Wednesday, December 31, 2008

What I DID Do...

Usually at this time of year people post about their New Year's resolutions.  Or rather they post about all the things that they did NOT accomplish over the previous year.  Since it is my habit to NOT make any resolutions, I am happy to report that I did not fail at any of them.  I am not so good at resolutions, and honestly, I try to not put that kind of pressure on myself.  I read a great post today at Uppercase Woman where Cecily talked about the things she WAS proud of for the past year.  So in her honor, I am going to make this post about the things that I am proud of that happened in 2008.  Going forward to 2009 I will continue to try and live my life in a way that can make my entire family proud.

I am going to start with my very favorite picture of 2008.  Now I realize I have never posted a picture of anyone but The Boy on this blog, but seeing as how this is a new year and all, I am going to include one of my very own little family (including The Girl who is still residing in my tummy).  So here is your very first look at me...don't blink.  You might miss it.  
I just love the way the The Boy is hugging my belly and I think the look I am giving him shows how very much that little boy means to me and how very much I love and treasure him.  First and foremost for the past year, I am proud of the relationship that I have with my son.

I am proud of how I managed to parent him this year.  The second year of life is not an easy one, and I am proud of how we BOTH managed to navigate through this past year.  As we all know, parenting is the toughest job out there and although there have been several moments that I questioned how I handled something, overall I am quite proud of the way that I parent this child and the choices that I make/made.  I am proud of the fact that this past year was a MUCH healthier year for him and that for the entire 12 months we both managed to keep him out of the dreaded "failure to thrive" zone.  I am proud of his success in terms of his speech.  At the beginning of the year he wasn't even putting two words together.  Now the child never shuts up and is up to about 6 word sentences.  Mind you, you can't always understand those 6 words, but both he and I know they're there.  I am damned proud of him for all he has done this past year.

I could make this whole post about The Boy, but I won't, so I am going to move on to some other areas in my life.  Probably the other biggest thing with 2008 is that I am proud of how I handled the break up with The Ex.  Actually I am proud of both of us.  It wasn't easy (as breaking up never is...) but because we went through counseling and constantly made sure we were putting The Boy before ourselves and our hurt feelings, we managed to get out of it without much damage.  Our son has never heard either one of us say an unkind word about the other, and he sees up together almost as much as he did before we split.  We vowed to never put him in a position where he feels like he has to have two birthday parties, or two Christmas', or else live two separate lives with his two different Moms.  As a child of a divorced family I am acutely aware of how hard it is when the situation is "ugly."  Although there were many times throughout the process where either one of us or both of us was hurt and angry, we managed to keep that to ourselves and not burden our child with it.  I am proud of us for that.

On a personal note, I am proud of myself for actually making the decision to end the relationship.  You see my relationship wasn't bad, per se.  There was no abuse, there were no loud fights, and we really did get along great.  As friends.  That was the issue.  We had become good friends.  For a long time I thought that was enough.  But it isn't.  I deserve to be loved and I deserve to love someone else.  A passionate kind of love.  But as I look around me, I see plenty of relationships that are in worse condition than mine was.  And those people trudge on.  They wake up day in and day out and go through the motions.  But like I mentioned above, that is not what I want to teach my kids.  So even though it was hard, and even though a lot of the time I felt like my heart was splitting into a million pieces, and even now, I wonder if I will ever find what I am looking for...I am proud of myself for making that decision.  I am proud that I fought for myself and fought for a better future.  It was one of the hardest decisions I have ever made, but I know I did the right thing.

I am also proud of not giving up on my dreams.  For many reasons, some of which I have discussed here before, I have always had a dream of having two kids.  Perhaps it was because of how my brother and I were split up as children.  Perhaps it is because that fits into the stereotypical storybook of America.  Or perhaps it is just because somewhere deep down, I knew there was another soul waiting to be loved and cherished by me.  But for whatever reason, this past year I decided to NOT give up on that dream despite my relationship ending.  I made the decision to forge ahead and to do this alone.  I fought for the right of my son, and for the privilege of getting to know my future daughter.  It is scary and there are several times throughout any given day when I wonder exactly how I am going to manage it all, but I am proud that I made the decision to try.

Because I am anal and a planner, I am proud of getting my life in order before getting pregnant with my second child.  I shifted my professional world around and risked losing long-term clients by raising my rates to the point that I can successfully afford to take care of two children.  I went to visit my doctor ahead of time and figured out a way to get off all the meds I was on (and we are talking anti depressants here, not vicodin and oxycontin).  I met with my OB and found out exactly what I needed to test a potential donor for, in case I was lucky enough to find one.  And I talked to those that support me (namely my mother) in my parenting journey to make sure they were also up to the task of attempting one more.  It took me almost a full year to accomplish all of these things.  But I made sure all of them were in order before I did that first insemination.  To me, it was a test to myself.  How could I handle the stress and craziness of two children as a single mother if I couldn't get my life in order beforehand?  So I had to take that test to make sure that I could.  And I did.  And thank God because otherwise, who knows where I would be?

Lastly, I would like to mention something small that is in no way an emotional pride.  At the beginning of January 2008 I decided that I was going to try and make a small contribution to living a greener life.  Part of doing that was giving up all bags.  I carry many different sizes of canvas bags around in the back of my car and wherever I am going, I throw an appropriate one in with me, and I can honestly say that for the past year I have not taken one bag.  It is a small thing, but it makes me happy.  I also successfully made all the cleaning products in my home of the "green" variety.  Again, these things are small, but to me, I am proud that I made the commitment and have stuck to it.

Looking back at 2008 I can say it was one of the most challenging years I have had in a long time.  Health challenges with my precious boy, the ending of an 8 year relationship, the beginning of a new life inside of me, and just overall doing my best to become a better person.  But I am really proud of who I have become and what I have accomplished.  Even being able to write this post says something.  In previous years I most likely would have written about the things that "went wrong" in 2008 and the things at which I didn't succeed.  I would have said that I failed in my relationship, and that I somehow failed my boy because he isn't up to the health standard that I would have liked, and that I am a single lesbian looking for love and not finding it...  And maybe that's how 2008 has changed me.  Even though all of the above are true, I don't look at it that way.  I like to look at what I DID do, and what it is that I can be proud of.  Let's hope 2009 is filled with more of the same.  Happy New Year everyone...thanks for reading.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

As Promised, Christmas Pics

For some reason my computer won't let me upload my pictures onto blogger.  So here are a random few...but they aren't the ones that I wanted.  These are pictures from Christmas morning, when it was just The Ex, Mommy and The Boy (before all the chaos started).  Here is The Boy opening some of the stuff from him stocking.

He couldn't believe that even though he had opened a few things from his stocking that there was more in there.  He kept going back in and saying, "Yook Mommy!  More stuff!!"
Here he is checking out the play phone that went with his new kitchen that Santa brought him...
And favorite pick of the morning.  He was just amazed that Santa had eaten his cookies and drank the milk that he left out for him.  Here he is amazed at the concept telling us all about it...
There are more pictures, but like I said, the computer isn't working for me.  Plus, the majority of the other pictures have other people in them so I couldn't post them anyway.  Hope everyone had a great Christmas!

The Christmas Post

After my downer of a post I figured I better buck up and bring some joy back into this blog. I mean it is the holidays after all. Well I guess it was the holidays...

If you read my pre-Christmas post you could assume that I was already overwhelmed before the event actually even took place. That continued right on through to the end of the week, but of course, there were some pretty special moments involved in it all.

Tuesday night, as we celebrated my grandmother's 92nd birthday and what is usually our Christmas Eve celebration all in one, we got a little taste of what the next few days would bring. Overall it was lovely. Sure, there was chaos. When you bring 8 kids all under the age of 8 together, it is bound to be a little crazy. But basically everyone had a good time. My boy got a little overwhelmed at it all at the end of the evening. His cousin had opened a cash register as a gift and damn if he didn't want to play with that thing. And when the cousin wasn't engaged in it, we let him. But when she wanted it back, well it was her toy, so he had to be told he couldn't have it. At one point he just melted down and cried. I had to take him to another room and we had a little quiet moment and he seemed to recover. Learning to share at this age is a tough lesson. And one that would go on for the next few days.

The only real drama of that evening came as a result of my step sister. Now I have a pretty steady rule that I don't talk about family on this blog. that is tough right now. I am going to stick to my rule, but let's just say that the majority of the holidays were very stressful, and that stress was as a result of having to try and tip toe around someone else's drama and "hardship" that was meant to be felt by If you really want to know the details, email me and I will gladly share but this being a public forum blah, blah, blah...

One of the highlights for The Boy was that my cousins, and perhaps his very favorite person in the world, stayed with us for a night and he got to hang with them. He loves these people and was truly thrilled that they were here to spend some of the holidays with them. He hung with them on the morning of Christmas Eve until my mother came to rescue them and set them free. I think the night before and all the chaos with all the kids, plus the morning of just getting to play with my cousins somehow told The Boy that normal rules did not need to be followed and that he could run free and crazy... Well this isn't so much the case, as was proven when my mother had to give him a time out within 10 minutes of being left alone with him. (He thought it would be appropriate to throw his toys at her and then sit ON TOP of the dinner table three times in a row after she had told him that was unacceptable...). Now as has been mentioned here before my boy is a very sensitive sort, and one time out is usually all it takes to show him that we are serious and he snaps back into shape. It worked this time as well.

Probably my most favorite time of the entire holiday came Christmas Eve night and evening. I got off work a little early and my mom, my step dad, The Boy and myself headed out to a nice dinner. We got a little dressed up and went to Italian food. It was just the 4 of us and so nice and relaxing. I had outstanding lobster raviolis and The Boy was on his best behavior and sat quietly during dinner, actually ate, and watched the fire and sang Christmas songs to us. It was truly lovely. Just what a holiday meal and night should be. On our way home I texted The Ex and told her to head on over. She did and once she arrived, she sat with The Boy on the couch and watched a Christmas movie with him. Then we put out the cookies and milk for Santa and The Boy went to sleep. Once he was down, The Ex and I pulled out all the gifts for the next day (they were in my garage in large garbage bags) and watched as Santa filled The Boy's stocking and brought out his new play kitchen, his tool belt and Butch (all the things he had asked Santa for when he saw him earlier in the week). We were in bed by about 10:00pm I believe.

When The Boy woke up in the morning, he thought it was just any other day. Then his Mom popped her head in his room and he said, "Mom!! SANTA!!!" He remembered why his Mom had spent the night and wanted to see if Santa had come. So he ran his little self down the hall into the living room to see what Santa had left for him. Ironically enough the first thing he wanted to see was whether Santa had eaten the cookies and milk. He was THRILLED to see that he had. In fact later when he was calling his grandparents, the thing he always said first was that Santa had eaten his cookies. Too cute. He was shocked and so excited to see "his kitchen!" and "my tool belt," and "Mommy!! Yook!! Butch!!!" Totally stoked. Then he realized that his stocking was full and it was all just better than anything he had ever experienced. It really was special and sweet and magical and yes, I cried several times (damned pregnancy hormones...). Just the innocence of it all and the pure joy and excitement he felt was one of those moments where I literally felt time stand still. "Just hold onto this moment," I told myself. Just feel it, really feel it and absorb the preciousness involved...and I did. It was wonderful. By about 10:00am he was pooped from all the excitement. We layed on the couch and watched Frosty and he went down for a nap with the promise that when he woke up, his cousins and his Gigi and Poppy would be here and we could open all the presents still left under the tree. He went right to sleep.

I wish I could end this post there. That is not to say that the rest of Christmas Day was a bad thing. It wasn't. In fact, it actually went better than I had anticipated. But it was exhausting, and the aforementioned tip toeing made it all the more annoying. And well, you know how they say that Christmas can be overwhelming for young kids? Yeah, it is. See The Boy had many great new toys to play with, BUT there were several kids there who also wanted to play with his great new toys. And they kept taking them. And he wasn't so much interested in sharing his brand new garbage truck, or helicopter or scooper truck... The Boy is also a very um...shall we say organized little boy. Okay he borders on a little OCD. You can blame me and my virgo-ness. But see his play room is set up with several bins of toys. The toys are sorted. There is a transportation bin, a tool bin, an animal bin, a musical bin, a train get the gist. He knows this and he enjoys it. He puts things back where they belong when he is done (also part of his Montessori schooling) and expects all others to do the same. Well when there are 5 kids under 5, this doesn't so much happen. So everyone had his things, and they were doing BAD things with them...he was most upset. So by about 4:00pm (even though he had had a two hour nap earlier in the day) I found him in his room, in the corner with his Lambie just laying down crying. Poor little dude. I put him in his crib and he slept there for a little over an hour. When he woke up, his cousins had gone home. I didn't deal with the clean up of the playroom until the next day, but at least for the rest of the evening, he got to play with his toys the way he wanted to play with them. Everyone finally left at about 8:00pm I would guess. It felt like it was midnight. At one point there were over 20 people in my little house. And I had to feed them all. And have I mentioned that I am 21 weeks pregnant? Again, I am not necessarily complaining. But I was just tired. Tired down to my bones...

Overall it was a nice holiday. Christmas Eve was by far the best part of my week. I will hold onto the memories of that. Also The Boy's first Christmas morning where he understood and enjoyed the concept of Santa. That was a magical time. And even during all the chaos and noise I was aware of the fact that I am truly blessed to even have over 20 people in my life to celebrate the holidays with. I know there are people out there who don't have anyone, or who have just a few chosen people with whom they share the holidays. I do love my large and boisterous family. And all my friends and the special people in my life. We are lucky and we are blessed. We are just also very tired... (pictures to come in a later post).

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Single Mom By Choice

I live the reality of that everyday.  Most days it isn't a bad thing.  It really isn't.  Sometimes I even convince myself that it is better than the alternative.  But then I have nights like tonight.  And I feel so alone.  Alone in parenting challenges.  I think there is a reason that there is usually two people to tackle this journey called parenting.  It is tough.  We all know that.  The toughest thing out there.  And most of the time it is beneficial to have someone going through it with you; someone working toward the same goal.  And when that isn't the case, well some nights it just catches up with you.  That happened to me tonight.

The smaller issue I had was with eating.  The bigger issue is being in this alone.  Let me try and explain.  If you know me in real life, or if you read my blog with any regularity, you most likely know that my son has trouble gaining and sustaining weight.  He is small all over, but our biggest challenge is keeping him from falling into that "failure to thrive" diagnosis based on his weight.  I live with this everyday and most days it is just a part of my parenting.  Some days it gets me down.  And other days it backs me into a corner.  Today was one of those corner days.

You see my son is also almost 3 years old and is therefore in that stage of challenging everything.  I do my best to keep the upper hand and to make sure that he isn't "winning" by giving him boundaries and sticking to them.  But when it comes down to the eating thing, well...that is just tough.  You see, I am not in a "normal" position when it comes to food.  I can't just play the "this is what we eat, when we eat it, and if you don't adhere to that then you can go hungry" thing.  Because the kicker?  He will go hungry.  And he just plain doesn't give a shit.  Whereas most kids will most definitely not suffer any consequences if they skip a meal, or if they go a couple of days without eating, my child will.  He is perfectly content to eat just the bare minimum throughout the day and go to bed.  If he was left to his own devices he would not eat enough food to keep his current weight.  He would lose weight.  And losing weight makes him fall "below the charts" and into that dreaded category of "failure to thrive."  Bad things happen after that.  We start hearing about feeding tubes and long term consequences and just doesn't do a mom good.  So I live my life trying to avoid getting to that place.  Part of that means that I work my ASS off on a daily basis to put as much food into that child as possible.  And I try so hard to walk that fine line of not making it a big deal so that he doesn't end up with food issues, but also making sure that he gets the nutrition that he needs.  And also giving him enough calories but also not developing horrible eating habits for the rest of his life.  It is a tough line to walk and sometimes I fall off the tightrope.  Hence tonight...

I make a point of sitting down to dinner at the table, no TV, just the two of us and a healthy meal every single night of our lives.  It is important to me.  And lately by the end of the meal I am nearly in tears.  You see, The Boy thinks that time is play time.  He really could care less about the whole eating part.  He takes his fork and he makes it into a train.  He drives it around his place mat while making noises.  He talks to the fish in the fish tank behind him.  He sings songs.  He does everything except eat.  He will sit and interact with me, but rarely does he put food in his mouth of his own accord.  So I end up saying things like, "[Boy], do you want me to take your fork away?"  "No!"  "Then take a bite."  "Okay, okay Mommy, I take a bite."  And then ever so slowly he will wedge a tiny little morsel into his mouth and eat it.  Then back to playing.  A few minutes later we repeat the process.  If I don't threaten him with either taking away his fork (aka his play toy), or that he will not get his dessert, then he will literally not put one thing in his mouth.  Needless to say, this does not make for a pleasurable dining experience.  What I wouldn't give to just put food down on the plate in front of him, sit down at the table and have BOTH of us eat our dinner.  I would give anything for that.  It just doesn't happen.  We could have that kind of dinner, but when I was done, his plate would literally be untouched.  And before you say that I should just allow that, pick up his plate and let him go on with his evening, let me tell you this.  He doesn't care.  It isn't like 2 hours later he is going to come to me and ask me for some food.  Nope.  He will just go to bed like nothing happened.  And the next day?  Will he be extra hungry and eat a little more?  Nope.  Sure won't.  In fact if I let him, we could just go on like that for days on end.  Sure, he would eat something.  He won't starve himself to death.  But he would most likely eat a grand total of about one half of a meal of a "normal kid."  All day long.  And guess what happens when that is the case?  Yup, he loses weight very quickly and I start hearing about feeding tubes.

Now I know that a good portion of this is his bratty three year old self knowing that this is the one issue that kills me.  He somehow knows he has the upper hand here.  How he knows it, I will never understand, but he does.  He gets attention during dinner by the fact that I have to literally beg him to eat every bite.  Negative attention is still attention, and I understand this.  But my normal mode of dealing with this doesn't work in this situation.  Because while he can go abnormally long periods of time without nourishment, he is also stubborn as a mule.  I blame his father.  But this is a situation that could be helped by having two brains.  Two brains trying to figure out the best way to handle this.

Normally I can call a friend, or talk to someone in my family.  But this situation is unique because of The Boy's issues with weight.  All the advice I have heard goes along with the technique I would use.  That is teach him that he doesn't have all the power by giving him a few nights where he doesn't eat at all.  He will get hungry enough that he realizes that this isn't working.  Tried it.  He just becomes lethargic due to lack of energy but still doesn't regain the hunger.  And he's still doing the same things.  And after trying to explain to all the people who are trying to help that my kid is different, and that I can't just sit back and hope he will get it, I just get tired of asking.  What I want is someone going through this exact thing with me.  Someone else who sits at the same table for dinner every night, and who goes to those doctors appointments, and who knows that this really is more serious than I usually let on, and who just understands my child the same way that I do.  And I don't have that.  The Ex is his other parent.  But while she is a wonderful and doting Mom, she rarely eats a meal with him.  It has been over 2 years since she has attended a doctors appointment.  She spends a great deal of time with him, but not a lot of that time is spent parenting.  I am in this alone.  And the struggles that I have are not very many.  But this is a biggie.  This whole food thing just kills me.  I wish that I could just get it through to him to JUST EAT FOR THE LOVE OF GOD!!!  But it doesn't work like that.

I need to mention that I have my mom in this with me.  And she is wonderful.  In fact, after my meal tonight, I called her and cried to her on the phone because she understands like no one else does.  And we talked for a half an hour and I have a plan.  And the reason I have that plan is because I am lucky enough to have her on this journey with me.  But the fact remains that she is my mom.  She is not my partner.  She will never be the one sitting down to dinner at our table every night of the week.  She will always be there to help me, but she can't really be in it with me.  And here I am about to embark on this journey all over again with another child.  Single mom by choice.  Please just let this second one eat...

Monday, December 22, 2008

He Strikes Again!

So remember my client that famously said that the gays belong in the cages with the chickens?  Well I had a little "chat" with him again today.  Today it wasn't nearly so offensive, but man, does this guy know how to create an awkward situation...

So today he was horribly sick.  It will be a minor miracle if I managed to get out of there without catching his funk.  But I digress...  Anyway he was saying that he sure hopes he doesn't get me sick.  He then joked that I wouldn't even be able to take any medication due to "my condition."  Ummm...yeah, you're right.  So then he asks me when my due date is.  I told him followed by the obligatory "it will most likely be before that based on my having a c-section..."  He then stops the conversation and says, " the father of this kid a nice guy?"

(No, he's a complete asshole, but I thought it would be fun to sleep with him just for kicks...)

I answered, "Yes, he is a very nice guy."  Totally true, by the way.  He is a fabulous guy and for the total of about 2 hours that I have spent with him, I have enjoyed every moment.  Haven't lied yet...

He proceeds with, "Well are you going to marry him?"  I wish I could paint a picture of this late 50's, early 60's guy with white hair and a red nose (because of the sickness) glaring at me, just daring me to say the wrong thing.  Well, nothing that is going to come out of my mouth at this point is going to be the "right thing," so I answered.

"Nope.  Hadn't planned on it."  Still not lying...

"Well for God's sake, why not?!?!?" he says with the disbelief dripping from his every word.

"For starters, I am not in love with him..."  Look on his face says that that is certainly NOT a good enough reason and also leads him down the path of well if you're not in love with him then you CERTAINLY shouldn't have been sleeping with must be some sort of slut...  So to try and make it go away I continued...

"Sometimes things happen that are out of our control," okay I am full-blown totally lying now.  So much for my "controlled responses."  I continued on, "And when they do you just have to smile and go forward and make the best out of the situation."

I have to add that it makes me sick to somehow infer that this child was a "whoops" child.  Add that onto the fact that to have a whoops child, one needs to be A) straight, and B) having sex.  Neither of those things apply to me.  And I pictured sitting in my doctor's office on Friday, finding out that I am having a beautiful daughter and that (knock on wood) she looks perfect and healthy and it made me a little bit nauseous to imply that she was not fought for and desired and totally meant to be and SUCH a blessing to actually be here...

He furrowed his brow and muttered, "Interesting concept..." and looked down.  I immediately changed the subject and we moved on.

This is such a hard thing for me.  First of all, I honestly do think that this is a good guy, a genuine guy who has worked really hard in life to get where he is.  Secondly, like I have said many times before on this blog, I honestly believe that everyone has a right to their own opinions and beliefs.  If you take away the HUGE difference in our political opinions and beliefs, this client and I get along great.  Add to that the fact that I had just delivered him a card and some holiday chocolates to which he responded by writing me a Christmas bonus check and it just makes the waters all murky.   If we don't speak of anything personal then we get along fine, but man, you try and talk about ANYTHING outside of his finances and things get so...awkward!!  I don't like lying about who/what I am, but I also know that the truth of my situation would undoubtedly cast such a weird shadow over our working relationship that it would most likely cease.  And like I said, this is an easy client, literally 5 minutes from my house and if you take away political and social differences, he is the perfect client.  So it leaves me in a situation where I try and make the best of these awkward incidences and move on to the next discussion about that bank reconciliation...

"The Most Wonderful Time...of the Year..." (you have to sing it to appreciate it)

I am trying to gear up for the week ahead. Unlike the majority of people out there, I don't get any time off during the holidays. Well I should clarify that. I am self employed, so really it is my call to do whatever I want. If I wanted to take two weeks off, I could. I just wouldn't get paid. And frankly that doesn't sit so well with me. So I take two days off and two days off only. Christmas Day and New Year's Day. Every other day is a work day.

So this is what my week looks like. Today I will work as normal, however I will do my best to finish up with my clients early because The Boy (like most kids) is off of school for 2 weeks so my mom has him. And I want to finish up as early as possible to relieve her.

Then tomorrow I will work a full day as well. I will figure out how to do that and still get to my mom's to pick up The Boy and arrive at my grandmother's house by 5:00pm (with my fruit tray, birthday card and gag gift in hand...) It is her 92nd birthday and we will also be celebrating our Christmas this night. It will be fun, but a crazy night with several of her great grandchildren included (I believe she has like 8 or 9 in total...) which makes it all sorts of exhausting and crazy. Especially when one of those great grandchildren is The Boy. We will somehow celebrate her birthday, do a round of gag gifts, and then also have all the little kids open their gifts while the adults patiently wait for the very end when my grandmother hands out those lovely envelopes...

Then on Wednesday I have a very full day of 3 clients. After work I will come home and get dressed up and The Boy, my mom and my step dad are going out for a nice dinner. After we get home The Ex will come over and we will watch a Christmas show (most likely Rudolph or Frosty as The Boy seems to be obsessed with those this season) and let The Boy open one or two gifts and then attempt to get him to sleep. Of course we will leave cookies and milk for Santa before that happens... Then "Santa" will come and miraculously fill his stocking and also put together the kitchen set that he got him for Christmas complete with all the toy food and pots and pans that I am sure are tethered together by a zillion of those little twist ties and screws. At some point I will collapse into bed and try and get some sleep before the fun really starts.

The Ex is going to spend the night so that she can be here for The Boy when he wakes up and sees what Santa brought him. So that should happen at around 6:30am, (although I am going to try and convince him to stay in my bed and have his milk and chill there for as long as possible, like other mornings, in an attempt to keep the day as relaxed as possible). So The Ex will make The Boy pancakes or waffles at some point while he is running around playing with his stocking stuff and the stuff from Santa. And at some point during all of this I need to make up two crock pots full of chili and get them cooking. Then I need to get myself showered and dressed, bring in all the presents from the garage and get the house set up for the next phase...

You see, I am "the host" this year. So between 12:00pm and 1:00pm people will start to arrive. Those people include: My brother, his wife and their two little girls. My step sister, her husband, and their two little boys. My step brother (single and lovely). My mom and my step dad. My other grandmother (mom's mom), and of course, The Ex will still be there (or she will come back after going home to get ready...not sure). Oh and The Boy and myself. Once all of these people arrive the festivities begin. We will eat snacks and open presents for approximately 3 hours or so. Then it will move onto dinner time when...yup, more people are arriving. My aunt, my uncle (mom's brother and wife) and their three grown children (most likely with boyfriends/girlfriends in tow...) will show up. Then it will be time for dinner. I have to say that I am not planning past this point because there is a high probability that by this time in the evening I will be in the corner of my room with the door shut and ear muffs over my ears whining about how TOTALLY UNFAIR it is to be pregnant and therefore not allowed to drink to deal with all the craziness... Oh yeah, and did I forget to mention that this is all going to happen while I am 21 weeks pregnant?

At some point I will venture back out into the living room and see the remainder of the chaos. I will survey the damage that 5 cousins (all ages 5 and under) can do to a house. Not to mention all those other people (I haven't counted because frankly I am afraid I will have a nervous breakdown) that will have been enviously drinking copious amounts of alcoholic beverages the entire day and night. I will look around and make sure that my child is either A) safely tucked away in bed, or B) still running around like a chicken with his head cut off due to the fun of having all of those people there to entertain him. I will then congratulate myself on the EXCELLENT decision to be self employed and therefore not working on Fridays and will collapse into bed to deal with it all at a later date.

And I will count down the days until I leave for Hawaii on January 8th...

I am honestly not sure how I am going to make it through this week. The plan is to just take it one day, one MOMENT at a time and hope for the best. And please don't think that it slips by me how very lucky I am to have all of these people around me and to be able to celebrate this holiday season with my entire family. It is just exhausting. But if I think of the alternative...of The Boy and I having a quiet week just the two of us...well that doesn't seem right either. I am very lucky to have the people around me that I do. And these very people and these very situations are why I am able to be pregnant and having another child. The strong sense of family and support that are around me and my child allow me the freedom to let my family grow. And on that note, a final update...

I had the "big" ultrasound on Friday and my little one is indeed a little girl. 100%. Not only is she a girl, but she looks healthy. She was measuring perfect and we saw all the amazing body parts in all the right places. I am just so lucky. I can't believe I have the perfect little boy and I am going to have a little girl. One of each. For me, this is a dream. I never really believed I would get this. I honestly feel so lucky. Merry Christmas indeed!!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Christmas Boy and 20 Week Belly

As is one of the pictures of The Boy that we had done last Friday at our little photo shoot.  I am not yet brave enough to post the picture of myself, so for now you will just have to be satisfied with my little Santa Claus...

He loved that he actually got to sit on a sleigh with a bag of presents behind him.  I have the pictures framed near where we eat dinner every night and each night he talks about how he got to be Santa for the day.  He really is just a joy this holiday season.  Christmas is better with kids (at least for me it has been), but once they get old enough to really understand and appreciate Santa and the stockings and the tree and all the lights etc., it really is amazing.  It takes you back to when you were a kid and it was all fresh and new.  I think sometimes by the time we reach adulthood the holidays become more of a hassle than anything else.  There is the stress of making sure we go to all the different families (those of us from divorced households), and making sure everyone gets along, and who is going to host...I could go on.  But for many years the holidays were the most stressful time of the year for me.  And now?  Well this little red-headed Santa has reminded me of the little things.  He's reminded me of the joy of the season and the purity that comes with that.  It really is a gift to be reminded.

And speaking of that, let's talk about my other "gift" this year.  The little baby growing in my belly.  Now that I am past the evil first trimester from hell, I am settling in to really enjoy this pregnancy.  Second trimesters can do that.  But I am acutely aware of the fact that this will be my last pregnancy, so I am trying to enjoy it all.  My belly is HUGE (as you will see in a moment), but I am cool with that.  It is the last time my stomach will stretch out like this.  The baby is really starting to move and I don't think there is another sensation like that in the world.  Behold my Christmas belly:
Keep in mind that this is only HALFWAY through.  I might pop in half.  Seriously.  I thought I was huge with The Boy, but I swear I am bigger this time around.  Plus, I am not sure if it's because this is supposedly a girl (pending ultrasound on Friday), or if it is because this is a second pregnancy, but man this kid is sitting SO LOW in my belly.  As you can see, my belly goes all the way up to the boobs, but when I feel this baby move around it is practically sitting on my thighs.  I don't remember this with The Boy either.  I remember him being up further.  I was reading my journal with him the other night and around 20 weeks I talked about feeling him around my belly button.  This time she isn't anywhere near my belly button.  I feel her a good 4 inches below that.  Strange...  

Also different this time around is just being busy with The Boy and not being able to relish in each moment.  I am so busy all the time that the only time I really sit down and feel the movements and think about the fact that I am pregnant is after I get into bed at night.  And that last for approximately 15 minutes before I fall asleep (only to wake up an hour later to pee).  The majority of the time I honestly don't even remember that I am pregnant.  That sounds horrible, but it is true.  With The Boy, I was conscious of it all the time and spent so much time with my hand on my belly, feeling him move, and bonding with him.  This time there just isn't time for that luxury.  I have an almost 3 year old who needs my attention as well.  So the quiet little one in my belly has to wait.  But when I feel her kick it instantly makes me smile and stop for a little moment (no matter how quickly) and just try and enjoy it.  There is still a part of me that is in touch with the person that tried to get pregnant for 3 years and couldn't, so to have this amazing thing going on doesn't slip past me.  And I am halfway done.  Halfway done with the last pregnancy I will most likely ever experience.  Makes me want to grab hold of life and just yell, "Slow down!!"  I am trying to take it all in...all these amazing things going on in my family.  My beautiful little boy and my precious little daughter (still can't believe that) making up the family I always dreamed of.  Merry Christmas indeed.

Monday, December 15, 2008

This That And The Other...

I think today's post needs to be bullet points. It just seems like that kind of a Monday.
  • On Friday we had a follow up appointment with The Boy's gastro doc. Good news and not-so-good news. The good news is that he hasn't been sick lately (knocking on everything that could possibly be considered wood...) and that he is totally thriving. He has also grown an inch in height since September. He is between the 5th and 10th percentile in height. Rock Star. Weight...well that's another issue. You may remember that he was on that medication to stimulate his appetite and it helped him gain 3 pounds over a 3 month period of time. We were told to stop the meds in the middle of November and then come in for a weight check in the middle of December. She even said in Oct that if things continued on this path we might not need to come back (!!). But. Friday was the weight check. He has lost weight. Of course he has. Almost a pound since the last check. He was 25.2 pounds I believe (and 35 1/2" tall for little peanut) and he is turning 3 in less than a month. So...that sucks. He is still "on the charts" but has slipped down to that whole "somewhere between 1st and 3rd percentile" place on the chart where it doesn't really matter except that he is just too damn low. But, ever the optimist (yeah right), like I said, he is doing GREAT and has a ton of energy and is overall just fabulous right now. So I am upping the Pediasure and continuing my quest to make The Boy eat anything and everything calorie related. But needless to say, we didn't graduate from gastro. We will be going back in two more months for another weight check. Sigh...
  • On a happier note, once we left the doctor's office we headed to get professional holiday pics done of The Boy, his preggo Mommy, his Gigi extraordinaire and for shits and giggles we threw in one pic of my mom's mom (a four generation pic). They turned out fabulous. I haven't posted a picture of myself on this site yet, but since Sara did it, maybe I can. There is even the most precious pic of The Boy giving Gigi a kiss on the cheek. Too cute for words. And the one of him hugging my belly? Makes me misty... And on that note, I decided to just have them print my holiday cards there and guess what? They went out in the mail today. I RULE! I wasn't sure if I would get anything done, but they are done and they have been mailed. Email me if you would like your copy sent to you. :)
  • I did something very adult-like and mature on Friday as well (it was a busy day). I met with a lawyer to put together my will and estate plan. It is a lot of money (not my estate, the lawyer and the will) and man, just a hard thing to do. But I have to be smart. I am single with two kids. I don't want the court being able to decide what happens to my kids if I were to be hit by a bus. And since The Boy was conceived with The Ex, and new baby wasn't, well it isn't exactly a slam dunk. And while I know that my wishes don't necessarily guarantee what the outcome will be, it is important that I take all the steps necessary to do the best I can. So I have begun that process. I also took out a large chunk of life insurance to make sure that whomever gets guardianship of my kids does not suffer financially for their good will. I have someone coming to my office to take urine and blood samples on Thursday (is that random or what? They come to ME? I find that a little odd...) so once that is done I should be good to go.
  • There is so much more, but I will end today's post on a happy note. The Boy and I are going on vacation. That's right people, we are jetting off to Hawaii on the 8th of January. It is a last minute trip with my mom and step dad and my grandmother. We will be rooming with grandmother (HA HA HA!!!) and I am using my mileage to get us there so it is a virtually free trip. Only made possible by grandmother's desire to have us join her. She rules. Because as we all know, once I pop this second kid out the next vacation I have will be when they leave for college...
  • 20 weeks tomorrow. Wow, how did that happen? Belly pic to follow soon...Happy Monday everyone.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Baby Made Me Do It

...and I am NEVER listening to her again!

I am a pretty healthy person in terms of how I eat.  I very rarely eat out for lunch (or dinner for that matter) and almost always bring my lunch with me to work everyday.  Well this morning I was running late.  The Boy's speech therapy is 15 minutes earlier this week because they are making up for the time they are closed over the holidays.  Because of this, I didn't get to pack a lunch.  "No biggie," I thought.  People eat out all the time.  I will indulge myself for one day.

So when it came time for lunch I was considering all my options.  None of my regular treats sounded good.  I couldn't find something that sounded good.  And if I was going to "cheat" then it better sound damn good!  Finally I just got in the car and drove.  I approached a Carl's Jr and thought...okay...  If I get fast food, which again is pretty rare, I enjoy their chicken sandwiches.  So I pulled in and went inside.  Once inside, as I was glancing at the menu, something just took over.  I have no idea what it was.  But I blame my unborn child.  For reasons that are still foreign to me, I decided I HAD to have a Western Bacon Cheeseburger.  Something about the BBQ sauce and the onion ring mixed with the cheese...I don't know.  But I know I had to have it.

I should mention that I have not had red meat or a hamburger in YEARS.  It isn't for some moral reason; I love me some chicken and fish.  I am just not a fan of the red meat.  Once they came out with ground turkey, I started using that for everything that needed that type of meat and well, I have never been a big steak person...  So for no real reason, I just stopped eating red meat.  I never made some big declaration or anything, it just sort of happened.  So when I found myself pulled to that today I didn't think it would be a big deal.  After all, I used to eat red meat, so if my body seemed to want it now, then I was happy to indulge it.

And ate it I did.  Every single bite.  And I have to say it tasted damn good.  The fries I got with it did nothing for me and I only ate about 10 of them before I threw them away, but the burger?  Enjoyed every single bite of it.  I can find no other explanation for this other than my daughter wanted it.  And I let her have it.

I am no longer going to listen to my daughter.  While I haven't felt horrible...I have been...shall we say...on the toilet for the better part of the evening.  Although the baby apparently likes red meat, my digestive system apparently isn't such a fan.  Message received.  No more red meat.  No matter what the baby tries to tell me!

The REAL Superstar...

With all this talk of the new DAUGHTER coming into our world, The Boy wants to make sure we never forget who is the REAL superstar of the household...

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

All Is Well, Plus BONUS!!

So all is well on the blood pressure front. Of course my pressure was great when I was in the office today and she said that most likely things are just going a little bit wonky because of all the cardio vascular changes going on in my system right now. She said lots of women experience dizziness or "spells" around this time due to all the stuff that is changing. But they were very glad I called and came in. They checked my urine (exciting, right?) and since I already have another appointment scheduled for the 19th of December, just said that they would see me then. So all very good, but I am glad I called. Like I have said, it is better to be safe than sorry!

Okay so here is where it gets fun. Of course my unborn child was being uncooperative and she could not locate the heart beat. So we went to the next room to check on him/her via ultrasound. Of course I told the nurse to please look for the heart beat around the crotch area because I was dying to know the sex and the mean people were making me wait another week and a half. (I am 19 weeks today, and with The Boy I found out the sex around 17 or 18 weeks, so I know it is late enough to be able to see something). She, of course, laughed at me and proceeded to have the machine right where you could see the baby and the heart beat (beating away beautifully at approx 155 beats per minute) but the screen cut off right around mid tummy. So I begged her to move down just a little, and she did, and we saw a bit of a crotch shot. I couldn't see anything there (I could definitely see something there with The Boy), and asked her opinion but of course she just smiled and said she wasn't trained to be a stenographer (is that right?) so she really couldn't guess. But based on the shot I saw, I would have guessed girl. But wait...we aren't done yet!

So I go outside the room and am standing there while she checks my urine (to determine if I need to do a blood draw) and I run into my favorite nurse that was with me all during The Boy's pregnancy and was the one who treated my blood pressure issues last time (see last post). She asks why I am there and I tell her blood pressure and she freaks and we talk about's fine...etc... So she asks if I know what I'm having yet and I tell her that no, they are making me wait until next Friday but that the other nurse and I just tried to take a peek but that the other nurse wasn't talking. She said, "Well do you mind if I take a peek?" Mind?!?! Um...NO! She said that after all we had been through together she deserved to be the first one to find out. (Have I mentioned how much I love her?) I whole heartedly agreed. So she told me to go back out into the waiting room and as soon as one of the rooms opened up she would call me and we would get a "sneak peek."

How happy and excited was I? So I will skip over the rest of the details to the part you are all dying to appears to BE A GIRL!!! She said she was about 95% sure. The little bugger was moving all over the place and every time she got the exact crotch shot to see the "hamburger" (apparently they either look for a hot dog [boy] or a hamburger [girl]), the little sucker moved. But she saw it two different times. And we had plenty of open legged shots to look at, and neither one of us, during all of those shots, ever saw a penis. And like I said, it was blatantly obvious with The Boy. And what I saw with The Boy was definitely not there. Now since this was all on the DL (down low), it isn't official. But it looks like I am having a little girl. Holy crap. I am so excited I might die. A little boy and a little girl. The perfect family. I am still hesitant to believe it for sure, but it is pretty darn close. A little girl. MY little girl. My perfect little daughter. I can't believe it. I haven't even told any family (except of course my mother who screamed first, and cried second), but all my internet friends get to know. We find out for sure on the 19th, but it looks like a girl. Wow...

Monday, December 8, 2008

Diamonds In The Sky

I had a pretty typical pregnancy with The Boy. Typical, that is, until around week 32 of pregnancy. I went in for a normal checkup and my doctor proclaimed that she didn't like my blood pressure. "Well it probably isn't your biggest fan either," I thought back. I have never in my life had any issues with blood pressure so I really didn't think twice about it. Until about halfway through the appointment she brought in the damn cuff thing and insisted on taking it again. And then she made that face when it finally beeped. Apparently they still weren't going to be friends. It was only after the third "cuff experience" and when she got out her prescription pad that I realized that this may be something a little out of the ordinary. She told me that my pressure was too high for her liking and she wanted to put me on some (totally safe during pregnancy) high blood pressure medication. Okay, no biggie. We have a little problem, but nothing that a little pill can't fix. So I went home and sent The Ex back a few hours later to pick up the meds. The pharmacist gave The Ex very strict instructions about how I was to proceed. I guess since it was after 3:00 or something I had to take a pill when she got home, and then set an alarm to wake up at midnight to take another one--Excuse me?!? Wake up a pregnant lady who doesn't sleep anyway? TOTALLY RUDE!! But I did it, of course, because I am nothing if not a model patient. And then finally take another one at 9:00 the next morning and then continue following the dosage instructions on the bottle. Okay, got it. No biggie. My doctor had also had me schedule a follow up appointment the next day to check and see if it was working.

So I did all of the above and arrived for my follow up appointment at around 10:00 the next morning. Apparently that was a good thing. I guess the pharmacist had OD'ed me on the pills and had made me take WAY too many and right around the time I was doing a NST on the baby (non-stress test), my blood pressure crashed. Like seriously crashed. I remember feeling vaguely like I was going to barf, and then like I was going to pass out, and then like I had felt years before in college when I had sucked in the air from one of those big balloons at a Dead Show. I felt like I was somewhere in another room and I could hear all the doctors and nurses FREAKING OUT somewhere in the distant future and them yelling at me to "stay with them" and I just remember trying to focus on the sounds of my baby's heart beats from the stress test. They made me drink some caffeinated tea (I don't ever drink caffeine) and I think they gave me IV fluids or something, but I eventually came around.

It was decided that I was to cease and desist on that medication IMMEDIATELY, if not sooner. Then I was promptly put on bed rest. I am not sure why I wasn't more concerned about what was happening but I remember my biggest emotion being that I was NOT anywhere near ready to go on maternity leave yet. I am self employed and I needed to work right up until I pushed the sucker out. So I didn't think at all about what was going on in my body (defense mechanism perhaps?), but only about what an inconvenience this all was. And from that moment until the moment I delivered The Boy I wasn't allowed to be alone. That was annoying as well. I was either at home with The Ex, or at my mom's house. BOORRRING!!!

After many tests and checks and even more questions, I learned something about blood pressure. I learned, that for my body in particular, apparently the only signs of something being amiss was what I called "diamonds in the sky." I would see what looked like little lights, or diamonds, flashing around my head. It would happen for only about 10 seconds and then they would go away. I didn't think anything of them. I thought they were a fancy "pregnancy side effect" like all the other charming things that happen to your body when you're pregnant, but certainly nothing to worry about. They were pretty. I kinda liked them. But apparently they were a sign that things were not so good in blood pressure land.

Considering the bed rest, and considering that The Boy was born almost 3 weeks early, via an emergency c-section all based on this whole blood pressure thing, I have now come to understand that this is no good. No good indeed. When I got pregnant this time around I started googling what to do to avoid high blood pressure. See this time? This time I have a 3 year old. And this time I am single. The whole bed rest thing REALLY won't work for me this time around. So I need to avoid it at all cost.

So last week when I was furiously trying to get out the door of a client's office after carrying boxes and computers back to his office, and trying to cut checks in under two minutes time, I decided to freak the hell out when I saw my little friendly "diamonds in the sky." I called my mother immediately and told her to bring over her blood pressure cuff to my house because, HOLY CRAP, it just happened again and I am only 18 weeks pregnant. So she did, and I took my blood pressure and it was perfect. Totally normal. I continued to take it at random times for like 3 days "just to make sure" and it was always fine. Lovely, in fact. So when, three days later I was driving to pick up The Boy from school and I saw what could have been "diamonds in the sky," it was so brief that I might have mistaken it. And just to be sure, I took my pressure again when I got home and it was fine. I must have been seeing things. Everything is dandy. And even if something is going on, as soon as I chill the hell out again, things go back to normal.

So yesterday I was sitting in a big comfy chair with The Boy, watching a movie, sipping my morning cup of chai tea (decaf, of course), and I saw the damned diamonds in the sky again. What the hell? I could not be more relaxed if I tried. Fortunately I had the handy-dandy cuff thing so I grabbed it and took my pressure. The reading on the right arm was 97 over 67. Huh? What the hell is that? Must be a mistake. So I take it again on the left arm and it went up slightly to 107 over 70. What the hell? Is low blood pressure a bad thing? So I hopped up and did some laundry and called my mom to alert her (she freaked out and told me that low blood pressure is indeed bad. They apparently want the stuff RIGHT on all the time...seems a little overly ambitious if you ask me...) and then sat down to take it again. So like 15 minutes later and after a phone call with my mother and some laundry and it was 117 over 82 again. Lovely. What the hell is going on? And do I need to be concerned?

Edited to add: Because my mother called and yelled at me to follow through, I called my OB's office and they want me to come in tomorrow morning for a check up.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

It's Officially Christmas In My House

Not to sound too much like an annoying parent, but it was another wonderful weekend in our house. The Boy is having SO much fun with the holiday season and it just makes me so happy to watch him. As noted on my previous post, we spent Friday visiting The Boy's old daycare providers. They turned into good friends over the period of time that The Boy was with them. Right around his second birthday they decided they were going to be done doing daycare (oh, such a sad day that was for me...), after over 30 years of doing it, and they were going to sell their house and move down to the beach. And that is exactly what they did. They ended up buying a GORGEOUS house about a 10 minute drive from their favorite beach. So we went down there on Friday to have lunch and visit with them. And as you saw from the pictures, we swung by the beach on our way back out of town. It was great to see them and was a fabulous day. Then, as per usual, the gay boyfriends came over for dinner on Friday night and we had a little fondue party. Some Christmas music and a fire in the fireplace made it perfect.

Then on Saturday The Boy went over to my mom's house so I could get some work done. I am completely swamped at work and needed about 4 hours to do some serious catch up. He was thrilled to death to spend the morning with his Gigi and Poppy and went with them on all their errands, charming everyone in his path. Once he woke up from his nap, The Ex and I drove over to my mom's house and we all went to "cut down" a Christmas tree. I used to make a whole day trip of it and go up into the mountains and actually cut down a tree. However the last couple of years, with a small child in tow, it has been just as fabulous to head to the local nursery and get our tree there. Surprisingly, the trees bought from the nursery seem to last MUCH longer and don't get dry nearly as fast as those I got when I was cutting them down. Go figure. But The Boy had a blast. He ran from tree to tree yelling, "Dis one Mommy?" "NO! Too small. How 'bout dis one?" It was adorable. We got our tree and headed home. The Ex was nice enough to put the tree in the stand for me and I was able to get the lights on Saturday night before it was time for The Boy to head to bed. He only agreed to go to bed based on the fact that he would get to do "ornments" the next day.

Sunday I finally got a chance to meet up with some friends of mine that I have been trying to see for ages. They are a lesbian couple and have a beautiful little daughter who is 4 months old. I had not seen them in at least 5 years so it was great to reconnect with them and meet their little girl. I really want The Boy to have some other people in his world that have "two Mommies" so it was great to reconnect with a couple similar to what he knows as his own family.

After nap time it was finally time to decorate the Christmas tree. He was so excited. The first words out of his mouth when I went in to get him after his nap was, "ornments now Mommy? Pees?" He really got into it this year. He wanted a step stool so he could put the ornaments in all the "right places." Here he is focusing on the job at hand...
And just in case you think that he was all seriousness about his task, take a look at proof that he is still the goofball he has always been:
And just a little amusing story... The Boy seems to be at the fun phase where he has learned to take off his clothes by himself. Of course he does this at the least ideal times. He did it Friday at lunch with his daycare ladies. We were all sitting in the dining room finishing and he had gone back into another room to play and he came running out, totally naked except his socks and shoes and yelled, "Surprise!" Charming... And then last night he went to bed at his normal time (8:00pm) and I heard him chatting on the monitor for a while, which is totally normal so I didn't even bother to look at the monitor (we have a video monitor). I headed back to bed around 9:45ish and noticed that he was still making random noises from his room. I always go in to check on him and cover him before I go to bed, so I went into his room to do that. I found a naked boy laying in his bed going, "...cold...Mommy...cold..." Um yeah, ya think so? It's December child! So I went to change his diaper and get him dressed and, of course, my hands were freezing so he yelled at me that I made him cold. He curled up on the changing table in the fetal position and said to himself, "nice and warm...nice and warm..." like some sort of mantra. He was cracking me up. So I finally got him dressed and put his blankets over him and said, "Please leave your jammies on so you can stay warm. Mommy is going to bed now." "Okay Mommy," he replied. "I no do it again. Too cold!" And with that he shut his eyes and went to sleep.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

I Love California

Wow, this is my 100th post.  Time goes by so quickly doesn't it?  I wish I had some fabulously planned post where I could talk about some wonderful topic, but alas I don't.  It is a busy weekend here and I only have time to say how wonderful it is live where I live.  I really am quite lucky.  Where else can you spend your Friday going down to the beach, where it is 75 degrees outside, and then spend your Saturday cutting down your Christmas tree?  I pay a hefty amount for the privilege of living here, but on weekends like this, it is all worth it.  Here are a couple of shots of The Boy at the beach.  Next post will include some Christmas shots.  Have a greet weekend everyone!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Let's Talk About Sex...

...the sex of my unborn child that is. What? You thought I meant something else? I wish. There are probably not a lot of people around who are 18 weeks pregnant and who can say they haven't had sex in almost a year. I am so proud... Anyway, I digress...

Obviously one of the most common questions when pregnant is about the sex of your baby. "Are you going to find out?" (YES!!!), "Do you have a preference?" (Well...that one isn't as easy). I wrote a long time ago about how I felt about having another boy versus a girl and apparently I wasn't very clear. In fact, apparently I sounded like an asshole. I have friends who have girls and I guess I sounded very ANTI girl. That totally wasn't my intention. In fact, I will throw this out there right now: If I could choose the sex of my child, I would choose a girl. So clearly, I am not ANTI girl. Let me try and explain.

I am not now, nor have ever been, a "girly girl." I hate shopping, I dress completely for comfort and usually rely of the people around me to make sure I don't look like someone who has bought her entire wardrobe at K Mart (no offense meant). In fact I recently told one of my friends that I end up shopping at expensive places and spending large amounts of money simply because I am not good it. I cannot rifle through racks upon racks of clothing to find that one "diamond in the rough" that I just know will look perfect with those jeans I have at home. Nope, can't do it. I need a pretty little mannequin dressed up in front of me with an outfit that I think, "Huh. I like that" to make me buy something. I then purchase exactly what said mannequin is wearing and will wear that outfit and that outfit only. No mixing and matching. I have no idea how to do it and frankly I don't really have the desire to learn.

I also have no clue about hair and makeup. My Aunt once taught me how to apply eyeshadow a LONG time ago and that is the same eyeshadow I still use and I still apply it in the same manner (that is when I actually wear eyeshadow, which is rare). I don't vary on the color and wouldn't know what to do with a new brand or type if you gave it to me. I get my hair done by a fabulous gay boyfriend that makes ALL the decisions. If he feels it is time to go darker, I go darker. If he feels it is time for a cut, then it gets cut. I leave all the decisions up to him and trust that he will make sure I won't look like an ass. He knows that I can basically blow dry my hair (while using my hands as a comb; that whole brush thing to actually style it is out of the question), and that after that I can manage a flat iron. Other than that, I can't do it, so don't give me a style that needs to be "done" everyday. Again, I could probably take the time to learn, but really, just don't care.

So when I say that raising a little girl scares me, this is why. I know that my luck would give me the most "girly girl" in the entire planet. She would want her fingernails painted. She would want her hair done. There would be some sort of glitter involved. And dear God, I am sure if would have something to do with "princesses." This, quite literally, SCARES.THE.SHIT.OUT.OF.ME. Now if you have read my blog at all you know that I love my children with a fierceness that cannot be rivaled. So to have a daughter that needs these things from me, and a Mommy who is quite incapable of providing such things, scares me. I want to give my child the world. And if that world involved glitter and hair-do's, well then I am afraid I might end up lacking. So when I say I am scared of raising a little girl, that is mostly why.

BUT. And there is a large "but." I do want a daughter. My mom and I have the most amazing relationship there is. And she has that with her mother. To miss out on that special mother/daughter relationship makes me sad. I would miss having a child that will one day have her OWN children. I would miss keeping that bond forever and hopefully ending up with a relationship similar to that which I enjoy with my mom. You know the saying, "A daughter is a daughter for life, but a son is only a son until he takes a wife?" Well, I don't want that to be true. But I have to say, I am probably a lot closer with my mom than my brother is. That isn't to say they don't have a great relationship, but it is different. So I would absolutely LOVE to have a daughter. I am just afraid of having a daughter. Does that make sense?

On the flip side, a boy would be just wonderful. I have saved every article of clothing The Boy has ever worn. And I have every toy he has ever touched. And the clothing and hair issue? Good to go. I am good with jeans and t-shirts. I can handle a boy haircut. Not to stereotype, but so far my boy is not interested in glitter and/or princesses. I can do trucks and trains and tools. I understand that. It comes easily to me. Not to mention that I have already lived through (almost) three years of raising a boy. So I feel as though I am somewhat prepared. Plus, I have heard that there is something very special between same-sex siblings. I don't have a real sister, so I wouldn't know, but for my boy to have a brother would be an amazing thing. I know they wouldn't necessarily be best friends and I have no expectations for that, but I think he would love to have a little brother.

Plus, one other thing for me to consider is how my household will shape up in the future. God willing, I will not be single for the rest of the time I am raising these children. I hope to meet someone and fall in love and hopefully raise my/our families together. This other person will be a woman. So for my son to have two Mommy's, then a sister, and then him...well he will be the ONLY male in the house. I kind of think it would be nice to have a brother so that their testosterone can balance out the female energy in the house. He won't feel so alone in his "boyness."

Obviously all the "what if's" in the world make no difference. Whatever is inside of me is already there. And I love him or her no matter what. So when people ask that question of "do you have a preference?" my answer really is, no I do not. I see great things and scary things about both of them. I am going to have whatever I was meant to have. If it is another little boy, I will be thrilled beyond belief. And if I end up with the daughter that I have dreamed of, then I will be thrilled as well. They are both new and exciting in ways that I can't have even thought of yet. But we will know soon...

December 19th people. That is the day we find out. December 19th at 10:55am. Just about two and a half weeks from now... I can't wait!!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

A Full Heart

Just a quick post to share how amazing my little boy is.  After a long weekend of visitors and social events tonight was the first night that I was alone with my boy.  I decided that we would have movie night and watch the original Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.  This is the first year that he has any real grasp of Christmas so I am trying to show him as many traditions as we can.  I wasn't sure if he would be into watching it, but he was.  He watched the entire thing intently and when it was over he kept yelling "More Mommy!"  He loved it.  The "snow monster" apparently stayed with him and he has been playing snow monster for the rest of the evening.  He even walked up to me and said, "Mommy, I yike Rudolph."  So f-ing sweet he kills me.

Then as we were winding down for bed he said "I put Mommy bed."  He went into his room and got his Lambie out of his bed.  He brought it out and put it next to my head and told me, "Cose da eyes Mommy, cose eyes."  So I did and I pretended to snore.  He then stood next to my chair and rubbed my shoulder and sang You Are My Sunshine (I sing him that every night before he goes to sleep).  Then he climbed up on my chair and leaned over and kissed my cheek.  Then he stood next to my chair and kissed his hand and then placed it on my lips.  Then he whispered, "Goodnight Mommy, Goodnight my yove" and he walked away.

This is the exact routine that I do every single night before I leave him in his bed for the night.  Half the time he is playing and (it seems) not paying attention to what is going on but he clearly gets it.  And he repeated it tonight to put me to sleep.  This little boy is the sweetest, most wonderful little being on the entire planet and I feel so blessed to be able to be a part of his life.  My heart is full indeed.

Friday, November 28, 2008


So the holiday season is upon us.  The holidays are always a mixed bag for me.  On the one hand, I am hugely aware of how lucky I am and all the amazing people that surround my family during the holiday season.  On the other hand, well...the holidays are always stressful.  Lots of time with family members and lots of time to think about how my family isn't how I would want to define it.

Growing up my parents divorced when I was 8 years old.  And they switched with another couple.  Yes, you read that right.  My step dad and my step mom used to be married.  There was my mom and Dad, and their best friends down the street J and C.  Now my mom's married to J, and my Dad's married to C.  It sounds like it would be a nice little happy switch, but that isn't how it went down at all.  It was nasty and ugly and horrific in every sense of the word.  I tell you this not to take a trip down memory lane, but to possibly give you a glimpse into why I am the way that I am.  Once I "grew up" I just knew that I would NEVER get divorced.  No way in hell.  Especially if there were kids involved.  I would do everything in my power to make sure that my children NEVER went through what I went through as a kid.  And believe me, I did.  I worked my ASS off to try and save my relationship.  I hung in there far longer than I probably should have and spent countless hours in therapy trying to do something...anything! to make it work.  And you know what?  Sometimes things are out of our control.  It takes two people to make a relationship work.  And no matter how hard one person wants it, he/she can't do it alone.  And sometimes the best case scenario becomes to walk away and try and keep things civil and friendly for your children's sake.  So I did.  We did.  But it still haunts me.  I SWORE I would not end up like my parents, yet here I am.  Absolutely kills me.  Part of what I had to learn how to do in therapy was not only to mourn my loss of a relationship, but also to learn that it was okay to move on after "failing" in my relationship.  And I had to learn that even though I had to give up on my dream of a perfect, long-lasting relationship, that didn't mean I had to give up on ALL of my dreams.

When my parents got divorced my brother went to live with my Dad (along with 3 other kids that are my step brothers and sisters), and I went to live with my mom.  By myself.  So I not only lost my parents being together, I also sort of lost a sibling.  This has had a profound affect on my life as well.  I grew up with a big brother until I was 8.  From then on, I grew up as an only child.  And you know what?  Being an only child was lonely for me.  I know it isn't that way for everyone, but for me, it was.  I missed my brother.  I missed having someone to wreak havoc with on family vacations.  I missed running down the stairs to see what Santa brought with him on Christmas.  I missed talking back and forth between the walls of our bedroom after our parents had put us to sleep at night.  I was a lonely kid.  And after my relationship broke up, it was almost more than I could bear to think that my son would grow up feeling lonely as well.  Not only had I failed on the relationship front, but I felt like I was failing my son as well by not being able to provide him a sibling.  After much thought and talking with my therapist, I decided I wasn't going to let that dream go.  And you all know how that brings me to where I am today.

But again, for the holiday season, I have been somewhat sad.  My life isn't how I wanted it.  Yes, I have SO MANY amazing things in my life, but I still feel somewhat stigmatized to be the single, pregnant lesbian at all the family functions.  My family is hugely supportive and wonderful, I should note, so this feeling comes purely from inside me.  But it is still there.  So as an exercise for myself, I am going to list what I am thankful for this Thanksgiving.

First and foremost, I am thankful for this:
And I am also very thankful to be almost halfway through what appears to be a normal and healthy pregnancy.  And I am SO thankful to be bringing a new little being into my family sometime around the end of April 2009.  And with that, here is your first belly shot, taken about a week ago at 16 weeks along:
Yes, I am huge.  Thank you for noticing.  I am short and so with both of my babies, I got VERY big, somewhat early on and just kept getting bigger.  It should be noted that I have gained less than 5 pounds so far in this pregnancy, so I swear, the majority of that is all baby.

I am thankful for my family.  So thankful.  Specifically my mom, my stepdad, my brother and his wife and all of my step siblings.  My dad and stepmom are also a great part of my life.  I have had issues with the step mother in the past, but we have mostly worked through them and I am thankful to be at a place of peace with her and able to enjoy my Dad as much as I do.

I am thankful for The Ex.  While we have gone through some rough times I still love her and always will.  We grew up together.  We fell in love and bought a house and started a family.  You can't do those things twice.  So I am glad that she and I did them together.  And I am thankful that although our relationship didn't ultimately work out, we fought hard to make sure that our son will never experience what we did growing up.  And I am thankful that we both make a commitment to put our son first and focus on him.

I am thankful for the extended family as well.  I am lucky enough to have both of my grandmothers still alive (ages 92 and 86) and healthy and a large part of our lives.  I have great aunts and uncles and amazing cousins.  And we are all thankful that we live in close proximity and are able to enjoy each other over the holidays.

My friends are the greatest.  I have several very close girl friends that I can call on for anything who will go through the tough times, as well as the great times with me.  On that note, I would like to congratulate the one of them who, after a long haul, is pregnant with twins and I could not be happier for her and her husband.   But seriously, my friends rock.  I love them with all that I am.

I am grateful to be healthy and to have all the above mentioned people healthy as well.  We sometimes take this for granted, but given what happened almost a year ago, I feel it is worth mentioning.

And as referenced above, I would like to end this post saying that I am thinking of my step brother C.  Last year, three days after Christmas he was driving home and got a flat tire.  He pulled over to the side of the road to change the tire and was hit by a truck driving by.  He was killed instantly.  He would have been 39 this year.  It was a major shock to all of our family and this has been a tough year for all of us.  Going through our first set of holidays without him has been hard, but it just makes me more thankful for all that we DO have.  Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Follow Up

I just wanted to thank everyone who commented on my last post.  Both through the comments here and through my email.  You all had respectful and insightful things to say.  That's one of the things I love about this blog.  I am not going to stop working for this client and I never really even considered doing so.  He is who he is and the fact is that I still do respect him for what he has done and achieved throughout his life.  He normally treats me with great respect, and I have no doubt that if he knew that I was gay, none of those things would have been said in front of me.  Don't get me wrong, they still would have been said, but most likely not in my presence.  

It was for that reason that I found the whole encounter so fascinating.  There was something about being able to hear, completely uncensored, what people like him think.  After the election and seeing all the signs and the facades that people put on, it was almost refreshing to hear the truth, as ugly as it was.  He wasn't hiding behind any religion, he wasn't talking about "saving families," he was being honest about how he felt about gay people in general.  I almost wish the people from the Yes on 8 campaign had had the balls to do what he did.  To try and spin it so that they were supposedly supporting families and what their kids would be taught in school was just ridiculous.  I may not like it, but I have to respect someone who just says it like it is.  And my client did that.  He said it like he saw it.  

One thing that I should point out is that while I was sitting at that desk listening to what they were saying, I really wasn't thinking about myself.  For some reason it wasn't as if he was talking directly about me.  But what I was thinking about was if my son had been sitting in that room hearing what I was hearing.  The Boy is still too young but at some point he will hear the words "gay" to describe his family and his Moms.  I sat there thinking about him hearing this and what his reaction would be.  That was a lot harder for me to swallow than if I was just hearing it for my ears alone.  I am very thankful that he didn't hear it but it did make me acutely aware of the fact that most likely at some point in his life he will hear his Moms described in some type of a negative fashion.  I just hope I have raised him to have the knowledge and strength to understand that we all have different opinions and ways of life and that that is okay.

And like I have always said, I do not expect all people to have the same morals and opinions that I do.  It really is what makes America great.  That sounds cheesy, but it is true.  The same thing that allows me to talk openly, on the internet no less, about my "gay lifestyle" and my child with another gay woman, are the same rights that allow him to speak as he did.  So while it was an uncomfortable situation for me, I am not taking it personal, and I am not wasting too much of my time thinking and dwelling on it.  I have an amazing little boy, I have another child on the way and I have a hugely supportive family that has loved me since the day I was born and will continue to love and support me throughout my entire life.  That is really all I need.

Monday, November 24, 2008

"We should take the chickens out, and put the gays in"

So as I was driving to my last client of the day I knew that I would be done and home about an hour before my boy was to return to the house.  As I drove I was compiling the happy, warm fuzzy blog post I was going to do about what a wonderful weekend we had together.  I was going to mention some of the truly sweet moments that make me smile and make me appreciate what being The Boy's Mommy means.  But then something happened at my client's office and now I have to turn my happy blog post into an angry lesbian rant post.  I apologize in advance for that, but it has to be done.

I should give a little bit of background.  I have mentioned before that I am a self employed bookkeeper for a living.  I have been doing this for about 10 years so at this point all of my new business comes from referrals.  I don't advertise and I don't answer ads anymore.  So about a year and a half ago I got a referral for a new client from an accountant I know.  At the time he warned me, "Um, you should probably know that this guy is very conservative and that he subscribes to the "Old Boys Club" kinda attitude..."  

"So keep the gay thing on the DL, is that what you're saying?" I asked him smiling.  He said I didn't have to necessarily do that, but he just wanted me to know that before meeting the guy.  Good to know.

He was absolutely right on in his assessment I would later find out.  This guy in particular has more money than God.  Seriously.  Like nothing I have ever worked with before.  And he and his "cronies" sit around a big table (very Sopranos like) and laugh loudly and tell jokes and talk about their guns etc...  So it would be fair to assume that they have very different lifestyles, and most definitely politics, than my own.  I should also interject that I happen to like this guy.  He is a hard working man who has earned every penny of his money.  I respect that.  He has always treated me fairly and has even referred me to two other people for work.  

I have mentioned before on this blog that I am not someone who gets up on my soapbox and tries to convince people of how they should think and how they should live.  Therefore my normal practice when I get a new client is to kind of assess who they are and what they believe in and then divulge as much or as little about my life as is needed.  I think it goes without saying that I have never told this guy I am gay.  He knows I have a small child, and he knows that currently I am a single mother.  He just assumes that my previous relationship was with a man.  I never correct him.  In fact it is for this reason that this client was the LAST person that I told I was pregnant.  I was very nervous about telling him.  And, it turns out, for good reason.  I believe his reaction was, "WHAT?!?!  Didn't plan very well on that one, did you?"  I answered, "Yes, actually this was planned."  He said, "Well then apparently you have some sort of man in your life, I presume?"  I answered, "Actually it wasn't about that.  It was very important to me that my son have a sibling..."  He then cut me off and said something to the extent of, "Well, I certainly hope you make better decisions with my money than you do with your own life."  Nice.  I moved on and we haven't spoken of it since.

Okay, enough back story.  So I get into his office today and am sitting at his desk working away.  Most of the time he leaves when I get there, but he was hanging around today chatting with people.  There was two other people in his office at this time and I believe the conversation started with something to the effect of, "Well I have been around a long time and I have never seen the economy look like this..."  

Someone else (a woman; no clue who she is) said, "Well, didn't your pick for President win?" She says this laughing...  

"HA!" comes the reaction from my client.  

Other guy in the room (OG) chimes in and says, "Out of all the things I voted for in this election, only 1 thing won or passed.  And that was prop 8!"  HA HA HA all around for all three of them.  

Woman says, "The only thing I voted for that won besides prop 8 was the chickens."  

Client man says, "The chickens?  I believe in free market and if people want to shell out their money for organic chickens, so be it.  I don't think we need to change anything because the poor little chickens are kept in cages that are too small..."  

Then OG says, "I have a friend who has a chicken farm and they aren't kept in cages.  Pens, yes, but cages, no."  "Plus," he goes on to say, "The people who are mad about the cages?  The gays!  The gays are pissed off because apparently California likes the chickens better than they like the gays!"  HA HA HA HA  "They should throw the gays in those cages; that'll teach 'em!"

Client pipes up, "Well that's pretty much where they belong anyway.  Don't they know that the people already voted on this issue?  And for some dumb-ass liberal judges (CA Supreme Court) to come in and overturn that is just ridiculous.  We just had to shoot them down again.  But it isn't over.  Those gays will never let this issue die.  We just have to keep shooting them down...  We should put them in the cages just so we don't have to keep fighting the issue."

I could go on but I assume you get the drift of it.  Holy shit.  Never in my life have I been in this kind of a situation before.  Now I am sure there are a bunch of you out there who think I should have turned around, stood up in their faces and told them what a bunch of bigoted assholes they really are.  But I didn't.  Because really, what would that have done?  Would that have changed their opinions about anything?  Would it have shown them that someone they like, and have recommended to other people, is not harming their little society in the slightest?  I think not.  It wouldn't have changed a thing.  Except maybe my job.  So I kept my back turned towards my work, felt about an inch tall, and more uncomfortable than I have possibly ever been in my entire life, and then I went home.  On the way out I thought about the moral dilemma.  Do I want to work for people like this?  I don't really have to.  Fortunately I have a pretty large business and enough contacts that I could probably quit this client (and the two others that he has recommended that share his politics and views on life) and find new ones.  But isn't that kind of cutting off my nose despite my face?  Who does that hurt?  Who does that teach a lesson to?  Not my client.  He doesn't care.  He certainly wouldn't think any differently about his politics or morals based on my quitting because he is an ass.  In fact it would probably support his claim about gays because I wouldn't have enough of a backbone to take a little criticism.  I had to quit and run away.  But wow, it was a weird situation.  Never in my life have I sat in a room and listened to someone talk about me (even if they didn't know they were talking about me) and my family in that way.

As I have stated on this blog, prop 8 was really the only thing that I felt strongly enough to break my "no politics" rule about my blog.  And for the life of me, I honestly couldn't understand why people would vote yes on prop 8.  I really didn't get it.  And today I was surrounded by people who "explained" it to me.  Granted no one in that room knew or knows that I am gay so they can't be blamed for knowingly saying those things in front of me.  It was like I was a fly on a wall.  And if only I could have flown away.  I can't believe that, in California, in 2008, that people still think like this.  But they do.  And apparently I work for them.