woe is U.S.

Hey, y’all. This is a political post, not a parenting post. I was feeling like I wanted to get this written down and shared for discussion.

I’ve gotten more politically involved at a local level for the last year or so, culminating in joining my local Democratic group to be a precinct delegate. I’ve been to two meetings thus far; the first was a general local group of several precincts to elect delegates, and the second a precinct-specific meeting held in a neighbors home with a total of seven people. I added my name to the delegate list at the first meeting.

I was excited to join as I hoped to spearhead a Dem-supported volunteer group for the organization Spread the Vote, which is dedicated to getting individuals who need them IDs. NC passed a voter ID amendment in the 2018 midterms so it feels like a critical, time-sensitive piece that we need to jump on. I brought up the organization at both meetings I attended, to a lukewarm reception.

At our first meeting, we discussed ABC stores at length (did you know that NC’s education system relies on money raised via ABC stores, making privatizing them cost our schools desperately needed money?). We briefly touched on hog farms. I brought up the local ICE presence (federal crack down to punish NC for refusing to enforce) and the voter ID issue. Pained expressions and sympathetic comments, but no real discussion.

I went to my first convention as a delegate last Saturday. Arranged childcare and drove 25 minutes to be there. Stood in a lengthy line. Got to the front and my name was not on the list. They sent me to another table. Still not listed. They got my precinct chair and discovered that it was a mistake on his end (he and two other precinct folks didn’t review an email that was sent over to verify). I was gracious and drove the 20 minutes home, not too pleased. Received multiple texts/emails apologizing for the error and hoping I’d continue to be involved.

Meanwhile, I’ve been getting emails from Spread the Vote asking for volunteers and for folks to host fundraisers. I have two young kids. I can barely handle one “extra.” So which one do you think you’d pick? The one that doesn’t seem to address the big issues and doesn’t have their paperwork in order, or the one that is feet on the ground, addressing a MAJOR need in our community? Yeah. Dems need to do better.

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2018 in review

Highlights only, y’all. We all have enough lowlights daily.

January

  • School roller skating party
    Monkey’s third time roller skating. He’s not very good at it, but he always gives it a go before spending the bulk of the time playing games in the arcade area (lol).
  • Snowpocalypse!
    While we get snow 2-3 times each winter, it’s typically in the 3″ or less range. In January of 2018, we got a whopping 7-10″! It was beautiful and lasted a few days. Perfect.
    Our front yard
    snow

February

  • Sleigh Bells at Lincoln Theater
  • Started volunteering with local group
    I make food, and Monkey and I serve it to folks at a downtown mission once a month. He loves doing it and it sparks super interesting convos with him on the drive home. We both feel good helping out in our community and are looking for more opportunities where kids can assist.

March

  • Snow
  • Beatles cover band with kids at Cat’s Cradle
    Seemed like a fab idea. Take our kids to our favorite venue and invite their besties to come, too. OMG, y’all. Kids weren’t much interested in the music, and ran completely wild for around 25 minutes before we called it and left. Sigh.

April

  • Margaret Cho
  • Superchunk at Cat’s Cradle
  • DW’s new band’s first show
  • Bulls games (2)
  • Easter with Granny and Papa
  • The MM turns 5
    Had his first real birthday party at a bounce house place with his preschool buds and other BFFs.

May

  • Preschool graduation for the MM
    My baby graduated from preschool. Wasn’t he just born?
  • Dad’s heart scare
    My dad was admitted into the hospital for a three night stay with arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat – his was in overdrive and he didn’t even know it). It was very scary while doctors tried to figure out what was up and why. He is on meds and has a heart doctor that he sees regularly, but has been basically fine since he was released. Hopefully this trend continues.
  • Out! Raleigh
    Yearly LGBTQ event that is a lot of fun for the whole family. Typically, we get beers and hang out in the bounce house area watching the kids jump.

June

  • Disney Cruise!
    So, this was a mixed bag, primarily because our kids were overtired and over stimulated and refused to use the kid’s club.

    Highlights
    : Castaway Cay, Disney’s private Carribean island. All of us swam and floated all day in the ocean, had delicious food and drinks, and had a wonderful time. We also swam with Sting Rays, which was amazing. We loved the Beauty and the Beast show we saw on the boat, the food was excellent, and the waterslide SUPER COOL!

    Lowlights
    : Kids fought A LOT, refused the kid’s club, wanted to be in the pool constantly (there were 2 very small, overcrowded pools, which was disappointing).

    We’ve talked about possibly doing another cruise in the future, when kids are little older, so who knows?

  • Kennedy Space Center
    Super cool, especially the Atlantis space shuttle exhibit. We saw the Endeavor in LA, but this was spectacular on a whole other level. It was hot as hell the day we went, and the kids were kind of a nightmare in the beginning, but I’m really glad we persevered because it was a great experience. I want to go back and explore more.

July

  • Raleigh SuperCon
    First comic con with the kids (well, if you don’t count Monkey’s actual first con at 7 months old). We all had a really fun, geeky time and decided we are totally going to hit all of them in our general vicinity from here on out. Mama and Mommy are happy to be back in our element, getting sketches and autographs and nerdy merch. Yay!
  • SC beach trip
    We’d decided to skip the family beach trip this year since we did the cruise, but we ended up going for a long weekend, because free beach trip.
  • Bulls game

August

  • The MM starts kindergarten, Monkey starts third grade.
    W.O.W. Both kids in regular, full-time school. The MM doesn’t care for his teacher, but is doing really well, making friends, and learning a lot. Hoping next year’s teacher will meet with his hard-won approval.
    Mommy and the MM on 1st day of Kinder
    1st day sch
  • Comiccon: Second con, this time, the kids dressed up. Monkey was Ninja Deadpool (his own invention) and the MM was Mario.

September

  • Car Seat Headrest at Cat’s Cradle
  • Uneventful Florence
    We were told to prepare prepare PREPARE because this would be bad. Ended up not being much at all for our area, thankfully.

October

  • Breeders show in Columbia
    My parents live in Columbia so it worked out for us to see one of our all-time faves, the Breeders!
    Got a signed album
    breeders
  • Bro’s wedding
    My brother remarried in a nice, intimate ceremony at the beach. I got to spend time with my fave (though problematic) aunt and see my uncle, who I’ve not seen in years. Had a wonderful time reconnecting.

November

  • Durham comiccon
    Not the greatest con, but still a fun day.
  • Election
    This year, DW and I were all the way in. She text banked for many Dem campaigns across the country, I did poll greeting for early voting, and we both did poll greeting on election day. Felt amazing and will continue the trend and get more involved . Next up: Doing all we can to get IDs for NC voters prior to next election.
  • Superchunk show at Motorco
    This was a free show on election night with a photo showing you at your voting location. So good!

December

  • Monkey turned 9 (!!!)
    Party to come in early Feb at a trampoline place (his “fake” birthday party as he calls it).
  • ┬áHamilton!!!!
    LOVED IT!!!!!! So much that I’ve purchased tickets for us to see it again in NYC in June.
  • Trip to NY
    This was an impromptu getaway that was supposed to be for one night, but ended up being an amazing three night Mamas extravaganza! We were invited to see a fave band play a private gig so we quickly got flights and a hotel for Sat. night and got my mom on-board to watch the kids. It snowed like crazy overnight in NC, so we got bumped and kept getting bumped until late Tuesday. We squeezed in a play (Wicked), a visit to the Met, lots of shopping (the Nintendo store, y’all!!!!), and sight-seeing. It was wonderful.

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summer 2018 bucket list roundup

Before I begin, let me start by saying MY BABY STARTED KINDERGARTEN TODAY! He was a very brave boy and went in serious but also curious. He’s been all over the place in terms of starting school, so we really weren’t sure what to expect this morning. But he summoned his courage (and his excitement for learning how to read and write) and went for it. Wasn’t he just born yesterday? SOB

On to the summer bucket list!

  • Go on 5 night Disney Cruise to the Bahamas!!!!!! DONE
    We all had a fab time and this really needs its own post… To come? Highlights included 2 days on Castaway Cay (Disney’s private Carribean island), the food, the characters, and nights with cocktails on our verandah.
  • Visit Kennedy Space Center. DONE
    This was incredible. They have the space shuttle Atlantis and the set up for it is really incredible – like chills, goosebumps incredible. We want to go back.
  • Go to You Are Here exhibit at NCMA. DONE
    Super cool exhibits and photo ops ­čÖé
  • Visit local splash pad. DONE
    There is a newish splash pad that we hadn’t visited yet. Mommy took the boys on a playdate and all of the boys loved it.
  • Visit Granny & Papa. DONE
    The plan was to visit them at their house but we ended up meeting them at the beach and spending a few days.
  • Go to big pool. DONE
    Did this several times over the summer and enjoyed ourselves.
  • Go to Super Hero, Bug, and Karate camps. DONE
    Both boys attended all of these and had a great time.
  • See movies (Incredibles 2!). DONE
    We saw Coco in 3D on the cruise, Incredibles 2, A Wrinkle in Time, and others that are escaping me at the moment. We have a $2 theater near home so Mommy and boys saw lots of stuff I didn’t.
  • Host a backyard water play playdate. NOT DONE
    Considering a Halloween party instead…
  • Get bikes and check out local greenways. NOT DONE
    I don’t know why it seems so difficult to get damned bikes. We are going to do this soon, I swear.

BONUS!

  • Visited the sunflower fields.
    A local park planted a huge field full of sunflowers. It was beautiful, even though both boys were afraid of the bees.
  • Attended Raleigh SuperCon and Wizard World Winston-Salem.
    Mommy and Mama are HUGE comic book and sci fi nerds who used to attend the mother con (San Diego ComicCon) so we thought we’d introduce the boys to this world with Raleigh SuperCon. They LOVED it (as did we), so we vowed to attend any that are in striking distance from now on.

    Can you believe the very next weekend was Wizard World in Winston-Salem? So, we did it again! This time the boys wanted to dress up, so the Marshmallow was the world’s cutest Mario (Nintendo) and Monkey was Ninja Deadpool (lolol). Next up, North Carolina Comicon in Durham in November! WOOT!

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summer 2018 bucket list

Yes, friends, I’m still alive! Before we leave for our DISNEY CRUISE, thought I sketch out our summer bucket list. Bet you can’t guess the first item on it!

  • Go on 5 night Disney Cruise to the Bahamas!!!!!!
  • Visit Kennedy Space Center.
  • Go to You Are Here exhibit at NCMA.
  • Visit local splash pad.
  • Visit Granny & Papa.
  • Host a backyard water play playdate.
  • Go to big pool.
  • Go to Super Hero, Bug, and Karate camps.
  • See movies (Incredibles 2!).
  • Get bikes and check out local greenways.

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