Friday, December 30, 2005

A Girl After My Own Heart

The other day I was doing a few dishes (I've found that we go through WAY too many dishes being home than in our normal out-and-about life, of course) when I heard the following from the living room.

Holding a chocolaty treat: Mom? Can I have this?

No, not right now.

(trot trot trot trot)

To me: Can I have this?

From the living room: [FYO]! I JUST told you "no"!

Yeah, but [Blogauthor] doesn't know what you said!

The Little Voice Inside Her Head

The other night the FYO and I were alone at the dinner table and we had one of those rare moments where she wanted to really talk to me about something important to her.

She began, as she often does, in the middle of things.

When I'm around certain people, he tells me they're not nice.

Who tells you they're not nice?

The voice inside my head.

The voice inside your head is a man?


Oh. That's interesting.

Yeah. But, he tells me sometimes that nice people aren't nice. . . Like MRM#1.


Yeah. And I KNOW that he's nice.

Yeah. He IS nice. That must be confusing.

I am trying to ignore what he says about people.

You know, I don't think you should ignore that voice in your head. In fact, I try to trust that voice.

But what about MRM#1?

I know. That's a really strange one.

BioMom: Maybe the voice inside your head is telling you that sometimes MRM#1 is too nice. And maybe he lets you do things sometimes that you know you shouldn't be doing.

FYO: Yeah!

Blogauthor: I find the hardest thing is when the voice in my head conflicts with the vhoice in my heart.

FYO: I don't have a voice in my heart.

Sure you do!! Your heart-voice is one of the strongest I've ever seen!

FYO: smile.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Week Three Developments

Mental Development
has vague and impassive expression during waking hours

Introducing the "JPOD" -- [First letter of ZeYo's name] Picture Of The Day:

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Having A(nother) Child Changes Things

Check out this study via Marginal Revolution and Newmark's Door that concludes:

This paper provides evidence that daughters make people more left wing. Having sons, by contrast makes them more right wing.

I guess, at 18 days, the jury's still out.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

What we have in Common with the Holy Family

The other night the FYO and I were playing with this ancient, beat-up nativity set that I had when I was a kid. It is really old-timy looking and most of the figures have lost one body part or another.

Since there were only two of us, each had to play several parts in our little nativity play.

One of my assignments was to be the Joseph character.

At one point, the FYO told me that Joseph would then have to be elevated to heaven in order to play God.

Why? I said.

Well, because he is the father of Jesus! She looked at me in disbelief as if to say, "didn't you KNOW that?"

Actually, [FYO], you're right, God is the father of Jesus, but Joseph is not God. Joseph is Jesus' earthly father.

What does earthly mean?

At this point, I found myself in strangely familiar territory.

What it means is that Joseph was the person that raised him. Not the person that made him.


I had to take the FYO to the pediatrician the other day to check out her eyes.

Although BioMom couldn't see it, I started to notice that one of her eyes was a little slower than the other.

It turns out that she probably sees significantly worse in one eye than the other, and that the problem is easily correctable. But what was interesting was the office visit.

While waiting for the doctor to come in, the FYO and I were playing with the eye chart. I had her cover one eye and read the letters. The first time we did it, I wanted to see how well she could read the bottom line with each eye. So, I moved her to the back of the room, covered one eye, and said:

Can you read the bottom line?

After concentrating for a moment, and then looking confused, she said, Vothov? What does that mean?

Happy Holidays Everyone!

Monday, December 19, 2005

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Lost Marbles

I lost my marbles yesterday.

ZeYo was 9 days old.

He lost his bellybutton stump.

It was an amazing and wonderful week. But also an extremely challenging one. BioMom was just able to really help around after the C-section and although he is letting us sleep more than other newborns let their parents sleep, we were still exhausted.

This was all in addition to the first full weekend with the FYO home with us.

I have a new respect for families with more than one pre-school aged child at home. This weekend was the peak in the FYO's reaction to the new baby. And I was handling it okay. Really, I was. Until today.

Let me give you the leadup.

Friday was the first FFFN (Friday Family Fun Night) with ZeYo at home. The FYO was really excited about it. We were going to have dinner and then pop some popcorn and watch the Grinch. Our neighborhood is continuing to bring us over dinners every third night or so to help out and to meet the baby. This particular delivery was from our local pediatrician who is also currently trying to have a baby. She was the first "Wiseman" (the name I'll call for these lovely gift-bearers for us and the baby) to bring ZeYo a gift (a little onesy) and not FYO.

It was a fairly simple transaction; she brought over the food and a little gift and was oohing and ahhing at the baby when I was suddenly tugged to the back of the house by the FYO. In a back bedroom she gave me the following phonetically spelled (with your typical five-year-old backwards s's) treatise:

Yoru paing more atanchin to [ZeYo] then me now that is true!

I knelt down and talked to her about it and we proceeded with our night. Later, I brought up the note.

You know, I really want to spend some time talking about your note.


Well, I want you to feel comfortable.

I do!

That was just the beginning. In each incidence, I was unsure as to whether she was just pushing my buttons, playing the "atanchin" card, or if she was really upset.

Yesterday, we got a card from a relative that the FYO was reading aloud to us. It began "Congratulations [BioMom] and [Blogauthor!]". The FYO stopped reading immediately, turning to me in a very stern voice:

What have YOU done? Mom carried him and I'm the big sister!!! What are YOU doing?

Having done 99% of what it takes to take care for a household that includes one post-op adult, one zero year old and a kindergartener, I about rang her neck!

I'll stop there, but know that I took care of myself, went to the gym, and ZeYo let us sleep from 9:30 to 4:00!!! (a.m. that is).

Titles, Names and other Sundry Topics

A friend of mine just inquired about the name of this blog and why I refer to myself (or, I should say, referred) as a "step-mother."

At the time I created this WebLog, ZeYo was still really abstract in our minds and the FYO was going through something with me and deciding what to call me.

I met them (BioMom and the FYO) when the FYO was 16 months old. BioMom's (female) partner had an affair and their relationship dissovled early on in the FYO's life. While BioMom and I both felt a special spark when we met, we were both uncomfortable thinking about me co-parenting for quite some time (needless to say, we didn't do the usual lesbian second date U-Haul).

As we became increasingly serious, and I eventually moved in with them, the FYO also evolved in what she called me, and it was also obvious that while she couldn't remember a time without me, she also intuitively knew that a time without me existed.

I have always felt that it was important to follow her lead in this. I always thought that Mike and Carol Brady's kids were totally fake in calling their new step-parents "Mom" and "Dad" and I didn't expect the FYO to jump in and call me "Mom" until she was ready. In fact, I didn't (and don't) care what she calls me.

Ultimately, it has evolved into something quite fluid. Sometimes she calls me by my first name, other times by "Mom" or "Mommy."

Now, with the ZeYo, I suppose things may be different.

In any case, the title of the blog seems outdated. I also wish I would have been a little more creative, maybe calling it the "Lesbian Step-Father" or something fun like that with a nod to some of the lit crit people of the 1990s.

Since the ZeYo has been born, a couple of lesbian couples have asked us what he'll call me. BioMom has gotten a big kick out of this, coming up with various names, using them in context:

[Zero Year Old] here comes Malikaliki-Mama!

Mamakesh -- here's a dirty diaper for you to change!

Others include: Mamasita, Mamoo, Mushka.

It goes on and on.

Friday, December 16, 2005

One Week Old

Grandma and Grandpa have been amazing to us this week. On Tuesday, for example, I had to be out of the house and take the FYO to her dance lessons. We were all pretty exhausted, but BioMom and I thought we could handle it. About five minutes before I was to leave, the grandparents were suddenly "in the neighborhood" wondering if BioMom and ZeYo wanted a little "company."

They live 45 minutes away. How lovely is that?

Last night they came over for dinner and, get this, organized our miscellaneous socks.

They literally could not be more helpful.

Here's grandma's response to the little guy:

Doesn't it just feel like he's always been in the family? It feels like we've known him for a long, long time.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

A Shout Out to Cousin

Her kitty, Larry, went on to the Daisy Hill Kitty Farm in the sky last night.

We got Larry and my Emma at the same time in our little apartment in Lincoln, Nebraska way back in 1991. Needless to say, they've been our good friends for a long time. Through thick and thin, as they say.

We'll miss you, Larry.

6 Days Alive

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Night Two

It's been MUCH better tonight. We played with him and generally cajoled him into alert-ness from 8-10 p.m. last night and then filled him up with the delicious nector of the gods. He slept from 10:30-3:00.


What a difference sleep makes.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Day4: Out Like A Light

What is it with these nocturnal beings we have in our life? Between the cats and this newborn. . .

Now that it's daytime, he's sleeping like an angel.

Stanley "Tookie" Williams

Gang Co-Founder Is Executed in Calif.

Having exhausted his appeals, Williams, 51, who co-founded the notorious Crips gang, was killed via injection at 12:35 p.m. Pacific time (3:35 EST) for four murders committed during two separate robberies in Southern California in 1979.

. . .

The burly Williams, who had maintained his innocence since his arrest, gained prominence speaking out against gang violence in a series of children's books and through writings appealing directly to gangs. His supporters have said that the evidence against him was weak, that his lawyers botched his trial, and that during his years on death row his conversion to an anti-gang advocate made him a strong candidate for mercy.

I wonder if the alleged victim's family feels safer now that Tookie is dead. I have a little experience at being the victim's family (I won't go into it here) and can honestly say that if the accused (never proven, but I don't think even proof would matter in my mind) were killed, I would not feel better about our loss.

The death penalty doesn't make economic, social, or psychological sense. Rather it is a morbid medevial holdover.

Monday, December 12, 2005

First Night At Home

As far as first nights at home go, I guess this is going okay.

It is 1:48 a.m. and we're both up. BioMom is nursing, and I'm messing around on Blogspot, Wikipedia and a Beta version of the Trixie Update that tracks ZeYo's, well. . . ZeYo's everything.

Cousin and her mom ("Lez" here or "Aunt on Mom's side") related stories to me of first nights home from hell. Lez's first night home with her first, under the guidance of the then American Pediatric Society's advice, was to let the baby cry on the FIRST night! Another story she relayed was from her fifth (!) son's first night home with his son. He called her at one point early on in the evening: Will you call us back? She was too late to call and so waited until morning to ask: What do you need? He said his son cried and cried and at 3:30 a.m. all three of them were crying.

We're not crying, yet.

A FYO's Concerns

Last night BioMom and ZeYo stayed in the hospital while the FoYo (modified FYO) and I were back at home.

It was hard for both of us to be away from them, but it was good to be home. We decided that the grandparent's drive to get FoYo to school at 7:55 was too much to ask, and maybe I could get a good night's sleep to prepare for their arrival home.

While FoYo and slept great--until almost 7a.m.-- ZeYo and BioMom had a hard night, learning each other's habits, without much help.

In the morning FoYo crawled into bed and started asking questions.

Where will he be when we go do the fun things we do?

Well, he'll be with us.

How? He can't DO anything. How will he do that?

Well, you know that bucket thing? we'll take it with us.

What if he doesn't like to do the things we do?

Don't worry. He will.

But, what if he doesn't?

[FoYo]. How could ANYONE not like Matt's?

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Friday, December 09, 2005

Announcing. . . .

The Zero Year Old, AKA "ZeroYearO"!:


Born: 9 DEC 2005, 8:46 a.m.

Statistics: 9 pounds 3 ounces, 19 inches, some very dark hair and a quite serious demeanor.

BioMom is doing great.

The FYO is thrilled.

We're all in love.

And exhausted.

Thursday, December 08, 2005


Nothing yet! I'm just preparing a thingy for my office -- a box of rolos (to look like cigars) and a little sign that reads:

IT'S A. . . . . . .


Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Contraction Action

Just talked to BioMom at the office. Apparently the "pesky" contractions are somewhat disruping to the normal workaday life!

Monday, December 05, 2005

39 Weeks and 40 Inch Belly

When I told the FYO today after picking her up from school that BioMom's body was getting ready to have the baby, she asked if the "feet had popped out."

50 Per Cent

. . . is usually something that students come to me and complain about.

There's no complaining going on here! BioMom is 50% effaced!

Note, however that This process is related to dilation; however, the rates of effacement to dilation are neither linear, nor the same for all women. However, progression of effacement is a sign that labor is progressing.

Sunday, December 04, 2005