My Adventures in Potty Training

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The types of messages my best friend (Punky’s godmother) gets to read from me.

Potty training has been the single WORST part of parenting I have ever experienced. I mean, don’t get me wrong. I’m loving the idea of my kid not having to wear pull ups anymore and the financial awesomeness that comes with that.

But.

This Kid.

She’s been sitting on the potty for over a year, she knows what it is, and she’s been familiar with the potty for a long time now. We started actively trying to potty train around July. I don’t really remember, we weren’t super consistent with it.

We had tried all sorts of rewards. Stickers, candy, dances, tattoos. Blah, Blah. Nothing worked.

This kid was stubborn or not ready. I’m not sure which. But really, she was completely aware of what we were doing. She knew what it meant to be potty trained. We got lots and lots of panties for her in all her favorite characters.

We finally got around to actually being consistent. Right after the new year and the holidays. We eliminated pull ups during the day and it was sort of working. We removed her panties all together and let her run around with a bare bottom. That worked the best.

She recently asked us for panties again.

We decided to take her lead and use the panties as an incentive.

So she was able to have one pair a day. She had to take care of those or she didn’t get anymore for the day. And this strategy worked for a minute.

Then, we noticed that she was starting to stay dry at night, so when she woke up she would have a dry pull up. So, we thought maybe we would start training even more.

Grammy came up with the strategy that has seemed to work the best. That has has the most longevity.

Money. My kid is motivated by money.

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Introducing our Potty Pig. We all put our change in the potty fund and she gets a “penny” when she pees and a “nickel” when she “number 2” and if she has no accidents all day she gets a “quarter”. I put quotes around the money value, because she has no idea what I’m handing her, but if I’m out of pennies, I may give her a nickel or if I’m out of nickels, she may get a dime. At the end of a period of time (this weekend) we will count up her potty money and she gets to go shopping with her own money and pick out her own stuff.

The pig stays up on the fire mantle, because I have noticed that the idea of having the potty pig in her hand is the incentive mostly. She loves to hold and play with delicate things. She likes to nurture them and kiss them and play with them. (We learned that with the Nativity around Christmas). So I don’t really think it’s the money, but it will be when we finally cash out the money for a special toy. I guess we will see.

So there’s a whole ritual thing we do, because we are all a bit of creatures of habit.

She then gets to dance around with the pig for a minute. Mommy dances and sings and we make a big spectacle about it. So far it’s worked out.

She’s had minimal accidents for about a week. And I have taken her to places for an hour at a time, or visit family member houses with hour potty breaks – with little to no issue. So, I thought, why not take her to the park. She’s started to recognize when she has the urge to go and she is pretty good about stopping and holding it before she has an accident.

Soooooo, I thought, let’s enjoy the nice weather we are having here in the midwest of the US. We have been having great weather. And while I am dealing with my own agoraphobia, it really stems from going anywhere without my kid, so the park was fine. I could take her to the park without an issue.

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We were there for a little over an hour. I would ask her frequently if she had to go potty. She would tell me no. We hit the hour and 15 minute mark and then … disaster struck.

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So that happened. And she had diarrhea for the rest of the day and it was what I thought would be the end of our successful streak. We waited it out a few days and then when her upset belly cleared up, I told her yesterday that if she had a day without an accidents we could go to bed without a pull up and wear panties instead.

She’s been asking for this for a few days and I had been reluctant to do it, because of her issues with diarrhea. But, yesterday, she did really well. She even took a little nap on the couch and had no accidents. I had to wake her up, sit her sleepy bottom on the potty and then she went back to sleep.

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So. we put some plastic down on her bed and bit the bullet. She ran around the house in this ridiculous outfit for quite some time when she realized that she wouldn’t have to wear a pull up to bed.

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She’d been waking up dry for about a week, so I wasn’t super worried about it, but you know – our streak was hindered for a minute, so I got concerned.

This morning, Kim posted this.

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I was reluctant to announce it to the world. Potty training really has been the single worst job of my parenting so far. And you know how it goes, you brag about your kid doing something awesome and then the kid proves you wrong and there’s some crazy setback. It’s like the, for real, law of toddler successes. Don’t post it or brag about it, because it is just a fleeting moment! Haha.

Anyway, I’m thrilled with our success, thus far. I am hoping this isn’t a fluke and we can soon announce that she is POTTY TRAINED. We are so close I can feel it, but then, here I am posting about it and bragging about it, so we will see what tomorrow holds in store!

In other happy news, my sister had her fourth baby this week. A beautiful baby girl named Aurora. I will be calling her “Rory”. She’s beautiful and healthy and hopefully her last one, cause my goodness she has her hands full with the four of her kids in her beautiful and very active family!

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Christmas Countdown Out of Whack

Well, I’m terrible at updating the countdown this year. But we have done all sorts of fun things.

Day 11: Pick out ornament for the tree (2012 was Cat in the Hat, 2013 was Tow Mater, 2014 is Minnie Mouse) This was the first year that Miss Punky picked out the ornament herself. Its going to be a very Merry Minnie Christmas. Literally. She has asked for only two things from Santa. Minnie Bike and Light Up Shoes. I have the bike in the works (her godfather is painting an old bike we had) and the light up shoes I got for her are Minnie Mouse and the bows and hearts light up. She’s going to love them.

From her moms so far I have gotten her a zebra print Minnie Mouse bath robe, because she’s so dramatic about being cold when she comes out of the tub and dries off. The small walk to her room or down the stairs in just a towel brings on the jitters and shivers. Its pretty darn adorable. I also found the cutest Minnie Mouse duffel bag for traveling and it comes with a sleeping bag. So when we go visit my family, she will have her own bag to take! Just like a big girl.

So – Minnie Mouse is the theme of this year.

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Day 12:Angel Tree and Senior Tree at Walmart. Walmart always sponsors children for Christmas. Kim and I have been picking stars off the tree for several years. This is the first time Miss Punky picked her own star. A 6 year old girl who wanted a baby doll and stroller. Miss Punky picked out the baby doll and I added the cheapest stroller(cause we aren’t made of money) to give to the little girl. Our bank sponsors seniors. I always try to take one of those as well. Punky picked a Grammy instead of a Papa and we bought their wish list item of art supplies.

I always feel bad that the paper ornaments with all the senior citizens on it are not usually touched. In fact, when I went to put the gift in the their collect box, there was trash inside of it, but no gifts. When we went back to Walmart the end day of the collection, there were still the same amount of ornaments on the tree. No one ever thinks of the senior citizens – at least that’s the way it looks. It’s pretty sad.

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Day 13: Kim’s grandfather’s union always has a Christmas Party and he gathers all his grandkids and great grandkids together for chili and nachos at 9am. We adults are getting to be a little less steel stomached for it. But they have Santa and pictures and lots of great things for the kids to do. Its a nice time normally. I didn’t get to attend, because with this midnight shift, I have been sleeping in late. So, I’m not in the family picture with Santa. But! Miss Punky is sitting on Santa’s lap! How exciting is that development?!

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Kim, Mrs. Claus, Santa, Uncle Eric, Punky, and Aunt Ashley

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I very small portion of the very large Italian family that I married into. They are all the grandkids and great-grandkids and their parents.

Day 14: We colored plastic ornament balls with sharpies for our neighbors and their kids as well as her godparents. She had fun just scribbling and it really added character to the gifts.

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Day 15: We filled the ornaments with hot chocolate and then delivered them to their new owners. They are lucky they got any marshmallows though, because she kept putting them in her mouth, instead of in the ornament!

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So that’s what we have been up to so far. I have also mailed all my Santa Letters this year. I dropped them in the mailbox to be picked up yesterday, so they are on their way to all the kids on the list. 140 of them this year!

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We have 9 days til Christmas. This has been the most interactive holiday with Punky – the one where she has participated, started to fully understand that this is a holiday, and really gotten into the spirit. I can’t wait to keep on making traditions with her!

And these are the Days of Our Lives…..

I feel like we are constantly in some wackadoodle damn soap opera. The roller coaster of our life just never had a moment to slow down and stop. There are never any breaks along the way, it’s just UP and DOWN. UP and DOWN.

Jeez, life, throw me a damn bone.

I’m super frustrated right now because Kim and I got Punky all dressed up and paraded her around the court house in Kansas to get our application for a marriage license. Literally, just last week, this was a done deal and we found out about it on Wednesday. We were excited, we were so relieved. It wasn’t Missouri, but just the few days prior, Missouri did rule that they would recognize gay marriages performed legally in states that do allow that sort of thing.

So, why not, we said?

We only live 30 minutes away from the court house doing it and we could go up there before I went to work the very next day. So, Thursday, we got ready, we all three got up super early. This was a momentous occasion and one we called all our parents about and pumped up our Facebook friends and family with this adorable video from Punky!

It was pouring down rain when we got in the car, by the time we got on the highway, I couldn’t even really see the cars in front of us. The rain was sheets of water, buckets being dumped on our car. Kim looked at me and said, “You must really want to do this.” And if anyone knows me, I don’t drive in the best conditions, let alone these types of conditions, unless I want to get somewhere. I held it together and kept my cool.

Punky got to press the walk button on the crosswalk and go through the metal detector, all while charming the pants off anybody we passed with her ridiculously adorable pea coat and umbrella.

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We finally found our way to the marriage license window and got the application; after swearing to god that our statements were all true. We got the application and they hadn’t even had time to change the pronouns on the application yet, it’s that new. So we had to cross out groom and we had to change he to she. Normally, this kind of thing might bug me, but not at that moment. I didn’t care. I just wanted to do it right.

11 years we have waited. 11 years we have been patiently watching and silently hoping that we will be married in our own state, or at least close. (Kansas is literally right around the corner from us!)  Who cares if the forms are updated. That time will come. I just wanted it to be right.

We signed some stuff, took our application and went home to wait the three day waiting period for Kansas marriage licenses.

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We were going to make a trip back there on Tuesday. We were going to get married and get our marriage license on Tuesday. The long wait for marriage (and tax benefits and rights and equality) was finally over.

Until tonight.

When we read that the Kansas State Attorney General petitioned a block on all gay marriage licenses. There will be a hearing. Sometime in November. And yes, I know – we will get married eventually. With the way the momentum of gay marriage is sweeping the country – it’s going to happen.

But.

It won’t be Tuesday.

And we are all pretty bummed about it.

SAD

And in other news, we are going to visit my family tomorrow – so that will likely brighten my spirits a bit.

Hope everyone has a good weekend!

11 Possibly Interesting Things About Me

I got the idea from Lindsay over at Solo Mama. I love the idea of getting outside the blogging box and just learn a little something about the people are reading about. Get inside the lives; past and present; of the people we are following.

So without further ado – here’s the not so interesting, least known facts about me.

1. I was a smart, quiet kid. It’s been said that I would be content with a coloring book and crayons for hours. I am told that I didn’t really cry much and I wasn’t really very social – able to play by myself and take joy in solitude. I was able to write my name by the time I was two and a half and I said when I grew up I wanted to be a teacher. Don’t we all!?

2. I grew up five brothers and two sisters. I am the second oldest, but I have only met my older brother a handful of times and corresponded with him mostly through letters to him in his many stints in jail. Most are half-siblings, I have a brother and a sister who have the same mother and father as myself, the rest are all half and step siblings whom I treat as full blood.

3. When I was 12, I was placed into the care of a adolescent psychiatric ward for a few days and then a group home shortly after for the rest of the summer. I was an angry kid who wanted to get what she wanted. A compulsive liar and a need for instant gratification. They put some pills in my mouth, tried to subdue the violence in my heart, and sent me home.

4. When I was 15, I participated in modeling school. At the time, my aspirations moved from teacher to model/actress. I attended Barbizon modeling school, which my mother; I’m told; is still paying for. I didn’t get a chance to finish, due to so changes in my home life and thus, the tuition went to waste and I’m pretty sure it may be a scam.  Sorry Mom!!!

5. I used to be a bully. That statement is likely the hardest thing for me to ever say about myself. I did some pretty terrible things in high school. From the time I started high school at age 15 through my junior year of high school, was a pretty much not a nice person. I would make fun of people, threaten people, spread rumors and break up relationships. For fun and amusement. Nothing more.  I still have people who may hate me, people who still blame me for their poor experience in high school. I don’t blame them for it. And I can’t make my apologies more clear, though I doubt the words “I’m Sorry” will ever be enough. I hope that I can use these experiences to help my daughter be a better person than I was growing up.

6. I almost dropped out of high school in my senior year. Fortunately for me, someone very dear to me, took me in and helped me transfer to a new school in the area that I now live in. She helped give me stability in my life – something I hadn’t really grown up with before. She gave me peace of mind. She gave me responsibility. She gave me structure. In the end, I have her to thank for turning my life around and calming the beast inside of me down. I owe my graduation of high school, my attendance to college (however brief) and my decision to choose a different path to her. She is my savior and she knows who she is.

7. I met Kim on an internet dating site. We have been together since the beginning. We met and had our first date on April 21, 2003 and we made it official on May 1, 2003. She’s my first and only girlfriend. I dated and had sex with many boys and men before her. I was drunk the night I came on the phone and asked her to be my ‘girlfriend’. The rest – is really history!

8. Kim and I have a habit of taking in ‘strays’. Or rather, taking in my sisters. Both of whom I love dearly. The reason I bring it up, is because the first time we brought in first sister, we also took in her daughter. Who had just turned two at the time. Having this little ball of toddler fun in our home, helping care for her and keeping her close to our hearts is likely the reason we decided to start thinking long and hard about having a kid of our own. We got a trial run at the job as mothers and when my sister moved out and left to be on her own again, taking my niece with me, it really did a number on us. We also took in my teenage sister and got a nice trial run at that life too. I learned how to enroll a kid, the paper work, the teachers, the meetings. I got to be involved with the homework, the advice, the drama and the triumphs. In the end, she also went off to be on her own, now over 18, but I thank both my sisters for helping shape our parenting skills. They will be forever a part of how we raise our daughter.

9. I’m addicted to Netflix. Seriously. So, most of my interesting tidbits so far has been serious and a bit hard to swallow for me. However, this little tidbit is fun and light-hearted. I am utterly addicted to Netflix. All shows on Netflix – everything I watch is generally found on Netflix and/or branched out from Netflix. I found such gems as Ghost Whisperer, Supernatural, and Doctor Who! I quite enjoy binge watching all these shows to catch up and then move to DVR options if they are still on air.

10. I have an undiagnosed version of anxiety disorder, stemming from PTSD. No I’m not a soldier.  I’m a woman who grew up with some pretty hardcore shit in her past. In the end, I’m currently going through a form of intense anxiety – spiraling into a sense of destructive behavior. I’m working on it weekly with a therapist, mostly because I don’t want the after effects of my own life to spill over into my daughter’s childhood and upbringing. At present, my days are full of anxiety, panic attacks, and lots of avoidance of certain situations.

11. My daughter looks just like me, but I hope she doesn’t become me. I say this because the paths; choices and decisions; I had to make in order to become the me I am today, has been a hard road, a tough road of tears and mistakes. I would prefer that my daughter not have to learn the lessons I learned in my 30 years of life. However, the path and choices I have experienced have made me who I am. In the end, I am pretty proud of who I am and who Punky has as a mother, but I would really be more proud if she can become a good and nice person without the extra baggage!

So that’s me. Here’s me in a nutshell. I will be 30 in May and I have a rich past, a beautiful present and an uncertain future. All I care about, in the end, is how my Punky monster turns out.

What about you? Tell me great tidbits about you? I love reading about other people’s lives!

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?

We Have A Climber This Spring

Easter was great. We spent time with family and the Easter Bunny made a visit to our house. Even though we aren’t religious and we don’t celebrate Easter in the traditional sense, we can still enjoy the fact that it’s a kid’s holiday and Punky enjoyed it. We spent a lot of time with family and that’s was great. We got to see people we don’t always see and we got to see people we see all the time.

Easter is also an awesome event in our lives because it was the holiday of sorts that we were introduced to our donor. Our phone conversation with him on Easter 2011 led to our Punky.

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As you can see, we now have a climber on our  hands. She’s not scared of anything. I mean ANYTHING. She will fall and get right back up and do it all over again. It’s scaring the crap out of me. I swear, she is going to give me a heart attack and I’m not even 30 yet.

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This is one of her first climbing attempts. She got herself up there all by herself. I was in the kitchen at the time and K was in the living room next to this toy box. There’s not stopping the child, so you just have to let her do it. I swear, all I can do now, is laugh. No one informed me that children climb like this so young. She literally hikes her leg up and pulls herself up there and makes it a daily … no hourly … goal to get herself up there!

Here in the Midwest, we have had nothing but snow storm after snow storm, so it’s nice that the weather is finally getting nicer. We have temps in the 50’s, which isn’t super warm or anything, but throw a jacket on and it’s so much nicer than sloshy snow. I have been taking Punky outside after work and playing in the yard. She likes to climb up the stairs of our apartment building to get to the front door. She’s not quite ready to walk up them, not even close, but it kind of adorable to watch her climb them so fast!

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I hope everyone is enjoying the Spring where ever you are and that you had a great Easter however you celebrate. I know there are some Mamas out there who are trying to conceive this month, so good luck and I will send lots of baby dust your way!

If You Are Against My Family, Are We Really Friends?

I’m so upset right now. I can’t decide what to do. I am posting this on Facebook, as I always do, so it’s possible that this person will see the post. I’m not really upset at the person who posted this, I’m more upset with the people she is associated with. I know her to be a decent and kind person. I know her to be a loving mother and a beautiful spirit. And yet, this blog post is something that she posts for the world to see.

The post itself makes valid points, and I don’t know the writer’s stand on Gay Marriage, it makes no difference to me. I think right now, I am more upset about one comment on my friend’s post. A comment that I would hope someone would stand up against. But, it won’t be me. Why? Because I don’t want to blast this friend’s Facebook wall with debates and hatred.

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But, the idea that this had to be said at all, hurts my heart. Make up extra rights?! Really? I’m so confused. I am literally appalled that my friend knows someone like this. She is kind and generous and loving – all the things that I was taught God wants us to be. And this person, whom I don’t know and have never met, shows me what the truth of the church is. What hatred is bred into the church.

I have to wonder, is my friend of the same mind about my family? I can’t bring myself to ask her directly. I can’t bring myself to post a reply to this comment. I want to think that she is associated with people of faith that loves everyone. That walks in the path of Jesus. The way Jesus walked.

How about, if you want to take ‘holy week’ to reflect on something, why don’t we remember that Jesus died for all our sins. How about we remember that Jesus loved the prostitute? How about we remember that God should be the only judge? Or we could remember that Jesus said to love thy neighbors? Love covers a multitude of sins? Or, if you like bible verses with actual locations in the bible, here’s one for you:

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I have never been one with strong opinions in the way the government ran things. I have never been one with strong opinions in religious politics. I’ll be the first to admit that when I went to vote for the first time, I didn’t even know the difference between being a Democrat or a Republican.

But, this hits home for me. I am taking a stand. I have, since done my research and this issue is not about religion, it’s not about politics. It’s about civil rights. It’s about humanity. It’s about fairness, equality, and justice.

I am standing here and challenging those who follow Jesus. I am challenging you that speak ‘the word of god’.

Live by the whole bible. Live by the whole word. I challenge you to re-evaluate your beliefs. I challenge you to look deep in your heart and decide where you lie. Do you lie on the side of fairness and love, as Jesus would have wanted? Or do you lie on the side of lies, hypocrisy and injustice?

So you say it’s not just religion. So you say it’s because children are better off with a mom and a dad. Let’s think for a moment about those children who have been left in a dumpster. Abandoned by their mom and dad. How about those children who were ‘accidents’ and unwanted. Are they better off with a mom and dad?

I think Punky is better off with the many Uncles, Cousins, and Grandpas she has. She is not lacking in male role models. (I hope they all don’t mind me putting them out for the public to see) I am proud that Punky has so many awesome men in her life!

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eric david

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Do we take away the rights of Single mothers? What about the children who are being raised by their grandparents? Are they less cared for? Single mothers work their asses off. Single mothers are so full of love and life that I just can’t imagine why anyone would say those children need a dad.

Making up rights for my family?

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So, you don’t think it’s a right for me to be able to see my partner in the hospital as you can see your husband or wife? If I am lying on my death bed, my partner could be left with no solace in her grief because she couldn’t be next to me as I die. That’s a disservice to me and my partner. We have been together for 10 years. TEN YEARS.

But our love is not as committed as yours? Which one of yours? Your first marriage or your third? Our love isn’t the same as yours. For those who feel like this is simply a sexual thing. What goes on in my bedroom is really no one’s business, but we haven’t had sexual things as a focus of our relationship for years.

I love my partner the way anyone loves their spouse. She and I have been through more and weathered more hardships than most straight couples could weather in a year. We stand strong in the face of adversity. We don’t back down, we don’t break up.

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I like to think our relationship and our love is the true interpretation of 1 Corinthians 13:4-8.

Stop and think a moment about what will happen to your children if you were to die suddenly tomorrow? Would your child be in the care of your spouse? Of course, no questions asked. Mine will not be. My child is likely to be plucked from the only home she knows. The only family she knows.

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If I were to die tomorrow, my partner has no legal rights to her daughter. She has no legal standing to keep our daughter safe. Tell me that is better for our child’s mind and spirit? Tell me that my daughter is better off taken from the only parent she knows. The one person she loves more than anything and the one parent who has taken care of her, loved her, kept her safe, tucked her in at night, fed her, and comforted her for the entire year she has been alive.

Tell me she is better off in a strangers care. She’s not.

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Now, tell me where the rights are being made up?

My heart hurts. I am sick to my stomach. I have never been more passionate about anything in my entire life. My family’s life is hanging in the balance. My family is being affected and now, my mother’s instinct is on full blast.

I’m no longer worried about making friends. I am no longer worried about losing friends. I am no longer worried about offending people. I am no longer worried about being an outcast. I am worried about my family being accepted.

If you can’t get on board with that, I don’t need you in my life.

Realistic Expectations

So, usually, I have a reason for my posts, something that I want to talk about. Then my partner, K brought up that I don’t talk about the bad times. The times when I am so freaking overwhelmed with my life as a woman, a lesbian, a mother, a partner, a working mom, as a daughter, as a human being with injustices. I am always filled with love and butterflies when I talk about my daughter and our life as a family.

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Realistically, it’s not always sunshine and rainbows.

Realistically, it’s a hard road we travel on sometimes.

Realistically, it’s not always the easiest thing to come home from work.

Realistically, it’s not the happiest moment to go to work.

Realistically, I want to get married and have a protection set for my family if something happens to me. The weight on my shoulders, as the biological mother to our daughter, leaves me with stress and worry about something happening to me on a regular basis.

The what – if’s and the rants and the thoughts and the questions will never be satisfied until they come to pass. Until the day I can say, “Finally, our family is the same as yours.”

This stems from a lot of things, the Supreme Court hearings and the lack of sleep due to a teething toddler.

Mostly, it started when I realized,  our medical insurance is moving to a high deductible plan. This plan will be administered by the rules of the government. Which means, because K is not my tax dependent, I can’t cover her like I would be able to if she was a male. This isn’t the fault of the entity providing my insurance, they allow me to add my same-sex domestic partner on their coverage. However, the government will not recognize this.

My partner has a multitude of illnesses that require her therapy and prescriptions that we could not afford if we didn’t have insurance. We are seriously looking at the fact that we won’t have insurance for her soon. That is a scary thing. She’s the stay at home mommy and I am sure that not having her therapy and prescriptions will negatively affect her and Punky.

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So, yes, I am stressed out. Yes, I am worried. Yes, I am trying my best to hold that together, because I just don’t understand why things are so unfair. Why can’t we just have the same thing as married straight couples? Because GOD said it’s not right?

Has anyone actually had a conversation with GOD? Has GOD made my family’s well-being His personal mission? It’s okay to pick and choose what we feel GOD thinks is right or wrong and only use the pieces we like? When is that acceptable in any circumstance? It’s not.

I have no problems with anyone who believes in GOD. I have no problems with people who want to worship as they wish. But, just because I don’t believe the same thing you do, doesn’t mean I am not entitled to the same rights as you.

I am still a human being. I was still created by your GOD. I was still made in HIS image and should be afforded the same rights to happiness and kindness and love. At least, that’s what people in the church say.

GOD loves everyone. GOD made everyone. GOD doesn’t make mistakes. GOD can be the only judge. GOD is love and kindness and mercy.

And then, the church spits on me. Instead of treating me with love. Instead of saying I’m made in the way that god made me and the way I was supposed to be, everything happens for a reason. Was my being gay, specifically for me to go to HELL? Really? God made certain people to just punish them ultimately in the end?

That doesn’t make a damn bit of sense to me.

 

This is my main stress in my life right now. Add on top of this the fact that we have a toddler going through a lot of changes. She is teething hardcore. She’s also been taken off of formula and drinks at bed.

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She has been moved to regular milk during the day, but we are trying to get her out of the habit of drinking something at bed. That’s been kind of a pain in the ass right now. But, mostly because she’s teething and I know that’s part of the problem.

It will pass. I’m sure. We got her teething necklace in the mail today, so I will be anxious to see if this amber necklace works. I’m curious to hear from other mamas who have tried them. I have heard nothing but good things about them.

Maybe soon, we can get back to this face:

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Seeing Red For Gay Marriage

CAM00483I  have been sitting glued to my computer screen with live updates on ABC all day. I am in a constant state of nausea and nervousness and I hear the decisions won’t even be made until June. I’m sitting here wearing my red t-shirt, in near tears from the overwhelming sea of red that I find on my Facebook feed from supporters in my own family and friends.

Proposition 8 (commonly known as Prop 8) is before the United States Supreme Court today, and the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) has its day tomorrow. I am on pins and needles, because these things seriously effect my family and it affects my daughter’s future.

The future of my child’s life is in the hands of someone else and it scares me to death. I am still overwhelmed by the different possibilities that may happen as a result of this monumental event.

I can only hope that it will go our way and we can be treated equal, finally. I am dreaming of a wedding. I am hoping for a marriage. I’m hoping to be treated like my family members, like my friends, like my co-workers.

It’s not about religion, it’s not about a GOD. It’s about human rights. It’s about real people, about the rights of my daughter. It’s about the stability of our family. It’s about dignity and about equality. It’s about loving thy neighbor. It’s about being compassionate.

It doesn’t matter your religious views. It doesn’t matter what you belief or don’t believe in religiously. It’s about what is right or wrong. It’s wrong to discriminate. It’s wrong to call me less of an American because of who I love. It’s wrong to tell my daughter her parents are less than normal. It’s wrong to pass judgement on another human being.

We all deserve to be treated equal. We all deserve to be loved. We all deserve to love one another.

Because I am so overwhelmed with this, I just don’t have the words to convey how much this impacts me. Instead, I have decided to let other people say it for me.

10 Ways DOMA Affects Families Like Mine

A Picture is Worth More Than Words

Equality Thoughts from my Straight Friend

How DOMA Hurts Real Families

And the one who said it the best today, was my very dear friend. I found this post on my Facebook wall, and I hope that he doesn’t mind that I stole it. It really puts all my thoughts and feeling into words I can’t really find.

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“This week, I PRAY for the US Supreme Court Justices. I PRAY that of those who are Christian, they look to their morality and Jesus’ teaching that LOVE knows no bounds and all should be treated with respect, dignity, and LOVE. 

For all of the Justices, I pray they will use their internal knowing of what is right and wrong; as well as the Constitution and the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS as a guide. I PRAY they will remember that their job is a legal one and should not be swayed simply because of a belief they hold religiously. They have a LEGAL job to do. It is only God’s decision who shall be judged upon their sins – NOT that of a government, court, or, dare I say, the people. 

My prayers are with the nine HUMANS who have to make a decision about what is LEGALLY and MORALLY right; NOT what is RELIGIOUSLY right. I hope ALL Americans can respect that even if a decision is handed down that doesn’t match your RELIGIOUS beliefs, it is NOT a cause for you to be upset. This isn’t a question of RELIGION. It’s a question of HUMANITY.” — G.A.

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So, with that, I put out my own hopes and dreams and I land them on the shoulders of 9 people. 9 people who can hand me equality or take it away. 9 people who can tell my daughter that she will be okay with her two mothers. 9 people who can say to the world, it’s time to stand up and treat our fellow Americans as one.

I’m no less and no more than you. My family is no less and no more than  you. I just want to be able to stand up and tell my daughter it’s okay to love and it’s okay to be who you are.

The Most Annoying Question …. Right Now

When we were first announcing we were pregnant, oh, almost 2 years ago. The question that irritated me the most was “How Did This Happen?”. Now, that question doesn’t really bother me. Ask me how we conceived our daughter and I have no problem telling you how it happened. And much more cordially than when I was first pregnant.

Now.

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I swear since Peyton turned one, people joke about having another baby. When are you having another one? Are you ready for another one? Don’t you think Peyton needs a sibling? Blah, Blah, Blah.

Would I love to love another child? Yes. I would – my life was never envisioned with just one child in our lives.

However, when I get asked that question, I have to through the awkward motions of reminding these people just hard difficult it was for us to get the first one. I don’t mind answering the question “How did this Happen?” I do mind reminding you because you didn’t get it the first time.

We had to find a donor. We had to find a donor who was willing and ready to give us a child and want nothing in return. We had to chart and take temps and go through the motions of figuring out the ovulation crap. We had to host said donor in our home for a week. I had to … well, you know … twice a day for a week. While my partner was in another room. Ouch. I know. Awkward? You don’t have to tell us!

That week was physically and emotionally draining. A normal relationship is not built to withstand that kind of trauma more than once. Hell, it shouldn’t have withstood it once. That experience did a lot of things for me, but it instilled the further truth that K and I are meant to be. If we can stand through that time, we can stand through anything.

I won’t complain about the beginnings of our conception, because once we went through the initial 5 months of planning and the one week of trying, we were pregnant. We were the lucky ones. I have no reason to complain.

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I did hate being pregnant. I had no reason to hate it. I just hated it. I felt claustrophobic and anxious the entire 10 months I was pregnant. I was constantly checking my toilet paper and  my pelvic bone shifted and made it difficult and painful to walk sometimes. Otherwise, I had no morning sickness, no real cravings and no absurd amounts of weight gain.

I like to think I still would do it again. If the road to a second child wasn’t filled with obstacles and hurdles. I’m not talking the baby gate hurdles, which I have gotten very good at, I am talking about finances. I am talking about emotions. I am talking about logistics. I am just not sure we could withstand another round.

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Also, I love our little girl to bits. To teeny tiny pieces and every single hair on her head. I love all her little pores and her sharp cannibal teeth. I love EVERY tiny little thing about her.

I like that I only have her. I like that I can spend as much undivided attention on her. I like that she can be my favorite and I don’t have to be afraid to admit it. I like that I can buy her a present and I don’t have to worry about getting one of equal size or caliber for someone else. I like that I can pick her up and swing her around and dance and sing her favorite songs with her. I can give her both my arms and wrap them around her little body and squeeze her tight.

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What if we had a second kid? Would she still be as special to me as she is right now? I’m sure she would be, but I wouldn’t have the time or energy to devote to her. I wouldn’t be able to call her my favorite. I wouldn’t be able to shower her with love and attention like I do right now. I wouldn’t be able to smother her with all my kisses, instead she would have to share them!

So, to answer that irritating question. Yes, I would love to have another child. Will we have another child? Who knows. But, I highly doubt it.

I just don’t know if I have room in my heart for another little one. Peyton is the miracle baby I have never believed could be real. She became real a year ago and I just can’t imagine feeling this way in equal measure for another child. The day she was born, at the very moment this picture was taken, she filled up my whole heart and soul with her tiny little face.

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Of course, we doubted we would have one child and I am still in awe we have her. So, who knows what the future holds for our family.

However, bringing up the fact that we ‘need’ or ‘should have’ a second child just grates on my nerves. It brings up thoughts and feelings I don’t want to explain and I don’t want to experience right now.