Raising a Blended Family


Well, as of Friday we are officially in our new house. I cannot say that I am particularly excited about it, nor do I have a particularly good attitude about it… but I am trying. I just keep reminding myself that this move is a stepping stone to where we want to be. That we will not be in this new house forever. That maybe the very.old.lady who lives next door with the bumper sticker on her car that reads “Mommy is a woman and daddy is a man, vote for [this asshole]” will grow to love her new lesbian neighbors. She came over to introduce herself and left us her Sunday paper, which was a nice gesture, but that was BEFORE the Lesbians On The Block had introduced ourselves. So, who knows, now.

For the first time in my life I feel homesick- for the town we just left, and not for my hometown in California. It’s a strange feeling, to realize how tied and attached you had become to the place you just left.  “Only hate the road when you’re missing home,” and all that, I suppose.

So, we moved in. Practically zero unpacking has been done (we just bought new sheets today because the.freaking.puppy peed the old ones and we can’t find our clean packed ones) except the essentials: bath products, coffee supplies, etc. I am hoping to at least make some headway on the kitchen tomorrow, but again, I am lacking motivation. Plus, my mom is in town visiting for the week, and it is much more fun to go out and DO stuff with her than it is to, well, sit in the house and unpack.

Anyone have any potty training puppy tips? Anyone want half my stuff? I swear that would be easier than unpacking.

On the one plus side- I had been feeling pretty isolated in this town. It is, for lack of a better word, a very REDNECK town in the middle of the bible belt and, by our very natures, we just don’t really fit in. We aren’t the churchgoing types, aren’t conservative, don’t wear cowboy boots, and I couldn’t talk to you about raising livestock to save my life. BUT, when we were checking out at the supermart today, Shorty was wearing Pax in his ergo, and the cashier commented that she loved the ergo and started talking about different babywearing things with us. We were amazed! Next thing you know, she was telling us all about how she plans to become a midwife and how she is a member of a crunchy mamas group here in town, and what do you know it- there was suddenly the hope of friendship and community where before, things had been looking pretty dire.

Another plus- we found a local park today, which was not as local as I would have liked (twenty minutes) but was nonetheless awesome and the kids loved the break and the chance to run around in the sunshine. So, there’s that. Little things as I remind myself it’s not that bad, and that adjustment takes time.

Ps- in typical pax fashion, he inaugurated the new house on our first day by falling and cutting his head on some bricks. ouch. Luckily it did not need stitches, he barely cried, and in the picture below he is only crying because I would not let him down. Silly clumsy boy.






The Night-Night Mama

Around here, there may be two women but there are two very different mamas. Just ask Pax. There are, for example, the Reading Mama (me) and the Wrestling Mama (her). There are also the Nursie-Mama (me again) and the Comfort-Nursing-Mama (her again).

There are also two other very distinctive types of mamas: the Non-Sleeping Mama, and the Mama-I-Fall-Asleep-For, aka, The Night-Night Mama. And believe me, Pax knows which is which. The latter I am most certainly not, according to Pax, and the former I definitely AM. I can try to wrangle a howling, screaming, overtired baby to sleep and fifteen minutes later all I’ve got is a frustrated baby and a few more gray hairs. Shorty can take that same baby and fifteen minutes later, he is O-U-T. She is the Night-Night Mama, and she does her job well.

We have fallen into a routine where every night I do pre-bedtime and she does actual sleep-achieving work. Pax and I do shower/bath, new diaper, pajamas, teeth brushing, sometimes books, and an ever-shortening nursing session (his choice), and then I will hand a wiggling, squirming, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed little monkey over to Shorty, blink, and she will be holding an innocent-looking, sleeping baby boy. It’s pretty miraculous.

She asks me a lot “if I mind.” I know why she’s asking- sleep used to be MY domain. He used to cuddle tightly to me and nurse to sleep each night, and it was Shorty for whom he would stay awake and squirm. I always laugh a little when she asks- because no, I don’t mind at all. I actually think it’s sweet that this is something they share, and to see him cuddled up against her, safe and content in the arms of his Mama. I also think it’s funny, how kids go in different cycles in terms of who they prefer for what, and it is downright hilarious how fast he goes from howling to sleeping in her arms. Funny, and sweet. She’s definitely the Night-Night Mama.

I handed him to her five seconds before the picture, and he was asleep about five seconds after this picture was taken.

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Nine Things

So, it’s been a minute since I posted and I’m due, and I also liked reading everyone else’s nine things posts, so I figured I will jump on board too! Nine things about me… hmmm.

1. The ocean= home, for me. It’s where I am most at peace, most happy, most free, most… anything.  Growing up in San Diego, I guess you could figure that would be the case. I went to the beach as often as possible as a child. As an adult, I remember driving out to the beach in the middle of the night with a pint of Ben and Jerry’s and my beach towel. The beach would be empty at night, the stars would be out and it would just be me out there, sitting for hours, listening to the waves, thinking and working things out in my head. I also used to work two blocks from the beach and snorkel every day after work- I loved seeing the fish and hearing the quiet peacefulness of the underwater world. I loved smelling the salt and the brine and even the nasty rotting seaweed smell- it all smells like home to me. 🙂 This is why one of my top goals in life is to move back, not necessarily to San Diego, but to SOMEWHERE near an ocean. Living in a landlocked state sucks.

2. I didn’t know I was a lesbian for a long time. Like, a LOOOONG time. Okay not that long- it was before college. But long enough- around 17 or so?  I remember purposely looking at girls’ butts in high school and asking myself: are you attracted to that? Answer: Yes? No? Maybe? Maybe I just liked those jeans though… so, inconclusive. I remember walking with my friend in the parking lot around 14 years old and somehow the topic of gay people came up, and I said out loud “yeah, at least I’m not gay!”. (Hashtag denial).  I also remember reporting a gay coworker for coming on to me when we worked at girl sc.out camp (hint number one that you’re gay, you work at a camp full of lezzies; and OH by the way she totally was hitting on me, it was NOT just my own self denial/feelings/whatever as was suggested later on).  When they asked me if I was reporting her coming onto me because she was gay I said yes, of course it was. What I meant was that if she had been straight, she wouldn’t have been coming on to me, so obviously it was because she was gay… they took it as me having a problem with gay people in general. It took me a loooooong time to get that one sorted out and I nearly got fired for it, which made it all the funnier when I came out as gay about a year later (though it didn’t feel funny at the time). And then, of course, there was coming out to my best friend that I was gay… my best friend whom I had known since early childhood, and it was one of the hardest conversations I’ve ever had. And then she turned around and came out to me a year or so later and neither one of us had had any clue about the other prior to our respective self-outings! (hashtag more denial). I finally decided I was gay after a series of conversations with all my gay friends (here’s another hint you might be gay: if all your friends are gay and you’re the only straight one, you MIGHT want to look in the mirror) about how they had known they were gay and what kissing girls felt like (and yes, these conversations from the perspectives of several different horny hormonal irrational teenagers provided perfect clarity, why do you ask?). And then my first girlfriend asked me out a week after these conversations and I decided yes, I was definitely gay and definitely interested, and that was that.

My mother, by the way, had no idea and never saw it coming. And then my brother turned out to be first gay, then trans. My poor mom. She adjusted though and loves us both!

3. I am an avid reader. Mostly fantasy and science fiction- Merc.edes Lack.ey, Lord of the Rings, The Dark is Rising, and the like. Anyone else? By the way, when I say “avid,” I mean that I read when I can where I can, which is never-to -infrequently nowadays, but that I still (to Shorty’s dismay) insist on storing totes and totes and totes full of my favorite books in the garage because they will not all fit in the house and I refuse to give them away. Shorty can always tell when I’ve been reading because of the piles of books I leave lying around the house after digging through my totes for the one specific book I feel like rereading.

4. If I wasn’t going to be a nurse, I would be a meteorologist. That’s right, I said it. I am a weather NERD.  I have always been super interested in weather of all kind but most specifically in storms. I once again attribute this to growing up where I did, in San Diego which is basically a desert. We didn’t GET storms and the rare thunderstorms we did get felt like a special kind of treat. I always loved watching them and even from a young age, I would watch the radar and get my own weather information rather than just listening to the news reporters. We had a tropical storm remnant come up one year (I remember because that was the night we found out our upstairs windows leaked and 50 mile-per-hour winds drove a sheet of water through the window and down our wall inside the house) and it was like Christmas. That storm was so cool. I also used to stay up late into the wee hours of the morning watching coverage whenever a hurricane was making landfall on the east coast. We don’t have any relatives or friends on the east coast, no one I knew- I was just insanely curious.  I am still super curious about weather and am interested in storms of all varieties, but my competing interests in the medical field have won out professionally and so off to nursing school I go. I can still be a “trained weather reporter” though… free training and you can call in funnel clouds and stuff. So cool!

5. I never wanted kids, until I met my wife. Even then it was not an immediate thing- my biological clock took a little bit of a jumpstart to kick in, but once it did, it kicked on nice and strong! I can’t remember if I blogged about it, but it was so strong we considered getting pregnant in the six months BEFORE our wedding, because we wanted baby right after. I’m glad we didn’t, but we almost did. Now, having the two we do have, it makes me so happy to see their relationship blossom. For all that they are seven years apart, you can definitely tell they are siblings. They “fight” (Pax gets mad when Thing One takes a non-Pax approved toy from him; Thing One gets mad when Pax once again gets into her stuff or chews on her favorite buildabears.). They play chase and tickle and read together. Thing One and Pax both initiate interaction with each other equal amounts and on their own, without any parental involvement. It makes my mommy heart smile to see the two of them and I am so, so glad that I had kids! They are the most important things I will ever do in life.

6. People call me an old soul.  I’m not entirely certain what this means, but enough people have said it (mother, other family, my wife, teachers) and it has that ring of truth to it, so I guess it must be true. According to this website, old souls generally have a tendency to be more solitary, spiritual, academic, and introspective, all of which I generally am.  I have always felt older than my age and usually only have a few close friends at a time due to both introversion and to the fact that I was generally not interested in cliques and fashion statements. I enjoy learning and gaining knowledge, and consider myself spiritual but not religious in nature. So does any of this make me an old soul? I have no idea but I find it all interesting.


7. English is one of my best subjects. I like reading (mentioned above) and generally am pretty dang good at writing, if I do say so myself (note: Exemplary writing performance not always present on this blog. End disclaimer.). In high school and college, I was the one everyone took their papers to for review, and I actually enjoyed going through with a red ink pen and basically rewriting papers for people. I like words and know my way around the phrasing of a sentence, and have no problem putting that skill to good use to earn myself A’s in classes. I also enjoy quotations and have a part of my facebook page dedicated to some of my favorites.  Among them:

  • “Though my soul may set in darkness it will rise in perfect light; I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night” -Sarah Williams (in high school, my mother found a plaque with an oak tree (favorite tree) silhouetted against the sky and the night sky and stars in the background with that quote…. simply beautiful and I still have it.
  • -Audre Lorde’s A Litany for Survival
  • -This: “Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.” and this: “Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.” and the rest of the Desiderata.
  • -I could seriously go on all night, but I’ll leave with this last one: “There is a destiny that makes us brothers, none goes his way alone. All that we send into the lives of others comes back into our own.” –Edwin Markham


8. I have ADD. Undiagnosed, basically, except if you count the time my parents took me to a shrink when I was younger and he diagnosed me as borderline. Nothing was ever done about that and here I am, X amount of years later! I’m not a big fan of medication or psychologists, so I wouldn’t really be up for “doing” anything about it anyways even if it were diagnosed, but I am aware of it and sometimes it can be limiting. I have had to learn to be super-organized in certain areas of my life like school and work, so that I do not miss out on an important deadline just because I wasn’t paying attention or lost focus. In other areas, though, my ADD totally shines through and I don’t even realize it. Wife and I were cleaning the whole house tonight in preparation for taking pictures of it for the listing, and I was jumping around from chore to chore without even realizing it. I started to change the baby, realized his pants were wet, went to get him new pants and got distracted sorting laundry, which reminded me to pick up all the clothes off the living room floor before the dog peed on them, and then my wife was using bleach which reminded me the bathroom needed cleaning so upstairs I went, which is about when she found me, scrubbing away without really having realized that I had started and not completed a half dozen things. It sounds chaotic and I realize that it IS chaotic, reading back through it, but I’m just so used to it by now that it doesn’t even phase me. I figure I’ve gotten this far, I’m pretty high functioning, I’ve learned to cope and I’m doing okay! Now I need to teach my daughter the same things though, or help her learn them for herself, because she is newly-diagnosed ADD too!


9.  I am crafty, but sometimes overly ambitious. I pick out Pinterest projects to complete, only to realize halfway in that they are WAY. too. effing. hard. or that what looked like wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am on pinterest equals, in reality, a lot of cursing and spilled paint on my carpet. But, occasionally I can and do pull off pretty neat-o crafts. I made Shorty a scrapbook to commemorate our first year being together and it was AWESOME. We made signs for Pax’s nursery and we made our own message-in-a-bottle wedding invitations. I also made her this sign we have hanging in our living room. Overall, not bad!



Whew. That was a lot and it took me a few days to write this post. Do me a favor and tell me about yourself and your nine things now!

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