Thursday, June 30, 2011

Father

My dad doesn't agree with my marriage.  I've written about that before, and I don't think it's likely to change in the near future.  However, one of the things I do appreciate about him is his ability to take it as fact.  Whereas V's mother can't even tiptoe near our relationship (this is a woman who whispers the word 'mosque' in case the jihadists can hear, but that's another story), my dad is much more relaxed.  It makes our conversations so much easier.  Yesterday, he and I were talking about holidays; I've always had to juggle them between my two sets of parents, and things are even more complicated now that V's parents at in the mix.  I quipped, "And I thought it was bad when I had two families!" and he laughed.  Laughed, because I was funny.  Instead of it driving him to the couch in tears.  Not that I'm referencing anyone.  Like V's mom.

Of course, holidays are still going to be complicated, but whatever.  We still have a few months.  I haven't seen my mom in a year, so that needs to be fixed.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Aches

V and I watched Katie and Sean on Saturday night, and when their parents got home just after midnight, Katie started crying upstairs.  Her mom went to get her, mentioning that she'd been fighting a fever all day.

And you didn't tell me this before I kissed her goodnight and tucked her in, why?

So, after waking up at 4:30 this morning, knowing I had a fever, and aching in every single muscle I had (I couldn't talk because moving my jaw hurt)...I finally got up at 6 and woke V up at 6:30.  She has a more mild version, we think; she's got a fever and aches too, but not dying like I was.

I went to the twins' late (some days I'm so happy their dad works from home), and ended up doing 11:30-2:30 over there.  That means I only lost an hour's wage, thankfully.

I texted Katie's mom this morning and asked if Katie had ever come down with anything; she said the fever was about 24 hours, and that she (the mom) had it yesterday.  So at least I know this should be over tomorrow.  In the meantime, I rest, read, do crossword puzzles, and catch up with my dad.  And get really annoyed with the cat.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Hot and cold

Lilly has been a terror the past week or so.  When she isn't being an angel.  There is no middle ground.  Today was a better day, at least, than yesterday and last Friday.  Having gymnastics helped, I think, because she only acts up at home (thank goodness).  And Patrick was Mr Outgoing, which he never is.  Talking to other kids in the class, lining up first to do something...I was really impressed.  He did the balance beam without me holding his hand!

After work I spent an hour and a half running errands, most of that time in the car.  Places can be too darn far apart, especially when your car doesn't have air conditioning.  We need a new car, new phones, and V needs a new laptop.  Guess I'd better go back to those 50 hour workweeks?

Heck no.  I'll find some other way to work on saving.  Right now, I'm glorying in rest, and trying to decide if this headache negates yoga tonight.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Remiss

As the title implies, I've been rather remiss at posting this weekend.  At the moment, I'm reveling in the close of the second of two full days spent with my love, at home - something we haven't had in weeks.  We've cleaned; we've shopped (lots of new books! and food!); we've babysat together; we toured a historical recreated village.  You know, the usual.

Confession: I'm drunk at the moment.  I use the term reveling in a rather literal fashion.

This week should be much easier than the last two.  For starters, I'm not spending over 45 hours in childcare.  Tomorrow is just the twins and Kali; Tuesday so far is just the twins.  And glory be, V will be home in the evening now that her summer classes are over.  It will be wonderful, though I'll have to start cooking again.

Given the aforementioned intoxication, I'm going to bid the world au revoir now.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Phone

Last week, I had to teach the T9 on my phone "lgbt."

What kind of gay am I?  Shameful, telephone!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Games

Confession time: I hate playing games with children.
I just spend close to an hour with Seth, being told that he won he won he won (despite clear evidence to the contrary), and "I'm the boy of the house so you have to listen to my rules" (which I soundly denounced), and no-that's-not-right-you're-doing-it-wrong!!!

Nothing brings out my desire to yell "I was playing this before your parents were even married!" like trying to play an organized game (memory, uno, even doing puzzles) with the three to, oh, ten crowd.

Though I should disclaimer here that I actually don't really like games in general.  But particularly not with children.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Bathroom trauma

The scene: Bug's living room, just after lunch.  Her mom is out with Andrew; she is playing in front of her dollhouse.
Me: Bug, time to go potty!
Bug: No I don't wanna!
[I pick her up and show her how she can sit backwards on the potty, which she thinks is cool.  She pees.]
Me: Yay!  Good job.  I'm going to go get a pull-up.
[I disappear to get a pull-up; she disappears back to her dollhouse.  I go find her, Dora pull-up in hand, and she stands up to reveal four little poops under her dress.]
Me: Bug...  Did you just poop on the floor?
Bug: No poop on floor.  Poop in potty.
Me: Yeah, you're going to go potty again.
[We go back and I sit her on the potty, backwards again.  She has two dollhouse dolls in her hands.  She poops again {how?!}, then drops in one of her dolls.  Thankfully the doll is totally plastic, no hair or anything.]
Me: Guess he's gone.
Bug: Noah!
Me: We have to go get a pull-up, and clean up the poop on the floor.
[She gets pull-upped, I grab wipes, and we go back to the offending spot.  I pick up the poop and make her wipe the floor clean.  She goes back to her dollhouse; I go fish out the doll from the toilet and wash it and myself eight times.]

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Tired

I never knew there was such a thing as a workaholic nanny.  There is, or if there isn't, I invented the category, because I sure am one.  This is another crazy week and of course it's only Tuesday.

You know V and I are too busy when there's something at the conservatory we want to go see, but the only time we can go together is if we take at least one child with us.

Week schedule:
Monday - twins, Bug and Andrew (thankfully got sent home early!), Seth and Isabella
Tuesday - twins, Emma and Lizzie (more 2.5 year old twins), yoga (hooray!)
Wednesday - Bug and Andrew, Kali (since Laura and Danielle should sleep the whole time)
Thursday - twins, Seth and Isabella, Bug and Andrew
Friday - twins, Bug and Andrew (or maybe not...who knows)

You'd think that kind of a schedule would make my number of posts go down.  I guess it means I have more to talk about.

Recovering

After working so much last week, I'm really not feeling kids this week.  We'll see if that changes.

I was going to take Patrick and Lilly to the zoo today, but it was over ninety and humid, so we quickly nixed that plan.  I took them instead to the art museum - it's free, air conditioned, and I don't think they'd ever been.  They loved pictures with animals or at the beach, and statues fascinated them.  My favorite was a horse or donkey statue, and when I asked Patrick what he thought it was, he said "Dinosaur!"  In the same room was an abstract statue, and he pointed to it and said "Pig oink oink!"

Yes, I feel like a recovering homeschooler taking two and a half year old twins to an art museum.  Such a good learning experience and exposure!

And now for a summer thunderstorm.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Grr 2

This was a crappy day.  I never quite felt right emotionally, and every child seemed whiny and needy and toddlerish.  I'm hoping tomorrow is better.

My bright spot was when I was eating dinner with Seth and Isabella, and out of nowhere they both launched into the chorus of Katy Perry's Firework, in unison, singing at me.  They are four and two.  It was awesome and adorable.

But yes, other than that, today kinda sucked.  I'm not sure why.
Happy Lina will be back later.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Grr

V and I had a wonderful weekend celebrating with friends, and I realized just how much I like gay boys.  But I don't feel like talking about any of that, partially because I'm trying to last-minute make a family reunion ten hours away.  So I can answer questions myself.  And to see family.  Long story.

A cousin of mine just had her third baby; she never finds out the gender, and her first two are girls.  She posted a picture of her new son with the caption, "Third time's the charm!"

As V said, what were the first two, tries?  Ugh.  That statement bothers me so much.

I'm grouchy-pants.  Goodnight.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Anticipation

I currently have two kids running around, naked from the waist down.
Why yes, I am waiting for disaster to strike.

I was changing Lilly's diaper and she announced that she wanted to pee-pee in the potty.  She sat there for awhile, then Patrick wanted a turn, then she wanted another one...and now they're back to playing, and neither of them want to put a diaper on.

I'm terrified.  But curious.

Humor two

Lilly saw her mom's bra drying in the laundry room, and just squealed "Mommy's boobies!"
Um, yep, that's where they go.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Humor

One of our Kindermusik songs asks each kid what they like to eat, and it teaches echoing.  The teacher says, "[child's name] likes [favorite food]" and we all repeat, then "yum yum [food]" and we all repeat.  For some reason, Patrick always says bananas, which he absolutely detests.  I feel mildly ridiculous singing "Patrick likes bananas!"

The class is themed around a carnival, so there's lots of talk of hot dogs, popcorn, and ice cream.  Most of the kids pick hot dogs as their food of choice.  One of the boys and his mom look perhaps Indian; he happens to be exactly a day younger than the twins, and his mom is super friendly.  He piped up that he wanted to sing hot dogs for his turn, and his mother started laughing and said, "You're a vegetarian!"

So we all sang that he liked vegetarian hot dogs.
(If you don't find the preceding funny, you don't belong in my world.)

Connection

After watching the twins and then Bug and Harper, I made my way to Seth and Isabella's tonight.  I'm a sleepy girl, just got home half an hour ago.  Their mom was at a mom's group meeting.
Her: So, this might be overstepping bounds, but there's a mom in my mom's group, and she and her partner have four year old twins, and she's a member of my pool...
Me: Yes.  Whatever it is, yes.
I don't know if she's going to give me contact info to this woman, or ask her if she's interested in getting in touch, or what, but I'm excited.  Another gay couple!  Here!  With kids!  That I have an indirect connection to!  I knew they existed, but still!
Sleepy girl now.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Day three

I woke up with a headache, and couldn't go back to sleep once I was at the twins'.  They were okay through breakfast, and then we went to Essie's for a playdate.  V and I corralled the kids into making salt dough handprints for father's day; they turned out great and the kids all behaved and had fun!  Definitely better than I was expecting.  I measured ingredients, then they got to pour them in and stir it up, then I kneaded it together and they got to press it into the pie plate, V rolled it out, and they did one hand at a time.  V used a toothpick to write 2011 and each child's initials.  Should take 48 hours to dry.  We even got one of Anne's hands on Essie's!

They played, they ate, and as we were driving home at 1:15, Patrick fell asleep in the van.  I caught it right as it happened and chattered like an idiot the rest of the way.  They each had a cracker and a half at home, then up to bed.

So far, better than yesterday.  Of course, Patrick was in timeout forever at Essie's, and Lilly's already thrown two tantrums, but...better than yesterday.  And I'm done at 6 instead of 9:30.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Ugh

I'm working insane hours with insane children.
I'm grouchy and exhausted.
(Much like they are.)
This is me whining.

Why is it only Tuesday?

Cure

Today hasn't improved.
Dinner is started, early.

I took ten minutes and did yoga on the floor of the nursery, which helped.  Then I banished them to the upstairs (I closed the gate, which hasn't been closed in months) and came down to cook the pasta.

I will make it.  I will make it.  I will make it.
I'm trying to find something to do after dinner so they don't just sit around and fight.  But my laptop battery is at 16%.

Day two

Well.
I still like these kids.  Been telling myself that most of the day.  Since, you know, they woke up way early and have been whiny grouches ever since.  I had to get here at 7:15 so their mom could leave; I went back to sleep for a bit but not well, and they started stirring by 9.  Usually Patrick wakes up around 9:30 and Lilly around 9:45, and I get them just before 10.
Well.
Today I went in there at 9:20 after Patrick starting crying and whining, and after Lilly had spent a few minutes yelling at him for something.  Needless to say, that didn't start the day off right.  Breakfast was hardly eaten, gymnastics was semi-fun but chaotic, since they weren't listening and were throwing fits periodically, lunch was awful, and I put them away - I mean down for a nap - at 1:30.
Well.
Here's hoping they wake up in a better mood.  Their mom has a work dinner tonight, so I'm with them till probably 8:30.  And then tomorrow, and the next day, and the next day.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Day one

Today is my first "long" day with the twins, though it's actually pretty short: I arrived around 9:40 and will leave in the 6 o'clock range; they nap (or at least stay upstairs) from 2 till hopefully 5 or 5:30.  Their cousins and aunt were still here, so I did a lot of biting my tongue this morning to keep from telling the little girl to leave my twins alone.  Lilly knows how to walk up stairs, thank you, she doesn't need you to yank her along.  Etc, etc.  You know it's bad when the twins kept shaking their cousins off and frantically looking around for me.

But now they are gone, and I'm having some down time, and eating too much leftover cake.  We went to the playground; I don't even know when the twins got up this morning, but after awhile they were whining and asking to go home.  While there, though, I saw both Bug and Andrew with their mom, and Seth and Isabella with theirs.  Small world, or I'm just popular!  I'm okay with either version.

I really need to make this cake go away.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Inadvertent

I realized something the other day.  As much as I want a baby, I actually don't want one right now - because I would have to give up my twins.  I can't do that.

They're learning so much, they're so fascinating, and we all keep having new experiences.  Gymnastics and Kindermusik are just starting.  I can't imagine, nine months from now, only popping into their lives occasionally.

Yes, you can quote me later (though I may dispute you): I want to wait a bit longer to get pregnant.  I'm too in love with kids who aren't mine.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Letters

The twins can do a not-terrible job of writing their names, with help, of course.  Except they call it "writing all my letters!"  I wish I could show you.  Tonight, I'm babysitting them and their cousins, their mom's sister's kids, because it's their mom's birthday party.  The sister has a ten year old boy and a seven year old girl.  Not a terrible evening, but interesting.

The twins' dad gave me two cards to have the kids write and draw on for their mom.  I always love writing with them; if they're up for it, I may actually practice letters with them some.  They love letters.





Of course it's reflected backwards (thank you photobooth), but that's their rendition of "to mommy" on the front - Lilly's on top, Patrick's underneath.

Goals for next week: Do a playdate with Essie, and take them to the butterfly show at the conservatory.  If I calculated right, I'm working approximately 41 hours here from Monday to Friday.  Plus still Thursday evening, then we go out of town on Friday evening - but it's to celebrate good friends' wedding, so completely worth it.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Schedules

My week has been a little messed up; yesterday, Seth and Isabella's mom had to cancel on me at the next-to-last minute.  I realized this morning that Bug and Andrew are out of town today, so I had my afternoon free - so I texted Seth and Isabella's mom and asked if she wanted me today, since she was just using me so she could get out without the kids for a bit.

Her response: "Yes!!!"

Next week, I'm working three eight or twelve hour days with the twins, because their dad is out of town.  This of course is throwing off all my regular things, so it's quite a shuffled week.

Boy do I feel popular.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Excited

Last night, I got a text from the twins' mom wishing us luck and fun at Kindermusik this morning, and saying she told the kids it was today.

I arrived today, went upstairs, opened their nursery door, and both were sitting up in their cribs.  As soon as they saw me, they said - in unison, mind you - "Kindermusik!"  Well, more like "Kingermugik," but still.

We had a good class, too.  One violent boy.  One other nanny with twins!  One little boy born the day after my twins.  I'm so excited to be in classes with them.  Gymnastics ("gymnagtics") and Kingermugik win!

Right now, what is winning is the warm bread I just pulled out of the oven and sliced, and my wife sitting next to me.  Bed is calling.

Reading minds

I often wish I could know what V's family is thinking.  There are so many instances when I just want to be inside someone's brain.  When we were at her brother's wedding, for example, there was a moment during the rehearsal where her brother and I locked eyes, and I couldn't help but wonder if he was realizing the seriousness of what he was about to do, and realizing too that he had witnessed us do this three months prior.  Or later, at the reception, when V and I both think her mother was about to ask why she wasn't going up for the bouquet toss, but she bit her lip instead.

It's even more frustrating when I literally don't have a clue.  Today, her mom texted V to ask if we were coming home for her birthday in August.  After a bit, V told her we couldn't afford a hotel.  Her mom asked if we slept in the same room when we went to visit my dad.  V told her as close as we could remember to exactly what my dad had said: 'This isn't acceptance or condoning, but also not worth risking a relationship over' - as he put our stuff down in one room.

She hasn't heard back from her mother since.  I want to know her thoughts, her real thoughts, not the ones she sugarcoats to us.

Barring that, can't she just be okay with us?

Hands

A very dear friend of mine, who attended V's and my wedding, recently wrote a blog post that almost made me cry.  Not just because she talks about our wedding, but because she gets it.  She gets that love is what matters when it comes to people.  I knew she got it; she got it before we did, but seeing it spelled out in such beautiful language is heart-warming.

I posted it to my facebook page, and a friend has reposted it, and there's a comment on his from someone I don't know, saying she is sharing it as well.  I don't know where all it will go.  I know it's touching the people who are commenting on my page: touching, a word I'm trying to reclaim from my Pentecostal upbringing, I must say.  (And Touched By an Angel.)

Please go read Hand in hand in Hand; bask for a moment in the community and joy found by truly taking someone's hand.

And now, off to Kindermusik.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Tumble

I took the twins to their first gymnastics class yesterday.  I'm really looking forward to it; they enjoyed themselves lots and we all were out of breath.

This morning, V and I did a photoshoot with Bug and Andrew.  Difficult, but still fun, and some of the pictures were great.  We brought the orange parasol that V got as a bridesmaid in her brother's wedding, and Bug's eyes got so wide.  She loved carrying it around.

We're both tired and cranky tonight.  I'm not sure why, but it's making for a quiet house.  Tomorrow, the twins, then Seth and Isabella immediately after.  I'll be tired then too.  Then just the twins, then the weekend!  (When I'm watching the twins Saturday night and Bug and Andrew Sunday night, but hey.)

Monday, June 6, 2011

Why and wherefore

I've been avoiding this question for a long time, but I finally have to ask it.
Why do I want a baby so badly?

I'm scared that it's the same feeling I remember hearing about when I was younger and a single friend got pregnant: "she wants something to be dependent on her so she feels worthwhile."  Or maybe it's "she has no life, but a baby will certainly keep her busy."

I feel like both of those are true.  Not completely, but they're a little bit there.  They scare me.
There are other reasons, right?  I think V and I would be incredible parents.  I want to show off the world to our baby.  I want to pour love into that baby.

Is that enough?  How tainted is my longing with the sense of worth and busy-ness?
Lesbian couples don't accidentally have kids.  It's a very planned event.  And all that planning, even though we haven't begun it, makes me question everything a thousand times over.  I feel like I need a "real" answer to the question why, and I'm not sure I have one.  Guess it's a good thing we aren't trying to conceive yet, then.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

To the store

V let me wander around Babies-R-Us for awhile tonight.  I wasn't super stressed, but it was still nice to go and look.  We've (okay, mostly I) picked out our carseat and stroller, though - completely on accident, it must be noted.  But since I discovered the brand, I've liked it.  Besides, it's Japanese.

Today has been a baby-wanting day.  Between Andrew and Anne and Kali...there are infants practically everywhere I go.

I need to find something else to talk about.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Bafflement

I still can't wrap my mind around the argument that same sex parents are depriving children of their father (or mother).
If there are two (or more) people madly in love with and working hard to protect and teach the kid, how is that bad?
Do stats on opposite sex parents not matter at all, because I know plenty of people who wish they had been deprived of their father or mother.
(I'm ranting, I know.  I can argue both sides of this issue; I was raised a good Pentecostal girl.)
Seeing lines like "the real victims are the children crying for their lost fathers" makes me want to vomit.  Once I get past that, it just baffles me.
I grew up with two mothers and two fathers, in different states.
Any combination of those parents could have raised me well.
The way in which I most benefited from having more than one mom and one dad is that it gave me different perspectives and outlooks.  That is indeed valuable, and can be provided by anyone close to the child - regardless of sex or even parental status.

I have a friend raising her son alone.  Trust me when I say that is much better than her raising her son with his father in the picture.  I'm not worried about him.  He's surrounded by love, of many genders.  Isn't that what matters?

Humans aren't formulaic.  One man + one woman /= one happy, well-adjusted child.  And anything other than that formula does not automatically equal a traumatized kid.

Because I can tell you now, there's no way in hell our baby will be disadvantaged by all the awesome love and affection that will be everywhere.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

My voice

My voice isn't very present today.  Not my literal one; that's doing fine.  But the one inside me that tells me what to write.  (Did that sound creepy?  It wasn't supposed to.)  It doesn't help that I've been exhausted all day, and Lilly threw up twice this morning during breakfast.  We met V and her girls at a park, then followed them back to the girls' house for lunch.  I love doing lunch there, though I'm tempted to bring the twins' chairs.  Them sitting in regular dining room chairs for an entire meal is...somewhat accomplishable.

Tomorrow night will be good.  It will be V, Bug, Andrew, and me, and then the little ones will go to sleep.  They are the closest to "our" kids of the ones we watch.  A facebook status of mine said "watched one of 'my' kids..." and their mom commented saying, "I see those quotes, miss.  My kids go missing, I'm coming straight to you," or something along those lines.  So evenings at their house with my love feel right.

I wish I could accidentally get knocked up.  (The sane part of me is so glad I can't.)  Instead, I just go blow $15 at a thrift store to, uh, ease the pain.  At least I get good deals.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Family and rights

I've written before about my fears of having a baby with V.  They exist.
One of the scariest parts is the legal side.
We live in a state that doesn't recognize same-sex marriage.
Nor civil unions.
Nor second parent adoption.

Do LGBT families exist here?  Of course.
Am I scared to be one?  To a degree, yes.

It's the 6th annual Blogging for LGBT Families day.
V and I and our baby (and our other baby, if we have one) will be a family one day.
An LGBT family.

I'm scared.
I'm excited.
It's going to be a challenge.
But we will be a family.

(Read lots of Blogging for LGBT Families stories and essays at Mombian.)

Happy june

It's a new month.  Andrew's half birthday is tomorrow; his sister and mom have been throwing up lately, though, so I doubt that will get any attention.  I just like half birthdays.  My birthday is near Christmas, and I always wanted a summer birthday so I could have a pool party.  My grand idea was to celebrate my half birthday, but for some reason or another, that never happened.

V and I found a bed and breakfast about two and a half hours away that we want to visit.  We won't be able to go until July or August, by which point we will desperately need it.  We already need some reconnection time; with her barely around, we almost never spend time together.  I know it sounds strange to say that after spending six hours in the car each way this past weekend, but what we really need is a few days to do nothing and have no agenda.  It'll happen, just not sure when.

Oh, and this b&b has llamas.  And sheep.  And chickens.  And a dog.  Perfect, no?