He will be (legally) mine

To Whom It May Concern:

I have examined the patient, C, and have found her to be in good health. I have no reason to believe that the patient’s health status will in any way compromise her ability to be an adoptive parent.

1972448_10103694651286023_1656771591_nThose are the contents of the letter I obtained today from a local urgent care clinic so that I can submit the step parent adoption process to finally call E my legal son. I am stopping by the courthouse first thing in the morning to drop off the mighty load of paperwork required for the process.

I’ve heard a number of same-sex couples who were legally married last Saturday have already begun filing the paperwork for step parent adoption and are being assigned caseworkers. Step parent adoption, as opposed to second parent adoption, is for legally married couples. Second parent adoption would then be reserved for committed, but not married, couples, but is not currently available because of the stay issued by the Sixth Circuit Court. Truth be told, I don’t love the emphasis on biological vs. non-biological connection to a child conveyed by the title “step parent,” but it seems like a streamlined process that will provide me with the same legal rights to my child, which matters more to me.

After I submit the paperwork and a case worker is assigned, I will have an initial interview with the case worker, pay for fingerprinting, and then schedule and pay for a second assessment, which I think is actually a home study. At that point, it will go to the judge for consideration and, hopefully, finalization.

I was initially quoted $1,500 to go through the process with a knowledgeable family law attorney, and that was what we had planned to do. We spoke with a friend of ours who is also a family law attorney, who encouraged us to submit the paperwork quickly and without the hiring an attorney. The paperwork is really straightforward and is available with instructions on the County’s website.

In about 12 hours, the ball will officially be rolling, folks! We can use your positive energy, prayers, and good thoughts for an ideal and expedited outcome for the sake of our family.

Continuing to Come Out

They say that coming out is a lifetime process. As our identities evolve, as we meet new people, there’s always new opportunities to tell our stories. Such has been the theme as of late.

I’m an active member of an online chat group that is a social spin-off of a cloth diapering focused community. The group of mostly women and a few men is raunchy, sassy and uplifting. There are few rules, but the ones they have mostly involve not judging each others’ choices, especially as it relates to parenting. I’ve developed a really good rapport with the group members and the moderators have become friends of mine.

To that end, I decided to take a risk and come out to the group. I posted the photo of K and I holding our legal marriage license and told our story. Group members had a lot of questions, which I answered openly and honestly. I talked about E’s birth story and told them how proud I am of my amazingly brave husband. I continue to be overwhelmed by the outpouring of support and encouragement from people who know so little about transgender identity and the complexities of gender, sex, and reproduction.

Ever since Saturday, I’ve been hearing from friends and coworkers that they keep seeing the footage of K and I holding our marriage license in local news broadcasts. It occurred me late on Sunday night that someone at E’s daycare may have seen one of the broadcasts and could very well ask us about it. We decided that we should prepare for this possibility and coordinate the messaging we felt comfortable conveying to them. Nothing is worse than being caught by surprise, stammering or rambling while coming out to someone. It certainly doesn’t communicate confidence in your identity.

It’s a good thing we prepared because when K picked E up from daycare on Monday, one of the teachers in E’s room said that the lead teacher mentioned that she’d seen us on the news. K told the teacher about his trans identity and explained that the law views us as a same-sex couple, even though that’s not how we identify. We decided not to tell the daycare, at this point, about E’s birth story. As we suspected would be the case, the teacher was really supportive.

It’s nice to feel a renewed sense of authenticity and feel the warmth of new allies. What was your last coming out experience and to whom?

Seeking Sanity

Up until this point in my parenting path, I think I’ve had a fairly reasonable approach to the unattainable notion of perfection. Recently, though, as E barrels toward a milestone at which he’ll likely only consume actual food for his nutrients, I’ve experienced mounting pressure to make sure I’m introducing him to a wide variety of nutritious solid foods.

As a working mom with husband who commutes a long distance to work, I don’t have all of the resources I need to be able to successfully pull off nutritious and varied dinners every single week night. I am lucky in that E can often play fairly independently for decent stretches of time, but while I’m trying to throw something together for dinner, E inevitably needs my attention. The time I have between getting home from daycare pickup and getting E to bed feels so short, and we try to squeeze in a bath for E every other night, too.  All of these factors have recently combined in a shitstorm of guilt and feelings of failure.

Last weekend, we didn’t have anything on our calendar, so I made the decision to spend the bulk of the time in the kitchen preparing and freezing meals. We have a chest freezer in the basement, which we purchased before E was born with the intention of having easy meals at our fingertips, and I wanted to fill it with yummy things that I could easily assemble throughout the week.

I prepared by accumulating recipes for the meals I wanted to make. I then listed out the amount of each ingredient I needed for each recipe, most of which was doubled or tripled. Finally, I created a shopping list of the ingredients needed for all recipes so that I would purchase the necessary quantities of the items.

I tried to organize my workload in a logical and efficient way, chopping all veggies for the recipes first, and always looking one or two steps ahead so that I could allow time for items to cool, bake, etc.

Delicious quinoa cakes and red pepper - NOT served on Turkey Day.

Delicious quinoa cakes and red pepper – NOT served on Turkey Day.

Here’s what I made/froze:

  • A gluten free version of Chicken Parmesan Meatloaf (double batch made into smaller sized loaves)
  • Black bean taco soup – K’s favorite so far. I made a double batch and froze into half-size batches)
  • A triple batch of my favorite Quinoa Cakes. I make them with gluten free breadcrumbs and, while I’ve had them with the recommended poached egg, our favorite way of serving them is with goat cheese and sautéed red peppers on top.
  • A quadruple batch of homemade taco seasoning.
  • A double batch of this homemade ranch dressing/seasoning mix.
  • A double batch of muffin-sized broccoli cheddar rice bakes, which uses the ranch seasoning.
  • A double batch of twice-baked potatoes, which loosely uses this recipe. I used 8 large baked Russet potatoes, 1 stick melted salted butter, about 1 c plain Greek yogurt (could use sour cream), 2 c. shredded sharp cheddar cheese, 1/2 c milk, 1 c. chopped green onions, 1 tsp of sea salt, and 3 tsp of the homemade ranch seasoning. I froze them and can bake from freezing at 350 F for about 55 minutes or thaw and bake for about 15 minutes.
  • A gluten free powdered mix alternative to “cream of” canned soups.
  • A double batch of my friend Dan’s Mexican shredded chicken. 4 lbs of boneless, skinless chicken breasts, two 16-oz jars of salsa, and 4 Tbsp of the homemade taco seasoning listed above, cooked on low in my crock pot for about 8 hours. I shredded the chicken in my KitchenAid mixer by using the paddle attachment for about twenty seconds, then mixed the shredded chicken breast back in with the sauce in which it cooked. I froze this in sandwich sized freezer bags to use as taco filling, to top nachos, or in a Mexican-inspired rice bowl.
  • A double batch of my mom’s top-secret white chicken chili, frozen into quart size freezer bags.

Since I had purchased two very large packages of chicken breasts, I had some leftover from the above recipes. I bagged and froze 1.5 lb quantities into freezer bags with marinade so they would marinate as they thawed in the refrigerator.

I completed the bulk of this work on Saturday, then wrapped up by around noon on Sunday, taking breaks to rest and spend time with K and E. It felt like a monumental task, but truly made for much easier meal prep throughout the week. As the week concludes, I am proud to say that we had a delicious, nutrient-dense, homemade meal every single night with very little weeknight effort. I have enough in our freezer to likely last about six weeks, too!

I have a feeling that this periodic meal preparation strategy will become part of our family’s organized way to stay sane, save money and feel successful and nourished.

Adoptee Drama

I am an adoptee. At the ripe age of 16, my birth mother was whisked from her family in a veil of secrecy to the other side of Texas to “live with an aunt” for a year. She lived in a home for unwed mothers, where she was able to continue her education and hide her pregnant belly as it grew before releasing me to my family.

I’ve always known I was an adoptee and my family celebrated it as something that made me special. My parents always said that they chose me and we celebrated my adoption day each year. I didn’t think a lot about it as a child, but being an adoptee has shaped a lot of who I am today as an adult. While I never longed for a relationship with my birth mother, I always wanted to one day to connect with her to see if there was someone in the world who was like me. I also wanted to thank her for what must have been a very traumatic experience, because her sacrifice gave me the life that I have today.

Texas has strict privacy laws – some of the most stringent in the nation – as it relates to adoption. In order for adoptees and birth families to connect, they both must separately apply to a registry. If there’s a match, both parties are contacted. When I was a young adult, I added my name to the registry and discovered that my birth mother wasn’t looking for me because she was not on the registry.

A few years later, while surfing the internet when I should have been working, I stumbled upon a website for adoptees and birth families who were looking for one another. I did a quick search to see if any of the few random details I know about my origins were listed anywhere on the site. They were not, so I drafted a quick post about my details before promptly forgetting that I had done so.

A few years later, I received an email from someone who said that they might be my birth mother. While guarding myself against potential disappointment, something inside me said that the email was, indeed, from my birth mother. I instructed the person about how to go about joining the registry and, while we awaited word from the adoption agency, we continued to correspond back and forth.

The adoption agency confirmed that I had been talking with my birth mother, Ruth, and we continued the process of getting to know one another. I flew to the Houston area to meet her and her family twice. I learned the name of my birth father, whose family owns a line of Western boots, and received confirmation of the sordid tale I had always assumed was the truth – that he didn’t believe Ruth was pregnant with his child and other subsequent douchebaggery.

Ruth told me about the pain and shame surrounding the adoption and I did my best to comfort her. In the end, the trauma seemed to have won out, as she stopped communicating with me, despite my many efforts. Still, I occasionally added her to mailing lists associated with major milestones – our wedding announcement, Christmas card with our wedding photo, E’s birth announcement and Christmas card with his photo on it.

As we were planning our wedding, we received a save the date card from my half-sister, and she was planning to wed the same day as K and I. We never received a formal invitation to the wedding, not that we could have attended, but I assumed that Ruth decided that it was too much for her and convinced her daughter not to invite me.

After years of radio silence, I sorted through Tuesday’s mail to find a letter from a random Texas address I had not previously seen and immediately knew that it was from Ruth. In the letter, she apologized for letting so much time slip by without getting in touch, inquired several times about E, and updated me on some of her family’s news. She moved from the address I had when I sent E’s birth announcement, so it’s clear that she never received that, but I’m unsure how she was still able to receive the Christmas card I sent with E’s photo on it. Her daughter’s fiance suddenly broke off their engagements a few months before their wedding, leaving her heartbroken and in a lurch, which explains the lack of a formal invitation to her wedding. My half-sister has since met a nice man and is pregnant with her first child, a little boy due in mid-March. My half brothers are currently living apart from Ruth in the town where my birth mother last lived – one is working and the other is in his final year of high school.

I’m not quite sure how to feel. I’m honestly not allowing myself to feel much of anything. I don’t want to extend my emotions or get my hopes up that this communication is a sign of her desire to reconnect in any meaningful way. I plan on writing her back and providing information about E (“I hope there is a very happy story I need to hear,” she says), as well as some photos, which she requested. Beyond that, I think I need to consider each communication as a singular interaction and not think about them in succession or as perhaps something that could become a trend.

K thinks that she was driven to write the letter to find out more about E. It’s clear that it was of interest to her, given her several references to him in the letter. K also theorizes that she likely wonders about whether or not they share a biological connection, which I hadn’t even considered. I’m not really letting myself go to the place of analysis, especially as it relates to E, because I’ve long since stopped wondering why Ruth does what she does. She has a right to her emotions and has a responsibility to steward her past trauma in a way that makes sense for her. I’ve always hoped that she’d be able to get to a place of peace, mostly because she’s a nice person who deserves to feel released of that shame and guilt, but I know that there isn’t anything I can do to control whether or not that happens for her. Besides, my energy needs to stay focused on my own family.

Whew. What a can of worms.

Surgical Success!

I’m thrilled to report that E’s surgery was a resounding success!

K and I woke up at the injurious time of 5 a.m. so we could be prepared to get to the surgical center by 6:15. We weren’t sure if the roads would be icy or congested with traffic, so we wanted to leave some cushion.

My intent was to wait until just before leaving to change E’s diaper and clothes and put him in a coat. I knew he’d be grumpy with the requirement of an empty stomach. He woke up a lot earlier than I had intended and was in happy spirits before promptly losing his shit in an epic meltdown. K and I had to continue bustling about to get ready to leave while trying without success to console him. K was also teary from the stressful experience, bracing himself for the possibility that this response could continue up until the point of surgery.

I’m certain the screaming E woke up half of the neighborhood when we put him in his car seat for the departure. I sat in the backseat with him and, after a few more moments of tears, he settled down.

20140114-202532.jpgWhen we got to the surgical center, we registered and were whisked back to a room, where a nurse conducted an intake. E was in great spirits and charmed every employee who walked by. We then met with the anesthesiologist and nurse anesthetist. We were slightly concerned that they’d reschedule his surgery because E has yet another cold, but the anesthesiologist felt his vitals and energy were strong enough to move forward.

E was abruptly taken back to surgery and we barely had time to give him a last-minute kiss. K and I trudged, exhausted and stressed, back to the family waiting area.

I kid you not – the surgeon came to talk to us after only five minutes. He said that the surgery went well and that it was aptly timed because he has another ear infection. He gave us antibiotic ear drops to use and told us that E would have some bloody drainage from his ears, which is normal, albeit gory looking.

After about fifteen more minutes, we were called back into the recovery area, where a nurse was holding and cuddling with our smiling, somewhat groggy son. The nurse reported that he did well, didn’t cry at all, and spent the majority of his time in recovery charming patients and staff alike. We cuddled with him in one of the large recliners in the recovery section, gave him a bottle, and slowly changed him back into his pajamas before heading home.

We were all really sleepy from the ordeal and lack of sleep the night before, so we took a luxurious three-hour nap together in our bed. Throughout the remainder of the day, E played and ate mostly as he normally would, but took longer than usual naps as his anesthesia continued to wear off. Toward the evening, it was obvious that his ears were bothering him and we gave him pain medication to try to make him more comfortable.

After an abnormal amount of daytime rest, E was impossible to get to sleep at night. K tried everything. At one point, K reports that E was jumping in bed between us and I groggily turned to him and, in a sleeping med induced haze, said, “What… the… fuck…?” E was wild but eventually went to sleep between us, leaving us very sleepy the next day.

I’ve already noticed a couple of major changes since E’s surgery:

  • E can definitely hear sounds more clearly. The slightest sound causes him to swivel his head around, which doesn’t bode well for going night-night in an old house with a creaky floor.
  • For the past few months, E has been an absolute nightmare during diaper changes, kicking, screaming, and wrestling to try to flip onto his tummy. I chalked it up to a normal developmental response to having better things to do than sit there while someone changes your diaper. Almost immediately after surgery, while he still might express displeasure, E will lay on his back for diaper changes. It’s clear to me that being horizontal was exacerbating the ear pain!
  • E is also exploring his sounds a lot more and seems to really enjoy yelling louder than I’ve ever heard him. I’m curious to see if he has a developmental explosion as it relates to verbal skills.

Thanks for all of the support, positive energy, and well-wishes, dear readers. K and I are very happy that we made this decision for our little guy, even though it was anxiety provoking.

A Potpourri of Updates

I wish that I could say that we made it through the polar vortex unscathed. The good news is that we were only trapped at home for one day. Our jobs are flexible enough to be able to accommodate occasional work from home, though it was much trickier with E there. At the end of the day, I cheered and dramatically sang “The Wind Beneath My Wings” a la Bette Midler when we saw the snow plow pull up in front of our house. We knew that it meant an end to our isolation.

A few minutes later, our dog went ape shit crazy when we all heard an assertive knock at the door. I carried the dog into our bedroom while K answered the door, surprised to find a police officer on our doorstep. The officer handed K some literature and said, “Here’s how you obtain your police report. It will be available tomorrow.” K, flummoxed, asked, “What police report?” The officer flatly replied, “Oh. The snow plow hit your car on the street,” before turning on her heel and swiftly departing. Uh, what?! K’s car, which as you know, we obtained only a few months ago, was stranded on the street in the snow and sustained enough body damage to impede our ability to drive it. Now, we must wait for the City’s insurance risk assessment team to review the damage and tell us how much they’ll pay toward our repairs. Since the car is not worth much to begin with, we’re slightly afraid that it will be considered a total loss, and there’s no way we’ll find as reliable of a car as this for the amount they’d pay for it.

Here’s a funny diagram of the accident, as found at the bottom of the police report, for which the plow driver was cited for “improper backing.” I have no clue how he failed to see K’s vehicle when he drove right next to it before backing into it!Untitled

We recently transitioned E to a convertible car seat in our primary vehicle, which, thanks to the snow plow incident of ’14, is our only currently working vehicle. It has been such a change from the lugging of a baby inside an infant seat to wrangling an active, wiggly almost-kid! With the baby bucket style seat, he was more contained and it allowed me to better manage all of his belongings, especially when picking him up from daycare. Now, I feel completely incapable of managing it all!  His daycare is a shoe-free environment, so you need to remove footwear (or pop booties on over them) before entering the main space. With all of the snow and the necessity for boots as of late, adding just one more step to the process of picking up or dropping off makes me feel especially inept. I’m sure it will eventually become second nature to me, but in the meantime, it’s an additional frustration that I don’t need.

E’s surgery to insert tubes has been officially scheduled for Monday morning. He needs to fast starting at midnight beforehand, which makes me a little sad. He loves his morning bottle. Hopefully, in a matter of days, he’ll be feeling much improved. Maybe ear pulling will be a thing of the past!

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I’m a firm believer in the power of positive thinking, so we appreciate any woo, light, prayers, meditation, etc. in an effort toward a positive outcome for E.

Picture Perfect

One of my least favorite things in the entire world is being photographed. I take a lot of pictures of the people I love, mostly with my iPhone and, to this end, K bought me a Photo Jojo macro and wide-angle lens for my iPhone and an online phone-ography class. But I mostly avoid being the subject of others’ photos, much to K’s frequent disappointment.

I knew that he’d been wanting a family photo for a long time and, while I did too, being in said photos felt akin to having a tooth drilled. Since gifts aren’t really supposed to be about the gift giver and I wanted to show that I valued his wishes, I purchased a family photo shoot for K for Christmas.

We were originally supposed to have our photos taken on December 26th, but with both of my guys sick, no one really felt up to the task. Plus, there’s not a frame in the world that’s beautiful enough to overcome the sheer amount of mucous that would be present in the resulting photos.

I rescheduled the shoot for New Year’s Day. Earlier that morning, despite the frigid temperatures and heaping cover of snow on the ground, I trudged outside to install E’s new convertible car seat, a Diono Radian RXT, which K’s parents got for us as a Christmas gift. It was trickier to install than our infant seat, but not too bad.

I knew that with the terrible winter weather and the steep learning curve of putting E into his new car seat, we would need to leave early for our photography shoot. Unfortunately, upon placing him in his new seat, E had the biggest meltdown I have seen to date. It required me to sit in the backseat with him, placing a paci in his mouth and trying to comfort him while K bravely traversed the slippery roads to get us to our destination. There’s nothing quite like three grumpy people headed toward an activity that pretty much demands sincere, lovely smiles.

E rings in the New Year by nomming on some steak

E rings in the New Year by enjoying some of his Daddy’s steak fajitas.

When we arrived, we gave E a bottle and we were relieved that his mood immediately brightened. He was a total charmer during the session and, much to my surprise, a lot of the resulting photos satisfied me. The present I got for K came with a disc of three of the photos, plus two printed sheets, and allowed the option of ordering additional sheets for a discounted price. I liked so many of the photos that it was difficult to decide and we ended up ordering a few extra sheets.

The disc and prints will arrive in two weeks and I plan on posting E’s solo photo that we chose as his 9 month commemorative shot as a part of the package. Since we plan on maintaining our anonymity as best we can, though, I won’t be posting the family photos we selected. You can all just take my word that we looked great. Haha!

Happy 2014, all!

Sleep deprivation and “training”

Content note for potentially controversial parenting approach related to sleep.

asleep like an... angel...?E’s sleeping has been rapidly declining over the course of the past few weeks due to a perfect storm of milestone explosions and newfound separation anxiety. It’s really hard to sleep when you’re busy crawling and doing downward dog in your crib, especially when your awesome parents aren’t there to witness such feats. Needless to say, K and I are exhausted and so is E.

We decided to attempt the dreaded “sleep training.” After much research, comparison and contrast, we decided that a modified Ferber approach is most closely aligned to our thoughts and theories about sleep as well as our leanings toward baby-led/empowerment parenting approaches. You know, Ferberizing, which is often referred to as a “cry it out” method, and feels really terrible to do to one’s perfect little human. Each night, we follow a loving ready-for-sleep routine and then place E in his crib while sleepy but still somewhat awake. We tell him that it’s sleepy time and then leave his room. He often cries when this happens. We set a timer and after about 3 minutes, we go back into his room, comfort him without picking him up, lovingly remind him that it’s sleepy time, and then leave again. He cries again, we set a timer for 5 minutes, and repeat the process. So far, the longest we’ve gone before going into his room is 7 minutes and, for now, that’s where I feel comfortable staying, though we might eventually increase it if/when we see progress. The thought behind this approach is that babies learn to put themselves to sleep without adult intervention, which is important because babies sleep cycles differ from adults and wake more frequently than adults do. There have been times each night where he cried so hard that we did end up picking him up to soothe (which is not typically recommended because it can stimulate baby more) because we believe in doing what feels right and instinctual as parents. Each night, after about 45 minutes of struggling, E has found his way to sleepyland and slept through the night without intervention.

Now, like I mentioned earlier, this method feels horrible. It makes K cry and breaks my heart. I am constantly reassuring myself by saying that there’s a big difference between struggling and suffering, and that there will be many times throughout his life where E will struggle. While K and I don’t subscribe 100% to any particular parenting label, one approach that often feels right to us is Magda Gerber’s Resources for Infant Educarers (RIE) theories. I feel like one of my main roles as a mom is to listen to E, encourage the sharing and understanding of his feelings, and to let him know that I hear him and am here. Crying is normal, just like any other expression of emotion, and can even be cathartic at times. I know that a lot of my issues with hearing E cry are just that – my issues – and stem from times in which I felt abandoned or didn’t feel heard around my feelings. I will ensure that E never feels abandoned or that I don’t see or hear his struggles, but it feels right to me to encourage him to find his path without me doing it for him.

It’s my hope that this will all be for the greater good, though we will change course if we do not see improvement in the next few days. In the meantime, we’re all a bit bleary eyed this morning.

Letting go

We recently had a mandatory staff meditation retreat. Is anything less relaxing than being required to relax at a given time and in a specific way, all during the busiest season at work? Despite my reluctance (and that’s putting it mildly), I challenged myself to take in the messages and tips presented that day, and I’m really glad that I did. I learned quite a bit about managing stress and keeping myself from assigning weight to stressors that are truly a lot tamer than how I allow them to impact me.

crawling into bathroomAs it relates to my job, I need to keep in mind that, while I do work that contributes to the greater good, what I do each day is not a life or death sort of situation. Sure, my work funds some actual life-saving programs, but I need to remember that getting upset about a last-minute request for a report or mailing only zaps me of energy that could be spent where I’d prefer to focus it – on my son, husband, and adorable companion animals. I need to exert the relevant amount of energy to the task-at-hand.

turkey nomsAs it relates to my personal life, especially with the holiday season upon us, I need to let go of some of the messages people in our lives are giving to E, even if they are not aligned with some of our parenting approaches. (Obviously, there are some non-negotiables like blatant disrespect.) Do I really have to spin my wheels being irritated about someone pretending that E has injured them when I’m actively working to teach him pain-related boundaries? The time E spends with me and the messages he gets from me are so much more prevalent and I know he’ll one day understand that pulling my hair hurts his mommy. Again, seething about this – something that should be a minor annoyance – only serves to distract and drain me.

I am working to let go, breathing in through my nose and out through my mouth…

Mom Hair

I know I’ve started to hit my stride as a mom when one of my biggest quandaries these days is what to do about my hair. I can understand if some of you think this is ridiculous vanity, but my hair has always played a large role in my identity. I am a redhead and some of my earliest memories involve people inquiring or commenting about my hair. It set me apart and became part of my core.

For the past solid decade, I’ve mostly kept my hair in some variation of a bob. I didn’t even grow my hair out for our wedding and having short, sassy hair on that momentous occasion made me feel like a fun, non-conformist bride. When we decided to embark upon this topsy-turvy journey known as parenthood, I decided to grow my hair out. When sage, veteran parents in our midst told me about how they were lucky to squeeze in a shower, I listened, and decided that having hair that’s long enough to pull back into a ponytail when I’m short on time (which, let’s face it, is often) would be ideal as a new mom. And who the heck had time to schedule and attend a haircut appointment?!

Now that we’ve settled into a bit of a solid routine and I no longer feel totally derailed when that routine is inevitably disrupted, I’m starting to intentionally focus a bit more on my own personal needs. Sure, he’s not yet old enough to understand this, but I think it’s important to model to our child that I am his mama and love him dearly, and that I also have valid needs. That those two things are not mutually exclusive. I’m also so lucky to have a true partner who really shoulders an ample parenting load and who supports my need to take a break.

To that end, I’ve been trying to blow my hair dry more frequently instead of just throwing it up into a wet ponytail and running out the door to get to work. I have been able to manage this four out of five workdays for the last two weeks. I have several reasons for this goal:

  • My hair texture has changed and is now a weird, inconsistent wave.
  • My hair looks nuts if I let it air dry and leave it down.
  • I prefer the way that I look and feel better about myself when my hair is straight and down.

and, the Grand Poobah:

  • I’m considering going back to my old hairstyle of a bob, which really needs to be blown dry in order to look cute.

I’m really scared to take the plunge. What if I can’t keep up with the maintenance? To be fair, I’m certain that it will take significantly less time to blow dry my bob than it does with my current longest-in-my-adulthood hair length, but it’s still a big commitment. And it’s not like I can change my mind after doing it! I can grow it back out again, but it took me a solid six months to a year to get to the length I’m at now.

I’ve scheduled a hair appointment for a week from today, so I really need to decide by then. I guess I can get a trim and kick the proverbial can down the road a while. I wish I could post photos of me in both of these styles, but there’s that whole trying-to-remain-mostly-anonymous thing. I’m truly open to suggestions here, folks! Please, help a (semi-vain but well-intentioned) mama out.