Wednesday, October 30, 2013

8 Months

Jeez, it's been three months since the last blog!

Parenthood really is time consuming...I thought it was an exaggeration.

Asha has changed a lot in the past 3 months.

She is starting to crawl.  She mastered rolling early, but crawling is a new thing.  We spend a lot more time on the floor now, so obviously that has been a huge help.

Solids are in full gear.  Still about 26 oz of formula, but she is exploring a lot of new flavors and textures.  This has been fun and a pain at the same time.  She is slowly warming up to fruit, but peas and sweet potatoes were an instant favorite (gross).

She still isn't a big laugher.  Tons of smiles, but it practically takes flinging her around the room to get a real laugh.  She loves rough housing, which is fun for all of us.

We had a visit from grandpa, she finally got to meet grandma, and she got to meet some old friends as well.  Lots of spoiling!

We finally fired the nanny.  There were no regrets, but it was still really hard.  The nanny started crying, then I started crying, then Asha started crying.  It was really difficult because she loved Asha to death, but she wasn't providing for her the way that we wanted her to: more tummy time & play time, but less holding her in her arms while watching repeats of Hell's Kitchen.  

We did a bit of travel, into the mountains, over to the coast, then LA, then Vegas (perfect place for a baby). She was really good on the flights, so we hope that continues on our trip at the end of next month!

We are at the point now where we need to baby proof.  She made her way across the room to an electrical outlet this past weekend. Has also mastered taking everything off of the coffee table.

That's it for now!

Happy Halloween!

Very interested in books now...for more than just eating.

Helping with yardwork

Happy Halloween pt 2


We were on vacation, so I got to have a sneak snuggle

Beach Bums

Meeting grandma for the first time

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Five Months

Asha is five months now.  How did that happen?!

One of the big milestones for this month was that she had a five night streak of sleeping through the night.  The previous record was just one night, so five was pretty awesome.  We're really trying to get into a routine, but we have had some difficulties.  From 3PM-7AM, we're pretty set in a schedule.  7AM-3PM the nanny takes over and we're finding it hard to get her to stick to set naps.  Yesterday, she only slept an hour over that 8 hour period, so when I finally got her down at 4PM, she was an exhausted, overtired nightmare.  This is something we're really trying to work on.

The other big milestone was that we have started to slowly introduce some solids.  Another work in progress. We gave her a couple of spoonfuls
 of Gerber apple sauce and she made some faces I've never seen before. She hated it, but it was hysterical for Brent and I. We've tried adding formula and rice cereal to it to tone it down some, but still not a lot of progress. We'll just have to keep trying new things and get her at the right time. On the days where she did have a few "bites", she slept through the night. It was a tiny bit, so maybe that was coincidence. Not sure.

She has also become a pro with neck control (she was a good bit behind in this department) and is now pretty good at sitting. The funny thing is that she was able to stand long before being able to sit. She may be one of those babies that skips crawling and goes straight to walking. She's been doing a ton of kicking the past week, so I think she is telling us that she wants to be mobile.

I am not sure if she has started teething or not. It seems to come and go. I am curious what others have experienced. There will be a 3 or 4 day span where she seems pretty miserable, sounds like a squeaky door hinge for most of the day, soothes herself by putting everything in her mouth, and practically gnaws off her hand. Then it goes away and she is back to her happy goofy self.

Trying to get whatever she wants
Taking a break from eating the book to look at a picture
WTF are you feeding me?

Happy goof

Monday, July 1, 2013

Four Month Old

Time is really flying by.  I can't believe that we have a four month old!

But tummy time is booooring
She continues to be an easy baby for Brent and I.  The hardest part about having an infant so far has been having to deal with the nanny (first world problems), but I could dedicate an entire blog to that character.  We never have an issue getting her to take a bottle or putting her to sleep, though the professional child caretaker struggles with both.

She can sit!

We kicked up the tummy time a notch because she didn't quite have much neck control.  At all.  In the past two weeks, she has made a lot of improvement and can hold her head up quite a long time and can even sit in her bumbo chair for about a minute.

Her baby babbling has gone from goo-gah to full on pterodactyl screeching.  Totally happy yelling.  She may front a death metal band in her college years.

We moved into the new house and are slowly getting settled.  It's much harder to pack, move, & unpack with an infant.  She is zero help!  The first room to get setup was Asha's, meanwhile Brent and I slept on the floor in the dining room.
Pass me the remote

Serious attitude

We celebrated Brent's 30th birthday out at the beach.  It was Asha's first time at the beach.  She seemed to enjoy it.  She didn't cry or fuss much.  One woman came by to tell us how good of a baby she is.  We know we're lucky!  She slept through most of it, but it was a nice little relaxing day in the sun.

We're due to send payment to India for embryo storage.  Every time I think about India, my nerves kick into high gear.  I hope we can give Asha a genetic sibling.  Asha's name means "hope".  Sometimes that's all you can do.

I feel a little silly complaining about it, with all of the childless people out there.  Now that I've had a taste for they joys parenthood, I want 30 more kids.  Brent will have me committed to a hospital before that happens though.    :)

Congrats to all of those many parents out there that have had their dreams come true this month!

Charlie & Brent

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Three Months

Asha is three months old!  Sometimes it feels like it's too soon for her to have been in our lives for a quarter of a year already.  Other times it feels like she has been in our lives for so much longer since she was years in the making.

She is trying her hardest to let out a real laugh.  I can't wait to hear it.  For now, it comes out as "heeeee".

For the most part, she has still been doing very well sleeping at night, with only one of us getting up for a bottle around 3-4.  The past two days have been totally out of character with her not really able to sleep much.  I took the first half of the night on the couch with the baby monitor, putting her down no less than 5 times.  Brent took the second half of the night with about the same amount of joy and ending up falling asleep on the nursery floor.  The pleasures of parenthood!


She is playing with her toys a lot more.  She has one that sends her into goofy bliss whenever she activates the lights or sounds which is so much fun to watch (but if I hear that song one! more! time!!).  She has also started to fuss the second that you pick her up if she isn't sleepy.  The second that you put her back down, all smiles and giggles.  Pick her back up, screams bloody murder.  She only wants to be held when she is sleepy.  I certainly don't mind her being miss independent and wanting to explore all around her, but it's just crazy how quickly she has become so interested in the world around her and not just her parents.

We are really hoping that India figures out surrogacy for singles/gay couples soon.  We actually tried to make it into that window of "babies born in 2013", but the pregnancy test was a negative.  There was a tiny part of that result that was relief since the transfer was scheduled only weeks after we left India for baby #1.  Though, most of it was a let down, as any negative attempt would be, with the added worry of it possibly being the last chance we had to give Asha a sibling.  We can always start over somewhere else, but we've already invested 15k for baby #2 and it would really suck to lose that and all of the genetically related embryos that we have frozen in India (15!).  I will certainly keep the complaining to a minimum on this topic because there are so many singles & gay couples out there who are totally childless.  FIGURE IT OUT, INDIA!!

Sunday Funday in the backyard

In other news, we're buying a house!  I've never heard of offering asking price for a home and the seller counter offering for 10k higher, but apparently that's the market of Seattle right now.  The seller had other offers for 25k more than we offered, but they accepted our offer because we sent them a picture of us with Asha and a little bit of our story and they liked us.  There are some pretty cool people in this world, to accept less money simply because we were a new family who just happened to be two dads.

Here is a typical morning:

Ugh, I am so sleeeeepy

Oh, hey!  You again!  I missed you!

but that looks delicious

Give me the effin bottle or I give you my fist!

Hope all is well with everyone else.

Charlie. Brent, and Asha

Monday, April 22, 2013

We have a two month old!

A very silly 2 month old!

Getting a pedicure

Telling me all about her day

I can finally play dress up with someone other than a dog

A little hungry after her visit to the Taj Mahal

Nighttime bottle with her furry protector

Kisses from dad

Wow, I can't believe that it's been nearly 2 months since the last blog!

We've been busy enjoying our new life with Asha.

First the boring stuff.  The exit process has been pretty well blogged about, so I will only add a few details that we missed.  First, the embassy needs to give you a letter (generic) stating that surrogacy is legal in your country.  The US Embassy didn't give us this automatically, so we had to race from the FRRO back to the embassy on the stressful exit day.  The other important thing to note for US parents is that the US Embassy only does DNA testing on Tuesday.  We got the birth certificate on Wednesday, so this basically added an entire week to our visit in India.  Also, even though the US Embassy paperwork takes about 20 minutes to fill out, they'll try to tell you to come back the next day if it isn't already filled out.  We pushed a bit and were able to hand it in that day.  Kinda silly.

Hanging out at the Svelte pool
If you're staying at Svelte, check out the website  They have lots of inexpensive (by Western standards) delivery - much cheaper than the mall.  Also, if you plan to stay there, I  recommend booking last minute, since the rates were always cheaper that way.  

We decided we would face the music early and not use a nurse.  This worked out well for us, but Asha is an easy baby.  We did finally hire a nurse one day so that we could go and explore India a bit, which was great.  It also forced us to realize that we can't be with our baby 24/7, so it kind of broke us into that.  Also, if you take nothing else from this blog, hire a nurse for your visit to the FRRO.  It is a life saver.

Regarding the FRRO, just be patient.  It was total chaos.  10 people reviewed the same documents over and over.  They just flip through the pages not really looking at anything.  Of the 10 people that reviewed it, none of them noticed that the surrogacy contract was signed with a totally different last name than my current last name.  There is a lot of false security in India. Last comment is regarding the ice queen.  She asked why I came to India for surrogacy, was it my health or was I gay?  I've never hidden the fact that I am gay, but I told her that I had a medical condition that required ICSI and therefore surrogacy so when I realized I could do it anywhere, I picked India because I love the country.  She seemed satisfied with the answer, but she clearly wanted to know if I was a big ol homo.  In any case, there is nothing she could do about it anyway.

And now the fun update - Asha!!

She is a dream come true!

In the past couple of weeks, she has gone from a sack of dirty diaper to a happy smiling little lady.  She is also learning the difference between day and night, giving the nanny a run for her money during the day, but sleeping 5-6 hours at a time at night and chugging down a bottle and passing out within the hour (usually).  There is nothing more rewarding than seeing her in her crib first thing in the morning with a big gummy smile.  We are so lucky and hope this lasts!  She is reaching for things, making new sounds every day, and loves staring at herself in the mirror (she gets that from Brent).  By next week, we're hoping she masters violin and starts tutoring students on algebra to bring in a little extra income. It's hard not to brag about her and it's hard not to only talk about her when we're talking to friends and family.  We don't want to be those parents, so I am working on it.

I haven't commented on many blogs lately since life has been so busy, but I have read each one.  Congrats to the many new babies, new pregnancy milestones, and we sent our thoughts to those who have been given new struggles.

Charlie & Brent

Friday, March 8, 2013

Becoming a Family

We always knew that we wanted the happiness that comes from becoming a family, but to actually experience it now feels so beyond words.  So, here are pictures.

Photo taken by your blog friends Joann and Brian (p.s. thank you so much)
First picture with Asha and Dad

First picture with Daddy and Asha

Sleepy little girl, passing out during tummy time.

Super happy to be a part of the family now (or just a bit of gas)

Is there anything sweeter than hearing a baby breathe while it is sleeping?

Sunday, March 3, 2013

In Delhi

We have arrived tonight in Delhi and are set to pick up Asha tomorrow morning.

I feel like I could write a novel with all of the emotions I have been feeling this past week, but each time I sit down to try to write down this moment in time, it all comes out as gibberish. It is such a new emotion that i don't know how to process it or describe it properly. All I can really say is that I have never more felt like I am where I am supposed to be than right now, with my husband having a massive jetlag headache, me drinking a bourbon in a hotel room at 2 am to relax my nerves and get some sleep, and our little girl just 14 km away, waiting for us to finally take her home.

8 more hours and we see her for the first time.


Friday, March 1, 2013

It's a Girl!!

Asha Victoria Dunn was born at 7lbs and is happy and healthy. We are over the moon!! Can't wait to meet her on Monday...Monday can't get here fast enough!


We will post pictures as soon as we can get decent Internet.

Charlie & Brent

Sunday, February 17, 2013

37 Weeks?!?

I am not sure how that happened!  37 weeks?!?

A lot has gone on in the past month....

We had an awesome visit from three friends and future Aunts!  It was nice to celebrate the big 4-0 with a dear friend by floating with a view of downtown Seattle in our own private hot tub boat (highly recommended for anyone who comes to Seattle).  We decided that since we weren't tired enough of the cold grey Seattle winter, we'd head north to snow and had hot buttered rum, lots of good food, snowball fights, hiking, and good company.

The morning that we were returning home (the day that we hit the 33 week mark), we got an email from SCI saying that our surrogate was having contractions (insert WTF reaction here).   As much as we are ready to be parents, we would much rather that the surrogate be on hospital bed rest & on medication, than our baby to come early and put on oxygen and whatever else comes with arriving almost two months early.  Fortunately, after a few days in the hospital, our surrogate was released and all is well.

We get our next ultrasound on Thursday, when we will officially be full term!  Wow - crazy to even type that!!

We are totally ready.  Mentally, and otherwise.  Flights are booked, the baby bag is packed (with more luggage than the two of us) & our offices will figure themselves out.  Since everything seems to be going so smoothly, we decided to tempt fate and have a 5 night stay in Thailand before baby pick-up.  We'll be much closer to the baby, should he/she decide to show up unexpectedly, or, worst case scenario, we have a babymoon.  Brent did the math and determined that once you combine flights/potential change fees/hotels/etc, that the price difference to add 5 days on the beach in Phuket would only be about 300$ more per person.  I would question his math, but we're both too excited to have one last vacation hurrah pre-baby - just the two of us, waves, sun, sand, cheap massages and frozen drinks.

This baby will be under heavy surveillance. The baby monitor is viewable from anywhere with password, so Brent can see the baby from work.  We also have a breathing monitor, which has been personally tested, to make sure that he/she doesn't stop breathing with SIDS, and we rounded it off with an audio monitor.  We have also checked into a GPS for his or her car when he or she is 16 and have looked into micro-chipping.  Technology isn't there yet.

Finally, the baby room is together.  We went neutral, mostly because baby blue and soft pink aren't our thing, but also because Brent said that we could only have a baby if the nursery were Star Wars themed.  That said, I have already priced out infant tutus on ebay should we have a little lady.  I love the end result and can't wait to have him or her back at home sweet home.

Wampa Rug for tummy time

Darth means "Father" in Dutch.  Who knew?!  Star Wars quilt courtesy of the Barr family.

Some Star Wars creatures with a weird beast from Australia from Aunt Marisa in Adelaide

A nursery is not complete without Eeyore Yoda

Or Whicket Yoda

Ready for star gazing

It's a trap!

Counting down to his/her birthday

We found this chair for 10$ beat up and broken down, but it was perfect with some TLC

Star Pooh & friends

Young Explorers

Hope all is well with everyone else!

Next time we blog, we will be in India!!  

I am not sure how that happened!  37 weeks?!?