Friday, July 30, 2010

Pulling (up) the Wool over my eyes...

I've never claimed to be the sharpest tool in the shed, but today I really outdid myself.

While shopping, I picked up a fresh supply of Pull-Ups for Danny. He's doing really well with his potty training, but at nights we find it best to keep him in Pull-Ups mostly because we don't want to have to deal with wet sheets on those couple of nights a week when he doesn't wake up dry.

Anyway, while shopping I noticed that they had "Boys" Pull Ups and "Girls" Pull Ups. Huh, I vaguely wondered whether they had extra absorbent padding in different areas since the exit point for the urine is conceivably different for boys and girl. But no. After careful examination, it became clear to me that only difference was that the the masculine version of the training pants had pictures from Toy Story (and was blue) and the feminine version had some sort of princess (and was, you guessed it, pink).

Seriously? Wow. The socialization starts really young right???? -M

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Hi, I'm Monica. Danny's mom.

As I mentioned the other day, Danny has started his two week summer camp down the block and I've taken him and picked him up every day while Susanne has done the same for Benji. (Dividing and conquering is good!)

Anyway, in most of the settings we've been with up until now (ie, friends, church, neighbors) there hasn't been too much need to go into detail about the fact that our boys have two moms, mostly because folks already know our story, or when they meet us for the first time we are all together.

But yesterday I met a mom dropping off her two little ones and she said "Hi, I'm Mary. Jayden and Imani's mom". So, I then said "Hi, I'm Monica. (silently thinking ummm...umm...ummm) Danny's mom."

The hesitation on my part came from the fact that there could be confusion if at a later time Susanne is with Danny and of course mentions that she is Danny's mom too.

I guess my point is, there was no need to explain that Danny has another mom to this parent at that moment.

The funny thing is that for me this is not an issue about "coming out" or "not coming out". It's about context and flow.

Am I making sense? Any thoughts on this anyone??? -Monica

Monday, July 26, 2010

Accidental stalker mom here

So today was three year old Danny's very first day of summer "camp". It's a program run by our local park and rec and he's now officially a " Lil Explorer".

We've been talking about it a lot and were actually quite relieved to learn just last night that our 4 year old neighbor, Josie, who is one of Danny's best friends and a veteran Lil Explorer" was going to be at camp today.

I first brought Danny with me to drop Benji off at Jenni's and promised Oscar that I'd bring Danny in to play for a few minutes in the afternoon when it was time for pick up. These two boys are really going to miss spending so much time together.

Anyway, I then drove back toward home and took Danny into the rec center. Lots of kids and breakfast foods and toys to play with. He sat with his friend Josie while I filled out some paperwork and then I took him potty before trying to say goodbye. But alas, he enveloped me with the trembling hug of terror and kept saying "mommy stay too, mommy stay too." Just about broke my heart.

"School" had not started yet, so one of the teachers encouraged me to stay and play for a while. Before long we were surrounded by a gaggle of happy little tots all playing with dinosaurs and toy animals. After around 20 minutes I said to all the kids (including my son) "okay kids, have a fun day a--I'll be back later today." They all waved bye including smiley Danny.  Whew!

So how does this make me a stalker? Well, later in the morning I had to run up to Danny's regular year school to drop of some papers and had to go right by the park and rec since it's a block from our house. I saw several of the kids from the program playing outside with teachers but did not spot Danny's bright red shirt and I got a little nervous. Was he okay? Was he inside crying? So I surreptitiously pulled the car into a the lot and got out. In the distance much to my relief I saw little Danny at the head of a line the teachers were now forming to go back inside. Since he was the tiniest he was first in line (and Josie bless her heart was holding his hand.)

So then I felt silly.

And then I felt panicked.

You see, Danny had turned and I could swear he was looking right at me. In my defense, I was half a football field away, but without missing a beat I dropped down to the ground faster than you could say "aargghhhh!"

I mean, if he saw me it was going to be really bad. Seriously, the crying and begging to go with me would be very bad.

Luckily, he did not see me. In fact after sneaking a quick look I could see that he was listening to his teacher and then leading the parade back into the building.

So proud of him!!! Not so proud of me.

Parenthood. Never a dull moment!  ;-) -Monica

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Smile for the camera before it melts...

It's kind of fun when your out of town visitors include an amazing photographer who apologizes profusely for having an inferior camera on hand and still manages to catch some pretty darn realistic shots of every day life.  I think this photo taken by Matt B. on Friday night can be summed up in the following way:

Three year old Danny's thinking, "I can't believe I ate the whole thing".
Baby Benji is thinking, "I'm pretty sure I can fit this whole airplane in my mouth but I'm not sure where to start.
Mommy Monica is thinking, "If I hug the boys any harder I wonder if their eyes and tongues will pop out??
And Mama Susanne is thinking, "Matt, it's 103 degrees out here, maybe we could go for an indoor shot?"

Anyway, thanks Matt and Amy and Alice and Andy for coming by on your trip to DC. It was a blast seeing you, and always remember, our casa es su casa.

Come on cooler weather. Any time now! -M

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Oh, you mean I have to engage my brain??? Oh...

This is an IPod. If you turn it sideways, the picture turns sideways too. It's very cool. Susanne got one for Christmas and we love it.

This is a Blackberry. I have one for work and really love it too.

Except for the fact that no matter how many times I turn it sideways to look at the screen it will not turn sideways. And the really sad part is that I keep turning it sideways wondering what in the heck is wrong with my Blackberry. Oh right! It's not the IPod.

On a related note of technical stupidity, now that we are encouraged to use instant messaging at work (before it was verboten) I've fallen into a stupid habit of hitting "enter" at the end of regular e-mails expecting them to run into cyberspace. Can you believe it? My e-mail just sits there, the silly little cursor flashing. It's almost like it's taunting me.

I really need a vacation people. -M

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Benjamin on the move...

I got it! I got it! I got it!

I don't got it.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Benjamin is NOT seven months old already! (Or is he?)

Yes, actually he is. And it you'd like to see proof of his amazing growth, check out his 7th month slide show.

You know, it's truly an amazing experience to witness a baby progress from being completely powerless and unaware, to being, well, pretty much completely powerful and aware. Perhaps I'm giving Benji too much credit, but dang, this boy is amazing.

Hope you enjoy the slide show as much as we do! -Benji's Mommy and Mama

P.S. Alright already. Here is a sneak peak from the slides!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

No laughing, no smiling, and no giggling boys!

Try this on your little ones. Keeping your face as serious as you possibly can, look them in the eye and challenge them to stay serious too. But you have to keep telling them "no laughing, no smiling, and no giggling!" I assure you that your child will crack up, especially when they see you start to laugh a little.

We've been doing this game in our family for years. I believe special credit goes to Joan Lewis's dad if my memory serves me correctly. Have a great day everyone.

And remember. No laughing, no smiling, and NO GIGGLING! -Monica

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

If a picture is worth a 1000 words, are two pics worth 2000?

In this corner, (on your left) you see Danny having his first taste of bananas in 2007 and in the other corner (on your right) you see Benji having his first taste yesterday. (Oh, and guess who DEMANDS a "mana" for breakfast every day now? Hint: it's not Benjamin!)

Monday, July 12, 2010

Thank you classic TV

So this weekend while flipping through cable, Danny and I caught an episode of Full House. You remember that 1980s classic where Danny Taylor raises his 3 little girls in San Francisco with Uncles Jesse and Joey? It was an early episode when Michelle was pretty small and Danny loved it. So hokey, but so sweet right? Well, we got to talking about the show and our little guy thought it was pretty interesting that Michelle had a dad but no mom.

I didn’t go into the details about how the mom had died, just that their family was the three men and the kids. I could tell this intrigued him.

Then the very next show to come on was the Andy Griffith Show. As Andy and Opie whistled down the path in the opening scene, Danny asked me where the little boy’s mom was. Hmmmm…after some explaining about Aunt Bea, I had a sudden realization that television is filled with non-traditional families.

You got your My Three Sons with grouchy old Uncle Charlie, The Courtship of Eddy’s Father, My Two Dads, the Brady Bunch, Sister Sister with Tia and Tamika, you get my drift. These shows all ran at different times spanning the 1960s through the 1990s.

So thank you Classic TV for making it easier to explain to my children that all families are different. But in the most important ways, (like how we love and nurture and care for each other) we are all the same! -Monica

P.S. And Family Affair! How could I forget Family Affair with Mr. French!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

I want apple juice! I want apple juice! I want apple juice!

These dog days of summer have us all a bit cranky around here. Danny really felt like he had scored when he scaled a step ladder and, with much drama, presented this "apple juice" to me. You gotta love a three year old.

He settled for some water with ice. And we settled for putting the canola oil just a little bit higher up in the cabinet.

Did I really complain bitterly about those itsy bitsy blizzards back in February? -M

Thursday, July 08, 2010

What ever did I write about before we had kids?

I mean I must have had some deep and witty thoughts right? Maybe I wrote more about how much I love Susanne? Or maybe I commented more on political events and social issues?

This prompted me to take a look back in the archives. Mystery solved. I wrote about our cats. Here is an excerpt from October of 2006:

"A few months ago Susanne spotted a fabulous sale at Best Buy on a cool DVD/VHS mini-surround sound system. So this weekend one of the final steps of our basement renovation involved connecting the wires she'd put into the walls and ceiling before we completed the drywalling.

Anyway, we got all of the speakers to work independently but were still trying to get the full "surround sound" of all the speakers together. We realized that we needed to play something that was created in Dolby Surround Sound and one of the few DVDs that we own is Winged Migration. For those who haven't seen it, it's a gorgeous documentary. The reason it's blogworthy experience for us is that we have two cats named Harley and CJ and when those multiple speakers kicked in, you've never seen two more confused cats. The sounds of birds everywhere! Outstanding for us, confounding for them. Next time we'll take pictures! -Monica"

I think I'll stick to writing about our kids. I can't wait to try the surround sound on them with the tinkling music of ice cream trucks everywhere! Have a great weekend everybody. Stay cool! -M

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Benji's first day away from home

As I mentioned, this week Su headed back to work and so now she drops Danny and Benji off in the mornings at Jenni's house (at least until Danny starts Pre-K 3 next month.)

Jenni reports that Benji is totally enjoying all of the action at the Casa Oscarelli and it warms our hearts to hear that he's been napping, eating and playing with gusto.

Apparently big brother Danny has been letting Jenni know every time Benji makes a sound--you know, just in case she didn't notice. He takes his responsibilites as "big brother" very seriously ;-)

Our two guys are so cute together, and I think that together with Jenni's two, they are going to be a formidable force for fun.

No need to worry about Benji's voice being drowned out by all the other kids by the way. As you can see from this photo Su snapped last week, he's showing great leadership skills at the ripe old age of 6 months.

Rock on baby boy, rock on! -Mommy

Friday, July 02, 2010

234 years old??? Really?

I couldn't help but notice that this 4th of July will mark the 234th anniversary of the birth of this nation.

Wow. I was 16 years old when we celebrated the bicentennial 4th of July in 1976. Together with two friends I did a really radical thing--we hitchhiked down old highway 61 in the Twin Cities area to go to a big event on Harriet Island. It was an exciting day of fun and fireworks, except perhaps the most memorable thing to me was that the yellow car that slowed down to pick us up was driven by another friend's dad. And although he took us down there, he also yelled at us a lot. Didn't we know hitchhiking was dangerous? In my defense I was with a very strong 6'6" high school buddy (Mike Jorde are you out there?) so I wasn't feeling too afraid. Ah, those were the days eh?

Yes, I never was very good at being a rebel. Some in my family used to call me "goody two shoes". I wonder if they still do?

But as I was saying, I was just not good at being a heck raiser (see, I can't even say the other "h" word.) Case in point. My senior year in high school, two really good friends talked me into, can you believe it, SKIPPING OUT OF SCHOOL for a few hours. I'm pretty sure I was a nervous wreck the whole time. This brilliant plan got even worse though. We snuck (serpentine like) down to our local McDonalds where MUCH to my dismay, my oldest sister happened to be working a shift.

Yep, she saw me and totally busted me to my parents. And I'd always been goody two shoes remember? Ugh, this was not fun.

In retrospect maybe this is why it took me more than 35 years to figure out and come to grips with the fact that I was gay. Maybe on some deep level I thought that my rebellion just wasn't going to work out for me.

Glad to say, I had nothing to fear. Does this make me a rebel now? Anyway, have a wonderful 4th of July everyone. We sure plan to! -M

Thursday, July 01, 2010

If we don't write 'em down we'll forget 'em...

Scenario #1 - A few days ago I was carrying 3 year old Danny somewhere and he leaned in for a big hug before announcing "Mommy, you smell like a princess!" 

How sweet! Or was it. After all, our neighbors have two little girls and when it's time to go to the potty their mom and dad always ask "who's ready for princess time?"

Hmmm... I guess I've never put a lick of thought into what a princess must smell like so I'm just going to take this as a compliment.

Scenario #2 - Some mornings when we are getting ready to head out the door we let the little guys watch Curious George. But some mornings we either forget or don't have time. So yesterday Su is driving Danny over to Jenni's and suddenly out of the blue yells "Mama, wait a minute! I have to watch Curious George!" This kid cracks us up.

But Scenario #3 which happened this morning really tickled us. I'd woken Danny up to explain that I needed to leave a bit early to go to the doctor. Just some routine annual tests. He sleepily gazed at me and wondered aloud "Mommy, are you going to have baby?"

I guess with Susanne's recent romp through pregnancy, Danny internalized that moms who go to the doctor have babies on the way.

We assured him that, no, I was not going to have a baby. But just for fun we asked if we were going to, would he want a boy or a girl.

His choice? A "grill".

Love that boy.

Why am I suddenly craving a cookout??? ;-)

P.S. Next week Su returns to work and Benji will start joining Danny for fun and games with Jenni and company. How did this time fly????