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 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 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 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:

    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.

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 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:

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.