Tuesday, May 29, 2007

A picture's worth...well you know...

Daniel's vital statistics are: 6 lbs. 13 oz. -- 19.5 inches -- 100% adorable!

More to come later. -Monica

Monday, May 28, 2007

It's a Daniel!

Susanne and are delighted to announce the birth of our son Daniel who was born at 8:53 am EDT on May 28th! Our son is 6 lbs.13 oz and 19.5 inches tall and unbelievably gorgeous!!!

Pics and birth story to follow (whan we have time:-)
-Monica (and Susanne and Daniel)

Friday, May 25, 2007

Harley's two cents...

Hello there everyone. Allow me to introduce myself. I'm Harley--the handsome and rather large cat to the right in this photo. And I guess I should introduce our other cat CJ. She's the one hogging the camera lens here. We have the good fortune to live with Monica and Susanne and if they can remember to give us food and water and periodically clean our litter boxes, we are pretty happy cats. (What is up with Monica always cleaning out the litter box lately? This has been going on for months. And let's just say she's not as good at is as my wonderful Susanne is.)

Anyway, I'm writing today because I have this sense that something is "going on". I'm not sure what exactly, but I think Monica and Susanne will soon be bringing home some new kitten or something. They keep calling it a baby, but that's what they called CJ when she first came too.

Now, I have no problem with a little more company--I guess. Although… hmm….Monica has been home all day today (something about taking the day off) and I have to tell you it's been a bit annoying. Let's face it. Daytime is when I sleep, so today was nuts. Susanne came home for lunch too which is unusual (but since I LOVE her it was fine.) Then Monica spent the whole afternoon working on some mixed CDs. How can I say this? She stole my peace. I think she's going to bring them to the Birthing Center? (whatever that is.) And get this--she was getting all choked up making the CDs--it was really rather ridiculous. Again, I'm just a cat trying to catch a few zzzzz's here.

Truth be told, the only really positive thing I've experienced lately is that CJ and I now have bunk beds. Mo and Su call it a bassinet but hey, it’s got a top compartment and a bottom basket so as far as I’m concerned it’s just another great place to stretch out and sleep whenever I feel like it.

I wonder what this new kitten will be like? Oh…what am I worried about? How could they possibly love any other living being more than me??????? ;-) Have a really nice Memorial Day everyone. Say…any advice? My beloved Susi seems to have put on a few pounds (right around her middle like me) and I’m wondering if I should say something. Then again, look at me. Who am I to talk? Hasta luego! –Harley

Thursday, May 24, 2007


For some reason lately when I get on the train I find myself looking at people’s faces trying to imagine what they would have looked like as a baby. Conversely I find myself wondering what our baby will look like when he/she is an adult. It’s sort of silly maybe because I don’t even know what our baby looks like yet, but I do find myself really looking at people in a different way.

I also think about how each person was once someone’s precious one. Am I too much of a Pollyanna? Do I believe that every baby born was treasured and wanted and loved by someone? I guess I do. At least I deeply hope so. -Monica

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Multiply "Mom" by the power of two!

This is a picture of a card we got from our friend Stacey last week. We feel so...so...exponential! -Monica and Susanne!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Aber ich spreche nicht Deutsches!

We often joke that Susanne likes to create things and I like to maintain the things she creates. For example, our blog. Susanne figured everything out and designed what you see here today (and our archived Verizon site). She also added the "ticker" and the counter--things which would never have occurred to me. But when it comes to actually using the blog—that would be me.

You see after she’s had her creative fun she’s not so interested--she's off to new challenges. In addition to not posting on our blog very often, she’s also not as into reading other people’s blogs as I am. Truth be told she often doesn’t even read what I write figuring I’ll just tell her about it anyway (which I always do ;-)

So I was surprised last night when she started talking about a cool blog she’s been enjoying called Journey of a Co-Parent. It’s written by a couple in Germany who have an adorable little boy named Nicolas. One woman is Canadian and her partner is German. We periodically get “comments” from them on stuff we’ve written and I think that piqued Susanne’s interest.

So last night Susanne was asking me if I’d read Sarah and Bebe’s blog (which I had) where there was a great post with interesting comments on kids learning more than one language. We’ve been talking about the same issue for our baby who we hope can absorb German, English and Spanish so it was a timely topic. Forgetting for a moment that I don’t really understand German, Susanne began talking about some of the stuff on Bebe’s German language site, asking me if I’d read that too. It was really funny! Keep in mind now that I don’t speak much German at all, so it really cracked me up.

So…since we are both now such avid readers, at Su’s suggestion we’ve added their blog to our side bar. We hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

Oh, and I just have to add that even though Susanne has biologically played a key role in creating the little life growing inside her, we’re going to “maintain” the baby together. Right honey? ;-) -Monica

Monday, May 21, 2007

Thank you...

First of all, thank you, thank you, thank you to all who came to our baby shower yesterday. Our friend Emily hosted a WONDERFUL party, and we are thrilled with all of the delightful gifts which will ensure that our little son or daughter is well equipped to begin life outside of the amazing place he or she now calls home.

Sometimes I am in awe of how great our baby’s life already is. “En utero” must be such a warm, snug, comforting place. Do we all on some level yearn for that place? Seek it?

One of my favorite poets, Ibrahim Hafiz, explains my thoughts on this far better than I ever could.

We are
Like lutes
Once held by God.
Being away from his warm body
Fully explains

Baby, your life will be different once you’re out here with us--it's no womb out here in the world. Even so, we hope we can help you come to know that no matter where you are, you are still held by God--just like you are now. There is no warmer, snugger or more comforting place than that.

Love, your Moms

Friday, May 18, 2007


When I was a kid one of my favorite times of year was Christmas. The day itself, but also the anticipation of what was to come. You see, in early December every year, a Sears and Roebuck catalog would arrive in the mail. It was very big and thick—hundreds of pages as I recall—and I can remember going through it page by page with my brothers and sisters.

There were guitars and drum sets and wagons and catcher’s mitts. Sears Toughskins jeans and bicycles and Candyland. A cornucopia of epicurean delights.

I would sort of glaze over and just imagine what life would be like with all of these treasures. (I sometimes have this same feeling when I look through the SkyMall magazine on airplanes).

I don’t think I became a conspicuous consumer. (Case in point, I’ve never actually bought anything from a SkyMall magazine.) We only got one or two things each anyway since there were so many of us and that was fine. And as I got older I began to really understand the “reason for the season”.

But I still love anticipation--like what we are experiencing now. Boy? Girl? Who knows? As far as I’m concerned our baby is a gift that will be like Christmas in June (or possibly May.)

Oh, and I loved Christmas Day as much as I loved dreaming about it. No matter what I got. Happy Friday everybody! -Monica

Thursday, May 17, 2007


Happiness is—all the winter clothes already packed away until next year!

If I ever doubted the concept of “nesting” before, I’m a true believer now. I came home from a meeting last night to find my darling Susanne tuckered out, and completely surrounded by storage bins neatly packed with every sweater we own. Did I mention we usually get around to putting our winter stuff away in say, July?

Wow…this nesting thing may actually mean that our house will soon reach the very APEX of neatness and organization!

And, if my calculations are correct, we won’t see this neatness and organization again until approximately 2025. Bring it on little baby, bring it on! -Your loving mother, Monica

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

April flowers...;-)

Well, apparently April flowers bring May showers. At least when you have a baby on the way. Yesterday Susanne's wonderful friends at Bread for the City threw us a shower and I think they managed to buy us everything on our Target registry. Well...almost everything. Thanks you guys. For the presents, and Susanne's favorite peanut butter chocolate treat. Mmmmmm...we'll be treating ourselves to little snacks for days to come!

We have 3 more showers coming up in the next few weeks. Believe me. It sure seems more and more real that a little baby will soon be with us.

Today I'm in a class all day (and typing this while on a break.) Guess I'll write more later. Have a great day! -Monica

Monday, May 14, 2007

Just the way it is

For those of you not familiar with the concept of lesbian families giving birth to babies, I'd like to point out an interesting fact. Those of us who are the non-biological moms have to adopt our children. Now I suppose I should just be grateful that the District of Columbia allows for second parent adoption (not all states do.) But jeez!

We have to get letters of support from friends to "sing my praises" and try and articulate why I should be allowed to legally adopt my child. Then we'll have to submit to a homestudy before a judge will rule on my worthiness to adopt this child whom I've loved since before it was conceived. It seem almost ironic that if Su were raising the baby alone or with a man the baby would live in the exact same house. But since I'm in the picture we have to be scrutinized. To me this makes no sense at all.

And...if a straight woman is married to a man and gets pregnant, the baby is his in the eyes of the law. It's not about who the "father" is (could be the milkman right?) The child is the son or daughter of the spouse. So since I can't be a legally married spouse, I have to be scrutinzed for my worthiness to parent my son or daughter. (Did I mention that adoption cost a boatload of money too???)

I bet there are plenty of homes in this country where there are "legal" moms and dads who would not look very impressive were social workers to come and check things out. Who wouldn't look like they could be very good providers if a judge reviewed their finances. Heck who don't even really want to be parents but they are.

When, God willing, our child can be legally connected to me, he or she will benefit there is no doubt. We can travel without my having to carry papers to prove it. All legal questions of order of precedence etc...will be unquestioned. I can use benefits from my job that will be better than the ones Su has available to her. It's all good for our baby.

Until that time, I guess in the eyes of our society I'm just that woman who lives with Susanne who is going to help out a lot with the baby. Yes, something is not quite right with this picture. Think about that the next time you get to vote on legalizing gay marriage. Go figure. -Monica

Friday, May 11, 2007

Top 5 for May 2007

Top 5 things I think about when I'm having trouble sleeping lately. I've actually been sleeping pretty well, but once in a while...

5. That either Su or the baby would not be okay. I’m sure I’m in good company with this fear, as I can’t imagine any partner not having some trepidation about this. No sense wasting energy on this. Whatever happens, happens. We've controlled for everything we can, so in the off, off chance there is a problem, we’ll learn all we can and move forward from there.

4. That life will now always required lugging more stuff. Hey…I’m the one who went to Peace Corps for two years with two small duffel bags and a backpack. Every thing I owned once fit in my old Ford Escort when I moved from St. Paul to Boston to start grad school. Su and I have traveled to Europe and South America with one bag each. I think having the baby with us will require perpetual lugging for a long time to come. Just something I think about.

3. That the daily routines I so love will no longer be. A calm hour of coffee and the Washington Post before I have to even think about getting ready for work. Weekend drives with just me and Su doing errands, chatting about nothing, making impromptu decisions to change our plans and do something else. Might be a little harder with the baby.

2. That I will be so in love with my son or daughter that I’m going to HATE ever going back to work. That 3 weeks I'll take off will fly I'm sure.

1. That Su and I are going to be a great team! We both have different strengths and personalities and together I think we will be pretty darn good at making sure our baby has a beautiful life. Now if we can only make sure that Harley and CJ are good team players too ;-)


Thursday, May 10, 2007

Taking Care of Business

Susanne and I had a lovely visit last night with Mikki and Kelly and their beautiful little girl Bailey. We learned that the trick to having a calm and sweet infant, is to invite people over. The whole time we were there (and a few other friends also came by) Bailey slept, well, like a baby. She was awake when we first arrived and perked up as we were leaving, but she didn't really cry a peep (just slept and cooed and smiled) for the whole 2 hours of our visit. As you will learn on Mikki and Kelly's blog, apparently one week old Bailey reserves her real crying for the middle of the night. ;-) Congrats again ladies. She's precious!

So...I thought I'd share something that I find fascinating. My fabulous wife is probably the most adaptable person I've ever known. She's almost 36 weeks pregnant (and glowing by the way) and when she can't bend down to pick up a small item up, she simply uses her toes like one would use a trash picker upper and nimbly puts the items wherever she wants. Case in point--this morning we were getting our dirty clothes all together to be washed and several stray socks were retrieved in the manner described above. Su's really not had any balance problems thus far either so it's actually sort of amazing to see her "take care of business" with such ease.

That's my Susi. Ever resourceful AND agile. Gotta love her! -Monica

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Time Clocks... (are there any other kind?)

Can it really be May 9th already? It seems like every day lately is filled with fun things to do--errands to run and appointments to make. Everyone says that Su and I should just savor these last few weeks while awaiting the arrival of our baby, and I guess I can honestly say we are. Tonight we'll meet Kelly and Mikki's daughter and later this week friend's Lara and Rob's new son Toby. Later this week we've got a ball game and dinner with a former boss of mine who we adore. Oh heck. There's more stuff too, but the point is we are having fun!

It's funny. I was just thinking this morning about the fact that I never remember thinking I had a "biological time clock" ticking inside of me. I spent most of my adult life figuring that I just must not be meant to get married and have children. I couldn't imagine that life. Of course it took me until my really late 30s to figure out that the reason I couldn’t imagine that kind of life was that I wasn't really attracted to guys. So the white picket fences and the Bluebirds of Happiness flying around seemed like someone else's story.

My story was being alone, flying off to distant lands to work (Guatemala, Nicaragua, Cuba). Don't get me wrong. I've always loved children and I figured if it was God's will, then someday I would raise children. I just didn’t know what that would look like.

Then I met Susanne and my whole world changed. As we said in our wedding vows “you have filled my world with meaning—you have made me so happy, and I treasure the magic that is you.” I thank God EVERY DAY for my precious wife. How did I get so lucky?

So about that picket fence. Well, we don't have a white picket fence but we’ve got something better. We live in a lovely house surrounded by bamboo and flowers and sweet dear neighbors.

As an example, Mrs. P, an elderly neighbor originally from the Caribbean lives a few houses down, who when the weather is nice, we see all the time tending to her lovely garden. Mrs. P. always wishes us a blessed day and when she sees one of us without the other she ALWAYS asks “where’s your lady today sweetheart?” It’s so dear. And she’s just one of so many neighbors on our little cul-de-sac that make us feel part of a family. A diverse, energetic, supportive and loving family. I guess this is the my proverbial white picket fence I never knew I could have. A "fence" of people who make us feel safe and protected but also add such beauty to our existence. Yes, we love this white picket fence of humanity we're surrounded by.

And as for Bluebirds of Happiness? They are right outside our window. Along with the cardinals and other birdies. Just ask our cats. They love to “chat/chatter” with them all day long. ;-)

So, I guess officially now my biological time clock IS ticking. It's like a whole new "us" is going to be born soon too. A lot will be different, but a lot will probably still be the same. I’m sure, for example, that our lives will still be filled with lots of cheese. Come what may. So come on little baby...when you’re ready we can’t wait to meet you!!!! (There’s cheese out here!) I predict our child will love Wallace and Gromit!!!! -Monica

Danny's First Year

Danny's 12th Month
Danny's 11th Month
Danny's 10th Month
Danny's 9th Month
Danny's 8th Month
Danny's 7th Month
Danny's 6th Month
Danny's 5th Month
Danny's 4th Month
Danny's Baptism Day
Danny's 3rd Month
Danny's 2nd Month
Danny's 1st Month
Danny's 1st Week

Monday, May 07, 2007

Another milestone

We found out about a year ago that our friends Em and Zach were going to get married on “Cinco de Mayo” '07. They’d decided on Kansas for a location (where they's met at KU) and when we found out we were due in June, we let them know that we’d be there. Unless we couldn't. It just seemed very far off in the future back then.

So this weekend we had a wonderful time in Lawrence, KS. The wedding was beautiful and tons of fun and Susanne traveled with no problem at almost 35 weeks (the direct flight from DC to KS was about 2 hours). So anyway, when we arrived home last night I suddenly realized that this trip was the last big milestone before the baby will arrive. From here on out we'll be traveling for at least 3!

And since babies can arrive at week 37 and be considered full term, it is possible that in just a short two weeks we could be moms!!! We think it would be better for the baby to stay in a bit longer (well maybe I should speak for myself—I’m not the one gestating our little one!) But we guess it would be a good idea to get prepared just in case the baby makes an early appearance. We are not worried about being prepared to welcome the baby, more we are thinking about being prepared to transition our work over to others. I'm only going to be out for 3 weeks while Su will take off 6 months. She's been working a long time to get her team ready to carry on without her but is anyone really ever ready? I guess we both just realized that we should clean or desks up a bit and start getting things in better order.

We spent some time at thrift shops and bookstores this weekend while in KS and picked up a book that was highly recommended to us by our Birthworks instructor. It’s called “The Happiest Baby on the Block” by Dr. Harvey Karp.

It was really neat and the author believes that babies in their first three months really need what he calls a 4th trimester. It’s an easy to read book where he talks about the value of swaddling, jiggling and making shushing noises (among other things) to help calm a baby down. Apparently there is a calming reflex that can be activated with the right tricks. The idea is to replicate some womb experiences to help kids feel soothed. We really liked it and I fully intend to practice swaddling with an old cabbage patch doll of Su’s (umm…I wasn’t really into Cabbage Patch dolls myself as a kid). Apparently neither of our cats seem like they’d be into my experimenting, so I’ll just try it out on the doll ;-)

Alrighty then. Back to my “to do” list that has 20 tasks on it still. And I really think I’m ready to be off work for several weeks in the near future????? -Monica

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Welcome Bailey!

Congratulations to our friends Mikki and Kelly who became the proud mothers of Bailey yesterday (check out Our Little Honey) We are both very excited for our friends whom we met when we all took a class called Maybe Baby, to learn all about options for lesbian women to become moms. Again, congratulations you two. Can't wait to meet our baby's little friend ;-)

Susanne is now heading toward week 35 and we are starting to think we should get a bag packed or something. At 37 weeks one is considered full term and some people have babies even before 37 weeks so we are getting more excited about the impending arrival of our little sugar pie. The baby is still kicking away and on Tuesday had a heart beat of 14o which is quite in the normal range. Susanne has continued to see that chiropractor and is sleeping better at night.

Work has been really busy for both of us and tomorrow we leaving on a jet plane to go to a friend's wedding. Su can still fly without needing any special doctor's permission up until 36 weeks so we'll be okay. Alrighty then--Onward and upward. -Monica