Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Our First, Second Anniversary

Confusing title, huh?

Well, today is the FIRST of our SECOND anniversaries.  Yep.  We have two wedding anniversaries.  I guess that is the silver lining of not having the same legal rights as other couples in this country? Two years ago today, my wife and I were legally married outside of the Flavor Graveyard at the Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream Factory in Vermont.  Because Illinois did not, and still does not, grant same-sex marriages, we had to leave our home state to get legally married.  So, the week before our Chicago wedding (the one with the big party and lots of cupcakes), we travelled to Vermont and were married by my very best friend and my sister in this perfect, small ceremony at the happiest place on earth (in my opinion).  It was perfect.

And is two years later.  Two years later and I am more in love with my wife than I ever have been before.  Because now I love her as my wife and I also get to love her as Millie's Mama.  She makes one incredible wife, and she also make the most incredible Mama.  She is everything to Millie.  One minute she will be tossing Millie up and down to make her laugh harder than she ever laughs and the next minute she will be softly rubbing her head to help her calm down and fall asleep.  She teaches Millie about the world and she has more energy for Millie than any other human being that I know.  No matter how long her day was or how tired she is when she wakes up, she greets Millie with the warmest smile and the most loving embrace.  It is amazing.  I feel lucky.

These two years have been filled with so many moment.  Incredible, life changing moments.  Heartwarming, joyous moments. Heartbreaking moments.  Moments that made us laugh so hard that we couldn't breathe.  Moments when we questioned what the hell we were doing.  Moments when it felt like we were in the exact right place, at the exact right time.  These moments have filled our years with so much and it makes me so excited to think about all the moments that are still to come.

So how did we celebrate? Well, this morning we both got to play with Millie before I had to leave for work.  That was a plus.  Tonight, Carla is closing at work, she left us a delicious smelling crock pot dish that has filled our home with a delightful smell.  I am cooking rice so we can eat as soon as Carla gets home.  And when she gets home we will probably watch an episode of Chicago Fire.  And then we will crawl into bed and we will have less room than normal because it is getting cold here in Chicago and that means that our cat, Jellybean, sleeps in the bed with us.  And we will all fall asleep.  As a family.  And nothing. Nothing. Could be better.

I will leave you now with a few pictures from our wedding in Vermont.

Our ceremony took place under this delightful gazebo with our friends and family huddled inside. 

There could have been no more perfect setting than an ice cream factory for our wedding. 

We got to be Ben and Jerry!

We then took our fancy selves on the Ice Cream Factory Tour.  This was our tour guide.  The people at Ben and Jerry's were so so nice.  They let us get married there for no cost AND they gave us the tour for free and even threw in a free scoop of ice cream for everyone at the wedding (there were 12 of us!). Not only do they make the world's best ice cream, they are the kindest kind of people.  
So, today, two years after we left our own state so that we could get legally married, the Illinois congress is getting ready to go back to work in session that might possibly have the chance to vote on a same-sex marriage bill.  Yesterday, the streets of Springfield were filled with people marching in support of this bill.  Today, those same streets were filled with people who oppose the bill and hope that it doesn't come to pass.  Me? I loved our wedding in Vermont, but if I could have, I would have chosen to be able to get married here, in our home state, in a heartbeat.  Just because we made the best of it, doesn't mean that I was okay with it.  I will never be okay with the fact that we are still not seen as equal here in Illinois.  So while we celebrate this day, I hold a small space in my heart of sadness and a bigger space of hope thinking about why we had to leave Illinois and also thinking about what is possibly to come.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Fall Update

It certainly has been a while since I wrote anything here.

I was thinking about the past few posts and I realize that it has been a good long while since I wrote just about...Millie.

So here it goes.

Millie is now solidly into her ninth month of life.  At her last doctor's appointment, she had gotten herself to the 97th percentile in weight! Yep.  She just keeps growing.

She is chubby and happy and the most recent development is that we have crawling! Just like everything else, Millie crawls in her own way and in her own time.  She is still pretty content to sit still, but when she is really motivated, off she goes.  The things that are most certain to motivate her include any and all pets who happen to walk by, dog toys, dog bones, and her favorite stuffed animals.

In addition to crawling, there is also some serious dancing.  When upbeat music comes on, Millie starts to bounce up and down in the cutest way.  It is like she doesn't even know that she is doing it.  The music overtakes her. It is delightful.

And the eating.  She will eat anything.  Honestly.  There is nothing that girl won't try to put into her mouth and she loves meal time more than any other time of day.  She loves avocado, banana, chicken, butternut squash, and anything else that ends up on her high chair tray.  And when she has had enough, she lets us know by squishing her food so tightly in her hands that it pops out from between her fingers.  It is a real treat.

Millie has really started playing with her toys.  She loves any type of musical instrument.  She loves cars and trucks of any kind.  She loves blocks and Little People figures and her stuffed animal owl, Prudence.  While I would like to say that she is mesmerized by books, mostly she likes to grab them out of my hands and throw them around the room.  She also really delights in pulling them off of book shelves.

And Fall.  Fall has come.  This house loves Fall in a serious way.  Even the dog loves the onset of the colder weather.  I truly love everything about Fall.  I love the colors, the smells, the foods, the clothes, the way that the school year starts to settle in and feel like normal.  It all makes me so very content.  This year, there has been no shortage of Fall activities.  There has been a trip to the apple orchard, two trips to pumpkin farms, and many pumpkin flavored goodies.  Millie seems to love the outdoors in Fall as much as any other time of year.  We are now looking forward to Halloween.  Millie's costume promises lots of cuteness.

So, yes, things are good.

Please don't mistake my happy updates as an assertion that life is without it's struggles.  In hopes of keeping things real, I will say that the start of the school year has been a struggle.  I still struggle to feel as if I am enough both at home and at school.  It seems that when I get on top of things at school, things fall apart at home and when I get on top of things at home, things fall apart as school.  Nothing drastic, but things slip and fall through cracks and I have to stop and remind myself that sometimes I have to be okay with good enough.  It's a work in progress.

Millie still does not nap at daycare.  It leads to some pretty cranky afternoons once she gets home.  Luckily, the girl likes an early bedtime and there are many nights that she is asleep before six.  I would love for her to make it up a bit later, but I am thankful that she sleeps well at night.  I am thankful that when she is home with us she still naps.  But those hours after daycare, those can suck.

There is some pretty awful diaper rash at the moment.  I won't say too much about that.  It's gross.  Enough said.

We haven't heard from Millie's birth parents in a while.  They will come back to us.  To her.  We all know they will.  But, still.  The silence sometimes worries us.

There was a small freak out about day care this past week.  There was a mix up with what she was eating for snack.  There was a new worker who didn't inspire the highest amounts of confidence.  You know.  Nothing big, but everything feels big because it's your kid and there isn't anything that is too little to worry about when it comes to the care she is getting.  But bottom line, we love where she is.  She loves where she is.  We are absolutely in love with the main teacher in the infant room and she is in love with Millie.  We are happy.  We will remind ourselves of that.

This week was a tough one.  I had two nights of parent-teacher conferences, which were all lovely, but still, they were long long nights.  I didn't even get to see Millie awake on Thursday.  That was hard.  But today, we made up for it.  I didn't have to work. Carla didn't have to work.  Millie got to be home with both of us.  We made it a family fun day at the Shedd Aquarium.  It was a good day.

Well.  Now I feel more balanced.  If you made it through all of that, I am impressed.  I will reward you will Millie pictures.  This kid.  She is everything.

These two...they are soul mates. 
Pumpkin Patch #1

Carla and Millie on the Cow Train
Millie and I and a tractor
Out for dinner.  I love this picture.  So much. 

My dad and the grandkids.  I love this picture too.  
Millie's first trip to the Shedd Aquarium. It is one of Carla's favorite spots in Chicago.  Millie was instantly smitten with the place.  

Carla is pointing out the fish and sharks.
These two. Loves of my life. 

She fits perfectly between the big and the little. 

I cannot believe how grown up she looks in this one.  It was a great great day.

Well, that is more than enough for now.  I hope this post finds you all doing well and enjoying the beautiful Fall.