Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Curious George and The (Little) Man with the Yellow Hat wish you all a very happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Thoughts on being an older parent...

First and foremost, I think being an older parent means at times being mistaken for being a grandparent. This is my least favorite part of being an older mom.

I am definitely more financially secure now than I was when most of my peers were becoming parents, and that makes me feel good.

A friend who also became a new parent in his late 40s told me “no one ever told me it would be this hard”. He then followed that up by saying “and no one ever told me it would be this much fun”. Well said.

I don’t spend a lot of time worrying about this, but statistically, my chances of dying before the boys are grown is higher now than when I was younger. Me no like this thought. (Susanne doesn't either).

I am more tired now than I was when I was younger. I have memories of running around and playing with my nieces years ago—what fun it was I remember. Now I am happy that I have younger friends and relatives who love to run around with our boys. (Point of clarification: I do play a lot with the boys, but find myself eyeing my armchair way too longingly!)

On the bright side, being older means being being wiser (or so I’ve always been told.) Jury is still out on that one I must say.

Let’s see? For me being older means having to wear glasses. And we all know that snatching (and can I say crushing?) glasses is more fun than just about anything in the world to growing babies.

And last but not least, if one of the boys has kids when he’s only 20, I won’t be able to say “oh, no, I can’t be a grandmother yet! I’m only 67!) ;-) -Monica

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Drumroll please...

Ten things I’m grateful for:
10. That Danny now asks “Is this a school day?” and if it is, he says “Yeah!” (Better than the September morning sob festivals).
9.  That my mom is improving, and even though these past 2+ months have been a real roller coaster in terms of her health, she’s upbeat and walking with a walker on that darn broken hip. Go mom!
8. That Benji (like his brother) is generally such a happy little guy.
7. That in two weeks I get to move to a new office building that is a 15 minute bike ride from home.
6. That we’ll be in that new building for at least five years (our current building is being renovated). Five years from now puts me at almost the age I could retire. Not that I probably will, but it’s nice to know I COULD. ;-)
5. That we are heading into the cool fall weather and the wonderful holidays that follow.  Benji’s second Christmas is going to be so much fun this year. Being a week old for the first one made it pretty unmemorable for him I'm guessing.
4. That Susanne still puts up with my occasional messiness/forgetfulness/silliness/laziness and anxiousness.  More than just “put up” with these traits, she still seems to actually love AND like me!
3. That we have such a great mix of friends. Old friends, new friends, borrowed friend, blue friends… oh wait. I’ve messed that up again right?
2. That our little boys still think we are the “end all be all”. Spent some time with my wonderful 13 year old niece last weekend and was shocked to learn that not only am I not cool, I’m actually quite embarrassing! ;-)
1. And last but not least, that we have our health, our families, our beautiful boys, our jobs, and each other.  Yes, very grateful indeed.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

It's okay?

Time: Yesterday afternoon.

Location: Unloading Danny and his favorite neighbors out of the car after school in front of the house.

Josie and Callagh's mom said, "Bye now. Say...we're going to make some chocolate chip cookies and we'll bring a plate over when they are done."

I said, "Oh don't go to any trouble. I know you've got a lot going on today, so no need to come by if life gets too busy."

Out of the blue, Danny suddenly blurts out "No, no! It's okay Mommy. It's okay. It's okay for Josie and Callagh and their Mama and Dada come to our house and bring cookies."

He was so earnest. We couldn't really tell if it were a question or a statement. (And yes, Melissa and I both burst out laughing).

An hour or so later, Danny answered the knock at the door he'd been waiting for! -Monica

P.S. We love our neighbors!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Again--shock and awe

So why the big shock? Well our little dude just turned 10 months old today. And yes, this tradition of growing older each month still manages to catch us off guard.

You know, for Danny we did one slide show a month until he hit one year and we promised ourselves when Benjamin was born that we would do the same for him. But of course when Danny was a baby he was our only child and the star of virtually every pic we took. With Benji, well, let's just say he doesn't get as much camera time what with Danny mugging for the camera at every opportunity. The reason I say this is that it seems much harder to come up with dozen or so slides for Benji than it ever was for his big brother.

That all being said, without further ado, we offer Benji's ten month slide show.

How very sweet he is! -Monica (and Susanne)

P.S. Sneak peak--

Saturday, October 16, 2010

What a difference two years makes...

Danny and his favorite neighbor Callagh shown in 2008 and again in 2010. They are in Pre K together and and I can't help but hum the tune "Sunrise, Sunset" from Fiddler on the Roof, a bit wistfully (yet oh so proudly) as I watch them grow. And yes, I do know that I shouldn't be humming that until they are teenagers or something, but gosh they grow so fast! -M

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

When Benji wouldn't keep his shoes on...

Yes, last week at the zoo we could not keep Benjamin's socks nor shoes on him and it was COLD in Minnesota. So we did the next best thing. Sort of looks like a double snouted elephant calf right! ;-)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Of Mice and, well, Apes...

Being the mom of two little ones, I will admit that I do watch some children's television each week, and if truth be told, I actually love snuggling with the boys as we tune in. We tend to watch public TV and free Video on Demand so I feel pretty contented in the fact that we avoid an overabundance of commercials (aka Satan's siren call).

This all being said, I do have a few questions and thoughts for my fellow children's TV watchers. First of all, why does Micky Mouse insist on asking kids to point to/choose items throughout the show? "Hey hey kids...can you see a clue that Donald is hiding somewhere nearby?" Which I have to say only encourages my very excitable three year old to jump up and point (very literally by touching the TV screen) at whatever Mickey wants--in this case a feather floating around on the screen. So Danny knows he's not supposed to touch the TV but Mickey keeps telling him to. And we all know who has more clout around here. (Darn mouse!)

My second observation of the day goes to the Curious George Show. Do you know that a person actually gets credit for being the voice of George? Seriously. For those unfamiliar, George's speech consists of "uh huh!", "uh uh" and "ooooohhhh". Man what I wouldn't give to get that gig! Do you think the actor gets a royalty with every show? Because they play the same episodes of CG over and over again on all the PBS stations. I totally missed my calling!

And last but not least, this might be a little picky, but if you haven't noticed, Curious George does not have a tail. I think this makes him technically an ape and not a monkey. Mickey on the other hand has quite a long tail, which for those of us who sort of have an aversion to mice, is a little disconcerting.

Just my two cents on some clearly very important subjects! Have a great day everybody! -Monica

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Our perfect 10...

Now, I don't think of myself as particularly superstitious, but maybe on some very deep level I am.

So can I just tell you on this 7th day of October 2010 the following trivia?

Ten days from now, in the tenth month of the tenth year of the century, our little Benjamin will turn ten months old!

Okay, okay. It would have been cooler if he actually turned ten on 10/10/10, but we were not having babies back in the year 2000, so this will have to do.

Have a great day everybody! -M

I got the "first Thursday morning" blues

Seriously. What is it with the first Thursday of every month? I am always pretty aware when the first Thurday rolls around as I have a standing meeting of a Federal Council that I report out at. And in the past 6 months it has become increasingly clear that the day is cursed.

I think 5 out of the last 6 months I've had to call in rather than attend in person because of any number of random things. One Thursday we had a flooded basement that I spent hours vaccuming up with a wet vac. Another Thurday I was really sick. Last month on the first Thursday we spent the morning at our bank changing all of our accounts after having our house burglarized the night before.

So I was not shocked when our poor Danny had a rough night last night with his ear aching. Ever since we flew back from seeing my mom who is not doing so well back in Minnesota, all of us have been a bit under the weather. I prepared to get him in to the doc as he's been sick for several days, but it seems a miracle might be occuring. He is feeling better. We ended up sending him to school and I am now leaving my office to travel to another federal building to appear in person.

Of course I won't be shocked when the school calls. Cuz they will right?

Onward and upward I say. -Monica

PS. Update--the meeting happend with nary a call from the school. The times they are a changing! I can feel it in my bones.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Why Oh Why???

Why don't we call a toothbrush a teethbrush? (Or a hairbrush a hairsbrush?)

Why aren't naps mandatory in the workplace?

Why is Smart Popcorn not such a smart choice?

And last but not least:

Why does Danny always need, AT THAT VERY MOMENT, any toy that Benji is holding?

If anyone knows the answer to these questions, you are far wiser than I. -M