Raising a Blended Family

Happy Halloween!

…from our little minions!


It’s raining in our part of whoville and so official trick-or-treat hours have been moved to tomorrow, but that didn’t stop us from attending an indoor ToT event at the local high school last night. Both kids had a blast and the sugar high has begun!

Can’t believe it’s already this time of year again. Next up: thanksgivingmas!

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Photo Overload…

This past weekend we had Paxton’s 1 year pictures taken, I picked the disk up yesterday and immediately fell in love with them! It was freezing and the poor boy was so cold, but was a trooper and did so well.  The photo shoot was mainly for Paxton but we were able to get a few of T1 and family!

So let the Photo Overload begin…

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I’m absolutely in love with them all.

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Weekend Recap!

We had a busy, fun-filled fall weekend! The weather, after being cold and gloomy and actually SNOWING on Wednesday, perked up right on time for us to go out and enjoy one last warm sunny weekend.

Although, it didn’t start out warm. Saturday morning we woke up to go get Pax’s 1-year photos done at 830 at the park. The photog insisted it would be great morning light and so we went with anticipation, but in reality the morning was very chilly (32!) and poor Pax was shivering during the shots. We had to take several baby-breaks to wrap him in blankets and get him warm in the car, and he wouldn’t smile because he was too cold! Nevertheless, we’re excited to see the end result- we’ve gotten the below two photos back and we think they’re cute, in spite of Pax’s why-are-you-doing-this-to-me faces. The third one is him taking a baby-warming break with his Mama- poor thing’s lips had started turning blue! (I wish I was kidding. 😦 )




After we finished our photography session, we drove out into the country to our friend’s house to enjoy an afternoon. Her house is way, way out in the country! Dirt road, cows, Amish cart-and-buggies, and grain silos galore. It was very nice drive with beautiful fall foliage, and nice to get away from it all. We stopped and had lunch in this little two-street town at a diner called “under the arch” where food was served country-style and everyone called the waitresses by their names and asked about their kids. At the farm, Thing One enjoyed climbing apple trees, eating said apples and also feeding them to the resident cows and calves, and wandering through the barn. Pax also enjoyed the farm but wasn’t quite sure what to think of the cows! He was more interested in trying to eat the gravel. He also demonstrated his first use of the word no while we were there- Thing One picked him up and took him away from the gravel and he squirmed to get out of her arms and yelled at her “NO! NO NO NO NO NO!” as she carried him off. Hilarious!












Today, we relaxed for half the day and then got up and went to our local orchard. There were hay bales to climb, corn boxes to play in, corn mazes to explore (and get very, very lost in. That thing was HUGE!), inflatable bounce houses, corn hole games, and much much more! The kids were in heaven and it was nice to spend even more time in the open air.

They also had several local pet rescues there that we spent quite a bit of time talking to, considering adopting a dog. No baby, new pet syndrome? Maybe? They had a coon hound available who was not there today but the lady was telling us about it and that perked my ears right up. I have always loved hounds! In any case, we didn’t come home with anyone new today which is in and of itself a miracle, but we might consider it in the near-ish future!

























Now we are home and I am rocking a sleeping, snuggly baby on my lap, favoring the last few hours of weekend before the hectic week starts. Halloween and my mom’s bday are this week (same day, actually), Shorty’s birthday is next week, and before we know it the holidays will be upon us! Time flies….

Have a good beginning of your week, everyone!


Things I love about 12 months/one!

Every age this boy has been has been amazing and awesome, but I really think one is my favorite age so far. There’s just so much to love!

-I love how he “begs” for food. If he is in the room and you sit down to eat, he will get himself over to you ASAP, pull himself up right next to you, and open his mouth. Just like a baby bird begging for food! If Shorty and I are both eating at the same time on different sides of the room, he will beg a bite from one of us and then chew it while he makes his way over to the other… and back and forth and back and forth.

-How he calls us mama! Granted, he’s been doing this for awhile, but it’s much more directed now. He got stuck atop a chair tonight and after trying unsuccessfully to free himself, he looked around the room, made eye contact with Shorty, and yelled “MAMAMAMAMA” until she got up and came to his rescue. Very cute and there was absolutely no doubt that he was calling for his mama to help him!

-I love his unsteady walking feet. He is still only toddling for 10-15 steps at a time and then boom! something gets tangled and he’s down. He never cries though (unless he hits his head), just crawls over to the nearest tall object with dogged determination, pulls himself back up, and starts off toddling again. Super cute.

-I love how he is still a baby, yet also a toddler. He can enjoy a park now: climbing the steps, sliding down slides, crawling through tunnels (obviously with close supervision). He can pretty much eat anything now, and he drinks out of sippy cups with straws. But he is also still a baby- he cuddles and cries and still has some remnants of younger-Pax.

-I love our evening nursing session. We still nurse morning, evening, and occasionally midafternoon, but it is the prebedtime nurse I love the most. He cuddles in and looks up at me with such trusting eyes. Love him.

-I love his budding independence. He is more and more okay with independent play, with being left in the playroom or his room for brief periods while Mamas work on other things. He is also more and more interested in feeding himself- often, if we put something in his mouth, he will pull it back out, examine it, and then put it back in himself. Or, he’ll just try to grab it right off the bat- problematic when it’s something messy we’d rather he not grab!

-I love his love of books. He LOVES to look at and read books, to himself or with a mama. Oftentimes he will sit down amongst a pile of books and flip through the pages all by himself (often with the book upside down). His favorite book is probably the baby einstein 100 first words book we have and whenever I see him with it, I sit down with him and point, name, and count objects out loud for him. He loves it and watches everything I point at with rapt attention.

-I love his relationship with his mama right now. Because I am his primary caregiver and I also nurse him, he has had a bias towards me his whole life. However, more and more, Pax is expressing his affection and love for his Mama and I love seeing that. More and more, they are developing their own relationship, complete with their own routines and playgames. One of their gigs right now is that Shorty will lie down on the floor, and Pax will see her and immediately toddle over ASAP and “tackle” her. And then they will play wrestle with much shrieking and giggling and rolling about. It’s pretty damn cute. Also, whenever she gets home in the afternoon and walks in the door, he gets a huge grin and his eyes light up and he calls out MAMAMA until she picks him up. I also think he has been asking for her when she’s gone, because there have been a couple times where he has asked me “mamama?” and when I pick him up, he continues asking… clearly not looking for me. Pretty neat!

-He gives hugs now! If you pick him up and ask him for a hug, he will wrap his arms around your neck and squeeze. Freakin’ adorable and best. thing. ever!

-I love how he plays now. He loves to climb our step 2 climbers and is fascinated by anything with wheels. That means that his v-tech airplane set, his talking firetruck thingy, and his megabloks schoolbus are just about his favorite toys ever right now. He has also started to play with a babydoll of his sister’s- cuddling it, hugging it, and dragging it around with him. So adorable!

-He is sleeping more and more at night. Occasionally, he will sleep through the night until about 530, but even when he doesn’t he’s only getting up once usually. I know a lot of people’s babies are sleeping through the night by now but ours is not and never has, and to us, this is progress. So I’ll take it!

I just love this age. I know there is a huge difference between a newly-one-year-old and an-almost-two-year-old-one-year-old so I look forward to savoring who he is now, and seeing the differences in the future between now, 18mos, and almost two!












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You know how when you’re surfing the radio channels, hoping to find actual music instead of static, and you hear all these snippets of conversation and song as you surf the stations, but never any actual full on conversations? Well, I feel like that’s the blog post I’m about to give you, so be forewarned. I am tired and maybe I shouldn’t be blogging right now, should wait for a time when I would be more coherent and have more time… but alas, then the blogging would never get done. And so here I am, offering you snippets of the bigger picture of our lives:



I am currently sitting here glued to the baby monitor because Pax has had several “fussy” moments tonight but so far, no actual need for a mama intervention. This is unheard of right now and I’m wondering if it’s because of the slight cold he has, or because he is cold (it’s been chilly these past few nights) or if, by some miracle, it is because he is finally getting this self-soothing thing and deciding to sleep through the night. Maybe? Please? In any case, he has semi-awoken and then fallen back to sleep on hiw own several times now and that is no small miracle.


Today is my CD1. Yep, the witch finally arrived, after 3 days of is-this-or-isn’t-this-all-the-period-I’m-gonna-get spotting. What a bitch. For the record, it is exactly two weeks after that last set of positive OPKs, which means my body must have at least tried to ovulate, even if it never got all the way there. I am taking some supplements this time to help out with that and hopefully achieve real ovulation… only time will tell. Story of a TTCer’s life, right? We are also looking for a new donor- not that we don’t LOVE our old one, but he is far and we are near and the logistics are hard to coordinate, so it would be nice if we could find someone closer. We’ve talked with a few potential matches but there’s not a lot of, erm, selection? around here, and I’m not sure if the ones we’ve talked to will pan out or not. One is awesome and willing but has a short time frame to work with before he goes out of country, the other is slightly less awesome but not on a time crunch but seems… reluctant? or maybe just a slow communicator? It’s hard to tell. So, we will see if we can make a mach or not. If not, I guess we stick with our old donor and just make it work. It’s not like I would be sad about that- seriously, we love the guy.


We are once again foster-less. This happened a few weeks ago but I can’t remember if I blogged it or not. They went back to mom, and although we were sad to see them go, it was nothing like having Addie, Bubs, and L go… they never felt like they were ours for keeps and they weren’t related to us. Our foster specialist said she will work on getting us more kiddos, so in any case, we’ll see!


Money has been stressful. Unusually so. Things come up and bills have to be paid and for some reason, those damn researchers still haven’t figured out how to grow money on trees. Oh well. We’ve both been feeling the stress of tightening our belts, and the stress makes it feel like this is the worst possible time to be TTC… but we have to remind ourselves (this is me, reminding myself) that even though it may be a temporary stressful month, the stress will be gone in nine months when the baby is here and certainly in five years when we’re watching the kids all play together, and so even though it is temporarily stressful, it does not impact the bigger picture.


We are talking tomorrow with the kids’ doctor about getting Thing One tested for ADHD and maybe learning disorders. It’s been a long road and I know I haven’t blogged about it much- mostly because it’s a lot of frustration and maybe some denial surrounding her behavior and why she acts the way she acts. She is very hyper, inattentive, doesn’t “listen”, immature compared to peers… the list goes on and while none of those make her a bad kid (for every bad, there are a thousand good: she is sweet, silly, great imagination, wants to be helpful, great big sister, loving, kind), all of them make her behavior difficult and frustrating, many times, to handle. (Does that make me a bad mother, to say that? See, this is probably why I don’t blog about it. but anyways.) Her teacher has said a few things to us and we have also noticed some of her grades slipping and feel like it may be due to her lack of ability to pay attention and stay focused on her work.  Her dad has ADHD and I have a family history (not that she has my genes, but I recognize signs/behaviors) so we’re going to talk to her doctor about it and go from there. We will let you know and I will try to be more open about it here and leave the guilt complex behind.


Pax is a walking disaster. He has bruises on 2/3 of his body, I swear. Just today he fell into the coffee table and Sunday night he pulled a wooden chair on himself and got such an impressive goose egg that I took him to the ER to be checked out. He was fine, and the doctor sympathetically noted that she has a son just a bit older than Pax’s age and that he went through this stage too. However, I still spent the whole dr’s appointment wondering if she was going to lift up Pax’s pant legs, see that his legs are one big giant bruise, and accuse me of child abuse! The good news is, the bruises are (mostly) in appropriate places (meaning places he falls on: legs, shins, elbows, head!) though we have had some in inappropriate places (a few on his butt cheeks? one or two on the back of his legs, a few on his back) that I am going to ask the doctor about. Someone suggested to us that he may be vitamin-deficient and that could be why he is one big bruise. Not sure but we will check tomorrow at his one year checkup!


I need to go to bed now so I can get enough sleep to be able to take my BBT and have it be accurate! Ah, TTC. Thanks for reading my snippets!





Paxton turned one last Thursday and Shorty and I are still in shock. One. One! I can’t believe the year went by so fast and I can’t believe that our boy is really and truly leaving his baby days behind him.

On Thursday, the day of his actual birthday, we didn’t do a whole lot. Shorty had to work so it was just him and I for part of the day. We got a birthday donut for breakfast (after plenty of fruit) and went to the park in the morning. In the afternoon, we had another toddler friend over and then Shorty came home and we all went back to the park and had a picnic of pizza and breadsticks. See? Simple.

Saturday was his party. We ran around like chickens with our heads cut off, trying to get everything done, and stressing out that no one would show up… but show up they did. Eat they did. Party they did! It was fun and fun to see our boy so well-loved. He was a bit cranky during the party- partly due to the craptastic nap he took before the party that day and partly due to stranger-danger anxieties. He wouldn’t let us put him down for the first hour of the party, but finally started to calm down and crawl around a bit once we enticed him with some food and new toys. From us, he got a water table, which may seem like a strange gift for an October baby… but our boy LOVES water. LOVES. So we figure, this winter we can fill it with warm water and put it on our tile kitchen floor with some towels and let him go to town. Another friend said she used to fill hers with snow and let the kids play. Either way, we’ll use it this winter and then next summer it will move outside to the deck.

I can’t believe a year went by so fast and I can’t believe we have a one-year-old. I love this age and this phase (more on this in my 12m letter, still to come) but I miss the tiny baby phase, too! Ah, motherhood.





















I Officially Have No Idea What Is Going On

…with my cycles, that is.

I could have sworn I ovulated after that positive set of OPKs I had. I got the (excuse the tmi) EWCM and ovary cramps that I got before when I ovulated, but my temps have stayed frustratingly low and so there is no way to confirm ovulation. There certainly isn’t any AF in sight, either.

I’m feeling frustrated.  I have googled “does breastfeeding affect BBT” and “BBT and postpartum” a hundred times, all to no avail, and it seems like there comes to be a point where you can google all you want but all you’re really accomplishing is trying to make yourself feel better.

I can’t wait to go back to the doctor and get back on Clomid, hopefully. I won’t be able to go until January (thanks Oba.maca.re) or earlier if Shorty gets this federal job (no, we still don’t know for sure, though it’s pretty certain she got it- we called and they said another 2 weeks of processing at least, thanks government shut.down- and we manage to get ourselves legally married so that I could be on her health insurance). Both options involve waiting, something I have never been good at and particularly not now- I just want to get this show on the road.


Sorry for the mini-vent and I do have other updates for ya’ll… just, not tonight.