196 days A/K/A The day we finally get to share the good news — WE ARE PREGNANT

For the past few months I’ve been doing something very out of character for me. I’ve been keeping a secret. Generally, I like to live life as an open book, and despise secrets (unless it’s an attorney/client thing). So I am happy to finally reveal some very big news to all of you!

 WE ARE PREGNANT

196

 

For people who’ve been to our home, you might have noticed an odd number on the blackboard wall. This number is a countdown to our due date. In about 196 days (March 13, is our due date) we hope to welcome a new life into our family.

 

I hope you are as excited as we are about this, and I’m certain some of you might have some questions. Here is some basic information, that should field some of the basic ones:

 

  1. So you’re not adopting…you’re having a baby. How exactly is that happening?

 

Brian and I decided that if we were going to have a baby, we’d like it to be biologically related to one of us. The biological connection was more important to Brian than it was to me, so he is the sperm donor. My best friend (aside from Brian) is the egg donor. We are very similar so I figured this was as close as we would get to an “egg” that represented me. To our delight, she was completely on board with donating her eggs for us to start a family from the minute I finally found the courage to ask her.

 

  1. Does that mean your friend is carrying the baby too?

 

No. In most instances, it is encouraged to keep the egg donor and the carrier separate (it helps avoid legal issues). We received several eggs from our donor. Those eggs were fertilized and, those that made it to the “blastocyst” stage of embryonic development, were frozen until we were ready to transfer them to the woman who would carry the embryo to term. Fortunately there was not a lot of waiting. Our carrier is a wonderful woman who has two children of her own. She lives in Oklahoma. We found her through an agency that specializes in helping couples have a baby via surrogacy. We’ve met her and her husband several times, and are excited about going to Oklahoma to visit her when she has her 20-week appointment.

 

 

  1. Do you know the sex yet?

 

No, not yet. While there has been a lot of amazing science going on with the birth of our baby, we must wait the same amount of time as everyone else. That said, at 10 weeks we got to see an ultrasound. Our child was very active that day. He/She kicked hard (both the doctor and our carrier felt it) and we got to see her/him very clearly. The carrier and I felt that he\she looked like a boy, but that could easily change as the baby develops more. Brian and I don’t care what sex the child is, only that it is healthy and that it will grow up happy.

 

  1. Do you have names picked out?

Yes, we do. However, we’re not sharing that information just yet. However, I can tell you they are wonderful!  

 

  1. So what’s the baby like now?

 

At 12 weeks the baby is about the size of a lime. Almost all baby literature likes to compare babies at various stages to food, I assume because they are generally spherical in nature and are a good point of reference for everyone. Anyway, the baby essentially looks like a very small version of a newborn. Bones are forming, fingers and toes have separated, and even things like fingernails are beginning to grow. 

 

  1. What’s it like being so far away from your Carrier?

 

As I’ve never had a baby before, I’m not really sure what it’s like to live with a pregnant woman. My sisters had 2 children each, but I was a tween/teen for most of it. I will say we are incredibly thankful for the carrier’s husband and family for helping her through the day-to-day trials of pregnancy. Our carrier has had some rough “morning” (but really all day) sickness, however she has been a real trooper about it. We hope that now that she is entering into her 2nd trimester things will be easier for her. As for communication, we do a combination of texting, e-mailing, and facetimeing.

 

  1. So what’s next?

The next big milestone is going for the 20-week visit in October. We will get to meet the doctor who will most likely be delivering our baby, learn the sex of the child, and also get a bigger glimpse into the daily life of our carrier and her family.

We hope you are all as excited as we are about this big life change! We’ll be more forthcoming with updates from this point on!

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Phantom of the Opera…the sequel?

So when I was a teenager I was obsessed with “TPTO” which is “The Phantom of the Opera” for 99% of the world. I thought I would be the best Phantom in the world. I mean why not? I thought I was hideous. I felt that everyone disliked me because I was unattractive. I had people wrapped around my finger on-line, where no one needed to see my physical body. Plus, I thought I was a good singer, and that if I could just be a good enough singer, people wouldn’t care that I was not attractive.

Therefore, I think I listened to the OST (Original Soundtrack) to TPTO on a loop for a few years. Of course, as years went past I began to think of myself as not being ugly, and I found other musical material that I felt I had a better connection to. As a result, I kind of forgot about TPTO for a few years, until I was recently asked to sing “All I Ask of You” at a wedding. I dragged out my OST, and other recordings of that love duet, and began practicing my best Raoul. As a result of my new found interest in TPTO I happened upon the youtube video which gives us a preview of the sequel to TPTO. The sequel is called “Love Never Dies” and takes place in New York, primarily on Coney Island. It sounds stupid, but the video also gives us a preview of one a new ALW (Andrew Lloyd Webber) song. The song is called “Till I Hear You Sing (Once More)” and as much as I was prepared to hate it, I just can’t. It appears that despite the fact I think that making a sequel to a musical, especially TPTO, has got to be the dumbest thing I have ever heard of, I am a sucker when it comes to The Phantom.

The song is actually quite lovely, and Ramin Karimloo has a perfect voice to carry on the voice of the famed Phantom. He manages to support his tone a bit more than Michael Crawford did, and keeps the breathy phantom sound to a minimum. The woman who will be taking up the role of Christine, originally played by the famous Sarah Brightman (previous wife of ALW and for whom the piece was composed), will be Sierra Boggess. She played Christine in the special Vegas version, and whereas I was somewhat concerned about “The Little Mermaid” singing as Christine, I heard her sing “Think Of Me” and she didn’t ruin it. Whereas I always felt that Lisa Vroman was the best Christine, I think Sierra Boggess, is an excellent choice, and she truly looks the part.

Time, and the remainder of a soundtrack, will tell if I will actually attend the piece, if it makes it to New York, but I have to admit that right now. I’m actually excited about returning to hear more from The Phantom.

Spring Awakening Revisited

spring

Last night I attended Spring Awakening for the 5th time.  It was an incredible evening so I feel the need to supplement my earlier review.

I was very excited upon entering the theatre because both of the adults were being played by the understudies. I had seen Tony Carlin (understudy for the Adult Men) once before, but I had never seen Frances Mercanti-Anthony play the adult women.

I am not sure if it was the absence of Christine Estabrook and Glenn Fleshler, who normally play the adults, that had the cast so energized last night, or if it was perhaps the knowledge that the show is soon to end, but whatever it was, it really made the show feel completely new, exciting, and different.

Alexandra Socha (Wendla) has certainly grown over the past 4 times I have seen her play Wendla. She still lacks the confidence needed in the shows opening, but she quickly salvages a few  sour notes into a solid performance. It was nice to see her play off of Ms. Mercanti-Anthony as her mother, who brought a lot of maternal warmth to the role. The first scene was still funny, but in a different way than it is with Christine Estabrook. Ms. Socha has truly seemed to delve into her character at every moment, and she has abandoned what I described as “quizzical inflections” on many of her lines.

Hunter Parrish as Melchior was in rare form last night as well. Perhaps the best acting of Melchior I have seen to date came out of Mr. Parrish last night. Of course, it seemed to come with a price, as Mr. Parrish strained on notes I had seen him his consistently the past 4 times I saw the show. However, to an audience member with less knowledge of the show and vocal fundamentals it probably went by unnoticed.

The most notable difference for both Hunter Parrish and Alexndra Socha was the final scene of act 1 and the beginning of act 2, where the two have simulated sex on stage. Most of the time this scene is well acted, but last night the two seemed absolutely on fire with passion for the other. The sex seemed to last longer, with additional moaning. It was exciting to watch. However, it certainly made Melchior look more like a rapist than normal.Whenever I take someone to the show, I often ask them what they think of that moment in the show. Do they view it as rape or not? Most people say that it meets the definition of rape, but is more complicated. Although it certainly maintained the complication, Melchior’s darker tone of voice, seemingly lack of patience or tenderness, and sheer physicality certainly made it harder to view Melchior in any way innocent.

Gerard Canonico has made large steps in making his own Moritz. Every time I feel he is better and better. The scene where he questions his father about what would happen if he failed was incredibly moving, which speaks not only to Mr. Canonico but to Tony Carlin as well. I was also incredibly impressed by Mr. Canonico’s vocal performance of “I don’t do sadness” and “And Then There Were None” which were not only pitch perfect but beautifully acted. The fact that he could be crying one minute and angrily singing the next, was truly impressive.

I would of course feel bad if I did not mention Matt Doyle and Blake Daniel. Matt Doyle still wins my praise as best male vocalist in the cast, and his “Desdemona” monologue never ceases to be both entertaining and awkward. Mr. Doyle and Mr. Daniel were blessed with a rather fun audience and therefore their love scene went off with additional hilarity. It was nice that they knew how to handle holding for the additional laughs, and proved they certainly can work the crowd.

My favorite female singer, Emma Hunton, appeared slightly under the weather last evening. This made me sad, as I feel she is the best Ilse the show has ever had. She managed to sing on pitch, but her ability to entirely suck in a room was not at full strength. Her rendition of “Blue Wind” was still wonderful though.

The women in the cast on a whole actually were in the best vocal shape I had ever heard them last night. Their harmonies which have normally been shakey or simply not there, were absolute perfection last night. I felt I was listening to embelishments on the score which really enriched the female presence.

The men were alright. They seemed to speak latin during “All That’s Known” in a higher pitch last night which was a little strange, but not bad. Andrew Durand was a wonderful Georg, and his sexual dream sequence with his piano teacher was absolutely hilarious. I am not sure he needs to add to much to the end of  “Touch Me” as it starts looking more like “American Idol” audition, and less like all of the kids singing about their problems with physical isolation.

The last bit of my review is about the only “new” actor I saw last night. Ms. Frances Maercanti-Anthony. I thought she brought a lot of new things to the show. She felt more maternal, more loving. However, she does not do as good a job at differentiating her characters as Christine Estabrook. In addition, her reading of the letter to Moritz was rather hard to listen to. She seemed to thing Mrs. Gabore (Melchior’s mother) was less than sincere in her letter, which I whole heartedly disagreed with. Her first scene as Wendla’s mother, and her portrayal of Martha’s mother were her best moments. I particularly loved both her posture and inflection as Martha’s mother, capturing the pain of knowing what her daughter was going through but not feeling strong enough or able enough to stop it.

Anniversary

Today, Brian and I have been together for 3 years!!!

When we were in Disney world they showed a picture of what we would look like in the future. I wonder how many years will go by till we look like this:

My ticket to being a New Yorker!

So…in order to keep this blog going I needed to be accepted to a law school in New York. Today I got my first transfer acceptance letter in the mail!

THANK YOU NEW YORK LAW SCHOOL!

I will possibly be attending their come this fall!