Radio Silence

Three days with no word. We truly are in the middle of it. I forgot how hard the waiting can be. How hard it is to temper excitement. How hard it is to know you need to buy plane tickets and generally coordinate being in another state for weeks. How hard it is to juggle excitement with logistics. Ugh!
However, we remain cautiously optimistic.

Second Comings

Oliver or Olivier? Delphine or Delphina? In the long run, does it truly matter? Well, yes, I do want every single person he/she ever meets to fall in love with him/her. Isn’t that what every parent wants. Global acceptance. Ok, not really. Where would I be today if I had been loved by everyone I ever met? Who knows, but I do know that its impossible to achieve such a goal. Plus, I just don’t want to agree with everyone. I love being different. Yes, I am talking about being gay. It has forced me to be far more aware in life. It has forced me to be strong. Being gay is one of the best things that ever happened to me. So what’s my point? My point is that we are about to embark upon a journey even more different than anything we have ever done before, and likely will ever do in the rest of our lives. We are going to adopt a black child. Two white males and their adopted two and half year old daughter are welcoming a fourth person into our family. A very small, beautiful person (though it hasn’t been born yet). And we couldn’t be more excited, nervous and generally happy.
But the funny part has nothing to do with the fact the baby will be black. I was far more concerned with the fact that Calliope has been such an angel, such a blessing. Her adoption was flawless, her birthparents are just an extension of our family these days, she never cried much, she is gorgeous, smart and just all around perfect. How can you share your love for such a beautiful creature with another? For the longest time, I was so worried about whether or not I would love a second child as much as I love Calliope.
But then this potential adoption in New Orleans showed up. And one day as I was sitting on the sofa daydreaming about babies and Calliope was sitting about ten feet away eating lunch, it happened. I was completely wrapped up in thoughts of newborns, their smell, holding them, rocking them back and forth or just that amazing experience of having them nap naked on your chest. And there was love, and lots of it. And Calliope was right there. I didn’t love her any less, but she is not a baby anymore. There is no sadness that Calliope isn’t a baby. Every day she is something new and older, something more. And there is no comparison. The new baby will be just that, new. It was a true revelation for me. In that moment, I knew that Calliope would still always be “perfect” and have a perfect spot in my heart. Our new family member will have its own spot in there too. I am relieved. I was honestly worried about the balance of love and how it would all work out. It seems silly in hindsight, but at the time, it was very real to me.
Speaking of perfect, look at this picture of Calliope giving Dad a “look”. Freaking amazing.

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So what is a love puddle, you ask?

Today I can’t stop thinking about cute little babies, and holding them, and kissing them and feeding them and watching them sleep. Newborns! So adorable. So fragile. Everything and everyone that I encounter is being affected by it too. I am more lenient on Calliope, so quick to hug her. Michael too. I should call my mom. Anyways, that is a love puddle. It ripples out in all directions spreading love and all things good.

Your first head explosion

Today I woke up, took a shower, shaved and got ready like so many other times in my life. Its been years since I’ve had to do that, and so I don’t… normally. But I had to get off my arse and find a good preschool sooner or later for Calliope. Today was our parent tour of our one finalist in the list of preschools I’ve been researching. They have a spot open mid year which is lucky. They aren’t cheap. Neither are nannies. We really want her to be hanging out with other kids on a more regular basis. And not just one or two. Group dynamics are hard. I still haven’t conquered them and I’m pretty close to 40! Plus one of the neighbors’ little girl goes to this same school. We actually saw her there today which was kind of nice. Calliope would not be in her class as she is a little bit older, but they will see each other in the outdoor play area during the day. And its possible that we could work with the neighbors to organize group drop offs and pick ups! I love carpooling. It’s my version of saving the world. The school is great. The most amazing thing was the ratio of male to female staff/teachers. Its almost 50/50 which is extremely unusual. Being a gay man, I love it. It feels awesome. Don’t read more into that than need be. The other arresting moment I had was when I realized that I had been in a room of about fifteen two year olds for at least ten minutes discussing politics and what have you with the school administrator without being interrupted by craziness. It was calm. Fifteen kids, two year olds! It was incredible and that was when I was sure it would be a fine place for Calliope to spend some time. I think Michael was very happy with the visit as well. The paperwork might take a while with all the permission slips and doctors’ approvals, but I’m sure we’ll manage. I just don’t think she’ll be going there next week.
Afterwards, I dropped Michael off at the house and took Calliope with me to order a light fixture for a client. Well, that didn’t last long because she decided to throw a huge fit and we had to leave right in the middle of the transaction. That was fun. However, after a very stern conversation in the car with Calliope about her transgressions, I decided to try REI for some snow boots. We were successful and several people commented on how cute, nice or pretty my daughter was. One lady in line was so impressed I thought she was going to give me an award or something. Two and a half? Really! She is so tall and well behaved and well spoken. Its just unbelievable. Of course, I’m thinking to myself that only if she had seen Calliope a mere thirty minutes earlier, she would understand 🙂
We went home after that where I made lunch for everyone and Calliope went down for a slightly late nap. I typed some emails to clients, even made a couple of phone calls. Had decided to go down to the lighting store during naptime and finish my transaction from earlier, though I loathed the thought of the looks on their faces upon my return. Michael is on the phone. I believe he is talking to my sister’s partner, but when he comes towards me and puts the phone on speaker as he sets it upon the table, I know it isn’t her. Michael knows how much speaker phone is not an option for me. It feels so cold. There’s always a pause where there shouldn’t be in conversations caused by this form of speaking on the phone. I can’t hear it that well, and I’m never sure if they can hear me. Its just awkward and I hate it. Anyway, its our Adoption coordinator. There is very little information. New Orleans, no drugs or alcohol, picked us specifically, black baby due on Tuesday of next week. Are we in? Yes, we are in. Please get the ball rolling to get more information as soon as possible. This means finding an agency in LA that will work with our agency here to administer all the paperwork, legal and otherwise. They will also coodinate an assessment of the young lady to ascertain the truthfulness of everything reported. We only have a week, not even. Get over there and do it already. They will, but its already the end of the day there and so we won’t hear anything again until tomorrow. But we can’t exactly wait to start thinking about the possibilities, the ramifications, the torture a five day pregnancy would cause to our lives!!!! So I leave and go to the lighting store. Somehow facing them in light of new circumstances is trivial. And I do and I handle it. They are fine, cordial even. Then I run home, take some more work notes and scream out loud with anxiety every time my mind has a moment and stop about the possibilities. Should we take Calliope with us, or leave us here? Wait. One couple we know were out of town for a month for an out of state adoption. We can’t leave her that long. No, she definitely has to come with us. Do we have enough starwood points to cover a suite in New Orleans for at least a couple of weeks? Ha. Thats funny. Because we totally do!
Oh wait, we have to wake up Calliope because we have an interview with a potential babysitter in about fifteen minutes. Great. Do we have a list of everything we want to talk about? Have we even thought about it? Can we possibly do this given the phone call that we just got? I’m losing my mind here. But we do go through with the meeting. The lady is nice. A little older than I expected, but completely comfortable with Calliope and us. We will definitely use her, I’m sorry, IF we don’t have a newborn baby in five days. We will not be going on any “date nights” which was the whole purpose of a babysitter. This is ludicrous. What about that client that I just landed that has exactly two pieces of furniture in his whole house? Superfluous I know, but my head is spinning and … well… lets just order pizza and watch a bad movie. Michael is totally game. Man I love him.

Silver Lining

I just went to change the lint screen on the dryer and there was more glitter than lint. There was a time when that would have elicited a chuckle from my throat and the not so very politically correct thought “That’s so gay!”. Now it just means I have a 2.5 year old girl, which also makes me chuckle 🙂

So you think you’re funny!

I posted previously that I would put some pictures up of Calliope in her new snow gear and skis. I’ll do better than that, here is some video footage of her first outing in skis. Nevermind the hooligan next to her. He’s just lost his mind. I honestly had no idea Michael was videoing this event. I thought he was taking a succession of photos. But now that I’ve seen it, this is what I have to say. I’ve always been super aware of when someone is watching me, or even just seeing me. I’m ultra vain about my outward appearance. And not just about my fashion. I care what my actions say about me as a person. When a camera or video device appears, I put on a little dance, a little entertainment for the crowd so to speak. And in my mind, I thought this was the only time this was true. I’m not normally this funny, dorky little song and dance guy. Well, this video proves otherwise because I truly had no idea I was being recorded and there I am doing a jig and everything! Just hilarious. Please enjoy.

Day Off

The weekend at the cabin ended very well in my opinion. Michael skied a half day, came back to the cabin and we strapped on some new skis to Calliope and played in the snow for a while before heading down the hill back to home. It was a perfect ending to a frustrating weekend. I won’t even begin to tell you about the fight Calliope put up on Saturday night putting her to bed. Whew! Anyways, I had a big meeting in Guerneville on Monday that I needed to be thinking about. I already have had (too) many conversations with Michael to make sure he was ok watching Calliope all day even though he was meant to be working. He made it clear that it just meant he would have to make it up in the early mornings or in the evenings this week. And I told him it was not going to be a regular occurrence, we just haven’t secured a babysitter in the area, or daycare etc… which I have almost nailed down. He reminded me that if I asked again next week, the answer would be no. Ok already, fine. I’ll figure it out, just don’t yell at me if you don’t like the way I figure it out! Hahahaha… cracking myself up… Besides, I was getting a day off. For those of you who have yet to be a parent, or those parents who work a regular job, you know not what I speak of… Everyday, I clean, cook and take care of a little one. That is my real job, period. I don’t often get breaks from it and it can wear on ya just a bit sometimes. Even vacations are a lot of the same thing. I still have to be constantly on alert, watchful, loving, teaching, correcting, saving my child from sure death. And while I would never trade it, change it or give it up, I still have bad days, just like anyone else at their regular day job. I’m sure this has been said before, but it sounds revolutionary to me. I’ve never heard anyone say it before. Moving on. So, a meeting at La Boulange with a client over a bowl of mocha (yes, a bowl!) flipping through pictures on my iPad and him on his mini iPad, a drive to Guerneville to meet with a contractor to review a door and window schedule for a proposed house, a drive over the Golden Gate Bridge to San Francisco to meet with more clients to deliver beautiful furniture, and a nice meal in between at Super Duper with a pint of beer sounds like a lovely day off from being a parent. I suppose it wasn’t all that much fun. I did have to prepare like crazy for that meeting at La Boulange, and if you think builders actually like cute gay little interior designers “helping” them make decisions about a house they are building, then wow. It can be near impossible for them to take anything you say seriously, so my job becomes far more complicated (the interior designer side job). Not only do I have to provide my client with sound advice on the aesthetic decisions, I have to make nice (kiss ass) royally to someone who doesn’t want to be any where near a faggot and convince him thoroughly that I am not out to screw him (financially or otherwise) with my sway over the client and that I actually have done this before a few million times and know what I’m doing. Its rather nerve racking to be honest. Not all builders fit this description, and this one I met on Monday in particular was not bad. Especially once he realized that I was just trying to keep some focus on the objectives of the day and get decisions made, because he can’t do diddly until these decisions get made. And decisions we made, left and right. It was a good meeting, a success on all fronts. Then as I had some time between my unhealthy, but very satisfying meal, and my next meeting, I decided to cruise Market street with no real destination in mind. That is when I found this most delightful object, a small mushroom stool. Just the perfect size for Miss Calliope. I had to get it and so I did. Bought it right on the spot and carried it some four or five blocks back to my parking spot, ever so proud to be in the city carrying a large mushroom down the street.

20130108-210148.jpg I finished my day off with a brilliant meeting that went longer than expected but yielded some unexpected, successful results. And because it was so late, I got home across the Bay Bridge in record time. I love the lack of traffic. I don’t loathe heavy traffic, its when I get some good thinking done. But its great when you can just fly all the way home. The only thing holding back my ecstatic mood was me. I felt really bad that Michael had to take care of Calliope all day while I gallavanted around. I just couldn’t let myself enjoy the day, a day that I deserve and planned and negotiated. And to make it worse, Michael had not yet recovered fully from his upsetting bedtime with Calliope (anyone see a pattern here?) when I rolled in. However, in full glory, I told him how much I appreciated him covering for me today. That despite my gorgeously successful day, I felt guilty and not so good about it all. And well, being the angel that he is, he set me straight, reminded me that he loves me, that while it wasn’t an ideal way to handle our situation, it was our best solution at the moment and that we work together as a team to get through life and that was what we did today. It turns out he had a wonderful day with his daughter, a really good day despite the bedtime shenanigans. And that makes me happy.

cabin fun

Yesterday, I realized they released another expansion to the online Carcassonne ap! Therefore, I didn’t get much done which was fine since I was with Calliope at the cabin while Michael was skiing all day. And since I didn’t figure out some good snow boots or jacket for Calliope before we came, there was not a lot we could do outside of the cabin. Calliope got a healthy dose of cartoons on TV which she never watches.
Today is more of the same except Michael is going to ski half a day and come home and then we are going to go play in the snow somewheres! Last night when Michael got home, we went to the store and found some snow boots (pink!) and a snow jacket (mostly black with pink, blue and yellow flowers) and some strap on skis (pink!). Boy did that set us back a couple bucks. But we are looking forward to getting her on the skis…. I’ll try and remember to take a photo and post it later.
In the meantime, here is a pic of the cabin. Its not high end or anything, just comfortable. This year when we arrived, the first thing I noticed was the kitchen. It had been remodeled. It wasn’t done well or anything, but at least there are solid countertops instead of old tile with grout that is falling out. I was so relieved when I saw it that I gave out an audible sigh. I have to say that I’m not super thrilled to hang out in the cabin on weekends with Calliope while Michael is skiing. But I know how much it means to him and I just can’t say no. One of the things I’ve been doing as a way to enjoy the cabin more is to cook for everyone so when they are done with a full day of skiing, they come home to a hot cooked meal. I like it and it makes me feel useful. Calliope and I go to the grocery store and come up with some ideas based on what we see there. The remodel of the kitchen makes it just that much better. A day will come (not this year) when we will take Calliope to Alpine with us and she can take classes and we (all of we) can ski for at least half a day.

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Christmas Morning

Ahhhh, here it is. The moment we have all been waiting for… Christmas Morning… I’m probably repeating myself here but just want to say that it was a lovely time we had in New York during the holidays this year. We don’t normally see family during the holidays because of the travel required, but this year we made a special trip out to see Michael’s family in upstate NY. It was the right time, the right year to do it and we are happy to have been able to share such good memories with family. Here is a shot of the princess in her new dress and boots from Omi, which she wore for Christmas morning. So adorable. I couldn’t have dressed her better myself! And just like her Chochie Queen of the universe, (Jennifer Ann Bilyk) she knows how to pose for the camera. Don’t you know we all felt special in her presence that morning as she was spoiled beyond belief with gift after gift. Much love, much fun, and great memories.

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