Friday, September 7, 2012

Schedules and Unicorns

School finally started, aka work. Without my central job, school seemed like it would be easier, but in reality my central job is filled with kids and teaching is still hard to keep up with. Don't get me wrong, I love teaching. Despite the fact most Americans seem to think teachers are lazy assholes and want to pay us as little as possible to work like 50 hours or more a week, I really love teaching. I am good at my subject and I enjoy it. All teaching requires is passing on the love for a subject that I already have. None-the-less the schedule part of my life is hectic.

A friend today said the schedule is something we are always chasing like the lottery or a unicorn, but maybe getting on a regular schedule just doesn't really exist. Hmmm. That hadn't occurred to me before. I thought once we adjusted to school starting the family could get into a routine, but 2 weeks in we couldn't be further off anything resembling a routine.

I know this much:
1. I have got to get Cletus back on a meaningful pre-school routine. He needs to learn and he likes it. I don't want him to get behind because I can't balance my new life.
2. DC needs more tummy time. Period. She hates it, but she needs it. 
3. I need to get better at prepping my classes. This is part of the reason things still aren't balanced yet.
5. I need to learn to juggle: DC's needs, Cletus' needs, school needs, house needs, personal time needs, & spouse needs.

I am still hoping that routines aren't unicorns. Week 3. This is the beginning of our routine.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

DC Life Lesson of the Day: Somethings Shouldn't Go Together

Just because you can do 2 things at once doesn't mean you should. For example, I like fish and I like ice cream, but I don't eat them at the same time. In this case, DC learned maybe one shouldn't try to poop and eat at the same time. The part where you push poop out with intense concentration is not so compatible with eating. I mean it's certainly possible to do both, but it mostly seemed frustrating for her. This is at least part of why adults don't take a snack with them to the toilet. (DC hygene lessons won't come until much later.) Oh the things you think about at 6:30 in the morning when you are up for the 3rd time in the night with your infant...

Pooped on at 6:35 am

The Baby Poop Face

Whenever DC wakes up in the night, I change her while she is eating her baba. I do it that way so I can put her right back to sleep. The system works really well UNLESS she poops. When I open the diaper I always prep myself emotionally for this possibility that way I can be pleased it the diaper is poop free. Poopy diapers in the night or early morning especially suck cause I am too tired to deal with them. (In a cloth diaper house, you have to rinse out the diaper after changing - something I hate doing in the middle of night when I just want to go back to sleep.) EVEN WORSE, this morning DC was still pooping. Something I didn't notice until it was happening all over me and the couch! It's hard to see the poop face when you are exhausted. The poop face is every parent's warning system not to take the diaper off yet. Bottom line: It sucks to get pooped on at 6:35 in the morning.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Housework is My Boulder

I might not be anyone's maid, but I have to be at home all day. The result is the desire to be in a cleaner dwelling. Sun & Moon has always had a desire to clean things; Me - not so much. I mean why bother? It will just get messy again. The problem is with 2 kids at home it gets sooooo messy that no one would want to live here. And thus my list of daily chores...

Those of you unfamiliar with Greek Mythology (basically you aren't an uber nerd) might not know the story of Sisyphus. Sisyphus (Sissy - fuss) was a king punished by the Greek Gods for being a huge a-hole. His punishment was to roll a huge boulder up a steep hill, but right before it would reach the top the huge boulder would roll back down. And then Sisyphus would have to start all over again. Camus would later write a book about the Myth of Sisyphus and humans futile search for the meaning of life. Sisyphean tasks are basically endless, unavailing (arguably futile) labor.

Welcome to my everyday. I do 3 loads of laundry. The first one is always diapers. We are a cloth diaper house. Cletus uses 6-8 diapers a day and 1 night diaper. DC is using 8-10 diapers a day. If I don't wash diapers everyday we will run out half way through the next day. Also, there will be a huge pile of diapers. Then I do 2 loads of clothes or towels. I do them to prevent a mountain from appearing, but there again in the morning is another hill of laundry. I wash the dishes. If I don't wash bottles DC won't have enough, so leaving them until the next day is simply not an option. Not matter how many dishes you wash, after dinner there's always more. And then there's general upkeep. Cletus throws his toys everywhere. On a positive note, he is learning to do chores and the 1st is picking up his own toys. There's floors to mop and vacuum. There's tubs & toilets to scrub (I really need to get to this soon). Home makers everywhere are now saying no shit and nodding there heads. This might be old news to you, but as the lazy husband like person around the house this list of tasks is blowing my mind.

It's Sisyphean I tell you. No matter how hard I push the boulder in the morning its at the bottom of the hill. Maddening.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Empathy Eyes

Every time I take my kids out in public the mother's look at me with the empathy in their eyes. Today at the doctor office, I had DC strapped to me and was holding Cletus' hand trying to live through the 25 minute wait in the office. And mother after mother had the knowing look in their eyes. The closer their children were in age the more their smile and eyes said as we passed each other, particularly when Cletus kept making a break for it to the elevators. Honestly as a butch lesbian, I have never felt such a bond with women I didn't know. It was weird.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Day 1 of Stay-At-Home Bear in the Books

And the race is off. Except there is no finish line in sight. And if I was really running it would be more like a swiftish walk.

The point is that the stay-at-home bear thing is really happening. And in a way even I didn't see coming, the university I work at screwed me a bit and now I only have 1 class instead of two. Can we say tighten that financial belt? I thought it was tight before, but now only oxygen shall get through.

Yesterday was the 1st day of the next 6 years of my life. If we continue to stay in Cali, there's no way we can both afford to work full-time. Preschool is a million dollars.

Given that I know virtually zilch about preschool and babies naturally, I decided to research my kids. The GB is a research nerd 1st and everything else 2nd. So I invested some research time by reading the actual baby books we already own and watching a day of Super Nanny. The results were interesting. The 1st result was a better sense of order and discipline in the house. I am in favor of both because I will be here all day. The 2nd result was fighting with Sun & Moon who did not seem to know where this new discipline came from which is ironic because I got the idea from her.

I have also developed a lesson plan for Cletus and DC based on what they should be learning at their age. I figure we will just repetitively do these things until they  master the skill and then we will move on to new things. For Cletus, everyday we will sing songs, read books, learn about 1 animal, and learn to help/do chores. After that there's a bunch of things we can add but they won't necessarily be daily: playing pretend, stacking, colors, music, shapes, art, motor skills (tumbling), going to the park. For DC, now 3 months, we have talking to her, standing on my hands, tummy time, & holding a rattle or ring. The 1st priority for DC is getting on a schedule so she sleeps better.

I am quite pleased with my nerdiness. I will work on Cletus' lesson plan because I want him ready for kindergarten when the time comes. Also, he will work on following directions as a new part of the house discipline. Super Nanny was really helpful when it came to the time out process and how to make it work effectively.

As far as day 1 went, it was great until 10 minutes before Sun & Moon got home. Right when it was time to show off my hard work and skill development, the house just seemed to explode with chaos. She walked in the door just in time to have no confidence that the day went well. :-( Hopefully, Day 2 will end better.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Stay-At-Home Bear --- for realz

Well through a series of limeny snickets, I will really be a stay-at-home bear. My work didn't reserve classes for me this semester. I may teach or I may not. Not good for the family budget, but Sun & Moon says it will be fine. And since she has the power of the purse, she would know best.

Mentally, I am gearing up to be home all the time. Whoooosa. I am terrified, like really afraid of these 2 little babies. God, I home I don't ruin them with bad parenting. There's no other way to say it. I haven't ever been a pre-school teacher before, but that's my new gig. I guess I better start prepping a lesson plan. Wish me luck.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Swimming & Trust

Today was Cletus' 1st day of swim lessons in his Parent and Toddler swim class at the local college. He was a hilarious mix of emotions. First, he was so excited to get in that the wait caused a total tantrum. (Note to self: DO NOT ATTEND EARLY.) Second, when we got in we were next to a little guy filled with fear who started crying instantly. The crying made Cletus concerned that something was scarey and he started to cry. After seeing some of the other big boys in the class having fun, Cletus then decided this was tons of fun. By the end of class, he was free of most of his fears and got dunked under water twice without a single tear. Unfortunately when it was time to go we had another tantrum cause he wanted to take the pool toys home with us. The whole family, even Mommy and Sister who were just watching, came home exhausted and took a 2 hour nap.

I loved it. As I thought back on it, the poor little guy crying was all fear until his aunt handed him over to his mom and then he had a good time for the rest of the lesson. He was scared because he loved his aunt, but didn't trust her like his mommy. He couldn't tackle his fears without someone he trusted totally. That thought made me hug my little Cletus. I might not have birthed him or contributed to his DNA, but my little Cletus trusts me totally. When we got in that pool, he looked at me to know he was safe. And he was. Completely.

Every day I spend with my kids, I realize the key to love is time, not DNA. I spend time with them. I teach them. I change their butts and make their meals. I put them to bed and am there when they wake up. Biodaddy a great man and I love biodaddy deeply. This father's day made me think about as the kids get older where we all fit. Biodaddy is their father, but I don't ever need to be jealous of him because I'm their parent. I won't pretend I don't have an occassional jealous thought over their bond with him, but it doesn't over take me because I know Cletus gets into the pool with me.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Losing Myself

Today I am in a funk and probably just need to pour it out a little. There doesn't seem anywhere to pour it lately. Sun & Moon and I are arguing, bickering is probably more accurate, semi-constantly. The kids are well in need of constant attention. Cletus, toddler, is a movement machine. He is also in the tantrum stage where everything causes a fit. DC, new baby, is a new baby which means crying (colic) & pooping & barfing on me all day.

I think I had some crazy Sound of Music image of this summer where we went out and basked in the sun and froliced in fields. Needless to say, not happening. Instead it's more like, ok what should we do today? IDK. Various suggestions. One is selected. We do this for an hour and then come home. Sun & Moon and I basically see each other 24 hours a day and I think she wants to kill me in my sleep, or maybe while I am awake.

No progress made on the friend front. Meetup has yet to be any help. I shall blog on this another day.

I have no job. Insert existential crisis here. I have no idea what I am doing. I am not sure who I am or what I am supposed to be. Sun & Moon looks at me like I am impatient with the kids all day. Every time she does I think - Oh God, I'm the one staying home with them. Then I want to cry a little. I am pretty sure she does not whole heartedly believe this is a good idea anymore.

I HAVE NO JOB! I look at job ads occasionally. They are always the same sort of ad. It's the job I just quit and don't want. Maybe I should look for different ads and find the job I do want. Hmm, that might be the best idea to come out of this stream of consciousness.

The only thing consistent with my  personhood from 1 year ago is that I still enjoy Willow & Tara fanfiction (Buffy). I am pretty sure this goes in the losing, not winning column of life.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Stroller Review: Baby Trend Sit N Stand Double Stroller

We purchased Baby Trend Sit N Stand Double Stroller for the arrival of our second baby. Our toddler is an active guy so we thought having a standing option would be good for him. In truth, he's not old enough for the standing option, but he does love sitting in it which is a huge relief.

Ease of Use: Pretty easy. As a person who doesn't like to read directions, it's really not been too hard to choose. Sun and Moon did read the instructions which was helpful. We haven't figured out the stand part yet, but I imagine that is going to require necessity to learn. I do love how easily we can open it up and snap it together. It is very quick. Folding up is not as easy. The wheels have to be in just the right position to snap it together which is a little bit of a pain when you are trying to get everyone in the car quickly.

Weight/Size: Not too bad. I mean you are buying a double stroller so it's not going to be light. I am not exactly big in stature and I don't have a problem hauling it around. It fits in the trunk of our Honda and easily in the back of our mini SUV.

Functionality: This thing is easy to push around. I accidentally took it off road already and it didn't tip over (I was being VERY careful). Sun & Moon loves the part where you can hang the diaper bag off the back handle. The basket underneath isn't so useful cause well baby and kid above it so you can't exactly pull out things just cause you need them.

Overall, I like this product and consider it a good buy. We go out quite often and use it several times a week. As far as double strollers go, I am very satisfied.

Other Reviews:
Amazon Reviews

The Blog Brought to You by 20 Seconds of Silence

Who ever said silence is golden didn't know the half of it. It is ridiculously difficult to get 20 seconds of peace in my house these days. Yesterday the Cletus, the toddler, refused to nap all day. It was special. Today he naps and at the same time (equivalent to the sun and moon aligning in an eclipse) DC chooses to nap without being held by someone. Hence, I have 2 free hands!!! Clearly, I can't spend all of this precious time blogging, but I just thought I would let the internets know of the existence of this rare parenting occasion. Hallelujah!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Couldn't Be Happier - 4 Now!

The first year I blogged for "Blogging for LGBT Families" I had a baby on the way. The second year I had a son who wasn't quite a year. This year I have a new baby girl. Now, we are a family of 4.

Funny, I remember stumbling onto to Mombian and felt like I had found a real connection to this entire other world of families, a world my family really needed. In just a moment, I felt like we weren't alone. Sometimes the world can feel so big and disconnected, when I found all of these blogs with families like mine, for a moment it felt smaller.

Now here I am 3 years later and I barely have time to blog about anything. I have a newborn and a toddler. Life moves at the speed of light. The boy grows like a weed and the girl is in the first stages of life, meaning she needs us basically every second. As I speak, poor mommy is trying to burp out a bubble that has baby girl screaming. Did I mention I couldn't be happier? Two nights ago, I think I got a couple hours sleep over like 7 hours. I was a bit delusional and my wife and I snapped at each other all day. Today, she kissed me and I thought my knees would buckle - I love her that much.

Ok, I should wrap it up before I use all my good spouse points blogging. To all of us with a family, yeah for us, we crash the party of family values and make it a little better everyday! To all of you thinking about having a family, go for it! Holidays are Awesome! Birthdays will be Better! And well even days that don't seem like anything at all will glow from time to time. Maybe next year I will have a little more time to blog. Thanks mombian!

Read the rest at Mombian Blogging for LGBT Families

Thursday, May 31, 2012

New Twitter Account - TheGayBump

I started a twitter. These days I don't know how much time I have to blog effectively. I am currently trying to re-balance my life. Even now, I type with one hand while I hold DC. Right now, I probably have more time to tweet. So that's what I am going to do. I'm not abandoning the blog, but it's kind of a long term project.

2 Kid Maddness

The two of them are well driving me down a short road to insanity. Let's not get it wrong - there are lots moments when I love every second of both of them. If you don't know that, then nothing on this blog will ever be taken in the correct light. BUT, omg! The new Baby screams like a wild Banshee. the toddler is a perpetual motion machine. Sun & Moon is cracking at a faster rate then I am sometimes. I don't like to bath (prefer the quickie shower), but I now know why that Calgon mom hides in the tub.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Baby Due in TWO Days!

I feel like this squirrel looks. Except instead of a truck coming, there's a baby coming. Today, even my hair is tense.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Making Friends Midlife

Notice how the kids are making friends, but their parents don't even notice each other. Welcome to the problems of making friends at 35.

I used to be a pro at making friends. The GB has moved a bunch in her life. I mean an inordinate number of times. I could make friends and quick. Part of moving is learning to adapt quickly to your new environment and be open to new ideas and people. But it's been a long time since I made a serious move. Honestly, we have lived for 7 years in basically the same place. That's a GB record. As a result, my friend making skills are rusty.

What's the problem? 1. The GB moved all her life so her good friends/family are all over the country and no where near my family. 2. The GB's close friends near her don't have kids. 3. The GB has turned into a homebody. Sun & Moon was always kind of a homebody, but now we all are cause well you can't really take a newborn lots of place and now that Cletus is old enough to go places we don't know anyone. 4. How do I, a short butchy lesbian, make friends with stay at home moms who sometimes look at me like: A. what are you doing here? B. do you have any idea what you are doing? C. did you steal those kids? I don't have much in common on face with these people. Striking up a conversation feels awkward and like I am trying hit on someone in a bar (also a skill not used in like 16 years). I can't make friends 20 minutes at a time once a week. The GB is like a fungus - she takes time to grow on you.

I guess I could just not care, but giving up my job is like giving up the last part of my social life not found on facebook (which although useful for long distance friendship is not a decent substitute for a social life). The GB is social and needs people in her life, at least some. We don't have to be besties or anything, but I need someone who I can complain about my kids too without them looking at me like I shouldn't be allowed the gift of children. I need some real people with a sense of humor, who like BBQ, who make mistakes raising their kids, & can laugh at politics or talk reality TV (it's all Sun & Moon let's me watch).

OK. So a new thread of this blog will be about the GB trying to make friends which is so far an epic fail. I have been trying to meet this one mom for like a month. She has tattoo sleeves so I am hoping that makes her cool. Cletus keeps foiling any attempt I have to get to know her. We now know each others names. But I have botched this friendship by bringing my sick kid to reading group. I thought he was feeling better, but once there it looked like a dragged my desperately sick child out of the house. I am pretty sure sleeves now believes me incompetent or uncaring. Also, I am afraid she is too nice and does not make terrible mistakes raising her children. I just can't jump that high of a bar. I need a low bar somewhere higher than "Hey I am obviously ruining my kid" & lower than "Hey I am Martha Stewart with real not fake warmth". If you know that friend and they live in the OC, then give the GB a heads up.