Well, it’s been a while again, hasn’t it? I was reading someone else’s family blog and realized I miss writing about my own little family and all the stuff I/we’ve been up to. So, in the free minutes I have, here’s what’s been going on:
Meeting my dad. The biggie is that I met my dad and his family for the first time last month. I found him last year around October or so. It was weird: I came in to work and searched an Obama speech that I wanted to listen to, saw an ad at the bottom about finding people, entered my dad’s name as I occasionally do on generic web searches, one thing led to another, and boom, all the dots were connecting. It felt a little like this, to be honest…
Which reminded me of this..
Anyhow…it was a bit of a bombshell for my three sisters, and things have taken time to develop, but the boys and I headed to Arizona last month to visit some of Jeff’s family so I decided to take the leap and see if they were ready to meet. I’m so glad they were. Jeff, the boys, and I went over to their house for lunch and it was really nice to get to meet them each in person and get to know them a little better. Unlike my expectation, it wasn’t awkward, but I do think it was a little emotionally tense: trying to figure out our comfort levels and boundaries (too soon to hug? do I call him dad? what do we tell Jake?), and I think most of us were a little nervous about how it would go. Thankfully it went well enough that we all want to see each other again and get to know each other, although the distance does make that a little challenging.
One thing I didn’t think about when I reached out to them last year were the ripples. I’ll admit I was selfish and just thought of myself and that I had a “right” to reach out to my dad. I didn’t think about the girls and what that would put them through. Or my mom and how she would feel (although I did give her a heads up that I had found them and again when I decided to meet them). Or my aunts and cousins. I really hadn’t considered how this would affect so many people, and in every sense that has been the most challenging aspect of this journey.
When I found him and when I met him, people kept asking how I was doing and how I was feeling…I think expecting a hot emotional mess. I think we’re all dealing a little with the “what if’s” that I was starting to come to terms with a few years ago, but over all it’s been very non-dramatic. Maybe it’s because I haven’t been holding on to any resentment or bitterness for the last 33 years, but I’ve been fine. I’m honestly just excited to meet my dad and his family and get to know them. I have an amazing family as is, so if meeting them hadn’t worked out, it would have been a bummer but thankfully I have a wonderful and supportive family already, so my risk was non-existent. Finding my dad and his family is icing on the cake. And I mean, who doesn’t love icing, right? But this cake is pretty delicious by itself also :) But I have to admit, I’m pretty excited about getting to know each of them.
Phew, maybe that should have been a separate blog post, haha, but let’s move on to some less intense updates.
Cooking. I’ve never been a huge fan of cooking. My grandma cooked for us every day and did it solo (I just snuck in to steal tomatoes), and my mom was a lone wolf in the kitchen as well. It was something that needed to get done, food had to be put on the table, and that was that. Except for annual tamale making around Christmas, cooking isn’t really family tradition for me, or something that I’ve grown up learning. So it’s a chore. And one that became even more daunting when Jake starting eating adult food (man, I really wish he would eat-he’s a terrible eater), and cooking “healthy” food became even more important. Throughout our entire relationship (ten years now!), Jeff and I have talked about eating better and exercising regularly. The exercising hasn’t stuck, but there’s something about someone’s life depending on you that makes you want to only do the best by him. I’m not saying we shop at Whole Foods and are vegan, but we try to cook at home more which I count as a success.
The routine of work, home, dinner, clean up, bath time, bedtime, is exhausting, repetitive, and…less than thrilling. Up until recently I really dreaded cooking. I felt like it took me away from hanging out with the boys or doing something more productive or exciting around the house. Thankfully Jeff has always liked my cooking, and recently he’s loved it. And I think that’s made a huge difference in how I approach cooking. I love making food that my family loves (Jake loves my cornbread…that’s about it, but I’ll take it for now). I love the praise I get from Jeff when I cook, and I love knowing that my family is eating something healthier than eating out constantly. Maybe not in the sense of healthy food (we eat more than our fair share of southern, fried stuff…), but at least I know there aren’t a ton of preservatives in it!
So as of last week, I’m enjoying cooking! Buying groceries every week though….ew.
Gilmore Girls. I just finished watching the new episodes of Gilmore Girls. My mom came over after Thanksgiving so we could watch it together since it was our thing when the show was on, but man, throw a toddler and a baby into the mix and we paused the episode so many times and I yelled at Jake so many other times, that I was exhausted and thankful when the first credits rolled up. I’ve managed to watch the rest after I put Josh to sleep and during my pumping sessions at work, and finished up last night. It wasn’t all perfect, but I have to say, I loved the imperfection of Rory’s life. Not all of us land that dream job, even if we were smart and ambitious at one point. I found it refreshing, maybe because it reflects my life a little: sometimes you don’t get exactly what you thought you wanted, but you get so much more!
The moment you’ve all been waiting for: The boys. The boys are doing great :) The first two-three months of Josh’s life were hard. HARD. This blog is getting pretty lengthy so I’ll save my pearls of wisdom of those first three months for a separate blog post, but thankfully now we’ve all gotten into our new regular of being a family of four. Josh is still keeping me up at night a lot (nursing every 2-3 hours, not awake and screaming, thankfully), but I’m also a sissy about sleep training, so I guess it’s my own fault. Other than that, he’s great. He’s pulling himself up everywhere, he’s mastered the army crawl, and really likes to be walked around everywhere now. I’m sure he’ll be walking in no time! He loves to give me open mouth, wet, kisses, and he is so so happy when I get home, it truly makes my heart happy. He’s constantly smiling, and has the most amazing crinkle nose smile!
And Jake. What can I say without sounding like “that” mother? He’s truly an amazing child. I mean it. He uses words like “frustrated,” “comfortable,” “area,” and “vehicle” to name a few. And he uses them all correctly! He knows plurals, and when to use us/them/their/me. He can have a lengthy discussion with you about his toys and the latest Tayo episode. And those are my favorite moments. When he is so excited about something that he just goes on and on and on. And he’s so sweet and kind, and always willing to lend a hand (and…and…and…). I love the relationships he has with his grandparents, and he loves them each so dearly. Things I don’t love: how hard it is to get him to eat, his dry skin/allergies, his quickness to get angry/frustrated with toys, how often he says “I’m mad” or asks “are you happy?” He’s always concerned about our happiness and making sure we’re not upset, haha.
Jeff. I know this blog is way too long already, but I can’t leave Jeff out. I truly, honestly, can’t imagine my life without him. Believe it or not, I get moody. A lot. My mom knows. And Jeff knows. And they both still love me the same and are amazing support people for me.
This parenting thing is no joke, but I am so blessed to be able to do it with a man that is patient, understanding, considerate, loving, etc., etc., etc. For example, last night at the dinner table he noticed that I forgot to get a glass of water, so he got one for me. I mean, he was already sitting down eating his food, trying to get Jake to eat, and NOTICED that. Insert heart googly eyes here.
I also love our parenting system: I love that it’s not a 50-50 in the sense that we have to split everything down the middle, we just work within our strengths and weaknesses. And it works for us.
Ok, I’ll let you all resume your normal daily activities. I really am going to try to blog more frequently so each blog doesn’t become a mini-novela.
I’ll leave you guys with a couple music videos.