Our Love Story

Two days shy of the day I marry the love of my life, and I can’t stop thinking about how I fell in love with her.  How when she walks into a room, even if there are hundreds of people in there, she is the only one I see.  I think about how she is laying in bed, making such a huge sacrifice to make sure that our 2 glorious little boys are kept safe and sound.  I remember how from the first time I met her, I gravitated towards her as if our hearts knew something that we weren’t privy to yet.  Some big old secret and plan to eventually see us together.  This is the story of how our love came to be.

I was in a relationship.  As married as you could be in NY at the time.  I had been in this relationship, trying to conceive with a women I knew wasn’t for me.  My heart always knew it, but my brain tried to make it work, because that’s what you do when you are “married”.  My ex-wife and I were invited to a BBQ at Callie’s best friend Jenny’s house.  Her best friends girlfriend was my biological brother (from my father’s side) lesbian sister Trudy.  We had a few beers, sat in a huge circle on the deck, played some badminton, and had a few burgers and hot dogs.  As the night started closing in on us, the fireflies set the mood, and the music had a bunch of drunken lesbians rapping along to B.I.G.’s “Juicy”, we decided to play a game of spade’s.  I had already seen Callie’s competitive nature during our not so friendly 2vs2 badminton match, and was surprised to see that no one wanted to play with her OR against her. “She’s CRAZY when it comes to spades!” “She REFUSES to lose!” “I can’t play with her crazy ass!” I, was totally up for the challenge.  I am a spades master after all! So we played together, all night, across from each other, high-fiving, laughing, telling jokes, and talking loads of crap. Loads and loads of crap!  We won, tons of times, and spent the next three hours in our seats at the table as pair after pair were spanked several times.  Spades Masters we were called.

We didn’t see each other for months, probably closer to a year.  We barely spoke.  I ended up calling my relationship quits, dissolving our domestic partnership, and moving out leaving my 2 fur baby puppies behind.  I ended up back home with my parents and attending an outpatient treatment program.  I was a wreck.  My life was in shambles.  I started a rebound pseudo-relationship.  It was great while it lasted I suppose.  We connected but something was just off, and after all of the hard work that I had put in during those 2 years working on myself, I wasn’t willing to settle.  I started hanging out with Trudy (my brothers sister) and hung out with Callie a time or two.  She asked if I had 4th of July plans, which I didn’t, and we ended up hanging out that day.  Her parents boat neighbor took his boat out and invited Callie, Jenny, Trudy and myself.  We spent the whole day talking crap, hanging out, drinking ice cold beer and smoking cigarettes.  There was something about her.  How easy our conversation was.  I loved the way she laughed .  She would start with a chuckle, then full belly laugh, but she would cover her mouth and you’d only be able to see her eyes over her ridiculously chubby little Vienna sausage fingers.  I actually told her that, and it’s become an ongoing joke.  She responded with, ” Just as ridiculous as that Spongebob watch!” ::Swoon:: She could trash talk with the best of them.  At one point, I was ready to go swimming, and she wasn’t ready yet.  I told her (in a very flirtatious but not trying to be flirtations way) that I’d hold her hand as we jumped in.  She hesitated but agreed.  At that very moment, I felt something. Holding her hand, I got a shiver down my spine.  A flash of a future with her.  Electricity.  About 2 years later, Callie told me that she had felt “a spark”, and she could tell by my expression at that very moment, that I had felt the same thing.  I went home afterwards, even though she had asked me to stay the night with her and the girls.  I knew, that was the beginning…



A few weeks later, I went on my annual camping trip with my closest friends.  It’s a rule that we are not to use electronics on this trip.Only twice a day it is allowed: 1)while we wait for everyone of us to be up, give or take an hour in the morning and 2) in the early evening when we all went down to the rec center to take our turns for showers, about another hour or so.  Callie had remember that I was going, and she sent me a Facebook message wishing me a good time. I didn’t have any reason to check FB considering that all my closest friends were there and I usually steered clear of social networking all together on our trips, but something kept beckoning me to check.  I have to admit, after I saw her  message, I spent most of the next 4 days formulating an excuse or another to go back to my tent and check my phone.  I wanted to talk to her so bad but I didn’t know why.  While away, my girlfriend Laura had text me that her parents caught her drunk again and were sending her off to a rehab center in Florida.  It was a devastating blow, but there wasn’t much I could do.  We tried long distance for about 2 months but that didn’t work out well.  Callie said we should hang out, so we did, as soon as I got back.  We “non-dated” for a while.  She would pick me up after program and we would go down to the dock, where we inevitably fell in love.  I knew I loved her about a month in, when we had plans to go fishing and it started pouring rain.  She told me we didn’t have to go since the weather was so crappy.  I told her fishing in the rain was one of my favorite things.  We sat on that dock, for hours, in the pouring rain, holding hands, joking around, and letting fish after fish free upon catching them.  We had a blast, and I was officially in love with the woman of my dreams.  Outdoorsy, funny, kind, loving, beautiful, a shit talking spades player who was ballsy, always speaks her mind, and never fails to surprise me.



August 21st we had our first kiss, September 5th we went on our first real date to the bowling alley, and September 22, 2010 we made it official.  We spend that whole month laying in bed inside the cabin of her parents boat, catching up on Glee while Netflixing, eating PB&J’s at 3am, doing puzzles, playing scrabble, making out and talking until the sun came up.  She was everything I could have ever dreamed of.  Flashes of us as old ladies on the porch in rocking chairs waiting for our grandchildren, filled my head.  She was the one!

Years passed, our relationship flourished and I was ready to take it to the next level.  We wanted a big wedding but it was more important to start our family. We made plans to have our babies and the wedding would come later, but first I had to propose! And I did, with an amazing scavenger hunt that fills Callie’s eyes with tears every time she talks about it.  It’s been almost a year since that day.  In 2 days I get to marry and spend the rest of my life with the most amazing woman I know.  She keeps telling me how lucky she is to have me, but I keep reminding her that I am the lucky one.  I am the one that has been blessed beyond finding word to express.  I am filled with gratitude that God has sent me such an amazing soul to share my life with.  In 2 days, all of my dreams will be realized. There are many love stories, but ours is my favorite.


“Marrying Day” Plans and 25 Weeks

We’ve officially made it to 25 weeks (well, right now it’s 25w4 days).  I was a little late this week with our board (finished it on Sunday night) because we have been running around like crazy trying to find outfits for our “marrying day” (according to Mary).  We’ve bought Callie’s dress (which looks AMAZING and accents her baby bump perfectly, although I feel guilty about having seen her in it), and a new vest and bow tie for myself.  I have to say, when we have our “real” wedding, I am definitely going to Men’s Warehouse to buy/rent my tuxedo.  They didn’t even bat an eyelash when I said that we were getting married and that I was looking for a vest that fit well, but wasn’t too tight around the chest.  I love that they had a woman who was doing fittings as well.  All in all, it was a really pleasant experience (although a little more expensive than I was hoping for but what are you gonna do right?!)  We also went to look for rings with no success.  Everywhere that we went said it would take 1-2 weeks to have them resized, which isn’t going to work for us.  Standard in store size is a 7. Callie wears a 6 and I wear an 8.5.  We figured since we will probably have these rings indefinitely, we would at least spend a decent amount of money for them and make sure they are rings that we are happy with.  5 days later and still no rings.  We have one last stop before we just order the ones we want and have them delivered to us later on and just get sterling silver rings for our ceremony in the mean time.

We were just gonna go to City Hall and have a judge marry us, but we ended up deciding on having the judge come to our home and marry us there (it’s the same price so WHY NOT!?!).  We have some friends coming over and my siblings and are having a potluck style lunch.  We are fortunate that our closest friends and sibling were able to rearrange plans to accommodate our lesbian shotgun wedding, as so many of you bloggers have dubbed it.  It’s gonna be awesome, and I’m excited, nervous, scared, and beyond happy to be marrying Callie, my best girl and the love of my life, on Saturday 11/1/14 (1+1+1+1+4=8 and if you flip that sideways, it’s the symbol for infinity which reassures me even MORE that this is what is meant to be and happening just as it should)  Still sad our parents won’t be able to be there.

So how’s about those 25 weeks, huh?!?  Our little buddies are developing their startle reflexes.  They can totally get scared now if something falls and makes a loud bang that they weren’t expecting.  I think this is funny! I wanna scare them, but Callie said it’s not nice and that I should think about that, considering what a fraidy cat I am.  No seriously!  To this day I have never seen a Chuckie, Freddy Kruger, Halloween, or Friday the 13th movie…ever! And I never will!!! I have no idea what ANYONE did last summer, and I don’t care to find out either!  At this point, the boys are continuing their growth spurt and causing Callie to be “1st trimester tired” all over again.  They are getting some fat on their bodies, but they started that already considering that they are 2 little chubbas!  They are also developing surfactant which is a lipoprotein which will help the boys lungs breathe in oxygen and breathe out carbon dioxide without their lungs collapsing.  If you ask me, I would say that’s pretty important! Also, their testes will be or already have descended into the scrotum.  I think that’s pretty important too! When I sent my friends the weekly chalkboard update Marco commented “Oh thank God those testes have descended! I was starting to worry!” which I thought was hilarious.  You know what else is hilarious!?!  Balls! LOL! Ok, get it together Sammie! These boys should be measuring in at about a pound and a half and about 13 inches long.  No wonder we really can feel those kicks ridiculously strong now.  Most people will catch a glimpse of them moving around under Callie’s shirt and can see them kicking and punching to get out.  Not yet little guys! Not yet! We still have a few more weeks.




We had a perinatologist appointment last Thursday and Callie’s cervix is doing worse than it was before.  It went from 1.97 to 1.94. It’s a really small change but if it continues to get shorter, it could potentially be a big problem.  The doctor made it very clear that she is to stay off of her feet until 34 weeks! He is concerned that the babies want to come and that Callie does too much.He was very specific.Our OB told us that she should be on bed rest and take it easy but this doctor was very specific.  If you tell a runner who runs 8 miles a day to take it easy, they may run about 6 instead.  He is saying “Run no miles lady!”…at all if you want to stay pregnant because at this rate, who knows how much longer they will stay in.  Good news is, she isn’t dilating or cramping and the contractions have slowed down a bit, although they are stronger than they were before.  I’m making sure that she isn’t doing anything at home with the exception of bathroom trips and switching from the bed to the couch.  When I’m not home? Well, that’s another story!   I just want my buddies to stay in there as long as they can, preferably 38 weeks.  Oh, and they love it when Mamá reads to them.  They wiggle, and roll, and move all over the place. I think they can recognize my voice now.  Callie says that they move a lot when I come home and start chatting and they haven’t heard my voice in a few hours.  I like to believe that!  So upcoming wedding, and completion of nursery this week and next.  No idea when the baby shower is but I’m almost certain that it’s coming in the next 2-3 weeks! Can’t wait!



You Gotta Do What You Gotta Do…

With the impending birth of our twins, Callie and I decided that it was our number one priority (this week) to get married.  Everything that has been going on with her cervix and contractions and the bleeding last week, we’re getting a little paranoid and a little nervous that these boys will be here sooner than we think and that I won’t legally be their mama.  I know that I probably still have to legally adopt my boys (although I don’t plan on going to Mississippi any time soon, I am hoping to take my kids to Disney in Florida at some point, and God forbid something happened down there, I wouldn’t be their parents.) but I also know that marriage equality and reform has at ton of momentum right now and it’s all inevitably going to change.  FINALLY!   With all of that said, this >>>>>>



happened yesterday afternoon.  We got out Marriage License, and we are getting a few things together for our friends to come here on Saturday 11/1/2014 and have a little shindig at the waterfront park across the street from out apartment complex.  We’ll probably just go out to dinner and not really do anything major (since our plans are to have a bigger wedding when the boys are here) except maybe game night and beer/wine at our apartment.  I’m a little sad that my parents won’t be back from their 39 day excursion in Europe (they are seriously partying it up in super gay Mykonos, Greece which they are LOVING! “O my gah! All deh peoples is so nice ovah he-yah eng ebrybah-dee es un GAY! PARRTYYY!”), but you gotta do what you gotta do…

In 2 weeks time, I will be legally married to the woman of my dreams, the mother of my children, my best friend, and the love of my life…


A DIN# is the the Department Identification Number given to inmates in the custody of the New York State Department of Corrections.  It is a number that is given to those who need access to an inmate, either on a visiting day or by corresponding through written snail mail. 07***03 belongs to my father.  My biological father that I know nothing about.  The father, that in my 31 years of life, I have only seen twice and written to a handful of times.  A father who barely knows anything about me, let alone all of the exciting things that have been going on in my life as of recent.

My whole life, I grew up in a home where my parents were the center of my life.  I have an amazing mother and a wonderful father that took me in at age 2 when he was only 17 years old, and raised me like his own.  To this day, that’s my Papi, my Papá, my Daddy, and no one will ever take his place.

Yesterday was my nephew Andy’s 2 year birthday party.  He is my brother Harry’s son, my only brother from my biological father.  We met the week before fathers day, on a 100+ degree day in mid-June 6 years ago.  Since then, our relationship has flourished and he has allowed me the opportunity to share in his life.  He has blessed me with a sister-in-law that I love and adore, a gorgeous and funny niece, and a handsome and ridiculously smart nephew.





Both of our relationships with our father is incredibly strained, and futile at best.  While at my brother’s home, I noticed a photo on his refrigerator.  It was a Polaroid of my brother, my father, and myself taken those 6 years ago, on Father’s day, when we decided to take the trip upstate, and visit our father for the first time at his correctional facility.  It was all really overwhelming, but what was even more overwhelming was how fate played a huge role in making that long awaited for day take place.

Some 13 years ago, my maternal uncles wife was the instructor of a step aerobics class at a small karate studio some 5 miles or so from where my family lives.  A few women attended the class weekly, 2 of which were my uncles 2nd or 3rd cousins.  This aunt, (let’s just call her PB for Psycho Bitch, but that’s for a whole other blog post!) had no clue the relation between her husband and these women.  One day my uncle goes to PB’s class to drop off some stuff for one of their 4 daughters game, and is greeted by none other than his 2 long lost cousins that he hasn’t seen since he was a teenager.  They get to chatting and asking about each others families and all the siblings and rest of the cousins, being that they lost touch around the time that my mother was pregnant with me.  She asked about me, my mother, and if I had seen my biological father lately.  My uncle responded with, “What father?! She knows who her father is!”  (All of my aunts and uncles are very protective of my relationship with my stepdad {i only use step-dad for the sake of not confusing anyone during this post})  The cousin replies, “Well, I know where he is! He is married to the cousin of my cousin, and in the Dominican Republic!”. PB was intrigued and started asking the questions about my bio father every week (you can see already the beginnings of why no one in my family speaks to nosy ass PB).  A few months later, I am at a friends house, in a drunken stupor, playing our 5th round of “Sequence”, and listening to depressing love songs and a ton of slow jams, and my phone rings with a weird 718 number that I don’t recognize.  I asked my friend to answer it..

“Sammie’s Phone!”

“Yes, I look for Samantha Leyba”

“If you mean Samantha Mendez then, yeah, how can I help you?”

“Jew Samantha? I calling frong jew father.  Thees eh his seester.  I call for Samantha.”

“Hold on please….(wide eyed and mouth agape) HOLY SHIT Sammie! This lady on the phone claims to be your aunt!  From. Your. Father’s. Side!!!”

Cue racing heart! I had always thought about that day, but you can imagine how conflicted I was when it actually happened.  What’s my {step}dad gonna think?  How am I going to explain to him that no one would ever take his place?! How do I tell my mom that I am actually going to meet these people, this other side of me that I never even bothered to think existed?  How would I feel once I met them? How would I react to their sudden affection and questions about my life?! Was I ready to come out to these people?  Was I ready to let them in? All of these questions started flying through my head the second that I got off the phone with her.  All I got from the conversation was that they lived in the Bronx, they would all be together (my 2 aunts, 3 uncles, a slew of cousins) that coming Saturday, they would be beyond excited if I went, and the they had been looking for me for so many years with no success.

I go to the store, I buy a new outfit, I get my hair braided, and I prepare myself for the emotional mess that I would probably be that Saturday.  I show up, and walk into a room filled with people embracing me and welcoming me into this huge extended family.  I meet my aunts and my uncles, and I immediately see the resemblance.  We all have the same nose! My whole life I wondered about my nose, and now I knew the answer.  We sit and chat and they ask questions for the better part of an hour.  They shove a plate of food in my face but I am too anxious and nervous to eat.  I pick at chicken and rice.  The door bell rings.  Everyone’s faces freeze in time and look directly at me.  My aunt gets up to answer the door.  She tells me, “Ven aquí”, come here, and I make my way to the door.  As she opens the door, it’s like looking into a mirror.  My face is reflected back at me, and I knew.  I knew right away that it was my brother.  We looked at each other and ran and hugged, both sobbing hysterically.  He’s feeling my hair, and touching my face, and I do the same. “Is this real?!?!” “You’re my brother/sister?!?!?”  “Is this happening!” “We have the same nose!” “Our eyes are the same color” “Look at your hair so curly like mine” “We were gonna call the radio station to look for you!”.  The words are coming out a mile a minute.  Our family watches on with tears in their eyes.  We meet.  Finally.  Without me even knowing that he existed and i had missed him.  Terribly.  We talk and make plans to see our father the next day, Father’s Day 2008.



The next day, we meet up early, and make the 1hr 40 minute trek to the correctional facility.  Our father has no idea we are coming.  He doesn’t even know we have met or that they found me.  We get scanned, head in to a large room filled with white tables and blue plastic chairs that look like elementary school chairs but super-sized.  We wait facing the door where the inmates come in.  Every man that steps forwards could be him, but we somehow knew it wasn’t.  When our father walked in, we squeezed the others hand because we knew.  We stood up, and we walked towards us, tucking in his shirt, fidgeting with his pants, and standing straight and tall seeing his two grown children waiting for him for the first time in God knows how long.  He hesitated and then hugged us.  We all cried, but our reunion was cut short with a reminder of, “That’s enough physical contact inmate!” It was awkward and weird, and filled with a ton of truths that I’m still not so sure I’m ready to hear, but it began a relationship with my brother that I cherish, and a relationship with my father that is a constant work in progress.  I left that day feeling confused, hurt, loved, connected, disjointed.  The ride home was a quiet one as the space between my brother and I danced with the ghost of our lives before this day in the sunlight of our futures together.

The reason I am writing about this is to find some clarity and remember the hope that I felt that day.  I’ve been struggling with letting him know that he is going to be a “grandfather”.  That there are these two beautiful little creatures on their way into this crazy world.  I feel like I am betraying my {step}dad even though he is probably the only grandfather they will know for at least the next 10 years.  But I look at my brother.  He told our father about the kids, and went to see him twice, but nothing has changed.  They are still grandfatherless kids. He doesn’t call.  He doesn’t write.  He doesn’t send birthday or Christmas cards.  Will anything really be different? Will anything really change  I hope that thinking this through calms my anxiety a bit, and I find some clarity and courage to write the words to him that I need to write and express.  My boys will have their “Wito” (short for Abuelito) and they will have Harry Sr. who they probably won’t ever remember seeing.  The worst part is, it’s not like my {bio}dad doesn’t want a relationship with us.  It can just be incredibly tedious and frustrating to foster a new relationship from behind 4 iron gates and cement walls. For now, I will write to him, with my heart and share good news that he probably needs to hear…his little girl is having 2 little boys.

“Later, Laney” and 24 Weeks

Thursday afternoon, my phone is blowing up. I recognize the number as one I’ve seen a few times before but I don’t remember who it belongs to. First 2 times there is no voicemail. Third time they leave a message. It’s Laney’s case worker and we knew this call, this day, was coming. We were to drop Laney off at her usual visit with mom on Friday and then they would be picking her up and taking her to her paternal aunt after the visit. Callie was devastated. I was upset but understood from the moment that they dropped her off, that this arrangement was temporary. Callie on the other hand spent almost 24 hours a day with Laney and was definitely feeling it. Thursday night I went to work for my overnight shift and when I got home at 5:15am, I pulled Laney out of her crib and laid her in bed with Callie and myself and snuggled and cuddled her so she could feel how much we loved her. Friday morning, I got her dressed, brushed her hair, put her “smell good” on, and dropped her at her visit. Callie cried all the way to our OB appointment. I don’t think that tiny human will ever understand what she has given us in the past month and a half. She showed us that we can do this “parenting of an infant” thing even while completely sleep deprived. She showed us that cuddles are the best thing ever! That we swore up and down we wouldn’t do co-sleeping, walkers, propping bottles, playing in the crib with toys, baby Bjorn’s, but we lied…about all of it! She gave us more than we gave her and we are grateful that she was in our lives. So little time with us but such a huge chunk of our hearts were taken with her when she left. On a positive note, the caseworker gave the aunt our phone number (she asked first and we said whatever they needed we are available) and she invited us to her 1st birthday party in a few weeks, and called us family because it was obvious that her niece was well taken care of. Callie spoke with her on the phone for 30 minutes about feeding, sleep, and play schedules, thumb sucking and blankies and exchanged email addresses for swapping photos. All in all, we feel confident that we’ll stay pretty well connected to this little person we love so much! It’s not “good-bye” but more like, “Later, Laney”.

24 weeks! Can you believe it?!?! One weeks shy of our third trimester and these babies are a week sooner to coming home with us.

Fetal movement has been CRAZY! Their kicks are stronger, sometimes even shifting Callie’s clothes! The past week, they have really been loving their sweets. Callie’s been having Skittles, ice cream, milky ways, Reece’s Pieces, homemade cinnamon toast, and pretty much anything sweet she can get her hands on. Not that I thought it was a very good idea to indulge so much with her glucose test this past Thursday quickly approaching, but how can I deny 3 PEOPLE all that sweet and chocolatey goodness!?!?! I’d be a bad Mamá! So I admit, I bought her a cheesecake from Juniors at Grand Central on my way home last Sunday from work and chocolate chip cookies and a pumpkin spice latte from DD’s yesterday! We had a Dr’s appointment Thursday, where they did a scan to see what was going on. Looks like everything is still good and it seems that the bed rest has been working. Callie’s cervix went from 1.97 to 2.2 which is great! She is still on bed rest (which she is simultaneously loving ::no work:: and hating ::can’t do shit::) and spending most her days in bed with her Snoogle or on the couch with the kitty who hasn’t really left her side since the day she stared bleeding. The ultrasound showed 2 very healthy boys (2 fat chubba’s!) who are still measuring bigger than they should. No wonder mommy’s cervix is struggling! The nurse did our 1st 3D Ultrasound and I was in awe! I couldn’t believe how clear they were! I could see my boys! Like really see them and not have to imagine what they look like anymore. They look like real humans! It was incredible. I held it together pretty well though, right after I jumped out of my chair and stood up close and in front of the TV monitor. It was surprising to see our donors nose on one baby and lips on the other. Callie says you can’t really see that yet, but I can see it! And I’m excited about it! Callie has gained 4 pound from her pre-pregnancy weight and her bump is measuring in at a whopping 28 inches!! Aside from that, we are just waiting on the results of the glucose test and are scheduled to check in again in 2 weeks. Everyone, say hello to our handsome boys!


Here are 2 pictures of our donor…am I bugging about the looks?!



Coming Out…A Few Days Late

As many of you know, the past few days have been hectic for us here in Non-belly Mama land!  I have been reading many of your coming out stories in honor of National Coming Out Day and they have been awesome!  I also have a coming out story, but mine is very different from the ones that I have read.

I was 14 years old.  My siblings and I were the “popular” kids in school, and not for any other reason than we were really well rounded.  We were all-star athletes, we excelled academically, we were funny, we were musical, and we were just a whole lot of fun.  We had awesome parents who never missed any of our games.  We were close, we stood up for one another, and more often than not, we covered each others butts!  We didn’t have “friends” per se, but we did have lots and lots of acquaintances.  We mostly went to school, went to sports, went to “extras”, and hung out at home doing the crapload of chores that our parents assigned daily.

Freshman year of high school was an…interesting…time for me.  A lot of self-discovery.  A lot of writing poetry.  A lot of time alone.  I joined the musical theater group and met a rather eccentric group of kids that in a short period of time, I ended up calling my friends.  We started spending a lot of time together.  We would go to each others houses and watch movies, mostly really artsy stuff (theater kids!), make our own movies, and just random shenanigans.  At some point I knew that something was different about me.  I knew that what I felt for Dee, one of the girls in our little circle of friends was something that I shouldn’t be feeling, not because anyone told me it was wrong but because I knew that no one else was like me.  Or at least I thought.  One day we went to watch “Boys Don’t Cry” at a small theater in Bronxville, and something clicked.  All of a sudden the 4 Spice Girl poster covered walls in my bedroom made sense (no seriously!! EVERY INCH! Like $300 of my McDonald’s paycheck for tickets for my younger sister and I. Like tear away Adidas pants in every color! Like all the CD’s, movies, interviews! TOTALLY OBSESSED).  All of my acquaintances were in love with BSB and N’Sync, and I just didn’t get it!  Dee and I cried through the movie, and at some point, I reached over and grabbed her hand and she didn’t pull away.  She held it back, and ran her thumb back and forth along the side of my thumb.  It send shivers down my spine.  Even though my head said, “NOOOOOO!!!!”, my heart said, “OMG!! IS THIS REALLY HAPPENING!”  That day began a serious affair of some massive hand holding!

At this point in time it had been close to 2 months of really understanding who I was thanks to researching on Ask Jeeves (which took forever because those were Dial-up days), and realizing that I, at all of 14, was “A Gay”.  A bonafide lesbian.  I started decorating my bunk, my backpack, wearing bracelets, and socks with rainbows on them.  A few weeks and lots of hand holding (in secret) later, I had my friends to my house for a movie marathon night of Gia, If These Walls Could Talk Too, and Better Than Chocolate. My mom kept coming into my room and offering a ton of treats and sweets, water, juice, soda, dinner. We had to keep pausing the movie because we didn’t want her to see all the nudity and lesbian sex scenes.  I was totally freaked that my mom would find out who I really was, and that she would have a total cow and send me off to go live with my grandparents or something. After a few hours, everyone went home.  Mom came into my room…

“I gwanna talking wishu baybee..” She sits on the edge of the bed

“What mom?!?!”, I say, completely exhausted and just wanting to go to bed.

“I berry like-a jew friengs!” She smiles genuinely

“They’re nice right?” I smile back.

“Pero, can I asking jew somesing”

“Si, mami.” I’m nervous

“I see jew have a lot of deh rainbow, eng jew friends, jew know, un poquito….i don’t know…maybe a little gay. I don’t know”

“Jesus mom! Seriously!?!” OH SHIT! She totally knows!

“Si, pero, dats ok! Jew know, if you, tu sabes, eres gay, bueno, I don’t care, becoz, I’m mami, eng I love jew! I love jew forebeh and dats ok! I know what means rainbow.  My seester is a gay tambien, eng I love her too.  And jew my daughter and i love you too. Mami loves jew, mucho ,mucho, mucho!”

“Mami, I’m gaaaayyyyyyyy.”

She hugs me, and I can’t control all the tears that have been inside of me for months. All of the hiding, all of the sneaking, all of the hand holding and all of the love that I felt, suddenly poured out of me and I couldn’t contain it.  My mothers love for me, her understanding, support and love, pulled me out of the closet kicking, screaming and crying.  It was probably one of the ugliest cries I’ve ever had, hyperventilating, snot and tears streaming down my face, and mami just held me. She held me and said she loved me.  That nothing was different.  That nothing changed.  That I was still her “nena especial” and that her love for me would never, ever change.  I was one of this lucky ones.  My mom found me a group for gay youth in the county that I live in.  She would pick me up and drop me off.  She would give me money for my friends and I to get pizza and ice cream afterwards.  She encouraged me to bring my friends over more often and to talk to her about my crushes and my relationships.  She told me that nothing was different. She hugged me more and she listened more.  She made it easier to come out.  And I did! Everywhere!

I came out at school, at church, at work, at sports and at extras.  I didn’t care who knew, because my mom knew and she loved me regardless.  My coming out story isn’t a story of regret, or triumph against the opposition, or heartache and pain.  It’s a story of a mother’s love for her daughter, and the strength, support and courage she gave her to become the person that she is today.





What This Community Has Given Me

I came into this blogging world with a simple idea. Write, write , write. Document your life, if not for you, then for your future wife and children so that they know what you were going through while waiting for their arrival. Record Callie’s changes while recording my own. Express my fear, joy, expectations and disappointment. I never thought that I would become a part of such an incredible community and that my life, my laughter, my tears, would be embraced the way that they have been. That I would have connected on such a deep level with people that I technically don’t know. That I would care so much about their lives and their triumphs and sadness, and feel what they feel right with them. Never in a million years did I anticipate words connecting with so many souls. Simple words…

This has been a really trying month for us. We’ve moved, received a new foster baby and embraced and welcomed her into our home, executed an amazing gender reveal party, took a child for respite care, (on a positive note) went on a much needed babymoon, and have visited the hospital because of (way too early) contractions. We’ve had issues with Mary’s mom, not very clear answers from our case workers, and sleepless nights because of two very sick girls with belly bugs. Let’s not forget to mention laundry, cooking, cleaning, groceries, homework and teething! This post isn’t about any of that though.

Today has been one of the scariest days in my life so far. I thought that our scare with Callie bleeding at the beginning of our pregnancy was the worst thing I had every experienced, until today. After 3 days on bed rest Callie woke up, went to the bathroom and noticed lots of blood when she wiped. She looked down into the toilet and realized that there was a lot of red. Very bright, gritty, grainy blood. She called me straight away at work and in a panicked voice, “Blood!” That’s all I got. That’s all I heard. My heart sank. Initially, when we experienced this some months ago, I freaked (naturally!) but my connection and bond wasn’t as strong. It wasn’t as pronounced. I hadn’t known my children. I hadn’t named them. I hadn’t felt and seen them kicking and squirming. I hadn’t experienced seeing them play together. I hadn’t sung to them, and I hadn’t pushed them back when they kicked me. The connection is different. I love my boys. Before, I loved the idea of having them with me, but I was learning and growing to love them everyday. Now, the idea of not having them makes me sick to my stomach.

As tears streamed down my face while I drove down I-95, I envisioned the worst. I got home as quickly as I could. Callie was waiting, red faced and teary eyed, trying to hold it together so Mary wouldn’t worry about the boys (she’s incredibly attached) and when I walked to her, we moved into the bedroom and she cried. She cried and worried and cried some more. I changed clothes, helped her put her Uggs on (officially Ugg season In NY and she is so excited) waited for Pop (Callie’s dad) to show up and ran out the door as soon as he did. We were sent to Montefiore at Albert Einstein (because our Dr says its a level 4 NICU in case we had to deliver TODAY they’d be getting the best care possible) and had every test you can imagine. First, worst hospital EVER! No seriously, I’m writing this from the “lounge” (hardest, most uncomfortable chairs ever!) after having been in L&D since about 10am, and now at 7pm (on the dot) we are still sitting here waiting for results of blood work from 2pm. No they haven’t forgotten about us (I asked, 4 times!) and no, they still don’t have the results. Second, bedside manor is comparable to a lobotomy! Long story short (too late, I know) everything with the boys is fine. Heart beats are normal, cervix is closed (and 3.2cm LONG), but the contractions are still coming on. The baby bump still hardens every 10-15 minutes or so. Babies and Mommy are still safe, still cozy, still sane (I hope) and still waiting.

This whole time, I didn’t know what to do. I reached out to a fellow blogger and vented. I shared my fears and she reassured me. I told her what was going on and she let me know it would all be fine. She asked what was happening and touched base. She asked how I was doing and if I needed anything. 30 minutes later, a nurse comes in and says there is something for us. A young man walks in, with a vase full of beautiful flowers and a card that read “We are thinking of you. Cook those babies a little longer so one day our twins will hang out. Love, Ashley and Devon“. This touched our hearts in a way that we can’t explain. There are no words. Perfect strangers, connected, by intangible emotions and a shared experience. Sharing each other’s pain and helping to lessen the load. What they have done for us today, simply by brightening a room and by sharing their love and support has reminded us that this community is real. That these people are real and that we truly do care about one another and that these rooms have power and love and light. But love…mostly love…


23 Weeks and…

Bed rest! It’s official…but we’ll get into that…

So we’re at 23 weeks, and my girl still looks amazing.  She’s growing 2 eggplants, and she’s sporting an adorable baby bump and a glow that still radiated and lights up any room she’s in.  I love that girl! This week, those bodies are:

  • Feeling when their mommies have random dance sessions while washing dishes or cooking dinner
  • Working the blood vessels in their lungs to prepare them for breathing
  • Having a growth spurt starting this week for the next 4 weeks or so
  • Forming their nipples (I found this extremely entertaining!)

This week Callie’s Linea Nigra started to show.  We’ve been watching for it pretty intensely, but nothing. Monday it wasn’t there but Tuesday morning, there it was! All dark and stuff…so cute! Also, Noah has had his first case of the hiccups and they have been non-stop since! That is so freaking adorable, I just leave my hand, and Mary’s hand, and Laney’s head all on mommy’s belly and laugh as that little guy hiccups away and makes mommy’s belly bounce.  How is it possible to be so in love with them and they aren’t even here yet!?!


With all of that exciting stuff happening with our boys growth and development, there have also been some other things that have made this a pretty trying week.  Callie started to feel tons of pressure really low and just assumed that it was Braxton Hicks pains.  This has been going on for about a week.  When the pains started coming on a little stronger on Monday and were accompanied by back pain on Wednesday and Thursday, I thought it would probably be in our best interested (and the boys health) to call/email our OB and see what he thought.  I was convinced that Callie was in early labor.  She called the Dr.’s office and asked the nurse if she could provide us with the email address for our Dr.  She wasn’t to keen on that and asked if there was anything that she could help with.  When Callie explained that she just wanted to ask him about the pains, she put her on hold, came back 2 minutes later, and said that Dr. O wanted us to make our way over to Labor and Delivery at the hospital where we will be delivering.  We did of course, but first, Callie had to call her District Manager to let her know what was going on, wait for her assistant to come back from her mandated hour lunch break, find care for Laney (who can’t stay at her center if she isn’t there otherwise we have to pay full rate and $450 for the week is not ok when we get a 90% discount) and figure out who was going to get Mary after her bi-weekly visit with mom.  Luckily, Callie’s mom was home from work that day and was able to stay with them until we got back.  I had just arrived in Queens, NY to be there to support Marco at his sister’s wake (it’s all very sad).  I was able to stay for about 45 minutes ( I felt like such a horrible friend), and then made the 30+ minute drive back to our home, where I picked Callie up , and we made our way to Greenwich Hospital.

We were greeted there by one of the nicest nurses I have ever met in my life! The room was immaculate, the unit was quiet (were there really any babies on the unit!?!?!) and the care was like none we have ever experienced.  People weren’t lying when they said it’s more like a hotel! As soon as we got into our room, they checked for their heartbeats.  Noah was at 142/bpm and Levi was 136/bpm.  They seemed to be fine.  They put Callie on a monitor, and they did notice that she had several rather big contractions, and a whole slew of little ones.  They gave her a little button to press every time she felt one, and most of them she had no clue were happening.  They figured she might be dehydrated because that can bring on contractions (but we knew she wasn’t) so they gave her an IV of fluids, which didn’t do much, so they gave her another one, and although the contractions were slowing down, didn’t really show much more improvement.  After 2 bags of fluids and countless visits to the restroom, they decided they would give her a shot of Turbutaline (which we realized the next morning was only a temporary fix).  After another hour or so of monitoring and the best hospital food I have ever had (Salmon, green beans, baked potato, Hagen Daas ice cream, clam chowder, humus and pretzel, an orange and apple juice—I KNOW RIGHT!?!?!) we were sent home, and told that if she starts contracting again to come on back.  The doctor checked that her cervix was closed, and called our Dr’s office to make sure that they were able to give us an appointment in the morning for a transvaginal ultrasound.



We go home after about 5 and a half hours of monitoring.  We put the girls to bed and pray that everything resolves itself.  When we woke the next day, we got Mary ready for school, got Laney dressed for a visit with her mom, and went to the Dr. to see what was going on.  In the 30 minutes that it took us to get to the office, Callie had 3 contractions.  They took us in right away and we got to see our boys!







They took a look at her cervix and noticed that it was looking kinda short.  Normally at this stage of pregnancy you should be seeing any number over 3cm for the cervix but Callie is measuring in at 1.97, which of course, could potentially be bad.  Really bad!  So, the doctor recommended bed rest. Basically, Callie can go to bed, bathroom, and couch…And she’s struggling.  She is a serious A Type personality, that doesn’t really know how to delegate work, and doesn’t like being home.  I know that when the house is empty and she can catch up on some much needed sleep, she might be able to appreciate this more, but for right now, she is a mess.  She cried through most of the visit (my poor honey) and waddled her way out to the car.  She still keeps her sense of humor though but asking the Dr., “So I’m not gonna see a leg just pop out right?!?!” Which of course is ridiculous, and equally hilarious! The visual cracks me up!  So at least for the next week, until we reevaluate on Friday, she will be off her feet, and tended to by me, our families, and our friends (my sister Natasha came over Friday to help with the girls and cooking and cleaning, and my friends who came over last night and had a baking EXTRAVAGANZA while watching “The Hunger Games” and “The Blind Side”! Thanks Tia Nina and Tia Fi!) Hopefully, this will be short lived otherwise it will be a long 3 months for the both of us…


WHAT WHAT?!?!?! Another nomination? This is crazy! img_0896

The Rules:
Thank the blogger who nominated you providing links back to their website.
Display the logo on your blog.
Answer the ten questions set for you.
Make up ten questions for your nominees.
Nominate ten people.

I was nominated by a blogger that I follow pretty much everyday! Stumbling Through Faith is a great blog.  I know lots of people don’t really get into the faith thing, or really anything “religious”.  Most people are totally against it actually.  I love the hope that this blog gives.  The realness of it’s words, and knowing that I’m not one of the only ones that believes in something bigger than me out there.  In the universe.  In the kindness of people to lift us up and propel us forward.  Thank you for that, and thank you for the nomination…

  1. Why is your favorite color, your favorite color?
    My favorite color is blue.  It always has been and it always will be!
  2. What experience in your life has changed you the most?
    Spending 2 months in a psychiatric unit and then almost 2 years outpatient doing a really intense DBT program.  Hard work, but the most important and life-altering time.
  3. What is the worst advice you were ever given?
    I’m kind of stumped by this one.  I’m not really a person that gives much advise actually.  I like people to try and figure things out on their own (for the self discovery part) but i will say, I have said a few times, “Oh just take one more drink!”.  Not very good advice most of the time.
  4. If you could change one thing from your past, what would you change and why?
    The only one thing that I regret my whole life is not going away to college and experiencing that part of young adulthood.  I stayed home because I fell in love.  I attended a community college, which was great and all, but I didn’t have the same experiences that some of my friends, siblings, and cousins did.  I don’t really regret anything in like, but that I do. If i could go back, I would change it in a heartbeat.
  5. What is your dream job?
    My dream job would be a traveling singer.  No one famous our anything big, but just playing small bars around the country and having a small but dedicated fan base.  That would be awesome! I never wanted to play shows of thousands, just small intimate “jam sessions” where I can make out Callie’s face in the crowd.  Where I can hear Marco singing along, and Nikki screaming out, “Go Swipply!” (My friends and I have been calling each other Swipply for over 10 years now, and it’s funny because when we are all together and someone says “Swipply” you would expect the 3 others to turn around, but we usually know who it’s being directed at…its so funny!) That would be the best!
  6. If you could live anywhere on the planet, where would you live and why?
    I would live in Holland.  I’ve been there and up until then I would have said Aruba, but Holland is the place to be.  I love that everyone rides their bikes everywhere and that people are so friendly.  I love the freedom and the respect that comes with it.  I love the culture, the food, and the art.  I loved everything about it! There are also the more obvious reason, but what really drew me to the country was the chill in the air, the floating laughter that seemed to serenade me every time we left our hotel, and the kindness of the people.
  7. What is one thing you wish you could get rid of?
    Callie’s tons of crap! Oh, and the birds! I HATE those damn birds!
  8. What is the best advice you were ever given?
    You have to live in the now.  Don’t go behind, don’t go ahead, just breathe and think “NOW”.  Think it often.  Best thing…helped me survive!
  9. How do you sleep at night?
    I don’t really, but when I do, it’s usually fetal position on my right, with an arm around Callie.  I start on my back, but it never stays that way.  And i snore! LOUD! Like, I don’t think you get how loud.  Like wake the neighbors loud.  My friends say my snoring is ridiculous.  It’s so bad, that I fight sleep on the train on my commute to work because I feel that everyone will stare at me and be completely annoyed and file complaints.
  10. Do you have any pets?
    Do I have pets! I have a freaking zoo! I have a kitty, 3 birds (that I hate and am DYING to get rid of, but they belong to Callie, so ugh!), and a Rabbit.  If you count my kids, we round the count out 7 wild animals in my house!

So, nominating bloggers is always hard for me.  I wish I could add everyone, because I love all the blogs that I read, and genuinely really care about the people who write them.  But here go my 10 nominations…

  1. Ladylove & Babydust
  2. Her eggs. My nest.
  3. Impossibly Royal
  4. Hooded Spirits
  5. Mama et Maman
  6. My Little Happy Family
  7. Little Rainbow Bug
  8. In the Baby Closet
  9. Bs and Babies
  10. Don’t Worry, I Won’t Be Like That

And now, the questions!

  1. What was your favorite food growing up?https://wordpress.com/post/
  2. What is the #1 most played song on your iPod?
  3. If you won the lottery, what is the first thing you would buy?
  4. What is your favorite book and why?
  5. What constitutes a perfect day in your book?
  6. Name 3 things that you and your significant other have totally in common, and three that you don’t.
  7. Is there something that you have dreamed of always doing and haven’t? Why not?
  8. What do you value most in a friendship?
  9. Share one embarrassing moment.
  10. When was the last time you cried and why?

I’m hoping these questions will help me get to know you fellow bloggers and new found friends a little better!

Drama for a Foster Mama

Being a foster parent has its ups and downs.  It teaches you so many things, but also challenges you in ways that you didn’t expect or anticipate.  Take everything you learned growing up from your parents and basically, throw it out the window, because this is new.  It’s a whole new process and a new learning experience.  Lately, I have been struggling with my role as a foster mama.

I have been having a really difficult time relating and being patient with our 6 year old Mary.  I’m not sure if it’s my lack of sleep, my swing shifts at work, a new baby at home, not spending enough time as a family, Mary attention seeking (she’s been an only child her whole life and a new baby is really throwing her for a loop), Mary seeing her biological mom once a week and twice bi-weekly, or a combination of all those things.  These past 2 weeks she has been insufferable, and I have been less than my usual gentle and tolerant self.   I have to remind myself that it’s a lot of change very quickly for her and to step away and count to 10 before I lose it!

She’s very cheeky and sassy, and usually I find it to be pretty funny (I don’t laugh in her face though, I swear it.)  Lately, it has been less than funny.  It’s been downright rude and disrespectful.  She has made it her business to get the last word in even when we tell her that the conversation is over. “Mary, that’s enough thank you” “I know, but I was just saying that blah blah blah”.  “We understand honey but thank you, that’s enough” “But I was just saying that…” ” MARY! ENOUGH!” ::mumbles::”I was just saying, god!”  She blatantly disregards us and pretends not to hear us, but we know she does because she makes a slight flinch when you call her, but catches herself and turns back to what she was doing.  It’s beyond annoying because we KNOW she hears us! Lately, she has gotten into the habit of sucking her teeth if we ask her to do something and she is busy with her crafts or playing wit her dolls.  This is what we have been dealing with since they updated her visiting schedule with mom.  It’s like dealing with a teenager and she’s not even half way there yet!

The visits are a whole other problem on their own.  We consider ourselves to be pretty strict and have a strong grasp on the proper discipline of a 6 year old.  It basically comes down to losing her privileges like, no playground after school, not helping with cooking dinner, no feeding the baby, no electronics time (about 30 minutes of her choice of TV, iPad, or computer), or a half hour earlier to bed where she can read or lay quietly in her bed.  When she wants a new toy, she first has to raise the money herself by doing her chores (this consists of making her bed every morning which she does a great job with, cleaning her station after dinner, and making sure to scrape her dish and put it in the dishwasher). Then she has to donate one of the toys that she no longer wants to make room for the new one.  We also have a strict “candy is for special occasions” rule.  We had a few issues with her stealing and hiding her candy and now she does a lot better about asking for it, so we’ve eased up a little bit to reward the positive behavior.  It makes it incredibly difficult to implement these rules for good behavior when every Tuesday after parenting sessions with her momher mom sends her home with a black deli grocery bag FILLED to the top with junk food (which we promptly confiscate when she gets off of the bus and yes, exactly! Parenting sessions!). Sometimes it’s a buttload full of toys.  Or bags and bags full of clothes and new sneakers, that I have to bring a shopping cart down to be able to carry it all into the apartment. Or my new favorite, a brand new Little Mermaid school backpack over a month into the school year, when the one that we bought her cost us quite a bit of money and she chose herself because it was “OMG! SOOOOO cool!”  I understand that mom is trying to assert herself as the parents, but there are other ways to do it, like slicing an apple with peanut butter instead of Doritos, or split some carrots and some ranch dressing (Mary’s favorite snack!).  Maybe instead of telling her you’re going to buy her a ferret, a cat, a dog, and sugar glider for when you get to go home and be together (God knows when!), get books to read together about those animals.  Weigh out the pro’s and con’s of owning each.  Ask her how her school day was or if she made any new friends.  Ask her about her new teacher.  That’s what we do! Make her earn her toys.  “If you read 10 books from now until next Tuesday, and Callie and Sammie write me a note, then we can talk about getting you a little something.” That would be most effective.

Maybe I’m just being salty because I’m taking it personal.  When Mary goes to visits she comes home in different clothes or a different hairstyle or different shoes.  Are the things we bought her not good enough!?  Are WE not good enough!?  The case worker simply stated, “Different strokes for different folks” and I totally get that, but does it have to be every week?  I’ve actually thought once or twice in the past week, “Are they making progress with this aunt in Connecticut or what?!?!”

Ultimately, I know I don’t mean it and that I’m just frustrated.  I know birth moms that at some point have said, “Where is the nearest church so I can drop this damn baby off on the doorstep because I CAN’T!”  If my Mary left, I would honestly and tragically be devastated.  My heart (whether due to the lack of sleep, sensitive painful breasts, and all the emotions for the impending birth of our twins has made me a sappy mess!) can’t handle it.  I would cry and cry and cry for quite a while, but I’m human.  I’m allowed to be pissed at a kid who doesn’t listen, or is fresh, or is rocking my last nerve! My parents keep saying, “Remembah gwen jew wus a 6?” “No dad, I don’t” “Well, we do, and we gwanna forgot becoz jew was a pain in de ass!” “Thanks a lot dad!” Wise words from my dad again. (If you need a translation let me know!)  I’ve come to the realization that this too shall pass. It just seems to be crawling this week…