… to a lesbian conception adventure!

When is enough enough?

It has been a million years.

J is almost three. Three!  His babyhood long over, toddlerhood close to an end, he is a delight in our household, making us smile with all his observations of the world around him.

K is five and has started school.  It was a big change, going from her small private preschool to her much larger public school, but she bravely boarded her school bus the first day and has not looked back… too much… though there has been a slight uptick in her cuddles and I’m not complaining.

C and I have talked about a third child, have tried a few times without success, and that is really why I’m back here writing.  Because there are tons of articles and online conversations about straight couples making the decision to have a third (or not deciding and just seeing what happens) but very few that mirror our situation.

How do you know enough is enough?

We decided to try again in a casual (but obviously intentional) way under the guise of the heterosexual “let’s see what happens.”  And considering that pregnancy has come easily in the past, I think we both assumed it would happen and we would deal with the consequences (the good and challenging).  And then it didn’t.  Three times.  And at the start of each new period, we were sad, sure, but not devastated, not the way we were with the negatives when trying to conceive our first.

And because the tries are so focused, filled with temping and peeing on sticks and shipping sperm and paying for doctors, they come with a ton of stress and angst and thinking and planning.  And there are many good reasons to have a third and there are many good reasons to not.

And now, after three tries, we are leaning toward not.  And I’m almost at peace with that when I think of the time and energy and resources we will be able to give our children without a third child, when I think of how I will be free to focus on them and on my career and on all that comes next after this phase of rapid growth and development and intense physical neediness.  But then I think about the magic of another child, the joy of another face at the table, the amazing moments leading up to and including childbirth… and I don’t know that I can fully commit to being done, though at the same time I don’t know how much of the magic is the magic of nostalgia and those special moments which exist but only in spaces between the day to day challenges and sometimes flat out dreariness of parenting.

As we get closer to saying we are done, I feel a mourning that is hard to define but involves the passing of this time in my life.  It involves aging and growing into a mother of older children and losing part of my purpose as a mother of young children.  It is a goodbye to the growth of my body during pregnancy and the release of childbirth and the first moments of nursing (even as I know that none of that is guaranteed even if I became pregnant) and it is a goodbye to identity.  It is also fear of regret.  And a deep, painful anger that we cannot just “let it happen” and accept what comes, that we must make decisions that are only as certain as the chance of pregnancy in any given cycle.



K turns four tomorrow.


It feels like just yesterday I was going to bed after a long day of walking, errands, and a birthday party.  It feels like just yesterday I wasn’t sure when she would arrive.

I cannot even remember who I was then or what in the world I did with my time.

K on eve of four is just as stubborn, just as delightful as she has been her entire life.  Well, just as delightful anyway – I think the addition of her little brother wore down some of the stubborness about some things some of the time.  Maybe. (C might disagree with me.)

She loves glitter and sparkle, animal figures and books, Fro.zen and fairies.  She likes the idea of having magical powers, she spends time pretending to be a “baby doggy,” and no matter what she is doing, her brother’s things always seem so much more interesting to her.

She eagerly talks about family and their relationship to her.  She understands the difference between immediate and extended family, though not using those words, and she talks about marrying both her cousin and her brother one day.  She likes to think about all the people who are connected to her – which reminds C and I of when she would not stop crying as a baby and we would bounce her and sing a made up song about all the people who love her.  “It’s okay.  It’s okay.  Everybody loves you and it’s okay” and then off to the names.

K thinks animals are great.  She likes visiting the aquarium and the zoo and routinely asks to visit either – or both.  She likes to go on “adventures” and if not adventures, walks, which are never the same thing.  She is eager to visit playgrounds and is getting better and better at talking to the other kids, though she still resorts to shy and anxious behaviors from time to time.  Her favorite playgrounds are the “water playground,” the “playground by school” and the “inside playground.”  She is getting braver and braver with her climbing and jumping around and I try to hold myself back from saying “be careful, be careful” every five seconds.  We play hide and seek at the inside playground and she squeals with laughter when I find her.  She also vacillates between hiding somewhere easy and obvious and somewhere more tricky – even when she hides  somewhere “hard,” she often gives herself away.

Favorite foods right now are any kind of fruit, pancakes, lollipops, hot dogs, red peppers (she LOVES red peppers), smoothies, and juice when she is allowed to have it.  On Thursdays – the last day of daycare for her – I usually bring a special treat – she is always hopeful that the treat is chocolate.

Speaking of school, she was in the “3s room” this past school year and she is eagerly anticipating the “4s room” in the fall.  She has grown exponentially in her willingness to interact with various types of adults thanks largely to school and has also developed additional skills, like writing the letters of her name. She has made some friends and she and I have a joke where I know the names of all of the kids in the class except for her.

Regarding her brother, K is finally experiencing the highs and lows of having a more mobile, more aware sibling.  They play so well together at times and it is clear that J looks up to her.  At other times they struggle more and I anticipate the struggle becoming more and more challenging over time.  One game they like to play together is a game in which K says different words and tells J to say them too.  Another game is when the both get in the fold up tunnel we have and walk around the room like an inch worm.  Outside, they both play with balls, the slide, the water table, and the swimming pool.

I am fading fast with all this writing, but I want to add that K likes to dance, she likes to play, she likes to be a part of things.  She has made friends with the neighbors and whenever she sees them says hello and, if they are children, asks if she can go play.  She likes dresses and skirts, the song Fre.e Fal.ling, and time with her grandparents (especially her grandmom who has watched her every Friday since she was 12 weeks old).  She is warm, but can be self-protecting and cool if she isn’t prepared for something or if she has alternate preferences.  She makes us laugh in a hundred different ways, gives the best hugs (including one where she hangs around our necks), enjoys all the stuffed animals, and likes looking at old pictures.

She wants to simultaneously grow “bigger and bigger and bigger” and “stay a baby forever.”

I want that too.


… because it felt like a separate post.

At 14 months old, J is magical.  He is a happy, bubbly, cuddly baby (toddler, I know!) who loves to explore the world.  After some steps at the end of December, he has just started really toddling around, though he often resorts to crawling when he is on a mission.  He likes balls and blocks and some books (his favorites are the one that starts “A c.ow says m.oo” and “Brown Bear” (tonight he said “brown bear” while C was reading it to him).  He loves trying to figure out how things work and is pretty amazing at looking at something until he can piece together how he can make it do whatever it is supposed to do.

Words include Mama, MaMA (how he says Mommy), dog, ball, teeth, eat, more, mouth, block, banana (nana), Nana (his grandmother), Pop, grandma (apparently, according to my mother 😉 ), hi, bye, and probably a handful more that I can’t remember.  He doesn’t string words together so much but he often uses gestures to get his point across (and we are pretty good at reading him and don’t have the energy to ask him to talk before giving him something the way we did with K – true second child facts).  He delights in being understood and loves when we “get” something he is trying to tell us (like when he gestures across the room at the bananas and says “MORE!”)

He likes to nurse but it is different than it was with his sister.  J clearly wants to nurse but is not nearly as I-NEED-IT-NOW as I remember his sister being at this age.  He also needs less to settle at night and putting him down is not the acrobat routine it was with K.

J loves to eat still but has become increasingly picky about some foods and refuses to eat a few (mostly green vegetables) all together.  He also notices when he has something different than everyone else and angles to get equal food treatment via gestures and complaints.  His favorite foods are bananas, spaghetti, most all other fruit.  He detests broccoli.  When he does like something he can eat several helpings which already has us nervous for his teenage years.

J likes all of us, but he especially lights up for K.  He is fascinated by the things she does and is getting better and better and mimicking her.  The best is when the two of them play together – K can be such a good little leader, giving J space to play and helping him out as needed.

I love everything about this age – still baby enough to pick up and carry and cuddle and nurse but big enough to help us get his arms in his shirts, eat his own food, not need pumping from me, and truly engage with the world.  Tonight we played with several figures and he had a great time making the horse say “neigh,” particularly when I would repeat it.  He also liked putting the wooden people inside their wooden helicopter.  It is amazing to watch him puzzle over something until “a-ha!” he gets it.


… and I can’t keep up.

We now are the parents of a 3 1/2 year old and a 14 month old.  And if we could all be healthy at the same time for more than a few days at a time, I really do think the fog of newbaby parenting will have lifted.

K is amazing.  She is smart and funny and the things she says crack us up on a regular basis.  She is at the age where she knows enough about the way the world works to try to convince us of her points, but can never hide her true purpose behind the convincing.  She is learning to negotiate and has a good antenna for when we are just distracted enough to maybe give in.

Despite our best attempts to avoid commercial characters, she is repeatedly exposed to them both at school and through my mother (that could be a whole ‘nother post and maybe will be if I ever have a chunk of time again) and these days she has a true passion for all things F.roz.en, particularly El.sa.  She likes to sing some of the songs and toys with the idea of having powers.  She assigns characters to the rest of the family and puts parameters around who is allowed to sing what song based on their given character.  For myself, I don’t love the heavy focus as I was not a huge fan of the movie anyway, but I am glad that she is slowly understanding the characters better and deciding what she likes about them (ie powers, etc.) instead of just liking them because of their fame and because the other kids at school like them (how does peer pressure start so young?!)

Besides her character loves, she enjoys going outside, cooking and baking (or at least eating the ingredients), painting, reading, arts and crafts, and her dollhouse.  At bedtime she will sometimes choose to read to herself after we read to her and will call us when she is ready for the light to be out.  The colors pink and purple are her favorites, though blue has  come back into favor because of E.lsa.  She refuses to wear anything she labels as “boy clothes” (school influence maybe?  her own head?  no idea but her moms certainly don’t strongly favor “girl clothes”) and she would wear her E.lsa nightgown every night and out in the world if we would let her.  Her favorite foods are all fruit (especially bananas, blueberries, pineapple, craisins), pancakes, beans and rice (and “scoopy chips”), applesauce, yogurt, and “dessert” (which she will tell you is “not fruit”).  She has gotten increasingly picky but eats enough.

K continues to be fiercely independent and eager to do things her own way regardless of what other people think.     That being said, she has recently come into her own as a cuddler and will ask for snuggles and “back scratches” and will get between Chole and I when we hug for her own “squish hug.”  We also get our snuggle time in in the ways we always have – at bedtime, whenever we read books together, in the middle of a tickle fight.

She has her quirks and the things that annoy her (and the things that annoy us) but for the most part we often marvel about what a great kid she is and how lucky we are.  And how shocking it is that in just a half dozen more months she will be FOUR (she would add “and then 5-6-7-8-9-10-11-12-13-14-15-17-18-19-20-21-22-23-24-25 (16 skipped because she always skips it but every number far too big for my awesome little kid)).



J at One

So at the speed of having two kids, it is now January and J has been one for just over a month.

We celebrated his first birthday on the actual day the weekend after Thanksgiving.  The “theme” was rainbow colors, just like his big sister.  Dinner was spaghetti – his absolute favorite – and his cake was funfetti with chocolate frosting, which he devoured.

At a year old, J is the same easy-going, smiley, easy-to-please baby that he has been his whole life.  Words include “mama” and “more” and “pop” with a couple inconsistent “mommys” thrown in there.  He crawls around fiercely and pulls himself up on things but has not taken steps, though we anticipate it any day.  He loves looking at how things work, which is a big difference from when his sister was the same age – he will watch one of us do something and then work his hardest to figure out how to do it himself.  It is amazing to watch him puzzle it together and make things happen.

He still loves to eat.  Almost everything – he continues to dislike broccoli and push aside many green things on his plate, with the exception of peas, though he ultimately eats most of his food.  He enjoys cheerios, fruit, black beans, spaghetti, and anything his sister gives him, which is anything she can whenever she gets the chance.

At one, I stopped pumping and we introduced cows milk, which he enjoys less than breastmilk but will sometimes drink.  He continues to nurse voraciously and if he is sitting with me is often looking to eat.  That being said, even at night he can usually be settled by C if she cuddles him and waits him out, which is nice on the occasional night I have a late meeting or am otherwise occupied.

He likes music and will “sing,” clap, and dance.  He bounces along to almost any song and sometimes frustrates his sister with his clapping in the car (the joys of having two!).  He is less interested in sitting still to read books together, but seems to be listening as he crawls around the room while I read.

Overall, J is a cheerful little person who seems content to just be.  He constantly explores his world, is developing increasing body awareness, and is learning about cause and effect.  In between his constant movement, he spends time cuddling, nursing, laughing, and watching.  Perhaps because I am writing this at the start of a new year, it seems that he has so much to teach and I have so much to learn from his calm go-with-the-flow demeanor.


J at 11 months

J is just over 11 months old.  Almost a year.  And he is still delightful.  He crawls like a typical baby now instead of a zombie and zooms around everywhere.  He has been climbing and cruising and standing for a few seconds on his own.  He gets into everything he can and is far more destructive than I remember his sister being at this age – and puts himself far more frequently into harm’s way (though that may be partly him and partly the byproduct of him being around a 3 year old all the time).

He is fascinated by how things work.  He loves putting items inside of boxes, his animals inside of the barn – he loves seeing how things fit and removing them and trying again.  He has started building with the big legos, likes the wooden blocks, and works on his big board puzzles.  It is amazing to witness his little mind work, his grunts of frustration as he tries and tries, and his smiles when he finally does what he wanted to do.

He still loves to eat-  he eats anything and everything and when I’m not around will crawl to his high chair to look for food (when I am around he just looks for me).  I don’t know that he has many “favorites” but he does seem to enjoy fruit a lot, just like his sister.  He also really likes spaghetti – will eat bowl after bowl after bowl – and the other night when we went out to dinner, ate an entire kids pancake the size of a dinner plate (plus some eggs plus a bite of toast).  He still nurses and takes bottles (and cups) but doesn’t seem to need the milk to abate hunger the ways his sister did.

He likes music.  He will hold C’s hands and “dance” – bopping up and down.  He sometimes makes noise along with the music, though I would not call it singing.  He loves the water and does a happy dance when it is bathtime.  He likes splashing and yelling and flipping around in the water and trying to climb (which we do not allow but is really challenging to stop safely with all the slipperyness that is happening).  He also likes the bath toys.

He can say “Mama” “More” and “Meh” (Milk).  He waves hello and goodbye and he said “Buh” a few times the other day.  He also has said “Duh” (Dog) a few times but it is not a common word.  To be fair, he doesn’t need to say a whole bunch because his sister is always right there.

He has just started getting into books.  He particularly likes the books that have touch and feel elements though he will open and close any book and we have at times put him to bed with a book that he opens and closes until he falls asleep.  He also likes putting books into boxes and pulling them out.

J is still a good sleeper for the most part.  He is usually down between 8 and  8:30, wakes up once between 5 and 5:30 and then again at 7.  He went through a brief phase this past month of waking up 3:30 / 4 am but is skewing back toward the 5 and I am okay with that.  On fussy nights he will sometimes sleep in bed with us; the other night he spent at least half an hour “laying in bed” by climbing all over me and making happy sounds.

J is my baby all the way – he lights up whenever I come in a room and often wants to be with me.  He will still go to others without much of a fuss and isn’t particularly anxious when he is at daycare or with a sitter.  He snuggles with C and will fall asleep on her from time to time.  His adores his big sister and tries to play anything that she is playing no matter what we give him to distract him.  Recently, the two of them were playing in a play tunnel – K would chase him through the tunnel and he would giggle and giggle.  We frequently remind K to be gentle with him (and not to feed him and not to yell right in his ear and please dont shine the light in his eye… ) but he takes almost everything in stride.  He still rarely fusses or cries, though he has shown a fierce temper more and more that makes us kind of nervous about what 2 and 3 might look like, particularly when he throws down because he wanted something and we took it or we did something else he didn’t much like.

It is so hard to believe that a year ago I was sitting and wondering when he would show up and that now we are planning for his 1st rainbow fun birthday party.

Out of the Woods?

Since the chemical pregnancy back in January 2014, we’ve had a rough go of it.  Lots of ups and downs, lots of changes, losses, challenges.  Not to mention a pregnancy and a new baby in there.

It’s not that we haven’t had some fun, enjoyed the kids, enjoyed each other, but J is almost ten months old and it feels like we might just be, maybe, finally seeing the light.

Some of it is the result of conscious work.  We started a new daycare/preschool after a disaster that left J being monitored in the ICU overnight at all of seven months old (he was fortunately as okay as we can tell at this point, but it was (and is) still awful).  Daycare is only three days a week, and during those three days, C does the drop offs and I do the pick ups.  We have made purposeful effort toward increased rhythm building in our home – morning routines, afternoon routines, prayer at dinner, family walks when we can.  It isn’t much different than what we’ve always done, except we are doing it with a greater goal in mind and we think about the changes that we make.

Some of it is the result of time.  Two kids two and under (and now three and under) was a shift.  Not bad during maternity leave and with what we call a “luggage baby” but increasingly challenging with work and daycare and big kid pressures, not to mention the luggage baby growing and moving and yearning.  And that’s with an easy baby and a fairly easy big kid.  But we have been figuring it out, getting more sleep when we can, and trying to utilize family for date nights whenever possible.  Also, hormones are a thing and time has a way of helping them settle, though they are still bouncing from the nursing / pumping life.

We are still exhausted, still running ragged, still dealing with a messy house and messy kids and messy life, but it somehow feels like there is just a little more room to breathe, a little more room to be a couple.  And for that I am grateful.