Thursday, January 28, 2010


Rosie O'Donnell's HBO special is a moving portrait of the remarkable diversity of families today that challenges stereotypes, highlighting same-sex parents, mixed-heritage families, single parents and stories of adoption. Children speak from the heart about parents, siblings, marriage and love in the exclusive documentary, debuting SUNDAY, JAN. 31

In A FAMILY IS A FAMILY, kids offer touching, profound and often funny insights about what being a family means to them. Among those featured are: children with two fathers or two mothers; a girl whose mother and father adopted her in China; three brothers who live with their mother and grandmother; a pair of mothers who are getting married to make one big family; and families with adopted kids and children born through in-vitro fertilization.

For more information on A FAMILY IS A FAMILY IS A FAMILY: A Rosie O'Donnell CELEBRATION, please click here.

Video Message To Mazha

Mazha went into the hospital earlier this week for a tracheotomy and insertion of a feeding tube. Both proceedures went off without a hitch and she's recovering quite well. She should be returning home in a couple days. This should help her with her breathing issues and assit in regaining some of her strength.

Fazha, Auntie Simone, and cousins Roni and Jordan have been in the hospital with her since Monday, so Kensi wanted to send a special video message to Mazha so she could be part of her "Get Well Crew".

Gone With the Wind

A couple years ago, Mazha and Fazha bought us an old fashion home theater popcorn machine. This is a larger version of what you’ll currently find in the department stores. They bought this to go in our game room downstairs. When we first got it, I thought. “Great. This is just one more thing to take up space in our house. We’ll never use this.” Boy, was I wrong. It never made it downstairs… it has had a permanent home in the living room. For months on end, we’d come home many nights and pop a large batch before we’d settle down to watch TV. For Duncan, pizza crust and popcorn are the two things he goes absolutely crazy for. He sits next to the machine, while it pops away, and with his tail a-wagging he salivates all over the floor. Disgusting, yet cute.

A couple months ago, the machine died. It would spin, but it just wouldn’t heat up properly. A cloud of sadness hovered over the house and Duncan has never been the same since. Microwavable popcorn just wouldn’t cut it for him, or for us.

This past Sunday, Chris decided to be butch (God help us all). He dusted off some tools and went to tinkering with the wires to see if he could adjust the connectors so the power would properly flow through to the heat sensor.

“Chris, did you unplug the machine?” “Yes, I’m not stupid!” [I frown as I think about the increase I just took on out his insurance plan. It could buy Kensi and me a small plantation in the south]

After ten minutes, the heat was working. Hallelujah. The stirring system was heating up the stuck kernels in the hot oil kettle. “Chris, you should open up the door or put on the vent in the kitchen. If that starts to smoke, it’s going to set off the alarm.”

Two and a half minutes later, smoke starts streaming out of the machine and the smoke detector goes off. The smoke detector is tied into the central alarm system which sends out its warning throughout the house. I’m upstairs starting another batch of laundry so I head to the keypad in the bedroom and type in the code. It doesn’t take. I try again. Still nothing. Third times a charm, correct? Nope. Chris was encountering the same problems downstairs at the keypad next to the door. We were both entering codes at the same time and we were canceling each other out. All of a sudden, the alarm chime turns into an alarm siren. The way our system is set up, once the alarm goes off, we receive a call from ADT to confirm or deny the incident, before they send out the fire/police/ambulance. In the past, the phone has rung within 30 seconds once the sirens start. 30 seconds pass and we don’t receive a call. A minute passes and we still haven’t received a call. Chris decides to call them instead of waiting for their call and the phone is dead. I run back and grab the phone on the nightstand. It wasn’t the phone that was dead; it’s the phone line. Our little munchkin, who LOVES ‘playing’ with the phone, left one of the cordless phones on and hid it in her playroom. Chris grabs his cell phone and gets an automated voice recording. “If you are calling from a company, press one. If you are calling from your residence, press two. [he presses two] If you are calling because your alarm system is activated, press one. [he presses one] Please hold. All available representatives are assisting other customers. [Are you kidding me??]

Chris then reminds me that we need to call our own community Public Safety because they also monitor the local police/fire scanners. When I call the main line, I tell the dispatcher our address and our pass code and let her know that the smoke alarm went off but it wasn’t a fire. In the background I hear the officers calling over the radio, “All Units to [address]. All Units to [address]. Fire in progress”.

Oh, Holy mother. I’m going to kill Chris.

Our house sits up on the peak of the mountain and we have oblong windows that overlook the bottom. I see flashing lights headed up our way.

The car comes screeching around the corning as I run out the front door. I’m running up the driveway waving my hands and shaking my head back-and-forth, as if to tell him to slow down. The assistant fire chief hops out of his car, leaving his door open. His scanner in the car is echoing the same thing that I heard from our own public safety department, “Unit on scene at [address]. Fire in progress. All units needed at [address]”.

“False Alarm. It’s a false alarm. Our smoke detector went off and we didn’t type in the code fast enough. SORRY.”

“What did you burn?”


“What, you didn’t bring any out for me? Um… actually, I don’t any” and he turns back to his car to call off the Calvary.

I’m now standing outside, in the cold, because I don’t know what to do. Do I wait until he leaves? Are there papers that need to be signed? Is there a “We’re stupid and we’re sorry for that” fine that has to be paid? The assistant fire chief remains in his car on the walkie-talkie, but with the door shut so I can’t hear anything. He looks up at me and I just stand there with a stupid grin on my face. I wave. [Oh my God, did I just wave at him? And with this stupid grin on my face?]

A few moments later, he backs up his car and I head back inside.

“Should I start another batch?” Chris says as I shut the door behind me.

I go to the hall closet and pull out our sewing machine.

“What are you doing?”

“I’m making Kensington a Southern Belle Dress. We’ll soon be moving to our own plantation and I need to make sure she has something that looks historically accurate…bows, puffs, ruffles and all.”

He looks at me like I have three heads. “Oh, don’t worry. You won’t be around to see the finsihed project. Trust me.”

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Proud Pageant Dad

So, we're watching a marathon of Toddlers & Tiaras on TLC ...and there's this questionably heterosexual man who is the father of a young pageant contestant named "Bella." We watched in awe as this man made it painfully clear whom this pageant was really about. And then these words formed in my head, "Hello, my name is Paul and I'm a proud pageant dad." You see, with everything going on in my life right now, I need something that is JUST for me. I understand that that is totally selfish of me, and guess what, I’m okay with that. I’ve spent my entire life “leading to serve”, it’s time I now get serviced. I’m going to be a pageant dad!

I am a planner. This works well in some ways - my career - and not so well in other ways - when I drive loved ones crazy by having an agenda and timeline written out for everything. I’m not one of those spur of the moment types of guys. I need structure. I need… a plan!

Step # 1 – Go to Pageant and identify all of the pageants we want to win (if you want to be a winner, you better start acting like one. I’m not raising Kensington Grace to be a ‘runner-up’. That’s just another name for ‘first-place loser’). So I’ve entered Kensington in next month’s “Little Miss Star Eyes" Pageant. It’s local and it’s a great way to get her start. This way, in 26 years (yes, I’ve laid out a plan for this) when she wins Miss America, she can stand tall in her sash and crown and announce that she got her start as the real ‘people’s princess’. Starting at home and then taking the nation.

Step # 2 – I contacted Angela Milas with the PGP Group down in Georgetown. They are the leader in Pageant coaching. Only the best for our little Miss Kensington Grace. We met with her last week and Angela said that Kensington Grace is so perfect, there was nothing that her agency could provide our princess that she didn’t already posses. She has style, she has grace (Rita hayworth gave good face). Angela’s only recommendation was a trip to the spa to get Kensington Grace’s first… yes, her very first haircut and style. Unless she wanted to win the Little Miss Mullet contest, this was a must. We agreed.

Step # 3 – A trip to Aveda Spa and Salon to see Corrine. 12 months ago Corrine threatened Chris’ life by never touching his hair again if Kensington race went to anyone besides her for her first haircut. Normally, we don’t do well with threats but a gay man never, under any circumstances, pisses off his stylist. That’s in the top ten homo cardinal rules. So, with that being said, Kensington Grace had a 5:30 appointment last night. She did absolutely amazing… until out of nowhere she had a 30 second crying fit. I guess we need to revisit Angela Milas to work this out.

Step # 4 - Take the Pageant world by storm. Be on the lookout for our updates :)
(Special thanks to STEVE SILVERMAN, Writer/Director/Executive Producer of "Pretty The Series" for contributing (unbeknownst to him, I 'borrowed' pieces of his blog), to this post. I'm giving him credit now, so that makes everthing alright, correct? I caught his interview on the Frank Decaro show (Sirius XM) last week and couldn’t stop laughing. It was the perfect lead into Kensi’s first trip to the salon. Please check out his trailer below, and then visit Plus, you have to watch the series because there is a character named Parker Keninsgton-Parker, played by Terri Simmons.)

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Tomorrow is a BIG day for our little munchin

Every Princess needs to don the right accessory for every occasion. Looking through Kensington’s closet, shelves, drawers, and hope chest one would find and assortment of tiaras, hats, boas, tutus and scarves. She also has rings, a necklace and a bracelet, but none of these really provide her the influence she would need tomorrow. Our little chickpea has grown up. Since we’ve been back from Texas, Kensi has floated in and out of the “Toddler One” classroom, prepping her for the big move. But her time there has been limited; mostly for mealtime and nap time. These moments have been to get her accustomed with the teachers, not the students. Tomorrow, she’ll be one her own and she’ll be the smallest one in the room. In order for her to stand out she will need the perfect outfit with the perfect accessory. So, we bought her this…

… a platinum and diamond encrusted grill (old English for 'teeth').

This is from an actual website... you can't make this stuff up! "At GangstaGold, we understand that ordering and purchasing a set of custom removable teeth is a very serious decision and an investment commitment."

This will let any rugrat that thinks they're going to mess withy my baby know that if they lay even one finger on her, they'll get 1) shanked, and 2) that finger bitten off.

Yes, now that Kensington has six teeth, she's learning how to use them. Unfortunately, she's using her daddy and I as her teething toy. Is there an agency like DYFS that covers abused parents? [if anyone replies with 'The Office on Aging', I will purchase my own grill and hunt you down]

Special thanks to Wyeth Pharma and their Anbesol brand for making this teething chart available. You can get your own here.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

apospasma tou theu

Pieces of this post have been sitting in my ‘draft’ for a couple weeks and I haven’t had the ability (i.e., nerve) to post it to the ItsDaddies.Plural site.

Over the past couple of weeks, we’ve been singing (and now signing) Rachel Coleman’s “Feelings” to Kensington. “What are you feeling? What are you feeling? Don’t keep it bottled up inside, just try, try, try. Try to tell me what’s inside. Do you feel [exited, silly, scared, grumpy, sick, etc]? Kensington loves it. When we put it on, her little head goes bobbing and her hands go everywhere like she’s trying to make the correct ‘sign’ for each emotion.

It wasn’t until the other night when Chris looked at me and signed, “What are your feeling” did I realize that I’m the biggest hypocrite in the world. Here I am teaching a one-year-old child prodigy how to share her feelings, when I’m a twenty-seven (shut up) year old that can’t do the same thing. Months of therapy (at $20 a co-pay each session) haven’t allowed me to open up, but that one moment opened up the floodgates.

I haven’t updated the blog lately because looking back over the year, while it causes extremely happiness that we’ve had Kensington in our lives, it also causes tremendous sadness. Why? Well the blog was just supposed to help our families learn about the process that we were going through, as well showing them the love that we have for Kensington, and the little lady that she grows into each day. It’s Daddies has become more than that. It’s shown my parents (Mazha and Fazha) the man that I’ve become and how I’ve grown since leaving Texas thirteen years ago. Yes, do the math; I was 14 when I left (hahahaha… Wendy Lou-Who, I still hate you for telling that reporter, years ago, my real age). I know that Mazha has become the biggest fan of the site, and with each post I publish I think of her and how she would react? That’s where the sadness comes in.

Back in September, Mazha was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). Before September, I couldn’t tell you anything about the disease other than Lou Gehrig was diagnosed with it. Now, I know more that I wish I did.

This disease has progressed rather rapidly in Mazha. In September she could walk. Today she finds it hard to even roll to the side while she’s lying down. In September she could voice her anger about the disease. Today, she was out of breath wishing me a happy birthday. She’s become so weak, next week they will be placing her on a feeding tube.

I have disconnected myself from the world because of this. I have engulfed myself with work and with Kensington to keep my mind off of reality. Kensi makes me smile with her endless peek-a-boo games… she makes me laugh uncontrollably with the faces she makes… she amazes me with her love for dance and music… and she melts my heart with her hugs and kisses. When I’m with her, I forget about all of the negative issues, except her stinky diapers, in life.

So, while I’ve been signing, “What are you feeling,” I’ve been avoiding answering it myself. You see, I don’t do emotion. Okay, I do, but I find that I focus my time on positive emotions: Love (affection, caring, tenderness, compassion), Joy (cheerful, playful, pride, contentment, relief, optimism), and Surprise (amazement). Something in me [what my Malaysian Spiritual Healer has informed me is my internal “firefighter”] has repressed – or protected me against - the negative emotions: Anger (envy, rage, disgust), Sadness (suffering, regret, rejection) and Fear (panic, tenseness).

I think this is what has kept Chris and I together for so long. We don’t fight. I may have a brief moment of being hurt, upset or annoyed, but within five minutes, it passes and I’ve forgotten about it. I’ve chalked it up to having a crappy memory, but my Sadhu informed me that this isn’t so. For me, negative emotion isn’t natural, so I have refused to experience it. I’m the one cracking jokes at a funeral. I’m the class clown that makes everyone laugh when they’re experiencing pain. Forever I thought I was doing this for them… now I realize it’s been for myself. This has caused me to ignore my friends, even those who are in need. I’ve ignored them because I can’t deal with the, “How’s you’re mom doing? How are you doing?” My general response has been, “Good, thanks” and I quickly change the subject or walk away. I haven’t been answering the phone, only responding to texts and email because of the same reason. For this, I apologize.

Today, I’ve surrender control. I can’t control this disease or the hate that I have for it. I can’t control the disappointment that I have for God. I’ve always been a very spiritual person, and have believed that our soul is apospasma tou theu, ‘a particle of God’. Right now, I have lost my faith in him. I don’t understand why there is this much pain in the world. I know that this isn’t something that just happened. Pain and suffering have existed since the beginning of time, but this is the first time that I’m personally having to deal with this type of grief and I don’t understand how it can exist, nor can I understand how it’s 2010 and there is not a single type of treatment for this disease. One drug… there’s only one drug out there for those diagnosed with ALS and it increases the length – not the quality – of life by two months. 60 days.

My firefighter that has spent the last 32, I mean 27, years protecting me, protecting me from the fear of failure has been another victim of this economic climate. He lost his job and can’t help me any longer. I feel like I have failed my mother by not being able to protect her from this horrible disease. I honestly thought I was strong but I’m not. I’ve given in to fear, and hate, and panic. Pieces of me have now experienced regret, humiliation, and envy.

It’s been my fear of experiencing these emotions that have kept me from posting anything. Actually, as I type this, I realize that it has been my selfishness as well. I’ve wanted to keep the positive, everything about Kensington – yes, even her stinky diapers – to myself. She’s what makes me strong. She’s what keeps me going through the day, knowing that the moment I walk through the door at the daycare (or though the door at home), she’s waiting for me with the biggest smile. Showing me all six of her pearly whites (which bit Chris in the arm last week, and me in the leg and shoulder today).