Monday, September 24, 2012

Let's Go Nats!

Can I tell you how happy I am that our boys like baseball? You see, before we had the kids, both Susanne and I already loved the sport. We'd shared some season tickets with friends when the Nationals first came to DC, and after a few years of babies who were too little and who hated the roar of the crowd (usually the booing) we'd sort of settled into just following the team on TV.

I'd grown up a Twins fan in Minnesota and spent most of my time in warm weather playing pick up baseball or school softball. All the way through college even. (I even still own a few records if you know me well enough to Google it--most times hit by a pitch is not a record I'm proud of, but the fact that I'm still in the top ten for most triples, homeruns, RBIs and fewest strikeouts, does make me proud.)

So I love to watch the strategy and the athleticism. And this year's team is one to really get exited about!

We took the boys three times this season and it's so fun to teach them and to watch them get so excited about their favorite players. Danny Espinosa and Bryce Harper can do no wrong folks.

And the fact that the team will be in the playoffs has just made it so exciting.

Here's to the Boys of Summer! Both at National's Stadium and at our house. -Monica

Benji thrilled (and a little scared) to meet "President Roosevelt" yesterday!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

It's a Bird, It's a Plane...It's Benji Man!

While searching for something the other day on this blog, I found myself reading a bunch of posts from when our oldest son Danny (now 5) was Benjamin's age (now 2). I was really struck by how much more I talked about Danny than I ever do about Benji. Maybe it's just that curse of not being the firstborn or something, but I've decided to remedy the situation by taking a moment to say a few words about our dear Benji.

First of all, sometimes it's hard to believe he is only 2 years old. He won't even be three until December, but at his tender age he runs, jumps, and chatters with the best of them. The "best of them" being his older brother and much adored neighbors Callagh and Josie (who are 5 and 7 respectively.)

Benji can talk! And argue and even reason sometimes. I find it quite remarkable. The other day we drove past an intersection and he told Susanne he had been there with Patty. He had indeed been there with her for a graduation luncheon--when he was only 28 months old. He LOVES Bryce Harper of the Nationals. "Bryce Harper, where's Bryce Harper?" he'll ask whenever the game is on TV or as you can see when he gets to go to games from the picture above.

He'll say things like "the catepillars are butterflies now. They don't live in the trees, they live in the flowers on the circle". (Which is just what we'd told him when he spotted butterflies out there.) He's truly amazing. And can I tell you that he's actually really, really good at any matching game? His memory puts mine to shame (but that's not saying much.)

And in terms of strength, he is kind of "Bam Bam" strong. Ask  his brother who gets tackled regularly. They love to yell "AAAARRRRGGGG" and run towards each other to "play football". They both land on the ground--almost always with Benji on top--and then they start doing this weird "whistle" sound and both jump up. It's always fun until somebody gets hurt ;-)

Did I mention he can be stubborn? He can be stubborn ;-) Just how many times can a boy request "I want milk! I want milk! I want milk!"? Don't ask. And I almost forgot to mention how stealthy he can be. When he wants to he can be quiet as a mouse and sneak up on you (particularly when he is trying to escape from his bedroom right after being put down..

Anyway, we love both our boys so much and I'm glad I got a chance to share a little bit more about this clever, funny boy. Our Benji Man!

Saturday, September 08, 2012

From Patapilars To Flutterbys

Danny got a great Butterfly Garden from his Pop Pop for his birthday back in May.  It took us a few months, but we finally got around to ordering the caterpillars so that we could witness their transition into painted lady butterflies.  Both boys anxiously awaited our shipment -- in fact Benji spent most of a Saturday stalking the postal carrier in search of the "patapillars! patapillars!"

When they arrived I was a little skeptical that they had survived the mail, but they soon began to crawl around, eat, and spin some silky stuff.  The boys were quite fascinated.

By the end of the week all five caterpillars had attached themselves to the top of the cup and formed their chrysalides.  It was time for the transfer into the butterfly habitat.  (That silk is strong! It made it hard to get them out of the cup but also kept them from falling off the paper disk, I guess.)

Even though somehow only Benji got into the pictures, Danny was equally as excited, I assure you.

And the waiting was a little hard...especially because you weren't supposed to bat around the habitat.
But on Wednesday -- while no one was watching -- the first three painted ladies emerged!  (The tight white mesh of the habitat made them pretty hard to photograph, but check out the proboscis of the one sitting on the orange!)

Coincidentally that was also Monica's birthday (the cake and candles were for her, not the butterflies).  The neighbor girls were equally as excited as our boys and decided that the butterflies would be named Josie, Danny, Callagh, Benji and Emre.  Benji-fly and Emre-fly joined their siblings on Thursday.

We all enjoyed watching the butterflies and tried to keep them happy with the oranges and flowers drizzled with sugar water, but today was the day to set them free:

Thanks Pop Pop for a great gift!

Thursday, September 06, 2012

P.S. He Loves You

UPDATE: My dear friend Dave's sweet babies were born about 3 weeks after I wrote this post so I'm updating with a picture.  Welcome to the world Samuel and Sylvia (AKA Sam and Syl).  So precious!

Dear David’s Twins,
It’s just about time to welcome you two into the world. You don’t know it yet, but you’ve had us all a bit on edge of late as we get word that you’re ready to make your entrance, and then get word that you’re not.  I know you’ll come when you are ready, but hurry okay!
So… I wanted to write you this brief note to let you know how excited we are that you are coming, and to tell you a few things about your dad.
There. Now on to a few things about your dad. By the time you can read this for yourselves you will already know these things about him. Your dad is funny, creative, optimistic, endearing, clever, and determined. When he walks into a room he immediately becomes the hub and we are mere spokes drawn into his charismatic orbit. (He hardly ever lets that go to his head by the way ;-)
And did I mention lucky? I hope you two inherit this from him. His “parking karma”, His “YOU WILL NOT BELIEVE WHAT JUST HAPPENED” proclamations that never disappoint. Good things happen when your dad is involved in stuff guys. That’s just the way it is.
He knew he’d be a gay dad, but didn’t really start out to be a single gay dad. But he'll be fine and I can’t think of a better parent for you to have. He doesn’t look at the prospect of raising twins by himself as something that is insurmountable.  He looks it as it is. A great opportunity to get to love and raise the two most incredible babies in the world. And his circle of friends is wider and stronger than he’s ever realized. But he’ll learn that soon enough too. (And I’m also guessing he won’t be a single dad for long. But then again, like I said, good things happen when your father is involved ;-)
Alrighty then kids. We expect to hear any minute, hour or day that you are here. Keep your seatbelts fastened. You’re in for the ride of your lives! –Monica and family