Sunday, December 9, 2012

HRH is ONE!!!!

I know we have been horrible bloggers.  I am hoping that when we get moved and settled that will change.  What I feel the worst about is not blogging more about the twins.  Its just hard with a TODDLER and packing.  Also, even though I LOVE them so much and FEEL them in my heart, I am being a little cautious about it because its an adoption and I don't want to try and tell their birth mom's story on her since its not my story to tell.  I will say this, they are healthy and moving and doing great.  I can't wait for that moment when I have them in my arms. 

So Zoey is ONE... which is AMAZING and also a little sad.  Our pediatrician called her a TODDLER and for just a second I wanted to argue with her.  I'm posting some pics from her princess party.  It was absolutely perfect!

 What an amazing day. 
 Zoey's princess dress!  You can't really tell, but the skirt is all glitter and sparkles
 Grandma;s girl

Wait lemme get this straight... Your letting me have SUGAR???
 HOLY MOLY!  Are all those presents FOR ME?!?

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


Autumn is my FAVORITE time of the year!  This year its even better because we have all of Zoey's first holidays coming up!!!  I have been dreaming of the day when I could take my child trick or treating, it seems like a simple thing to most, but this is one of the moments I thought were lost to Tony and I.  One of the 100 moments a day where I silently say a prayer of thanks for Megan and what she has given us.  And now, miraculously, we get to do it all again next year!!!

I'm a little nervous about bringing home our two newest babies this winter.  We have been trying to prepare Zoey for the new babies by loving on some of her stuffed animals etc and to show her "gentle".  Normally Zoey is not easily distracted when she is playing with a toy, but man oh man let Tony or I pick up one of her "babies", hug it, and say "love the baby" and she crawls over at the speed of light, rips the offending item out of our arms, throws it, and then goes back to what she is doing.  DOH! 

We went to the pumpkin patch this weekend with Megan and her beautiful daughter!  I have never been and Zoey LOVED it!  To my absolute HORROR Zoey was most interested in the dirty goats!!  Megan, who was holding her at the time, smirks at me and says "Well  are you going to let her touch the goat?"  What the hell?  Its a special occasion!!!!  (secretly I scrubbed her little hands down with hand sanitizer the second I had her alone JK JK).  Here are some pictures of the trip.

 Mama Megan and her daughter

 The infamous goat

 Zoey's first pumpkin!!!
I think she had a good time!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

I just don't get it...

I would literally give one of Tony's kidneys for someone to notice me yawn or rub my eyes, look at the clock, carry me up to bed, lay me down, and hand me a stuffed tigger and let me nap.  This baby can be fussy as hell, yawn every 5 seconds, and constantly rub her eyes and will fight nap time with everything she has!!!  LOL  NOT FAIR I TELL YOU!!!  NOT....FAIR!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

10 months....

Our litttle princess is TEN MONTHS old!!!!  Man oh man we are so incredibly blessed to be this baby's parents.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

So its a....

OMG!!!  Another princess and a SON!!!  We are so over the moon!!!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Dear Babies...

Dear Babies,

Hi!  I’m your daddy and I am so happy that you are coming.  I have thought about and wished for you for so long.  Right now you have no idea what is going on around you, but your Papa and I are frantically trying to get ready for your arrival.  Your Papa… you both are going to love him so much.  He is so incredible and judging by how happy your sister Zoey is when she is pulling on his chest hair he is a great jungle gym.  I strongly encourage you both to grab a fistful of his fur and yank often.  As for me I am just going to love you both every day of my life with all that I am.  We get to see you on the ultrasound tomorrow and even though it will be months before I see your faces, kiss your cheeks, and count your toes I cannot wait to see your little images on that screen.  Until then my babies sleep well.


I love you,



I have been thinking about this blog post for days and days.  I cannot believe the journey we have been on.   I cannot believe that we are on the precipice of becoming fathers again.  Even though I am as thrilled about these babies as I was Zoey there has also been hesitation about being all in considering the circumstances.  Our joy is all because there is a woman who is in an impossible situation and has to make an impossible choice.  As elated as we are that Zoey is going to have siblings and that we will have 2 more babies to love, Tony and I are also incredibly sad for the choice she has to make.  I’m not going to blog about her or her situation, that’s not my story.  But I will say that from the very second I met her I liked her.  She has a strength that I envy.  You see that pretty much as soon as you meet her. 

I know that anything can happen on this journey, and I could get caught up in being cautious... OR I can revel in our joy and shout my gratitude to the universe.  I have chosen the latter.  One of the greatest blessing about keeping a blog of Zoey’s pregnancy and after is that we have something to show her later.  These babies are already a part of our family and our hearts and we love them fiercely.  So tomorrow we find out the gender(s) and I am like a kid the night before Christmas, my brain is vibrating and I can’t sit he reality is it doesn’t matter.  I just can’t wait to see them.  To know that they are alright.  And I am nervous.  I am nervous for the woman who is carrying her babies and trying her hardest to be strong.  I pray God shows me how to support her. 

Monday, September 24, 2012

Watch out Duggars...

HERE COME THE Hurleys!!!  We are super excited to announce that it looks like baby #2 and baby#3 are on their way!  This will be a very different and equally exciting situation.  We are adopting this go round and have been matched with an amazing birth mom.  We know that anything can happen in this situation and are remaining cautious... actually that is a big fat lie.  We are so over the moon and excited that we can barely sit still.  And yes a little terrified, but ultimately we are in LOVE with these babies already.  I will post more later!!!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

9 months

I can't believe our little Zozo is NINE months old.  She is absolutely amazing and we just stare and stare at her.  Evey little accomplishment is amazing to watch her figure out.  She has decided that crawling is boring and would prefer to just roll everywhere.  And that kid can roll across the parlor and living room before you finish sneezing.  She has also inherited some of Tony's less endearing qualities.  I am referring to her complete stubborness.  Whether it is changing her diaper, or her clothes, or even feeding her, if she doesn't want to do it she is not going to make it easy.  She also can't seem to get her clothes in the hamper either... JUST like her Papa.  SHE at least has an excuse.  I love them both though and have decided to keep them.

We went to the park to celebrate her 9 month "birthday".  We live in a pretty progressive city and there were plenty of the gays at the park.  Even other gay families.  We DO tend to get the strangest looks from other "bear" types.  It is a phenomenon I have noticed lately.  Probably because I am so butch and they can't figure it all out.

 She is absolutely Papa's girl.
 I LOVE those cheeks!
 She REFUSES to wear shoes or even socks, another thing she gets from her Mississippi roots (cough Tony)

 Celebrating her 9 months!
Not quite sure how she feels about the teeter totter.
In OTHER news we have started talking about child number 2.  We're not quite sure how that is going to work out yet, but we would both LOVE to add another kid to our family.  We live in a state where surrogacy is only okay if there is no money exchanged (stupid) so more will be revealed.  Maybe adoption?  Hey are cabbage patch kids still a thing?

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Kicking the old school

The “Old school moms” God love them… because it is still illegal to shoot them.  These are the moms who haven’t raised children since Jesus was a wee lad, but never the less know that what you are doing is just wrong and will eventually result in the decay of civilization as we know it.  You can usually spot them because they seem like harmless old ladies who just want to smile at your precious little baby.  DO NOT FALL FOR THIS.  RUN!!  Kick her walker out from under her, throw a can of formula at her, release the emergency brake on her wheelchair and give it a little shove, do whatever it takes to get away.  Trust me, you will thank me later.

But what about those “old school moms” you’re related to?  I have very little to say about them since I am fortunate enough to not have anyone in my family or circle of friends who feel the need to berate me with their antiquated advice.  So I asked a… friend, yeah a friend (You don’t know him.  He lives in Canada and we met at camp), to help me with this.

Here are some of the gems we…. I mean my FRIEND… has endured:

OSM:  You spend HOW much on formula?!!  You know in my day we used to just mix a little caro syrup and milk and THAT was formula.  My kids turned out JUST FINE (note: I hate any statement that ends with my kids turned out just fine).  ME:  Cool.  Now tell me that part about Uncle Julio needing to chow down on a roll of Tums before he drinks water again?

OSM:  You know in MY day we used to dab a little whiskey on the baby’s gums for teething, and my kids turned out JUST FINE.  ME: What a GREAT suggestion!!  I hear your son just got his 6 month AA chip!  Please express my congrats!

OSM:  You guys hold that baby too much.  You really should let her cry.  You’re going to spoil her.   ME: You may be right!  I was just reading in Parent magazine about how moms of older kids wished they had held and cuddled their babies LESS.  And don’t even get me started on those babies that robbed that liquor store! 

OSM:  You know that cat will steal your baby’s breath while she sleeps, and if you leave the dog alone with her he will eat her.  (It is important to note that we have neither a dog nor a cat.  I just refuse to clean the house, and since Tony so selfishly objected to being the scapegoat I needed to blame the dirt and smell on something.  So Fido and Fluffy are merely figments of our imagination and therefore I have no idea if this is actually true or not.)

Now, if you’re like me (and I assume you at least aspire to be) you might be tempted to pull out the files of data and empirical research you have painstakingly poured over to prove why you are right.  Trust me don’t waste your time.  The thing about the OSMs is that you will never be able to convince them that things have changed.  They are content to knit, while watching Murder She Wrote , and to tell anyone who will listen how you are messing up your child, and possibly society as well.  It just is what it is.

So as a Certified Expert Parent (CEP) here is my prayer for the day:

Dear God, Buddha, Allah, the Dali Lama, and/or Janet Jackson,
You willing Zoey will choose to bless us with a plethora of grandbabies some day.  At some point she will tell me how she just must have the Swedish, organic, hyper barometric chamber for her little one.  Please tear out my tongue should I berate her with how she slept in a plain old crib and turned out JUST FINE.  Instead give me the strength to smile, hug her, and then sell my…err… Tony’s plasma to make sure she has the best one available.
Amen, AHHMEN, or whatever

Disclaimer: Since my friend lives in Canada he doesn’t care if you sue him for slander.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

8 months old!

Our baby is 8 months old!!!  Time really does fly!

 Zoey and Mama Megan!



Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Musings of a child care expert

Well now that our baby is 8 months old I like to think of myself as something of a child rearing expert… I could barely keep a straight face as I typed that.  No, I am definitely no expert on babies.  What I have become an expert on is what I call the “smile, nod, and redirect”.  It seems that NOTHING makes people want to share their opinions more than babies.  This is where the “smile, nod, and redirect” comes in handy.  Everyone from Grandmothers, to best friends (WITHOUT children), to nosey old ladies at the grocery store have opinions they cannot wait to share with you about what you SHOULD be doing with YOUR baby.  This drives me BONKERS I must admit.  But ever since I have mastered the smile, nod and redirect life has become much simpler.  Here are a few examples:

1)  NOSEY PERSON:  So you’re going with a less aggressive vaccination schedule?  Well ya know you really should blah blah blah blah.  RESPONSE:  Smile, nod and say that is an excellent point, thank GOD you have intervened!  Say, why is your husband spending so much time talking to the cute waitress?  How long DOES it take to order coffee? (redirect).
2)  NOSEY PERSON:You know your baby wouldn’t be so clingy if you just blah blah blah blah.  RESPONSE: Smile, nod, and say I hadn’t really thought of that, thank you for saving our child from growing up to be a serial killer!  Say, isn’t that YOUR little angel showing his winky to those little girls for a cookie? (redirect)

I think what I have realized is that MOST of the time parents really want to validate their choices, and prove that what THEY decided was the right thing.  Nothing supports my hypothesis better than the “day care moms”.   Look, let me first say that I think that WHATEVER choices you make when raising your children are the right ones, as long as they don’t involve the use of duct tape and Benadryl as a babysitter.  We do the best we can for our babies and have to make the choices that benefit our families.  The MAJORITY of people we know have fully supported and even applauded the fact that we decided to have one parent stay home for a year or two with Zoey.  Then there are the “daycare moms”  this is a very specific sub group of parents that are SO aggressive about the benefits of daycare that they try as hard as possible to convince you that you should run back to work and drop your kid off at the local Pee Wee play hut.  They like to tell me every single time I see them why they are so happy and thrilled with their choice.  These are also the parents that want to play the “development game”.   I hate to admit it, but THIS is a trap I HAVE fallen into.  If you are a new parent and someone tries to rope you into the “development game” trust me, hold up one hand, turn your head, roll your eyes, and say “Homey don’t play that bitch”.   They will usually brag about some new milestone their child has completed, and then follow it up with a snide remark about your poor abused stay at home baby.  For example:

1) BRAG: Well you know little Apple was reading to at age 6 months.  We couldn’t actually hear her, and she was holding the book upside down while chewing on it, but that just shows that she is a tactile learner.  I owe it all to daycare.  SNIDE COMMENT: Oh?  Zoey isn’t speaking in complete sentences yet?!?  I'm sure it will happen any day.  Probably nothing to rush out and have her tested for or anything.
2) BRAG: The reason little Daquan is so social is because he is in daycare.  You know his teacher says that during play time he passes out all the toys and makes sure that everyone is having a great time!  Why the other day he grabbed the snack tray and started passing out crackers to all his little friends.  We are so proud of our 3 month old.  Thank god for Daycare!  SNIDE COMMENT: So your telling me that Zoey hasn't mastered the sitting Indian style while stacking her blocks alphabetically by color and shape and reciting Shakespeare yet?!?  Well babies develop at different speeds, I'm sure everything is fine.

Here is what I have figured out about this particular subset of working parents… are you ready?  They really either feel guilty for wanting to work or wish they were home with their kids.  They want to blow your candle out so theirs will burn brighter.  And look I get it, staying home with a baby 24 hours a day, 7 days a week is not for everybody.  It is OKAY if going back to work makes you a better parent, or if your family needs your income.   I know you’re doing the best you can and I applaud you for doing it!  Believe me there are days when I think "hmmmm I wonder how the world of social services is even making it without me".  But ultimately I wouldn’t change a single thing about my life as a stay at home dad.  This is what is right for our family right now.  And that is all that matters.  The only group worse than the "day care moms" are the "Old school moms", but more about them later.  As a Certified Expert Parent (or CEP as I like to call it) here is my prayer for the week.

Dear Lord, Buddha, Allah, the Dali Lama, and/or Oprah,

Inevitably one day I will witness a new parent changing their baby’s diaper/ breast feeding/ formula feeding/ potty training/ etc.  They will be doing it differently than I would, and therefore it will be wrong, BUT if I should open my mouth to criticize them please tear out my tongue.  Instead give me the wisdom to smile and tell them what an amazing job they are doing and assure them that their baby is incredibly lucky to have them.  Because this gig is hard enough without me subjecting them to my advice.

Amen/ AHHmen/ Whatever

DISCLAIMER:  The scenarios in this post are fictional, any similarities to actual stupid advice or comments  we have received is purely coincidental, and therefore not liable.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

7 months old!!!

In so many ways Tony and I can't believe that we have been parents to this incredible being for 7 months.  It seems like just yesterday I was holding her for the first time.  She has grown into such a little ham and everyday is a new adventure with her.  I thank the creator everyday for choosing us to be her parents, and for making women like Megan who are so giving and so compassionate as to be willing to create families for other people. 

Saturday, June 30, 2012

7 years out of hell

I have heard it said that it takes 7 years for every cell in your body to replace itself.  So what that means is that in just a few days I will be a completely different person.  My first date of sobriety was July 11, 2005.  Before that day I spent the majority of my life under the influence of Crystal Meth, alcohol, and/or any number of chemicals.  So this is a very special "birthday" for me. 

I still cringe when I think about who I was back then.  It seems a million years ago since I had to wake up and stick a needle in my arm to get out of bed.  It seems like an eternity since I had to degrade myself and everyone I knew in order to get high.  And yet I know that if I am not on my game, and if I let my program slip, I could be back there in an instant.  I stole, I lied, I was cruel... I was so cruel to my family and anyone that DARED to love me.  I just knew that I was a lost cause.  For me active addiction was like what I think being possessed is like.  There was this piece of me that could see what I was doing, who I was hurting, what I was putting myself and my family through and I wept, but couldn't stop.  COULD NOT stop.  I remember there would be days (when I was still able to hold a job) that I would get paid and tell myself all day at work that I am going to pay my bills, I will not get high today.  I would literally be in tears as I pulled into my dealers parking lot.  I would sit in my car and SCREAM at myself, pound my fists on the steering wheel, and plead with God  to not allow me to go up those stairs.  Inevitably I would walk through that door and it would all start over again.  It took nothing for me to fly into violent rages.  I used up people like they were nothing.  I took my family emotionally hostage and was powerless to change.

Then one day I found myself in the seediest of motels, strung out, suicidal and done.  That is the day Sandra Bullock saved my life.  Yes you read that correctly.  When I say seediest of motels I mean it.  You know the kind where the lock on the door barely works, the carpet has mold growing in it, the lamp shades have been stolen or removed so the light is bright and hideous, and the comforter... well lets just say I layed on a garbage bag on top of the bed.  I had decided that the kindsest thing I could do for my mother was to commit suicide, but I needed to get high one more time.  My cellphone rang and I snatched it up praying it was my dealer, it was not.  It was my mother, we fought and I threw the phone on the bed and it hit the remote.  The TV came on and as I crumbled to the floor I started mindlessly watching.  Sandra Bullock was talking to a man and she was ringing her hands.  She was describing her withdrawal symptoms.  It was the movie 28 days.  That was the first time it occured to me maybe there was a different way.  It took me a few weeks, but on July 10, 2005 I stuck the last needle in my vein, took the last hit/pill/drink/snort and then begged my family, the family I had abused for years to help me.  My mom and dad stayed with me while I went through detox, the most horrible pain and sickness you can imagine.  7 days they took turns caring for me while my body tried to purge the poison from itself.  Then came rehab.  The first time I ever saw my dad cry was the day I "graduated" from treatment. 

I was introduced to AA and NA while in rehab and those programs have been what has changed me.  I no longer lie and cheat and steal.  I no longer fly into rages.  I have been given tools that alllow me to love, and have compassion and empathy.  These recovering junkies, drunks, garbage cans, criminals they have taught me how to be a better person.  The person that my parents raised me to be.  I love them like a soldier loves his or her platoon.  Because make no mistake addiction is war.

Because of this new life I went to school and became, first a drug and alcohol counselor, and then back to school to become a social worker/mental health counselor.  I repaired my relationships, I get to make a living amends to the people I have hurt.   I met and married the love of my life a man I still don't know what I did to deserve.  And I get to be a dad to the most amazing child. 

It was Zoey that inspired this post.  This morning she was sitting on my lap and she was playing with my forearms. I realized as she patted my arms and played with my arm hair that these are the same arms that used to be littered with track marks.  These arms used to be the size of my wrist and ached from the daily stabbings they endured.  These arms now get to hold my child and protect her.  They get to hug my husband and my mom.  These arms never again get to be used to hurt anyone ever.

I am not writing this to toot my own horn.  As I approach 7 years clean and sober I just needed to get all this out I guess.  And I know that many families are being torn apart by addiction.  I hope that this post allows someone to have hope.  Please hate the addiction, but love your addict. 

I know this was heavy and if you made it to the end, thank you for reading this and listening.

Saturday, June 23, 2012


We have been TERRIBLE about keeping up the blog and I am so sorry!  I wanted to share Zoey's 6 month pics with you guys and I PROMISE to catch you guys uo soon!  I also need to catch uo on whats been happening with you guys. 

 The photographer caught this one while we were "on a break".  It's my favorite.

 Grandma, Grandpa, and Zoey

 Another "break" one that I LOVE.

The only thing that would make this one better is if Tony's parents could be in it too.