Saturday, May 30, 2009
Here they are bringing Maurice Sendak's Where The Wild Things Are to life as the dvd plays in the background.
Below, Monito is getting some special grandson attention. With the onset of their fear of 'horns', both kids developed a love of being in the middle; instinctively, they know it is safe.
They may move here, and if it happens it will be none too soon for my family.
Friday, May 29, 2009
May 27, 2008 was a beautiful sunny day, we had a wonderful lawyer, a happy judge, and the kids hadn't spilled anything on themselves before the event. We had six amazing letters from our friends and family written with such love in support of the decision to help make the judge's job easier. My parents both travelled to join us in the celebration, and we had a big party and a champagne toast. It is still a momentous occasion in my life, becoming legally bound to my daughter. We'll actually celebrate on father's day, or "Family Day", as it is called chez Homestead.
I know that if you read this blog you are likely empathetic to our situation. Still, though, when the opportunity presents itself be sure to vote, and vote often. If Homestead Mama and I could get married, we wouldn't have had to pay $3,000 and wait 2 years to be the legal parent of a kid we have breastfed since they were born (to another person). There are still states that we shouldn't even drive through lest we have an accident and the hospital chooses to disregard our legal-in-NY adoptions.
There is no agreeing to disagree, no religious justification that makes a hetero couple more/ differently deserving than us - the fact remains that it hurts my children and my family every day that H-Mama and I can't get married.
My love and thanks to all who celebrated with my family last year, support us every day with their friendship and laughter, and support us at the polls. I'm hoping that Obama decides, in the beginning of his second term when he isn't worried about re-election, to work tirelessly towards a federal legalization of gay marriage.
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Sunday, May 24, 2009
Then I snuck downstairs and had a big piece of cake.
Saturday, May 23, 2009
For the last few nights, both kids have had a really hard time falling asleep. Even though we start stories around 7pm and Monito falls asleep by 8ish, Pequita is averaging 10:30 for her fall asleep time. This includes many summons to H-Mama to come upstairs. I just found out - after months of not being the chosen parent at night - that H-Mama has been nursing her, reading to her after we put her down, all the things I thought we agreed not to do. Apparently, *I* agreed not to do them but she only nodded without conviction.
Tonight, we put them down to much complaining and came downstairs to do some baking and food prep for a barbecue tomorrow. They cried a little on and off, sang to themselves, cried a little more, and then Monito started calling Help! Help, Mommy! with some vigor. I decided to go up, and was met at the top of the stairs by both kids. Out of their cribs and crying hard. Apparently, Pequita decided she was really and truly a big girl and climbed out of her baby cage; she then either helped Monito out of his crib or he just didn't want to be left behind, but he had a little trouble vaulting over the bars and called me up for help. The crying was happening because now that they were out of their cribs they were afraid of 'horns', the catch-all imaginary being that is the source of all their fear. Also, I think they were a bit surprised and scared by their successful rebellion. They have been pushing limits all day every day for weeks. In the course of nursing them into a calm place, we figured out that Pequita wanted to sleep in the nursery in her toddler bed. Monito just wanted to sleep where his sister was. So into the nursery we trooped, set up a fan for them and got them settled. Monito was asleep in a couple minutes and Pequita had her final summons for H-Mama at 10: 45 pm. They are still asleep at 11:53 [and why am I not asleep you might ask? Stupidity, pure and simple.] Talk about a milestone! I have no illusions that it can possibly be this simple, but wouldn't it be nice if this stuck? I'll try to get a picture, but mostly I'm afraid of rocking the boat with my flash.
Also, anyone have good toddler computer sites to recommend?
I showed up at 8:30 am with full bladder as required and had to shuffle down the hall in my robe and disposable slippers twice to decant a bit before the doc was ready for me at 10am. I was lying there in a cocoon of warm blankets surrounded by muzak and dimmed lights relaxing as much as one can while wondering how many women in this situation actually wet themselves. By the time the procedure was done I could barely keep from vaulting off the table and sprinting to the bathroom. The doc leaned in close and clasped my hand warmly, smiled and said, "everything looks great. Stay laying here for 20 minutes and visualize peace and success" to which I smiled wanly. I choose to believe that all the jiggling I did trying to keep it together until I could relieve myself only increased my chances of success. I was only able to visualize torrential floods and oceans crashing.
Each time you go in for embryo transfer at this clinic you are given a color printout of the embryos with which they are working that day. Nice propaganda, and it does ramp up the excitement. I appreciate all the effort this office makes to be positive and encouraging. This is far preferable to cold and clinical. BUT. This isn't a magical process its a scientific one; I avoided the mental trap of magical thinking by reading blogs and playing Tetris on my phone during my wait instead of meditating on a process over which I have no control. I'm a rebel, I know.
Today, at least, I am remembering.
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
I've received, since no one who emailed me distressed at the thought
of hurting my feelings is someone who actually hurt my feelings. I am
so grateful for the support I have. I am sorry to have made people
worry about what they said, how they may have phrased something in a
conversation with me about me trying for a third. My last post was
vague, and I'd like to clarify a bit.
Me sharing my decision to try* to grow my family invites others to
imagine themselves in that position. For most folks, that causes some
chuckling, disbelief, and bemused comments. My posse of mom friends
and close bosom friends** are in that category. This has been ok - it
IS a lot to take on and I know they will rejoice at the new baby
should we get lucky. Even my mom thought it was nuts, and, um, I am
one of three kids.
The people who have hurt my feelings have not seemed to be imagining
themselves with 3 kids, they have seemed genuinely upset that I would
do 'that' to my existing kids, my relationship (wtf?), the earth***,
myself, my career, etc. What they perceive 'that' to be is beyond me;
I am far from the first person to have a 3rd kid, and many folks
actually like a bigger family. Someone that I hang out with fit all
the following comments into a 7 minute conversation we had; I had
mentioned, when she encouraged me to get a tiny sedan, that we were
getting the Mazda 5 because it will hold a 3rd car seat if need be.
"Oh my god, that is so irresponsible. Your older kids will never get
enough of your time. I can't believe you're serious about that - in
this day and age it is stupid to put that kind of burden on yourself
and your family. And it wouldn't even be an accident because you're
Those of you who have emailed me an apology because you may have
teased me or asked if I'm sure about this? Really, don't worry.
I don't want anyone to shy away from me about this. Most of the not
talking about it is because even in the best of cases getting pregnant
is fraught with failure. A 10 percent chance of success is not that
great. Blogging about it is easy - I get to control the flow of
information. There's nothing quite so awful as having to tell someone
about a miscarriage when they ask how the baby making is going. In
this sense, I'm an idiot for telling anyone we're trying at all. It is
my curse, and some may argue my blessing, that I am pretty open and
invite folks into my life. If I really wanted full privacy, I'd say
nothing (although my head would explode after a day or two).
*our history of infertility is hard to shake. In pro creation, nothing
is a sure thing, ever.
**if you thought that 'bosom friends' are some weird lesbian thing,
culture up! Read the Anne of Green Gables series.
***I have two child less-by-choice friends who have assured me I am
not over populating the earth. They have given me their baby rights,
so my baby footprint will not be a burden. You know, like emissions
trading to cap pollutants. (Hah ha - get it - emissions trading?).
this means that any other kid I may have has some pretty serious
built-in fairy godmothers.
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
This is a riot. She is so excited by this new kind of success. We'll have to start looking for home games and a kids keyboard/ mouse for the computer, maybe for her birthday in October. (Hear that, Grandma?)
Sunday, May 17, 2009
After a lunchtime of only ginger ale ["Spicy soda, Mommy! More spicy soda!"] Monito crashed for nap in the living room, and Pequita soon followed. We slept in the living room because every single stitch of bedding, all my towels, and all my chux pads were soaked with assorted bodily fluids. Also the carpet runner in the master bedroom, but who's counting? So I did laundry while the bairn slept for two hours.After nap they played with the new Playmobil camping set. It was fortuitous that I bought it on the off chance they'd sit still long enough to play with it; Monito had no energy and was happy with it, and Pequita just loves the tiny parts these days. Since she ate only a half of a banana today, I'm pretty sure she's about to fall prey to the bug as well. The house rule is don't encourage them to eat if they seem ambivalent.
By the time Homestead Mama arrived home, Monito was feeling better enough to join in on the mowing extravaganza.
Here's hoping we make it through the night uneventfully.
I wish you were awake so I could call you both and chat. I am awake; it is 12:41 am and Monito has just fallen asleep after throwing up vigorously at 11pm. He is asleep now, but I am loathe to bring him up to bed so he can throw up there, too, so I am watching Cosby Show reruns and biding my time. I reek of puke. Pequita is due to wake up in the next little bit and want to be nursed back to sleep in my bed by Homestead Mama, and H-Mama is at her dad's until sometime tomorrow. I'm not sure how to get the day's worth of food Monito just upchucked out of the wool living room carpet, and I KNOW he'll throw up more soon in my bed. Sigh. It would be nice to commiserate now over the phone, or better yet know that you could pop over tomorrow and sit with them while I get a nap, since I will most certainly be tired. I can't wait until you have some kind of home nearby. It is not ONLY a selfish desire; the kids talk of you daily and crave your presence even more than I do.
Every day of being a mom makes me more aware that you guys did a great job with us, and I know it wasn't easy. You both had a lot going on in your own lives with which to keep up. I am grateful for all that you DID do, and still do. I appreciate your willingness, acceptance, and love. And I am grateful that you will make time in your day - any time - to talk over speakerphone to me about parenting and all its foibles and the kids about their potty escapades and successes; it means the world to [me] them.
I love you, and miss you every day that you aren't here.
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Monday, May 11, 2009
Thursday, May 7, 2009
boundaries, testing authority (mine) and developing in leaps and
bounds. There is a lot of screaming that is inconsolable; mostly this
starts when Pequita is foiled in some way, or - god help me - I HELP
her when she wants to do something by herself. Once she is wailing
with tears streaming, snot bubbling, body stiff and uncuddleable, then
Monito decides that he is also stressed and joins in the festivities,
matching his sister in volume and vigor. If Monito starts the cycle,
then his sister chimes in after a while. Ack.
To their credit, they *mostly* save the really good tantrums for the
house. I like to think that they feel safe there and can relax into
the morass of feelings that must be swirling through their brains in
times of meltdown. I do give them space to feel all their rage and
frustration, to make a lot of noise and express themselves in whatever
way they need to, but have also created a time line so that this
doesn't keep going. We have a house rule now that they are allowed
to carry on for a little while in the general population, but if they
can't pull it together pretty quickly AND refuse any help/ comfort,
then they have to go upstairs and finish their fit in their room. This
generally is pretty unpopular and brings on a hastened end to the
episode. Monito hasn't ever been escorted upstairs, but Pequita has
had a few trips to solitary. Usually she is sniffling and calling to
me from the top stair within 3 minutes. I want to point out that the
refusal to accept any comfort is the key to being sent upstairs- I
feel awful and punitive sending them away from me and I hate to do it,
but when they are really over the top they are typically biting and
hitting too, and I can't let them do that to me and their sibling. I
guess this is the part of parenting that is hard now but pays off?
The part that parents of kids who end up on "Super Nanny" can't bring
themselves to do and end up creating little tyrants and monsters? It
makes me feel like a bad parent, wrong, lonely, punitive and just
generally unpleasant all around. It is the thing that makes me doubt
myself more than anything.
EXCEPT for the spanking. Whoops! Did I just say that? Yup, I've gone
there. Monito is the only recipient of this little 'correction'
technique of which I am so ashamed. A couple times for running right
into moving traffic, scaring the bejebus out of me and the oncoming
driver and then laughing. I know he isn't laughing because he thinks
its funny; he probably doesn't know what to think or do. And I imagine
the level of excitement I am exhibiting is overwhelming to him. BUT it
can't happen. Pequita is not a darter-into-traffic, or the
what-else-can-I-stick-into-the-electrical-outlet kid, Monito is. Last
night I spanked him because he climbed on the table and knocked over
the $400 stained glass lamp* that he knows is off limits. I heard it,
walked into the living room and asked what had happened, and both kids
pointed to Monito; I lost it. In my limited defense, I've been a solo
parent for much of the last 5 days with no break or help. Homestead
Mama's grandma had a stroke last week and H-Mama has spent three of
the last five days hours away spending time with Lillian as she slips
away, either staying away overnight or not returning until after we
are all asleep. This is as it should be, but I've been a little thinly
stretched at times. After the lamp incident, later in bed while
snuggling and reading books, I talked about it with the kids and
apologized for getting so angry and losing control, but I still wish I
could have a do-over. I was up at 6:30 this morning and got to see my
beloved as she was leaving for work, and she pointed out, gently, that
since he owned up to the naughty act it may have been better to talk
it out and not punish the honesty. Duh. That didn't even occur to me
at the time.
My parents are arriving tomorrow for the long weekend, and I'll get a
respite. I've also arranged for a friend to start babysitting once or
twice a week starting tomorrow morning at 8am so I can clean a bit
before my parents arrive. We'll see how it goes.
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Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
I also found a nice sturdy stool to use for teeth brushing. The kids have been perfecting their body checking skills to jockey for space on the single stool we have. Now maybe we'll have more peaceful brushing.
Oh, I can't wait for the next holiday.
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We are parked outside of the thrift store because yesterday I declined to purchase a 4' high plastic Santa that plugs in and glows. Monito spent 15 minutes hugging him, patting the toy horse in the toy bag and exclaiming "Santa!". It wasn't until I got home and Homestead Mama had a similar response that I realized the size of my gaff. When the elder child wakes from her nap we'll go back in and see if any other sucker plunked down their $5.99 for Santa before us. I'm taking this time to quietly mourn the loss of good taste at the Homestead.
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We'll not mention the other one who is right now NOT sleeping after 45 minutes of nap but is instead stuffing his face with cheese, cucumber spears and strips if hotdog that I must first peel for him. (That is real love).
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Saturday, May 2, 2009
hasn't gotten it yet. Sometimes she misses these things entirely, but
usually we eventually drag her down into the bacteria soup in which we
Last night we found out she got a good raise, and through odd events
in upper-upper management, a good shot at a promotion into her bosses
job right in her current office. The tidy part of my brain would like
to point out that her raise more than pays for our new monthly life
insurance bill, which is lovely. So we celebrated with a nice pasta in
homemade red sauce with meatballs from the freezer, a bottle of
Vaqueyras and a rebellious bit of movie watching that had us up until
almost 1 am. Stupid, stupid, stupid. Pequita woke up at 1:30 and was
hungry. I took her down stairs for some leftovers, and she wanted to
work on her new 'school work' books* I just bought her. For almost 2
hours. She and I didn't fall back to sleep until around 4:30. Monito
was up at his usual 7am, but deigned to watch Curious George on DVR
for over an hour while I lolled on the couch half comatose. I think he
really liked having me topless and in a stupor - play, nurse, play,
nurse, snuggle, repeat. I just woke up** from a 2 hour nap*** with
both kids still sleeping soundly alongside me to the faint melodious
and much maligned sound of the rider mower doing its thing under
H-Mama's guidance in our yard. Our nap gave her enough time to get the
spring tune-up done, filters cleaned out, gas changed, tires pumped up
and ready for action. Spring always comes too fast to get the mower
ready before it is time for the first mow - this year, that day was
today and she's getting it done. I am so pleased! I love a tidy yard
and I'd like to point out how much easier it is to scoop poop from
short grass. 'Nuff said.
*Pre-K workbooks I saw at the bookstore when I wasn't finding any
gay-themed books. They are full of simple picture matching, rhyming
words, and letter/ number activities, with some sticker fun thrown in.
She absolutely loves them. I didn't really know how ready she was for
workbooks! Aside from crippling exhaustion, I really enjoyed spending
some quiet time alone with her.
**have I mentioned that I love my smart phone with unlimited internet?
I blog mostly from it in stolen moments.
***Pequita woke up as usual after the first hour snuffling for the
boob like a truffle-trained pig. As she latched on I patted her
lovingly on the butt only to realize that we let her come to nap on
our bed in panties, not a diaper. She is only mildly potty-trained,
and sleep is not a controlled time. I yanked her out of bed, had a
pull-up on her and was back to nursing in bed before she could even
work up a proper cry.
Update of the post that won't end: we are now cresting the third hour
of nap; it is 3:45. Pequita just awoke, nursed for a few minutes on
each boob and sat straight up asking for Mama. I pointed to my ear and
then the backyard and waited or her response. (We've been working on
the senses, and when the kids hear something now they touch their ear
and name it. When they see something they usually say 'I 'py' because
we play the I Spy game constantly). Pequita listened, put together all
the info in her brain and said "Mama mow-mow eh yahd! My-ah mow-mow
too!". (My-ah fills in for me, mine, and I for both kids. 'Eh'
represents most prepositions, like in, on, and, etc.). So I got her
shoes on, showed her H-Mama out the back window and sent my big girl
downstairs to let herself out of the house to mow with her beloved
Mama. I watched, smiling, from the window seat in the master bedroom
as she strode across the yard and positioned her tiny body in the path
of the mower, as H-Mama stopped the machine and got the extra ear
protection for Pequita, and as they got back on together. I am back in
bed alongside still-sleeping Monito. It is highly unusual for him to
sleep the night really well and then sleep for 3 hours and 15 minutes
(and counting) during his nap. He is sick, but maybe he's got his own
little emotional project brewing.
If / when he wakes up, we'll go down and plant stage 3 of Project
Privacy, another 3 3' high holly shrubs I bought at the garden store
to continue to fill in our hedge along the busier road. I can't wait
until they are 6' tall.
Final update: he woke after 3.5 hours. A new record.
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Friday, May 1, 2009
Yesterday Pequita brought me the only book in the food coop play area, about Father's Day. Luckily, the little bunny selected plants and yard tools as presents for his bunny dad, and it was easy to transpose the pronouns into Mommy and Mama. But I had to think hard with a sick headachey brain, and I stumbled several times, and sheesh, how annoying.
I have grown weary of having to track the kid's books closely as I read them to carefully make sure we are represented alongside the dads. We have lots of gay friends with kids, so the kids see families like their own, but I want more fiction books for them. So I decided to write them and self publish them. I guess they'll be about our exact family structure, and maybe I'll even illustrate them. My sister and mom are both excellent artists, so maybe I can wrangle one of them to help. Maybe I'll even sell the books if they end up having appeal to anyone other than our family. But for right now, we just need some books about a sister and brother with two moms. And maybe a dog named Cosmo.
I totally take credit for the fact that my kids nap at the same time every day, whether at home, in the car, or in the stroller. I chalk this up to the fact that I feel a special sort of panic when one is rested and the other isn't. It is virtually impossible for an afternoon and evening to go well with uneven naps. Co-napping is a manufactured occurrence that is based on a proprietary blend of white noise, nursing, pacifiers, pretzels, singing, threats, very close observation and timing. I would totally medal in a synchronized sleeping event if one existed.