Category Archives: fam damily

Toddlerhood

Nature boy turned two on June 19th. He’s 33.75″ tall and weighs 25 lbs and 4 oz. He’s a little guy, but he did move up to the 15% for height (he’d been 2-5ish) before. His neighbor friend, who is 7 months younger than him, is almost as tall as him. It’s funny to have a little kid because people are always shocked when he say that he is 2. We love him just the way he is and the plus side is clothes fit him forever.

He’s also the sweetest 2 year old I have ever met (95% of the time), he has his moments of being 2 though of course. He constantly hugs, kisses, and comforts his stuffed animals, toys, and sometimes even strange household objects (dust pan, pieces of paper, food, etc). The other day same neighbor girl came to play and wanted to drive his truck, that he was already driving. Her mom told her it was Nature Boy’s turn and we tried to convince her riding in the back would be just as fun. She didn’t buy it, cue the crocodile tears. Nature Boy was so sad for her and said “sorry, sorry” and got out so she could drive it and got in the back as I pushed them around.

He is hilarious. He loves to make us laugh and gets himself going so much that he can’t even finish what he’s saying without dying of laughter first. He’s gets the cutest little smile on his face when he knows he did or said something funny.

He is obsessed with vehicles and knows many by name: excavator, tractor, trailer, firetruck, police car, cement mixer, car, truck, motorcycle, garbage truck, recycling truck, monster truck, bike, bus, lawnmower. He still loves the sun, moon, and stars. He loves animals, especially his puppy Xena, but he loves all animals and loves to pretend he’s various animals. His favorite movie is Charlotte’s Web.

He is a major introvert. Sometimes when the neighbor girl comes over he chooses to hide in the truck or the dog crate. He waves and says bye bye as soon as she gets there. He doesn’t like when people he doesn’t know well try to talk to him and will hide wherever and however he can if they do. He doesn’t like big crowds so we didn’t go to Pride or the art’s festival, and we steer clear of the park and other “kid places” on the weekends. He spend 75% of his birthday party hiding in his truck or his cardboard box.

He loves being in nature and riding on the bike with Mommy,or Momma. He asks every single day, even when it’s 105 degrees outside. He wants to be outside 95% of the time and we usually have to bribe him to come inside.

He’s overall pretty dang awesome. I love him more than I ever could have imagined and am so enjoying watching him grow into a kid instead of a baby, even though he’ll always be my little baby.

And some fun birthday pictures of our little goofball.Too many other kids in most of the pics, but a few anyway. He has a love affair with candles and cake. He’d been practicing for months and singing “happy dear Tice”. Super cute!

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Mr. Sun Sun, Mr. Golden Sun

Halloween is my favorite holiday (and my birthday) though that isn’t really why it’s my favorite, just part of why.

Nature Boy is obsessed with suns. He thinks anything with a circle is a sun. Sometimes he gets less and less discriminatory about what is included in the sun category. The other day he pointed to a blank page in a book and said and did the sign for sun. Ummm nope sorry kid, that one isn’t even close.

He is also, but not quite equally, mesmerized by stars and the moon. We, or maybe I, decided that he would be a sun for Halloween and J and I would be stars and the moon.

As I worked on his costume he got sooooo excited! He ran around the house screaming “SUN, SUN!” pointing to his costume and dragging us over to see it. Then as we finished our costumes he ran around saying and signing moon and star. This kid I tell ya, he isn’t called Nature Boy for no reason. He loves all things that have to do with nature and outside.

I was worried, but hopeful that he would tolerate his costume. He didn’t like it much at first, but once we moved the rays of the sun a bit, he was fine with it. He was in love with his glowing star wand and carried it all night surprisingly.

But you guys, my kid HATED trick or treating.I should have known. He is taking after me (the kid who was often mistaken as mute). He is terrified of people he doesn’t know well. He doesn’t like meeting new people or when his little friends try to hug him and touch him. He is definitely appearing to be an introvert, which is cool of course. Introverts are awesome.!images

The first house he was a little apprehensive about, but we carried him up there. He was confused and we moved on. The next house didn’t have anyone home so he played with their decor, took some candy and we moved along. Then third house he lost it. He went up to the door, we rang the bell and when the guy started coming to open the door he literally jumped off their porch. So….we just walked around and looked at decorations and jack-o-lanterns.

And some photos of the greatest holiday ever:

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Showing of his fancy halloween diaper (it glows in the dark!)

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Trying to get a good picture of the costume was hard!

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So was getting a good family picture, toddlers do not cooperate with picture taking

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One of the most awesome discoveries of the night, a fire hydrant!

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Practicing his wand skills

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Admiring the cool decorations

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Walking at night is soooo funny!

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Happy boy

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Taking off on a jet plane

We went on our first real family vacation last month. We also went camping the month before, but I don’t really consider camping a vacation. We went to Portland to visit my sister. She moved the the PNW 6ish years ago and we had never made the trip up to visit, so it was much overdue. I was nervous to fly with a 13 month old, but he did A to the MAZING! On the flight there we has so intrigued by EVERYTHING on the plane. The air, the lights, the windows, the trays, he was entertained. It helped that it was a short flight. 11802752_10100390795903961_4979825274470897933_o

My phone got stolen the first night we were there, boo Portland! Other than that our trip was awesome. M rolled with it and did so great. He got short naps and went to bed late and was still a happy camper until the last day, when he got a little grumpy and tired.

We went to Oceanside and M got to see the ocean for the first time. He was pretty excited

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He loved playing in (and eating) the sand. OMG the kid ate soooo much sand. Toddlers are nothing but strange creatures. 🙂 The water was a little chilly, but he loved playing in the bit of water farther out, it was nice and warm and not deep. We  stayed in Tillamook and ate an an awful restaurant. Then we went on a lovely forest walk and went to Cannon Beach, which was lovely.

We finally got a taste of the Portland weather and hung out at the museum while it rained all day. This group of introverts was worn out after that. We went on another forest walk later. Then, on our last day there we went to the Gorge and saw lots of waterfalls, which was awesome. I was glad when M finally woke up and got to see ponytail falls, because he thought it was pretty neat.

Can’t wait for our next vacation over Labor Day!

And some pictures of the toddler’s first vacation adventure:

Oceanside

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Carrying a nursing/sleeping toddler across the beach is tough. We almost got caught when the tide came in, yikes!

Cannon Beach

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We had to make the obligatory stop for doughnuts

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This happened A LOT during the trip

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This place was the coolest, I wish we had restaurants like this here

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Hike that I don’t remember the name of. We basically went to the top of a mountain that overlooked the ocean

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He LOVES trees

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He did this a lot, looking up at the tall trees and signing “tree” over and over again.

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Being silly. M isn’t amused

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Hotels are fun places to drive trucks all over apparently

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M loves pizza

 

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Mother of the Year Moment

I’ve certainly had my “I feel like a terrible mother” moments over the last 12 month, but I had my first noteworthy MOTY moment this weekend.

We were out in our front yard and I was watering plants while J and M were playing. I felt something crawling on my arm and figured it was just some bug, maybe a ladybug, and kept watering. A few seconds later I look down to swat it away and see that it’s a wasp. AHHHH! I hate wasps, they terrify me. Like sprint at cheetah speed in the other direction kind of fear. It’s totally irrational. I experienced my first sting a few years ago, in the neck. I yelled an expletive and that was that. It is much worse in my head than in real life. 

So back to the story….I freak out and tell J in a terrified, but trying to stay calm voice, that there is a wasp on my arm. She says to spray it with the hose I’m holding. I take a few more seconds to get up the courage and then spray the little bugger.

It Doesn’t move.

Now the panic is starting to set in because I’ve surely pissed it off by spraying it. I start flailing my arms around while spraying the hose all over the place.

It disappears. Phew!!!

I carry on with my watering and playing with the fam.

A few minutes later M is walking along the cement path in front of our steps and starts screaming. He stepped on the wasp and it stung him.

I felt so awful. Here I am a grown person that can handle a wasp freaked out and drowned a wasp onto the ground and my sweet little baby stepped on it.

J hurried and put some baking soda on it and he made sure he didn’t have a bad reaction. He was walking on his foot again 10 minutes later, but I still felt awful.

Note to self, put shoes on the baby when you go outside.

And to make it even better. Our poor Xena got stung last night. You might remember this happened a while ago. This time it was much worse. I thought her eyes were going to swell shut. We were so worried that her airway was going to close so J rushed her to the emergency vet at 9:00 last night (when she got stung). This is her after she came back from the vet. She was looking better when we left for work this morning. Hopefully she is feeling better tonight, she was just miserable and pathetic all night.

Team Wasps: 3

Team Humans: 0

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DSC_0296And how cute is this guy? He started smiling for the camera recently.

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Feel Good Friday

It’s Friday and I’m really happy about that. I miss my baby and I’m excited to go enjoy this lovely spring weather with him. The new boss and I are going to take off a little early and grab a much needed beer. Then, our little family is going to attend an LGBT parenting meetup at the park. One of the couples has a little girl a week older than Matthijs. They’ve met each other a few times and he LOVES kids, so I’m sure he is going to be thrilled and he loves the park. I mean look at this kid, could he be any happier?

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So great news to report! My mom had surgery to remove  her cancerous tumor. The surgery went well and was over a lot faster than the surgeon had anticipated. He said everything went and looked good. We waited an agonizing week or so for the pathology results and….her lymph system wasn’t affected. The tumor itself was pretty large and had started invading the colon, but not gone through. Some of the lymph nodes were enlarged, but it was because they were fighting the cancer, not because they were cancerous. She’s officially a Stage II and will be closely monitored for the next 5 years and then if there are no recurrences, she will be considered cured. I can’t tell you what a relief this is. No chemo, no more surgeries, no radiation. Just a big sigh of relief.

And, since it’s Colon Cancer awareness month, please get screened and remind your loved ones to get screened. I had no idea my mom, almost 60, had never gotten screened.I would have hounded her if I knew. I have to start screenings at 40 and you better believe I’ll be there on the dot.

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Deja vu

My mom was diagnosed with colon cancer just over a week ago. She is having surgery thisThursday to remove the tumor. It’s a stage II at least, possibly a stage III, but not a stage IV (thank goodness). Her lymph nodes are enlarged, but we won’t know if it is because they have cancer, or are fighting the cancer, until after the surgery and pathology is done.

I hate cancer.

Also, I need to apologize. I’m so behind on blog reading. It was a hellacious month at work (I usually catch up on my pump breaks). And I have a belated 8 month update to write.

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Did you finally get the chance to dance along the light of day

Wednesday was the one year anniversary of Tough Cookie (my step mom) passing away. I don’t even like calling it an anniversary. That seems like something that you celebrate. I never understood when people made a special day out of a loved one dying. Releasing balloons, going to a gravesite, documenting and retelling of stories about the person and how much they are missed.

All I can remember about January 7th is leaving work early to go up to their house. My sister was in town, partly to help take care of Tough Cookie, and partly to say goodbye. When I got there I went to see her in her bed. I wasnt ready for it. She was breathing heavily, having refused to continue oxygen earlier that day. My dad said she knew what was going on and could hear me. He told her I was there. I took her hand and told her I was there. She got really upset and was looking for my dad’s hand again. I went out to the living room with the rest of the family. The nurse was on her way over.

I had no idea that she was going to die that day, I don’t know if any of us did. I was convinced she would live to meet “bubbles”, just 6 more months.

After the nurse got there she went in and took her vitals. She came out of the room and said it was time and we needed to hurry and say our goodbyes if we had anything left to say. We all took turns going into her room. Then we all gathered around her hugging her and telling her we loved her. Then she was gone.

A few weeks ago, I was driving to work remembering what was happening a year prior, like I do almost everyday. We were taking turns taking care of Tough Cookie so that my dad didn’t lose his job, making a Thanksgiving feast and bringing it to my dad and her at the nursing home, hoping for her recovery, realizing it wasn’t going to happen…. Then,  “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” came on the radio. I sat and listened to the lyrics and thought “no it isn’t the most wonderful time, it’s the worst time”. It’s the worst time for a lot of people, it’s hard if you have recently lost someone you love, especially if it’s around the time that they died. So I changed the radio station. Train’s “Drops of Jupiter” came one and I lost it. Tough Cookie loved that song, and she would turn it up and sing it at the top of her lungs. Ironically we found out after she died that the singer wrote that song after his mom died from cancer. I still can’t listen to it without sobbing.

I don’t know how to accept that she isn’t coming back. My brain has been in denial for a year. I think I convinced myself somehow that she was on an extended train trip or vacation. I just cannot fathom that I will never get to talk to her again, get drunk and silly, introduce my son to her, heck even argue with her. It’s just not right and I don’t know how to do it. I wish I believed that one day we would be hanging out in some afterlife together. That would make it so much easier. It’s supposed to get better as time goes on, but I’m afraid that eventually the memories will fade and all I will have is a photograph.

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3rd Time’s a Charm

I woke up yesterday morning at about 7:15. As I was settling in for a long morning nursing session, I checked the book of faces on my phone. The first story on my feed was from a small, local LGBT group. It said SCOTUS denied hearing Utah’s Prop 3 case and that marriage was legal here again. I think because it was this little group and not some big LGBT organization, I questioned whether it was really true or not. Or maybe it was because I slept like 2 hours total throughout the night, but I just didn’t believe it. I told Wifey the possible news and started scrolling to see if there was a news story somewhere and asked Wifey to turn on the news. I found a linked news story and it was true!!!!!

We first got married on July 8th, 2010 in California. It wasn’t legal there, and thus anywhere, but we wanted to get married on the beach. It was also important for us to get married, legal or not. We wanted to make a commitment and promises to each other in front of the people we love. We carried on with life as wife and wife. Then when Judge Shelby ruled Prop 3 unconstitutional and didn’t grant a stay, we rushed to get legally married during the short 17 day window here in Utah. We got married the first day it was legal here and were one of first dozens of same sex couples married in Utah. Of course, 17 days later we were unsure of our legal married status and have been in a strange limbo since. I felt like I was lying when I filled out Thijs’ birth certificate, saying he only had one parent, but we filed our taxes jointly as a married couple. But now, FINALLY, we are now married again for the 3rd time… and this time it’s for good!

Because we were technically married when Thijs was born, we can file for an amended birth certificate, which will list both of our names as his parents. I am researching how to go about doing this, but it will be happening before the end of the week.

AHHHH! This is just amazing and now it’s time to celebrate (or get back to work and celebrate later)!!!!

A belated 3 month post will be arriving shortly. Now that I’m back at work, and not holding our little bundle of love 24/7, I will hopefully be able to commit more time to writing all the mothering related things in my head.

And a couple recent pictures because, well he is just too cute not to share.

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Boxes are for moving, not for babies

One of the things that I said needed it’s own upcoming post is that not finding out the sex of your baby is not brave. We decided that we didn’t want to know the sex of our baby for a number of reasons.

1. Our kiddo has it’s whole life to be shoved into boxes based on what people think it should be, why start before it’s even born?

2. It would be a fun surprise

3. We don’t want a bunch of gender specific clothes, toys, diapers books, etc.

We have received a number of responses in reaction to us not finding out the sex of Bubbles. Most people are surprisingly quite upset. We have also been told we are brave on numerous occasions. We’ve been asked how on earth we will prepare. People have said that they cannot buy Bubbles anything until it’s born because they don’t know the sex. We were told that a shower couldn’t be thrown until after the baby is born because we don’t know the sex. One friend told me it was the dumbest decision ever.

To be completely honest, the main reason we decided not to find out the sex of our baby is my mom. I love my mom. She is great and very supportive of us and our little family, but she just doesn’t get it. We have expressed our desire to raise our children open when it comes to gender and why this is important to us. One minute she says how great it is and the next she is bombarding me with stories about people with stereotypical very boy or very girl children and how funny it would be if that is how our kid turns out.

Her constant fixation on our baby’s sex beyond frustrates and aggravates me. Every single conversation we have about Bubbles turns into the sex and her disagreement with our decision to not find out what it is. She even told my sister that we’ll change our minds when the baby is born and WANT a bunch of gender specific stuff for it. Because we don’t know ourselves and the kind of family we want to create?

She insists that when the baby is born she is going to go buy tons of gender specific things for the baby. I’ve asked her not to. Told her we don’t want or need them. She just doesn’t care. In a moment of frustration I told her that maybe we’d decide not to tell anyone the sex after its born. To which she replied that she would take the baby and look in its diaper. WTF? Who does that? Or says that?

My new plan is that anyone who asks if the baby is a boy or girl doesn’t get to know. As soon as they don’t care, we will tell them 😉 kidding kidding. But it’s tempting.

I worry for our kiddo. I was raised to only want “girl” things and to only want to do “girly” things. I was taught to be passive, timid, insecure, lack confidence, be afraid, submit to others (especially men), want to be a mother before anything else, not get dirty, want to dance, hate my body, and the list goes on. If we have a girl people will try to teach her these things. If we have a boy people will try to teach him to be tough, get dirty, hide his emotions, lack empathy and compassion, only care about himself, be destructive, only want to play sports, etc. I don’t want this for my child.

It also makes me feel like I can’t enjoy stereotypical girl and boy things with my own child. I experienced this with my niece and I refuse to do so with my own kid. If I want to buy my son a football and play basketball with him, I don’t want to feel like I can’t because everyone else in his life thinks boys only like sports. If I want to buy my daughter a doll, I don’t want to feel like I can’t because that’s all anyone buys her.

There is hope right? It’s getting better? We are learning that limiting a child to one set of experiences, clothes, toys, goals, attributes is detrimental?

I’m going to talk to my mom and send her this article to read. What do you think? Do you have other non-academic articles to share on gender open parenting or the negative effects of gender stereotypes on kids?

Wish me luck

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That Pregnant Woman

Well, I had my first pregnancy emotional breakdown today. I should preface that by explaining that a breakdown for me means a few minutes of uncontrollable tears on one or more occasions. Ever since Tough Cookie really started to get sick, and the prognosis became more bleak, the car has been the place I cry  the most. I have no idea why, it’s kind of dangerous if you think about it. Not as dangerous and sneezing while driving but dangerous nonetheless.

My dad starting “dating” someone. I feel so many things about this, none of which matter as much as how he feels about it. I have never lost my love and he is his own person, so I am just trying to be supportive and understanding. It might be because of this, or just because, but I have been thinking about Tough Cookie a lot this week. We take the dogs for a walk almost every night after work and there is a house that often has a walker outside. It’s just like one she used for the majority of last year. Last night and the night before I had dreams over and over again of helping her into the walker, out of it, taking her to the bathroom, the time I accidentally dropped her on the floor. Then, I started dreaming of when she could still walk and just used the walker to help staedy her after she had radiation on her hip and pelvis and was sore and weak. She was in her kitchen making jam from buckets of peaches from their yard. If it weren’t for her limp and the walker you might not even know she was sick. My brain just keep flashing between her when she was healthy and when she suddenly wasn’t. It’s emotionally exhausting. I worry that I am forgetting her. Her laugh, her voice, what she was like before she was sick.

Activist Genius called today. She told me that her husband got the job in Cali so they are heading there at some point in the near future. She said they don’t have a plan yet, but they are going out there next month to figure stuff out. She also suggested we see an OB in the Maternal Fetal Medicine department…just in case. I don’t like how this feels at all. We knew she was moving but it started out as her definitely staying to catch our baby… to maybe she wouldn’t be here… to now it’s not looking like she won’t be around and that maybe she is wanting to get us off her hands. I know, I’m probably just being an overly emotional pregnant lady

I went to get lunch and a coffee and just started crying in the car. I managed to pull myself together as I got my stuff at the store, but as soon as I got in the car I started crying again. I’ve been crying off and on in my office since I got back from lunch. My co-workers probably think  I’m losing it. I feel like I’m losing it. Tough Cookie was the person I would call in these situations before. She was only person who would just listen and be supportive. The only person who gave honest advice. I miss her. I try to imagine what she would say. She would say she would want my dad to be happy. Early on when we were dating Wifey and I were hanging out with my dad and Tough Cookie. Tough Cookie wanted to know if one of us was a quadriplegic if we would be okay with the other having sex with other people. She was adamant that she would want my dad to have other partners because she loved him so much and would want him to be happy. It was hilarious and awkward, that’s just how she was. She would also tell me to visualize my placenta moving away from my cervix, just like she told us to visualize being pregnant and having our baby while we were trying to get pregnant. She would also tell me to quit worrying, trying to control and plan things. to just enjoy the  moment and deal with a c-section or finding a new midwife if we had to.

We have an appointment with the MFM OB a week from today. She’ll do an ultrasound then and I’m really hoping the previa will be resolved and we can have an honest convo with Activist Genius about homebirth plans and the reality of needing to find a new midwife.

I am beyond grateful that we got pregnant so quickly and cannot wait to meet our 100%  healthy baby. I don’t want to minimize how difficult it is to even get here for some people, but I really just want a normal healthy pregnancy and a normal healthy birth with a midwife who I trust, at my house. This entire pregnancy has been filled with grief and worry and way too many unknowns. I just want to know.

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