It was a busy weekend, Chez Lyonch (have I ever told you why L and I kept our last names? Partially its because we have really solid last names, partially it’s because they share almost all the same letters so doing some sort of awesome hybridization is off the table. But it’s funny to imagine if we went by Lyonch . . .)

On Saturday, we brunched with some friends (at a nearly empty brunch spot, which is ideal when you are brunching with an emerging toddler) and did a lot of high quality laughing and connecting with people. Sometimes, I feel bummed that I don’t have friends in the way I did when I was younger, but this weekend really affirmed for me that actually, I have exactly the friendships I need.

After brunch, I took L to get a haircut, and went to buy a Squatty Potty. If you don’t know about this amazing gift to personkind (especially post partum personkind), check this out (also funny in general):

I have struggled too long to keep the elimination machine in good working order, and I swear when they put my intestines back inside me, they did something screwy because it does NOT work the way it used to (not that it worked all that well before.) So, I did it. I bought a pooping stool. And I am SO glad I did. The last three days have been magical, insofar as solid waste in concerned. I won’t say any more, lest I offend my gentle readers.

On Saturday night, Ansel and I went to the Easter Vigil my church holds (we do a traditional triduum, celebrating the three days leading up to and encompassing Jesus’ death and resurrection) which was maybe living on the edge, since it started at 8pm and is close to 3 hours long (three FUN hours, but 3 hours) but he did spectacularly! He did finally crash in the ring sling about halfway through the baptisms and then proceeded to sleep through some REALLY loud hymn singing and the beginning of our post-vigil dance party and chocolate fountain (not traditional outside of my wackly little church), only woke a little when I got him home and changed his diaper, and then slept pretty solidly at home. It was important to me that I went (I haven’t missed an Easter Vigil since I was a founding member of my church, in close to 10 years) and having Ansel be a part of that community is magical. He did some serious walking (both supported and independently) and everyone just beamed at him.

Sunday was Family Easter (mostly eating food, opening baskets, and sledding in shirt sleeves, cause that’s how Colorado does spring) and really adorable outfits:9188_1133006866710786_8388280555553910255_n (1)


Then we headed to a friends’ house, where we had a baby egg hunt! My longtime friend as a 17 month old, and he hid plastic eggs filled with baby cheetos (better than candy for the under 2 set, I think) and then Ansel and Woody “found” them. It was pretty cute:

I especially love how Ansel kind of resembles a clown, since we dressed him in a double layer of pants (for muddy egg hunting) and his bowtie is sticking out of his hunter orange fleece jacket.

It was a good weekend. Mostly.

I figured I’d really clinch the awesome day with a quick (literally) visit to the new ER. You see . . .

10 years ago (or so), I fell in a sink hole ankle first while hanging out with a friend who lived in Queens. I got multiple 3rd degree sprains and some fractures in my foot, but because I was 22 and immortal, I didn’t do the appropriate fallow through with physical therapy. As a consequence, I have re-injured my ankle frequently since then, and have a lot of issues with it generally. It started hurting on Saturday mid day, but no discernable “trauma” had happened, so I decided to wait and see. Sunday it was still in pain, and it grew increasingly worse as the day went on. By the time we were home and in bed, I was in excrutiating pain. I laid in the bed crying for a while after popping four ibuprofen. I tried ice, soaking, wrapping, elevating. Nothing was working. So L sent me to the ER, where I knew they probably couldn’t do much except give me pain meds. And, they did. Because it’s new and not well known, I was seen and out in less than an hour. They gave me vicodin and a referral to an ortho doc, which is what I expected them to do. I have an appointment for tomorrow.

In other news:

  • L has an interview with one of the schools she applied to outside of Olympia. (Did I mention she also got a request for some supplemental information from the other school in the area?) so . . .maybe we WILL be on our way to the PacNW after all? Send some love because seriously, y’all, no one has ever deserved a job more than my really amazing wife who has been teaching for what amounts to less than minimum wage for years.
  • We are headed to Indy tomorrow night through Sunday to support L’s grandfather, who is scheduled for open heart surgery on Thursday. Some prayers and good juju would be appreciated there, as well.
  • The plan is still to give the making of #2 a DIY shot this month. L started bleeding on Saturday, so the count down is on!


Well, one week after his 1st birthday and just a few days after “Coach Oma” left, Ansel Jack took his first ‘run’ of steps (ie: more than two or three at a go unassisted) and has since started covering small spaces upright and without holding on. Another week, I think, and he’ll have it down.

I can’t decide if I’m more excited or terrified. Oh god, he’s gonna have so many more unsightly bruises now, isn’t he?

He also started climbing up/onto things. And got through the dog door on his own . . .


(don’t worry, we grabbed him before he got all the way out!)

After a fun Easter week blizzard (no joke, we got about 2 feet of snow in a single day of blowing! the day before it was 70 degrees. seriously.) we took A to visit the bunny. I feel less strongly about pictures with the Easter Bunny but, you know, our kid is pretty cute and I’m a sucker for a good photo op. Ansel was not especially impressed.


(he’s like, “Ok, I’ll sit on this guy’s lap but why are you jumping around back there trying to get me to smile?”)




As promised, a more robust update on what’s up with Ansel Jack at 1 year old:

  • We have his 12 month well child visit booked for April 4th, at which point I’ll give you the height/weight stats. I suspect he is still about where he has been, coming in at the 75th %ile for height and weight. A big guy, but not a chart buster like his nephew. He’s in mostly a good mix of 12 and 18 month clothes, depending on the brand and the type of clothing (footie jammies are always 18 months, onesies are more 12 months.)
  • Yesterday he took three independent steps, so walking seems like it’s inevitable any day now. He also can cruise around the house, barely touching the walls or other items, SUPER fast. My mother-in-law says she’s never seen a baby cruise as fast or as efficiently as he does.
  • He can do “so big” and clap, point out Mama and Mommy, and do some other responsive language type things that are exciting.
  • He’s SO verbal, but after the couple of clear “bye byes”, he hasn’t said anything discernible. Yesterday it sounded like he was either saying “gigglegigglegiggle” or “gobblegobblegobble.” Cuuuute.
  • The dude looooooves wheels and cars. Oma got him a “Cozy Coupe” for his birthday and he’s basically spent the entire weekend (minus his party) hanging out in it, pushing it around, or bringing other toys to it and sitting in it. I have some complicated feminist parenting feels about having a little boy who loves cars. But, he loves cars cause he loves cars, not cause he’s a boy. 12045610_10154026405709419_5765756908143360480_o
  • He still has the 4 teeth, but seems to be working on getting some more. Last week suuuucked sleep wise (although last night wasn’t bad, that probably had more to do with post-party exhaustion) and he’s been chewing like mad on his hands. Nothing poking through yet, that I can see.
  • He eats well, although he has a very sensitive gag reflex and will projectile barf if something triggers it. It’s hard because there doesn’t seem to be any way to avoid it, other than with purees a la the pouch delivery method. This sucks because I hate those damn pouches. But even super soft veggies, foods cut into tiny pieces (or bigger chunks) – anything with any non-smooth consistency – could trigger a barf episode. We’ll be asking about this at his ped appointment, but I’m also totally soliciting advice from others who might have had this experience.
  • His sleep is . . .mediocre. For the most part, he goes down around 7:30-8pm, sleeps until midnight when I nurse him, then sleeps from 12:15ish to 3/3:30 when he comes to bed with us. Last week he was waking much more frequently, and having difficulty settling. Again, hoping it’s teeth related and not some switch. Because I can hang with twice a night waking. More than that . . .not so much.

I think I covered the highlights. Here’s a few pictures from the big first birthday! We held it at the local rec center, invited family, friends and some church folks. We made the major decor (the rec center had strict policies about decorations, which meant no balloons or anything taped on the wall) – a banner using pictures of him from each month and a giant cardboard 1 with pictures from his first year.


I also made 100 cake pops. I don’t know why, ok? I was up until past midnight on Saturday dipping them and considering deleting my pinterest account.

We thought Ansel would dive head first into cake, but mostly he picked at it delicately.


On the Gayby #2 front:

Our donor, BFF, had a show he was directing this month right during L’s fertile time, so we decided to bump it back a month. She did pee on OPKs, and got a positive at exactly the time we anticipated she would, so we’re going to give it a shot this coming cycle. I think she’s about a week away from her period, so we’re looking at a middle of April try.

In other good news, L also got a request for more information from a school outside of Olympia, WA – so maybe we’ll be moving there anyway? It’s really boosted her self confidence about the apps she has out, so no matter what comes of it, I’m excited. My darling, hilarious, talented and brilliant boo deserves to have the academic job of her dreams. Don’t you think?



The Last Pump

Well, here I am, pumping my last planned, at work pump after 9 months of doing so every two-three hours.


I’m SO excited. But also a little wistful? I dunno, it’s weird.

Already, I’ve been reaping the benefits of less pumping. Namely, I am able to work on a project continuously for more than an hour and a half before having to get everything set up and going. The idea of not having to stop at all sounds SO lovely.

On the other hand, it is an undeniable sign that Ansel is growing up, and that is surprisingly more bittersweet than I anticipated.

He’s hardly drinking any breast milk when I’m away at this point, anyway. He generally takes a single 4 oz bottle before his early nap – and he hasn’t always been finishing this, either. But my weird Mama brain says . . .well, I pump that 4 oz in one pump these days, so maybe I should just keep it up?

I have a small fear, as well, that by quitting pumping I’ll sabotage my supply/nursing outside of work, despite being assured otherwise by, well, EVERYONE. And for sure, Ansel looooooves nursing, and my cutting back on pumping hasn’t seemed to impact anything (so I ought to chill the F out.) If anything, he’s been more interested in nursing in the last week (he’s also been the clingiest grumpasaurus, so I’m betting there’s a tooth or two about to make its presence known.)

We have about 70 oz of frozen breastmilk that we’ll begin using after Monday. The frozen stockpile I so jealously guarded and was so terribly nervous about that has basically never dipped below that mark (it’s been rotated, but never depleted) will go away. I’m saving a bit of it for a breast milk charm because even though I think maybe that’s a hokey thing to do, I am waaay too sentimental and breastfeeding was far too intense a journey not to do it.

In prep for the breast milk in bottles going away, L gave Ansel some whole cow’s milk in a bottle this week. He was not impressed. I’m not concerned, as he nurses enough when I’m around that he doesn’t actually NEED a milk replacement. But I do think it will be interesting to see if he decides to go with it once the good stuff is gone, or if he just decides to forgo the pre-nap bottle. We are going to experiment with some mixing and gradually shifting the proportions of breast milk to cow milk, but I know he’ll ultimately do whatever he wants to do.


I figure I’ll do a solid Ansel @ 1 update next week, after his party, but I also wanted to share this picture that never made it into this blog. La took it a year ago, right after Ansel was born. It’s not the first picture with my son that I wanted, but it is precious nevertheless.

A year ago

A year ago,  right now, Ansel was 10 minutes old.  He was breathing now,  finally,  and turning pink again and my sweet wife was telling him how he came to be in this world, up in the NICU. I was still in the operating room being stitched closed,  my guts back in my body except for the small piece of my heart forever trapped outside,  living with my beautiful boy.

Today,  at 7 pm MST, I am rocking and nursing my 1 year old,  crying (as I have been all day) at the enormity of my feelings.  Grateful,  grieving,  awestruck,  deeply humbled,  filled with joy and fear,  all of it,  all at once.

A year ago,  this baby made me a mama.


Not the update I wanted to write

We are not moving to Olympia, WA. At least not in the next few weeks.

I got an e-mail about an hour ago that I was not selected for the position. It doesn’t matter what the final outcome would have been, it sucks to get turned down. This is the third job I’ve applied for and not gotten since Ansel was born, and it’s beginning to sting a little.

I’m trying to console myself knowing that they may not have chosen me because I’m remote and would have needed 6 weeks to move and get into the position, or by reminding myself that the max salary range was still $4K less than I make right now, or by trusting that maybe this means the ideal job for L is coming (which could still be in Olympia . . .) But being rejected stings. There’s just no way around it.

But, onward and upward, eh?

In more exciting news: Ansel turns 1 in TEN DAYS. What?!

That means that a year ago this coming Sunday we went into the hospital (and thought we were gonna have a baby that day. ha ha ha ha ha ha) A year ago Thursday, I found out that I no longer had 3+ weeks to finish my work, write a maternity leave plan, practice my hypnobirthing techniques . . .It’s surreal. A year ago Ansel was Seafoam, and he was somebody, but he was not the somebody that I know now.

We are prepping for his party (swimming and sandwiches at the rec center) and deciding what to get him (I think we are going for something like this) and reminiscing hard core (I may have gone back and re-read almost every entry from the week prior to his birth while I was pumping this morning) It feels so crazily impossible.

You know what else a birthday means?

That I am finally on the count down to the end of pumping!!!!

I am 97% super excited about not having to pump at work – and, indeed, I have become more lax with my pumping schedule. . . Pushing times back, skipping occasionally. . . And Ansel isn’t taking as much milk from bottles when I’m away, so even when I’m not pumping as much, we are stockpiling. Conversely, Ansel is nursing ALL THE TIME when we are together (although, to be fair, he’s been sick and traveling, so more clingy and in need of milk) and is become even more clear that he LOVES nursing.

I have a tiny fear that my plan to quit pumping while continuing to nurse will not go as planned, and stopping pumping will tank my supply. But I’ve been reassured by so SO many people that I will be able to continue to nurse after I stop pumping that I know the fear is just irrational. But that’s how fear works, eh?

I’ll leave you with this picture of Ansel is a specially made onesie, given to us just about a year ago. I sing with a chamber choir and the women I sing with threw is a baby shower and one of my section mates hand stenciled this onesie (and another that says “Seafoam”) with our choir’s logo. He wore it this weekend to our concerts. #1 choral music fan!

The details

Ok . . .ok . . .I know I kind of dumped the big news on you without a lot of context or explantation. I just got so excited when the OPKs came in the mail!

Let’s back up, and I’ll tell you about the last week. It’s been a doozy.

We left Saturday evening for Olympia (by way of Seattle), because L was doing a show at a local theater, and was in performances until 4pm. It was a youth theater show, so A and I came to the final performance, after spending all day cleaning the house (to be suitable for the dog sitter) and packing. [Side note: There are a few lessons from this trip, and the first is: Both of us need to be involved in packing together because otherwise we make REALLY bad decisions. ] So, we picked her up and headed to the airport.

In order to make this trip work financially, L flew on her mom’s companion pass (MIL is a flight attendant for Southw.est, so L can fly frequently ‘non rev’; buddy passes are harder to come by, so I only get them occasionally) and we bought a pri.celine flight for me. Unfortunately, thanks to pri.celine’s way of doing things, the flight we originally booked ended up getting me back too late in the day on Tuesday (I would miss rehearsal) so we ended up buying another one way flight through pricel.ine as well. DUMB. Also a bad decision. Also made in part under pressure.

But, we end up arriving within minutes of one another, meet at baggage claim, and take the shuttle to pick up our car (also booked through pri.celine. NEVER AGAIN.) There, the woman at the counter is super checked out and mostly wants to talk about Ansel and how cute he is which, you know, he is but also it’s fucking 11pm and he really needs to go to bed and you know what would help accomplish that? If you’d get things together so we could get in a car and drive to our hotel. When she finally got the invoice together, it was more expensive than originally listed and they wanted to give us a fucking PICK UP TRUCK. AYFKM? Luckily, we were able to talk the very nice lady at the actual car area into subbing that for a sub compact.

We hopped into our car (after a more difficult than usual car seat installation because, why not?) and drove the 50 minutes south to Olympia. We got out of the hotel, and the air smelled like the most beautiful wet wood and I got tingles and thought, ‘yeah. I could live here.’

The next morning, we got up and headed to the tiniest, cutest downtown, where we found the worker owned brunch place, and ate delicious egg snadwiches and ‘panda-cakes’.” In the teeny tiny cafe, there were at least 6 other queers (going by visual cues) – meaning we might have actually been the majority.


We thought we might take a walk to the waterfront, but it became apparent that we were woefully unprepared for winter in the Pacific NW, let alone a WALK in the rainy weather. So, off to Target we went to procure rain jackets (to be fair, it wasn’t that we failed to pack rain gear, it’s that we don’t own rain gear because it doesn’t rain where we are from.) While en route, a friend who lives in Portland, who I’d told about the job, happened to send a message mentioning she and her partner and kid were in Olympia eating lunch on their way home from the Olympic penninsula!

So, off we went to meet up with them. And it was SO needed! These friends are a little bit older than us, and in many ways, are kind of mentors for L and I. They kind of ‘up and moved’ to Salem a few years back, and so were able to give us really thoughtful perspectives on the pros and cons. Plus, A LOVED their son, O! He spent the better part of the time laughing at three year old antics. It was lovely.

After this visit, we decided to drive out towards the coast, both to give A  a chance to nap (choices were sit in a hotel while he naps or drive in the beautiful rain while he naps, so . . .) and we got to have a nice conversation about the possible logistics of a move – selling our house, trying to find a place to rent with three dogs, her job opportunities. It was during this drive that we decided – well, why NOT try to get pregnant? Our donor, BFF, is in Colorado and we might not be for much longer. We’ll start the ‘old fashioned’ way (ICI at home, turkey baster style, just like we originally started with me) and see what happens. I was a little taken aback, because L has wanted to wait and, seeing how its her body and everything, I have been happy to contain my excitement. But, she is game. So, we are doing it.

Monday morning, we hung around the hotel to get things packed up, press my interview clothes, let Ansel get a good nap in . . .then we grabbed some lunch, and L dropped me at my interview while she took A to the Children’s musuem. Overall, my interview was okay. I felt pretty confident about the more traditional interview portion, but I also had to give a 10 minute chunk of training, and that was less than stellar. It wasn’t much time, and one of the interview team was joining remotely, which made it complicated to plan something that would be good for both in person and distance attendees. So, it was mediocre. They did seem to want someone to start REALLY soon, and I just don’t know if that will happen for me . . .they said they’d be contacting folks early next week. So, I wait.

We left the interview and hit the road to Seattle, where we were staying with friends. They invited some additional friends, who have a baby just 3 days younger than Ansel, and so we got to watch A interact with Olive! It was so, so lovely and just totally affirmed that this is a place we could live. Although Olympia is about an hour from Seattle, and we don’t have friends who are actually IN Olympia, this feels like a good start to having some community close by, including folks who are similar to us in parenting and kids ages, something we don’t really have here.

L got up at 4am to catch a flight on Tuesday so she could get back in time to teach (see above re: flights) but Ansel and I were able to get up at our usual time and start getting ready to head out, as our flight was supposed to leave at 10:55am. When I went to check the flight status, it was delayed an hour. Awesome, I thought, I can stop and get some coffee. By the time I’d bought the coffee, the flight was another hour delayed. So we hung out at the coffee shop for a bit. By the time we got to the airport, it was three hours delayed. All of a sudden, I was thinking that spending that extra money to get back in time for rehearsal might not matter. But, I chose to think positive thoughts.

Returning the rental car was a PITA. No one helped me get the car seat out, so I was trying to unlatch everything with A strapped to my chest in the ergo, crying his head off from being in an awkward position. By the time anyone noticed, I’d gotten in out and zipped into the bag. I hauled our bags, the car seat, and both of us up to the shuttle and got to the check in desk, where they assured me the plane would NOT be any further delayed, as it was in the air and on its way to us. Ok, cool.

Security took over an hour to get through, thanks to lanes being opened, closed, redirected, etc. But, we had time. NBD. I let a few folks with tighter connections cut in front of us, and tried to keep A entertained. I was gracious about waiting, even though it was obnoxious and the TSA agents were, in a few cases, being real dicks to other travelers.

We get to the gate, and get some lunch, wait a bit, and then there’s our plane! We board, sit down, A starts to nurse and falls promptly to sleep. Awesome. We oull away from the gate. The pilot tells us we have to have a brief maintenance inspection that will take 20 minutes. The plane erupts in groans and sighs. We wait. It actually DOES take 20 minutes. The plane takes off. It makes horrible, horrible, terrifying noises while taking off and is kind of weirdly swerving around. After we reach good altitude, the pilot comes on and tells us we have to return to Seattle because a bird hit one of the engines, and its out of commission.

We land, de-plane, and are put into a line at the desk. No one knows what’s happening. The gate agent has 0 information, but will start issuing refunds. After all, at this point, we are more than 4 hours past our original departure time. Connections are being missed, people are mad. It isn’t clear what the options are, but they do tell us that they will NOT be paying for hotel vouchers or flights on other airlines. I happen to be in the very front of the line, and so I am able to re-book us on the 7pm flight. But I know most of the people behind me will not be that lucky.

They gave me a $10 dinner voucher, so we went to get food, and found a children’s play area for Ansel to crawl around in. [Side note: I set him down in the play area and said, “well, you’ll probably be sick in 2 days, but I don’t know what else we are going to do for three hours.] We board the flight, take off, and A falls asleep nursing. And then he wakes up because some dudes keep yell-laughing. So I nurse him back to sleep, and he wakes up to dudes, and over, over over again. I am hella touched out, so exhausted, and was really looking forward to my baby sleeping for a few hours because he only got a half hour nap during the take off/landing fiasco and otherwise hasn’t slept all day. But A is not sleeping, he is crying. His magical unicorn baby magic is wearing very, very thin. I start crying too. The little boy in our row sees us crying, and catches Ansel’s eye. “Peek a boo!” He hides his face and, deliriously tired, Ansel laughs. The little boy, Rowan, spends the rest of the flight – an hour or more – playing peek a boo and making faces and telling me about his little sister Brynlee, his uncle who just got a really big deal new job in the army, and his mom having another baby. That little boy saved my night. I am forever grateful for him.

We landed and it was close to midnight. We made our way to the baggage carousel and waited. And waited. and waited. No bags. Of course, no bags. Even though I had specifically asked about our bags, offered to make the transfer myself, triple checked that they would get on the flight . . .no bags. I go into the baggage office, and the woman acts like I am stupid for expecting my bags to be on this flight. “They are coming in on your ORIGINAL flight, at 3am. YOU chose to come early, this is not our fault.”

Y’all. I spent ALL DAY being gracious and calm, rolling with the punches despite it kind of sucking. I spent all day negotiating travel with an 11 month old, keeping him all but permanently attached to my boob because that’s what makes him happy. I spent all day smiling and nodding, even though no one of the ‘customer service’ folks I came into contact with said they were sorry, or expressed any kind of thoughtfulness about my situation or the situation of the other people. I KNOW it was not the fault of the gate agent, or the pilot, or the baggage clerk. But I also know customer service (I do it too, it’s just in a very different field) and sometimes you say sorry even when it isn’t your fault.

So I lost it. I started sobbing and yelling and generally not being the best version of myself. And I guess my yelling and sobbing freaked this person out, so she called the cops. THE COPS. Luckily, L also showed up at this point and was able to talk more calmly to both the baggage clerk and the police officer, ensuring I did not get taken to jail, and that our baggage fee was refunded and the bags would be delivered to us the following day. She also took Ansel so I could go outside and bum a cigarette from some snowboarder dudes who had been on the original flight. The cigarette was so gross but it was so what I needed.

I missed rehearsal, by the way.

I also took Wednesday off to pull my shit together, and because it was after 1am when we got home and I have like 6 weeks of PTO saved up and why not?

On Thursday, I got up and started getting A ready only to realize he was, as predicted, sick. I couldn’t in good conscious send him to the baby sitter and have him get her kid sick, so I called my boss in tears and told her I needed to take Thursday off too. She is super understanding and said, “Ok. No problem.” A slept a lot of the day, nursed a lot of the day, and played a little. He’s in shockingly good spirits. I guess it was inevitable that he’d eventually get sick, and impressive that we made it almost a year before it happened. He actually slept better than usual last night, despite being SO congested.

So. That was the week. Gone in the blink of an eye, and mostly kind of crappy. But, there’s good to be found. I’m hoping I’ll have job news on Monday or Tuesday at the latest. And then the decisions will have to come. . .




I have so much to tell you all

About Olympia (we love it), my interview (no job update yet), maybe moving and selling our house,  one of the top 5 worst days of my life, and so much more.
But all I really want to tell you is this.  . .


Ansel inspects the OPKs

We decided that,  with the possibility of moving away from our donor,  and all the other crazy shit going on in our lives, that we might as well try and get La pregnant!