Sleep Over at Wita and Wito’s

We caved!  We didn’t think we could do it, but we did!  And it was AMAZING!!!  My mom text me, and told me that she was available Friday night for a sleepover with the kids, so that Callie and I could enjoy a night out on the town.  At first, we thought it wouldn’t be right to torture my parents with a 7 year old who has been asking an incessant amount of questions and talking like words are going out of style, and 2 newborn infants that are still, for the most part, eating, crying, pooping, and waking up every 3-4 hours or so.  They might get lucky to get a 5-6 hour stretch, but those are contingent on what we like to call “Mommy Tricks”.  You know, those little things you pick up along the way, like putting a pacifier back in to a crying baby’s mouth at 2am, and rocking the pack and play for a few minutes so that they sleep for an extra 45 minutes.  Or when you pull them into bed and let them sleep on your chest while you’re inclined, just so you can get another hour or so.  Grandparents don’t know those tricks.  But hesitantly, and reluctantly, we packed up all “The Littles” things, and went over to Wita and Wito’s for a family slumber party.  Callie and I were originally going to go home after our night out, but decided to go to a bar near my parents, cab it, and stay at their house afterword.  We set the kids up, took out their pj’s, explained formula since Noah is getting 4oz now but Levi is still on 3, explained Mary’s nightly routine, kissed all the kids, thanked my parents, and head out the door (but not before my dad handed me a few rolled up bills for our “first drink”, which ended up being enough money to open a tab and take a $20 cab home!).

There is a local gay bar that we became regulars at a few years back, and established ourselves as the token lesbians.  Karaoke every Friday night, and the same people came out every week.  We never thought we would be able to go back, or if people would remember us, but when my sister Raquel dropped us off, a few of our old friends were standing outside, and couldn’t believe that we had made it out.  Our bartender friend RAN outside to greet us, gave us big hugs, and only a $20 tab for the whole night!  We enjoyed ourselves, singing some songs, throwing back a few beers, taking body shots, and dancing the night away.  It was obvious that we don’t get out much.  We called a cab, and were home before 2am for a good snuggle and a bad ass make out session.  That night, we completely bypassed the sex, so that we could get 8+ hours of sleep, while my parents tended to the kids.  It was extraordinary!  We still talked about our kids all night, and everyone was telling us how they love seeing their pictures on FB and IG, but Saturday morning we felt refreshed to take on the world (and 3 kids birthday parties).  All in all, it was great to spend a night with my lady, sans children, and remember what it was like when we first hung out.  What it was like to hold her hand, stand behind her with my hands around her waist, two stepping on the dance floor, see her face light up when I sing “Don’t Know Why” by Norah Jones, or putting whip cream on her belly and a blowjob shot in between her boobs, and knock it back with no hands! Those were the days!

DATE NIGHT WITH MY LADY (BEFORE BJ SHOTS)

DATE NIGHT WITH MY LADY (BEFORE BJ SHOTS)

SLEEP OVER AT WITA AND WITO'S

SLEEP OVER AT WITA AND WITO’S

And for no other reason, I will flood this post with pictures of my best boys…

ANYONE INTERESTED IN TAKING "THE LOVE BOAT" WITH MY LITTLE CAPTAIN?

ANYONE INTERESTED IN TAKING “THE LOVE BOAT” WITH MY LITTLE CAPTAIN?

LEVI FINALLY NOTICED THE KITTY

LEVI FINALLY NOTICED THE KITTY

NOAH TELLING MOMMY "NO MORE PICTURES LADY!"

NOAH TELLING MOMMY “NO MORE PICTURES LADY!”

LEVI BEING A LITTLE HAM

LEVI BEING A LITTLE HAM

HOW IS IT POSSIBLE TO CONTAIN ALL THIS CUTENESS IN ONE PICTURE?!?!

HOW IS IT POSSIBLE TO CONTAIN ALL THIS CUTENESS IN ONE PICTURE?!?!

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Versatile Blogger Award

20150307-versatile-blogger-awardAnother nomination?!?! Versatile Blogger Award??? SWEET!!!!  Thanks go out to one of my blog besties Mama et Maman for the nod.  We haven’t known each other very long (she was one of the first blogs I started reading when I joined this awesome community just 10 short months ago), or even met in real life (yet), but in that time I feel that we have gotten to know each other, not only here through our stories and the sharing of our lives, but also on other social media like FB and IG.  We’ve taken glimpses into each others lives, and enveloped one another in support, kind words, encouragement, and love.  I think the world of you lady, and I’m happy and blessed to call you my friend…

These are the rules when you are nominated:
1. Post the award on your blog (check!)
2. Thank the person who nominated you (check!)
3. Share seven facts about yourself (below)
4. Nominate 15 blogs (might be tough!)
5. List the nominees and let them know

So seven facts about me?!  Let’s see what I can come up with!

1) I have 3 best friends.  Since the day we met, we have pretty much been inseparable.  We are WAY too involved in each others lives, we are ENTIRELY too honest with each other, and we make each other nuts, but honestly, I wouldn’t have it any other way.  We met at an Open Mic I used to host on the Lower East Side when I was dating a girl name Remix (stage name), and she was super obsessed with her ex girlfriend, Donna.  I was like, “I gotta see what this chick is about”, and we met, instantly became best friends, and was introduced to her other 3 closest friends, Marco, Tee, and Nikki. That summer, Marco’s dad went to Texas to visit his sister, and the bunch of us spent a whole month shacked up in Marco’s 1 bedroom apartment watching the Olympics.  Best summer of my life with the best friends anyone could ever ask for. 12 years later, they are the longest relationship I’ve ever had.  Don’t know where I’d be without them. (SB: Donna is no longer in the picture, Good riddance!)

boatlife

2) I am ambidextrous.  I write and eat with my right hand, but pretty much everything else is done lefty (even though I learned to write with my left hand in the 3rd grade because my teacher wanted us all to work the opposite sides of our brains, so she made us write with our less dominant hand for 20 minutes each day!)  When I bat, it’s lefty. When I kick, it’s lefty.  I ride my snowboard goofy.  And if you randomly threw an object at me, I would most likely catch it with my left hand.  My youngest brother is also ambidextrous (bonus fact!)IMG_0800

3) I have an affinity for Extra Fine Point Sharpies (see picture above).  It’s all I write with.  My boss hates it but it’s become an ongoing joke at staff meetings.  “Make sure we have plenty of pens for everyone, and Fine Point Sharpies for Sammie.”  They are littered all over my house and my car, and my mom even keeps one in the house, just in case we are playing a game and it involves writing or keeping score (which is usually my responsibility).  It started in 10th grade when I went to writing in all caps because it’s faster.  And I only like black ones (not blue) but I do keep two red ones in case I want to underline spelling or grammatical errors in books or newspapers, or circle the “Free For Kids” section in our local parenting magazine.

4)  I love to look up how to fix things on You.Tube when something in our house breaks.  It’s one of my favorite things to do.  When I was little, I would take apart the VCR and switch the bands if they broke, or to dig out a Matchbox car my brothers stuffed in there or one of my sisters Polly Pockets.  As an adult, this never changed.  When my XBox got the “Red Ring Of Death”, I found the fix on “The Tube”, opened it up, connected a little cable that had come undone, did my best to close it up and tape it back together, and ta-da!  Saved myself 400+ dollars! I figure, If I’m going to throw it out, might as well try and save it.  The same with my PS controllers, an old cellphone, and pretty much anything that stops working at our house.FullSizeRender5) I constantly chew gum.  And it has to be Trident Tropical Twist (the orange pack with the Pineapple on it).  My mom gave me a complex when I was younger, always telling me that my breath wasn’t too fresh.  I buy it in packs of 3 at the grocery store, and I have Trident wrappers all over the house.  It makes Callie nuts, “If I see one more DAMNED wrapper SAMMIE!!!”.  Mary says I chew too much gum and that my teeth are gonna fall out, because that’s what we tell her about chewing gum. When I run out of gum, it’s pretty terrible, so I have a few random pieces stashed all over the place.  2 pieces at my work desk, on my night table, a few pieces in different jackets and different pairs of pants, in the car.  I’m a Trident Tropical Twist junkie, and I am not proud…not proud at all…

6) I’ve had the same recurring dream as long as I can remember.  I wake up (in my dream), throw on some jeans, a t-shirt and boots, grab a burnt orange canvas rucksack, and start trekking!  I walk out of the city waving and smiling at people as I go, into the woods looking for animals and stopping to smell the flowers, out into the desert, thirsty dirty and tired. As I walk, my boots start deteriorating, the contents of my bag get lost one by one, and the sweat from my brow stings my eyes.  I reach my final destination, and my eyes light up, my mouth goes wide in surprise, but I never see what I am looking at.  I only feel that it is amazing and well worth the long walk.  It’s really strange, but somehow, knowing it’s the same dream over and over again (since I was about 6) makes it one of the most comforting recurring dreams I have (there are 3 all together).

7) I am an avid reader.  I don’t read at home really, you know, because well, time.  But I read on the train, at my desk, during my lunch break, when I should be working, and occasionally (ok, pretty often) while I’m walking.  With this new position I’m in, I do work Monday & Tuesday, and the rest of the week is spent reading (with the occasional sending of email or faxing of some random paper).  In the past month since I have been back to work I have read 5 books.  I just started a new one yesterday (We Were Liars, which is really good) and have about 40 pages left.  I like reading young adult books (sue me! They’re interesting!), science fiction, murder mysteries, historical non-fiction, and the occasional self-help book.  One day, I’ll write a book, and free copies will go to all my blog buddies first!

I pass the torch on to these following bloggers:
Shawns and Cade
Mad About Moreau
The Other Mom of Four
The Doss Family Journal
Impossibly Royal
My Curious 30’s
BS and Babies

Throwback Thursday

I started this and then I slacked 2 weeks in a row, for two very good reasons! 1) I had a terrible and awful flu that left me caring for my babies like this…

LEVI IS NOT IMPRESSED!

LEVI IS NOT IMPRESSED!

And 2) Time!  But today, I’m back, and I’m excited to talk about the beautiful 27 years that my parents have spent as a married couple.  About the freaking awesome 5 kids that they raised, and their hardships, sacrifices, and triumphs as they did the best they could to help mold who we are.

My parents met 30 years ago when I was about a year and a half old.  When my mother told my biological father she was pregnant, he up and left and has pretty much been absent from my life for the first 25 years.  I finally met him a few years ago, but the relationship continues to be the same – silent, absent, non-existent.  My mom had my sister Raquel from another man.  That lasted all of a year before it went sour and she again was left alone to raise two young kids.  Then, this Colombian mountain man, who was 18 years old, and had just emigrated to the USA, met my mom and swept her off of her 20 year old feet.  Not only did he love her so hopelessly and fervidly, but he loved me and my sister just as much.  After a few years of being a family, he decided to pop the question, but not before my mom told him she was expecting!  My sister was born, they got married, and then my younger brother was born shortly after that.

MARCH 26, 1988

MARCH 26, 1988

My step-brother (when my dad first moved to the US, he found out that his ex-girlfriend was pregnant) was brought over from Colombia to live with us when he was about 8, after years of my dad trying to get his citizenship and a visa for my brother.  Finally, we were a full and complete family!

We didn’t have much money, and there were 7 of us in a 3 bedroom apartment, but we were rich in so many other ways.  My parents had us involved in all types of sports, music, karate, and arts programs.  They attended all of our shows, and all of our games.  They gave us so much love and support and time.  It’s rare that one of our parents wasn’t able to attend one of our events.  For many years, my dad worked 2-3 jobs at a time to save up enough to get us out of our apartment and into a real house!  That day sticks out so vividly in my mind.  We piled into our 1994 Dodge Caravan (the same car I learned to drive in about 5 years later), went to the park to play a family game of soccer (just with us and some of our cousins who all lived close by, we had more than enough people to play), and afterwards piled back into the van.  My dad drove us down an unfamiliar street.  It was a dead-end, with lots of trees and tons of cute little houses.  He pulled into the driveway and said, ‘This is it!”  All 5 of us were sitting their, blank expressions, not really sure what he was talking about.  “Well, get the hell outta the car and check this place out!”  It was then, that I noticed the “SOLD” sign on the lawn and asked, “Is this our house!?!?!”  My parents looked at each other, and smiled.  My dad, as if this wasn’t the most exciting thing ever, simply said (in a childlike annoying tone) “DUHHH!” (it sounded more like daaaaah! with his spanish accent), and we flipped out! All of us rolling down the small hill at the tip of our front yard, running circles around the back yard, going up and down the stairs in the house claiming rooms, screaming, high-fiving,  and picturing where our belongings would go in this house.

OUR HOME

OUR HOME

That house has seen a lot of joy (Christmases, Birthdays, anniversaries, movie nights, family dinners).  It’s sad that my parents are selling it.  They just can’t take care of it any more.  The house has seen a lot of hardship too. My dad was an electrician and was electrocuted on the job.  He fell dozens of feet from a scaffold (almost 40ft to be exact) and injured his back pretty severely.  4 4″ screws severe.  He has limited mobility and was forced into early retirement. My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer about 3 weeks after my dad had his accident (thankfully, that was taken care of pretty quickly). My dad won a settlement and now, they spend most of their time traveling since my mom doesn’t have to work any more either (No seriously!  Greece, Mexico, Colombia, Costa Rica, France, England, Germany, Italy, Bahamas, St Thomas, Alaska, all since September!).

SEPTEMBER IN VENICE

SEPTEMBER IN VENICE

It’s awesome to see them enjoying their lives, especially after raising 5 kids so young.  My parents are the epitome of “40 is the new 30”.  My mom will be turning 50 this June, and you would never know it (especially if you catch her at 6am after her 5 mile run or after 7pm and 2 hours at Hot Yoga).  They spend Sundays at “Gay Brunch” with my brother and his partner.  They go to Happy Hour EVERYDAY!  They go to concerts monthly, travel the world, and are the best grandparents that any kids can ask for.  They pile us into a huge van in the summers and take us on a family vacation like we are still kids, and Sundays are reserved for dinner at “The Parentals”.

MOTHER'S DAY 2014

MOTHER’S DAY 2014

FAMILY PIC 1990 (JUST BEFORE MY BROTHER CAME FROM COLOMBIA)

FAMILY PIC 1990 (JUST BEFORE MY BROTHER CAME FROM COLOMBIA)

Today, my parents celebrate 27 years of love, of raising a family, of hard times, good times, sad times, joyful times. They celebrate 27 years of providing a wonderful example of what a true partnership is. They celebrate 27 years of imperfection, trial and error, trying as hard as they can.  27 years of Love…yeah, mostly love…Happy Anniversary Mami y Papi…Los quiero mucho…

parents

Time

When I was single, I had so much time to do absolutely nothing, that most of it was spent sleeping during the day, and partying it up at night.  I was the host of a popular lesbian open mic night, I worked for Ci.ty Year, an Ameri.Corps program for $250/week no matter how many hours I worked, I spent hours at Central Park and meandering around NYC.  I met tons of people, ate at really random places, and enjoyed getting on a subway from Midtown down to my 5 bedroom brownstone in Sunset Park, Brooklyn with my 7 roommates, roof access with an AMAZING view of Manhattan, and a few bottles of Old English 40oz Malt Liquor.  I thought that life really couldn’t get much better than that.  I had amazing friends, an unlimited Metrocard, and a big city to get lost in.  Life was good!

When I decided to get into a serious relationship with Callie, time stood still, or at least I wanted it to.  I was in an outpatient treatment program from my depression and anxiety most of the day, but after 3pm, I couldn’t wait for Callie to get out of work, and she would scoop me up in her black Santa Fe, and we would make our way to pretty much anywhere.  We would go back to her parents boat and fish off of the dock.  We would BBQ steak in my parents backyard, and watch my niece run around.  We would go to the park and hold hands and sit on the bench watching the world around us.  We would bowl, and go to amusement parks, and travel together.  Our time during the beginning of our relationship was sacred.  Hallowed even…spending so much time together really cemented the love and dedication that we feel and have for each other.  Our time was spend building a bond that would take us onto the next few chapters of our life together.  Time with Callie has always been and will always be one of my favorite things…she’s my best girl, my best friend, the love of my life! With Callie, life is amazing.

Knowing that we were ready to take the step towards having children, we spoke about how little time we would potentially have together.  That now, our time would be dedicated to raising a family.  We knew that somehow we would still have to take some time for ourselves, no matter how difficult.  Time, for me, is different now.  With a 7 year old and 2 newborns, it’s no longer spent frivolously and senselessly.  No more lazy Saturdays in bed.  No more binge watching Netflix until 3am every Friday night.  No more spontaneous trips to PA, or weekend beach rentals with co-workers. Every second of the day is calculated and has purpose.  3am is feeding time.  8am Saturday morning is Mary’s breakfast time. 7pm is “get the kids ready for bed” time.  9pm is “cuddle with Callie” time.  10pm is “get to bed because you have to do it all over again tomorrow” time.  If i get a shower in then that’s pretty awesome! Netflix might just get cancelled because who has time for that!?  Time is a different beast now, and I find that when maybe 5 years ago, I had so much time that I didn’t know what to do with it (I literally made stuff up to do all the time, like joining an LGBT softball league just so I could go to the bar after games on weekends and kill some time!!!)  What I wouldn’t do for just two minutes of peace while using the restroom without having to hurry to tend to a crying baby or two, or answer homework questions as my 7 year old yells at me that she “just doesn’t get it” behind a closed (partially closed) door.  Even the cat has been needing time for extra cuddles, probably feeling neglected from all the time that has been consumed by everything else.  At this point in my life, I’m realizing that time needs to be spent on my family, work, my relationship with my wife, and less on nights out, movies and TV series, and complaining about not having anything to do.  It’s a difficult transition, believe me!  As overwhelming as this stage of my life can feel (2 newborns, possible adoption, financial struggles, new job, health issues, wife losing her job, and all this terribly cold weather), I’m realizing that my time is now.  That my time in this life, no matter how limited or how abundant, is spent in the right way.  And the right way for me is with my wife and kids in this life that we have created together, because honestly, what would my time be like without them?  Empty and Lonely, that’s what it would be…and that’s something I definitely don’t have time for…

Throwback Thursday

In the past few months, I have seen some of my WP buddies create some blog posts like “Microblog Monday” or “This Moment” on Friday’s where one picture of your favorite moment gets broadcast on the blogosphere.  I’ve decided, to keep myself motivated to write a little more often, and also to give my friends (that would be you guys!) a little more of an idea of the type of person I am, I would create a new installment (thanks to Instagram) called “Throwback Thursday”, where I will take the time machine of my mind, back to some earlier date and time, and share with you a little bit more about what makes me me!  This week…Halloween!

Ever since I was really young, Halloween has been my favorite holiday.  Christmas, who cares! NYE, I’m going to bed!  But glorious Halloween has always been the day of the year that I look forward to the most (I’ve got a running countdown!).

ONLY 233 DAYS LEFT!

ONLY 233 DAYS LEFT!

I’ve always been a theater geek, seeing many Broadway shows, and performing in all of my school musicals (with the exception of Senior year of HS because I was failing out and my parents wouldn’t let me until I got my grades up, which never really happened!).  I LOVE being in character!  I love pretending to be someone that I’m not, and when I have a costume on, it makes for a really good time.  I NEVER break character, and by never I mean, that from the second the costume comes on until it comes off, I AM that person.  I can do accents like you wouldn’t believe.  I can mimic people and imitate celebrities.  And I can do a hella amazing impression of my mom, which she simultaneously hates and cracks up at every time!  I love to act and make people laugh, and this fantastic holiday allows me to do that.  Below are a few pictures (and brief descriptions of my behavior) of the past handful of Halloweens.

I HOBBLED WITH MY CANE EVERYWHERE, INCLUDING THE BANK WHEN I WENT TO GET MONEY AND SPOKE VERY SLOWLY CALLING EVERYONE "SONNY" AND "DEARY"

OLD FOLKS- I HOBBLED WITH MY CANE EVERYWHERE, INCLUDING THE BANK WHEN I WENT TO GET MONEY AND SPOKE VERY SLOWLY CALLING EVERYONE “SONNY” AND “DEARY”

MY FACE LOOKED LIKE THIS THE WHOLE ENTIRE NIGHT, SO MUCH SO, THAT MY FACE WAS SORE FOR THE NEXT 3 DAYS

POPEYE AND OLIVE OIL – MY FACE LOOKED LIKE THIS THE WHOLE ENTIRE NIGHT, SO MUCH SO, THAT IT WAS SORE FOR THE NEXT 3 DAYS

I GROANED AND WALKED LIKE A ZOMBIE FOR 5 HOURS AT THE CLUB AND PRETENDED NOT TO UNDERSTAND ANYONE THE WHOLE NIGHT (BEING SUPER DRUNK PROBABLY MADE IT MORE BELIEVABLE!)

CORPSE BRIDES – I GROANED AND WALKED LIKE A ZOMBIE FOR 5 HOURS AT THE CLUB AND PRETENDED NOT TO UNDERSTAND ANYONE THE WHOLE NIGHT (BEING SUPER DRUNK PROBABLY MADE IT MORE BELIEVABLE!)

LAST YEAR, I STOPPED AND POSED LIKE THIS CONSTANTLY, AND WHEN PEOPLE WOULD STOP AND TALK TO ME, i WOULD ONLY ADDRESS THEM ONCE I GOT IN MY STANCE

BODY BUILDER – LAST YEAR, I STOPPED AND POSED LIKE THIS CONSTANTLY, AND WHEN PEOPLE WOULD STOP AND TALK TO ME, I WOULD ONLY ADDRESS THEM ONCE I TOOK THE TIME TO GET IN MY STANCE.  THE CLUB PEOPLE ATE IT UP!

I must admit, although I love Halloween, I have yet to watch a single scary movie in it’s entirety (never watched a single Friday the 13th, Nightmare on Elm Street, or Chucky film), and HATE having to go to scary attractions, even though I am usually the one that makes the plans and encourages people to go.  Anything for a good laugh!scared

2 Months Old and a Bunch of Other Stuff

I’ve been slacking a little in the “Blog Post” department, but I can say that twins, a 7 year old, work, and my wife keep me very busy.  I find myself starting posts (there are probably 3 in queue which I will be combining in this post) and never finishing them, because even when I do get a few minutes, something else takes over!  Nonetheless, I missed weeks 6 & 7, so here they are!

MY LITTLE SAILORS

MY LITTLE SAILORS

GROWING OUT OF THEIR CLOTHES

GROWING OUT OF THEIR CLOTHES

I looked back at some of the other weekly pics, and Levi is NEVER looking at the camera.  He’s gonna be just like Mommy, and of course Noah is a total ham like Mama!  Life at home has totally improved!  It has been getting better on a daily basis.  The boys have started to stay up more during the day, and are sleeping better at night (Thank the LAWD for 5-6 hours at a time).  The past couple of days, thanks to daylight savings time and the warmer NY weather (YES 45-50 degrees!) we have been able to go out for walks when I get home from work around 6pm.  Callie is waiting for me with carriers and the boys in their jackets and Mary with her helmet and scooter.  It’s really awesome to be able to go outside, holding my wife’s hand, baby wearing, as Mary rides like a bat outta hell (or a kid cured of cabin fever, but it’s all the same isn’t it?!) around the neighborhood.  I love the idea of giving LGBT families a face and a presence in our community, and since so many people know us individually and not really as a couple, it’s nice to show them that these 2 “really nice young ladies” are together and raising a beautiful family.  I think I’ve done a 180 since my post 2 weeks or so ago, and am really starting to appreciate and enjoy my life and the awesome little memories that my family is creating.  So here’s to continued warming of the weather and the possibility of keeping our boat for one more summer (thanks to my mother and father in-love)!

GETTING OUTSIDE AND SOME FRESH AIR WITH THE FAMILY

GETTING OUTSIDE FOR SOME FRESH AIR WITH THE FAMILY

Today, our little guys turn 2 months old! Where is the time going!?!  It seems like just yesterday I was in my room, pacing the floors, yelling at Callie to hurry up in the shower so I could call the Dr.,  trying to figure out what to pack for the hospital!  I’ve decided to bypass the weekly updates (they really aren’t that interesting when they are this little) and go to monthly photos since that’s when you can really start to see some of the changes and developments they are making.  Either way, it’s so exciting to see!  This month (well, the last week or so really) the boys have started to be more alert and aware of their surroundings.  They are noticing things like the cat darting around, the pinwheel spinning pretty colors on the windowsill, and Elmo on “Plaza Sesamo” because I torture Callie into playing Spanish Sesame Street as background noise as well as Spanish nursery rhymes when I’m not home so the boys get familiar with the language (still speaking strictly in Spanish to them).  They love flashing lights and high pitched sounds.  They are holding their heads up longer during tummy time, and not spitting up as often.  They drink 3oz during the day, but 4oz right before bed time. They are more active during the day and staying up in longer intervals.  Callie and I have resumed our snugglefest at night, and were even able to get in a game of Scrabble on Monday night, which was really nice.  Who knows?!  We might even be able to get in a movie on Netflix! ::GASP:: Normalcy is slowly returning…slowly.  And my favorite thing so far—–>SMILING! Those boys have started smiling up a storm!  There is nothing like coming home from a long, tiring day at work, giving them a cuddle and in middle of talking to them, they flash you this huge gummy, drooly smile!  Melts my heart every time.

FACETIMING WITH MY BROTHER

LEVI FACETIMING WITH MY BROTHER

MOMMY SINGING IS FUNNY!

NOAH THINGS MOMMY’S SINGING IS FUNNY!

2 MONTHS TODAY!

2 MONTHS TODAY!

Lastly, on this Mendez Family update, my sister has asked me to be her “Best Lady” at her wedding!!  I KNOW RIGHT!!!  It’s a title that I’ve given myself, mainly because there is no wedding party at all, but you need people to give a toast.  And besides, “Maid/Matron of Honor” sounds a little too feminine for my liking, and I’m pretty sure the suit and bow tie will throw things off too.  Also, somehow, I am officiating their wedding, which to me has been the biggest deal of all.   My sister has so much faith in my “stage presence, diction, and humor” (lol) that she asked me yesterday, and of course, I said i would totally do it!  So this morning, my mission was to look at a ton of websites to see what the quickest and cheapest way to get ordained in NY is.  I think I have completed that goal.  Now, I have to figure out what the heck I’m gonna do for a Bridal Shower, Bachelorette Party, Ceremony and Best Lady speech.  Originally, the wedding was supposed to be May 2016, but their application for their condo fell through (something about a lawsuit on the management company, so no fault of my sister and her soon to be husband) so they moved it up to AUGUST 1ST!!!  So yesterday after work, I met my 2 sisters in NYC to go dress shopping.  It was a lot more fun than I had expected, and it I can’t tell you how excited I am to be such an integral part of her special day.  I got super emotional seeing her in her gorgeous dress ( She found THE ONE!) and can’t believe that my little sister is getting married to an amazing, wonderful, kind and loving man (who is amazing with children and can’t wait to have some!).  Just a few more months until her special day, and our bond as sisters grows stronger.  So I’ll be an ordained minister in a week, getting ready to officiate my sisters wedding! Who woulda thought!?!

PICKING DRESSES

PICKING DRESSES

Working On Me

Life has been tough, and that is an understatement, but it’s also been so rewarding and filled with love and laughter and smiles.  The past few weeks have been very difficult for me, and I had no problems reaching out to friends and family and to this community of lovely bloggers/friends for advice and for support.  One thing that I kept hearing repeatedly was that it would probably be in my best interest to start seeing a therapist again.  So, I made it my business to try and find one.  I have to say, “therapist dating” is annoying and frustrating.  I had several phone consultations but just couldn’t get a good feel for the type of person that I am looking for.  I like a therapist that is going to challenge me, and ask me questions about my choices and my behavior and how I’m feeling.  Someone who isn’t going to sit back and say, “I understand why you would feel that way”, but instead ask ,”  And why do you think you are feeling that way”.  No one I spoke to did that, not a one!  

So the journey to find a therapist continues.

I had taken off Thursday and Friday of last week from work just because basically I couldn’t.  I just couldn’t deal with the pressure of work and the commute and the exhaustion and I just need time.   Time to pull myself together, time to spend with my wife and kids, time to share with friends, and time to catch up on some sleep.  I text my boss at 5:45am on Thursday morning telling her that I wouldn’t be in because Callie had an appt (true) and that Levi had a hip ultrasound on Friday that I had already sent her an Outlook reminder about.  Thank goodness for FMLA!  I also added in the text that I wanted to have a conversation with her about some other “stuff” when I get back and that I would be sending her an invite for a meeting.  

So I took a 4 day weekend to try my hardest to get back to my old self.  I was feeling pretty good after 2 days full of cuddles, lots of kisses from my wife (who had been phenomenally supportive of my mental breakdown), Saturday birthday dinner for one of my best friend Nikki, and Sunday a baby shower for our good friends (another two mom couple) who we absolutely adore, and got to meet some other really fantastic couples there.  It really was a great weekend, and being able to take that time was much needed…until the dreadful reality that Monday was just a few hours away and it would be back to those feelings of sadness and stress and exhaustion and lots and lots of tears (did I mention that I have NEVER EVER in my life cried as much as I have the past two weeks!?!? NEVER!!!)

So off to work I went on Monday morning, after a terrible nights sleep, and a treacherous snow storm, and I walk to my cube, turn on my computer, and my boss’s head pops up behind my wall and says, “Sam, how you feeling? Wanna chat around 9:30?  Let’s talk.  Break out room 3.”  So now my heart starts racing, and I know that I am about to really trust her with some seriously personal information while still treading lightly on the fine line of “but she’s my boss and this could be used against me possibly” but I walked into that meeting with my held high, chest puffed, and unfortunately tears in my eyes.  The second I sat down, I broke.  The tears came flowing out and it was all over!  My boss handed me the box of tissues and heard me out.  I started by stating that I consider myself a good employee and valuable to any company or position that I am chosen to work for, but that in the past couple of weeks I have not been myself and I have not been diligent in my work for various reasons.  I have made careless errors and I have been distracted and feeling almost lost.  I wanted to make sure that she knew that I did not want to disappoint her and that I did not want to make a fool of myself or of her (we work in HR and things like this do not go without notice).  I wanted her to know that I was not checking out and trying my hardest to be present In every moment at work and that I was there, totally, just struggling.  Basically after a few minutes of unloading on my boss (and probably looking a damn fool!) she suggested that I go talk to Bruce over at EAP (employee assistance program).  He’s the therapist.  She told me she would call him right away and see if he could take me today. She reassured me that I was chosen for a reason, that I caught all of my own mistakes and corrected them promptly (and thankfully that none of them were a big deal) and that we were gonna get through this as a team.  I found out that after she gave birth to her son almost 3 months premature, she went from work (7am) to hospital (6pm) to home (3am) and up for work (5:30am) for 2 and a half very long months.  She knows the struggle and wants me to do whatever I need to not only be pesent At work but also for myself and my family. She gave me a hug, sorta congratulated me and thanked me for being honest with her and said she would call Bruce and touch base.  

I have to admit, I felt relieved.  Within 20 minutes she was calling my phone letting me know that Bruce would see me in 20 minutes! Wow! Talk about an awesome boss! So I grabbed my jacket and was off to see him.  His secretary greeted me at the door and before you knew it, I was pouring my heart out to a gentleman that was everything I could have looked for in a therapist. It’s unfortunate that he can only see me for a few session before I have to find a regular therapist ::le sigh:: but I’m lucky to have been able to talk to him.  In the course of one hour he was completely able to put my whole “new” life as a parent of 3 into perspective.  All these feeling so anxiety and depression? Not so much related to being a new parent even with all the stressors.  He said it sounds more like I’m getting anxious and depressed because of the possibility of being anxious and depressed due to my past history.  I’m scared to go back there and rightfully so.  What I’m really feeling is the “adjustment period”.  All new parents go through it but we all have different sensitivities.  He said I’m catastrophizing (Callie lost her job and now we’re gonna end up in a shelter! 😳)  and that I’m super emotional because that’s what exhaustion does.  I’m feeling guilty because I’m at work all day and feel like I’m not contributing to the raising of our children, but he made it clear, that I’m also taking care of my family by being the provider and he challenged my feelings of guilt by asking if Callie had ever mentioned not getting enough help.  She never has! In fact, te past couple of nights she has let me sleep through the 2am feeding so that I can function at work! He said we needed to have some dialogue about me having time to myself no matter how minimal to deconpress, which of course, again, I feel guilty about, but Callie always encourages.  “I don’t need help, but if I did, I have tons of it! I’ll just call one of our parents or our friends!”.  True indeed! So getting rid of those feelings of guilt are also an important thing to address.  He put so many things into perspective for me that I obviously couldn’t see through the sleep deprivation and piles of poopy diapers.  Things were immediately feeling better.  I was a feeling a little less “crazy” and a little more normal!  The past 3 days went from being a 3 to a 7, just like that! So we booked another appointment for next Monday, with some homework of course, and we’ll take it from there!

So I’m fortunate enough to have a wife who is sticking by me, helping me raise this family in love and hope and trust and light.  She’s held me every night for the past two weeks (and I’m usually the big spoon!) as I broke down and cried and confessed to her how I feel like such a horrible mother.  I know she too is feeling some relief right about now.  All in all, I’m blessed, every day, and I’m realizing that like ever big transition in life (graduating high school and going to college, moving in together, getting married, having children) there is an adjustment period, and one day at a time when, I’m adjusting the best I can…