Tag Archives: LGBT

If I Have Gay Children: Four Promises From A Christian Pastor/Parent

Reblog of this post by John Pavlovitz of North Carolina. This is the best and only way that I could think to thank him properly for his words and wisdom – and that is to share it with any and every human that I can.

john pavlovitz


Sometimes I wonder if I’ll have gay children.

I’m not sure if other parents think about this, but I do; quite often.

Maybe it’s because I have many gay people in my family and circle of friends. It’s in my genes and in my tribe.
Maybe it’s because, as a pastor of students, I’ve seen and heard the horror stories of gay Christian kids, from both inside and outside of the closet, trying to be part of the Church.
Maybe it’s because, as a Christian, I interact with so many people who find homosexuality to be the most repulsive thing imaginable, and who make that abundantly clear at every conceivable opportunity.

For whatever reason, it’s something that I ponder frequently. As a pastor and a parent, I wanted to make some promises to you, and to my two kids right now…

1) If I have gay children, you’ll all know it.

My children won’t…

View original post 949 more words


Coming This Summer!

Domestic Dyke and family are going on the road this summer! I am expanding my blogging to travel writing and photographing, and looking forward to some amazing adventures starting summer 2014!
We are starting our journey with the whole fam loading up in June to Golden, Colorado, and probably some visits to Denver while we are there as well. In July, the wife and I will be traveling to San Francisco and Napa Valley, and plan to visit some cool, LGBT friendly venues as well. I will take tons of pictures – like I always do – and write up blog reviews as we go. I want to be able to pass on all of the good to all of our peeps, especially the LGBT friendly ones! Somewhere in there, hopefully sooner than later, I want to book a trip to one of our favorite spots – Little Rock, Arkansas – now that marriage equality has landed there! Hopefully there will be a lot more LGBT traffic in that beautiful, green state now that marriage is a reality. So if you have any destinations that you have been to and can recommend that might be interested in hosting us/me in exchange for a photo blog review, send me a message or list it in the comments – and I will check it out! Who knows…maybe I’ll be visiting in a town near you. If I do, let me know and let’s have a drink!

travel pic

Mom, I Want a Facebook Page

So last week I wrote about our struggles that we have been having with Noah and his schoolwork.  That same day that my blog went live, he had a terrible day that poured over into his afternoon at home, and on into the evening and night.  He was in a foul mood, and I didn’t help matters by making him sit at the dining table working on assignments that he was missing in one of his classes – by God he was NOT going to take any more zeroes on my watch!  The evening dragged on, and his mood deteriorated.  I kept asking him what was wrong, and his attitude just got worse, until finally he was in tears – only I didn’t know why.  Bedtime of 9 PM came and went, and he still sat, crying, at the dining room table.  By 9:30 PM, I think he was done with his work, but still crying, so I finally told him to just go to bed.  I asked him, again, what was wrong, but only got tears.  So I told him again that if he wasn’t going to tell me what the problem was, then he needed to just go on to bed, and I got up and went back into the den with Erikka.

A few minutes later, he came into the den and, still crying, sat down beside me and just melted down.  My eyes got big as he leaned on my arm and sobbed; so I knew that this was more than just our crackdown on him for his schoolwork.  After a few minutes, when he settled down a bit, he finally got it out that he was tired of being picked on and pushed around by kids at school.  We asked if he meant in the hallway, in classrooms, or after school outside.  He said sometimes in the hallway, in several classes, and sometimes after school.  Now, I knew that he had been made fun of since elementary school for being smart, for wearing glasses, for having a big overbite.  We, all of his parents collectively, have told him to pay no mind to those who make fun of him for being smart, because when he is finished with school, it is unlikely that he will see a majority of them again in the future.  So okay, now I am going to have to go back up to the school and make ANOTHER report of bullying going on.  I have absolutely NO tolerance for bullying, so I’m not one of these parents who will say, “Oh just ignore it and walk another way.”  Aw hell no!  Stop it from happening!  Anyway, I digress.  Back to the tearful chat.  Noah continued, after telling us he was tired of being picked on and pushed around.  He said that in one particular class, there is this “kid” who threatens to hurt him regularly, and tries to trip him every day when they are walking out of the classroom.  This “kid”?  A GIRL.  Oh yeah, that makes it worse.  When he got to telling us about what this girl has been doing, he got all worked up again.  He seemed absolutely distraught to tell us that earlier that same day, the girl had taunted him…about ME.  Ohhhhhh.  Erikka and I glanced over his weeping head, and I thought, “Ah.  Well it has finally happened.”  I instantly went back to when it happened to Nicholas, but he was in high school, so the redneck who did it to him had a pretty classless name for me.  So now Noah has had it happen to him, and I braced myself for it.  I said, “OK son.  What did she call me?”  But he wouldn’t answer.  “Did she call me a dyke?”  No.  “Did she call me a lesbo?  Lezzy?”  No.  I was trying to avoid the worse ones, like what the kid had said to Nicholas.  “Noah, did she call me a….lesbian?”  Yes.  He looked mortified.  I had to keep myself from laughing.  “Um, Noah.  Do you know what that word means?”  Yes.  It means I am married to a woman instead of a man.  “Noah, it isn’t a bad word.  It isn’t an ugly word or ugly name that she called me.  It is what I am.  Now, she, I am sure, meant it to be ugly and was trying to be ugly, but you should not take it as such.”  I asked him how he responded, which is also important, and he said he just told her that she “crossed the line.”  We said that it was a very good response, rather than being hateful in return, or starting a confrontation – neither of which would make her see her wrongdoing.  I told him that I would take care of it as best I can, considering that I couldn’t go to the school and thump the ignorant little twit in the head!  We went on to explain to him about bullying, and that he cannot respond to other people’s bullying behavior by acting the same way.  I told him that if she says anything about me again, or about our family, that he needs to respond with, “Hey, you’re crossing a line.  That is my family you’re talking about, and I don’t make cracks about YOUR family.  How would you like it if I started saying things about YOUR mother?”  By a little after 10 PM, he had calmed down and was ready to go to bed.  He seemed a bit better, having gotten it off of his chest, and awoke in an entirely different frame of mind, I think.

Who would want to bully THIS cute kid???

Who would want to bully THIS cute kid???

I got up the next day, and after seeing Noah off to school, I called the teacher of the class that he shares with this girl.  After I explained to her what Noah had told me, she seemed appalled that this had happened in her classroom, under her nose, and she had not seen or heard any of it.  She said that she had gone through the same thing with her own two boys, where kids were saying the same thing to them about her.  I’m not sure if she was saying, in a roundabout way that she is also a lesbian, but it doesn’t matter; she sympathized and wanted me to know that she found it to be unacceptable behavior.  She said that she was going to have a “character development” lesson in class to address bullying and judging each other, and make sure that they all knew that it wouldn’t be tolerated.  She also said that she was going to mention it to the sixth grade counselor, and give her the heads up that I would be calling.  Apparently she did, because at the end of the day Noah told me that the counselor called him in to discuss what had happened – which made me nervous since I didn’t get a chance to talk to her first.  How was I to know whether or not this counselor would have a personal view about families like ours that would NOT help our boy?  Fortunately, he said that she told him that he needed to ignore this girl’s meanness, because there are all kinds of families, and that his is perfectly okay, because everybody can love whomever they want to.  Bravo Ms. Counselor!!  And thank you, thank you, thank you!  She also told him that when they return to school after Spring Break, she intended to have a word with the girl, and put some fear into her….hahahaha.  Hopefully it will be a good “come to Jesus” meeting – oh to be fly on the wall in her office THAT day!

* * * * *

This morning Noah told me that he wanted a Facebook page.  My reaction?  HA!  Hell no.  No way.  No Facebook page until you are in high school.  He asked why, and I had to explain to him that as much as he hates being bullied at school for being smart, or because of me, that it is worse when you have a Facebook page.  I told him that kids now will not only bully each other at school, but that it doesn’t end there; they do it online, on Facebook, on instant messaging – and they do it meaner in the faceless arena of the Internet.  As I said before, I have NO tolerance for bullying.  I have seen kids do it unmercifully to each other, and as time goes on, it gets worse and worse.  Kids are now killing themselves because of bullying that has happened to them.  Some of those kids are gay and being bullied because of that; but others AREN’T gay, and still being bullied to death!

This is the link to a blog I wrote a year ago, last March, about bullying (in case you are interested):


If you, or someone that you know, is being bullied, don’t sit by and wait for it to get better.  Do something.  Call someone.  Step in and say something to the bully, if you must.  Don’t let someone that you love, or even someone that you remotely tolerate, be a victim of bullying.  If they won’t listen to you, then direct them to someone that they might listen to.  The Trevor Project is a great resource for crisis and suicide prevention, particularly among LGBT youth.  Too many lives have been lost as a result of bullying.  We must ALL do our part to prevent even one more.


The Trevor Lifeline
(866) 4-U-TREVOR
(866) 488-7386
Open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
All calls are toll-free and confidential.

It’s Just Been One of Those Days

As seen this week on TheNextFamily.com (3/7/2012):

So I’m having one of those moments.  Actually, it’s more like a couple of those moments.  The kind, as a parent, where you feel like you have somehow managed to do all of the wrong things and it is now showing in everything that your child does – or does not – do.  I’m also having a bit of parental sadness, now that the oldest has left and is officially property of the United States Navy.

A few days ago, Nicholas awoke at his Dallas hotel room with a fellow recruit, and checked in with his recruiter.  They went through some last step testing, being sworn in, and finally taken to D/FW airport and put on a plane for Chicago.  Once they got there, I only have speculation as to how things went, but I know that a major hair cut was involved, a ten second phone call to his wife to let her know he had arrived, and a plea to her that she had “better pray for his ass.”  Apparently they had already begun yelling at the new recruits upon arrival.  Nice.  It will be three weeks before he is allowed another call to her, and after that, he will have to earn phone privileges for the remainder of basic training.  After that first phone call, it is my understanding that his phone was to be taken and shipped back to Krystal, along with his civilian clothes.

The night before all of this took place, we drove down to Dallas to have dinner with him at the hotel, so we could say our goodbyes before he left.  There were several of us there to see him off, and I hope that he felt special and loved.  The actual goodbye, with the hugs and such, was short and sweet, as he had to go meet his recruiter.  I still managed to cry, and didn’t want to let go of him once I had him locked in my mama embrace.  The last thing I said to him was to stay safe and strong.  He will be a completely different person when I see him again, at the end of basic training and walking through graduation before heading to school in Florida.  These are the moments that I used to sit and wonder about when he was small – what kind of person would he grow up to be. 

But as far as here, today, moment by moment with his little brother, Noah – now THAT is another story.  I’m not really sure where we got derailed, but we most certainly have (with his schooling) and he is heading for a huge crash if we don’t get him back to a station soon.  Noah is one of those brilliant kids, and no, I’m not just saying that because I am his mom.  When he was three, I was at a tire shop waiting for new tires to be put on my Jeep.  Nicholas was helping me out by chasing him around the showroom and keeping up with him, because the boy NEVER stopped moving.  Every once in a while Noah would run up to me, say something, and take off again.  After a bit, a man who was sitting nearby peered out from behind his magazine and asked, “How old is your little boy?  He is very smart.  I would venture to say that he is gifted.”  I laughed and said, “Oh yeah right.  Gifted at what?  Being a pain in the butt?  I’m sorry if he has been bothering you.”  His response was, “No, I really believe he could be gifted.”  To that I snarkily said, “Oh really?  And how are you qualified to say that about a three-year-old running around?”  He said, “I am a gifted and talented teacher.  This is what I do, assess and teach children like this.  And your son, for three years old, speaks very well and concisely.”  Oh.  Um, wow.  Thank you.  By the time he was in Pre-Kindergarten, he was tested and I was told could have skipped a grade based on his scores.  By the end of Kindergarten he was reading on a 9th grade level.  Yeah, my baby was scary smart, and his older brother used to say that his little brother was so much smarter than he!  All of that aside, Noah breezed through elementary school, with grades of high A’s the entire time.  He won the Spelling Bee for his entire school, two years in a row.  And academics took little to no effort for him; we were so proud.

But then he went to sixth grade this year.

The first six weeks of school, I had no idea that his grades had started to tank as much as they had.  Then the first report card arrived, and he not only had As, but Bs, and Cs – oh my God, no way!!  By the time the second report card arrived, he was failing two classes.  Erikka and I started making a point of daily discussions about assignments, grades, responsibility, etc.  We emphasized that he doesn’t have to be perfect, but that he has to do his very best, and that THIS wasn’t it.  By the time the third report card was to come out, with his semester grades as well, it was clear that he was in a danger zone and could quite possibly fail for not only a third six weeks, but for a semester as well.  After finally receiving some emails and/or calls from teachers, we discovered that the failing grades, across the board and every class, was due to one thing and one thing only:  not turning work in and taking zeroes.  So then he was in real trouble – with US.  ALL of us.  He was grounded from television and video games.  His days consist of school, band practice, homework, reading, dinner, and more reading.  I hate for it to be like this, and I feel like he is missing out on the fun parts of being a kid.  I guess it would be different if he was struggling and not understanding the material in his ADVANCED classes, but every teacher has unanimously concurred that he is very smart and understands, yet isn’t turning in his work.  What in the hell goes through the minds of kids this age???  Erikka and I, and his dad as well, have gone to great lengths and have done everything that we know to do to help him get organized, stay organized, and get his work done and turned in on time.  We created a planner for him to write his assignments in every day, and I thought that he was really starting to do better.  Well the latest report cards came out last week, and while he has brought up the grades in the classes he was earlier failing, he is now failing in other classes, or barely passing in still others.

But today, I am feeling frustrated and defeated.  I got another email this afternoon from yet another teacher, telling me that he has not turned in three out of four assignments and is therefore failing.  This came from a teacher of one of his electives.  I have sat here all afternoon, near tears and not knowing what to do.  He is SO smart, and I do not understand why he continues to do this.  I know that at first he started letting his grades tank on purpose because he had gotten made fun of and teased for being smart.  He decided that he didn’t want to be smart any more, but rather be “normal” like everyone else and in “normal” classes like everyone else.  But when I told him that I absolutely would not take him out of the advanced classes, I thought that he got the message and would get his act together.  He cannot seem to give any of us a clear reason as to why he isn’t doing his work, or isn’t turning in the work that he has done.  I know that in the public schools in this district, once they leave elementary school, they are kind of thrown into the middle school world, and left to sink or swim.  Part of me wants to take him out and homeschool him, but I don’t think that it is the answer for us – while it works for some, I don’t know if it would for Noah.  There are some schools in the Dallas area that are specifically for kids with “learning differences,” and severe ADHD like his falls into that category.  In fact, my daughter-in-law’s mother works at one of these schools and has brought me a packet of information on it.  I would absolutely LOVE for Noah to go to one of these schools – and then I saw the tuition costs.


That was me falling off of the couch when I saw the schedule of tuition for next year.  Let’s just say that Nicholas could have gone to one of our fabulous junior colleges and gotten an associates degree for less than one year’s tuition at this specialized school.

So back to being frustrated and not knowing what to do to help Noah.  None of us, his parents, knows anything else to do for him aside from what we have.  My last resort, I think, is to take him out of band.  He loves it, and it would break my heart to do it, but I may have to in order to have maximum impact.  Sigh.

Yep.  It’s been one of those days.

Two Moms at the Sweetheart Ball

As seen this week on TheNextFamily.com (2/8/2012):

Years and years ago, when I was in college (as an adult), I joined a sorority.  Now, it isn’t the kind of sorority that most people think of when they hear the term.  It wasn’t related to my university, but rather, an international community-based, service-based group of women of all ages.  I met and made a friend in one of my night classes who was a part of this group, and she invited me to one of her meetings.  I enjoyed the friendships that these women shared, and soon they invited me to join them – so I became a sister in Beta Sigma Phi.  We had meetings twice a month at different sisters’ homes, service projects, and social outings.  Up until that, my whole life consisted of being Mom, wife, and college student, so it gave me an outlet to just be around other moms and wives while enjoying fun and friendship.

After being in that chapter for several years, I sadly had to step back and take a leave while I was going through my divorce.  I missed my friends dearly, and because of living so far away from all of them, knew that I would probably see them rarely after I left.  After being out of it for a while, Holly found a chapter near my new house that we decided to go visit.  From the first visit, we really enjoyed the ladies and were soon back into the swing of sorority and joining them.  Sure we missed our old chapter, and Holly eventually went back to that one when she moved back to their area, but it was nice to be involved again.

One of the awesome things about sorority that I always enjoyed was the Sweetheart Ball that takes place every February.  When I left my original chapter, I missed it dearly.  The city council that my new chapter belonged to did not have a ball, so I missed it even more knowing that it wasn’t an option.  A few years ago, the new group decided that we wanted to go to the ball, and that was the first time that I would be there with Erikka.  Needless to say, there was a lot of staring, and not near the friendly “sisterness” that I had known for all of those years previously.  And we looked CUTE!  I think we were engaged that year…

Fast forward to 2012.  In the two or three years since our chapter attended the Sweetheart Ball, we have left it up to the chapter sweetheart to decide if they wanted to go or not.  This year, our sweetheart decided that she wanted to go to the ball, so plans were made and tickets were purchased.  This would be our second time as a group to join, and everyone seemed pretty excited about getting dressed up to go – us included!  It was going to be the first time that I had seen my sisters from my former chapter in a very long time, and I hoped that there would still be that connection from so long ago.  I knew that there were quite a few of the ladies who are pretty conservative, and who either don’t approve of my marriage to Erikka, or who don’t understand (or want to understand).  Nevertheless, I was looking forward to seeing them and hoping that it would be good.

Last Friday night, after spending hours preparing and primping and getting into our new clothes for the ball, we were off.  We dropped off Noah and Harrison at my mom’s, and drove to the country club where the event was taking place.  Erikka looked beautiful in a dark, navy blue shimmery dress, and I coordinated with her in dark navy blue and black.  We looked fabulous!  We found Holly and Tony as soon as we arrived, who showed us to our table – everything looked so nice.  We had dinner and soon all of the sweethearts were lining up in the hallway with their escorts for the traditional presentation of each chapter’s sweetheart.  Our sweetheart is single and had come to the ball solo, so we had decided ahead of time that I would escort her in.  Let me tell you, walking in with a chick in a formal on my arm, while a couple of hundred eyes are staring…well, it’s a bit unnerving.  We laughed and giggled as we walked in and stood among all of the other boy-girl couples that were around us.  After everyone was presented, they then announced that it was time for the Sweetheart Dance – what the what???  Nobody had told us that we were supposed to dance!  So then we were REALLY getting stared at, but we did it!  I was soon rescued from the awkward staring by another sister’s husband, who cut in and finished out the dance with our sweetheart.

Sweetheart Ball 2012

Shortly after all of the sweetheart formalities, we all went out into the hallway and took pictures.  When we went back in, we got out on the dancefloor with everyone else and danced and laughed.  A slow song came on, and I walked over to our table to take Erikka by the hand.  We went out onto the dancefloor, and spun our way slowly around it, amid all of the other couples.  Soon I could feel the disapproving glances and stares coming from some of the older couples, and could even see some whispering.  The most prominent was from an older lady, who was also a tiara-wearing sweetheart from her chapter.  We turned while dancing and I saw her looking at us with a look of absolute disgust on her face.  She then said something to her husband in his ear, and then he turned to look at us with the same look.  They stared at us with that look, and talking to each other, for the remainder of the dance.  Sure, I wanted to walk over and say something to them…or punch them in the face…but of course my wife would not have let me do that.  I mean, really??  Come on folks.  We’re SO normal.  I guess that is why it still surprises me when people are so blatantly and outright ugly towards us.  When we got back to the table, I told my sisters about it. One of them asked me if we ever get used to that from people, and it really made me think.

My response, when asked this question, is typically, “Yes, I’m used to it.”  But I don’t want to be used to it!  I get outraged every time someone looks at me with disdain or disgust whenever they see me with my wife, maybe holding her hand or with my arm around her.  We are people dammit, just like anyone else!  I should have walked over and told her how rude and ignorant it was of her and her husband to behave that way, and that it is 2012 so they need to get over themselves.  I don’t want my kids to ever see me keep quiet and LET someone look at us, talk about us, or be ugly towards any of us and think it is acceptable behavior.  All of that “do unto others” crap that we grow up hearing suddenly goes out the window when it’s something that we don’t like or accept – I am sure we are all guilty of it.  So I will make a conscious decision to “do unto others” in all situations, in hopes that they will “do unto ME” in turn.

Mama on a Soapbox

As seen this week on TheNextFamily.com (2/1/2012):

So I may have mentioned this previously, but it annoys the hell out of me that I have to adopt my daughter.  Yes, it makes me want to run, kicking and screaming at the top of my lungs, about the unfairness of it all.  Well, when it comes right down to it, it pisses me off in a way that I don’t think many things have.  Every time I think about when a hetero couple has a baby, the father’s parentage is automatically assumed, solely on the word of the birth mother saying that yes, this dude is the baby daddy.  The dude doesn’t have to go through the process of having to adopt the kid, just because he didn’t birth it – so why should I???  Because our relationship and our family is dictated by a government full of assholes who SAY that they want smaller government, yet have to keep their fingers in countless people’s lives, marriages, and families.

It’s very hard to be part of an openly gay marriage, as well as be the non-biological mother to our child, when living in a conservative, Southern state.  It’s hard to hear, over and over for years and years, that my marriage isn’t real or legitimate or legal (all three of which it completely IS).  It’s hard to know that people look down their noses at us when we’re all together, disgusted by all of our same-sexness.  It’s hard to be out in public during the day with the baby, and have people assume that I am her aunt or baby sitter, because I can’t possibly be her mother, given the way that I look.  It’s really hard to sit back and watch hypocrites run for office who are SO against marriage equality, yet have in their own history adultery and divorce…multiple times!

In the very near future, I will have to shell out the money for my BFF (aka attorney) to file a petition to the state asking permission to adopt my sweet baby girl.  After that, I will have to shell out even more money (of which I will have to put aside, since it’s not just lying around) to a social worker.  This is my favorite part.  The social worker will come to our house to complete a Home Study – she will examine our home, interrogate me, Erikka, both of us together, and maybe even Noah.  She will decide whether or not she thinks that I should be allowed to adopt Harrison.  If she says she doesn’t think that I should, then what happens?  Well, the adoption won’t happen, but nothing else.  I will still continue to live here and always be her mama, but without those legal protections.  If she says that she thinks it will be okay, I think we then proceed to going to court to stand before a judge.  At that time, then HE or SHE will decide whether or not they think I should be allowed to adopt my own daughter.  Here is where it all comes down to it.  If the judge says no, that’s it, I’m screwed.  IF my adoption request is denied, there is no opportunity to try it again.  That’s it.  I could get all of the recommendation letters in the world, and if we don’t get the right judge, it could all be for nothing.

And THIS, my friends, is why I am pissed off.

There is no question whatsoever, or at least there shouldn’t be, as to whether this little girl is mine.  She has been mine, along with Erikka’s, since the moment that I watched the doctor perform the intra-uterine insemination.  Since the moment we laid the cell phone on the bed, speakerphone on, as the nurse told us that the blood test was positive.  I went to all of the doctor’s appointments, saw all of the sonograms, shopped, worried over her and Erikka’s health, changed my diet along with Erikka, painted, and helped build her little Dr. Seuss world in her nursery to prepare for her arrival.  I got to meet her before anyone else, and I took care of her while her other mommy was recuperating after the birth.

I have bathed her, clothed her, fed her, changed her, sung to her, and rocked her to sleep.  Beyond all of these things or none of these things, I have loved her.  Because she is MY daughter.  I shouldn’t have to prove this, to a social worker or to a judge, just to have the legal protections that I rightfully should.

We need a change in this country, in this state.  We need a LOT of change.  The government needs to stop being such a puss and make the declaration that they have a hell of a lot more to worry about than same-sex couples marrying or having families.  They need to grow a spine and make the decision that they are going to stay out of it, and they are going to cease allowing any of us to vote on anyone else’s equality.  Sigh.  Sounds good, huh?  Too bad it is unlikely to happen.

Soapbox empty now.

A Day in the Life of a Deviant Married Lesbian Mommy

As seen this week on TheNextFamily.com (1/25/12):

So in watching all of the craptastic Republican jargon being thrown around over the past many weeks and months, I thought that perhaps I should take a good, hard look at this life that I’m leading and the family of which I am part.  Some of the candidates have declared that they wanted for marriage to be just like it is in the Constitution – I swear to God they’ve said it!  To this I constantly will yell at the TV or internet, “I’ve read the original Constitution several times and it says NOT ONE WORD about marriage in it!!!!”  Others have talked about homosexuals being deviants, unnatural, something that makes God “sad.”  Oh no.  I had no idea.  Again I decided that I might ought to take a look at my apparently deviant life.  So here it is.  A day in the life of a deviant married lesbian mommy.

7:15 AM – Alarm goes off; snooze gets hit.

7:25 AM – Alarm goes off again.  Snooze may very well get hit again.

7:35 AM – Alarm goes off again.  OK I’m up; gotta get Noah up for school.  Praying that baby girl Harrison stays asleep long enough for me to get him out the door.

7:45 AM – Make sure that Noah gets breakfast, gets dressed in matching clothes, homework in backpack, and teeth brushed.

8:15 AM – Noah out the door to awaiting ride.  I make a bottle for Harrison and wait for her to wake up, if she hasn’t already.

8:30 to 9:00 AM – Change Harrison’s diaper.  Feed Harrison.  Burp Harrison.  Get puked on by Harrison.

10:00 AM – Put Harrison down for morning nap.  Maybe I will lie down and nap with her, too.  Maybe I will have some coffee.  Maybe I will throw some laundry in.  I might even shower.

11:30 AM – Harrison usually wakes up.  Changer her diaper again and give her meds.  We play for a bit.  If we have somewhere to go, she will go in her bouncer in the bathroom while I shower.  If staying in, we move to the den where she might play in her bouncer or swing.

12:00 to 12:30 PM – Feed Harrison.  Burp Harrison.  Get puked on by Harrison.  Play with Harrison a bit more, and hope that she gets tired so that I can maybe eat some lunch.

2:00 to 4:00 PM – Hope that somewhere during this two-hour timeframe that Harrison will take a nap.  During this time I might clean one day, do laundry another day, edit photos another day.

4:00 PM – Noah gets out of school; goes to the band hall to practice his instrument for thirty minutes.  Some days I will take Harrison in the stroller to the walking track and we will walk a few miles – she usually naps during this venture out.

4:30 PM – Pickup Noah and Dee from school if it is rainy or too cold; otherwise they will walk home.

4:45 PM – Noah and Dee home from school; gotta find them a snack and get them at the dining room table doing homework.  Now I need to figure out what we’re going to have for dinner.

5:30 PM – Start dinner.  Have Noah unload the dishwasher and sometimes take out the trash and recycling.  Erikka usually comes home from work around this time, where she takes over with Harrison (with a bottle by now) so I can finish making dinner.

6:30 PM – Michelle picks up Dee for the evening.  We have dinner…hopefully.  Harrison will usually swing while we eat.  Sometimes, on rare occasions now, we might go out to eat for dinner.  I know, settle down – it’s a thrill a minute around here!

7:00 to 8:00 PM – Family time, usually hanging out in the den.  Harrison might nap and also get her evening meds.  We might catch up on some DVR’d programs.  Noah sometimes hangs out and watches TV with us, or plays in his room.

8:00 PM – Noah in the shower.

8:30 PM – Make sure that Noah does his reading, at least thirty minutes.  Harrison will probably have another bottle between now and 9:30 PM.

9:00 PM – Noah in bed with teeth brushed and headgear on.

10:00 to 10:30 PM – Bath time for Harrison.  Both mommies participate in this – she’s a slippery little booger.

After bath, Erikka takes her into the nursery to dry her, lotion her up, put her in jimmies, and play with her on her floor mat – tummy time!

10:30 to 11:00 PM – I assume my position in the nursery recliner/rocker, and proceed to rock baby girl to sleep for the night.

11:30 PM – I usually hope to get into bed by now.  Erikka is already there, and often already asleep.  I might watch TV for thirty minutes or so.

12:00 AM – Usually lights out and TV off.  Only a few more hours before the alarm goes off and we do it all over again.

So there it is.  I know it’s crazy and offensive to a LOT of conservative Americans.  I know that my family doesn’t deserve to have the same rights and privileges as all of our hetero counterparts…I understand.  When you live such an outlandish lifestyle like we do, then the government has to take it upon itself to step in and make decisions for all of us.

Yeah.  Right.

Her Head is Going to Spin Around!!

As seen this week on TheNextFamily.com (1/12/12):

Do you ever feel, as a parent, that everything you do is wrong?  I mean, I’ve had these moments over and over during the course of the past 20+ years (oh my God I’ve been a parent for over twenty years!), but I don’t remember feeling it quite the way I am this go-around.

When Harrison was first born, we bragged that she was the perfect baby – eating, burping, sleeping, pooping all when she was supposed to, or so we thought.  After about two or three weeks, however, her sleeping became erratic.  Her eating became episodes of vomiting that just seemed to get worse and worse.  Her pooping became less and less, and at times, non-existent.  I had been so confident that it would all come back to me, no problem.  I was cocky enough to believe that I was “older and wiser” and whatever this baby threw at me, “I got this.”  HA!  She currently has my arm twisted behind my back, and I am quickly being brought to my knees, about to cry “Uncle!”

As her eating/spitting-up issue has gotten worse, I still maintained my history that walked me through this not once, but twice.  Both boys had reflux, accompanied by projectile vomiting.  I remember, all those years ago, that friends and family alike called Nicholas “the vomit king”, affectionately, of course.  When Noah came along many years later, I was well prepared when he followed in his brother’s footsteps as heir to the vomit king’s throne – only his was worse.  Back then, pediatricians didn’t put them on medications, but rather referred us out to pediatric GI doctors at the children’s hospital; those doctors, in turn, would run tests, perform upper GI series (which was an awful ordeal in and of itself), and threaten surgery for conditions that continued to get worse.  I tried everything with the boys, thinking that the next thing would help somehow and give these sweet babies a tiny bit of relief.  Nicholas ultimately went on fresh goat’s milk around ten months old, and I had to drive an hour to a farm to buy it.  Noah nursed almost exclusively, but because he was a preemie, had to supplement with formula – and we tried so many different ones.  He ended up going on cow’s milk at around ten months old (to supplement breast milk), and his condition got remarkably better as well.  It was so bizarre that both boys were preemies, both were born five weeks early, and both had terrible reflux conditions.

So now here I am, all these years later, with a new baby girl that seemingly has the same awful condition that her older brothers had.  We are trying everything and nothing seems to be bringing relief to her.  It feels like everything we are doing isn’t working or is just plain wrong.  She is on her sixth – yes, SIXTH – formula, and vomiting just as much as ever.  She tried Zantac, but threw it up.  She is on Prevacid, and we have to time her meds not near eating time, or it will get spit up as well.
We bought her a special thing to lay in – The Nap Nanny – in hopes that it will put her in a position that will alleviate the heartburn and allow her to nap without spitting up so much and waking herself up.  I feel like everything I do is wrong, and I don’t remember ever feeling like this before.  It is a horrible, helpless feeling to hold a screaming baby, knowing she is in pain and being powerless to make it better.  She had gotten to the point where she was spitting up blood, so back to the doctor we went, where we were switched to our current formula and medication regimen.  We’re tired mommies, and we know that she is just exhausted every day from constant bouts of heartburn.

The other day, after she had been screaming for a particularly long time, I had to put her in her swing and sit down, head in my hands.  I sat and cried, talking out loud to both Harrison and God, asking what I could do to make her feel better.  It wasn’t a good afternoon.  For the first time since she was born, I felt totally and completely inept and over my head.  Just when we think that we’ve tried everything, we somehow come up with something else to try, waiting to see if it will be the magic trick that will ease her pain and bring us back to some sense of normalcy.  Right now, our days and nights are managed by a tiny, eleven-pound baby girl who needs us every moment that she is awake.  I get frustrated and irritable because the house is a wreck or because the laundry never gets caught up, but I have to stop and remind myself that she is tiny and defenseless, and that this is not a permanent condition.  I’m trying to enjoy the snuggling that at times, for a few quiet moments, makes her feel better and brings her some rest.  I know that there will come a day when I will want to hug on her and she will not be interested any longer.  I will want to hold her hand and she will pull away.  So for now, I will hold her when she needs holding and rock her to sleep so she won’t cry.  I may be flubbing up everything else, but I will be able to one day tell her that I did the best mommying that I could when she was new.

Nighttime Musings from the Nursery Rocker

Tonight I am sad.

It’s after midnight, the baby and the boy are asleep.  The wife is asleep.  I should be asleep.  But my mind won’t shut down, thinking about some of the awful things going on today in our country.

Earlier, around 10 PM, I went into the nursery for my nightly position in the rocker with the baby.  Erikka brought me a cup of coffee, and I settled in, rocking our sweet baby girl and reading status updates from Facebook on my phone.  Now, I am sad because of the news today that the Dublin Dr. Pepper plant is shutting down and no longer making the beverage of the gods, but I digress.  This is not the sadness that is currently keeping me from slumber.  What really got to me was another day of political news stories from the current stream of Republican candidate hopefuls for this year’s presidential election.  Almost all of the prospects are a frightening thought for families like mine, and the rights and privileges that we fight so hard to secure for ourselves.

Our current governor, Rick Perry (R), is sadly continuing his campaigning, even after coming in miserably low in recent state primaries.  I suppose that his crowning achievement in his campaign would be his “Strong” political ad video, where he spoke his obvious disdain for gays/lesbians now being allowed to serve in the military, and declared that our current president has waged a war on religion.  I had no idea!  The thought of this man becoming even mildly close to the White House, even as a visitor, makes me nauseous.  The only downside to him not getting the candidacy is the fact that he will come back to Texas and continue his horribly long reign as governor here.

Then there is Mitt Romney, the front runner and former governor of Massachusetts, is probably the least conservative of the bunch.  At first I thought that he might be alright, as he made a comment once (early on) that he didn’t have a problem with same-sex marriage; he has since said that he thinks that it should go back to the individual states.  He has also said that he would prohibit future marriages – and of course there will be no federal recognition – but that each state could recognize those marriages that have already taken place.  Holy shit, really?  Did nobody learn ANYTHING from Prop 8 in California?  Really – going back to class grades basically, a version of separate-but-equal??  What year is this?

There is also a real piece of work, Rick Santorum.  He is a former senator from Pennsylvania, and he is a douchebag.  Some of the things that have come out of his mouth have left me sitting there thinking, “No way.  Did he REALLY just say that?”  He is vehemently opposed to abortion for any reason (as is Rick Perry), even though his own wife has had an abortion because her health was at risk.  HYP-O-CRITE.  He wants the United States to be a Christian nation – HIS definition of Christian – and has no regard for any other religions or beliefs.  Oh, and Santorum’s wife, who asks “the holy spirit to speak through her husband,” was shacked up with an abortion doctor before leaving him to be with brother Rick.  Nice, huh?  And of course, he hates the gays.  He says that if HE were president, he would not only outlaw same sex marriage, but he would invalidate all of those marriages that have already taken place – like MINE.  Them are fighting words Mr. Santorum.  IF that were to happen, which I don’t believe that our country is stupid enough to allow to happen, then he would have a hell of a lot of homos at the White House doorstep waving not only rainbow flags and signs, but lots of legal marriage licenses.  I don’t think it would be pretty.  I mean, really Rick – you seriously want to take the country backwards, don’t you?  This is not progress.  He also has said that it is better for a kid to have a dad in prison than to have two dads or two moms.  Every time he utters another stupid remark, he resembles Hitler more and more to me.

There’s also Ron Paul, a U.S. State Rep from Texas, who seems like a little weasel to look at him.  I don’t know much about his positions, because I don’t pay that much attention to him.  I have had a couple of people tell me that I should vote for him, to which I just keep my mouth shut.  Really?  Anybody who would tell me to vote for any of these bigoted morons, who are hell-bent on taking away my rights and those of MY family, is somebody who really doesn’t have a clue.

And there is Newt Gingrich.  Former Speaker of the House, this asshat is VERY anti-gay anything, despite having a sister who is a married lesbian and director at the Human Rights Campaign (big gay rights organization, FYI).  He didn’t attend his sister’s wedding, but he sent a gift – kind of contradicting your own stance there, Newton.  Fortunately, his sister Candace has said that she will endorse President Obama in the upcoming 2012 election.  HA!  That’s awesome!  And not to mention (although I AM going to mention it), he-who-is-so-anti-gay-marriage has been married (and divorced) multiple times.  But it’s okay, because he was married and unfaithful to someone of the OPPOSITE sex.  This moron is racist, making cracks about African-Americans and food stamps.  He has suggested having poor students in public schools doing the janitorial work and cut those jobs.  He has also stated that a kid would be better off as an orphan than have two mommies.  Yes.

And this is why I am sad.

As I sat in our beautiful nursery, rocking our baby who was created with such thought and love, I scrolled through news articles and saw where Newt Gingrich had made that statement.  A child would be better off as an orphan than to have two mommies.  It actually made me cry.  The thought of my sweet baby girl, alone and without us or anyone else to care for her broke my heart.  No child is better off as an orphan…EVER.  The thought of any of these horrible men becoming remotely close to a position of leadership in this country is scary for folks like me, like us.  Then there is also the ignorant pope, half a world away, making statements this week that gay marriage is a “threat to the future of humanity.”  Oh dear God.  A lot of people don’t have the worries and fears that we do, because they can go and get married and/or divorced as many times as they want to without question or consequence.  The gay/lesbian community have to fight, march, and protest for these rights, so it’s scary to think that someone might take over as leadership and take them away because of their own personal agendas and prejudices.  I know that I have family, and probably several friends on Facebook (and in real life), who will vote Republican ticket.  I just hope that they will really look closely at their candidate’s positions on all of the issues before making the decision to cast their vote.  I know that many folks just vote, straight ticket, solely on the fact that there is a (D) or (R) behind their name.   I hope and pray that the American people will choose very wisely this election season – every vote and every choice will matter.

And I’m still pretty sad over the whole Dr. Pepper thing, too.

Change is Growth; Growth is Good – Reflections of 2011

So 2011 is rapidly coming to a close, and it always brings me to a place of reflection on all that has taken place in my life over the course of a year.  Sure, this past year has brought us the death of Osama bin Laden, the murder trial of Michael Jackson’s doctor, and Charlie Sheen doing a lot of “winning.”  But 2011 also brought a lot of huge changes for me and my family.

We started out this year with plans for Erikka to have surgery in mid-January.  Little did we know that a short month later we would be making our first attempt at insemination and pregnancy.  It was a long five weeks before we would find out that our one, and only, attempt was positive and that a new little life was on its way.  Noah turned eleven and won the spelling bee for his elementary school for the second year in a row.  I couldn’t believe that he would soon be going into middle school, and Nicholas would be turning 20 in August, and that we would have a newborn baby not too long after that.  I was going to have three only children, practically….wow.  We also had been planning for a trip to Disneyworld, just Erikka and I, in May so that we could use some airline vouchers and Disney dollars that were about to expire.  I wondered how that would work once we found out that Erikka was pregnant, but she did great and we had a wonderful time getting away – knowing it was probably one of our last getaway trips for a long time.  We managed to getaway one more time in July for our anniversary, where we went to our favorite bed & breakfast in Little Rock for a weekend, promising when we left to come back with the kids next time.

I think that by June, it had been discovered that Erikka had developed gestational diabetes, so we went on a drastic diet change to accommodate all of the many doctors and their demands of her.  The days got hotter and her belly got bigger, and we shopped and planned and dreamed about this baby that we still couldn’t believe was going to be here by the first of November.  Once we found out that we were having a girl, the excitement got even more strong because Erikka had always wanted a girl, and I had only experienced life with two boys.  I turned 41 in August, and started to panic about having a new baby – I felt OLD.  We soon got into high gear and launched into a season of baby showers, nursery painting parties, and furniture-putting-together gatherings.  The room that had, for the year that we have lived here, been the middle, guest bedroom was slowly turning into a beautiful Dr. Seuss nursery for the little baby girl who would have everything.

By the time that October arrived, we were battling with blood pressure issues along with blood sugar issues.  Doctors were on the case and we were going every week to one doctor or another.  Erikka was registered at the hospital, and her c-section was set for November 1st…only this baby and Erikka’s body had other plans.  She was put into the hospital on fulltime bedrest around the 18th of October, and late on the evening of October 24th we welcomed our beautiful baby girl – Harrison Sinclair Jayne-Anne – into the world (during the 5th game of the World Series where our Rangers were playing!).  The world as we knew it previously was changed forever.  We had some complications for the first few weeks, with Erikka and her body getting used to all of the drastic changes, but then by Thanksgiving were sharing our new addition with the world.  Nicholas enlisted in the Navy shortly after Harrison was born, and married the love of HIS life on October 31st.  It took all of us by surprise, but because we love him (and her, too), then we support them as best as we can.  I anxiously awaited for Christmas and spending time with family – both Erikka’s and mine.

And now here we are, looking at the tail-end of 2011 over our back shoulder; looking forward to 2012 and all of the adventures and experiences it will bring to us and our family.  I pray that 2012 will bring to us new legislation that will write equality into existence where it was not before.  Every year should bring change, for without change there is no growth.  It may be small change over a long period of time, or it may be big, life-altering change that happens in a blink.  Either way, change is growth, and growth is good.