lezbemoms

Raising a Blended Family

If you’re in need of a bedtime story

…then look no further. Another “snippet” of daily life here is reading to this boy- he loves all types of books and hungrily flips through page after page to learn as much as he can, as fast as he can about the world.

Certain favorites, however, are more frequently repeated and this book, The Pelly Pelly Book (also known as “The Very Hungry Caterpillar”) tops the charts in our house. He has read it so many times with us that now he can “read” it to himself… Or to grandma, via YouTube video. Now, he can “read” it to you, too- so grab a cozy blanket and settle in to hear the tale, todschooler* style.

*Todschooler= toddler + preschooler. Because, at his age, he is hard to classify and also because moms aren’t ready to admit that he’s grown so big already!

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Snippets

So, it’s been more than a month, you say.

And you haven’t heard a peep from me, you say.

I’m guilty as charged but I’ll tell you what… I’ve been theoretically living every moment my life yet it still doesn’t seem as if I’m getting anything more than snippets of each day to remember, to hold, to look back on and say “oh yes, this is what my life was on that day.” I want to reach out and freeze time but all I manage to do ever do, it seems, is to pluck tiny moments from its whirlwind stream as it flows by me, tiny moments to have and to keep and to cherish. I am glad to share them with you, if only to offer something in this space that currently houses nothing, but all you will get is all that I have: these snippets.

Snippet: My son, age newly three and still growing into his longer legs, face knees arms bruised and dirty from too many stumbles because slowing down means he’ll miss something, running through the open field in the park on a windy autumn day. His feet through leaves going crunch crunch crunch and his toddler hands grasping so many rocks, he is leaving a trail of pebbles like Hansel and Gretel as they traveled through the woods. He runs up, stops last at the last possible second before crashing pell mell into me, eyes brights and cheeks pink. He tries to hand me every.single.rock at once because “they’re my rock-os, mommy” and in that moment it is important to him that I keep them safe. So I do. I put them in my pockets and day later, after these jeans have been through the washer and the dryer with a curious clunking sound, I go to put them on and find my son’s treasures still hidden in the pockets. Safe.

Snippet: Waking up in the night with a baby curled into me, a baby who is new and not new, a whole two months of knowing her behind us and an unknown number in the future that could never be enough no matter how infinite. She has learned to smile and coo and as I look at her she is doing it now, in her sleep, her soft breathing the loudest thing in the room as her tummy moves up and down and her little fists relax, for once, so that I can actually see her palms. Touching her palms makes her grasp my finger and now I am hers because she has claimed me. She smiles in her sleep and I pull her closer and she sighs a tiny baby sigh, both of us safe and secure and loved and loving in the night.

Snippet: my oldest daughter, chasing me through the house. We have an ongoing duel of pranks and scares and in this moment, I have just scared her and she is set on revenge. We run and chase and run some more and I wonder about when she got so fast and how easily she is almost catching me and how long her legs are and how tall she is now, how almost-grown she is even as she plays still like a child. I duck and dodge and we laugh and try not to trip over so many toys scattered through the rooms. A door goes slam and on the other side she’s laughing, trying to tease me into coming out so that she can have her revenge. Ransom notes get passed under the door and neither side is winning but then it’s dinnertime and truce is called.

   
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    

    
    
    
    
    
    
 

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Three weeks old!

And my, how the time is flying.

My mom left on Saturday, which was a very bittersweet thing. After 5 weeks of her being here (the longest I’ve seen her since I moved out to the midwest!) it was hard to transition to her being gone, but also nice to have our space back. She and I bicker like sisters, but I still enjoy having her around and more importantly, so do the kids. Pax, in particular, was pretty sad when she left- he kept saying “Grandma go byebye on airplane?” and looking all sad. Sorry, bud. You’ll see her at Christmas! She was so helpful while she was here but now that she is gone, it is also nice to get down to the business of being a family of five.

Thing One is also back to school now, which means summer is well and truly over. She’s in fourth grade this year and neither one of us can quite believe where time is going! Both her and big brother are getting big, fast- Pax will be THREE in less than two months! When did that happen?!

And then of course, there’s baby girl. She’s all of three weeks old (as of yesterday) and we’re starting to see a little bit of personality emerge. Overall, she seems like a pretty calm baby. She still sleeps most of the day but when she’s awake, she’s quiet and alert and just checking out the sights.  She’s getting bigger too- yesterday we packed up all her newborn outfits and took out the 0-3 months stuff. Lots of cute outfits I’m sad to see go but lots of cute outfits yet to wear as well! She was 8lb 13oz at her most recent doctor appointment. 

Today we took her to a baby massage class at the local chiropractor’s, and man, did she love it. I have never seen her so relaxed! She basically just melted into the table while we massaged all over. She is going to be so spoiled.πŸ™‚

A week or so ago, she had a doctor’s appointment at an ENT. She had a lip tie that was causing some problems with nursing and latching and needed taken care of, and also a little skin tag by her ear that we had removed. The procedures went pretty well, overall- the worst part was seeing them inject numbing medications with a huge needle into her teeny tiny self! She SCREAMED. But then during the actual cutting, she was fine and it was over quickly. They said neither site will scar and she should recover quickly- I hope so and I’m glad to have that behind us. 

As for Wifey, she is still having some baby blues. We’re hoping they fade away as the hormones die down, because she’s been pretty miserable on and off here. She has good days but then she has crying-jag days where she’s tearful on and off all day. At this point, I’m not sure if it’s baby blues or postpartum depression so if it continues we’ll probably have her see someone. It’s hard seeing her be so sad- during a time when she should be blissfully happy. I hope somehow she can get back on track.

My nursing job hunt continues. I am THIS close to landing a job- I’ve done the interview, they had me come in to shadow, and all my references were turned in as of yesterday, so now it’s just waiting game to see if/when they call back. Cross your everything for me please! Our family really needs me to have a job now! (EDIT: not five minutes after posting this, I got a call that I got the job!!!! Wahoooo!)

And of course, pictures. Life is pretty sweet, overall. New baby, wonderful kids, loving wife and my favorite season is right around the corner… yeah, life is sweet.

Big sister little sister: Thing One loves her baby sis! She helps so much with her and wants to hold her all the time. So cute. 
Big brother little sister: Pax still isn’t sure what to think of this strange new creature. He’s pretty sweet with her most of the time- he will pat her head gently or put her paci back in her mouth if she’s lost it. He also gets jealous though and will try to climb up in our laps if we are holding her or sometimes throw things at her!  Overall it’s what I would expect for a two year old new big brother.
 
Grandma and her three grandbabies:

   
Thing One on her first day of kindergarten, left, and her first day of fourth grade, right. So grown!

 
Pax in his cupcake pjs. These were originally going to be a present for his cousin but he found them and insisted we put them on him, and then got so excited about his “cupcakes” that we let him have them. Little stinker.

   
Today during baby massage. She just melted into the table!

 
Don’t let her fool you: she rarely, if ever, sleeps here. She prefers to sleep on a mom, thankyouverymuch.

   
Sleeping in her carseat:

   
Somewhere in the middle of all the chaos, I decided it would be a good time to take up running and try to lose some weight. I hate running but I’m using this app called couch to 5k where it basically trains you to run. Yay. #sweatyselfie

  

My mama and I, dropping her off at the airport.  
The skin tag we had removed.

  

Pretty baby!

As I said: sleeping on a mom!  
  

Big brother sleeping in his carseat. So big! 

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Two weeks!

Just a quickie post- two weeks have flown by! Last night was our roughest night of sleep yet- lil’ miss decided she was going to sleep all day yesterday and then party all night. Not a lot of fun for moms! The good news is, she’s cute and adorable and I have a feeling that’s going to get her out of a lot of trouble as the years go on. 

  

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In the meantime…

Although adding a new child to our family is all-encompassing and spotlight-stealing (and rightfully so!), it is not the ONLY thing we have had going on around here at Casa Lezbemoms. In fact, we have been busy busy busy over here!

I guess the biggest piece of news is that I graduated nursing school in July! It wasn’t a smooth glide to the finish though. During my Capstone (culiminating clinical experience) I had a pretty rough ride with a preceptor who basically was emotionally abusive and thought I was completely incompetent! It was bad- she contacted my nursing school about me to complain without telling me and my nursing school believed her, at first. As time went on and my instructors were able to do site visits and meet with me and her, they eventually realized that I am NOT a complete bumbling idiot (and really, I had 4 semesters of above-average clinical reviews to back me up on that!) and switched my preceptor to someone less emotionally abusive. After that, I was able to finish out nursing school pretty smoothly, with the exception of the fact that Shiloh was born the week I had to do my last 20 hours of Capstone clinicals! Because I was at the end of my program, I had zero flexibility to reschedule my hours and basically had to show up or not graduate. So, she was born at 6:52 pm on Tuesday night, I stayed the night in the hospital with her and Wifey, and then at 7am Wednesday morning I reported to the fourth floor of the same hospital to do a 12 hour clinical shift! Got that done, went back to our room on the baby floor, spent the night again with my family and repeated the next day. It was rough and I felt bad that I wasn’t able to help much with Shiloh in the hospital, but ultimately I got those clinical hours done. I also had to reschedule two finals because she was born the day I was supposed to take them- but I was able to take those on Friday and finish out nursing school on schedule. What a relief! So now, the job hunt is on- I have had one interview and applied for a few more jobs so I’m hoping something comes through so I can get my foot in the door.

Speaking of school, Thing One starts her school on Tuesday of next week! She is not too excited about it, haha. She would rather stay at home and swim all day than go back to school… it’s rough, being ten years old!

And, my mom has been here for a MONTH. This is the longest we’ve seen each other for in six years. She came early in July so she could be here for Shiloh’s birth, and then has stayed to help take care of kids and ease our transition into being a 5-person household. Though i am very appreciative of her help, it hasn’t always been easy. She can be a very critical person and a lot of times this trip, that criticism has been directed towards me. So, it’s been kind of touch and go as far as us getting along and her visit going smoothly go- but overall I am glad she is here and the kids, of course, have loved having their Grandma around. She is here for one more week before she has to fly home and we are hoping to make the best of that week!

I think that’s about it for the general craziness happening around here… Until next time, blogland!

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When a Week is a Lifetime

It is so, so hard to believe that just last week, we hadn’t yet met our youngest daughter. Just last week, we didn’t have three children, we had two. Just last week, we didn’t have two daughters, we had one. What a week it’s been.

This past week has felt like a lifetime- and it has, quite literally, been Shiloh’s entire lifetime. I hope it’s been a good one so far. We have kissed, hugged, and snuggled. We have coo’ed, sang, shushed, and patted. We have sniffed a baby head and kissed baby feet and had countless visitors come over to help us welcome our sweet girl into the world. We have taken every opportunity available to get to know our daughter, and she, us.

The sweetest moments for me this week have come while watching brother-sister-sister interactions. Both kids have taken to Shiloh in loving and sweet ways. Thing One is interested in being Mommy’s Helper and doing everything we do with Shiloh, up to and including wanting to change diapers (brave girl!). She picks out Shiloh’s outfits and helps fetch things and has generally been a huge help. As for Pax, he is curious about all things baby. We have been teaching him as we go how to interact with Shiloh- teaching him to be gentle with the baby, not to roll on her, and to be careful when climbing on a mom’s lap when there is also a baby on that lap. Overall, it’s going great and I think he’s adjusting well to being a big brother. I am certainly enjoying watching the transition. To see Pax gently pat Shiloh’s head and have him call her “me baby,” and to imagine the years they have ahead of them as playmates and siblings… my heart swells with joy. Seeing Thing One’s own joy at finally having a sister (she wanted Pax to be a girl!) also multiplies my own. Overall, I think it is safe to say that this little girl is more than welcome in this family! I feel like our family is complete now, like we were just waiting for her to come along to make us whole. I love having three children now!

Now, all this sunshine and roses is not to say that the entire week has always been an easy one. My wife, it seems, is suffering from a little bit of postpartum blues, and that subject is something that I think gets talked about not a lot. Who wants to talk about things that are sad when there is a cuddly baby to discuss instead? Nevertheless, the reality if that in between baby cuddles and sibling love, there have been tears and crying jags. My wife has tearfully told me more than once that she wasn’t sure why she was crying or felt sad, she just did. Hopefully it’s just the postpartum hormone changes and nothing major- and it does already seem to be fading out and getting better. I hope that with even more time to adjust to life postpartum, my poor wifey can be fully 100% on board the joy train and leave all the tears and sad spells in the past.

Overall, things are going very well. I’m so glad to finally have baby girl HERE and cuddleable.πŸ™‚

PS: pics below are preview pics from our photo shoot yesterday, and also just pics of life with a newborn.πŸ™‚
   
    
    
    
    
    
   

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Guess who’s here?

Introducing Shiloh Michelle!

 

7lb13oz, 19inches long. Our princess.πŸ™‚

 
She ended up being born at 6:53pm on 7/28, more than 20 hours after we were first admitted to the floor. She came out screaming and sunny side up, which surprised everyone. 

Shiloh means Tranquility and we already have a son whose name means Peace. Michelle is my mother’s name and was a complete surprise to my mom when we announced it.

The kids have met her and everyone loves everyone. Moms are exhausted. More to come but for now, baby pictures! 

    
    
 

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Update

Well, still no baby. It took quite a long time for her contractions to get started once her water broke. We were trying to do this as naturally as possible, but after twelve hours of no contractions and no cervical change, we opted to go ahead and start pitocin. Since starting it, she’s been pretty miserable but her contractions have started and are getting stronger and closer together. Hopefully this helps.

Hour 18 here. Getting anxious to meet baby girl!

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Baby’s Comin’ =)

Wifey’s water broke tonight! She was laying in bed while I was in the other room and I thought I heard her yelling for me. I texted her to see if it was her yelling at me or not and didn’t get a response, so I went running back there… and when I got to our bedroom she told me we were going to the hospital because her water had broken! FINALLY!!!

We said goodbye to Thing One, a (sleeping) Pax, and my mom (who is in town and will be watching them), and off we went to the hospital! Hospital is only ten minutes from our house and I might have been speeding a little bitπŸ˜‰ so we got here in record time. Got checked, admitted, and now we wait!

Contractions are still far apart and nothing exciting yet- it’s 2 am and we’re both thinking about taking a nap while we can. But, there is a baby at the end of all this and she will be here relatively soon! Excited!

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Kickstart

There are oh, so many things I have been remiss in writing about here, but the main one on my mind right now is our baby girl, and her impending arrival.

For at least the past two weeks, Wifey’s body has been trying to kickstart labor. This scared the doctor’s office initially, as we were only 36 weeks and were having runs on contractions lasting hours at 2 minutes apart and a minute long each. But, no baby appeared then and we are now safely in the realm of 38-week-land. Bring on the contractions!

We had our weekly appointment on Thursday and when the doctor checked her, we found out she is already 4cm dilated, 60% effaced and baby is fully engaged. That, coupled with the nights of intense, long-lasting contractions is enough to tell me that baby girl is trying to make her entrance into this world. The doc agreed with this assessment- he said he will be very surprised if we make it to our 39 week appointment next week.

So, with all of that in mind, we have been doing everything we can to kickstart labor and get baby girl to come out. My wife has been walking- so much walking- and we have tried pressure points, spicy food, sexy times, and even giving baby girl a stern talking to (lol). Wifey also sent me this picture yesterday of her mowing the lawn (that has normally been my chore). I guess she’s pretty determined for baby girl to come out!

  

 None of our strategies have worked (yet), but that hasn’t stopped us from trying. Today, she has been having some cramps, back pain, and a few pretty painful contractions. I’m hoping this all means her body is trying to ramp things up again, but at this point, who knows. 

Hopefully baby girl comes soon!

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