Raising a Blended Family

14 weeks, 2nd trimester!!!

It’s official. 🙂  I can’t believe we’re actually here, a third of the way through our pregnancy.  Time is flying by crazy-fast!

New belly shot (and yes, we totally forgot to do one for 13 weeks. we suck.).  Shorty actually said she thinks I’m starting to look pregnant now, which is big coming from her- every week, I have asked her if I look pregnant yet and every week, she has looked at me hesitantly and then responded with a half-hearted “yes”.  Very convincing, honey.  But this week, before I could even ask, she volunteered her opinion that I’m looking up the duff!  Made me smile. Grow baby grow!


Hearing baby’s heartbeat…

So today, at long last, our home doppler arrived. (It’s a very long story, but it accidentally was shipped to the wrong address (my mother’s) and seeing as how she is the world’s biggest procrastinator… grrrr.  It took a VERY long time to get it back, let’s just say…).

We spent a good 15 minutes trying to find baby with it, during which point I was alternately hopeful about finding the heartbeat and scared out of my mind we wouldn’t! We finally found the baby, still riding low right above my pubic line, and got to hear his/her heart beating away at about 150 bpm… It was the best sound in the whole world!  And, aside from actually knowing baby is okay in there, the other best part was that the kids were there to hear it and the looks on their faces were priceless.  They were completely amazed, and each of their mouths were open in a little surprised “O”.  So fun to watch.  So we sat as a family, listening to the baby’s heartbeat for about 15 seconds, when suddenly, there was only silence and no more baby heartbeat! Stunned, I looked at Shorty… what happened?

She smiled at me and said “He moved, of course”. Ohhhhh right. Baby can move! The thought of our wiggly baby moving and gliding around willfully in there makes my heart so very, very happy. We moved the probe a bit to the left and there he was again, his little heart going strong. I know I will sleep better tonight having heard positive confirmation with my own ears that baby is doing fine. =)

Tomorrow we will be 14 weeks, and on to the second trimester!


Will the REAL Mommy Please Stand Up- Also Titled, The Wisdom of Six Year Olds

A conversation with my daughter that happened on the way home from school:


T1:  Mommy, when I tell my friends at school that I have 2 mommies, they ask me which one is my real mommy.

Crap. I was wondering when that would come up.  Here we go. *takes a deep breath*

Me: Oh? Well, what do you say to them when they ask you that?

We haven’t talked about this yet with you, darling girl.  It hasn’t come up and we didn’t have the words.  I feel like we should have- like we let you down.  We should have prepared you.  Did you even know what to say?

T1: I tell them that I have 2 mommies and a daddy and they go yea, but which one is your real mommy.

Freakin’ kids.

Me: That seems like a tricky question. What do you say when they ask that?

*holds breath*

T1: I say you both are my real mommy, that my Mommy C is the mommy whose tummy I was in, but my mommy A loves me and takes care of me and she’s my real mommy too.

Wow.  Thing One, you amaze me.  We haven’t talked about this at all and you are only six, and yet you still were able to come up with the words on your own to explain your family to your peers.  I am really freakin’ impressed.

Me: That sounds like a good answer.  What do your friends say to that?

T1: Oh, they say oh cool and we all go play.  Mom what’s for dinner?

Well, clearly this conversation didn’t leave any lasting scars.  And I’m so glad that in your world it all has a happy ending.  I wish it would stay that way forever, that you would never have to face the meanness of bullies and bigots and children who are taught hatred.  I hope with all my heart your world stays sunshine and rainbows forever.

And also… you, kid, are a freakin’ rockstar.


Stay-at-home-mom practice.

Well, this morning, Shorty had to be at work at 6am and I had to be at work at 730am.  So, since she had to go in before me, it was my morning with the kids.  I got myself up around 545 to leisurely get ready in peace and quiet, by myself, before waking the kidlets up to get them dressed and bustle them out the door sometime around 615.  We have to be at the babysitter’s by 630 on these early mornings in order to make sure that I have time to drop them off and make my morning commute, and so there we were, standing on the babysitter’s doorstep at 630 am… but something was wrong.  The house was dark (it’s never dark when we get there, she’s always awake waiting for us) and no one answered the door.  In desperation, I knocked a few times and then I even rang the doorbell (something I have barred the kids from doing since her husband sleeps in even when she gets up early to babysit).  Finally I reached for my phone and called her.  She picked up and it sounded like she’d been asleep right beforehand… which, as it turns out, she was, because today was the day she was not babysitting due to her mother having surgery today!  I felt HORRIBLE for forgetting (although in my defense, I did tell her Friday that Monday would be an early morning for us and we’d see her then, and all she said was have a good weekend… nothing to remind me of the surgery! But I digress).  I apologized for waking her up and got myself and my kids off her porch as fast as possible, feeling pretty embarrassed and also feeling bad that I’d woken her up.

So I bundled the kids back into the car and turned back around, headed for home.  On my way, I called work, letting them know that yes, even though my lunch was packed, my scrubs on, and I was in the car… I still would not be coming into work today.  And just like that I got myself a three day weekend! Hot diggity.

T1 got on her bus at home at 8am and Bubby and I have been home alone together ever since.  We’ve laughed and danced in the living room, sang silly songs, and ran a couple errands (including dropping off my wife’s lunch at her work, since she forgot to pack one).  I baked cookies, straightened up a little, made plans for dinner… all before noon! Now it’s after lunch and he’s napping while I take a minute to relax. Ah, bliss.  I have been reveling in this chance to be a stay-at-home mom for the day, and then I realized, that once the baby gets here I might not have to pretend anymore! We’ve been talking a lot about what we want to do in terms of sending the kids to the babysitter’s, staying home, etc, and so far it seems like as long as we can make it work financially, I’ll probably stay home.  Daycare for Bubby and Baby (T1 doesn’t go usually, since one of us is usually able to put her on and take her off the bus) would total at least half of what I make… financially, it would make more sense for me to stay home with the kids.  Plus, a friend of ours said that if I stayed home, she’d be happy to send her two kids to me for daycare 2-3 days a week instead of where they go now.  So I could make some money there AND get to be a stay at home mom AND have playmates for Bubby!

We’re still mulling the options, of course…. things like insurance, for example, are hard.  This damn state doesn’t allow us to be on each other’s insurance, so there is the little question of where I would get health insurance from.  The baby could be on Shorty’s insurance once the adoption goes through, and probably on medicaid in between to bridge the gap.  But still, that’s a lot to think about.  I’d like to think that it will work out.

It would make a lot of sense, and also, finances aside, neither of us is keen on sending our 6 week old baby to daycare just because some law says that’s how long I get for maternity leave (who decided 6 weeks was enough, by the way? I HATE the way the US treats maternity leave!). We would rather parent our baby ourselves, but we’ll see.

Suffice it to say, today was a great taste of what is hopefully to come once the baby’s born… with a baby added into the schedule, of course!  We shall see…


Delayed 12 week belly…

Took awhile to get this up, my bad! but I swear we actually did take it at 12 w exactly.Image


On the Eve of “Safety”

Well, folks.  I’m not sure how, but here we are… on the eve of the magical 12 week mark.  I know I’ve said I’ve been pretty relaxed about this whole pregnancy thing (and I have) but that does not stop me from breathing a small sigh of relief at yet another safety milestone reached.

I’m not sure why, but certain weeks in my head I have marked out as “significant” ones that I particularly look forward to reaching.  They are weeks 12, 18, 20, 28, 32 (my favorite number!), 36, and of course, 40.  This pretty much has nothing to do with any fetal milestones* and everything to do with all the moments I had, pre-pregnancy, when I was reading pregnancy blogs or talking to pregnant friends and was impressed by the mileage they’d reached in pregnancy… they just seemed so pregnant.  So now, to be reaching one of those milestones myself, the coveted 12 weeks…  well, I basically can’t believe it.  But I am sooooo happy, nonetheless.  🙂  (*In fact, I’m pretty sure I’m missing a couple crucial ones in there, like the week marker between 1st and 2nd tri, 2nd and 3rd tri, and the one in there in between 20 and 28 when the fetus actually becomes viable in terms of living on the outside, but I can’t remember which week.)

So here’s a YAY for being just about 12 weeks, and having reached that first milestone!  In “celebration,” Shorty and I recently stopped at an Old Navy store while they were having a BOGO shirt sale.  I picked up several maternity shirts as well as a pair of capris and a pair of clearance maternity pants that I think will be useful for work when I outgrow my scrubs.  The shirts were all so cute and summery, I can’t wait to start wearing them and show off my bump when I eventually get one!

It’s also funny to think that this is the point at which we were planning on telling the kids.  It seems so natural, now, that they should already know.  T1 regularly comes up to “kiss the baby” (any random spot on my stomach she can reach) and Bubby will randomly ask if today is the day the baby is finally coming (months and weeks mean nothing to him, lol!).  It’s cute.  I love having them involved and I love seeing them excited over their future sibling.  Heart=happy.

Speaking of the kids!  I haven’t updated you on them in awhile.

Bubby is doing so so well.  We are so proud of him!  He has adjusted very well to life with us, to the point that it’s no longer an adjustment, it’s just normal life.  He has his toys, and his room, and his likes and dislikes.  Food and mealtimes are something we struggle greatly with- he is the world’s pickiest eater and will not eat anything that does not look like pizza, chips, or hot dog.  We attribute this fact to two things: One, he’s three, and some pickiness is completely normal behavior for this age, and two, growing up thus far all he has ever eaten has been junk food… so no wonder he turns his nose up at anything else!  We are patiently (and notsopatiently) working with him on this, alternately cajoling, pleading, ignoring, bribing, punishing, giving choices, etc.  No one strategy has worked thus far but he has had small victories… a bite of carrot here or eating some pasta there.  Little steps.  Three-year-old-sized steps. 🙂  The boy will be four in May and although it will probably be a low key affair due to the fact that we are also trying to move at the same exact time, we are already having fun contemplating birthday presents and birthday plans.  Since the train table that we got him for Christmas has gone unopened and unnoticed and still wrapped upstairs, we might repurpose it into a birthday gift and buy him some more Thomas train tracks and the like.  Or, if Shorty has her way, he may be getting a used powerwheel (my main argument against this is that he is a BIG little kid, I feel that he will quickly outgrow the powerwheel).  But we shall see.

On the honesty side, I have to say that I feel like Shorty has a much much deeper bond with this kid than I do.  She has a natural knack with kids and she and Bubby have been buds from day one of his life anyways… he’s cute and I love him, but I don’t feel as deeply connected as Shorty does.  Maybe in time. =/

On the T1 side of things, well… she is an amazing little girl and we love her so much!  She is crazy and silly and funny and enthusiastic, but can also be snuggly and warm and want to cuddle… for about two seconds, until she’s back to bouncing around the room.  She is our ball of energy and although that drives me crazy a lot of the times, it makes me smile to think about it right now.  She’s like a little ray of sunshine- even when she’s being annoyingly hyperactive, she’s still happy and silly and it’s hard to stay annoyed.  School-wise, she is currently finishing out first grade… but what she doesn’t know yet, because we aren’t ready to tell her, is that she will be repeating the first grade again.  😦  It’s for the best, though it’s hard not to feel like a failure as a parent.  We’ve worked hard with her on reading and spelling but she’s just… failing to thrive, basically. She’s not flat out failing anything, but she’s not excelling like we would like, either.  We’ve talked extensively with her teacher, her principal, and her school psychologist about this and they are all in agreement.   T1 is not, by any means, dumb… but the general consensus is that she is very very young, even for her age.  She is the youngest one in her class (she won’t be seven until July, and back before kindergarten she turned five right before the cutoff)… so while most of the kids in her class have spent a year being seven already, T1 has yet to even turn 7 and it shows.  She also plays “young”- always preferring to play with friends’ younger siblings than with friends.  She is easily distracted and hard to keep on task, and in general, she is very immature.  The hope is that by giving her a year to catch up, and by putting her in a class of kids who are her age and not ahead of her, she will catch up and thrive.  There has also been talk of disability testing for a learning disability, though if that happens she wouldn’t be tested until next fall, because right now she is too young for the test to give an accurate reading.  On the plus side, T1 tries, so hard, to please everyone.  This kid has a lot of spunk and she puts her heart and soul into everything.  She’s a truly GOOD kid and I know that given the chance and the right circumstances, she can thrive.  Overall, we’re very positive about the plan to hold her back, believe it’s the absolute right decision, and looking forward to having a happy, non-struggling kid again.  We still need to figure out when the time and place will be right to tell her, and how to tell her, that she will not be going on to second grade with her friends… but our possible move could help with this, since if we move she will need to switch schools and won’t be surrounded by those who were her peers but now, are suddenly a grade ahead.  On the other hand, moving is not a definite, and if we stay in the same school we’ll have to reckon with that and figure it all out.  We will see.

Overall, life is good in this household, and even though T1 struggles in school, she and Bubby both are still happy, thriving little kids.  Life is good. 🙂

Below are a few recent pics (and a HILARIOUS video of T1 “dancing” to the music at the local froyo shop.  You MUST watch it!).

very typical... being a goofball and playing Jumpstart.


One recent day where T1 came home from school and crashed at 530 in the afternoon. We thought for sure she was getting sick, but luckily, no sickness appeared!

Also very typical... this kid plays on the ipad more than we do, I swear.

Silly boy!


T1 Dancing!




Week 11 Baby Belly

So… 11 weeks today!!! Only a few weeks left until we start the second trimester. 🙂

Here’s our 11 week baby belly pic… I think it’s starting to round out a little more on the bottom (or maybe that’s just wishful thinking?)?  In any case, this week my jeans officially stopped fitting and we broke down and bought me some maternity pants.  The doctor said I’d only gained a few pounds at my appointment and was right on target, but I guess that few pounds was enough!


I have lots more to talk about, including updates on how T1 and Bubby are doing, but for now, considering that I’ve been falling asleep at eight or eight-thirty every night… it’s past my bedtime.  😉


Double digits! 10w, 2d. =)

So, I neglected to post a celebratory post on Thursday to commemorate the fact that we are finally into double digits with this pregnancy.  We also neglected to take a 10 week picture.  Sheesh, we suck!

I will say, though, that I really feel like time is flying.  It seems like just yesterday that we got our positive test, just yesterday that we were in the tenuous and nerve-wracking early early days- counting out things like 4w3d, 5w1d, 6w5d… with every day that passed and no sign of miscarriage something to be celebrated and thankful for.

It is still that way, of course… but I am settling into the idea of this pregnancy, the reality of the baby growing inside me, the understanding that our chances of miscarriage at this point have fallen below two percent.  I understand that miscarriage is still a possibility, and will, in fact, be a possibility until this baby is safely delivered…. at which point there will be other worries.  But having made it to 10 weeks now, each day feels less nerve-wracking and more peaceful.  Less stay-up-at-night worrying and more hopeful.  I am thrilled to have made it this far and will be even more thrilled when in two short weeks we hit the magical 12 week mark and the cusp of being in the second trimester and out of the first.

We also made an important decision this week.  You know all the complaining I’ve been doing about the doctors we’ve been seeing, and how we’ve been enduring the long wait times and the less-than-personal staff?  Well, it all came to a head on Friday, when I went in for my dating scan.  I know, I know, we said we were looking at moving to a different doctor’s, but with the dating scan already firmly in place, we figured there would be no harm in at least going- at least to see the baby again, since in our minds of course the dates our baby was created are not in question.

Anyways… we were wrong.  9 am appointment time, and I showed up (solo, Shorty had work :() 10 minutes early… and then proceeded to sit around and wait for the next two and a half hours.  Yep. 2 1/2.  I wish I were exaggerating.  I know I don’t have the right to complain too much about it, since we knew ahead of time that a long wait was a possibility… but c’mon, two and a half hours?! That’s ridiculous.  So I sat. And waited. And watched netflix on the ipad.  And twiddled my thumbs.  And at some point in time, I started getting really frustrated… and mad… and sad.  And before I knew it, tears came as I sat there and suddenly I was the pregnant lady sitting there crying uncontrollably in the waiting room.  Yep.  Love those pregnancy hormones….

So in the middle of all this, Shorty called.  She had been keeping up with me via email and knew I was still waiting.  So I answered and she immediately asked me for my insurance card.  She said the waiting was ridiculous, she’d completely had enough, and she was going to find us a new doctor right then and there.  My knight in shining armor!  I tearfully gave her the information and suddenly a decision we’d been hemming and hawing over was made.  Done.  Shorty suggested I then tell the nurses at the current clinic to fuck off and walk out, but I really wanted to see the baby so I stayed… but it was nice, knowing that would be my last time having to endure that waiting.  Thanks to Shorty, we have a doctor’s appointment at the new place at the end of the month on the 26th, and I am looking forward to it so so much!

Shorty said her phone conversation with them was awesome.  She spoke to one of the nurses there, and said that the nurse didn’t even pause for a second when Shorty mentioned being in a same sex relationship.  In fact, the nurse went on to ask if we’d gone through a sperm bank or through a donor, ICI or IUI, etc.  So it seems like they’ve definitely seen same sex couples before!  She also asked when the first day of my lmp was, and Shorty couldn’t remember, but did tell her that we were pretty sure of our dates because of the OPKs and the temping.  Shorty explained that we had gotten our first positive OPK on a Wednesday, insemmed that night, and seen a temp spike on Friday, at which point the nurse exclaimed “Oh, you are right on with your dates then! I’ll just put you down for 10 weeks 1 day!”  Do you know how happy that makes me- to have a doctor’s office who understands the process we went through and knows that yes, we really do know how far along we are in this pregnancy???  Every other doctor has insisted on going by LMP, which is about a week off in our case!  So awesome that they’re willing to go by our dates and understand the process we went through.

The final icing on the cake is that this doctor we will be seeing has priviledges at one of the hospitals I’ve been wishing we could go to.  This new hospital offers water births, midwives, and a nicer, shinier labor and delivery ward than the current one could even dream of.  So there are definitely a lot of perks to moving, even though it means we will have to foot some of the bill ourselves, and I am excited to see the new doc at the end of the month and get the ball rolling!

Finally, if you’ve made it this far, I think you deserve a reward in the form of a few pictures from the scan.  Although the pictures from this time around are more blurry, I think the baby actually looks a little bit more like a baby and less like a peanut.  Or more like a blob at least… but I’ll let you decide. 🙂  The tech also said that it was hard to accurately measure the baby as s/he was all curled up, but as it is the baby measured 9w4d… up by 6 days from last friday’s appointment, and behind 4 days from where s/he should be.  Again, trying not to worry about that.  Also, the heartbeat was only 164 this time… down from 180 last time.  Anyone know if that’s bad???  =/


More like a baby? Or am I imagining things...?

And then a picture that made us all smile this week… T1 colored this picture of our family of FIVE at school and brought it home to show us. She said from left to right is me, Baby (looking very kid-like and not baby-like, lol), her, Bubby, and Mama.  How freakin cute is this?!

Makes me smile.  Every time.  🙂