Sunday, July 30, 2017

// 3 Months of William //

My sweet boy, how in the world are you 3 and a half months old already?! How, how, how? Mommy and I were chatting on Sunday about how quickly we felt sister grew to be the smart 5-year-old she is today, and how you seem to be growing even faster! It’s heartbreaking really, but super exciting too! Hands down, month 3 brought about the most changes you’ve had so far and you continue to blow our minds, on a daily basis. What’s the most amazing thing you’ve done to date, you ask? Well my son – you’re saying actual words! Yes. True story. You can now say “Mama” and “Hi”. Both short words, but still – WOW! When we’ve shared with friends that you’re so chatty, we’ve been told the following: No way… Maybe you just thought you heard him say that… Not possible… What?! But here’s the amazing thing, you say both words often and both in context! If Mommy or I say hi to you, you respond with “Hi!” and you say it with excitement and a smile and it’s just about the cutest thing in the world! Here’s a little video Mommy recently took of you saying hi. :)

You also say Mama, which is my favorite thing ever! I will admit that I basically began brainwashing you to say this, hoping it would be your first words since you were just a few days old! We’ve practiced saying it every day, several times a day and now you say Mama. This lovely word is only spoken by you when you’re crying, usually when you wake hungry, but even at this age, you know you’re calling me and I always come running. If I’m holding you while Mommy pumps and put you down for any reason, you immediately cry out, “Maaamaaa!” and you don’t stop calling/crying for me until I pick you up again. You’ve also let out a few “Mum”(s) in recent weeks, which I think makes Mommy very happy.

Both Mommy and I are back at work now and we’re missing you and sister like crazy. We treasure the cuddling we get with you both in the mornings and we now live for our evening time together and the weekends. I think the transition back to work would have been so much harder if we didn’t have Gaga and Papa. Just knowing that we’re taking both our babies to two people who love them just as much as we do and live to keep you happy and safe, is just such an amazing blessing!

~ Here’s a little recap of what you were up to in month 3 ~

* Size: 12 lbs., 14 oz. and you are now 24 ¾ inches tall! You are wearing size 3-6-month clothing but closer to 3 months in size and you’re ready to move up to the next size sleeping swaddle and shoe. It’s only a matter of time before you fit in your adorable ball caps and I can’t wait for that.  

* Eating: You LOVE Mommy’s milk! You’re currently drinking a 4 ½ - 5 ounce bottle every 3-4 hours and we’ve started to introduce a bit of organic formula as well. You had your first taste of formula about a week before you turned 3 months when Mommy’s production dropped way low, but thankfully it’s back up now. We send organic formula to Gaga and Papa’s to be used in emergencies when you have super hungry days and go through the 10oz of breastmilk we send.

* Health: You are pretty darn perfect and super healthy. You’re right on track on the growth chart for all your Ped visits and hitting all the milestones for a baby your age. You still have a very dry scalp, which breaks Mama’s heart, so I regularly bathe you in coconut oil and will be trying some new remedies this week! You have yet to experience any kind of diaper rash and you handled you first series of shots like a champ. Seriously good, as in zero tears! We were amazed!

* Sleep: Amazing! You are just such a great sleeper! Mommy and I typically give you a bottle of breastmilk between 8:30-9pm and you eat and go to sleep right after we put sister to bed. Mommy is more of a night owl than me, so she gives you your last bottle for the night at midnight and that knocks you out until 6-7am! I can only think of one night in the past month that you woke in the middle of the night and all you wanted that night was a little cuddle. You sleep right next to Mama’s side of the bed in your Pack n Play and you sleep through all the noise I make while getting ready for bed (including watching a few episodes of Friends). So far, you seem to be a much heavier sleeper than sister was, which means you will probably stay sleeping in our room until around your first birthday.

* Likes: Your Milk Maids black and white blankie is your absolute fav. It’s the softest blanket on earth and you LOVE to put it on your face, which always stresses Mama out, even though it’s advertised as a “breathable blanket” and we’ve tested it out to be sure. You have begun to recognize yourself in mirrors, specifically one we pass when coming out of Mommy and Mama’s room. You adore ceiling fans and would be happy watching them all day and you really enjoy watching cartoons with sister! You eat your fists all day long and I can tell that you are trying to figure out how to get your foot in your mouth, so I’m sure that’s next. You have become super ticklish and give us the best and loudest belly laughs when we tickle your belly and under your arms. It’s the best! You’ve also started showing interest in baby toys so Mama disinfected all of them and you now have one anytime we leave the house. We’ve loved watching you play with the same little toys that sister loved as a baby. :)

* Dislikes: You still do not like to be out of sight of us. This month you began crying anytime we sat down for family dinner, as though you knew you were being left out or something, ha! Now Mommy and I take turns holding you at the table while we eat because we don’t want you to be left out either. You don’t like when we lay you down in a room we’re not in, as you would prefer to be right by our side, at all times. Our little mama(s) boy! You also dislike being cold, drinking cold milk and getting your nose cleaned with the Nose Frida. Thankfully, you don’t scream bloody murder when I clean your nose now like you did as a newborn in months one and two!

* Milestones: You are just inches away from sitting up on your own, which always makes us laugh because you obviously have abs of steel! You crunch and stretch your arms out in front of you like Superman and try with all your might to sit up. It’s too funny! You can sit up straight in your Bumbo without even the slightest head bob like such a big boy. You’ve begun to attempt to roll over in your Pack n Play, which is making Mommy and I nervous to continue allowing you to sleep in a swaddle! As mentioned above, you can say Hi and Mama and I’m just dying to see what else you say in the coming months. You also grab on to everything now. You grab our hair, hands, clothing, everything! We’re pretty sure that you are in the early stages of teething because you are a drool monster! You even have to wear a bib 24/7 now because you soak your shirts if you don’t have one on! Also, you’ve started holding your bottle from time to time. You usually get a bit lazy (hehe) and lets go a few minutes in, but hold it you can!

* Big Sister! You adore your sister and she’s back to being obsessed with you too! The first month you were home with us, sister bear couldn’t get enough of you. Then in month two, she seemed a bit less obsessed but now she’s back at it. Gracie asks to hold you every day and she loves that you laugh, smile and do a little talking now. Anytime you make a funny noise, she cracks up and is always talking about “how adorable” you are! Sister starts Kindergarten on August 1st, which means that it will just be you with Gaga and Papa from 8:30-3:30pm every day. I know that sister is going to miss being with you guys so much, but we’re also really excited for her to start big kid school and just know she is going to LOVE it! 

What we’re looking forward to: You’ll be starting swim school with sister in the next 2 months and we just can’t wait! The baby class is parent led, so you know Mama is all over that! Sister’s swim school has a ridiculous waiting list and while it took Gracie 6 months to finally get in, we’re hoping your name will get to the top of the list in the next month or so! We’re also excited to see you roll over, which we think is going to happen any day now and teething appears to have begun so we’ve ordered you your very own amber necklace! Our fingers are crossed that teething won’t be too terrible for you, sweet boy!

And what would a monthly post be without a little photo/video dump of our handsome guy! We love you sonnie bear. :)

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Brother’s First | P R I D E

I enjoy the month of June for many reasons. First, it’s not quite hot as Hades in New Mexico, which makes me very happy because I truly loathe the heat… It’s also our nephew/Godson’s birthday and that always involves a fun water party. Really though, the biggest reason I love June is because it’s Pride month across the globe and the events and feeling of togetherness and acceptance is palpable and fills my heart bank!

This year was extra special because it was me and G’s 10th Pride together (we’ll be celebrating 11 years together next month!) and it was William’s very first! Pride is a big deal in our family and we always find ways to celebrate, even if we’re celebrating at home. We did have to miss what would have been Gracie’s 1st Pride when she was just 4 months old because it took place one month before her cleft lipsurgery and we couldn’t chance her catching something and us having to push back the operation. It made Georgia and I so sad that she had to miss it, but we certainly made up for missing that first Pride in the years since.

Our sweet gal loves everything about going to Pride as a family. She loves any chance to have her face painted and adores rainbows. She likes that we always go with a big group of friends and that she usually gets spoiled beyond belief with goodies by all who join us. Our Pride Committee blocks off an entire area for families with small children that has jumpers, water slides and games with prizes for the kiddos – so she’s obviously obsessed with that. Mostly though, she likes to see so many families that look like hers, and in New Mexico, where it often feels like there is little to no LGBT family visibility, it’s a big deal to spend the day with other two mom and two dad families. It makes us all happy to have that feeling of belonging.

We went all out for the kiddos outfits this year. Normally, we just find a shirt with rainbow colors for the Bean because it can be difficult to find Pride specific clothing, but this year G ordered her the cutest Unicorn Pride shirt from Target where we also found the most precious Pride onesie for Will that read – “Love Makes a Family”. Our little guy wore green triceratops shoes and blue shorts with his onesie, while Grace went pink from head to toe (no shocker there)! I must send a shout out to Target for supporting the LGBT community with their Pride store displays and online Pride merchandise. I read several articles of planned boycotts and other forms of protest against Target for doing this – but they didn’t give two shits, which is just awesome! The company spoke out in defense of my community and were willing to take whatever backlash came along with showing their support. As if I need another reason to spend my money there, but yeah, Target’s got a customer for life right here!

We started things off with heading out to the Pride Parade and while we were excited, we were nervous too. There was another terrorist attack abroad the week leading up to Pride and with the Pulse massacre last year, we felt uneasy taking our babies to the parade for the first time. Thankfully, we have an amazing Pride Committee in NM who gave us details on the extra precautions the organizers of the event were taking starting this year, which made us feel much more at ease. For the first year ever, security was being increased at the Fair Grounds. Rather than just checking bags, security was using wands for metal checks and the parade had more barricades and a much larger police presence than ever before. With the rise of crazy people driving into crowds and killing innocent people, it made me feel better when I saw just how many blockades we had to get through to actually see the parade. At the end of the day, you just never know when violence is going to occur, or where it will take place – but hearing and seeing that these things were thought out gave us so much reassurance!

Gracie LOVED the Parade, per usual because, well it’s basically a long game of catch the candy! She was so excited to see that there were mermaids this year and she also really loved that a few of her friends from school were in the parade with their parents! William slept through nearly all of it, only briefly waking when we would check to make sure he wasn’t overheating. Following the parade, we headed over to the Fair Grounds where our gal immediately got her face painted, collecting rainbow and pink beads along the way. I was super excited that baby boy woke up around this time because he was able to check things out while he had his afternoon bottle. I’m not sure that our guy can even see color yet, but he did seem to really enjoy playing with sister’s rainbow flag all afternoon.

The day quickly grew very hot, so we didn’t stay as long as we have in the past for fear that the babes would overheat. We did hit up the kids play area before heading out though, which was the perfect end to a fun day! I’m just so excited to take our little ones to Pride in the years to come. The bigger they get, the more fun it will be!

And here are a few pictures from a second Pride festival that we attended in one of our favorite neighborhoods. It was small and super family friendly and we had so much fun. Isn't my little family just the cutest. Looking at them makes my heart feel like it could burst. :)

In totally unrelated news - I promise I'm working on a giant post all about our gal! I feel guilty anytime it seems like it's a Will-palooza around here and I haven't written enough about my favorite girl. Her 5-year post has been in the works for months now and I just keep adding to my draft when I really should just post what I have, which is what I will be doing asap. There's so much going on in her life as an almost-5-and-a-half-year-old, that it's crazy! She's still in swim school and has now started soccer and an intensive reading program offered through our local University. She had a really cute Moana birthday party and is gearing up to start Kindergarten next week! More on this soon!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Trying to figure it out.

 “Adulting” is so damn hard. We hear this growing up, but do we really hear it? Well allow me to answer that question – we don’t. We rush through our childhood and adolescence wanting nothing more than to be older. To have more responsibility, more things, more money, etc. Well guess what folks, that’s called being an adult and sometimes,
it’s hard AF.
And this is where I find myself right now. In a hard place.
It’s funny. All my life I’ve longed for balance, but seldom have I been able to achieve it. When things were great in school academically growing up, friendships were usually not so good. When I’ve been my healthiest physically in years past, I’ve also been the loneliest, longing for a partner. When my family is finally exactly what I’ve always dreamed of, my career is in the toilet and I’m exhausted. Again.
Right now, my life looks pretty darn perfect from the outside, and it almost is perfect, except for a few things. Why must there always be those few fucking things?! My children are healthy, happy and ridiculously cute, and I have a pretty great wife. She’s near perfect but not all perfect, because none of us are. Georgia and I will be celebrating 11 years together next month and my God, have we been though a lot in those 11 years. We’ve often had conversations about all we’ve been through together and that we don’t know that most couples would have survived even half of what we’ve navigated… losing jobs, losing friends because of our commitment to each other; moving, buying a home, surviving infertility, surviving miscarriages, raising children as two gay moms, navigating Gracie’s operations, finding ways to pay for fertility treatment and said operations, dealing with crappy family members and, at times, falling “out of like” with each other.
What’s falling out of like, you ask? Allow me to explain. I will always love Georgia because of who she is and the impact she’s had on my life. She will always love me, but that doesn’t mean we’ll always like one another. All the hard shit listed above puts a lot of strain on a marriage and over time, if you’re not careful, it changes the way you speak to each other, how you view each other and it can make you fall out of like with one another. Lately, I find myself thinking back to our early years, when Georgia worshiped the ground I walked on and when I only had thoughts of love and rainbows for her too. You know, those years when the sex is amazing and frequent. When you take naps together only waking to eat and have more sex. You’re so connected because there is nothing pulling you in any other directions. It’s like you’re the only two people in the world and you’re basically obsessed with each other. Those were some great years.
Then, over time you decide to get married and fully blend your lives. This is when the hard stuff starts to creep in. The bills, the mixed family, the making of babies, the finding time for all of it and the other stuff that can be hard AF on a daily basis. Suddenly, you wake up and realize that you aren’t happy in your job, your house is always a mess, you’re exhausted and your wife hasn’t tried to seduce you or even cop a feel in months. This is basically where I am right now.
I remember feeling this way when Gracie was born. This is when I first realized that to be truly happy in life, I need 3 things: 7+ hours of sleep a night, an organized and somewhat tidy home and a feeling of physical connection to my wife – even if it’s just the occasional make out session. It doesn’t help that I learned 3 days before returning from FMLA that my position at work had been “absorbed” because the company is bleeding money and in huge financial trouble. I was told that I would be coming back to a completely new role, in a new department and would be building things from the ground up. It’s pretty much the last thing a mom with a newborn wants to hear, especially after spending 2 years building my previous position that now appears to run so perfectly that they want to “use my amazing talents in another area”… i.e. we’re going to continue to use you in any way we can. It also doesn’t help that a new baby means less sleep and more stuff and that the only “alone time” Georgia and I have each day is maybe 2 hours at night, which we often spend getting different things done in different rooms of the house…
I hate even writing things like this because how dare I complain. I have everything we’ve worked so hard for. We have our baby boy and he and his big sister are everything to us. We have a roof over our heads and we are both gainfully employed. Still, it’s so hard. Change is hard. Feeling like you can never truly find balance is hard. Being tired all the time is hard and missing the way your wife used to look at you -- is hard.
Adulting is fucking hard. Thank God for coffee.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

5 years later...

On this day, 5 years ago, my wife and I took one last picture of our beautiful girl before she went in for her first cleft lip surgery. We were so incredibly scared for her to be put under anesthesia and for everything that was to follow - but not her.

Our brave girl was all smiles and did absolutely amazing! 

To this day, she is our fearless little warrior princess and it all started here, before she was even 5 months old.

Friday, July 14, 2017

First Holidays with our Little Guy!

It’s nuts to think that our little dude has already celebrated his first 3 holidays – Easter, Mothers’ Day and 4th of July! The time has flown and having him here with us on these special days has been such a joy for the entire family! It’s amazing the love and happiness that a new baby brings to a family unit. We’re all a little more excited to see one another. We stay at functions a bit longer than before, taking turns holding our little cutie, and there’s just more love all around. I know that Easter and Mothers’ Day were months ago, but I still wanted to document them because they were our baby boy’s very first! That and he’s growing so fast that Mama loves any excuse to share pictures of him when he was still teenie tiny!
-  E A S T E R -

Let me start by saying that neither Easter nor Mothers’ Day went off without a hitch… I think I forgot what an adjustment it is to have a new baby when you’re trying to look nice and leave the house on time… I don’t remember it being as difficult with Gracie, but at that time we also only had one baby to bring along while now we have a crazy dog running around driving me crazy + a very active 5-year-old who never wants to get ready + a new breastfed baby who is hungry all the time! Easter was a bit stressful because Will was so new, just 5 days old and while we wanted to stay home in our little nest because Will was still recovering from jaundice, we knew the fam would be expecting us, so off we went.

I don’t remember if I mentioned Will’s jaundice following birth in his birth story, but it was pretty bad. The hospital did let us leave on day 3, but only because we were sent home with a Neonatal Jaundice Treatment Unit that we had to place him in as much as possible. We did everything we were told to do and yet, every morning when we would have his blood checked, his improvement was minimal. It broke our hearts to have his foot pricked so much but we just kept pushing forward and doing everything as instructed. Then, on Easter Sunday as we hung out with family at my mom’s house, we received an emergent call from the on-call nurse at our Ped office informing us that following Will’s most recent re-test the evening before, the results showed that he was not in good shape and because his numbers weren’t where they should be we needed to come in immediately! As you can imagine, both G and I panicked leaving Grace with my mom while we sped off to the Dr. office. Turns out that the nurse we spoke with had completely overreacted and he was perfectly fine and making the progress that was needed. While this was good news, we were super upset that our nurse put us into a state of panic for absolutely no reason, and as a result, caused us to miss nearly all of our baby boy’s first Easter with family. We had to miss Gracie’s Easter egg hunt and Will missed what would have been his first egg hunt as well because by the time we returned, most of our family had left, which made me so sad. :(

Thankfully, our adorable babies made some other pretty great memories the week of Easter, including their first visit to the Easter Bunny together as brother and sister along with Gaga and Papa, Easter crafting at Nani and Grandpa K’s and Easter morning was so much fun for the four of us! I made a special Easter basket for baby boy just like I did for Gracie’s 1st Easter and it turned out so stinkin’ cute! I learned my lesson since making Gracie’s basket years ago, to just go BIG with the basket from the get-go and while his basket was so large he could have fit it, it turned out super cute! My little sis was also in town for Easter for the first time in probably 10 years, which was so amazing! She had flown in for Will’s birth and I was able to talk her into staying through Easter, so it was so great to have her here for our guy’s first Easter, waking up with them the morning of to help find where the Easter Bunny hid their baskets! It just meant so much to us that she was here!

- M O T H E R S D A Y - 

In the weeks leading up to Mothers’ Day, I was so excited at the thought of having another reason to celebrate! Another sweet beautiful baby to call us mom! We decided that we would give our moms photo collages of Will and Grace from our newborn photo session as their Mamas Day presents, so I got busy finding pretty frames and ordering prints the week prior. The plan was for both of our families and my brother’s family to get together for brunch at one of our favorite restaurants with a beautiful patio and just lounge and sip mimosas together all afternoon. Well, our day didn’t exactly turn out that way… For the first time ever, Georgia experienced some milk production issues and was having a hard time pumping enough milk to feed baby. And because she refused to give him formula, we basically had to just keep having her pump and wait. There was some miscommunication between G and I regarding who would put the picture collage together for her mom and we didn’t realize this until after we were already running late… Then I sliced my hand open on the glass of one of the frames while trying to quickly put the gifts together and bled all over the place! Long story short, we ended up joining our family nearly 2 hours late and were hardly speaking to one another by the time we arrived, lol!

Thank gawd for our amazing families who made us feel better about being so late. They loved on our kiddos and showered us with presents, which definitely helped to ease some tension and saved the day. It also helped that I had a great hair day and loved my new outfit, ha! Our moms LOVED their pictures and Will looked just as cute as ever in his baby suspenders. Grace was pretty darn adorable too!

After both holidays passed, I had to laugh at how they both went. If you saw our pictures on social media via Instagram, you would have thought that our Easter and Mothers’ Day went perfectly, which is sooo not what happened. Still, even with all that did go wrong, both were pretty great!

Mama's new charm for my boy! Thanks wife!

And for G - an everything you need breastfeeding basket! 

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