14 Weeks

14 weeks (and +3 days at this point) and things seem be to be going very smoothly.  I’m starting to get little bursts of energy back, but I still spend a lot of my free time (whatever that means when you have a wife and 3 kids) sleeping.  We went out on the boat on Saturday and I slept for the majority of the day after only swimming for about an hour or so.  I dried off a little, went into the cabin, and took a 2.5 hour nap with Levi…then he woke up, Noah promptly went down, and I slept another hour and 15 minutes with him.  Sleep is just…sooooo good!

How I’m Feeling this Week:  Much much more like my normal self.  Having what my doctor calls “growing pains”, which is just a ton of weird cramping, and stretching.  My assumption is that Biscuit is just in there growing.  I’ve also been a bit less cranky and grump than I have been the past few months.  I’m pretty sure Callie appreciates that, as I’ve been kinda, sorta mean to her lately.  It’s been pretty bad.  But I’ve also done my fair share of apologizing, although, probably not as much as I should have.  Definitely not as much as I should have.  I’m also feeling like I need lots of affection lately, and I feel like I need to be able to sleep naked more, but when you have a 7 year old at home, that isn’t “your kid”, it’s hard to be able to do that.  And having to sleep with the door open so we can hear the boys next room over (thanks the LAWD they are finally in their own room and we can close up this damn pack-and-play that has been monopolizing the space in our already tiny room) makes it all the more difficult.  But this week, I’m feeling pretty alright.

How Big is Biscuit: About the size of stress ball (should actually go and buy one of these) or roughly the size of a lemon.  About 4 inches long, which still just seems so incredibly tiny to me.  We’re talking about the size of the palm of my hand! That’s wild! Baby is also weighing about 1.5oz.  Also, Biscuit is probably sporting some super soft lanugo, and wiggling up a storm, even though I can’t feel it yet.

Baby Bump News?:  I was told by several people this weekend that my belly is definitely starting to show.  I can tell you, my pants are starting to feel it.  I can no longer close a SINGLE pair of my pre-pregnancy pants with the exception of a pair of brown chino pants that I got a size too big.  Otherwise, I have been wearing all of work pants and all of my shorts with no top button and just a belt to hold them up on my waist.  I believe, I will have to go take a trip to the store and try and score some OK maternity pants that don’t hug too much in places that I’m not comfortable with them clinging.  Also, you could totally tell that the bump is appearing when I wear my Speedo swimsuit.  It’s crazy to actually see my body changing, and then to feel it when I lay in bed at night.  Something tells me that I’m gonna get pretty big during this pregnancy.

Sleep:  I’ve been having these ridiculously weird (and mostly scary) dreams.  About a week ago, I woke up and asked Callie if I had been in jail.  In a haze, she answered, “No..why would you ask that?!”  In my dream, I had been thrown into jail for fighting at a bar, i spent what felt like an eternity in there, but it was really only 3 days.  My friends Marco, Nikki, and T had come to visit me and they kept looking at me weird as if they new something but I didn’t.  My sister came to pick me up from jail, but I wouldn’t leave until I said good-bye to all the friends I had made, and the warden made me go through like some weird obstacle course to get out. Then I walked out into the parking lot and all my friend and my siblings were waiting there with their swimsuits and beach chairs.  We were about to get into the car, and my water broke, but I wasn’t visibly pregnant.  In my dream I woke up, and was in a room that I used to live in with black lights and neon wall coverings.  I asked Callie if I had been to jail, and she said, “Of course you did honey, remember?!”  So I started asking her what happened.  She said that I got into a fight and got locked up.  Then I told her that it was weird becasue I hadn;t felt the baby move, and she gave me a look of horror like she was waiting for me to figure it out and I finally did.  “You don’t remember much do you?  You must have blocked it out because of all of the trauma”.  I knew right away that there was no more baby.  And I started screaming at the top of my lungs, “NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, YOU’re LYING!  NO, NO, NO, NO, NO”…it was terrible!! And then I woke up, panting and sweating and asking her if I had been to jail.  It was so strange!  So I whimpered on and off the whole night, while Callie held me and kept telling me it was ok.

Then there was a zombie dream, where my whole entire family was in a house that we had found while it was empty, and we could see the river from out window, and there were people floating all over the place in the river, and the doors stopped locking, and the windows had no locks on them at all, and there were mattresses and cushions blocking out all the light and hiding us from the walkers outside.  Then  heard a baby cry and realized that it was Noah in the other room, and I wasn’t sure if he was getting eaten or if he just wanted his moms, so Callie ran out and I went behind her with Levi in on hand and a lamp in the other to hit a zombie in the head if I had to.  She grabbed Noah, and brought him back into the room, and then I realized that the walkers had heard him crying and were making their way up the stairs, and we had no freaking locks!  So I start freaking out and silently crying, holding onto my family, as the door starts to rattle!  I wake up, covered in sweat, holding into Callie for dear life!

Last night, I was being tortured as a sex slave, for none other than Rumpelstiltskin from Once Upon a Time…seriously, it was super weird!  And no one would believe me when I escaped, so he found me again, put electric nipple clamps on me, and would constantly taze me.  It was just horrible!  And every time i cried out in pain, it would be turned up a notch.  There was more, but I can’t really remember it, but I was super scared to go back to sleep because I didn’t want the dream to pick up where it left off, like it has so many of these past nights.  I wish these dreams would just chill out for a little bit!

Food Loves/Hates:  Give me all the orange juice in the world!  Please!!! I have gone through about 3 gallons of orange juice in a week.  I can’t get enough.  Also, please, i’m begging you, keep that damn salad away from me!

Symptoms:  Just weird dreams, some weird cramping, and debilitating gas.  I get what Callie’s family calls “Gas in your ass”, you know, when you feel like your taint is being sliced with a box cutter…that kinda gas.  I’m gonna have to get something for how terrible it’s been and to  help me expel some of this god awful air!

Next Scan:  My next scan is scheduled for October 8th, for the anatomy scan.  I also have an appointment on September 24th (possible ultrasound) to check my blood pressure and to do a non-fasting glucose test to see where my sugar is since it’s been pretty broderline for the past 2 years or so.  At my scan this past Thursday (the NT Scan), Biscuit (13w6d) was measuring 2 days ahead at 14w1d, and was just as cute as ever, waving at moms and at Wita (who shed some tears watching baby moving on the screen), but she was too busy being busy to let them get a great measurement.  After jiggling her around a little bit we got a good measurement.  Biscuit measure 1.6, which is good, but we haven’t gotten the results from the blood work yet, but I’m sure it’s all gonna be fine.  So far, everything looks good! And (she) sorta looks like she has Levi’s profile.  Cutie!Biscuit

Sex:  I’ll take it! It’s been pretty consistent these past few weeks…now that I have a little more energy, I hope it pics up in frequency.

Overall Feelings:  A bit overwhelmed with the idea of buying maternity clothes.  I’m excited to be possibly showing sooner than I expected, but also devastated that there isn’t anything cool and my style to wear.  It’s still 90 degrees here in NY, which is about 10-15 degrees above normal, and I’m not sure how much longer I can get away with wearing some of the stuff I’m wearing.  I’m one of those people who has been the same size for over 10 years (36×30 pants, and L shirt, XL sweater) so I go into the store, grab what I need, and get the hell out.  Shopping takes me all of 30 minutes for a whole season!  Knowing that I’ll have to go into a store, probably not find ANYTHING that I like, and have to settle, just has me dreading having to go!  But I’m excited about pre-natal yoga at the Destination Maternity, so I’ll take that!  Maybe I should shop after yoga, and go in with a clear mind and an open heart.

Something I Didn’t Expect:  Being excited about my body changing.  With all of my ideas about gender expression, and my image, and being overweight, I didn’t think that I would be so excited to see a bump growing under all this chub and over-sized clothes. When Callie and I lay in bed, she puts her hand on my belly and talks to Biscuit and I wonder if she thought I was that adorable and cute when I did it to her.  I didn’t expect to take daily “bumpie” and then scroll through my phone analyzing and scrutinizing the tiniest of changes.  Soon enough, I’ll post a bump pic, just not ready to put myself out there yet.  I at least need to get myself some maternity pants…

Also, these guys…

Noah Back

THESE GUYS LOVE A BACK CARRY!

THESE GUYS LOVE A BACK CARRY!

IMPROVISING AT WITA'S

IMPROVISING AT WITA’S

WHAT IS IT WITH BABIES AND BUBBLES?

WHAT IS IT WITH BABIES AND BUBBLES? THEY AREN’T IMPRESSED…

THESE GUYS!

THESE GUYS!

Advertisements

We’re Dealing…Sort of…

Trying to at least.  Life with a kid who has experienced a load of trauma in her short life, has to deal with the impending arrival of a biological half sibling and all the repercussions of feeling like “the unwanted one”,  a parent who is more absent than she and of course being 7, is not in the least bit easy. Actually, it’s pretty freaking hard, and this past month and a half has been damn near unbearable!

Mary has been exhibiting pretty normal behavior as far as the developmental milestones go for a 7  year old. Challenging authority, trying to prove her independence both socially and emotionally, developing better self-control, identifying emotions, and things like that.  She has also been exhibiting the traits of a child who is 7 that has ALSO experienced severe, early, and chronic trauma. Disregulation of affect, behavior, and/or cognition, as well as problems with trust, shame, self-esteem, and interpersonal relationships.  And even though I know that all of this is technically normal for “a kid like her” (I HATE when people say that, but here in this post it’s totally valid for making my point), I can’t help but be so damn frustrated and annoyed, and just at my wits end, and even thinking things that on a normal day I wouldn’t think.

Mary has been on and off of “punishment” or losing her privileges for the better part of a month and a half.  She’ll lose her freedom and choices for a few days at a time, and then gain them back, but no sooner has she had a day or two of her privileges back, she does something to totally and completely fuck it up again.  It’s been a continuous cycle for the past 6 weeks or so.  Just recently, she’s been lying so badly and consistently, that it was recommended (hesitantly) by her therapist to lie right back, and we did, and it was effective, and she hasn’t lied since, but as soon as she started to get her doggone privileges back, she failed to do the right thing again, and now, after having had a carnival, a fun party to attend, a field trip at camp (we weren’t sending her on trips for about 2 weeks), a day at the pool, and her toys back all in the course of 3 days, she decided that it would be really freaking cute to be rude and sassy to the basketball coach at her camp on Monday.

Callie’s dad went to pick her up at camp.  As he’s leaving the building, the counselor and the basketball coach chased him down to let him know what happened.  Apparently, when they were playing basketball, the coach asked Mary to give him the ball.  She adamantly refused, gave him the stink eye and said, “NO!” So, of course, he asked her again, and she repeated, “NO!”, at which point she finally gave up the ball by just dropping it to the ground and giving the coach a face that was just super fresh (you know the one with the dead stare and almost eye roll that makes you wanna smack them and the arms dangling at the side?  Yeah! That face!).  Then she stood there for the rest of the time, no effort, not moving, and when it was time to leave, the group filed out of the gym, and Mary was called back in by the coach, and she blatantly ignored him, and kept walking, knowing very well that she could hear him.  So the counselor marched her right back into the gym, and they both had a conversation letting her know that her behavior was unacceptable and that she would be in big trouble if she did it again.  Callie’s dad relayed all this information to Callie when he dropped her off at home after camp, and added, “Honestly, Honeypie, I don’t think she’s ever gonna learn!”.  Then Callie sent me a text, and I. WAS. FUMING!!!

I figured, I’d do my best to keep calm, walked through every possible scenario on my train ride home as to why in the world she would think it was okay to be so damn disrespectful (can you tell I’m still angry about this whole situation?!), and figured, since Callie had already suspended her choices YET AGAIN, that when I got home from work, we would sit at dinner and I would ask her calmly, what happened.  What had transpired during the day, or during basketball that made her act that way towards an adult?  What was going on with her emotionally that made her act so fresh?  So at dinner, we all set the table, washed up, and started to eat.  So I asked how her day went (we pretend that Callie hasn’t told me anything initially so Mary can make the choice to tell me the truth about her day, especially when she gets in trouble).

“It was okay.  But I got in trouble today at basketball.”

Why did you get in trouble?”

“Because I wasn’t listening”

Well, why weren’t you listening?”

“Because I didn’t want to play basketball”

Why didn’t you want to play?”

“Because...

But what was your reason for not wanting to play?

“Because!!”

“So you thought it was okay to be fresh and rude because you didn’t want to do something that someone asked you to do?!” (Now I’m getting a little more animated and a little more aggravated because we have had this conversation a dozen times about “The Mary Show” and her doing what she wants to do and not was is required or asked of her)

She gives me a blank stare and that damn smirk, so of course, now I lose it!  Like seriously lose it!  Hands down my most shameful parenting moment ever in life.

“YOU KNOW WHAT?!?! I’M SO TIRED OF THIS CRAP!!! THERE IS A LOT OF STUFF THAT I DON’T FEEL LIKE DOING AND I DO IT ANYWAY BECAUSE THAT’S WHAT YOU DO!!!  I DON’T FEEL LIKE GOING TO WORK, OR TAKING CARE OF KIDS, OR MAKING MONEY TO FEED ALL OF YOU GUYS, OR TAKE YOU TO THE PARK WHEN I’M TIRED AND I DON’T FEEL LIKE IT, OR BUY YOU NEW CLOTHES THAT YOU’RE GOING TO RUIN ANYWAY BECAUSE YOU AREN’T RESPONSIBLE WITH YOUR THINGS!!!  SO WHAT DO YOU DO?!  YOU’RE RUDE TO THE PEOPLE WHO ARE SO NICE AND FUN WITH YOU!?!   I’M SO TIRED OF YOUR BEHAVIOR BECAUSE IT’S EMBARRASSING!!!  YOU EMBARRASS US AND MAKE US LOOK BAD WHEN YOU BREAK THE RULES AND YOU ACT FRESH! AND SO HELP ME GOD, YOU BETTER GET YOURSELF TOGETHER MARY, OR I’M GONNA FREAKING LOSE IT!  I’VE HAD IT!  COMPLETELY AND TOTALLY HAD IT! (and with a pointed fork right in her direction…to end my tirade..) GET IT TOGETHER!!!! NOWWWWW!!!! AND NO PRIVILEGES UNTIL SCHOOL STARTS WHEN YOU PROVE THAT YOU’VE GOT IT FIGURED OUT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (Slammed my fork on the table, and walked away)

Friends, this was just, ugh, so out of character for me, and I just, I don’t know!  Totally lost it!  I scared the crap out of her, and Callie, and even myself.  I had a brief moment where I saw my mother, and heard her voice, right before she beat the crap out of me and my siblings.  I couldn’t even believe that I actually did that.  But at the same time, it was totally liberating and almost like, she needed to hear it and see me angry and not just kinda flighty about the whole situation.  We have tried to address her lying and all of her behavioral issues in the best ways that we can (by the book, with the therapists help, with being in tune with the fact that she has loads of issues that your average 7 year old doesn’t have), and we have not even come CLOSE to fixing half of them.  And I know that it takes time, and I know that she isn’t going to be open to changing if this is how I am communicating with her.

And the worst part is (and this is real deep y’all) that at times like this, it makes me wonder if we are even ready to take on a kid that is so damaged.  What is this gonna look like in 5, 10 years.  Am I going to be taking a 15 year old to a clinic for an abortion, or bailing a 17 year old out of jail?  Am I gonna have to send my 16 year old off to rehab? Am I gonna have the authorities banging on my door at 2 am to tell me that my kid was caught doing something that she shouldn’t do?  Am I gonna worry about the wrong crowd and the unimaginable happening?  Do I have to worry that she is going to be a terrible influence on her younger siblings?  What is her behavior and poor choices going to do to our family, because still at times, Callie and I stand quite divided on how we should handle some of the issues that we face with her.  At times like this, I think, “No matter which way this adoption situation goes, I’ll be fine!  If she stays, cool.  If she doesn’t, cool.”  And that makes me feel like a horrible person, and I know that I only half way mean it when I’m angry.  And even though I know that we are doing the best we can, and we are trying our best to build her self confidence, and her self esteem and allow her to make mistakes so that she can learn from them, there is only so much we can take.

Every day, we lace up our boots, trudge through all the BS that parenting brings, and work together to do the best we can, when and while we can, to help change Mary’s life.  I know that I should have been more proactive than reactive at dinner, and that’s something that I am more aware of now that it’s actually happened.  I’ve made a promise to Callie and myself (and silently to Mary) that I will walk away BEFORE the explosion.  I didn’t do the right thing friends, and it’s been sitting with me for these past 2 days…I feel like a horrible Mamà….

TPR Hearing #1 and 12 Weeks!!!

TPR HEARING #1

So yesterday was our first hearing for the termination of Mary’s mom’s parental rights.  It was, well…interesting I suppose.  We showed up at 1:45pm for a 2pm hearing.  We were hanging out and talking to another foster mom that we are great friends with who had a permanency hearing that day, and also to out Caseworker K and her attorney about what this court date would entail.  A whole lot of nothing was the short answer.  And for the most part, they were right!

We get called in at around 2:45. It was the caseworker K, her attorney, Mary’s mom, her new attorney (the one she had before fired her! Imagine!?!), her sister (LAWD!  There are too many and also not enough words in the English and Latin based languages to describe that tragic mess woman), their friend (who the hell brings a friend to the beginnings of a court case determining whether you keep your child or not!?! Seriously, who does that?!), Mary’s lawyer, Callie, and myself.  Also in the room, the judge (she’s NO JOKE, at least that’s what we hear from everyone…totally no nonsense judge) and the stenographer.  They call the case number, and ask everyone to list their names, and the relationship to the child or the respondent.  Mary’s mom is asked to give her full name, address, and a telephone number by the judge, which she sort of mumbles under her breath.  The caseworkers attorney says that it’s just a mailing address and that she doesn’t have a residence on file.  “You need to understand Ms. C****, that in order for the department to get pertinent information to you, you MUST provide a telephone number and address that will allow them to be able to contact you,” says the judge.  Mary’s mom straightens up, claims to be living with her new baby daddy, and states the new address.  She also states a new phone number and pens go flying to jot down all this new information that they have been trying to get from her for months.

The judge’s next question was if the parents have both been served. Since Mary’s father signed an affidavit when she first went into care stating that he basically didn’t want that responsibility, he only had to be served a notice that they were having the hearing, and they had tried to get it to him 5 times.  Since they were unable to, the judge stated it was ok to serve him via mail.  So that’s getting sent out.  Since Mary’s mom had never provided the address to where she is residing, they served her, right there, in court!  Callie and I nudged each other (somehow both knowing it was silent laughter!).  Then they spoke to Mary’s lawyer for a second and asked him he had spoken to her, to which he replied that he had and that she stated that she missed her mom and wanted to see her more often, but that she wanted to live with us.  **He spoke to her last Thursday after I had called him (he hasn’t spoken to her since about a month after she moved in with us) to makes sure that he was representing her and what she wanted.  He spoke to her and asked her a ton of questions, and she responded with wanting to live with us, but that she loves her mom, so he stated that in court**  At this point, mom and the aunt made this ridiculously annoying face as if this was news to them!  PssshhH!!! Girl, bye, ok!?  They’ve known this!  At some point the judge asked why they were pushing for termination, and the caseworkers attorney stated that mom has been inconsistent in the past year (something like 5 visits out of 20 since January), failing to turn up for drug tests, and not completing the requirements set forth by the court since the beginning of Mary going into care.  Here goes mom’s attorney! “As you can see, my client is visibly very pregnant and has been on bed rest for a high risk pregnancy the past 4-5 months.”  The 4 of us (Callie, myself, K and her attorney) looked at her incredulously. C’MON LADY!  It’s been a month, 2 at the most, and what about the other 18 months that Mary has been in our care?

To make the shenanigans that went down, a long story short, Mary’s attorney stated that he thought it would be in her best interest if we tried to settle on a conditional surrender (parent signing over their rights with conditions, like visitation and photographs).  Mom has always said that she would never sign her rights over.  So we’ll wait and see.  In the meantime, we go back to court in November, and Callie and I will have decided what we are willing to give her.  It’s tough because we know Mary loves her mom and loves spending time with her, but we also know that her seeing her mom is so detrimental to her.  She gets loads of anxiety and has verbalized that she is scared that she will have to go back with mom.  So we left court with no real indication of which way this case would go.  The good thing is that once we get down to the disposition portion of the trail, we will be allowed to have a lawyer and fight for Mary.  We are SO ready for that part.  And what was moms reaction to all of this?  Having her hot mess whore of a sister fight for custody in case the do end up terminating her rights!!!  BA! Yeah, OKAY!

What’s the most we would consider for a conditional surrender?  2 visits per year (not Christmas or Christmas Ever, New Years or New Years Eve, Thanksgiving, Mary’s birthday, Mother’s Day or Other’s Day (traditional fathers day and usually my birthday) and quarterly pictures.  Any other visits or pictures are at our discretion.  Also, if she shows up to visits and is even mildly intoxicated or high, no visit will happen.  If she misses two consecutive visits, we end the visits all together permanently!  We know she probably won’t agree to that, and that’s ok, but we aren’t bending on that.  And the truth is, if we take the case all the way to the end, chances are very likely that they will terminate her rights, and we will “win” to adopt Mary, and she won’t have to get anything, and that’s the best case scenario for us.  So yeah, court was court and it was not much of anything, and now there is another hearing in November that we are anxious to get to.


12 WEEKS

I really can’t believe we are at the 12 week mark already!  Seriously, it’s going super fast.  More than a quarter of the way done with this pregnancy. I always consider doing one of the pregnancy survey things, but then I’m always like, nah!  So I figured I’d just update you my own way and create my own sorta survey, if you will….

How I’m Feeling this Week: EXHAUSTED! Like, super exhausted.  Every time I mention going into our room for something Callie says, “To take a nap right?!”  Perrrr..hapssss…

How Big is Biscuit: Well, about the size of a half eaten corn dog!  YUM!  That sounds amazing!  Gotta get me one of those!  Or the size of a small measuring tape or the size of a lime.

Baby Bump News?:  So, I’m not showing AT ALL, but my mons pubis is starting to mesh with my muffin top, so there ya have it!  Fluffy piece meet, well, other fluffy piece!  You’re welcome!  Pants are a little tighter and I have used a pants extender about 3 times now:

Frequency of Everything:  I’m one of those people who can go a whole day at an amusement park without using the toilet once, despite the fact that I have downed about 120oz of soda!  Now, I can barely go an hour without running to the restroom. Meeting my Fitbit goals much sooner!  Also, I have been eating every 2-3 hours, but find myself snacking much more in between.

Sleep:  Yeah, still have as much of that as you can have with two 7 month old buddies, one of which is teething, and waking up once a night besides that to go to the bathroom!

Food Loves/Hates:  If there is any piece of lettuce around me, get that ish the hell away from me!!!  For whatever reason, I can’t even look at it!  Not that it makes me sick or anything, but the consistency and the texture and the taste just haven’t been kind to me these past 2 weeks.  And I know it sucks but if I have to have another 835471216461oz’s  of water, I might just have to kill someone.  Still absolutely loving ice!  It’s just so good once it hits your lips!  Also, PB&J.  I’ve had one at like 11pm every night this week.  I will wake up from a dead sleep and say, “OOHHH!  Peanut Butter and Jelly”  in my Homer Simpson voice…

Symptoms:  Nothing yet besides the tiredness. Thankfully all that nausea has gone away, and I’m just getting through every work day hoping my boss doesn’t catch me dosing.

Next Scan:  Our NT Scan is on 8/27, and we can’t WAIT to see Biscuit.  It’s not easy waiting for these once a month appointments!  We were spoiled (if that’s what you want to call it) seeing the boys almost weekly for most of Callie’s pregnancy.  We have tried to hear her (I’ll keep calling her her because I can’t help but feel like we have a little lady on our hands!) with our doppler, but there is just so much stuff going on in there, that it’s hard to hear.  Or maybe it just can’t penetrate the 4 layers of my winter blubber that I haven’t shed yet.  Who knows!  But we’re excited to see her and rule out any of the “bad” stuff.  Still not sure if we want to find out the gender.  Leaning towards no, but the excitement of knowing and connecting to Biscuit sure is driving me in the other direction!

Sex:  Yes please!  Thanks to Meredith over at Counting Chickens, Callie and I have started re-watching the entire series, and there is something about 2-3 lesbian sex scenes per hour that can sorta get things going…so thanks for that friend!

Overall Feelings:  It’s been a pretty emotionally draining month, with my sisters wedding, Aunt Brit passing, Mary being a royal pain in the arse, teething babies, sleep deprivation, and Termination Hearing, i’ve been feeling just that!  DRAINED.  Also, I absolutely hate the summer, so being uncomfortable and the 90+ degree heat for weeks at a time, and I’m just ready for Autumn.  For Marcos’ foot to heal so we can go on a few hikes before I get too big and it gets too cold.  For Mary to start school and soccer (I’ll be coaching her team in all my pregnant splendor!).  For Biscuit to be safe and to let me feel her.  For babies to be more mobile (I’m sure I’ll regret this statement as soon as they are).  For everything to just slow down for a little while!  I’m happy as shit, but just so tired and need a little break.  I’ll be so excited when we go on our Babymoon/5 year anniversary/1 year wedding anniversary trip.  Planning is officially in full effect!

Something I Didn’t Expect:  Holy Crap!  The amount of stomach cramping!  So, at first, I was all concerned because I was like, “This can’t be normal!  Something is wrong!”  But Callie thought it might be gas.  So I sneaked off (turns out “snuck” is not even a real word! WTF!?!) to the bathroom, waited until there was no one in there, and let out the MOTHER of all farts!  I kid you not!  Even I had to look around and say, “WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT!!!”  Sure enough, relief!  Now, I let them out everywhere (except my work desk).  I walk through Grand Central Terminal and just, let them rip!  IN bed?  Yup, you guessed it!  At my mother’s house while everyone is eating dinner! Can’t stop me now!!

Almost out of the first trimester.  Let’s go Biscuit!  Keep on growing little one!

7 Months Old Is WAAAAY Different Than 7 Years Old

My babies turned 7 months old yesterday!  Holy Moly!  I can’t believe a whole 7 months have gone by in what basically feels like the blink of an eye! One minute they are immobile, breastfeeding, milk inhaling, sleepless little blobs (meant in the most endearing and sweetest way possible) and the next they are crawling across the living room chasing the cat, harassing the rabbit, and grumbling and grunting their desire to stand up and walk around.  It all goes by too quickly, that’s for sure.IMG_2386Where are these little ones developmentally you ask?!  Well, I’ll tell ya!

NOAH OSCAR:  This guy!  He’s got so, so, so, so much energy!  He’s been trying to crawl for over a month now, and about a week ago he FINALLY figured it out.  No more frustrated crying after getting up on all 4’s and rocking back and forth for a minute until he realizes that he wasn’t getting anywhere.  Now he gets up on all 4’s, moves his left knee forward, then his right knee forward, and then drops onto his tummy about 6 inches from where he started, and does it over and over and over again, until he gets where he wants to go.  It’s pretty hilarious!  He moves similar to an inchworm.  Adorable!  He is perfecting his pincer grasp, which is WAY WAY early, but he’s gotten pretty good at picking things with his pointer and thumb (like puffs and cheerios) and trying to get them into his mouth.  Those two bottom teeth he cut on the same day are helping him chew.  He doesn’t quite know how to let go of the food yet, but I’m sure, given another 2-3 weeks, he’ll likely figure that out too.  He’s practicing drinking from his sippy cup, but really would rather just bang it around and furrowing his brow while he continuously gets water in his eyes.  He’s saying tons of consonants like, b, d, t and lately m.  We’ve also been teaching them to sign and “milk” is becoming more consistent, especially for their bedtime bottle.  I’ll see him wiggling on the floor, on his back (which is unusual for him) opening and closing his hands rapidly, and in his raspy little voice going, “MMMM, MMM, MMM!!!”  He also loves standing and would rather have his feet firmly planted on the floor than anything else. We’ll probably be breaking out the walker this week, being that his need to ALWAYS be on his feet is giving his moms some serious back spasms.  Personality wise, this kid is super serious, determined and a hard laugh.  He only laughs when his brother cries at his hands.  That has to be the funniest thing on the planet to him.  Also, he cracks up when Mamá walks through the door at the end of the day, legs kicking all over the place, but I think it’s because he associates it with dinner time!  He won’t stop something until he gets it, like putting those colored rings onto the pillar, even if they aren’t in order (did you know if kids can do this under the age of one, there is a 90% chance that s/he has a genius IQ?!?! Yup!  So we’re halfway there!).  He doesn’t like being held, and isn’t so great at playing by himself.  He is very aware of everything going on around him.  He’s not very cautious and definitely more impulsive.  And he never, ever, stops moving,  Something tells me he’s gonna be walking sooner than we are hoping for, and the baby proofing will be in full effect this weekend.  Yesterday, Callie stepped out of the living room to poor herself a glass of water.  When she comes back, not even 30 seconds later, he had made his way to where we keep the bedding for the rabbit cage, and there was pine alllllllll over the living room floor. 30 SECONDS PEOPLE!  I just can’t even!  One word to describe him: ACTIVE fair IMG_2381 IMG_2379LEVI JAMES:  Oh, my little Levi.  Something about this kid just lights up a room.  He is the perfect sitter, not yet even trying to crawl.  He is super content just sitting up (for super long periods of time) thumbing through books and rolling cars around.  Or flipping them over.  It’s all the same in his book.  He’s not as agile and coordinated as his brother, and still completely fists everything he can get his hands on.  Including my hair…all the time!  He has become a professional raspberry blower (especially at the most inopportune times, like through Aunt Brit’s ENTIRE memorial service, which she would have found absolutely hilarious!) and has been having a hard time with the teething.  His gums are super swollen and you can sort of see where the teeth are just about to break the surface.  Poor little guy has been miserable, and so has his sleep, and by association, so has ours!  4 nights of waking every 2-3 hours.  This hasn’t happened since he was 6 weeks old!  Levi loves to eat everything he can get his hands on, but especially everything he CAN’T get his hands on.  He has pretty much tried everything we have ever eaten in his presence in the past 2 months.  Chicken, steak, avocado, string beans, lemon, sweet potatoes, beans, whole peas, steamed carrots, fried dough, corned beef, rice, Pasteles, and anything else you can think of, he’s probably eaten it.  He’s just started to use his voice, and has gotten pretty good at the sound, Bu, bu, bu, but really, that’s about it.  He has learned to give “besos” totally opened mouth with a messy tongue,  and has started to give very squishy baby hugs.  He’s a pro at using his sippy cup!  I think he’ll be weened from his bottle sooner than the year we are hoping to get them off by.  He also is learning to sign but I don’t think he has picked up on the connection between words and signing.  Personality wise, he is our cautious, smiley observer.  He likes to scope things out, see what’s going on, and then do.  He goes into a new room and will let you put him down, but does the once over to see where everything and everyone is.  He looks at his toys and looks at us, and looks at his toys, and looks at us, and finally we say, “Puedes Jugar! (You can play!)” and then he’ll grab it.  He’s also hyper aware of where his bully brother is at all time!  And this kid has to be the friendliest baby on the planet.  You can’t even look at him without him smiling, and the best part is his full belly laugh!  Favorite sound to laugh at?  “QUACK QUACK!”  and any time I tell him he has a stinky booty!  He’s very calm, hardly fusses, and goes to sleep once his head hits the mattress.  He is usually the better sleeper (although the past couple of nights have been difficult with the teething), and is usually content just being.  One word to describe him: JUBILANT fair1 IMG_2382 IMG_2378

Now, let’s talk about 7 year olds!  Ugh!  So help me GOD, before I lose my ish!  When you have a 7 year old, it gets real!  When you have a 7 year old that is a foster child, well, there is nothing that can describe that amount of anguish and “I’m gonna stab myself in the face!” that accompanies that.  See, Mary is going through a lot right now in her personal life, but also through the developmental changes that the average 7 year old goes through.  7 year old’s are going through what would be described as a transitional phase.  They aren’t the wide eyed 5 kindergarteners anymore, but also not old enough for those “amazing” preteen years.  Being 7 is about asserting your independence.  It’s about making your own choices (like what “extra’s” you want to take part in) and about processing the world around you.  It’s about asking questions and learning new things.  It’s also when kids start to REALLY test their limits.  Talking back and lying and being stubborn just to prove a point. And I have to say, 7 at our house has been pretty damn shitty!

I contemplated writing about this (mainly for fear of judgment at our tactics to teach Mary that her incessant lying is unacceptable), but then I read a post by Lindsay over at Solo Mama and decided, this is the real stuff that we SHOULD be writing about because it’s not all rainbows and sunshine and fruit salad (OMG!  I’ve been loving me some fruit salad these days!).  This is the stuff that parenting nightmares are made of sometimes.  Imagine a little girl, who’s biological mother is inconsistent (and pregnant with a new baby due in two weeks = rejection), who is processing the idea of being adopted, by 2 moms, with a father who couldn’t care less about her, who has experienced trauma beyond anything that my brain and heart can understand who is also SEVEN!  Let me paint a picture for you!

Mary’s mom disappeared from mid January through the end of June.  The first 2 months of her mother’s absence were difficult.  I mean, ridiculously tough.  Talking back, attitude all the time, constant lying, and using a tearful “I misssssss mommmmmyyyyy!” as a reason to not get in trouble for breaking the rules.  We are educators.  We get why kids do what they do.  So we started implementing a “loss of privileges” and also giving Mary words for the things that she was feeling.  We also understand a lot of her history, and for a long time, she was taught to lie, was never disciplined and treated as a mini adult and mom’s best friend.  Slowly but surely, the loss of privileges seemed to be working.  We would start by taking away screen time for the rest of the day.  If she continues to sass mouth and break the rules, she would lose her privileges for 2 days, and so on.  It got to the point where she lost her privileges (screen time, playing in the bath, dessert, outside time) for up to a week!  Finally, FINALLY, she was back on track!  2 whole months later we were making progress!  More please and thank you’s, school grades skyrocketed, teachers weekly report stated that she was super social and helpful in the classroom, and the lying stopped all together.  This all happened at the same time that mom disappeared and we started getting more honest with her about adoption and her mom losing her rights.  Then, mom shows up, and for the past 2 months we have been seeing this behavior again.  All the time.  Every day!  The lying has been as unbearable as you can imagine.  And always about the same thing!  Brushing her teeth and washing her face.   The first time we caught her (she claimed to have done it, even though she couldn’t have been in the bathroom for more than a minute, and I gave her the opportunity to tell the truth and she didn’t, so I sent her to bed, only to go into the bathroom a minute later and find a bone dry toothbrush!!!!) she had lost her screen time for the next day.  Not even 2 days later, she lied about it again, so she lost her screen time and sweets for two days.  A steady progression of lies later, she was up to a week with no privileges. When we talked to her about it, she said that she was scared that her mom was going to get her back and that she didn’t want to leave our family.  We totally get it!  Anxiety!  But lying!  No way.  I was so fed up after the last lie, that the day that she gained her privileges back, I told her that the next time she lies, she would lose her privileges for 30 days!  She understood, or so I thought!

The next day, we let her have sweets, we made popcorn and hot chocolate, and watched the Minions movie.  When the movie was done, I told her to go brush her teeth, wash her face and get ready for bed.  She was in there for a few minutes, and when she came out to kiss us goodnight, I noticed that her hairline was completely dry, so I asked her, “Did you do as we asked you?”  “Yes”  “Are you sure?!”  “yes!”  “Are you really sure!?!” Blank stare!  Sure enough, I go into the bathroom, soup is untouched, toothbrush bone dry, and Mary is behind me, screaming at the top of her lungs, “I DON’T WANT TO LOSE MY PRIVILEGES FOR 30 DAYS!!!!!!! WAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!”  “Well kiddo, you should have thought about that before you lied.  What were you doing in here that whole time?  Pretending?”  This little pain in my ass, had the audacity to shake her head yes (although I can’t be mad because she FINALLY, FINALLY told the truth), so we sent her to bed, beginning her punishment the next day.  In reality, we were only taking away her privileges for the next 2 weeks.  We continued to communicate with her therapist and touching base with her, and see if she would talk to Mary about her behavior, but she insisted that we be consistent and hold her accountable for her actions.  She was doing pretty well for the almost 2 weeks that she had lost her “freedom”, but the day before she was to gain her privileges back (Thursday evening), BOOM!  LIES! So we spoke to her therapist who said we had tried everything that we could to get her to correct her behavior, and that perhaps, if she felt what it feels like to have someone lie to you and disappoint you (which we thought would be nothing new considering her relationship with her mother), then maybe, just maybe she would learn!  So, we had to lie.  We didn’t want to, but we had to take our chances and hope for the best possible outcome.

This past Saturday was “Family Fun Day” for the foster care families in our county at a local amusement park called Playland (Mariah Carey shot her Fantasy Video there).  We were going to a BBQ lunch, with face painting and arts and crafts for the kids, and then ALl Day ALL You Can Rid wristbands.  We LOVE this place, and had a blast last year!  Initially, we weren’t gonna go because we didn’t want to reward her poor behavior and constant lying, but we took this as the perfect opportunity to emphasize why lying is so terrible.  So we got her super hyped up!  “It’s gonna be sooooo awesome!!! We’re gonna go on all the rides, and we can go on the Dragon Coaster TWICE!  We’re gonna eat cotton candy and fried dough and caramel and candy apples!  You get to play with all your friends!!!  It’s gonna be AMAZING!!!!”   After a little while, she started getting excited.  She was like, “YAS!! It’s gonna be so so so so so so so so so so so fun!!! I can’t wait!!! When are we leaving!?  Is it time yet?  Now? Almost ready!?  Will you sit on The Whip with me!?  OMG! The Funhouse is so….FUN!” and she kept this up in the car.  We even had a dance going and everything.  We get there, find a table, talk to some of our other foster parent friends, let her run around and get a butterfly painted on her face, and she did a ton of crafts, we ate lunch, and about 2 hours after we arrived, she was ready to go!  Sure, I said!  All the rides, I said!  So we gather up our stuff, start walking towards the park, and as we are passing rides, she’s saying, “Ooh this one?!?!”  “We’ll come back to it honey!”    We are walking with friends and start kissing them goodbye.  Mary asks if they are leaving.  “No, we are!”

“WAIT WHAT?!?!  But you said we could go on all the rides!?!

“I lied!”

Dead stare.  Tears on the brim.  She lets go of the stroller, and puts her head down as we walk into the parking lot, climbs silently into the car, and noiselessly releases a few tears on the 20 minutes drive home.  While we are driving, I let it sink it.  We get home, she goes to the bathroom, washes her face paint off, and goes directly into her room.  A little while later, we call her out into the living room to “debrief” what had happened.  We asked her what she was feeling.

“I feel sad, and mad, and disappointed because you said we could go on all the rides!”

“We are so sorry we lied to you, but we needed you to understand how lying feels.  When you lie to us, it makes us feel so sad at you, and so angry at you, and so disappointed with you because you make us feel like we can’t trust you, and that makes parents really really sad.  We were hoping that you would do the right thing all the time, and then you make poor choices that make us wonder if you deserve to have fun times.  When you do the right thing, we have a great time, like the Poconos, and when we went to Playland before, and the movies, and Glow in the Dark Putt Putt, and the arcade.  But when you make poor choices, we get sad at you and take those things away and then you have to earn them back.  We don’t like to put you in trouble, but sometimes, you leave us no choice.  Do you understand why lying is not the best thing? How people’s feeling get hurt?”

She shook her head yes, but we weren’t sure it had sunk in, until at dinner time, without being prompted, during a stint of silence, she said of her own volition, “I’m not gonna lie anymore.  I’m gonna do the right thing and make the right choices!”  Since Saturday evening, she has brushed her teeth and washed her face every day TWICE!  She has cleaned her station after dinner and cleared her plate and placed it NICELY in the dishwasher.  She has made her bed and made sure that all of her shoes were organized and her dressers had no clothes hanging our of them WITHOUT BEING PROMPTED!!! SAY WHAT!?!?!  By George, I think she’s got it. Also, my wife is a genius!fairy

She doesn’t know it, but today she starts gaining her privileges back, one by one, by going to an outdoor concert at the park, and for the first time in about a month, she’ll be able to take her bike with her.  Tomorrow night, we’ll be going with my parents and my nieces to the Carnival and she’ll be able to ride the rides, and Friday night, we will have a long overdue family movie night once the boys get to bed.  I’m excited for her to get her privileges back.  I’m excited that she’s understanding why lying is not ok!  I’m excited that she’s finally getting it.  I hate that we had to take it to that extreme, but I’ll consider the outcome a parenting win!  I will admit, that it took everything in me to not cry from the amount of disappointment that was sprawled across her face, but now, I see, that clearly, at least for the moment it has worked.

Tomorrow is our first TPR court hearing.  Wish us luck, and thanks for reading this eternally long post!

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Me…

Thank to my friend over at Bumbi’s Mom for signing me up for this thing!  I love stuff like this!  It gives me a chance to write about, well, nothing and everything all at once, and allow you all to get more of a feel for who I am…So here goes!

ten-things-you-didnt-knowThe rules are as follows:

  • Link back to the blogger who nominated you and answer their 10 questions
  • Add the badge to your post
  • Write your own 10 questions and tag 10 bloggers to do the same.

Bumbi’s Mom had a few questions for me…

  1. All time favorite song?
    My all time favorite song would have to be “Slow Dancing in A Burning Room” by John Mayer.  If you’ve ever been in that situation (loving someone so much but the walls are collapsing around you both), you understand how incredibly raw those types of emotions are, and you get his sentiment completely.  I’ve cried about a million times listening to this song….it’ll always be my favorite.
  2. Favorite genre of music?
    You’d probably be surprised to hear this, but I am a die hard country fan.  I love the hell out of some country music.  it just seems more, i dunno, real?! More heartfelt.  Less synthesized and autotuned and honest and true.  But since I am a singer, with a pretty unique and interesting voice, I would have to say it’s somewhere in the middle or R&B and Neo-Soul.
  3. Books or movies?
    I am a lover of books.  Nothing makes me happier than curling up on my couch in the winter with a Snuggie and a cup of hot chocolate, or on the beach in the summer with an ice cold beer, or in the local park in autumn on a blanket with an apple, or in my parents backyard in the spring with a glass of wine and a damned good book!  I have the attention span of Dory from “Finding Nemo” when it comes to movie.  This is a tough gig when your wife would rather watch a movie any day, and the only time she considers reading a book is when you read it to her!  So yeah, books…always books!
  4. First concert you ever went to?
    I will never forget my first concert…ever!!!  When I was 14 years old, my dad surprised my youngest sister and I with tickets to see….wait for it………..THE SPICE GIRLS!!!!  Oh man!!!  I was in my orange and blue Adidas tear away pants, my Nike cross trainer, and my hair in a tight, pulled back, pony tail!  I was in my glory!  I knew every single song, every single dance move, and my dad let us buy all sorts of cool stuff like the the concert DVD, and T-shirts, and all sorts of soda and cotton candy and crap!  The seats were pretty awful, but ohhhh, the Spice Girls.  No concert will ever compare when it comes to the excitement I felt.
  5. Favorite artist or band?
    Currently, my favorite artist is Sam Smith, but basically my whole adult life it’s been Jason Mraz…love that guy!
  6. If you could have any job in the world what would you want to do?
    I have always wanted to me in the military.  The branch doesn’t really matter, but the Marines would have been the way for me.  I have always been a person who wanted to be a part of team and always worked best that way.  I am a person who takes pride in my work.  I also believe in defending our country and the rights that we are afforded every day.  My parents came here for a better life and that better life has been upheld and defended by the men and women that serve this country.  I always wanted to be a part of that.  Life has led me down a path that every time I was 2 seconds from signing up and leaving, some big life event would happen.  My mother got diagnosed with breast cancer, my father was electrocuted at work and became disabled, I got accepted to school, I met my first wife (as married in ny as you can be), suicide attempt and hospitalization (outpatient) for 2 years, then I was so determined to go after I got my life together, and in strolls Callie, and the rest…well, you all know the rest…so any job, proud member of the US Marine Corps…
  7. Dine at home or go out to eat?
    I wish we could afford to go out to eat often.  Growing up, I was a pretty picky eater.  I mean, I’m Latina and I didn’t eat my first beans until I was 18 years old, and moved out of the house and was tired of eating Ramen and Chef Boyardee and Easy Mac!  Now, I love trying new foods, and have become pretty adventurous.  My pallet appreciates it!  Who would have thought that I, of all people, would love….broccoli!
  8. Mountains or beach?
    This is a tough one! I’m gonna have to go mountains though.  I love a good hike, and I love an amazing view.  The mountains are where it’s at!  (But also, we are always on a boat, so who needs the beach! I guess i kinda cheated for this one!
  9. Favorite part of blogging?
    My favorite part about blogging if finding a way to connect with people that you normally and probably wouldn’t have thought you would connect with.  I love telling my family’s story in hopes that it would resonate with someone else going through the same thing.  And also, I especially love the friendships I have made.  There are several really special ones, and one blogger in particular has become such a huge part of our every day lives that their hurts are our hurts, and their joys are our joys, and their kids our adopted nieces and nephews.  Favorite part hands down is community.
  10. Train, plane or automobile?
    I work for the local commuter rail, so trains are out of the questions!  I spend 10 hours a week on a darn train!  Automobile with 3 kids is just a different kind of special torture.  I’m gonna have to say plane, and a Benadryl, and a glass of wine, because, sleep!  Everywhere we drive to, I have to drive.  Callie is a good driver, but why drive when your wife can, right?!  So planes, for sure!

My questions for you:

  1. What is your biggest fear?
  2. What was your favorite toy growing up?
  3. If you could have dinner with one person, past or present, would it be?
  4. What is your favorite era to have lived in?
  5. What are you thinking about right this second?
  6. What’s one of the scariest things you’ve ever done?
  7. What is your first ever memory?
  8. Do you think any kind of afterlife exists?
  9. What is the biggest change you’ve ever made?
  10. Have you ever been in a fist fight?

The nominees:

Laura and Amy’s Making a Baby Adventure
Husband and HusbandUnicorns and Rainbow Dreams
SoloMama
Mama et Maman
LezBVeganMoms
Little Rainbow Bug
Impossibly Royal
Shawns and Cade
Ladylove and Babydust
And anyone else who would like to join in on this fun little “challenge”.

The Good, The Bad, The 10 Week Update

This weekend was one for the books.

THE GOOD – My sisters Wedding!  OMG! It was absolutely amazing!  The day started early for us, around 7am, getting all of the kids ready and packed to go where they needed to go.  We were all bathed, dressed, and out the door before 8:30am. Talk about a serious hustle!  Mary stayed with another foster mother, who has a 7 month old little girl, and who had a 7 year old little boy who we have had plenty of play dates with.  We’ve become great friends over the past 2 years and have always had children in our care around the same age.  Mary really enjoyed her time with our friend…

WALKING THE BROOKLYN BRIDGE

WALKING THE BROOKLYN BRIDGE

The boys stayed with their Godmother Nikki (my bestie) and her fiance Titi, again, because the boys absolutely adore them, and they absolutely love (and spoil) our babies.  They took them on yet another shopping spree for more toys! toysAnd threatened to kidnap them for their vacation next week. vacation But ultimately, our babies are in good hands, and they really enjoy their time with their aunts, who take excellent care of them.playtimeSo we climbed back into the car, after dropping off our kids, and went to meet my sister at the Mansion.  We arrived around 11:30am, and so did all of her friends, my mother, my sister Nat, and my cousin who was doing her hair and makeup.  It was super fun!  We had “Today’s Hits” playing on Pandora, everyone was drinking mimosa’s (except me of course because suddenly I have this new obsession with chewing on ice!), and sharing memories and laughter with my sister to help keep the nerves away as she was getting ready.  We hung out for a while before Sebastian showed up.  He was there with his mom, who was running back and forth between his room and the Master Suite where the rest of the ladies were.  Since they didn’t have a wedding party, just 2 flower girls, I decided that my sister had enough people to help keep her calm, so I went over to where Sebas was, and hung out with him while he got ready, drank his whiskey, and practiced his vows.  I tried my best to make him laugh, because the amount of sweat that was pouring off of him, and the severity of his shaking were unlike anything I’ve ever seen.  So joked around, we laughed, watched TV, and waited for the photographer and videographers (who has a freaking drone to get aerial shots!) so they could start getting ready.

When they finally showed up, I was between two rooms, trying to help and be in pictures with my sister and with my future brother-in-law.  When my sister finally put on her dress, I don’t know if it was all these crazy hormones or just the fact that my little sister, my first best friend, someone I can tell all my secrets too without judgment, was getting married.  She looked so damn beautiful, and the tears flowed, freely, without reservation.  And good thing, because I was officiating the ceremony, and couldn’t allow myself to cry during the service.  How unprofessional!  So I cried, quite a bit, as I helped my sister put on her wedding gown. nana nana1When they were both dressed and ready, they decided to do a reveal, just the two of them, before everyone saw them.  I followed along because I was getting video of the whole day. Seeing that man cry, turned me into a blubbering mess…again!nana2When all was said and done, we walked outside to the area where the ceremony was going to take place.  Guests were starting to arrive.  Family and friends had excitement etched all over their faces.  Before you knew it, it was a quarter to 5, and almost all of the seats were filled, waiting for the couple to come down the aisle.  I was at the front, nervous, but so ready to help send my sister off into married life.

BAREFOOT FLOWERGIRLS

BAREFOOT FLOWERGIRLS

nana4

nana3I actually did rather well during the ceremony!  I kept it together……….for the most part.  The only time I cried a little was when Sebastian read his vows, because I had heard my sisters vows quite a few times to desensitize myself to them, and had read through the ceremony countless times to get the correct cadence, and timing and spacing.  But when Sebas read his vows, and how raw his emotions were, and the crack in his voice, I  couldn’t resist.  It slipped a little..but I pulled it together (thank you thoughts of Sewer rats, and also the Giants winning the Super Bowl!) and I was back in the game!  I married my sister and her husband and we were off to (un)cocktail hour and an awesome reception underneath a beautifully decorated HUGE tent!  We partied, hard!  It was loads of fun, no drama (thankfully), and everything was just perfect.  Now, they are both off to Tahiti now, and I’m only a little bit jealous…I couldn’t be happier for them, and I know that they will make each other so happy for the rest of their lives…and I can’t wait for more nieces and nephews! NANA5


THE BAD – After all of the amazing going on Saturday, we wake up Sunday morning to a non stop phone ringing. I knew something was wrong right away, but if you’re ever in that place between being asleep and awake, it was almost like I was dreaming.  Phone started ringing at about 7:30, but neither of us got up to answer it until about 10am.  I noticed that Callie’s mom was on the caller ID, and she usually works Sunday’s and doesn’t use her cellphone, so I knew immediately, something wasn’t right.

“Cal’s, wake up!  You’re mom keeps calling, and it’s Sunday and she works, and it’s her cell.”

“Oh shit…hand me the phone.”  Dials her mom.  “Oh jeez…what time?  Since when?  Why didn’t you call my cell?  But I don’t have any missed calls…uh huh….uh huh…yeah….uh huh….i dunno…uh huh….ok…well how’s Aunt Jasmine?  Alright, we’ll get dressed and we’ll go, but we have to get the kids…ok, love you mom…be there soon…”

“What happened?!?”

“Aunt Brittany passed away…this morning…at 7:15…and my phone didn’t ring…”

So Sunday morning, after spending 9 days in the hospital, Aunt Brit passed away.  Not a minute before Aunt Jas went in to tell her she loved her, and some other things that she wasn’t telling anyone, either because it was too painful to relive or too personal to say.  And that’s okay.  But she’s gone, and we miss her, and it’s really shitty.  Her family wants to cremate her, so they will, and they don’t want a memorial service, which we are all against with the exception of her mother and sister (who are delusional even now after she’s gone), so we’re having a service anyway.  On Thursday evening.  It’ll be so so hard…

This was such an emotionally draining weekend, and we are all feeling to today.  We haven’t slept, everyone has a headache, all 3 kids are acting out, and I just wanna run away even if it’s just for a few minutes.  But we’re hanging tough and making it work….as best we can, we make it work….


10 WEEK UPDATE – So it’s been 10 weeks (and 4 days at this point) and the nausea had FINALLY subsided! Thank the heavens, because it was a lot!  And it was constant.  BUt YAS!  It’s gone!  But interestingly enough, since it’s been gone, I’ve had an aversion to lettuce…salad really, but I can  pick the things out of it, like cucumber and tomatoes and carrots, and still eat those things individually, but it’s that damn lettuce that gets me every time.  It’s awful.  What do I love?!  ICE!  Lots and lots of ICE!  I like to chomp on it sotht it makes everyone around me absolutely crazy.  Interesting thing, when my mom was pregnant with me, she had my uncles trekking to the store to buy bags of ice, because the ice trays weren’t freezing fast enough for her appetite for them.  I didn’t know this until Sunday, when we were all at my parents house (really my moms sisters house, where my parents are living in her basement studio until they find a condo/coop) in the evening, and my uncle asked me if I wanted anything.  So I told him, “Just a cup of ice”, and he gave me the widest, cheesiest grin.  He laughed and said, “She’s just like you when you were pregnant! Remember you used to send me to the store and get you ice, and ice, and ice!?!”  And here goes my mom, “Oh my gah…Jew gonna haben a girl! Yes jew are because Mami loven to eata de ice when chee was pregne wis jew! Oh jes!  It’s a girl!” It’s nice to hear that I’m like my mom, because I always consider us so different.  It’s nice to have this pregnancy to connect us, and I get to hear stories that I’ve never heard before about her pregnancy.  It’s actually really nice, and made me feel pretty special.

I’ve been having some weird mild cramping, but Callie seems to think it’s just baby growing, and considering how exhausted I have been and so hungry (although I can’t eat more than a few bites every hour or two), I don’t doubt that there is some growth spurt happening or something.  My next Ob appt is on 8/27 for the Nuchal, so hopefully, all will go well with that, although I have no doubt.  I do worry about the constant headaches I’ve been having and how nothing makes them go away.  Not even the recommended dose of Tylenol.  I worry that it might be an issue with my blood pressure, but even having gone to our local CVS and done the cuff there, my pressure was were it usually is…borderline, which is my normal for me at around 135/80.  It’s been like that since I was about 18.  Not that it’s a good thing, but it’s my baseline.  Callie has also been having loads of headaches, which isn’t normal for her, so I’m wondering if it’s just stress and lack of sleep.  I guess I’ll know more at my next appointment.

I’ve been looking for some gender non-conforming maternity wear, and I am just so sad about the lack of anything that doesn’t have pink flowers and a plunging neck line.  The good thing is that I have a younger cousin (who I adore!) who is a fashion student at FIT, and she’s gonna take on helping me make so dope ass maternity clothes that are more my style.  We’re gonna buy a crapload of bellly bands and pants that I would normally wear, cut the waistline down, and then sew in the bands.  Not sure what we’re going to do about shirts, but because I’ll be getting bigger in the fall and winter months, I can get away with sweaters of button downs that I already own from when I was much bigger.  I knew those XXL Ralph Lauren and Abercrombie shirts would come in handy!  So, I have that to look forward to as far as maternity wear is concerned.  My pants are starting to get a little tight, but if it weren’t for that, I would have no other indicator that my body is changing.  Otherwise, everything seems to be going well…

Thanks again everyone for keeping Aunt Brit and Aunt Jas in your prayers…they’ve been received and it’s proving to provide loads of comfort at this time…you are loved…truly….

Discos Recipe

For anyone interested, I found a recipe for the Discos for empanadas online.  My mother, in her drunken stupor (it was my sisters wedding tonight [which by the way, was amazing!] so she gets a pass, couldn’t for the life of her, give me the recipe.  She said something along the lines of asking a cousin in Puerto Rico, and we all know, OBVIOUSLY, that’s not gonna be something she remembers tomorrow! So, I’ve never used this recipe before, but it looks pretty legit! So try it out, but don’t hold me to it because I’ve never used it, but I want whoever wants to try empanadas, to make them! So, here Ya go!

http://laylita.com/recipes/2008/03/18/how-to-make-empanada-dough-for-frying/