My Agenda

CNN published this quote in an article regarding the Supreme Court oral arguments on Prop 8 this morning:

"If you want to get married, go to one of the states that allows gay marriage," said Carl Boyd Jr., a conservative Nashville talk-show host. "Stop trying to force your agenda down our throats. Quit trying to bully the American people with the homosexual agenda."

The homosexual agenda. One of my biggest pet peeves.

If you were to pass me on the street, you'd likely have no clue that I'm a lesbian. I don't have rainbow bumper stickers or equality tattoos. I don't fit the "butch" stereotype that Hollywood projects. I am just like everyone else walking down the street.

I go to work Monday through Friday, where I sit at a desk all day trying to make insurance sound interesting.

My paycheck helps feed my family and pay our bills. We cook and eat dinner just like everyone else in our neighborhood.

I am just like every straight person who's just trying to build a decent life for themselves and their family in today's challenging society.

That is my only agenda.

Not Again…

It shouldn’t come as a surprise to me that after my trip to
Texas—which involved hundreds of people in a confined space on a plane and in
conference rooms and also involved me treating my body like a wasteland—I am
sick.

It started to hit me yesterday, but I convinced myself that
it’s allergies.  It is the beginning of
spring, after all—when I walked out to my car yesterday, it was covered in a
fine green layer of pollen.  Definitely
allergies.

The fact that I feel as if I was hit by a bus and that my
sinuses actually hurt today means much less potential for denial.  It’s not allergies—I’m sick.  Sick on the weekend that I’ve been looking
forward to for over a month.

Tomatomania!

Tonight’s “date night” involves a trip to our local hardware
store/garden center to replenish my supply of potting mix and rocks.  We do 90% of our vegetable garden in
containers, and I like to line the bottom of each container with a layer of
garden rocks to help improve drainage.

Tomorrow morning—Tomatomania.  I have a nice long list of what I’m looking
for—at least, I hope I do.  It occurs to
me that I haven’t seen my list since before Texas—hmm. I even have the app downloaded and ready to go. (My teenage self is wondering how I ever turned into this 30-something person with a tomato app on her iPad and a fertility charting app on her iPhone. )

I can’t wait! 
Spring!  Veggies!  Garden!

I can’t be sick.  I
just can’t. 

Side note:  Check out
the flowers my amazing Catch sent me yesterday. Not a day goes by that I don’t
wonder how I got so freaking lucky.

Photo

11,608

That’s how many days of my life I managed to avoid the state
of Texas.

Now, I’m in the process of recovering from a business trip
to Dallas, where the chocolate chip cookies are as big as your head, the
internet bandwidth is as slow as molasses, and the cocktails are as plentiful
as the wide open spaces.

Hence the recovery part. 
Man, oh man, have I been reminded that I am not 23 anymore.  Not even close.  Gone are the days when I could party all
night on a Tuesday and still be up for work a few hours later. 

We stayed at the Gaylord Hotel in Grapevine (just outside of
Dallas) and it is quite a hotel!  A great
place to stay with kids.  Totally
self-contained—you could check in for a nice long weekend and never need to
leave.  This was the view I had of the
atrium from my balcony.  They had photo
ops with the characters from Madagascar, and a water park with a lazy river—I even
saw housekeeping walking around distributing balloon animals to the rooms that
had kids in them.

Photo

All that aside, what I really took away from Texas was
higher cholesterol and a hangover. 

Last night, Catch told me that she worked out every day while
I was gone, and I felt so guilty.  The
closest I came to working out involved a brief stint on the dance floor with an
80s cover band.  And I don’t dance when I’m
sober, so I don’t think it counts in the least.

I did bring the basal thermometer and tried to keep up with
charting my temperature, but I was keeping such odd hours and doing such horrible
things to my liver that my fertility chart looks more like a cardiogram.  There is something seriously wrong with
popping prenatal vitamins in the morning when you’re pretty sure you’re still
drunk from the night before.

I am not 23 anymore. 
I am not 23 anymore.  I am not 23
anymore.

Peer pressure, man—it’s a doozy.

Point being—now that I am back in La La Land, it’s time to
rid my body of Texas.  It’s time to remember
that we want to be MOMS, and that my SOBER, HEALTHY body is our best shot at
making that happen.

Evolution

Growing up gay changes a person’s take on many major
milestones in life.  Once I realized that
I am a lesbian, for example, my teenage self didn’t dream of the same big white
wedding that my six year old self imagined. 
Instead, given the times, I accepted that I would probably NEVER get
married.

So the typical young girl’s dream of 1) meet prince
charming, 2) have fairytale wedding, 3) buy perfect house and 4) have perfect
children suddenly had a few major cracks in the pavement.

I thought my first girlfriend was it for me.  We met at age 16, and were together for over
5 years.  We talked about futures and
careers and kids, and I really thought the buck stopped there.  It wasn’t perfect, but it was comfortable—safe,
even.  I was just barely 22 when we broke
up and I found myself floundering out in the real world.

That breakup was pivotal to my life now.  It forced me to grow.  To expand my horizons.  To try new things and meet new people and
leave the comfort of that bubble I had been shrouded in for some very formative
years.  I was late to the party, but I
was still determined to have a good time.

And so, there was Starbucks Girl—20 years older than me with
a teenage son who thought his mother brought me home for him.

And there was the receptionist in my chiropractor’s office—that
one caught me off guard like you wouldn’t believe.

There were dates here and there with people who made little
impression.  I was stood up once by a
woman whom I found completely unattractive and who had a borderline obsessive
interest in UFOs and conspiracy theories, but who my friends insisted I accept
a date with for the sake of “practice.” 

I did a stint as a fag hag. 
I smoked pot for the first time. 
I introduced my friends to the world of camping and bought a blender
that plugged into the cigarette lighter of my car.  I drank fruit-flavored “wine,” wore bandanas
in my hair, and used my mother’s golden retriever as an accessory.

Somewhere amid the chaos of my newfound reckless abandon
came Catch—not a prince on a white horse, but a knight in a white Silverado.  And somewhere between the first kiss and the
first camping trip and the first “I love you,” the game changed.

I found myself longing for fairytales with Catch. I dreamed
of an engagement ring, and more than that, I dreamed of a chance for us to
REALLY be married. A chance to take her last name. I longed for that stepping
stone that leads to all the other milestones in life. 

My dream came true when we stood in a strip mall in Van Nuys
in 2008 and were legally married. For real. Marriage license and all.

It’s hard to explain to someone on the outside what that
little piece of paper means to me. 
Certainly, I could have pledged “til death do us part” whether the State
recognized it or not, but this was so different.  For the first time in years, my relationship
with another woman felt normal. Like we could carry on with all of our hopes
and dreams just like everyone else on the planet and be perfectly normal.  I had no idea that a single white piece of
printer paper could have such a profound impact on my life.  We weren’t registered domestic partners.  We weren’t joined in a civil union.  We were MARRIED.  Wife and wife.  Mrs. and Mrs.  Something I honestly never believed would
really happen for me.  The social
security office filed my name change without batting an eye.

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Now, here we are, ready to embark on the next big adventure
in our marriage–just as the President of the United States comes out in support
of us.  Just as the Supreme Court is reviewing DOMA
and Prop 8. Watching society evolve is so painfully slow that it feels like
these changes have snuck up from behind me—but they’re here, and they’re real,
and I actually dare to hope that someday, my children’s children won’t have to
think twice before mentioning their two grandmas.

Leap of Faith

I had trouble sleeping last night.  It took me forever to fall asleep, and I woke
up around 3-something and tossed and turned forever trying to turn my brain off
and get back to sleep.  Too much on my
mind. 

This morning, an NPR article about the decision to have
children popped up in my Facebook feed
.  I
read it because it’s something that weighs heavily on my mind these days.  Most of the time, I am so sure of what we’re
doing, but sometimes the nagging doubts creep in.  The most nagging of the doubts being

Can we afford this?

and

What will having a child mean for our marriage?

So it was so fitting
when I read this quote from this blog post on CrookedTimber.org in the NPR article:

Choosing to have a
child involves a leap of faith, not a carefully calibrated rational choice…

Their argument being
that there is no way to make a rational choice about having a child, because
there is no way to know what having a child will be like until you actually
have one.  So what we think of as
rational decision-making is actually just us conjuring up a perceived idea of
how a baby will affect our lives, when we actually have no freaking clue.

At first, this made me
feel worse.  It goes against my nature to
disregard logic and act on faith.  I am
the queen of overanalyzing.

For example, just now
I read a single mention of someone using a fertility monitor on a TTC message
board, and I have spent an hour researching them to see if they’re worth the
investment versus the standard ovulation prediction kits in addition to posting
on the message board to see what others’ experience with them has been.  I want ALL of the facts before I make a decision.

But in this case—in the
question of “to baby or not to baby?”—there is no “ALL of the facts.”

There is the
perception that I will get less sleep than I ever have in my life, and the
vague idea of how that will affect me physiologically.

There is the abstract
notion of what it will be like to nuzzle our newborn’s peach fuzz hair as s(he)
sleeps in my arms.

There is the vision of
watching Catch teaching him(her) to swing a bat and run the bases.

There are imagined strolls through the neighborhood on a
beautiful spring day with wife and dogs and stroller—imagined camping trips
where Catch teaches them to fish and I teach them how to roast a perfect
marshmallow—imagined road trips to visit my sister in law at their ranch in
Colorado, and the fun to be had with her horses and ATVs and rolling hills and
green meadows.

There are fears of slamming doors, screaming matches, missed
curfews, and boys we don’t approve of—of not enough time for us to be a couple—of
how we will cope with no privacy and constant interruptions—and the biggest
fear—how we will make ends meet.

It’s all just perception. 
We really have no clue.  So, if we
are to do this thing—this major, permanent, life-changing thing—we must have
faith, and we must leap, and we must be there to catch each other when we
stumble.

Related articles

On Babymaking
Planning

Sisters

My mother loves to tell the story of how when I was a little
girl, I sat her down and explained in no uncertain terms that I never, ever, ever
wanted a sibling.  Ever.

I actually remember the conversation, so I know how
emphatically I intended those words.  NEVER.

In my defense, my parents divorced when I was about a year
old.  My father was in and out of the
picture until I was about six, but never really contributed financially to our
household.  My mom worked hard to support
me all on her own.  I went to
school.  I went to after school
care.  I didn’t have a lot of quality
time with my mom, and I think my fear of siblings was a direct result of worry
over losing (or having to share) that time with her.

My half sister was born to my father and stepmother when I
was three months shy of my eleventh birthday. 

To my pre-teen self, this was the best of both worlds.  I didn’t have to share my mom with anyone,
AND I got to have a sister. 

I had my ups and downs with new baby + adolescence, but my
love for my baby sister never wavered. 
As we both grew up and I went through some very dark times, it was
always my baby sister who could pull me from the shadows.  She would toddle into the room and drop a
casual, “Hey Mol,” like she was a decade older than her 4 years and my upside
down teenage world would right itself again as she climbed into my lap.

Life and family and circumstance have separated us, and I
haven’t talked to my sister in longer than I care to think about.  I mention her today simply because today, on
March 11, my “baby” sister turns 21.

It’s been 21 years since I was almost eleven.  It’s been 21 years since I held a fuzzy
headed, blue eyed infant in my awkward arms for the first time.  21 years since the sister I never wanted
claimed a part of my heart that I never knew existed.

Although we are separated today by what feels like a solid
wall of fear, hurt, and deceit, I am happy to take this time today to celebrate
all that she is, and all that she will become. 

If I could give her one piece of advice right now, it would
be this: Don’t let yesterday take up too much of today.

Projecting

I tell Catch often that she is my favorite person on earth. It seems to me that if you’re going to spend the rest of your life with someone, that’s how it should be. I feel Ike I hit the wife jackpot when I met her. I am the hot air balloon, and she is my tether. I would be lost without her.

We count on each other for reality checks. When I am off in left field, she guides me home. When she is afraid to move forward, I take her hand and lead the way.

And so it has been with all of our talk of baby.

Two weeks ago, I emailed her a couple of donors I found that fit our distinct, but relaxed criteria. She says redhead. I say blue eyes (like her) and athletic (also like her). I plug it in, and have a bit of light reading. Seriously light. There are so few redheaded donors out there.

So I sent her three and heard nothing from her. The days got away from us, and I started to worry that she wasn’t responding because she’s not all in on the baby “situation.” (There’s a funny story there, but for another day…) My worry manifests and I try to take the subtle approach to feeling her out. I load my Pinterest boards with nurseries and baby books and Disney movies from our childhoods. She is a frequent pinner, so I hope she will comment or repin or like… Anything. But there is nothing. So my fear grows.

Finally, I am feeling hurt. I have not mentioned a word about anything to her, and yet I am holding her lack of action against her. Projecting. It’s what I do best.

Until last night when my mood bursts, and she looks at me like I’m a crazy person and tells me to calm down. She does work at a Catholic school–do I expect her to be researching sperm donors while she teaches? Hmm. Whoops.

So we sit together. I pull up the profiles. She reads. We eliminate one entirely, and we rank the other two in order of preference.

She sheds a few tears. It hurts her that we can’t create this baby without outside assistance. I understand. I reassure. We snuggle on the couch and talk about it all. From houses to little league and strollers.

Today, I bought a basal thermometer. Fertility friend, here I come…

We’re doing this… And there’s no one on earth I’d rather do it with.

Tidbits

  1. That line in the movie Juno where stepmom comments on how prenatal vitamins do amazing things for your nails?  It's so true.  Seriously, my nails have never been this healthy in my life.  It's crazy.
  2. My friend's 5-year old daughter was just in my office.  She commented on the view from my windows and then gave me some advice that I would like to leave you all with today:

DON'T JUMP.

Man, I love me some 5 year olds.

The Baby Thing

We haven’t told very many people close to us that we’ve
reached a point where we’re serious about the “baby thing.”  My mom and dad know—mostly because my mom is
beside herself wanting a grandchild.  I
also told her because we’re close that way—we talk about these things.  I value her insight, and I feel like of all
of the people in my life (aside from Catch) that I should be able to talk to
about having a baby, my mom should be number one.

Catch’s parents aren’t going to agree with us about our
timing, I don’t think.  They want us to
buy a house as desperately as my mom wants us to give her a grandchild.  I don’t see the conversation going
particularly well, although I do believe that they’ll get over it.  This is OUR life after all, and I don’t agree
that there’s only one way to do this right.

Everything about this is so foreign.  (Other F words that also apply: frightening
& fantastic.)  No one close to us has
gone through this process the way we’re going to have to.  It’s a maze of options and timing.

As I was writing this entry, I was told that someone I
consider a friend has been diagnosed with lung cancer.  She just beat breast cancer a few years ago,
and now the cancer is back and in her lungs. 
She is about my mom’s age.

Life is short.  I want
our kid(s) to know their grandparents as we know them—that’s so important to
me.  Our parents are so important to
us.  There is something about this age
we’ve reached—this stage of our lives that we’re in—and suddenly, we are
surrounded by ticking clocks.

Kicking Winter to the Curb

I am so excited for Spring, it’s ridiculous.  Despite what I said about February not being
so bad, I am CRAZY looking forward to getting our back yard back in shape (oh,
the winter neglect it has seen) and to getting my vegetable garden rolling
again.

Yesterday, I got confirmation that the city is coming today
for a bulky item trash pickup and we PURGED. 
We got new living room furniture in January, and the old (awful) Ikea
stuff has been sitting out back waiting for me to call the city. It’s been
warped by rain and was becoming a nesting spot for spiders and god knows
what.  Good riddance!  Also gone are our rusted out fire pit, the
kiddie pool that the dogs swam in last summer, and a myriad of other random
things that don’t belong in a back yard. 
Seriously—it’s embarrassing.

On Sunday, I emptied soil from as many of last year’s
vegetable pots as I could—I can only full the green bin so full if I have any
hope of getting it to the curb.  I
trimmed the crazy rosemary bush.  I
pulled down the curtains hanging on our covered patio for a good washing.  I trimmed back some of the geraniums.  I fixed the leaky spigot (plumber’s tape is
my favorite thing—it makes me feel so kickass around the house.) 

I’m telling you—I am READY for this shit.

I started sketching out plans for our first ever raised
planter beds.  I’m using a combination of
the principals of Square Foot Gardening and my own common sense.  Our beds will be 4×4, but I think they’re
going to be 16.5” high instead of the 6” SFG calls for.  I don’t trust that tomatoes can really grow
in a 6” planter.  I know there are photos
galore, but it just doesn’t feel right to me. 
I am considering doing one deep bed and one 6” bed for testing
purposes.  I can always make the 6” bed
deeper next Spring.  We’ll see.

I spent half of my lunch hour researching tomato varietals
on the Tomatomania app, and now have a healthy list of possibilities, along
with an equally healthy list of non-tomato veggies.  (I just realized I forgot the tomatillos!)

I look forward to our yard looking like this again, instead
of a wintery wasteland.

Photo