Thanks Everyone for the kind words from yesterday’s post.
K – I will look at SLC, I promise. If I am going to move, I want to be near people who I’d love to raise my family around!
– – – –
Days like this
(thinking about van.morrison)
Have you ever had one (or two or ten or more) of those days where you just really need a little break? Or you just may blow a precious gasket in your brain?
I feel like I’ve had a few of those in a row and sometimes, you just need to get it out (write about it on your blog) to maybe just look at the hilarity and complete absurdity of it all.
The last 48 hours (maybe just 36 hours) have been a little challenging for me. I do realize that I am healthy and we are not having any life-threatening or relationship-ending anything going on here. Everyone is okay. So, this really is not that big of a deal.
But….it all started yesterday afternoon. Over a bathing suit.
It all seems silly now, but after months of ups and downs about being jobless, stretching our money and sucking it up in every way possible, I thought I was going to have my big breakdown over a bathing suit.
Now, months ago, I had found a bathing suit in the Lands.End catalog. It is perfect for my less-than-perfect physique and it would replace the ugly and outdated suit I bought many years ago. I mentioned it to Lo for a few weeks and we traded in some bank points for gift cards to S.ears specifically so I could get a suit. They went on sale and my gift cards came in the mail. We set off for S.ears yesterday with this goal, but…wait a sec….Lo mentioned that she really, really needed just one new bra. After an hour of trying on every bra in the store, we settled on one and spent 1/2 the gift card. I tried on the bathing suit, she agreed it looked great and then frowned at the price.
“You cannot spend $70 on a bathing suit??!? Are you out of your mind?” I thought I had planned it out. I had $50 in gift cards. I had $20 in my pocket and had planned for this. I’d rather use the “found money” gift cards and spend $20 in cash to get exactly what I wanted versus spending $40 out of my pocket for something I didn’t love.
An expensive bathing suit is not a necessity. I understand. Lo got her bra. She suggested I look at K.ohls for a suit but I just didn’t want it anymore.
So, I spent a few hours sulking. Frustrated that something I thought would be a little gift to myself just wasn’t in the cards, yet again.
That was yesterday. I’m moving forward but it just made everything seem 100x more heavy.
Then, today was just a comedy of errors. Lo got home at 1:00 am from work. I was still awake. Then, my alarm went off at 6 am. That’s when the condo had a dumpster delivered and I had 3 hours to get a bunch of crap out of my house that I’d totally not prepared for.
At 6:15 am, I was walking into a back closet area to pull boxes out and smacked my forehead into a low hanging wall. Ended up on my back literally seeing stars. In the rain, I loaded up the minivan 2x and brought random crap to the dumpster.
I was stuck in the house most of the day due to the rain and the boys were in rare form. By the time Lo left for work again at 1:00 pm, I was happy to see the clouds moving on and the sun coming out.
So, I took them to the park to meet with S and her son (Shmoo’s BFF) K. All was well for about 45 minutes. We snacked, chatted and the boys played. I actually had a conversation with a grown up.
Then all Hell broke loose.
Nobody got hurt. No blood was spilled. My son just created a ginormous scene.
Over the ice cream truck.
It pulled in.
The boys saw it.
They begged for it and since they’d been good, we acquiesced.
The woman in the truck didn’t have 1/2 of the things on the pictures. Shmoo wanted Iron Man. Then he wanted a rainbow bomb pop. Then he wanted a snow cone. Then he wanted…
I told him to make a decision. Iron Man.
They were out.
They had Spider-Man. Dylan and I went through the same routine. We paid. All was good. Right?
When we turned away and K and S ordered, Shmoo went into grumbling mode.
“I don’t want Spider-Man. I want what K is getting.”
Me – “We go over this every time. You make a decision and you get what you get. You get a yummy Spider-Man ice cream. This is much better than no ice cream at all.”
I open the ice pop and hand it to him with the words “how you act right now will determine if we go home, if you get the ice pop now and if mommy will even think about buying you an ice cream the next time we see an ice cream truck. Think about it, bud.”
That’s when he threw (or dropped) the unwrapped ice cream in the dirt.
I calmly picked it up and threw it in the garbage nearby (freaking $2.50 down the drain).
That’s when one of the most spectacular temper tantrums started. It continued the 100 yards back to the car. Neighbors waved and shrugged at me as I eventually had to pick him up and physically place him in the car. Playdate over. No ice cream. 3 strikes in 5 minutes (good behavior sticker lost for the day and no Nintendo.DS)
The tantrum continued for the 5 min ride home and into the house.
After some final calming down and more talking through, he seemed to be ok (an hour later).
Then, he fell asleep on the couch. Dammit. It was too late to let him sleep but I stupidly let him. Dylan had fallen asleep long before and I decided to enjoy a few minutes of calm (stupid, stupid mommy).
Then, it was too late. It was 7 pm. I had to wake them up.
Shmoo groggily walked into the kitchen as I put his dinner in a dish.
He walked into the dining room and was pulling down his pants.
“SHMOO – STOP. WAKE UP! YOU ARE NOT IN THE BATHROOM. YOU ARE NOT AT THE TOILET! STOP!!!!”
His eyes were open but I think he may have been totally asleep.
He proceeded to EMPTY his bladder on my dining room chair. The cushion. The computer power cord. The floor. His own shorts around his ankles.
Are you kidding me??!!?!
I thought after I resolved this, we would be done.
No less than 5 minutes later, Dylan walked into the kitchen. He drank 3 juices at the park and fell asleep on the ride home. Silly mommy hadn’t changed his diaper. He was SOAKED. My couch where he napped was SOAKED.
He was wet and cranky. I needed to get them fed and in the bath! Pronto!
Dylan refused to let me strip him down and insisted on keeping his pee-soaked clothes on (2 year old screaming bloody murder = “insisting”) but wouldn’t put a diaper on.
Ok, I thought. I have 5 minutes. No problem.
2 minutes later. He walked into the living room. Stood next to the coffee table and unloaded his entire bladder. Through the shorts, all over my carpet.
Then he started crying.
I almost did too.
They are now bathed. It is late and they are still awake (DUH- THEY NAPPED TOO LATE!!) But they are in their beds. And I am sitting down to write it all out.
So, this is all just silly trivial stuff.
This isn’t 7 months of unemployment and stress coming to a breaking point, it’s one day of chaos that just is another lesson. I think.
This is another growing experience. Learning experience. Character building.
I do absolutely love my boys. And these moments are going to be funny. Maybe not today, but in a few days ;-)
Every year, I write a blog for my family on June 1st. Even though I’m in denial that it’s even June yet, I am lighting a fire under myself to contribute to an amazing collection of family stories that will appear on Mombian today.
Every year, I write about my amazing family and how we are just like everyone else. I think I’ve hit a turning point where I realize we are not like everyone else. No one is really like everyone else. All families are different and amazing in their own way, just like ours.
As a quick update, my wife (Lo) and I have been together over 12 years. We have 2 boys together, Andrew and Dylan. Lo is bio-mom to Andrew and I am bio-mom to Dylan. But when people ask “Who is his mom?”, the answer is “BOTH OF US!”
I think my family is absolutely amazing in every way. I would like to think that many, many other parents feel exactly the same way!
I haven’t been blogging at all lately because I’ve been consumed with my family.
I have been unemployed for 7 months. While we are scared and stressed about the lack of our primary income, this has been an amazing awakening for all of us.
I’ve consistently worked from the time I was 14 years old. Even through high school, college and law school, I’ve held a job. Now, after being the bread winner, I’m scraping by finding odd jobs for small amounts of money and alternatively collecting unemployment when I’m not working here and there. I want to cry and mope about not being the contributor that I was.
But along the way, something amazing has happened. I’ve spent these 7 months with my kids FULL-TIME!!!
I used to be gone from home from 7 am-7 pm, help give a bath and then read a story before bed.
Now, I have this precious time with my serious and energetic 5 year old, Andrew (aka Shmoo) and his hilarious, goofy brother, Dylan.
And we do stuff. We make squirrel houses out of diaper boxes, we plant veggies, we build rocket ships, we make hats out of newspapers.
In this time, my daredevil son, Andrew has shed his swimmies in the pool and the training wheels on his bike. In those moments, he would shout “Look at me MOMMY!” and I was THERE TO SEE IT!!
Dylan is my ham of a child. Laughing, dancing, singing. In the last 7 months, he is talking like a champ, showing me every little thing he can do!
My amazing wife, Lo, is working ridiculous hours right now to carry the health benefits for us while I’m desperately trying to find a job – this time hopefully something that gives us (me) a much better work environment.
Like I said, every June 1st, I write about my family and how we are just like everyone else. We are. And we’re very different too. I have 2 beautiful boys that attract attention because of their giant (sometimes good, sometimes bad) personalities. And we definitely stand out as “different” because we are the only 2 mommy family in either of the boys’ schools.
We are no better or worse than any other family, we are just a “FAMILY” like every other family out there.
We have numerous wonderful friends who are “aunts” and “uncles” to our boys. Our families have been so loving and supportive.
Through this stressful time, we are staying pretty solid. The boys have a great life right now and we are holding on.
Right now, we are very lucky to live in a state (and an area) that is open and welcoming. We have full and complete legal rights as a family in CT. As I’ve been looking for a job, I’ve tried to keep my focus on gay marriage states, but it may not work out the way I planned.
No matter what, we will continue to be who we are and raise our boys the best we know how while allowing them to be as happy and healthy as they can be. I think that makes a great family!
So, I blew it. That blogging once a week thing. I suck.
I am hoping to not suck so much in the coming weeks and months.
Not a heck of a lot new here. Some job leads may be poking through, but I’m not going to invest too much excitement until I think the leads are more solid.
One thing I have to say, however, is that I am working on the confidence. Even though the “lay off” was kinda mutual – because I was just D.O.N.E. with the situation, I still feel like I failed at something. I wasn’t “partner material” to my boss (who I honestly didn’t have huge respect for).
But, in the last few months, I’ve had one former boss tell me that he wish he made me partner and another boss approach me about coming back to groom me to take over the firm in 10 years.
Both are high compliments. The offer about grooming/taking over is still tenuous. I am not sure that’s what I want. But, if I get a good offer (may be another week or so), it will leave me with a tough decision to make.
I’ve been focused on getting out of here and making a big life change with career and location. The north.ampton thing may still be an option.
But, if this “offer” really happens, it will be right here. In the place I’m trying to leave. But the place where so many friends and family are. The place where, if I was to be a private practice lawyer for the rest of my career, I know many, many people to have a HUGE network of potential clients.
Right now, I’m just trying to keep it together. I haven’t accomplished much in the time I’ve been unemployed. I haven’t lost the weight, been able to get myself to run a 10k, mastered cooking or cleaning, etc.
But, this is all part of the process.
We keep playing everything by ear. Where will we be by the time school starts next year?
Who knows, but we’ve signed up the boys for their respective schools here in the Fall.
Pics of the boys will be coming soon. I need to bring my camera around with me more.
We got through the birthday party WEEK and it was awesome. It’s fun to make a big deal out of birthdays at this age.
This was from the friend party! It was perfect and had a range of kids from 3-7. But they did everything, even had Batman come for a quick visit and to do the chicken dance with the kids.
The actual birthday DAY was super cool. He brought cupcakes to school, went to Toys.R.Us after school to spend a giftcard (where they announced him over the loudspeaker and gave him & Dylan crowns and balloons), had a family party with family, friends and neighbors and was showered with love and presents (what 5 yr old boy doesn’t LOVE presents!)
We are having a birthday party on Saturday for the Shmoo. I guess we started a trend with always having a party for him. It’s tough when you have Winter birthdays because having a party means spending money, unless you have a friend with a huge house. It would be great to have the party at a playground where the kids can just run around like lunatic for 2 hours and you just supply cake, pizza and goody bags!
We’ve been pretty smart and have kept costs low in the past. This year shouldn’t be too bad either. But it’s the # of kids that attend.
I am curious if this is the “rule” everywhere, but it seems that in CT, when your child is in K-3, you can’t invite just a few kids from the class without inviting the entire class. Most of my friends just don’t invite any of their child’s friends from school. But 4 of Shmoo’s friends right now are from school.
Between cousins and non-school friends, we’re already at 10. He wants to invite friends from chool but there are 14 kids in his class. I can’t throw a party for 24 3-5 year olds! Oy.
I quietly spoke to his teacher and she said in Pre-K, don’t worry about it. They will slip the invites in each kids’ backpack and not make a fuss about it. Plus, she said, at this age, when you ask what they did over the weekend, they talk about dinosaurs and rocketships.
So, now I just feel guilty about any kid or mom finding out that 5 kids from school were invited but the others were not. Sigh.
I also am having reservations about the party because the last thing we need is more toys in the house. We are being very selective about having a ton of toys available at once and have been throwing toys in the attic to cycle them throughout the year. He still has toys in the box from Christmas. (The bonus is that everything that we have up there come December can be used for Toys.4.Tots or the local toy drive).
The long and short of it is that we are throwing the kid a Super Hero birthday party at a local dairy store (sounds a little hokey, but it’s fun).
And I just can’t believe this boy is going to be 5.
Now, look at him!
I will have plenty to write about the boys. I just want to provide a quick update about us first.
As many of you know, I lost my job in October. It was a blessing because it was making me absolutely miserable. I do wish that I was the one saying “see ya!” as I danced out the door, but this is the way it is. I also thought I would have a job long before October, or at least by December. But the prospects are limited right now.
We have gone through some big adjustments. For one, I am now the SAHM and Lo is working 3-4 jobs. It’s humorous. Lo is definitely much better at every home-related (although I am better at laundry – she does have a habit of shrinking sweaters). It’s definitely not the well-oiled machine that it was when Lois was in charge.
Our schedules are crazy and we don’t have much time together. We keep saying this is all temporary. But we sometimes have the family together for most of the day on a Tuesday and we try to make that our Saturday.
The money thing has been an adjustment as well. I’m not sitting here crying poverty, it’s just that it’s been….an adjustment. Before October, I may have been a little whiny about not having an iPad, or wishing we had a laptop that was newer than 8 yr old without missing keys, or wanting a car that was nicer than my Honda.Civic with 120k+ miles, etc.
Now, I am shutting my mouth and doing what we need to get through. We are paying the mortgage, we even are going to be able to throw Shmoo a small birthday party with his friends, etc. but we are not buying coffee every day and just trying to be smart. We aren’t buying clothes or eating out or spending money on things that are not NECESSARY. It is harder to be at home all of the time with the boys when you have to be frugal, because it’s cold in CT and we it’s not as easy to find free things to do here in the Winter. But I’m learning to be creative with activities in the house.
We would love to take another trip to CA or even SLC. We wanted to take the boys to Boston or DC for a weekend, but all those things just have to wait.
I think we are just at a point where we know we just have to dig in our heels and live. We don’t want the boys to feel too much of the chaos, but it’s hard with our changing schedules.
Lo has been dropping weight like crazy working at her new gig, so I am stepping up my game. I have a 3-month gym membership for FREE through some friends, so I am resetting my fitness goals for 2012. I may be crazy but my goal for the year are: (1) 40 lbs down, (2) 2 triathlons, (3) 1 duathlon and (4) a Tough.Mudder. We’ll see how these pan out.
As far as the job thing, we are also coming to a place in our lives and relationship that we are ready for a possible big change. We have made some friends in Western.Mass and are really falling in love with the area, especially the lower cost of living and very gay-friendly atmosphere. It would be cool to live somewhere that has such a big population of gay families. Plus, it’s just a healthy, outdoorsy beautiful place to live with lots of great schools and colleges around. A friend may be able to get me a job up there within a few months. The pay would be much lower than I was hoping for, but with Lo working at T.J’s, she could transfer and we just need to make an adjustment to our work/family life to make it all work.
In the meantime, I’m applying for jobs in CT and MA. I think I would almost be disappointed now to find a job that keeps us here, but we are just going to go with the flow right now.
That’s us right now, just riding whatever wave this is. It’s scary and I wish we were more comfortable right now but this is our life. I have to say that I am reminded every day how unbelievably lucky I am to have Lo, who has just be amazing through all this.
And I am beyond lucky to have these healthy and amazing little boys too. Their spirit just makes all of this harder and easier at the same time. We are doing everything for them and they make our lives so awesome in return.
I’m glad to be back to blogging! And can’t wait to catch up on all my buddies’ blogs.
Thank you for the kind words on the last post Amanda and Karen.
So, I read this article (link wasn’t working – now try http://www.socialmoms.com/tech/social-media/fall-love-blog/) yesterday and realized I am in dire need of a full-blown return to blogging.
I also realized that my interaction with adults seemed to be limited to face.book
We definitely have soooo much to talk about lately. I think it’s funny when friends always say that our lives are so crazy. We only have 2 kids. How can we have a loonier life than most people?
Maybe it is true right now. I feel like every day is just a
tail spin roller coaster ride!
I will be blogging at least 3 times per week.
I really, really promise this time!