Raising a Blended Family


So, I have news of both the good and bad variety.  Bad first, because then the good can cheer you up! Well… it cheered me up anyways.

The shoo ‘un job that my dad could have gotten that would have allowed my parents to move out here and live 45 minutes away turns out to be… notsoshoo’un. As in, the bastards strung my dad along for MONTHS, promising a job offer and salary details and blah blah blah just as soon as X Y or Z… and then offered it to someone else. =( Why must people suck so bad?  I’m definitely disappointed… it would have been nice for them to live out here and be close to us, as opposed to right now when they’re 2500 miles away. Would’ve made holidays more convenient, at the least.  Sigh.

There’s still a little hope, in the form of another job at another place also within an hourish of us… butfor that job to happen, grant money from the NIH needs to happen, and for anyone who is the least bit familiar with the NIH and how “speedy” their grant process is… well, it’s not. So blah… bummer.

In happier news though, the wedding is just a week away. Yay!  T1 and I are flying out at the end of this week (literally, Friday night lol) so I’ve just gotta make it through a few more work days. I am looking forward to the wedding, of course, but also looking forward to seeing people I haven’t seen in months… or years.  And this weekend is all about me and my bridesmaids (read:bestest friends who I never get to see because we’re spread across the USA… okay fine, I’m the one who did the spreading by moving to Indiana. But anyways)… Shorty will still be in Indiana (her work wouldn’t give her the weekend off) until MONDAY.. yes, that’s right, my fiance will arrive in San Diego a mere 24 hours before our nuptials (less than, actually), and nothatdoesn’tstressmeout, why do you ask?  But the silver lining is that I get a weekend to spend with some of my oldest dearest friends (undoubtedly doing last minute wedding crafts and such, but still quality hang-out time) and it’s going to be GREAT.  And then we are spending fourth of July on the beach all day and doing fireworks and a giant marshmellow fight that night before the wedding that is thankfully in the evening the next day.  What’s that? You haven’t heard of the annual San Diego (Ocean Beach) 4th of July marshmellow fight?



Come Join in.

Any of the above.  I love California.

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My night last night

So I just wanted to share my night last night. It looked something like this:

Any guesses? No? I guess I’ll just have to explain- there’s definitely a story behind it. =)

So we have 11 whole days left until our wedding. Eleven. 11!  That, my friends, is very very very very soon.  And only 8 more days (next Friday) until T1 and I leave for California (Shorty leaves with her sister a few days later since she has to work July 4th weekend).  Needless to say, we are simply buzzing with excitement over here.

There’s also been stress though.  More stress than I realized, actually… for example, just the other day I realized my period was late. Two and a half months late. ( And don’t ask me how I didn’t realize this before, it just never occurred to me that it was that late… and no, even though [ironically] this is a TTC blog, I am [sadly] NOT pregnant, and I haven’t been tracking my cycles, thus making it possible for my period to be THAT late and me not notice).  It could only be due to stress, since it’s never late like that, ever.  I shrugged it off though, figured my body would straighten itself out, and went on my merry way.

But last night, stress decided it did not want to be ignored and reared its ugly head again.   Shorty and I were walking through the grocery store, and I burst into tears.  Big, fat, sobbing tears.  Why? Because Shorty read an email of mine that I sent to my mom that had information about her sister coming to our wedding.  Her sister coming was supposed to be a surprise… as in, I booked the plane ticket secretly and last-minute, spent all day last saturday running around trying to find her sister a BM dress and then lied to Shorty (who was at work) about what I’d been doing all day (and had T1 lie too), and frantically made her sister another shell bouquet and then lied to Shorty about why I’d made another bouquet when she came home and I’d forgotten to hide it.  Phew. It was a lot of work (and lying? lol).  So the email- I let her read it, forgetting that info was in there, and now she knows.  Disappointing? Yes.  But did it warrant bawling in the middle of the grocery store? Probably not.  This is where the pictures from above came in.

My (rather concerned) fiance and my (equally concerned) mother (who I called, still bawling, to tell her the surprise was ruined) then decided last night needed to be a relaxation night for me.  I fought them a bit on it (it felt like I still had so much to do!)… and then gave in. And boy am I sure glad I did.

I had already planned a yummy, yummy dinner last night (homemade pesto cream sauce with fresh tomatos and pasta) so I went ahead and whipped that up (especially since I love food… nothing makes me more relaxed than eating delicious food!).  While I was doing that, Shorty opened a bottle of sparkling strawberry wine, produced locally at this place called Oliver Winery. Delicious.  So we had pesto pasta and strawberry wine (which surprisingly compliment each other quite nicely), and then as soon as dinner was done and T1 read to and put to bed (which Shorty took care of), Shorty drew me a nice. hot. bath.  With bubbles. And candles. And soft music.  And I got to soak for as long as I wanted and get all nice and pruney…. ahhhh, heaven.  And then when I got out, expecting my relaxation to be over (dinner needed putting away, after all!) she sent me upstairs to our room, put on more music, lit some candles, and I got a massage. A long massage- until I promptly fell asleep (passed out is more like it) and woke up this morning feeling oh, so much better. Much much more relaxed.  I didn’t even realize how stressed I was or how much I needed to relax until I was made to, but I feel so much better now… much less stressed, much more excited.  And, it just helps me to realize even more, how much I love this woman I am about to marry, and how much I am loved in return.

The end.

PS- so I was wrong yesterday. I think writing even that short little post helped me get over my temporary writer’s block, and now I have tons of stuff to share with you all!  Look for more posts coming soon to a blog near you. =)


World’s worst blogger


Yeah. That would be me this past week.  Sorry for the unplanned blogcation.

In truth though… I haven’t blogged because there really hasn’t been anything to blog about.  Not TTC-wise, anyways.  We’ve been busy taking care of wedding stuff, career stuff, life stuff… but not TTC stuff.  I have, however, been busily reading all of your posts. I swear I’m still here… I’m just silent.

And probably will be for awhile, unless the unanticipated urge to post strikes me somewhere here soon.  Otherwise… next stop, wedding pictures.


We had our bridal shower yesterday…

…wanna see?  It was a blast! Tons of food and desserts, wine, and laughter.  Perfect night, in my opinion.  =)

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…forgot to PW protect that last one! I always feel weird PW’ing a post without an explanation, because I don’t want you guys to feel like you’re “not allowed” to view it.  View away! It’s just got pics, which is why it’s PWded.

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Holy blog posts, batman!!! Now that the un-challenge has gotten going, blogland has exploded with blogs. It’s great and they’re all fun to read, but it’s also hard to keep up! So sorry if I’m a crappy blog commenter now or in the future… I’m trying, honest!

Anyways. So the last post was very gloomy and I was honestly in a hurt place when I wrote it… and then I got all of your comments, and can I just say- you’re all amazing. All of you. Your comments made me realize that this isn’t just something that I’m going through, it’s something every parent goes through and deals with at one point or another. I think that, because I am already very aware on a day-to-day basis of being the non-birth, non-legal parent, that it’s easy for me to feel isolated, like things are only happening because of our unique family structure and not because they’re normal behaviors of a boundary-testing five year old.

However, Shorty and I have talked and we do agree with several of you that our discipline strategies need to be more unified. Sure, we’re great at backing each other up and reinforcing the other parent’s disciplining, but the difference in the frequency and likelihood of discipline coming from either parent is what’s allowing (and possibly confusing) T1 to try to play us off each other, so to speak. We’ve talked about it and come to a rough agreement of what our standardized discipline will be (and I say “rough” agreement because, with kids and the varying unique situations they present, it’s impossible to have a one-size-fits-all discipline strategy). But from now on, we’ve agreed that when T1 starts to push boundaries and has unacceptable behavior, she gets one verbal warning that includes something like, “[Insert action here] is not okay, and you know better. The next time you choose to do that, you will be going to time out.” That way we’ve clearly outline the consequences of that particular behavior, and then next time she does it, she’s in time out. One warning, no more and no less, and timeout progresses to time in her room in her bed if she doesn’t stop said behavior after a couple time outs. Hopefully, this unified strategy will be less confusing for her and help her to understand that there are consistent, constant disciplines for misbehavior and that she should redirect her behavior accordingly… and also help her to understand that she can’t expect sympathy from the non-disciplining parent when the other parent punishes her, and that neither I nor Shorty are in any way “mean” or “meaner” to her than the other one, since we’ll both have the same discipline strategy.

Whew. That was a long explanation… I’ll definitely keep you updated. In other T1-related news, we’ve also decided that this is a good time to introduce more responsibility, as she’s about to be six. She doesn’t really have any “defined” chores, but we do ask her to make her bed and pick up her dirty clothes, things of that nature… so we’ve decided to make a chore chart, with stickers for days she completes her, and a reward for so many stickers. T1 has been known to say “why do I have to clean my room, why don’t you clean it for me?” and to throw fits about making the bed, etc… so hopefully this style of chore chart will help her to start to understand “responsibility” and will give her incentive to want to do these things. Her rewards will be anything from “movie night with us” to “trip to the park” to “painting” or something… not candy or some other unrelated treat but something more substantial, to show her we appreciate the time she’s invested and as a reward we’re willing to invest more quality time with things we don’t always get to do.

…and now, I feel like I’ve spent this whole post harping on my daughter (not my intention) so we’ll end it on a happy note, with pictures of our recent family afternoon outing at the local creek. T1 had a grand ‘ole time, and was absolutely adorable doing it. 🙂

T1 sporting her self-trimmed bangs and her three missing teeth!

...and posing with every ounce of sass her five-year-old self could muster!

Shorty (who hates water, kinda like a cat ;-)) stayed nice and dry on the shore.

and of course, Shorty and I had fun too (Shorty left, me right!)



The Girl Who Cried Mama.

Well, I was going back and forth between taking up Day 5 of the Un-Challenge or blogging about The Girl Who Cried Mama, and in the end I decided to go with TGWCM.

Lately, T1 has been a boundry-testing fiend. Last week she cut her own hair (again, for the third time, when she damn well knows better), Saturday she got into Mama’s perfume (again, a known no-no), and yesterday she tried to make a PB&J in the middle of the kitchen floor after she had been told no because it was almost dinner time (kinda cute, even though the disobedience itself is frustrating) and she went out to play and sneakily put on her good dress shoes when she knows those aren’t play shoes. So mostly minor stuff (minus the hair-cutting incident), yet still frustrating for the moms involved in these situations.

When she has these boundry-testing moments, she is presented with an age-appropriate punishment- a few minutes of time out in the corner, or some alone time in her room is generally what happens. It’s not a huge deal, although she’s not a fan of being punished and usually cries.

What’s frustrating to me though, more than the boundry-testing (which I know is age appropriate for a five year old), is that basically, any time I am the one to put her in time out, she cries harder and longer than if Mama puts her in time out. Any time I am involved in discipline, she looks at me like I am the scum of the earth (who knew five year olds could give such dirty looks) before she huffs away to the corner- Mama does not receive such looks.

For example: yesterday, she had been in time out for a few minutes, and I was talking to her afterwards about why she had been in time out, and what she did wrong, when Shorty walked in the front door, home from work. What had been a calm, tearless discussion of why we listen to our mommy when she says no to making a PBJ, turned into hot angry tears the second she saw Mama. When I had to leave to run an errand a few minutes later, and ran back into the house because I forgot my keys, T1 was in the middle of a full melt down about how “Mommy’s so mean to me,” and trying to hug up on Shorty. Shorty, to her credit, was calmly reiterating the need to listen to Mommy… but it still gave this lump in the pit of my stomach, and more than a few tears to my eyes as I left to run my errand.

It got worse as, later that night, we both tucked her into bed. I was the first one to kiss and hug and tell her I loved her, and then I moved out of the way and it was Shorty’s turn. As Shorty bent down to hug her, I heard T1 start to cry again and ask “Why is Mama so mean to me?”

Mean? Mean? It stopped me in my tracks. I’m not mean to her. I am firm, certainly- more so than Shorty. If T1 is misbehaving, I will send her to time out faster than Shorty will. I won’t argue with her or remind her as many times as Shorty will. I’m more strict…. but mean? Those words hurt more than anything has hurt me in a long time. My five-year-old is taking the punishments I give her- time outs she has earned, from bad behavior- and turning around to interpret them as me being “mean” to her. And of course, I heard Shorty explaining this to her in five-year-old terms, but it didn’t at all take the hurt away from being thought of as mean by my five-year-old.

People, I am going to tell you the truth. I don’t think I’ve ever addressed this before on the blog- I guess I prefer to focus on the fun times, the patient times, the times when T1 is not earning time-outs and calling me mean. But the truth is- it sucks to be the non-favorite parent. I am the non-favorite parent. This probably has something to do with the fact that Shorty and T1 had 4 long years together to bond before I came into the picture. It probably has something to do with the fact that before I came into the picture, T1 already had a Mommy and a Daddy, and I am the Third Parent. It probably has something to do with the fact that I am the disciplinarian in the family, while Shorty is more willing to let things slide. It probably has to do with any multitude of things, and I probably shouldn’t be taking it as personally as I am… she’s five, after all. Right?

But it’s still hurtful to hear your five-year-old tell her favorite Mommy that she thinks you’re mean to her. Unbelievably hurtful.


New day, new cycle.

Well, Shorty’s temp dipped yesterday and AF unceremoniously arrived to announce the end of cycle/try #1, and the beginning of the next one.  We’re not trying this cycle, but we will be charting temps and using OPKs and the CBE fertility monitor to keep track of everything, with the hopes of having two more months to add to our charting total by the time September rolls around and we (hopefully) try again.  We’re skipping July because of the wedding, and travel for the wedding, and T1’s bday, and life just being too hectic that month to get good temps in.

Speaking of weddings…. congratulations to A & D over at the mombians blog on their wedding this past weekend, and Isa over at Small Obsessions for being legally recognized now in the state they live in…  and is it just me, or does it seem like there’s a lot of lesbian weddings going on around here?  Ours included, of course (flying to Cali in a month! So excited!!!).  I can’t remember who all is tying the knot soon off the top of my head, but I know it seems like once a week or once every few weeks, I find yet another blog planning a wedding.  Yay for lesbian wedding fever. 😉

Other than that, the only news I have to report is that I won’t be posting May yellow pictures, because my computer ate them when it died. =(  But I did take them, I swear… and it’s ironic that this is the month I sit out, considering that yellow is my favorite color! Sigh.

In other other news, T1 is sick. Like, coughing-up-a-lung-and-had-diarrhea-yesterday sick (no fever though luckily).  I feel slightly guilty because I think she might have gotten sick from me, since I was starting to feel twinges of getting sick on Monday (but then I got better without actually getting sick because my immune system rocks, whereas T1 definitely got her immune system from Shorty… and Shorty’s IS sucks).  So needless to say, T1 spent most of her first day ever of summer vacation lying around pathetically on the couch, watching Avatar with Mama while I was at work. Poor kid.  Hopefully she feels better today.


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