Happy 7th Birthday, Valentine’s Baby

If you happened upon this post, or caught a bit of subtext in some others, or hell, if you happen to actually know me in real life, you know this year hasn’t always been the very best for my S. Since before that child was born *60 hours of labor, cough, cough*, she has been stubborn and willful and the kind of gal that marches to the beat of her own bongo. See here for some toddler reference.

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In the last couple of months there has been an incredible transformation. Sure, she’s still strong and willful and a bit on the stubborn side, but there is no more “clipping all the way down” almost weekly and landing in the counselors or principal’s office. Almost daily she is “clipping up” to “Role Model,” acting as student of the week, bringing home awards, and behaving in such a way that leads to mommy-happy-tears emails from her teacher. She tries to help out, assists with her annoying little brother and, I swear to god, even her room is clean. (Sure, I did most of it, but she’s maintaining it.)

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She has grown from an irritable, emotional, adjusting and sometimes violent level of strong and bold, to a more patient, responsible, accountable brand of strength. She hugs me and tells me she loves me every day. She astounds me academically, especially in math and science. Her passion for animals has never wavered. She sings and dances all around and gives zero fucks about being any kind of a princess in itchy dresses. She is one of the most balanced and awesome girls this earth has been blessed with.

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I can genuinely say I both admire and envy her. At SEVEN years old she has more backbone than I did at …. Shit. At least 23 or so. Her beauty is exterior in her cute, half toothless grin, chubby cheeks and big blue eyes. But her true beauty, what makes her most fascinating is her beautiful soul. I’m glad I had her when I did, and I’m glad I’ve reached a point in my life where I can be stong enough to raise a woman as strong as she. I never want to hinder her from the greatness I know she will find. I never want to cloud the pure sunshine in her heart. I never want to let her down. I know she leads me just as much as I lead her and I can’t wait to see where this next year of her life leads the both of us.

This morning, all six of us were up extra early to celebrate another year of this girl. We dined on fine chocolate chip muffins, strawberries and sparkling cider in plastic eyeglasses sniffing scented pencils. It was honestly great. I mean, sure, the moms throwing sack lunches together as fast as humanly possible while chugging coffee and water equally after too much the night prior. But that’s us. That’s our beautiful life and I know my baby girl seven year old genuinely enjoyed her quickly family’s cheers to her, AM celebration. Next up: Nachos, a “horse cake,” and headache-inducing karaoke.

Happy birthday, my Valentine’s Baby. I love you forever and I like you for always.

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Our Kids. Just Cuz.

Here’s a little #flashbackfriday to one of the first times we took these hooligans out in public altogether. Here’s to dominating a mall photo booth.

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Happy Holidays…

So ‘member that time (two days ago) when I said my life was just too perfect to even be  interesting enough to write about? What I meant really was that to me, it’s pretty effing perfect. I mean that my life has little to no stress or conflict and that I feel loved and love every single day. Let me assure you that what I did NOT mean is that I have all my shit together. I didn’t mean that my kids eat all local, non-gmo foods. I didn’t mean that I’m caught up on laundry. I didn’t mean that no one in the house ever pegs anyone else in the house right in the face with Nerf bullets. And I definitely didn’t mean that I’m always to work on time in starched clothes.

What I meant was that I high five my girlfriend when either of us comes up with a meal that ¾ of the children eat and it isn’t candy or microwaved popcorn. And that we have more than enough clothes to go a full week without desperately needing to wash everything, and that sometimes whatever we are enjoying doing is far more important than laundry. I meant that our kids are rowdy, playful, and kind of assholes, but they have a hell of a time together and sometimes that means Nerf wars in the house. And I meant that far more often than not, I would rather get 15 more minutes of snuggles and kisses in the morning than actually have my shit together and be ready for the day every day. That is what makes my life perfect.

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We yell, bicker, and lose our tempers. We make big ol’ messes, and forget that it’s chorus day or game day. We dance like maniacs, sing too loudly, and honestly a few of us have questionable hygiene. We get cavities & stitches, we miss the bus, and sometimes people lock themselves in the their rooms or get sent home from school. And this year when I had my heart set on Christmas cards from all of us, I didn’t have one single, non-Chuck-E-Cheese photo of our party of six.

Guess what. I did nothing more than upload a few facebook pics onto the Costco website and have them finalized and printed within hours. There was no professional photography. I didn’t spend hours personally creating the perfect, custom card, and then add on more hours designing a perfect holiday newsletter. It’s just us, being more happy than I thought possible.

Happy Holidays from the jolliest bunch of assholes this side of the nuthouse!  theellewordblog.com (1).png

 

Holiday Happiness

I love to write. I really do. And I really, really love to blog. I love everything about it. I love pretty layouts and conversational feels and lots of photos. That said, no one likes the blogs that feel fake, staged and all to perfect. Especially when you happen to know the person irl—Which brings me to my silence of late. Maybe my shiz is just too perfect right now. I mean yeah, Saturday I neglected to get dressed, shower or even bother brushing my teeth, but that’s cuz I was busy just being with my beautiful girlfriend. After having all the kids for about two weeks straight It was nice to just be with her without stopping to find someone’s other glove, pour yet another glass of juice, or argue about whether bedtimes are necessary.

But that’s it. My biggest struggles in life right now are making foods that all the humans will eat and remembering where my keys are. Other than that, I have just been living. Living my every day to the fullest with the people I love the most.

This holiday season has been glorious already. It’s hectic and I wish I had more time off to slow down and enjoy it all, but it’s still fantastic.

We’ve made Christmas cookies:christmas-cookies

Played games:

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Created and worn far too many temporary tattoos:original

Met Darth Vader:img_1956

Played in the snow:img_1912

Cuz our ‘hood looks like this:

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But warmed up in an indoor water park:

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And had way to much fun with that damn elf I never said I’d be a part of. our elf on the shelf.png

And maybe used shopping centers for our our own, personal photo shoots.

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And frankly, I just love all of it.

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Blended, Lesbian Family

When I knew I was separating for my ex-husband, there were a lot of unknowns. All kinds. Was I really THAT gay? How would I meet women? How would my ex-husband and I schedule and share the kids? How would they do? Where would I live? The list went on and on. I even asked myself how I would feel when baby daddy moved on and added to his clan and gave my kids step or half siblings. I assumed he’d eventually have more kids or get with a girl who had her own. One thing I absolutely never considered was me settling down with some cute single mom.

At the time I was certain I was in the severe minority of lesbians. I mean, I married a dude and had babies with him. Kinda silly to worry about, but that’s where I was. Now, I’d say I know more lesbians that have dated, married and/or even bred with fellas, so yeah, lesbian single moms of all sorts of backgrounds are a thing. Duh. I’m one. My gf is one.

With that in mind, together we are tackling the thing that many fear, and neither of us planned for or expected at all – parenting together all blended family style.

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The idea of it is positively daunting. Terra’s oldest is in Jr. High. Once she hits High School, we will consistently have a kind in high school for the next 12 years consecutively. My youngest is in Pre-K now. That means 13 more years of packing lunches, homework, field trips, fundraising, and PTA. We just finished football season for one, but now he’s started chorus, and another is about to begin basketball. Spring will bring soccer and baseball and lord knows what else. We literally have decades of little league and recitals ahead of us. Plus they are all feral and can NEVER all be satisfied with the same meal, on the same day.

To re-cap, two sane-presenting, lesbian mothers decided to shack up after only months of even knowing each other to accomplish shit that is already a struggle with four of the strangest, sassiest little darlings on the planet. Go us, amirite?

The reality is it’s really fucking amazing. I mean it. Sure two days ago I had to put the kibosh on some outdoor activities because one threw a baseball at another (unprepared) one, and kid b strongly considered choking out kid a…. Well, until queen of the children decided this was not acceptable and with the help of her loyal maiden shut it all down. But then yesterday one of the troublesome brothers insisted on helping his “little sister” with all of her homework. I walked in to see this. My heart melted and I once again knew we were all in exactly the right place.

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‘Member Me?

If you have followed me and or my blogging at all, you know this one thing neva-eva changes: Sometimes I have a lot of shit going on and don’t write.

I told you I won Tinder, so as a lesbian, naturally that means I needed to move in with her as soon as possible. Nope. Not kidding.u-haul

So as you can imagine, planning, packing, moving, job hunting, interviewing, daycare searching and touring, school registering and touring, etc. and so on take up a considerable about of time. During this time, nothing in the world has been more important than just being and allowing all of us to adjust and assimilate and enjoy our new life rolling 6 deep.

All four kids are strong. All four are crazy. All four are stubborn and silly and vain and sometimes selfish. They are also fun and sweet and kind and loving. There is nothing more beautiful than seeing how much they take care of each other and just genuinely adore each other. I’m not saying that none of them every throw a punch or yell or send their mothers rushing toward the wine rack at exactly 8:10. I’m just saying they love and we are building a really beautiful life. I may not have written damn near anything all summer, but I had the most amazing summer.

A Parenting Win for our Non-Traditional Family

Starting at a new school can be an intimidating, difficult transition. Particularly if you have never attended a real school before because you are a just a tiny little kindergartner. It is even more difficult if you don’t know anyone who is going to the elementary school to which you have been assigned. And I’ve never been in this predicament, but I would assume if you happen to be a five year old dealing with all that, while also adapting to your parents splitting up, your mom (and consequently you and your little bro) moving to a new apartment, and your mom getting a new girlfriend within the same time span, life could be stressful. With that in mind, I was calmly cautious about my first ever parent-teacher conference for my daughter, S. The ex-husband and I were to be there together and neither of us had been to any such thing before. I know my daughter is fiercely independent and strong-willed, even if a kind and compassionate soul. It can really be hit or miss when anything is amiss in her world.

S at the children's circus summer 2015
S at the children’s circus summer 2015

Ex-husband was nervous. Really nervous. I wasn’t, but at the same time, I had no idea what to expect. The first words out of teacher’s mouth were, “Well we have a very strong-willed young lady on our hands.” *Pause.* I don’t love “strong-willed” as it seems to have negative connotations in line with the bossy v. leadership skills debate. I straightened up in my seat ready to hear out whether this was a complaint, compliment, or simply a fact. I’ve heard it as all three.

Walking to Kindergarten
Walking to Kindergarten

It was simply a fact. My S is strong and independent.  Mrs. R went on to give us more details about S’s classroom behavior. She both tests and respects boundaries, especially once she knows the boundaries are there and why. She is a leader among her classmates. Her marks in all scholarly categories were above average. (Although frankly, I don’t care. She’s five. I’d rather have a kind, strong, helpful, creative and self-aware kid than some kid who is already proficiently reading.) She engages in all aspects of the kindergarten curriculum from phonics to computer lab to phys ed, and as per usual, she is (typically;)) a delight to be around. AND the teacher with a good 20+ years of experience repeatedly praised us for being attentive, involved, good parents working together to raise a great kid. BAM, bitches.

First day of school and posing with erh scrubby little brother... not his first day of school.
First day of school and posing with her scrubby little brother… not his first day of school.

So there you have it folks. So far, so good. Despite what you may have read,almost-divorced, lesbian moms actually can raise well-adjusted, kind, intelligent, and all-around kick ass kids.

Pre-K Graduation
Pre-K Graduation