Raising a Blended Family


OMG… go… here… NOW.



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Insert Update Here

Hey ya’ll. So, a few things….

  • I have decided to officially participate in the 2011 color photography project! So excited!  I am, however, going to wait until next month officially starts before I post any colors, seeing as how it’s the last day of March and I am not prepared.  But expect future color photos!
  • The weather: Ummm yeah sorry but I have to make note of this one.  Yesterday when I started my day, it was cloudy, cold, but not too cold.  I had a half an hour appointment midmorning, and while it was perfectly dry and clear out going into the appointment, when I came out, this is what I saw:


    Then, an hour later, it was sunny and the snow was completely gone again.  Weirdest. Weather pattern. Ever!  I’m soooooo ready for the warmth of summer time… no more snow!

  • Secondly, since you all had such a great response to my wedding invites post, I have decided to once again use you as my guinea pigs for a sneak preview of yet another DIY project- my bouquets. Now, keep in mind that I don’t have a problem with flowers, but I wanted something… special? Different? Something I could use as a keepsake from my (beach) wedding.  These are also surprises for the recipients, hence the reason I am soliciting here for opinions instead of texting my bridesmaids.  So with that in mind, I created (the first of 6) seashell bouquets!  And I am honestly seeking feedback.  Whatcha think? Is there anything you would change to make it look better? I have to make 5 more of these puppies, plus a bigger one for myself, so any feedback about improvements would be helpful! Here’s the first one I’ve made (and to give credit where credit is due, C did help a bit):

    Please excuse the dirty kitchen background... it was the only place in my house with enough lighting!

    slightly different view...

    Thoughts? Anything you would add? More ribbon, less ribbon? Let me know, and much appreciated. 🙂


  • On the TTC front… well, really there still isn’t much news.  C is learning how to temp in the mornings, which has been interesting considering she basically sleeps like the dead and is VERY hard to wake.  So I guess when I say “C” is learning how to temp, I mean that I am learning to help her.  But hey, whatever works to get us to our baby, right?  Other than temping/prenatal vitamins/etc, we’ve pretty much settled into routine life.  We both know we’ll get to try soonish, and we’re both content with that and are just moving through life as usual (although I have been known to ask C out of the blue, “Are you pregnant yet?”  To which the answer is, sadly, always no. But not forever! Someday it will be a yes!).  But yes, life as usual. hm. So this is how it feels to not be obssessing over TTC (quite so much).  It’s rather blissful and if it helps me to get through our waiting period in order to reach our trying period, then I’ll take it!

Alrighty, that’s about all I’ve got right now. I have a draft saved that I’ve been working on, about some problems with a friend and “drifting” in general, but that’s a heavier post and I’m not quite ready to post it yet, so stay tuned. It’s a-comin.  Have a good last day of March!


Insomnia, anyone?

I don’t usually suffer from it, but tonight it has bared its ugly head and left me dreading the morning alarm clock. It’s one of those nights where my head just will. not. shut. up. long enough for the silence and stillness of sleep to creep in. It won’t shut up at all, in fact. Le sigh.

What do you do when you can’t sleep? I’ve tried laying still, watching tv, deep breathing, counting sheep/chickens/how many times the damn cat meows (really? I sleep through that every night? she is YOWLING and now they are chasing each other around the house and it sound like a herd of elephants!!! I cannot believe they don’t wake me up every night doing this). I’ve tried writing a quick list of all the to-dos going through my head. I’ve tried blogging (lol). I’ve tried hypnotizing myself (I know you’re surprised that one didn’t work. 😉 ). And yet nada.

I am going to be one cranky lezbemom in the morning. More like a zombiemom. C doesn’t know it yet but she’s got dibs on kid duty tomorrow.

Alright. Enough. Off to try more sleep. This insomnia thing is new to me- usually C is the one with sleep issues. I really hope it doesn’t stick around- I need all the sleep I can get until we have a baby in the house!

goodnight blogosphere (hopefully).


On Dreams

Hello everybody. Happy Monday, and thanks for all the comments on my Ph.D. post over the weekend.  I’m still mulling a decision but those comments definitely were thought-provoking and helped.

So lately I’ve been having these dreams, and they all have a common theme- baby! Almost all of my dreams feature a little baby boy, our little baby boy.  And in these dreams, C and I are just living our lives, doing everyday things… but one of us will have the baby in a carrier on our back. Or we’ll have to remember to be quiet while doing household chores so as not to wake baby.  Or in one dream we had the baby with us at the beach, and he kept trying to eat sand. Really common dreams, nothing stand out about them at all… except the baby.  Oh, if only.

I’d like to think that this is some vision of the future, some portent of what’s to come.  And I’m sure we will have a baby sometime here in the nearish future, and maybe he will be the boy I’m imagining.  In actuality, though, for now… I’m pretty sure it’s just my body showing me what I want to see, taking my metaphorical dreams and manifesting them as literal ones.  And I’m okay with that.  If I can’t have an actual baby yet, at least I can dream about one, right?

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To Ph.D or Not To Ph.D.

*warning… really really REALLY freakin long post. barely TTC related.*

….that is, indeed, the question.  I mentioned this in my post explaining the switch to TTC using C’s womb, but, well… there’s so much going on in my head, I really need to get it all out on paper (er, computer?).  This is a very hard, very stressful question for me to answer. I am a year and a half into my Ph.D. program, about 5 months out from taking qualifying exams, not quite a year into lab work, all courses completed, and everyone (workwise) assuming I’m still going for it (boss included).  To those in my family and friends circle, it is common knowledge that I am shaky-at-best on whether or not to continue this thing.  I am getting lots of mixed opinions, which are welcome… but still mixed.  For instance, I have one super supportive friend in a very similar situation to me, family and life-stage wise, who told me to do what makes me happy… and if a Ph.D. isn’t it, then find what is.   I have yet another friend in med school who is adamant that I not give up.  C just wants me to make whatever choice will make me happiest in the long run. And as for me? I have no idea what to do, much less what I want.

Part of the problem is my general feeling of inferiority lately.  Grad school has just beaten. the. crap. out of me, so far. From what I’ve read, this is pretty normal- but I think I may have a bigger inferiority complex than most, given that I came into the program with little hands-on lab experience (got in on my academics, which, note to self, DO NOT HELP YOU when you are trying to learn to be a microbiologist), and also given that my PI (PI=Boss) and a postdoc in my lab both have a penchant for being very rude and demeaning to me, in particular (other grad students have made note of this to me, so I know it’s not just me perceiving it), and finally, given that I’m the only girl in the whole lab.  My inferiority complex is making it really hard to sort out what’s real versus what’s not (did I really suck at that experiment? or did I just think I did? etc), which absolutely doesn’t help with the decision I’m trying to make.

But even with all of this making me feel so “inferior” and useless, lab-wise,  I could still keep fighting for that Ph.D…. except, the thing is, I’m not really sure I want to anymore.  When I think of what I want my career to be, chasing tenure doesn’t come to mind.  I’m not interested in being faculty at a university- not interested in the endless dance of research and grants and more research for more grants.  Working in someone else’s lab? Sure.  But in general, I think I have a pretty big case of underachievment that makes me question my need for this damn Ph.D. in the first place.  Why put myself through all of this if I don’t have to? This is the question, indeed.

Of course, the other part of the argument is that I’m already here. I’m in, I’m learning, so why not? I’m fully funded, have a stipend and health insurance, so why not stick around, try to pass my quals, and see what happens?  Why go out and get a job when staying the course (at least until August, when my quals hit) is the easier thing to do in the meantime? Maybe my feelings will change if I successfully pass the quals, if I can just get that much further on my path to a Ph.D- maybe all these feelings about not wanting this are actually coming from a scared place, instead of a logical, rational place.  I think know that if I were being completely honest, I would admit that at least some of the feelings are derived from my fear of not passing my quals- a fear of failure.  A very real, legitimate fear (case in point: I asked my [rude] PI straight up the other day if he though I would pass my quals.  He laughed in my face.), but not one I believe is reason enough to not even try in the first place.  And if that were all it was, that fear… I would say I have to take them, I have to try.  Even though I am worried, that alone wouldn’t stop me.  But I also stand by what I said about my career goals above- I do not want to run my own research lab.  So where does that leave me?

I guess this is the point where I mention my alternatives- at least the ones I’ve been able to figure out.

Alternative #1: Quit now.  Get a job.  Actually, let’s reverse that… get job, THEN quit.  Ignore fact that getting a job might be difficult, especially since boss isn’t likely to shell out a reference letter just so I can ditch him. Sigh.  From here, I can maintain status quo and just keep on workin’, or I can apply to the Master’s of Public Health program at the same university I go to right now.  I should note, when I applied for my Ph.D, I also applied to (and got into) several public health programs. I’ve always had an interest in public health- but the Ph.D. was fully funded, versus the MPH I’d have had to take out loans.  Ph.D. it was.

Alternative #2: Wait, take quals, and hopefully pass. This would give me an automatic Master’s degree, which would mean if I master’d out (left with masters but without Ph.D), any jobs I applied for would be higher paid than if I quit now and went in with just a B.S.  I would have a stable paycheck at least until August, and possibly November if my quals get delayed until then (due to a lack of me generating data, due to my lack of lab skills and also slight lack of motivation). The downside is the possibility of not passing my quals- I will then have wasted time between now and August/November working towards something that wasn’t meant to be in the first place, when I could have been on track with another job already and have submitted applications to the MPH program.

Alternative #3: Apply for public health Ph.D. program. This is a possibility but frankly not likely because I feel udnerqualified for that program- I have NO public health experience, and if I’ve learned anything in my current program, it’s that prior experience is crucial and I really shouldn’t push it.  One of my main regrets right now is not getting my master’s before I went into a Ph.D.

Alternative #4: no freakin’ clue.

So anyways… this is where I’m at right now. Lots of worry and agonizing over this decision. I have days where I want to march into my boss’s office and tell him I’m quitting, and days where I want to stick it out.  I want to make a decision but I want to make sure it’s the right one… I don’t want to end up in this same place a year and a half from now.  So I’m not entirely sure where to go from here, but I do know that something’s gotta happen, soon. A decision needs to be made, mostly for my own peace of mind.  I would like to know where I am going in life and what my path forward is.  I really need to feel that stability- I need it for me and for my family as well.

If you’ve gotten this far, you’re a champ and thanks for reading.  This has all been swirling around my head for weeks now, and it really felt good to type it all out… even if it is the middle of the night and I should be sleeping instead. I promise more optimistic, less worry-filled posts in the future here soon, and no more ginormously long Ph.D. posts. Thanks again for reading!!!



Yayyyy, Friday! The glorious weekend is once again upon us. Whoo-ra!

So, a short bullet post of topics on my mind:

  • Linus. That poor little baby.  Although his surgery went well, post-surgery recovery is not.  I continue to send all the healthy energy I can to him, and I know you are doing the same. Linus, we’re all pulling for you!!!
  • The big news over at Mommies Making Miracles.  Congratulations mommies, I know you and your soon-to-be family of FIVE will be very happy! Can’t wait to read more, as always.
  • C and I both dreampt of her being pregnant last night.  I had those same dreams two nights in a row.  I’m going to take this as a positive sign that in a few short months we’ll be on our own pregnancy journey!  Hang on, T2, we’re coming to find you!
  • I forgot to confess that we were totally Those People earlier this week… we took a lil’ trip on over to Babies ‘R Us just to look around in awe at all the swag! We didn’t even have a good cover story, and we certainly couldn’t use the excuse “oh it was just around the corner from us so we though we’d stop in,” since it is most certainly not around the corner (20 minute drive) and it definitely was planned (as in, after we get X, Y, and Z done, we’ll reward ourselves by going to gape at all the baby stuff that we hope we’ll soon need).  Yep, that’s us me, jumping the gun… always have, always will.  It was fun walking around the store, although when the sales lady came to help us “find what we were looking for” (we caught her eye accidentally and couldn’t get away) and she asked us the due date, we both probably looked like fish out of water… before I blurted out, “next summer!”  Yep, we’re those special people ma’am, with the 15 month gestational period, didn’t you know? 😉  But it was a ton of fun oohing and ahhing over the stuff, and I can’t wait until we can go back legitimately, with a baby inside C, instead of skulking around all nonpregnant and wishful.  I’m gonna waltz in there like I own the place. Just wait.
  • Okay that last one was a really long bullet.
  • I’m updating my blogroll on the right… I know I read WAY more blogs than listed there, and I also know that when I first started this blog about a month and a half ago, it was really helpful that everyone had blog lists, so I could click around and acquaint myself with the community.  So I’ll try to keep mine updated… if I’ve commented on your blog or you know I read it and you’re not listed, let me know and I’ll add you!
  • Have a great weekend!

    Tonight, I lied to my five year old…

    …about whether or not we had anymore ice cream in the house.

    “Mommy, can I have ice cream?” she asked, cherubically.

    Immediately the script in my head took over. No you can’t have that ice cream, child! Don’t you know there’s only one scoop left?

    “No honey, we don’t have anymore ice cream” (that you can have). “You can have a few jellybeans instead” because I’ve had my mind on that damn ice cream all. day. And it may or may not have been what got me through my workday and kept me from slapping that smug look off my coworker’s face sane.

    *child walks away happily munching her sugarbeans.* Good thing she likes jellybeans.

    And yeah, I know. I lied to my fiver year old… over ice cream.

    At least it was yummy.

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    Things they are a-happening….

    Whew!!! It’s been a whirlwind around here lately, TTC-wise.  First off, let me say that I am (along with the rest of you) IMMENSLEY relieved for Linus making it through and having a successful surgery… so glad for him and them.  Crazy how this blogging community connects us all into one big loving ball of hope and positive energy when someone needs it, isn’t it? Love it, and very glad Linus is okay for now.

    So, at home on our own TTC front… lots of things going on, some good and some not-so-good.

    On the not-so-good front, my work is not going well. At all.  I think I mentioned that I have qualifying exams coming up for my Ph.D. candidacy… well, they’re coming up fast and not only am I not ready, not only do I not have a supportive boss, but I’m also not really sure I want to be in this program anymore and have been considering switching to a different one.  Of course it’s all still up in the air (will I pass my quals? won’t I? what then?) and I can’t exactly waltz up to my boss to discuss ditching him (but hey, thanks for the funding I took from you for these last 12 months, boss!), so in general it’s all adding up to lots of stress.  While I do know that eventually everything will settle back down again (by this time next year, everything should be fine again), and I’ll end up where I’m meant to be, all this kind of shakes up the getting-me-pregnant plan in the meantime.  We were shooting for June, but with quals not until August at the earliest and possibly delayed until November, and possibly not at all depending on my program choices, it just doesn’t seem like a particularly stable or good time for me to be getting pregnant. Sadly.

    The upswing of all this is that, well, we’re a lesbian couple. And we have two uteruses. And we’re both pretty damn determined to have this baby… so we’ve decided to use C’s womb for this go-round.  There are many, many pluses to this plan.  She has a stable job and health insurance (5 years and counting), paid maternity leave, and most importantly, a willing and available womb!  Things may be crazy for me right now but C is steady as a rock.  And I know that by the time the baby arrives, things will have settled down for me, we can enjoy the first year of Thing Two’s life, and then start working our way back to getting me pregnant again.  Yes, it’s an adjustment- going from preparing my own body for pregnancy to preparing C’s, and preparing myself now to be the nonbio mom… but, well… I don’t know. I’m okay with it, honestly.  Relieved, even, to not have to stress about how my choices will affect our ability to TTC this year- as long as I have a steady income (and I will, none of my choices involve unemployment!), we’re good. C can get pregnant, I’ll get my quals (and perhaps program change?) behind me, baby will be born, and all will be good.  Also, I should note, we were always planning on having two more… so she does one, I do one. Sounds fair to me (and she agrees, luckily). 😉

    Anyways, so that’s the big shake up around here. You are now reading an other mother blog. 🙂 I honestly just can’t wait until we have sperm-in-hand, ready to take the plunge (or push in the plunger, you know, whatever) and get ‘er done knocked up.  I want this baby for our family, and I don’t care whose uterus it comes out of.  Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go remind my love to take her horse pill vitamin.


    ***I’m also going to admit that for some reason, it scares the crap out of me to post this.  I guess I haven’t read too many how-we-picked-who-was-having-the-baby stories (none, actually), and I’m guessing this is because it’s a pretty personal decision for each couple.  So I have no idea if this kind of switch is “normal” or not, and I guess I’m just nervous ya’ll will think we’re crazy or something! Which, in retrospect, we very well may be. 😉


    Fingers crossed

    …wishing, hoping, and praying for Linus.  You can do it baby boy!

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    The wrong side of the weekend

    Welcome back to the work week folks- another Monday, another five days until the weekend.  How was yours, by the way?

    Ours was GREAT. Truly fantastic- best weekend I’ve had in a long time.  Saturday our friends came over with their little boy, and he and TO spent the whole day chasing each other around the house and yard while us grown ups had Grown Up Time and sat and played cards.  Behold, the power of friends- the kids leave you alone and the grown-ups get a break.  AHHHH-mazing. I also love me some card games (even in C was ready to kill me when we were playing teams because I kept screwing up and playing the wrong suit. whatever).

    Then Sunday- was the meetup! And it was awesome.  3 other families showed up with their kids, and we spent a few hours at a local park and nature center, getting to know each other while the kids played.  It was great to be among people who have the same kind of families as we have.  As the meetup drew to a close, we started discussing possible future meetup ideas, and (much to C’s dismay), I found myself volunteering to host a meetup at our (very small, cozy) house.  Yeah, not quite sure what I was thinking or how I’m going to entertain people when a bunch of lesbians and their kids descend upon my doorstep, but… we’ll figure it out (any ideas?!?!? lol).  In any case I’m looking forward to future meetups.

    Finally, the icing on the cake for this weekend was C and I finally giving in last night and buying ourselves a new grill… we’ve only wanted one for forever.  Before the big purchase we were cooking on this old, lopsided tiny smokey joe, and it just wasn’t cutting it.  Our new grill isn’t a monster or anything but compared to the old one… it’s got acres and acres of space!  To celebrate our purchase we grilled steak and asparagus and had mashed potatoes. MMMmmmm, yummy.

    And that brings me up to here, now, the present. I got in to work this morning to discover that my PI (boss) had taken an unannounced (to me, anyway) two week trip to China.  Awesome- I think? Not exactly sure what to do for two weeks, work-wise, but again, I’m sure I can figure it out. Or not. 😉

    Anyways, I do have some other, heavier TTC related stuff to post about, but it’s all still swirling around in my head right now too fast to type it all out… I can’t make sense of any of it yet. I’ll process some more and get back to you with it, okie dokie?  And in the meantime, I’ll leave you with the hope that you all had swell weekends and that your pregnancies/TTCs/parenting are all going great!


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