The Adventures of Christmas with a Two Year Old

Before I get to the Christmas Day activities, I forgot to post our Countdown activity on the 21st. We went and visited the Live Nativity. It was kinda cute. Miss Punky was having trouble saying Nativity. (Remember the wisemen she popped the heads off of) She kept saying “Bativity.” Finally Kim broke it down “Nu Tivity.” Punky says, “Nutivity? Oh! I like nuts!”

Of course, her atheist moms thought it was hilarious that she continued to call it a nutivity the entire time. I insisted we go to visit the nativity because its something we did as kids with my grandmother. It doesn’t hold the same significance now that I no longer believe in the story of Jesus, but I do want to keep some of my traditions from my childhood alive.

Believe me, there are a lot of childhood memories I work very hard to shield her from, but there are some, the fun memories that don’t involve my upbringing or my parents or alcohol or anything that may contribute to my PTSD, such as this live nativity activity that I cherish in the mixture of crazy in my kidhood. I want to keep that spirit alive in Punky’s Christmas experience.

We managed to make our way over to the people in the nativity, Mary, Joseph, and the Baby Jesus – just to see them. She did not pop anyone’s head off this time. But she did much prefer climbing on the gates to get at the animals than the plastic doll and the story she didn’t understand.

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So, on to Christmas Day.

Surprise, surprise, our kid is spoiled rotten. We have gotten through Christmas with minimal damage – involving only one tantrum/time-in combo, and an otherwise pretty very happy toddler.

Last night, we ended our Christmas Countdown with a gift on Christmas Eve which consisted of brand new PJs. We made a trail in the driveway with reindeer food so Santa’s reindeer knew how to get to our house. We spent the afternoon on NORAD Santa Tracker, following his progress. By the time the cookies were set out and we had a sip of Santa’s milk, we were in bed and Santa was headed out of Georgia!

Since the kid woke up at 3AM Christmas Eve, a day early, expecting Santa and too excited to sleep – she crashed long before bedtime yesterday – in fact before we made it to our first family function. She fell asleep on me while everyone was getting ready to leave and then again in the car on the way to the party.

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We did get some new, current pictures of us as a couple and a family. I really like how they turned out.

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We got home super passed her bedtime,so imagine, no matter how excited she was, with no real nap, other than sleeping in the car for a minute, she fell asleep the minute I shut her bedroom door, and then it was time to get to work on Santa Duty.

I had to pick up the Minnie Mouse bike from her godparents’ house. We had the toughest time finding a bike we could afford and get it in the Minnie Mouse style she wanted. So, we swapped out the neighbor’s kids’ bike and took Punky’s cousins bike from the garage, gave it to her godfather (fucking awesome guy who is wrapped around ALL her tiny fingers) and he painted it up all nice for her.

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I set up her burlap bag from Santa and her stocking in front of the tree and then hid the bike under a blanket in the back where she wouldn’t be looking or paying attention. Helped Grammy and Papa stuff the rest of the stockings and finished wrapping up some gifts for the rest of the family’s kids, then I went to bed. Of course, I was too excited to sleep. Not to mention that we live in the basement and she is at least two flights above me, so I was anxious all night, worried she would wake up and open all the presents, discover the bike and be riding it around the livingroom when I woke up!

As luck would have it, and as expected, she kept her pinky “I Promise” and stayed in bed until the sun woke up so that Santa could deliver is presents and the magic of Christmas would work – if she woke up, he would not be able to deliver the presents she was asking for.

So, when she got up, she was excited to pull open the first present she saw. We had to wrangle her a bit, but she was pretty awesome about opening this year. This is the first year she’s been as interactive and really knew what Christmas and Santa and presents meant to her.

The bike was a hit.

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We took it outside for a bit, with her baby Ellen (who Santa brought a new outfit) and tried to get the hang of the bike. She enjoyed it and then she got frustrated, because she would push the pedals back and put the breaks on and then not understand how to get the bike to go again. So, it will take some getting used to and some practice, but she got what she wanted and it comes with a helmet, knee/elbow pads, and bike gloves. All in MINNIE MOUSE. LOL.

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She wore her helmet and new bathrobe for most of the rest of the morning while she tore through box after box after bag after toy and movies and yet, she still came back to the bike. She did get a very special gift from Grammy this year. Which in her own words is “Very special to me.” Its a music box with a dancing ballerina, the old school kind. Our kid is kind of a tiny dancer and really wants to be a Doctor Ballerina when she grows up, so this was a pretty sweet present for her. Grammy got her into the ballet stuff and encourages her to dance and sing all the time, so this gift between the two of this, was just super heart warming.

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On that note, even though we live with her grandparents, I’m just so glad they were there for her to open her presents. When I was growing up, and I’ve been getting a little sentimental lately, my grandparents came over every Christmas morning and watched us open our presents from Santa and eat breakfast with us. It was one of my more favorite memories of Christmas. A lot of family stuff has happened in the last week and a half that have really put my childhood and my memories in the forefront of my mind. Not all good – but in this case, not all bad.

By the end of the day, she had gotten away with all sorts of stuff. New clothes from her bestie her Aunt Ashley. A new tablet from her Uncle and his wife, and lots and lots of toys from everyone else. The big thing was the accessories for her new dollhouse.

We had been batting around the idea of getting her a dollhouse from Santa, but she asked for a bike and that’s what she was getting. So, the dollhouse was going to be put on hold. HOWEVER, while we were all driving around the town checking out the light displays on houses, Grammy spotted a dollhouse on the side of the road. We stopped the car, I hopped out, grabbed it, and tucked it in the trunk.

When we got it home, we realized it needed lots of TLC, but it was going to be great for Punky, since she doesn’t know its someone else’s ‘trash’ and she didn’t know it was broken. She was supposed to get it for Christmas, but she found it in a closet and didn’t stop til Grammy cleaned it up and we found some toys to play in the house with it.

Now, as of Christmas Day opening, she has an additional dollhouse (the dogs’ house) and people, furniture, accessories, and puppies to go with it. She also has a mechanical hamster that has a rolling stage van parked behind her massive dollhouse.

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We have more Christmas to go to, but I just can’t thank people in our lives for the support and love our little girl has in her life. I am filled with some melancholy this season, due to the family stuff back home (my family lives 3 hours away) and someday, maybe I will blog about it. It really just involves addiction, neglect, and beating the violent cycle that is my childhood and relationship role models. So, I didn’t get to celebrate with my side of the family and that does make me sad.

But we called all those who we could call (those not in jail and such) and I sent a Christmas text to our ever so special donor to wish him a Merry Christmas. We don’t exchange messages often, but I like him to know we think of him on days like this – special times that we can share these days and spoil the crap out of the kid he helped us create and then took a backseat where most lesbian couples don’t get so lucky.

Anyway, my kid is set for a while. She’s for sure loved and filled with an overwhelming, overflowing support and family – more than any little girl could ask for and more than either of her moms could have expected for her to receive.

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I saw some of my TTC blogger friends got a nice Christmas BIG FAT POSITIVE, congratulations! As for those still trying, you know I’m rooting for you in 2015!

To all the readers out there, whoever you are, Happy Holiday you celebrate, however you celebrate it! May you be happy and loved in every sense of the word!

Daddy Date Night and Other Musings

Tonight was the night of my hometown’s “Daddy Date Night”. I’ve never in my entire life understood the big deal behind this date night. Probably because I have never been. Well, I take that back. I went once, on the last year I could go in fifth grade and by then I was ‘too old to care”.

Looking at all the great pictures of my friends and family’s little girls getting all dressed up and going out with their dads, uncles, and other male figures in their lives. It made me really take notice that this will be a thing we may encounter with when Punky gets older.

Who knows if they will have such an event when she’s old enough for it, but given that it was around when I was in kindergarten in like 1990, I’m sure this time honored tradition isn’t going away.

She has plenty of male role models that can take her. In fact, unlike myself, growing up, she may have to pick who to take – they may all line up outside my door. In fact, considering the overwhelming love and support she has by one very doting godfather, super awesome and loving papas, and more uncles than one kid should ever have, I don’t think she will have a problem in this department.

It’s kind of nice thinking about them drawing straws to see who GETS to take her. LOL. Take a number – or well, she may be the only girl at the party with 60 gentlemen escorting her.

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So, its times like this that some people may worry about our daughter being raised by two moms. Where the Christian nay-sayers and the well to do marriage equality oppositions would be up in arms that my sweet girl just can’t possibly grow up a well adjusted, loved, and well rounded young lady without a dad in her life.

Well, it’s times like this – when my Facebook feed is covered with all sorts of families displaying their little girls and their male figures going off on dates. It’s times like this that makes me remember just how lucky Miss Punky is. She won’t ever want for a date to something like this. I am so happy to know she’s so blessed in that way.

There are plenty of opportunities I worry, as her mom, that she will miss out on things that other kids get to experience. And, when I saw the picture of my soon-to-be seven year old niece headed off with her male figure, my sister’s current beau, and not her father, it reminds me that she had two parents – a mom and a dad – when she was conceived.

In the end, she’s seen her ‘dad’ a handful of times in her life and I wouldn’t envy her experience for the world. That poor girl has had it tough in the dad department. People need to remember, that just because you have a dad, doesn’t mean you HAVE a dad. And, it’s times like this that I have to salute those men who stand up and take up that role for little girls like my sweet sweet niece – whom I have seen grow up and blossom from birth. I have seen her knocked down and kicked around by the dad she was given.

I’m not sure what I’m getting at, except that seeing all those pictures from the family and friends who have little girls old enough to experience something I’ve never really seen the value in – based on my own experiences – it flashed me forward to what our future may hold.

And all I can see if the line of gentlemen callers in her family and extended family that will be banging down the door to be the first to escort Miss Punky to her first “Papa/Uncle Date Night.” No dad required.

And we are just fine with that. She will have quite the choices to make when the time comes!

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Happy Mother’s Day

For Mother’s Day I got a migraine and ‘the finger’. Oh, yes, my daughter gave me the INDEX finger. 

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I said, “Punky, don’t touch the flowers, they are not yours.” She proceeded to bend down and attempt to touch the pretties. I said, “No Ma’am. We don’t touch the flowers.” She whipped around and gave me this face. Accompanied by the finger.

We always say she’s a carbon copy of me, in fact, it’s been said on numerous occasions that I may or may not have impregnated myself. (As a side note: We really lucked out in the donor department and I am immensely grateful to him for making yesterday possible for us.) 

In the end, Mother’s Day was full of screaming, crying, a black eye, the discovery of all FOUR molars coming in and an early bedtime. Mommy is officially over Mother’s Day. At least for this year. 

Hope everyone else had a much better time than I did!!

Baby Number Two?

I am always the first to say that we would not be having a second child. That one kid was enough. However, the real reason for those words was because I didn’t believe we would have another shot. I had, in my mind, made it pretty clear that we were lucky enough to have the one child. I didn’t want to press our luck and our donor has been so very awesome about this in the last year, that who wants to push his boundaries either!

In the back of my mind, I always wait for the day he shows up at the doorstep and wants a relationship with Punky. The way we conceived, it’s his right to ask for these things. K and I have already discussed that we wouldn’t fight it either, but it would be a strain on how we wanted to raise our daughter.  We hear from him from time to time, he’s a blessing. He just likes to catch up and see how we are doing, tell us how he is doing, and it’s a pretty awesome relationship we have with him. I just never dreamed of asking him to help us again, because it’s emotionally something that most people wouldn’t be able to handle twice. Our donor is truly an amazing individual in that way.

Then, yesterday, something happened. Our donor messaged me on Facebook and brought up the very real possibility that we are able to try again. I just assumed he was done with that whole thing. This did two things in my mind. It sealed the fact that he really is just content helping us create a family (I knew this, but there’s always that what-if in the back of my mind) AND we really do have the option to try for another baby.

If we had another baby, K would carry this time. I think that is a beautiful thing. She has her own clock that is just ticking away and I felt terrible that she hasn’t been able to experience being pregnant and having a child. We have a lot of things to work out though. I think we both do want a second child, our hearts are definitely in the path of wanting a sibling for Punky and a second baby to round out our family. Maybe it would be a boy this time!

K is BiPolar and she has some things she needs to work out. She is on a lot of medications that she would have to give up in order to be healthy for the baby. We need to talk to her psychologist and psychiatrist to see if they have options that they can give us for how they feel it might work for her to get pregnant. I also am afraid that all these medications may make it hard for her to get pregnant. She’s also Punky’s stay-at-home mom. I am thinking she is going to be off her medication, pregnant and trying to care for a very mobile, willful toddler.

She is also on my insurance right now, but in the times we have the baby, she would not be, because of the way my insurance is changing. We are going to a high deductible employee plan with an HSA that is overseen by the federal government. The government doesn’t recognize her as  my ‘tax dependent  which means, I can cover her through my employer’s insurance, but I have to pay full cost for all medical and prescription costs because of the deductible and not be reimbursed by the government sponsored HSA.

All in all, we would be going about this pregnancy, should she carry this child, pretty much full cost. I am going to talk to some other people about options on that before we go ruling it out based on that alone though. I know I can cover the child on my insurance and claim the baby as a ‘tax dependent’ after it’s born, so that’s not an issue. However, pregnancy is expensive. More expensive than we could afford, I’m still dealing with the bills I racked up from my own pregnancy and I was on insurance that covered a great deal of the cost.

Then, there is the way we conceived. The way we would conceive again, because it is the most full proof and frankly, the least expensive method. If you want to know the details of that, check out Path to Punky. Our donor lives several states away. We would have to get him here and then host him here and hope to conceive as fast as we did with my pregnancy. One shot. One week. One roller coaster of emotions. Can our relationship withstand that twice? I like to think it can. However, the situations is different now. We have a baby in the house. We have more responsibilities than we had last time we did this.

There are a lot of obstacles standing in the way and frankly, I don’t know if it’s the best idea to get pregnant again. However, at the same time, I want to give K a chance to be pregnant.

Also, while I know that she loves Punky as her own, there is something, it’s just different, when you have a child that you carried for 10 months and delivered from your body. It’s a different kind of bond. I know it is. I don’t want to take that away from her. I certainly didn’t like being pregnant, it was my least favorite time of this process of getting Punky, at the same time, I’m glad I had the experience. I also have a bond with Punky that I feel like is stronger because I carried her.

In my mind, I want to make this work! I don’t understand why it has to be so damn difficult for us to have the family we want, and straight couples all around the world are having ‘OOPs babies’ and some are being abandoned or not very well taken care of. There are people out there who say babies of gay parents are at a disservice, I will never understand that. We have to plan. We have to spend a great deal of time and money and effort to have our children. We have to REALLY REALLY want our children.

How can a baby be at a disadvantage because we love them so much we would do anything to have them?