This Blog is done

It looks like the last time I posted was at the very beginning of the 2013 year. I tried to keep this going past it’s time, and now I realize it is time to say goodbye to The Owl and the Octopus.

This blog was all about TTC and figuring out how to exist in this new world we had entered. We have moved on, and the topics worth addressing are past this place, even if this is where they started.

I have realized how therapeutic writing is, and my sanity has been compromised by it’s absence. So, moving on to a new space…
http://mzamblack.wordpress.com/

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Reality Check

Between switching websites and having such long lapses between posts, I don’t even know if anyone visits this blog anymore. I’m hoping that someone does, and if I get better about posting, more readers will find something here worth reading…

What compelled me to get typing today are the emotions that have been popping up this week. Things have been a little overwhelming. I am the only one in my department at my work, and fairly stressed-out there, and school has been a little overwhelming lately. On top of that, baby boy still isn’t crawling or eating solids (he does have his adventurous moments when he will eat), and only sleeps in approximately one hour stretches at night. He seems to be complaining way more than he is happy these days. So, I have been slightly more reactive to annoyances that pop up.

Yesterday, we finally received Olly’s birth certificate. I have been emailing the lawyer, and waiting for this for months! It is finally here, and what do I see? There are two designated “parent” spots. One of these sections has my name, the other has Chandra’s; okay, good. No, continue on to the designated area for “informant” and it doesn’t simply list Chandra’s name, but follows it with the title “Mother”. Yet again, I am reminded that society and the legal system will not accept that our baby boy has two mammas, and will continue to insist one of us holds the official title of “mother”–and that one of us will not be me, no matter what rights we have graciously been handed.

Needless to further explain, I was slightly crushed and had lost a little more faith in humanity. Thanks to my real-life friends, my internet peers, and my supportive wife, I was able to pull out of my funk after hearing consistent understanding and zero words trying to rationalize why this document contains this kind of wording. I quickly moved to a place of gratitude at having these kind of experiences, because they truly contribute to my development of being a compassionate and empathic human being. I would choose this goal over any preferred parental labeling, any day!

This evening I was wrapped up in one of my favorite pass-times: Facebook photo stalking. I was looking at an album posted by a mom who is in one of the internet parenting groups I belong to. It was a photo album of pics from the month their adopted son spent with them. Their son was taken back to his birth mother after being with his adoptive parents. These photos were so precious, so beautiful, and displayed so much love.

Towards the end of the album, I came across what I believe is the most impressive photo I’ve ever seen; heartbreaking and emotion-filled. The parents are holding their baby boy, and while the love is easily seen/felt, there is an expression of overwhelming sadness in the faces of both parents. Without looking at the picture’s caption, it is clear that this is a photo taken after having learned these two parents will be losing their son. It is impossible to fully understand the hurt and loss so obviously displayed in this photo, but I still felt my heart break a little bit for this family.

At the same time, I felt an overwhelming gratefulness for my own family. Moments after, Chandra and the baby came into the room. I wrapped baby boy on my back and allowed myself to be humbled. I am blessed with a loving and supportive family. My wife is beautiful and loving, and my children are equally as beautiful and amazing. And, while the dominant culture still insists on reminding me of how they feel about my non-traditional role as mother in Olly’s life, I am thankful to know I have secured the legal measures necessary to ensure my baby boy can never be taken from me.

–Amanda

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Quick Catcu-Up

Looks like we’ve been out of the blog world for 4+ months, and were only making scarce appearances for a while before that. For the last 4 months, I’ve been wanting to sign in and get “back into it”, but, you know–life.

We had a rough past few months, which made the holiday times a little stressful. I don’t typically get worked up over the holidays. I truly enjoy the November/December months, and look forward to them throughout the year. This year was challenging, and I am happy to have entered into a new year. It feels clean and promising (knock on wood)!

Chandra has been able to take on the role of stay-at-home mom, and is still in school. I am working full time-out of the house- and still enrolled in school, as well. It truly feels like I will never finish. I already go full time, and considered tacking on an extra class for the next 3 terms in order to finish earlier. I’m proud to say I admitted that would be too much and have chosen to go the extra term.

There have truly been some challenges in our life that have caused me to step back and reevaluate my obligations/priorities. I tend to take on more than I should, and end up skimping out on dedicating the full amount of concentration I need to give to myself and my family. If I have a new year’s resolution, it is to remain aware of this and feel more ok with not being able to do EVERYTHING!

The positive updates: Chandra and I are planning a wedding for this coming October! All of the boys continue to be happy and healthy! Chandra and I have both made new and irreplaceable friends through my work! Chandra is able to stay home with baby, and truly enjoys it! I have a job I genuinely like! I have a job! Chandra and I both still manage to work on our education and earn good grades while being moms with busy schedules! I am developing a true appreciation for living in the moment that is happening now! We have family who support us! I know that all of these positive things in our lives are how we manage to make it through the major shit storms when they come around.

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Happy New Year!

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Parenting Books Interupted My Parental Instincts

It’s true: bare with me and hear what I have to say. I am 38 years old, and have 3 kiddos. The oldest boy is 12years old, so I’ve been doing this for a while. One big thing I’ve noticed, while reflecting on my parental journey, is that the less I read about parenting, the more I enjoy it. Don’t get me wrong, I have a pretty decent collection of child rearing literature, and I would never want to be the person who disses the kind of knowledge available to me through books. That said, I have recognized the fact that with baby #1, I read books upon books about pregnancy, birth, and child care. With baby #1, I was the most neurotic mother, who was never able to recognize when I was doing a decent parenting job.

Baby # 2, I browsed the babe books, and found myself relying more on instinct than any word from the “experts”. Something I noticed…I was a much calmer parent, with a much more relaxed babe, and I was a mom who enjoyed being the parent of my little babe. Yes, I don’t doubt that my experience with #1 helped to develop the confidence I owned in parenting # 2, and I also feel that not having time to read up on what kind of parent I should be eliminated a lot silent messages telling me I wasn’t doing things exactly as I should.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that stepping away from my books that told me how I should be parenting allowed me to actually enjoy my child and act on the natural instincts that motivated me to do exactly what my baby needed me to. I began to recognize this when I found myself caring for a happy baby who I wasn’t obsessed about when he last ate, or what kind of sleep patterns he should be keeping, and saw how he was developing perfectly, AND I was enjoying him.

I never really found that enjoyment in parenting my first babe. I can’t blame it on the parenting books (completely), but as an invested parent, I was very concerned about doing everything the “right” way. And, these parenting books gave me plenty to worry about when it came to deciding whether or not I was doing things correctly.

With #3, I haven’t read even one parenting book. No, I am not bragging about the fact that I have left myself in the dark in regards to the newest studies on child development and how parents can nurture this. In fact, I believe that the majority of individuals who fund the publishing of child rearing literature are the parents who need this literature the least. What I am saying is that I have noticed the reality of parental enjoyment/ease, and the fact that I have an incredibly happy/thriving baby, yet I have managed this (with the help of his awesome Momma) without one piece of parental “how-to” intercepting every instinctual mommy move I make.

Again, I am not “dissing” parenting books, and you will still find my favorites taking up a good portion of space in one of our book shelves. I am only giving a little recognition to the amazing abilities/skills that us parents naturally have, even without the guidance from all of the well-researched experts out there.

–I am afraid we may have lost some of our readers in our transition from blogger to wordpress, as well as the lapse of time between posts lately. If you are still reading, and feel comfortable doing so, could you leave a little “what’s up” for us so I know I’m not just talking to myself?

–Amanda

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End of Summer Whirlwind

That’s where we’re at. Every summer begins with the feeling of having a long break to enjoy. I always fool myself into thinking I have forever to do whatever. Then, it’s August, and it feels like summer is about to end before it even got going. We have many activities to fit into these last couple of weeks, then it’s back to school for the boys, then back to school for the moms.

Baby Olly is 4 1/2 months old! His big brothers are still as in love with him as they were the day he came home. Ian, our oldest, is especially hooked on the little guy. He often comes to get him from us, and likes to go snuggle on the couch and watch t.v. with his little bro in his arms. Both boys look out for the babe, and can not hide their concern when Olly appears discontent and it looks like the moms aren’t doing anything to fix it.

Because it’s been over a month since my last blog update, I feel like this post should just be a new update. Hopefully, I’ll catch the blog bug and feel motivated to post more often.

For now…

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Another WordPress question

Now that everything has successfully transferred over, I want to delete our old blog. But, I don’t know how to create our list of the blogs we read on this blog. Help, again?

I found where I can add the blogs I follow, but don’t know how to get them onto a running list that is visible on our blog. Does that make sense?

Thanks,

Amanda

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