Saturday, December 30, 2006

Not bad for a girl from Phoenix, AZ

Dude! You're 83% from Massachusetts!

Okay, either you come from the western half of the state or from the Boston area. Still, it's not bad, so I'll give you the thumbs up. Cool!

How Massachusetts are you?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz




Though, you don't have to be here to long before you figure out that you can't actually park the car in Harvard Yard. Why not? Just try it and see what happens. Never met such vicious meter maids in my entire life.

I was just thinking one of the things I really love about my wife is that she is such a townie. I asked her the other day what she wanted for lunch and she said (without irony) that she wanted a clam strip platah



I asked her if she wanted an "r" with her clams.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Enough with the Lists Already

I do not know why my year end retrospection has taken the form of ‹ol ›
‹li › ‹/ol › but I think this is probably the end of it.

5 Things I would do differently


  1. Forgo circumcision and leave the kid intact
  2. Breastfeed longer
  3. Lay off the McDonald’s cheeseburgers and the JP Licks milkshakes during my pregnancy
  4. Start my consulting business a year before I had him, not now
  5. Try and be a little bit more relaxed about everything


5 Things I would do exactly the same

  1. Get the epidural
  2. Quit my job and cash in my 401k so I could stay home with my baby
  3. Go with #3672
  4. Become so enraged that a friend of mine and her family are harassed by a bigot in Brookline Village, that I start a gay parenting blog.
  5. Defy James Dobson, Mitt Romney, Ron Crews and every other homophobe, and create a family with my wife and son!

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

The Rest of the Family

My wife told me that the dog was jealous that I never blog about her. That’s pretty amazing since I didn’t know she knew how to read. But I am nothing if not accommodating.

For Calliope, here is the rest of the family….

Calliope

Calliope is a purebred princess surrounded by mutts (us). She is a Tibetan Terrier that we bought from a North Shore breeder in lieu of a new couch. She lets it be known that the present arrangements are beneath her. But we think she love us anyway. As a puppy she destroyed every last pair of high heels that I owned. That included a $350 pair of Gold Lame Ballys that I used to light up the dance floor with. We didn’t speak for a while, but its ok, everything’s cool now.



The Cats have had very dramatic lives

Schmoo

Schmoo had a troubled past. She was on the street and pregnant by the time she was 9 months old. She had the kittens and was then institutionalized at the MSPCA. That is where we come in. We adopted her, brought her home and she hid out in the closet for two days. She then came out of the closet, no pun intended, and went to sleep on the radiator. She pretty much hasn’t moved since.

Josie

Josie was a tiny kitten in a Georgia animal shelter. She was slated to be gassed in three days time. Meanwhile, Hurricane Katrina hit Louisiana. I was six months pregnant and doped up on my own hormones. Watching my fellow Americans rage at the television in a desperate attempt to be rescued from the Superdome caused me to fall into a deep depression about the futility of life and our federal government. I decided to save something, so I saved Josie, who I had found on the internet. She came to us filled with worms and fleas. It cost over a $1000 once Angell Memorial was done with her. She is a really undomesticated cat. For the first few months she would fly at us, claws drawn. She would attack our bare toes and knees. At which point, I would screech, “I saved you from a CERTAIN DEATH, you little shit.” She displayed an appalling lack of gratitude. Furthermore, I have promised my wife to stay away from animal rescue web sites.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

First Noel

You didn’t think I was going to forget the Christmas pictures, did you?

Surround by new toys, but fascinated by the screwdriver



But he loved the new car!




Out for a Christmas Drive


Sunday, December 24, 2006

Top Ten Best Parenting Advice of the Year

The first thing I want to say is that this is what worked for us. I find the whole mommy war thing disparaging. I really try not to take sides in the go-to-work/stay-at-home breastfeed/bottle feed battles. I am super determined not to have a dog in the fight. So don’t take any of this as criticism if you did something different, k?


Top Ten Best Parenting Advice of the Year


    10. Breastfeed. This seems like a good place to start. When my little guy had colic, this was one of the few things that actually helped. Plus, I do think there is something to the idea that it helps with bonding. Also, I noticed when I weaned him at 6 months, he did start to get ear infections.

    9. Co-sleep. When you go to parenting classes, you will hear about the dangers of co-sleeping. I bought a beautiful crib with every intention of keeping my baby in it. But then you have the baby, and he has ideas of his own. In fact, he screams bloody murder every time you try to lay them in the gorgeous crib. So into your bed he goes, sound asleep. I then started asking around, and it was like a dirty secret among parents. Everybody is sleeping with their baby. Really, everybody I asked - straight people, gay people, single mothers and fathers. Everyone had their babies in their bed.

    I was worried about this arrangement for safety reasons, so we eventually used a co-sleeper which attached to the bed. It gave him a safe place to sleep, but he thought he is in the bed with us.

    Arm's Reach Mini Cosleeper Bassinet Natural


    8. Don’t buy too much! Parenting is such an anxious time. You want to do everything right. Marketers are really gifted at exploiting this. But we found we had way more than we needed. People will buy tons of stuff if it’s your first. Hand me down clothes work just as well as brand new outfits from the Gap.

    I like Dr. Spock because he is sort of like the doctor from Retroville. This is his checklist. It’s pretty short:


    • Car Seat
    • Crib, bassinet or cosleeper
    • Sheets for the crib, bassinet or cosleeper
    • Blankets for swaddling
    • A few onesies and sleepers
    • Diapers
    • Nursing Bras if you are going to nurse
    • Two or three bottles and formula if you are going to formula feed
    • Carrier
    • Diaper Bag
    • Digital Thermometer and nose syringe


    The only thing that I would ad is that you probably do want a baby hat to keep their head warm.

    Compare this list to what Babies R Us says you need, and you will get a sense of the interest that you generate with your pregnancy.

    7. Baby wearing. Like I mentioned below, the sling didn’t go over so well. However, the Baby Bjorn and the Moby Wrap were fantastic. Why I was able to figure out the convoluted wrap and not the sling is beyond me.

    6. Infant Massage. This only works for a few months. Once they start crawling, you will never get them to sit still for it. But it was fun in those first few pre-mobile months when there just isn’t a lot to do. We took a class at a local center, but I think there are also some good books out there.

    5. Let people help you. When you first bring baby home, people will see your cute baby and generously offer to babysit. They are probably thinking you won’t be up to letting someone else take care of your baby. As soon as the offer hits the air, grab a pen and paper and take down their name and phone number!

    4. Nap when your baby naps.

    3. Make your own baby food. I know it sounds crazy, but its way cheaper than buying it already canned, plus you know where it came from. Even using organic food we save a lot of money. Plus, you are able to give your kid a wider variety than what is offered.

    2. Try to respond to your baby’s cries as best and as in a loving manner as possible. However, if you think you are going to lose it, it’s ok to put the baby in a safe place, and take a break (see below)

    1. Don’t listen to advice! Listen to your baby. People are going to give you tons of advice. Some of it will work for you and some of it won’t. Don’t feel guilty for making different choices. The wise mother who told us that has two beautiful kids, and doesn’t seem to ever give a second thought to what people think of her parenting. This is pretty different than my wife and I. We actually stress quite a bit when criticized. But we are working on it.



Wow, that was a long post. I think we need a photo break.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Top Ten List of Worst Parenting Advice

It’s the year end, and we are close to little guy’s 1 year birthday. I thought I would put together a post of all of the worst pieces of advice I have encountered over the year. Here is my list of the least helpful things that people said to us. I feel the need to point out that our baby had colic early on, so a lot of this advice was in response to that situation.

Top Ten List of Worst Parenting Advice

    10. Strollers – Get the Travel System! My sister-in-law insisted that this was the stroller for us. However, she lives in the suburbs not the city. It was a giant, unmanageable, sidewalk shark in my little narrow city. I told my wife if we ever have another, we are getting the Maclaren.



    9. Use a sling. This is not a crack at baby wearing in general, which I think is terrific. Just the sling. I’m a smart girl, I swear. I’m going to law school. My wife works in neurosurgery. We couldn’t figure this contraption out for the life of us. The guy in the picture is our Manny - just kidding.



    8. Put baby cereal in the bottle, he’ll sleep better. This is advice that older people give a lot. It’s a terrible idea. The cereal gets stuck in the nipple. So then, you cut holes in the nipple to try and get it flow easier, but the milk squirts out everywhere. You then forget about the deformed nipple, and for months afterwards aggravate your baby with it.


    7. Give him gripe water. This was in response to the colic. Useless.


    6. Give him water. This was also in response to the colic. Again, useless.


    5. Don’t let him watch TV. If my pediatrician reads this, I’m going to get it. But TV is the best invention ever. Need to run to the bathroom? Turn on the TV. It gives you a good 5 minutes before disaster strikes.


    4. Put him on a schedule. Good luck with that.


    3. Don’t ever give him a pacifier or a bottle. I think this is done to encourage breast feeding, which I fully support. But a bottle is just fine. No nipple confusion that we could see.


    2. Don’t let him sleep in your bed. This was on of the few things that did work when he had colic. We got a little lecture from the pediatrician about this, but it worked well. He no longer sleeps with us, and I really miss him at night. Here are some safety tips on sleeping with your baby:

    http://www.askdrsears.com/html/7/T070600.asp



    1. Don’t let your baby cry – ever. I think this attachment parenting advice is a call to respond to your baby’s needs. I totally support it. But if your child has colic and is screaming constantly, this simple refrain can feel like an axe to the head. I think it should be reworded to say, “Try to respond to your baby’s cries as best and as in a loving manner as possible. However, if you think you are going to lose it, it’s ok to put the baby in a safe place, and take a break.”


Next post – the 10 best pieces of advice we received over the year.

Until then, another picture

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Suddenly, things turn around.

I got a new client yesterday. I had cinched the deal at a Christmas party. You should have seen me. I was trying to be cool and casual, like, “Let’s see if it would be mutually beneficial to work together.” But really, my knees were about to buckle under, and in my head I was thinking, “I need this money so badly!” The gentleman’s assistant called me yesterday to say she was sending a check. Once it gets here, I am going to get it to the bank so fast the teller’s head is going to spin.

A couple of thank-yous. Thanks Jill and Brenda for the gift cards to Stop and Shop. And thank-you Kim for the gift card to Stop and Shop. At least we had enough to eat! And thanks Christie and Janet for listening to me sob. We get by with a little help from our friends.

I’m still going to the job interview tomorrow to see what they have to offer. I think the boss lady, my wife, would like it if I had regular employment.


With some of the Stop and Shop gift card money, we bought ingredients to make cookies. Here is a picture, ala Anna Ginsberg. For some reason, my wife bought orange, black and white icing, so the Christmas cookies have a Halloweenish flair.

My wife went out last night, and then the baby woke up. I got him out of bed, and we ate the cookies and watched Christmas specials on TV (which were really hard to find, by the way). Though I think it may qualify me as a bad mother, it was really fun to have him up a few hours after his bedtime. I had him all to myself.

Here he is eating the cookies, and sitting in front of the TV. We were in so much trouble when Mama got home!




Here he is checking out the Christmas tree.

Monday, December 18, 2006

The new normal

Like I mentioned, I was at a party a couple of nights ago. I was seated with my son next to an older lesbian on one side, and the director of the insemination program at the local gay health clinic on my other side. One after another, the lesbian families started arriving at the party. The babies were all different ages, and they just kept coming like it was Provincetown’s Family week.

“This is freaking me out,” my friend on the left said, “In my day, if you were a gay mother, you did it the old fashioned way. You got married to a man, had a family, and then ran off with a woman.”

“It freaks me out too,” my friend on the right said. This is the one who runs the insemination program for lesbians.

“You? You enable this!” I protested.

Which got me to thinking, in my neighborhood, almost all of the families are gay. If you have kids in my neck of the woods, you probably are in a same sex marriage. The children have come to us from all sorts of different ways. Foreign adoptions, adoptions out of DSS, artificial inseminations, and maybe even some the old fashioned way (see above). My little guy is going to think same sex couples are the norm. He will think it’s the kids of straight parents who are weird!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Separation Anxiety

Since we are having such money problems, I am considering doing something drastic. No, I don’t mean putting a ski mask on me and the baby, and then robbing a few local banks. Though, I did consider that. I mean finding a job. A real job with a paycheck and shit. I thought I would just send a few resumes out and see what happened. On Thursday night, I sent out two. Friday morning, 8:30 am I got a call for an interview. How about that?

It was good to know that my skills are still marketable. However, I was talking to a friend of mine to process this. Lesbians love to process. Anyway, I was trying to say that I would be sad if I had to leave my little guy for five days at a time at a daycare. But before I could get it out, I burst into tears. I am having some feelings about this. She mentioned that it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. I could go back to work part-time. I decided she’s right. I think that is going to be my main point of negotiating with any job I interview with. They have to give me flex time or no deal.

He’s a pretty social kid. He loves the other kids at our playgroups and he really loves activity. I think he would adjust pretty well. It’s me who would have a hard time with it. I don’t like the idea of being separated from him at all. However, the money crisis has made things really stressful, and I don’t think that is a good environment for him either.

I went to a party last night, and several of the mothers assured me that day care was a positive thing. They’re kids look alright. I did get a full year with him at home. I know that is more than what a lot of people get.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

A time to sleep

I am struggling with my little guy’s nap schedule. He sleeps wonderfully at night. He goes down before 7:00 and then sleeps all the way to morning. We have dropped pans in the kitchen creating a huge racket. He doesn’t even stir.

Totally different in the daytime. He HATES his naps. He acts like we are killing him when we put him down, he wakes up if someone in the building sneezes and never sleeps more than 45 minutes.

I had read that the morning nap disappears around the 1st of the year. I guess in a bid to avoid some of this unpleasantness, I decided to try and see if he could make it without the first nap. He usual takes one around 9:00. So 9:00 came and went, and he was fine. But by 11:30, he was laying his head on the floor, sucking his thumb. So I put him in his crib, and he slept for 1 and ½ hours. Not bad. But I didn’t know what to do when he got up at 1:00. Should I put him down for a nap at 3:00? If he slept a long time, that would delay his bedtime routine. So I kept him up. He didn’t make it too 5:00. He was in such a bad mood. It was like I had given birth to a cranky little bear. So down he went at 5:30. I think we are going to go back to two naps.

Speaking of animals, I saw this post on Andrew Sullivan today.

http://time.blogs.com/daily_dish/2006/12/dominion.html

I have been wanting to go vegetarian for some time. It just hasn’t been doable with the baby, and running around like a mad woman, I mean starting a business. But this picture definitely makes me think twice about eating meat. It’s funny too, because when I think of animals that are going to become food, I still think of a farm. Someplace where the animals are at least happy and well kept. This points out that they are actually treated with unimaginable cruelty in today’s industrial farms.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Little guy takes a big step!


Little guy took his first step yesterday! It was more like a lurch and then half a step forward, but it was pretty impressive. We were at my sister in law’s holiday party. He was hanging onto the back of a chair doing his little dance. His grandmother was behind him and called his name. He turned half way around with one hand still on the back of the chair and then lunged towards her. He took a step towards her and then she caught him. Then everyone went crazy. It was amazing.

I was telling someone the other day the story of when I was inseminated with him. We had been trying for a while and I was getting a little despondent. I have little patience for these things. I had to go to the doctor’s alone because Jen was at work. It had been a crazy month because I had switch facilities and there was a lot of chaos in getting the sperm over to its new home. I had ovulated really late, like three weeks into my cycle. I was on clomid and feeling more insane than usual. But the minute the doctor gave me the insemination, I felt the spirit of a little boy in the room. I went home and told my wife that I was sure that I was pregnant and that it was a boy. I wasn’t at all surprised a few months later when the radiologist pointed to the ultra sound screen and said we were having a boy. I felt like I knew him from the moment he was created.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Polygamy and Plumbing

I mentioned in my last post that the faucet fell off the bath tube. It just fell right off. Neither my wife nor or I are handy dykes, so we just sort of stared dumbly at the tool box wondering what to do. Finally, my wife says to me, “What we need is a Nikki.”

She means Nikki from HBO’s Big Love.

We love the show. It’s about a polygamist family in Utah. Nikki is wife number two, and she is good at fixing things. So this got me to thinking – we do need a Nikki. In fact, if you get away from the one man one woman thing, suddenly, all sorts of new possibilities open up. You could have a mom who is good at fixing things, and we definitely need a mom who is good at brining home the bacon. My wife has the medical thing down, so she could be the boo boo mom. I would be the staying at home and making cookies mom.

So we have a couple of openings. Are there any good looking, high wage earning lesbians out there who are good at plumbing who would like to join our family? We are two chubby, in debt lesbians, with two cats, one dog and a really cute baby.
(Crickets chirping)

Anyone…..

Anyone who knows us knows that this is ridiculous. We are pathetically monogamous. And, much to my delight, my wife figured out how to fix the faucet while I was writing this. I’m so impressed. She looks so butch with that screwdriver.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Random thoughts

We have been having a hard time over here. A client of mine didn’t pay me, and that has thrown us into some financial chaos. I know that I will regroup, but it happened in a bad month. Then, Yahoo randomly overcharged my account $150.00. My wife borrowed a friend’s car, and rammed it into a post, of course. I got a $75 parking ticket. And then, the handle fell off the faucet of the bath tube. We are not handy, so we are going to need a plumber.

Am I glutton for punishment?

So, according to the Google webmaster rules, you are not supposed to do this, so I am putting it into pig latin:

Ifway ouyay ouldway ickclay onway ethay Ooglegay Adway, eway
ouldway ebay ostmay atefulgray

Thanks! You guys are the best.

I know this blog is getting pretty self indulgent. I hardly ever talk about my son anymore. But, he has a new tooth! He has been working on it for months. He just had a ton of hair and no teeth. But now he has just the sliver of sharp white on his gums.

I realized the other day, I love blogging. I mean, I really like it. I like throwing out opinions on random things, and then checking the stat counter to see who is coming to the site. Yesterday, I got a visitor for Virginia. I’m going to pretend that it was Mary Cheney herself. Why not? Anna Ginsburg stopped by for a visit after I blogged about her.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Guess whose coming to dinner, Republican style


Mary Cheney is pregnant. I have somewhat of an obsession with the Cheney family. I think that it is because I am from a Western, gun slinging, pro life rally attending, bloody fetuses in the air, Republican family myself. And my name happens to be Mary. I am a lesbian. Hmmm, so maybe I am really just fascinated with myself????

I found the right wing blogosphere reaction to this story pretty interesting. They are just tripping over themselves to condemn them. Robert Knight has said that “the child was conceived with the express purpose of denying it a father.” It is my contention that the Right Wing is perfectly ok with gays and lesbians as long as we are ashamed and closeted. I think it is pretty clear now that there were Republican operatives who knew that both Haggard and Foley were gay. But they weren’t open about it. They were being good boys playing the Republican game. Bibles in the daytime, prostitutes and underage boys at night.

It is when we live our lives in a proud manner, create families and refuse to be silenced that they get all hot and bothered. I think the right wing is much more comfortable with a devastated preacher and disgraced congressman than they are with a happily, pregnant woman and her partner.

I noticed this when I came out at my first professional job a few years ago. The bank’s gay and lesbian resource group invited everyone to come out at work. And so I did. The reaction from my colleagues was great. I was given a lot of support, and I noticed I had produced a bit of intrigued. People were pretty curious about this lifestyle. But the minute I mentioned that I would like to have a wife and family some day, it was a completely different story. I was hushed up pretty quickly. People just did not want to hear it.

Any way, congratulations to Mary and Heather. Mary, listen to me – get the epidural.



Sunday, December 03, 2006

Seating arrangements

A little while ago I posted about the great time we had at my friend’s bridal shower:

http://momandmama.blogspot.com/2006/10/pary-with-ann-coulter-clones.html

The wedding was this weekend, and I was just a little bit apprehensive about it. She is an Episcopal priest, and was being married by the bishop of the diocese. Archbishop Tutu’s daughter was the matron of honor. I couldn’t help but think – this is going to go on for forever.

Well, we had a great time. And she sat me and my wife right up front at her fancy reception. She had too. Years ago, she went to a wedding where all the people of color were sat in a corner. She’s African American and she was a bit irked. So when I got married, she said, “I’ll come to your wedding, but you better not put me in the corner.” When we were making out the seating arrangements, I sat her first – in the front.

So when she got married, I said, “You know where you have to seat me.” She returned the favor. We were right next to the Bishop. Congratulations Jamie and Karen.

On a totally different note, I got into law school. I’m not sure if I want to go. I’m thinking, it’s got to be easier than being a stay at home mom.

Monday, November 27, 2006

I know what you are looking for - and its not here

My understanding is that there has been a change in the Google algorithm so that if you are looking for porn, you may not find it as easily. See here: http://seoblackhat.com/2006/11/21/free-porn/

Apparently, Google is now assuming that you are not looking for porn until you refine your search and make it really, really clear that you are. Why they would do this, I don’t know. I would think that they would assume that you are looking for porn, because you probably are.

I have a stat counter on this blog that tells me what keywords people are using to find us. There is a sudden uptick in “nurse giving rectal temperature, pic.” Apparently, there are a few medical fetishes out there. I’m so sorry to disappoint you with our domestic blog. It’s a timely search though because my son has a double ear infection. We’ve had a few rectal temps around here. Now if I could just get my wife to wear this outfit for me.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Quick Update


I have an overwhelming desire to post to my blog tonight. I am such a geek. Not much is happening here though. Little guy is almost walking. He is cruising around the furniture, but he isn’t quite there just yet. We think he is teething. He is running a fever and is drooling like crazy, but we haven’t seen any pearly whites just yet.

My wife is working a lot. She is working tonight as a matter of fact. Me? I am still trying to get a consulting practice going. I joined a networking group where you are supposed to meet one on one with all of the members. There are thirty members, so I am running around like crazy meeting with everyone. It’s kind of funny because I don’t have much work to do. I kind of feel like I have an imaginary job. I’m running around the city going to meetings and I pass out business cards, and that's about it.

Also, I don’t quite know what to obsess about now that the anti-gay marriage amendment might actually be dead. I just don’t know what to replace it with. I worry about money a lot. If we ever become financially solvent, I might have a real crisis on my hands.


Since I have broken my rules about not posting pictures, I thought I would give you guys one more.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

I do not feel pretty

Anne Sexton said something to the affect of: I use to be pretty, now I’m just me. I have been looking all over the internet for the actual quote. If anyone knows it, please email me or leave it in the comments.

Blogs are weird. They are personal and public at the same time. This feels like a personal post, but I don’t know most of you, so I am going to blog it anyway. I am going to trust that those of you who do know me, love me enough not to hold my character defects against me.

I have been thinking about this quote lately. I look a lot different than I did before the baby, and its not sitting so well with me. I had a horrible pregnancy and gained 80lbs. I am still lugging around 40 of it. I use to have long, red hair, but it changed color during the pregnancy. For expediency’s sake, I chopped it all off. I am still getting use to my new self.

So this is the part that is hard for me to talk or blog about. I did not realize until now how much I leveraged my prettiness in the world. I would categorize the new people that I would meet into two categories. “Prettier than me” and “Not Prettier”. If I was uncomfortable in a situation, I could rely upon my physical attractiveness to help me meet people. People were interested in me.

Now, I know. I know. I know. Pretty vain. Pretty shallow. In my defense, it has a lot to do with my upbringing. My mother, despite giving birth to 5 children, remained at a fashionable 110 her whole life. She use to say things to me like, “There’s no reason to learn how to change a tire, just stand by the side of the road and look cute. Someone will help you out.” It’s a terrible message. But there was a truth to it. I was often pulled over for speeding, the policeman never gave me a ticket. Even more bothersome to me is that I really think people took my opinions more seriously 3 years ago than they do now. To be fat is to be invisible. Like the erstwhile quote says, now I’m just me.

I ran across something today that I wanted to share. It is from the blog, Dress A Day.

You Don't Have to Be Pretty. You don't owe prettiness to anyone. Not to your boyfriend/spouse/partner, not to your co-workers, especially not to random men on the street. You don't owe it to your mother, you don't owe it to your children, you don't owe it to civilization in general. Prettiness is not a rent you pay for occupying a space marked "female".

What it all boils down to now is that I just don’t have pretty in me anymore. I know I could do something about it. I can’t make myself younger, but I could lose the weight. I could scrape up the money to visit those Newbury salons I use to frequent. But I won’t. I guess this is how someone falls into the “Not Pretty” column of the debit sheet.

I have been trying to think of new ways to leverage myself. Did you see “The Fisher King?” In the movie, the Amanda Plummer character complains to Mercedes Ruehl that she has no personality. Mercedes Ruehl says “You want a personality? You can be a real bitch.” So instead of being the pretty one, maybe I will be the bitchy one for a change. Besides, I have since learned that you don’t actually need to know how to change a tire if you have Triple A.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Am I dreaming?

I am feeling somewhere between totally relieved and totally confused. When I first heard that the legislators recessed from the ConCon, I really thought the lawmakers were just postponing the inevitable or buying time. But the word from BayWindows is that this is a victory. They say that it’s unlikely that the legislators will take this up in January. My wife is at the hospital and I had just put the baby to bed. Reading the news coming out of the ConCon, I was just so filled with emotion I broke down and cried. Can I really not worry about this anymore? Can I stop taking my French lessons that I don’t study for anyway?

That and seeing the Democrats take both the House and the Senate AND Rumsfield stepping down. What a difference a couple of years makes.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Election day - finally! We win!

The elections were really exciting. I was very proud of my home state of Arizona for being the first state to reject an anti-gay amendment.

My excitement has been offset with a sense of sadness tonight. Tomorrow, the Massachusetts legislator’s will meet to decide whether or not to advance our own anti-gay marriage amendment.

From what I have read, barring any procedural moves, it will probably pass this year. It could end up on the ballot in 2008. I am so proud of Boston sometimes. I feel like a real citizen here. I don’t feel that way towards the entire country. Anti-gay measures in places like Virginia and Missouri tell me that they don’t want me here. I am happy to oblige. But I really like Massachusetts. It makes me sad that people feel that this is even an issue.

I know in the long run there is a good chance we will win. By the time it’s on the ballot, gays and lesbians will have been marrying for four years. That is a pretty long time. And we now have Deval in the corner office. In the meantime, its scary and demoralizing to constantly have my rights questioned.
Sometimes, when I look at my son, I am happy that he understands so little. He doesn't know there is hatred. He doesn't know that there are people out there who hates his family. He just moves through his days looking for his next adventure

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Janice Marie Parker Pierce August, 25, 1943 - October 31, 1997

On another note, October the 31 is kind of a pregnant day for me. My mother died nine years ago of colon cancer. At the very moment she was dying, John Keats Endymion was being read on the radio. So she died to these words. They are very beatiful, and I think must have been a comfort to her. I know that continue to be a source of comfort to me, and I read them every year in her memory.

A thing of beauty is a joy for ever: Its loveliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness; but still will keep
A bower quiet for us, and a sleep
Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.
Therefore, on every morrow, are we wreathing
A flowery band to bind us to the earth,
Spite of despondence, of the inhuman dearth
Of noble natures, of the gloomy days,
Of all the unhealthy and o'er-darkened ways
Made for our searching: yes, in spite of all,
Some shape of beauty moves away the pall
From our dark spirits. Such the sun, the moon,
Trees old and young, sprouting a shady boon
For simple sheep; and such are daffodils
With the green world they live in; and clear rills
That for themselves a cooling covert make
'Gainst the hot season; the mid forest brake,
Rich with a sprinkling of fair musk-rose blooms:
And such too is the grandeur of the dooms
We have imagined for the mighty dead;
All lovely tales that we have heard or read:
An endless fountain of immortal drink,
Pouring unto us from the heaven's brink.

Happy Halloween!


I love this holiday. I almost died from the cuteness at the Tot Lot. The kids were killing me.

I decided to post some pictures of my little guy. I worked at a church for a number of years as the webmaster. They put the fear of God into me, so to speak, about posting pictures of children on the internet. They saw predators lurking behind every screen. I guess I have internalized it because I have been nervous to post any pictures. Really, they should have been looking for the predators in the sacristy, but that is another story.

I have been visiting all of these really great parenting blogs, and everyone else has pictures of their cutie pies. So here it goes. He is kind of incognito in the lobster out fit anyway.

I hope that you all have a fantastic time tonight.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Adoption Day

We had a big week here in Boston. Our second parent adoption went through, so we went down to the courthouse. A lot of my friends who are gay parents express annoyance that they have to go through this step. Personally, I am just grateful we live in a state were we have legal protections for my little family.

It was pretty dramatic though. We left really in the morning to get to the courthouse on time. But there was a huge accident in front of us. We were diverted into the tiny, congested streets of Roxbury on the last day of Ramadan. Traffic was at a complete standstill. We completely freaked out. We were yelling at each other, yelling at the other cars, the cops…everybody. We were so worried about what would happen if we were late. We finally get into downtown Boston, and of course, we couldn’t find parking anywhere. We parked in a handicapped space just so we could book it to the courthouse. (I’m not condoning this behavior. In our defense, we never do this sort of thing).

We went racing down the Financial District, flying past all of the morning commuters and big dig construction workers. We made it to the courthouse just in time. Then, our lawyer was 45 minutes late. She was stuck in the same traffic we were.

The judge couldn’t have cared less. She strolled in 15 minutes after our attorney came storming into the room. My wife was worried that she would grill her about her parenting skills. She did no such thing. She just picked our son up and let him chew on the gavel and pound on the keyboard. She was older, had really blonde hair, and just the thickest Boston accent you ever heard. She kept saying, “He’s so cute. I am going to sign the adoption papers over to me.”

Then she signed the papers and it was all over. We were at the clerks waiting for the ugly yellow adoption certificate. I looked over at our son and said, “You have no idea what’s going on, do you?” Then my wife’s mom said the sweetest thing. She said, “She knew he was her mother.”

We went to Legal’s afterwards. They had these delicious baked oysters. They were great.

Our little guy has had a cold since then. He has been pretty crabby. In fact, I have never seen him in such a bad mood. Every toy I gave him he would just through on the floor with a screech. Even when he’s intolerable, I love him so much. He is just my little streetfighter.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Party with the Ann Coulter clones

My wife and I went to a bridal shower for a friend of ours. She is straight and marrying a very nice guy who I also happen to be friends with. She is a priest in a pretty wealthy town. Some of her parishioners were there as well as other clergy. Even though she is a member of the clergy, she is really fun and down to earth. She wore her clergy collar into a sex shop and proceeded to buy me a sex toy. I know because she called me on the phone to see what I wanted. I am pretty excited about her wedding.

On the day of the shower, I just couldn’t pull an outfit together so I wore jeans hoping it would be ok. As soon as I walked into the party and saw the other women dressed in dark velvet and beautiful plaid bows, I knew I had made a mistake. I felt like such a slob.

I tried to engage one of the parishioners in conversation. She was Ann Coulter thin and blonde. She was an attorney but now was a stay at home mom. I was interested in her because I am thinking about applying for law school. She muttered that law school was a big mistake, and then turned back to her other suburban friends.

We were there with our son, and boy, was he unhappy. We thought he would nap in the car, but no luck. He stayed awake the whole time. He fell asleep at the party, but would wake up startled every there was clapping when the bride to be opened up a present. We ended up leaving early because we were afraid our son was about to go into a full out melt down.

As soon as we got into the car, my wife turned to me and said, “My god, they were so straight.” I knew exactly what she meant.

I am blogging about this incident because there were a few things about it that interest me. The first thing that became clear to me is that I really surround myself with people who are very much like me. Even my straight friends aren’t sooo straight. Generally, we are a pretty grungy crew. The women at the shower were very thin and well coiffed. They shrieked and giggled every time the bride to be opened a box of lingerie. I think this what marshaled the comment from my wife.

The second thing was that it was apparent to me that it can be really hard to interact with people who are a different class from you. I don’t like to think of myself like this. I like to think that I can relate to pretty much anybody, but I tell you, these women were tough. But its not like I was raised in a cave, I went to Northwestern for crying out loud, I have been around rich people before.

And the last thing I want to say is that babies and polite company just don’t mix. I should have learned by now. But I’m pretty stubborn. We keep trying to take him to nice restaurants when we should just resign ourselves to IHop.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Don't eat your veggies


Did you see? There is a recall on lettuce because of ecoli fears.

http://www.fda.gov/oc/po/firmrecalls/freshexpress05_03.html

All I can say is that if ecoli breaks out in cheez its or diet coke, I'm in big trouble.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Time to log off

There is a saying that I like very much that goes something like this: You don’t have to show up for every fight you are invited to.

I think about this saying a lot when I get into online “discussions”. I think that there is something about disembodied text that just brings out the worse in people. Sometimes I get sucked into a discussion and have a tremendous urge to be the last person to post a comment. This happens even when I know I am talking to someone who has the coherence of my grandfather 3 months before he died of Alzheimer’s.

I try to avoid bulletin boards or comments on blogs if there is an argument brewing. However, with all of the crap that is being said about the Foley scandal, I found myself showing up for the street fight, invitation or not.

The postings were on belief.net. I felt like I was in some kind of Alice in Wonderland upside down world. According to the thread, homosexuals are oversexed, miserable, have multiple partners and absolutely shouldn’t be allowed to get married, and Rep Foley proves it.

I have to laugh about the oversexed part. I should be so interesting. Honestly I am so tired from working and taking care of the baby, sex is the last thing on my mind. In fact, I have a pile of laundry and dishes, a living room full of toys and dried baby food my shirt. At this point, I don’t want sex so much as a clean house. Though, I’d take sex too..

And I just have to wonder, who are these people that they are talking about. These hypersexed, multi-partnered, drug taking, circuit chasing, youth loving, prada wearing gays? I’ve seen them on tv. But, I live in a very gay neighborhood, and nobody that I know is like this. The gays that I know worry about sending their kids to kindergarten and when to make a run to Toys R Us.

There is something about getting into an argument with someone who insists something is true that you know isn’t true that makes you feel a little crazy. I had a friend who would insist that all lesbians had been sexually molested. I pointed out that I hadn’t been sexually molested and neither had my wife. But she would just repeat her claim over and over. After a while you need to just stop arguing. And if you are online, you need to log off.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Bonsoir

I grew up in the Southwest, where there was a certain distrust of governmental powers. This was particularly true if there was a Democrat in office. When the men lost their minds, there was a Southwestern flare to it. They would join militias and bury their guns out in the desert because they were convinced the government was coming to take their ammunition away. I would actually see the men do this and I would think to myself, “My God their crazy. Who could be so paranoid?”

I’m a little bit older now and I no longer live in the desert, but I have to say my mistrust of the government has grown exponentially these last few years. I’m not burying guns. I don’t own any. However, I have been learning to speak French. Every Monday night, my friend and I go down to the local Adult Education Center and conjugate French verbs. I’m sure you are thinking that it’s a worthy endeavor and not at all crazy. But I have to tell you the reason why I am doing it is because I have grown convinced that before my life is through, I am going to have to make a run for Canada. I want to speak the language once I get there. I have my passport on me at all times, and I am dismayed that my wife does not have one. I have even been watching Julia Child so that I will be fully acclimated to the local cuisine.

I’m not sure whether or not to give the laundry list of things scare me about this country. I do not like all of the DOMAs that have been passed in the last few years, I do not like the war in Iraq and I do not like these new anti-terrorism bills that tromp all over the constitution.

At first I thought this has nothing to do with being a parent, but it does. Its one thing to feel like you are not safe. It’s a whole another to feel like your child isn’t safe. When I look down at my little boy at night, I feel such love for him its almost too much to bear. Suddenly I feel like I have a lot in common with those guys who buried their guns in the desert. I want protection. I want no harm to ever make its way in from the outside into the nursery room. I want my little guy to always be as peaceful as he is now in his little Halloween sleeper that says “I love my Mummy.” I can’t believe how crazy I feel, but I want a handle on French sentence structure and gun buried nearby.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

TLC

It’s been awhile since I have updated this blog, mostly since I am so busy. I am trying to start an at home business and still take care of little guy. I am finding it really challenging working at home and having a baby. I never would have tried to start my own business if I didn’t become a mom. However, I now realize that a new business is kind of like a new baby, and it needs to be fed – a lot. If I had known this, I would have tried to start the business a year or two before having the baby. Instead, I have a real baby and a new business venture.

However, I am not so busy that I ever miss TLC’s Bringing Home Baby. It’s a show where they show a family in the first 36 hours after coming home with a new baby. I like TLC, I do. I like all of their corny baby shows, but I found myself getting a little testy with them. They were just so relentlessly heterosexual. Despite all of the different types of families out there, they never seemed to deviate from the one mother, one father cookie cutter family. Just when I thought all was lost, they feature a gay family on Bringing Home Baby. I was so excited, I blew the chunks of Oreos I was eating all over the floor. The family was a couple of dads and their two twin daughters. I was so pleased, I emailed them. You would think I had all the time in the world.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Brothers and Cousins, or something like that

I was contacted by a woman who had used the same sperm donor as I had. She lived relatively close by and wanted to know if we would like to meet. There is an organic farm with a petting zoo at the halfway point between our homes. I was surprised at how excited I was by all of this, and we agreed to get together.

She was very nice and very friendly, but she made it clear that she didn’t want them referred to as siblings. That was fine by me. I really didn’t know what to make of all of this.

Her son is a few months older than mine. When we met at the farm, I remarked that they looked like cousins, not brothers. There was a resemblance, but they weren’t the spitting image of each other, so I thought. I wanted to know if her son had cowlicks like ours (he didn’t) and if he had sleep issues (no again).

Of course, we weren’t at the farm a half an hour when a nice lady came up and asked if they were brothers. Dead silence. I don’t know what that woman must have thought. Finally, the other guy’s mom said, “They're cousins, sort of.” It was an answer that works, but it kind of bothered me since it wasn’t really the truth. I think I might have been more comfortable just saying they weren’t related at all, but I hadn’t thought this through. We went to a restaurant, and the waitress asked if they were twins! This time we just said no, they are several months apart.

My wife and I had decided to use a sperm donor to avoid emotional complications, but here we were in the thick of another one. They weren’t brothers and they weren’t cousins, there are some other thing that I don’t think has a name yet. The other mother isn’t a gay woman, but a single mom by choice. It is not just gays and lesbians entering this brave new world. This world without proper names for our relationships.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Swimming Lessons

We missed our son’s swimming lesson this morning, again. If there are any new parents reading this, and I can offer a piece of advice, skip the swimming lessons. In fact, skip all of the classes. Your baby won’t care. In fact, they would rather be at Home Depot in the ceiling fan department. It is a real hassle getting there. I signed up for so many things, Baby Yoga, Baby Swimming Lessons and a couple of mothers groups. It is what I imagined myself doing when I was pregnant. My gay and lesbian parenting group is the only thing I am able to consistently get to. They have a drop in policy, so you have a couple of hours to make it, but even then its sketchy. If he seems like he needs a nap right before its time to go, I have to make a choice. Go and hang out with other adults, but have a tired and cranky baby. Or I can put him to bed, and hang out by myself. As much as I need companionship with people who are not drooling and pooping in diapers, I don’t really want my son to be overtired. This is how I miss most of our activities.

Plus, I go to therapy. If I can’t get someone to baby sit him, I drag him to the therapist’s office. This wrecks havoc on his naps, and I feel like a bad parent. Most other days, I just concentrate on getting him on a consistent sleep schedule.

I really like that new Dunkin Donuts commercial where the mother is driving her five kids around to all of their activities. It reminds me that there are sure to be plenty of classes for him to attend in the future. But for now, he is sleeping.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Changes

Its been awhile since I last posted, and we had a lot of changes around here. The baby is scooting around the house like a little commando. Since he has figured out that he can get himself around, he is less interested in being held. You can imagine how distressing that is. He seems to vacillate between wanting to be on his own, and wanting to be held. Sometimes it appears that can’t make up his mind, or that he wants both things at once. I know what that is like. Often, I want safety and freedom when they aren’t always compatible with one another.

He has also gotten incredibly big. I literally can’t keep him in clothes. He is only 8 months, but I have to dress him in clothes for a one year old. He is eating more and more solid foods, and making an impressive mess.

Having the baby has been a big economic strain, and my wife and I are trying to make it on one income. The financial thing has been stressful for our relationship as well. I have been trying to get some work on the side to bring in a little extra income. I’ve been doing some networking online, and have found that a lot of stay at home moms are doing the same thing. A lot of them are Christian moms. I am finding that I have a lot in common with Christian SAHMs. Talk about karma.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Bad week in the courts

Its been a bad week for gay marriage proponents. The Nebraska gay marriage ban has been reinstated, as well as the ban in Georgia and New York’s highest court ruled that it can deny marriage to same sex couples since it is the court’s intuition that two opposite sex parents were best for children. Note that the court did not feel the need to provide actual data, just an intuition. Is there any other group of people that are as oppressed by other’s intuition? If the courts and legislators are unable to provide the rational for their decisions and instead rely on “unsettled feelings” or “intuitions” is this not bigotry, pure and simple?

I think children are the heart of the matter. Not that these decisions are made for the benefit of kids, because if that was their concern there would be healthcare for everyone under 18, and more money in the educational system. I believe the real motivation is to discourage gay people from forming families, which is in its essence, a denial of our basic humanity. We can form loving relationships, have children, and build lives, but don’t expect any help or approval from society or the legal system. And oh, keep it out of straight people’s faces, since the very fact of our existence is somehow offensive to them.

I found this all pretty depressing. We had spent the weekend in Ogunquit, and I did have one situation that made me feel a little more optimistic about the future. My wife and I entered a coffee shop with our son asleep in his stroller. My wife went to get some coffee, and a young mother entered with her husband and daughter. She saw my son and exclaimed how cute and chubby my son was. She then went over to my wife and asked if that was her son, and my wife said yes, it was. She repeated her compliments and then went back to her family. It was kind of thrilling to have a random straight person acknowledge the reality of our family. I think our son is the best little ambassador for gay families. Maybe this is the best we can do, one straight person at a time.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Straight anxiety and gay marriage

I haven’t been blogging about the marriage debate here in Massachusetts, because I find the whole debate so painful and anxiety producing, I have a hard time thinking about it. I couldn’t watch the TV yesterday because of it. But this morning, as in all mornings after the debate comes up, there is a slew of commentary from straight people on what this all means. I am a bit of a compulsive letter writer, but I cannot answer all of them, however, I found this article on slate particularly annoying:

Hate and Marriage: http://www.slate.com/id/2145620/nav/tap2/

I found the authors address on google, and this is what I wrote to him:

Dear Sir,

Let me see if I understand this. Gay people should abandon the fight for marriage because of straight people’s mostly unconscious anxiety about their gender roles. This is the most ridiculous argument yet. If I understand you correctly, gay families should remain legally unprotected because the majority (straights) are anxious? As a gay woman, I have seen the limits of democracy. If the majority wants to discriminate against a minority, then they can. Really, nothing stopping them.

I think your point is that this deep seated anxiety which causes 70% of the populace to trip over themselves getting to the voting box to vote against gay marriage is not bigotry, but it is. If there is no rational reason to expand marriage rights to gay people, if it is indeed, something that really belongs on the psychologist couch and not in legislation, it is discrimination. Not perhaps the virulent hateful kind, however, the haters drive the debate, and the anxious pick up its rear. All I can say to all of this, I hope you get over it so my family and I can have full citizenship in this country and are able to protect each other legally.

If you would like to add your two cents, this is his email address: rford@standford.edu

On another note, my state senator Dianne Wilkerson came through like a champ once more for gay people. I am calling her office with a thank-you and a donation this morning. This is her site: Dianne Wilkerson(Yes, this is how I spend my time when the baby is asleep).

Sunday, July 02, 2006

On second thought

I have been thinking more about this breastfeeding situation. I am more attached to it then I realized, even if I am being gnawed on. I don’t think my son will have any problems being weaned. He already takes a bottle of formula pretty willingly, I think its me who is going to have a problem. Every time I am tempted to do it, I just think of the first few days of his life. He latched on so well at the hospital, like he was a pro. The nurse kept on saying how smart he was, and I was amazed that we were able to do it. I didn’t have a lot of confidence in my ability to make milk. It just seemed too weird, but there I was feeding my baby.

He had all of these really cute breastfeeding expressions. He had a very serious one where he would furrow his brows like he was solving a physics problem. There was another one where he would lift up his eyebrows like a connoisseur as if he were saying, “This is an excellent batch.”

Now he messes around a lot when he is eating. He smiles, he looks all around. If I am breasting in public, everyone gets a good look at my nipple. I am not sure what to do about the biting. Its like he is conducting an experiment in cause and effect “Look when I bite down, that funny lady screams.” I never pictured myself one of these people who breastfed their babies until they were toddlers. He is six months now, and that is when I thought I would stop. I’ll keep doing it for now.

Friday, June 30, 2006

Breasts and Bottles

I remember when I was pregnant feeling like my body had become community property. I had wild cravings for junk food. People had a lot to say about this. Everyone from co-workers, friends to people I didn’t even know wanted to tell me about what I should be eating or not eating. I finally came up with a rule that I used in response, I told people that the non-pregnant were not allowed to tell the pregnant what to do. It was surprisingly effective. And then I had the baby, and once again, everybody in the world has an opinion.

Of course, I am not complaining about people who offer to share their experience if you ever need it. Those gracious people are life savers. My sister-in-law is like this. She has plenty to say when asked, but never butts in. But there is a whole army of others who want to tell you all about the best sleeping arrangements, baby carriers, toys, television shows, you name it.

I have been thinking about this because I am thinking about weaning my six month old son off the breast. Truthfully, we have been moving in that direction for a while. I have had repeated problems with thrush, which made feeding painful for me, and eating painful for him. Now, he is beginning to teethed and has been gnawing on my breast. Do you know what it is like to put your nipple someplace knowing it is going to be bitten? It’s a little nerve wrecking.

I have mixed feelings about this because I don’t know if I will have another biological child, so this may be the only breastfeeding I ever do. Despite all of the problems, I do think it helped me bond with my son. He is so cute when I feed him too. He looks up at me and smiles, and it just kills me.

I am also not looking forward to the Breastfeeding Nazis either. These women really have their scorn down to a science. Half the time, they don’t even have to say anything. They just give you a look, and you know they disapprove. But like I use to say when I protested in front of abortion clinics, it’s my body, my choice. I wish people would have a little more respect for women’s bodies. Even with a child inside or outside of them, these arms, legs and boobies are private property.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Baby Food

My wife and I have two sources of stress in our lives when it comes to parenting advice. First, we have her family, who practice a very conventional, mainstream type of parenting. They think we are really out there with our co-sleeping arrangements and our slings and such. But living in Hippie Dippyville like we do, we also have a lot of attachment parents as friends, and they are another sort of stress. We have friends who breastfeed exclusively, imply letting your child cry it out is child abuse, and even some who practice elimination communication. We seem so mainstream to them. The baby sleeps with us at night, but during the day, he takes his naps in the crib. We even let him cry before he sleeps. Also, we breastfeed about 50% and bottle feed the rest of the time.

There is a lot of internal pressure resulting from parenting choices. It is such an important job, and you really want to do the right thing because you know the stakes are high. Most of the time, you try a lot of different approaches, and you make a decision on what works. You just forgot the parenting philosophies.

In order to avoid criticism, we end up lying a lot to both groups. This is silly, I know, but it can make life a lot easier. We don’t tell my wife’s family that the baby sleeps with us, and we keep the feberization on the down low with our hippie friends.

My wife and I have decided to make all of our baby’s food instead of buying it. I enjoy being in the kitchen, and I feel like making the food helps me to make more intentional choices. Most of all, I don’t want him to ingest pesticides, so we buy organic fruits and vegetables that I mash up in the food processor. We definitely thought this would send her family into fits of eye rolling and elbow jabbing. But it turns out, her mother used the exact same process to feed my wife when she was a baby. She would mash up the food and then freeze it in ice cubes in the freezer, just like we do. So you just never know. The organic rice cereal, however, we keep to ourselves.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Brains vs. Brawn

One thing that I have noticed with my lesbian mom friends is that we love to talk about our sperm donors. Actually, I think my straight friends are pretty interested in this too. Some of them will come right out and ask about the donor, while others are more hesitant, perhaps fearing to be rude. I don’t mind. I love talking about it.

We ended up with #3672 at the California Cryobank. You can’t get any more of his sperm, he has been put out to pasture. When we decided to get pregnant, my wife and I had really different views about what kind of donor we wanted. I wanted a really good-looking donor. It has been my observation that beautiful people sail through life. My wife wanted a really smart donor. She comes from a very intelligent family, and I think brain power is the main way they navigate through the world.

I actually found my beautiful donor. He was an Italian donor in a Virginia cryobank. The nurse’s notes said that he was as good-looking as a movie star. I was beside myself. This was the one. However, when my wife heard his taped interview, she thought he sounded lazy and unmotivated. I argued these were environmental traits and not genetically linked. Meanwhile, she found 3672 at California. He was an electrical engineer with fantastic SAT scores.

I really don’t know how she won this. I think it may have been due to a rounded chorus of our friends chiming in. The overall feeling seemed to be that going with the smarter guy was the right thing to do. Why that is, I still don’t understand. But the long and the short of it is, we went with her guy.

Now, I have to say, my baby is really cute, so I got what I wanted. Every time I go out, I hear the phrase “Gerber baby” sent my way. But the thing that I didn’t realize, you love your baby no matter what. He could have been born with two heads, and I still would have loved him.

A therapist I was seeing at the time suggested that when choosing a donor, to focus on health. His reasoning was that there is a lot of debate about what is genetic and what isn’t, but they know that health has genetic factors. I think that is pretty wise. We only have five more vials of our guys, so we may have to go back to the sperm store. Though, knowing me, I will be looking for the movie star again.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Cookies and Dykes

This post is dedicated to Anna Ginsberg. She is this year's winner of the Annual Pillsbury Bake-off. She won a million dollars with her Baked Chicken and Spinach Stuffing recipe. I saw her on the food network. She bakes cookies every day, and she uploads a picture of them to her blog. I thought she was pretty cool.

So I decided to bake cookies and upload a picture of them to honor her. These are Paula's Loaded Oatmeal Cookies from the Paula's Home Cooking Show. They are great, and boy, was my wife surprised when she came home. Thank-you yo-yo girl for the link! Here is Anna's Blog http://cookiemadness.blogspot.com/

On another note, I wanted to say hey to all of the dykes in this year's Dyke March. Normally, I go to the march. They pass out stickers to wear at the march, and I was remembering when I was a young baby lesbian, and I wore a sticker that said "Single Dyke". Then, last year I went when I was pregnant, and I wore a sticker that said, "Dyke Mom". This year, I can't go at all because its past my sons bedtime, so now I really am a Stay At Home Dyke.

Have fun tonight everyone.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Macy's buckles to bigotry

This is a little bit of a cheat, but here is a letter I wrote to Macy's this morning. They took down portions of a Pride display due to pressure from MassResistance, a fringe anti-gay group. Here is my letter:

To Whom It May Concern:

I am a frequent shopper at your store as well as a Macy’s card holder. As a gay person in the Boston area, I am distressed to learn that your downtown Boston store succumbed to pressure from MassResistance and removed portions of your Pride Week display. According to your spokesperson, your store is trying to “strike a balance” for your customers. The choice of words is interesting since the balance you are trying to strike is one between tolerance and intolerance or a balance between bigotry and justice.

I have read many postings online from people who have said they will no longer shop at Macy’s. If I said that, I would be lying. I like your store too much, which is why I hope in the future you do not listen to these fringe groups when trying to decide on your displays. And I want you to keep one thing in mind. No matter how much money members of MassResistance have spent at your store, they cannot possibly have spent as much as I have over the years. My entire closet, shoe collection and kitchen have been furnished by Macy’s. All I am asking in return is that you show a little backbone.


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Like I noted in my letter, I did actually see quite a few posters comment online that they would no longer shop at Macy's. You might be wondering why I will continue to do so. I use to work for the Episcopal Church during an interesting time. It was right after the ordination of Gene Robinson, the first openly gay bishop in the Communion. There was a lot of talk about staying in Communion with people we disagreed with. That was because several powerful bishops were decidely not wanting to stay in Communion with the US church. But the feeling was if we all stayed in communion with each other, it could be a growth experience for everyone.

So I have decided to stay in Communion with Macy's. I would like to think they will stop being such cowards given a little support, and it will most definitely be a growth experience for my shoe collection.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Mercury rising

This is more of a public service announcement than a blog entry. But I was reading the Boston Globe and they had an article by Robert Kennedy Jr, on the effects of mercury based preservatives in children’s vaccines. He believes that studies show a correlation between the rise in autism and other brain disorders with the introduction of these preservatives in children’s vaccines. Most distressingly, has been the dramatic increase in autistic rates among boys. Ten years ago, the rate for autism was 1 in 2,500 children. It is now 1 in 80 for boys.

Fearing lawsuits, manufactures of vaccines have now removed the preservative Thimerosal which contains the mercury from most vaccines. However, it can still be found in flu shots and tetanus boosters. I remember when I was pregnant I was repeatedly advised to get a flu shot. The reasoning was that I didn’t want to have the flu when I was pregnant or when I had a young child. I don’t know the exact reason I refused to get one, I just felt uncertain about having a shot when I was pregnant.

Needless to say, this all makes me very angry. I remember what a maniac I was when I was pregnant. I wouldn’t touch fish because I was afraid of the mercury content of fish. I wouldn’t stand in front of a microwave. I argued endlessly with my employers about the lead content of the paint in the office. It would have been something if after all of this, my doctors turned right around and shot my baby up full of mercury from the moment he was born.

I have to admit that I always thought the anti-vaccine people where a little wacky. I thought it was probably a group of people who were on the natural child birth continuum, so I really didn’t give it much thought. Turns out, they have a point. Need I point out that it is not ok to poison the brains of 1 in 80 boys? I see the brain like the hard drive of a computer, if a virus is introduced to the hard drive, the computer can be irrevocably damaged. This is a horrific violation to the children who received vaccines with this preservative and some may never be the same.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

My new Calvins

As I have mentioned in previous posts, my body has undergone a few changes since I started this adventure. I am beginning to think of my abdomen as collateral damage. In fact, my stomach looks like a Hummer ran over it and left tire tracks.

With summer fast approaching, I realized I needed to jump into the abyss, or TJ Max, and go buy new clothes. I wasn’t going to be fitting into my old ones any time soon.
The only problem is I am still a skinny person in my head. It’s never pretty when our delusions are stripped from us, and it’s particularly ugly when it happens in the dressing room of a discount retailer. I had originally picked up some cute size 12 shorts, thinking to myself, well, I know I am not a 6 anymore. A couple hours of later, and I realized, I fit into nothing in the women’s section. I had been banished to the Plus Size section where everything was a subtle shade of lime green or floral. I didn’t understand how this could be. I live in America, we are all fat here, shouldn’t plus sizes be the norm, and normal sizes be petite?

Just when I was about to leave the store empty handed, resigned to a few more months of maternity clothes, I discovered something, the men’s section. I may be a big woman, but I am only a medium sized man. And there clothes are cheaper and better made.

Friends tell me to hold on. It takes a year to get the weight off, and is nearly impossible to do while you are still breastfeeding. It’s never easy when your body changes, but in the meantime, I have some really great new shirts by Calvin Klein.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Grandpa

I have been having dreams where I see my father holding my son. He lifts him up into the air, and beams proudly at him. These dreams are disturbing. If my father were dead, I would be tempted to believe it was his spirit coming to visit his grandson. But my father is not dead, he is alive, but he has no idea he is a grandfather

My father is very religious, and I am afraid to tell him. This is painful because my dad continually asks when I am going to make him a grandfather. Out of necessity, he knows very little about my life. He doesn’t know that I am gay, doesn’t know that I got married, doesn’t know that I don’t go to church, and most distressingly, doesn’t know about his grandson.

I have been tempted to tell him, but the absolute truth is out of the question. I certainly cannot tell him that he came from donor #3672 and that my wife caught our son as I pushed him out of my womb. He would disown me, and that is the opposite of what I want. So I would have to make something up, like a one night stand or a relationship that went bad. The lies would follow lies. It hurts my head.

I keep quiet about my life, our conversations are strained, as for now, my father holds my son only in my dreams.

Friday, May 26, 2006

What I organize, they will trash

My wife took my son for a few hours yesterday, so I had the house to myself. I did what I had wanted to do for weeks, clean the floors. It took several hours because the house was so messy, and I was exhausted when I was done, but things look pretty good. It has not been not more than 24 hours, and its chaos here once again. What I had organized is now scattered.

I was kind of thinking about it, and maybe that is the whole point of relationships, to knock your world around a bit. This happened to me emotionally when I met my wife. I had gotten out of a very difficult 3 year relationship with an active alcoholic, and was looking forward to just being alone. I felt like it was going to be ok if I was single for the rest of my life. And then I met the love of my life, and my whole world was sent spinning. Everything had to be negotiated from where to spend Christmas to how we communicated.

After a few years, I felt pretty good about where we were at. For the first time in my life, I was beginning to feel sane. My life had a nice flow to it, without much disruption. If problems did arise, I felt capable of handling them.

And then we decided to have children, and everything was crazy once again. I was thin before I got pregnant, doing yoga several times a week, now my body will never be the same. I am so sleep deprived, I find myself unable to think straight or clearly. I feel confused, disoriented, mercurial and more in love with my wife and son than I dreamed imaginable.

So this got me to thinking, maybe we are not here to be organized, thin or even in control of our emotions. Maybe we are here to be changed, to have life change us, undo us, destroy us and then reassemble us back again.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Heart Virus

I was at a birthday party last night, showing off my son, when the hostess told me her mother wanted to meet the baby. I had never met this woman, but she had knitted cute little booties for my son, so I was thrilled. It turns out, this woman had just gotten out of the hospital that day. I asked what was wrong and they said she had a virus in her heart. I didn’t think much of it until she sat down, and she looked really unwell with swollen eyes and a flushed face. It suddenly occurred to me that a heart virus sounded really sinister, and communicable.

I nearly jumped out of the seat and ran out of the house practically screaming my good-byes. The hostess was in the middle of cutting the birthday cake, and I could see she was annoyed with me. I use to really care about what others thought of me, but now, not so much. At that moment, I really just cared about getting my son into a sterile environment.

I’ve always been a bit neurotic. Whenever I watch stories about cancer survivors, they always say, “I’ve never thought it would happen to me.” Well, I always think everything is going to happen to me from AIDS to SARS (except for bird flu, I really don’t interact with birds much.) Now that I am a parent, this neurosis has been turned up a notch.

When he was first born, I would deliberate with friends over his future high school drug us. I decided I would give him a lecture for using pot, be mildly concerned with acid, and drop him off immediately in rehab for cocaine use. One of his godmothers looked at me and said, “I think you are a bit of a worrier.” Indeed.

I knew I had changed forever in his first month of life. I would be dead asleep, and all of a sudden, I would wake up screaming, “Where is he? Where is he?” My suddenly awake wife would say, “Go back to sleep, he is right here.” And I would look, and there he was. The axis of my being had changed, it was no longer inside of me. My heart was beside me, softly asleep.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

My Two Cents

The best advice given to me was to take breaks during the crying. How much you are able to do this will be a reflection of the resources you have at your disposal. Best case scenario, you can do tag team parenting and switch off during the episodes. You may also be able to garner help from friends and family. This will allow you to actually leave the house which is optimal.

However, I have met a lot of people with really unhelpful partners and they are pretty much on their own as far as dealing with the crying. Or you maybe like me with a great partner, but one that works a lot.

I can’t stress enough the importance of not pushing yourself to the edge with this. In Weissbluth’s book I learned that babies with colic are statistically more likely to become victims of shaken baby syndrome than their calmer counterparts. You are a hero just for being a parent, don’t be a martyr as well. Its not good for you or your child.

My sister in law had two babies with colic, and she also had what I will call a tremendously unhelpful husband. She swears by the Baby Einstein videos. It was the only time her children wouldn’t cry.

Also, if you have to, put the baby down in a safe place and go call someone who isn’t upset. I know this is really simple advice, but can difficult to remember when you are in the middle of an all night crying spree. Also, having a baby with colic can feel like being in crisis situation, a 3 month 911 call, and it is easy just to keep going. I found that it was difficult to check my mental status during that time. Days of crying would go by and I kept thinking, “I am doing ok. I can handle this.” It wasn’t until the kitten would knock something over and I would want to kill her that I realized that I was losing it.
Talking to someone for a few minutes can really help you get your perspective back so you can go back to your child with a calmer mindset.

I also prayed – a lot.

In the end, I realized though I couldn’t always calm my baby, that by holding him and rocking him and walking him outside, I was giving him the message that though I couldn’t always fix what was wrong, I would always be there for him.

I have one last story about this. When my baby was at his most delirious cranky self, it was a week that my wife was working nights at the hospital. Those weeks were always hard on me because my wife slept through the day and worked at night, so I never got a break. After several days of this, my foot hold in reality started to slip. I just had to get away from his incessant crying and I was feeling really resentful at my wife for not being there.

I was walking in the Forest Hills Cemetery, for the hundredth time with the baby in the Baby Bjorn when I started to plan my escape. I was going to run away to the Hilton. There would be tv, food and I could sleep. I would bring the breast pump and Fedex the milk home. I’d come back when I was a little bit more appreciated.

Some minutes past, and I realized, this was a pretty crazy plan. So when my wife woke up, I calmly handed her the baby, and told her I needed a break. I went and got my nails done instead. The best part was, turns out the manicurist was a lesbian and her son had colic when he was a baby. Here name is Gloria and she works at Center Cuts in Rosie Square. She gives a mean French manicure, and I recommend her.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Resources for Parents of Colicky Babies

After writing yesterday’s post, it occurred to me that someone may stumble across this blog because they put the word Colic in google. I wanted to share some of the things that helped me when we were going through the worst of it.

The most helpful book to me was Dr. Weissbluth’s Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child. He doesn’t offer any simple solutions to the problem, but he goes into great length discussing action plans according to the different resources that parents have. I really appreciated that since it makes a big difference as to how you are going to respond. Also, he reassured us that we hadn’t done anything to cause our child’s colic, which was important to me after a couple people had implied that our son was fussy because we had spoiled him. That being said, the book is pretty boring and in desperate need of a good editor. It is very repetitive and sometimes contradictory, but if you can parse through the information, its really helpful.

Another great resource was the DVD The Happiest Baby on the Block by Harvey Karp. I recommend the DVD instead of the book because you can actually see how to swaddle and do the giggling motion he speaks so much of. There is also a womb like noise in the special features section. It’s a horrible sound, kind of like being in an airport and an industrial construction site at the same time, but my son loved it.

I have a pretty conflicted relationship with attachment parenting right now, but many of the practices such as child wearing and co-sleeping were really useful when our baby was at his worst, so I recommend the Dr. Sears’ The Fussy Baby Book. My understanding is that everything in this book is also in his Baby Book so you may just want to check that out instead.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Googie

My wife woke me up last night. I had fallen asleep at 7:00 when I put our son down. In fact, I think I fell asleep before he did. I am feeling kind of googie about being woken up since it took me three hours to fall back asleep. Googie is our word for fussy, cranky and tired. I will tell you the origins of it.

My wife named our son googie-baba in the middle of his colic. It’s an all purpose word, sort of like Aloha Googie-baba always refers to our son. To be googie is to be crabby, but it is sometimes an exclamation, like “Googie!” or “Holy Shit.”

Like I mentioned before, our son had colic for the first few months of his life. He was a textbook case. It started a couple of weeks after he came home from the hospital, and lasted until 6 weeks after his due date. He was born 3 weeks early, so that was 9 weeks. It was worse in the evening. He often would scream for hours at a time.

We fed him, rocked him, walked him around the house, but his wailing continued. He would be quiet for breastfeeding, so I fed him until my breasts were sore. I never expected a screaming baby, and just the persistent noise of it made me want to jump out a window, or run away from home. I was completely blindsided. I had been told to never let a baby cry, and I was stunned to have a baby who cried for no apparent reason. I was desperate to console him. I told friends that I felt like I was being destroyed.

The few things we found that work were breastfeeding and co-sleeping at night, swaddling and a pacifier. He would scream when these things weren’t happening. We found that he liked to be in a wrap, and walked outside with a pacifier in his mouth. In fact, that was the only way that he would nap during the day in the first few months, so that is what I did. I walked up and down the street at all hours of the day and night in order to calm him. My neighbors made fun of me. He was born in January, so I was doing this in the cold. It was like a drug, he could be screaming in the house, down the stairs and then out the door, but he would fall right to sleep once we were on the sidewalk. As soon as we came home, his eyes shot open. I was a complete wreck due to lack of sleep and the necessity of walking constantly until about 10:00 or 11:00 at night.

Some suggestions that we were given did not work were gripe water, eliminating dairy from my diet, the family bed in the daytime and letting him cry it out before 3 months of age (I will talk about this more later. We do let him cry now in order to get to sleep, but it’s a whole different ball game. 5 minutes of fussing now precedes an hour of sleep).

I had coffee with a friend whose son just got over his colic. She told me as the afternoon progressed, and it would become close to the evening (when most babies get colicky) she would start to cry. She would just think over and over, “I’ve ruined my life, I’ve ruined my life for no good reason.”
I completely sympathized. Right next to us, in identical car seats, were two sweet boys both smiling. You never would of guess the havoc the had wrecked.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Confessions of a biological mother

For mother’s day, I bought my wife a copy of Confessions of the Other Mother, nonbiological lesbian moms tell all. It seemed like a no brainer. I haven’t had time to read much of it, but I was interested in Harlyn Aizley’s introduction as the editor. She is the biological mother of her daughter, and she confesses in the intro that she wanted to be the only mommy to her daughter despite the fact that the birth was planned with her partner.

This interest me because I had a completely different experience. Like I said in previous posts, I was completely overwhelmed by motherhood. I felt like a fraud. My wife however, is a pediatric nurse, and boy, did she know what she was doing. She was able to quiet the colic (at times), she makes a mean swaddle and is great at taking a rectal temp. Though I am the biological mother and I am breastfeeding, I often felt like the babysitter waiting for the real mother to come home. During the worst of my son’s colic, I remember watching the clock, and responding to his wails with, “Just hold on, the mom who knows what she is doing will be home any minute.”

In the last few weeks, there has been a shift in this dynamic. His colic has passed, and he has turned into a spirited, but basically calm baby. My wife works quite a bit, and I am home with our son all the time. We are basically together 24/7 and we’ve gotten to know each other. I have become really adapt at knowing his changing moods. Yesterday, he was cooing sweetly, and I looked at him and said, “He is about to get fussy,” and wouldn’t you know it, he started to cry. My wife was impressed.

I think she may feel a little left out that we have grown so close. He smiles when I walk into the room, and his smile breaks my heart. However, I am really confident that my wife and our son will overcome the time constraints of their relationship. With her sense of fun and generosity of spirit and his sweet nature, I have no doubt they will find their way.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Mother's Day

It’s a big day around here, it being our first mother’s day and all. It seemed like a good time to take stalk of what the experience has been like so far, and I have to admit, it’s a lot harder than I imagined. When I use to hear parents talk about how hard it was, I thought they were just whiners. I use to be a web developer, and this is much more difficult. I haven’t figured out how to debug my kid. I have never felt so incompetent in my life. When I was a programmer, I use to really like difficult problems. I was very resourceful. If I didn’t know the answer I would either talk to other programmers, google and find the answer or consult books.

I thought this tactic would work as a parent, but I have been continually presented with problems that there are no answers to. My little guy had colic for the first three months of his life. Despite Herculean efforts from his mom and me, when couldn’t get him to calm down. He really did just need to grow out if it.

In what I know realize was complete arrogance on my part, I just thought, my mom did it, how hard can it be. Apparently, my mom had skill sets that I hadn’t recognized. She died nearly 9 years ago from colon cancer, so mother’s day is bittersweet for me. She was a homemaker and had five children, and a tremendously unhelpful husband. I associated her life with drudgery, boredom and endless menial tasks. All I wanted to be when I was growing up was not like her. I had a career. I had a wife. I wasn’t her.

But now that I am a mom, I now see that my mother’s work was not menial. When she did laundry, cleaned the bathroom, and baked, she was making a home. There was dignity in her work that I hadn’t respected. I can only hope to be half as good as a homemaker as she was.

I was with a group of friends who were bemoaning the fact that they were turning into their mothers, and I was so surprised to find myself say that I was consciously trying to be more like her. I was trying to learn the crafts that she knew, like knitting and sewing, and I was trying to cook as well as she did. Her world was one of neighbors and children, and so is mine. I miss her dearly, and wish I could solicit her advice. I don’t think she could have cured my baby’s colic, but I am certain she would have been helpful. She is my hero.

So happy mother’s day to all of the mothers out there. Happy mothers day to all of the fathers too.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

On second thought....

First off, I wanted to thank the posters for their thoughtful comments. I was interested in what dwg had to say about interaction with people with different views. Thinking back over my experiences, I have seen people question their assumptions and change, and dwg is probably right, it has more to do with relationships then anything else. My guess is it depends upon the individual’s willingness to be open to new ideas.

I also felt a little reprimanded by Buddistmom for the aggressiveness of my post. I want to justify it, but the truth is, I am a bit of an aggressive person, which is probably a character defect. Alas, I am not a Buddist, but an Episcopalian where aggressiveness is well integrated into the religion. Foreign domination is their most effective evangelical tool. We conquer your country, and then if you want to eat, sign up.

I have a funny side note to this. I was talking to my wife this morning about our son’s personality. He seems reserved and thoughtful to me. And I mentioned that I thought he was like me, you know, reserved and low key. She laughed at me, and then gave me a look like, who are you kidding. All she said was, “that’s not how I experience you.” We can’t always see ourselves clearly.

I also want to mention that my wife is a much better person than I am. I mean it. Her whole life is dedicated to helping others, and she rarely gets angry. In fact, the times I have seen her angry, I was being a completely unreasonable ass. I don’t know why she married me. There is mercy in the universe.

One last thing, I was tempted to post pictures of my baby on the site, but he is sooo cute that I am afraid someone out there in cyberspace would be tempted to come steal him. I think he maybe the best looking kid ever…