Babymoon

Provincetown at the tip of “The Cape” in Massachusetts is one of our favorite places in the world.  We love that quaint little seaside town feel.  The smell of the salty air, the beautiful sunsets, the shell and sand alleyways.  It’s all so intoxicating.  We decided that celebrating our 4 year anniversary and a well deserved Babymoon there, would be perfect!  We packed up our things, Mary’s things, and Laney’s things early Saturday morning, left our half unpacked apartment just as it was, and dropped the ladies off at their respective babysitters (other foster parents we know) for the week.  We hit the road at about 1pm and got ourselves ready for a 5+ hour drive with a ton of snacks for Callie, plenty of water, and of course, our usual road trip soundtrack, “Jagged Little Pill”.  We know every word to every song, and crack each other up with our best impressions of Alanis Morissette’s little screechy yodel.

We got there around 6:30pm, dropped our bags off at our cottage so we could change our clothes (it was chillier than we thought it would be), and went out to grab a quick bite to eat.  We made it an early night so we could go back and “sleep”.  We really needed to “sleep”.

OUR HUMBLE ABODE FOR THE WEEK

OUR HUMBLE ABODE FOR THE WEEK

Day 2 consisted of a pretty late start.  We hardly ever get to sleep in anymore (8 am is a sleep-in for us) so at 11:30am, we woke, got ready, and head out for a nice walk through the town.  We had breakfast at our favorites breakfast spot, visited loads of shops, grabbed a cool shark tooth mood necklace for Mary which we knew she would love (and she did! She won’t even take it off to shower so that she “doesn’t lose it”), had delicious homemade sherbert, and enjoyed each others company electronic free.  It was nice to have conversations about random things with Callie again.  Parenthood leads to lots of conversation about the kids, their development, what they did that day, what made you crazy, and what made you smile.  We hardly talk about adult things anymore, so I really treasured the hours worth of conversations that we had about all types of different, random things. Our second day ended with a steak dinners and a bottle of O’douls. towerDay 3 was a great day! We woke up really late (almost at 12pm) got ready and made our way into town.  Our 4 year anniversary.  It was a day to reflect on our love, on who we are as individuals, and on who we have grown into as a couple.  Every time I looked at her, I was overpowered with so many emotions.  I held her hand tighter that day, kissed her a little harder.  Images flashed in my head of the first time we held hands, kissed, made love, talked about marriage and starting a family.  Nothing in my life has ever felt as right as being next to Callie, and now our love has risen to the next level where we get to share it with our beautiful boys.  To celebrate, that day we decided to do a tour of the Pirate Museum.  It was actually pretty cool! That’s one of the things I love most about Callie.  She’s an undercover nerd like I am, and loves learning weird, random and totally useless facts about pretty much anything.  In this case, it was about the pirate ship “Whydah“.  It. Was. So. Freaking. Cool!  It’s the only real live pirate treasure ever found! We got to touch real “pieces of eight” (silver coins) that date back almost 300 years! We could have touched coins that were handled by Captain Sam Bellamy himself.  It was pretty awesome! All of the artifacts were found on the ocean floor, after searching for over 5 years for the fabled ship, all under almost 15 feet of sand.  It was all pretty neat!

Afterwards, we decided to take a walk on the beach.  It was a beautiful evening, with a slight chill in the air that was perfect for holding hands and walking pressed next to each other.  We laughed, drew in the sand, took some fantastic pictures, watched a seal show up and disappear, and placed our hands on Callie’s belly as the boys squired and wiggled and enjoyed the beach and fresh air right along with us. shadows sunset two sueybeach sil ptown coupleonsand chriscloseup That night we went out for delicious lobster and some karaoke, where I gave a shout out to my lovely lady and my boys and sang, “Just The Way You Are” by Bruno Mars that left most of the people in their seats all misty eyed, including my Callie. My boys were apparently moving around all over the place when they heard their Mama sing!

YUM!!!

YUM!!!

Day 4 started later than any other day on the trip.  We didn’t even get out of our rental until 1pm, which made it increasingly hard to find a spot for breakfast.  We did find one ( but they only served the very specific menu items with no substitutions), and while we ate, we say this guy…windowdogwhich was pretty funny! He was watching all of the people walk up and down the street and looked like a human if you watched him long enough.  That day, we took a trolley tour around the town from the restaurant laden West End and back around to the Art District on the East End.  We learned some cool things, like each house (if built before the 1900’s) has a little blue plaque in the corner that tells what year it was made in and who owned it.  We also learned that cranberries were indigenous to that area. They used to be called “Crane Berries” because the leaves looked like cranes! I KNOW RIGHT!?!?! Also learned that the Pilgrims settled in Provincetown first, but after about 2 months, and land that was un-tillable and no fresh water, they shot straight over to Plymouth.  Lots of cool stuff! We had some more lobster for dinner (You can’t beat a 1 1/2lb lobster for $15!), ended the night with some more (drag queen) karaoke which was pretty hilarious, and then went back to our cottage.  Before we went inside, we noticed that the sky was so clear that you could see what seemed like every star in our galaxy.  We stood there staring at the sky and said, “If everything is gonna be okay with the boys, you’ll let us see a shooting star.” Wouldn’t ya know, that right as I finished the sentence, a star streaked, big and bright, right across the sky! Callie and I both gasped and laughed. The universe has had so many ways of letting us know that the boys, our girls, and that we, as a family, are going to be okay.

Our Babymoon ended Wednesday morning, and it was awfully sad.  We weren’t ready to head back to our real lives.  We wish we could have just stayed out on the Cape, just the two of us, for at least a couple more days.  On the drive back, we held hands the whole way, asked each other what the 3 best things about the trip were, and looked forward to seeing our little ladies.  We promised to always make one on one time for each other, and that no matter how crazy and busy our lives get, we will always communicate what we need and do our best to give the other what they ask for.  I’m lucky to have a woman like Callie and I promised to never forget that. I don’t think I ever could, even if I tried…

pots sharlssharkbaby lobsterbite

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Domperidone

Nope, not Dom Pérignon, like my friends keep thinking! Domperidone.  It’s a medication that is technically used to help relieve nausea and vomiting and a slew of GI related stuff.  One of the side effects is lactation. Honestly though, can you imagine Dom Pérignon helping to induce lactation, aside from helping to get me pregnant from a freak one night stand, since I don’t drink, and when I do, welllllllllll!?! HA! Callie wouldn’t take to that very well!

I have been trying to induce lactation for a little over 3 months now, with really no success.  ONE DROP PEOPLE! One tiny, little drop! When that drop happened, Callie and I almost went out and celebrated with a lobster dinner! Since then, NOTHING, nada, zilch! Not a damn thing! I contacted the lactation consultant at the hospital where our boys will be born, and she didn’t really have much experience with inducing lactation.  She did however give us the information for a women who is a registered nurse, lactation consultant, and exclusively breastfeed her 2 adopted daughters. Luckily for me, she lives in my area (about 15 minutes away) AND takes my insurance! SCORE!  About 3 weeks ago, I went to meet with her and told her about how long I had been pumping and doing manual expression with no success.  She was actually surprised that I knew so much about the whole process.  I am pretty well informed thanks to Dr. Google and Ask Lenore.  She took a look at my breast (apparently they are perfect for nursing!), took my weight and medical history, and gave me a prescription for…tun-tu-dah! Domperidone!

So today I started the medication, taking 20mg 4x’s a day for 2 days.  I then go up to 30mg and then 40mg in 2 day increments.  I don’t think anyone understands how incredibly excited I am about this.  To think, that I will be able to help feed, nourish, and sustain my babies while creating a bond that I didn’t think would happen being the non-belly mama, brings tears to my eyes.  I didn’t think that Callie would be behind me 100%, but she is! I think she is more excited than I am!  I know that it’s possible (and more likely than not) that I won’t get a full milk supply, but I’m okay with that.  It’s more about the closeness and the bond than anything else.  Getting milk is a bonus! From what I understand and what I have been told, I should start seeing some milk (at least more than 1 freaking drop!) in the next 1-2 weeks! If that ends up being the case, I will start storing and freezing whatever milk I DO make, so that I can have it on deck in case we end up having to supplement with a bottle.  Oh, and Callie has decided that maybe she DOES want to nurse! That has been the best part of this whole process.  Those are going to be two very lucky boys!

I hope this all ends up working out.  If I don’t produce milk, at least I’ll make one hell of a pacifier!


*I haven’t had the opportunity to write a post about our Anniversary/Babymoon vacation, mainly because we just got home at 5pm and I had to be at work for my overnight shift at 9pm.  Tomorrow, after I wake up, I will upload my pictures and write a lovely post about our even lovelier trip.  Until then, I’ll just leave you with this picture of my gorgeous girl in all of her 20+ week beauty.  (Sorry about the quality.  It’s a picture of my Nikon screen)

Babymoon Silhouette

Babymoon Silhouette

Gender Reveal…Part 2

It started out as a pretty hectic day.  We were moving, providing respite care for another foster mother’s 7 month old son for the weekend, dealing with our own 9 month old with a stomach bug, and setting up an outdoor party NEAR THE WATER on probably the windiest, crappiest, “threatening rain”iest day on record so far.  Things were not looking good.  I had allotted myself plenty of time to get things together.  I knew I still hadn’t made a trip to the grocery store to pick up the things we needed, I had to go to the $1 Store to get balloons filled, I had to bring down tables (from the marina rec room), wipe them down, and set them up. I also had to help Callie get all 3 kids ready for the party. Luckily, Marco, as usual, stayed the night in order to 1) help me move 2) help watch the kids 3) help me set up and run errands 4) inject his undying and unwavering positivity to an otherwise hectic situation.  I thank my lucky stars every day for that guy!

Wake up call was 7:30 am, kind of.  And by 7:30 I mean 8:30.  I was dressed, ready and walking out the door by 8:40.  I shot over to the grocery store to pick up some soda, juice, chips, paper goods, condiments, salad dressing, bottled water, and powdered lemonade mix.  I also picked up potatoes, eggs, mayonnaise, onions, and an aluminum tin to make potato salad, but I never actually got around to making it.  Too busy! After that, I drove over to the $1 store, which ultimately ended up being a waste of time and money because it was so darn windy out that day, that the balloon decorations for the tables ended up being tied to the fence, and being blown all over the place! Shortly after my day began, at approximately 9:40, I picked up some breakfast (and much needed coffee) for us, and head home to see what Callie, Marco, and the kids were up to.  Everyone looked a hot, terrible, tired mess! After a 15 minute argument about what should happen next (should Marco and I go decorate and come get the kids later, or if we should get the kids ready and take them with us now while Callie got ready, or if we should all get ready and leave together but not necessarily have enough time to pull this all together), we decided to take our chances with the amount of time that we had, and all get ready and head out together.  Needless to say, we left the house at about 11:20am and walked the block over to the marina to start decorating for the party.  Luckily, my sister Raquel, soon to be BIL Sebastian, my parents, My FIL, and my friend Cat and her husband Shane showed up and help us with the bulk of the decorating.  Granted it wasn’t much, because the wind was taking everything with it, but it DID take all of us to tape and tie table cloths down to all the tables.  The saying “Teamwork makes the dream work” totally applies here!

Our guests started arriving at around 1-1:15pm.  We had pulled it all together just in time.  Once people started arriving, we really were able to put faces and a number on all of the support and love that we and our twins have.  It was pretty overwhelming to see all those people together for us and our family.  Words can hardly describe what was going on inside of me that afternoon.  I felt like all the love in that space was lifting me to a greater height, like I could physically see love, in colors and hugs and warmth.  I’ve never felt that before, and it made me all teary eyed.  I played it off like my contacts were bothering me.

At around 2pm, we invited everyone to eat.  My moms Pernil (roasted pork shoulder marinated in red and green peppers, cilantro, onions and garlic, vinegar and oil) and Arroz Con Gandules (yellow rice with pigeon peas) are to die for! Most people went back for seconds, and some even went back for thirds!  We waited for everyone to finish eating and got then got together for the moment they had all been waiting for and the reason we had invited them all to share that day with us.  I had spent 3 hours the night before (while on my overnight shift mind you) filling black balloons with glitter and confetti.  At the party, I had everyone line up in a semicircle around Callie and I and distributed the balloons for everyone to blow up, but not before we begged and pleaded with them not to cheat and ruin the surprise. They had waited that long, what was 2 more minutes, right?! Surprisingly enough, no one cheated, and they blew up the balloons, tied them off, and waited for our cue. [Random fact about me: I am deathly afraid of balloons.  Like, ridiculous, paralyzing fear!  My father makes fun of me all the time, and my friends do their best to protect me whenever there are balloons around.  Something about the unexpected popping of balloons that gets me all freaked out, my hands start shaking, my stomach feels weird, my heart races out of my chest.  It’s the weirdest thing, but I can’t shake it and I have no idea where it comes from or how it started.  It’s kinda always been there.]  Callie counted off a “1…2…3” and balloons popped all over the place- cue stalled heart!  Blue glitter and “It’s a Boy” confetti went flying everywhere!!  Some people rejoiced right away, others looked for a speck of pink somewhere in the mix, and some people took a minute to process.  My mom took about 15 seconds longer than everyone else before she realized that she would not only be getting her first grandson son but also her second!  She never in a million years expected twin boys.  Hardly anyone did! It made that moment that much cooler.  After tons of hugs, tears, and congratulations, we continued to party well into the evening.  People mingled, had cake, asked tons of questions and relished in the fact that two beautiful baby boys will be joining our predominantly female family, and will finally add some testosterone to our home.

Levi James & Noah Oscar, your Mommy and Mama (and the rest of this crazy large family) are waiting for you with hearts so full and arms wide open…

both

Wear Your Guess

Wear Your Guess

pinkJust the 2 of usphoto 1

Tons of Pink and Blue

Tons of Pink and Blue

Cake Pops thanks to Tia Raquel and Tio S

Cake Pops thanks to Tia Raquel and Tio Sebas

Popping Balloons

Popping Balloons

photo 2    kisboysIf you want  to watch a brief video of the reveal (less than a minute) feel free…watch my family go nuts!

Buried Alive…Sorta…

Disclaimer: This is totally a rant! Bear with me…

I have never been the type of person to hold on to things.  In fact, I have always been the complete opposite.  If I haven’t used something in a few months, it more often than not has made it’s way to some landfill out in Staten Island or Brooklyn or into someone’s home via one of those donation boxes at our local gas station.  I will admit to keeping 4 separate shoe boxes full of things from the 4 significant relationships that I have been in, and 1 other shoebox that has some of the first pictures I took, letters from friends in high school (you know, original text messages that you passed or threw across the classroom as the teacher wrote something on the chalkboard), and programs from graduations and school musicals I’ve been in.  I can’t let go of these boxes (even though I know I probably should) for reasons that I can’t understand, but that’s besides the point.

I grew up in a house where my mother had very obvious, and very intense undiagnosed OCD.  It’s possible that my OCD is a learned behavior. I can acknowledge that.  Our house was so clean and organized that you would never think that 5 kids and 2 adults lived there.  We had glass tables (never a fingerprint), white walls (not a scuff mark was ever to be seen) and light gray couches (they were and STILL are immaculate even after a grandchild too).  There were never dishes in the sink, never a hair on our bathroom floor, and everyone did their share.  If something was out, that meant someone was using it, otherwise, it also made its way to said landfill.  My mother did NOT play that!  I like things organized and in their place.  I don’t see the need to have a ton of unnecessary things to clutter my space.

Living with someone that has the COMPLETE opposite idea of this is very difficult, but it’s even more trying when one is moving.  Callie is what I often call a Baby Hoarder.  She has the potential to fill a home to the brim with “garbage”.  A collector of things, a “One mans trash/another mans treasure” kinda person.  “We are gonna need this someday” kinda lady, and that makes me absolutely out of my mind!  This past week has been taxing both physically and emotionally for us.  With respite care for a friends 7 month old foster son, the Gender Reveal Party (haven’t forgotten to post about that, just haven’t gotten my computer set up yet), planning/packing for our Anniversary/Babymoon vacation this coming Saturday, a 9 month old with a stomach bug throwing up all over the place, a 6 year old with a buttload of homework, and no time or ability to just sit and relax and have an un-rushed kiss, this move has not been easy.  It took us a total of 5 days to move out of the old apartment.  We are completely and finally out after 5 long, drawn out, exhausting days. The lack of sleep, love, food and belly rubs for my twins (several times I even FORGOT that she was pregnant-seriously!) has made me less tolerant of Callie’s “collecting“.

I did the unthinkable (in her eyes, not mine)!  As I was organizing and putting things away, I threw out a ton of stuff.  Most of it was hers, like the 29 lotions that she’s had since before we were even together (the same lotions have traveled to 3 different apartments in 4 years and have never been used…ever! I mean, who in the hell has Celine Dion lotion anyways? I’m not even gonna wait for an answer to that one), the 7 curling irons, the dozens and dozens of freebies from hotels/motels that she has traveled to, the 14 containers of floss, and that’s just a quarter of the stuff that was in our 2x2x2ish bathroom cabinet!  I don’t even want to get into the medicine cabinet, which my best friend Nikki had dubbed “The Booby Trap” because there is so much stuff in there that you can’t open it without a minimum of 10 things falling out.  In our old apartment, there was stuff in every corner in one box or another. I mean, it was organized but it was starting to become to much. So I have been patient, kind, and gentle in my approach every year for the past 4 years.  I have asked nicely and I have done my best to be compassionate and considerate, but I’ve had it! We have 2 kids at home and 2 on the way.  We have enough shit for 20 people to last 20 years, and I don’t know how else to emphasize the importance and the need for space.  So I took it upon myself to start to “make room”.  Call it Non-Belly Mama Nesting or whatever! Believe me when I tell you, it was not received well.  I get it! I was an asshole and inconsiderate, and violated trust because “it wasn’t my stuff to get rid of” but it took me 4 YEARS to get there, and I’m over it!   Currently, she isn’t speaking to me.  I insist she’ll get over it, she reiterates that she will not. She can’t even name the things I threw out!  If someone had thrown out my things I would be able to name every item, where it came from , how long I’ve had it, how I acquired it, and a ton of other facts about it.  It’s a violation of trust (I suppose), but is my need to keep things organized and clutter free any less valid? Are we not in this together and supposed to come to some type of compromise?  I don’t have a problem keeping lotion, like 2 or 3 or 5, but not 29! This is going to be a crazy uphill battle of getting rid of things in an apartment that has 2 less closets (that were used for storage by the way, and that’s not even including the 6×10 storage unit that we ALREADY have [where I have 1 box and 2 camping bins and a tent]) and a nursery that needs to be started in a month and has boxes covering even the windows! I hope we can come to an agreement about getting rid of some things or I can foresee me sleeping on the couch for a couple of nights!

On a bright note, the following rooms are completely set up and clutter free:
-Both bathrooms
-The master bedroom
-Mary’s bedroom
-The Living Room
-The game closet

Still left to do:
-The Kitchen (sorting through 5 different plate/mug sets–who needs 17 plates for 3 people? Sheesh! OK, I’m doing it again!)
-The Nursery (and it’s millions and billions of boxes!)

This vacation is soooooo needed!

One Lovely Blog Award

Seriously!?! WOWZERS! This is neat!

onelovelyblogawardx4

I never saw this coming! I’ve been nominated for the One Lovely Blog Award by fellow blogger Planting Beans.  I always saw people getting nominated for these types of things, but I never thought I would be one of those people.  I’ve only been blogging for about 3 months.  I thought that these kinds of things were reserved for “the old timers” who know there way around the blogosphere (I just learned how to add a page!).  With that said, here are the rules:

  1. List the rules. (Ta-daaaaaa!)
  2. Thank your nominator.   As far as our little tight knit blog community is concerned, this was one of my first reads.  She has shared every joy, pain, love, hate, expectation, and disappointment during her journey to mommyhood honestly and openly.  It’s a constant reminder for me to be the same way. I get excited with her, I share her sadness.  I root her on and I wish sometimes, on really crappy days, more than anything that we can share a Star.bucks and one of her ridiculously delicious looking cupcakes! So thank you  for the nomination. I’m glad that I was able to touch at least one persons life with my incessant ramblings.  Know that you are a big part of this community and I look forward to reading your blogs and seeing what’s new and developing. PS – You’re awesome!
  3. List seven (7) facts about yourself.
    1) I am the eldest of 5 (technically 6) kids.  My family dynamic is something out of a TV show.  I have a different father than my siblings (hence the “out of 6” thing because of a biological half brother that I never knew existed).  My sister Raquel also has a different father that she is very close with. My middle brother Leo has a different mother, and the 2 youngest, my sister and ridiculously gay brother (yes there are 2 of us!) are the product of my mom and step-dad, or just Dad.  He took me in when I was 2 years old and is really, the only father (and the BEST father) I know!

    2) I have had pretty severe OCD, which really should be CDO so that the letters are in order…as they should be! The more my life seemed to spiral out of control, the crazier my compulsions got.  Everything was in 4’s (like I wouldn’t eat if there weren’t 4 things on my plate), I tapped the upper right corner of doors as I walked through them (which presented a problem when I was a carpenter as most doors were ridiculously high, so I just would turn around and go home) and incessant cleaning and organizing that made it damn near impossible to leave my apartment. Lets not even mention all the times that I left my place, and within 15 minutes was back because checking the stove, the windows and the doors 20x’s wasn’t enough.  Thank God for my inpatient stay and introduction to DBT where I did an outpatient program for almost 2 years.

    3) I was married before.  Well, as married as we could be in NY state at the time.  My ex of 5 years and I had a Domestic Partnership, were TTC for a year with no success and then had a brutal (leading up to myself in #2) break-up/divorce.  It was all very physical and toxic.  While I was trying to get myself better for “us”, she decided to shack up with one of my good friends.  I know, right!?! But after 4 years, lots of tears, and even more healing, we were able to restore our friendship.  It’s actually a really positive one, where we help each other as often as we can.  And get this! She ended up having twins (boy/girl) with my friend (yes we are back to being friends) and has very generously given me pretty much everything we have for infants.  I’m grateful to her and our friendship.

    4) I am trilingual.  I speak English, Spanish, and Italian fluently.  English actually isn’t my first language, even though I was born and raised here.  I was in ESL classes until I was in 3rd grade.  In high school, I took Italian as my language course, passed with flying colors, scored a 99 on my Regents Exam because I spelled freaking “che” wrong (spelled it “que” in Spanish because I got ahead of myself), and decided to challenge the Spanish Regents where I scored a 97! So annoying! Spanish will be the only language spoke in our home once the boys are born. I hope…

    5) The day of my 18th birthday was the same day as my high school graduation.  I graduated by the skin of my teeth, not because I’m not smart, but because I’m lazy as hell when it comes to school work.  I knew the work, just wouldn’t do it.  Grew up in a ridiculously strict home, so on that very day, while my family celebrated my almost not-accomplishment of graduating, I packed a bag, told my parents I was going out with some friends, they yelled something about a 2am curfew, I fake argued about me being 18, they said they didn’t give a shit, and I never came back.  Until they wanted me back (after #2 happened). Shit got really real, really fast.

    6) I used to host an open mic on Tuesday nights when I lived in NYC.  I hosted for about 2 years, and used to make little appearances to recite some of my poetry or sing some little ditty that was currently on rotation on the radio.  I kept up with the singing after losing my stage fright, but reciting my poetry still makes me shake like a leaf, even though the 2 times I performed at the Nuyorican Poet’s Cafe were pretty awesome and received well (despite the quivering voice).

    7) Despite my size(I feel as big as a newborn Orca), I have always been an athlete. Since I was really young, I’ve always been big boned, or as my mother would say in her thick Puerto Rican accent, “Jew is berry hushky pero cute”, but always one of the stars of the athletic teams I played for.  Undefeated in basketball 2-5th grade, dubbed “The Monster” by various soccer teams in our travel league because a girl thought it would be cute to call my sister a bitch because she stole the ball so I socked her, my field hockey teams All-State Goalie, and tons of recognition in HS soccer (all-state, all section , all conference, all league).  I started playing Varsity soccer in 7th grade and Varsity Field Hockey since 8th.  Even now, I don’t do much exercise but I’m still pretty athletic.

  4. Nominate 15 other bloggers and let them know you did.
    – The Davis ladies…I truly love these girls.  We have become fast friends and relate to each other well.  They’ve made me laugh and they’ve made me cry, but mostly they have made me care deeply about them.  Their twins are so lucky to be coming into this world where their Mommy and Mama fill everything with love, hope, faith, and laughter.
    Pepibebe – This was the first blog I read.  I was captured from the first entry.  The strength that this woman (and her wife) have shown through their journey is incredible.  The ups and downs that they have endured sometimes seem unimaginable, but they are still standing strong, and she continues to write from such beautiful place.  I spend lots of time thinking about them and hoping that all the light and healing energy I send their way is felt.  (I hope i got this right!—Koe toku tino!)
    Shawns and Cade – I love the story and life that these 2 beautiful souls have made together.  Their courage and their support for one another is hard to find and amazing to watch.  I follow their story and their changes as individuals and as a couple and am excited that our babies will be born a few days from each other.  We can watch them (through a blog of course, but maybe real life one day) grow up together!
    Kirra90 – This lady has been on quite the journey! Waiting so long just to get a donor, and then after several failed IUI’s have finally started their IVF journey.  I’ve been keeping them in my thoughts, and hope that everything turns out for the best! And having them on IG is awesome too because we are able to take a glimpse into each others lives outside of the blogs which is always an added bonus!
    Mama et Maman – My face lights up when I see her on my feed, or when I see a comment to one of my posts.  Her insight, perspective, and all around great personality have fostered what I feel to be a pretty great and genuine friendsip (at least I hope so!) Wish we didn’t live so far from one another.  They have had a serious roller coaster ride and my heart has broken for them several times.  But they continue to inspire because every time they get knocked off their feet, they pick themselves and each other up with love and kindness.
    My Happy Little Family – This blog is awesome! More often than not, i go between chuckling and cracking up, having Callie lean over and ask what the hell is so funny.  Decaf is, that’s what. This blog is honest and candid and I find the writer to be the same.  There is always something witty, uncensored, and alluring to read.  Thanks for being pretty freaking awesome!
    Blackzenmama – Culturally speaking, if you are latino or black (and i hope I don’t offend anyone in saying this), it’s kinda customary to spank your kids. My grandmother would tell me constantly to “Busca la correa” (go get the belt), and with heavy feet and an already warm backside, I would do it. Working in childcare for so many years, I learned a different approach, one that is gentler and kinder and much more effective. This blog, is a  fantastic.  It speaks to volumes about our changing society and challenging cultural norms.
    Stumbling Through Faith – Kel is one of those writers that makes you feel things.  Every time something goes on in her life, i go through the emotions with her and E.  I’d be lying if when I read her engagement post, I didn’t lay in bed and tear up through the whole thing.  Through their process of trying to adopt and things going a bit amiss, they support each other and continue to stay positive and will possibly be starting their own TTC journey soon…can’t wait to read about that!
    Impossibly Royal –   We have similar lives and I love that.  I love to see how people in similar situations handle “real life”.  2 kids at home and 2 on the way, and all so young! She reminds me that I’m not crazy (wellllllll, that’s debatable) and that we can totally do this.  I get some great feedback from her and I only wish that I had been the one to think of the cool pseudonyms that she uses for her family.
    Solo Mama Life – I LIVE for this blog! What a strong and fearless mom! If I ever questioned if I could do it on my own, Lindsay reminds me that I can totally do it! She is EVERYTHING to her beautiful 19 month old daughter.  All the tears, fears, stress, joys, accomplishments, trails and tribulations are sewn together and worn proudly as a huge S on her chest.  She’s not only a solo mama, she is a super mama, and I totally dig her!

    I really wanted to do the 15, but I still have lots of reading and catching up to do on some of these blogs.  And also, a lot of the people that I would have nominated were nominated already,so I wasn’t sure if it was ok to nominate them again.  I will probably edit this later on to add a few more after I finish reading.

  5. Display the award logo and follow your nominator.

So that’s that!

In 5 Days Time

This has been the week from hell, and it’s only Wednesday morning. In the past 2 and a half days I have taped and tarped 3 rooms in our new apartment, painted Mary’s new bedroom which she will be sharing with Laney, started packing up a ton of boxes, washed and folded 2 loads of laundry (and have 4 more to go), picked up Mary from school every day by 3:15pm, worked two 8 hour shifts starting at 5:30am (one day dealing with a service distribution on one of our train lines), went to the DMV, went to the rental office, went to the bank, went to my parents, made dinner, picked up Laney at Callie’s center because she had a staff meeting with her District manager and couldn’t keep her there (it’s 25 minutes away in one direction!), went to The Lesbian Paradise aka The Home Depot, helped Mary with homework, and am doing my regular babysitting job for Wednesday from 8:30-2:30 which today got extended until 5pm, AND made sure to spend some time with Callie, rubbed her belly with Tummy butter, and sang some songs to the twins (even if it was only for 15 minutes before I was off to Snoresville)!

With all of that said, I’m still not even CLOSE to having our apartment packed (good thing it’s just next door so I can sort of shift things over so packing will be minimal), still have the living room and the master bedroom left to paint at the new place, paint BACK the current apartment to it’s pristine white, have to organize my storage unit to fit all of the stuff we won’t be needing (I literally have to football tackle the door shut while Callie slides the bolt in place and locks it), and work my 2 overnight shifts today and tomorrow! Oh, and let’s not forget that in the midst of all of this chaos, we had made an agreement about 2 months ago with another foster parent friend of ours to do respite care for her and her boyfriend while they are away on vacation in exchange for them taking Mary (and now Laney) while we are away the following week. So let’s add a 7 month old to the mix AND the final touches and arrangements for our Gender Reveal party on Saturday and Viola! ::Insert sarcastic tone here:: Should make for an awesome remainder of the week! Thank Goodness that Marco is the best friend anyone could ever ask for because he took Friday off from work to help me move.

So, of course, after 2 days of running around, doing “new apartment” stuff, and yelling at Callie (I apologized, I promise!), I ended up having the inevitable melt down! I went to the bathroom for one of my 3 SCHEDULED (yes, I pretty much had to write it in) bathroom breaks and this wave of panic set in. “How in the hell am I gonna get all this crap done by Monday?!?!?!” So I cried! I cried like the the world was coming to an end and people have been telling me for a long time but it just sank in. That kinda cry where you’re saying to yourself, “I can’t believe I’m sitting here crying like an idiot!” Which, of course, makes you cry harder because you realize, I AM an idiot! That kinda cry you laugh about when you’re watching a Lifetime movie and you’re like, “The hell is wrong with you lady?!”. Yup! You know the one! That kinda cry! It lasted all of 3 minutes though. I shook it off, washed my hands, put on my best “I’m a Freaking WARRIOR” face, and went to pack some more boxes as little Jay (who I babysit for) takes his usual 2 hour nap! Thank the Lawd for naps! So here I am, taking 15 minutes of time to post a blog about the Universe deciding that it’s gonna throw everything at me in one shot. The move, a new 9 month old, a school aged 6 year old with homework, a 7 month old for respite care, a Gender Reveal party, and all the while a pregnant Callie and a full time job! So I thought about it!

All these things individually are pretty freaking awesome! I’ll have a 7 month old and a 9 month old in the house together for 4 days. It’ll be awesome practice for our upcoming twins. Moving is crappy but the space is great and it’s able to accommodate our growing family. Organizing the storage unit is fantastic because it will encourage Callie to get rid of unnecessary things. Gender Reveal party- need I say more?!?! Unfortunately, when u put all these things together in the span of the next 4 days, it’s all a bit overwhelming. And that’s where I am. I’m overwhelmed, over exhausted, over stimulated, and over it! I just have to push through the next 9 days until our anniversary vacation/Babymoon in 2 Saturdays! It’ll be a welcome intermission from this madness.

We’ll make it, maybe not in one piece, but we’ll make it…together…and we’ll be better for it.

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*Added about 3 minutes after original post: Just got a call from Laney’s case worker. Visit with her mom tomorrow morning at 10:30. One more thing to add to my never ending ” To Do” list…

We MUST Be Crazy!!!

Tuesday afternoon, 1:47pm, my cell phone rings.
I don’t recognize the number, so I let it go to voicemail.  About a minute later after hearing the message, I was ringing Callie at work as quickly as I could.  She was busy but I couldn’t wait.  “I need to speak to her NOW!”  So her assistant found her in a flash and before you know it, I was returning the phone call to our county’s CPS offices.

A beautiful, 9 month old little girl! As if our lives couldn’t get any crazier (and richer at the same time)! How could we say no?! Well, we could have, but why?  This baby, who has no fault in any of the shenanigans that her parents have put her through (domestic violence, mental health and drug abuse issues), needs a home full of love and a nurturing environment. We can totally do that! So we will! We went from a family of 2, to a family of 4 in less than 6 months.  And in less than 4 months we will become a family of 6, if Mary and our new little addition, Laney, end up staying with us for a little longer.

Will it be overwhelming? Of COURSE it will! Will it be scary? Petrifying! Will we be on the verge of loosing our minds? Every damn day! Can we handle it? You bet your sweet ass we can! We’re super moms, and we have each other, and love, beautiful families and amazing friends.  We have everything we need to know that we can do this and make a difference.  A handful of people think we are crazy, and that’s fine, because well, maybe we are, but at the end of the day, we know what we are doing is right, no matter how crazy it is.  Life just got a whole lot more interesting…

Conquering Mount Marcy…

But just a minute before she almost conquered me! HOLY CRAP!!! Let me start this post by saying that Marco and I are avid hikers.  Before Mary came into my life, Callie became pregnant, and I started working overnights, we pretty much hiked every weekend.  We consider ourselves experienced hikers and campers that are pretty knowledgeable about all things “woods”.  Well, let me tell you, we had NO FREAKING IDEA what we were getting ourselves into!

We have never done an overnight hike, so we pretty much gauged what we thought would happen based on some of our previous longer day hikes and our years and years of camping.  We were sadly mistaken.  Let me paint this picture for you…

Friday morning I came home from my overnight shift at about 5:30am.  I slept all of an hour before getting all of my stuff together, fitting it all in my pack, throwing on my hiking gear and heading out the door.  We stopped to get some breakfast and started our 5 hour drive up to the Adirondacks.  It was nice catching up with Marco.  We talked about everything and nothing at all, both at the same time.  We didn’t even play the radio the whole way there.  It was just us, conversation, and miles and miles of road.  When I had about a quarter of a tank of gas left, I decided to start looking for a gas station.  Apparently, up in “West Hell” NY, they seem pretty hard to come by.  When my gas light came on (indicating about 30 miles of driving left) and there was still no station in sight, we both started to panic.  That would not be a great way to start this trip! Literally, throwing my car in neutral as often as I could, we found a station about 20 miles out of the way, only to get back on course and see that there was one about a 2 minutes drive in the right direction from where we had taken our detour.  Thanks for freaking nothing Siri!

We arrive at the Adirondack Loj, pay our overnight parking fee, beeline for the restroom, and start our trek.  At about the 3 mile point (and .5 miles from one of the 2 designated campsites) we meet one of the members of the trail crew.  THANK GOD, because we were getting ready to make an 8 mile round-trip hike from our campground to the summit at 3pm.  After a few minutes of chatting and her making sure that we had a bear canister, She estimated that from the campsite, it would take us about 3 hours to get to the summit and anywhere from 2-3hrs to get back, leaving us pretty much in complete darkness for the 2nd half of the hike.  Being in Bear country, that probably wasn’t the best idea, so she convinced us to stay put until morning.  We weren’t too pleased about that, but decided it was probably the best.  So we set up camp, ate some dinner, and started a small campfire (even though technically we weren’t supposed to). Now, we were under the impression that tons of people camp when they make this hike.  Imagine our surprise when 7pm rolled around and our tent was still the only one there! Now, normally, this wouldn’t been an issue except that the ranger lady scared the crap out of us, repeating and reiterating that “There is a really, really, really, really, really, really, really high volume of bear traffic, so no cooking after 6pm”.  So now we’re thinking, if a person screams in the woods and there is no one there to hear them, do they make noise? OH LAWD! So now, we’re petrified, I’m on 1 hour of sleep, we technically can’t make a fire so it’s at a minimum, we’re freezing, and starving and aren’t allowed to eat and we probably couldn’t find our bear canister if we wanted to because it was so dark out there.  We did have headlamps though, but we didn’t want to turn them on because then you could only see directly in front of you and not ALL AROUND you! So basically, even though we had a bit of fun and had a good laugh in our tent (we made a video just in case someone found our bodies in the morning), it was a pretty terrible night.

We woke at 6 am after only about 2 uninterrupted hours of sleep, left our site and started our ascent up to the summit.  To make a long story short, it was knees to chest, rocks looking like stairs, heavy breathing and lots of breaks for me all the way to the top.  At one point (for the first time ever!) I sat down, looked at the top of the mountain and almost cried because I just couldn’t go on anymore.  Marco is the best! He encouraged me, cheered me on, and told me that once we get to the top, it would all be worth it! And was it ever!!!! The view was breathtaking (or maybe that was just the 40+ mile an hour winds at the summit).  It was like nothing I’ve ever seen before.  It’s the way our beautiful planet was intended to be seen; green, mountainous, unspoiled, sparkling.  We were literally in the clouds.  It was an experience that you can’t really put words to.  You have to experience it for yourself.  I took a few minutes to think about the things in life that matter the most, the upcoming arrival of my babies, and how conquering this mountain despite how difficult it was really a metaphor for a lot of my life.  And the best part was being so blessed to be able to share it with my best friend.

We had our sandwich lunches, some trail mix, and beef jerky and then after about 20 minutes, began our descent.  Here we were thinking it was going to be easier! Pssshhh!!!! I’m usually better at going down than Marco is (hahaha) , and he’s better on the way up.  We balance each other out that way.  He waits for my outta shape self on the way up, and I wait for his cautious ass on the way back down.  But after 7 miles up, our feet were sore, our legs were on overdrive, and with minimal food (the bears remember?!) we were pretty much running on the fumes of our fumes.  Got back to camp, packed up our things (but not before the same lady who told us about the site reprimanded us for making a fire) and made the rest of the 2.7 mile troop to the car.  I quickly took my boots off (the blood blisters on both my feet needed to breathe), put on my Adidas slides, had a good quick stretch, and drove off.  We pretty much laughed the whole way home at how pathetic we were thinking we were gonna be back by noon, 1pm the latest, and actually ended up getting back to the car at almost 5pm.  Despite it having been a grueling mission to the top of the mountain, and waking the next day thinking I was paralyzed,I wouldn’t change a thing about the whole experience.  It reminded me to cherish my relationships with my closest friends, to make time for myself, and to teach my kids about the beauty there is in the world, despite how difficult the climb to find it.  Mount Marcy, you almost got me…almost…

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Starting our trip

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Setting up camp and making our way in the morning

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Signing in (in case the bears at us!)

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Almost there!

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We finally made it!

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Oh, we gots to go! That was a lot!