Birthday cinnamon rolls in the making

Today was utterly rogue, y'all. I caught the boys up at 5:12am playing Legos, screeched that they must return to bed NOW, fed the insistent kitty, angrily shoved ear plugs into my ears and then SHIT, it was 7:40am. We'd all fallen back asleep and had to leave for school by 8:05. All was well but I think my honeys were tired this afternoon, and since I was still nauseous as get-out decided we should all take it easy. Once home, I sent Ol down to watch Word World -"MOM, I can spell TENT!!!!"- while I sat with J and did my "homework" as he did his. The hour was one of those glorious times in which I felt like a great mother, he felt like he got every ounce of support and help and teaching and guidance and jokey tough love he needed, and the work we both did was swell. I even convinced him about the value of supporting sentences rather than just one in a good answer. After he'd repacked his bag, I said he could grab his game pad and veg out on the couch so seriously that his brain fell limp and he thought his name was computer. This was a thrill.

Meanwhile, Oliver and I got to work on cinnamon roll dough for Tom's birthday breakfast tomorrow. Ol is such a boy after my own heart when it comes to things culinary. He poured flour, helped me knead, and tried to sneak-eat straight sugar. You should see that kid go to town licking beaters and scraping a bowl clean with a spatula; I never missed such an opportunity when I was a child, and he doesn't either.

We left the dough to rise, T came home and gave Ol a haircut, and I made a wonderful, simple dinner of spaghetti all'Amatriciana, a deliciously creamy sauce made of slowly cooked bacon (or, more traditionally guanciale though I used speck), tomatoes and pecorino. I opened my last quart of tomatoes I'd put up last summer -just a lonely pint remains- but happily so, knowing they'd made this sauce all the better. Perfetto!

And then back to the rolls. I used Nanny's rolling pin to shape the dough from this perfect mound into an enormous rectangle, rubbed it liberally with butter before sprinkling it liberally with brown sugar and cinnamon and finally rolled it tightly before slicing. This recipe is unbelievably delicious. Double it and you'll have a batch of precooked rolls for your freezer! You'll thank yourself later.

The next three months will constitute the one time of the year in which Tom's age suggests that we're only a year apart. He's younger. He likes to harass me about all the shenanigans he'll pull when I turn 40, but I just smile and think to myself, "Dumb idea smart man because as you turn 40 after me, I can get you double!" Tee-hee.