Posts Tagged ‘family’

“Are you OK,” Patrick asked as I buckled Joey into her car seat.

“Yeah, it didn’t bother me at all. I would have wondered the same thing. It made me smile, actually,” I responded with a laugh, more out of relief than anything. It finally had happened. I had wondered how I would react…

You guys, after 9 months of watching TV and staring down other mixed-race families, in a game called “Guess Which Shade of Tan Our Baby Will Be,” we have a baby that is a shade of white a bit more milky and porcelain than Patrick’s skin. We had not anticipated that…at all. During our pregnancy, Patrick kept reminding me that we weren’t mixing paint, there were a variety of possibilities. But, even “anything is possible” Patrick admits being more than a little surprised by our baby’s skin tone and overall strong likeness to her dad.


I may have mentioned that I am biracial and adopted in a previous post or two. Even though I was adopted into a mixed-racial home, my skin tone is noticeably darker than the varied tones of my immediate family. It is safe to say at this point, I have never experienced bearing any resemblance to my family.

That being said… While I was pregnant, did a part of me revel in the thought that I would have a family member that looked like me? Yes, definitely. Was I anticipating a little girl with tan skin and wild curly hair like her mama? Yes, indeed-y. Did Patrick and I excitedly hold our collective breaths, expecting an olive complexion to make its way to the surface as our newborn daughter went from white, to yellow (thanks, jaundice), and…back to white again? Yup! Did we expect Joey’s eyes to turn brown by now? Oh, yes. Do we think our daughter is perfect and the most beautiful girl, exactly the way she is. Undoubtably!

Day-to-day, minute-to-minute, hour-to-hour, I do not notice my daughter’s skin, unless  a rash turns up. (Reoccurring belly rash is no match for me!) I’m used to being in a family that is bound by…whatever it is that links a family–love, sense of “us,” same detergent smell–that is not genetics or looks. So this isn’t exactly new territory. But I always wondered if other people could shake my confidence and my strong sense of family-connectedness now that I’m a *mom* to a baby that does not, at first glance, look like me. Turns out, not so much.

Mirroring Surprise

As we were gathering all of our belongings to leave a restaurant–coats, diaper bag, toys, baby–I overheard a girl say to her friend, “I’m trying to figure out if she is the baby’s mom…” She said more, but I didn’t catch it. I smiled as I thought, “Yes, I am the mom! Lucky me!” And that was it. As Patrick and I walked to the car, I told him what I had overheard and he asked me if I was OK.

Am I OK? I have a healthy and beautiful baby girl; a loving, supportive, and present husband; and the best job ever–a full-time nanny to my own daughter. Yeah, I’d say I’m more than OK! But thanks for asking. 🙂


Read Full Post »

Knock, Knock

Helloooooo, blog friends! Are you still there? Sorry for the hiatus, but I’m really awful without sleep and babies are awful about sleeping. So these past months have not been my most eloquent or awake ones. But here we are, 6 months into things, and Joey is sitting and playing on her own, sleeping at night, and taking two naps. So guess who has a bit more brainpower and time? I have no idea. Un-relatedly, I’m going to try to blog again. Going to take it slow with the goal to write 1/week.

Let’s catch you up to speed on where we are… I’m now admitting to be a SAHM. I am in mommy-baby groups that meet multiple days a week (!). We are starting solids. We are moving soon! Patrick is still not proficient at putting a onesie on a baby or changing a poo diaper by himself, but I suspect he is just feigning clumsiness so as to spend more quality time with me. Also, I talk about poo now. Clearly, I have a lot to write about these days, so why not do it here with you?

To reward those of you who are still with us, and because Angie requested…

Sitting pretty

Sitting pretty


Face Time

Read Full Post »

…every day. We are starting to get into a new rhythm. We are diaper changing pros. We have resumed cooking. Patrick has returned to work. We are getting a bit more sleep…if we nap when she naps. We are totally thrilled to be parents to this growing girl!

But enough about us…our baby girl is 1 month young today! What has she been up to?

1 month, 1 million snuggles

She’s been on many walks…

…without using her own feet…

…she has parents to walk for her

She has slept…

…but not in her crib

She has cheered for her favorite sports team…

…and has shown outrage when they lost

She has hung out with Lulu…

…and learned a naughty gesture

She eats, and poops, and cries…

…and we love her up every day

Read Full Post »

A friend of the blog and soon-to-be eccentric Swiss baroness recently said to me: “I was a much better mother before I had children.”

This made me think, because I am a really, really awesome dad now that I don’t have children. I’m a playful, loving, fun, and wise father for these future offspring. But is that because I don’t, well, actually have them yet?

Granted, I do actually have 7 nieces and nephews, and I am an awesome *actual* uncle to them. But it’s a lot different being an uncle than a father. (For one thing, there are no givebacks.) They all turned out great, but I may have to acknowledge that their actual parents had something to do with that.

But what will I be like when I’m tired, or trying to juggle home, work, and parenting responsibilities? Sometimes I worry – okay, worry is my natural state of existence, so most of the time I worry – that I will struggle to find the balance. And I do wonder if my friend is right, and it will all be uphill from here.

So, let me ask you, readers of the blog, what are your secrets? How does one find the energy, the patience, and the perseverance to be a good parent – actual or imagined?

Will I wield a Jello Pudding Pop or Red Light Saber?

Read Full Post »

Just yesterday, Gilly wrote this post about the lily-whiteness of Baby Book covers. At the risk of turning this TTC blog into a treatise on race relations in America, I have to share our experiences tonight: Not once, but twice in the span of half an hour, two different checkout clerks in two different grocery chains in “liberal New England” tried to ring up my basket of items individually, while ignoring my dear wife who stood next to me holding the rest of the items that we had collected together.

I know what you’re thinking – perhaps this is mere coincidence. Perhaps, like Beauty and the Beast, the sight of Gilly next to me seemed a mismatch of such Disney-esque proportions that it confused both of these befuddled, overworked, and underpaid clerks. Or perhaps they were simply too busy to notice when Gilly put her full basket down on top of my recently emptied one (in the first instance) or were confused by the lack of dividers among our combined conveyor belt’s worth of items (in the second instance).

Now, I don’t tend to notice racial issues. In fact, I tend to be oblivious to them. It can be both a blessing and a curse, but growing up white in a white-bread suburb of western Pennsylvania, I never really had to notice them. Today, I like to think we’re living in a post-racial 21st century society. But clearly, we’re not there yet. And this troubles me. It makes me wonder if one day I will experience the same reaction when I am carrying our future, brown, multiracial children in the supermarket. Will I have to worry about comments from perhaps otherwise well-meaning strangers who are set up for certain racial expectations? Or far worse?

It may not bother me personally, but I guarantee you it will bother me if it upsets my children in any way.

But then, just as I was about to sink into a state of despair, I saw a ray of light in the card aisle of another store tonight:

You can judge this card by its cover.

So I’m going to rejoice in our one victory this evening: Babies of many shades on a card together.

Now there is the post-racial 21stcentury I’ve yearned for.

Just like these baby animals sitting in multi-species harmony together.

In the future, people won't judge them for their color.

Read Full Post »

What does Lulu's name say about us?

What you name your baby says more about you than your baby, according to this post on Parents.com. This should go without saying. Unless you’re planning on naming your baby “Baby,” “7 pounds, 11 ounces,” or “Nipple-Clencher”, then I doubt your baby’s name will actually provide much insight into its personality.

For the busy reader, I’ll paraphrase their findings for you:

1. If your child has an unusual name, you crave the spotlight. Examples: Pilot Inspektor, Kal-El.

Because the best way to get the rest of the world to pay attention to you is to make everyone think you’re an asshole.

2. If your child has an old-fashioned name, you’re on the conservative side. Examples: Agnes, Homer.

So expect a run on old-fashioned names like Rush, Mitt, and Dubya in the near future.

3. If you choose a creative spelling, you dare to be different. Examples: Ryder, Rocko.

Or you’re illiterate.

4. If you choose a family name, you’re sentimental.

Or possibly just vain.

5. A pop culture name means you’re looking for a confidence boost. Examples: Monroe, Lennon.

Because nothing raises one’s confidence like raising the bar of expectations for your child.

6. If you go with a unisex name, you focus on success. Examples: Kelley, Mason.

Or perhaps you were given unisex hand-me-downs.

7. If you name your child after a destination, you’re adventurous. Examples: Memphis, Brooklyn.

Unless you actually live in Brooklyn. Then it simply means you’re lazy.

So what do you think, readers? Does a baby name say more about its parents than the baby? And if so, what does it have to say?

Read Full Post »

If the Steelers had cheerleaders and Lulu liked to smile, she'd only wave pom-poms for the Steelers!

One of the things I was thinking this evening while watching the Pittsburgh Steelers beat the Philadelphia Eagles in preseason football (well, besides thinking that the state of Pennsylvania has one team that looks ready for the Super Bowl and one team that doesn’t) was this: Are my football-watching days numbered?

I know that every prospective parent-to-be in the history of ever is concerned with the loss of leisure time that comes with being responsible for a little crib-critter. It goes with the territory. But still, there must be a way that one learns to balance one’s responsibilities with one’s desire to function as a human in the world. How does someone manage to be both a parent and someone who wants to watch football, to read a book, or to know enough about pop culture to know that the ending of Lost sucked and the ending of Harry Potter was pitch-perfect?

I know my priorities will shift as a parent – and who knows, I might simply not even have the time to remember what my former priorities used to be – but I imagine that to remain relatively sane one must find some time in the day to do the things he or she loves to do.

So tell me, parents, where do you find the time for yourselves? What are your means of escape? Is it all in the scheduling? In finding some untapped reservoir of energy after the little knee-high private eyes go to bed at night? Or is it all in trading favors with one’s spouse? Or bribing your parents and siblings?

Maybe I should just resolve myself to the understanding that somewhere around the year 2030, if I’m lucky, future Patrick will be waiting, older but wiser and ready to resume life as he once knew it. That is, unless the Mayans have it right and we can all just cash it in in 2012.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »