Raising a Blended Family

Lazy Hazy Crazy Days of Summer…

…anyone know where the title’s from? No? Gilmore girls, anyone?  Favorite. show. EVER (Shorty loves it too…)- and no it has nothing to do with the hotness of Lauren Graham running around in pencil skirts and adorable dresses. Ahem.

Anyyyyyywaaaayyysssss…  Sorry I haven’t posted much lately- the title really does describe my current life though.  Lazy on some days, bored out of our skulls, kept inside due to the incredible ongoing heat wave we’ve all been swamped with… and then other days (work days, mainly) have been redonkulis.  Both Shorty and I have had some reaaaaally crazy days here lately… days where we come home from work completely drained and stressed out, and rely on our partner to uphold us, support us, pour us a nice glass of wine and make us eat dinner.  Those kinda days.   Luckily for Shorty, these max-stress days are relatively rare- she really loves her job, but sometimes because of the unique position she’s in at work, it gets really stressful and busy and overwhelming for her.  As for me… well, let’s just say I can’t wait until October.  If you recall, I have qualifying exams (that I.am.dreading.) coming up at the end of September.  For better or for worse, I have decided to face them head on… if I pass, great, I have an automajic (free, except for the blood sweat and tears I paid) Master’s degree.  If not… at least I’ll know I tried, and I can close this chapter in my life and moooooove on.  Either way, I just want it here and over with… and I want the days of madly collecting data, fending off Dr. Asshole’s attacks, and being ridiculously stressed to be done with. Caput.  I would like to just cruise through life for a little while now, thankyouverymuch.  I think I’ve earned it!

Also, not that I’m focusing on it much right now although I’m trying very hard and failing at not focusing on it right now, the possibility has been brought up of maybe trying again for baby after quals are over… in NOVEMBER, rather than after the beginning of next year.  Meaning, if it worked, we would have a Christmas Day Baby Announcement and have our family unwrap a bunch of cute little baby onesies with “I love my grandma/aunt/uncle/cousin/whatever on them to announce the pregnancy…  how cute would that be?! How great/happy would those holidays be?!  And how awesome if we could actually do it?!  (You see where the failing at not focusing on or being excited part comes in now don’t you?).  The logical side of me of course has to include the following caveats: It is a long way off (and at the same time notsolong).  A lot has to happen between now and then, including the above-mentioned quals and career adjustments that come after it. But assuming I keep on truckin’ here (a definite possibility if I pass my damn quals) or fail and get a new full time full benefits job elsewhere (also a possibility), we should still be on track, two months later, to be able to knock ourselves up.  And next summer when said hypothetical baby would be born, things would have completely simmered down and we’d be golden.

But we’ll see.  It’s not a concrete plan, it’s very much a hey-let’s-wait-and-see-what-happens-but-wouldn’t-it-be-cool-IF plan.  Gotta get through quals first.  Gotta get Candie’s sister K and T1 started back at school first.  Gotta do a million other things first… we’ll see when we see. =)


Remarkably in-step.

Well, we have no baby, no pregnancy, no sperm and no dewar, but Shorty and I are still remarkably in step with baby names!

We’ve had two names picked out for awhile.  One for a girl, one for a boy.  The girl one, I haven’t budged on.  At all. We both love it. (And, to be clear, I am a highly indecisive person, prone to second-guessing even the soundest of decisions, so the fact that I haven’t even considered changing my mind about our girls’ name is truly a miracle.)

Also a miracle: Shorty and I both agree on these names, hands down.  There was no arguing, squabbling, or pushing-of-names-one-partner-really-likes-onto-the-partner-who-DOESN’T-really-like-them…. there was just “hey, honey, about about blahblah blahblah for a boys name?” And “oh yeah I really like that” and “okay cool.”

And there it was.

Until today, when I ran across a slightly different version of our boys’ name that I like better. LOVE better. Much, much, much, MUCH better- enough to risk disturbing the equilibrium of baby name choosing that we have created in order to ask Shorty what she thought of it.  I may have cringed while I asked it- but I still asked it.

Her response? An enthusiatic and immediate “oh yeah! I like that too!”

And there you have it.  Our favorite boy name just changed and there was no fighting, hair-pulling, or shoving.  Hmmm. For two such opinionated people (oh wait, that’s just me), we are remarkably in step. 🙂


Protected: Happy Sixth Birthday, Thing One!

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And then there were four.

As of last night, we are a family of four. No, neither one of us had a baby (I wish!) and we did not adopt another furbaby (though, counting the furballs, we are a family of six…). Shorty’s younger sister (I guess she’s now my younger sister too!) K is now living with us for the school year, in order to get her out of a bad situation and give her a chance to finish high school (and go to college next fall, since I am bound and determined to do everything in my power to make college happen for her!). The plan is for her to live here for the school year and then move into the dorms using student aid money once she’s done with high school and on to college.

Needless to say, it’s an adjustment, but one we’re all making willingly. I am feeling a little bit like I just suddenly became the parent of an 18 year old… quite a difference from parenting a five year old! But, I’m sure I’ll get used to it, as will Shorty. She’s much better off with us than any of her alternate options, and hey, after we clean out the spare bedroom from all the CRAP sitting in it right now, she’ll even have a place to sleep and a bedroom of her own- how about that? It means one more person for the holidays, a grocery shopping buddy for me (Shorty HATES shopping of any variety), one more person on family outings… all very doable, and enjoyable, even.

So we’ll manage. I do find it a bit ironic that Shorty and I have been looking to add another member to our immediate family and suddenly we just did. The person we added is about 18 years older than we expected, lol! Speaking of baby though, and in all seriousness… we had decided (before K moved in, actually) to delay TTC again probably until after the holidays. Sigh. While it makes me sad, it also makes sense… I’m taking my quals this September and pass or no I will then be looking for a job- either as a BS or MS accredited person. If everything goes okay I’d be able to find a job before the holidays, and get settled in, and then we could resume course at the start of a new year. It makes me sad to delay more- if only our May try had worked! – but ce la vie. And I know we’re not the only ones delaying, so at least we’re in good company.

On a side note, the times when we have to make these agonizing decisions about delaying when all we want to do is move forward are the times when I think it’d be easier to be a hetero couple… just leave it up to fate and when it happens, it happens. Le sigh. I know of course, that that statement is entirely unfair to the many many hetero couples who have to really try for kids or who go through infertility… but in the moment, that simple little vision of being able to actually be SURPRISED at being pregnant, rather than disappointed when you aren’t because you know you timed it perfectly, seemed highly ideal.

And PS- here’s a little funny thought for you. I have no idea how we’re going to navigate the whole TTC-and-having-a-grown-up-little-sister in the house thing. Can you imagine her answering the door and seeing “Cryobank” printed on the box??? Might lead to some interesting conversations… LOL!!! Makes me think maybe we should just be open about the whole thing from the very beginning instead of trying to hide it! But then, that openness could also lead to awkward conversations… “Don’t mind us, we just have to go upstairs and take care of this and we’ll be right back!” Ha! This should be interesting- guess we have some time to figure it out though.


Protected: More photos!

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Oh, child.

Everyday we get more and more certain that T1 is, in fact, my biological daughter and that I am, in fact, the one that popped her out rather than Shorty.  I swear if we didn’t have pictorial proof that this is, in fact, NOT the case, we would both be convinced that T1 is my biological daughter instead of Shorty’s.

She cut her hair, twice.  I cut my hair three times as a kid. Shorty never did.

She’s hyperactive and squirmy and sensitive.  Just like me as a kid. Shorty? Notsomuch.

She likes soccer.  Shorty never played a day in her life.  Guess which other mom played for about 12-13 years?

She likes reading.  I am the big reader in the family.

She listens to Belinda Carlisle “Heaven is a Place on Earth” and U2 and many many other songs on repeat when she’s in her room. Guess whose CD collection she is raiding to get those songs?

And let’s not forget, she even frickin LOOKS just like me. Crazy kid.

Last night was the topper on the cake though.  It was made up of one part panic attack, two parts worry, five parts shaking our heads going “really?” and at least a few parts of Shorty looking at me, going “yep. she’s your kid all right.”

What happened is that we put T1 to bed around 8:30- her normal bedtime.  She’s been having a bit of trouble getting to sleep since we got back from California (what with the time zone changes and all), but she laid down quietly and we didn’t hear another peep out of her, so we figured yes, success, go us.  WRONG.  An hour later, she came out of her bedroom, telling us her throat hurt.  Shorty had her come over to look at her throat, and asked if she knew why it was hurting.  T1’s answer?

“I think I swallowed a penny.”

…We both gaped at her, and I am slightly ashamed, slightly amused to report that the first words out of my mouth following this statement were something along the lines of “You think you swallowed a penny??? You THINK? Did you or didn’t you???”.  Not in anger or anything of course, more because we were in disbelief- how could the child not know if she had, indeed, swallowed a penny?

Turns out that the little darling had not, in fact, gone to bed as we had surmised, and had, in fact, been lying there, quietly counting her change from all of her tooth fairy transactions for the past hour.  She had, in fact, just placed a penny in her mouth (why we’ll never know) when an overwhelming wave of sleepiness hit her. She dozed off for a minute and awoke to find… no penny.  Not in the bed, not in the sheets, not on the floor (we checked).  Hence, the “thinking” she swallowed a penny part of the statement, rather than knowing for sure.  At that point though, we pretty much figured she had, since we didn’t think she could make something like that up on her own, so we called the nurse’s hotline to see what to do.  She wasn’t choking, no breathing issues, just saying her throat hurt.  Hospital? Urgent Care? Wait it out?  We weren’t sure, so we called.  Shorty made the mistake of mentioning the word “hospital” in front of T1, at which point my job became calming down the suddenly bawling five year old while Shorty manned the phone lines.  The end decision was that if she could swallow water and bread (she could) and wasn’t in pain, we would just have to… wait for the penny to make an appearance, if you know what I mean.  And make sure it does (yuck) within three days or else take her in.  Oh joy.

The funny part is, after her initial scare, T1 was all in favor of “just double checking” at the doctor’s office. Very me-like behavior- Shorty avoids Dr’s like the plague, I am usually the one in favor of doing a quick office visit to make sure everything is okay.

And? Shorty never swallowed a penny (or any other change) growing up.  But guess who did? That’s right, me.  Only mine got stuck and had to be removed and required a hospital stay.  Thank everything T1’s will (hopefully) pass on its own.

But I swear. Kid gets more and more like me every day.

PS- my next post will be a password protected post so I can post more WEDDING PHOTOS!!! (I totally forgot to PP the first one… oops). Let me know if you need the password again.


We’re Married Women!!!

Sorry for the long absence from the blogs, folks… but I have to say it was for a good reason: we got MARRIED!!! This past Tuesday, July 5th, we gathered on the beach with about 50 family and friends to say our vows and make our commitment to each other.  Not everything about that day ran smoothly(T1 barfing all.over.theplace. about an hour ad a half before the ceremony, for instance), but I wouldn’t change it for the world.  It was beautiful, and I can now say that I have a wonderful, patient, silly, lovely, amazing WIFE! 🙂

I know ya’ll are waiting for pictures- believe me, we’re waiting too!!! Both photographers (from the day of and the day after Trash the Dress Sesh we did in the ocean) gave us a timeline of about a month to get pictures back… don’t they know I’m not a patient person?!?!?!

Our day of photographer did leave us with some “teaser” pictures though, five in all, which I will now share with you. And then we can all sit back and wait (impatiently) together for the REST of the millions of photos taken that day. ‘Kay? Kay.