Raising a Blended Family

Still over the moon- most of us, anyways.

Thank you for all your congratulations!!!  I’m still in shock and awe and love about this boy of ours who’s on the way.   Shorty told me after the ultrasound that since we know the sex, she’s ready now for the baby to be here.  I just Looked at her and told her sarcastically that I’m glad that of the three of us (me, her and the baby), at least one of us is ready… but she better put her patient pants back on because this kid still has 22 more weeks in the incubator.  LOL.  I understand the impatience though.  I think seeing the ultrasound and having the baby actually look like a baby (instead of a peanut with a tail, as viewed last on ultrasound) and seeing the arms/feet/legs/head and being able to tell body parts apart… I think all of that made it all so very much more real than it was before.  Shorty has started talking to the baby and kissing my belly this week, something I find incredibly sweet and loving.  We both call him by his name all the time (edited to add: almost slipped there! ;)) and overall I really just feel like we actually have a baby on the way! For real!

On our way home from the ultrasound Friday, we both felt like celebrating, so we took ourselves to the nearest baby store and bought- what else?- baby stuff!  One of those cute baby on board signs and an ultrasound frame to put his profile picture in and a bunch of clearance baby winter clothes.  We didn’t break the bank but we did have fun, plus we bought a snowsuit and some fleecy warm suits that were on clearance and will be perfect for next winter when the baby’s only 3 months old- $20 normally, $4.50 each on clearance.  BOO-yeah!

Our celebration haul (part of it). I just want to have a BABY to put in them!

So overall, we’re very happy.  I should add that in addition to the yay-we-know-the-gender happiness that’s going on around here, there’s also some added excitement because Shorty really wanted a boy and because a boy is something new.  There have been some discussions between Shorty and I about what life with an infant is going to be like, because although Shorty raised T1 as a baby and has been through infanthood before, I have not.  Thus, we are not exactly going to be “new parents” together because one of us has gone through it all before (and because we are both full blown parents to a six year old and guardians (basically) to a three year old).   So while Shorty may have been through infanthood before with T1, she herself has pointed out that she has not been through infanthood with a boy before and while much will be the same, some will be different.  It just makes it more special, to raise this son of ours together, separate from any experience either one of us has had before.  Make sense at all? (If not, just go back to the simple idea of “yay they’re excited for a boy” and leave it at that, lol).

So yes. We’re happy.

PS- Totally almost forgot to tell you guys.  We told the kids over the weekend, and well.. the reactions were mixed and left something to be desired.  Bubby was apathetic about it and slightly confused (which we can understand because he’s living with us and we’re having a boy, but his mom is also pregnant and she’s having a girl. It’s a lot for him to take in).  Thing One was, quite frankly, hilarious about it, although her reaction was a little bit of a bubble-burster at the time.  We gave her a bib that said “I’m the little brother” and had her read it and tell us what it meant.  When she figured out that it meant the baby was a boy, she called him a “boring baby brother” and demanded that we make it a girl instead.  When we told her that wasn’t possible, she cried inconsolably all.the.way.home at full volume (47 minutes and 36 seconds for those of us counting… not that anyone was. Ahem.).  Two days later she’s still not particularly excited- her main concern being that the baby will now be sleeping with Bubby instead of her and playing with Bubby’s toys instead of hers.  We’re working on explaining what a newborn actually is so that they won’t be expecting a full-grown ready-to-play kid to pop out of there at any second… but I think the idea is going to take some time to sink in, and may not actually fully sink in until the baby is actually here and screaming in their ears.  🙂  Still, it’s pretty cute that they both seem to have this idea that there’s a miniature playmate on the way.  Hopefully T1 gets used to having a brother!


drumroll please…..

Sorry to make you wait so long, folks. But guess what?


IT’S A BOY!!!!

We are over the moon. I might’ve spent the rest of the appointment bawling. We are so happy! Everything is looking good, measuring on time, and healthy. As you can see, the little mister was not at all shy about showing off his stuff :), although he did cross his legs and chill out later on after we got the potty shot. Thanks for the cooperation, boy!

I am in shock and awe but mostly in love. I cannot believe it: we are having a son!

More of the cuteness:





18 weeks!!! And tomorrow, we’ll know!

Wowsa, 18 weeks already? 18 weeks seems significant to me, not only because it is on my list of milestone weeks that I have going on in my head, but also because Shorty and I have had this magical number in our heads since January… 18+1. As in, 18w 1d.  At 18 weeks, one day, we were told, we will get to go in for an ultrasound and come out knowing the sex of our baby. 18 weeks, one day. Otherwise known as April 27th.

And do you know when that magical, sparkling, shiney date of a day is?!?!?!!


I am soooooooooooo excited I don’t even know if I’ll be able to sleep tonight.  I feel like a kid who knows they get to go to Disneyland tomorrow but has to get through the night first.  Nervous and excited and most of all impatient! Come oooooooon, tomorrow.  The appointment is at three o’clock and of course I’ll update ya’ll after.  I do have to work during the day, and I can’t decide if I’m grateful for the distraction or if it’s just going to make the day drag like no other.  Sigh. We shall see.

So stay tuned tomorrow for our bumpdate announcement, and in the meantime, here are the 18 week belly shots.  I was looking back at the other bump shots we’ve taken and even though I’ve felt discouraged lately because I am surrounded by big-bumped women and mine remains small and flabby, in looking at the pictures we’ve taken so far it is very obvious that I have grown.  Not only is the bottom part of my tummy rounder, but the top part is also way more pushed out… I guess I know where all my organs are currently hangin’ out!  So I guess it’s a good thing we’ve been taking these pictures all along, eh? ‘Lest I start feeling like my belly has just always been this way, bigger and rounder, rather than the fact that it has in reality been shaped by the needs of the tiny human growing inside me.  Ah, miracles. 😉

Plus a fully clothed bump picture of me looking what I would actually call "pregnant". 🙂


Just for the record…

Just wanted to get down for the record that tonight, at 17w5d, the baby officially threw its first partay* in my womb.  Or at least, that’s what it felt like. It could also have been a small set of fireworks- a series of pops in rapid succession, all on one side, that lasted for about 7 seconds and was gone.  So you know, either or- we’ve either got a pyrotechnic baby on our hands or a raucous party animal.

Sadly, the timing of this kicking makes it very clear that baby is already bucking the more traditional schedule of actually sleeping during nighttime hours and clearly choosing to be awake, alert and active during this time instead.  We are so, so screwed, sleep-wise, in a few months.


*not actually the first movement I’ve felt. Just some of the most solid movement I’ve felt so far, and definitely the most at once.

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17 weeks…

and I would like to offer all the love and congratulations in the world to the ladies over at Small Obsessions on the birth of their baby girl!!! So much joy and happiness going out to your family… 🙂

In pregnancy-land, an updated bump pic below.  I don’t feel like I’m getting any bigger… siiiiigh. Shorty keeps laughing at me but all I want in the world is a proper bump!  The ladies at work both have nice proper bumps and I have to admit, as silly as it is, I am jealous.  Ha ha I know, this makes me officially certifiably crazy. Ah well.

New this week: stretch marks.  On my boobs.  😦  Wasn’t expecting that one, trust me- quite the shock when looking in the mirror!  I’ve been carefully inspecting the belly but the boobs were not even on my radar for being in the danger zone… guess I was wrong!

In happy news, we find out sex a week from tomorrow.  Shorty thinks (read:wants) boy and I feel like it’s a girl and have had dreams it’s a girl.  But who knows.  In any case, the great mystery will be solved in seven days… but don’t ask how I’m going to get through this next week.  The logical part of me knows that no matter what, next Friday will arrive… yet the impatient part of me (in short: me as a whole) thinks it will never get here.  Add to this that my mother called excitedly today because she thought we were finding out tomorrow… this next week is going to feel very long!


Lessons on parenting a three year old.

So on the keeping it real side of things: as it turns out…three (almost four) is a hard age.  It is the age of giggles and dimpled smiles and cuddles, but it is also the age of temper tantrums and screaming-when-you-don’t-get-your-way and refusing-to-eat-most-foods and constant whining and crying at bedtime.  At least, that’s how it is in our house.

Lately, the clouds are overshadowing the sun a bit for me here.  The constant, constant, constant whining is getting to me more than it should.  I am letting Shorty take the reins more than I should with the parenting-of-the-three-year-old (not that there is anything wrong with her taking the reins, except that it means she has to work harder than I do with parenting the little one, which isn’t fair).  I’ve just been… more frustrated and less patient than I should be.  I can fully acknowledge this here, on this open space I have created to blog, but it is also associated with feelings of guilt and frustration at myself in real life.  He is three, you know? He’s supposed to whine. I need to get over it.

There’s also the if-I-can’t-handle-this-how-am-I-going-to-handle-this-baby feelings.  I know it’s not rational, and that I am fully capable both of parenting the three year old and of parenting this baby when it comes, but still the doubts creep in. I guess I’m just stressed.

I think what I need to do is acknowledge that parenting him is hard right now.  Acknowledge it, and stop blaming myself for it… work on the parts I can work on (hello, patience) but stop feeling guilty for feeling like it’s hard.  It is hard.  He is three, and has all of the normal hang-ups of a three year old: tantrums, whining, missing-the-toilet-seat half the time (it’s the little things that make life difficult, lol). On top and blending into the normal three-year-old-ness, he’s also an angry little boy (probably stemming from abandonment issues) and he will often go from perfectly-happy and playing happily to angry, shouting, and throwing his toys with very little warning.  The other morning, we had an incident where he was in the bathroom playing in the sink, and after being told to stop playing in the water and come out of the bathroom, he ran up to us and just SCREAMED directly into our faces. No words, just screaming.  It was very intense and a little bit intimidating, even- you could just tell how ANGRY he was behind the scream, even if there were no words.  The screaming resulted in a time out, which caused more screaming, which eventually ended with him in his room throwing all of his toys at the closed door while screaming at the top of his lungs for HOURS.  Hours.  So taking this little instance, for example, is proof to me at least that that shit is not just in my mind- that is real, hardcore, plain old hard parenting right there, and nothing to feel guilty about having a hard time with.

But I do fully acknowledge I need to work on my patience.  With both kids really, but mostly with the three-year-old.  More patience-oriented parenting and less frustration.  More understanding that he’s only three (and in the heat of the moment, I admit that sometimes I do forget that he’s not just throwing a temper tantrum to be a poohead…. that maybe he’s feeling something he doesn’t know how to control and maybe he’s expressing it in the only way he knows how).  It’s hard to remember that his emotions are still immature and that his frontal lobe consequence-understanding capabilities are nowhere near developed and that heck, he is just three.  Three.  Yeah, I need to remember that… but I also need to cut myself some slack.

And breathe.  Yeah, breathing.  Breathing is good.



So last week when we were visiting with our midwife…

Wait a minute… what’s that you say? Did I just say “midwife”? As in, our midwife?  Huh.  Guess I did.

Cause THAT’S RIGHT, folks, we have finally gotten the hell out of the OB’s office and into the welcoming arms of a midwife.  She is amazing and I can’t believe it took us this long to go find her. This was very much my idea and Shorty was very skeptical at first (she told me later that, lacking any other information or experience with midwives, she was picturing a midwife as a kind of prehistoric witch-doctor… silly panda) but after our initial meeting and conversation with this lady (and a little more home research on her part), she was alllllll on board.  Our midwife is very female-empowering, very much believes that the female body was BUILT for pregnancy and naturally knows what to do, believes that pregnancy is NOT a disease to be cured, and in general has a very hollistic approach to prenatal care and delivery… everything I ever wanted and wasn’t getting at the OB’s office. She was very very inclusive of Shorty as my full on partner and parent to this child- something that was super important to us and yet another contrast with the OB’s office.  The OB has never given two shits about whether Shorty was present at my appointments or not, and even failed to introduce herself during the first appointment, something that has deeply bothered me (and Shorty too, I believe), since then.  If that was her mannerism and attitude during a routine, unrushed appointment, how would Shorty have been treated during labor and birth?   Probably not well!

So anyways… the initial interview went great and we walked out of there knowing we wanted to hire her.  She gave us a few days to think it over… we didn’t need a few days. Sold, right away. She was that amazing.

So now she’s going to be our midwife and we will see her at her office for all of our prenatal visits up to 36 weeks, at which point she will be coming to our home for the rest of the prenatal care.  We are planning on doing a home water birth, something I am simultaneously excited out of my mind for and completely shocked I chose.  I never in a million years thought I would be the kind of person who would want to give birth at home…. but we’re going to give it a go. 🙂  The hospital is nearby if something happens and the midwife has attended 1000-something home births… so we feel pretty confident she can handle this.

Overall, I am feeling very very happy and confident that this is the right choice for us and a good switch.  We are going to double dip for a few more weeks and “use” my OB office just to get our free gender/anatomy scan in ;), but after that we will be 100% under the midwife’s care.  And happy about it!


16 weeks and stealing things…

And by “stealing,” I mean “getting really really REALLY good deals at the biannual consignment sale we just got back from because it was so cheap it basically WAS stealing!!!”  I know, I know, you thought you were in for some amusing story about how I accidentally shoplifted a store.  Maybe next time…

Back to the consignment sale. Did I mention how AWESOME it was?!?!?! I first saw it being advertised like, 3 months back and had been looking forward to it ever since.  I figured it would be a good way to get some cheap but nice baby gear and boy, was I right!  Behold:

A Fisher Price Rock n Play sleeper, basically new… $30

A Bumbo with tray… $10 (I know we won’t need this for awhile but it was too good a steal to pass up!)

A playmat that I’m not sure was a “steal” ($14) but it was certainly too cute for me to pass up (and it has lights, music, vibrations, hanging toys etc so it seems to have been a good purchase)

A baby bathtub (again, only $5 so couldn’t resist)…

And last but not least, are you ready for this? The item I had been hoping,praying, DYINGto find (but since I got a preview of all the items at 6pm last night and there wasn’t one there then, I didn’t have much hope…)

An ERGO BABY CARRIER in EXACTLY the galaxy print I wanted, WITH infant insert!!!!!!!!!!!

Ready to know how much we paid for the carrier + insert???  $50.  Yeah. Happy mamas!!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂 While we were shopping I was specifically keeping an eye out for one, but didn’t see it amongst all the other off brand baby carriers.  Then on some random rack I saw it, gave a little gasp, and snatched it up so fast my wife the other shoppers probably thought I was a little crazy. But that’s okay!  I have been wanting one of these so bad and just as badly wanting to avoid paying the hefty $100 retail price for just the damn carrier alone.  Trolling our local craigslist or ebay did nothing… sooooo happy to have found it! When we got home, we couldn’t resist giving it a whirl….

Good thing the three year old is still (just barely) under the weight limit on it! Thing One was rather disappointed to have not gotten a go (sorry kid).

Overall, we are ridiculously pleased with our purchases… we are going back on Sunday (half price day) to troll through the racks of clothes and such for the bigger kids and to check and see if the stroller we liked that was $100 has been taken or if it is half price.

Also, with all this stuff we just bought, plus the swing we got way back in the early days, plus the cloth diapers we’ve been steadily accumulating month to month (I think we have 5-6 covers now and about 20 or so inserts and some wipes), PLUS knowing where our crib is coming from (my mom is gifting this to us when she flies out here for July)…. all of these things combined are really helping to make me feel like we are gradually getting ready for this child, and that slow and steady wins the race.  It was stressful, for me, to think of having to purchase all of the things needed for proper care of a baby (and still is, if I think of how much more is still on our plates… stroller and carseat and carseat bases, clothes, more diapers, swaddling blankets, those little mitten thingies so they don’t scratch themselves- all sorts of random but seemingly necessary gear), but doing it gradually and accumulating things at a gentle pace, rather than all at once towards the end, is making me feel a lot better about life and making me feel more prepared for a baby to be in it.  Plus, it’s fun.  🙂  That being said, our next major purchases probably won’t be until after the baby shower in July, at which point we’ll reevaluate to see where we stand.  You know.

So along with our growing inventory of *stuff* comes a growing of the baby belly as well (at least I think so)… so here’s the updated 16 week pic (and no, I’m not getting all modest and crap on you now, I was just too lazy to do it the way we’ve been doing! Shopping wore me out lol).  Plus, you get a bonus fully clothed pic, just because I had to take one anyways to send my mom. 🙂

Annnnd that’s about it! I do have some major news for you, but that will have to wait because I am both exhausted and starving at the same time and trying to figure out which one takes priority… but typing more definitely doesn’t! Have a good one. 😉


PS- thanks for the well wishes and sorry for being so.incredibly.whiny on that last post.  I am now 90% better, with a stubborn cough/wheeze thing sticking around just for funsies.  Ah, well. Can’t win em all.



So… I have to admit to you guys, that so far, second trimester is kicking my ass.  I’m hoping this won’t turn out to be a whiny post, but it might be   probably will be IS, so fair warning.

I’ve been sick for the past week and a half… two weeks? And it’s just this stubborn cold type thing that just WON’T go AWAY.  Every time I think it’s gone… I wake up the next morning and it’s back, or I’ll have a new symptom, or something else will be wrong*.  I’ve been completely exhausted and poor Shorty and the kids have not seen me doing anything but sleeping for this whole two weeks… come home, fall asleep on couch, get up for work the next day, rinse, repeat.  I also have had zero appetite… as in, I’ll be hungry, but unable to make myself eat more than fruit or a light glass of milk.  Food of all sorts just looks blah right now.  Sigh.

It’s really very tiring, both in body (I’d like to be able to breathe without it hurting!) and in spirit, as I know that this is taking a toll not only on me but on my family too… I would *like* to be there for them and with them in the evenings, I would *like* to have the energy to go to the park or on evening walks or anything else, I would *like* to have my head not pound every time I get up so that I could help around the house and play with the kids… but it’s just not happening.

I think it’s worth noting that some of the frustration of this post comes from a few things:  1) I am NEVER sick, ever.  I have the rockinest’ immune system ever invented (normally) and while I am perfectly used to playing nurse for my sick family members, I am completely unused to battling the Sick on my own for prolonged periods of time.  2) Last night,  I actually felt a little better, and I was able to stay up and spend some time with the kids and my wife…. but then it was followed by waking up this morning with a headache, coughing and my chest hurting again.  Just when I thought maybe I’d finally kicked it… hello, frustrating.

Luckily, today is my day off, so I can just stay home and rest and try to kick this thing for good.  And whine to you guys and the internets about it.  Because it helps to have someone to whine to (thanks for listening).  I have a gut feeling that we’re on the tail end of this, that it’ll go away soon and I just need to hang in there a bit longer.  Hopefully I’m right!

Thanks for listening to my sorry self.  Off to drink more tea and eat something… of some nature… hmmm.


*My wife, upon observing this fact and the seeming never-endingness of my symptoms, has officially declared me a “hot mess”.  I had to agree with her, and I thought it was pretty funny to boot.


Ushering in 15 weeks…

…with a very-close-holy-crap-I-almost-peed-my-pants call.  Hellooooooo, pregnancy.  It happened when I sneezed, while I was at home cooking dinner tonight.  For awhile now, I’ve been grabbing my uterus when I sneeze or cough (it hurts down there when that happens- round lig pain, doc says) and so I felt a sneeze coming on and grabbed… only to realize two seconds later that my uterus was NOT going to be the main problem but that if I’d sneezed a fraction harder, I’d have pissed myself right then and there.  I stood there for a second and all I said was “Oh, man…” Shorty immediately knew what had happened and started laughing me.  Guess we’ve reached THAT stage of pregnancy- funny though, I thought this didn’t happen until later on when I’m actually big?

Also, I had my 15 week Dr. appointment yesterday and did the glucose test.  Results came back “borderline” today (just under GD level), so I’m not really sure what the game plan is from here.  Have to call and talk to the clinic about it- hopefully tomorrow.  I called today and couldn’t get through.

Finally, because it is 915 and officially past my bedtime (first tri exhaustion has not yet worn off I guess), I will leave you with our 15 week bump update, which we almost forgot to take but luckily remembered!

And, for a bonus, the most helpful furriest most loudly purring blogging buddy ever…