Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve 2010

  • Child Nestled, cue the Sugarplums...Check
  • Stockings hung, with care...Check
  • Husband upstairs, watching TV...Check
  • Dogs asleep in front of the fireplace...Check
  • Presents stuffed under tree...Checkbook
  • Large glass of wine, alone downstairs, relaxing...Ahhh.
Merry Christmas to all my readers and followers!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Who You Callin' Ho?

Our daughter loves Santa Claus.  No, she LOVES Santa Claus.  At 20 months old, she can't have made the connection that Santa brings us toys and gifts.  She just likes Santa.  A LOT.  "Anta", as she calls him, has his face plastered everywhere this time of year, and kids take notice.  He's basically the toddler world's Oprah.  He listens to your sob story, then rewards the crowd with shouts of "You get some Lego's!  And you get some Lego's!" to the screaming adoration of his fans.  Whenever we see him in one of his many ubiquitous forms, be it in person or on a dessert plate, Sabrina points him out and shouts "Ho Ho Ho!". 

Arizona fills up with old people from the north this time of year, and I have to say, I've never seen his sleigh going 20 miles under the speed limit with the left blinker on for three exits causing me pain and anguish on my morning commute.  He doesn't whip out the checkbook to pay for one gallon of milk in the express lane at Safeway.  Heck he's so busy he never even has time to ramble on and on with no clear ending in sight about something he did in the '50's while he fumbles with his Miracle Ear.  He's almost the anti-snowbird.

Two weeks ago when we went to visit him at his winter castle in Superstition Springs Mall we had to wait in line for 45 minutes to get an audience.  Throngs of children played happily around the Styrofoam ice mountain while hidden cannons shot a fine spray of soapy foam "snow" high into the air.  Like real snow in American cities, it burned their eyes if they got it in them.  For many of these kids, the happy times stopped when they realized they were next to see the Fat Man.  They stood frozen, like one of his reindeer in the headlights, when it was their turn.  One by one, their parents created meal tickets for some future therapist as they wrestled them down onto Santa's lap, literally screaming with holiday cheer.  I silently dreaded that while Sabrina was pointing at the train saying "Choo Choo" now, in a minute I'd be one of them.  And I admitted to myself that after standing here for almost an hour listening to the genius 8 year old behind us ask his father over and over how it could possibly snow in Arizona (Really kid?  Really?) that no matter what, we were gonna do this thing.

Turns out there was nothing to worry about.  When I plopped her down on Santa's lap, she gave him a hearty "Ho ho!" followed by fist bumps.  Yes, I have a one and a half year old that fist bumps Santa.  She gave him a hug and a kiss, we took an incredibly overpriced picture, and off we went.  While she had a good time, little did I know this was the creation of one of Santa's super fans.

This morning as we arrived at day care I had forgotten that Santa was going to be there too.  For someone who's gonna have the world's eyes on him in little more than a week, he sure does whatever he can to get out of work.  No wonder he's so fat.  Anyway, when we walked in and saw him, the uber fan was excited.  There were two other parents and four kids in front of us, and they had no intention of sitting on his lap.  They were in deep negotiations when from her perch in my arms Sabrina waves and yells out "Hiiiiiiii!" at the top of her lungs. 
"It's not our turn yet Sweetie these kids are in front of us we have to wait."
"Hiiiiiiii" followed by dramatic (and loud) air kisses to Santa.  I almost expected her to scream "Hey remember me I sat on your lap two weeks ago at the mall".
The daycare director came over and said "Well Sabrina what are you going to tell Santa?".  This set off a loud chorus of "Ho ho ho!" which was repeated several times.  At this point, all the adults in the room are laughing and the parents in front of me said "Um, why don't you go ahead of us...".  Sabrina decided this was her cue and wriggled away from me and ran to Santa.  They had a good bout of "Ho ho"s together while shaking jingle bells.  We snapped a few free* pictures (*if you don't count the thousands of dollars a year it costs to go to daycare in the first place) and went off to class.  There was of course a loud scream of "BYE!" as we exited.  She babbled extensively until I left, no doubt about how she'd never wash this hand again or something along that line.  Ah, youth...

Daycare Santa!

Monday, December 13, 2010

"Chase"-ing the Perfect Picture

It's time to take a picture for our Christmas cards.  How hard could that be?  Round up the troops and snap away.  Except next to Sabrina, the next biggest ham in our family is our Black Lab, Chase. 

First, gather the gang...

Take One, all three of them have that "Do we really have to do this?" look.  That won't work; they look like rejects from Christmas Vacation.

Chase, already bored, decides he's finished and gets up to leave.  I don't think so.  Sabrina meanwhile, has suddenly discovered she has feet.

Chase is corralled and brought back to the fireplace.  As the camera snaps, he decides it's been 4 1/2 seconds since the last time he kissed Sabrina on the lips.  Her lips apparently taste like beef liver, because licking them is one of his favorite pastimes.  Sabrina, bonded to her loving doggie brother, will usually (Note: At this time, I dangle a shiny object off screen for those of you who are better parents than me to look at so you won't read the rest of this sentence which concludes...) open her mouth so he can clean it out like you lick frosting out of a bowl.  Don't send me letters because I know all your kids are disgusting too.  And yes, she thinks it's funny.

"OK enough shenanigans!", we shout.  Let's do this thing.  In response the next photo we get is what I'd call "Epic Holiday Photo Fail".

I'm not sure what's going on here; nearest I can tell Chase is giving Ripley the "Ha ha I got out of wearing my Santa hat by being impossible while you got stuck with the goofy collar" tongue tease.  The feet Sabrina recently discovered a few photos back are being relieved of their shoes.  Arrrrgh.  Seriously?

Finally, we take what we can live with, although I am temped to send this one to the dog lovers in our family.  Happy Holidays!

(In reading this post, I  have to say Ripley's boredom with the whole thing really irritated me because while he stayed still during the entire process, he never quite lost the "I must find some way to stop Christmas from coming" look on his face.)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like...Something

Well Thanksgiving has come and gone, and now we're off and running in December.  Gregg and I have, over the course of 11 childless Christmas seasons, developed our own little traditions.  As Sabrina's second Christmas approaches, we're revamping to include her.  Last year she was barely 8 months old and did what 8 month old's do at Christmas...not really much of anything.
"What's Santa bringing you?".  Blank stare.
"Look at the stocking I made you!".  Blank stare in a different direction.
"Mmm, delicious home made cookies.  Not that you can have any of course."  Burp, in a blank sort of way.
The most active participation involved gumming down some snowman print wrapping paper.

This year she already "Ho ho ho's" every time she sees a Santa, exclaims "Ooooh, liiiiiights" if even one bulb is lit somewhere, and I can tell she can't wait to have tree to climb in the living room.  So this weekend, down come the decorations from the attic.  We've sort of established, based on last year, that getting a tree is a Papa-daughter event. It works for everyone; they come back with a nice tree and I don't have to follow them around making subliminal suggestions that the one they are picking is too expensive.  (Oh look at this one, it's beautiful and doesn't have the little bald area the more expensive one you're looking at does.)  And besides, no one ever races me to the car to bring the dry craggy tree to the recycle center after New Year's.  So let them deal with getting it.

*Note:  My sister and I got a permit to go up north one year and cut one down.  I agonized over whether birds lived in it and could barely bring myself to make the first cut.  I don't think my sister would do that again.  We looked at every tree in Prescott during a snow storm until I found one untouched by bird or beast.  I think.

We're going to be watching The Grinch, Santa, and Rudolph again this year.  Last year was a (you guessed it) blank stare down, but this year I think she'll get a kick out of it.  We've been listening to Christmas music as well, and learning the old favs like Santa Claus is Coming to Town and my favorite, I Saw Daddy Kissing Santa Claus.  Well, Mommy doesn't really work for us and I still think Santa's a muscle bear who just hides it all under that ermine outfit of his.  And really, what straight guy wears ermine?  Elves indeed...

Here are some pics of our Thanksgiving weekend when Grandmama came to visit from Texas.  More about the holiday plans later!

With Grandpa and Grandmama at the Railroad Park

It's a's a's a pillow pet!

The Girls

Thankful for cousins!

Ahh, downtime.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Some Exciting Evening

It's 8 PM; Gregg is making a pumpkin cheesecake for Thanksgiving, I'm on the couch watching the Coyotes game, and Sabrina's on the floor coloring on her giant paper pad.  The Boys are somewhere, sleeping.  We're enjoying the quiet as we wait for the arrival of Grandma-ma from San Antonio Texas.  Gregg's mother has not seen the baby since last November, so it will be exciting to have her and her husband here for a few days to visit and have Thanksgiving.  Right now, I'm just enjoying the calm before the storm.

Friday, November 19, 2010

National Adoption Day 2010

Today is National Adoption Day. 

From Wikipedia:
National Adoption Day was started in 2000 by the Alliance for Children's Rights through the generous support of the Freddie Mac Foundation, the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption and others.

In November 2000, National Adoption Day sponsors worked with law firms, state foster care agencies, child advocates, and courts to complete hundreds of foster care adoptions in nine jurisdictions nationwide. In November 2001, 17 jurisdictions participated in National Adoption Day. In 2002, Casey Family Services, Children's Action Network, the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute and Target became National Adoption Day partners, helping 34 cities across the country finalize 1,350 adoptions and celebrate adoption.

By 2003, courts and community organizations in more than 120 jurisdictions coast-to-coast finalized the adoptions of 3,100 children and celebrated adoption. In 2004, courts and community organizations finalized the adoptions of more than 3,400 children from foster care in 200 events in 37 states.

By the end of the 2000s, National Adoption Day is celebrated across the U.S., the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico as more than 300 events are held each throughout the country to finalize the adoptions of children in foster care, and to celebrate all families who adopt. In total, more than 25,000 children have been adopted from foster care on National Adoption Day. Traditionally, National Adoption Day is celebrated the Saturday before Thanksgiving.
While primarily focused on foster care adoptions, today is a good day to help dispel some of the myths people unfamiliar with adoption in general believe to be true.
  • Birth mothers regularly take children back months or years after the adoption is final.
  • Adopted children are "damaged" emotionally.
  • Adopted children are not the same or equal to biological children.
  • Adopted children should be grateful they've been "rescued" from a bad situation.
  • International is the most successful way to adopt a child.
  • Adopted children will want to go live with their biological parents and grow to resent you.
  • Adoption takes many many years to complete because all the good kids have already been snatched up by Angelina Jolie and Madonna.
So if you're in an adoption triad, (Child, Adoptive Parents, Birth Parents) today you are being celebrated.  Use it to spread the word about healthy adoption choices, and most of all, love your family.  Because adopted or not, well, you're pretty much stuck with them!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Adoption for Morons

The following conversation took place between me and a complete stranger at an event we attended...

Scene:  I'm coming back from the rest room with Sabrina in my arms as I had just changed her diaper.  Enter an early 30's looking pretty blond white girl.  She's wearing that dopey clueless look Sarah Palin gets when someone asks her a gotcha question like "How are you?".

Dopey Looking White Lady:  Oh I just wanted to tell you I've been watching your daughter play and she's just adorable!

Fabulous Me:  Oh, well thank you.  She's having fun.

DLWL:  So I wanted to ask, where did you get her?

Me:  (Irritated with the personal and inappropriate question from a perfect stranger.)  Well, she was born in Los Angeles, where we adopted her.

DLWL:  Oh maybe I should check out California.

Me:  I'm sorry? 

DLWL:  Well I've been trying to get myself a black baby for some time now.

Me:  (Holding back from saying something guaranteed to make her cry.)  Yeah um, well, good luck with that.

Seriously?  Asshole.

Sunday, October 31, 2010


Happy Halloween!

We sat last year out.  This year we went door to door with Ellie, the two year old next door, on our first Trick or Treat.  Our neighbors came over and we sat in the front eating pizza, drinking beer (I mean milk), and handing out candy.  A great time was had by all. 

I'll get you my pretties...

We thought she was a witch but it turns out she was really a ham.

Papa's under her spell.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Home Again

It's been a little time between entries I know, blame it on travel and jet lag.  We went to Long Island, NY for a wedding and a baptism all in one weekend.  I grew up there and have a large family there, so we had plenty to keep us busy.  But our biggest fear, airplane shenanigans, never materialized.  That and the fact that the baby had a blast from the time we left to go to the airport at 5 AM Thursday morning until we got back to Arizona late Monday night made it a great trip all around.  I have a lot on my mind to blog about, some trip related and some not, but right now I'll leave you with a few random pictures and a recap of the plane ride.

I got lots of comments on my last entry about being nervous about flying with an 18 month old.  It turns out with Sabrina, airplane travel equals sleep.  Our trip was a four hour flight from Phoenix to Baltimore, then an hour from there to Long Island, and the same on the return.  She was asleep before we took off and stayed there for the first three hours of the trip.  An Elmo video and snacks took care of hour four.  She got the crazies out in a quiet part of the Baltimore airport and was back to sleep as we taxied to the runway, not waking until we landed.  She repeated this when we went back to Baltimore on Monday.  For all our worry about popping ears during takeoff, she slept through the first three of them.

Flying from Baltimore to Phoenix, she was up for three hours.  (Eh, you can't win 'em all!)  She slept through the fourth hour, deplaning, baggage claim, the bus ride to the car, and didn't wake up until getting strapped in the car seat.  It works out to sleeping for just over 60% of the time.  Not too shabby!

Here are some pictures from the wedding and baptism we went to, as well as the big reveal of the top secret dress.  Enjoy!

My new dress...

During the Kid's Balloon Dance

Smiling with Dada

Raise the Roof!

Partying in the Yard

Having fun with Papa

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

A Menace to Everything in the Air...Yes, Birds Too.

Surely you're not taking a toddler on a plane?

Well the Free Range Chicken Experiment has limited success.  Some nights it's bed and sleep, others it's don't you dare leave this room or I'll scream.  We'll get there.

This week we're going to Long Island, NY for my cousin's wedding so we'll be taking the baby on her first airplane ride.  It's four hours from Phoenix to Baltimore, and another hour from there to Long Island.  We're planning on packing lots of snacks, books, toys, and little bottles of airplane alcohol (for us, in case this whole thing goes bad).  We've been hearing the benedryl story from others who've done this with an 18 month old, so we tested it last weekend.  It didn't seem to make her sleepy, just kind of out of it.  So unless she's a real monster on the plane, I'm not sure we'll use it.  It's against my better judgement anyway.  Our flight leaves at 7 AM, so she'll be up very early.  Hopefully she'll be tired by then.  But I'm not counting on it!

She's going to have a blast.  I'll post some pictures of her in the top secret dress over the weekend.  For now, we're packing all the essentials...

I'm leaving, on a jet plane.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Free Range Chicken 4...Silence of the Lamb

Bedtime stories over by 8:35...Cuddle time lasts for 10 minutes...Minimal protestation on getting in the toddler bed.

By 9:15, Gregg's already asleep and I'm downstairs alone in the darkened family room enjoying a glass of Malbec and hard Bavarian pretzels while watching the season premiere of Dexter (again) on DVR.  Ah, pretzels, quiet, wine, and a serial killer.  Who could ask for anything more?

**And she slept all night, but I did find her on the futon again this morning.  Works for me.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Free Range Chicken 3...The Toddler Strikes Back

OK so here's the thing.  There's something about that toddler bed she doesn't like.  I think it's the feeling of being more exposed.  She's OK laying in there as long as we're near her but if we attempt to leave the room, she jumps off and runs over to us.  Last night, after a story on my lap, we tried it again.  She'd lay down and look like she was drifting off, but as soon as I got up to leave, bam, here she comes.  At one point she got up and went to the futon on the other side of the room and I thought OK, I'll leave her there and see what happens.  A minute after I left the room, she started crying.  We went back and forth on this for about an hour and a half, after which Gregg took over.  Eventually, he took her in bed with him trying to just get her to fall asleep.  By 11 PM he came downstairs with her, saying "Not only is she not going to sleep but now she's bouncing off the walls.  She needs some activity time to drain the battery".  Was she ever.  For an hour, she was buzzing around the living room, climbing, jumping, and chatting non stop.  Does she have an espresso machine hidden up there someplace?  Eventually we snuggled up on the couch and by midnight she fell asleep hard.  I put her back in the toddler bed and there she stayed until 5:30 when Gregg checked on her before leaving for work.  When I peeked in at about 6:30, she had moved to the futon and was sleeping there.

We'll try it again tonight.  We talked about putting the crib back together, but it's just too dangerous having her climb out of it.  We don't want to push her, but we think she's ready, and she'll get it soon enough.  She'd better; I'm running out of pithy titles for these posts.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Free Range Chicken 2...Return of the Toddler

Forget all the happy talk in last night's post about getting her to sleep at 10:30.  At about 3 AM, Gregg woke because he heard a noise and looking at the video monitor, noticed she was not in the bed.  Apparently, she was on the futon that is in her room "la-la-ing" into a toy microphone.  Yes, not only does she wake up but announces it to the world.

She ended up back in bed with us, which means of course it's time for gymnastics class.  Bed jumping, tumbling, kung fu grip neck hugs, all the best moves until sometime around 5.  I'm not sure he even got back to sleep, because that's about when he gets up for work.  I on the other hand happily hit snooze until I was late for work.  Miss Thing?  Woke up chipper and happy.  I'll put a stop to that tonight.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Free Range Chicken...The Toddler Bed Experiment

Ready for a close-up

Saturday was the big day.  Down with the crib, up with the toddler bed.  When Gregg finished putting it together, we presented it to Sabrina, who decided it was the best play toy she's had since, well since the last play toy about 20 minutes ago.  A great place to jump, bounce, climb on to climb off, and all other manner of activities.  But would she sleep in it?

Sabrina is a good sleeper, and very rarely doesn't sleep through the night.  So if we could get her to sleep theoretically we should be golden.  Keeping with routine, we read one bedtime book on my lap, and I thought the second one should be read from the bed.  I sat on the floor and had her climb in.  I tried to get her to lay down and suddenly, she becomes made of wood.  Unlike earlier where this bed was Playtime Central, now she'll sit up in the bed but is adamantly not laying down.  The first tinge of dread creeps up my spine.  OK, we'll read sitting up.  I had to concentrate because my lips are reciting Grumpy Cat but my brain is asking what I'm going to do once the book is over. 

And Cat was never grumpy again.  Well, almost never.  Book's over, she's sitting, and we seem to be at a bit of an impase.  She's not trying to jump up and run around the room; instead there's a look of uncertainty in her face which I didn't expect to see.  She does so well with each new thing that sometimes I think it's a little too easy for us to push her a bit without realizing it if she's not ready for something.  This was one of those times.  I got her to lay down by sort of leaning in and laying my head down with her.  But no matter how long I stayed that way, she'd be up and doing a little whimper as soon as I moved.  We moved to various different positions, from her laying on my chest while I lay on the floor to eventually moving into the bed in the spare room.  But she's keeping an eye open so we don't get back to her bed. 

By 10:30, Gregg tried giving it a whack.  He got her to lay in the bed and rubbed her back until about 11:30 when he was finally able to sneak out of the room.  Of course, I took the credit for wearing her down in the first place, but she was asleep and stayed that way all night.  In the morning, she got up around 8:15 for a few minutes but then went back to bed until about 9.

Tonight was about the same, but this time I got her to sleep by about 10:30.  She just doesn't want to lay in there by herself.  It's a lot more open and visual then being in the crib, as well as lower to the ground, and it can't feel as secure.  I'm sure she'll adjust pretty quickly, but we were ready to fight the battle of getting up to play, not being clingy.  I think with some love and patience, we'll be switching battles before we know it.

Not until I'm good and ready...

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Florida: Slowly Becoming Livable

Anita Bryant.  Hanging Chads.  That Koran burning guy.  Pastel colored linen pants.  These are all things that make Florida America's most visited cultural wasteland.  Oh sure, that Mouse and his friends have set up shop in Orlando but let's face it, when you're surrounded by alligators, pigeon sized mosquitoes, and NASCAR, even that seems like paradise.  But for families, Florida is known for one other thing--banning gay people from adopting children.  There are other states that make adoption by gay people difficult but at least Florida is straight up about it.  Mississippi bans "same gender couples" (but strangely, not singles) and Utah bans unmarried couples (when you first outlaw "gay" marriage, that equates to "no fags") but The Sunshine State specifically calls out homosexuals. 

In a nutshell, the 33 year old ban was called unconstitutional by a state appeals court when a gay couple, which was legally fostering two boys, filed suit in order to adopt.  I can't imagine being an approved foster family and knowing that at any time your kids could be taken away from you.  How could it possibly be good for anyone to have kids growing up for years in a loving family and then being ripped away because their parents happen to be fans of Bette Midler and collect Wizard of Oz memorabilia?

All kidding aside, Florida has taken a step towards the 21st century with this ruling.  There are many couples who live there that have wanted families but couldn't have them.  I personally know a couple who moved from Florida, leaving family and friends, to go to California for the purpose of adopting.  Leaving your extended family behind to have kids.  Yup, that promotes family values.

On another note, the pastor of a mega church has been accused of going after 17 and 18 year old boys attempting to "seduce them with cars, money, clothes, jewelry, international trips and access to celebrities".  Wow, he had me at cars and money.  Proving once again that religion is more dangerous to our children than a loving same sex family.

Doing Just Fine With Those Two Loving Daddies

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Toddla Please!

Well after sleeping like an angel both through the night and when we first put her down, this last week or so has been murder.  Sabrina has decided she doesn't want to go down easy, and we've been staying up later and later.  Sometimes it's crankiness, sometimes it's screaming, and sometimes it's just wanting to play.  Putting her in the crib and letting her cry it out doesn't work because she's out of there in an instant.  Trapped like a dog and barking at the gate, she wants out of that room.  Then there's the getting up in the middle of the night and eventually coming to bed with us.  Acrobatic gymnastics for two hours, laughing, and babbling, then finally sleep.  I blame it on the molars that are coming in on both sides of her mouth.  We'll see what happens in a few days when her new toddler bed arrives.  I just hope it lets us all get some more sleep!

Side note, we tried on her dress for the wedding we're going to in mid October, and it fits perfectly.  I'm sworn to secrecy, so you'll have to wait until then for the big reveal. 

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

I'll Tumble For Ya

Toddlers.  Growing so fast, hitting what seems like a new milestone every day.  Running.  Learning to use crayons (sometimes on paper).  Beginning to talk.  Understanding two step instructions.  Climbing.  Ah yes climbing.  It started by climbing onto the couch.  Followed by jumping on the couch.  Then came climbing the stairs.  Not particularly caring about carefully coming back down the stairs.  Then she conqured pulling out a dining room chair and climbing up on that.  But this week, at about 16 1/2 months, she completed her ultimate challenge.

No not that.  Although we will be in New York next month so we better not leave her unattended.  On Monday morning I woke up because I heard footsteps on the bedroom floor.  I opened my eyes and saw Sabrina standing there holding her blanket looking at me.  Funny, why is Gregg letting her run around at 6 o' clock in the morning when she should still be asleep.  Wait, 6 o' clock?  He leaves for work before 5:30.  He wouldn't leave her out of the crib alone.  He must have--Out of the crib?  She climbed out of the crib by herself?! 

She's been working on this little trick for a while now.  We've already lowered the crib mattress but she's able to shimmy up the rails and then swing her legs over the top.  How do we know this?  Gregg caught her trying it about a week ago when she wouldn't go down for a nap.  And of course, there's last night.

It was around 4 AM or so, and strange noises were coming from the video monitor in our bedroom.  Gregg yelled out "She's starting her shenanigans!" and jumped out of bed.  We had taken some precautions, like piling pillows on the floor next to her crib, and making sure we locked the safety gate on her door so she couldn't get out of her room.  Gregg got her in mid climb while she was still straddling the crib wall and brought her back into bed with us.  Based on the fact that she didn't fall asleep for another two hours and had a screaming fit, we think her new teeth are bothering her.  She has two back teeth coming in on the bottom and we think some on the top.  Once her screaming was over and the ibuprofen kicked in she fell back asleep.  She never wakes up in the middle of the night; she sleeps right through.  We think her teeth hurt and she wanted to come find us for comfort.

We didn't think we'd be dealing with this for a little while.  But if she's going to be able to escape her crib, we'll have to make sure she can't get hurt.  So today we ordered her a toddler bed.  I didn't realize that they had such things.  But it is low to the ground and has guardrails to keep her from getting hurt.  She can't get out of the room because there is a pretty good gate on her door, and another one at the top of the stairs just in case.  The bed won't be here for about a week, so we'll just have to keep on top of her until it arrives.  There's always Plan B:

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A Modern Family

I'm not usually real big on awards shows, but I'm happy that one of my favorite shows, "Modern Family" won an Emmy for best comedy.  Not bad for a show in its first season.  It's well written, consistently funny, and best of all, features a gay couple with an adopted infant.  Eric Stonestreet, who plays Cameron, won a best supporting actor award for his portrayal of one of the partners.  The dynamic between him and Jesse Tyler Ferguson (who is gay in real life) is both hysterically funny and loving at the same time.  The show doesn't make anything special or unusual about Those Two Daddies, and they are accepted by the extended family as just two more parents.  It doesn't go out of it's way to say "Hey they're two men", but does add a gay spin to dealing with parenthood. 

I think shows like this that present a normal day to day life of gay parents who you'd probably like to know do a great deal to help gain acceptance for same sex parents.  When you can laugh along with them and see yourself in their shoes it makes it just a little easier to accept them living next door.  Good job everyone involved in the show!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

So, What Do You Tell The Kids?

Lately I've had something nagging at the back of my brain.  As far as our family and friends are concerned, the uniqueness of Those Two Daddies has pretty much worn off.  Sabrina's 16 months old now and I think they've all adjusted to the "difference" of it.  Not that anyone really had any issues to begin with, but we've kind of just melded in to the fabric of the family.  Now, I'm sure you realize by this point that I'm not the type to keep my mouth shut when I have something to say.  But a new wrinkle has been added; that is, what do you tell your kids when they're old enough to understand and they hear the anti-gay rhetoric that's always out there?

For example.  In Iowa, there is a local douche bag politician named Jeremy Walters running for state office.  Because he's a douche bag politician of the Christian variety and has learned to use The Facebook, he posted the following message:

“The Holy Bible says if your ‘GAY’ homosexual they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them. This tells me a lot so should we kill them NO. They Need to ask God to forgive them of their sins and mean it turn away from it. They also need to know that when it says that their blood shall be upon them that tells me it is AIDS. That how I feel.”

“homosexual “GAY” is not of God!!!!!!”

Now remember, the guy is running for office.  He's trying to get people to vote for him.  Could you vote for him after reading that?  Of course not, his spelling and grammar are atrocious.  Well that and he's announced that AIDS is God's punishment for being a Gay Homosexual.  I'm not sure what a Gay Homosexual is, but I think it's a gay guy that sleeps with women.  Anyway, being a Christian, he probably thought this over and decided, all on his own with no input from anyone sane, to apologize the next day.  To wit;

I am not against people having a gay lifestyle, and the statements made on Facebook have been taken the wrong way. The statement regarding gay homosexuality was not meant to be offensive and I deeply appologize.

As far as the quote from Bible; I was replying to someone elses post. It should have been posted as a comment on their page, not my Facebook wall. I appologize for the mistake and if this statement offened anyone. Both postings have been removed and these comments do not pertain to my campaign or the Republican Party of Iowa. My passion is to listen and learn from the people so I can represent them at the statehouse. Everyone makes mistakes, please forgive me.

See?  When you read it the first time, you obviously took it the wrong way.  When he said AIDS is God's punishment and gays need to turn into normal people he meant it in the kindest way possible, not in the "Die Fag Die" way some of you took it.  He didn't say the statement was, I don't know, bigoted, idiotic, and ignorant, just that it could be construed to be slightly unsettling.  But at least the voters know that Jeremy Walters (R-Des Moines) is on good speaking terms with God (R-Heaven). 

This is just one of the more recent examples of the crap we have to listen to day in and day out.  Personally, it doesn't bother me as much as it used to.  But in a few years I'm going to have to explain imbeciles like this to my daughter.  Eventually she'll be old enough to see it for what it is, but I'm wondering, gay parents, how have you addressed this subject with your little darlings?  I'd like to hear what you have to say on the subject, or what you would say.  And straight people, please chime in as well.  Your kids may not be as inclined to notice this trash as those raised by a same sex couple may be, but they will hear it.  What are your thoughts on it as well?

In other news, Marcia Brady called, and she wants her pajamas back...

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Suck It Up

The weekend is here, and that of course means housework.  Yuck.  I guess it wouldn't be so bad without two Labs that shed like hair geysers.  I think they go next door and collect our neighbor's Lab Bronco's hair and bring that over too.  It's not as bad if I Furminate them but I've been lazy and it hasn't been done in a while.  So before any indoor cleaning, I did that first.  Now on to the inside hair.  It gets everywhere.  Floor, stairs, sofa, and especially, the dog beds.  Normally I split the downstairs in two and lock the Three Amigos (Ripley, Chase, and Sabrina) on one side while I sweep and steam mop the other.  Then switch.  As I was cleaning the back part of the room, there was a lot of laughing coming from the front half.  A quick inspection finds it's party time in Chase's bed.

Well she can't get hurt, but it's time for a snack so...oh great...she's covered in dog hair.  From her hair to her clothes to the Velcro pads of her sneakers.  Sigh.  First there's a battle (although a laughing one for a change) to get her off the bed, followed by the cleanup.  Her hair is easy enough to brush out, but her clothes are covered.  Now is when I'm faced with some parental choices:

  1. Take her upstairs and completely change her outfit, or

  2. Use the lint roller to clean her off.
Realizing Option 2 gets me back in front of my laptop faster I look for the lint roller.  Of course, I can't find it.  In the meantime, I have to keep stopping to pull her off the bed.  Now I don't want to clean her off to have her just jump back on again, so I decided I should clean the bed first, then the baby.  The hair vacuums off the bed easy enough, so now it's time to go back to searching for the...wait a minute. 


Could I?  Gregg's not home he's still at the gym.  It will be years before she can speak enough English to rat me out.  No, who does that?  It wouldn't be right.  Still...

When vacuuming toddlers, the upholstery attachment is the way to go.  It makes them laugh when you slide it across their shirts.  Trying to roll the machine over their stomachs is not recommended and may lead to clogging the machine.  That hair zipped right off, or most of it anyway.  I can't figure out how to get it out of the Velcro on her sneakers, but that's good enough for now.  And for anything left on her, well tonight's bath night anyway.  Or is it...?

Thursday, August 5, 2010

An Open Letter to Beth MacDonald of KEZ Radio

I sent this email to Beth MacDonald, morning radio personality at KEZ 99.9 radio here in Phoenix.  Oh yeah also today's my birthday.  Not that it has anything to do with anything, but just in case you want to send me gifts.  Or cake.  Or a martini.  Or a cake with a martini in it.  Mmm, martini...


As someone who has listened to your show for a long time, I wanted to thank you for the support you showed this morning when speaking about the repeal of Prop. 8 in California. Almost every other voice I heard on the radio over the past couple of days was decrying the decision and the people who fought for it with every nerve they could muster. As a personality on a morning drive show, you don’t have to wade into the political arena but I’m happy to see you are someone that has both the courage and the class to do so when it’s for the right reasons. It doesn’t matter if it’s this, Sheriff Joe’s latest antics, or anything else, sometimes people need to turn on the radio and hear someone speak from the heart once in a while instead of yelling, ranting, and raving.

I am a gay man who has been in a relationship with my partner for over 13 years. Together we have a beautiful 15 month old daughter who is the light of our lives. We pay taxes (more than our fair share because of the extra taxes on domestic partner health insurance), vote, and hang our American flag on the house on patriotic days. We are devoted to our siblings, nieces, nephews, parents, neighbors, and friends. We pay higher car insurance because we’re not married, pay higher interest on our car loans because we’re not married, and can you imagine the nightmare of filing separate tax returns when we have a child and a house to claim? We adopted our daughter from California, a state that (unlike Arizona) allows both of us to be legal parents. Try figuring that out on your taxes!

This isn’t about religion, and it isn’t about special treatment. It’s about our fair share of the American dream. I’d like to know how I’m supposed to explain to my little girl when she’s older why her parents aren’t married. Do I tell her that her family isn’t good enough? That we’re less than a family? That we’re not supposed to even be together? How will that make her feel? Civil unions don’t cut it because even with the rights that come with them just the fact that they’re not called marriage implies that our relationship isn’t good enough and less then equal to straight marriage. Hell, it’s a good thing we don’t have a boy because apparently we’re not even qualified to be Cub Scout Leaders.

I just want people to know that we’re not a faceless group of “others” trying to stir up trouble. We’re your families, your neighbors, co-workers, and classmates. We’re real people with real feelings. We struggle with bills, our busy schedules, our kids, and our jobs just like everyone else does. We’re also Americans. Thank you Beth, for reminding people of that.

I’m going to post this letter on my blog, Those Two Daddies, to let my followers know you stand with us and other Americans in the fight for equal rights and fairness for everyone.

Thank you.


And Beth's almost immediate response...

Dear Bobby,

Just received your email as I'm heading off to bed. I will always be on your side on this issue and will continue to speak out about it. Fortunately, the vast majority of the emails I received today were in support. We'll get there!

I applaud you for the tremendous effort you have put into having a happy family. You deserve the rights afforded to all other Americans...

This country must learn from its past mistakes. We cannot let the tyranny of the majority trample on the rights of the minority.



Thanks Beth!  You rock.  Or, soft rock, as your station doesn't play much actual rock.  But well, you get the general idea.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

A Good Day in America

Quotes from today's court decision overturning California's Prop. 8:

"Proposition 8 fails to advance any rational basis in singling out gay men and lesbians for denial of a marriage license. Indeed, the evidence shows Proposition 8 does nothing more than enshrine in the California Constitution the notion that opposite- sex couples are superior to same-sex couples..."

"Moral disapproval alone is an improper basis on which to deny rights to gay men and lesbians. The evidence shows conclusively that Proposition 8 enacts, without reason, a private moral view that same-sex couples are inferior to opposite-sex couples..."

"Proposition 8 is unconstitutional under both the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses..."

"That the majority of California voters supported Proposition 8 is irrelevant, as "fundemental rights may not be submitted to a vote; they depend on the outcome of no elections..."

Saturday, July 31, 2010

A Walk in the Park

It's the end of July, and since the monsoon season is in full swing, the temperature over the last few days has been hovering right around 100 degrees.  A welcome relief, since that's about 15 degrees cooler then normal.  With monsoon rain for the last few days and total cloud cover it only hit 96 here today.  A perfect day for going to the park.  We haven't been to the park in a few months because of the heat.  I don't really feel like melting the baby.  Here are some pics...

Keep on Swingin'

Slide, Slide, Slippity Slide...

Yeah so what?

Keep on Truckin'

Ugh.  I can't hardly look at these.  She's getting so big.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

I Gave at the Office

I finally did something I've been saying I was going to do for years now.  No, I didn't start my own 70's style variety show, but don't worry that's still on the back burner.  I officially became an organ donor.  I think it's something that you need to resolve with yourself internally before you can actually do it.  I think for a lot of people there is an initial gut reaction to not do it.  Thinking about your own mortality is hard enough, but then thinking about body parts being removed and scattered around is well, unsettling.  Once you get past the fact that that's OK (because you're, you know, dead and all) you can think about it more rationally.  So as I was renewing my truck registration online, I clicked the link to organ donation and signed up.  I'm pretty sure most states offer this via their Motor Vehicle Departments.  And really, what better place to troll around for body parts than MVD?  If they're not picking up organs off the freeway they're at least sucking out your will to live while you wait in those damn lines.  "Now calling A-34".  Crap I'm J-51.  Just pluck out my spleen and we'll call it even.

I don't have any religious convictions that would stop me from doing it (mostly because I don't have any religious convictions to begin with) so I didn't need to wrestle with that.  I know for some people that's a consideration but after my 20's (OK and 30's) I'm sure my liver isn't going to be allowed into heaven anyway.  I just keep thinking about the people I could potentially help.  Corneal transplants can actually restore sight to blind people.  That to me is amazing.  Could you imagine living your whole life without sight, and then waking up after what I found out is outpatient surgery and suddenly being able to see?  It must be what Lindsey Lohan feels like when she gets out of rehab.  The idea that your heart can keep beating or your lungs can still take breath and keep someone else alive once you're gone is incredible. 

Now that I'm a parent, I worry about not being around for my child.  If I had a chance to receive a gift like this from someone which allowed me to live and watch my baby grow, to just be there for her, I'd be eternally grateful.  I can't think of anything greater you could give another person.  Backstage passes to Cher come close...

Oh the best part--after they remove whatever they're taking, they do reconstructive work so you look fabulous in the coffin.  I've specified they can have my organs in exchange for killer cheekbones.  Imma look fierce in that casket!

To learn more about organ donation, check it out at Donate Life.