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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