Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Boys will be, well, you know...

 Aren't they angelic?

Oh, maybe not so much...

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Sorting through mom’s things (a trip to the brain dump)

This weekend I flew to Minnesota and spent many hours with my sister Alice systematically sorting through our mom’s possessions—packing things to donate, filling trash bags with things that were no longer needed, and talking a lot about both our mom and dad as we paused often to reflect on their lives and our loss.
It was tiring—pretty much equally emotionally and physically. I was going to write more about this but somehow I just don’t feel like it.
Work goes well. Susanne and the boys are fine. Spring is coming. Just wish I could pick up the phone and talk to mom about everything. -M

Thursday, March 17, 2011

What a Shame...

Today I attended the funeral Mass of the husband of a co-worker. He died very unexpectedly a week ago and he was clearly very much loved by many as hundreds of people poured into his family's Catholic Church to say goodbye.

The priest, bless his heart, started off by welcoming everyone and saying something along the lines that although many people of different faiths were in the space he knew that the Christian love was a common bond that tied many of us together as we gathered to celebrate this man's life.

That was all fine and good and the service was touching, but then I couldn't help but feel shocked when it came time for communion. The priest had to explain to the roughly 500 mourners that the only people who were welcome to the table were those who were Catholic and who did not have grave sin in their hearts. The crowd began to murmur. Clearly a huge majority of mainly African-American mourners were not Catholic.

He pleaded with them to please understand that the Church was working very hard to change this--it didn't seem particularly right to him either I could tell. He did stress that Catholics believe that the Eucharist is not just a symbol--it is the actual body and blood of Jesus so not just anyone could receive it. He lamely invited anyone who wanted a blessing, to come up with their hands folded in front of them a certain way and he or a deacon would bless them. I don't think anyone took him up on that offer.

You know, although I am no longer Catholic, I have not been excommunicated from the Church and believe you me, the fact that I am gay, in no way to me is a grave sin (or any kind of sin at all). I don't believe that God made any mistake with me. But I hesitated. Why? I don't know exactly, but after about one second of thinking,  I went up to receive communion.

But I was mostly saddened that out of the 500 mourners only about 20 of us went up to take communion. It just seemed so sad. Like watching discrimination in action. Later a preacher who grew up with the man who died gave testimony and it was like night in day. He spoke of the awesome power of Jesus to console and teach us, comfort us, love us.

Night and day.


Monday, March 14, 2011

Mama got a new phone for her birthday....Benji too!

We think he knows that this is a cardboard phone... ;-)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Apparently you can be too clean...

Benji got a little ahead of himself tonight and inserted himself head-first into the tub a little before his time.

As we like to say around here "OH MY!"

March Showers Bring May Flowers (or something like that)

Here are a few of my favorite flower pics Susanne has taken in recent years just to make this rainy day seem oh so worth it somehow! -M

Come on spring!

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Da agony of da teeth ;-(

Well I don't know if we both just have short memories, or if Benji's pain with his molars coming in is just so much worse for him that it was for Danny.

This poor little boy. Two nights in a row now he's continued to wake up, crying. Arching, writhing, hitting...the poor guy is basically out of his mind with pain.

Last night we even did a preemptive strike with Tylenol before bedtime and it was as if we'd given him nothing. We finally used an infant type of topical numbing stuff for his gums. Tonight we'll try frozen bananas, ice cubes in a washcloth--whatever will work. We'll also try Ibuprofen to see if that works better for him.

I wish I could tell him that this is all done now, but I have no idea how long this will last.

I've decided that this is the one downside to being a mom. Watching your child suffer while feeling helpless. I'm praying tonight will be a peaceful one for him. -M

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Our little soy boy...

Jenni guessed correctly that my art below was Benji. He was wearing a dark jacket with the hood up and a lighter colored vest. I think his face is pretty distinctive and I love the grin because although he is generally a happy little guy, when he scowls, he scowls!

We recently realized one reason for his periodic crankiness--turns out he may well be allergic to dairy. About a month ago after a week of him feeling sick and being really stopped up (yup on that end) we took him to Su's chiropractor who specializes in pregnant women and kids. She treated him with some stong yet gentle massages of his lower back and face, and strongly recommended that we try switching him to soy.

The results were pretty dramatic. He started sleeping better in the mornings after his typical crack of dawn bottle. And he just seemed happier. As the chiropractor told us "you'd be cranky too if you were constantly ingesting something that made you feel sick."

After a few weeks we tried to introduce some easily digestible dairy in the form of yogurt back into his diet but he immediately got stopped up and crankier again. So we'll hold off. Our doctor agrees that this might be an allergy. Some kids grow out of them so we'll just have to see what happens. In any case, he loves the organic soy milk which is HUGE. (Can you imagine if he didn't like it? Ugh!)

So, sweet as he can be, he certainly lets it be known when he is unhappy with any decision you may have made. But he's got a grin to die for, and when he's sleepy he's the cuddliest guy around.

He and Danny are quite the team. And we have a feeling they are just getting warmed up!

Have a great day everyone! -Monica

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Happy Birthday Susanne!

Is it really almost March 3rd again tomorrow? Well, then, tonight's the night Danny and I will make a special cake for Mama and the boys and I will "surprise" her in the morning with gifts and candles and song at the breakfast table.

It's so fun to see how Danny is excited yet a little jealous that this celebration if for Mama instead of for him. But he's especially psyched that his Nana will arrive from out of town tomorrow. It think it's great that Susanne's mom will be with her to celebrate her special day. I don't know if it's because my Mom passed away a few months ago or what, but I am finding myself feeling very pleased that Susanne gets the chance to share special moments like these with her Mom.

Our celebrations include fondu night with the family on Su's birthday and the next day a party with neighbors. I think we are going to have a splendid birthday party and wonderful weekend for my dear wife.

Honey, my wish for you is that this is the most fantastic birthday you have ever had. Love you sugar pie! -Monica

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Make Way for Babies!

For those of you who know me in real life, you know that we have a really dear friend named Luis who I first met about 10 years ago when we started working together. He is one of our Danny's Godfathers (lucky boy has 2 Godfathers), and well anyway, Luis and his partner Steve decided, a few years ago, that they wanted to start a family. It took some time, but through the grace of God they are now fathers to three gorgeous little boys--Joaquin is about 10 weeks old, and twins Alex and Reggie are about 6 weeks old.

Their story is unique and I highly recommend you check out their blog called 2Men3Babies (it's also listed on our blog roll).

Well the exciting news is that they should be returning sometime later this month from the country of India where the IVF and labor and delivery took place. (Oh and all that stuff in between the IVF and the labor--bless the women who carried these dear children).

I think I'll let some of Luis's words from his blog speak for themselves. This is from a letter he wrote to his oldest son a few days after Joaquin was born--before Luis or Steve had even met him...


Where do I start? What do I say first? You are 9 days old today and I have not yet had the opportunity to see you, hold you, or tell you how much I love you.  Daddy Steve is leaving tomorrow to be with you and I will soon follow.  I was talking about you today and it was suggested that I write you a letter.  Although I know that you can't yet read my words I pray that you can feel your Dad's love all the way over there as I count the moments until I can hold you in my arms.

When Daddy Steve arrives I am sending him with the fabric chord that has held the cross that I bought when Steve and I first departed to India to begin this journey.  I will ask Steve to take a piece of this chord and tie it around your little ankle or wrist so that you have a little part of me with you and know how much I want to be there with you.  When your siblings arrive in a few weeks I will take the remaining chord and will divide the remainder and finalize the sharing of the chord that has held all of my hopes and dreams of you and our family.

Speaking of our family, there may be those who will be confused or even question how it is that your daddies used a "non-traditional" way to bring you into their lives.  I want you to know that you were born in the most fundamentally traditional way, out of our love for one another.  Your daddies so loved each other that they wanted to expand that love and share that with you.  We had a number of Angels who helped in bringing you to us.

Son, I vow that I will try to be the best man that I can be for you and our family.  My heart is filled with such love and hope for you.  We are so happy that you are part of our lives and only ask that you continue to grow strong and healthy.  On the eve before Steve leaves to be with you and at the end of the year 2010, I look towards the new year and I pray for continued blessings and health.

Isn't that the sweetest letter you ever saw? I can't wait to see their little family of five soon! Have a great day everyone! -M

Here is a pic from Danny's baptism. Luis is right behind Susanne with the glasses and green tie.