Thursday, November 26, 2009

Picture this...

This month Kensington's school did class photos. While the quality of the prints were what you'd expect from LifeTouch, so was the time investment from the photographer. Unlike the other photoshoots Kensington has gone to that range from 30-90 minutes a setting, this was more of a "sit, snap, next" experience - which meant no room for errors, or lack of smiling. Needless to say we didn't purchase the entire kit, but as any good parents would do, we purchase one of each print for scrapbook purposes.

Here they are for your viewing pleasure. [note... she's not wearing eye shadow, it's the way the scan came out]

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

One small step for man; one giant leap for Kensington

These are the tiny feet that carried you today.
First steps free from our hands, we watched our baby step away.
During the coming years, we'll guide these little feet,
As they toddle 'cross the lawn, and safely cross the street.

They'll soon grow strong and steady, find puddles to kick and splash,
Pedal a two-wheel bike, and win a schoolyard dash.
Kick a ball, learn to dance, race a friend home from school,
Skip a rope, jump in bed, dive feet-first at the pool.

Your small feet may often stumble, scrape a knee or take a fall,
Misstep or need direction, or a model to stand tall.
Know we'll always be behind you, our love will give you wings,
To proudly fill the shoes, a grown-up life will bring.

The years will quickly pass, and these feet will learn to drive,
Walk the stage to a diploma, when graduation day arrives.
We'll watch through misty eyes, as you walk down wedding's aisle,
A family of your own, you'll start your jouney with a smile.

These tiny prints will hold our hearts, for each tomorrow you will grow,
Today we'll hold you closer, for too soon these feet will go.

We were two minutes too late. Kensington took her first steps on Thanksgiving eve, but we didn't have the camera ready. By the time I unplugged the battery charger and grabbed the camera, she was done with her latest trick. We will now be keeping the camera by our side 24/7 to capture her next steps.

Special thanks to Teri Harrison for the poem above.

Think outside the socks...

Is matching is over rated? I don't think it is... and it erks me to no end when Chris dresses Kensington in the mornings and her socks don't match her outfit. I know it's something I should get over, right? So, image my surprise when our friend Kathi brought over a gift for Kensi, a collection of LittleMissMatched items. This company began with the wacky idea to sell colorful missmatched socks in odd numbers. LittleMissMatched has created socks, leggings, gloves, sleepwear, swimwear, bedding, electronic socks, and a book (My MissMatched Life, Chronicle Books) – all incorporating their core design philosophy that nothing matches but anything goes.

Each collection allows for thousands of clever combinations using unique color waves and patterns, giving girls the chance to express their creativity and individuality every day of the year.

But does clever combinations = good taste? I'm still not sure. While I was getting her ready for school on Monday, I tried to let down my fashion gaurd and place two MissMatched mismatched socks on her little feetsies. I stood her up and looked her over. The gay-gene in me made me take them off and place the matching socks that coordinated perfected with the outfit. The socks and the leggings are, by themselves, absolutely precious. I just need to take baby steps so when my baby takes her steps, she does it in style.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Confucius say, "Shit happens."

Kensington doesn't get the concept of daylight saving time, weekends or holidays. She has her own little internal clock that doesn't come with a snooze button - I would have to say this is the only true drawback to parenthood.

While we'd like to stay up past 9:30pm on Friday and Saturday nights, we know that when 6:00 - 6:30am comes around, little Miss Sunshine will up and ready to start her day, and she doesn't care if we have matching Louis Vuitton luggage under our eyes. So, it came to quite a surprise the other Saturday when at 6:30 in the morning, we were not being summoned into Kensi's play-palace. My heart started to race. “Oh God, did something happen?” I reached for the monitor and put my ear to it. Okay, I could hear her breathing. All is well. I rolled over and shut my eyes, thinking that this is going to be a wonderful weekend.

Unfortunately, not being able to sleep-in for the past 11 months (has it been that long?), I tossed and turned for the next 30 minutes. It was no use. I wasn’t going to be able to get back to sleep. I might as well go and start the coffee and check Facebook while Sleeping Beauty is getting her rest. A few moments later, I run upstairs and grab the monitor so I can have it by me she when she does wake up, I can go and be the first one to give her morning kisses (Chris and I fight for this privilege). I still hear her breathing, so all is well. Maybe I will sneak in watch her sleep for a little bit. I open the door, and to my surprise, through the dark I can see the top of Kensington’s head peeking up over the cribs frame. She is sitting up with her back to the door. “I wonder how longs she’s been up?” I think to myself. She hears me and turns around with her hands raising up for me to lift her. Before I my eyes can adjust to the darkness, I grab her. “Holy mother of Jesus…” I scream.

Chris has now jumped out of bed. Kensi had an EXPLOSIVE diaper that leaked out of her bedtime onesie. I start to hurl. I’m gagging and I’m holding her by her armpits. Instead of running to the bathroom across the hall and putting her in the tub, I run downstairs with her to put her in her infant bathtub that was in the kitchen. I put her on the floor while the water is running and warming up. She wants to stand… no, she actually wants to climb on my leg. “Oh no you don’t!” I have my foot out preventing her from climbing up on me. This is not want she wants, and she lets me know how unhappy she is.

Chris now enters the room. He turns and gags. “Chris, grab her.”

“You want me to gr….” And he hurls. “Chris, there’s shit coming out of her onsie.” Tears start streaming down his face and he’s laughing and vomiting at the same time. I grab her by the shoulders and head towards him. “Open up the trash bin.”. Chris steps on the level and the stainless steel doors open. We start peeling away the saturated poo material clinging to her back, thighs and legs. “Just throw the outfit away,” but instead Chris puts it in a plastic bag so he can wash it. Really?!?! It wasn’t worth saving. Now it’s time to peel away the useless diaper. “What, you want to save that too?” He wasn’t laughing. Kensington was, but Chris wasn’t. We then pluck her from the bin into the tub and start filling it with water. I know this is not the order that one normally baths an infant, but under the circumstances, we’d be more than happy explain the situation to the department of child protective services. The water quickly turns brown. I pick Kensi up and we empty the tub and start all over again. The good thing is, she loves bath time. So, with her pink ducky in one hand, and her baby alligator in the other, she splashes about and we suds her up and spray her off. We have to empty the tub again. Water cascades across the counter, down the drawers, and onto the floor. Duncan is there to lick it up. We then we suds her up one last time and spray her off. Now she’s squeaky clean.

So much for thinking that this is going to be a wonderful weekend. :)

Monday, November 16, 2009

Giddy Up, Little Cowgirl

This has been a crazy week. I finished Kensington's birthday invite and have been writing address after address.

I'm completely and utterly depressed. Last night while I was starting to change Kensi's diaper, I decided that I was going to give her a bath (she worked up a little sweat as we went on our weekend walk). I asked Chris to watch her for a moment while I got her bath ready. Two minutes later I hear, "I'm braving new territory" as I see him walking into the room holding our naked daughter. What... no diaper? Well, as soon as Kensi heard the running water, her own little faucet turned on - and all over Chris. Of course, I ran to get the camera and started snapping away, only to find out that the memory card was in the disk reader because I had transferred photos earlier that day. Oh well, maybe next time.

Here are some of the photos that I did capture when the card was actually in the camera.

 - Kensington waiting by the windo for papa to come home.
 - The eyes that get her whatever she wants.
 - Chris's halloween masterpiece.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

It's The Great Pumpkin (picking adventure), Charlie Brown!

Click to play this Smilebox scrapbook:
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For those of you viewing this on facebook, you can view the video by visiting

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Move over John and Kate… here come the gays.

Not many people are aware that earlier this year, Chris and I were working with a casting director from TLC for a new reality series on alternative families. Okay… it was more of “I” was working with the casting director.
It all started with one of our ItsDaddies.Plural. readers sending a message that they had received from the casting agency looking for gay parents in middle America that were interested in the concept. Of course it peeked my interest and I sent in our blog link to the email address that provided. Within a couple days, I received a phone call while at work and had a phone interview. They had asked for some more information and I sent in our adoption portfolio, along with our autobiographies that we had created for Friends In Adoption. A couple weeks went by and I received another call. They were still interested and we had made it to the next level. I provided some additional information (funny parenting stories that we had encountered) as well as some additional photos and an “average week” summation. This was extremely easy to provide because of the blog. A few days later and I had received another call and provided some additional information. Then about three weeks went by and I didn’t hear anything. It looked like we weren’t selected. Oh well, it would have been fun.

Then the 4th of July weekend hit. My blackberry was acting up (don’t tell my IT department, but it could have been Kensington’s saliva that shorted out the interface because our little chickpea decided that she wanted to use it as a teething ring) and I didn’t realize that I had a voicemail message that was in my inbox for a couple days. It was Brian, from the TLC casting agency. We had made it to the final selection round. He wanted to talk to us about a video that he needed sent electronically before the weekend was up. It was to be a 3-5 minute video of the three of us answering a couple questions that they provided. It was also to show us giving a tour of our home. They needed it by that Monday, as they would be making their selection of families (the show would be an ongoing storyline of a couple different LGBT families and how they deal with raising an alternative family in a majority straight society).

Houston, we have a problem. This was becoming real, and I left out one minor little detail. I didn’t tell Chris any of this was happening. I told him about the original email that I had received saying that TLC was doing a show, but I left out the details of the numerous phone and email communications I had with Brian.

So, as we were preparing for our holiday gathering in NJ, I sprung it on him.

“Look at what we can do for America… there are currently six states that prohibit gays from adopting. We can show them that gay families can provide loving and stable homes to the tens of thousands of children currently needing a home.”
He wasn’t buying it.

“Chris, think of what this can do for our family. This can boost Kensington’s college fund. She will have a want for nothing. Jon and Kate are getting, like, $250k an episode."
Nope. Still not budging. (It probably had something to do with Jon and Kate announcing that they were splitting up and that was on the cover of every magazine that week).
So I decided to go the passive-aggressive route, “Do NOT stifle this family’s creativity. Stop thinking about you, you, you and start thinking about us. Our little girl is loved by so many and can be loved by the world. Look how we have helped so many people during their adoption journey with our blog… think of what we can do… think of what Kensington can do. She deserves to be a star!” I said this half jokingly.

Wrong approach. Clearly I should have thought this through a little bit more.

What followed next was a lightly heated conversation about scripted reality and how everything is exaggerated for ratings. “It doesn’t have to be that way… this show is different, they are showing LGBT families is a positive light. Look, we don’t have to sign a contract without reading it. If anything looks like we won’t have control of how they view us, we’ll walk away.” He still wasn’t buying any of it. “Okay, look. Let’s ask everyone at the party what they think. Don’t say ‘no’ just yet. Let’s get some buy-in from our friends.” He went for it. This could not have been better for me. I knew they’d all say ‘go for it’.

Okay. I was wrong. EVERYONE said to stay clear of the situation. While it may seem fun, we shouldn’t expose ourselves like this. They went through example after example of individuals who have exposed themselves to reality television; and how they are now suffering for all that they have received. Infidelity, no privacy, the replay effect, lack of reality, good intentions gone bad, questionable morality and separation/divorce. Although reality tv makes great entertainment, it is probably not the best place to raise a family or to showcase our lives. I got it. Some friends they are for poop-pooping my hopes and dreams. :)
One of the key points that they included (these are my friends, mind you) that the world would not get/understand my strange sense of humor. While THEY get and they love it… it might not come across the way I want it to when it is sliced and edited to fit into a 42 minute episode. I just don’t understand?

And then Halloween hit. I thought I came up with the perfect Halloween costume for our Kensington – It was cute and adorable, and yet scary and deadly – everything you’d want during this particular holiday event, right?

Come on... this is precious.
Look, I know that swine flu isn't a laughing matter. We've had a friend and co-worker that had swine flu for two weeks, and a gay dad that we know currently has a little one that sick right now.
But when you think about it, Ed Gein (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre) did horrible things, and yet hundreds of thousands of kids dressed up like him and he was portrayed in almost every scary hayride across the country.

Piracy off the Somali coast has been a threat to international shipping recently, and yet, Captain Jack Black was going door-to-door asking for candy.

Death is real... and scary, but that didn't stop major department stores from selling Grim Reaper costumes.

So, what I’m saying is, the Swine Flu is in fact an appropriate Halloween costume and it's not just my sense of humor coming into play. Now, it’s probably something that we would have gotten backlash for had we showed this on television, so I guess everything happens for a reason.