Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Boundless Love

Yesterday, the paperwork signed by the judge for Danny’s adoption case came to the house, and we thought it was rather touching that it read in part:

That this Decree of Adoption is hereby entered establishing the legal relationship of natural parent and natural child for all purposes between [my name], the petitioner, and the adoptee, [our son’s name], to the same extent as if the adoptee had been naturally born to the petitioner.

Wow! And as I happily told Susanne, “and I didn’t even have to go through labor!” (I don’t really understand why she didn’t seem to think that was as cool as I did ;-)

Anyway, this is all quite wonderful or course, except for the song I keep singing to Danny.

cause you make me feel
you make me feel
you make me feel like a natural mother (mothaaa)

(I swear, he really likes it!)
Anyway, on a more serious note, our little boy has been a miracle to both me and Susanne, and on this his “half birthday” we celebrate our amazing fortune and hope and pray that all families that are trying to conceive, adopt or otherwise bring a child into their lives are successful very soon.

I’ll also add that we are very blessed indeed to live in a part of the U.S. which allows for second parent adoptions for same-sex couples. That being said, we hope to see the day when gay couples, simply by virtue of being united in legal marriage, will not have to adopt their own babies. –Monica (and the rest of the family)

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Say What????

Two things have happened pretty much simultaneously this past week.

1. It’s like someone turned up Danny's volume controls. When he starts crying or muttering “may-may-may-may” (which adorably sounds very much like ma-ma-ma-ma) you can definitely hear him. Even if you’re not in the same room with him. Or, I’m pretty sure, even if you’re not in the same house with him (we’ll have to ask our row house neighbors if they’ve noticed this.)
And as another example, when I had him over my shoulder he endearingly wrapped his arms around my head while “telling me something", and I'm pretty sure something might have become detached. Like my ear drum. But ya gotta love his enthusiasm for life (and us!)

2. The second thing is that he’s been waking up roughly every two hours with a loud cry. He’s never done that before, and it’s, well, startling. Actually he’ll sleep for about 4 hours without stirring, but then starts the 2 hour intervals. Since we can sometimes “shush” him back to sleep, we think it may be teething pain that leaves as quickly as it comes. He definitely has all the symptoms of teething and although we tried baby Tylenol, it didn’t work as well as we’d hoped. Fortunately after some soothing or nursing he settles right back to sleep, but this pattern is very tiring.

Other than that he’s his happy old self during the day. Except louder. Much louder ;-)

Monday, November 26, 2007

Before and After

What a difference a month makes. This picture was taken last month when we were in Germany. When we returned, Danny started on solid foods, and just one short month later he seems so much bigger! Of course he's a real big boy now that he just got his first sippy cup (see handsome boy below).

He also now officially weighs more than our "portly" cat Harley (who is now, by the way, a great source of entertainment to our sunny/sonny boy.) I guess when you are only about 6 months old it doesn't take much eh? Hasta la vista! -Monica

Friday, November 23, 2007

My New Wardrobe Assistant

What luck! I wore a prune colored shirt to work today. And coincidentally, Danny ate prunes for breakfast. So when I noticed how messy my shirt was a few minutes ago, I also noticed that you could hardly see the stains. Outstanding!
Now...what to wear tomorrow? Maybe my pea green shirt? ;-) -Monica

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

What? Why? Who? Huh?

“It’s not him.”

Now, if you heard this statement wouldn’t your logical next question be,

“Well who is it then?”

Logical right? Gosh, I make so much sense in my little tiny mind. Let me step back and put the following exchange in context.

We always put Danny in his warm little “sleep sack” and read him his bedtime story at about 7:00. Then when he is almost asleep we put him in his pack and play which is in our room. So far, (knock on wood) he’s been really good about going to sleep without any fuss.

Later, when we sneak in to get ready for bed, we temporarily put a blanket over the top of the “crib” so he’s not disturbed if we turn the light on. Last night I was already drifting off when Su came in. She made some comment about how it smelled in our room. I assumed she meant it was stuffy, so I mumbled something about how in the morning we could open the window and air the room out.

But unbeknownst to me, apparently she thought it smelled a little “rooty , tooty”, in other words, a little stinky. Not stuffy. Before too long I’d drifted off again totally forgetting about the smell thing.

A while later with half closed eye’s I saw Su peek under the baby’s blanket and pronounce,

“It’s not him”.

I of course wondered who else could possibly be in our baby’s pack and play. Not really in an alarmed sort of way though. Just drowsily trying to make sense of it all.

“HUH? Who is it then?”

Su just looked at me incredulously.

"No, it's not his diaper that's smelly. Do you really think we put Callagh in there by mistake?" (Three month old neighbor Callagh had been over for dinner with her family earlier in the evening.)

We both looked at each other and burst out laughing, once again accidentally waking up our little boy. But it all worked out because he got to be cuddled and fed by his mama—two of his favorite things ever!

He’s very patient with us I must say.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone. Have we ever got some things to be THANKFUL for this year!!! –Monica, Susanne and Danny

Oh, yeah. That's our baby! (He's a few months older than this now, but the same cutie pie!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

It Took Chocolate for me to See...

So the other night we were watching a show on Discovery or something—Medical Mysteries I think it’s called. This Pastor had been having blurry vision. He’d started going to an 18 font to print out his sermons. He couldn’t hit tennis balls anymore either and when he’d drive he said the lights all looked like honeycombs. Of course it never dawned on him that SOMETHING MIGHT BE WRONG. He ended up having some odd genetic problem that doctors caught in just the nick of time.

I tell this story because last night as Susanne and I were enjoying a delicious bar of fine German chocolate I realized that I couldn’t really read the tiny text on the wrapper. And since it was in German, it wasn’t like I could take an educated guess at what the words might be either. As an experiment I started moving the wrapper farther and farther away until, eureka!, when my hand was about as far away as I could hold it, I could read the letters.

I thought perhaps I had a brain tumor, but Susanne assured me that I am simply farsighted. Farsighted? Oh no, there must be some mistake. I was always the one with, not just 20/20 vision, but 20/10. I think this meant that I could see at 20 feet what others could only see at 10 feet. I was the one who could hit really well in college softball because I could literally see the seams on the ball as it left the pitchers hand and when it hit my bat.

But the more I thought about it the more it makes sense. Lately when we do puzzles together as I jump from the boxes back to the clues I’ve been having a hard time finding the number I’m looking for right away. Reading at night seems more tiring. And it is true that at this year’s Nationals Games I did have to squint to see the scoreboard. Apparently like the man on the Medical Mysteries show, I have not been paying attention.

So I guess I have to go to an eye doctor to see what’s up. Can you sense the irony in my previous sentence ;-) -Monica

Monday, November 19, 2007

Danny's Got Two Mommies

Oh Happy Day! It's official! Here we are at DC Adoption Day.

OK, so it's not the greatest picture ever taken of the three of us... well, actually, there aren't that many pictures of the three of us. Apparently there was some magical process by which the mere fact of being adopted changed Danny's hair color to be exactly that of his Mommy. Or maybe both are just reflecting the garish orange of Mama's sweater (another great fashion choice!). The whole ceremony was entirely too long for a sane adult to sit through --never mind that it was celebrating children! And it focused exclusively on encouraging the adoption of children from foster care (not that this isn't truly very important, praiseworthy, deserving of encouragement -- but weren't they preaching to the choir?). Thus it reinforced for us our initial frustration as to why we had to go through this process (lawyer, social worker, home study, back ground check, hearing, etc) at all, given that we were already a family. But we are grateful that DC law allows for second parent adoption and we can't wait to see Danny's new birth certificate which will list both of his parents!

Oh, and just because he's so cute, here's another picture:

Danny Sitting Up Unassisted

Thursday, November 15, 2007


When Susanne and I began taking steps for her to conceive and give birth to our child, she told me that she wanted us to have a baby. Not just her--us. And every step of the way—from selecting a donor, to going to doctor’s appointments, to laboring and delivering our precious Daniel, we’ve, in many respects, gone through these things together. (I do realize by the way that Susanne's part of this was much, much greater than any contributions I made.)

But anyway, I’ve been thinking a lot about Danny’s upcoming adoption which will formally be signed off on by a DC judge on Saturday. Something was nagging at me and I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. Then it struck me. Since only I have to legally adopt him, this process has been about me. My background checks, my financial ability to provide for this child, my soon to be new status as Danny’s legal parent.

But I don’t envision just me standing there holding Danny, now a legal and rightful mother to our son at this cermony. I envision us, as a family, going through just one more step in the journey of our family. It’s about me and Susanne both becoming Danny’s legal parents together. I’m not sure if I’m capturing what I’m feeling about this.

In German, (which Susanne speaks fluently) the word for together is “zusammen”. I love the sound of it as it reminds me of the name Susanne. Yes that's it. This is all just zusammen!!!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Oh Dear...

Gosh, I've been trying to think of something interesting to blog about all day, but to no avail. So instead I will treat you my friend Alvina's six year old's favorite joke. Here you go Christina...

Q. What do you get when you mix a dog and a rose?

A. A Cauliflower

You have to admit that's pretty funny. Almost as funny as...

Q. Why did the cookie go to the hospital?

A. It felt crummy.

Yes, as a matter of fact it is time to go home now. Have a great day y'all! -Monica

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Leaps and Bounds

It’s official. Danny can now sit up better than I can. Which, when I think about it, does not speak well of my 9-5 desk jockey posture.

Anyway, on Saturday morning he could sit up for about 3 to 5 seconds at a time before starting his “Weebles Wobble” routine. But a short 24 hours later he was sitting up for minutes at a time. This while playing with toys. And eating a cheeseburger. (Okay, the part about the cheeseburger is not true, but the rest is.) He couldn’t really fit a cheeseburger in there now anyway, what with all the drool emanating from his mouth. Thank goodness for teething rings. Can I get an “amen” here?

On Saturday we went to a fun reunion of all the families that took the same prenatal “Birthworks” class and all ooohhhddd and aaahhhhddd over little Oscar and Kyra and Aidan and Jane and Grady and Alex and Danny. And then we took a group photo that I don’t think I’ll post. Our Daniel decided he was already done, and dramatically protested with his little tiny vocal cords and teeny tiny tear ducts the entire time the digital cameras clicked. That’s our expressive little boy!

Also, Grandma Mary Ellen (that would be GraME) and uncle Paul came to visit over the weekend and I’m not sure who had more fun, them or our little Buddy. Alrighty then. Back to the old grind. Can’t wait to see what he can do when I get home tonight. Maybe he'll be leaping and bounding? ;-) -Monica

Friday, November 09, 2007

I'm not asking for much...

As I said, I'm not asking for much, but could the manufacturers of childrens' toys and mobiles please listen up? When you create something that plays a tune, you need to consider adding the refrain. Otherwise it drives some people (okay me) MAD!

Case in point (two actually). Danny's mobile plays the beautiful tune of "Greensleeves" (also known as "What Child is This?"). Let's all sing together now...

What child is this who laid to rest on Mary's lap is sleeping?
Whom angels greet with anthems sweet, while shepherds watch are keeping?

All together now...

THIS, THIS, (you know the rest)

But no. The mobile just keeps playing those same first two lines over and over again. I think my synapses may explode!

And don't get me started on the "It's a Small World After All" toy. Yes, we know it's a world of laughter and a world of tears. It's a world of hope and a world of fears. There's so much that we share, that it's time we're aware, it's a small world after all.

Would it kill you, oh you mighty toymakers, to finish the song? Cuz, IT'S A SMALL WORLD AFTER ALL, IT'S A SMALL WORLD AFTER ALL, IT'S A SMALL WORLD AFTER ALL, IT'S A SMALL, SMALL WORLD!

We now return to our regularly scheduled happy and sunny blog post. Or maybe next week. Have a great weekend everybody! -Monica

Thursday, November 08, 2007

The Hostess with the Leastest

So yesterday our friends Jenni and Nelson brought their adorable little boy Oscar over for dinner. It was great fun seeing them, and since our boys are about the same age it was also fun to chat about the usual—teething, rolling, sitting up, eating, and, well, getting rid of what was eaten ;-)

Both boys drifted off to sleep around 7:00. Susanne made a delicious meal as always and midway through dinner I offered to refill Jenni’s limeade. Pretty easy huh?

Well, Susanne always takes her limeade with fizzy water. In fact, sort of a splash of limeade and a big hit of the fizzy. So when I refilled Jenni’s I did the same thing. Or so I thought.

When we were cleaning up after they'd left, Su noticed the lack of bubbles in what was left in Jenni’s glass.

Su: “Um, did you use the bottle of fizzy water on the counter?”

Me: “Uhuh”

Su: “Did you notice it wasn’t fizzy?”

Me: “Huh?”

Yes, apparently a fizzy water bottle was filled with regular water (we do this periodically for car trips etc.) So what I brought to Jenni was very, very weak lime flavored water. And I guess it was lukewarm. And to top it off, her first beverage had been full strength, icy cold limeade.

Jenni, I’m so sorry. Can you ever forgive me? Come back! I’ll serve you limeade concentrate without any additional water to make up for it!

Oh when will I ever learn to pay attention? -Monica

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

You write the caption!

I snapped this photo last week when Danny first began to eat baby food. The cast of characters include from left to right-- cousin Toby, Susi, Danny and kitty Harley. (See, I told you Toby looks like Susanne right?)

Anyway, although Danny is generally pretty darn smiley (and thanks for your comment yesterday noticing that MD BabyMaker!) as you see he looks a little, well, not smiley.

He's clearly not gotten too far into his meal (as evidenced by the clean face.) I personally think he's looking at me as if to say "um, Mom, help me." Or maybe "where's the milk?" What do you think?

P.S. We did hear about the dangers of using the Bumbo seat on a table as there have been reports of babies arching backwards and falling. We only have him seated like this when we are right with him. (Thanks for sharing that recall info Jenni.)

Monday, November 05, 2007

Our favorite Halloween treat this year!


Do you remember a song from the Sound of Music that went like this?

"A crazy planet full of crazy people. Somersaulting all around the sun? And every time we turn another somersault, another day goes by? And there's no way to stop it, no there's no way to stop. You can't stop it even if you try."

Well that's how things have been feeling with us. Our travels to Germany--hosting Su's cousin (we just got back from a weekend trip to NC to get him back to his return flight)--now my mom and brother are coming it. Then it's Thanksgiving, then Christmas before you know it. It's wonderful but sort of tiring. Literally interruptions to our system I guess.

Danny is doing great. Growing and smiling and even starting to eat solid foods. Why do they call them solids though? Have you ever seen baby food prunes? ;-) Not so solid I say. Anyway, Su's going to try her hand at making some organic foods for our little guy. Since everything she cooks tastes great, Danny should be in for a real treat. Which reminds me. I'm hungry. Gotta go. -Monica