Tag Archives: family

a new school year begins

Monkey started at his new school 8/29. It is on the way to work for me so I’m now doing the drop offs. It’s been awesome having that extra 15 minutes together at the start of the day. It took a couple of days walking him in to his classroom until he felt confident that he could find it himself. His teacher is new to teaching and to the school and seems very excited and motivated. So far, homework seems to be less than in Kindergarten, which I’m happy about, but I’d still prefer no homework in these low grades (aside from reading). Unprompted, Monkey told me recently that he, “Really likes [new school].” Yay! His school is also very diverse, which we are thrilled with and we feel confident that any issues he may encounter having a two-mom family will be dealt with swiftly.

On that note, I had both boys at the local park with me Sunday and there was a party in the rec room there for a church. All of the attendees were black, which whatever but it is a critical part of the story, so I mention it. Monkey was swinging and there was an older boy swinging next to him. I noticed a few younger boys about Monkey’s age come onto the playground and said, “Hey, look! Those boys look your age. You should go play!” To which he responded (to my absolute astonishment and HORROR), “But they all have brown skin. I can’t play with them.” OMFG I wanted to slink away, especially with the older boy sitting RIGHT THERE. I quickly told Monkey that that didn’t matter, of course he can play with them – they are kids just like he is! Since then, we’ve had more pointed conversations about race and diversity and OMG. I have no idea where it came from and it made me feel like we have failed on some level. I’m now on the hunt for books to talk more about this topic. DW and I are still a bit shaken!

We finally converted Monkey’s carseat to a high-backed booster (he’s been in the 5-point harness). When the MM is with him in the car, we feared that Monkey would be tempted to move in ways that would make it dangerous. I’m still not totally sure he is ready maturity-wise, but he’s excited about it and so far, so good. We tell him that if he’s unable to sit in his seat properly, we’ll have to go back to the old seat and that is working for now.

The MM started preschool yesterday (sob). I couldn’t be there as both boys have to be at their respective schools at the same time, so that pretty much sucked. DW reported that there were no tears and he immediately started playing trains and was fine when she left. When she picked him up, he told her he was sad to leave, so I’d say it’s going well. Today he was a little clingy but still managed to get down and play and shed no tears.

It really hit me yesterday that we are pretty well out of the baby years. I’m feeling rather sad about it, but I’m also excited to see what the next stage brings. If I weren’t an old woman, I might very well have pushed for another, but it is not to be. DW says she would NEVER have let that happen, so I guess we were always done at two. Those who’ve been with me for a long time know how difficult it actually was for us to get to number two, so she’s probably right. It’s so hard to believe that the whole TTC/pregnancy/newborn/nursing stage is truly and finally over. It was so all-consuming and now it seems so distant, you know? When you’re in it, you feel like you’ll be there forever. Sigh.

DW is heading to Los Angeles to visit her mom Friday-Thursday. My mom is coming to help with the kids and keep me company. I told her she could come Sunday afternoon/evening and she was like, “What? I’m coming Friday!” LOL. I expect a lot of HG.TV will be watched and family gossip exchanged. My dad took a trip to Ireland last week, so I’m sure I’ll hear all about that. Can you believe my good ole boy dad left the US? Only took him 64 years – lol.

I’m super happy to be heading into fall and to be somewhere that actually has a fall! Ready for boots, sweaters, pumpkin patches, costumes, candy and turkey dinners! Happy fall, y’all!

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2015: an overview

Since I rarely blog anymore and I like to use my blog to travel back in time and reminisce, I thought I’d do a 2015 timeline entry. 2015 was a pretty huge year for us.

January

  • Packed up all of our stuff and moved our family (including our 3 cats) from Los Angeles, CA, to Raleigh, NC (1/22)

February

  • Found our home (2/8)
    We went from 1300 sq feet, 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms to 2600 sq feet, 3 (incredibly large) bedrooms, 3 bathrooms and a YARD!
  • Experienced our first NC snow – first time either boy had seen snow (2/24)

March

  • Monkey started at a new preschool…
    …which was a disaster.
  • Monkey quit the new preschool

April

  • First Easter with cousins in SC (4/5)
  • Monkey loses first tooth (4/10)
  • Moved into new house (4/26)
  • The MM turned 2 (4/29)
    It was a quiet affair at home with balloons, gifts and cake. It was enough of a feat to get the sunroom orderly enough to put his new train table there.

May

  • The MM’s first hospital procedure/got front teeth capped (5/15)I didn’t blog or FB about this because I was actually rather embarrassed. The MM had some discoloration on his top 4 front teeth, so I took him in to the dentist for the first time in April. Turned out that it was decay (!!) and they recommended capping them. Since he was so young, it needed to be done under anesthesia (!!) in a local hospital (!!!!). I was freaked out about it, of course, so I got a second opinion, and, yes, this was the recommended course of action. I called every local ped dentist to see if there was anyone who could do this in their office and nope.I took him in super early in the AM after an overnight fast. They put us in a room to wait. They wait until they are in the OR to give gas to get them out quickly and then do IV, procedure. Then one of the worst things ever – they took him screaming and crying from my arms to the OR. It. Was. Awful. I waited for an excruciating 1.5 hours and then they brought me back to hold him as he came to. Again, just awful. He was so upset and disoriented. I nursed him, took him home, and put him to bed. He slept for a few hours (with constant Mama checks) and then woke up and was absolutely fine. And that was that. The capped teeth will fall out as normal when his permanent teeth start coming in.The dentist blamed my nursing him overnight as the cause of the decay, which is why I felt embarrassed and ashamed. I’ve read that breastmilk doesn’t pool in the mouth and lead to this problem like formula from a bottle overnight does. Who knows. I just know that I did what felt right for him and for me and that’s that.

July

  • Our first ER visit: The MM gets stitches (7/9)How we made it 5 years without an ER visit is beyond me. This one happened because Monkey was chasing the MM through the house and of course the MM fell right on the edge of the fireplace (Note: We’ve since purchased guards for the edge.) DW tried cleaning him up but we quickly saw that his poor lip was split. I first took him to Urgent Care as they said they do stitches. On arrival, however, they said since it was on the face, they wanted us to go to the ER.The MM was a freaking rock star. First they applied topical numbing cream with a cotton ball taped to his lip. Then they did some sort of nose spray that makes you very woozy and out of it. Lastly they sewed up his lip. Dude didn’t even cry during the stitches and barely did for the other stuff.He did great! And now he has a small bad ass scar on his upper lip. Dude has been through it this year.
  • Monkey started Kindergarten (7/7)

August

  • Trip to Wilmington (8/10)
    First time to NC beach for any of us. Granny came along (my mom). We went to the beach (but only for one day as the kids really wanted to be in the pool at the hotel), did a lot of swimming in the pool, visited the USS NC Battleship and NC Aquarium, and Mama and Mommy went out for dinner did the Ghost Tour.

September

  • Baseball for Monkey!

    This was actually t-ball, but ended up being coaches pitching. Monkey was much more focused and into it than he ever has been and did well. We found a great league nearby and loved Monkey’s coach (a former NY Yankees player!). We found that out when the team was invited to coaches’ house for a post-season wrap up. Dude lives in a freaking $2 milion dollar home! Cray. We just signed up for Spring ball and are really hopeful we are on his team again (his son is the same age as Monkey).

October

  • Color Run (10/3)
    Monkey LOVES to run and this seemed like something he’d enjoy. Did he ever! The whole family went but only Monkey and I did the actual run (let’s be real, Mama mostly walked). We got covered head to toe in colored powder, much to Monkey’s delight. Afterwards, they had a big dance party where they handed out more color packs and everyone got even more covered in color. On our walk to the car, there was a powder station that a bunch of kids were playing at (purple powder EVERYWHERE), so we stopped and let the kids go to town. You guys, they were seriously covered in purple powder. They loved it. Monkey still asks when we can do it again. LOL.
  • NC State Fair (10/17)
    Meh, we are not really fair fans, but the fairgrounds are super close and everyone said you must experience it. It was hot, parking was hell, there was disgusting fair food, there were smelly buildings full of farm animals, and overpriced tickets to ride crappy rides. Kids loved it – Mamas, not so much. Mommy was like, “We aren’t doing that again.” I was like, “You know you’re dreaming, right? We have kids!” LOL!
  • Mama starts new job (at same company)
  • First Halloween in new house
    In LA we lived in a security condo building so we never got trick-or-treaters. Monkey thoroughly enjoyed handing out candy. In fact, he cut his own TOTing short so that he could go home and hand out candy. DW also really did up the house for Halloween. Orange lights around posts on front porch, skeleton lights along front walkway, tombstones and flashing lights in yard, and spooky sounds via a speaker in the front window. Pretty impressive 🙂

November

  • Mommy’s band plays first gig
  • Mama has work trip to LA – first time away from the MM overnight (11/17-11/19)
    Highlights included staying at The Standard hotel, going to The Broad museum, partying on my last night there with my old gay work boyfriend (we did drinks at the rooftop bar at The Standard, hit Clifton’s for dinner, and walked around downtown LA, which is really lovely these days). Bonus? I was not at all homesick for LA – I was totally ready to come home to NC 🙂
  • Wean the MM (11/17)
  • First Thanksgiving with my family in SC

December

  • Monkey turned 6 (12/21)
    No party or huge activity planned this year, which ended up making Monkey sad. We hit up the local kid’s museum, went out for brunch and went to the trampoline place. Then home for gifts, dinner and cake. Next year we’ll do a party at our place.
  • First Christmas in new house
  • Mommy visited Grandma in LA (12/26-12/29)
  • Mama and boys visited family in SC (12/26-12/28)
    Highlights include exchanging gifts with family, visiting the Riverbanks Zoo with cousins, and seeing The Good Dinosaur.

So far, we’ve had a pretty busy January 2016 as well!

  • The MM saw his first movie in the theater – Hotel Transylvania 2 (1/3)
    We have a $2 theater near our house so we thought we’d try it. He did great and we’ve already been back to see The Peanuts movie, too.
  • Monkey received a character award at school for Respect (1/8)
    There were around 6 total character awards per grade. Very proud!
  • Toured and applied to a magnet school for Monkey for first grade (we find out if he got in 2/5)
  • Had our first snow in our new house (1/17)
  • Scheduled a tour of a local pre-school for the MM for next August (1/22)
  • Monkey’s first school performance (1/22)
  • Roller skating for the first time  for a school fundraiser (1/30)
  • Mommy’s band has scheduled their second show (2/6)
  • Researching soccer and/or karate options for the MM, and track options for Monkey
  • Work on potty training the MM (ughhhhhh)

Whew! Non-stop action over here.

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summer bucket list round-up

Dude. Summer, the bucket list, and this blog are getting away from me. Since I last updated, we have crossed a few more items off the list, but we have several that I’m afraid will be slipping into fall…

We went to the beach in South Carolina for a week at the end of July and had a lot of fun. Monkey and his 8 year old cousin had a great time, meaning that they made it kind of miserable for the rest of us. Bouncing off the walls, not listening, just running wild. I had to remind myself and others of how super annoying my cousins and I were around that age and what incredible fun we had back in the day. Monkey is still talking about his cousins and missing them. All’s well that ends well, I guess! We visited the Serpentarium and Botany Bay – our yearly excursions.

Monkey feeding turtles at the Serpentarium

serpent

 

Granny and MM at Botany Bay

bbay

Mama and Mommy had two dinners out – woot! We also discovered the joy of Firefly sweet tea flavored vodka and lemonade. Highly recommended!

We spent every day on the beach and in the water. The MM took daily beach naps, mostly on me but on my mom one day as well (she was in heaven).

Our beach setup

beach

 

Cousins on the beach

cousins

While we were in SC, we had a rented golfcart for the week so we can strike that one off the list as well. It is a life-saver as an activity that the kids love and the adults have fun with, too, when you’re not on the beach. Every evening we’d put the kids to bed and have cocktails and play games. The new favorite this year was Telestrations. A combination of Pictionary and Telephone – super fun and funny!

Boys passed out after day at the beach

asleep asleep2 asleep3

It was great to catch up with family (my parents, my brother/sil/kids, aunt, cousin, 2nd cousin) and we dropped the news to them that we are interested in relocating, probably to the Southeast. This will tell me who is actually reading this blog 🙂 Yes, we’ve decided that we really need to leave SoCal – too expensive, unappealing school options, etc. I’ll do another entry on this later, but figured I’d drop it here since it was a big deal to let my family in on it. Yes, they are all working on helping me find a job already 🙂

In terms of the bucket list items that are not crossed off the list, I am still holding tickets for the local trampoline jumping place and we also have a certificate for dance classes for Monkey (Hip Hop!), so those will be happening in the coming weeks. I’m bummed that we never made Gym.bor.ee classes happen for my little MM. I will be getting that going, too, as it can happen while Monkey is in school (he started his third and final year of preschool today). Monkey had a playdate last week at Noah’s Ark, which we’ve been to before and love, so another one off the list.

Total of  15 bucket list items complete. By the end of August, it’ll be more like 18. Not a bad tally!

Summer Bucket List

  • Trampoline place
  • Science Center to see the space shuttle (Endeavor)
  • Splash pad
  • Monkey attends camp for the first time
  • Swimming lessons
  • Dance classes
  • First Gymboree class for MM
  • Fly to the beach and spend a week playing with family
  • Ride in a golfcart
  • Wash Grandma’s car – not happening due to the drought here in CA
  • Go to the (local) beach
  • Touch a Truck event
  • Farmer’s Market
  • Drum circle
  • Plant flowers in pots on balcony – not happening due to the drought here in CA
  • Go miniature golfing
  • Go bowling
  • Visit Noah’s Ark
  • Go to Natural History Museum
  • Take the MM swimming for the first time
  • Mini vacation at fabulous resort on the beach (thanks, workplace!)
  • Go to the zoo
  • Go to the Getty
  • NEW: 4th of July parade
  • NEW: Go carts!
  • NEW: Visit a California Mission

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the perfect christmas present

Some of you are my Facebook friends and saw that I received a gift from my DW yesterday that brought on the waterworks and want to know what it is. So I’m telling you, my bloggy friends!

First a bit of backstory… We are big comic  book fans and about 10 years ago, DW got the idea to get commissions of ourselves from some of our favorite comic artists. One of those artists is Josh Howard, artist/writer of the great comic Dead @ 17. We absolutely loved the commission we got from him – it was our favorite of the bunch:

jh

After we had Monkey, I kept telling DW I really wanted to get another commission of our family from Josh. I’ve mentioned it frequently over the last few years, but DW told me that it would be much more expensive and that she wasn’t even sure if Josh did commissions anymore.

A few months ago DW started talking about having the perfect Christmas gift for me that I was going to really love. I had NO clue it was this:

portrait_preview

 

That’s right – a family portrait by Josh Howard! I opened it and turned it around and just started bawling. Like uncontrollable, crazy, full on crying. I had to leave the room to collect myself – it was that insane! I blame hormones for the full freak out, but I’m sure I’d have at the very least teared up even not pregnant. I love it so much! DW also had New Year’s cards made to send out with this image on them, so that’s why I haven’t shared it on Facebook yet (want it to be fresh for those receiving them via snail mail).

I hope all of you had a wonderful holiday!

 

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10w5d: ultrasound pic and sharing the news

Just thought I’d share the u/s picture from our last RE visit last week. This little baby was moving all around like crazy already. I don’t remember Monkey being active this early last time around!

We also went ahead and told my mom yesterday. She was happy and couldn’t believe we kept the whole thing a secret this time around. I guess since she (and everyone else in our world) knew every detail from before we were even pregnant last time, it would be a shock to just hear, “I’m almost 11 weeks pregnant!” Hahaha. I did tell her not share with anyone else (aside from my Dad) until after our 1st tri screen (which is scheduled for Oct. 25).

We intended to tell DW’s mom last night, too, but in her usual fashion, she has a health crisis that she called to share and it just didn’t seem to be the right timing. Of course, I’m not sure when it will be right, and I’m sure she’ll cry and make it all about her and how we should have had babies when we/she were younger so she could do more. Sigh. Her latest issue is that she has to have a major back surgery and she wants to come over and discuss it with us. I assume this means that she is going to be in need of some care after surgery, but I hope she realizes that DW can’t do it beyond a day or two. I’m sure I sound terrible, but I swear there has been one crisis after another with her for years now. I’m just numb to it now because it happens all the time.

Anyway, enjoy the u/s pic and imagine a very happy Granny!

 

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“vacation”

Sorry for being so MIA. DW was sick as a dog for like 2 weeks, I had a bit of depression around the BFN, and now we are at the beach with my MiL for a week (I’m working while we’re here). Things are fine, but I just can’t wait to go home. We knew this wasn’t going to be the most fun ever kind of vacation because we have difficulties with MiL, so spending a week with her wasn’t going to be easy. But I’m about to go rabid dog on her because she keeps trying to discipline Monkey even when both of his parents are here doing so. And she does things I really REALLY don’t like or agree with. It’s driving me kind of insane. I can’t decide whether I need to just let it go (which is what I’ve been doing) or if this is a test of my mothering and I need to step up and tell her to cut it out.

The two things that are really just not on and have my hackles up are:

  1. She YELLS out, “NO!” when he does something she doesn’t like/he shouldn’t be doing. Now we of course tell him no, but we do not scream or yell at him unless he is in physical danger if he doesn’t stop whatever it is he’s doing (and I can count on one hand the number of times that’s happened in his 2.5 years of life). Instead we try to gently explain why he shouldn’t do what he’s doing and redirect. Usually works, no need for the yelling.
  2. Last night he was pulling my hair and DW and I were telling him to stop, that it hurts mama, be gentle, etc. This has become a fun game for him and it is really annoying, but you know, he’s 2. We will continue to do as we have and one day he’ll be old enough to understand. What did MiL do? When it was all over she looked at him and said, “I’m disappointed in you.” OMG I wanted to slap her. If you want to say you’re unhappy with a behavior, okay, but don’t tell my child you’re disappointed in him. That shit is mean and if I don’t do it, I sure as hell don’t want anyone else doing it. He studiously avoided her for about an hour and she made some comment about having “shamed him.” Pissed. Me. Off. I really don’t think I can let something like this slide again. I am just so furious about it.

I know that part of this is that I don’t feel she has earned the right to do any sort of disciplining. She has had one health crisis after another since before he was born so she has never helped us with him beyond coming over to play with him while one of us is home. Not to mention when both of his parents are right there, there is simply no need for anyone else to voice their opinion in the matter.

We are also cooped up in a small, not at all toddler friendly home in a totally non-toddler friendly environment (there is no yard to play in, the beach across the street is down a steep staircase and there is a sheer drop from the road to the beach with no fencing or anything for the entire length of the street), so I feel like the deck is stacked against my poor baby. DW is being great and driving him to a park or an activity every morning and every afternoon, so at least there’s that. But when he’s here, it’s constant redirecting and her shouting NO and ugh, ugh, UGH!

We leave Saturday. It can’t come soon enough.

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