Two Years Later

I can’t believe it has been over two years since I last posted, publicly at least. The last post which I just released was written 2/28/2016 after my world was shattered by my ex-wife requesting a divorce. Things had been rough for a while, more so after Jaxson was born, but we both trudged through as long as we could. Trudging through, however, is not how a marriage should be lived, and therefore the choice to separate and ultimately divorce was for the best. We had both lost ourselves in our marriage and now at least we have the opportunity to reconnect with ourselves instead. We spent the better part of a year disentangling our lives and finally making our separation legal. The wounds have (mostly) healed, though I suspect we both still have some lingering scars that itch from time to time. For the most part our split was amicable and we are working it out as best we can in regards to Jaxson and his life, but there will always be some issues from time to time.

I will not speak ill of her whatsoever, however this blog will no longer be “Keeping Up With The Joneses”. Instead, it will be me writing about my life, about Jaxson still, and about what comes next. I can’t promise that I will be super active here and I even contemplated deleting the blog altogether (or at least setting it to private in the archives), however I wanted fellow TODDlings to still be able to find us for Jaxson’s sake. We are up to over 25 children we have found so far and we have a Facebook group where most of us collaborate and share pictures and we have even had some meet-ups. It is all very cool and different and a little scary, but in a good way. Jaxson has met two of his half-siblings so far and has even had the revelation that yes, this person shares a part of you, and look she has two moms just like you.

He has had a rough time with the transition from a two-mom home to having two moms separately. He has been in therapy for about 5 months now and things are slowly getting better. He is strong-willed, independent, but such a big love with a great big heart. He is the sweetest when he wants to be, and brilliant – absolutely, wildly intelligent. I know he is going to accomplish great things one day, and I also know all parents think this but we do especially think he is something special.

The first year after the divorce was hard, like possibly the hardest thing I’ve had to go through. We got together when I was 21, and I had never lived alone (roommates, but never by myself), and I not only had to live alone but move to a new city altogether! I ended up moving to Orlando to be close to my job and we sold our home and she moved to South Orlando so that we were closer but not too close so that I could see Jaxson more. She is ultimately moving again but that’s another post for another day.

After the first year of the separation went by, we finally had paid the court fees off and it was legal. We were officially 100% done and single. I had been lonely, I had looked online a couple times the year prior but I was quickly disgusted and turned off the dating apps. I just couldn’t yet. I wasn’t ready to even think about dating or being close to anyone again. I spent a year working on myself, losing weight, getting healthier, learning to be alone and getting to know me – the real me – and coming face to face with some truths that should have been apparent all along.

After the divorce was finalized I felt as if I were released. It was okay. I could go out and meet people and try to figure out how to date…since I’d never really done that but once before almost a decade ago. I signed up for two dating apps. I even met a nice girl and we talked for a little bit but then it fizzled and didn’t go anywhere. I had the option to search for girls and guys in this app…and one day I decided I’d check both boxes. It was something I’d known for a long time, but I am so black-and-white sometimes that I thought “Well I’m with a woman, so I must be a lesbian!” Meanwhile anyone prior to her had been men that I had been attracted to, aside from my best friend when I was 6. So I liked both genders? Well, yeah, I did. Because you know what, I fall for a person not their genitals. And so I embraced that I was bisexual and therefore embraced myself for who I am 100% and lo and behold, he walked in to my life.

I saw the profile picture of Brandon with his cat and thought, aww that’s cute. You can always like a guy that likes cats. 🙂 I couldn’t think of anything to say and so I just favorited him. It was getting late and I couldn’t think of anything witty to say. A few minutes later I got a message saying hello and he had seen that I had favorited him and it was nice to meet me. We chatted for a few minutes since it was almost bedtime, but the ball had already started rolling. The whole next day we messaged each other, learning each others ins and outs and likes and dislikes. We spent the better part of the weekend chatting and I told him that I wanted to meet him. He was perfect on paper, I had to see it to believe he was real (he won me over saying for PB&J he holds the J and adds honey instead – a match made in heaven!). I had been upfront with him about having a child and that I was recently divorced, but I had one more thing to tell him and this would his test. I told him I had a secret, something I hadn’t told him yet and he asked me what it was. I told him that before I met him and wasted his time, I had to tell him that the reason Jaxson didn’t live with me was because he lived with his biological mom…my ex-wife. Brandon didn’t miss a beat and accepted it and told me he had a secret too. His secret was not a deal-breaker whatsoever, and so we met and went on our first date the following Tuesday.

It went perfectly. We went to the Cheesecake Factory and then walked around the area for almost 5 hours. I was worried we would have nothing to talk about and yet neither of us could get enough conversation with the other. And when the night was over, he walked me to my car and I half expected him to try to kiss me, but instead he just asked if a hug was okay. And when I felt his arms around me I knew that I had found home. Fast forward to today and we have been together for over a year now, and we are getting married next year on our 2nd anniversary. When you know, you know. Just like I knew I was supposed to marry Jenn, I knew I was going to marry Brandon too.

Brandon’s accepted me, my past, my child and resulting family structure, and everything else with grace and kindness. He is genuinely one of the nicest people I have ever met. He is never jealous or worried about me or what I’m doing. He lets me be independent and free. He will join me on adventures by ourselves and outings with my friends, all of whom he has accepted as his own. He loves Jaxson and seeing them play together or read stories warms my heart.

As for Jaxson, he is adamant that he “does not want a dad because he does not like dads”. They will have their own relationship at one point I’m sure. They get along for the most part, aside from Jaxson’s strong-willed personality of wanting to do what he wants, when he wants to and not listening – but he does this with me as well, testing boundaries. He says it is my house so he only listens to me, however he doesn’t do that very well sometimes either. Part of this is typical strong-willed 5 year old, part of this is trying to withstand the changes happening in his life and family. I have asked him if he is okay with me getting married to Brandon and Brandon being around forever, and he says yes, but he doesn’t want to call him dad. I told him I would never expect him to unless he wanted to, and I know this is far from over but we are s l o w l y making progress with him transitioning to having two moms that are now separate plus a Brandon. He said he is worried Brandon will replace Mama (Jenn), but I assured him that was not the case and that he would always have Mama and Mommy, just not together. He’ll get there eventually. I was resistant to my step-dad coming into my life, and now I wouldn’t trade him for anything.

Now this post ended up much longer than I was hoping, but I wanted you all to know that yes I am still here, we are still alive, and I’ll be back with more soon. I have many updates for Jaxson over the past two years!


Happy Holidays!

We won a free photo shoot at Target, so we took Jaxson to get professional pictures done. Our photographer wasn’t so great, so it took forever to get any decent pictures. Jaxson, overall, did a great job for his first time having pictures done, but of course was a typical two year old and just wanted to play with all the props instead. 🙂 I’m glad we didn’t have to pay for the pictures, but we got a few really great ones so it was worth it in the end.

We are celebrating Christmas Eve at my parents’ house tonight, then we will do our Christmas at home in the morning and go to J’s parents’ house for Christmas in the afternoon. It will be a busy time, as always, but I’m looking forward to watching Jax enjoying it all! It is exciting this year because he “gets it” now that he’s a little older, and he’s been honing his gift-unwrapping skills.

We hope everyone has a wonderful holiday and a Happy New Year!

holiday card 2015




So, today is Thanksgiving…

My wife hates Thanksgiving, always has, always will. I know some people balk when we say that, but hear me out. We’re not huge fans of the food and my wife’s birthday is Nov. 26 and so nearly always falls right near Thanksgiving (or like this year, it’s actually ON Thanksgiving). This meant a childhood of no birthday parties with friends since everyone’s usually travelling or spending time with family during the holidays, having a meal for your birthday that you don’t really care about (steak please?!), not to mention desserts that give you no joy (she’s not a pumpkin fan either). And talk about stress getting everything presentable and spending the day in the kitchen! Plus, its an awful holiday. Shouldn’t we be thankful every day? It’s not even about giving thanks anymore, its about stuffing your face as quickly as possible so you can get out and go shopping that evening (because Black Friday has now become Black Thursday). Anyway…

I wish I could say this year is different for her…but her birthday actually falls on Thanksgiving. We somehow ended up putting on dinner again this year. At least we control the food so we can keep the sugar and carbs in check, but it sucks because she’s upset with the whole Thanksgiving thing. I wanted to buy her a steak for her birthday and grill it without her knowing, but there was just no way I could pull that off! I wanted to give her something good this year, so I asked her what dessert she wanted me to make for her “cake” and she decided on a Keto Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting! So she’s excited about that. She’s not excited about the stress of cooking that huge of a meal (24 lb turkey!) and having 4 kids and 10 adults crammed into our smallish house (where do we seat everyone?! at least we have a large porch!) on a day that should be all about her.

So to me, today is not Thanksgiving, it is her birthday. The day to celebrate that she came into this world so she could grow up and I could fall in love with her! Without her, there would be no Jaxson. Without her, there would be no Bubba (our cat). Without her, there would not be the home we share or the large family to share this Thanksgiving with. And so for her Thanksgiving, just like everyday, I am just so thankful for my beautiful wife. She is truly amazing and I am so lucky to have her. She busts her ass every day to take care of our son and keep our house running smoothly. She shops, prepares, and cooks all of our meals. She cleans our home and keeps it pristine! All this while making sure our son is a well-adjusted human and gets the proper social interaction and physical activity every single day. She has the most thankless full-time-with-mandatory-overtime-24/7 job in the world – not to say being a stay at home mom is not rewarding in its own way – but so many times the importance of her job and the contributions she makes to our family is vastly unappreciated and overlooked by virtually everyone.

Even I, sometimes, forget to say thank you. Of course I am always grateful for her and the amazing things she accomplishes every day, and I am thankful for the sacrifices we have made so she can stay home with Jaxson. I know its not easy for her, just like its not easy for me to get up and go to work every day, but she doesn’t get a choice of going to work or having a sick day – her job is 24/7. Her job is nights, weekends, overnight…endless dishes and cooking and playdates…with no time for herself.

I wish we weren’t struggling financially, so that for her birthday I could have given her the massage and the haircut and the day that is only about her. The day she deserves! I hate that I wasn’t able to do these things for her, because she gives so much of herself to do so much for us. I hate that I could only get her a card from me, a card from Jaxson, and a chocolate bar. I hate that our gift is so minuscule in scale to the gift she gives our family every day. She deserves the world on a platter, not just a candy bar.

So, Wife (since I know you’re reading this ;)), I want you to know that not for Thanksgiving, not just for your birthday, but every single day, I am so thankful for you. I am so thankful that you came into my life when you did, that you love me like you do, that you gave us our beautiful son, that you have literally sacrificed everything to stay home with him, and that you have so selflessly taken on this role in our family. I just want you to know that I truly appreciate everything you do for us and I love you so much! From the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU! You are my everything and I’m so glad you were born!



P.S. Just to update, our Thanksgiving was awesome. Everyone got along great, had a nice time, and all the food came out at the same time. I busted my ass today and cooked everything (except the dressing!) and kept kicking J out of the kitchen so she didn’t have to do anything. Inadvertently, I gave her the gift of a day where she didn’t have to lift a finger, and she said that was the best gift I could have given her. Success! It was a wonderful day, and J also got lots of Starbucks cards so she was excited about that! And she liked the chocolate bar Jax and I got her very much. Yay! 🙂

Halloween 2015

Jaxson got to go Trick or Treating like a big boy for the first time last night! We went to Nana and Papa’s neighborhood and got lots of treats. He was scared of their neighbors’ house – it was all decked out in ghosts and ghouls and spooky lights!

J and I made his costume. He had told us he wanted to be a ghost so we went to Goodwill and bought a sheet. He then decided he didn’t want to be a ghost after all, so we tried to think of something else we could do with a white sheet…and ended up making him Marshal from Paw Patrol! It worked out and he looked so adorable and he got tons of compliments! We especially loved his little tail wagging as he walked around.

He got a good haul and even got some extra candy for being so darn cute. At every house he would compliment the owner on something, whether it was “Oh I love your spooky Jack o Lantern!” or even “These are pretty bushes”, he was putting out some serious charm. Once we got back to Nana’s house, he helped give out candy and one girl ended up giving him a candy bar!




I hope everyone had a wonderful Halloween! Jaxson sure did (and so did we!) 🙂

Truck or Treat

Today was Truck or Treat Day at our library and they had so many cool things for Jax to see! They had a power truck, a tractor, a bulldozer, two fire trucks (one with a ladder!), an ambulance, a semi, a dump truck, a stretch Escalade limo, a bomb squad truck, a big truck with a crane, and a police car!

Jaxson didn’t like the loud horns  honking but he did love seeing the fire trucks. He kept waving and saying hi to the firemen and wanted to go in the fire truck twice. We asked him if he wanted to be a fireman when he got bigger and he said yes. 🙂

He came away with some yummy candy too, which of course he was excited for. It was great to get outside and enjoy this “cool” weather (it was only 84* out today) with a nice breeze. I hope everyone is enjoying their weekend, we sure are!








Quick Little Updates

I got a job! And just in time since J’s job ends in October. I had my first day and orientation today and I’m excited. My mom works there too so it will be nice to be back working with her again (I’ve followed her from job to job for the past ten years lol). There are also lots of former coworkers there so lots of familiar faces.

As you know, our last cycle was negative. We decided to sit this cycle out, in case J had cysts from last cycle and also because we don’t have a new donor picked out yet. Plus this month is going to be very stressful adjusting to different income and gaining/losing employment.

In the meantime, we’ve decided to cut out sugar from our diets. We are two days in now and already feeling better. My cousin helped us out with a meal plan and recipes. She’s had great success and looks fabulous now! Since we were already breaking from baby making this month, it seemed like a good idea to get set up now and up our chances when we do try again.

Which will be soon, I hope. We are so ready for this baby. Our little man isn’t so little anymore and is constantly on the go. He’s such a joy (and sometimes frustration). He’s so amazing and sweet and good too. Just a genuinely good kid. We are so lucky.




A Birthday, A Big Boy Bed, and Tantrums

I’m a little late posting this…August 12 was my birthday! I was kind of bummed because we didn’t have much money to do anything, but my lovely wife gave me an at-home pedicure the night before which turned out great! I started my birthday by taking Jax to Dr. Helft for his 2.5 year checkup and then met my mother-in-law for lunch and coffee. Yum! After Jax’s nap, we dropped him off at my parents’ house so J and I could have a nice dinner together at Outback. It ended up being a 45 minute wait there, so we headed over to one of our local favorites and found out they do free birthday dinners! So we got a budget-friendly and very tasty meal and had a nice time out together. We even got Starbucks afterwards thanks to a gift card from my mother-in-law! Overall it was a very nice and low key day; a great start to my 29th year. 🙂

As for Jax’s doctor visit, everything went really well. He’s 30 lbs and 38.5 inches, which is 53rd and 98th percentile respectively. He’s so tall! Everything checked out great and he’s developing right on schedule. He had no shots this time (yay!) and he doesn’t go back until he’s 3. They always ask such strange questions, like does he alternate feet to climb up stairs or ladders…we had to really think about it, but yes he does if he can reach. He also got to answer some of the questions on his own, like what does he like to do? His answer: I like to play drums and piano and guitar at Guh-Guh’s…oh and go swimming! Dr. Helft was pretty impressed with him! 

We love seeing Dr. Helft and we liked how when it was time to check Jax’s diaper area, he made sure to stress to Jax that only him and mommies are allowed to look there, no matter what. J and I have wondered when and how to start introducing that concept, and it’s sad that that even has to be taught to children, but alas it is a sad world out there. So we left our visit with a very healthy and happy boy who even got a lollipop for being so good (unlike the girl in the room down the hall who was literally screaming nonstop for her whole visit).

Everything else in Jax’s world has been mostly good. He’s blossoming in personality and vocabulary and every day he amazes us. He knows how to get to ours and the grandparents’ houses by telling us to turn left or right. He knows all of his colors and can now song Twinkle, Twinkle and the ABC’s (most of the time). He’s started counting and is good with 1-4 and 8-11 (but leaves out 5, 6, 7). He loves puzzles and cars and animals. He loves playing outside and even helped us wash the cars the other day. He helps me take out the garbage and feed the guineaa pigs.  He can mostly dress himself and has gone on the potty more, but not frequently enough to say were making much progress. He’s kind of gone backwards with it here he’s just too lazy to go sit on the potty, or he only wants to do it when he wants candy. He talks in full sentences now and even has some funny little sayings. “Oh c’mon!” when something is really funny or if he is struggling or drops something. “Wait a second” and “No wait, I mean…” when he’s talking too fast to pick the right thing to say. He makes jokes, he tickles us, he loves to snuggle. 

Oh, I forgot to mention he moved to the toddler bed and HE LOVES IT! He was fighting a nap one day and as we were watching him on the monitor, he started climbing out. J went in there and he was halfway out of the bed, so we knew it was time to move him to the big boy bed. We converted the crib and moved his room around right then and surprisingly (because we’ve heard horror stories) he just goes right to bed. He doesn’t get up multiple times and throw fits about going to bed. He just climbs up there like a big boy and lays down. There has only been one time that he got up when we put him down but that was it. We put him back to bed and he stayed no problem. He gets up in the morning now and comes to our room to get us up, although we usually wake up when we hear him open his door. He loves his new room setup and newfound freedom to play in his room now. He’s getting so big…

And so is his attitude. For all the wonderful things he is and does, his tantrums are awful. The other day he just screamed at us all day and cried and hit us and banged on the walls and carried on. J and I were both completely frazzled by the end of the day. Timeouts didn’t work, spanking didn’t work, yelling didn’t work. The only thing that worked (not really) was ignoring him. At the end of the night he threw such an awful tantrum after bathtime that I just ended up just hugging him so tight so he couldn’t move until he calmed down, which took a good ten minutes. I just kept telling him I loved him him even though he was acting in a way I didn’t like. He kept saying “Don’t say I love you!” So I just said it more. LOL A friend of ours was over that night and was like OMG – they’d never seen him act like that. It’s been an unbearable couple of days, and I think he’s just testing his boundaries and trying to be Mr. Independent and getting frustrated when we still help him or do things instead of letting him do them. He’s just gotta learn that sometimes mommies still have to help because he’s just not big enough yet.

He’s getting there, though. Our big little boy is growing up so fast, too fast. 🙂 

Jax & MoMo in his Big Boy Bed!


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