Saturday, May 26, 2012

One Week Old!

Yesterday Cristina Lei turned one week old! We celebrated with some breast milk and formula, and some wine and beer. Thank goodness no one got the two mixed up.

Our little munchkin has been a doll this past week and we really have no complaints.  She had her first pediatrician appoitnment two days ago and she gained four ounces since her birth weight!  She's had a few smiles (gas), a few very large messy diapers (at very inopportune times), and a lot of people visiting and loving on her...

A visit from the DC boys, Jeff and Kevin

Uncle David holding Cristina (I'm afraid we're going to have to rip her out of his arms when we leave!)

Taken by Kevin and Jeff -- so sweet!...I'll cherish this photo forever.  I love this little girl!

Self-photo...Cristina's neck seems so strong!

Waiting for the pediatrician to check her out..she's a little modest and was covering up.
Binky close by for comforting

"yo! yo! yo!"

Uncle David's sister Sally (who let us use her co-sleeper and a bunch of other cool stuff -- thank you!)

Just home from the hospital and everyone's pooped.

Cristina meets her namesake - Bill's mother Eusebia Cristina - at Arlington National Cemetary

Cristina's Lei from Uncle David's nephew, Thomas (so cute)

Those lips...those lips! I love them!

This is what I'm coining the "Safety Dance"'s her favorite sleeping pose.

Jason from Stalking the Stork blog coined this her Victoria's Secret pose...not liking that, Jason. At all.  But loving that you are on your way to see Olivia and Clara as I type this!

A nice visit from my high school friend, Sarah...she was off to Istanbul the following day. Thanks for taking the time to see Cristina, Sarah...xo

Sweetness. Pure sweetness.

Bill's friend, Jere, from his Capitol Hill days...loving on Cristina

Bill's Bolivian Godmother, Vilma, loving on Cristina

Uncle David is going to miss Cristina, big time...

Our little babooshka!
(note the binky - love it)

"Milk Drunk" after "M" nursed

Those eyes are beautiful...looking right in to our hearts

Bill's elementary school friend, Ginny, loving on Cristina

She's got legs...

For Cristina's one week birthday, we all decided to sing her "Happy Birthday"

Lastly, I'm trying to find the words to describe the experience of the last few weeks here in DC.  Mainly, our wonderful relationship with "M" that has taken us by surprise. We have always been close to her, but there is something about this whole process and the resulting birth of a child that is so powerful. I'm going to save it for another post, but man, saying goodbye (for now) has been very, very difficult.  I hope I can do it justice one day in our birth story.  Because the whole thing completely floored me.
We leave tomorrow morning @ 8:18 am. Long 15 hour journey home. Can't believe we are almost there! AMAZING!!!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

We Survived the Hospital Stay -- Thank God!

All is well. We are back at Uncle David's and we broke out of the Peds Unit, and the completely insane discharge (more on that later).  We've had two feedings sans "M"...which was a bit scary!  After her feedings, we've figured out that Cristina likes to be rocked and serenaded by her Daddy and Papa. I've been trying to remember all of my mom's wonderful lullabies and I find myself humming the tune and forgetting the words.  But thankfully she doesn't call me out on it (yet!).

Bill is a pro with the swaddling, feeding, burping routine.  The second one at the house went off without a hitch, and I praised him for it. He looked like he'd been doing it for years...very comforting since he will be the stay-at-home-Daddy!

One of our LA friends happened to be in NYC for a visit and took the train down to DC to meet Cristina for a few hours.  Uncle Asher is a jokester...and this is the first face he made as he was holding her.

Asher versus Cristina!

Uncle David also got in on the fun and had his photo taken with his 
new roommate for the next one or two weeks.

Here are some pics from the first couple days...what an adventure it was! We know there are many, many more to come but this was such an unbelievable journey.  We are so thankful to our surrogate, for being so awesome throughout this whole process.  We will never forget the day she brought Cristina Lei to us -- Thank you, "M"!  Big hugs (and a foot rub -- inside joke).  


Literally minutes after birth. What a perfect face (both of them!)

Holding her for the first time. 
A powerful moment.

Cristina meets Daddy.

Truly the face of an ANGEL.

Monkey Toes gets the green light to be discharged!....


....and now we are THREE!
Albeit a tired three...but enjoying every minute.

More to come...stay tuned.


Friday, May 18, 2012

Cristina Lei is Finally Here!

After several hours of laboring and waiting, and an absolutely amazing job by our surrogate "M"...our daughter finally made her debut!

Cristina Lei
8 lbs, 11 oz.
21-1/2" long
Born on May 18, 2012 at 1:46 am

More details after we all get a cat nap, but we are in awe of the fantastic job "M" did to bring this adorable bundle of joy in to our lives.  Thank you!  We couldn't be happier and more in love with this beautiful girl!

Here are a couple photos.  Isn't she the cutest ever???

Oh I'm so tired!

She's got her eye on us!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Here we go!!!

On the way to the hospital now. DEEP BREATHS!!! Everyone! More to come.

Does the Baby Widget Lie?

There's still time to redeem yourself, 
oh ubiquitous widget!

In other news, we have an appointment this afternoon to assess how things are moving along.  
There's a possibility of induction if labor doesn't occur naturally, soon.

Thanks for checking in! 
We'll keep everyone posted.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Whoa....39 weeks?!?!

I never thought we'd get here, as I just assumed that we would be 1-2 weeks early. But HERE WE ARE, we've been on the road, living in suitcases, for 17 days, and we are less than seven days until our due date, which is this Thursday.  There hasn't been a lot of activity after Friday, barring the continual shedding of the mucus plug, some contractions that last anywhere from 20-30 minutes, and our little one nestled into just the right spot.  So the plan is to wait and be patient and try to enjoy ourselves, which has been fairly easy to do.  One of the most difficult things is dealing with the anticipation.  I never knew it could be so exhausting...and I'm not even the one carrying this little bundle of joy.  For now anyway.

The other challenge is trying to be online for work while being six hours ahead of Hawaii time.  But that seems to be working itself out pretty well, and my very awesome co-workers are helping out.  My paternity time doesn't start until AFTER the baby is born, so I've really tried to stay in touch with what's happening 5,000 miles away, enough as I can, anyway.

And....this is just another lesson in patience, I guess, along with this little girl taking her sweet time to make her grand appearance. I say that in an extremely loving way....  :-)   and I know it will be completely forgotten when she finally arrives.

So anytime, little girl...  In fact, we were even ready today, on Mother's Day. There were a few bets that she would arrive today -- given that she is named after Bill's mother and my mother -- but that hope has faded and now we are on to the day after Mother's Day, or the one after, or after......good enough for me, right?  It was a good try, anyway.

We sincerely appreciate everyone checking in and thanks to Tony and Mike for getting us on the bandwagon to give you an update before the end of the weekend!   You will all be the very first to know. It may be a few pics first and then the whole story to follow another day but there will be an announcement. PROMISE.

Happy Mother's Day to all the awesome mommies out there.  You guys rock.

More updates as they come.  We love you all!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Update on the Update

Ugh...just got the report that after 45 minutes of monitoring that "M's" contractions are only 20-30 minutes apart -- her OB said they are usually looking for more like 5 minutes apart...double ugh!

A bit disappointing, huh?! Oh, and she's only 1-2 cm dilated -- which is what she was 3 weeks ago.


Someone hand me a cocktail, please!...this is a bit much to take! LOL.
(Oh, I already have one in my hand..."someone get me another!!")

On the "TMI" front...her OB did what they call membrane, you know, get things going.

All I can say is..."OUCH!!!"...

Drama ensues. More to come. Stay tuned!  

In the meantime...

Just a Quick Update...

Contractions are getting stronger - YES!!!

Most of "M"s mucus plug has come out - YES!!!

However, at this point her contractions are not getting any closer together - DARN.

Though we DO have a doctor's appointment today...hopefully to move things along - YES!!!

For now, we're all just staying put...MORE TO COME ONCE WE KNOW IT.

Thanks for checking in everyone...we certainly appreciate the enthusiasm!

Peace out.

D and B and M

Monday, May 7, 2012

A memorable evening with Jeff and Kevin (and Kirby)

Saturday night Bill and I and our good friend, David, hung out in DC with Jeff and Kevin and their dog Kirby. They were INCREDIBLE hosts and FABULOUS cooks...their home is ABSOLUTELY beautiful and we couldn't have had a more AMAZING time.  I was especially honored to have a lap dance by their dog, Kirby, who apparently only bestows this honor for very special VIPs.

To boot, the boys bought us ADORABLE gifts for our little girl.  AND US???... we walked in EMPTY-HANDED, no present for their little guy!!!  We are sooooo lame.  But we've got something in mind when we get back to Hawaii, that will hopefully be a perfect present for their baby boy.  No Jeff and Kevin, we promise it WON'T be a lap dance!

And just when we thought the evening couldn't get any better, I got a phone call from Jason of Stalking the Stork, with the news about his daughters, Olivia and Clara, who were born just a wee bit early, but are doing very well in the NICU in Delhi.  It was wonderful to hear Jason's excitement in his a new father. Yay!!!...Congrats boys!!!

So thanks Jeff and Kevin...for the conversation, the swapping of "family drama" stories, for making the blog world even smaller (in more ways than one), and for making us feel so comfortable in your home (did we stay too late??...drink too much wine???...or leave the toilet seat up by mistake????).

Seriously though, we had SO MUCH fun hanging with our blog buddies-turned-our-new-BFFs-in-DC!!! So glad we took you up on the invitation.

Hopefully the next post will be about another healthy baby being born.  YES, we are still waiting...but having a lot of fun while doing it.  As you can tell:


Sunday, May 6, 2012

Still waiting...


Two years ago on New Year's Eve several friends got together for a little celebration.  We had just returned from India a couple months before, and we were still grieving our failed attempts, trying to figure out which path to take to have a child.  We figured we wouldn't be the best of company, but we were thankful that our friends dragged us out to celebrate a bit at another friend's home, instead of staying in and cursing the fertility gods.  As we all proceeded to eat, drink and be (a little) merry, someone suggested that we all participate in a type of "happiness affirmation activity", in which each of us wrote on a smooth stone, some of the things we wished for in the coming years.  As we all grabbed a Sharpie pen, we began to scribble our hopes and wishes for the future on random rocks.  It was a bit cleansing and therapeutic, and of course, all Bill and I wanted to write was... "BABY, PLEASE!" or "Where's the freakin' baby?", or ENOUGH ALREADY, GIVE US A BABY!!!"...but we tried not to focus all of our attention on just one thing that would make us happy, and we each mustered up a few other things that we felt would create some happiness in our lives.  It was, you know, the normal stuff....LOVE, HEALTH, PEACE...winning the lottery! (joke).  We did, though, managed to sneak one baby-related affirmation in there, just for the record.  It was simple...all I wrote on the bottom of the rock was "BABY".  We each shared our affirmations with the group, gathered up all the 20 or 30 stones, and placed them in a rock garden in our friend's yard.  It was a very nice thing to do, made us focus on other people's lives rather than think of just ourselves, and then the party partied on.

To be honest, I forgot all about the rocks and our affirmations, and the activity in general.  We simply continued our lives, this crazy baby journey, and life meandered forward...  That is, until right before we left for our trip to DC.  I had come home from work and Bill was showing me some cute baby presents that our good friends Maureen and Andres gave us.  After we opened the two gifts,  Bill began to recount the story of that New Year's Eve night, where we wrote our affirmations on the rocks and placed them in the garden.  He then explained that Maureen had recently been to the house and the garden where our stones were located.  As she began to pick up each stone and turn them over, in an attempt to decipher what we were really thinking 2-1/2 years ago, and what we really thought might make us happy, she discovered that every affirmation was washed out, either by the sun or the rain, or just from basic wear and tear.  As she came across a particular stone and turned it over, she was taken back when she clearly saw the words "BABY" printed in black permanent marker across the bottom flat surface of the rock.  She picked up the only rock of which anything could be legible, and thought it befitting to gift it to us.  When Bill produced the rock after telling the story, I had a moment (like I often do)...and I thought of all the things that we had gone through since I wrote on that rock...and I was so thankful.  It was very, very special, and we will keep it a sign that affirmations can be powerful, a superstition sometimes should be believed in, and sometimes, just sometimes, something as simple as a rock in the dirt can make you realize that dreams can come true.

It stood the test of time, like we did.  

Saturday, May 5, 2012

38 Weeks Today (Super Moon Baby?)

I am not sure why our ticker says 12 days when we are really 14...but at this point, what's two days?

Today we had lunch with "M"...she was definitely doing some waddling and she even made a joke of's been two days since we've seen her and I swear she's gotten bigger.  But only in the belly area! We had dim sum at one of her favorite places...and then we walked through Buy Buy Baby just for kicks and some baby care tips.  Thanks all the info, "M"!!!

I think at this point we're all very ready...especially the one that's preggers.  Her most recent doctor's appointment was this past Thursday and her measurements showed the baby at 40-41 weeks. So I think we're talking kinda big here.  She mentioned the measurements again at lunch and Bill and I both looked at her and thought, "OUCH!"  She's a brave woman as she's shooting to go for a natural birth, which she was able to do last time.  Hoping all goes as planned.  Though I'm not sure where we'll be hiding as she hurls the visual daggers at us during delivery...

Thanks for being so brave,, "M"!!!  I could never do that. EVER.

Let's hope the gravitational pull from tonight's Super Moon helps this birth along!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

A Letter to Our Baby Girl

If you don't know me yet, I'm sensitive. Yes, I'm a tall white guy that cries when he reads Facebook shares about abandoned dogs, or when I watch sappy commercials, or movies, or after school name it -- if its got sentimentality written all over it, I'm a gusher. I don't deny it.

So what's keeping me from writing a letter to our little girl, the one who is about to be born in just days or a matter of a couple weeks???  The one that will change our life in a split-second???  The one that has me crying at the drop of a hat even before she's entered this world???  Nada.

So here goes...

Dear Baby Girl,

Well after many hours of traveling on an airplane (with a short pit stop in California to wish one of your uncles a happy birthday), we are finally here on the east coast awaiting your arrival with your uncle David.  Tonight was a very special night, too, because for the first time we got to feel you move and wiggle around, and kick and squirm a bit...while you were inside M's tummy.  I remember seeing your Daddy's face when he felt you move, and it put the biggest smile on his face (and of course, mine too!). At this point, I don't think we could be any more excited to have you in our arms...but I have a feeling you'll prove us wrong on the day you are born :-)

We've all been very busy preparing everything for you, and with so much joy. In fact, before we left home,  Daddy and I would leave a light on for you in your nursery, each and every night that passed. It may sound a little funny, but it was a sweet reminder that we are just days away from meeting you, from holding you, giving you sweet kisses and snuggling with you, and we’re so over the moon about it that we just couldn't help ourselves.

You see, we’ve been waiting a long time for this day to come, and there have been a few road blocks in the way, and one or two battles to be fought – just so that we could get this chance to become your parents.  And over the years, during this sometimes difficult journey, we never gave up on our dream to be your fathers. We never gave up on you, little girl. And we promise, from the bottom of our huge hearts for you, that we will never ever give up on you, for the rest of our lives.

I don’t think you have any idea, but you are about to become the world to two of the luckiest people on the planet.  And we are going to work hard to show you just that, every day (without too much spoiling, of course).  Your Daddy and I have been blessed in so many ways throughout our lives, and we are so eager to share them with you.  We have many, many friends and family for you to meet -- and they’ve been asking about you every day -- they’ve been throwing parties for you (some have been a little wild and crazy!), buying you very thoughtful and super cute presents, and giving your fathers a ton of advice about how to care for you.  We may be new at this daddy thing so please be patient with us while we learn.

We know everyone will love you from the day you enter this world, and it’s my guess that your feet will never touch the ground once we bring you back.  We also hope that you love our home in Hawaii as much as we do.  There is not a day that goes by that we don’t enjoy our life here, and sometimes we have to pinch ourselves when we realize our good fortune…fortune that will be passed on to you as you grow up, and hopefully grow to love it as much as we do. 

There is one thing that I want to warn you about, though.  You have a big sister, and her name is Chloe.

She doesn’t look at all like you, but she’s our daughter, just like you are our daughter.  And we hope you’ll love her like a sister, because if you do, she’ll be the best friend you’ll ever have (like she's been to us).  We know she’s excited to meet you, too. We often find her sitting in your room, sleeping and waiting.  I think she’s more patient than we are!  We are confident you two will hit it off and become fast friends, because Chloe is a lover, just like Papa and Daddy ;-)

Well, that’s it for now.  We’ll see you soon.  Please be careful and take care of yourself and "M" (she’s a very special person, too...but we’ll tell you more about her later).


Papa and Daddy

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Well, we've arrived...

Yes, a bit tired, but we've arrived!

Bill and I just landed in DC about an hour ago. This is the last stop on the way to fatherhood and it feels a bit surreal, but so, so exciting. I guess if I were to pick one...the most intense feeling running through my veins right now is one of anticipation. It's like Heinz 57 on STEROIDS.  I just can't believe that we are here and literally days away from the meeting of a lifetime. It's all a bit overwhelming. And did I say surreal???  :-)

We are staying with our very good friend David, and he has completely buffed us out with all the newborn necessities, since we are so far away from home...and 5,000 miles away from our buffed out nursery. His sister just had a baby about a year ago and so we have a ton of hand-me-downs from her. Thank you, Sarah!  David also gave us his bedroom, and it included a co-sleeper, and a ton of onesies and gowns and all kinds of stuff. We only brought a few newborn clothes with us, knowing he had so much here.  It couldn't have worked out better. Did I say our friends our AWESOME? Because they so many's tough to document it all...

We are also going to get together with another about-to-be-daddies bloggers Kevin and Jeff, hopefully this Saturday. They were gracious enough to invite us to their home for a casual BBQ and some drinks...unless someone decides to arrive before then??? (EEEEEK!!! That was a sort of gay squeal). Definitely excited to meet them and see the nursery and all their preparations...they're in DC for a few more weeks and then then they are off to Cali to meet their little (or big?) boy!  Thanks guys for being so hospitable while we're in your city! We promise to return the favor when all three come to visit Hawaii.

Ok, off to bed.  To think that anytime soon we could get a phone call that says "get your butts over here, I'm ready to go!!!" is weighing heavy on the brain.  Night all...