Category Archives: Our Story

Family Dinner: Episode 1

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Yay!! Success!!  No one yelled or threw food or tried to kill each other.  Okay, that’s a lie… the 2 brothers and sister yelled, threw food, and may have appeared to be killing each other.  All in all it was a great time!

I really enjoyed having some slight adult conversation while the kids occupied each other.  Kim and I chatted while our husbands stuffed their faces with desserts.  We may have done that too but that’s beside the point.  Then we finally had to get down to business.  The issue at hand.

Murph, lately is wanting to act like a teenager girl “that just had her phone taken away.”  Direct quote from Justin (Stepdad).  It’s definitely accurate.  We sat him down and had a nice little heart to heart.  Working together pays off.  The four of us get to express our concerns to each other and we had a great opportunity for all of us to talk specifically to Murph.

Stepping up, swallowing our pride, being bigger people.  I can’t stress enough how taking that first step to actually getting to know one another was the greatest decision we’ve ever made, regarding our family.  Josh and I had dinner with our two best friends last night. 🙂  Weird right?  Who here still thinks I’m a nut??

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Guess What Day It Is?

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Hey ya’ll! Do you remember me mentioning something in a previous post about getting your entire blended brood together for a family dinner?  That was just a suggestion at the time.  We have done many things together, birthday parties, school functions, etc.  Never a family dinner, just the 7 of us.  I took my own advice and the Birth Giver and I decided that we would make it “a thing” maybe every month!  So, TONIGHT is the night.  First of many family dinners.  I can’t wait to report back to all of you on how it went.  We may even play a game called “Who is gonna knock BabyDaddy out first?”  Not gonna lie, I may win! 😉  Stay tuned, folks!

He Just Called Her WHAT?!

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As mothers we all know that the feeling we get the first time our child says “Mama” is pretty close to being on top of the world.  I mean… I don’t know what being on top of the world feels like but I’m sure it’s pretty much the same thing.  What about the first time your STEP child calls you “Mama”.  GASP!! 

It could have been accidental.  You know, a slip of the tongue.  He’s just used to that lady around being called “mama”.  Or… maybe it was intentional.  Maybe he knows the one that’s there is keeping him safe and loved, like Mama would.

For several years, Murph would slip.  Every once in a while for a brief moment I was Mama.  “No, Baby.”  I’d say.  “Mimi.”  I had heard “he better not be calling her mom” enough times I was having nightmares about it.  Okay, not really.  However, I always made it a point to make that simple correction.

Until…

Until Murph was four years old and I was the mother of a new baby boy.  Murph loved his little brother so much and as Frank started to grow I could tell they were going to be best buds.  Frank continued to grow and started to speak.  Being “Mama” to someone all the time, every second, every day was an incredible feeling.  All of a sudden, the more time spent with Murph, the less I was Mama to Frank.  Hearing my little boy call me “Mimi” was like a punch to the eye.

That was it.  I never corrected Murph again.  I needed to talk to Kim.  I needed to tell her how I felt and what was happening.  Even as friends, I still get a knot in my stomach when I need to bring up touchy subjects with Mama Bear.  When he is with me, would it be okay if he calls me Mom?  Just until his brother understands our situation.  She told me she was having the same problem with her daughter and the name of “Daddy”.  Boy what a relief that was!  Josh was completely on board with the plan since I had really been struggling with the issue.  From then on I was Mom and Justin was Dad.

We had an understanding.  She knew I would never try to take her place.  I’ve never pushed Murph to call me anything other than what he chose.  I could be Mindy, Mimi, Mom, whatever!  As long as he didn’t call me StepMother cause that just sounds ridiculous and he’s not Cinderella!  Ever since, Murph has officially had two moms and two dads.  Each given the name.

Fast forward and people are in our ears.  “Why do you let him call her Mom?” or “Why do you let him call him Dad?”  The responses are easy and simple.  There is only a difference in who made the child.  There is no difference in the love that the four of us have for Murph.  It’s hard not to love that kid with your whole heart.  I know some of you think the four of us are insane people and that’s okay.  We kinda are.  But!  We know what works for us.

What works for you?  Who are you to your stepchild(ren)?

 

Childhood Love

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As adults, we realize “that kinda love” doesn’t come until much later in life.  Do you ever think about your first crush?  Being 5 years old and being around that person or persons that made you giggle and feel weird?  I’m not talking about that teenage mess that makes you wanna barf or the first time you feel the real deal.  I’m talking about that sweet innocence of chasing someone on the playground; or seeing them out of school and waving at them so hard you might fling your hand off of your arm.

Well I just had to tell ya’ll about my conversation with Frank I had earlier today.

Mind you, Frank is hilarious in general.  I dont know where he gets half of the crap that comes out of his mouth but it’s always something unexpected.

With Valentines’ Day quickly approaching and all the littles are getting ready for their classroom exchanges, Frank seems to be full of excitement!  This is his first Valentines Day in preschool.  I remember how excited I was the first time I got to take special valentine notes and candy to all my friends.

Today, we decided to make our own.  We sat down and cut out 14 little hearts.  Some pink, some purple, some red.  Red… ya know… because boys can’t have pink.  So says Frank.  When time come to write each name on the hearts, Frank says “make sure SHE has the biggest.  Then HER.  Then HER.”  They’re all the same but umm, why?  “‘Cause she’s my girlfriend.”  OOOOK. Well what about the others?  He giggles and it’s all I can do to hold it together.  “Well… she’s my girlfriend cause she’s pretty but she fusses at me.” (Atleast he got that one right.)  I stay silent so he can continue.  “And SHE is pretty and nice to me and she plays with me in our centers a lot.”  Mmmhmm. Go on.  At this point I’m pretty sure I have tears in my eyes struggling to keep from laughter.  I’m trying to take him seriously here people!  Then he hits me with this, “and HER, we get in trouble.”  Welp, now I can’t hold it in anymore.  We are both cackling..

 Little does he know all I can think about is that he just described his first wife, second wife, and best friend.  (relax, I’m joking.)

 Thank you, Frank.  Thank you for helping me to remember that innocence of the little crushes and friendships I had many years ago.  You’ll always be special to those 3 little girls.

 

THINGS TO COME!

I’ve been collecting pictures and conversations between Terry and Houston.  I’m gonna go ahead and add that from here on out I will be referring to them as Murph and Frank.

The nickname Frankenstein aka Frank, was given to Houston by my brother when he was a lot smaller.  Have you ever seen Dylan and Cole Sprouse as Julian in “Big Daddy” with Adam Sandler?  If not, GO WATCH IT… LIKE… RIGHT NOW! Anyway… that’s my kid.  In a nutshell… rainboots with shorts, eating 30 packets of ketchup, and peeing wherever he is standing.  That’s my son.  That’s Frank.

Now Murph is a little different… I used to call him T-Rex but as he started growing, bless his little heart.  I hope you know what “Murphy’s Law” is.  If you don’t… I’m sorry and you fail.  Here I give you… Murph.

Here I will be posting ridiculous things these two brothers do together.  Their weird conversations and I hope to get some pretty sweet pictures of some awesome nerf wars.

I’m going to warn you now they ARE boys!  This section is gonna get weird, strange, and probably really, really gross.  So without further delay…

Murph.

MEANDT

 Frank.

FRANK

THE ADVENTURES OF FRANK & MURPH.

 

 

Two Halfs Make A Whole

Let me start by saying that in our family there is no such thing as “half”.  There are no half brothers, half sisters, half of a cake, because… well… we ate it already.

If you’ve been following along you’ll know that “The Birthgiver” and I are great friends.  Another reason that Kim and I understand each other so well is that we were pregnant together.  Imagine being out in public and you and Baby Momma both have giant bellies. *Awkward!* In 2011, Terry received the best of both worlds.  A brother and a sister, just three months apart.

“This is my brother.”  “This is my sister.”  “They’re not brother and sister.”  That is how Terry introduces his siblings.  Kid really knows how to confuse a person.

Being a blended family, in our case, doesn’t mean four parents and the child.  It means four parents and three children.  We are all one family and you’re there for your family.  Always.

Terry and his brother, Houston both have spent a lot of time in the hospital.  Terry has asthma and Houston has asthma and Eosinophilic Esophagitis. (keep trying to say that and I’ll have a post about it later.)  A huge part of our EOE support system are Kim and her husband, Justin.  They’re there for fundraising events.  They buy awareness bracelets and tshirts.  They drive miles from home to pick up Terry at the hospital ER where he’s been waiting for hours by his brothers’ side.  They do all that because they love Terry.  They do all that because they love his brother and our love for Prudence is just as much.  I have to squeeze her in my arms every time I see her.

The happiest I have ever seen Terry are the times he’s with his brother and sister.  Together.  It is important for us to keep them close.  They will be all each other have one day.  Three is way better than two.

terry and pruIf your stepchild has “half” siblings and they have no idea who each other even are, it may be time to change that.  Again, set your feelings aside and do what you can for your family.  Like it or not, you’re all a family, all connected through one little person.  Or a couple little people.  Plan a birthday party for your biochild and invite the others.  Sit together at school and sporting events.  Have a family dinner night.  If you live close enough and could handle it, heck, blend your Christmas!  Ooooo these are good ideas…Kim!!! Can we have family dinner night!?!? 🙂  I know what you’re thinking now, “look, she is giving us this crap and she doesn’t even do those things!”  EEEHHH WRONG!  We do birthday parties together.  We save bleachers for one another at the baseball field.  Guess who even goes to events at Terrys’ school?  Houston and me, that’s who!  A blended Christmas would be awesome if we didn’t live an hour apart!  Santa would be a little late.

hugh and terry.jpgSeeing the three of them laughing together and playing together.  When we pick up or drop Terry off and Prudence darts out the back door to see us or Houston is trying his best to jump out of the car, there is a strong sense of completion.  Your unit is complete.  You now know that the three of them will always have each other.  Regardless of where life takes them, Terry can call up his brother and sister and they will BOTH come running.  Probably in the same car.

Well… that’s if Terry hasn’t knocked them both out a few times by then. 😉  They’re the littles, what do you expect from Big Brother?

The BirthGiver

Chapter 4: Meeting the Mother

I realize that not everyone will have a story like this.  Not everyone will be BFFs with their stepsons’ mother.  Not every Bio/Step relationship will come with super cute nicknames.  We all know mine but can you guess what hers might be? 😉

LET ME TELL YOU!… It did NOT start out that way.

Six and a half years ago, I met this woman.  I didn’t want to hate her.  I didn’t want her to hate me.  The second we laid eyes on each other, it was as if at that very moment we were hoping our eyes could shoot daggers.  Fortunately, they couldn’t.  Instincts took over and suddenly we were protecting our territories.  Kim was protecting her territory as mother and I was just trying to establish mine.  Whatever it was.  Suddenly, I felt threatened.  Here I was, towering over this person looking like The Bride of Sasquatch and she was this adorable, stylish thing standing barely over 5 feet tall.  I love her hair.  I am in love with her shoes.  Man, do I love her shoes!

For years, I continued to assert myself as “THE WIFE” and the fact that my new title had the word “mother” in it.  FYI, don’t do that.  Don’t ever do that.  I’ll tell you why in a future post so just hold onto that note.  She was still standing strong in her “she’s not his mother” debate.  She was right.  I wasn’t his mother.  I’m not his mother.  There is no way I could take her place or even want to try.  I’m his “step” mother.  I get to be his friend too.

Maybe it took me becoming a mother to open my eyes and see with my heart.  Yes, I played with him and colored with him.  I tucked him in at night but he didn’t want me when he was sick.  He didn’t want me when he was hurting.  He wanted her.  His mother.

Finally, I understood.  I got it.  There is nothing in the world that a mother wouldn’t do to protect her child.  Her son.

One day, Josh and I were waiting patiently in the parking lot of the Holiday Inn.  Waiting for Terry.  Let me just add that these two people, Josh and Kim, despised one another.  You couldn’t stand to be around them.  Every day it was a new argument and this day, shit hit the fan.  Yes, I said that.  Bad.  The fight escalated quickly to Josh demanding, “give me my son!”  “You’ll have to go through me!”  Kim yelled back.  I saw my husband take a step forward and I knew I had to make a decision.  Fast.  Do I let him go?  Do I stop them?  I turned to face Josh and calmly put my hand on his chest.  He softened instantly.  She had shut Terry in the car to conceal him from his surroundings so I got up the guts to speak.  “Can I at least tell him see ya later?”  To my shock, she said yes.  I climbed in the back seat with Terry.  I had to say something.  This constant bickering had to stop.  There had to be a way.  Talking to Kim came so easily.  We both realized that in all the years of “hating” each other, we didn’t even know each other.  The tears started to flow and it was like we had been friends for years.  I knew she just didn’t want anyone taking her place and she finally understood how much I loved her son.  Two people, too scared to give the other a chance.

That was our defining moment.

Now, we have a wonderful, yet still slightly disfunctional family.  I am 110% involved in Terry’s life from baseball games to getting to ground him!  ::clap::  YAY ME!  ::clap clap::  I know most of you, especially stepmoms, are reading this and probably thinking that I must be a mental patient.  There is absolutely no way in H.E.doublehockeysticks you could be BFFs with your “Baby Momma”.  You can’t even hear her name let alone speak to her.  Yes, you’re right.  Maybe you won’t be Best Friends Forever or even Friends For Five Minutes.  However, you CAN put your differences aside for the sake of your stepchildren and your children as well.  Are they half siblings?  All the more reason.  I have a tremendous relationship with Terrys’ half sister, Prudence.  As well as Kim with Houston.  Prudence even calls my mother, “Mawmaw”.

Are you a newly blended family or one that’s been “at it” for years?  Do you want to be “one big happy family”?  Do you want rid of the stress and anxiety that comes with being a blended family?  Sometimes it takes just ONE of you to step up.  Why can’t it be you?  I’m talking to you too, BIO MOMS!  AND DADS!  AND STEPDADS!  Don’t think you’re getting off easy!

It’s possible.  It’s all possible.  I’ll tell ya later…

Leave me a comment and tell me how you “tolerate” your Baby Momma.  If you’re friends, tell me how you got there!  I’d love to hear it!