Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Anybody else play "do you know what you want honey?"

P.S. Susanne's answer yesterday to this question was a resounding "ugh". I'll try playing again today...oh sweetie????

Monday, October 30, 2006

Seeing and Hearing

On Friday Su and I visited our fertility doc one last time before starting her prenatal visits with our midwives. Through the wonders of ultrasound and really great audio, we were able to see our baby’s heart clipping along at 136 bpm and also hear the incredibly steady sound of “thump, thump, thump”. It was really something! (I shouldn't have reread Charlotte's Web this summer--all I could think was "Some Heart" and "Terrific!")

On a more serious note, I was thinking a lot about hearts and how amazing it is that they beat without ceasing our entire lives—that is of course until they don’t beat any more. We attended my Aunt Ann’s memorial service this weekend in North Carolina and I thought a lot about hearts. Ann’s family was with her when she passed away, and her daughter Rose who was resting her hand gently on her mom's chest felt it stop. That was a very visceral sign—there was no doubt. For us on Friday seeing and hearing our child’s heart beat was a very visceral sign—again there was no doubt. It’s all very powerful.

Ann’s ashes were scattered yesterday in a harbor near her home. Oh how she loved the water! It was pretty choppy, but we all hung on to the railings and sealed our goodbyes by throwing flowers into the waves. I said a special prayer for my mom who got bumped of of several flights and ended up not traveling--I know that she was praying from Minnesota for her beloved little sister.

Then when we docked and it was time for Su and me to get on the road, I was kissing my relatives goodbye and realized with a start that I was kind of looking for Ann. We were at her house after all--it just seemed odd not to see her any more. God bless you dear Ann. I guess I see that you really are home now. Love, Monica

Thursday, October 26, 2006


My sister Alice once had a book with tips on how to get organized, and it had this cute little acronym SPACE which stood for Sort, Purge, Assign a Space, Containerize and Evaluate (over and over again apparently.) Well this week when I noticed that once again my inbox at work seemed to be magically multiplying, I started thinking about SPACE. I often sort my inbox by sender so I can delete, but deleting doesn't really help. They just come back again. Yes...thinking about my newly discovered SPACE hierarchy of needs, I decided it was time now to Purge!

You see, like many of us, I somehow got on some e-mail lists. I truly don’t mind the “joke” e-mails I get from friends. I see those as a sweet way of keeping connected. Some of my “junk mail” came because I actually signed up for things like “Metro” (train) alerts, but mostly I was getting e-mails after making one stinking purchases years ago. Airlines, hotels.com, 1-800-flowers—you name it. I was probably getting weekly or sometimes even daily notification of great deals. Argh….so over the past few days I’ve scrolled down to the fine print and UNSUBSCRIBED to about 8 e-mails I’ve been getting regularly! Why I didn’t do this years ago I just don’t know. I now feel a bit less overwhelmed. Heck, I’m feeling practically underwhelmed by my inbox now. (Why is underwhlemed not really a word? And why can I be inept or adept but not just ept?) I digress…

Last night Su and I found a great place to give for her to give birth. As a social worker she’s seen some different birthing situations and had a strong sense that she didn’t want a hospital setting (unless there are complications of course and then we will be whisked to a nearby hospital.) But if all goes well, she’ll have a natural birth with midwives in a maternity center. It just seems right for us. And it’s great having that decision finally made.

Su and I will drive with my mom tomorrow to NC to pay our respects to mom’s sister at her memorial service. It will be good to see Ann’s children and grandchildren and I think will help us get more closure than we’ve had. Alrighty then, back to my practically sparse inbox. (Now if I could only purge those major tasks that are required of me by my job! ;-) -Monica

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Growth Spurt!

Well, well. Here we are at the beginning of week 7. According to the literature, today the baby is about the size of a BB pellet--.16 to .2 inches. By Sunday (6 short days from now) the baby will be somewhere between .44 to .52 inches.)

As I told my sweetie yesterday, I think that’s a pretty amazing spurt no? Going from .2 to .52 would be the equivalent of me being 5’6” today (which I am) and by Sunday being something like 14 feet tall! Wow. Pretty miraculous I think. Of course now I think our child will be very tall. This must be what they mean by anchoring ;-)

Monday, October 23, 2006

Friends and Family

This weekend Su and I traveled to MN to visit my family. Today is actually my niece Janna's 9th birthday so this weekend was a fun spaghetti dinner and a trip to the "Park at the Mall of America" (formerly known as Camp Snoopy.) Janna and my 6 year old great-niece Cassie had fun except when Janna decided that some of the rides were too "babyish", oh and when she decided that I was not focusing 100% of my energy on her. Geez!

Anyway, overall it was a very fun weekend and we got to spend time with my mom who is doing better and visiting friends Amy and Matt (and their two adorable little ones) and our friend John. You know those friends who you don't see very often but when you do it's like no time has passed at all? That's how it felt this weekend. And I love it when there are inside jokes that never seem to lose their power to make us die laughing. Who knew after all that Jack London was not a British author? See, this is hysterical! Unfortunately my poor wife, like so many suffering spouses must hear these punch lines over and over again. Susanne's really a good sport about it too. What's not to laugh about hearing "please toss 12 tortillas to my dog?" Oh, my gosh. I'm dying laughing! Honey? Honey?

On to a more serious subject. Bumper cars. Taking the kids to the largest indoor amusement park in the world gave me an opportunity to see that bumper cars create an environment where small children DELIGHT in crashing into others. It all seems so fun. Little do they know that down the road there will be deductibles and estimates and gasp...points assessed to their licenses! Do you think there could be some hidden insurance company sponsorship of the bumper car industry? Hmmm.... Okay, I'm just kidding, but those kids were seriously enjoying themselves!

Our visit was short but fun. We spent some time hanging out with my sisters and brothers and niece who is also pregnant. This will be her 3rd child so she is an old pro at this. Su felt pretty good considering how much time we spent traveling. We'll be visiting a local maternity center later this week and it will be exciting to get some of those details figured out. Alrighty then. Until next time....Monica

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Magical, magical thinking...

Seems I’m rather omnipotent. Remember how I rather offhandedly commented that we were feeling pretty happy about Su's lack of morning sickness, and how we'd hoped the dreaded “headaches” would not become a problem? Well apparently the day I wrote that blog entry the headache came back (and is still with Su) and believe me, it's been a problem.

So since I have some magical mystery ability to cause things to happen, I'd like you to imagine Su and I holding hands in lovely spring meadow while bluebirds sing and butterflies dazzle us with their beauty.

Oh, oh, better yet, we are drowsily napping on a warm window seat on a perfect autumn day--the lingering warm rays of the sun make us sort of melt like a soft candle.

Oh, I’ve got it. The first cold winds of winter have descended on us and it’s a SNOWDAY! We are cuddled up on our couch in front of a soothing fire with cups of hot cocoa and each other.

If my magic is really good then we should feel nothing but calmness and joy for the next 8 months. Right? Love you sweetie. Hope you feel better soon. -Mo

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Too funny

A few months ago Susanne spotted a fabulous sale at Best Buy on a cool DVD/VHS mini-surround sound system. So this weekend one of the final steps of our basement renovation involved connecting the wires she'd put into the walls and ceiling before we completed the drywalling.

Anyway, we got all of the speakers to work independently but were still trying to get the full "surround sound" of all the speakers together. We realized that we needed to play something that was created in Dolby Surround Sound and one of the few DVDs that we own is Winged Migration. For those who haven't seen it, it's a gorgeous documentary. The reason it's blogworthy experience for us is that we have two cats named Harley and CJ and when those multiple speakers kicked in, you've never seen two more confused cats. The sounds of birds everywhere! Outstanding for us, confounding for them. Next time we'll take pictures! -Monica

Monday, October 16, 2006

Week 6

Well Susanne continues to feel pretty well and except for the occasional food craving (that usually involves cheese) she's been feeling fine during this first part of her pregnancy. Our fertility doctor actually mentioned that by the end of week 9 most women have gotten over the worst of it so we guess it is possible that she might sneak though these next 3 weeks without incident. Su has had some terrible headaches in the past and her favorite headache medicine is a definite no no for pregnant women. It's been really awful to see her with such pain etched across her face and not be able to do much of anything to help. So far so good though, so we'll keep knocking on all the wood that we see.

I was at Tower Records near my office the other day and they were having a "going out of business sale". I found the cutest little CD with children's music on it including songs by They Might Be Giants and best of all a cute little ditty called Ladybug Picnic. We both really like ladybugs a lot--they signify good luck in Germany. So this cute song is sung by a singer named Elizabeth Mitchell whom I'd never heard of until last week when she was featured on NPR. She sang some fun kid's songs and I remembered thinking that I should try to find a CD of hers or something. When Su and I listened to the music on Saturday she asked me if the Ladybug singer Elizabeth Mitchell was the one we'd heard on NPR. Doh! I'd totally missed it. I just saw that there was a Ladybug song and got the CD. Crazy huh? It's really cool. Now if I could just get a copy of Meryl Streep singing an Irish Lullaby called the Gartar Mother's Lullaby. It's an Irish tune that I learned years ago when she recorded it on an album that was a fundraiser for the Pediatric AIDS Foundation. I'm hoping that my friend Gerri who introduced me to it still has it. She's a music therapist and if anyone has it, she does. She's coming from NY to visit us next month which is going to be awesome!

Alrighty then. Enough blogging for now. I've got to think of some cheesy, well balanced and delicious dinner to make my sweetheart. Hasta luego! -Monica

Friday, October 13, 2006

Looking forward to the weekend...

Su and I excited about the fact that by the time this weekend is over, our carpeting will be completely installed and our new firplace will be grouted. (I manage to make it sound like some little fairies will be flying in.) Actually the carpet installer will take care of that part and Su and our neighbor Norman will address the grout issue. (I will of course hover nearby getting refreshments and fetching tools etc...) We got some cool slate which we cut and installed over the past few weeks and it looks really great. The room is almost done. This project has gone on for quite a while but it's been worth it. When we cuddled on the couch watching TV the other night it just felt perfect. We promise photos soon.

I'm very relieved and happy to report that my mom came home from the hospital yesterday, and although she is weak she seems to be doing better. Thank God. I slept for almost 13 hours last night which is quite remarkable. I knew I was weary, I just didn't know how weary I was. It felt good to rest.

We are looking forward to this weekend. We got some free tickets for a Washington Caps game and will be hanging out with our dear friends Emily and Zach there. Then Sunday a delightful meeting of the "Mamas" (and future mama's to be?) It will be great to see I&A and M&K. Alrighty then. Time to remove myself from this workstation and head home. That's where my heart is. Hasta la vista babies! -Monica

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Meanwhile, back in blog landia...

Well our ever helpful cat Harley has finally decided to go in seach of food or something which means he has left the keyboard for now. That's perfecly fine with me. Unfortunately he's starting to believe that his real name is "No Harley, NO!" He just doesn't realize how melting his body slowly down on the keyboard with a contented yawn can cause me big troubles.

Well let's see what's new? Su is doing great. So far so good on the morning sickness thing. On Monday we'll have our first ultrasound. I'm becoming pretty convinced we are having twins, but then again, I was also convinced that we were not pregnant this time at all. Why do I think we are having twins when there is absolutely no history of this? Um...I just FEEL like it might be true. And maybe I have experienced some signs. I'm not really much into signs, but once in a while yes. If I'm right about this I'll be happy to share my signs. And if I'm wrong, no harm, no foul.

I've continued to be very, very weary. The good news is that my mom came out of the hospital today. She sounded MUCH better today on the phone and I can't wait to see her next week when we go in for a family birthday party. If mom's strong enough she'll come east to go to her sister's memorial mass. I'm just not too sure she'll be able to do that, but I think that will be okay. My aunt's passing and mom's sudden illness have really been weighing heavily on me. I'm rather prone to anxiety and try and manage it, but sometimes I just get a bone weariness that I can't shake for a while. (Sound familiar dear sister M?) Such is life. I'm waiting now for Su to come home--my favorite part of the day. Tonight we have NOTHING, and I mean NOTHING planned. Amen to that I say. I hear once you have kids that sort of never happens again. ;-) Here's to a night of pure and unadulterated laziness. Ciao! -Monica

P.S. M&K we look forward to seeing you this weekend. O, we hope you have a most wonderful and peaceful time this weekend. Sounds like it could be pretty magical!

Me and Harley

Me and our "portly gentleman" cat named Harley are trying to do a blog entry but I have to tell you--he's not very good at it. As a matter of fact, last I checked when ever I tried to type in a new URL it just keeps bringing us back to Susanica. Ah technology. Let me post this and see if Harley and I can get out of this HTML madness! -Monica

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Now we've got a ticker, too!

Maybe I should have waited a bit longer... wow, we've got a long way to go! But now everytime you and we take a look, we'll know more or less how much longer we have until our little love bug will arrive. (Lady bugs are symbols of good luck, thus the choice for the ticker.)

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Ta da!

We've blogged again! I think we should get some kudos for this. It appears we've been blessed with friends who are far more prolific, succinct and thoughtful than we are. Their blogs (yes you, O and M&K) are wonderful bloggers. We are just sorta, kinda mediocre.

Which doesn't mean we don't have lots going on. We try not to be "human doings" since being "human beings" seems so much more relaxing, but we still end up being very busy. And even though I thought that my with my big conference/summit finally taking place a week ago would relieve all my stress, I was wrong.

As I posted earlier, my dear Aunt Ann passed away Friday and today my mom ended up in the hospital with what could be an infection or some sort of intestinal problem. This is of course compounded very much by the stress and grief of losing Ann. I am a hospice volunteer and I know that grieving is hard work. You have to take care of yourself and eat well and everything because your body and mind are using tons of energy just to stay okay. We are all grieving. And with me being in DC while the rest of the family is in MN has been hard. She's on IV antibiotics and fluids which is a relief to me. If she ends up having surgery of any sort I'll be on the next plane out. But until then, there's not much to do but pray.

When I reached my brother Paul to let him know what had happened so he could head to the hospital, he called me back an hour later to reassure me, but also let me know that it was not very cool to be back in the same exact building where our dad lay dying in 2002. That was a very difficult time for all of us. Mom's going to be just fine is the word according to my siblings but it's still worrisome. Also, Su and I were scheduled to go to MN in 2 weeks to visit anyway but we just found out that there will be a memorial mass for my aunt in NY. So it looks like everyone is going to be coming east. I just want to see everyone, especially my mom right now.

Enough about my worries. Su is doing just fine. Not a bit of sickness YET. We are hopeful this will continue but she says she is prepared for whatever comes. All I know is that she isn't tired at all and our weekend projects continue without ceasing. Our basement looks FABULOUS by the way.

Alrighty then. Time to take care of some other stuff. I'll close with the title I saw on a cinema marquee once. It said "My Mother Wove the Morning". Cool huh? Until next time. -Monica

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Remember this in your hearts

As my beautiful Susanne wrote the other day, we can hardly believe our great fortune. We are actually having a baby! Even though I've read lots of books on lesbian parenting, and even watched Rosie's Gay Cruise documentary (its was a hoot by the way), nothing could have prepared me for the joy that I've felt these past few day. Being by nature a "little bit" of a worry wart you'd think I'd be filled with fears and racing thoughts of future, but I'm not. I find myself just feeling sort of in awe of the fact that Susanne is carrying a little ball of cells that according to all the literature has things like a rudimentary brain, a functioning heart and even a mouth! Just last night she was telling a fun group of friends that she suspects that if my genes were somehow included in the mix, our baby's little mouth would probably be talking! (She's probably right! ;-) I take no offense, I just keep on blabbing!

I keep thinking about a poem, or verse I believe was written by Martin Luther centuries ago. It went “Dear Lord Jesus for your head, I will make the softest bed. The chamber where this bed shall lie is in my heart inside of me. I will sing for you a soft and soothing lullaby, so soft that you will never cry.” I’ve always thought this was beautiful, and I see a connection between it, and the thought of Susanne’s perfect body holding the very softest bed where our baby is growing, warm, protected and so loved by both of us.

But this morning my emotions are really all twisted in a ball—not because of anything to do with our happy news, rather because last night we got a call that my beloved Aunt Ann had passed away. She was my mom’s sister and up until a month ago she was quite healthy. Then suddenly she was having some odd symptoms of forgetfulness and lethargy. She was scheduled to see a neurologist later this month. This week while visiting her adult children in NY she got very sick. She was hospitalized Monday, put on a ventilator on Wednesday and died Friday after experiencing major organ failure. My mom was flying into Washington this morning so we could drive up to NY, and we’d have seen Ann by around 4:00. I guess it wasn’t meant to be. She was surrounded by her immediately family and they say she was peaceful when she died last night.

So I’m very sad. We still don’t know why she died which is hard. I’m so sad for my mom. When we spoke again this morning she told me about the lifetime of memories that just kept spinning in her mind. They are the stories that are never told in words, they are silent words deep in one’s own self.

I was reminded of the Indigo Girls song lyrics that say “don’t take a picture; remember this in your heart.” Aunt Ann, if you can hear us up there in heaven please know that you are forever remembered and cherished in our hearts. Love you always, Monica

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Here's what giddy looks like!

You've been waiting...

Ok, it's REALLY REALLY REALLY early to be posting this, but the silence was deafening, wasn't it?


(sorry Monica, I'm beating you to this post)
Yes, it's true. I had been SOOO pessimistic this time around. And we had both been remarkably un-anxious about finding out and were able to wait to test the full two weeks. So Tuesday morning we got up and peed on the stick. I was looking at the thing with great skepticism even after Monica started jumping up and down. Ok, I guess it was really there:


Monica hasn't been that giddy since our wedding day. When she gets giddy it is SOOO cute. She gets all smiley and giggly and shrugs her shoulders and it is so cute!

So, we called the Dr's office with the good news and arranged to go in for a blood test on my way to work. Shortly before 2 pm I just missed the second of two calls on my cell. While I tried to call back my desk phone rang and there was C from the Dr's office, "Where have you been!?!" She was obviously excited to give me the news, too. Not only were we really prognant, but the blood test numbers were good. We went back to test again today -- and again, the numbers are looking good!

So like I said, it's REALLY REALLY early... but it's REALLY REALLY GREAT!