I Don’t Want The “D”!!!

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

Divorce.

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!

IMG_9395

1ST DAY OF 4TH GRADE! WHEN DID THAT HAPPEN!?!?

IMG_9384

SUNLIT BOY

IMG_9385

“MAMA! MAS JUGOOOO!!!!!”

IMG_9386

ALWAYS EATING!

IMG_9211[1]

“LOOK MAMA! YOUR CRYSTAL MADE RAINBOWS IN MY EYE!”

IMG_9391

MY FAVORITE PUPPY

IMG_9390

NOT TO BE OUTDONE BY MY FAVORITE KITTY!

IMG_9292

PAPO IN MY FAVORITE PJ’S BECAUSE THEY ACCENTUATE THAT DELISIOUS BELLY!

IMG_9419

CAREER DAY AT DAYCARE

IMG_9389

MAMAS BOYS

Advertisements

6 Months and So Much More…

IMG_5084

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…

IMG_5154

IMG_5095

IMG_5040

She Knows…

adoptsymbol-300x293

Tuesday evening, the elevator climbs up the 3 floors to our apartment.  Before I put my key in the door, I take a deep breath and prepare myself for what will possibly be a tough night of explaining what happens next and trying to manage loads and loads of tears, but before I turn the key, I hear squeals and laughter.  I slowly open the door, and the boys are sitting on the floor stacking a few boxes and knocking them down, thinking it is the most hilarious thing they have ever done/seen.  I hear voices in the kitchen…more laughter.

Mary and Callie are talking.  Mary is sitting on the step stool, elbows on her knees, chin resting in the palm of her hands.  She looks…happy…which is not really what I expected.

Hey my two favorite ladies!  How’s everything? What are you talking about?!

I have a lot of feelings.

Hmm, you do?  Well, what are they?! Wanna talk about it?!

I was talking to mommy about it.  I was telling her I went to parenting. (Mary goes to parenting for an hour once/week.  Her and her mom meet with a therapist who monitors and corrects/applauds/helps with positive and appropriate interactions)

Oh, yeah!  And how was it?  Did you and your mom play games?

No, we just talked.

About?

Adoption.

Oh!  Well, that’s important stuff to talk about!  And what did she say about it?!

She said that I’m getting adopted.

SHE DID! ::GASP:: And how did that make you feel when she told you that?

It made me feel really happy and really sad at the same time.

You wanna tell me more about that?  Why happy and why sad?

Sad because I won’t see my mom so much anymore.  I can only see her 4 times a year, so that means I can only see my baby sister 4 times a year, and I won’t be able to see my family, like my Titi (mom’s sister) or my grandma (who passed away right before Austin was born and mom still hasn’t told her) or my cousins in Florida, that I forget their names, and that makes me sad.  But happy because I never have to leave again and I can stay here with you and mommy and my brothers, and we can be a family. Oh, and I can sleep over Wita’s house with Izzy whenever I want!!!


We didn’t think that Mary would be able to absorb this huge news and process it so quickly, but it’s 2 days later and all we see is the hugest change in her behavior and her demeanor.  She’s always been upbeat, funny, helpful, but lately it hasn’t been at the level that it’s always been.  She’s been dragging her feet a little more, being a little more whiny and complainy about the tiniest things, short of patience, lots of errors on her homework from being careless and uninterested, but just in the past 2 days she has somehow, in some weird way, flourished.  It’s like she became a whole new kid, literally overnight!  She set the table without being prompted.  She’s not only been brushing her teeth, but FLOSSING without having to be told.  Her bed has been made the past 2 days before I am even up in the morning.  Not a single mistake on her homework in the past 2 days.  She can concentrate.  She’s been sleeping (she was having severe anxiety and hasn’t slept soundly in a couple of weeks).  I mean, who would have thought that just KNOWING that you aren’t leaving again can make such a huge difference.  That same afternoon she came home with a Green Card from the after-school program.  I don’t know, but it can’t possibly be a coincidence that Mary hears the news that she is going to have a forever family after 5 years in foster care and gets rewarded for EXCELLENT behavior.  I don’t know why we were expecting her to be beside herself, and lost.  She has expressed over and over again that she wants to be adopted.  We should have known that this news would flip her life around, but in an amazing way.

When Mary went to bed, Callie and I talked.  Mary and her mom met with the parenting therapist from 2-3pm , and then Mary went on her own to touch base with her individual therapist from 3-3:30.  Mary’s therapist had called Callie and told her how it went down.  Lisa, Mary’s mom, explained that the judge had made the choice to make Mary adoptable.  She told her that she would only be seeing her 4 times a year.  She also said that Mary could see her whenever she wanted as long as we thought it was ok, and the parenting therapist cosigned that ish!  Callie and I were pretty upset about this, but luckily Mary had told her individual therapist that it was said, and she corrected it right away telling Mary that the judge said it was only 4 times and that was it, and also confronting the parenting lady and telling her that it was inappropriate to agree with that.  We aren’t really fans of the parenting coach.  This is the same lady that let Mary’s mom tell her that we aren’t her parents and that those aren’t her brothers, and Mary came home really hurt and upset about it.

Mary asked mom some hard questions.  “Why didn’t you do the right thing so you could get me back?  Why didn’t you make good choices?  Why is it so hard for you to make good choices?  Don’t you love me?”  I can’t imagine being a mother and having my kids ask me questions like that.  But the interesting thing, the one thing that we absolutely did NOT expect…Mary didn’t cry.  The whole time.  Not once.  In fact, when she got home, she shed about 3 tears, probably because she felt safe and comfortable enough with us to do so, and just because we know her so well, we knew that they were forced, almost like she thought that was what we expected.  It was like she was fighting to keep the smile OFF of  her face.  Friends, this kid is so, so happy, despite it taking her away from her biological family, it has cemented her place in her, permanently, in ourd. Her chosen family.  The place where her heart is.  That is all we wanted for her…safety, happiness, and permanency.  We’re almost their friend…we are almost there…


Day 4 of Operation No More Bobo’s is a success!  They haven’t asked for bobo’s once today and they are both currently napping!  Thanks the bobo gods!

IMG_4755[1]

WHAT 5:30 PM LOOKS LIKE AFTER 2 DAYS OF NO NAP!

Permanency

Yesterday we had court for Mary.  We didn’t know what to expect except what we had heard, which was mostly, sit back, listen to what they are saying and prepare for this to go any way.  That didn’t sit very well with us, but having had other friends who had gone through TPR (Termination of Parental Rights) we know that it can be quite the lengthy process.  Kids have to be in foster care any 15 out of 22 months before a TPR is filed and then after that the trial and disposition and finally a decision from the judge.  Depending on how long the child has been in care dictates (for the most part) how long the TPR process will take.  With Mary having been in care for over 5 years, we kinda knew this was gonna drag on and on and on.  Moms reluctance to give her up would make this last even longer! So, we showed up at 9:30am ready to lock our butts into the cold wooden seast and listen to what the caseworker was going to testify to.

Now, when you’re at a hearing, the evidence that is presented is ONLY from when the TPR is filed and before that.  Nothing after that. Since the TPR was filed, mom has been pretty consistent (guessing she doesn’t wanna lose her kid) but it’s a little too late.  They would be testify and providing evidence from moms WORST year.  The year that she disappeared for half of and tested positive on all of her drug tests for the other half and left all her different treatment programs (rehab, anger management, parenting, individual therapy).  Not a good look.  But we sat in the waiting area with our caseworker, her lawyer, and Mary’s Lawyer.  A few days ago Mary’s lawyer came to our apartment to interview Mary.  We weren’t allowed to sit in, which was a little unnerving, but Mary has been pretty adamant about being adopted but STILL seeing her mom if she was.

As we sit there, Mary’s mom’s lawyer walked over to us (the whole group, not just Callie and I). The caseworker’s attorney (let’s just call her Alyson) suggested to Mary’s mom’s lawyer that she should sign the consent.  The “consent” is a document that’s almost like pleading “no contest” in a court of law, except you admit guilt but no evidence is heard against you.  Makes it pretty hard for a judge to determine and prove negligence if there is no evidence, so then we go to the disposition where everyone can make their case, EXCEPT the Department of Social Services (DSS) won’t be able to use evidence from BEFORE the TPR, only AFTER! This is mom’s best option because if we were to use the information from AFTER the TPR, mom has a greater chance of getting Mary back, and Mary could potentially go home.

Mom’s lawyer went back to where Lisa (Mary’s mom) was sitting.  She gave Lisa the information and came back about 10 minutes later to explain to us that Lisa would be willing to sign the consent if, and and only if she can get an additional one hour visit every week.  Alyson and Mary’s lawyer (Saul) were both completely against it.

“That doesn’t even make sense! We’re in TPR! We can’t give her MORE time with the child! It’s counterproductive. Absolutely not!”

So Lisa’s lawyer went back and told her.  She was gone for quite a while.  She came back and said that Lisa would not agree to signing anything unless she got more time with Mary.  Our car worker called her supervisor to speak to him and see if it was something that was feasible.  After several more minutes, and sweaty palms, the caseworker’s supervisor decided that if mom would sign the consent, an additional visit a week would be the best option, and we could proceed with the case and the department would have one less thing to worry about (that’s mine and Callie’s take on it).

“I represent my client and what she wants and there is NO WAY I will agree to one more visit! My client wants to be adopted, and another visit a week is out of the question on the grounds that it would cause too much confusion for my client and remove her from school even more than the 3 days a week that she already is,” boomed a voice from the corner.  Saul is a small guy, about 5’6″, bald shiny head, small elvish features and tiny voice, but when his voice came through, we all knew this was a non-negotiable.  Lisa’s lawyer called an attorney meeting with the judge.

All 3 attorneys entered the courtroom and left all of us outside to wonder what was happening.  What felt like an eternity later (probably only 10 minutes though) all 3 attorneys returned, Saul and Alyson to where we were sitting and Lisa’s mom’s attorney to the opposite side of the area.  Saul said the judge said “ABSOLUTELY NOT!  We are in TPR and there is no way I would approve an additional visit.  This is not a permanency hearing (where they make decisions about visits, treatment, next 6 months) and it’s not beneficial for the child.  And I would tell your client that if she’s adamant about seeing her children, she may want to sign a conditional surrender because that’s her only guarantee to see her child.  We’re terminating her rights! She needs to understand that.” Callie and I are sitting there not saying anything, kid of taking it all in.  This is so new for is, and we had loads of question brut it was all going so quickly but also really slowly and time was crawling but feeling like we were in fast forward. We see Lisa’s attorney walking towards us.

“Do the terms of a surrender stay the same?”

All eyes on Callie and me. Blink blink.

“Us?!”

Nods in our direction.

“4 visits a year. Quarterly. No holidays, Mothers’ Day, or birthdays.  Monthly email updates with pictures. Anything else at our discretion.”

“What about 6 visits a year? Every 2 months?!”

Callie, “Absolutely NOT!”

She walks away. She comes back.

She’ll sign the consent.

Everyone looks at each other and then look at me and Callie.  What the heck are they looking at us like that for?

“Wait?  She’ll sign the surrender?” says Mary’s lawyer.

SHOCK! She’ll what?!?! She’s gonna surrender her rights?! Somehow Callie and I heard consent, not surrender.

“Yes, she said she’ll sign the surrender so long as those conditions apply and so long as Mary is adopted by Sammie and Callie.”

Callie’s eyes brimmed with tears and Mary’s lawyer told us not to get too excited.  There are a series of questions that the judge would ask that most parents, upon hearing, change their minds about surrendering.

“We have to go back to the office and draw up the paperwork.  Everyone be back by 1:45pm.  I’ll inform the judge that she is surrendering.”

So we left, had lunch with my parents, had a Sangria because THE NERVES, and made our way back to the courtroom, waiting impatiently for them to call us in.

“PARTY FOR COLLINS.  COLLINS!” screeched through on the loud speaker.

Sweaty palms, light feet, we made out way into the courtroom.  I don’t know how any mother could have heard the words the judge said and not break down.  Are you of sound mind making this decision?  Have you had any alcohol or drugs today?  Do you realize that you are going to be losing custody of your child today once these papers are signed?  DO you realize that a day, a week, a month, a year from now, you cannot take back this decision?  All of those were asked, but the one that took my breath away, that left an ache in my heart for what this mother was doing/about to do, “DO you realize that once you sign these papers and walk out of this courtroom, your child will be a STRANGER to you in the eyes of the law?” “Yes, I understand”.  My heart broke for Mary’s mother, for the first time since having met her.

A stranger…and it’s double sided because she IS a stranger.  She’s BEEN a stranger.  But somehow not.  And as her penned hand mechanically moved across the paper, probably collecting tears and ink stains along the way, it was not lost on us the gift that she was giving us, the gift and the life that she was giving Mary, and we realized then that she loved this child more than we had expected.  That she loved her daughter so much that she was willing to give her away to give her her best chance, and all in one moment I had a new found respect for her.  A desire to make it work the way that divorced parents did, because really, more people loving our daughter is something we would turn our nose up to.  For the second time, she was giving Mary life, and for a quick moment, I loved her.  Genuinely, deeply, and unselfishly.

At 2:28pm on Tuesday, May 10, 2015, the judge announced that Mary was officially freed for adoption. We’ll talk to an adoption worker next week and start the ball rolling on paperwork and interviews and whatever else she needs us to do.  In just 3-6 short months Mary Mendez will be an official member of Casa Mendez.  It’s been official in our hearts for ages…

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…

IMG_4567

MY TIE IS ON POINT, BUT WTF WITH THE MUSCLES!!!! AND MARY ROCKING THE MID 90’S INSPIRED SIDE PONYTAIL!

IMG_4568

UGH, MY FREAKING HEART!

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….

IMG_4554

A BEAUTIFUL SATURDAY AS A FAMILY OF 6

IMG_4552

MY GIRL IN HER FAVORITE TREE

IMG_4188

MARY AND OUR NIECE IZZY

IMG_4186

LOOK HOW LEVI LOOKS AT HIS SISTER…THEY LOVE THAT GIRL.

 

IMG_4253

HER FAVORITE PLACE

23 Weeks!

23 Weeks!  It’s been a pretty awesome few weeks.  This pregnancy has really been good to me and I am really enjoying it.

How I’m Feeling this Week: This week has been pretty great.  I had a lot of stuff going on and finding out the babies gender last Friday was a lot more exciting than I thought it would be.  Now I feel more connected to Biscuit, trying out names and seeing how we feel about them.  Still feel excited about having seen Biscuit on the scan (the sonographer was horrible but at least we gout one decent [???] picture). And the profile looks similar to Levi!

BISCUIT AT 22W1D

BISCUIT AT 22W1D

How Big is Biscuit: Biscuit is about the size of a Spaghetti Squash!  Those things are pretty huge, but the way this baby feels, and all the movement, I really swear it’s bigger then that!  Also, the size of a football, which is great because, well, football season!  LET’s GO GIANTS!

Baby Bump News?:  The bump is huge, my friends! I have to say, I have never, in my life, have felt as sexy as I have being pregnant.  Which is weird, because I thought it would be the complete opposite.  I think it might be how much Callie touches me, or the attention I have been getting because you know, maternity has brought out the femme in me, which i didn’t expect.  We have loads of movement, enough that when Callie and I lay in bed, she has actually felt the kicking.  It’s so awesome to be on the other end now and see how excited she gets, because I remember that, so vividly.  Also, hiccups!  Lots of Biscuit hiccups!

23 WEEKS AND REALLY REALLY SHOWING

23 WEEKS AND REALLY REALLY SHOWING

Sleep:  I’ve been a little more uncomfortable when it comes to sleep.  It takes me a little longer than usual to go to sleep (I’m one of those people that knocks out the second my head hits the pillow!), but once I do, I’m out for the count!

Food Loves/Hates:  Peanut butter and Jelly sandwiches! So damn delicious!  But that’s about the only thing I’ve been eating because nothing is really appealing lately.  Nothing has been like, “oh yes!  I HAVE to eat that!”  Everything has just been, well, blah.

Symptoms:  I have been getting lots of numbness in my right leg.  I will be walking or sitting and suddenly, the right side of my thigh, from the butt to the knee will go completely numb.  Still waiting for my doctor to email me back, so we’ll see, but every woman who has ever been pregnant that I have spoken to seems to think it’s my sciatic nerve.  Makes sense, except the only symptom is numbness and no real pain (not that I’m complaining!).

Next Scan:  We have an appt on 11/19 for another glucose tolerance test and BP check.  Lat appointment my BP was down from 142/91 to 134/80, so I’m really happy about that.  I have been doing my best to try and watch what I’m eating, eliminating salt from my diet, and drinking loads and loads of water.  The doctor and the perinatologist seemed pretty please, and that paired with a great result on my glucose test made ME happy!  Next scan is 12/4 just to measure baby but another peek at Biscuit will be great!  MIght actually splurge and spend the $150 to go to one of those 4D places in 2 weeks.

Sex:  If we are talking about the babies gender, well, we definitely know now, and we’ll be sharing once we tell our friends and families this weekend.  But if we’re talking about actual, mind blowing, earth shattering, boundary pushing, physical sex, yeah, we’re having that.  A lot.  Every night all this past week.  Some switch inside me just went off, and I can’t get enough of it.  Callie has been more than accommodating.  Switching “roles’ and everything…it’s been fun and interesting, to say the least.

Overall Feelings:  This experience so far has been better than I ever imagined it could have been.  I’m really, really enjoying this journey.

Something I Didn’t Expect:  Seriously, all joking aside, I didn’t expect to feel so sexy and free.  I thought pregnancy would restrict me, make me feel gross or unattractive, but it has done the complete opposite.  I has really been a positive experience for me, and I hope that it continues to be that way until the end.


LIFE THIS PAST WEEK AND A HALF

SO we bought a minivan, and moved up to being real soccer moms.  Mary LOVES the new car, and has not stopped talking about all the features.  It’s got automatic doors and trunk, leather interior, lots of space, 2 TV’s, middle section of chairs swivel and face the back and you can place a table in the middle where they can play games when we road trip, navigation, rear camera, and an awesome center console with loads of compartments for all kinds of crap.  It’s a road-tripping family’s dream!  Callie never thought she would like a minivan, but she loves it!  She loves it so much she should marry it!  New Car

THE BOYS ENJOYED DRIVING THE CAR AT THE DEALERSHIP

THE BOYS ENJOYED DRIVING THE CAR AT THE DEALERSHIP

levicarWe also went to my nephews 3rd birthday party last weekend, and the kids got to show off how freaking adorable they look in their costumes!

WE'RE OFF TO SEE THE WIZARD!

WE’RE OFF TO SEE THE WIZARD!

Sunday we spent the day at the NY Hall Of Science Museum before heading home and watching our beloved Giant’s spank those cowboys!  I knew they would have loads of cool stuff for Mary and my niece to enjoy, but I didn’t expect them to have nursery/toddler area where little babies could explore science too. Noah, Levi, and my little niece Jezenia, really enjoyed playing with scarves, climbing in the foam mats, and playing the drums.  They LOVED those drums!

MY MUSICAL BABIES

MY MUSICAL BABIES

MY MUSICAL BABIES

MY MUSICAL BABIES

It’s been a couple of really great days!

9 Months Old!

So Noah and Levi turned 9 months last Sunday, and boy are those kids something else!  They really are coming into their personalities and becoming their own little people.  Sometimes it’s hysterical to watch, and other times, I am kind of in fear of what the future holds!  The boys are smart, loving, cuddly, and most of all, mama’s boys!

NOAH

MY LITTLE HALLOWEEN PUMPKIN

MY LITTLE HALLOWEEN PUMPKIN

PERFECTING THE WAVE

PERFECTING THE WAVE

There are so many things that I can say about Noah, but nothing would suffice to capture how LARGE his personality is.  He is totally going to be my little linebacker.  There is nothing he loves more that crawling all over his brother and tackling him to the ground.  We practice with a little sensory football that we bought at a tag sale, and he loves when I throw it and he gets to “catch” it, and then “throws” (hands) it back to me, and gets so excited when I yell, ” MUY BIEN NENE!!!!”

He is also perfecting how to wave, and can be seen waving to pretty much anyone, except my father and Callie’s father.  I don’t have any idea why he won’t wave to them.  The best is when I get home from work, and I walk in to them eating dinner in their high chairs and Noah’s face lights up and he waves to me!  It’s totally the awesomest!

He is more and more mobile every day and has been figuring out how to use all of the furniture to get him where he needs to go.  He crawls at the speed of light, and has started to use my fishing bucket as his main means of “transportation”.  He’s strong and stubborn.  If you tell him “no” or say “uh uh!”, he will promptly throw whatever is in his hands, or toss his body backwards and cry his fake cry (you now the one!) until he is finally over it, and will go back to doing something he probably shouldn’t be doing.  He is experimenting with different sounds, but still has no words and sounds like a baby zombie (as you’ll hear in the video below). This kid. I love him to pieces.

LEVI

MY BRIGHT LITTLE JACK-O-LANTERN

MY BRIGHT LITTLE JACK-O-LANTERN

THIS LITTLE GQ BABY

THIS LITTLE GQ BABY

Levi is my sensitive little soul.  If you want to cuddle and squish all day?  He’s your guy!  He loves to pull his brothers hair (especially after getting crawled on) but then will rub his brothers head while Noah plays with toys.  He is still our pacifier baby, and I don’t see that changing any time soon.  Levi LOVES music and can be found “singing”, off key (mostly) and mouthing the words and trying to make the sounds.  Itsy Bitsy Spider is hands-down, the GREATEST song in the world to him. He is quite the mimicking baby at 9 months old.

He is very verbal.  He tries to say “leche” but it sounds more like, “nene” which is what we call his brother, but it’s fair to say that “leche” is his first word, which doesn’t surprise me because this kid can EAT! Basically, don’t go anywhere near him if you have food in our hands and you don’t intend to share!  I don’t think he ever gets full,  and still no teeth in sight either! I have no idea how he gums all his food to death!

He finally started crawling about 2-3 weeks ago, but we were a little worried because it was always with one side of his body only, dragging his little belly across the floor and one leg behind him, but in the past week he has learned to move both legs (kinda, sorta, occasionally) and has started darting across the apartment.  He is learning to stand himself up on lots of the furniture, toys, and in his crib, but he still hasn’t learned how to get down, so he’ll stand there and cry until someone comes over and helps him down.  He is truly scared, almost petrified to fall.  My little cautious baby.   Still very observant and still has a lot of trepidation about movement and trusting his body.  He’ll learn, just at his own pace.

Noah and Levi have really started to form a special bond and have started to look for each other.  Lots of times the can be found sharing some morsel of food that one of them found, swapping sippy cups, or holding hands in their high chairs.  They have started to communicate more (whatever that means) and have been found having conversations using grunting noises with each other when they should be going down for the night.  And weekend mornings I find their room a mess, after they tag team and throw all of the stuffed animals off of the dresser that separates their cribs, and then LAUGHING about it!

HAPPY SATURDAY!

HAPPY SATURDAY! (note the mess on the floor!)

These two have really become 2 peas in a pod and look for each other when the other one isn’t in the room.  They use those grunts like echolocation! I kid you not!  But watching them grow has been pretty awesome.  These little 9 month old guys have stolen my heart!

Turtles grilled cheese my kids

Bachelorette Weekend and 9 Weeks

My 2 week hiatus is due mainly to nausea, excessive tiredness, teething babies, and a ridiculously insane weekend for my sisters Bachelorette party. Forgive me…


Last weekend, my sister Raquel’s “Despedida De Soltera” (translation – Farewell to Being Single) was a Saturday and Sunday away to the East Coast’s budget version of Las Vegas, Atlantic City.  I have to say, I was little nervous about going because 1) we are on a very, very, very tight budget, so gambling and drinks were kind of out of the question for us (especially drinks for me),

NIKKI'S SON MARK AND THE BOYS

NIKKI’S SON MARK AND THE BOYS

2) being away from my 3 kids for a long time (first time the boys stayed away from home, but they were in good hands with Tia Nina [my best friend Nikki, their Godmother] and her Fiancè Titi, who took them on a Toys R Us shopping spree!!!) And 3) A 3-4hr drive with lots of nausea and limited bathroom breaks.  I have to say though, we had a BLAST!!!

We started the trip at a really awesome beach bar called “The Bungalow”.  They had a ton of beds and benches and hammocks all over the place.  The wings and fries we ordered were delicious, the DJ was playing some awesome music, and from what I hear, the drinks were on point!  So on point in fact, that about an hour and a half after being there, we all headed home so that my sister could sober up in order for us to get going for our dinner and clubbing that evening. My mom FORCED her to sleep it off for the next 2 hours, while the rest of us went to the private beach at our hotel.

MOSTLY FAMILY AND A HANDFUL OF MY SISTERS CLOSEST FRIEND AT "THE BUNGALOW"

MOSTLY FAMILY AND A HANDFUL OF MY SISTERS CLOSEST FRIENDS AT “THE BUNGALOW”

TOOK OVER THE SAXOPHONISTS CUBE WITH BACHELORETTE PARTY SHENANIGANS

TOOK OVER THE SAXOPHONISTS CUBE WITH BACHELORETTE PARTY SHENANIGANS

CRAMING INTO THE TROPICANA CASINO ELEVATORS AND TAKING OVER THE PLACE!

CRAMMING INTO THE TROPICANA CASINO ELEVATORS AND TAKING OVER THE PLACE!

REALLY?!?

REALLY?!?

While my sister slept and then showered and got ready (in my moms room), my mom decorated my sisters suite with more phalluses than I care to admit.  I mean, seriously..there were dick’s EVERYWHERE! Straws, plates, candy, cakes, games, decorations, and tons of other crap!  I spent most of those 2 days saying, “You better get that damn dick outta my face!”  We all got dressed and ready for an evening out, all dressed in black (as per my sisters request) and she was looking AMAZING in a skin tight, red mini dress. We met up at my sisters Suite for an hour or so of drinking, games, and lots and lots of pictures.  We toasted her upcoming nuptials, her amazing life so far, and her pretty awesome husband to be.  We LOVE that guy!  Sebastian is gonna be an amazing member of our family, a great father and husband, and knowing that my kids and nieces and nephews get to have such a kind and loving and funny and fun uncle, well, that makes me really happy.  Next week, I’ll write a little more about the both of them, and their incredible relationship, as I’ll be officiating their wedding next Saturday 8/1 (the service turned out pretty amazing, if I do say so myself!).  So yeah, we hung out for an hour, waited for the shuttle to take us back to the AC strip where we went to dinner at a classy burger joint, and then went for a night of dancing at Cuba Libre, a Cuban restaurant turned nightclub after hours.   out6 out1 outWe partied the night away.  EVERYONE was absolutely and totally wasted.  Good for them!  I would have done the same.  We got back to the hotel around 2:30am and a handful of my cousins and Raquel came back to our suite (which I shared with my sister Nat, my brother Pudge, his boyfriend Seven, my cousin and Callie), and we talked and laughed and ordered Pizza until 4am!  It was awesome to be able to spend time with my siblings and my cousins, like we used to when we were younger, before we all grew up and moved out or away.

The next morning we all met up for the continental breakfast.  I mean, why else do you stay in hotels?!?!  We had a laugh over waffles, and then packed up, checked out, and headed over to the Tropicana casino to use our $20 voucher from $20 shuttle ride of the

YUMMMMMM!!!

YUMMMMMM!!!

night before.  Can you believe that I won over $200 on my $20 voucher!?!?!  Yup!!! I took $200 for the weekend and come home with $220!  Pretty awesome stuff!  So we went to the Fiesta Buffet because the crab leg craving was pretty intense, and after about 4 heaping plates of crab legs, we got in the car at 4pm and made our way home.  A 3 hour drive with 2+ hours of traffic and picking up our kids from 2 different locations (one in the city and another about an hour North) we finally made it home at 10:40pm!  But it was all totally worth it! My sister had the Bachelorette party she always dreamed of, and that’s all that mattered!


So today makes 9 weeks for me!  These past 9 weeks have NOT been pretty.  I am ashamed to say that I am the epitome of what movies make pregnant woman out to be.  I am irritable, nauseated, cry at the drop of a hat, sluggish, exhausted, unmotivated, and can sleep for hours on end!  I am the type of person who NEVER sleeps.  I can do fairly well all week on 3-4 hours a night.  I think I have napped more in the past 4 weeks than I have in my entire life combined, but you know what!?  Screw it!  I’m pregnant and I’m loving every second of it!

I met with our OB for my first appointment this past Wednesday.  She is the same OB that Callie had and we absolutely adore her.  She’s young and hip and funny, and is a mother herself to a 13 month old, which to me sometimes makes all the difference.  We did all the “first OB appt.” stuff like blood work (about 20 vials of blood to be exact), blood pressure (A little high but that’s been my norm since I was 17 at 134/88), weight (I’m down 15lbs since I weighed myself 3 days before transfer from 244 to 229 [dude, i totally just told you all my weight!]) and ultrasound to make sure that Biscuit is measuring where it should be, which it is, at exactly 8w5d with an EDD of 2/26/15! We have a ton of winter babies!  Callie is 12/26, The Boys are 1/11, Gracie our Kitty is 1/15 and Mary is 1/31!

SO CUTE RIGHT?!?!

SO CUTE RIGHT?!?!

So with everything looking good so far with the exception of my BP, she sent my off with a huge orange container to collect my urine for 24 consecutive hours, just to make sure there isn’t any protein in it and be ahead of possible preeclampsia, in case it does happen.  Also, I’ve been taking Metformin for my PCOS and borderline sugar stuff, so she wants me off of it at 10 weeks, and then 2 weeks later when I go in for my Nucal (sheesh it’s going fast!), they can do an early, non-fasting Glucose Test (yup, the delicious juice drink everyone raves about!) to get ahead of gestational diabetes, if that ends up being the case. Let’s hope and pray, that’s not the case.

Aside from that, symptoms have been pretty much the same.  I don’t see any growth although my pants are starting to feel a little more snug, and the food cravings (aside from those crab legs on vacation) have subsided.  The smells though, yeah, that’s still going on…strong!  Still haven’t been able to change a poopie diaper, although I HAVE tried a handful of times, and gag through my rescue calls to Callie, while I hold a flipping baby’s legs up in the air and cover my face with my t-shirt.  Not my finest moments as a mom, that’s for sure.

But alas, things are well.  Everyone is happy, and growing (and teething!), and sitting up, going to art classes, and enjoying summer, and living.  Really really living!

It’s Official!

As of 6w4d, we have a heartbeat!!!  Little Biscuit has a heartbeat, people!  I don’t know why I was so concerned about him/her not having one, but I was, and it scared that crap out of me, and I held my breath for the first minute of the ultrasound.  But then we saw it! That wonderful little flicker that lets you know that something in there is moving!  That your baby is alive and well.

BISCUIT'S HEARTBEAT

BISCUIT’S HEARTBEAT

Some of you may be wondering why this post isn’t protected.  Well, because for the most part, both set of parents know.  Sort of.  We were on Callie’s parents boat Saturday night after watching the fireworks, and Callie had told her mom that I was, potentially, maybe, a little bit pregnant, because she had asked me to help her move a very heavy wooden table.  Cal’s parents weren’t really down with the whole “another baby” thing when we mentioned thinking about having more kids, and soon.  Her reaction, well, it went sort of like this.  “You know it already?!  How can they tell so fast!? Ohhhh, wellllll, ok.  Callie, help me move this table then, so we can set up the boys pack and play so they can get some sleep.”  To say I was a little wounded (and angry) is a bit of an understatement, but that’s all I’m going to say about that, because along with this pregnancy comes all the pregnancy hormones, and let me tell you!  I have never cried so much in my life.  The joke about crying during commercials and whatnot? Not a joke to pregnant women!  In the lease bit!

Symptom wise, the nausea is really kicking my ass.  I sorta knew this would happen, and actually anticipated it, because my body really isn’t used to having all these hormones coursing through it.  With the PCOS, I’m pretty much a textbook case (said by EVERY GYN I’ve ever had),  where my lady hormones are really, really low and my male hormones are really high.  If it’s true what they say, that you carry like your mother, then I’m in for it!  my mother was sick for 6-7 months for each of her pregnancies.  Trust me when I tell you, that I refuse to feel like this for the next 5 months, and I am not to proud to get some meds to calm this nausea.  Yesterday, I threw up my early morning cup of water while brushing my teeth (yup, that totally happened) and then, I tried some crackers and water before I went off to work.  Promptly threw that up in the train station parking lot while getting our of my car, and nearly puked on my suede Clark Desert Treks!  I would have been really upset to have to get rid of my favorite, most expensive shoes!  There is also the excessive tiredness.  When I’m at work all day, it takes everything in me to keep my eyes open.  I pass out on the train ride in, take a short nap during lunch, sometimes I sneak off to the bathroom, go into the huge handicap stall in the back, and catch some zzz’s (about 20 minutes worth) before my alarm (which I tuck into my bra strap so I can feel the buzz) wakes me.  And then I pass out on the train going home for another 35 minutes.  When it’s bed time though, I have the hardest time falling asleep!  So most nights, I lie awake, listening to Callie’s deep breathing, Noah’s dinosaur grunts, and Levi’s feet constantly moving.  I try and count them, like you would sheep, but I end up laughing at the little symphony that the 3 of them are putting on without even knowing it.  And then of course, there are the tears…about everything!   I was putting together the ceremony that I will be officiating (my little sister’s wedding) and I couldn’t get through the first 2 minutes without wiping tears from my eyes.  I have NO IDEA how I’m supposed to pull myself together enough in the next 3 weeks to do this!  I HAVE to keep it together, but I really just don’t know how!  I’ll have to practice and practice and practice, otherwise, I’m pretty much screwed, and no one will understand the words that are coming out of my mouth, let alone be able to stand watching my snot faced, trembling lipped, shaky handed self try and keep my composure.  And that’s just the most recent episode.  So You Think You Can Dance (one of my top 3 all time favorite shows) literally has me a crumpled mess every Monday night.  It’s just terrible!

Aside from that, everything else is going pretty great!  I was getting a bit of an allergic reaction from the progesterone in oil ( in sesame oil) so they had to switch me over to oral and vaginal meds, which kinda suck, but I only have to do it for 2 more weeks, as I’ve graduated the fertility clinic, and have my first OB appointment on the 22nd.  Looking forward to that.  Not looking forward to being weighed, I will admit!  But hey, Big girls deserve babies too, and I’ve always been heavy, and weight isn’t an indication of health, so screw that! Here’s to being a big girl and getting preggers!  And just for information purposes, my last blood work came back with hCG at 22,763, and progesterone at 13.8, a little low, but the baby should be doing it’s own thing soon, so Dr. K wasn’t too concerned.  Friends, so far, so good!


July 4th weekend was pretty awesome.  We spend the weekend on the boat (has a Queen sized bedroom, and another room with 2 bunks beds, and also a living room couch that turns into a bed.  It’s our summer home away from home!) and everyone was really loving on all of our kids!  It’s nice to have the little boating community that we have.  Callie’s family has been friends with these 3 particular boaters for 30+ years, and it’s nice when all of their kids come home and we get to spend time together.  I love hearing their stories of all of the marina’s that they have spent time in, and the shenanigans that they pulled when they were younger.  it’s nice to see them having kids too, and know that our kids will all grow up together, and share some of the same experiences that Callie did.  I know she loves it too.  We watched the fireworks display as we lay on the bow of the boat.  The boys didn’t even mind (Noah actually slept right through), and Mary got to sit with Pop and look at their favorite fireworks together (the smiley face ones).

HAPPY FOURTH!

HAPPY FOURTH!

The next day, Sunday, Callie’s dad took us our for a swim.  We had a great day, but the boys slept through most of it.  Not even 10 minutes into our boat ride, they were passed out!

THESE TWO!

THESE TWO!

Mary had a blast “swimming” which actually means tying a rope to her ankle and putting a noodle between her legs while that and her life vest keep her afloat. We also threw a fishing line out and caught a sand shark and a fluke!  Good eatin’!

A good weekend had by all!

MY HAPPY BOYS

MY HAPPY BOYS

A Whole Year

anniversary-2xCan you believe that it’s been a whole year since I joined WordPress!?!  A whole year of sharing my life with perfect strangers, that in that time have become dear friends, who’s lives and families and hurts and joys and fears have become such a huge part of my life.  Being a member of this blogging community has also taught me so many things.  It’s taught me that no matter how unique I think my experience is, or no matter how much I think that I am the only person that has ever had these feelings or this heartbreak, or this hurt, or this joy, someone else, out there somewhere in their corner of the world, may just have gone through something similar.  Maybe someone needs to hear about my experiences to help them not feel so alone.

What started out as a journal of the days awaiting the arrival of our twin boys has turned into a written documentary of all the wonders and woes of being two moms, in a multiracial family, with twins and a foster daughter, in Suburbia, on one income.  Makes for a pretty interesting read, I’d say!  In the year that I have been on WP, I/we have:

This year has been full of learning, of loving, of losing, and of living.  It has been a year of gaining, of guarding, of giving, and of gratitude.  We have seen who is steadfast and strong in our lives, and who is fleeting and fading.  We have cried and carried on, and we have crashed and collapsed and constructed ourselves once more.  This year has brought us closer to each other and closer to God.  It has cemented the fact that we are a family, through and through, and like any other Great American Family, we struggle and we lose and we win and we are rewarded, and usually not in that order, and mostly inconsistently, but we’re alive.  And we’re healthy, and we’re happy, and we’re hopeful.  And we get to share it with you all. So here’s to another year of an awesome life, shared with really cool people (that would be you all!), right here in this space.  Thanks WP for allowing so many the simple pleasure or writing, and sharing, and learning…Cheers!