Friday, March 28, 2008

Uh oh Jenni!

Our fabulous friend Jenni watches Danny 3 days a week which is perfect because she's a wonderful mom and because Danny and her son Oscar have a great time together. They are about the same age and just recently Oscar started to crawl. Just last night I got to see him do this great "arm pulling belly slide".

Danny had remained pretty solidly planted on his butt...until today that is. Apparently his preferred style for going after things is to get up on all fours and push off with both knees, (a bit like a headfirst dive into home plate.)

So it looks like both boys are officially mobile. Jenni, life just got very interesting. Here's a slide show of Danny's 10th month. Or shall I call it "the good old days!" Have a great weekend everybody! -Monica

P.S. If you ever want to encourage a kid to move, put a cell phone or TV remote just our of his reach. What's wrong with me? ;-)

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Ten months old already? Danny, you're our joy!

It's that most wonderful time of the year...

The first baby gift we ever got was from our friend Amy and her family. They gave us the softest, sweetest baby blanket with puppy dogs that, to this day, lives in Danny's crib. He loves it. But the best part was the card where little six year old Alice wrote something like "Baby, you're the Charm!"

Is that not so sweet? And she was oh so right. (It's uncanny how she knew our baby would be a charm when Su hadn't even reached her 8th week of pregnancy yet!)

Yes, Alice. Danny is a charm. And not just our charm--turns out he's a charm for the Washington Nationals too. Last year we took him to 6 games and they won all six. (This pic to the left was taken at the Nat's final game at RFK in September.)

So Saturday night, the Nationals will play the Baltimore Orioles in an exhibition game at our brand new Nationals Stadium. We'll be there with "the Charm" and can't wait. Maybe if they keep winning the Nationals will start paying us to go?

No pressure Danny. No pressure. Just keep being your charming self! -Monica

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Five things I know...

5. Nine month old Danny is figuring me and Susanne out. I wonder if someday he’ll share with us what he knows?

4. When I hang up the phone I always say “See you soon.” Everybody else says “See you later”. It must be my audacity of hope.

3. That even though my wife and I have the same sized feet, we do not have the same shaped feet. This means that we can never wear each others Birkenstocks. Never. (I learned that the bloody hard way. Literally.)

2. When the financial markets are doing poorly, we’re simply “buying low”. The same $$ that comes out of our paychecks now buys more shares than before. And those additional shares will eventually be worth more—like for our retirement. Or so I assuage myself.

and...drumroll please...

1. That I really don’t want a blue bird of happiness to land on my shoulder. As romantic as that may sound, in reality, if any bird landed on my shoulder I’d probably die of a heart attack.


Monday, March 24, 2008

Cheese Danny!

Do you know Wallace and Gromit? Well if you don't, I highly recommend watching a few episodes of those wacky characters. Being quite the cheese lover myself, I particularly admire their love of cheese! "Cheese Gromit!", silly Wallace always says to his silent but clever dog.

This weekend when we gave Danny a little appetizer of equal parts bread and cheese before he had his real supper, he carefully ate all the yogurt cheese cubes first before digging into his bread. "Cheese Danny!" and I thought "how wonderful!"

I must add that my happy feelings about W&G are related peripherally to my dad. He used to watch it with his then 2 year old granddaughter Janna when he was undergoing chemotherapy and his head looked amazingly like Wallace's bald head. Poppi and Janna thought it was hilarious. He'd be so proud of his cheese eating number one grandson! It's hard to believe it's been almost six years now since dad passed away. I'm glad that memories like this make me smile now rather than feel that sharp pain I felt for so long.

Dad, you'd really have loved this little guy. He's got a little fat head and is the happiest baby in the whole wide world. Yes, I know that sounds cheesy, but the rest of the family knows exactly what I mean ;-) - Love, Monica

Friday, March 21, 2008

In the eye of the beholder...

Thank you Susanne for always seeming to capture beauty wherever we go.

For me, there is nothing like a flower in bloom to remind me of the beauty of Easter. Have a wonderful weekend everyone. I hope it's glorious! -Monica

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Rut Roh!

Stepping off the scale this morning, I had a revelation that in the almost 10 months since Danny’s birth, he and I have gained the same amount of weight—pretty much in tandem.

Hmmm…thinking thinking...

OH CRAP! –Monica

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Rainy Days and Sundays...

On Sunday we had a great time hanging out with dear friends Tracy and Natalie who live in a beautiful place in Maryland. We had planned a picnic, but with all the rain we got the night before, we decided to stay in for our picnic--it was fabulous!

Funny thing is that I can remember a night several years ago before Susanne and I ever started going out, enjoying a fun evening hanging out with Tracy and Nat at Susanne's house because rain had canceled other plans. That night we roasted marshmallows over candles in the living room and had so much fun. Wow, it's pretty amazing to imagine how our lives have changed so much from that time. Amazing and wonderful.

Anyway, this time with 9 month old Danny we hung out in front of a real fire at Tracy and Nats. We later fashioned a "pack and play" or maybe I should call it a "fort" out of pillows so he could nap a bit, but instead of napping he kept rolling from side to side and laughing. Exploring, 10 points - Napping, 0 points!

Anyway, later did get a chance to go for a walk and swing at the playground. He thought they had an amazing pool outside the house, but we explained to him that it was actually the Chesapeake Bay. Thanks for such a fun and relaxing Sunday friends! -Monica and Su and Danny

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

We Can and We Will!

On Saturday morning we had to go to the DC Department of Motor Vehicles to get Su's driver's license renewed since they expire here every 5 years, so Danny and I hung out in the car to wait while she went inside.

Looking out the window toward nearby Anthony Bowen Elementary School, Danny internalized the school's awesome motto which is "We Can and We Will" (which is fabulously similar to a current presidential candidate's motto.) He also had a great time watching with delight as the window fogged up EVERY TIME he breathed! Isn't it a beautiful thing to watch babies learn?

I on the other hand simply learned that we really need to wash our car. Look at those windows will ya? -Monica

Monday, March 17, 2008


"The squirrels here at grandpa's house are way cooler than the ones at our house moms!"

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Cat got your...?

So one night this week I was trying to tidy up the living room. While doing so, I noticed that our baby cat CJ had parked herself in our recycling basket. I then tried to coax her out so that I could dump in some new stuff, but she wouldn't budge.

Not wanting to lose face in this "war of wills" with baby cat, I began to gently deposit the papers anyway. So, I guess I "won". She stayed this way for another hour.

My questions are these. Is this normal? And, will I need to take a parenting class before engaging in any battle of wills with Danny? -Monica

Just a walk in the park...

Three generations smile for the camera on our trip to visit Danny's grandpa yesterday. "Say cheese!"

Friday, March 14, 2008

It's like watching "the reveal"!

This week I got an e-mail from my wonderful niece Missy who is excitedly expecting her first child. She and her husband David are thrilled, and in her e-mail she sent along a picture of the 12 week ultrasound picture of their little one. I found that I was really excited to study it and see if I could imagine what their little boy or girl will look like. (He or she undoubtedly will be beautiful with such gorgeous parents.)

Anyway, the whole thing got me thinking about our little guy. Could we have imagined what our little Danny could look like just from an ultrasound?

I don't think we scanned our 12 week one, but perhaps this one is more telling anyway. What do you think? Here he is at 7 months "en utero ", and again today at 9 months. I don't know about you all, but I'm totally seeing it!

Oh, and while I've got my squirmy worm on my lap right now, he'd like to say a few words...

jmnnyuyjhlkk n gn m87nh

Have a great weekend everybody! -Monica (and Su and Danny)

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Arizona Dreaming...

A few years ago Su and I visited some of my Peace Corps buddies in Arizona. The first two pics were taken in Sedona. It was gorgeous of course. But one of our favorite pics was taken on an old country road between Meadview and Kingman. This tumbleweed was bigger than our rental car, so we stopped and snapped this shot out the window before it started moving again.

We're planning a trip back to see Dennis and Ruth this fall. You don't think we'll need to worry about a toddler exploring the wonderful world of the desert do you? ;-)

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Cookie Scene Investigation

So even though today is my usual telework day, I had to go into the building for a few hours to host some high school students who came to my federal agency to learn more about careers in IT. We had fun, and when they finished up and got on their big yellow bus, I hop, skipped, and jumped down to the Metro to join Susanne at home. Since I'd left her with Danny alone all morning (when she had a ton to do for work) I thought I might be able to make amends by also stopping at Au Bon Pain to get her favorite macaroon cookies which are dipped in chocolate.

Later in the afternoon we ate them while while tapping away on our laptops and I have a VAGUE recollection of a little bit of my cookie falling off somewhere. Apparently the yummy and gooey crumbs fell landed on my shirt. How did we come to realize this? Well, apparently with my excellent parenting skills, I'd picked up, hugged and toted Danny around quite a few times between eating my macaroon and finding more macarron. In his mouth.

Yes, there was a transfer from my shirt to his little outfit. I may have even noticed this dark brown splotch, but figured it was a cute little puppy or something. But then Su spotted him eating his "puppy". In my defense, he seemed really happy.

He is also starting to move around all over the place. He pulled himself up from laying down to standing up in his crib, so now the matress has been placed way down to its very lowest level. And most frighteningly, he was on the wood floor in our office (which is pretty slippery and slick) and somehow slid himself half way across the room on his butt. He found a really fun thing to pull on which turned out to be the cord to our iron (which was unwisely placed on a high shelf with the cord hanging down.) I almost had a heart attack. This laptop is lucky to still be functioning. That's how quickly I tossed it aside and got to that iron. He hadn't pulled it yet, but was VERY close. No more time now to wait on any childproofing measures now.

Alrighty then. Time to start dinner. Maybe something coco nutty? -M

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Tick Tock Tick Tock

I'm not watching the clock... Oh wait, now I am...

Monday, March 10, 2008

Snot gonna happen...

If only it were possible to temporarily remove Danny's nose from his face to give him saline drops or suction it out. Our poor boy has been super congested for about 3 days now. No fever, but lots of snot which we know has to keep moving. So we use the vaporizer, the Pedia Care plug ins etc...but sometimes you just have to reach for the saline spray and suction bulb

We've learned that Danny is very fast, very determined, and very much not in favor of us trying any of the things listed above.

He's like a awesome hockey goalie when it comes to blocking us. If we don't have his arms securely tucked under our armpits while bracing his beautiful little unhappy face, he's gotten both mitts up in time more than once. That while pinning him into a reverse quarter nelson. (Okay we don't really use wrestling holds on him.)

I've stayed home with him today and I think he seems to be breathing better. Let's hope so. One thing I'll say for Danny though, when he's sick, and you're not trying to shove strange things up his nose, he does tend to still be a smiley boy. Speaking of the smiley boy, I can hear him now just waking up from his nap so I guess I'll sign off.

Maybe we'll get him a Mr. Potato head for his birthday. He has a removable nose and seems quite happy with it! -Monica

Friday, March 07, 2008


Mommy and I are watching mama outside who is on a ladder doing something they call "pruning" to our tree. Hmmm...I guess that must be where they get all those prunes for me. "Okay mama, you've been outside long enough! Come back in now!" -Love, Danny

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Good old fashioned fun!

In this corner, weighing in at 17 pounds 0 ounces, Danny the Danosaur....

And in the other corner, coming in at 19 pound 2 ounces the infamous Oscarelli!

Isn't it great that the boys have so much fun every day? I especially love the use of practical toys like plastic bowls. Next thing you know, they'll be outside with friends playing "sandlot" baseball where there are no adults around to umpire. Brilliant I say!

Jenni, thanks for sending us this and the other fun pics of the boys. We are so blessed to be able to leave our baby--our most treasured Danny--in your capable care 3 days a week.

Have a great day everybody!!!! -Monica

Monday, March 03, 2008

Who knew!

One beautiful March day in the early 1970s something really amazing happened on the edge of the Black beautiful Susanne came into the world.

What was I doing that day? Let's see? Probably nothing special. She was born around 5 pm German time so it was late morning in Minnesota. I was 13 years old and on that crisp Sunday morning I'm sure I was on my bike delivering the St. Paul Pioneer Press to everyone on my paper route. How could I have known then that in that magical window of time, the most amazing, wonderful sweetheart, who would one day become the love of my life, was being welcomed into into the world half a world away?

It was the best day of my life and I didn't even know it! Well I know it now. I love you honey.

--Happy Birthday from your Monica and our little boy Danny