Raising a Blended Family

Strange Summer

on July 21, 2014

So here we are at the end of July, and I am in disbelief that summer is almost over already.* This has been one strange, wonderful, crazy summer. Nothing huge in particular has happened, but the summer has just been… strange. It hasn’t seemed like actual summer, partly because the weather has been so cool and fall-like, partly because I’ve been in classes all summer and not free to enjoy it, and partly because we have barely seen our daughter since the end of May, thanks to the joys of split parenting with Thing One’s dad. And, we just got her back yesterday and she’s leaving again tomorrow, this time to go visit my mom in California for a a few weeks. We clearly didn’t think out the scheduling of this summer all the way through! But anyways.

Among other strange things, let’s start with the fact that my wife and I are now in possession of a nine year old. a NINE YEAR OLD.  Thing One is nine whole years old. How is that even freakin’ possible?! Nine, which is just one short year from tenwewillnotevengothere, seems so old. It’s the age L was when we had her in our care, and I remember thinking at the time, when Thing One was at the nice safe age of 6 or 7, that nine seemed old. So much older. And now we are nine! She is still a young nine… very silly, very hyperactive, still young compared to her peers. She loves to talk “just to hear her head rattle,” as we will playfully remind her at times. She gets worked up, both to positive and negative emotions, very easily because she experiences life so passionately and richly in every moment. She doesn’t ever do anything halfway- whether telling us about a story, inventing a fictional playland, or just living and doing day to day activities. Her brain goes a million miles per hour, so fast I can never keep up, but it would be interesting, I think, to spend just ten minutes in her head. I’m sure conversations that seem completely random to us on the outside would be completely connected and logical if only I could see inside her head to see what the connections were. Alas, I cannot. So, all of this “youngness” is juxtaposed with outward signs of puberty beginning to happen. Bralettes scattered around the room, a certain stench when she’s been playing too hard and sweating, reminders that we will not forever be in the land of young and silly. I never thought this would happen to us but it’s happening, signs of a new era arriving. Ready or not, any of us, puberty is coming. Nine is old!

Little Miss Nine

And at the same time as nine is old, almost-two is seemingly almost-just-as-unbelievably-old. Pax is VERY almost-two these days. He gets in to EVERYTHING, (just today he grabbed my brand new very full box of cereal and dumped it all over the floor, and also played in his own poop gagme), has a temper (today he quite enjoyed hurtling toys at his sister’s head while screaming when we stopped him) and it is often a challenge (understatement, I know you understand) keeping up with him! He has become a kind-of terror when we take him out to restaurants (throwing food, screaming, etc) and so we generally don’t. He also is fearless and is usually covered in bruises from all of his bumps and scrapes (the daycare ladies, literally kidyounot CHEER when he makes it all the way to pick-up without another bruise). He has developed a pair of runner’s legs, and he will take off like a freakin’ bat out of hell whenever he gets the chance. We had a scary moment a month or so back, where he got out our front door and ran into the road outside our house before we even knew what was happening or heard the screen door slam. We ran outside to find a stranger scooping him up and holding up a hand to stop oncoming traffic! The horror of that moment has stayed with me, and it is so scary to know how fast he is and how those kinds of things can happen even when we are doing our best to prevent them. Terrifying, really. Also, we had another scary moment in the ER a few weeks back. He fell out of our back carrier and landed directly on his head on hard packed dirt. He ended up being fine, not even a concussion, but it was yet another moment in which I was terrified. He earned his first CT scan for that incident. So, needless to say, parenting a boy/parenting THIS boy is rough and requires a thicker skin than I currently possess. Working on it!  

My first CT scan:

Conversely to the crazy-toddler side, he also is still our sweet, loving, cuddly boy. He loves to read, and will bring us book after book, tell us “thank you” (I guess a little proactive thanking never hurts), and climb up into our laps (it never occurs to him we might be busy, but then again we never say no). Language is still exploding- I can’t even tell you how many words he knows now- and it is strange to sometimes hear him speak a word we didn’t teach him, and realize he learned it at daycare. The other day he kept asking “are you ready” over and over again, but I couldn’t understand him. I took a video of it and showed his daycare lady and she figured it out right away, because I guess they say “are you ready” a lot as a cue for activities to start.  So, I’m actually really glad he’s in daycare now- isn’t that funny, after all that anxiety? He usually only goes for three days a week and I think it’s good for his social skills. He does things there that he would neeeeeever dream of doing here: laying down quietly and happily to nap (there: first one to fall asleep, last one up, 3 hour naps. Here: it’s a fight to go to sleep and he’ll sleep for an hour tops), sitting at the table to eat (there:all the kids sit down to eat at the child-size table, and while he doesn’t always exactly SIT, he does stay in the general vicinity and eat. Here: he still eats in his high chair because otherwise he roams throughout the house and doesn’t eat [suggestions?].) We are nowhere near potty training, sadly, though we have the gear sitting around like maybe it will magically inspire him… maybe?

So that’s the kids.

In adult-land: my nursing program is going fabulously. I am three school days and a final away from being done with my first semester, and therefore 1/4 of the way through the program (accelerated second-degree program, remember?). It has been pretty amazing so far, though I have a certain hankering to A) get to the point in the program where I get to do clinicals in areas that really interest me (ER and OB/motherbaby, I think) and B) just be done with the program, period. And as for wifey, she is loving her job still, and gearing up for a three week (holyshit) training program down in fracking Georgia in the middle of next month. She’s really looking forward to it, while I am more in the holyshittwokidsandschoolsoloforthreeweeks mindset. I know, woe is me for those of you who do this kind of thing on a regular basis (I don’t blame you). I honestly think it would be okay except that I have some late-evening clinicals during that time that childcare could/will be an issue for. My mom is flying out to help for what she can, the first week… after that I will just have to figure it out. Insert nervous laughter here.

And finally, to round out the family updates… our dog. Sigh. She’s only 7 months old, but she’s been diagnosed with some kind of cardiac congenital issue. We don’t know details yet because we don’t have the money to pay thousands of dollars for testing. So, we’re still trying to figure out what to do. She’s got plenty of puppy energy and seems pretty healthy (outside of constant, heavy panting) until you try to walk her, or play with her. She has the hardest time breathing even with just minor exercise like fetch and will throw up and lay down just from a walk around the block. So, on the one hand, that seems like no kind of life for a puppy. She’s also been losing weight, on-again-off-again eating, and in spite of us shoving high quality dog food down her throat she’s a little skinny. Sadface. On the other hand, she seems so HAPPY and silly and young. She’s only 7 months and to have been dealt such a crappy hand in life is hard to comprehend. I can’t help but hope for the best for her. We will see where this takes us but it’s no fun for anyone involved.

Hi, my name is Denali, think healthy thoughts for me:


So, that’s us right now. I won’t lie to you, my next update probably won’t be until after Shorty’s trip to Georgia and my next semester has started back up, so I will talk to you then, friends!


*Those of you without school-age children may be scratching your heads, as well as those of you on the West coast where school starts back up at the end of August/beginning of September. But here, school starts back up for my nine year old in about two weeks and so I say… summer, it’s almost over!



















4 responses to “Strange Summer

  1. Lindsay says:

    Beautiful children and mamas! Your girl looks so grown up. I can’t believe they start school in your area so early! Here they start the day after Labor Day weekend.

    His fall must’ve been terrifying, by the way! Thank heavens he was ok.

    • lezbemoms says:

      I can’t believe they do either. I’m a West coast gal and I’m used to Labor day weekend starts as well! They make up for it though, by getting out end of may and having fall break and two week spring breaks.

      Also, it was absolutely terrifying. We are so grateful he’s fine.

  2. Rachael says:

    Goodness that CT picture is a scary one! Glad everyone is ok!

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