Category Archives: milestones

graduation day

Million Dollar Baby Sleigh Toddler Bed Cherry

Today, we bought our son a big boy bed. He only started sleeping in his crib when he was about one, and once his sleep started to regulate, we didn’t want to mess with anything, so we were in no hurry to move to a toddler bed. There was this idea that we would convert his crib to its toddler bed setting a couple of months ago when he was turning two, but again, we couldn’t mess with what seemed to be working.

However, BG has been expressing more and more interest in big boy beds  (and lifting him in and out of his crib is getting more and more challenging). We had on hand a bed rail, so we decided to go for the transition today. Unfortunately, when we did, we learned that the rail we had was not at all intended for a toddler bed, and as a result, it was fairly dangerous (any attempted roll out of the bed may well have taken the mattress too). Also of concern was that the boy still had three sides to pull up on, so he was still standing and walking in his bed. Something was going to have to change for these moms to be comfortable leaving our boy in the bed.

So we called a local baby store, put a toddler bed rail on hold, and then went to pick it up. While there, we took BG to a sale area upstairs where we spotted two toddler beds. BG laid in one. He liked it. It was only sixty dollars more than the rail. We hemmed, we hawed, we asked what colors they had, and within moments, we were leaving, receipt in hand, heading home to free our little sedan of a toddler, a carseat, and an extra mom so that one of us could return for a big boy bed.

While J was gone getting the bed, BG helped me disassemble his crib. We said goodbye to it a few times and we talked a lot about the big boy bed that was coming. He talked about which animals he would want in his new bed. He talked about having good dreams in his new bed. It was heartening. He had expressed a good deal of concern earlier in the day during the conversion of the crib to its toddler setting. He thought we were getting rid of his crib, and this worried him so. But having seen the option of a real bed, he was no longer distressed and instead was enjoying helping me.

When his new bed came, we assembled it, put the mattress down, and I gave BG a quilt my mom had made me when I was a baby. He loved the blanket, helped me tuck it into the bed, and then he laid down. He got under the covers, and yelled enthusiastically, “You LOVE this bed!” (He’s still working out his pronouns.) He got in and out of it multiple times, telling us, “BG like in and out of bed!” He put his favorite bear in the bed, his pillow, and the blankets he used in his crib. He placed his water bottle in the spot next to his pillow where it always is, and everything seemed in place. But then came his bonding doll, Wink. Wink has been with BG since infancy. I used to carry the doll around in my shirt and put it back in his bed. This was the first sleep friend he had, and he has continued to stay by BG’s pillow. But today, BG got to decide what he wanted, and when asked about Wink, he said, “No. No Wink. Put Wink in garage.” The garage is where his high chair went. It’s where we just put his crib. It’s where all of the symbols of his babyhood have gone. My wife and I agreed Wink would go to the cedar chest where we store our boy’s keepsakes. BG gave Wink a hug and a kiss. He asked us to kiss Wink. He gave him one last hug and kiss and said goodbye, and he watched my wife put him away. We told him he could have Wink whenever he wanted, but he was ready to say goodbye.

Do I need to tell you that this made me cry? I’ve done a lot of that today.

My wife and I have long said we would let our son tell us when he was ready to take his next steps. He told us when he was done with his high chair, and recently, he told us he was ready to move on from his baby bed. I’m so proud of him when he does this, yet it always takes me my surprise a little. I’m always caught up in the emotion of it all, in having a son who has left his baby self behind and has emerged a boy. I find myself in these moments simultaneously mourning my baby and celebrating the awesome kid he has become, and I know this is so very natural for parents to do. I am quickly learning that one of the hardest things to do as a parent is to watch one’s child grow up, yet this is also one of the most fulfilling and inspiring aspects of parenthood. I really don’t know what will come next, what big transition will come knocking on our door, but I can guarantee I’ll be crying in my wife’s arms, marveling at the wonder that is my son and wondering why on earth he has to grow up so fast.

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Filed under Boy Genius, milestones, parenting

bg is mobile

BG has been working hard to build his confidence to walk for some time now. For Christmas, his grandparents gifted him a push toy that has helped him realize that he can, in fact, walk. With the help of that, he has been practicing more and more, and has even taken steps between J and I from time to time. But this week, on Wednesday, he figured out how to stand up on his own without holding onto anything. And then he start walking across the room. Over the last several days, he has begun walking from one room to another, and while he still drops back down to crawl when he wants to quickly get somewhere, more often than not, he walks when he wants to move, and he does so with the most adorable smile on his face. Needless to say, we’re endlessly proud, and a little scared too. It’s weird to see this boy walking, to see him cover so much ground so quickly!

Below is evidence of his newfound mobility, but I think this deserves some setup. You see, BG loves to help with laundry, so what you will see is BG returning from his bedroom to the living room where I had just finished stuffing and folding his diapers. He likes to take his diapers to his room one at a time. As he walks back in the room, he is saying “More. More. More,” because clearly he is ready for the next diaper. Yes, we know how fortunate we are that our seventeen-month-old does chores.

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Filed under Baby Genius, milestones

one small step

Baby Genius took his first solo step today. It was a single step as he was transferring between me and J, but a step it was, and we are celebrating. All day he has been doing sort of a downward dog pose, so he clearly is ready to start trying to stand on his own. I predict he will be toddling within a month.

It’s terrifying, really, to think my son will soon be mobile on two feet. His crawling has been very efficient–and fast–so mobility is not something I’m unfamiliar with, but walking is just different, isn’t it? It just reeks of independence, autonomy, and is decidedly unbaby.

J and I are so unbelievably proud of this boy who meows at the cats, sings “lalala” along with this favorite songs, and who is now trying his hardest to walk. He’s so awesome, and I am so grateful that I get to be this little person’s mom.

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my budding procrastinator

Our son is 14 months old today, and he does not walk. We’re not worried because he shows many signs that his muscle development is just fine. It seems that he just isn’t interested. We get questions all the time though: “Does he walk yet?” And when we respond that he doesn’t, people look at us, aghast, and say “Really?!” Yes, really. He doesn’t walk. And he’s normal. It’s not because he doesn’t have the opportunity–the boy cruises all over the living room, all over his room, our room, but he just isn’t into doing it on his own, and lately, he doesn’t like us to help him do it either. He used to, but now he will plant his butt on the floor and rip his hands out of ours if we try. He’s telling us he’s just not ready. He likes things the way they are.

We’re very okay with that. He gets around very well with crawling, which is just fine. But even that took him some time. He didn’t army crawl until he was nine months old. He didn’t start cross crawling until he was eleven months old. The boy likes to take his time.

And he always has taken his time. With rolling over, we were becoming concerned that at five months he wasn’t rolling regularly, and then over lunch, J and I were reading a developmental milestones book to one another, and that day he rolled. It was as though he was saying, Rolling? Oh, yeah–I can do that.  No need to nag me about it; see, I did it. Now get off my back already! The same day, he showed us his pincer grasp (we had also read about this). The boy does things on his own time; he just likes to cut things close to the wire.

I think we are seeing the emergence of a procrastinator. He will work on one of his skills, and then not pay much attention to it until just before the cutoff for normalcy, and then he’ll show us that he can do it. Early on, this would worry us. Now we know it’s just a thing he does, so we relax about it.

So, no, our son doesn’t walk. Why would he? He’s still got at least three months.

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milestones

This has been a rather slow week, but this month really is surprisingly full, and when I look at the calendar, the month is speeding by. The moments just seem slow. Because I don’t have much energy or motivation to write in paragraphs, I give you a bullet post of February’s milestone’s here at Reproducing Genius:

  • This past week, we had our one-year anniversary of moving here. This was also the one-year anniversary of leaving our isolated existence in Humboldt County. We miss it sometimes, especially the redwoods, the ocean, and our old, dear friends, but it is so nice to live in civilization, to have access to the city, to have sunlight so regularly. This has been a difficult year for us, admittedly, but we have also had some great fun and some important self-discoveries. We’re hoping that the coming year finds us more settled and with some local friends.
  • Last week was my sister’s birthday. We get to see her this weekend at my brother’s wedding, and a week thereafter, she is coming her with her baby so that she can go to a conference for work. This means we get to babysit our wonderful, cuddly eight-month-old niece. That will be delightful.
  • This week I hit ten weeks on Thursday. Ten whole weeks. That’s just two weeks(ish) until the end of the first trimester. It’s just one week until our next OB appointment. We found out yesterday that our current insurance is going to extend for at least another month, and that once we do switch, we’ll have access to the same OB. This is a relief because if finances dictate that I have to work with an OB, I’d rather it was her.
  • Friday is J’s half birthday. Like most people, I stopped counting my half birthdays when I was about ten. Imagine how embarrassing it is for me when my wife announces that she’s 36 and a half. Really, you’d think she’d get over it by now, but noooo. I’m not sure if this is any better than when she tells people she’s fifty-five, just to see their reactions. (See the flickr photos for pictures of her if this doesn’t make sense–she’s the youngest looking 36.-year-old I’ve seen.)
  • J’s half birthday is also, sadly, the nine-year anniversary of her parents’ passing. This was just two years into our relationship. They passed away on the same day. I don’t believe we have told the story here, but they were both sick with separate illnesses. Her mom had cancer, and her dad had complications after a surgery for colitis. Her dad was in a hospital, and her mom was at home. In the middle of the night, her mom passed away in J’s brother’s arms. Just fifteen minutes later, he received a phone call from the hospital that their dad had passed. This was a huge blow, but J and her brother always knew they would go together. And they did. It’s a sad but beautiful story. It always has been.
  • Saturday is Valentine’s Day. We don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day. We hate it. I have always hated it. J and I celebrate our love on a regular basis. We give each other flowers and little tokens of our love on days when we feel like it. We hate all the pink of that day, all the commercialism, all the obligation, and all the people who are left out. It’s icky.
  • Conveniently enough, then, my brother is getting married on Valentine’s Day. My brother is one of my favorite people in the whole world, so this is very exciting. He and his fiance are very traditional, however, so this is going to be quite an event. We have to go to a rehearsal dinner. We’re being seated at tables with placecards. Neither of us is entirely comfortable with it, especially because the fiance’s family is made up of right-wing Christian conservatives. Luckily, we have our wacky side of the family to buffer us from it all. It should be a good time.

And there you have it, our February. It’s an interesting little month this year, and honestly, I hope it goes by quickly.

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Married! (with photos)

We did it. We got married.

Yesterday was an oddly stressful day. We hadn’t exactly planned anything regarding this wedding; we just knew we wanted to be around other people getting married when we did it. I had to work all morning, which only compounded the stress, but when I was finished, we got some clothes together, bought a couple of bouquets of red roses, and headed to the county clerk’s office (about half an hour from our house). The traffic on the way was horrendous, and we were certain we would be late. We were, but only by five minutes, and we were soon to find that this didn’t matter at all.

When we pulled into the parking lot, it was surprisingly empty. We did see one car driving away with two older lesbians with the hugest smiles on their faces. We knew we must be in the right place. We started to make our way through the maze of buildings, and still we saw so few people. We rounded a corner inside of one of the buildings, and then we saw them, all of these couples waiting to either get married or apply for marriage licenses.

As we made our way up to the door of the small clerk’s office, a woman came up to us asking if we were getting married. We told her yes, and she gave us a warm smile, handed us some flowers and a little wedding favor, and congratulated us. It turned out she was from our UU church, and she was there with a bunch of others waiting to celebrate with everyone who got married. It was a lovely welcome.

We got in line, and everything started to feel a bit like the DMV, but with lots of smiling happy gay people, some even in wedding dresses.

 Many people asked us, “Are you getting married today?” And each time we answered yes, they showered us in congratulations. There were people at the counters shouting out, “Can someone be a witness?” and people would get out of line and run over to them.  

 We had asked a woman from our UU congregation if she would be our witness since we knew she had planned to be there, but when we couldn’t find her, we asked a woman in line if she would do it. She was honored, but we soon had to take that back when our witness (and possibly new friend) came to find us. (She’s our age, gay, went to the same grad school as us, will be teaching with J in the fall–and she has an adorable 10-year-old son. Cool woman, and she was so excited to be there with us.). As we waited, we talked with some wonderful couples in front of and behind us. There were reporters everywhere, news cameras left and right. I would turn around to find cameras filming J and I with our bouquets. There were newscasts going on; it was amazing. We soon learned that ours was one of only a few counties to decide to stay open on the first day. That was truly exciting.

Eventually, we found the front of the line, and we were called up to write our check, apply for our license, and say our oath that we promised we weren’t lying about previous marriages and such.

We were then ushered outside where we had a couple of arbors to choose from (we could have chosen the indoor chapel as well–which the county clerk had decorated herself, but it was a lovely day outside). We followed our justice of the peace, who was also being followed by two reporters. We had no idea that they were to be photographing us through the whole ceremony!

The ceremony itself was quick. We got to say, “I Do.”

We got to exchange rings (they were the same wedding bands we’ve had for several years, but now they were official!).

We also shed tears. It was overwhelming! 

But the greatest moment of all was when our officiant said,

Now, by the power vested in me, and in accordance with the laws of the State of California, it is my pleasure and honor to pronounce you married.

You may seal your vows with a kiss.

And we did, and this photo was in the paper.

Our witness and another UU friend took photos throughout the whole ceremony. We had four people photographing us, shutters going off every other second. It was weird! After the ceremony, another reporter from a news station nearby came and asked if they could film our hands and rings. Then, a man who had brought his flock of homing pigeons (doves) to share with the newlyweds came and offered me a dove to release, so the news crew filmed that too (I have no idea if it ended up on any news program though).

We then started to walk away, and as we did, small crowds of people cheered us and congratulated us. It was so heartwarming, so beautiful. We were part of history, and that was monumental.

But most importantly, we’re married. We’re really, really married.

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Filed under marriage, milestones, wedding

goin’ to the county clerk’s office, and…

…we’re gonna get married!

We went to our county’s little Pride celebration today, and at the festival was a booth from our county clerk’s office. They were issuing paperwork for marriage licences and making appointments for weddings. So we made one–for tomorrow! We’re getting married tomorrow, June 16th, at 6pm Pacific Time, and we are so very excited.

Honestly, neither J nor I was ever one of those girls who dreamed of getting married, even before we knew we were gay. We had a commitment ceremony back in 2001 where all of our family and friends came to celebrate. It was a joyous occasion.

In 2004, we became as legal as we could in California and became registered domestic partners. This ensured us a number of protections under California law, and at the time, it seemed about as good as we could get unless we moved to Massachusetts or Canada. But now we get to do it for real. It seems monumental.

What we’re particularly excited about is that we get to do it on the very day, within the very hour, that same-sex marriage becomes legal in California. We’re just as excited to be part of history as we are to have our marriage legally recognized by the state. In some ways, it’s very humbling. In other ways, it’s very surreal.

We still aren’t entirely sure what we’re wearing. It’s a little last-minute for wedding dresses, so we’re probably looking at a skirt, some slacks, some white shirts, some flowers. We both have hair that desperately needs to get cut. In short, we’ll be very much ourselves, and somehow, that seems perfect. What’s great is that we’ll be there with dozens of other couples making the same giant step. Wow.

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