Friday, May 29, 2009

Thanks for my Kinderbike Pop Pop!

Danny's grandfather (Su's dad) got Danny a German balance bike for his birthday. It has no pedals so kids learn to run along to get some momentum then sit on their seat and learn to balance and ride.

He's just a tad too short for it yet, but at the rate he's growing he'll be off to the races soon. Of course this means he now has to wear a helmet which he is not crazy about. As you can see in the pic we need to do some more adjusting of the strap so it actually protects him.

As Danny would say "Tatoo Pop Pop." (Thank you Pop Pop.) -Monica

Thursday, May 28, 2009

He's just the sweetest little thing!

Yep. Danny's the big "oh two" today. Happy birthday son! Here is a list of a few of our favorite things:
  • he still says "OH!" instead of "yes" (it's so feaking adorable.)
  • conversely he says "NO" quite clearly ;-)
  • when he wakes up he likes to call out "Hi!" Over and over again. Again adorable.
  • he loves to be outside. He calls it "bye" because that's what someone ususally says when they go outside.
  • speaking of "bye" he likes to call his favorite purple blanky "bye" (or is it "buy" or "by"?) Don't know where that one came from.
  • His sippy cup is his "bow" (sort of like bow-wow) We think he's sort of saying bottle.
  • Airplanes and helicopters are still "cacas"

And then there are all the real words. Every day it's something new and even though he's not as talkative as some other kids he is extremely communicative. Now he's surprising us by thowing in some German words even though Su always feels like she doesn't speak to him enough in German. Believe me, if something is too hot to eat, it's "heiss".

Happy birthday little Daniel. You make us both so happy and proud. Kisses! Love, your moms.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Glasses Scene Investigation

So on Sunday I carefully put my new $200 pair of progressive lenses in their special case and left the case on my nighstand.

A few hours later I went to find them and was perplexed to see the case at the foot of the bed. Opening it, I was pretty unhappy to see that my glasses were not in it.

I suspected that toddler Danny had been doing some "exploring" when I wasn't looking. So I did some exploring of my own and spotted the glasses by the closet door. Whew.

Walking downstairs I joked to Su that I was going to do some crime scene analyis on the tiny finger prints all over the lenses to crack the case, and then realized that one of the lenses was perfectly clear.

Or as Su much more accurately put it, the lens was actually missing from the frame. OH NOOOOOOO!

Danny was napping (not that he would have been able to tell me where it was anyway) so I got down on all fours and tried to think like a two year old. I crawled everywhere. Everywhere I tell you. This went on for about 10 minutes. (Does anyone see the irony in looking madly for a lens when you can't see particulary well without the lens?) Anyway...

I found the lens about 12" (yes inches) from where I'd found the frame. It was undamaged.

HUGE sigh of relief.

My hero Susanne got the lens back into the frame.

HUGER sigh of relief.

I know there is a lesson learned in here somewhere. I'll know it when I see it. -Monica

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

It's raining, it's pouring, the old mommy's wetvaccuming...

We had a wonderful birthday party yesterday for Danny which I will write more about later. Unfortunately inclement weather casued us to move inside which was fine. But then throughout the night the inclement weather (aka torrential rains) drove all of our new mulch in the back yard down into our stairwell which clogged the drain. Rut Roh. The water welcomed itself into our basement via the gap at the bottom of the back door.

Thankfully our neighbors have a wet vac that we used to vaccum several gallons of water out of carpet. Also thankfully nothing of value was on the floor (except of course 2 boxes of kitty litter which are now two boxed of clumped kitty litter.) I am exhausted now. Do you know how many times you have to vacuum and vaccum to get that water up? Oh well.

What a memorable birthday number two Daniel! To end on a brighter note, this is a pic taken last week while visiting my mom in Minnesota. What a charmer this boy is right? -Monica

Friday, May 22, 2009


Another Memorial Day weekend. Stores will have sales, lots of burgers will be grilled, and some of us will visit the graves of loved ones who fought for their country.

You know, I hate war. I truly think that there are better ways of resolving conflict than to go to war. I never want my son to fight in a war—and honestly I don’t know too many mothers that do.

But all this being said I have the deepest respect for those who have served in the armed forces. When I was back in MN last week I visited my father’s grave and was reminded by the words on his headstone that he was a veteran. He fought in Korea. Technically it was not a war. There was no declaration of war—it was the “Korean Conflict”, but I think if you ask anyone who was there, they will tell you that it was a war. And it was hell.

Dad and I visited the Korean Memorial on the mall in the 1990s and he said it was really well designed because it was so near the airport. Every minute or so he’d hear another plane overhead and get startled again—“very experiential” he said. Looking at the life like images of the soldiers walking he was brought back in time. He told me it was so cold there. Many people think Korea is hot and sunny like Vietnam but it at a much higher latitude than that. While there we overheard a kid saying “what’s this Korean War thing?” My dad turned to him and said “didn’t you ever see *MASH?” Yep. That was my dad.

I remember a teenage boy in our neighborhood went off to Vietnam when I was a kid. He never came home. I remember thinking he was a real grown up—maybe 19 years old. In retrospect he was just a baby. How sad. I remember seeing his name engraved in the wall in Washington and I could just picture his mom. How do you really ever say goodbye?

I guess you just pay your respects. Here are some words from the original order that enshrined Memorial Day after the Civil war.

“Let pleasant paths invite the coming and going of reverent visitors and fond mourners. Let no neglect, no ravages of time, testify to the present or to the coming generations that we have forgotten as a people the cost of a free and undivided republic.
If other eyes grow dull and other hinds slack, and other hearts cold in the solemn trust, ours shall keep it well as long as the light and warmth of life remain in us.
Let us, then, at the time appointed, gather around their sacred remains, and garland the passionless mounds above them with choicest flowers of springtime; let us raise above them the dear old flag they saved; let us in this solemn presence renew our pledge to aid and assist those whom they have left among us a sacred charge upon the Nation's gratitude—the soldier's and sailor's widow and orphan.”

Happy Memorial Day everybody. And thank you to all who have served. -Monica

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Awesome idea

So...if "they" can make seedless watermelon, do you think "they" can make poopless cats?

But, who are "they" anyway? ;-)


Monday, May 18, 2009

So I'm thinking this morning that someone should invent a way that we can all get a vacation after our actual vacations so that we can recover from our vacations.

Except wouldn't that just be an endless cycle of vacations? I can think of worse things.

In closing, our 5 day visit to Minnesota was fabulous. Danny saw lakes and cows and and Chinese Dance and loved the Children's Museum. And since my family lives near the MSP airport, he also saw more "cacas" than he ever dreamed existed.

But Su and I are tired. And at work. I'm sorry, did I have a point? Will write more tomorrow. Have a lovely day everybody! -Monica

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Doh! I Could Have Had an XY!

This morning in the letters to the editor of my favorite newspaper, a writer finished his rant over the horror of the possibility of same-sex marriage by writing:

“As for the argument that the supporters of the bill want only the same legal rights everyone else has, they already have it: the right to marry someone of the opposite sex.”

Oh My Gosh! How thoughtless of me. I could totally be legally wed right now if only I could live a lie and marry someone who is male. Brilliant! Yes, this living a lie thing must be the answer!

After all, I’m sure my lucky “Mr. Right” would not have any problem with the fact that I would not be attracted to him. And as a bonus for him, he’d get to spend his life with a very depressed me. Hmmmmm????? That is so not a pretty picture. But what else can I do?

Oh boy! I can’t wait to tell Susanne that even though she and Danny mean everything in the world to me, since I’d like the legal right to be married, I’m going to have to take off now and find myself a man. Golly, I’m sure glad I saw that letter to the editor this morning.

Wait. Hold on a dog gone minute. Now where did I read that living a lie wasn’t a very Christian way to live? Hmmmm??????


Monday, May 11, 2009

Newspaper reading--a participatory sport

It was bound to happen. I grew up in a family where reading the paper at the breakfast table was a way of life. You know, stuff like "Oh My Gosh! Can you believe what this (fill in the blank) just wrote about (fill in the blank)?

Su is a more quiet reader, but it looks like our little Danny is going to hold his own just fine. This morning he grabbed the front page away from me and proceeded to "explain" what he thought of a picture of cars and people on bicycles. As you can see he is quite opinionated about everything. (He also liked the pics of the space shuttle.)

I may have to make sure he only sees the "Kid's Post" section and the funnies from now on. There was more than one picture this morning I needed to quickly cover up as he turned the pages. But I'm thrilled to see he likes the paper. Let's hope we still have papers to read in the years to come. -Monica

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Before and after

He liked the clean shirt and the cold drink of water, but I think he would have passed on the whole 5 minutes of haircutting adventure if he'd had a choice. He did great, but the buzzing shaver was, how can I say this, not his friend.

But he looks so adorable right? -Monica

Thursday, May 07, 2009

My name is...and I'm calling from the Internal Revenue Service

Yup, I just got a call from a guy and that's what he said. I happened to be in a meeting with several of my senior managers, but when my cell rang and showed "unknown caller", I stepped immediately to the side of the room to take the call.

You see, to me, "unknown caller" doesn't mean "unknown caller" it means "the police calling from the scene of the accident", or, I don't know, "the IRS".

Now why would I worry about the IRS? I'm very law abiding, do my taxes with the greatest of care, and am basically guitly of nothing. Nothing I know of at least.

That and a few years ago I got a letter in the mail from the IRS that said I owed $19,000 in back taxes for the previous tax year. It was all a big mistake because somehow money that was actually non taxable income from the sale of my house (we picked Susanne's house to keep) got reported as income to the IRS after I opened up some sort of investment annuity. I never really understood the whole mess.

After some calls it got straightened out, but I was on pins and needles waiting for that official letter to come absolving me of all culpability. I'm not one to bank on anything like "a guy named Norman told me on the phone on Friday that I don't have to pay that $19,000 and it's all a big mistake."

So back to today's call.

Yes, the gentleman was calling from the Internal Revenue Service. But he was calling to ask me about a program I run for my agency. Seems he wants to get some training and heard I could help him.

Wheewwwww. Am I breathing again yet?


Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

A very nice weekend indeed

This weekend we had a great time. Danny's little friend Bailey turned two and her parents had a party at a place called My Gym. Happy Birthday sweetie--thanks for inviting us to your wonderful party! Danny had so much fun!

Anyway, while there, we were fascinated to see that his main interest was in grabbing a little basketball and trying over and over again to toss overhand into the child-sized basket. We can't quite figure out where he learned about basketball, but I must say I'm pretty excited about this development. I've played and coached my share of this fine sport, and can't wait to teach him how to pick and roll, shoot jumpshots and maybe play a little defense (that's the part I never really excelled at. ;-)

Oh, and this weekend we also learned an amazing bit of trivia about a miracle fruit. The miracle fruit plant (Synsepalum dulcificum) produces berries that, when eaten, cause sour foods (such as lemons and limes) consumed later to taste sweet.

Wow. I guess there are all kinds of cool potential applications of this fruit, particularly making awful tasting medicine better.

And I can't quite wrap my brain around how to capitalize on this part, but you see, Danny loves bitter and sour stuff. I don't think they taste bad to him. Honestly he will beg and plead until you give him your lime or lemon from your water glass in a restaurant. He'd eat the rind too if we'd let him.

As it is, we don't like to give him too many acidic things because we worry that it could damage his teeth, but gee, isn't there some way that we could take advantage of this? Miracle fruit. Miracle boy? Suggestions welcome.

Here's a pic of our little guy at around age 7 months after he "talked" us into giving him a pickle while out to eat. See what I mean? Is this the face of a sourpuss? I think not! -Monica

Monday, May 04, 2009

Springtime in DC

As seen through the eye of Susanne's camera. Seems to be that time of year when everything is blooming. Gorgeous right? Happy spring everyone! -Monica

Friday, May 01, 2009

So it wasn't even Friday when I wrote TGIF?

Calgon! Take me away! I guess last night's post should have said thank God it's ALMOST Friday.

I rest my case. -Monica