Friday, October 31, 2008


We had our office Halloween party yesterday and instead of wearing a costume I just wore an orange sweater and black pants.

One of my co-workers asked me if I were a pumpkin.

A pumpkin? I was aghast. She probably works for Weight Watcher in her spare time. And she is now my new worst friend.


P.S. On a brighter note, Danny WILL be a pumpkin tonight. I'll be sure to post a pic or two later.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Danny's first love letter

Dear Jenni,

Shaa! Shaa! Traa! Traa! Ahaaaahhhhaaaahhhhaaaa!

Ummm…my moms said that today will be my last day for a while that I’ll get to go to your house to play all day with Oscar and Valentine and Nebo and Sophie and Audrey.

Well since I’ve got my own cats at home to play with I don't think I'll miss the animals too much. But you and Oscar? My heart’s only the size of a plum and something’s happening. Oh no! I think it is breaking. ;-(

But I’ll be okay. I hear they’ll be lots of new kids to play with at the day care center and also that the people who work there will take good care of me.

But when I get there I won’t hear Oscar crowing from the other room so I can crow right back at him. I love that! And you know those stories you always read us? Maisey and my favorite silly alphabet book. I don’t think they’ll have them there but maybe.

And when I’m crabby and you scoop me up in your arms and give my one of your wonderful hugs and suddenly I feel all better? I’m gonna miss that so much. I sure hope they have a red wagon like yours so we can go for a walk every day and see those 3 big boys who always argue over whether Oscar or I am the cutest. I like how you always say we are both the cutest!

Well, my moms promised me that we are going to have play dates so I can still see you and Oscar. Promise? And that I get to give kisses to the new baby soon. Promise? (I think soon means December.)

Okay. I’m going to say something now that I’ve only every said to my mommy and my mama and my grandparents. I love you Jenni. And Oscar and his dad and your dogs and cat and your brother too. Thanks for taking such good care of me. Love, Dan

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

In the blink of an eye

All you parents of newborns out there look and learn. Behold. July 2007 and then again in September 2008.

Wow, look how everything changes! (Except apparently that green polo shirt that Monica seem to be wearing in both shots.) Note to selves. Must update wardrobes.

Have a great day everybody! -Monica and Susanne

You'll never believe who just e-mailed us honey!

We've been getting tons of e-mails the past few months urging us to vote a certain way. I don't really mind the e-mails, but I do find it odd that many of the e-mails appear to come directly from the actual presidential and vice presidential candidates. It says their name right in the "from" column in our Yahoo mailbox.

Do you really think that they sit down and compose e-mails to us? Me neither.

Oh. I see better now what you mean about a pet peeve Jenni!


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Blast you Daylight Savings Time!

It's coming. Sunday. Time to "fall back".

Now normally I don't care too much about these seasonal time changes, but this year I have a problem.

You see, Danny wakes up at 6:15 am. Sometimes at 6:14 am or sometimes at 6:16 am--you get the picture He's our "alarm boy" even though in a perfect world we'd all sleep in a while longer.

Now with some delightfully cooler weather moving in, Danny's started sleeping in his very cool toddler sized sleep sack that we got from our German relatives. It's so warm and comfy! And with the sun rising so late in the morning now, a very amazing thing has happened. Danny slept, snug as a bug in a rug this morning until, can you believe this, 7:05 am.

It was amazing. It was fantastic. It was awe inspiring.

But sorry to say, this will all end Sunday when sunrise will begin to occur not at 7:00 am but at 6:00 am. Did I just sigh? I'm going to try and enjoy these next few days. -Monica

Those people

This morning on NPR I heard a John McCain supporter explain how she’s afraid that the tax plan the Barack Obama has will only give money to those who aren’t working. More specifically, take her hard earned money and give it to those without.

This kind of talk upsets me on many levels. Without going into a full length explanation on my feelings about the root causes of poverty and homelessness, I’d like to add my two cents now about something I don’t think this woman has thought much about. Like could “those people” be her friends, her family or even herself?

A few years ago I read a book called The Two Income Trap by Dr. Elizabeth Warren. It really brought home for me the fact that no matter how secure any of us may feel in our jobs, when that job suddenly disappears, if there is no safety net, a freefall begins. Dr. Warren so clearly painted a picture of how like a set of dominos, everything begins to fail including health and relationships.

She wrote the book to advocate for stronger bankruptcy laws to protect families. That did not happen. She also wrote about the myth of the American Dream—why the prices of homes in neighborhoods with “good” schools were climbing even higher and higher and how families who were so intent on having that better future for their children were willing to take out a mortgage (or mortgages) that were absolutely dependent on both parents working. So again, when one job is suddenly lost, the spiral begins.

I find the attitude of the woman interviewed on NPR to be so selfish. And I do associate it with fundamental Christianity which is sort of mind blowing. Did some of these people miss the whole part about how Jesus loves us all and wants us to help one another? Why does the thought of paying higher taxes or even paying taxes at all to help the greater good seem so nauseating to some? I want our taxes to provide for our son, and your son too. There but for the grace of God go US people.

P.S. Oh, and by the way, Obama’s tax plan will not raise taxes on any one making $250,000 or less. I have to believe that this is pretty much all the people I know—working or not working.

Monday, October 27, 2008

America's Funniest Home Laugh Track

So last night we watched America's Funniest Home Videos while Danny was playing before it was time for him to head up to bed. At one point he climbed up into a big chair and started watching the show with us. He just seemed so happy and comfy in "his" chair. Suddenly he was laughing and laughing! The video clips were all about animals--mainly cats--and he was cracking up.

I think it was the first time that I've looked at him and really thought of him as a, how can I say this right?, as a regular person. I can't explain it. Like even though he's too little to talk yet, you almost thought he was going to launch into some funny joke about something Harley and CJ had done recently.

I couldn't help but notice that his favorite clips involved cats jumping up on people and scaring the heck out of them. Interesting how that seems so funny when it happens to others, but is not so funny when it happens to him! -Monica

Friday, October 24, 2008

Just say no. Yes?

Okay. So let’s review

When a person can’t see FAR away, they are called NEARsighted.

And when a story is TRUE, it’s called NON-fiction.

And finally, when you vote NO on Proposition 8, you are saying YES to gay marriage.

I know it can be confusing, but there it is.

If you support NO on Prop 8 in California, please let any and all of your friends and relatives there know why and encourage them to vote NO.

And if you’ve been meaning to make a secure online donation, now is the time.

Now on a personal note. Our wedding in 2005 was an amazing day—a rite of passage and a rite of love. But we are not eligible for so many rights and benefits conferred on our straight married friends. We look forward to the day that will change. And what is happening in California right now is critical to us seeing the light of that day across this country.

In the words of Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriquez Zapatero, spoken in June of 2005 when gay marriage became legal in Spain:

“Today, Spanish society responds to a group of people that for years have been humiliated, whose rights have been ignored, whose dignity has been offended, and whose identity and freedom has been denied. Today, Spanish society grants them the respect they deserve, recognizes their rights, restores their dignity, affirms their identity, and restores their freedom.

It is true that they are only a minority, but their triumph is everyone’s triumph. It is also a triumph of those who oppose this law, even as they attempt to ignore it, because it is the triumph of freedom. This victory makes all of us a better society.

Honorable members, there is no damage to marriage or to the family in allowing two people of the same sex to get married. Rather, these citizens now have the ability to organize their lives according to marital and familial norms and demands. There is no threat to the institution of marriage, but precisely the opposite: this law recognizes and values marriage.

Aware that some people and institutions profoundly disagree with this legal change, I wish to say that like other reforms to the marriage code that preceded this one, this law will not generate bad results, that its only consequence will be to avoid senseless suffering of human beings. A society that avoids senseless suffering of its citizens is a better society.”

To this, Susanne and I say, ¡Sí! ¡Sí! ¡Señor!

But what we want to leave you with is this... ¡No! ¡No! On Proposition 8!

-Monica and Susanne

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

I am SO gruntled!

I know. I should know better than to doubt Alex Trebek. Last night on Jeopardy one of the answers that needed a question involved the word "gruntled." Gruntled?

I assured Susanne that I was CERTAIN that for the very first time in Alex Trebek's life--in his endearing yet smug way, he'd gotten something wrong.

And guess what? He was not wrong.

I guess that's my humble way of saying that he was right. Darn it! So I guess I should change the title of my post to "I'm SO disgruntled" right? -Monica

P.S. An example from Merriam Webster: Gruntle - to put in a good humor. "...were gruntled with a good meal and good conversation."

Monday, October 20, 2008

What me? Worry?

When now 16 month old Danny was born, Susanne was able to stay home with him for about the first 7 months and I, of course, did not have a care in the world about his safety and well being.

After 7 months though we knew we’d have to come up with some other option, as Su headed back to work and we totally hit the jackpot when it worked out for Danny to be cared for by our dear friend Jenni. Jenni and her husband Nelson took the same birthing class as we did, and had their first child a few weeks after Danny came along. I cannot possibly express how comforting it has been to know that Danny is with Jenni during the day. She’s awesome with him—nurturing, caring, capable and oh so loving. He has thrived with Jenni and his little playmate Oscar.

So now comes the tricky part. Jenni and Nelson will have their second child in early December. We are delighted for them but of course this means transition. We’ll be starting Danny in a day care center near Su’s job at the beginning of November so Jenni can head into that final month of pregnancy without the added responsibility of an extra toddler every day. We like to think that he’ll eventually go back there but who knows what the future holds? Will it really be manageable to take him back once the reality of life with a newborn in the picture comes to pass? I guess only time will tell.

And how do I feel about all this? Anxious and nervous.

We have visited the place he’ll go and it seems just fine. We actually learned about it from a woman who has her child there, and she and her partner seem very pleased by the care their little one has received. So why do I worry?

At Jenni’s Danny’s been able to stay in his own rhythm. When he’s tired he naps. When he’s playful he plays. He’s got a routine. Everything is comforting and familiar to him.

Now that will change. At the day care center, the children his age take naps on cots in the early afternoon. No morning nap. I don’t know why this saddens me to think that he might be pushed to stay involved in activities if he is really tired. Hopefully he will think everything is great fun and acclimate to his new schedule quickly. But I don’t know.

But I know that for me a huge part of all this is the perfect trust that we have in Jenni. Without a doubt she loves Danny and cares for him from a very loving place. How can the caregivers at this center in any way emulate that? It’s not possible. There he’ll be just another child I think. I just want to sit outside the windows of the place for the first week and watch everything. How he’s treated. How he responds. How he’s really cared for. But that’s not really realistic.

The rest of Danny’s life will be filled with adventures and new schools and new friends. I myself have always loved those kinds of things. I’m the one who ran off and joined the Peace Corps for gosh sakes. Talk about risk and change. And even long before that, I went to a new school every year when I was a kid because the boundaries kept changing for our street. So by the time we hit Jr. High, all the kids who had been at the same school their entire six years were scared and timid. Not me. I already knew everyone. See, I like that kind of stuff. So why am I afraid for Danny to deal with new things?

I wish he were old enough that he could tell us in words about his day, but he’s not quite there yet. So we’ll have to see what we can learn from him without words.

And as I think about my transition concerns I find myself thinking of Jenni’s sweet little boy Oscar. Think about it? His best friend Danny will suddenly not come over any more. So he’ll play, but it won’t be the same. Then in December a new little baby will arrive and his world will turn a bit upside down I’m sure. And you know what? I'm guessing Oscar’s gonna adjust just fine.

Kids. They are more resiliant than I sometimes give them credit for. I'll have to keep that front and center in my mind as Danny starts at this new day care center. -Monica

Sunday, October 19, 2008


One of the most wonderful things about having a toddler is to witness their ability to express joy so purely. In this photo that Su took of Danny last weekend while visiting his grandfather in Richmond, I found myself thinking about a reading from Corinthians, the one that teaches us that faith, hope and love abide, and the greatest of these is love.

For Danny this week, in his pure way, trucks, balloons and moving water abide, and the greatest of these is moving water. It's almost baptismal when you think about it. Love indeed. Happy Sunday everyone. -Monica

Friday, October 17, 2008

Name that Puppet Master!

So seriously people. If John McCain were to win the election, and then somehow become unable to serve, who do you think would really be running the country?



Thursday, October 16, 2008

Are blogs just soap operas on steroids?

One of my favorite people in the world loves All My Children. To this day she tapes it every night so she can watch it when she gets home. This has been going on a long time. Heck, I can remember watching it with her when we were in high school and that was the 70s!

Soaps are fun right? You get to watch snippets of people's lives, experience intense drama, and before you know it there is a whole new episode to watch.

Aren't blogs like that? But instead of being addicted to maybe one or two, you get to be addicted to 15 or 30 or whatever. And better yet, even though I know I'll never meet Susan Lucci in real life, you know what? I know a bunch of my favorite bloggers in real life. I love that.

Not much has changed in the 20+ years of All My Children from what I gather. I wonder if that will be true for all of our blogs?


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Which is it moms? Eat my veggies or no?

Just because it's a cornbox instead of a sandbox doesn't mean you should eat the kernels Daniel. Daniel?

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Sick but happy, until he's unhappy that is...

Gosh life seems crazy right now. Maybe it just feels that way because we just had a wonderful but very busy long weekend. On Saturday we visited a super fun farm (and petting zoo) with our friends Mikki and Kelly and their daughter Bailey. The kids had so much fun and Danny was in "tractor" heaven. Any truck will do.

Then a little rugby on the green (well our front yard) with our always wonderful neighbor Greg who Danny adores.

Then it was off to Richmond to visit Su's dad and family including Danny's aunt Mindy who is actually only 2 months old. We call her "auntie baby" with good reason. And do you have any idea how many trucks run up and down Interstate 95? The boy did not sleep a wink on the way back to Washington with all those "ucks" to point at.

But as happy as our little guy looks here with his Cherry Blossom rugby ball, he's actually pretty under the weather. A cold that has gone from bad to worse. Su actually just went to pick him up at Jenni's. It's pretty bad when your son's baby talk comes out sounding like Demi Moore with laryngitis. Clearly his throat is hurting him.

So, for now we lay low and give him every home remedy we can think of for sore throats and slimy runny noses. Except no bourbon and honey for you young man. Unless it will help you sleep better. Hope you're feeling better already baby boy. Love, your Moms

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Another Oct. 1 baby!

Ollie doesn't know it yet, but he has a little friend born the same day he was way over in Austrailia! Welcome to Madden Grace born to my friend Beth and her husband Eric (aka E&E Downunder). There is way too much cuteness going on all over the world! Congrats Beth and Eric!

I know I already posted about the arrival of Ollie but...

The boy is singing! He looks like he's actually singing! Or squawking or saying "helloooooo"! Welcome to the family little buddy. You fit in just fine little dude!

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Welcome Oliver Henry!

My sister's daughter and her husband welcomed the newest member of our family into the world on Oct. 1st. Little Oliver Henry (now affectionately called "Oh Henry!" by some of his uncles) weighed in at close to 9 lbs, and is getting plenty of daddy time this first week or so as him mom recovers from some pretty scary complications. Hope you are feeling much better today honey. Love, Auntie Monica

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Grandma love

So when we went to visit my mom and siblings in MN this past weekend, mom shared that she has this picture of Danny in a frame and she puts it on the table every morning so she can "eat breakfast with him". Is that not adorable?
Also overheard was the fact that it was okay that Danny's runny nose was making a mess everywhere including grandma's bed where he napped. Apparently "grandbaby runny noses are sort of like holy water". Yup. She really loves this little guy. -Monica

Friday, October 03, 2008

You put your left paw in, you put your left paw out...

Danny teaches his Godfather's dog Roscoe some new silly human tricks.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

True Story

So I was chatting this morning with a fun friend I've worked with for years, and even though I probably once knew the answer to this question I asked her,

"so what does your husband do?"

Without missing a beat, she replied,

"He worries."

This struck me as so funny and yet such a great example of how Wall Street and Main Street are pretty interconnected. -Monica

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Like the t-shirt says...teething bites!

But fortunately the whistle and the index finger make it fun for Danny to welcome that pesky molar. Oh, and by the way, no matter where you're coming in from to read our blog, you probably heard Danny blowing that whistle this morning! -Monica