And just like that, things were okay again.

The past two months since Squishy left me have been truly a learning experience. I learned that I am still strong, and I can make it through whatever life throws at me. It wasn’t easy by any means, and the scars still remain. But I have moved onto a better place, and I am comfortable.

I have started seeing a psychiatrist for help with PPD and life in general. She gave me a prescription to help me sleep, and I no longer need to self medicate with alcohol. I used to drink for fun, but it got to the point where I couldn’t sleep and had to be drunk to get even just four hours. I’m so glad that’s over.

I have finally made a connection with Little Hippie, now that he’s more of a child than a potato. I didn’t experience PPD with the other two boys, so it was very difficult to realize what was happening. Talking to friends who went through it, especially ones who specifically only went through it with their third child, was incredibly helpful. His dad sees him twice a week and every other weekend, and I am glad for that.

There were absolutely no plans in my head or my heart to start dating anytime soon. But I went out to dinner with a friend, someone I’ve known about two years, but had never hung out with. One night the ex’s girlfriend decided to text me from his phone and talk all kinds of shit. It was infuriating to the point where I actually vomited. At that moment, I wrote him off completely. There was no coming back from that incident. Because I was so angry, I needed to talk to someone on the phone to distract myself. I called my friend (let’s call him Hoss), and I told him what happened. He let me vent, and then proceeded to talk to me about everything under the sun otherwise. We were on the phone for four hours, and by the end of the conversation he had told me that he had been interested in me, but because I was attached, he never said anything. I was shocked.

The next night, he came over after work. It was wonderful. We watched a movie and cuddled up on the couch. I fit perfectly into his body, something I have never had before. From then on, we’ve been together. He stayed one weekend, and I joked that because he had a toothbrush here now, he must be my boyfriend. He agreed.

In the few weeks since that first dinner out, Hoss has treated me, and more importantly my two older boys, better than Squishy ever did, even at the beginning. Hoss seems to truly care, like lifelong care, not fairy tale romance care. He fixed my dehumidifier, and now maintains it of his own accord. He wants to cut my grass. He set up an antenna so I can get regular TV and watch Jeopardy! All these things that are the stuff of life that Squishy never did or couldn’t do or wouldn’t do. Hoss took me and the older boys fishing. He voluntarily had dinner in a real restaurant with them. Squishy wouldn’t even tolerate eating at McDonald’s with the kids! And you know what? They were SO GOOD with Hoss. He is patient. He is even keeled. He doesn’t yell at them or insult them. I never thought Squishy was that bad until I saw how good someone else could be. Hoss is already planning our holidays and birthdays. He changed my oil.

So, while I am surprised to be in a relationship so soon after tragedy struck, it is a good thing. It happened naturally, organically, without any pursuit or drama or whirlwind romance or whatever. That, I think, is what might make this be one of the best relationships I’ve ever had. I’m finally comfortable. It might sound cliche, but for once I actually believe that everything happens for a reason.

Bio Family Update

The past two and a half months have been a whirlwind of emotions for myself, my family, and my bio family. Mostly they have been positive emotions, except on the side of my (adoptive) family. I have continued to build a relationship with my bio family, and I have never been happier in my whole life. I finally feel like I am somewhere I belong naturally, rather than somewhere I am forcing myself to try to fit in.

Back in May, the weekend after Memorial Day, with the help of my siblings, I drove to Akron on a very stormy Sunday afternoon and surprised my bio mom. I met BD, his wife, and Texas at the restaurant around 3pm, and Sissy brought mom once they texted her to say I’d arrived. I could see out the window into the parking lot, and when I saw them walking in, I thought I would faint. Sissy walked over to our table, with bio mom in tow. She stopped, and bio mom kinda looked around like “Why did you stop?” Then she looked over at the table, it took a second for her to realize who I was, and then she put her hand over her mouth and just said “Oh my god oh my god oh my god” over and over. I got up and gave her a hug, and it felt so comfortable, and in the back of my mind I was thinking that the last time she gave me a hug was 33 years ago. I wondered what it felt like for her, and I imagine she must have been thinking the same thing.

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Me and Bio Mom

We had a lovely meal, Mexican of course, and a good time catching up. We were at the restaurant for about three hours! Afterwards we went and visited my bio grandma (Gigi). She was very surprised to see bio mom, and even more surprised to see me. It was an interesting visit, to say the least. Finally we went back to bio mom’s place. We sat and talked with her housemate, talked about everything under the sun, and I finally left around 10:30pm. It was the craziest twelve hours in my recent history! Ranked right up there with Squeaks being born ahead of schedule!

Because they weren’t able to come to the baptism, bio mom arranged for the boys and me to go up to Akron for the 4th of July weekend. She came down and picked us up on Friday afternoon, Poke came up on Sunday afternoon, and we headed home on Monday.

Friday we got delicious authentic pizza, and Sissy brought her girlfriend to the hotel to meet us. JI acted like a maniac after the car ride, and bounced all over the place. After a couple of hours they left, and somehow I got the boys to sleep! Saturday was the big day – meeting ALL the family. Bio mom picked us up in the afternoon, and we headed to my aunt’s house.

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Clockwise from top left: Texas, Bio Mom, Sissy and Me, Gigi

Have I told you guys yet how big my bio family is?! It is HUGE. My family always consisted of me, Scrod, and my parents. My dad has two brothers, one who was never married, and one who passed away, but his wife still comes to family holidays. I have no cousins. My grandfathers died in 1977 and 1981, and my grandmothers passed in 2001 and 2007. So for the past few years, it’s only been the four of us plus Poke and the kid(s), and occasionally my uncle and aunt. That’s it. My bio family? Completely different! My bio mom has three sisters and a brother, and I have nine cousins. There’s also four spouses/fiances with the cousins, three of bio mom’s siblings are married, and bio mom’s mom is still alive as well. Not everyone was at the 4th of July party, but it was very much a culture shock.

Despite being in a totally new situation with a whole crowd of people I’d never met (except my sibs, bio mom, and Gigi), it was awesome. From the very first minute, I was completely at ease. My bio aunt was worried about JI, the first wee little kid to be around in a while, getting into trouble or in a dangerous situation. They live on a big plot of land with lots of holes and trees and rocks and dog piles, so I got it. JI had a blast though, playing with my youngest cousin, who is twelve. They chased each other around, they chased the dogs, and thankfully they stayed out of trouble! Everyone wanted to hold Squeaks, but he was mostly comfortable in bio mom’s arms. He didn’t even want me! While JI ran around like a crazy man and Squeaks charmed everyone with his flirty faces, us older kids played cornhole, drank beers, and ate tons of delicious picnic food (which just happens to be my favorite food to eat in the summer!). It was the perfect day, culminating in a huge bonfire at the end of the night. So happy!

Sunday Poke came up around 1pm, and we met up with bio mom for some different authentic Italian food…. unfortunately the restaurant was closed due to the holiday, so we ended up at a Chinese buffet. Holy cow, it was great! Poke and I used to take JI to all these different Chinese buffets around Columbus, but most of them have closed or the quality has gone way down. The one at Chapel Hill was so so so good – quality food and lots of variety. I could have stayed another hour! Afterwards bio mom drove us around North Hill, the section of Akron where she and my siblings grew up. I got to see the house where I lived for a month after I was born, the houses where my siblings lived/live currently, and a few other landmarks, including the hospital where I was born. It was really special, knowing that all these spots had a real meaning in my life.

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My brother is the one in all black

When we got back to the hotel, JI and I went in the pool for a little bit, and then we all headed out to watch BD’s volleyball championship games. He is really good! I never thought volleyball was interesting until I watched these amateur (professionals?) play. It was fast paced and really fun. Even JI, who hates sitting still, sat and watched most of it! We went simple and hit up Applebee’s for dinner, which was actually pretty tasty! I don’t think we’ve eaten at Applebee’s for about two years and their menu has changed a lot.

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The boys at the hotel

Monday was checkout day, and I was up by 9:30am to get everything ready to go. Poke loaded up the van while I got the kids ready. Bio mom came by around 10:30am to check us out, and then we went to Cracker Barrel for breakfast. Poke had never been to a Cracker Barrel before! I love it; one of my favorite breakfast places. JI was a bit salty for some reason, and actually broke a plate when he pushed it off the table. I had to draw on all my woo-sah and calmly implement the 1-2-3 Magic system that we’ve been using. After a four minute time out, JI was back in business and ended up being a lot better after that. Kids are so weird sometimes.

I was sad to leave, but I had such an amazing time that I know I will be able to get through the next few weeks until I see my bio family again. JI’s birthday is coming up in mid July, so we will probably head up there to celebrate. I can’t wait!

Busy, Busy, Busy!

OMG you guys. I feel like I have been hit by a steamroller. I mean, for real.

wpid-20150428_183011.jpgSaturday we went to a pirate party at one of our local malls. It was freakin’ ridiculous. My best friend Lola and her daughter Lulu invited us, and we had gone last year and had fun. Well, this year, not so much. The best part of the outing was sitting in the food court eating lunch! JI actually ate almost all of his Chick-fil-a (grumble grumble), and I got to have some tasty, tasty Charley’s Philly and fries.

Then we headed over to the court outside of Sears, where people had already started congregating and going to each pirate station. Last year they had all the tables spread out, and it was not at all crowded. This year, they had all the tables in wpid-collage_20150429111007478.jpga very small area, and it was packed. For some reason, they also had the ramp roped off, so I was basically stuck outside the party area or inside it at the top of the steps. Wtf. So Lola tried to take the kids around to each table, because the point of the pirate party is to get a stamp on each island of your treasure map, and when you get all of them you earn a prize from the treasure chest. Well JI was starting to have a moment, because they sensory overload was at the tipping point. I was in panic mode myself, and had already started sweating, literally. Finally Lola and Lulu gave up, jacked a stamper, and well… let’s just say we earned our piece of candy! I should have known better than to take JI, given his recent downturn in coping skills, but I am just so in denial sometimes that I really think he can do normal things – and that I can do normal things – without freaking out. Damn.

Sunday, Poke was off, so I secretly arranged a babysitter for us so we could go out to dinner and karaoke. Of course we went to our favorite Mexican spot, Casa Hacienda, and started the nighwpid-20150422_165400.jpgt with awesome food and super strong margaritas. I also had a Paloma, which was basically tequila and sprite with a cherry in it, and Poke had a mojito. Noms. Then we came back home to charge our phones, because there was still an hour til karaoke started, and I had a beer while Poke took a nap. Being a parent is quite boring sometimes. We headed out to karaoke, where we met a couple of our friends and then there was drama, which I will be discussing in a different post, because it involves my recent connection with my bio mom. Seriously? Yes. For realzies.

Anyway, we had an excellent time (other than about an hour in the middle), ate some deliciously random pizza as well as authentic tacos from a truck, and actually hit up two different bars (because we had to leave the first one lol). I got to see my favorite bartender from years ago, whom I haven’t seen in probably two years, and reconnected with another friend that I haven’t seen in over a year. Being pregnant really puts a kink in your social lifewpid-20150423_071710.jpg when said social life revolves around bars and beers! On the way home, I blasted Usher and sang at the top of my lungs. It was a good time. Our babysitter told us she’d keep the boys overnight, so we actually got to sleep in until like 9:30am on Monday! Woah!

JI was off school Monday, so we all basically laid around the house not doing a damn thing all day. Poke had a dentist appointment, but that was it. We ate majorly unhealthy food, we drank too much Kool-Aid, JI played outside with his jammies and socks on. It was a fine day for everyone. Let me tell you though, I really really cannot throw down like I used to… ugh. I can’t believe that Poke and I used to go out and drink every single night! I mean what the heck?! How did I even make it through my twenties?!

Tuesday we had to stay up after JI went to school, to go to our couples’ counseling session. It was a good session. Afterwards I dropped Poke at home, and went grocery shopping. I also got my tooth fixed yesterday! Back when I was eleven years old, I got hit in the mouth with a full glass bottle of pop (I think it was pop… definitely was not beer?). Since then, for wpid-20150426_180943.jpg22 years, I’ve had a crack in my front tooth. It never bothered me, it never messed up my tooth in any way other than tada! a line down the center of my tooth. Well my dentist was like “Hey, how about we get rid of that crack?” so for $130, bam! New tooth! They sanded it down and filled it in and now it looks like a plain old tooth. I kinda miss the crack LOL I’ve had it for so long that it is weird to look at my tooth without it!

I’ve started on my outdoor chores, cutting the grass, cleaning up the garden beds, getting JI’s toys out and washed, and all that stuff. I love spring because I love being outside doing stuff. Don’t ask me to go on a hike, or a walk, or anything like that – boooooooring. I like to dig and plant and mow, I like to empty out the whole shed and reorganize it (my next project!), I like to rake and whack weeds. I really love to do chores!

And that, my friends, has been my super busy past four days. I still have a headache, because it won’t completely go away until November, and I am so incredibly tired. Between Squeaks being awake more often and JI’s weird sleeping schedule of late, I really don’t sleep – I just take a series of naps. Short naps. Oh well, thus is life as a parent!

And now for a video of me, singing: