Monday, November 24, 2008

Time flew!

Wow. This last week was just a blur. I took my trip to Orlando and then on Saturday we bundled our little man up for the Help the Homeless walk-a-thon. The temperature unfortunately was around 30 degrees and very windy. Brrrrr.... And to think, just one week earlier when we went to the same place on the Mall for the "No on Prop 8 rally" it was around 70 degrees. Crazy weather eh?

On a much brighter note, our friend Tom who was in that terrible bike accident November 10th has made remarkable progress. He can talk and they even have him out of bed walking around as a part of his physical therapy. This is just amazing. He was very near death when he arrived at the hospital. His parents in Florida got a call from the hospital staff and were told "come right away--as soon as you possibly can". I can't imagine what it must have been like to be on that plane knowing your son is so hurt. I'm just so glad that the good news keeps coming.

Anyway, we went to see Tom yesterday and even though he was sleeping, it was great to see him in regular clothes and just looking like himself again.

And speaking of recoveries, I wrote in July about the accident my former boss George had (who mostly goes by the name Marty.) He'd been trimming a tree branch from their third floor bedroom balcony and it gave out. He hit the driveway below so it's a true miracle he is still alive. Marty just began waking up this month--more than 4 months after his accident. On Friday I brought Danny with me to visit him and when we were going to leave I asked Danny say goodbye. He waved but when I suggested a high five, both Danny and Marty were delighted to slap their hands together. When Danny started giggling Marty smiled too. It was really wonderful to see. Marty has a long way to go to get back his speech and his other motor skills, but it's such a blessing to know that he's no longer in a coma.

Alrighty. Lots to do before we go over the river and through the woods to Grandmother's house. Somehow I always imagined that as more picturesque than traveling south on I-95. But hey. There are rivers and woods. And best of all, a turkey dinner that is pretty darn awesome. See you soon Grandma! Or as Danny would say "adllrhhhoi ddsorhh ggooosssoeoio!"


Sunday, November 16, 2008

Our Truth is Marching On

We headed down to the Mall in Washington, DC this weekend and joined an estimated 5000 people in DC speaking out in support of gay marriage. There were rallies like this in all 50 states on Saturday so tens of thousands of voices were raised simultaneously which was really cool. In this pic Danny and I and the crowd listened to one of the organizers explaining how our walk would take us to the front of the White House. It was the largest gay rights protest in history we were told.

It was awesome to be a part of such a groundswell of voices--it seemed as though the stream of people marching and chanting went on for miles. Too bad the local press chose to hardly say ar word about the rally and a local news channel put the number of participants at about 500 which was way, way off the mark.

My favorite sign? "No more Mr. Nice Gay". Susanne made our little sign for Danny's stroller. Pretty cool huh? -Monica

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Peace and Healing

I first met our friend Tom in 2003. I remember he was saying something about how his shoulder hurt as we drank cokes in a little "comedor" in Guatemala. Su had met Tom earlier when they worked in a community service program, and she had a great idea to go see him where he was serving as Peace Corps Volunteer in Guatemala. I thought this was a fabulous idea since coincidentally I'd also been a volunteer there.

Anyway, we’d met up with him after he’d taken a youth group on an outing. He’d planned to bring the group up a mountain to a beautiful volcano, and just couldn’t leave Anibal behind. Anibal you see was paralyzed from the waist down and used a rickety old wheelchair to get around.

So they hired a helper and donkey or horse to get Anibal up the mountain and what a sight it was! Magical. Something that I’m sure that Anibal even years later still remembers with joy.

Tom never regretted taking him. Even when they learned at the at the top that it would be too dangerous for the animals to carry the heavy teenager back down and that they’d all have to carry him down in a hammock. By the way, did I mention that Chiquimula is in the desert? Can you spell H-O-T?

For hours and hours they all carried that boy down the mountain. And although the kids all pretty much took turns I think Tom was on duty the whole way down. That's just the way he "rolls" so to speak. And all Tom mentioned was a sore shoulder? I could tell then that Tom was a special guy. Tom later finished his service and has been working and studying since his return. We see him pretty often—he’s in DC too and our circle of friends stays close.

Sadly the waiting room in the Intensive Care Unit at Washington Hospital Center has been a makeshift home to many of these friends the past few days. Tom’s parents, his girlfriend Kristina and friends too numerous to count. You see Tom was hit by a car while riding his bike on Monday. Without his helmet he would certainly have died. Tom always wears his helmet so he’s still with us.

When we saw him yesterday the good news was that he was moving purposefully. The terribly sad news is that he’s in agony when he comes out of his medically induced periods of rest. They are trying to control for swelling on the brain so they need to sedate him but they regularly let the medication wear off to see what he’s feeling. To see him silently scream and try to rip out his tubes was heart breaking. The bones in his face are broken and all of us are heartbroken too to see him suffer so.

I like to think that God has been carrying him these past 48 hours and will continue to do so.

So if you’re the praying kind please take a moment to say a prayer for a good guy named Tom who has a long road to recovery ahead of him. Prayers for peace and healing. We love you Tom. Stay strong dear friend .-Monica (and Susanne)

Monday, November 10, 2008

For the good of science...

So even though my hair is getting grayer and my knees are getting snap, crackle and poppier, I would like to give praise to that one part of my anatomy that defies age.

My pesky little chin hairs.

These little critters didn't always live on my chin. But one day I noticed that the curse of my my ancestors had finally come to pass, and so now I've got about 7 little chin hairs that truly defy science.

They are stronger than bars of steel and grow faster than the most invasive type of bamboo.

And they are so, what's the word??? stealthy. No matter how cleanly I pluck them out, they silently push forth onward and outward toward the light.

Damn them all.

When I got my first grey hair when I was 33 years old I remember welcoming it. Lotta good that did me.

So bring it on chin hairs. I'm not scared of you. Apparenly I'm just a little self-conscious about you. (On the bright side they are reddish in color so I tend to notice them before others do.)

And I'm totally considering donating you to science. Anything this strong and resilient has got to be repurposed. Maybe if I let them grow long enough they can braid them together to make a slingshot that will launch things to the moon. For the good of science you know. -Monica

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Shower the People you Love...

Danny has always been fascinated by the water sprinkling out of the shower head. So we got a cute little dolphin thing that attaches to the regular shower head with tube to bring the water stream much lower.

This way he gets a "shower", some running water out of the spout and a tub of water to splash around in. As you can see, he approves. Mightily!


P.S. He also likes to point to the dolphin every time he sees it to say "shhhhhhhh".

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Sounds about right...

Turns out I make the same sounds my son does now. I never meant for this to happen, but there you have it.

Just a second ago for instance, I found I couldn't quite reach my bottle of water, and as I stretched I found myself sort of quietly grunting "uh, uh, uh, uh".

Now, I know you have no idea what that sounds like but just imagine it's a really adorable sound. Really.

And sure he's starting to talk a little bit, but he also communicates by adding new sounds to his "vocab" like, "na, na, na, na, na" when he wants something.

Or doesn't want something come to think of it.

Anyway, I also now make sounds by singing or humming or whistling Danny's children's music all day long. Just ask my wife ;-) -Monica

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

I'm going to Disneyworld!

Coincidence? I don't know. After such an amazing and exciting election last night, today I learn from my boss that they need me to go to Orlando for a few days later this month.

Unfortunately it's not going to work for the whole family to come along which would have been fun, but my point is, what are the odds that I, who travels about once a year lately, would get news THIS MORNING that, well, I'm going to Disneyworld! I feel like I just won the Olympics or the Super Bowl or something.

I'm feeling very good feng shui people. Very good!!! -Monica

P.S. Ummm...I'm not really going to go to Disneyworld while in Orlando--I'll be there for work, but still!

By day he's mild mannered Danny...

But by night (at least on Halloween night) he becomes PUMPKIN BOY. (Second year in a row I might add.) We think by next year we will no longer have any say in the costume choosing department.

But as you can see by this last photo, since his new favorite position is being suspended upside down by his wonderful Mama, we may have to start working on some bat ideas.

Hope you enjoy these pictures Grandma. A little bird told me you'd been checking for them. -Dien Schwiegertochter

As Bob the Builder would say...

Like I've mentioned before, Danny's totally into trucks now. So, I'd like to thank Scoop and Roley and all of the other cartoon trucks in Bob the Builderland who've brought home to Danny at his tender age that "yes, we can!"

Congratulation to our new president-elect and all who helped make what happend last night a reality. The change is already starting. And it feels awesome!!! -Monica

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

What an exciting day!

It's amazing to think that by the time we go to bed tonight we'll know who the next president of the United States will be. Su and Danny and I were up and out of the house before the polling stations opened at 7 am in DC and by the time we got there (at 7:06) the line was all the way down the block! We saw the same thing as we drove downtown at other polling stations. Hundreds and hundreds of people are making their voices heard and I love it!

There is just such a sense of excitement here in DC. I don't feel too nervous, that's not it. I guess am still in shock that our current president won in 2000 much less 2004, so I think that what I feel is less nervousness than outright fear that something could happen to swing the vote back towards another 4 years of Republican leadership in the White House. I can't even think about that possibility!

So, I'm looking forward to this day ending so that we can watch this show unfold. Did I mention that I'm excited!!!! -Monica

P.S. Danny went to his new daycare center yesterday and I got the crossest look ever from our sweet boy when I went to pick him up. How dare we leave him? Of course then he wouldn't let go of me. Same thing this morning when Su dropped him off. His teacher said it usually takes kids about a week to really adjust. I wonder how long it will take us?