Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Road trip

Alriiiiight. We're going on a mini-break! I just got confirmation that our wonderful neighbor Green Thumb will look after the furbabies, so this weekend we're outta here!

This will be our first little family road trip since Hester came home. We have big plans: a kid-friendly museum visit, lots of strolling and lolling around, good eats, an indoor pool, and a fabulous outdoor concert in the Berkshires! We've been away twice since Hester came home but neither of those trips was vacation-related. This one is, however, and BOY HOWDY am I ready for some R&R with my fam!


Monday, July 30, 2007

I'm dyeing here

This morning I tie-dyed my first-ever t-shirts and socks. They turned out HIDEOUS, really laughable, but I'm going to wear them with pride anyway. I especially enjoy the one with concentric circles over the breast; that one's a real winner. (Petunia, of course, made the coolest tie-dyed shirt EVER, because she is talented and has a good eye. All I'm saying is that the things I dyed look worse than the things the preschoolers dyed. For real.) I'll post photos later.


Did you know it was my birthday over the weekend? I didn't, either, but Petunia threw me a surprise birthday party at our favorite Thai restaurant because my actual birthday party got cancelled. It was my first surprise party ever. She even ordered my very favorite cake, a triple chocolate mousse cake from Flour. How awesome is she? Thanks to Petunia and to my friends for coming to the soiree!


Thursday, July 26, 2007

The Ergo, Part 2

So, more news about the Ergo:

1. It fits me a lot better around my hips than my waist. The extender isn't noticeable, either.

2. However, it is VERY hot to wear, both for Hester and for me. She complains when she's in it for more than a few minutes in this yucky weather. [She tolerates our regular front carrier just fine, though.]

2.5 The Ergo isn't nearly as ugly in real life as it looks online. We got the indigo with camel hood, and the colors are way brighter than I thought they'd be.

3. Because she's still so little, Hester can't see when she's in the Ergo. This is problematic for her because she's as nosy as her Mama.

4. The hip carry option is our current favorite because it lets Hester see and it's a little cooler for her. The hip carry is WAY comfy for me, too, much better than the sling or Maya wrap.

4.5 I'm still scared to wear her on my back in public because of The Chest Factor.

5. The final verdict: I think this is a product that will grow with us. Right now we can't use it in all the ways we'd like, but I think it'll become our BFF as time goes on.


Funny girl

Hester has a very unique laugh. She doesn't sound like any other baby I've ever heard; when she's amused she says, "Huh huh huh" in separate little exclamations just like that. She's not a giggler, but when she thinks something's really funny she says, "Huh huh huh [high pitched squeak] huh huh." She doesn't laugh often, but she smiles like crazy. She cracks me up bigtime.


Tuesday, July 24, 2007


Let's talk about Harry Potter, shall we?

Not the HP7 plot, mind you--I wouldn't give that away for love or money. Instead, let's talk about the fact that my brother Orca was supposed to buy himself a copy, read it, and then send it north to Petunia and me. We expected to receive it next week or the week after next.

Yesterday I heard a thud in our entryway, and guess what was there? A brand new copy of the book, just for us!

I finished it 10 minutes ago.

It's really good.

Thank you so much, Orca and Beluga, for thinking of us! It was such a happy (and very welcome) surprise!


Thursday, July 19, 2007

Hospital memories

Here's something interesting: I can't stand seeing photos of Hester in the NICU. Even good photos, pictures where she's resting comfortably or taking a bath (her favorite NICU activity) make me cringe. The ones where she looks sick make me want to throw up.

It's not just Hester in the NICU, either--it's all NICU images. I first noticed the aversion while watching Grey's Anatomy; I almost had to stop watching when they had that first NICU scene where Addison and McDreamy discuss the fate of a teeny tiny preemie. Hester wasn't a preemie but the unit had so many tiny kids like that. I'll never forget seeing a poster on a baby's isolette that read "Hooray! R. is 3 lbs. today!" My heart skipped a beat and I felt guilty yet grateful that Hester was so healthy in comparison.

The kids in Hester's NICU were mostly stable, so the few times we did see real medical action freaked me out bigtime. There was one great tragedy while Hester was there and it affected the staff profoundly. Thankfully, Hester herself was never in danger; she just needed extra TLC and lots of meds to help her recover from her illness. We took things day by day. It was only when Hester started to get better that we realized just how very sick she'd been. As the old saying goes, ignorance was bliss.

Now that the whole hospitalization experience is behind us and we see Hester growing and thriving, it's easy to gloss over how very difficult it was to have her there. She was in the hospital for 7 weeks, a hell of a long time. And she was very sick, too. And we couldn't be with her all day. And it killed us to leave her, though we did the very best we could. It's easy now to think of Hester's hospitalization as nothing more than a bad dream, but seeing photos of her there makes it real again.

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Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Why we aren't allowed in Canada

Three years ago Petunia and I were legally married in our home state of MA. We changed our names as a result of our marriage. Shortly after we received our marriage license, we filed all the appropriate name-change paperwork: social security, driver's licenses, passport agency, yada yada. All of it went just fine, except at the passport service: We were denied new passports because our name change happened at the time of our marriage. The agency said that DOMA took precedence over state law, so our name change wouldn't be recognized by the passport agency. Fun.

Being us, we looked into legal action and learned it would take years before anyone would be ready to take on DOMA. Our measly passport situation wouldn't work as a good test case, so it was pretty much a no-go. The best advice? Try again later; maybe we'd get a different clerk.

We still haven't tried, so we still can't travel out of the United States. No Canada, no Bermuda, no Bahamas. I'd dearly love to go to PEI, but we can't, at least for now. Until we finalize Hester's adoption, none of us can leave the country.

Fucking DOMA.


The Ergo is here.

And I'm so torn about it.

On one hand, I luuurve it for being nice to my back. Hester seems to like it, too. It's the comfiest carrier I've ever used, and I've used a good 4-5 of them. I like the versatility of positions, too.

On the other hand, I HATE it for putting my chest center stage. Seriously, I'm like Mommy Porn Star in this thing. I'm not sure I'll ever be able to wear Hester on my back in public, for reals; that's a whole lot of chestular TMI for anyone who sees me in it. Also, I have the shortest torso ever in the history of the world, which means I can't wear the carrier on my waist. I have to wear it on my hips or Hester and I will knock heads. Why does this matter? It matters cuz I need to order the waist belt extender so the thing will fit around my (v. ample) hips. So there's that. Porn star plus super-sized behemoth to boot. This contraption is already doing great things for my self-image.

So here's the question: Larger mamas, what are you using for baby carriers? Please give me your advice. I'm thinking that the Ergo is made for our tinier, less busty sisters. Who makes a back-friendly baby carrier for the larger woman with no torso? This inquiring mind wants to know.


Monday, July 16, 2007

Random stuff

Here's what's fun: The drive-in. It allows new parents to see movies with their babies in tow. Ours fell asleep during the first few minutes of Harry Potter and let us watch the rest of the movie in peace. Awesome! (Good movie, too.)


We're part of this little brunch group for queer adoptive parents. Our latest get-together was Saturday. Here's what's really nice: Connecting with other folks in the same boat. Also, the kids are SO EFFING CUTE you just want to eat them up. Seriously, it's a problem.


Hester had her 6-month check-up today. Petunia took her and both of them got teary for Hester's shots. We'd been a little worried about Hester's weight, but her pediatrician was pleased: Hester's holding steady at the 10th percentile. She's small but mighty at 13 lbs. 11 oz.


Petunia and I are hoping to take a real vacation next year. If you have a suggestion for a cheap-ish family-friendly vacation destination, I'm all ears.


I broke down and ordered a used Ergo for our family, and it should be here early this week. I'm wicked excited about it! Hester's still tiny, but she's already putting a strain on our backs when she's in the front carrier or Maya wrap. Here's hoping the Ergo lives up to its reputation.

I think that's it for now. It's All Hester, All the Time these days. I'm quite enjoying it!


Thursday, July 12, 2007

Happy 6 months, Hester Willa!


Wednesday, July 11, 2007


Hester will be 6 months old tomorrow.

That's all.


"You have a baby...in a bar!"

So Hester went to a bar with us last night. On accident, I swear, and under duress. But still, there she was in her jammies looking at all the pretty lights coming through the liquor bottles. I thought our state had laws about this sort of thing, but apparently not. Hmm.

I'll back up for a sec and say that the reason we were in a bar at 9pm last night is that our dear friend L.'s father died unexpectedly over the weekend; his calling hours were last night. We went up right after work and missed dinner, but L. said that everyone was going out after the wake. We drove up to the restaurant, parked, walked in, and immediately realized that the restaurant side of the place was closed. However, the pub side was open, so that's where we all took a load off after the emotional evening. There was food and whatnot, but still: It was a bar.

The whole thing kinda cracked me up.


Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Road trip fun

Dinner on the Pike.

Hester's first time in a swimming pool.

Sleepy Hester after lots of swimming.

Meeting Great Grandma Hester.

At the W________ Family Reunion.

Playing with Mumzy before breakfast.

Meeting some cousins.

More second cousins!

On the NY Thruway coming home last night.

More fun on the Thruway.


Friday, July 06, 2007

Road trip

Tonight we're off to the wilds of northern NY for the annual family reunion. I'm scared about all the traveling, but it has to be done. Without the baby and the dog, it's a 6-hour trip each way. With the baby and dog, I think we'll get to know the interstate quite well indeed.

I've packed like a maniac for this trip. Petunia, Clara, and I have our regular weekend bags, but things went all to hell when I started packing for Hester. We have the 2 strollers, the front carrier, the Maya wrap, and a big-ass tote bag of formula, cereal, and jarred fruits/veggies. We have a small wheelie bag with baby clothes for every weather possibility, plus extras in the event of barfing. We have yet another tote bag with diapers, wipes, sunscreen, bug spray, baby body wash, washcloths, and a towel. We have one final bag with as many toys and books as I could cram into it. On top of all that, we have a bag of food for inside the car and a small cooler for cheese/fruit/drinks. We also have diaper bags, Petunia's work bag, 4 gallons of water, and a small bag filled with onesies and embroidery floss so I can get my stitch on at Grandma's.

Sigh. I'm tired just thinking about all that packing.

It should be a good trip, though. Hester will meet her Great Grandma Hester, her great aunts and uncles, and many cousins (none of them first cousins, though). She'll go swimming in a real pool for the first time. She might put her feet in Lake Ontario, too. All in all, it should be fun.

If we can make it there in one piece, that is. Wish us luck.


Thursday, July 05, 2007

4th of July

Being Hester's Mama is making me corny: I got all emotional at our local 4th of July concert when Hester heard Fanfare for the Common Man, 1812 Overture, and Stars and Stripes Forever for the first time. She especially enjoyed seeing the orchestra close-up, and I noticed she watched the timpani player a lot. Perhaps we have a 3rd generation percussionist on our hands!


Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Field trip!

Have y'all been to Davis Farmland? It's my new favorite kids' place. I took Hester and Mr. Pea there today for work and all 3 of us loved it. Mr. Pea is 13 months old and Hester is 5 months, and there was lots to see and do for both of them and for me. There's the farm part, of course: Mr. Pea pet sheep, goats, snakes, a kitten, a lizard, and a 2-day old calf. However, there's also a zero-depth water park! Hester liked holding her hands in the spray and letting her whole body get misted while Mr. Pea liked trying to catch streams of water. The staff were friendly and helpful, the whole place was well-maintained, and they have clean, well-equipped family bathrooms. What more could a person want?