I Don’t Want The “D”!!!

It’s true!  I DON’T!  Not now, not ever, but it has been a discussion.


That’s a thing.  Well, let me rephrase that.  It’s not a “thing” in the sense that it’s gonna happen ( I don’t think), but it’s something that in the past year, in all of its craziness and joy and happiness and flow, has been something that has been thrown into our arguments now and again.  About 6 months ago, it became a real discussion, and so, we began to go to couples therapy.

Has it worked? Welllllllllllllllllllll  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯, that’s subjective.  I would say for me it has.  Callie would say, probably not, but I keep going and I keep showing up, and I keep practicing what we are told to do.  Whether or not it’s been reciprocated seems pretty subjective as well.  So, we’re here, another week of arguing and another week of trying to figure out where we go from here.

The thing is, it has nothing to do with love, and I think we both know that.  It has everything to do with communication and listening.  See, most of you know, I did quite a bit of intensive therapy for the better part of 2 years.  I spent 2+ months inpatient, then did 3 weeks in a partial program, then did 90 days in a substance abuse program, and then did 20 months in an outpatient, M-F 8-3pm DBT program, where I really worked on the things that had been plaguing me my whole life and I became very aware and in tune, and was taught and learned how to be an effective communicator and active listener.  Callie struggles like hell a little with the “active” part, and is so quick and chomping at the bit to get her point across that she totally misses what I’m saying, and sooooo, arguments start because I refuse to listen since I wasn’t listened to, and boom!  Disaster, and then divorce comes up.

I get it!  5 kids in about 3 years is no joke!  It’s just been transition into transition into adjustment and then adjusting to THAT adjustment.  These 3 years have been beautiful but also bananas!  So I get it, especially when you have a person like Callie who generally speaking, doesn’t do well with change , who needs a lot of sleep to function (so you can imagine that with 4 under 3 currently, is quite impossible), and who needs things planned out pretty strategically in order to make it all work.  I, on the other hand am pretty much the complete opposite. I LOVE change and embrace it (I move the furniture in the rooms in my home 2-3 x’s a year because I get bored looking at it the same way), I can survive on about 3 hours a sleep a night (so long as I get a day a month to just crash and vegetate!) and spontaneous plans always seem to be the best to me.

I’ll be honest though.  This is sort of the abridged version of what has been going on in our relationship the better part of the past year.  There’s the hoarding issue for me and the cleaning issue for her.  There’s the “you don’t help enough” issue for me, and the “you want to do too much” issue for her.  There’s the “can we go out and stop being antisocial because I need people in my life?” issue, and the “don’t we have enough people to entertain today?” issue for her.  I mean, it’s lots of stuff, and it seems to not be getting sorted out quickly enough, which could potentially cause more damage since we both seem to just want this sorted out but can’t seem to figure out how to get there!

We are creeping up on 7 years together in 2 weeks, and I’m wondering if that “Seven year” nonsense could potentially be a real thing.  With some of our close friends divorcing after 7 years together, we wonder if that’s where our lives our heading. Can we just not agree on anything?  Can we just continue to not be intimate after months! Is it really all about winning and losing, or who is right and who is wrong?  When will all of this anger, resentment, anxiety, and helplessness subside?

As much as I love my wife is the same amount as I have been struggling, particularly these past 3 months, to stay.  To try and understand some of her needs that just seem really crazy and illogical to me.  I’m trying!  I’m really trying, because I love my kids, and I love this family, and I love the time that we share together, and I fucking love my wife, but admittedly, I don’t love to feel ignored, or to be treated like I don’t count, or to be so angry and sad all the time.  We have amazing, beautiful moments nearly every day, but the arguments are so ferocious and so angry and so loaded with venom that it’s difficult to see past it sometimes.

I’ll keep trying and I’ll keep fighting because I don’t want to be away from my family or my wife, but for my own sanity, I don’t know how much longer I can take the arguing and the need for her to be right all the time. It’s really hard, friends.  Really fucking hard. Hopefully, this is fleeting.  Hopefully, this is just a “thing” kind of like conversations about separation and divorce are at the moment.  Hopefully, we can muster up the courage to just say “Yes dear” for a little bit for the sake of peace and sorting things out.  Who knows how this will all work out!  Worst case scenario, we have a mother/daughter set up in the house, and the basement is currently rented.  It could suddenly be unrented with 60 days notice according to their lease.  Hopefully, THAT won’t also become a thing.

With anniversary looming, and seven years on the line, I’m committed to trying my best to make US our best and have THE BEST life possible…especially because our kids are so damn awesome and I’d hate to fuck them up with a possible divorce.  That would be the worst thing I could have imagine for not only my life but their also.  And I wanted to say in advance, thanks for reading this and letting me vent because I have 2 people that I have been able to talk to this about for the sake of not getting too many opinions and not talking to our friends who are invested in our lives and marriage the way we are in theirs.  One is my bestie blogger friend, and the other is my mother, both who understand how difficult this is, but also encourage me to both follow my heart but also to keep fighting.  My heart and the fight are one in the same. So, I’ll lace up these boots, fill my Camelbak (With Chardonnay!), and get to trekking on this journey of recovering what we lost somewhere between bliss and 5 kids.

To lighten up this post a little….TADA! The kids!






















6 Months and So Much More…


I can’t believe that this little guy is 6 months old! Well, 6 months, a week, and 2 days at this point, but nonetheless, 6 whole friggin months! I’m still in awe that my tiny little premature 3.9lbs baby is this chubby little wiggly, giggly, drooly thing.  It’s also interesting to think that just under a year ago, we did this TWICE over and it’s all still so new.

Austin Ryan is approximately 16lbs, you know, the “let me hold this baby while I weigh myself” strategy.  At 6 months old, adjusted age at 27 weeks or exactly 4 months and a day (which is weird how that works out!) he already weighs more than the boys did at almost a year old!  This kid can eat!  He drinks anywhere from 4-5 ounces every 2-3 hours.  The only time he doesn’t follow that schedule is when he is sleeping, but he’s not that great of a sleeper…at all.  Unlike his brothers, who by 4months were sleeping through the night, Austin is still waking up regularly every 3-4 hours.  He goes down at 8pm, then gets up just before midnight and takes another bottle, then goes down again until about 3am, and then again at around 5:30-6pm.  He’s still nursing, and we co-sleep after his 3am feeding, but we’ll get into that in a few.  I’m starting to wean (seriously sobbing here folks) and it’s really just a lot to handle right now.

We have had a few concerns with Austin’s development, so we had him evaluated by Early Intervention. As we anticipated, our suspicions were right.  Austin has a bit of a delay when it comes to his gross and fine motor skills.  He just recently (within the past 2 weeks) started holding his head up and pushing up on his hands, but still isn’t really reaching for anything since he is still heavily relying on his hands to hold him up.  He also started rolling from belly to back at about the same time.  The good thing is, cognitively, there are no concerns.  He follows objects with his eyes.  He coos and laughs.  He smiles socially.  Everything else looks pretty good, but he’ll be starting services pretty soon.  I’m scheduling a meeting with his coordinator as we speak, to try and get him started ASAP with his twice a week therapy.  Otherwise, this little guy is doing everything he needs to do.  IMG_5136

Now, breastfeeding…I’ll be honest, I don’t even know how to write about this without being in tears.  So for many reasons (which I’ll explain) I have decided to stop nursing Austin and start weening.  I’m super sad about it y’all, and haven’t stopped crying since last night when I finally made the decision.  I’ve been going back and forth about this for the past almost 2 months, since Austin went from drinking 3oz to drinking about 5oz.  So, since Austin was born, it has been quite the struggle to get my supply up.  From day one, he was taking 10cc’s of breast milk.  I was making just that.  When they were gradually increasing him in the NICU (2-5cc’s about every other day) my body was able to keep up with his needs, and I basically exclusively pumped and he was getting about 70/30 breast milk/formula until we left the hospital.  Nursing Austin those first few weeks at home were really difficult.  He was having a hard time latching and he wasn’t able to get all of the milk and properly drain my breasts, so most of my first few weeks of him being home consisted of nursing, pumping, washing pump parts and bottles, and doing it all over again.  For some strange reason, my left breast wouldn’t respond to a pump OR a baby well, so I always have to hand express the left breast, so if feeding and pumping wasn’t enough of a pain in the ass, I ALSO have to hand express! I’ve ALWAYS had to supplement with formula (almost always, 2 of his 8-10 bottles a day were formula, and I am absolutely OK with that!).  I’ve taken every herb you can think of, drank enough water to probably hydrate every person in China TWICE, and even used Domperidone as a last resort to increase my milk supply as much as possible, and even then, after all of that, I was still only pumping about 8oz a day. Not a session but A DAY, and that was a freaking good day, because on average it was closer to about 6.  IMG_5104

I gave it 6 god months and that’s not including all of the months that I did my best to try and nurse Noah and Levi.  I LOVE nursing Austin.  I adore the way he reaches for my fingers, or how he looks at me and smiles mid nurse.  I will never get enough of his big, beautiful brown eyes staring up at mine.  I don’t know how I’m going to handle this when he doesn’t nurse, AT ALL anymore, and even thinking about it is enough to make me tell me boss that I’m not feeling well, so that I can go home and throw myself onto my bed and heavily sob about it.  Nursing and pumping is such hard work, and the amount of hard work that it takes to come home after 3 30 minute pumping sessions with hardly enough milk to make one bottle is really disheartening and saddening and upsetting.  It’s frustrating that no matter what I do, I just can’t make enough milk.  And the shit is, I was totally OK with that until this past month.  I was absolutely fine with just nursing him when I was at home and diligently pumping throughout my work day, but it’s gotten to be too much for too little.  There are also other things that played a role in this.  For starters, my two big toes have pretty terrible nail fungus (all those years of playing soccer and ingrown toe nails and what have you) and the only way to correct it is to take an oral medication (which I can’t take because I’m nursing) or to pull the nails off and laser the nail bed (which they won’t do until I’m done nursing).  Also, I went to see a bariatric surgeon on Friday in order to get gastric sleeve surgery (that’s for another post entirely!) but because of the caloric intake that is required for nursing as well as the water intake, not only for myself but for milk production, it would be extremely easy for me to dehydrate if I were nursing. Those 2 things combined with the small amount that I’m producing, it just seemed like, for me, it was probably time, despite not wanting to at all.IMG_5128

I know that solid food if coming now.  I KNOW that he is getting what he needs from formula, but it breaks my damn heart to know that I won’t have all of our special cuddles, if that makes any sense.  I’m really struggling here friends.  This is a tough, sad day for me.  I’ve gone from pumping at  9, 12, and 3 at work, to 10 and 2.  Then I nurse him when I get home at 6, then I’ll nurse him again around 10, and then at 6 before we head out to daycare.  I’ll do that for the next week or so. Then I’ll take it down another 2 sessions, and we’ll go from there and re-adjust again.  And to makes matters all the more pleasant, I also started my period after almost 17 months!  Levi didn’t get approved for speech therapy because he doesn’t have a significant ENOUGH delay (he’s at a 12 month level for speech which only puts him at a 25% delay and he needs a 33% delay to get services), so that sucks because he needs it!  Noah is having tube surgery in August.  My poor baby couldn’t hear at the appointment when they did his hearing test (little drum tapping mechanical stuffed animals making noise in the corners of a room that he was supposed to look at when they turn on, and half the time he had no clue they were making noise), and of course Mama was a hot, snotty, crying mess!  Mary’s adoption may take longer than we originally anticipated because the caseworker that we have been working with for over 2 years got reassigned to a different district so we will have a new worker taking over who has to get all of her paperwork in order, and it’s just a true pain in the ass.  So basically, the past couple of days have been…days, to say the least.  Wish this mama some luck with keeping her emotions in check this week and if you don’t pray, do whatever it is that you do and send some calming, “help with this new adjustment” vibes this way.  I sure could use them…

Good thing this face helps…




Mary, Our Best Girl

Sometimes I get really sad that I can’t legally post pictures showing Mary’s face, the joy that’s on it when she’s in her favorite place, sandwiched between her twin brothers and little tiny baby brother on her lap.  This kid LIVES for those brothers, and they absolutely adore her. They run up and down the apartment, sticking their head into her room, only to scream , “A-YA-YA” (their variation of Mary’s real name) and then run away so she will chase them.  When she gets home from school, she gives them all the kisses she has been saving for them throughout the day, and they love it.  Every second of it. And WE love it!  We love seeing her interactions with her family, her space, her things, because it reassures us that not only do WE feel that she is in the right place, but she feels it too…





So where are we with Mary, you ask?!  NO-Fucking-WHERE, that’s where!!!  Our next court hearing is May 10th, and we officially begin the Termination of Parental Rights (TPR) trial.  What does this mean for Mary and for our family?  It means that records from therapists, teachers, doctors, case workers have been subpoenaed.  It means that most if not all of Mary’s “providers”(including her caseworker) will be called to the stand.  It means that we have to sit on our hands while all of these people dictate the life of one of our kids, the kid that actually made us parents!  So it’s really, really hard.  From what we understand, this could take a while.  We’ve spoken to Mary’s lawyer (he strictly represents HER and what she WANTS, not necessarily what is in her best interest), and he will be out our place on May 2nd to “interview” her and see where she is at.  That little letter up there ^^^ is pretty telling.

But how is Mary?  Well, “all over the place” sort of sums it up.  Let’s go back about 2 months.  Mary was talking to her teacher and telling him that she didn’t feel very well and that she wanted to speak to Ms. Kelly, the school psychologist, because she “had a lot feelings”.  So he sent her to Ms. Kelly’s office so that they could have a chat. Mary expressed that she had so many feelings that she didn’t know how to feel (she told us all of this when she got home.  We are firm believers in the whole confidentiality thing and prefer she tells us things when she is ready, which she almost ALWAYS does).  Most of the time, she was telling us that she had a weird feeling in her belly that wouldn’t go away, like she was going down a roller coaster, and anyone who has experienced this sensation knows that that is EXACTLY what anxiety feels like, and how crazy and in tune with her feelings is she,  that she was able to vocalize what is going on inside.  She may not know what anxiety feels like, but she sure is having some.  As soon as we heard that, we gave her therapist a call and they have been sorting it out ever since.  CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) is hard…so so hard!  Adults have a hard time with it, imagine being an 8 year old!  But this kid, she really is something else.

Her behavior has been less than stellar, and it’s been hard for us as parents to discipline her because we know that she is going through so, so much right now.  I can’t imagine having to “choose” between 2 families that I love and adore (she doesn’t have to choose, but no matter how much we reiterate that, she is still, in her mind, the one that makes the decision).  How do you “choose” between your birth family, who may not have necessarily always done the right thing, but that’s your REAL mom and your REAL sister.  Or your “real” family, where you feel the most loved, and wanted, and cared for?  As parents though, Callie and I have some serious behavior non-negotiables.  School work comes first.  ALWAYS.  There will be no playing or watching of the TV if homework is not done.  She stopped doing homework and stopped caring.  We saw it as a red flag because she absolutely LOVES school, but having recurring thoughts and anxiety makes it not easy to focus.  We don’t play with school though.  SO we are stuck between disciplining her the way we normally would but also taking into consideration that she has a hell of a lot going on.  Also, when mom is super consistent, and I’ll give her that, because she has been, Mary’s behavior goes all haywire! Then 3 weeks ago, Mary comes home with a yellow card from the after school program.  These yellow cards are warning cards.  2 yellow cards=a red card.  First red card=suspension.  Second red card is removal from the program.  We can’t have that!  Neither of us gets home until after 6, so the after school program is a necesity! What’s the yellow card for?  KICKING SOMEONE!  What in the fack!  That is our second non-negotiable!  We DO NOT under ANY circumstance, put our hand on someone.  We could preach the whole self defense thing which is cool for maybe an older kid, but for young kids, there really isn’t any reason for that, ESPECIALLY because there is no hitting at our house.  Callie and I may scream at each other once in a while, but never once have we disrespected each other like that.  She lost her privileges for a week.  3 days later, she comes home with another freaking yellow card!  SERIOUSLY!?!? Apparently, she was wandering around the school on her own, when she knows that it is the afterschool programs #1 rule. NO ma’am, so she felt that one, because it was Easter Sunday and she sat…the entire time…and the only reason we let her do the egg hunt was because my parents and siblings and aunts and uncles BEGGED us to let her.  So she had a whole 20 minutes for fun for 2 whole weeks.  One for the kicking, and one for the wandering off.  Not even 2 days after that, I get a call from the therapist telling me that Mary got into a fight at school.  For crying out freaking loud!  It’s all been handled and the past 2 weeks behavior has been incredible, which is great because with 2 very sick and whiny almost 16 month olds, our patience was very, very thin!

Otherwise, she is still doing exceptionally well in school,  had even better grades on her report card then last time!  She’s really been opening up at therapy and working through her stuff, and also, she has been an incredible, loving and kind big sister and daughter.  Honestly, I hope the outcome of this whole trial is that she will be freed for adoption, because if she’s not, I might just break one of our #1 house rules, and just hit something!  We love this kid so deeply, that thinking of her not being a part of our family is heartbreaking.  Let’s pray that May 10th is the beginning of bringing Mary fully into our family, legally into our family, forever into our family…it just has to be that way….













jerseyMy little Noah.  These past 2 months have been really rough for my little guy.  There has been a lot of adjusting and acclimating to new environments and lots and lots of sickness.  In the past 4 months he has had 3 ear infections, but the last 2 (in the past month) have both been horrible double ear infections, that have my baby tossing and turning and whining all night.  We were feeling like it had started to affect his hearing, and in turn his speech and that he probably isn’t as verbal as Levi is because of it.  Well, he had to prove us wrong, because last week, the kid’s language EXPLODED and suddenly he went from a very raspy grunt to saying Mama, ma (for whatever reason this is how he calls Callie), cat, gato, Nene (his nickname), Nah-no (Macho, levi’s nickname) Moh (more), ah-ma (grandma), Ya-ya (Mary’s real name), uh-oh, wa-wa (Agua). 11 words y’all!!!  11 whole words in one week!  The same week that he had this awful, 103.7 fever inducing ear infection.  SO wild!  But we are so so proud! In fact, this morning, my parents came over to pick up Levi since he was diagnosed with RSV/Bronchiolitis and needs nebulizer treatments that his daycare won’t/can’t administer, and Noah spoke his first full sentence, while screaming and crying at the top of his lungs and pointing at my parents car, “Nene bah-bye a Nah-no! Nene bah-bye a Nah-no!” Nene goes bye bye with Macho…damn near broke my heart!



Because of the total number of ear infections he has had in such a short period of time (6 in 6 months, 4 in 3 months, and 2 in one month) and the increasing frequency, we though, “It may be time to speak to a specialist,” so our pediatrician recommended a really great Pediatric ENT around our area.  We have yet to make an appointment, but I think it’s really just because I’m afraid that my tiny baby is gonna need tubes in his ears.  Despite all the amazing things and all the success that I hear about, it still scares me to know that my baby is gonna be put under and that he’s going to be in pain, and I hate it! I worry about an allergy to anesthesia, about how scared he will be, about not being able to hold his hand through it, and that maybe, after all that drama, they just won’t work. We’ll see how it will all play out.  We also hear that they outgrow it around 2ish, but do I really wanna sit and watch my little guy in pain for another 8-10 months?! NOPE!  So we’re exploring this tube thing, doing our research, and hoping that for now, this is the end of the ear infections.



Noah’s gross motor skills are developing so well, and his fine motor skills seemed pretty advance for a kid his age.  He can make his stacking boxes in to a small tower and then of course knock them down.  He can throw and even kick a ball!  You have no idea how excited I am to have babies that actually GET soccer!  Like, get excited when they make a goal, and will run away with the ball when I chase them.  He’s also gotten pretty good at feeding himself with a fork, not so much a spoon yet (which I wish he would hurry up and learn, because he LOVES soup and it takes forever to feed him since he’s that kid that won’t eat until he swallows what’s in his mouth after chewing for a whole minute!!).  He points and says, “Ah Nene” (para Nene/for Nene) when he wants something.  He also ROCKS at using a shape sorter.  He’s an awesome climber that is already giving Mama heart attacks, but mostly, above all, he is our sweet affectionate boy, who kisses you when you fake cry, loves to hold hands and hug his brothers, and sister and will almost always share his food with you.  Except for string cheese.  This boy LOVES his string cheese!















The Past Two Week…in Bullets!

I haven’t posted anything on my blog in the past two weeks because things have been rather hectic!  The fastest way to catch you (any myself) up to this whirlwind that has been my life, I figured I would do it the easiest way I know how…in bullet points!  Here goes nothing!

My Boys Turn 10 Month!

  • Levi is babbling so much and really using his words.  He calls all food Bananas (anana!) and screams MAMA and MOMMMMMMY at the top of his lungs most of the day.  He is standing unassisted and lets go of furniture for a few seconds and sits down again.  He still loves music, and is starting to dislike baby food, but will go to town on spaghetti (and slurps it up too, making the noises and everything!)  He has 2 bottom teeth, loves to sing, and at their 9 month visit (at 10 months!) he was weighing 20.2lbs, measuring 29″ and his head circumference was 49cm.  This little baby that wasn’t even on the curve at 1 month old is officially in the 50th or so percentile, although that head!  That head is in the 97th!Levi againlevimusciCaptain L
  • Noah is our active baby.  He is always on the go, and last night, he took 5 WHOLE STEPS!!! It was so awesome but I think he got a little overwhelmed with our excitement and refused to do it again. He would take 2 steps and sit!  He doesn’t have any actual words yet, but spends most of the day babbling and “talking” to his brother.  He is a bottomless pit that eats just about everything and anything (including the rug!) and won’t hesitate to let you know that he wants more.  He loves all his “wheels” and can sit on the carpet and roll his cars around for a good 40 minutes.  He is fast as lightning, loves chasing the car around, and has become the biggest cuddle bug ever.  It doesn’t matter what time he goes to bed (they can be up pretty late on the weekends when we are with family) he always wakes up at 7am, no question!  He like to beat up his brother, but also is the first to care for him when he is upset.  At his appointment yesterday he weighed in at 19.12lbs, height at 19.5″ and head circumference at 45cm.  This little guys is also just about in the 50th percentile give or take.  carNoahnenecaptain n

Mary’s TPR Hearing

  • 11/10 we had a hearing
  • The judge refused to hear Mary’s mom’s excuses
  • Mary’s lawyer stood up and said that he had spoken to Mary and that his “client loves her mother but is content with bi-weekly visits and would like to remain with the foster family.  She is thriving in school, her soccer team coached by her foster mother is undefeated, she begins basketball this Saturday, and is thriving academically.”
  • Mom wasn’t too pleased to hear that Mary wants to stay with us, and approached Mary’s lawyer claiming that Mary had said that she wanted to go back with mom, which we all know isn’t true.  Her lawyers response? ” I spoke with the child, and although I can’t and won’t tell you what she said, I can assure you, it wasn’t that!” SCORE!
  • The judge did not suspend judgement for another 6 months.  We were worried that she would, considering that mom has a new baby that she has access to 7 days a week from 9am-8pm (baby is with the paternal grandmother and so long as the grandmother or biological father are there to supervise the visit, Mary’s mom can see the baby and be the primary caregiver between those hours…yeah, ridiculous I know!).
  • When mom walked into the waiting area, I greeted her and she rolled her eyes at me!!! Why in the world would you act that way with someone who HAS YOUR DAMN KID!?!?! Let’s see how many emails she’ll get with pictures of Mary enjoying her pretty kick ass life.  I’ll give you a hint.  It starts with Z and ends with ERO!
  • Termination Hearings officially start May 9th, 2016.  The first person on the stand?  Our caseworker…so yeah…
  • Our only concern is that (Currently) mom is complying with all of the recommendations (drug treatment, individual therapy, and parenting classes) so when we have our hearing in 6 months, this could potentially lead to a suspended hearing.  We are pretty worried about that, but we are praying thinking that mom’s patterns will prove true and she will likely screw up in the next few months.

25 Weeks

  • Baby is a wiggly little thing. Callie can actually feel him on the outside now
  • I pee….a lot!
  • Noah loves to rub my belly and lay on my tummy.  Something tells me these two will be the best of buds
  • I haven’t had much of an appetite and despite how terrible it is for you in real life, let alone pregnancy, the craving for Coca-Cola is TOO DAMN REAL!
  • Baby weighs about a pound and a half and is measuring approximately 14 or so inches, so this guy is the size of an eggplant!
  • I have definitely decided on a name, and although we both agree that it is our FAVORITE NAME, Callie refuses to name our son this because she has a second cousin who we have seen all of TWICE (a wedding and  a funeral ) in the past 5 years, named her son our number one name.  The kid is 4 and we never see him!  I am still arguing this point fervidly, and I refuse to let it go!  Nothing else sounds as great or feels as right…25 weeks

Callie Interviews for a Job

  • And NAILS it!
  • The position is an Instructional Coordinator for 4 daycare centers in Brooklyn and the Bronx.  She will be traveling between the 4 schools and making sure that the educational curriculum is being implemented properly in all of the classrooms
  • It’s basically her ideal position, except now the boys and the new little one will have to be in daycare and no one is happy
  • My pockets on the other hand, are very very happy!
  • We toured some schools yesterday and actually really like the program and the staff, so it’s going to help make the transition a little easier when we have to drop out babies off with complete strangers for the first few weeks
  • The pay is just FANTASTIC, and we will be a 6 figure family again, which means we can take “real” vacations, pay off all of our debt in the next few months, and very likely be able to buy a home before the end of 2016 rolls around.  I’m shooting for September-ish.  Callie is thinking I’m crazy.  We’ll see who wins THIS battle (because obviously the baby name battle will be mmiiinnnneee! Mwahahaha!)
  • Callie is pretty bent out of shape about returning to work, but I keep doing my best to gently remind her that she is so lucky that she was able to practically spend the whole first year of the boys lives with them.  And I keep reiterating, “money for us all to go to Aruba/Bahamas/Puerto Rico/Jamaica…for a week…and stay in a house on the beach…and create lots of new memories that we wouldn’t have otherwise”…it’s kinda sorta almost working….kinda
  • Did I mention that my pockets are very happy about this?

Planning the ULTIMATE Pirate Party Bash

  • Venue Booked for 1/16/16 from 2-6pm.  We get one hour set up and one hour take down
  • Decorations are being ordered weekly in order to have everything that we need
  • Can we say “DIY at its finest”?  Why yes, yes we can! Thank you Pinterest, for being pretty much, AMAZING!
  • Magician?  YUP!  We got that!
  • 125 people (36 kids)?  YUP!  We got that too!
  • My boys in matching pirate costumes is gonna be TO DIE FOR, especially when Callie, Mary, and I wheel them out in their Radio Flyer wagon turned Pirate Ship!  EXACTLY!!!
  • We are so lucky and blessed that our village is INCREDIBLE!  Everyone is helping to contribute to make the boys birthday party just the best thing ever, and we couldn’t be more grateful.  It’s hard keeping tabs of who volunteered to pay for what, or who is making what dish, or who is picking things up and coming over to help make center pieces, and who is coming early to help decorate.  This is turning out to be just as involved as a wedding!
  • So glad we are taking the day of their actual birthday off.  January 11 will be a day spent with out two little ones, probably somewhere baby friendly like Gymboree and letting them eat all the cake they want!

and finally, 26 Weeks!

  • Had an appointment with my OB yesterday, and my blood pressure is the lowest it’s been since 2002!  It’s at 127/72.  And that’s GREAT considering it’s been at about 145/100 the past few visits.  I guess having no real appetite kinda helped that.
  • Doc just called me to let me know my 1 hour glucose test was borderline and he would feel better if I took the 3 hour considering that my sugar was a little high at the beginning of pregnancy. It was at 138 and they wanna see it no higher than 135, so back to the lab I go on Monday.
  • I have only gained just under 11 lbs during this pregnancy, which is great considering that they really don’t want me to gain much more than 15lbs.
  • I have another growth scan on 12/4, and I cannot WAIT to see this little guy!
  • Pregnancy has been really good to me, except for the oily skin, but my hair looks awesome, and I seem to be losing body weight but gaining baby weight if that makes sense.
  • Biscuit is weighing close to 2 lbs and is measuring about the same length as last week, anywhere between 14-16 inches head to toe.
  • Little Biscuits testes are descending this week and that is hella important IF he is in fact, well, a HE!  Can you tell I’m still not convinced?
  • I soak my shirt daily when I wash my hands and occasionally turn the corner too closely or turn the knobs on the stove.  Still not used to a protruding belly.
  • Still not waving a white flag on this baby’s name…soon friends, I will announce the name we both love that Callie is currently refusing considering to name this little person.

So those are the goings on around these here parts!

18 Weeks

Well, 2 weeks shy of being half way through this pregnancy.  That is both the best thing ever and also very sad.  I still haven’t decided if I love being pregnant, but then again there isn’t really much to love yet.  I’ve just started showing, and I am JUST starting to feel some movement (although I’m not convinced), and not knowing the gender (despite me wanting this baby to be a surprise) is making me feel a little, I dunno, disconnected?!  I think that will all change soon though, as this pregnancy starts getting more real.

How I’m Feeling this Week: I feel pretty awesome this week.  I’m not as tired all the time, and I’ve been enjoying the crisper weather that autumn is bringing in.  I absolutely hate the summer, and look forward to fall and winter.  So mix that with the burst of energy you get in the second trimester and well, things are pretty great!

How Big is Biscuit: Biscuit is about the size of a green pepper, or about the size of a small electric shaver.  Weighing roughly 7 ounces and measuring about 5 1/2″ from head to bottom.  Baby is forming some vernix and the ears are just where they should be now.  The alveoli are beginning to form in baby’s lungs and the vocal chords are forming as well!

Baby Bump News?:  This bump is definitely growing, and daily I am starting to feel more and more pregnant for sure!



Sleep:  Sleep has actually been pretty awesome!  In fact, Callie has been really great about letting me sleep in.  We have a system.  On Saturday’s, she sleeps in and on Sunday’s I sleep in. The past few weekends have resulted in us having to leave the house early, so she has let me have Saturdays instead…still have very vivid strange dreams from time to time, but for the most part, I don’t really remember much of it…

Food Loves/Hates:  Nothing really, but we went apple picking last Sunday and I have had apples pretty much every day.  Last night I made a braided apple pie which is delicious!!!

Symptoms:  Started to feel some MOVEMENT!!!  I’m still not all the way convinced, but I feel it most at night, when I lay on my side and spoon Callie.  It’s hard to really explain what it feels like.  People say like bubbles, or like gas, sometimes even like flutters, but I’m not sure if that’s what it really feels like to me.  I can’t really describe it, but I’m pretty sure it’s Biscuit!  And that is super exciting!

Next Scan:  My next appointment is scheduled for October 8th, for the anatomy scan.  I had an appointment yesterday just to check my BP and to give urine and do the AFP blood work.  Should get the results in a few days.  I was a little sad at my appointment though.  Our OB, who we ABSOLUTELY ADORE is pregnant.  I got a call last week that she was going to be out early on leave (at 24 weeks) because she was put on bed rest.  We were worried about her, and were given an appointment with the midwife at the same medical group, who just so happened to be my doctor before I switch to my OB since the midwife doesn’t do deliveries anymore.  The appointment went well (BP totally ok, and no protein in urine) but since the midwife has HER patients and also MY doctors patients, they are giving me a new doctor which I am not happy about.  He worked with my OB Dr. M, and Dr. M’s nurse Chrys is AWESOME and she’ll be working with him, so that will help, but I’m still not happy about it.  Chrys assured us that Dr. M said she would definitely be back for when I deliver, since her TRIPLETS are due in early December!  When i found out it was triplets, I couldn’t even be mad any more!  Freaking triplets!  Wow!!!

Sex:  ???

Overall Feelings:  I’ve been getting more and more excited about this pregnancy as it has progressed.  I’m excited to experience more movement, and baby hiccups, and seeing this little thing on the screen in just under 2 weeks.  I’m curious to know if my intuition is right, since I can’t help but feel with my whole heart and gut that Biscuit is a girl, but at the same time, I crave that surprise.  I still have 2 weeks to think about it, although the prospect of another Gender Reveal Party is really appealing!  HAHA!  Anything for a party!

Something I Didn’t Expect:  I didn’t expect to want to BE super pregnant.  People at work are starting to notice, and my family can totally see my little pump now.  I didn’t expect to want a natural delivery sooooo badly.  I had a dream the other night, that I blacked out while I was laboring, and woke up to a baby boy who wouldn’t latch after having a C-section and NO RECOLLECTION whatsoever of having had him.  It was freaking scary and my worst nightmare!  So I didn’t expect to be really sad and scared about maybe, just maybe having a c-section.  It’s really 50/50 odds though, isn’t it.

Also, Callie and I celebrated our 5 year anniversary on Sept 22, but I haven’t really had a chance to write about that, but I’ll get to it i swear!

usSo friends, there ya have it…week 18!

Oh and as always, these guys…nene nen1 macho1 macho

My Little 4 Month Olds

4months4 Months old!  Holy Crap! I expected a lot of stuff when my children came into the world, but I didn’t expect for them to grow so quickly!  I can’t believe it!  I wish they would take their time and stop growing, at least for a little while.  But alas, children grow!


Noah is my main man!  As a mother, I don’t have a favorite, I just love each one differently, and Noah, he’s my sidekick.  My mini-me for sure!  He is my active baby, spending 15-20 minutes on the floor on his tummy, looking at himself in the mirror, reaching for pretty much anything he can get his hands on, and being the easier (and less needy) of our twins.  He is super alert, getting up at around 6:30-7am (giving me just enough time to cuddle with him and give him tons of kisses before I head out to work for the day).  He loves singing really loudly, and cooing to himself, or to his sister, or to the cat, or really to just about anyone who will listen.  He is all smiles most of the day, and hardly ever cries.  He’s a grunter, and slowly, we have figured out what his little grunts mean.  This kid is a laugher too.  The squeals he produces when he thinks something is hysterical are just so great.  Can totally brighten up even the gloomiest days.  He loves playing in his exersaucer, and looking at the bright flashing lights and pressing anything that will result in music or noise.  And the thumb sucking…so bad, but oh so freaking cute!

At his 4 month check up, he was weighing in at 13.47 pounds and measuring 25inches long.  The Dr. said that his Torticolis isn’t anything to be concerned about since we have been working with him diligently since his 1 month check-up, and now that he is spending more time on his belly and stretching and working his neck muscles, it should all sort itself out.  She also said that he doesn’t need a helmet/orthotic band either, at least not yet, and that the shape of his head has improved lots since the last visit at their 2 month check-up.  But really, the best thing about this little guy are those cheeks!  Oh, those cheeks!  Nene1 Nene noahLEVI JAMES

Levi is our squishy boy.  His favorite place to be is his belly on my chest, with his cheek pressed to my nose or lips.  He absolutely HATES tummy time and will barely do 5 minutes without having a complete red faced melt down.  Either way, we let him cry it out for a few minutes (as long as he is fed and dry), because even a little flailing is helping his muscles get a little stronger.  He is our silent observer.  He looks at everything around him with a very watchful and curious eye.  He is hardly ever seen without his Mico (little monkey Wubbanub) and his Owl Wubbie (also sporting a Soothies paci), and will promptly have a meltdown if he realizes that it isn’t within arms reach.  He is holding up his head pretty well and prefers to be sitting in his Bumbo than being on his tummy. He’s not as vocal as his brother, but he makes up for it with how great he is with holding onto things and reaching and playing with all of the toys hanging from his play mat.  He is such a smiley boy, and is rarely in a bad mood.  And all the chins he makes when he smiles (which is pretty often) are totally the best!

At his 4 month check up, he was weighing in at 13.29lbs, and also 25 inches long and really closing in on his brother.  They have always been about 6oz. apart, but little Macho is catching up!  We were concerned that his little (I say TINY but Callie gets super mad at me, because I’m “gonna give him a complex”) penis went inverted all the time (he was circumcised and we were concerned something was wrong) but according to our doctor, he has a really “fluffy” piece on his lower abdomen that is making his penis look smaller then it really is.  She manipulated the “fluff” a little, and voila!  I wasn’t expecting that!  So really, I have two little guys that are well endowed! I was totally concerned!  We also expressed our concern about his hate of tummy time, but she said he was doing just fine and nothing to be worried about.  Our little Macho Man is living up to his name, strong and tough (and apparently packin!)<—-also, not sure what i pressed to make this bold, but ummm, yeah…

LJSummer LJ

machomanThe Boys

They are finally, for the first time, starting to notice each other.  Levi rarely notices Noah, but Noah is all about trying to get his brothers attention.  He laughs at him, bangs in his general directions, yells at him and coos at him, but half the time Macho doesn’t even notice.  It wasn’t until Levi had no more food in his bowl, and Nene had food left in his that he wasn’t eating, that Levi looked over at him, grunted, and then smiled.  I think that was my cue to give him the rest of his brothers food.  twinsAnd since we are on the topic, REAL FOOD! This is one of my favorite things in the world.  Seeing a baby with food all over their face and really enjoying it makes me so incredibly happy.  That is the case for Levi.  He LOVES eating cereal.  When we sit them in their new high chairs (which have also become their favorite places to be this past week- even rocking them forever can’t put them to sleep like these high chairs do, it’s so weird!), he starts kicking his legs and cooing and yelling so loudly waiting for his food.  We introduced peas for the first time at last nights dinner, and Noah wasn’t having any of that either!  He does not like real food AT ALL.  We have to trick him by giving him a few sips of his bottle first and sneaking in a spoonful here and there.  I can’t wait till they start trying a ton of other stuff.  So far they eat and like (at least Levi does) Oatmeal cereal, bananas and now peas.  noah higchair







boysAll in all, these handsome little guys are healthy, growing stronger and smarter by the minute, and really giving us a hard time with this 4 month sleep regression thing.  Noah is still sleeping through the night (7:30pm-5am) but Levi has taken to staying awake, grunting and cooing in the pack and play from 12-2am for the past week, sleeping on and off for 3 hours,and then is officially away for the day at around 5 am.  You can only imagine the joy that Callie and I are experiencing!  But even the regression in sleep is showing that they are right on target and where they should be.  And even at 2am, when they are screaming loudly and scaring the crap out of us, leaning over into the crib and seeing them all smiles when they see us, makes it all ok….

TPR Revisited

From the day that Mary was brought into our home, we were convinced not only by Mary’s connection to her mom, but also by the words of several social workers, resource workers, case managers and therapists, that Mary would be inevitably returning to her biological mother within a years time.  We should have known better!  Every other placement we had, we were told that the children would likely be freed for adoption, but within a few short weeks, they were all transitioned to a relatives home, and Callie and I were left licking our wounds, sad and crying on our couch, as we cuddled and caught up on weeks of TV that were impossible to watch when you have toddlers who would not benefit from watching the latest season of RuPaul’s Drag Race.  Mary has been a different case all together.  Considering her background and the hard work that mom had done in the past to get her back, we just sort of figured that Mary’s time with us was finite, and would eventually come to an end, no doubt breaking us all over again.

Over the past 3 months, Mom’s performance has been…less than stellar.  Actually, to be totally honest, no one even knows where Mom is, yet again! Since January, she has shown up for 2 visits, then goes MIA again.  Her excuse usually is that she doesn’t have a phone or she’s been working umpteen hours, but we all know that it isn’t that case.  Turns out mom is newly pregnant (about 4 months and decided to announce it to Mary at their last visit almost 3 weeks ago [which must make Mary feel really terrible because baby gets mom, but she doesn’t] but told the case worker that she isn’t really sure what she wants to do yet – sigh), and has had several other issues that go against the plan to get Mary back.  During the time that mom has been missing meetings and visits and therapy and anger management and parenting and her outpatient treatment program, we have been encouraged to not tell Mary the truth. We have been told to tell her that mom is working, or that she wasn’t feeling well, or that she had to cancel because of the weather, all the while dying inside because Mary isn’t your average 7 year old.  She grew up and socialized with adults most of her life, so she is well aware of the things that are going on, excellent at reading social cues, despite her OBVIOUSLY playing dumb (she does this too us ALL the time…”Where are we going Saturday?” after overhearing us say we are going to my parents from 3 rooms over!).

Wednesday morning we had a permanency hearing for Mary. We got all of the kids ready for the day.  Callie’s parents dropped Mary at school and came back to watch the boys.  We grabbed our notebooks and paperwork and head to county court to find out what would be happening with Mary for at least the next 6 months.  At our last home visit, our case worker told us that she was going to file a TPR, and if we were willing to adopt Mary.We quickly answered “YES!”.  Now this is something that I haven’t really spoken about because, well, as foster parents, you sort of expect to love all of the children that come into your home, but you never really know how you will connect with them.  I have a pretty awesome relationship with Mary.  Callie and Mary’s relationship, on the other hand, is a bit…strained.  I know that they both love each other dearly, but there is something about both of their personalities that don’t really mesh well.  My take on it*** 1) Mary is very attached to her mother.  Callie is very motherly/maternal.  Mary will not allow Cal to be her mom, because in her eyes, well, she doesn’t need one because she has one.  Callie feels rejected and subconsciously acts on it. Because I am more like “dad” which Mary doesn’t really have, it makes our connection different.  2) Callie is the disciplinarian.  I am not.  She has follow through where I have “but their just kids!”   It’s more fun to be with me than Callie.  All that being said, we have been struggling with making the decision that is best for our family, because after all, adoption is forever.  After much contemplation and weeeeeeekkkkkkssssss of talking it over, we decided that what is best for our family is to give all the love to Mary that we would our biological children, all the attention that she deserves and a chance at belonging and being part of a healthy (albeit crazy!) family.  She is THRIVING and excelling in our home.  She has done a complete 180 from when she first came to us.  And aside from all of that, how could we be willing contributors in the ruining of her life?  More transitions, more people that in her eyes “don’t love her and leave”.  It’s something that we wouldn’t be able to deal with.  Financially, we will be a hot mess, but we’ll figure it out.  We always have, and we probably always will.  (And potentially, if Mary’s moms baby goes into care, taking on another infant to keep siblings together—no need to tell us we are out of our minds….we know!)

We meet up at court with our case worker (we’ll just call her Krista from here on out), her attorney ( the county attorney really), Mary’s mom’s attorney, and Mary’s attorney.  We sat and spoke for about 20 minutes before our case was called in.  To all of our surprise (read:we were not surprised), Mary’s mom didn’t show up.  The lawyer was trying to contact her.  Krista was trying to contact her.  No answer.  They called relatives who tried to get in touch with her, and no one could reach her or confirm her whereabouts.  For some strange reason, my heart was so heavy for Mary in those moments before the judge said she’d give her another 10 minutes and the benefit of the doubt.  We step out of the courtroom.  We all knew she wasn’t going to show.  She didn’t want to hear it from the judge (who has been seeing this same case for apparently the 1087 days that Mary has been in the custody of the county).  10 minutes later, we all go back in.  The judge does not look happy, even with the 50+ snow globes adorning her desk (no seriously, like 50!!!).  After being sworn in, our worker gives her all of the details.  How mom has been missing, and that all of her therapies and programs have been cancelled due to non-compliance.  That they reduced her visits from 2 hours unsupervised weekly, back to 1 hour supervised bi-weekly and that mom still isn’t attending.  How despite all attempts (phone calls, emails, home visits, contacting family, and snail mail), it has been near impossible to contact her.  Her own lawyer, even made a point to say in court, that she no longer wants to represent her client and wants to be relieved because she is tired of chasing her around (in more words).  The judge was not happy.  She asked us how Mary was doing in our home, and what behaviors she has been exhibiting.  We were very candid and forthright with our answers.  She was having a hard time emotionally, but we were doing our best.  By the end of our 5 minute spiel, the judge had heard enough.  She changed the permanency goal to “Adoption”, and told our case worker that she wanted the TPR complete and on her desk within 90 days.

When we got home from court, we hung out with our boys and my MIL for about an hour before we went to speak to a lawyer about Callie’s job situation (another post, BUT turns out we have a case! And we’re gonna pursue it thanks to the New York State Division of Human Rights).  When we got home after that, Mary was waiting for us, as usual, to ask us how our day was.  We have a dry erase board in our kitchen that we update every month in different colors so that everyone knows what their appointments and activities are for the month.  On April 15th, our calendar said COURT.  She asked us if court was for her.  Callie and I looked at each other and decided that it was best to start letting her know the truth and begin to process what is happening.  We told her that it was, and that it was a very important meeting.

MaryWas my mom there?

Me:  She was supposed to be honey, but she didn’t show up.  A lot of people were really disappointed and sad at her today, including us.

Mary: Why was everyone sad?

MeBecause today the judge needed help deciding if you were going to go back to live with Mom soon, or if you were going to be staying to live with us maybe forever.  When your mom didn’t come, the judge didn’t really know what to think, and couldn’t ask your mom some important questions to help make her decision.

Mary: (with a weird grin on her face, she slowly walked backwards out of the kitchen and around the corner loudly whispering) Ooohhhhhhhhh kkkkkkkkkk….

MeCome back here coocoo…this is important…

Mary(hysterical and in tears)  But I really miss mommy, and I really wanna go with her.  I mean, I love living here, and you and Callie and the boys, so it’s not that, but I really wanted to go back with mommy!

Me: Would living with us forever be so bad?

Mary No,it’s good, but I just miss mommy!!!

Me And mommy misses you too honey.  Just because she can’t take care of you doesn’t mean she doesn’t love you with her whole heart.  She just has a difficult time making good choices that will keep you together.

And she hugged me, hard, for a long time, and cried into my tummy, telling me she loved us, and followed me around the house for the next hour, probably distracting herself from all of the thoughts that were going on in her head.  We spoke to her therapist and told her we were going to be more honest with her (in an age appropriate way) and that it would probably be really good to start working through and sorting through some of that stuff during her sessions.

Friends, I don’t want to count my chickens before they hatch, but by the looks of it, we are going to be going down this adoption road sooner than we expected.  Mary might one day in the near future be a Mendez.  But in 90 days, the TPR will be filed, and the journey continues.  Her mom can appeal, but after 1087 days in care, and a judge that has given her 8 tries to get it together, I don’t think any number of appeals will help mom.  There is also the option of a conditional surrender (mom signing over her rights with “conditions”) but we would REALLY have to consider that…our little girl has been hurt enough.  We understand that these things can take anywhere from 1 1/2-3 years…so we’re waiting, patiently, nervously, for Mary to finally have her forever family.


If you ever wanted to know what a 3 am feeding at our house looks like, well, here you have it, my good people. And by the way, it looks ridiculous!



When it’s all said and done, I wouldn’t trade a single second of it. Well, maybe the few seconds of screaming while mommy gets the bottles. But when they finish them and they look at us so intensely, i forget that their screams really just sounded like they were wailing , ” I’m starving! I’m sttttaaaarrrving!!! I’mmmm staaaaaasrrrrviiiinnnggg!!!”. (No seriously, that’s what it sounds like!). Also these pictures are interchangeable with the 12am and 6am feedings. What does 3am look like at your place? Probably as tragic as ours!

Date Night

Having been cooped up in the house for two weeks was making us a little stir crazy! Today, we decided, we needed time for us. I went on Groupon and they had a deal at one of our favorite places, Bonzai Hibachi Grill! I called Wita and Wito who were THRILLED to be able to babysit their little grandbabies. We bundled up Mary and the boys, grabbed our wallets and were in the car 40 minutes after our phone call. My parents, my sister Raquel and her fiancé Sebastian, were waiting for us when we arrived. They were so excited to be able to spend time with the kids. We still almost cried when it was time to leave them, but we kissed them a million times and finally, FINALLY, made our way out the door and onto the road a few blocks from my parents for some delicious food.

My mom actually posted this photo on her Instagram about 15 minutes after we left.

Dinner was fantastic! It was really nice to just hold hands with Callie, talk to her about a ton of random stuff, and just look at her, somehow still glowing even tho she isn’t pregnant anymore. We talked about our favorite things about being new moms and what we dislike the most. What has superseded our expectations and what we think the others strongest parenting skill is. We talked about what melts our heart about each kid and what we look forward to. And we looked at pictures! Lots and lots of pictures of our adorable little family. I mean, the whole night! We showed off our babies to the perfect stranger who were sitting next to us. I swear, if the waitress had come by one more time we would have shown her too. On the drive to pick the kids up, we talked about how ridiculous 90’s fashion was, where we had a big poofy bang but wet hair in the back. How we would wear baggy jeans with boxers showing with a huge t-shirt tucked in the front and out in the back! I mean, truly ridiculous stuff. We had a good laugh, an even better make-out session (boom chicka wow wow!), and to end the night we got to pick up our 3 beautiful children. Life couldn’t be better…and the break for 3 hours was well deserved….