Thursday, August 30, 2007

What time is it Danny?

So we've been singing the song for weeks now...

"And the first one said to the little one then roll over, roll over"

Well about 10 minutes ago our little guy went from flat on his back to this very comfortable position. We didn't think he was ready for the big crib yet, but heck, he sure looks comfy. Time to get that bumper put on.

Just looking at this picture makes me think so much of my dad who passed away in 2002. If Poppy were here today, I know he'd be crowing,

"What time is it baby?" All together now family--"It's nap nap time!" Sleep tight buddy!! Love, your Moms

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

It's about that time again...

Top 5 things I’ve come to appreciate over the past few months…

5. Hospital basinets that are made of clear plastic so you can actually see your little newborn at all times. Brilliant idea I say. Brilliant.

4. Little sleepers (with feet of course) that have zippers instead of snaps. Hard to find, but worth it. It’s so much easier to stealthily change a baby’s diaper (especially at night) or get a sleepy baby ready for bed when he doesn’t get jostled so much.

3. The amazing love and generosity of our family and friends. We’ve received gifts, calls, e-mails, visitors…so many people care about our little Danny. And that feels wonderful.

2. My job. Gosh, I never thought I’d put that on a list like this one. I’ve always had a nagging feeling that the work I do is not my “life’s work”, but ever since Susanne got pregnant, I’ve had such an attitude shift. I guess I now know that my life’s work was just born a few months ago, so now my job is more of a means to an end, rather than an end unto itself. Don’t get me wrong. I’ve always felt blessed by the opportunities and responsibilities that I’ve been given, and I have a tremendous boss, but everything is better now than it was before!

Last but not least…

1. My beautiful wife. To see Susanne love and take care of our son is very, very special to me. She has the most wonderful way with him, and it somehow makes me feel warm and secure just knowing how warm and secure he is. How sweet they are!!! -Monica

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Happy 3 month birthday son!

Today our little Danny is 3 months old! It truly seems as though he's always been with us. I can't believe I get to wake up every day to smiles and little giggles--oh wait, that's not Danny, that's us! (Okay, some days there is some grumpiness on the parts of all parties involved, but most commonly smiles and giggles!)

He truly is our treasure and I'm fairly certain that there are no words in any language that can describe the joy he has brought into our lives. Danny, someday when you're old enough you'll read this (you'll probably grimace) but please know always how much you mama and I love and adore you.

Oh, and next time your little buddy Oscar (who will soon hit 3 months) comes for dinner with his parents, could you guys ease up on the "dueling banjos" method of crying?

First Danny "WA, WA, WA, WA, WA, WA, WA, WA, WA"

Then Oscar "wa, wa, wa, wa, wa, wa, wa, wa, wa"

All together now "Wa, wa, WA, wa, WA, wa, WA, wa, WA, wa, WA, wa, WA, waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

But it was kind of funny! -Love, Mom

P.S. Many congratulations to Vicky and Sam on the birth of little Rowan!!!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Hi Buddy!

Grown ups are so funny! They hang little toys above my head and think that I'll crack up. But seriously, aren't these little bears funny!!!!!

My moms and I had a fun weekend. We went to Baltimore and saw my friend Bailey and later we went to the aquarium and on Saturday we had a picnic! So even though we spent a long time in the car, it was okay because my mama made these really cool colorful sheets of paper with fun designs to hang up across from my carseat so I can see fun stuff all the time.

Oh, and our friends John and Andres and Tony came from out of town and we went to the Kennedy Center for the free Millenium Stage concert (there is a free show every night!) I LOVED the lights and colors and music, and my moms loved that the show was free!

Yes, life is great. Aren't these little bears funny???? -Danny

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Congratulations Kelly!

In May our friend Mikki became the legal mom of daughter Bailey. On August 24, 2007 our friend Kelly will become the legal mom of daughter Bailey. But legal, shmeagle. Bailey has always known who her mothers are.

So congratulations Kelly for tomorrow becoming what you've always been. A mom, and a gosh darn great one too I might add! Hasta la vista mamacitas!!!!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Oh Jeez!

So last week when the social worker came for her first of three home visits, Su and I had a lovely chat with her. She thought Danny was beautiful of course, and was amazed at how young he was. Apparently most of the adoptions and foster parent placements she does are with older kids. So our situation was a bit different than that. We definitely got a very good feeling that as long as I can get all the forms properly filled out and turned in, that we shouldn’t run into any surprises when the judge issues her final decree when Danny turns 6 months old. Then I’ll legally be his mom too which will be wonderful!

So here’s a funny story. After going over all the paperwork I’ll need to collect, we toured around the house so the social worker could I guess verify that we were not raising Danny in a falling down shack or anything. Su stayed with Danny while I began the tour.

She was genuinely impressed by some of the rooms and I, of course, began bragging about how handy and wonderful Susanne is with all that. In just about every room we entered I’d start with “well Susanne designed these built in bookshelves and built them out of MDF” or, “well Su tore out this wall in the kitchen and measured and tiled the floor and…” you get the picture.

The social worker was duly impressed and wondered aloud who had the green thumb, what with all the beautiful plants everywhere.

“That would be Susanne—she can make any thing grow….” On and on I blubbered.

Then noting our pretty well equipped kitchen she innocently asked “so who’s the cook in the family?”

“Well that would be Susanne….”

Oh jeez. By this time I was starting to get a little worried that maybe I (the prospective adoptive parent) wasn’t making too good of an impression. (Say…do I sound like Marge in Fargo when I say “Oh jeez”? I am from Minnesota after all. ;-)

I think the social worker sensed my concern because when I started to say that I really DID have some talents and skills and also helped A LOT with all of our home renovations, she smiled and said “from what I can tell here, it looks like you compliment each other perfectly!”

Whew… Good thing I don’t sweat the small things huh?

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Miss me little mister?

We took a trip to visit grandma Ulli this weekend--Danny's first long car ride of, well, his life. (He did great by the way except for that hunger thing once in a while ;-)

I, sadly, had to fly back Monday to get back to this "earning our daily bread" thing, but Su and Danny are staying til Thursday when grandma will come back to DC with them. So...even though I HATE being away from my wonderful Susanne and baby, as you can see, Danny seems to be handling life at grandma's just fine. Is he a living doll or what?

Why do I get the sense he's not missing me? How can I compete with the buzzy bee and bright red lady bugs and that AMAZING ceiling fan???? See you soon sweeties!!!!!! Love you - Monica

Monday, August 20, 2007

Thanks Lucy!

Susanne and I have a friend named Lucy who is a very bright, reflective, and sweet woman who is just starting her senior year of college. We first came to know her about three years ago when she contacted a church group that I'd belonged to which was very supportive of gay Catholics and their families.

She'd "come out" to her family already and she'd hoped to find someone who could explain to her mom that everything was going to be okay. Unfortunately it doesn't really work like that. Her mom was going to have to go on a journey of sorts. In many ways a journey of grieving. Parents suffer the death of the dream of what they thought their child's life was going to be like. And it can hurt like hell.

Lucy and Susanne and I struck up an easy friendship with Lucy--e-mails and visits when she's home from school. She has intersting and deep thoughts about gender roles and society and culture. She thinks it's great that Susanne and I have created exactly the kind of family we wanted to have regardless of what anyone else thinks.

Lucy's doing great. Her mom seems to come up with these amazing comments that seem to show that slowly but surely she's accepting her daughter just as she is. And maybe even respecting her strength? I think so.

And last week she told us that she tells friends she has some really fun Lesbian Godmothers. Isn't that cool! Thanks Lucy. And like I told you before, you can just call us your Fairy Godmothers if you want.

Some conversations are just totally blogworthy right???? :-) -Monica

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Did you know?

Did you know that 72% of all statistics are made up on the spot?

Think about that for a while ;-)

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Don't be scared (nor scarred!)

Wow. Sorry I haven’t written in a bit. I am the project manager for two fairly large events that took place yesterday, and they’ve been keeping me really busy. But not too busy to log on and say hello!

Not only has work been crazy, we’ve been keeping really busy this summer with lots of visitors and activities. One thing we did recently was to go to this really great park called Watkins Regional Park in Upper Marlboro, MD for little two year old Max’s birthday party. It was great fun! Max has two dads who we know from our church. They both wonderful guys and tremendous parents--Max is a very lucky little guy. Actually there were 5 kids there who had gay parents which was really neat. What beautiful families all. This place was great too. It had a train ride, a nature walk (with real animals!) a carousel, mini golf, a great playground…totally awesome!

As you can see in this picture, Danny thought that maybe we should get off the carousel, but if we’d just snapped photos for another 10 seconds or so, you would have seen that he was suddenly really, really happy to go for a ride. Kids huh? I do call him “Morpheus” sometimes for his uncanny ability to go from smiling to grimacing to his “muy serio” look. What a kid!

Let’s see? What’s coming up? Go see grandma, have fun friends from MN and NY visit, have Danny baptized…yes, the fun never ends. My sister Mary and I are going to sing a duet for his big day and I can’t wait!

This morning a social worker visited us for the first time in regard to my petition to legally adopt Danny. It went very well, and we already have one preliminary court date for September before the judge. Danny will have to be 6 months old before the decree can be finalized so I’ll just do all of the papers etc...that they ask me for and we’ll hope for the best come November.

Alright. Back to number 11 on my list of 17 things to get done today. Onward and upward. (I always thought I was a human being, but lately I think I’m a human doing!) -Monica

Monday, August 13, 2007

Special moments...

Isn’t it a beautiful thing to witness a baby transition from wakefulness to slumber? I was feeding the baby a bottle of expressed milk the other night, and he was very awake at first—I think he was making sure I wouldn’t try to remove this nectar of the Gods before he took in every last drop. In fact he was staring at me intently with those gorgeous blue eyes which of course made me stare right back!

But after about 10 minutes he started to waver. His eyelids became so heavy and I watched his beautiful eyes glaze over with a sweet, sweet peacefulness.

I wondered about that moment of change. The poem with the line “slipped the surly bonds of earth” speaks of that moment of transitioning from one realm to another. Maybe it’s like the space between our heartbeats? Just a transition to the next beat.

All I know is that I loved holding my son in that moment as his little body melted into mine.

And don’t let me get started on how Susanne and I adore watching him in the morning as he moves from being “groggy boy” to “bright-eyed smiley boy”. I do believe that if we could capture the kilowatts generated by his smile we could somehow reduce our energy consumption!

Have a great day everybody! -Monica

Friday, August 10, 2007

True Story

So Danny arrived two weeks earlier than we'd expected him in May. Do you think we'd washed up any of his little "onsies" yet? Nope, not a one.

The day we came home from the hospital I pulled out all of the 0-3 month sized outfits and tossed them all in the wash. After putting them in the dryer though Su and I realized that the tons of little snaps on the bottoms were all pinging wildly.

"It sounds like we won the jackpot honey!"

No truer words have ever been spoken. ;-) Have a great weekend everyone! -Monica

Thursday, August 09, 2007

On a day like today...

I really miss Minnesota winters...

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

But the Nationals won!

Since the game didn't start until 10:15 eastern time, we couldn’t really stay up late enough to see Barry Bonds break the home run record last night. And even though I feel a bit ambivalent about the whole controversy surrounding his achievement, I was mostly happy that despite the milestone homerun, the Nationals actually won the game. So they’ve won something like 7 out of their last 8. And it’s a little known fact that Danny is their good luck charm. He’s been to three games and the Nationals have won all three!

Here he is last Friday night with Screech when the Nationals beat the St. Louis Cardinals. Do you think that the Nationals might start paying us to come to their games instead of the other way around now maybe?

Oh, I guess you can see from my wife’s previous post I sort of messed up Danny’s height and weight stats. Well, I am an embellisher it’s true! But only because I get SO enthusiastic about things. Is that so wrong? I think not!

Last night our friend Jenn came to for dinner and unfortunately Danny got really cranky after being all smiley for her. He got his vaccinations on Monday and the information we got said that some babies are fussy for 1-3 days after the DPT. Our poor baby. All he wanted was to be carried on one of our shoulders and patted pretty firmly on the back. No sitting, nor shirking of the “patting” duties allowed. He was really crying like we’d not heard from him before and we did our best to comfort him until he finally fell asleep. (He also didn’t really sleep much at all during the day yesterday so perhaps he was overtired?)

He’s feeling better this morning which is great news. And poor Jenn, she thinks she made him crabby. Not true Jenn. Although you are a big Cleveland Indians fan ;-)

Have a great day everyone. -Monica

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Mommy's Always Been Known to Exaggerate

Just to set the record straight -- At 10 weeks Danny weighs 10 pounds, 10 ounces and is 23 inches long.

... and while I'm at it ... it was a lovely anniversary and even though she likes to stretch the truth, it is no exaggeration to say that Danny's Mommy is the most fabulously wonderful wife on the whole planet! -- Susanne

Two beauties! (Or four?)

This weekend we had a wonderful visit with dear friend Erin and got to introduce 11 month Anna Grace and our Danny boy. Here everyone mugs for the camera. It was so fun to see Erin who I used to work with at Peace Corps headquarters, especially since she and her family have moved down to Florida. Hopefully they'll come back to DC soon.

Erin told me that her mom Joan actually logs in and reads our blog pretty regularly and so we wanted to send a special hello out to Joan. "HELLOOOOOO!!!!" Your granddaughter is precious by the way, and it seems like only yesterday she was Danny's size. They grow up so quickly don't they???

Speaking of Danny's size, he had his two month checkup and is now 10 lbs 11 oz. and 24 inches tall. I believe that the doctor used the word "perfect" several times as he examined him. We did have to endure the heartbreak of having Danny get his first vaccinations. Oh the look of shock and then pain on his face. He really wasn't himself most of the day although we gave him baby Tylenol as directed and I have to tell you, I really HATED seeing him hurting even though it was for a good cause.

I guess I don't understand how we can put a man on the moon but we can't find a way to innoculate children without stabbing them. There has got to be a better way. When I was a health volunteer in Guatemala years ago I adminsitered vaccines too and it just hurts my heart I tell you. Fortunately Danny seems to be back to his old smiley self this morning, but jeeezzz. Something very protective in me welled up yesterday.

But on to happier times. We also went to a very fun birthday party for a two year old at a regional park on Saturday. Over all it was a very good weekend and anniversary except for those $%*@# shots. Oh well. Better this than whooping cough or rotovirus right?

I've got tons going on at work this week so it's time to sign off. Hasta la vista. And Joan, thanks for reading our blog. Erin said you actually really ENJOY it, and that made us feel really happy! Ciao everybody! -Monica

Friday, August 03, 2007

My Everything

On June 18, 2004 Susanne said "ack!" (This actually meant yes, but I'd surprised her so much that all she could say was "ack" when she realized what was happening.) That was the happiest day of my life.

On August 6, 2005 were married, holding hands as we entered a garden surrounded by just about everyone we loved. I didn't think I could ever feel the way I did that day. So lucky, so blessed, so comfortable and so very loved. Again, I experienced the happiest day of my life.

On May 28, 2007 I walked, completely confused, into an operating room at Washington Hospital Center and saw a little baby to my left being attended to by many people all scurrying about. What was happening? They were going to come get me when they were done prepping Susanne for the C-Section so I could be there when they took our little baby out. It had been a long, long night but Susanne had been so stong and amazing through everything.

I remembered thinking that I must have walked into someone else's operation. Then I saw Susanne on the table looking back at me and I was instantly filled with joy which was instantly followed by fear. I felt frozen in place. "Is it a boy or girl?" Su was asking me.

"I don't know."

"Go see!"

I walked over and still couldn't quite believe that this perfect little baby who was now squawking away was really ours.

"It's a boy", I remember saying. "We have a Daniel!"

I went to sit on a stool by Susanne's head and took her hand. I was so filled with tremendous relief that she was okay. I just wanted to lay my cheek on hers and never be parted from her again, not for even a minute. She'd been through more of an ordeal than I ever could have imagined and all I wanted to do was to be with her. We knew that she was going in for an unplanned section, but apparently it suddenly became an emergency section when the baby's heartrate dropped when they administered the epidural.

As I sat on the stool with her I could see the baby on the other side of the room but she couldn't. He wasn't alone--the nurses were giving him eye drops and weighing him but she didn't know that. I'll never forget how she turned to me with those beautiful brown eyes and asked me so quietly "can you go be with him?" That really made me tear up. By that time they'd swaddled him and when I got up to go to him they instead handed him to me. Together we three sat all together for the first time as a family, as they sewed Su back up.

This was the happiest day of my life. And the scariest. And the best.

Happy Anniversary honey. You are my everything, and Danny and I are so lucky to have you.

So to review:
Would I die for you? YES
Would I walk across hot coals for you? YES

Would I donate my organs to you? YES
Would I get the dirty dishes that you left upstairs? Awwwww...I guess so!

All my love. Forever. -Your Monica

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Just for some lighthearted fun...

So, some days you just have to have fun right? I thought I'd share one of my all time favorite ways to do so.

First of all, you have to pretend (for just a few minutes) that you are the Queen of England. (It's best if you also pretend that you are wearing your crown or tiarra.)

Then you simply have to grab your Sunday paper and settle in with the Wedding Annoucements section.

Make sure you use your most regal voice, and now read aloud to your partner or whoever will bear with you (like maybe your 2 month old son.) You get extra points for vivid displays of ostentatiousness. Let's give it a try now SHALL we?
The gown featured off-the-shoulder straps and a semi-dropped waist with an A-line skirt. The skirt cascaded into a chapel length train. She wore an elbow length veil of georgette made by her mother. The bouquet contained white and pink roses accented with green hypericum berries grown in her grandfather's greenhouse.

The bride’s attendants wore two-piece, light pink, satin A-line dresses that featured a square neckline and a sweep train. They carried bouquets of white and pink roses, pink calla lilies, and purple stock. The flower girl wore a white, handmade, satin, ankle length dress with a pink organza sash.

Oh, oh! It's even better if the announcment lists every family member going back to the great grandparents including where THEY went to school and what they wore. And extra bonus points ALWAYS if both people in the couple have multiple graduate degrees and it almost seems as if there is a competition going on. ;-)

Enjoy! I know I always do (and Su still puts up with me!) -Monica

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Right Brain? Left Brain? No Brain?

So does anyone else struggle with this too? Making the split second decision as to which one of these symbols means,

"if I press this one, the elevator door will magically and welcomingly open!" ;-)

and which means,

"if I press this one the door will unmercifully slam itself shut on the poor soul begging me to help them out there" :-(

I mean I can't even tell by looking at this picture now which is which. Lately I just start going "ah, ah, ah, ah," and dramatically pretend to press buttons while loudly mumbling "SORRY!" There has got to be a better way no? -Monica