Monday, February 27, 2006

Singing About Our Families

This is a post I've been meaning to put up for a few days now, and this post on babycakes really spurred me to get it done.

Anyone who knows me wouldn't be surprised to hear that I experience a great deal of life through musical theatre (as a listener, *not* a performer). I am a particular fan of the Broadway show "Falsettos," originally a trilogy of plays by William Finn ("Falsettos" leaves out the first play in the trilogy and combines the second two into one show with an intermission). A brief synopsis: it's about a gay man in New York City in the early 1980s. He divorces his wife (and thus leaves his son's home) to be with a man. His ex-wife then marries the psychiatrist they both see. And yes, tragedy (in the form of AIDS) ensues. But, it's funny, too.

This song from the show has long been a touchstone of mine about our families. It's from the point of view of a heterosexual (the wife left behind) who is able, eventually, to go with the flow and understand that her family is not what she expected, but it's a wonderful family nonetheless. (I thought I'd just be able to link to the lyrics, but couldn't find them anywhere, so I'm transcribing them here. I think it's worth it.)

Holding to the Ground (lyrics by William Finn)

I was sure growing up I would live the life my mother assumed I'd live
Very Jewish very middle-class and very straight
Where healthy men stayed healthy men and marriages were long and great

I smile, I don't complain
I'm trying to keep sane as the rules keep changing
families aren't what they were
Thank God there's a husband and a child whom I adore
But then there's more
So many more
There's always more

Life is never what you planned
Life is moments you can't understand
And that is life

Holding to the ground as the ground keeps shifting
Keeping my balance square
Trying not to care about this man who Marvin loves
But that's my life
He's shared my life
Yes, that's my life

I'm plain, I don't complain
Holding to the ground as the ground keeps shifting
Trying to keep sane as the rules keep changing
Keeping up my head as my heart falls out of sight
Everything will be all right
Everything will be all right


P.S. Co wants me to make sure to mention that this is Lo's post, and Co dislikes musicals.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

PKD D-Day, Part 2

2 things:
a) Co looks a bit like my dad. My sister certainly has pointed this out, anyway. ( I mean there are a number of key differences...)

b) We did some talking to my mom about the potential use of a KD. This made me think of Dora at mommyduet, since it took a few back-and-forths before she understood that we are not looking for a father (and she did *seem* to get it).
However, I also thought of Charlotte at dosmamas when my mother proved herself to be, if not the mayor of Crazytown, clearly a Town Meeting Member (her being in Mass. and all). We were talking about a relative we had idly thought of as a potential donor, but never seriously entertained because the family issues make it complicated (even if he was okay with it, would his parents be? etc. etc.). And I pointed out that it didn't matter because that wouldn't work for both of us anyway. AND SHE SAID "WHY NOT?" My mommy! The person who raised me! The person who was supposed to pass on the all important incest taboo!!!!
Whatever. :-)

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Enneagrams

Got this quiz from a friend. It's available at The Quick and Painless ENNEAGRAM Test

I have heard of Enneagrams from another source outside the Internet (i.e. my therapist); whether this particular quiz is truly useful, I can't be sure, of course, but I'm posting it here because:
a) The "results" talk about what I was like as a child (accurately, I think) and what I will be like as a parent (yikes!) in ways that make sense when I consider how I am as a teacher.

b) These "results" mesh with how I feel a lot of the time. Particularly right now.


the Helper
Test finished! you chose CX - your Enneagram type is TWO.


"I must help others"



Helpers are warm, concerned, nurturing, and sensitive to other people's
needs.



How to Get Along with Me




  • Tell me that you appreciate me. Be specific.


  • Share fun times with me.


  • Take an interest in my problems, though I will probably try to focus
    on yours.


  • Let me know that I am important and special to you.


  • Be gentle if you decide to criticize me.




    In Intimate Relationships



  • Reassure me that I am intersting to you.


  • Reassure me often that you love me.


  • Tell me I'm attractive and that you're glad to be seen with me.



What I Like About Being a Two




  • being able to relate easily to people and to make friends


  • knowing what people need and being able to make their lives better


  • being generous, caring, and warm


  • being sensitive to and perceptive about others' feelings


  • being enthusiastic and fun-loving, and having a good sense of humor



What's Hard About Being a Two




  • not being able to say no


  • having low self-esteem


  • feeling drained from overdoing for others


  • not doing things I really like to do for myself for fear of being selfish


  • criticizing myself for not feeling as loving as I think I should


  • being upset that others don't tune in to me as much as I tume in to
    them


  • working so hard to be tactful and considerate that I suppress my real
    feelings



Twos as Children Often




  • are very sensitive to disapproval and criticism


  • try hard to please their parents by being helpful and understanding


  • are outwardly compliant


  • are popular or try to be popular with other children


  • act coy, precocious, or dramatic in order to get attention


  • are clowns and jokers (the more extroverted Twos), or quiet and shy
    (the more introverted Twos)



Twos as Parents




  • are good listeners, love their children unconditionally, and are warm
    and encouraging (or suffer guilt if they aren't)


  • are often playful with their children


  • wonder: "Am I doing it right?" "Am I giving enough?"

    "Have I caused irreparable damage?"


  • can become fiercely protective

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Hands, The Post


Well, we still don't have a digital camera (though we seriously appreciate the advice about which to get and it helps!) so I am going to *write* about my hands.

The noticeable thing about my hands (and someday I promise to post a pic of this 'cause it's really weird) is that my thumbs don't match. My left thumb is short and stumpy with a wide short nail and looks kind of deformed; my right thumb looks normal, i.e. taller than the stumpy one, normal shaped nail.

I was born this way; my parents joke that the stumpy thumb looks more like my mom's thumbs and the taller one looks like my dad's thumbs. I met a girl at camp who had the same thing with the non-matching thumbs. We were both very curious about why it would happen. I suppose it might be an extraordinarily minor birth defect?

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

I know people have different opinions about Human Rights Campaign. However, I think the link below is worth a click:

  • Million for Marriage




  • Legal marriage would be, well, better than what some of us have now. :-)

    I am tense/excited/unsure/antsy about the New Jersey development. The arguments were yesterday. My 7th & 8th graders,
    bless their hearts, scratched their heads a little about it, and then decided they didn't see why gay people shouldn't be allowed to marry. They really couldn't think of any good reasons against it.

    Thursday, February 09, 2006

    Sperm Bank Advice

    Co and I have been observing with delight and amusement (and relief) that so many couples seem to be like us...a balance of one more hesitant person and one let's-go-right-now-hurry-up person.

    Being as I am the hurried planner in the pair, I am thinking about sperm bank research in case PKD doesn't work out. What banks have people had good experiences with or seem good for any reason.

    We're in New York so if there are any near us that would be excellent, please share, but my research indicates New England Cryobank is probably the closest.

    I've found lots of info online and in books, and have quite a few sites bookmarked; I'm stuck in terms of making sense of it all so I am seeking the wisdom & experience of you amazing women out there in the blogosphere.

    (We do know that we cannot use Rainbow Flag Health Services, and we're interested in identity-release programs.)

    Finally, a note about my paranoia: a comment on my last post pointed out that financial concerns often dictate the decision about fresh or frozen. I feel this unhappy anxiety that I am going to end up paying money that I don't realistically have because I do not have the social skills required to be friends with a man who will hand over his sperm.

    The issues this stuff brings up are really quite remarkable. If all parents had to go through such a process........(then I think children might just be a bit better off???)

    Saturday, February 04, 2006

    Needing Lesbian Help.....

    I found out today that someone close to me is pregnant. Someone heterosexual without fertility problems (anyone who has to do as much work as Co and I do to create their family wins my total respect).

    And I don't mean that I lack respect for someone who has an easy time. I just wish for a little bit more sensitivity when they give me their news. It IS NOT going to be that easy for us. We are hoping to use fresh sperm and by the book that makes it easier. But even if everything works out with PKD then we still have the following issues:
    --Our access to that fresh sperm is not the same as if we were het.
    --We would have to travel 3 hrs to get PKD's sperm.
    --While we intend to try to make Adventures with a Syringe as lovely and romantic as Eryn & partner did (Two Moms are Better Than One) it just doesn't sound the same as sex.
    --We will need to spend money and energy and time on a lawyer before we can begin TTC.
    --One of us will have to legally adopt the child (I will have to adopt baby 1 since our plan is that Co will give birth).
    --We can't have a baby who is genetically related to both of us (neither of us have related donors that would work out, it just wouldn't work). We are okay with this, we do not shed tears over this, because it's not even a societal problem, it just is what it is....but of course we would prefer what Whimsy of Two More Mamas calls "egg salad."

    There are probably more differences but it's all I can think of right now.

    And I feel like a pretty evil person for not feeling purely happy for someone that I love -- and I didn't tell her how I felt -- but it is just so hard when you are plodding along keeping your spirits up, waiting and waiting and waiting.......and someone else can just DO IT and not even understand.

    Thanks for reading, if you are.

    Thursday, February 02, 2006

    Abbreviations.....

    There needs to be some kind of glossary. Perhaps this post can serve as such?
    Co and I being the brilliant English nerds that we are, we have figured out TTC (trying to conceive) and dpo (days past ovulation).
    Marcie of lightcomingon was kind enough to explain RE (reproductive endocrinologist).
    Here's the two we can't figure out: EWCM and AF. Co said she figured out from context clues what AF probably was; but neither of us could figure out what the abbreviation stood for. Unless it's Aunt Flo. Is that right???

    The guessing game is admittedly fun, but we're nerdily open to clarification.

    P.S. Now, when I post comments, the adorable cake toppers my sister S. made us now appear as my icon (is that correct terminology? does it give away that I have a lot of friends who use LiveJournal? Oh, well). And the picture is on the blog. Please chime in if you think S. could sell such an item, because I know I am her sister and I love her (and thus she won't believe me), but I think custom cake toppers is a niche and could be in some demand....for het and queer couples....and my sister does live in that only state in our fair union that has finally made it legal....

    Wednesday, February 01, 2006


    So, a brief interlude about our wedding. Above is a photo of the cake topper from our wedding last August. Lo's sister made it for us because we were complaining that it was difficult to find a cake topper. We found plenty that had two brides, but we wore simpler fare and only Co wore white.

    So, Lo's artistic sister went above and beyond and made us this lovely cake topper out of fimo. We've told her she should go into business because it was just so cute.

    Here's a peek.