Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Don't blame us

You know how certain right wing zealots are always claiming that the "homosexual agenda" is to convert others to becoming gay too? It's just so ridiculous. Really.

But here's why I bring it up. You see, yesterday afternoon Su and had to go to a medical appt. and before I dropped her back at work we swung into our local McD*nalds to get a bite to eat. Happy Meals actually made the most sense to us since we were going out to dinner later and didn't want to eat too much. At the drive through window I ordered our food and the clerk asked "boy or girl". I guess we haven't ordered many Happy Meals because I didn't even remember that they asked for gender preference. So, since you know, we have a boy at home, we asked for them both to be "boy" Happy Meals.

Look what we got! Now we don't mind Danny playing with whatever he wants to, but pink bracelets and a compact mirror with a princess? It's all got us wondering if perhaps it's McD*onalds that has the "agenda". -M

 P.S. Do you think they could just come up with gender neutral toy choices? I suppose that would be too logical eh?

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Danke Cousin Patrick!

Yesterday our mail carrier brought a wonderful surprise for Danny. His 18 year old cousin Patrick in Germany packed up a wonderful train set that he'd loved as a child, and sent it along to his favorite "choo choo" aficionado.

Patrick, you really made his day. Thanks so much. You are a total sweetheart! -Monica and Susanne

Monday, September 28, 2009

Eternity! When will it ever end?

It all started innocently enough. In college one of my work study jobs was that of a “replenisher” for the salad bar in the cafeteria. Lettuce, carrots, shredded cheeses, dressings…whatever we had on the line, my job was there was to make sure we didn’t run out. So I cut things up and brought out new stuff as it was needed. I didn’t think much one way or the other about this job at the time. It seemed pretty mindless and easy, and come to think of it, it was.

After all, I didn’t have to order the food, estimate how much we’d need, or even pay for it. Yup. It was pretty easy.

But as it turns out, the one thing I did not comprehend at that time was that no matter what I studied, or did for an occupation after college, this skill of “replenisher” was the real core competency that I’d need to really internalize.

What am I talking about you ask?
  • Diapers
  • Baby Wipes
  • Coffee
  • Sugar
  • Kitty litter
  • Cat food
  • Toilet paper
  • Diaper bag contents
  • Shampoos and soaps
  • Beverages
  • Groceries
  • Ice cubes
  • Laundry
  • Dishwasher
  • Gasoline
Of course now I do have to think ahead and estimate and pay and stuff too. Sigh. At least in college I was compensated. Of course it was only $2.25 an hour. But hey, that’s more than I make doing all this stuff now! What the what?

P.S. Full disclosure. I do not have to do all of these things myself. My lovely wife also "gets to" share in the fun!

Friday, September 25, 2009


See that little ticker over there on the right? The one that says that there are only 91 days left until baby number two makes an appearance? Feel free to take your cursor and nudge that little baby to the right a bit just a little bit more okay? ;-)  Oh? Am I getting impatient? Perhaps just expectant! We are expecting after all. Have a great weekend everybody! -Monica

Thursday, September 24, 2009


When Danny looked like this...

I could never have imagined that he would one day look like this...

and then like this...

But now I can't imagine a time that I didn't know this adorable face.

Based on this logic, for some reason I think I should be able to imagine perfectly what the baby will look like. And I couldn't be more wrong. I have absolutely no idea. Isn't it wonderful!  -Monica

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

In the jungle, the mighty jungle, CJ slept last night...

So CJ is an indoor cat. She never makes a run for an open door. Frankly, she never shows all that much interest in the outdoors at all. But last night she was a free range kitty.

From about 6:00 pm to 6:00 am this morning as far as we can figure she was "camping out". You see, when I got home last night I remember playing with her for a bit in the living room. Then when Su and Danny came home, we wandered outside to go explore our neighbors prize pumpkin with the little guy. (I'm pretty sure we closed the screen door at this time.) Then after a few minutes we went in the house, had dinner, read stories and down for "night night"  went Danny. Su and I are not sure when we shut the big door, but neither of us wondered a bit about CJ's whereabouts. There are lots of places she can be at any time so we were not concerned.

But this morning after around 15 minutes of peace and quiet and newspaper Su wondered aloud where she was. It was unlike her to NOT be begging us to play. That's when we started looking in earnest. Danny woke up in the meanwhile and when I came in his room calling "CJ, where are you", Danny started yellling "CJ? CJ?". He even started getting upset (maybe he noticed we were a little worried by now?)

So anyway, I went outside and started calling her name and then we heard it. "Meow, meow". But I still couldn't see her. Not until she crawled out of a little space near the basement window.

"CJ!" We all cheered.

She seemed none the worse for the wear, and we were very grateful that it was a dry and fairly warm night. Our window was open all night too so I think we would have heard her meowing if she were complaining. I think she might have been enjoying this adventure.

I wonder what she was thinking during her time out there? I'm just so glad she didn't get lost or get into any fights with other animals.

And, well, I have to tell you that our angst was also magnified because, even though I haven't yet blogged about it, last month our big boy cat Harley got sick. A bladder problem that turned out to be kidney stones that turned into a difficult decision to spend thousands on surgery (this after having already paid a lot on his emergency care), or putting him "to sleep".

Yes we can second guess our decision a million times, but it was very hard justifying more than $4000 on care that had no guarentee of suceess. We did not want Harley to suffer, but I wish there was a better choice than extemely expensive surgery or euthenasia. So in the end Su and I were with him when they gave him the injections that relaxed him and then stopped his heart. It was terrible.

So for the past month it's been just CJ. You can tell she looked for him, particularly at first. And that sneaky dash out the door last night? Pure Harley. Let's not do that again okay CJ? Whew! Let's hope in the future that CJ stays healthy and happy and IN THE HOUSE. -Monica

P.S. Su named him Harley because he had a very distinctive low humming purr that sounded, well, like a Harley. They were a good team. Bye bye big boy. It's just not the same here without you.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

If we had a boy and named him Lucas then...

...I could say in a deep and breathy voice,

"Luke, I am your mother. Darth Mader."

(I must admit I find this somewhat appealing ;-) -Monica

Monday, September 21, 2009

Oh, the name drama (continues)

Happy Monday everybody. We just wanted to thank everyone so much for the wonderful name suggestions for a boy you’ve been throwing our way. I can’t say that we’ve said “eureka” to anything, but we are definitely thinking about some names that hadn’t crossed our minds yet.

I think it also has helped us realized that we have more "requirements" than we thought. For example, we like all the variations of Daniel. Danny, Dan…you get it. For some other names we might like the longer name but not be big fans of the typical nicknames. Like Edward comes to mind. I like Edward, but not such a big fan of Eddy or Ed.

And also the German/Spanish spin. The names George and William both sound really great in Spanish (Jorge and Georg) and German (Guillermo and Wilhelm or Wilfredo) but the names in English don’t really appeal to us.
Oh, and I thought Dashiell sounded really cool until we thought of two boys named Dan and Dash. It was just a little too…too…I don’t know? Like Dine and Dash? Like a Reindeer convention? Nope. We can’t do it.

So the games continue! By the way, Stimey mentioned in a comment an awesome Baby Names site that another favorite blogger of ours runs called Swistle Baby Names. Yes, we love it, and if we get closer to the date without a name we’ll probably write to her for help. But all the tools and ideas she has are very cool.

Anyway, I also wanted to report that Danny seems to be really getting into this “baby thing”. For example, today his nana (Su’s mom) will be coming for a short visit. So we were asking him, “Danny, guess who’s coming today who you love just as much as you love mommy and mama?” His guess? “Baby?” It was SO cute. But then when we reminded him that it was nana, he whooped and cheered. Very cute too.

Last week at his haircut, Su was chatting with a woman with an infant and Danny informed the lady that he had a baby too. He proceeded to try and lift up Su’s shirt for a little show and tell which was pretty funny. But clearly he’s making the connection. Hasta la vista babies! -Monica

Mamas and babies


Friday, September 18, 2009


Seriously. Where have all the mailboxes gone? Yesterday I walked for several blocks downtown, certain that there had to be one of my little blue friends somewhere. But no.

I think there are several reasons why they are disappearing. First of all after Sept. 11th, the mailboxes near the area where I work a few blocks from the White House were removed for security purposes. Same reason trash cans and newspaper machines began disappearing.

Then of course, many people started using snail mail less and less as bills got paid online and e-mail greetings and social networking sites began to replace actual cards for many (If you care enough to send the very least, send an e-card right? ;-)

So the postal service hasn't needed as many drop boxes as before. We still have 2 mailboxes which I pass on my way downtown so I'd never really realized the dearth of boxes near work til yesterday.

I wonder what the fate of the postal service will be? It's an interesting business model that for less than a buck I can send a letter all the way to Hawaii or just down the block. Maybe this model will not stand the test of time? I'm sure this is serious cause for debate.

On a related postal note, I read that the postal service decided to get rid of all the clocks in post offices. It served two purposes. They saved tons of money on batteries, and people in line were apparently a little calmer because they couldn't see the time ticking away as they waited their turn on line. Hmmmm??? Maybe that's a whole other issue.

Still. Nothing beats the sight of a handwritten card in your mailbox right? For this reason alone I hope we always have the mail -Monica

Thursday, September 17, 2009

And the award for the funniest e-mail of the MANY I've gotten goes to...

This one was entitled "What Happens if Your Dad is a Graphic Designer". Come on! You've got to admit you chortled right? -Monica

P.S. No one seems to know the name of the dad who is responsible for this. But dude, great job!


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Names, names, everywhere

Oh, if only it were true that we had our baby names picked out. Sure we have a great girls name in mind that we both love, but a boys name? Even though I have a serious number one pick for a boy, the vote is not unanimous (yet).

And it has to be a vote of 2-0 you see.

Here are our requirements. Potential names have to sound good in both German and Spanish (Su's family is German and Su and I both speak Spanish) and also, it has to not be an awful name.

I have found that there are many awful names out there.

And it doesn't help that what were once perfectly acceptable names are forever tarnished now (think Elmo and Bart and Barney). Well, actually all of those names are a bit awful too. See what I mean?

We really liked Daniel, and it fit all of our criteria for our first child, but we don't want to go all "George Formany" on a second boy, so we can't name him Daniel too.

Woe is me. Susanne is, as is typical, very serene about it all. I on the other hand? Not so serene. I see names everywhere. I don't mean to, but I scour the obituaries. The OBITUARIES people! And when movies end and they scroll through a hundred names I say them all to see if one will ring true. Nothing. Newspaper articles, books, blogs, baby name site etc...any and everything can be a desperate possible source of inspiration for me, but so far nothing is.

I'm still working on moving the voting on my number one choice over to unanimous. I've even enlisted Danny's help. I have him saying "baby "insert my favorite name here". Okay, he actually says my favorite name after the word "baby."

But I digress. Suggestions for a good name are welcome. And just so you know, it has to go with one of those Irishy last names such as O'Something, or Fitzsomething or McSomething. Have at it friends! -M

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

100 Days!

Yes, that’s right. In approximately 100 days Hurricane “What’s His or Her Name” will rock our worlds into a new orbit.

In approximately 100 days we will not sleep for more than 2 or 3 hours at a time for who knows how long into the future.

In approximately 100 days I will get to take a few weeks off of work, and Su will get to take a few months off.

In approximately 100 days we will realize that it’s really not time “off”.

In approximately 100 days I will use the majority of my time away from work dealing with Danny who will have realized that the rules suddenly changed without his permission. He will let us know what he thinks of things quite loudly.

In approximately 100 days Danny will be the proudest and most loving big brother ever (well, most of the time we hope.)

In approximately 100 days Christmas will be upon us and I have absolutely no doubt that it will be THE BEST CHRISTMAS EVER!


P.S. Happy Birthday Al, and Happy Anniversary mom. I’m sure dad’s smiling down from heaven at you today—just like every day.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Music, sports? Hmmm? Aw heck. Why not both!


Yesterday at church we reached the part of the Lutheran service where we offer each other the sign of peace and Danny completely charmed us by, for the first time ever, shaking hands with someone and saying in the sweetest voice "Peas"! The woman he reached out to was new to our church and standing all alone in front of us. It was just perfect.

Sure he'd been watching us do this every Sunday since he was a little baby, but it was so unexpected. Su and I both explained to the woman that this was the first time he'd ever offered the sign of peace to anyone and she was so touched. I swear she smiled the rest of the service.

When I was a teacher years ago at a Catholic School I remember having a discussion with some 9th graders about their favorite part of the Mass. Mostly the conversation was met with grimaces and groans along the lines of "you're kidding right?" as the kids imagined late Sunday mornings sleeping in instead of being at church.

But one quiet girl told us that her favorite part of the Mass was shaking hands for the sign of peace. When prompted to tell us more about why, I remember her saying "well, for some people it's the only time any one touches them at all."

I was so moved by her comment. I also had gotten to know her mother, and to me it was clear as day that Laura's sincere view of the gift of offering peace came from the strong faith that she absorbed from her mom and family.

I only hope that Su and I as parents can be that kind of light to our son and his little brother or sister to come.

Danny loved all the praise he got for offering his simple gesture of peace. I think he's going to look forward to this part of service from now on. I know his new friend who sits in front of us will too.

Happy Day everybody. -Monica

Saturday, September 12, 2009

We will remember

About a block away from the area where the Twin Towers collapsed on September 11, 2001, a giant sycamore tree was uprooted and lay exposed--witness to, and testament to, the terrible power of the blasts. The fallen tree actually shielded nearby St. Paul's Chapel from the falling debris that awful day.

Artist Steven Tobin later cast the roots in bronze to make a sculpture known as the Trinity Root. When Danny and I visited NY in early September we discovered this three-ton memorial. I'd never heard of it before but it's really quite amazing. And haunting. -Monica

Thursday, September 10, 2009

That's a kicker!

So at 25 weeks now, Susanne's uterus is roughly the size of a soccer ball according to Dr. Google.

And just last night when I leaned in to see if I could feel the baby moving, I definitely took a shot to the face.

Just thinking about it makes me smile ;-)


Wednesday, September 09, 2009

A Curiosity

So this week I celebrated the 24th anniversary of my 25th birthday. Pretty cool huh? For those of you not accustomed to such wacky math, this means I turned 49. But a cool 49, not an ancient 49. Or so I like to think.

Anyway, I got to thinking about how long it has taken me to figure out some things in life. Oh I'm not talking about serious things like love, and faith and all that. I'm talking about Curious George.

When I was a kid I thought he was hilarious. "Oh George"! What a cutie. But now that I read the same stories to my son I find myself realizing that there is a recurring theme. George messes something up, but then somehow whatever he did turns out to be this great thing, and then everybody congratulates and thanks him.

Is this how I want Danny to see the world? Worse yet, is this how I move through the world? Oh geez. I think it may be. Scary.

Aw what the heck. I still think he's hilarious and even more importantly, Danny does too! Have a great day everybody. -Monica

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Such a literal little guy

So Danny was intently trying to turn on our little flashlight yesterday, getting more and more peeved that it wasn't cooperating.

"Bubby, you have to use your thumb" I explained patiently.

Removing one hand from the flashlight he proceeded to pop his thumb into his mouth and smiled at me. So literal our little Daniel.

I love this boy! -M

Saturday, September 05, 2009

The boy of summer

I think he's got real potential don't you? Well, we finally got a new modum so we can get online again from home which is great. I took our little guy to New York for the week to visit friends and family and he had a great time.

Danny slept really well. During the night that is. Apparently naps are not allowed on vacation. Yawn. More later. -Monica