Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Where have the last few months gone?

It seems time has flown and our little one year old girl is now just over 16 months and is a full-blown toddler. She's eating solid food, literally running around the house, usually trying to dribble a ball or chase Chloe, she is talking, traveling and my goodness is she growing! Her last check-up she was 29 lbs and 34" tall. That's almost 3 feet tall! I'm a bit blown away by it all, and we are just so, so happy that she's healthy and happy and still sleeping 11+ hours a night, with a three hour nap during the day. Yay for sleep!!!

A celebratory wave/high five after her doctor's appointment

Bill went back to work last month and so our neighbor has been watching her during the weekdays, and next week Cristina will go in to a group day care with 3-4 other kids. It's so convenient as it's right down the street from my work, and so drop-off and pick-up will be a breeze.  Let's see how Daddy and Papa do with letting her go to someone else's house all day, though...I'm a bit nervous about it, as she's been in the cocoon of our house since she came home at 9 days old. I hope she adjusts ok...I'm being a bit of a nervous parent about it...but I'm sure she'll be fine.

Labor Day weekend we had our good friend and Cristina's god father in town. So both god parents had to pose for a beach pic with our beach babe.  Cristina loves, loves, loves the ocean. And has no fear. I can't wait until she can swim! It will make me feel much more comfortable, too.

Kay, Cristina and Todd

About two weeks ago Cristina and I flew to see my father, who had had a stroke, and is not doing very well.  He had never met his granddaughter so we really felt like it was time to get to Illinois to spend a week there. The travel was brutal, and poor Cristina was such a trooper...being strapped to me like a monkey in the Ergo carrier while I lugged a carry-on and the diaper bag and one checked bag around. Many a flight attendant and passenger helped me snap snaps, and adjust her just right...thank God or else I would have never been able to do it.  The trip was worth it, and through the jet lag and the different surroundings and the non-baby-proofed house we were staying in, we made the best of it. And in the end, the big Papa got to meet the littlest grandchild. So the mission was accomplished!
Papa Sr. and Cristina saying their hellos...and goodbyes...

This iPad Guy case SAVED the iPad on the trip! Highly recommend it!

Even though we spent a lot of time at the hospital visiting my father, Cristina was on her best behavior and made the best of it...such a good little girl.

All strapped in and ready to go home!

Making the same face, after a very long jet lagged nap

Just as I got back from the trip, our sweet blog friends Laura and Brea of Mamas & Sons were on vacation in Hawaii with their two adorable boys Blake and Ben, and we got to have lunch and finally meet them after following each other's journeys to become parents. There's something very special about meeting people you've never met but know so much about -- their struggles, their victories, all of it...and then you finally get to see them in person. We had a great lunch at The Contemporary Museum and then let the boys and Cristina run on the lawn. Fun times...!

Cristina is also a big fan of copying us making she is making fish lips!

And of course she's full of wonder, a curious little girl. 
Just love her so much.

Thanks for following along....

Friday, July 19, 2013

Playing with other kids...

Since Bill has been the stay-at-home-daddy from day 1, we haven't had a huge amount of socialization with other kids Cristina's age. And being such a big kid (95th percentile for height and weight), I get worried that she may accidentally hurt another child.

I am sharing this video because I actually caught this on camera. Cristina and our friends' son, Ryan (who is 19 months), playing together.

"Playing house", so to speak. Super cute...

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Sister Bonding

I think we have an official "sister bond" going on in our house. You may have remembered my post in 2011, concerned about having a baby in the house with a dog (more of a puppy as she was just under 2 years old).  Well, all of my concern has been alleviated, evidenced by the past 13 months of bonding that has occurred.  There definitely was some signs of reticence on Chloe's behalf when Cristina showed up in May of last year -- but we are certain that now the two of them get along famously. It's so fun to watch...

Also, I don't know if many of you saw this recently in the Wall Street Journal or somewhere else, about "Why Dogs and Cats Make Babies Healther".  Very interesting research being done by the journal Pediatrics. 

So while you may think that Chloe slobbering all over Cristina is gross, we're actually fighting against infection! Enjoy the video...


Wednesday, July 3, 2013

When Mama Is Her First Word

Thanks Huffington Post! You can read my latest entry here.

Happy Fourth of July everyone!


Monday, July 1, 2013

Happy Weekend in the Sun....

We had such an amazing weekend in the sun. A friend was visiting and "out-of-towners" are usually our excuse to get out and do some "touristy" things...which usually means that I get to have my way. And Bill doesn't get to do his house projects. LOL.

But I always tell him that we live in Hawaii for a reason -- to enjoy it. So here you go...our Saturday in a nutshell.

Cue the beach, the sun, the ocean, a sappy song, happy dads, a super happy 13-month-old and a proud uncle...

Happy Summer All...

Monday, June 10, 2013

Just a bunch of fun photos from the weekend...

I think this little girl is growing up...full of wonder and love and surprises. All good so far!  


Friday, May 31, 2013

I think the walking video is working now...

REPOSTED...not that you're waiting with baited breath or anything. ENJOY!


Walking...we're getting there

But certainly not without a lot of wipeouts.
Though she's certainly seems to be having fun with it.

Enjoy the last clip where she actually makes it from A to B without her butt hitting the floor.

Take care all...

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

HuffPo Huh???!!!

Well, thanks again to Jason from Stalking the Stork who surprised me and anyone who knows me with a request to write a blog post for the Huffington Post about our surrogacy and baby journey, as well as the Men Having Babies seminar in Los Angeles on May 5th.  It was quite an honor and actually a shock in the pants when the Huffington Post themselves sent me an email to tell me that my blog post was approved and published.

Huh? Wha? Me?

...but what was even more surprising is that they gave me a login and password for future posts.  An official HuffPo blogger? With a pic and bio? This was just too've got to see it to believe it...and as you WILL see, it's a huge shout out to all our blog friends who supported us so faithfully along the road that led us to our baby girl.

Needless to say my mother would be very proud if she were alive today. All was not lost on that private school education, mom and dad. But of course, I had a little help from my friends (thanks again, Jason...for editing down my wordy draft post and for boosting my ego a bit!).

Now if I only know what to blog about next. Ideas welcome :-)


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

We blinked our eyes, and she turned ONE!

When people say "it goes fast"...believe them. This past year has flown. At the speed of light.

I'm still pinching myself trying to understand how we went from this...

To this:

Happy First Birthday Cristina Lei. I may be biased but you have been the best baby this past year. Happy, healthy, beautiful and most of all, the apple of both Daddy and Papa's eyes. We love you more than you'll ever know.

Here's to many more birthdays filled with love, and family, and friends.

Daddy and Papa

Monday, April 15, 2013

Typical Weekend? Not so sure...

This weekend was a typical weekend...status quo in terms of spending time with Cristina, Bill and Chloe (which I love so much). We had some friends over on Friday night for burgers, and then last night Bill and I grilled some pork loins after Cristina went to sleep and watched a movie on Netflix. We live a very normal life, without a lot of fanfare, we're on a budget, we have a fantastic group of friends, our "go out and party days" are over, our families are supportive and loving, and our relationship is solid -- though that isn't to say it doesn't come without some bumps :-).  But we're HAPPY. And when life is said and done, I believe that is all we hope to a happy life. When I was younger, I used to say "Life's a bitch, and then you die."  Well, no more do those words ever get uttered from my mouth. In fact, I can't believe that I ever really thought that way...was it the cynical thirtysomething in me? Or the uninhibited twentysomething? If those words ever come out of Cristina's mouth, I will be sure to wash it out with soap, or pinch her, or grab her tongue (or whatever you do when you want to teach your kid a lesson -- LOL).

As Sunday came to a close and as is typical at around 9 pm, Bill leans over and gives me a kiss, and goes to bed and I stay up. I'm the night owl. The contemplator. The secret Glee and HGTV fan (shhh don't tell anyone!!). The kind of guy that puts on his headphones and listens to new music, or old, and leans back in to his life and lets it all marinate. In fact, many of my blog entries end as the clock nearly strikes midnight and I am seeped in the nostalgia of what has past, all that is happening around me, and musings of what will come. It is a blessing and a curse...and has been pretty typical for most of my life. I guess it could be worse, I'm a happy man, with a beautiful family that I thought I could never have. So sometimes a couple cocktails and some good tunes is all I really need to maintain that happiness. It's pretty simple.

What made tonight so different is that as Bill traipsed off to bed, and I was going to check the blogs and listen to music and maybe catch an episode of guilty TV, the screen saver on our television switched on, and it was like an episode of "This Is Your Life" exploded in front of me.  All of Bill's iPhone photos are automatically loaded in to our screen saver and many I haven't seen, and it amazed me how much our baby has grown, and how much she has become a little girl. From a blob to a beautiful, energetic little personality that has truly changed our lives. She is SUCH a gem...and we are so very lucky to have her.  And I was just very much struck by this moment, and had to write it down for posterity's sake.  Again, call me crazy...

Today I snapped this shot as our curious little Cristina came head-to-head and nose-to-nose with Daddy. It couldn't have been more befitting of how our "typical" weekend went...

Here's hoping all weekends are just as uneventful.


Saturday, April 13, 2013

Men Having Babies Dot Org...

Thanks to Jason of Stalking the Stork, Bill, Cristina and I, along with our surrogate, Mary, will be in Los Angeles sitting on a panel on May 5th for an organization appropriately named Men Having Babies. We'll be talking about our experience and long journey to become parents, which is super cool because I've always wanted to help others of during this process. Especially MEN having babies, since the task seems to be so formidable and there are so many options to get to the final product of that beautiful child of your own. We're super excited to see Mary again, and we also get to see Jason and Adrian, as well as a plethora of friends who live in the LA area.

So thanks, Jason, for thinking of us and allowing us to share our story. Hopefully it helps even one person see a little clearer how they can fulfill their dream of creating a family and becoming a father.

In other news, cute bath time photo alert!


Monday, April 8, 2013

Everything seems to be coming alive...

Cristina is so mobile, and so emotive and so much fun right now it's hard to describe how much in love we are with this little girl. She's so sweet!

She giggles and coos when she's happy...

She's starting to say Da-Da...even though I'm secretly jealous because I'm Pa-Pa (joke)...

...and when she's angry or sad, she's only for a moment -- and then her sweet disposition quickly returns.

She sleeps anywhere!...and three times in the last week she has slept from 7 pm to 5 or 6's been such a dream (though, yes, we know it will change soon!).

She's standing on her own...

She's eating with her hands...though sometimes it gets stuck on her face (she LOVES puffs!)

She loves the ocean and the beach...

And loves to be thrown high in the air...

She's strong, can push things around like a brute...but she's gentle and loving and is learning how to give kisses (open-mouthed for now but hey, we'll take it)...

Venturing out of the guest cottage in to the yard...NO FEAR...

She definitely supports equal rights!

She's learning!...

Watching Baby Einstein

She is getting to know her cousins, her god parents...and her other "little people"...

She's a total ham and loves to play in her crib after bath time...

She's becoming a bit of a fashionista...

And Chloe is still her big sister and always will be...

Thanks for following along.
We feel so blessed and lucky to have this wonderful, happy little girl in our lives!

Cristina, Chloe, Doug and Bill

Monday, April 1, 2013

Cristina got some PR on HRC's Facebook...

Our pretty girl wore her HRC IF DAD SAYS NO ASK DAD shirt proudly and got the most likes on the HRC's Instagram page...they posted all the winners on their Facebook page. Check it out!:

Thanks to Brittany and Chris from who let me know...I wasn't paying attention between the diaper changes and the three teeth that are coming in! Ouch!

Otherwise, lots happening here...a real update coming soon...when I come up for air! LOL


Sunday, March 10, 2013

Update...almost 10 months!

We're just a couple weeks away from Cristina Lei reaching her 10 month birthday. She's a joy, a beauty, and the center of our world. She's standing up with the help of some furniture, eating and sleeping well, and has two teeth on the bottom that she loves to show off.

Some photos from a proud Papa and Daddy...enjoy!...and congratulations to all the folks who have had babies in the U.S. and abroad. Wonderful to hear all of your stories...

Hugs from us to you...
Cristina, Chloe, Doug and Bill