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Settling in

Where to begin…

The past few weeks have been really stressful. We expected some stress of course, mostly having to do with moving and ending our jobs, but it ended up being a lot more than just that. My grandmother, who lives in the state we moved to and whom I thought we could see more often, took a very sudden change for the worse. It was so awful that I flew down to see her while she lay dying, and that was indeed the last time I saw her alive. The following week, she passed away and I spent most of the day that the movers came to get our stuff driving and attending her funeral (which was much closer to where we used to live). When I arrived home, the movers had just arrived and took the rest of the day (5 hours) to get our stuff in the truck. Then we stayed over at the house next door since those neighbors don’t live there full time, closed on the sale of our house the following afternoon, got our cars packed up, and drove 900 miles to stay with my parents for the following two nights, until we were able to move into our current rental (about 25 minutes north of where we will end up living next month).

While that was happening…the death of my grandmother, the ending of both our jobs, the packing of our stuff, the imminent move from one place to another and another, we were negotiating first on one house which we lost, and then another which we did end up getting a signed contract on but not without its own share of headaches. But thank goodness it is set at this point and we will have a house next month.

Curly has been a pretty good trouper for the most part, but there have definitely been some harrowing times with him. Behavior regressions, a push for more control, and downright bratty “4-going-on-14” stuff happening….but it is understandable (although that doesn’t make it any easier). Today was the first day of starting a new routine…me going to my first day of work, and Curly going to his first day of school. His drop-off went seamlessly today as Nutella described it- the kids were sitting in a circle while a teacher read a book and he joined right in, no tears when she left. They had a special gymnastics bus visit today and a puppet show…all really exciting things for him, and he was in great spirits upon pick-up, while still running and hugging her. Couldn’t ask for better. My day…well, it was boring and discombobulated, but I think now that I’m all set up, it should be upwards from here.

Nutella is currently applying for part-time jobs, and doing all of the necessary household management and errand-type stuff…like dropping off mortgage paperwork, meeting with inspectors, doing the grocery shopping and lunch-making, etc. We did squeeze in a couple fun things, like a visit to the gorgeous beach one evening and a trip to Univer.sal…but we’re still finding our way and starting to appreciate more relaxing times ahead. Onwards and upwards.

Protected: Merrily we roll along, roll along

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Protected: From here to there

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Still here! Sort of!

It’s been a long time since we’ve posted, but for good reasons. Er, stressful reasons, but still good. More detail to follow in a password-protected post. Since everyone’s moved to Feedly or something else, let us know if you need us to send you the password.

In the mean time, here’s a shot of our cool dude Curly at the beach, where we recently vacationed.


And also, the wonderful Love Invents Us nominated us for a blog award (thanks!) and asked a bunch of accompanying questions we’re supposed to answer, so here goes…

  1. When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
    Strawberry: a veterinarian
    Nutella: an actress
  2. What’s your favorite ice cream flavor?
    Strawberry: chocolate with something mixed in, like peanut butter or cherries
    Nutella: coconut almond fudge
  3. Share your three favorite (non lesbian baby-making) blogs.
    Strawberry: smittenkitchen, hyperbole & a half, dorothy surrenders
    Nutella: smittenkitchen, sweetapolita, retrorenovation
  4. What public figures (people we all might know) make your top five? (As in, people you think are hot)
    Strawberry: Mila Kunis, Famke Jansen, Rachel Maddow, Naya Rivera…pretty much any hot brunette will make my list lol
    Nutella: Christina Hendrix, the redhead from Game of Thrones/ Downton Abbey, the redhead from True Blood (which I do not watch), Alicia Witt (the redhead from Cybill, which I didn’t really watch either).  Um, let’s just go with firey redheads in general, ok?
  5. What is your most favorite meal? Looking for more than breakfast, lunch or dinner here. What’s on the plate?
    Strawberry: Brussels sprouts with bacon and caramelized figs, beef short rib or pasta amatriciana (more bacon) and a blondie a la mode
    Nutella: steamed artichoke with drawn butter or a whole steamed lobster with butter.  Not together, that’s too much!
  6. What book could you read over and over?
    Strawberry: Tipping the Velvet
    Nutella: Dragonsong
  7. Cats or dogs?
    Strawberry: dogs
    Nutella: cats
  8. What are five words that best describe you?
    Strawberry: thoughtful, loyal, passionate, introverted, quick-witted
    Nutella: creative, outgoing, chatty, smart, giving
  9. If you could trade places with someone (anyone!) for a day who would it be?
    Strawberry: Any rich person traveling would be fine.
    Nutella: Samantha Brown on the travel channel.  Seriously, I could totally do her job and be awesome.
  10. An envelope stuffed with cash appears in your mailbox, what do you do?
    Strawberry: Get worried. Then try to spend it.
    Nutella: $5? Spend it. $500? Try to discover its source, possibly report it to the police.
  11. If someone threw you a surprise party would you feel loved or misunderstood?
    Strawberry: loved
    Nutella: loved

Skinny mini

Not much news around these parts, although Curly had his 4 year check-up yesterday. I have no idea why we didn’t know they give 4 year olds four shots (!), but we didn’t. They wanted to do another DTap, MMR, Polio and Chicken Pox. We did the first two, but decided to hold off on the second two until next month. We’re fans of a slightly delayed schedule…I mean, just those two shots yesterday gave him 6 vaccinations. That’s a lot for any person’s body to handle, especially a small one. Speaking of small, Curly weighs in at 32 pounds and 39.5 inches. That’s 10% and 20% respectively. He is a skinny little guy. I know some of you out there with 2 year olds bigger than that 😉

Gotta say though, Curly was amazing with the shots. The nurse gave him the first one and he didn’t flinch and had no reaction. All of us were shocked, like, do you realize what just happened? The second shot, MMR, is a painful one, so that elicited a few tears, but he just sat there and took it while I cradled his head against me. And then was quickly distracted by the offer of stickers and a lollipop and cheerfully exited the office. Amazing.

We have some blood work to do unfortunately. While he is overall healthy and on-track, he does require more sleep than every other 4 year old on the planet (12 hours at night and a 2-3 hour nap daily for a whopping total of 14-15 hours) and finally our doctor shares the concerns we’ve had since he was a baby. They’ll check his iron levels, electrolytes and do a full CBC to see if anything’s off. Beyond that, it’s either problems getting quality sleep which will be a whole other bucket of fun, or just…it is what it is.

Goofball chic at the doctor’s office

Just keep swimming

This weekend was unseasonably hot for our area. On Saturday, we took Curly to a place where there was “jumping water”…one of those open areas where kids can run around and splash in water that is propelled upwards from grates in the ground. When we arrived, there was one little girl hopping around soaking wet. Curly had no interest getting in, plopped himself into a nearby chair, and watched her playing. After 10 minutes, Nutella and I took our shoes off and joined the little girl…blocking the grates with our feet and laughing as the water shot out everywhere. And after watching us for 2 minutes, Curly was on the ground taking off his shoes and then running towards us. He wanted to hold our hands and was extremely cautious about the water….but finally, after we went back to sit at our table, he stayed and completely gave in to the fun of it- using his hands and feet to block or catch the water, running in circles with the little girl and then the many other kids that joined in, and basically getting soaked from head to toe. Glad we brought an extra pair of clothes.

The next day, Nutella’s parents visited us and we went to our local pool. I asked Curly if he wanted to learn how to swim and he said yes. The second I tried it, holding his body up and asking him to kick his legs, he freaked out and demanded I put him back in the kid area where he could stand. I had him “swim” back over there while I held him and we let him do his own thing for a while. After a bit, we tried again…showing him how to hold the side of the pool and kick his legs…holding him up again and getting him to kick and use his arms as we glided him across the water…having him piggyback us and go around the pool. He tried it with Nutella, myself, and grandpa and by the end, he appeared to have gone a complete 180 degrees from his first try.

There’s nothing spectacularly interesting about either scenario. They are just illustrations of how we as parents deal with a slow-to-warm-up child, learning how to deal with his personality in a way that both respects him but pushes him, knowing what benefits lie at the other end. But this is also a picture of an LGBT family.  If you didn’t know we were before reading this, you’d have had no idea…and so I dedicate this post to today’s LGBT Family blogging day. Our families are just the same, and just as different, as everyone else’s.

Protected: Four.

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Protected: Amidst the party

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Protected: A vacation state of mind

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Kids and bribes

Curly told us recently that he wants his next birthday party to be at a farm. His next birthday, when he turns 4. FOUR. We’re happy to do a farm birthday party for him and we have a regional park close by where kids can get up close and personal with some animals, so that should work out (as long as the weather cooperates, which for the first day of May, you never know…)

Still, it is amazing how much of a kid he is these days. A kid who picks out his own clothes and gets them on all by himself, although sometimes he says “I did it!” and we have to not laugh at the fact that his pants are on backwards. A kid who turns lights on and off, hangs his coat on a door knob or holds it until we’re ready to hang it up for him, cleans up his toys and makes sure everything is in its right place, cuts up his own food, can handle most trips to the bathroom (at home) by himself, reads along with books and sings along with songs, talks incessantly from the time he wakes up until the time he goes to sleep, says “I want to give you a kiss” or “I love you” or, unfortunately, “I don’t like you” or “Don’t come in here,” who asks how our days at work went, tells us what he did at school, makes plans for the future, asks what time it is or what the weather is like, wants to take a dance class, sets up indoor picnics with his stuffed animals, etc, etc. A kid, and a really awesome one at that.

Now for the other part…Nutella and I are going on a week-long cruise in 8 days. Without him. Kind of a second honeymoon to go with our recent legal marriage. We’ve been planning the trip for 8 months. Nutella’s parents will be watching Curly at their house half the time, and a wonderful family friend and her boyfriend will be staying at our house and bringing him to school for the other half. About 2 weeks ago, we told him we were going on a “work trip.” This was very necessary not only to prepare him for our absence, but because if we dared to tell him we were going on a vacation without him, and a cruise at that (since he’s already been on 2), we would never live it down. So work trip it is, and he is perfectly fine with that news. Well, for the most part. A couple of times within these past 2 weeks it would hit him and he would start crying about the fact that we’re leaving. Which led us to promising to bring back presents for him, and that helps a lot lol. There is an episode of Danie.l Tiger that talks about parents leaving for date nights or work trips or whatever, and the main message is “Grown-ups come back.” So we’ve been stressing that to him and the fact that it’s only one week and he gets to have fun with grandma and grandpa, too. And, let’s face it, part of it is to assuage our own guilt. But we are SO looking forward to this trip, and new adventures, and freedom and all the time we can just spend together in paradise. So yes, grown-ups come back…feeling super refreshed and with armfuls of presents 🙂