To Pour or Not to Pour…The Toddler Decides

During a rather idyllic breakfast on Wednesday morning, LADC asked to pour her water onto her grits. My gut reaction was to shut that mess down but instead I simply said, I don’t think that’s a great decision but go for it. It may not taste very good. 

Sounded gross. But totally harmless.

She poured.

She stared.

She tasted.

She gagged.

She waved her hand over it and muttered some toddler-ese which I interpreted as…”You were right, mom, that was a POOR decision.”

When I asked her if it tasted badly she said, “Yea,” connected to this half laugh half sigh that she does when she know something was so ridiculously silly. (seriously, it is the cutest)

We can call it a culinary experiment so it sounds really brave and smart. We do encourage exploring and learning at home. Making messes and doing the silly thing is kind of part of our every day life. Some of us shoot water cannons at others while they mow the grass just because it makes the toddler insanely happy. We will be cleaning up glitter for the rest of our lives.

If I had said no to pouring water on the grits, there would have been tears and frustration. I do not like to say NO all the time. Sometimes our instinct is to say no because of inconvenience, a bad mood, laziness…those times I have to stop myself and remember I am trying to raise a tiny human. I have to stop to remember that pouring water on the grits might just turn into a moment that I can tell her about when she asks about when she was a small. Saying yes to the silly odd random thing might just be the best decision I make all day.

I read an article once about parents who never said no. They discussed the good and bad consequences of decisions with their kids and gave them the choice. Keeping an open dialogue for when the tough subjects come up. I mean some things are inherently dangerous and require a strong NO. We have some non-neogtiables like brushing teeth. Has to be done even if there are tears and ear piercing screams. BUT Some things are just things that can be turned into a teaching moment. Some things are just silly so you do them anyway.

LADC thinks grits are the best breakfast ever. As most parents know, getting a toddler to eat can be challenging so having their favorites on had is essential. I have had to permanently add grits to the grocery list. I remember not liking grits as a kid but I also remember them being white and bland unless you put a slice of cheese in it. (We use Bob’s Red Mill Polenta following the suggested directions and also adding some nutritional yeast and flax meal to make it extra nutritious.)

Guess Who’s Back!?

Hello all (if you’re still out there)! I haven’t read a blog or written a blog in like 6 months. I have been momming, working and wifing hard…not always in that order but always doing all the things. If you follow us on Instagram, you’re fully up to date on her growth and what we’re doing now.

Working from home was hard. I made it work. I did some office management work for a about 6 months which demanded a lot of computer time. However, I am now back working in the real world…and by real world…I mean I play for a living and I love it. I was presented with an opportunity this past February and I seized it. My little one goes to work with me every day!

I finally have some room to give updating, writing and musing some attention.

I mostly want to hold on to memories that I know my brain can not possibly hold on to forever.

Like would I always remember that she laughed in her sleep the other morning. Then Lisa and I giggled back and forth. I wonder what she was dreaming about?

I want to remember the pee-pee in the potty dance she did for hours last night EVEN before she actually peed in the potty.

Or those moments when we have one big group hug and there are so many giggles, kisses and love is just oozing out of us.

Maybe moms always remember this stuff…Maybe I will remember it but just in case my brain gets so full of wonderful memories that some start falling out…I’ll write them out just in case.

4 Month Update

We brought our sweet baby home on a snowy blizzardy type day.

It is hot now.

It is summer.

It is July…

And our baby is FOUR freaking MONTHS OLD! Look at how much she has changed from when she was just four weeks old.

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The difference between a 4 week old and 4 month old feels infinitely different. She definitely has less hair. Her fingers are still super long like the rest of her. So much changes so fast. Her little personality is starting to take shape. She has little coo-versations, giggles, smiles, grabs, scoots and sleeps. I swear, yesterday, she fit perfectly in a 3 month onesie but today I couldn’t get the darn thing buttoned. It is fun to watch her grown and change but I would not wish this time away. I savor every laugh, smile and noise.

No official weight or height for this month yet. Her unofficial weight is around 13 lbs.

LA LOVES

  • Making fun noises
  • Holding her own bottle
  • Playing with her feet
  • The taste of a good book or even a mediocre one as long as the pages turn
  • Putting all the things in her mouth
  • Climbing her giant panda bear (w/ mom’s help, of course)
  • Playing with toys that crinkle
  • Gnawing on Sophie the Giraffe
  • Playing on her exer-saucer
  • Smiling at moms
  • Grabbing hair
  • Giving open mouth kisses to everything
  • Riding in her Ergo
  • Laughing at her moms and grammy

LA LOATHES

  • Things that don’t fit in her mouth
  • When her limbs won’t do all the things
  • A cold wipe
  • When moms eat dinner

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SCOTUSBlog Live: June 26th

Good morning! It is Friday which, is amazing. I think real-time blogging about a live blog makes me some sort of weird super fan. However, it did make me sublimely happy yesterday so I am totally doing it again today as promised. Chances are I will be silent during most of the 9:00 AM hour as I have “work” things to do. So here is what you need to know.

You can find SCOTUSBlog if you click here!

The link to all things Obergefell v. Hodges (SSM Case) is right here!

You can see what cases are left, which Justices have issued opinions and other stats if you click here!

You can check out that Hillary Clinton same-sex marriage campaign video that is making everyone cry below!

[9:03 AM EST] Amy How is live blogging for ScotusBlog! It’s time to get on people!

Oh yea, the link to the SCOTUSBlog FAQs….so important.

[9:16 AM EST] Don’t take this to mean anything but today is the anniversary of the Windsor and Lawrence opinions!

A very bad quality picture of me and Edie Windsor...alcohol may have been a factor in photo quality and distance.

A very bad quality picture of me and Edie Windsor…alcohol may have been a factor in photo quality and distance.

P.S. If you haven’t seen A Very Long Engagement, do it! It is how Lisa and I fell in love with the story of Edie and Thea. I am pretty sure it is still available on Netflix.

[9:43 AM EST] The count is 32K on SCOTUSBlog!

Not so fun fact: I’m labeling things right now. Feel the excitement.

[9:46 AM EST] Lyle is the guy from SCOTUSBlog in the press room at the courthouse who calls in the opinions. Thus, #WaitingforLyle

[9:54 AM EST] FOUR BOXES TODAY! FOUR!!!

[9:58 AM EST] 54K people on SCOTUBlog

[9:59 AM EST] OMG! OMG! OMG! 1 minute until opinion time.

[10:00 AM EST] We are officially #waitingforLyle

[10:01 AM EST] Marrriage – First Opinion – Kennedy

[10:02 AM EST] Holding: Fourteenth Amendment requires a state to license a marriage between two people of the same sex.

And to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when a marriage was lawfully licensed and performed out of state.

[10:02 AM] 5-4 with dissents from the obvious, Sixth Circuit reversed.

OK I am headed to the courthouse.

Quick Update: There are pictures and a few videos on my Instagram account – LezBVeganMoms. I’ll write more later when I have time. 

Congratulations everyone! Love freaking won!!!!

I Think I Jinxed Us…My Bad

There are a lot of babies popping out in my atmosphere which is awesome. It is a wave of babies…It happened a year or so after I graduated college too. I just was not part of that particular wave which, all babies should be thankful. On this wave we are kind of the de facto “experts” because we have been parents for a whole 3 months and 4 weeks so we have all the advice. We obviously have this parenting thing down because we are awesome. So last night I was messaging with a friend who has a one month old who may be slightly colicky or just being a newborn. So there I was passing on my sage advice as a mom. I am feeling pretty good and confident. In so many words, I told her that what is happening is normal and that it gets better around 3 months…it’s magical…there is sleeping, less screaming, less waking…but I’ll be damned…I jinxed it. I effing jinxed it with all the baby whispering wisdom.

It all started with a freaking fly that must have gotten in some time during all the plumber/restoration people coming in and out (another adult-ing story that is not even worth words). Everyone is pissed at the fly. The fly is just doing its fly thing. I was all like there is a lot more house you could do that in, brother. Maybe it did not want to be alone. So I am trying to catch it when it lands…Then there is our dog, Poe, who likes to chase bugs. I am getting up and down chasing the fly. He is pouncing on the bed trying to catch the fly with his mouth to no avail. He weighs like 60 lbs. so his lunging at Mr. Fly is felt by all. He is up and down off the bed. I open my eyes every once in a while to him sitting and staring at me like, how is he supposed to sleep in these conditions. Plus he is also pretty disgruntled because he doesn’t get an entire side of the bed to himself so he periodically flings himself on to the floor in a huff when my feet accidentally touch his paws.

The Fly Catching Wonder Dog

The Fly Catching Wonder Dog

All the while, LA is waking with little whimpers in her sleep but around 3:00 AM all hell breaks loose and she is wailing like a 3 day old. We try her pacifier, diaper change, boob, bottle…Nothing is working…Pretty sure it was gas or she was working on a poop. I try all my soothing things that usually work for me. After a bit, it is clear that my techniques are ineffective. Lisa gets up with LA and they rock on the side of the bed. LA and I both finally doze off to the sound of Lisa….Shhhhhhhhh…

Couch sleeping moment caught before we all headed off to bed.

Couch sleeping moment caught before we all headed off to bed.

After a bit I hear a snap then cough…he finally caught that damn fly. My dog and wife are my heroes! I think I managed a little over two hours of sleep last night. I was not surprised when I woke up and felt slightly hungover…although it has been so long since I’ve had a hangover who knows…they are probably far worse now than they were pre-baby. Even in my sleep deprived stooper I made sure to high-five my wife for our fantastic show of teamwork!

I have had my latte and I am taking on the day…and by taking on the day I mean I think I’m going to watch Pretty Little Liars on my phone.

Super Busy Mum

My Pride and Joy

As I lie here watching my baby girl yawn and wiggle, I think…Wow, what a difference a year makes. In just one year there were so many positive changes for the LGBTQ+ community. From epic court victories to Caitlyn Jenner appearing on the cover of Vanity Fair magazine. The US is also just a matter of days/weeks away from a SCOTUS opinion on marriage equality. This is such an exciting time for LGBTQ+ families! Some days I can not believe this is my life! It blows my little mind that this very week last year we were anxiously awaiting the day that our IUI could be performed. Lisa was preparing her body for the sacrifice and I was freaking out about when to have the tank taken over to Shady Grove from Fairfax Cryobank. Now here we are with a baby who is about to turn 3 months old this week.

Columbia, SC Pride 2009: Tiffany

Columbia, SC Pride 2009: Tiffany

June is LGBTQ+ Pride month and I am filled with SO MUCH PRIDE AND JOY this year. It makes me want to build a cloud float with a really big papier-mache unicorn and ride it through the town…But what new parent has time for that? So instead I’ll reflect on Pride festivals of yore. The first pride I ever witnessed was when I was 17 years old. I was shopping in DC with my mom and a friend when the pride parade rolled down the street. I had just graduated high school and had no idea I was gay yet and wouldn’t for some years. Visions of scantily clad Native Americans and two-stepping Texans dance through my head when I look back on that day. I wouldn’t see another pride until I was 30 years old. As an only partially out of the closet adult, in Columbia, SC I worked the ACLU booth and marched in the parade as part of my internship there. Walking in the parade with the ACLU just about made my heart burst. Then I rocked out to Tiffany and that made my inner middle school girl pretty happy. Fast forward only a few years…Lisa and I spent our first DC Pride together. I was so excited! We got a fancy hotel room for the weekend because we had all intentions of going out to all of the events and parties but ordered pizza and crashed. From the stories Lisa tells about Atlanta Pride, I think she was still tired from that. We did watch the parade which turned me into a crying mess…churches, youth, parents, drag queens, children…all marching together to say…We love you…We are your family…Celebrate this life!

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Pride 2014: Excited about the cryobank making an appearance!

If you’re out there in the world wondering why there is a Pride, because for some people those groups, those friends, those churches, those drag queens…they are somebody’s home…somebody’s family. We should celebrate our extended family because we are not alone in this world because of them. So this June I’ll celebrate my family…the ones at home and the ones out there who have always been there. No matter what your family looks like. Be proud.

I am not 37 and neither is my wife…

I had an amazingly large brain-fart which I am claiming was brought on by parenthood. My super wonderful awesome forgiving wife fo’ life had a birthday. Through the power of miscommunication and corporate policy…Lisa was at home all weekend! So even though I had a birthday present for her, I did not have a card. I love greeting cards…a whole bunch so I went downstairs to write a note…draw a picture…something.  However, I found a kid’s birthday card that I thought was PERFECT! Hilariously, I wrote in a 3 in front of the 7 with a Sharpie…manufacturing a 37.  Listen people I was full on happy with myself and my silly gesture…I proudly plop her card on the counter which she finds and opens…

Let’s just say, she is not 37 which means neither am I.

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No matter how hard I wish…I can’t make that not a 7.

Welcome to Paradise…

IMG_0906We should/could be basking in the sun and listening to the roll of the ocean waves in the Dominican Republic right now but instead we are knee-deep in dirty diapers and listening to the wails of a two month old refusing to have a nap…And we couldn’t be happier.

For reals.

I swear.

Last year we booked our next Olivia* vacation while celebrating our honeymoon on the Olivia Equality Cruise. On the cruise we finally realized we are not cruise people. We do not like a structured schedule of events laid out for us daily. We do not want to feel obligated to see beautiful exotic locations when we really just feel like sitting on a balcony with a cold beverage…so we booked a resort as our next trip. While we were booking our vacation, the saleswoman was trying to sell us on the idea of being close to the action…but we wanted our room in a secluded area…because our vision for our Punta Cana trip involved a plush room with a fully stocked bar we could access at any time, strolling along the beach as we watched all of the others party from a distance, and snorkeling on a remote end of the beach by ourselves. We are not total loners but we do appreciate some quiet time. Olivia vacationers though are super sweet…you’re surrounded by women from all over the world…It’s pretty amazing. Also the vacations seem to be pretty addictive so the same people are booking over and over.

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We cancelled this trip last June for reasons that are now super obvious…She weighs 10 lbs. and loves a boob! Lisa remained a member of the Facebook group for the trip so she is being teased daily with pictures of fun times in Punta Cana. Even though we are missing out on the fun in the sun, I do not think we are ready to be away from little LA for longer than a work day and that is stretching it! So when it was finally officially announced that Olivia will be doing a family vacation for 2016 with R Family Vacations, I was super excited! While I am so so so happy that Olivia does women’s only adult vacations, being able to go some place as a family is also amazing. Even before I knew I was gay I wanted to go on an R Family cruise (glaring red flag I missed).

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Click on the picture for more details!

This just sounds like a wonderful family vacation. Maybe if they keep doing these, we can have a blogger meet up with our families!!!

P.S. I am not a spokesperson for a Olivia. I just happened to fill out a questionnaire about a potential for this type of vacation.  I was very enthusiastic in my response so I am glad they took my advice…so you’re welcome!

*If you don’t know what Olivia is, you’re probably straight. It’s a lesbian vacation company that has been around FOREVER. They really know how to throw a lady vacation!

The universe has something to say…

He boarded the green line train at the same time I did. I followed him on purpose to his seat. His punk rock look stood out among the 5:00 commuter dress of uniforms and dress pants. I wanted to sit next to him but an eager beaver sat down in the spot before I could so I stood in the aisle. He settled in and played a game on his phone, like you do.

As we traveled, I could not help but wonder where he was going…home? A friend’s house? Some music show? Maybe he is in a band? He looks like he’s in a band…

He has two black eyes…My eyes are not playing tricks on me…I wonder if he got those black eyes from a fight? Or a mosh pit? Maybe a drunken fight with a friend over a girl (or boy)? Maybe something worse…I wanted to ask him all of these things…and more…

I wanted to know if he had enough money…a place to sleep…enough to eat…was he loved enough…was he safe…but I didn’t.

He stayed on the train all the way to the end, the last stop, my stop…We didn’t speak as we both waited for the door to open. I made sure to smile at him…you never know the last time someone was really smiled at…he smiled a familiar lazy blurry smile back at me.  I walked behind him up the escalator to the exit but he got held back by the Friday afternoon rush to the parking lot and bus lines. I looked back to see that he made it out…What if he didn’t have enough money on his Metro card…I saw him walk toward the Kiss & Ride…he had a ride…that’s good…a friend, I hope…or parent…or sister. Someone with a smile that would ask him about those black eyes…I hoped.IMG_0742

My eyes filled with tears as I walked to my car…every kid I see like that is you. My eyes filled with tears as I remembered your birthday was only a few days away. I cried the cry that you do when you remember…

One day I will get to tell my daughter that we named her after  you…Her uncle…My brother. For now I’ll appreciate the reminders from the universe. It is not the first time I’ve seen you on a train. The first time was on a train between Jesup, GA and Charleston…I gave him cough drops when he coughed…and then stuck all the dollar bills I had in the side of his bag when he wasn’t looking. Even though I don’t know who they are, they remind me of you.

Happy 33rd Birthday.

2 Moms R Awesome 2 

I often read a news story because it shows up in my newsfeed on Facebook, my Google alerts, someone posts it on Twitter or even just my daily scan of CNN.com (I only read the Crime & Justice section) and Huffington Post. I mostly reserve my commentary on current events for Lisa and my close friends. On a rare occasion something will gnaw at me until I feel like not commenting is more harmful than commenting.  Which brings me to Heather Barwick’s letter on The Federalist. (If you’re an American history or political junkie, you’ll get the name reference. If not, click here.) If you haven’t read the piece, stop reading this and click here I’ll wait….(This link is a more in depth iteration or maybe combination of her essay in the Federalist and her interview with WorldMag.com.)

Welcome back….

Reading her story before proceeding is important to me because I do not believe in opining on something based on the title or other people’s perceptions…I like to marinate on my thoughts for a few days to avoid gut and emotionally regrettable reactions especially on something that hits this close to home…but Heather Barwick doesn’t have two mommies. Heather has/had a mom, a step-mother type and a seemingly deadbeat dad. I do not think she represents the whole or even a fraction of LGBT children. I think her situation is different…because she has a dad.

From reading her essay it appears her dad was not around or not around enough or in the right way. She was/is missing a dad. I do not think another male figure would have filled that role for her any better than her mother’s partner. Why, in my opinion? Because she has a dad. I lived in a house with my dad my entire childhood so I can not even comprehend all of the feelings that come along with the knowledge as a child that a parent (mother or father) is out there in the world but does not want to be near. Even though I have not lived this, I have seen the effects in the lives of others close to me. That wound does not seem to heal no matter how stable an environment is created. My parents divorced when I was a senior in high school. They’ve both remarried bringing step-parents, step-siblings and an ever growing extended family (which reminds me that our hearts are capable of limitless love). No parent was replaced though. My father was still my dad and mother still my mom. But step-parents often do step in to take on that role of the absent parent. Trying to fill a hole that may already be shaped like someone else. So no I don’t think Heather’s mom’s partner could replace her father…not even if she had the right parts.

As for the long-term consequences she speaks of, I would like to point out what I think should be obvious at this point…I was raised by a man and a woman. I am now happily married to another woman. I did not grow up around any same-sex couples (that I can recall). There were no same-sex marriage models for me to draw from in my life. In fact, the first same-sex marriage ceremony I attended was my own. Yet so far…I’m (We’re) doing alright.

One thing she says is dead on, “…there are so many different ways that the family unit can break down and cause kids to suffer.” And as I continued to do research on her essay and came across the WorldMag.com interview, I noticed that every example of proof that kids of same-sex couples were unhappy and maladjusted was of some extreme scenario. What I think is that there are far-reaching consequences of divorce, infidelity, abandonment, and just plain unhappy homes that impact families of all shapes and sizes. The impact is greatest on the children. We are the adults and we are responsible for making sure the kids are alright.

Kids do not exclusively come in to LGBT homes as products of divorce, although some do. LGBT families are formed in so many ways…just not in the oops I’m pregnant way…What you should think of when you see a LGBT couple with a child is how much that child was wanted…And how much thought, planning, love, persistence, and even monetary resources were put in to having that child. I am one of two moms to a new baby. A new baby that was planned, conceived and birthed into a family of two moms. There is no dad. There is no missing person. There is no person who did not want to be a dad. Our names are on the birth certificate. I believe with all of my heart that we are enough parent. We are an original intact family of two moms and a child. My wish and hope for my child is that she knows she is loved and wanted every day. She will know where she came from and how she came to be. Because two moms (two dads, one mom and even one dad) need a little extra help to bring a child into this world. Our child will always know that her two moms had help making her and somewhere out there is someone who gave us a precious gift. I know one day there will be questions but we will have the answers. We will always be open and honest.

Heather wanted to start a dialogue and it should continue. I think hearing from kids born or adopted in to LGBT families is important too. My concern for my child is what initially drew me to her story. It is unfortunate that after reading her piece on The Federalist that I found the WorldMag.com article because I now feel like her change of heart/of politics coincides with her chosen denomination. I kind of wish she would have just said that instead. In a way, I feel like Heather Barwick and I are less than 6 degrees of separation apart. She was raised in Maryland, I currently live in MD. She lives in Columbia, SC, a city I called home for 11 years. We are roughly the same age from what I can tell. We even have the same first name. Depending on how long she has lived in Columbia, our paths may have crossed. Our 20 year old selves probably would have been friends. In her role as a child advocate, I hope she finds it in her heart to remember that families come in all shapes, sizes and configurations…

And always remember there’s nothing worth sharing
like the love that let’s us share our name
Always remember there’s nothing worth sharing
like the love that let’s us share our name