re being sold a feel-good idea that doesn’t have all that much merit.  The data on car seats is all over the place.  And it’s all relatively new.  When I was a child, my parents put their five children in the back of a pick-up truck with a camper shell and drove three days across the country every single summer.  I don’t know what it would have looked like if there would have been an accident.  Probably not good.  But the point is, this is a new concept – and probably not as definitive as we all want to believe.

Where do you land?

Are car seats a mandatory item before you hop in a car with your kid?  Have you ever had to forego the car seat  - especially my NYC or other urban moms?  How do you reconcile getting in with your kids and no car seats?

One interesting thing – via nyc.gov - taxi cabs are exempt from car seat laws:

Drivers of yellow medallion taxicabs and for-hire vehicles and their passengers, are exempt from laws regarding car seats and seatbelts.  Keep in mind, the TLC encourages everyone in the vehicle to buckle their seatbelts while riding in a cab.  There are no Taxi and Limousine Commission rules regarding this, as it is a State exemption. Passengers with children are encouraged to bring their own car seats, which the drivers must allow passengers to install.
*NOTE – Children under the age of seven are permitted to sit on an adult’s lap.

For the record – I had bad dreams for three nights about my choice, my judgement and what I’ll call my mistake.  I’m still sold on the idea that we should always use car seats.  They’re not perfect.  But they’re probably better than nothing.  I’m just not convinced that they are as safe as we’ve been told.  What do you think?

My Starry Eyes

We're all still here.

You’ll all be happy to know that I have not thrown the babies into the recycling bin, nor have I gone out for cigarettes and not come back home.  After blowing off steam in my last post, my twin boys cleverly turned on their extra-cute superpower and made me feel the fool for ever complaining about them.  They are diabolical, but effective little creatures.  Dang.  I’m so in trouble with how much I love these two guys.  So. In. Trouble.

Trouble.

Speaking of trouble, remember my son Roan?  Also quite diabolical in using his cuteness for making my heart skip beats.  Well Mr. Roan had the opportunity this past weekend to take part in a photo shoot with Anna Palma who is a big deal photographer in little old NYC.  It was a proper shoot, at a proper studio, with proper stylists and clothes and snacks and coffee.  There was also a proper little cute dog present.  The shoot was for the clothing store H&M and ladies and gentlemen: it was a blast.

Getting the style on.

Super Cool. No doubt.

Roan and I got out of our house and took extreme pleasure in luxuriating in a car to the shoot.  If you don’t live here in NYC, that probably makes no sense.  In our house, we are slaves to public transportation.  I usually don’t mind it, and actually love not having a car and all that goes with a car.  But on this day, I just couldn’t get it together to get on the subway on time so we called a car service for a ride into Manhattan.  As we were being driven over the Brooklyn Bridge, with all the magnificent views and the peace of just Roan and me being together, I was totally dropped by how cool my life is.  It just felt great to look at the Empire State Building, the Manhattan Bridge, the Statue of Liberty, and then my son.  On his way into the world that he’s growing up in, and having so much fun in.  I dunno – it was a moment.  I don’t suppose I’ll ever be a “real” New Yorker because these buildings, bridges and views still give me starry eyes and tourist-like giddy feelings more often than not.  It’s the Colorado girl in me.

We got to the studio and Roan and I relaxed on a couch, him sipping on a Limonata, me drinking a cup of coffee – the first one I’ve had in some time while having no human attached to my body.  Weird.  Then he was called over to wardrobe, where he was outfitted in a sweet little cardigan and hot-shot black skinny pants.  Everything was arranged just so – from which buttons were buttoned, to how his shoes were unlaced.  Roan then was called over to hair and make-up.  This knock-out of a woman spent tons of time putting her hands through Roan’s hair, sculpting it, messing it up, re-sculpting it until he had a wicked pompadour.  Could I have loved his look anymore?  No, the answer is, I could not.

Not done yet...

Can you tell how much he loves this?

Getting there...

I die.

I was the kind of lame-o mom there.  Again with the starry eyes.   I mean, I just love seeing Roan’s eyes light up with all the attention he’s basking in, doing his cool guy face and being applauded by a group of people for just being his cool guy self.  So I was all smiles and taking pictures and texting them to my friends.  I’m not unaffected or bored at these things, you know?  Roan enjoys it so much, and I love watching him enjoy it.

Doing his thing

We were there for around four hours, and when we were done, Roan said he wished we didn’t have to go.  He had struck an immediate friendship up with the other kids there.  They’d claimed the studio as their own, playing Red Light Green Light and running around like total maniacs.  How could that not be awesome?  They all knew the words to all of the music being played and I just watched and hoped that this day would be burned into Roan’s memory.  It was an amazing time.  And it was made even more special by Roan recognizing that he had my full attention.  I think he misses that, though he won’t admit it.  I miss it.

Smith + Sheppard

When we got home, we found that Anson had taken about 1,098 pictures of Smith and Sheppard.  He cannot help himself (Anson and I share this addiction of trying to catch each smile….)  And I couldn’t believe how much I had missed them.  For all my wah-wah-boo-hoo’ing about being “baby’d out”, I sure have no ability to be away from those boys.  It was a sweet thing, though.  So sweet to see Anson so excited by all the things he had learned about them in one day.  Because they change every day, every minute.  As does Roan.  I think maybe we all do.  Change becomes less noticeable as we get older, but we are all liquid really – and what a treat it was to have captured some of who my boys are now on this one day.

Because they’re all different already.

Smitty

Get Your Memories Out!

There is a Drawer of Shame in my home, which contains around 50 video tapes.  They are from various times of my son’s life, from birth up to probably around 4 years old.  There are hours and hours of memories that I have forgotten, friends whose names I probably can’t recall, and way more footage than even the most devoted grandparent would sit (suffer) through. So these tapes are just sitting there and I’m not saying they’re all worth watching but I’m willing to bet that there are some super cute times hiding in there, times that very much deserve a replay.   But as it is, these tapes will remain orphaned relics, victims of a mother that simply got overwhelmed by too many hours of boring tape.

Now if you are nodding your head, thinking “Hey, I have that same problem!” well friends, I’ve got an amazing hook-up for you.  In my cache of talented people I know is a woman named Aubrey.  I want to share her with you.  She owns Willow Street Films, and instead of me telling you what she can do – check this out.  Aubrey spent a few days filming my kickboxing class, and created this for me:

[vimeo]http://vimeo.com/15363539[/vimeo]

Awesome, am I right?  Seriously the real magic here is that I was around 3 months pregnant with twins at the time of filming, and she somehow managed to not show how fat I felt.  Love her.  She also navigated her way around classrooms of wild children who were kicking, punching, screaming, jumping and laughing and managed to not even cramp that vibe one little bit.  In fact, I caught her at one point trying on a glove…

Willow Street Films works in a few different ways.  They can collate footage you already have – remember the drawer of shame?  Take the contents to them.  With no work on your part, they can produce a montage of the best parts – something your friends/family would actually want to watch.  Or you can get them to attend an event and film and edit it for you: weddings, parties, playdates, sports, bar mitzvahs, etc.  See?  Let’s be honest – we all have the ability to film the important things in our lives.  Unfortunately most of us are not equipped with the time or ability to give our recordings style.

Another popular offering from Willow Street Films are creative photo/video montages that people like to show for entertainment at weddings, birthday parties, anniversaries and the like.  May I just say that I’ve sat through way too many of these….done poorly.  It is so very refreshing to see them come to life with panache (and absent the Air Supply soundtrack)  (Nothing against Air Supply).

Contact Willow Street Films here, and thank me later.

[Special deal for my readers - Willow Street Films will offer a 10% discount if you name drop Pistols + Popcorn.]

New York Mama Moguls (and me)

Adina, Elina, Julia, Lara, and Lyss

Women folk have a reputation for not helping each other out.  Let’s face it, Alexis Carrington gave “Dynasty” its biggest ratings when she deliberately startled Krystal Carrington’s horse with a gunshot, resulting in Krystal’s miscarriage.  Yes, I was only ten when I snuck out of bed to watch this episode from around the family room corner while my parent’s indulged in their “alone time”.  But it did give me a heads-up: ladies are on Earth to destroy other ladies.  (Unless they’re sister-wives but I didn’t get that because “Big Love” hadn’t been invented yet.)

That's me trying to soak up some of Hadley's genius

Of course, over the years, my experiences haven’t always backed up this early childhood hard wiring.  I’ve had the good luck to fall in with groups of women who support instead of destroy.  But, like everyone else, I’ve also had experiences with the slightly un-hinged, women whom I know better than to be riding a horse around while pregnant, if you know what I mean.

Adina and Julia *LOVE*

Last week, I was invited to a lunch at Bar Pitti in the Village.  This lunch was put together by Adina who is responsible for super-cool and ultra-cute website with a philanthropic bent, Little Lunalu.  She was visiting New York from London, and wanted to meet up with the moms of New York with whom she had connected with through her site.

Adina and Me - We are hysterical, apparently.

Adina wasn’t kidding with this list of ladies – she invited Casting Director and Planet Awesome Kid maestro Julia, Lyss from Divalysscious Moms, Elina from Mamaista (as well as new Babble launch Family Style Blog), Liz from Cool Mom Picks, Holly and Hadley from Tada Shop, Krista from The Momtographers, Lara from ikidNY, and I do not know how I made the cut – but I got the invite, too.

Lara - also hysterical.

Most of us were meeting for the first time, and I do believe from the outside looking in, you’d believe we were all old friends.  There was no agenda, no task of networking or proving.  It was a table full of ladies just sharing stories, finding out how we were connected, and in my case, being slightly star-struck by getting to hang out with such inspiring women.  And the flurry of emails after the lunch, with everyone involved telling the other one’s “Thank you” and expressing the sentiment that we really need to do this again – it was really jaw-droppingly cool for me to be involved with such a positive collection of women.

[Special big THANK YOU to Krista, who took each and every photo here.  Her site, The Momtographers is awesome, and has great easy-to-follow advice for the budding momtographers in all of us.]

Poetry in the Park

Poets

Another field trip under my belt with Roan’s class.  Today we headed to amazing Prospect Park (via school bus and I’m wondering, do they only hire stunt drivers?  I mean, I’m not saying, I’m just saying, and that’s all I’m saying.)  The trip was to get the kids outside, so they could write poems about what their senses were taking in.  Amazingly, Roan’s magical teacher produced a perfectly gorgeous day, and a super-cool rainbow in the sky.

It was a great morning for me.  A sort of break in a lot of mental chatter that’s happening in my head.  There are great big cool and scary and fun and challenging things in store for me in the next little while which I’m under oath not to write about….yet.  But I really do find that being surrounded by these six and seven-year olds, with their mischievous natures and testing boundaries and adoration and love really always just sets my head right.  And hanging with them in the park on this gorgeous day?  Perfection.  To me, this is what perfection looks like:

Sharing poems about rainbows

Writing about a worm he saw, which was cut in half. Still, it's poetry.

Taking it in.

How To New York, With or Without Me

Yes, that's chocolate outlining my boy's mouth. Dylan's Chocolate Fountain chocolate.

It’s just that I’ve been up to my eyeballs in fun.  That’s why I haven’t been here.  Well, let’s be honest – fun and also a little fatigue.  When I have visitors in from out-of-town, I feel really motivated to show off my NYC.  I want them to join my cult of NYC fan-girl love.  But there’s never enough time to get to everything.  And by the end of the day yesterday, day seven of showing off the NYC my boy was all, “I just reeeeeeely.  Neeeeeeeed.  To reeeeeeeelax.”  And after washing all the Brooklyn off of him, we did that, finally.  I fell asleep on the couch next to him within about 30 seconds while he played Super Mario Bros. Every 2 minutes he would whisper in my ear that we’ve got to do this more.  Sit on the couch more.  Agreed.

But the times, they were good.  In the period of a week, we got our tourist on in these places:

  • Rockefeller Center
  • 5th Avenue
  • FAO Schwartz
  • Central Park
  • Dylan’s Candy Bar
  • Thai Food!
  • Coney Island
  • Wonder Wheel
  • Nathan’s Hot Dogs
  • Shopping at H&M
  • Times Square
  • Prospect Park
  • Grimaldi’s Pizzeria
  • Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory
  • New Brooklyn Bridge Park
  • Brooklyn Botanic Gardens
  • Carousel in Prospect Park

The activities they went on and did without me?  Because I was cuckoo tired?

Cousins.

  • Brooklyn Bridge Walk
  • MoMA
  • Staten Island Ferry (to get an eyeful of the Statue of Liberty for free)

And now in the spirit of two birds one stone-ing it, I would just like to submit this list as my official guide to going places when you come visit me.  But I will be giving you an MTA card and a map because Roan and I are newly committed to sitting on the couch.