Thanks to Whacked Daddy, my New Year's Eve post has been delayed. He pointed me to this YouTube video. It's Anthony of the Wiggles, my secret reward for being a father. Don't bother to turn up the sound it really doesn't matter what they're talking about. Just revel in his dreaminess.... Sigh.
Just in time for Christmas Karl Rove, the hypocritical asshole Senior Republican Advisor who engineered W's re-election strategy of mobilizing the Christian right against such issues as gay marriage and abortion, has been granted a divorce from his second wife Darby. (Darby sounds like a name for a racehorse, but in a party filled with Tripps, Mitts, and Saxbys, well it kinda fits. Still, Republican women love those out of date clothes with big fabric flowers on them so I bet she looks like she crossed the finish line first.) "Karlby" were married for 24 years, a record in Republican political circles. However, they apparently spent Christmas together (for the sake of the children I'm sure) and lying sack of shit spokesperson Dana Perino said "They maintain a strong friendship, and they both feel that that friendship is a source of comfort and inspiration for their friends and family". Aww, how cute. I often look at two people who can't stand each other and think Wow, how inspiring!I'm having a crappy day, but I take comfort in the fact that Karlby are such great friends. In a break from GOP tradition, Karl did not leave his wife for another man.
Now I may be wrong, but when you've carried the torch for Jesus and told the sheep faithful that you were doing everything in your power to protect marriage from the godless homosexuals, it seems to me that divorce would be unthinkable. I mean, he's wrecked two marriages now. That's two more than I've trashed. How do you get to use the argument that two men or two women cannot get married because they'd ruin it after you've failed twice? Or even once for that matter? None of this will matter a bit to the culture warriors bent on keeping gay people as subclass citizens. I don't hear any mega church preachers calling for them to reconsider, offer counseling, or even trashing them in the media for destroying a sacred institution. Nope. I guess it's OK as long as you're not gay, but we already knew that. Is that hypocritical? In the words of another great genius of our time...
Well Santa made his first trip to our house last night, and by the look of things he had no trouble finding the place. Sabrina made a pretty good haul between the things we got her and the loot she accumulated from her grandparents and her aunts and uncles. I think the best gift was a big wooden toybox my father made for her. It's beautiful, has lots of room, will last forever, and unlike everything else she got, requires no batteries and makes absolutely NO noise at all. The rest of the stuff (except for the clothes) all makes loud musical flourishes and nonsense sounds. Things without speakers can be pounded against the floor quite effectively for ear blasting sounds. Most of it had to be put together of course. I'll leave you with pictures of our day while I try to find Tab A to insert in Slot B...
This stuff is for me?
Rip, then tear, then rip, then tear
Chase, you can have this one.
Let's all open this one.
Christmas night, helping Daddy put stuff together.
Well my Christmas Eve plans didn't come to pass. I wanted the perfect night; Sabrina on my lap as we sit by the stockings hung over the fireplace with hot cocoa while Gregg reads us The Night Before Christmas and carols play. Sabrina had other plans. She only took one nap today, then went out with Papa to Costco and who knows where else shopping while I stayed home and cleaned the house. When they got home, I fed her a meal and then she was still in the mood to play and way too wound up for sleep. So we played for a while, then I could sense the tired mood coming on. However, it was already 6:30 and there was no way I was putting her in for a nap now. So off to the tub, where she decided tonight was kick and splash most of the water on to Daddy night. Fought for 20 minutes to get the Christmas Eve pajamas on, then on to a bottle. After the bottle...zonk. Out cold. Oh well, it was almost 8 anyway, so down she went. I have a feeling early to sleep Christmas Eve's are something that I should enjoy while I can! Gregg and I will have some wine and finish up our Christmas preparations, and in the morning I'll post pictures of our first Christmas together. I hope you're all enjoying your night! Happy Christmas!
I've recently discovered one of the hidden benefits of fatherhood. The Sprout Channel. It's geared to younger children with shows I like, like The Goodnight Show, The Sharing Show, and The Sunnyside Up Show. Educational, fun, and Sabrina loves it.
They also show The Wiggles. It plays in the background while I do her hair or make breakfast. Until I took a closer look at the "Blue" Wiggle, Anthony.
I sat down to get a better look. He's captivating. That smile just lights up his face. Great cheekbones and whoa--he's Australian? Australian men are very sexy. The way he moves while he's dancing...I'm hooked. I find myself watching the clock in the morning, waiting for Wiggle Time. Sabrina had to learn to give herself a bottle because my attention was on Anthony and his dance moves. That Yellow and that Red Wiggle keep trying to upstage him, but they can't hold a candle!
All of this was fine until today, when I realized my obsession with Anthony was, well creepy. Here's poor Anthony trying to entertain and educate kids, and me watching him thinking what beautiful music we could make together. I'm sure he gets tons of fan mail, so I'm not worried he hasn't returned my letters or acknowledged my 1-800-FLOWERS gifts. But I think it's time to change the channel. It just seems wrong to be learing at the guy that's making my kid smile. And so, in a world populated by Purple Dinosaurs and giant 6 foot tall canary birds, the bright spot that was the Blue Wiggle will have to fade away. I'm sorry Anthony, but it's for the good of the children.
Plus there's always BET and the Wendy Williams Show. How YOU doin'?
Well things have been busy, with getting ready for Christmas and all. We're just starting to see the full brunt of our adoption debt, so it's kind of a tight one but we don't really care. I'm off from work this week so that means no day care for Sabrina either. Seems when you're out a whole week you only need to pay them $109 to not show up. How fantastically festive of them.
We've been trying some more finger foods. She loves her Baby Mum Mums crackers. They are a rice rusk cracker that basically disolves in her mouth. We found some Cheerio type things made of the same stuff. I guess maybe we're going a little slower then most on this but that's my fault. I'm so paranoid about choking. She likes cheese too; we give her small pieces and she eats it right up. All these new foods have apparently fueled her up because this week she started crawling. If the last few days are any indication, we better batten down the hatches. She started by sort of pulling herself along with her hands and dragging her feet behind her. Now she sort of pulls herself up on her knees in the classic crawl. I'm not sure how long that will last; I think she'll be standing and walking soon. She's been pulling herself up to a stand for about three weeks now; I've caught her on her two hands and two feet trying to figure out what to do next more then once. Her favorite targets so far? Ripley's feet (he looks at her with a look of annoyance, gets up and moves two feet over. She crawls over, they repeat this across the room), Chase's nose (he licks her face, she bites his nose--they're both gross), the trash can, and a dining room chair. Nothing double sided tape won't fix.
Also this week I got my H1N1 shot at work. I was going to bring Sabrina but they were only doing 3 years and older. Gregg is mostly opposed to it; I'm for it. What do you guys think?
Here we are now with a little girl about to turn 8 months old in a few weeks. And we are still not finished with her adoption! Our last step is the finalization, which is a court hearing where a judge gives his blessing, signs off on the paperwork, and makes the adoption final. We were supposed to be in court in California around the beginning of November. It took 3 weeks for our attorney to get us the paperwork we needed to send to court. Throw in the Thanksgiving holiday, and now we're in December. We mailed our forms in; now we need to wait until they come back to see when our hearing will be. I spoke to our counselor at the IAC and he said that since California is on a budget crunch and only has family court three days a week, the chances of us getting a court date before the end of 2009 are pretty slim. We'll still get to claim a bunch of adoption expenses on our taxes, but we won't get the full adoption credit until we file our 2010 returns. Ugh. Luckily we're independently wealthy and don't care. We'll have a good laugh about it with Oprah and Bill Gates at our next Billionaire Bowling Club.
For today I'm home with a stuffy and coughy little girl. I hate hearing her breathe like that over the baby monitor...I hope she gets better soon. So far no fever, so that's good. We started decorating for Christmas this weekend and we will get our tree this week so maybe that will help cheer her up. Just like her dads, she likes twinkling lights!
Ah children. You give them so much, but it's the little things they reward you with. We try to give Sabrina the best we can. A comfy car seat. Heating her bottles just the way she likes them. Only fresh steamed mashed veggies. Boxes of pretty dresses. An army of stuffed animals. All for her. All the classic Disney movies. And so tonight we leaned in close to hear her speak for the very first time. She looked lovingly into the eyes of her adoring fathers, smiled, pursed her lips, and spoke her first word.
Wha--? Did she just--
"Mama. Mama. Mamamamamamamamama MAMA!"
I'm sorry there must be some mistake. We're your fathers, so we're sure "Dada" or "Papa" was what you really meant to--
Sigh. That's it. We're totally spending the next fifteen or so years gathering pictures and video to completely embarass her every day of high school. Just wait. The class of 2027 will see that revenge is sweet.
I'm sure I'm the umpteenth parent today to post about how grateful I am for my baby, and I am. Gregg and I love her to death; she's the best thing to ever happen to us. I'm thankful for him as well, for being my best friend and my soulmate. Those things go without saying. So my post today is really for Sabrina's birthmother.
For you, I can't begin to say how I feel about what you've done. You have made a decision that has changed the lives of all of us forever. I cannot begin to understand how you came to that decision, but I am thankful you did. You have given us a gift that no one else could, made our family whole by giving us Sabrina. She is the light of our lives and the focus of everything we do from now on. She's like a magical being come to live with us, sharing her love and laughter and being loved back by us and our families. I can't describe how much I'm in love with her, and I know Gregg feels the same. For this, we can never thank you enough. For me, you will always be the first thought of my Thanksgiving.
Also, I'm thankful for pasta. I love pasta. Oh and DVR's. Aren't they great?
I've been off blogging for about two weeks now...whoops. Things have been busy lately. We (well mostly my sisters) have put together a big surprise 40th birthday party for my sister Kathleen, and we snuck in a bunch of relatives from back East. For most of them it was the first time they met Sabrina, so for a few days her feet never touched the ground as she got passed from one new person to the next. If that was not enough, she got her first tooth on the day of the party, November 7th. Parties, gatherings, restaurants, a new tooth, and not one minute of crankiness out of her. If anything she was in her element; she loves attention and parties. She loves to hear the phrase "Who's gonna wear a pretty dress today?". That's my girl!
Tooth number two made it's appearance yesterday. For the most part, she still hasn't really complained, at least not the way I've heard it described by people who have kids that have gone through this already. It has affected her mood a little though. Today we were going to have our first "official" portrait of the family done. We wanted to wait until Sabrina could sit up good on her own before doing pictures, and she's been doing that for a while now. So we went to Target's portrait center. She was in a good mood, but she absolutely refused to smile. In every shot looks like she's going to kill someone. Not a crying face, but an attitude face. An "Oh no you don't" face. After 30 or so tries, we decided this wasn't going to work, so we're going back to try again on Tuesday. This blog is full of smiling pictures of the girl, and when it comes down to paying for a shot...no dice!
It was dark and spooky before the moon came up the night before Halloween. Grover, an avid collector of Costco dog biscuits and against all good advice, had struck out on his own. But fate had other plans. And so in a scene of unspeakable horror he lay, brains spilled out amid incriminating black hairs, his remaining cold dead eye staring out in terror...
But what's this? Witnesses!
The suspect is quickly rounded up complete with the grizzly evidence. A trophy of his gruesome deed.
The judge was quick in her dispense of justice, although there were rumors she was closer to the victim then she let on.
The killer is behind bars where he belongs...
"I would have gotten away with it too if it weren't for those meddling muppets. My revenge will be sweet do you hear? Sweet!"
Today we went to the Phoenix Children's Museum. It was an event organized by our Dad's Group. I didn't know what to expect, since I'd go to the Museum of Natural History in NYC when I was little. Stuffed penguins, stuffed otters, stuffed birds...naturally I assumed this would be the same, except with children. I was pleasently surprised to find out it wasn't like that, and instead was a place for play and learning. There were some pretty cool things there. A whole room of those noodles you play with in the pool, hanging horizontally from the ceiling, creating a crazy maze like space. A room with all kinds of tubes and pipes where you put balls in at the top and they go shooting all over the place. Sabrina loved both of those and was fascinated watching the balls shooting down the pipes. There was a baby space as well and she had some fun there playing with soft blocks and looking at all the touching displays. One was made out of different brushes, and each had it's own texture. Another was different size balls hanging from the ceiling.
Checking out mobiles
Learning to iron...better get used to it kid!
Marilyn Monroe minute over the air jet
Lunch with Papa
Lots of cool stuff, but just one question...is a sculpture made of knives and forks the best thing to have hanging over the kids in the playroom? Just asking.
It's so strange to write a post wishing Sabrina a Happy 6 Month's Birthday. In some ways I still can't even believe we have a baby, let alone one that turned half a year old today. I guess when you resign yourself to the fact that you'll never have a child and then carry that with you for 20 years it becomes ingrained. Even as we prepared and completed the 11 month process of being cleared for adoption, in the back of my mind something was telling me we were going to waste a whole lot of money on this, remain childless, and then move on. The three week match and month long wait for her arrival was surreal. I hate to say this because I've heard it thousands of times before from other parents, but I honestly was not prepared for the total love I feel for that kid. Especially now, when she's so interactive, inquisitive, and playful. All she does is laugh and talk her baby language all day; crying is a rarity. Even day care asked, "Does she ever stop talking?". I told Gregg today as we were playing with her on the bed, I never thought it would be like this. She is the most amazing, wonderful thing ever to happen to us and she makes my heart explode when I see her. I thank her incredible birth mother every night, and can't wait to see her next month and show her the bundle of love she gave us. Here are some pics of the last few days. Happy (Half) Birthday Little Girl!
Practicing Karate With Papa
Using the "Big Girl" Part of the Stroller...No Infant Seat!
Our green parakeet, Little Micky, died today. He was about seven years old. Poor Little Micky.
I always liked parakeets. I had some when I was a kid. I had one, Comet, that I trained to do all kinds of circus tricks. To show what kind of a nerd I was, at 13 my first article was published. It was a corny poem about parakeets in American Cage Bird Magazine. Yeah I know, not the coolest kid in the world, I mean what kid has a subscription to that? My parents must have thought I was a weirdo. Well we still have the cockatiels, Marty and his son Maxie.
This week day care was closed on Monday, so I took the day off and Sabrina and I went to the Scottsdale Railroad Park. We met my sister Sue and my mother, and Sue's kids Timmy and Lissy. It was a great day with temps around 85 and a little breeze. The park has a railroad that runs through it, as well as a carosel, and a playground. There are actual railcars that you can visit and rail road museums. It's really nice. Grandma got our tickets (what a bargain...$2) for the train and off we went. The cars are open topped and not really any sides, so I'm thinking "Great, I hope Grandma doesn't drop the baby off the side". Sabrina liked it but at first didn't know what to think. My nephew took video and you need an iron stomach to watch it will all the moving around! After that, we had some ice cream and our first carosel ride:
Too bad Greggory had to work. I think when his mom comes to visit for Thanksgiving we'll take her there, I think she'll enjoy it. They do decorations and characters like Santa and Disney guys for Christmas, but that won't start until December. Sabrina was happy to spend the day with Grandma:
Sorry for my long time between posts. It's been a little difficult lately. I'm not looking for pity, but I thought I'd tell you what has been going on. If you remember back in August I was blogging about our family all being sick. Well I haven't gotten any better since, in fact worse. I've finally found out I have a form of pneumonia caused by a legionella infection. Legionella affects about 18,000 people each year. I guess I should consider myself lucky, considering this is the second time I've had it. Last time was fall of 2007 while I was training for my last marathon. That infection caused some loss of lung power, which is what lead to my physically worst marathon ever and the reason I skipped this years race. I toyed with the upcoming one, but I can't train like this (at least not effectively; my stubborness in 2007 kept me going even though I probably shouldn't have). I'm hoping to be better in time to at least train for this year's Phoenix 10K in November.
The good thing is this isn't contagious, so that's a relief. On the bad side is only certain anti-biotics work on it and this one, Clarithromycin, has been hard on me. It causes headache (which no matter how much aspirin or Tylenol I take has been with me since Monday), nausea, and in my case sleeplessness. I keep feeling if I could get one good night's sleep I'd feel so much better. I'm an otherwise healthy person so being sick like this really bothers me. Hopefully I feel better by the weekend.
This weekend is the Phoenix Rainbows Festival. It's a gay oriented street fair in the downtown area. It's much more laid back then a Pride event, although it has most of the trappings. It's not as loud and in your face. When we go we usually take the Boys along with us, but this year they stayed home because we brought that girl instead and didn't think we could navigate the crowd with a stroller and two big Labradors. (Don't worry, they got extra love and treats to make up for it!)
The thing I noticed the most was how many babies were there. I'm not sure if there are that many every year, or if I'm just more cognizant of the strollers. I think a lot of people skip Pride with the kids and come here instead. We met a lot of people today, including a two Mom family with twin girls that were only about 18 hours older then Sabrina--how strange is that? Don and Chris were there with Kaitlyn, as well as Jim and Chuck with their kids, our friends who run the local Gay Dads group. They were at the HRC (Human Rights Campaign) booth handing out information and T-shirts. We hung around them for a while and Sabrina helped drum up some attention to the booth. She was in a fun mood today riding around the festival, laughing and giving out the raspberry to anyone that would listen. I think our little girl is going to turn into quite the ham. The temperature around here has finally dropped into the low 90's so it was a very nice day. (I know--if you're not from Arizona, a 90 degree fall day is actually quite pleasant.) The Dad's group has worked with HRC to organize a gay family day at the Phoenix Children's Museum in a few weeks and I helped give out discount coupons. So there are lot's of cool family things going on now and it's fun that Sabrina is active and old enough to kind of enjoy them.