Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Forget Paris in springtime...try Köln

A week ago today, we were able to catch one of the first flights to leave the US for Europe for our long planned trip to Germany. Thank goodness the flight restrictions because of the volcano were lifted. We were pretty anxious about whether we'd really get to go or not. In fact, the day before we flew Su's dad's flight here was cancelled which made us even more nervous.

But we got very lucky and our flight took off as planned. We have had a wonderful time in Germany thus far. We've all had a bit of jet lag but on the bright side, the first night we were here we all slept for more than 10 straight hours. Su slept some on the redeye flight but I did not so she was somewhat more alert than I was. I was sure that one or both of the boys would be up fussing but nope, everyone crashed. Alleluia!

The boys' great grandfather turned 90 yesterday and we had a nice time visiting him and now we are continuing our tour visiting the other 30 some cousins, aunts and uncles who are all equally delighted to see us (well mostly the boys of course!)

My German language skills are still horrible but it does not seem to stop me from talking (in German even :-) The food here is wonderful, the weather cool but lovely and overall on a scale of 1-10 this trip is about an 11.

I'll write more when we return. This German keyboard confuses me!! -M

Monday, April 19, 2010

Oops we did it again...

Got married that is. This time legally. It was very informal and great fun. More later! -M

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Guess who is four months old today!

You are correct! The gentleman in red.

To see more cute pictures of our darling Benji (and some guest appearances by his sidekick Danny) click here. You don't have to have a log in or anything. Just click "View Album" then "Play Slide Show". Hasta la vista babies! -Mommy and Mama

Thursday, April 15, 2010

We leave Danny and Benji alone downstairs for one short minute....

...and this is what we find. What does it mean? Does he want Benji to put on shoes and play with him? Was he trying to cover him up? I guess we'll never know. Just glad he must have placed them gently. If he hadn't we surely would have heard about it from Benjamin. Kids. Sheeesssss.

Random thoughts for a Thursday

Danny is on the mend we think—the burn cleaning and bandaging is the worst part but he is remarkably resilient.

Benjamin picked today to roll over for the very first time! We all know that kids have lots of milestones as they grow, but there is something very special about that first roll over. It’s as if this little being is saying “enough”! “I’m busting out!” I love it.

We will be leaving soon on a long planned trip to Germany to see Su’s family. The boys’ great grandfather will turn 90 this month and we’d promised we’d bring Danny back when Opa hit the the big Nine Oh. Added bonus point? He’ll get to know adorable little Benji now too.

And finally, before leaving for Germany, Susanne and I will officially “tie our knot” on Monday night. Our pastor will come by the house for dinner and we will become officially married. Maybe our dinner should have “something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue”? Well, maybe not the something too old ;-)


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

"I want this boo boo to go away"

“Me too baby, me too” I thought as my eyes filled with tears. He was exhausted from crying and fought me as I continued to awkwardly hold him to keep his burned arm under the water in the sink of our hotel bathroom.

It all happened so fast. Yesterday morning at around 7 am we were at a beautiful hotel on the Chesapeake Bay, a place my agency holds a conference every year. This year we decided to make it a “workcation” and Su and the boys came along.

I remember putting the single cup coffee cup into the little machine and letting him stand on our cooler to watch it drip. What was I thinking? That those hotel coffee pots always made tepid coffee so it couldn’t be hot? That at the age of two he would actually listen to me when I told him not to touch anything?

I was turned away from him putting something into a bag. Su was nursing Benji across the room.

His scream was blood curdling. I remember racing to him and pulling is long sleeved shirt off of him. That’s when we realized that the skin on his forearm was coming off too.

Ambulance, ER, Tylenol with codeine, changing the bandage several times, debriding the wound more.

The burn is the most painful kind—a second degree (in his case over most of the top of his forearm below the elbow to the wrist.) Thankfully the joints were spared.  I remember thinking in the ER that I wished he did not suck his thumb. All he wanted to do was to suck his left thumb for relief but as it was the arm that was burned, it was hard to do so without a great deal of pain.

With first degree the skin is not broken and yes it hurts but it gets better with topical remedies. Third degrees are by far the most serious but they actually burn so badly that the nerve endings are destroyed and the permanent damage is horrific. Our hope is that by cooling it under running water for the 20 minutes until the EMTs arrived we avoided that. So he has the second degree. Open, susceptible to infection, in a word—painful. Our job is to keep it clean and prevent infection.

We are on our way in a few minutes to see our pediatrician for follow up. Danny has been a trooper. The pain medication helps I’m sure, but for the most part he’s his usual self except when we have to change the dressing and wash the area before applying a special antibiotic crème, he cries and cries. I would too.
We are pretty shaken up too. It all happened in an instant. Hug your babies extra close today friends. We sure are.

Friday, April 09, 2010

Thursday, April 08, 2010

That's what friends are for

Act 1, Scene 1 : Danny playing in sandbox.

Danny - "I saw a kitty cat!"
Mommy - "You did! That's great sweetie? Awwww.... where's the kitty cat now honey? What sounds did he make? Meow, meow? Was he a big kitty or a little kitty?"...on and on ad nauseum.

Act 1, Scene 2 : Danny playing in the sandbox later that day with 5 year old friend.

Danny Danny - "I saw a kitty cat!"
Five year old friend - "Don't worry about it".

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Caption this!

*Disclaimer - No infants were injured by the near "head butt" seen in the photo above.


Monday, April 05, 2010

Here come the brides. Again.

Imagine that you had the wedding of your dreams. Virtually everyone you loved was there, and you just floated on cloud nine all day.

The weather was perfect (albeit a bit hot) the music was wonderful, the readings so touching, the toasts so loving, the reception such a great party--perfection. And without a doubt, the spirit of that higher power who brought this love of your life to you was everywhere that day.

Then imagine that this wedding was everything but legal. You were married for all intents and purposes but your marriage was not recognized as legally binding nor acceptable to your church or government.

Well, imagine no more. This was our wedding story that took place on August 6th, 2005. The most beautiful day of our lives. But because we are a gay couple, it did not "count" in our church nor state.

Fast forward 5 years and the times are changing. The church we now belong to has taken bold strides to be a welcoming congregation and after spirited discussions and back and forth with the larger body of that church structure has now said that they will marry us.  And in an amazing turn of events, the progressive city that we live in (which is not a state but a district) has jumped through all kinds of hoops to finally make it possible for gay couples to get legally married.

So later this month my beloved Susanne and I will be legally  married. To be clear, we will not have another wedding. That glorious event in 2005 will always be our wedding day. But in a simple gathering of just us, our little boys and our pastor, we will renew our vows and with a stroke of a pen become legally married.

I don't know which appeals to me more. Letting little Danny and Benji be a part of this monumental step? Knowing that the love Susanne and I share will be more widely accepted to the world around us? Or knowing that I won't have to try and fit into my wedding dress again? ;-)

We'll be sharing the original readings from our 2005 wedding with our pastor as we prepare to legally wed and as much as I loved them all, this is the one that now five years later sort of chokes me up. I think it's the mention of the children we might someday have. I could not then have imagined these beautiful sons that we have been blessed with. For those who don't know the "Blessing of the Hands" I hope you enjoy it as much as we did. -Monica

“These are the hands of your best friend, strong and full of love for you, that are holding yours on your wedding day, as you promise to love each other today, tomorrow, and forever. 

These are the hands that will work alongside yours, as together you build your future. 

These are the hands that will passionately love you and cherish you through the years, and with the slightest touch, will comfort you like no other. 

These are the hands that will hold you when fear or grief fills your mind. 

These are the hands that will countless times wipe the tears from your eyes; tears of sorrow, and tears of joy. 

These are the hands that will tenderly hold your children.

These are the hands that will help you to hold your family as one.

These are the hands that will give you strength when you need it. 

And lastly, these are the hands that even when wrinkled and aged, will still be reaching for yours, still giving you the same unspoken tenderness with just a touch.”

P.S. The words of this reading are so true. Except of course that last part about when we are old and wrinkled. Check back with you in a few years on that! -M

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Friday, April 02, 2010

Thursday, April 01, 2010

So Proud - Our 10,000th comment just came in!

Yes, we've had our blog since right before Danny was born in 2007 and yesterday we logged our 10,000th comment!

April Fools! Maybe we've had about 100 comments on the blog by now.

But seriously, thank you to those who do drop a note from time to time. Your words always make me smile.  Have a great day everybody (and that's no joke ;-)