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Archive for May, 2009

Family Name

This is the courthouse where I changed my name!

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I’ve changed my last name to Wifey’s and Mister Finn’s, so that everyone in our little family has the same last name.

It was a really interesting process. We name-changers were banded together as a temporary community and shuffled through queues and official stamps and a hearing. There was a woman there with two men; they weren’t sure which one was the father of her baby. There was a tranny boy changing his name from Alissa.

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Figuring out our family’s last name wasn’t totally straightforward because, well, we’re not straightforward. (ha! goodness). What’s a gay couple to do with the last name of their offspring? Well, for us the “traditional” model ended up making sense, with one parent giving birth and the other giving their name. We’re not big fans of the hyphenated name– they seem unruly with all their syllables (where do you draw the line? couldn’t you just keep stringing names together with hyphens forever?). Some last names can be combined gracefully into one new name (like Shelden + Harrington = Hayden), but such are not ours. We thought about taking an altogether new name but couldn’t arrive at one that didn’t feel random/forced. Probably the main reason we went with Wifey’s is that I love her name, rhythmically speaking. The way her first and last names go together has such zip. When I first met her I made up a song about her name that I still sing to her.

I will still use my own last name for my life in Artland. If I weren’t, I might feel more like I’m losing something. Rather, I feel like I’ve gained something: a name to mark my love and my life, the person I’ve become, the person I’ve chosen to love, and the person we made together. It feels good.

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Markers

I got my Mother’s Day present three months early– kind of like how I got my baby three months early. I couldn’t wait til May, so I opened it in February on A.’s birthday, a few days after it arrived in the mail.

I was surprised to find myself wanting a “mother ring.” {Incidentally, Wifey was equally surprised to find herself wanting a video camera for Mother’s Day. Yet another instance where gender roles have crept up on us unsuspectingly…}  I barely knew what a mother ring was (which, by the way, is simply a ring or piece of jewelry that commemorates your child, perhaps involving the birthstone of said child), yet I found myself combing the internet for a unique ring to mark my becoming a mother; a symbol of my son that I would see on my hand all the time. Other markers have meant a lot to me: my tattoo, and my wedding and engagement rings. I am changed by major events in my life, so it seems fitting to have my physical appearance reflect that. The markers represent what my life has made me, and now they make just as much sense on my body as my fingernails or knee caps.

I had wondered about a planned “special moment” wherein the ring would meaningfully alight on my finger, but the birthday was such a crazy (good-crazy) day, the time for another ceremonious effort didn’t present itself. So, while I was nursing the boy before his welcome-to-the-world ceremony, I opened the box and untied the plum ribbon and slipped the ring on my finger saying, “Why thank you Mister Finn! It is beautiful!”

A.’s birthstone is an amethyst.  I was pleased to discover that Earth sometimes makes amethysts GREEN in addition to the standard purple. So, here is my ring: a green amethyst set in silver, on a gold band, custom made by Andrea of Plum & Sage. (The photo she took of it adequately shows off its splendor.)

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I found Andrea on Etsy after reaching maybe the 14th page of Google entries for “green amethyst ring.” I couldn’t be happier with it. It is the perfect marker for my son who made me a mother.

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ONE (again!)

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Today is Mister Finn’s “adjusted-age” first birthday! I feel a real sense of accomplishment (here is a healthy one-year-old boy!), and relief (having made it through the most tender fragile baby months) and excitement: now we get to play.

This boy is so fucking wonderful. He is this tender morsel, a nugget of heaven I get to smell and kiss and nibble on. He lets me do these things as he carries on with his work, “oh Mama, if you must. But I’ve got to focus here.” I’m fixated on his feet lately. These sweet stinky chubby baby feet are the best thing in the world, I think. He is loving “this little piggy went to market” and we do it with most diaper changes. When it’s time for the littlest toe – “and this little piggy ran wee wee wee wee wee all the way home” – he is ecstatic with giggles by the time I get to “this.”

He is a content little guy; happy to sit and turn the pages of his books; lecturing his stuffed monkey with theatrical intonations and various hand gestures; rapping dominoes against a colander and then a block, thrilled by the different sounds.

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He says “Mama” when I point to myself and say “Mama.” He says “Ah-GAH!” when we play the sneezing game, “Ah-CHOO!”

He likes to hold my hand when he nurses.

Interestingly, he is hitting his developmental milestones the same way I did as a baby–  a little early with the language/cognitive skills and a little late with the gross motor skills. He’s just starting to crawl, with more success going backwards than forwards. We’ve been spoiled by these luxurious months with a baby that will likely stay in the same place we set him. Our baby-proofing is going to go into high gear this week…

His favorite food is roast beef. He always gets a little panicky with excitement for it, like he can’t eat it fast enough.

He can drink from a cup by himself, though he usually needs a new shirt afterward.

We’re going to go out for cupcakes to celebrate his Birthday Part 2.

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Easter

We had a lovely, mellow, rainy Easter up at my parents’ house. They live on a peninsula that used to be an island, which might become an island again someday! You never know, with Earth.

We dyed eggs.

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The colors were very attractive.

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I was thinking about Maddie a lot that day. And death, and babies,  and whether or not the universe has intentions for us bipedal primates with cameras.

Mister Finn opened plastic eggs with Great-Grama, and then closed them again.

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He laughed with his Grampa.

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Mommy blew bubbles.

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We drank water from a big glass.

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We wore the baby’s Easter basket on our heads.

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We read our peek-a-boo book several times. Mister Finn had to roll up his sleeves so he could get to work and properly turn the pages.

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We saw a rainbow on our walk to the beach with the dogs.

I made lemon curd bars for dessert, which we had with strawberries and whipped cream.

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We pondered the glory of Spring, with it’s tender shoots blooming and promises of warmer days.

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