Raising a Blended Family

Is anyone else…

having trouble with the wordpress reader? For the past day or so, it has been telling me I’m not subscribed to anyone’s blogs.  lies!!!

I know a lot of you go through google reader (I do too, for blogger blogs- can’t figure it out with the wordpress blogs) but I was just wondering if it’s a bug with my blog or with the whole system.  Makes it really hard to keep up with everyone!



Well, this may or may not get me in the hot seat, mostly because I have not seen other bloggers attack each other in these forums.  However, today I stopped reading a blog I’ve been following for a long time because I strongly disagree with what’s been posted.  Don’t worry, it wasn’t any of you guys… it was a different blog I’ve been following from way back when.  And instead of blowing up all over the blog’s comment page, I figured I would blow up in the confines of my own, personal blogspace instead.

In short, the blogger’s daughter asked if she could play football like her older brother when she grew up.  And, essentially, was told no because she’s a girl and football is a boy sport.  When the daughter pointed out that there were two girls on her brother’s team, the blogger wondered aloud:

Yes, I see them.  I also see lots of the other boys not wanting to play with them, maybe because they are unsure of their skill, and maybe because many of them have been taught lessons just like my own son has – that boys are to be gentle with girls. Not aggressive. And certainly not the kind of testosterone-laced aggression that is at the core of a game like football.

I’ve also seen the moms reminding the coaches not to say “boys”, but to say “boys and girls.” And I’ve sat and wondered when it happened that tackle football stopped being a boy sport.


UUUUGGGHHHHH.  My blog-readership ended right there, but half an hour later I’m still fuming about it.  Grrr. Nothing gets my hackles up faster than people pinpointing and genderizing their kids like this.  If she wants to try football, let her try! If he wants to do ballet, let him try!  And how about, instead of “boys don’t hit girls because girls are fragile and need protecting,” we have “everyone keeps their hands to themselves because it’s not nice to hit”?

Grumblegrumblegrumble.  *steps off soap box and walks away muttering about gender roles and stereotypes*


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In the arms of the angels…

Our hearts and minds are with you Laurie and Heather.  Words truly can’t describe how very, very sorry we are for the loss of baby Parker.  All of our love to you.



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Making Lemonade

Well… today I went out and got certified in CPR for the Healthcare Provider. Hey, healthcare provider. That’s about to be me!  It felt good to get this show on the road, and going to this class may also have been the first big stroke of luck we’ve had in awhile.

You see, it turns out the EMT program I am enrolled in will probably be cancelled, due to low enrollment.  We’re still waiting for the final word, but as of Thursday (with two weeks left until class) only a few other students besides myself had signed up because the program is brand new and not well known yet.  The lady told us she’d let us know for sure by labor day weekend… not a lot of time to boost enrollment.  Crap, right?  This class had the perfect schedule, and upon further research, there really weren’t any other programs starting relatively soon that had a schedule I could do- either after work so I could keep my job while getting certified, or in a quick “accelerated” format so I could quit the job but still get trained and get an EMT job relatively quickly, so that the financial impact of me being temporarily out-of-work wouldn’t be so big.  I did find one other class starting mid-September,  a two week blitz class with 12 hours a day every day-  but the course cost a hefty $1500 plus some change AND it was an hour’s drive (one way) south of us AND I would have still had to buy all my coursebooks and everything.  Yikes.  No can do.

However, at my CPR class today, the instructor was asking us all why we were there and what we were hoping to accomplish.  A bunch of people were nurses, some just taking it to be certified for the heck of it, and myself and one other guy were there for Pre-EMT certs (it’s a requirement before you can take an EMT cert course… kinda makes sense that an EMT has to know CPR, right? 😉 ). He asked us where we were signed up and I told him about my situation, and he said he might be able to help me if we spoke after class.   Turns out, he’s an EMT instructor as well and he owns his own ambulance company to boot! I told him my whole situation (difficulties of scheduling a class and PhD and everything) and he informed me (and the other guy too) that he will be holding a three week blitz class starting sometime in september (dates TBA).  He offered for us to join the course and when I asked (wearily) how much it would be, he said that if we both were to keep quiet and not tell the other enrollees, he could cut us a deal since we took his CPR class and give us the course for $450, plus buying our textbooks!!!!  He said he’s done it before for past CPR students and he likes to help out where he can.  I immediately told him SOLD, and we made plans to further be in touch.  $450 is an amazingly good price, and actually cheaper by 50% than the course I’m already in. Plus, since it’s a three week course I’d be certified much faster and be able to get out there and get some experience (oh yeah and have an income).  So it really is a good thing and a great stroke of luck that I just happened to sign up at a CPR class with someone who is also an EMT instructor with an available class openings.

The only remaining concern is- of course- money.  We are used to and budgeted for having two incomes, not just one, and taking this course will probably mean living on only one income for about a month or so.   The nature of the course schedule- every day, 8-12 hour days- won’t leave any room for part-time work on the side, even if I could find it. While a month doesn’t seem like a long time, it’s long enough to cause some slight logistical headaches.  We might cancel our cable for a month. We probably WILL forgo buying our fancy new phones for another month.  We’ll definitely be scraping by for a bit, and I know from past experience (we’ve done this once before, out of necessity) that it will be a very humbling experience.  However- and forgive me if I gush- but this is the part where I have to say how much I love my wife. I love her, I love her, I love her.  Throughout all of these months, my stress and uncertainty has affected not only myself but her as well, and yet she has remained as solid and steady as a rock.  When I called her, excited about this opportunity, yet unsure if, financially, we could do it, she immediately pushed me to go for it.  She told me she’s tired of seeing me be miserable with work and all she wants is my happiness, and that we could get by for a month or so in order for me to take this course on the road to job satisfaction.  She told me, no matter what, we’ll make it work, we always do (and it’s true. We do.).  She’s even already drawn up a revised “draft budget” (we’re big budgeters around here) of a month on just her income to show where we could do it, and volunteered to work some overtime to make sure we’re good to go.  All of this, for my dream.  I love her so much and I couldn’t do this without her support- so Panda, when you read this, thank you, truly, for loving and being there for me.   I love you! 🙂

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Breaking News…

Or maybe-not-so-breaking, since we’ve kind of suspected all along. But anyways, I just got a message from my mom that my 13-year-old sister just came out.  She actually said she’s either gay or bi, but that she definitely has a crush on her best friend. Oh, sister.  You are following the same path as generations of lesbos before you.

I need to call that girl- she’s always been awkward on the phone but as the Senior Lesbian and her older sister, I think my duties are clear. 🙂  I also think I’m going to send her a welcome-to-being-gay package.  Something silly- something so that she knows I absolutely accept her as she is, and also something to kind of lighten the mood.  A rainbow belt. Rainbow knee-highs. Skittles. A plaid shirt.  What else should I include?!  Need ideas, lesbos!

PS- sorry for double posting today. Had to share!


And in other news…

Well, from my last post, things are beginning to settle down.  No new news, except that we believe we have found a sitter to watch T1.  We’re interviewing tonight, but get this: She also has a first grade (girl!) who goes to T1’s same school, T1 can ride the bus to her house after school because she lives within our school district (she has a few kids already who do this, age range K-2nd grade), she is LITERALLY across the street from Shorty’s work, AND she’s only going to charge us $120 a month.  Holy affordable babysitting, batman!  So we’re meeting with her tonight and assuming everything is in order, her kids are happy and she doesn’t have horns sticking out of her head, T1 will start there on Friday.  Woot!

ALSO (and this is the news I was going to include last time before I got too pissy tired to continue the post…).. so you all have heard me complain about dicuss how much I hate my Ph.D. program.  I believe I started publicly complaining about discussing  it in May, but I’d been thinking about it and Shorty and I had been having convos about it for much longer than that.  Thus far though, I really haven’t taken too many steps to DO anything about it.  There was the nursing thing, and then there wasn’t.  There was the I’m getting out of here NOW thing, and then there wasn’t.  I think, truth be told, I’ve been a little lost.  I didn’t know where exactly I wanted to go or what exactly I wanted to do.  There were things that sort of felt right (like nursing) until I thought more about it and something was just off.  I have been trying and trying and trying to come up with a viable option to get me out of this program… I have literally explored via Google and my imagination almost every single interest I have that could possibly turn into a career.  In the last year or so, I’ve imagined myself as a firefighter, a meteorologist (love weather!), a doctor, a nurse, a Public Health specialist, a GLBT advocate, a stay at home mom, a teacher (and yes, occasionally, I thought about just staying put and being a Ph.D.).  But not too many of them stuck. However, it became clear to me that the careers that drew me the most were I tied to medicine.  I came to realize, I want to be in the medical field.  I’m pretty damn convinced that what is lacking for me from this whole research experience is patient contact. I talk to my nursing friends and I’m jealous that they get to help take care of patients.  I talk to my friend in 3rd year medical school about her rotations and I’m jealous of all the medical knowledge and patient contact she’s getting.  I want to be in MEDICINE.

But what kind of medicine?  Not nursing- although that initially called to me, somehow, it just doesn’t seem like the right fit.  And no way in hell am I putting myself through 4 years of hell and 4 more years of post-hell drudgery in order to go to medical school (besides not having the academic stamina for it anymore, there’s also the whole matter of wanting to have kids and SOON, and oh yeah med school is expensive).

However, I’m pretty damn sure I hit on the perfect career back in June.  The idea has been sitting with me ever since, percolating, and I’m finally ready to put it into action.  I want to go to PA school and become a Physician Assistant.  Ta-da!   It feels right- basically, I’ll be as close as I can get to being a doctor without actually BEING a doctor.  I’ll have direct patient interaction every day.  I’ll get to diagnose and assist in surgeries and help people make decisions about their health.  I’ll get to HELP people, in a field that truly interests me, and I’ll get immediate gratification from being able to see the difference I’m making in patients’ lives (none of this mansy-pansy publishing-research-in-journals-and-waiting-for-the-world-to-read-it crap! 😉 ).  I’m ready. This is it, I’m sure of it.  Let’s jump…. over the hurdles I need to get through in order to be ready for PA school.

First off, there’s classes- I have two prereq classes I need to take in order to be a PA (human anatomy and human physiology, both with lab, if you’re curious).  The rest of the prereq’s I’ve got covered thanks to my biology background.  Second- there’s the patient experience.  Unlike med school which requires the MCATS, PA school does not require MCATS but it does require direct patient care experience… and lots of it.  Volunteering does not count, shadowing does not count, my research does not count.  So this is where the ch-ch-ch-changes comes in.  I have signed myself up- wait for it- to BECOME AN EMT by December!!!  I’m taking an evening class taught by local paramedics to become certified as an EMT (EMT-B).  It starts September 8th and goes until December 12th.  After that, I take an exam to become nationally certified, and after that- I get the hell out of here and go start my medical career.

Iamsoexcited!!!! Just ask Shorty, my Mom, my best friend… it’s all I’ve been talking about.  I can’t wait to start that class.  It feels like I’m finally on the right path.  It feels exciting.  It feels good to BE excited about something again!

This won’t be a quick process- I’ll become an EMT, get an EMT job hopefully Dec/Jan, and then start shadowing PA’s (looks good on your application) in the spring.  I’ll also take one of my prereq classes this spring, and one next summer. Applications for PA school are open June- December, so I’ll be applying next June 2012- for admission to fall 2013.  Assuming (hoping, praying) I get in, that would mean working as an EMT for about 2 years before heading to school- a two year lull, if you will (which Shorty and I believe is as perfect time as any to make babies, more on that later). And then the program itself is two years long- first year classes, second year clinicals.  So we’re looking at Summer 2015 before all is said and done.  HOWEVER- I believe that it will all be worth it, for a lifetime working in a field I actually like and for the permanent stability this will bring to my family.

So that’s le plan.  What do you think? Know anyone who’s a PA?  😉


Password protected post

Just wanted to let ya’ll know I just published a PW’d post.  You’re free to read it, but I didn’t want it just sitting out there on the interwebs for all to freely google.

PW same as always.  Let me know if you need it.


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Trash the Dress Photos

Okay so Amazon posted some of the wedding pictures, today I’m going to post some of our Trash the Dress pictures. The day after the wedding Amazon and I met Evan Bishop and did a photo shoot at La Jolla Cove, in San Diego. It was so much fun. Here are a few of our favorites.

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