Archive for June, 2010

kidneys and belly

in honor of zig’s followup “come on kidneys, be properly developed and functioning!” ultrasound today, here is a (mobile) belly shot:



[note: duck face intentional.]

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my dearest jude,

eleven days ago, you turned two years old, and you decided to embrace this new year with all the enthusiasm you could muster. every remnant of the baby you is falling off like so much shed skin. you’ve left your high chair behind, and now sit like a grownup and feed yourself. you actively reject the presence of diapers (though you still mostly refuse to use the potty). and when i scoop you up into my arms for a snuggle, i ask if you’re my baby. no way, you say, and sometimes the question makes you so mad that you smack me. and then, once again, we have the conversation about hitting being unacceptable.

last night, you helped your mama put together your big girl bed. though you’re excited about the lively new dora sheets and all the room for jumping, your loyalties still lie with your crib, and that’s fine. take your time, love. you can lead the way with this transition. but just so you know, your legs are practically poking out the ends of that crib now. it is officially Too Small for you. and sooner than later, this mysterious “brother” we keep talking about will be taking it over. so, yes. take your time, but think about the many features and benefits of the big girl bed. ok?

oh your long legs. the rest of you is long, too. you currently measure 37 1/2″ tall, and you weigh 39 pounds. you wear 5T to 6X clothing (which means we get to ditch the baby section and start shopping in the proper kids’ section!) and you comfortably fit into a size 9 shoe.

did i mention that you grew an inch in a month? your rapid growth has made you equal parts graceful and klutzy. you dance and jump and spin like an athlete or a dancer, and then you smack your arm against a wall, trip over your foot, bonk your head on a table.

you are tough. injuries rarely make you cry, unless you’re afraid. you may growl in frustration and pain, but do not want to be comforted.

us: “ow baby! are you okay?”
you, picking yourself by some hidden boostraps: “YESH.”
us: “do you need a hug? a kiss?”
you: “no way.”

your imagination is blossoming like your language skills, and it is like some sacred epiphany to gain access to your mind through conversation now. for instance, dora has inspired you to become a starcatcher. dust motes in the sun are stars, and you catch! catch! catch! them.

the other night, you, your mama, and i were driving home from your first live music experience. it was way past your bedtime, and we were trying to keep you awake. the moon was full and bright and orange, often hidden behind buildings or hills. so you began a game of peek-a-boo with the moon. and every time it appeared once again, you’d pretend to eat it. nom nom nom. mama asked you, what does the moon taste like? cheese? to which you replied, no, the moon tastes like honey. mmmm. for the rest of the ride home, you called it a honeymoon.

a month ago, you were getting the hang of two word sentences, along with occasional three, usually for guilt trips: eg, “no go, poppop.” (i think you earned a herd of ponies for how thick you laid it on that day.) now, suddenly, you speak in full, many-word sentences. every day brings more and more words. you used to be shy about words, and were reluctant to hold them in your mouth. now, you are brave, and will try most multisyllabic words, with pretty astonishing success in pronunciation. the air around you is charged with new knowledge. every day is magic.

also, you count. you know your letters. you group like objects. you compare big and little.

my jude, you’re such an amazing girl. as you were from the beginning, so you continue to be a fiery force. you are stubborn, strong-willed and opinionated. i anticipate many years of learning how to effectively communicate compromise with you. however, i am constantly encouraged by your ability to temper your fire with grace. for every raging tantrum, you show kindness and affection for your people. you teach me. every day, you teach me how to be more like you.

i love you, my star-catcher, more than i knew i could love.
here’s to year three, in which you become a big sister.


tiny baby.
tiny baby
at one.
one year
my beauty, my love.

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dear everybody,
guess what? i’m two years old today. holy s, right?

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first of all, thank you for so many great mosquito bite treatment/prevention ideas! you are all the best ever. really.
we’ve got a lot of experiments to try out in the coming weeks!

so, according to the good people over at babycenter, ziggy will be the size of an english hothouse cucumber tomorrow. and, incidentally, his testicles will begin to descend as well. oooo! big week for a big wee little man-fetus.

in honor of such a week, i thought i’d share the cucumber of our lives:

this big guy was plucked from our garden a couple days ago. he is pictured next to a “normal” sized cuke. and for an even better idea of scale, here he is with jude, who loves him enough to carry him around, as well as hug and kiss him:

saying “cheeese” with cuke.

h is clearly thrilled by the size of cuke.

all he needs is a name, while he is still around. suggestions?

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so, jude has a nasty ass rash on her abdomen and legs. it’s not heat rash, definitely not poison ivy or anything sinister like that. from the moment we saw it, our suspicions immediately turned to the ban roll-on looking bottles of avon paint-on soap stuff that jude got as a gift this weekend from nana. a day of benadryl and cortisone didn’t seem to help. jude can’t stop with the scratching. add to that the mosquito bite welts on her legs–which happened while she was wearing off for kids–and she is a miserable itchy mess. “biittes!” she wails, digging her nails into her thighs. “oh no, mommy! biiiites!”

h took her to the dr this morning to make sure that our rash diagnosis was correct–that we weren’t exposing everyone with whom j comes in contact to some highly contagious awfulness. and we were right. h just chatted me: contact dermatitis, aka avonitis.

*shakes fist at the sky*
damn you, avon!

j was given two topical rxes. one is a stronger-than-our-cortisone anti-itch cream, and the other an antibacterial to prevent infection. we were also advised to put both creams on jude’s bites.

so, you who are (or have kids who are) allergic to mosquito bites, and prone to being bitten even while wearing protection, this is the point at which i ask for your help. does anything work to fully prevent bites for you? are you willing to share your secrets with me? please please and thank you.

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at 25 weeks pregnant, a shift has happened. i’ve (already) started to become a lumbering, uncomfortable whiner. i don’t mean to whine, and to be fair, it’s more wheezing than whining. because zig is already hitting my diaphragm when i’m sitting, or when jude is sitting on my (fast disappearing) lap. thank GOD i’m still spared when standing, but i know these deep breaths will be short-lived.

i’m still not gaining any weight, but peep this kinda blurry belleh! you wouldn’t believe the groaning that spills forth from my lips as i turn over in bed, or sit down, or stand up. it’s pathetic.

these pics were taken at a local splashpad this weekend, where a naked jude had a blast with all the water, as well as all the offleash doggies she got to play with. incidentally, readers, how do you feel about naked toddlers in a public splash area? we usually at least have j in a swim diaper, but didn’t have any with us, and so we let her be a free range chicken. my sister freaks out every time she hears about or sees a naked j, even in the privacy of our backyard, and i’m wondering if this is her own issue, or if we’re totally missing a broader social cue. discuss.

note: she was wearing shoes.

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the kids.

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so, here is a primer on our journey as a fambly:  i took part in the second and third blogging for lgbt families day, with great joy and trepidation.  in the former entry, i mused about what it could would maybe possibly be like to be a family, as h and i navigated the murky waters of gay family planning.  our children were hopes then, far away stars.  and if they ever became flesh, would we do right by them?

in my latter contribution, i was on the cusp of motherhood, sixteen days away from giving birth to one judith marguerite.  as i considered the myriad emotions of imminent motherhood, i came to the conclusion that the bigness of it all was universal:  i was about to be a mommy to a newborn, our family was beginning.  we were no different than any other new family.

only, we were.  in the ensuing months, h and i worked with our (wonderful) lawyer to ensure our family’s protection within the great state of texass.  we signed our names to contracts over and over until our wrists hurt.  wills.  medical directives. donor contract.  and then the big one:  adoption.

i will be forever grateful for the existence of second parent adoptions in our particular county.  and i am relieved that, on paper, h is unequivocally our daughter’s mother, even though current law prohibits her name from ever being on jude’s birth certificate.  however, what will forever chafe me is the fact that, as we nested together as a new family–discovering the rhythm of motherhood and babyhood–we were often interrupted by the presence of a social worker.  our social worker is a good woman, and worked as our advocate, but still.  in the middle of such an intimate, sacred season in our lives, we had to spend afternoons answering questions about our deepest and darkest selves.  even as the biological mother, i was not spared the background checks, the questions about my past, my family, my mental health.

several thousand dollars and six months later, we were finally recognized as the family we already are.

i’ll let you in on an insane little secret:  we’re about to do it all over again.  the money, the paperwork, the invasion of privacy, the standing before a judge. all of it.  because these two formerly kidless mamas, who, three years ago, hoped to be parents one day, are about have a second child.

as i round the corner of being a mother for two years now, i return to the overarching theme of so many blogs being written today:  aside from the weird extra steps i’ve taken to ensure the protection of my family, i don’t see myself as any different a mother than my straight counterparts.  my days are full of learning the ways of a mercurial toddler, worrying about whether she’s eating enough veggies, wondering how we’re going to afford to keep her out of public school, and staring slack-jawed as she learns to count and discovers her first sight words.   and we think about her little brother, due in just over three months:  who will he be?  what will he look like?  will he have an easy birth?  what will the relationship look like between brother and sister?

h and i are co-parents and partners and lovers and best friends.  at the end of each small glorious day, we spoon together and confess our squishy-hearted love and mama-bear fear for our children.  we try to recall our life before them, and find ourselves not missing a damn thing but the sleep and maybe some extra time to lounge about lazily.  we’re so very content.  so very blessed.  so very awake to all the life happening in our home.

our contentment, blessing and wakefulness are a force field around our family.  the ugly parts of the world can’t touch us.  we are fambly.  we are whole.

[note:  if you are new to the blogging for lgbt families event, do click on the badge at the top of this post for a list of all entries.  there are so many stories that should be known.  thank you.]

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