Happy Birthday to an Amazing Mom

Anyone who’s read this blog before knows that I don’t take myself too seriously. I’m not an amazing wordsmith… I don’t have the lyrical prowess of Tupac or the ability to turn a a few stanzas of a poem into a Grammy winning hit like Boyz II Men, but I can, every once and a while write something that has some depth.

Today, I will take a stab at some more meaningful prose and take after the two aforementioned rap/R&B legends with a dedication to Jax and Ollie’s Mom (I’m sure it won’t be as perfectly written as “Dear Momma”, and there’s not a chance I could make it sound as nice as “A Song For Mamma,” but we’ll give it a shot anyway.

I really don’t know how to put into words exactly what a mom, especially this mom means to a family. No matter what, she has always shown… many times… the great love she has for her family. After all the difficult times her and I have made it through as parents, I know that it doesn’t matter to her what happens, she will stand by me and always be there–through the good and the bad to support these two beautiful little boys. She will help me guide them through life and hopefully we, together, can instill in them right from wrong and a sense of decency, respect, kindness and leadership that this world seems to be so desperately lacking.

Jackson and Oliver, your mother has always loved you so much from the very- very beginning. She couldn’t wait for either of you to make your first appearance in this world. “She had a bag packed for the hospital months in advance… and the clothes you’d both wear home from the hospital were purchased months in advance.  When given the opportunity to have you sleep in the nursery those first few nights at the hospital, she looked at those nurses like they had five heads… not a chance she was letting you go… not then and not now.

A mother’s love is is something that I can’t explain.  Being a parent… being a mom is made of deep devotion and of sacrifice.  This mom… she is giving, often putting her own needs on hold to make sure that her sons have everything they could ever need.

If you have ever attempted to have a conversation with a three year old you know what it’s like to feel frustration… jumping from subject to subject, trying to find the right vocabulary to express wants and needs… and more often than not just hearing two words over and over and over and over again… “NO” and “Why”.  Sometimes talking to a child is like talking to your dog… they look like they get what you are saying, but then two seconds later ask a question completely unrelated to the topic at hand… but something special happens when a mom listens to their child.  A mother understands what a child cannot say.  Jackson and Oliver are so incredibly lucky to have someone so in tune with who they are that she can completely understand them, even when they don’t even understand themselves.  It’s a gift… and it’s what makes Stephanie so amazing.

Don’t get me wrong, there are still bouts of frustration and anger and lots of sleepless nights… neither of us are perfect… and she won’t pretend she is, but when we look at our children, we both know that we got something in our life so perfectly right.  Happy birthday to an incredibly hard working, dedicated, (relatively) patient mother and one hell of a role model for our children.


Peter, Jackson, Oliver, Buster and Max

Ollie’s Winter ONEderland

img_5486-1I’ve professed my unadulterated hatred for children’s birthday parties (sorry to anyone who has recently invited us, or plans to invite us to their child’s birthday party… No really, I’m so excited to attend). In all honestly though I don’t hate kid’s birthday parties. I just wish they weren’t as stressful for the adults.

On one hand you have the person attending the party. All the stress of what to get, how much to spend… how long to stay. It’s too much decision making to partake in on a day off from work. I worry at every party I take my boys to how much money worth of family heirlooms they are going to destroy. It’s scary, trust me.

Then there is the flip side… being the host of a child’s birthday party. You want to make it enjoyable for all.. you want to set the kids up for success while allowing for some enjoyment for the adults. Oliver’s birthday party did a little of all of that. There was something for everyone.

There was time adult talk and time for play for the kids. There was hide and seek and talk of politics and health. There were sandwiches as far as the eye could see (and knifes that sawed through antique furniture in the dining room). There was hide and seek and there was blue cake-icing that was mashed into the carpet in no less than four different spots.

However, after things settled down… thing is… it was all worth it. Family and friends together celebrating such an amazing little boy turning one. It is a huge milestone… for this little guy that milestone is more about the fact that he’s survived a year with Jackson as his older brother. Between full contact hide and seek and Jackson trying to feed Oliver anything he can get his hands on… it’s a miracle this kid made it to one!!!

PS: You know it was a good time when all the party penguins end up on the ceiling 😂🐧

Birthday Love

What a week it’s been… My Book gets the approval for publishing, my article on autism/spectrum disorder is published by an Autism National Publication, I was featured on the UK’s #1 Parent Blog Website, have had over 2,000 visitors to my blog this week alone from over 25 different countries, and yet the above  is still the best thing to happen to me all week. 

Thx little guy for #1 remembering and #2 the awesome gift. 

Happy Birthday Mom

Dear Mommy,

I wanted to write you a birthday card, but I realized after a few minutes that I can’t actually write yet. So I figured the best thing to do was to let dad translate for me and put it on his blog (since everything has to be about him anyway)… So here it is:

Mom, thank you for making me realize that I am very loved and that I’m worth everything. All the kisses and hugs in the world aren’t as great if they aren’t from you.  

Mom, thank you for giving me a shoulder to cry on when I bumped my head after spinning in circles, or fell down after trying to ride Buster, and especially after I wound up in the hospital after face planting on a cobblestone walkway. I always know I’m safe as long as I have you around.  

Mom, thank you for standing up for me when I may have done something stupid like throwing a ball at someone in music class, or getting in a “friends personal space at daycare.” You showed me that family always comes first and loyalty is an important virtue for everyone to exhibit.  

Mom, thank you for making sure I always chose the right sort of people to be friends with. Because of you I will always surround myself with respectable and responsible people through each and every phase of my life… (too bad the same can’t be said for dad. His friends are weirdos).

Mom, thank you for showing me it’s ok to be happy with who I am and that being yourself is the only person you should want to be in life. I have learned about love and humor and how to enjoy life because of you. I also have learned how to stand up to the things I am afraid of and that being afraid of those things in the first place is a normal part of life… As long as I face them and realize that in the end I’m stronger than anything that I might be scared of.  

But most importantly… Thank you for being my mommy, because as far as moms go… you’re the best.  

Happy Birthday!




The Toy of Choice


Can someone explain to me why this child has thousands of dollars worth of toys?   
What was the point of everyone bringing these amazing gifts water tables and sandboxes and trains and wagons for his birthday. Does anyone really think he needs an original Radio Flyer? Or two kiddie laptops?
Every time somebody comes to visit their bringing this kid something new I’m surprised he doesn’t have a selfie stick yet. It’s not that we don’t appreciate the gifts for him and it’s not that he doesn’t like them for at least the first 15 seconds that they’re being opened… But realistically this kid is old school…

Doesn’t need any newfangled toys doesn’t need anything that lights up or uses batteries. There’s no reason for Fisher-Price or baby Einstein to even market anything for our son. He’s not high maintenance, you know?  

How do I know this… Because our house looks like a Toys-R-Us outlet store and all he wants to play with is a bunch of Tupperware.    


Birthday Thanks

I have never been a huge fan of birthdays.  I’m just not someone who enjoys he spotlight or wants to draw attention to mysel…… hahhahahaa I almost got through that with out laughing out loud.   

I wanted to share some of my more enjoyable birthday wishes…   

pretty much sums me up


it’s like looking into a mirror


Facebook is basically my calandet


Who needs enemies wwhen you have friends like this


This would be awesome ##DeathEatersAsClowns #IHateClowns


Gotta love family


Birthdays used to be about me… Not that I ever really was all about birthdays anyway.  But, years ago I only had to share my bday with Kate Upton and Judy Garland and that C- minus comedian Bill Burr (kidding Burr is freaking hilarious).  

Now, my birthday is another day I get to spend with this little weirdo:  


In all reality… This is all I need for my birthday:  

Happy 1st Birthday

Dear Jackson,

Even though there’s not a chance you’ll be able to read this for a few years, I wanted to make sure that on your first birthday you understand how much the past year has meant to your mom and I.  We met when we were in our early 20s and have been a together for almost 15 years now… (can you believe your poor mom has had to listen to my terrible jokes for that long?!!).  We had some great times and we had some sad times, but the past year has been different.  There is not an actual word in the English language to properly express how perfect the past year has been, but it has been that way because of you.

It isn’t the milestones, or the cute faces you make, or that pterodactyl laugh you have.  It isn’t even watching you try to play peekaboo with a sock that barely covers your nose.  Its just a feeling, you change the climate of the environment you are in and of the people you are around.

Your happy personality is infectious and has helped mom and I through some tough times this past year… if two people can make it through weeks of not sleeping while getting pooped and puked on and not want to run away from each other than there must be something special about the little one doing the pooping.

I wanted to include all the things I am excited to teach you and do with you as you grow, but I think I’ll save that for another time and let those events just happen as they come.  So instead, I want to simply tell you that I am a better person because of you and that I love you very much.

Without you, there would be no us.  Happy first birthday!

Love always,



Baby Hulk Bread Smash 

Family photo (before any of the blood, boogers or tears ahowed up)

Between the dining room being in shambles, getting ready to host a first birthday party, and spreading ten yards of mulch, you’d think we’d take the weekend to finish everything and clean up.  I mean even God rested one day.

But these two parents don’t conform to the masses.  We don’t do “normal”.  What we do is anything but traditional.  We go, we do, we make moves.  So in between a gym visit, a quick, but effective nap for all and cleaning saw dust out of every nook and cranny in the house, we crammed in enough excitement to fill up an entire week off.

We hit the road early this morning for music class.  There was singing and dancing and daddy getting yelled at for talking to much.  Pretty normal. Nothing out of the ordinary.

Then it was off to visit our favorite camera couple at Pink Elephant Photography. This whole baby thing happened so fast I can’t even remember where the time has gone. Today we pulled up to the studio almost eleven months after nervously arriving for his newborn photo shoot… And here we were, arriving for his first birthday.

You know you are in good hands when your son is photographed with duct tape holding his shirt on and the photographers commend you for your quick thinking fashion fix.  Our Pink Elephant ladies do an excelled job with our little man.  We only had to consider tying him to the tricycle once, and that was only after I dropped him.

So here’s where things started to take a turn for the worse.  I’m not going to sit here and tell you that the photo shoot was all rainbows and butterflies, because it wasnt.  It was a hard fought victory for the adults. Four adult brains working together to outsmart an almost one year old. You’d think the  scales would be tilted towards the adult brains, but anyone who’s ever participated in an infant photo shoot knows better.

It took wit and extreme bribery.  And I’m not ashamed to admit it.  Three outfit changes, a bruised eyeball, and gobs of baby hairgel would have you dangling whatever you could infront of your kid too.  Those poor, patient ladies… Just sitting there with the camera ready to snap away as every Small Potatoes album played over and over… It must have been like nails on a chalkboard after a while.

Birthday Bread/Cake (made with love)

But once mommy brought out that amazing “Birthday Bread” fresh out of the oven for the “cake smash” we hit the point of no return.  How can you argue with two parents so determined to keep up with the latest baby trends that they would be willing to sit their half naked son in a stranger’s basement and encourage him to “Hulk Smash” an icing covered cake (bread)?!! A few months ago I would have laughed at the thought of a “cake smash” photo shoot, yet here I was pushing my kid’s palm into a frosted banana bread.  (Parent tip: kids hate icing this young… Use some “treats,” we used his cereal puffs, to trick his little brain into wanting to attack the cake.)

OK people, listen, by now you know me… I’m not sugar coating anything here. It is what it is… and you know what you’re getting with these two parents.  We’re not perfect… We do some things we might not always be proud of (dropping Jax off of a tricycle and bruising his eye being one), but in the end how can you argue with the two people who made this: