Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Birthday Blast!

Lots more pics to come but Danny's birthday party at the pool was a blast! Our little guy is five. Wow!

Danny and Benji were so happy that their "sisters" made it back from their overseas trip in time to make the party.

Nice shot Miles!


Pretty sure he's wishing that it was time to start making the ice cream sundaes!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Little Men at Work

Over the past two weekends we've worked with some of our wonderful neighbors to cut down 3 pickup trucks worth of bamboo. We love having the view of bamboo out our window but over the years without much pruning, we have ended up with an unhealthy mix of brown and dying bamboo mixed in with the live stuff. The two huge snowstorms (Dec. 2009 and Jan. 2010) weighed the branches down terribly and many never recovered. It was time.

Susanne led the charge (the bamboo spans many property lines along our row houses) and Danny and Benji were really interested in the project and both "helped". Benji was particularly proud to wear big over-sized winter gloves so he could be like everyone else. It finally looks better and I for one am glad to be done with it. Between the scratches and the copious amounts of bird "you know what" in the branches,  I'll be glad to look at it all from a distance now rather than up close and personal. Here is a pic or two of the project.

Before the pruning

Danny loading up the truck

Benji, not to be outdone by his older brother.
It may look super pruned but do you have any idea how fast bamboo grows? Well done Susanne and team!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Field Trip!

So somehow I once again missed the fact that Danny had a field trip coming up today. Just last night I saw the permission slip in his folder and as usual he begged me to come. At first I told him that I couldn't but then got to feeling guilty. This was his very last trip of the school year and my schedule was fairly free work-wise.

Long story short, I took some time off and next thing you know I was off to Rock Creek Nature Center with 22 happy, active pre-schoolers. A Park Ranger read a story about trees and took us on a nature walk. Then it was off to explore the exhibits. BEES! They had a really cool way to see real bees making honey in their combs. Danny loved it as did all the kids.

Then a picnic lunch and a bunch of running around with impromptu games of "Tag" "Duck, Duck, Goose" and "Simon Says". Then back to school.

Can I just say I love Danny's teachers? Bravo! And how do you have the energy??? ;-) -Monica

Here are the kids "listening" to a tree.

Mr. Park Ranger enthralls the under six set.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Check Out the New Crib (with No Crib!)

This weekend we said goodbye to Benjamin's crib, AND HE SLEPT THROUGH THE NIGHT!

Happy Days here at our house. Here are a few pics of the brothers working together (with help from Mama) on the transformation of their cool room!

As you can tell, our little Super Benji is really excited about this project!   
I love that he thought he could really do this all by himself.

In all honesty Danny was none too pleased that all the focus was on Benji, but he got over it and was a big help.


He can't read yet at 29 months but that does not stop him :-)

Birthday Fun with Friends

This weekend Danny was so excited to go to a Taekwondo themed birthday party for his great pal Joakim. The kids had a blast!

The kids say "cheese" while the birthday boy makes a break on the right open a present. Ah yes, 5 year olds!
Danny on a count of three breaks a board at Joakim's party.

The highlight of the session was that the kids got to go up onto a stage and break a board in half. Danny was a little skeptical, but with all his might on a count of three he split that baby. This shot catches him right as he hit it. 

I wish I'd caught a few shots of the seconds after the big hit. What a mix of joy, shock, amazement and pride! Next week Joakim and friends will come together for Danny's 5th birthday party at the pool. 

I just hope that they don't try to break other things with their new found confidence. ;-)


Thursday, May 10, 2012

Ten Years

I remember the Lily of the Valley blooming so beautifully along the side of my parent’s house in May of 2002. They were amazingly fragrant and gorgeous as they are every spring, and I can only remember looking at them with a mix of joy and pain. You see, they bloomed on the day we buried our dad.

He’d been sick a long time with cancer, and yet this sudden illness (respiratory problems) still took us by surprise. By some miracle I was actually visiting my family in Minnesota from my home in DC when this happened. I could have had no way of knowing that he would get sick, nor that when he left the house that day he would never return.

It’s funny how intense periods result in memories that can only be described as snapshots that never ever fade. I can still see my sister Alice pulling the car up to the house as close as she could so he wouldn’t have so far too walk—that’s how shaky he was. Mom was really hobbled with a knee replacement too and it was all just so stressful I remember.

Like I said, I don’t think that we knew then that this was it, but maybe on some level we did.  Dad had always taken such care to have all of his papers in order, and yet as we were trying to get him out to the car, we realized that we did not know the passwords to his computer--you know that place where all of his papers were in such perfect order? He was able to tell us eventually, but I can picture him now, just looking at us somewhat confused and so tired.

I won’t list all of the memories that have been washing over me as I've reflected on dad today, but I will share one. After days in the hospital hooked up to so many lines and IVs etc…we moved him to a wonderful hospice. After he’d been transported, and attended to by the loving staff, I cried to see him resting so peacefully in soft blue pajamas--his stubble shaved and his skin so clean and soft. So serene. To me, he looked for everything in the world like a little boy peacefully sleeping.

I will forever be grateful for the loving way that the hospice workers, in big ways and small, helped us to just be with him, and help him to die with dignity and peace on that sad day of May 16, 2002.  I loved my dad very much and will always miss him (mom too now that she has joined him).

The Lily of the Valley bloomed very early on our street this year due to the unseasonably warm weather.  By the time I got out to collect a little bouquet it was too late. They were pretty must past their prime. But you know, that’s okay. They’ll bloom joyfully again next year. Just like my memories of dad will. -Monica

Dad with his one and only. I wonder if his corsage was Lily of the Valley? ;-)

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Let's Walk and Roll!

This morning Danny's school sponsored a day where all kids were encouraged to walk or ride something to school. It was pretty fun to be met by cheering teachers, staff, neighbors and friends! They called it Walk and Roll and here are a few pictures of our happy commuter! -M

P.S. We are just glad that he's getting the message now that helmets really are a big deal.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

So Sayeth...well, me.

Hello gentle readers. Say...I was just thinking about how both my blogging and my "Facebooking" have devolved into a fairly non-stop look at how hilarious I find my sons.

I don't think that there is anything wrong with that, but I find myself interested, in sort of a clinical way, about how this is not something that everyone does.

I've got friends who have kids just as cute as mine who hardly ever mention them (seriously they have very cute kids!) But they they post about civil rights issues, or political stuff or breaking news--maybe mention when the kids have a birthday or something. I have other friends, again with cutie pies, who track down every inspirational poster they can find to share every day. Then I have friends who do the cryptic posts like "only 10 more days to go", and you have no idea what they are talking about (but when they "reveal" it's hardly ever about their kids). Then there are the friends who love to tell you about their sundry experiences throughout the day. Laundry, going to the gym, whatever.  Not me. Pics and funny stories from life with our boys all the way.

So in my first paragraph I wrote that I thought that my writing had "devolved" once I had kids. But I'm not sure if it's a devolution as much as an evolution. You see, Susanne and I actually had a blog before we had children and when I went back to look, was sort of humored by the fact that I used to write about the antics of our cats. Yes, for those of you who remember Harley and CJ, they used to get all the keystrokes.

So maybe that's my shtick? I'm an ANTICS WRITER? Well, I guess it all balances out. I love to keep up on the news and politics I'm glad I have friends who post stuff like that (and that I get to read the paper every day.) And I know of at least a few people who don't seem to mind (dare I say encourage me?) to keep the funny quips coming about D&B.

See, I didn't even mention my kids in this post. Well, maybe just a tiny bit. Until next time! -Monica