Blue in the Sky

A lesbian wife and mother tries her hand at something new. Surely there is a hat that fits out there somewhere!

The Second Week in April Monday April 18, 2011

Filed under: Daily Life,Family,Friends,The Wife & Mother — The Professor @ 8:50 am

It’s been a pretty good week around here.

Dad had his first round of chemo that ran from Monday through Thursday and he handled it like a champ.   No more drugs for the next three weeks while his body rests.  He will follow this schedule each month through October.

The week was filled with the regular schedule of feedings and walks and naps and playing with toys and grocery shopping and cooking and laundry.  On Monday I kicked off my new early morning writing initiative by setting the alarm for 5:15 and writing for a an hour before the day officially begins.  I got this idea from my NaNoWriMo mentor Mallory and I’m loving it so far.  She calls it the Power Hour and if you have a writing interest yourself you should check out her blog bc she has tons of great resources and a fictional blog called The Stretch Mark Club that she kicked off last week.

On Wednesday we had our first visit with a big kid (a two year old) and both of us had a blast.  Bean got to play with all sorts of new toys and I got to hang out with a more experienced Mommy.  It’s nice to have parenting talk with someone who isn’t in the same place you are.  Yeah, we’ll be doing that again for sure.

This weekend we did something new.  Toad, Bean and Baker headed out of town on Thursday night for the grandparents house and I stayed behind for a scrappy weekend with T.  This was my first time away from my family since Bean was born eight months ago.  It was pretty strange.  Visiting with T was fabulous and getting tons of scrapping done (I FINALLY finished our wedding album – from 2008) was lots of fun, but three days without my little tree frog was a long time.  Seeing that smiling face in the backseat when they pulled into the garage Sunday afternoon was a beautiful thing indeed.

The weekend did underscore just how long it had been since my last BFF visit and I’m so glad that we made it happen.  It wasn’t a long visit, but we made every second count.

This is Bean hanging out in the baby Adirondack chair Grandpa made for him.

 

I Love You Dad! Saturday March 26, 2011

Filed under: Daily Life,Family — The Professor @ 5:09 pm

Life hasn’t been easy for my folks lately.  In spite of all of the twists and turns they remain their optimistic, solid selves.  Earlier this week, after MONTHS of Dad undergoing test after test after test, the doc came back with the C word.  NOT what we wanted to hear.  DEFINITELY not what my cancer-phobic borderline crazy self wanted to hear.  Actually the word was “lymphoma”, but I know what that means.  B cell lymphoma to be somewhat precise.  (I didn’t even know that we HAD B cells) There is still work to be done in the way of being completely precise, but the doctors are honing in.

I have been particularly grateful this week for my own little family.  I’m sure I would have been much more of a disaster without a son who keeps me running all day long and a wife who is there for me to collapse into when all that running is over.  Those two are perfect for me.

In the center of this whirlwind of doctor visits and anxiety and general overwhelm, there’s my Dad.  My calm, quiet, supporting cast kind of a Dad.  This news has thrust him right into the attention spotlight and I know that (in addition to all the rest of it) that can’t feel too comfortable.  I’m adding to the situation by blogging about the guy, but there it is.  It’s a lot to handle, but if anybody can do it, he can.  He is already helping us begin the process of coping with this news by continuing to approach the world with his own brand of quiet confidence.  He is taking it all in and moving forward.  As for me, I’m doing what I can to follow his example just as I always have.

 

The First Week in September Saturday September 11, 2010

Filed under: Daily Life,Family,Friends,The Wife & Mother — The Professor @ 3:52 pm

Long time, no blog.  Got to get back into the writing swing.  Here’s a look at what we’ve been up to.

Leslie and Garrett came for a visit over the Labor Day weekend and we were really glad to see them.  They were eager to meet Bean and I think he was pretty excited to put a face to the voice he’d heard on so many early morning runs.  By the time they arrived Toad and Bean were settling into a nice breastfeeding groove, so everyone (read me) was calm and rested.  The weather was beautiful and the six of us got outside for some good walks.  On the last night of their visit we were able to go out to our favorite happy cow burger joint and the Grabs (and Bean actually) loved the place just as much as we do.  We had some good local beer, fried pickles, burgers and fries all while Bean slept soundly in his bucket.  Happy Momma.

Although we are both thrilled with the way that Baker has been handling the changes around here, it hasn’t been easy.  We’ve seen some evidence of jealousy and a few surprise break-ins to trash cans and the changing table drawers when the three of us have left him in the house alone.  This is another reason why the Grabs’ visit was so fabulous.  Baker got lots and lots of attention from his old buddy Garrett.  They had a number of deep and meaningful conversations like the one captured below.  Good times.

Also during their visit, Bean had his first photo shoot.  The father of a friend of ours is an amazing photographer and he came to our house to take some shots of the newborn Bean.  What a hoot that whole experience was.  Getting a picture with open eyes in which the boy didn’t look like a manic orchestra conductor was not an easy task.  Happily, the photographer was super patient and Les and Garrett were available to walk the nosy/take a picture of me! Baker.  After more than an hour of diaper changing, baby jostling, and change rattling, I think we got some keepers.

Gran and Pops arrived for a spend the night party on Wednesday afternoon.  Bean has been opening his eyes and being awake for longer stretches and his grandparents definitely enjoyed getting to see those big blue eyes.  Although our air mattress has not lived up to the expectations I had for it, Pops didn’t quite make it all the way to floor level by morning.  Overall, the visit was a fun one.

When we haven’t been playing with our friends, changing diapers, washing clothes, feeding Bean, going for walks or sleeping, we have been watching the US Open.  This is a surprising development for me as I know nothing about the game.  Nothing.  After watching faithfully for the last little bit, I think I not only sort-of understand the game, but like it.  I REALLY like this guy:

If you don’t know him, this is Raphael Nadal.  It might not be the greatest “tennis champion” shot, but it shows what I like about the guy.  Yes, he is an excellent athlete but he also really seems to be a good guy.  Don’t you think there is a sweetness about his face?  He seems to be both hardworking and respectful of his opponents.  I think the guy is a good role model for my son.

I’ll leave you with a lovely picture of my three favorite people.

 

The Last Week in July Monday August 2, 2010

Filed under: Family,The Wife & Mother — The Professor @ 4:50 pm

This was Toad’s last week before THE JOB begins and it was also Old Home week at the new place.  Toad’s Mom came for the first part of the week and three of my favorite folks arrived on Friday for a long weekend.  Here’s a hint about our weekend visitors.  The trio included this little person:

First things first.  On Monday AM, Toad’s Mom got to town.  This visit began only a few days after she got one of her tonsils removed, so she was a pretty big trooper.  It was hard for her to eat much and her throat was pretty sore, but she told us that it was important that she get one last visit with us as daughters before we became Moms.  Between pregnant Toad and post-op Toad’s Mom, the visit was a little slower than it might otherwise have been, but we all enjoyed each other.  Our one big adventure was going to the botanical gardens.  It was hot as hell, but absolutely beautiful.  Here are some of the visual highlights:

I loved this place and am happy that we got a membership.  I think that once the baby gets here (and the weather turns cooler), that this will be a fabulous place to stroll.  Looking fwd to that.

Between the two visits we had to take care of some business.  In the month that we had to settle in, we managed to save many of the unsavory tasks for the last minute.  Surprise, surprise.  But at least we got them done.  We are both official residents of our new state, with the license, tags and registration to prove it.  We also picked up a few more pieces of work appropriate maternity wear for Toad.  This kind of shopping is not fun, but I think we are covered for the moment.

On Friday, our peeps arrived and we were so excited to see them.  It always feels good to spend time with T and it’s been almost a year since we have seen Z.  Entirely too long.  And then there is Miss B.  She is getting to be such a big girl.  They came with some great things to help us get ready for Bean and we kept Z pretty busy.  He installed car seat bases in both of our cars, put together a bassinet and a swing and helped Toad decorate a bit more in the nursery.

There was lots of talk of the baby and parenting and Bean prep was the unofficial theme of the visit.  Actually, Bean Prep is the official them of life at the moment.  Here in the ninth month, I am feeling ready to just get this kid here.  That doesn’t mean that I feel entirely ready (whatever that is), but I do feel ready to just get on with it.  I’ve had enough of thinking about it and wondering about it and now I would really just like to jump in to it and start finding out for myself.  As I write this, I know that it will all be here before I know it and then I’ll probably wish I had the time and energy to feel so eager.

 

The First Week of May Monday May 10, 2010

Filed under: Daily Life,Family,Movies and TV,Pregnancy,The Wife & Mother — The Professor @ 7:10 am

This package arrived in the mail at the end of the week and it was from Bean!!!!  How cool is that?!  Thanks to my super fabulous mother-in-law, Toad and I got our first Mother’s Day surprise.  Verbena lotion for me and belly balm for her.  Such a fun surprise.

I taught absolutely nothing to anyone this week.  Not so bad actually.  Although classes are over, it’s not all behind me yet.  There were exams to give and papers to grade, so I’m still in professor mode for a bit longer.  In fact much of the week was spent in why oh why professor mode, which involves lots of internal growliness about the fact that I keep assigning 15-20 page final research papers in spite of the fact that I know that such behavior always leads to having  to actually read and critique those papers when the semester ends.  You would think I would learn.

Tuesday was Bean day.  Toad left the hospital a bit early for an OB appointment and all continues to be well.  Heartbeat sounds good (still in the 150’s) and we’re free and clear for another three weeks.  After the appointment we met a brave soul (who also happens to be a recent new Mom) who was willing to guide us through the stimulation overload that is:

Man.  That place is crazy.  How a person that small can possibly need all that stuff is pretty remarkable.  I’m going with it though.  Acknowledging how much I don’t know and keeping my eyes open seems like the best strategy for now.

On Wednesday night we had a cookout with our friends Jess and Trish.  They are planning a wedding and gearing up for all of the legal hoopla that we have been navigating, so we decided it would be a good idea to get together and pass some of that information along.  And while we were at it, we might as well have dinner.  At least, that’s how I saw it.  They have recently gotten a new grill and so we brought the bison (ground bison of course 😉 not the whole thing), they provided the veggies and the flame and a delicious (and informational) dinner was had by all.  I hate that we met these guys so close to the end of our time here.  We’ll miss them.

Friday night found us (surprise, surprise) on the couch eating our dinner from the Whole Foods bar and watching Lost, when a fabulous thing happened.  I FELT BEAN KICK!!!!  Hooray!  At 23 weeks and 1 day, I had my first physical connection with our baby.  It was the tiniest little nudge, but I felt it and it made my day, my week.  Very, very cool.

It was another lovely weekend in our part of the world.  We spent most of it outside, but on Saturday evening we headed indoors to see this movie:

Very cool.  I knew that Toad would love it for it’s adventure/mystery-ness and I had to see it bc I loved the book.  We were both quite happy.

Sunday was Mother’s Day which definitely felt different than it had before.  We both called our own Mothers and then we spent the rest of the day just talking about Bean and enjoying the day.  Toad took me out for brunch (I had a crab cake Benedict – yum!) and then we walked to the baseball stadium for an afternoon game.  Happy Mother’s Day for sure!

 

The Third Week of April Monday April 26, 2010

Filed under: Daily Life,Family,Food Glorious Food,Movies and TV,The Wife & Mother — The Professor @ 2:04 pm

I am happy to report that the baby will not be going to the state if something terrible should happen to Toad and the Professor.  On Tuesday evening we signed our names a bunch of times, wrote a check (gulp) and left the attorney’s office with all sorts of fancy legal documents.  Of course, if you pay any attention to the news you know that all of this effort could be for nothing should just about anyone decide to refuse it.  It’s what we can do at this point in time though, so we’re doing it.  Toad is breathing much easier. 😉

On Thursday night I left my pregnant wife at home with the dog and went to a Wine Tasting dinner at one of my favorite restaurants in town.  My friend Jess had the idea and though I felt a little guilty about doing something so spendy without Toad, I got over it.  Ahhhhhhhh is the main thing I have to say about the evening.  Jess and I arrived to find that three of Toad’s colleagues and their wives/husbands were also in attendance.  Wasn’t expecting that.  Of course the wine starting coming pretty soon and the Aussie from the winery actually sat with Jess and I.  That turned out to be great fun as he had a fabulous accent and a very funny, down-to-earth way about him.  Throughout the evening we had five different wines (four white and one red) and all sorts of yummy food (shrimp, oysters, passionfruit sorbet and pork wrapped in bacon).  The wine came from Pikes Winery in the Clare Valley of southern Australia.  That area is known for its Riesling and I was surprised that it is a very dry Riesling, not at all the sweetish wine I think of.  The evening was lots of fun.  Food, wine and good conversation.  Happy.

The next day brought weekend visitors.  Toad’s brother and his wife arrived on Friday just in time for another movie festival flick.  This is the trailer from Casino Jack and the United States of Money, the movie that kicked off the weekend.  Wowza.  I knew that Jack Abramoff had created quite a fuss, but I had NO IDEA it was this bad….

Saturday morning brought a run with Baker and brunch on the patio at our local Latin restaurant.  We spent the afternoon wandering around town from one neighborhood block party to the next.  This town loves an outdoor festival in the Spring.  I think the New Yorkers were a little amused by the scope of our festivities (the block party was literally a block.  One), but it was a good afternoon for wandering.  Not all that sunny, but warmish.  We crashed at home early evening and settled in with delivery pizza and another movie.  This time it was The September Issue.  For reasons yet to be understood, my wife is fascinated by this woman:

Toad and Anna Wintour make a curious pair (she finds the fashion world appalling and I doubt that she has ever even leafed through an issue of Vogue), but since The Devil Wears Prada, she’s had her ears tuned for news of this woman.  It wasn’t a fabulous documentary, but it was certainly rentable.

If you can even BELIEVE it, Toad and her brother ran a trail race (a half marathon actually) on Sunday morning.  The 22nd week of pregnancy ain’t what it used to be people.  They braved rain and not a little thunder and wore identical grins at the finish.  He agreed to be her Sherpa (carrying water and snacks) and he promised me that he would keep her hydrated and watch her pace.  It made me so happy to hear him bragging about her later in the afternoon.  He said that whenever they would pass a guy he would yell “make way, pregnant lady coming through”.  I love that.

The afternoon brought ANOTHER movie (this time the Grabs joined us) and dinner at the wine bar.  I’m pretty sure that Toad and I were the only ones that enjoyed the movie, but we did.  Why did we enjoy it?  Two words.  Tilda Swinton.

The movie was called I am Love and it was just beautiful.  Not the greatest story ever told, but absolutely lovely.  Oh and there was Tilda Swinton.  Did I mention that?

Now it’s Monday and our visitors are on the road.  Ahhh….. life as usual.

 

The First Week of April Wednesday April 14, 2010

Filed under: Family,Music,Pregnancy,The Wife & Mother — The Professor @ 12:03 pm

Back to Your Regularly Scheduled Programming….. Tomorrow

Home again and so glad to be here.  Looking fwd to weaving more than four days in one place together.  We got in Monday night and only in the last few moments have I felt relaxed and settled back into things.  Reentry.  It takes awhile.  Toad is right about that.

The big news is that on Tuesday we got to see Bean on the big screen and in 4-D.  One of the attendings at the hospital does very slow and meticulous anatomy scans for the residents and fellows after hours and so we were able to get the good news before the anatomy scan with the OB.  No… we don’t know if we are having a boy Bean or a girl Bean, but we are sure that we are having a jumping Bean.  That little person was moving around, fluttering arms and legs throughout the whole scan.  All of the organs look just as they should and I think the baby clearly has Toad’s feet.

On Thursday, we hit the road en route to our new home.  The trip was rainy and filled with construction, so it  took quite a bit longer than expected, but we made it in time to have a good dinner and snuggle into bed.  On Friday Toad did a board review for the residents, we had our consult visit with our pediatrician and we signed our names on the dotted line for the condo.  Yahoo!!!  Major items checked off the list.  The pediatrician (we have heard him referred to as the “Baby Whisperer”) was everything I had hoped for.  He had a very calm, reassuring voice, a bow tie and he didn’t blink to find out that Bean will have two Mommies.  He also gave us some good advice along the lines of following your instincts and trusting yourself and I think we are lucky to have found him.  Also, he will be meeting Bean in the hospital.  Very cool.

And then, there is the condo.  Toad loved it and it was fun to bustle around the place imagining how we might set it up.  We also found out that we will have a one-car garage and a storage space, which was certainly good news.  I won’t be big, but it will be comfortable and I think it has what we need.  Also, after hearing us talk about the nursery, seeing the rings and the check with both of our names, our landlord (who is a late 60ish lay minister in his church) exclaimed “I get it!  You’re married!”  Right you are Jerry.  It was a funny moment in which he acknowledged his own struggles with acceptance and later realization that as he put it, “God put us hear to love each other.  Congratulations and good luck!”.  Ok.  That went well.  Here is the floor plan for our new digs:

We spent the weekend visiting with friends new (fun Thai dinner with Toad’s new colleagues and their wives) and old (lunch with Toad’s best friend since med school and his wife and little boy and breakfast with my cousin who is in grad school in  town), exploring town on foot (lots of AM jogs and walks in city parks), talking about making our life here (but not over beer – thanks Bean!), visiting and even introducing ourself to the local (and friendly!) UU’s at the closest fellowship, eating yummy food (this town has great restaurants) and even seeing this guy in concert:

He looks a little like a monkey when he performs, but it’s charming.  Lots of weird movements with his head and feet.  The guy is great though.

I need a nap.