So yesterday was a big day for us! It was six years since my Birdy became MINE! Yep, 6 years ago I had her fall from the sky and if she made it, she would be my daughter. *laughs* Just kidding, but we did do skydiving that night.
It doesn’t seem like a lot of time, but 6 years in SL is an eternity, if you think about how much can happen. We’ve definitely been through a lot of changes, especially in the past 2 years, but one thing stays the same always. My little bird and I are stuck together like glue. And now we have someone in our life who loves us both so much, and even more than that, he genuinely enjoys us just the way we are – silly, bratty, quirky, and all.
In other news, we have been putting in so much work on Bluebonnet in the past week! I’m really happy and excited about it! It’s got such a tiny town feel to it, and everything is in walking distance and I love it!
I knew when we started redoing the sim (sorry, I know Patch Linden wants us to call them regions and not sims, but man, that is hard to remember!) Jeremiah and I definitely wanted to put 7 Seas fishing out. It’s something fun and chill to do, you know? So… the Bluebonnet Fishing Dock!
I just adore how this came out! I do not really think I’m very good at sim design. But I am good at putting together a set. So I’m just putting together sets and luckily, everything is coming together pretty cute! It’s very tiny town. It’s not one of those super photogenic sims, but it’s super cute!
Oh, and in case anyone was wondering, our fostering came to an end. Sometimes you can really really like someone, but you just don’t fit quite together as family, and that’s okay. Friendship is super important, too! It’s always been my belief that a very very long trial was necessary when adopting, but sometimes you know fairly quickly that you and the kiddo just are better off as friends. Anyone who has Lyra join their family will be incredibly lucky, and we definitely wish her nothing but love and luck in her future family search.
I think… Yeah, I think that’s it for now. I have shopping and some parcel landscaping to do today (primarily shopping, because that’s more fun than landscaping on a Saturday) so I’m off to go do that!
Oh my goodness, it’s amazing how much can happen in a short amount of time!!
So as I’ve mentioned before, we are redoing Bluebonnet from the ground up. We’ve been putting in quite a bit of work on the land. It’s coming along great, I think! Filling in the empty spots isn’t the easiest for me since I’ve never been all that great at decorating land, but it’s been pretty fun!
We still plan on only having 5 parcels for rent, but we have 2 tiny apartments above the book store and the thrift shop, and I’m considering renting those out too. Like, I’ll decorate them and rent them cheap. Yearssssss ago, there used to be furnished rentals that would give you like 10 prims for 20L a week or something like that. It was super super cheap! I am not sure if people would be interested in that at all, but I still plan on decorating the apartments. I think it will be fun!
But are you ready for our BIG change??
Ever since Jeremiah and I decided we had a future together, we batted around the idea of more kids. We were definitely not opposed to the idea, but it wasn’t anything we were actively seeking to do. But… our dear little friend Lyra was looking for a foster family. So we talked about it. Then we talked to Birdy about it. Then last night the 4 of us talked. Andddd…
We have a foster kid!
We are so beyond thrilled that she has chosen us! She is the sweetest thing, and I think we’re going to have so much fun together. Hey, she likes books, Harry Potter, and Disney. What more could we ask for? 😀
Oh God. I can’t even give an excuse as to why I haven’t posted in here. *laughs* If you follow me on youtube, you know I’ve been doing more videos than anything lately. I need to really find some dang balance with everything.
But anyway… Guess what? We just celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary!! Isn’t that CRAZY?? Well, Aldwyn says it’s not really crazy. But still…crazy!
We did laugh, though, thinking about some of the people who said that I was just the “flavor of the month,” even though by the time they said it, we’d been together for almost half a year. I’m still the best flavor, suckers!!
Instead of having a big party or anything, all I really wanted to do was hang out with my little family. It was actually kind of a big night for us!
I’ve mentioned the SL adoption-to-birthing process before in a previous post. Not in really great detail or anything, I’m sure. But as simply as I can explain it: Some parents in SL choose to “birth” their adopted children. It’s a symbolic thing more than anything else. The child is not considered adopted anymore, but a true born child of the parents. Now most parents who do this, the mom goes through the SL pregnancy process – belly bump, labor, and all! Even complete with a prim baby in most cases! But this was not something I was interested in doing. I didn’t want to look pregnant [blogging would be difficult!] and I didn’t want to do the labor thing or have a Zooby baby of the girls. *laughs* I just didn’t. BUT, the whole symbolic thing appealed to me. Because well…they just feel like ours. So I felt like it was time.
I made a video for the girls. [It’s private, but I’ll share one day.] They loved it! Then I presented them with new birth certificates, and the whole family with rings with a Z on them. I actually want to get proper signet rings for everyone one day.
After that, we went on a mushroom hunt! It was the neatest thing. We got to hunt mushrooms and make potions that sometimes made mushrooms grow from our heads. It was soooo cute! We also carved some pumpkins as practice for next month!
It was really a wonderful evening, and the best wedding anniversary. ❤
So this has been kind of a cool week for me. 🙂 I have actually been chatting with people who watch my videos! That was an unexpected side effect of doing YouTube. *laughs* I want to do another video kind of just chatting about that, so I’ll save my thoughts for another day. But it’s been cool, most definitely.
Another thing is that I’ve gotten some wonderful feedback on my post about family! I kind of didn’t expect that either! People can be super judgmental about something they don’t quite understand or aren’t interested in, so it’s been great getting comments and IMs and stuff about it. So today I’ve just been relaxing in SL [because lord, it is HOT outside in RL and I can’t even with that right now]. Luckily in SL, I can relax and enjoy the day and not fry to a crisp.
I had a comment in my last post with a question and I thought I’d answer that here rather than in a video just because I tend to get long winded at times and since I’m subjecting you all to probably another 30 minute video on Friday [Luxe Box opening!], I figured I’d just write. 🙂
So Kate asked what I thought about virtual pregnancies. Honestly, I think what you want to do in your SL is your business. For me personally, it’s not something I’m interested in, but I truly understand people who do them.
I mentioned my friend Renee in my post about family. She was one of those people who went through a virtual pregnancy because in her real life, there was no way she could possibly get pregnant. She wanted to experience some form of motherhood and pregnancy, so that’s what she did and she enjoyed it. Again, I think that is probably one of the best uses of SL – doing things that you truly want and would never ever get to experience in the RL.
Now I know that when people think of virtual pregnancy, they think of 2 things. One, those dang tummy talkers that yell at you if you bump the mom, or let the whole world know when your baby wants you to eat your vitamin or is swelling your ankles. Trust me, I’m just as annoyed by those as anyone else. *laughs* And two, they think of prim babies, like the Zooby babies. And for a lot of people, that’s as far as it goes. But there is another side to the virtual pregnancies that, if you’re not in the family community, you might not know about.
It’s not uncommon for parents who have adopted kids in SL to later “birth” the child. No, not like… no, not like you’re thinking. LOL! I know what you’re thinking. But the mother goes through the traditional virtual pregnancy knowing that at the end, the “baby” is their adopted child. It’s more symbolic than anything else. Once the child is born, they are no longer considered an adopted child, but instead are considered a true born child. Actually, our friends Jill and Gattz have done this with all of their kids, and you can read about Jill’s last pregnancy on their blog here. Like I said, it’s more symbolic than anything else, although I think most of the people who do this do get a Zooby baby named after the child.
Now would I “birth” Abby and Birdy? Uhh… probably not. *laughs* I mean, if it was something they truly needed, I would do it. I understand the meaning behind it. But I don’t really have an interest.
So really, like most things in SL, I think virtual pregnancies comes down to “You do you.”
But for real. Turn your stupid tummy talker off. No one wants to hear it.
So I made it to New World Notes with the blog post that I wrote about family stuff! You can read about it right here. And a big thanks to Hamlet for the questions because as many times as I’ve been asked to write about SL families, I have rarely been presented with many questions other than “So why are you doing this?” *laughs* Which is a valid question, of course, but doesn’t lend to a very long conversation.
Speaking of family, we had our traditional 4th of July party this past weekend! It was wonderful, as usual. This was actually the first time in a LONG time that the whole family was able to be together, so that made it more wonderful. We had food and music and dancing, and of course, fireworks! If you follow me, or any of my family, on plurk, then you have seen a lot of our photos and gifs already.
Hm…what else, what else… Oh, our house is basically finished as far as decorating goes. I really love it. I still have a bit to do in my blogger room and the dining room, and the downstairs bathroom needs a few more things [other than a sparkle tub and Birdy’s zombie] but for the most part, everything is finished. I am totally in love with it in a way I haven’t been in love with a house in a long long time. I think what I love best about it is that it’s not “perfect.” If you follow the home and garden bloggers/Flickr folks, the photos are always so perfect. Everything matches, everything is ridiculously pretty. I didn’t go for ridiculously pretty. I’m sure the H&G people would look at it and slowly back out the door. *laughs* But to me it’s warm and homey and very much us, so I’m happy. The only problem is that I’m so happy with our home, I want to be online all the time, and that’s not good! But … it’s not bad either. 🙂
So Hamlet from New World Notes gave me some questions to answer about being in a Second Life family! I definitely don’t mind answering things when asked, especially about family life in SL, just because I feel like it’s one of the more misunderstood sections of SL. People seem to just get it when someone wants to be naked all the time, or wear a collar, or sing for money, or design a dress, or be a cat or a vampire or a jerk. But for some reason, family life is unacceptable to some people. And I know what that’s like, I do. I didn’t quite understand it myself until I got into it. But just as a disclaimer, this is how family life in SL is for me personally. If you’re in a family or have been in one before, your experience is probably a bit different.
Let’s get on to the questions!
What inspired you to have a virtual family as opposed to just a virtual boyfriend?
When Aldywn and I partnered [married] in SL, the first question people asked was, “Are you going to have kids?” I think some people said it as a joke, but it was something that was always kind of in the back of my mind. In my real life, I can’t have children and I’ve always wanted them. In SL, we can do and be almost anything we want that we can’t do in our offline lives. If someone who doesn’t have the use of their legs in RL can come to SL and dance, why can’t someone with fertility problems come into SL and have a kid? My friend Renee [who passed away in 2012] had congenital muscular dystrophy and was in a wheelchair and had a breathing tube. But in SL, she had a wedding, she danced, and she got to experience motherhood. To me, this is one of the better uses for Second Life – to do the wonderful things that your real life might not let you do.
What does your RL family think about it?
As far as RL family goes, I only have my parents, and they don’t understand anything internet related! No, really. My parents are in their 70s and one time my mom asked if I had a “Twitter machine” because she didn’t get that Twitter was something on the computer. But they know I have had online friends since 1998, so to them, this is no different. My RL boyfriend absolutely knows about my online family. It would be hard to hide it when he hears me talking on Skype to Aldwyn or the whole family, and sees me holding the girls! He doesn’t really fully understand it, because our not having kids doesn’t affect him like it does me, but he knows it makes me happy, and that seems to be good enough for him. He’s quite supportive of my online life because it makes me happy and because I never let it interfere with anything we want to do together in RL. Balance is important!
Do you know your SL family in real life?
How do I answer this one? No, I have never met any of my family in real life. None of us have ever been face to face. But I feel like I know them because we share so much of our real lives with each other. I know schedules and phone numbers and workplaces. I’ve seen pictures and videos. I know about their RL families. Abby and I have each other on our RL Facebooks. Birdy has let me send her a gift to her house. Maybe some people would think because we’ve never been in the same room, we don’t know each other, but I feel like we do.
And if so, tell me a bit about who they are in real life.
I don’t really want to spill their secrets. 🙂 So I’ll just be general about it. In my entire SL family we have parents, grandparents, teachers, nurses, gamers, musicians, and more. Everyone has a great life story, and we love to share with each other. This also means that we don’t all have a lot of time to be in SL together, so we take our moments where we can.
Finally, what RL need or desire does having an SL family satisfy in you?
Well, as I said before, I finally get to be a mom. It has always been a big deal to me that I haven’t been able to have children. In fact, it sent me into a depression for a long time after I found out that it just wasn’t going to happen for me. And adoption, unfortunately, is not in the cards for me in RL for various reasons. Also, my immediate family is very small. I have never had a sibling close to my age because my sisters were quite a bit older than me when I was born, so I was basically raised as an only child. It’s just my parents and me now, and the rest of our extended family all live very far away. So having my SL family helps me so much to feel connected to something. The fact that we live in the same place in Second Life is even better!
And I think that’s what it comes down to. I feel connected. I feel like I belong to something that is beautiful. I feel happy and loved when I get to be with them. They support and encourage me when I try something new. They let me know if they think something might not be a good idea. I don’t feel like I always have to be entertaining or like I have to be giving constantly to be liked. They let me just be myself, which makes me want to give them everything. I’m not saying it’s all rainbows and unicorns all the time. We have had our problems here and there. But it’s usually short lived and we are better afterwards. After many years in Second Life, and doing many different things that didn’t always make me feel happy, I know that this is exactly where I belong. ♥
And now some photos, and a little video I made earlier this month talking about family stuff.
Goodness, it feels like May has been going on forever, and it’s not even mid-month yet! *laughs* May is a SUPER busy month for the OZ family. We’ve had FOUR parties so far, and we have another one tonight! And one on Friday! We are some party people! But they are all good things that we are celebrating, birthdays and adoptaversaries and other things.
Birdy’s adoptaversary party kicked off our month of parties on the 1st. She has been with us for two years! Can you believe it? We had a “Survivor” party for her. Lolita put together an absolutely amazing place for us. I never could have done it! We had to cross planks, search for words, brave a raging river, jump across a tiger pit, climb several flights of stairs to a zip line, and then make it all the way back down to the start. It was SO fun! And I don’t want to say who won, but… well, it was me. I totally won. 🙂
Last night, the kids did a Mother’s Day dance and had dinner for us. It was so sweet. There were many gifts and everything, too. All of the kids in our family are so good to us. ❤
But of course, the best part of my evenings are usually the few minutes I get alone with Aldwyn.
He always listens to me rant on about just the most ridiculous stuff! Well, some of it is ridiculous. Some of it are things I’m legit struggling with and I’m not sure how to make better. But he always listens, and he tries to make it better for me in some way, which I appreciate. Next month makes 6 years that we’ve been together. Isn’t that crazy? And I knew him about a year before that. Like I told him last night, “I’ve known you way too long. How am I not sick of you yet?” *laughs*
But seriously. How is HE not sick of ME? Guess I’m lucky that I’m cute!
[Btw, if you want to buy the pose I used for this picture of us, I put it up on Marketplace.]
So we had our first official family-of-6 meeting a few nights ago. As with any SL family, there comes the time after an adoption where you’re out of the bright-shiny-omg-this-is-soooo-happening phase and start transitioning into the “Oh hey, we’re actually a family now” part. And I think that for a lot of families, that’s when things kind of fall apart. They want the bright and shiny new feelings constantly and that is simply not possible. And truthfully? You shouldn’t want it to be. Because the part that comes after is SO much better. But it’s also the part that requires a bit more work. And yes, making a true family in SL does require work. It requires you to put time into it and it requires you to be able to talk things out when necessary.
Aldwyn and I are the type of people who like a lot of communication when something comes up. Good or bad, we want to be able to talk things through. We were having some growing pains as a family, so [after an urging from my sister!] I mentioned to him that we should have a family meeting. Naturally he was all for it, so when I figured out a night we’d all be online, I told the kids we’d be sitting for a chat that night.
Okay. *laughs* I don’t know WHAT goes on in other SL families, but despite the fact that I told the kids several times that this was not a BAD thing and that no one was getting shipped to Heritage afterwards, I could just FEEL the tension as we were getting settled in. My sis told me to expect it, but I just didn’t. I figured me saying “hey, we’re just talking, everyone will still be here after the meeting” was enough. But they were tense and I could feel it.
Then came what I’d like to call the MEETING FROM THE PITS OF HELL.
I’m totally kidding. *laughs* It was really good, actually. We brought up our schedule for May [so many parties!], I had a chance to tell them some things I personally need for a bit more balance, and they brought up some things that they’d like to work on as well. And I’m really lucky that I have the kids that I do because they didn’t make me feel guilty at all for needing my late night alone hours back and that was something I was definitely struggling with. They get stories and wind down time and our attention in the evening, and I get to know that I will have some time to myself or with Aldwyn after we send them to bed. Pretty win win!
So that’s kind of a behind the scenes look at a tiny part of what goes into family life in SL. I know a lot of my readers have mentioned to me that they love reading about my family and things we do because it helps them decide on whether family life in SL is really for them or not. I’ll be the first to say that it does take some work. The shiny and new feelings are what draws people to adopting or being adopted, but that part doesn’t last forever. It can’t and truly, it’s not supposed to. You become a family. You have different happy times. You, hopefully, spend enough time with them to share in fun experiences. And yes, sometimes you aren’t thrilled with how something is going and you need to fix it. But if you’re very lucky, your family is willing to listen to you so you can find the balance that makes family life just that much better.
We did up our last night in style, as usual, with a family formal dance! I DJed it, so the night was filled with some of our faves and a whole lot of mashups, since that’s what we like. Everyone looked wonderful and it was just a super fun night.
My sister and me.
And Aldwyn and me.
[I’ll actually have this pose up on marketplace at some point. I meant to do it back in February because this was a pose I made for our Valentine party, but I got lazy.]
The past two weeks really have been just wonderful. We have enjoyed ourselves immensely!! There were so many beautiful photos and so much fun. I’m going to miss it!
But after we got home tonight, Birdy said that as much as she loved going on vacation, it was really nice to see home again. She was totally right. 🙂
Huuuuuge thanks to my sister, Lolita, for putting all of this together for us!! You will get your chance to go on your own Greek island vacation soon. She will have all the information for renting in the coming days and I’ll post it when she does.
Last night was a “free” vacation night, so I decided to take advantage of that and get our official spring family photo done. We usually do an official picture twice a year – spring and fall. Well, and our winter/Christmas photo. I have all our official photos on a wall in our house, starting with Aldwyn’s and my wedding photo. I love that particular wall of photos since I get to see our transition from it just being him and me to …. Well, this!
If you think it’s easy finding decent poses for 2 parents and 4 kids, you’d be wrong. *laughs* Luckily this gem was at the Pose Fair and I’ve been saving it for our spring photo. I think it came out pretty well, and I was happy that we did it on vacation so that along with being our first “real” photo as a family of 6, we also have a great memory attached to it.
So while I was working on the picture, Aldwyn and I were talking and he mentioned what some others have mentioned – It’s weird that he has a mesh head and I don’t. *laughs* Because as a blogger, you know. I’m supposed to be all on top of that stuff. But I’m a strange blogger because I will find a skin I like and just stick with it. For ages. For a longggg time. I just like being me, I guess. I do have a few heads from Genesis that I got from blogging for events or from a gacha, but it was just for blogging really. I mean, yeah, a lot of skin makers are only doing appliers for heads now, or at least doing them more often than a full skin. But I never could justify buying a head when I wasn’t quite sure I wanted to wear it full time. But then before I knew it, I was caught off guard as a head ended up in my inventory, courtesy of my husband who says he never gets to buy me anything.
Only…it wasn’t really the one I wanted. *laughs* I mean, I can use it for blogging! Believe me. It’s the Alex head from LOGO and tons of skin makers are making things just for that head. But I liked the Chloe one better because just with the base skin, it felt more like me. And … then Chloe ended up in my inventory, too. Welp.
So now I have a mesh head! I’m still not used to it. I went down to the store and picked up the other two expression packs for it, and a pack of lipsticks. I have spent a ton of time just staring at it. I think I like it. I don’t know really. I’m sure I’ll get used to it in time.
But Birdy made us all laugh last night after I got the head. “Did we really just take our picture and now she changed her face?!”