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 🙂
- 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.
- 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!
I have heartily and often called 2017 a dumpster fire for obvious reasons. This year started out with a lot of fear, tears, and rage and continued to be a rollercoaster of mostly negative emotions. It has been a challenging year for all of us, I’d imagine, but I want to make sure to recognize and acknowledge the good. I have to acknowledge the good to be the best mom I can to my boys who deserve a present and sane Mama. After all, my kids were 4 and 7 this year and a lot happened! So here goes.
- Women’s March: I know, I know, I’m starting with a politically related event. I have to as it gave me so much hope and strength to see the number of attendees, the diversity, to march with my boys and explain why we were there. It was also the first time we have been recognized as a family by a stranger at a non-gay event. That was pretty awesome ❤
- NC Chinese Lantern Festival: This was our first visit to the Festival, which was really REALLY cool! There were Asian-themed light displays (lanterns, Chinese soldiers, foo dogs, etc.) as well as holiday related displays. Our whole family enjoyed it and planned to go the following year (see December, below).
- Sarah P. Duke Gardens: This was our first time visiting the gardens and it was beautiful. We need to get back here in the warmer months to see things blooming!
- HKonJ march: This is a yearly march organized by the NC chapter of the NAACP. Again, recharged the spirit and made me want to continue to RESIST. I went to this one sans family and met a long-time blogger friend Sarah! No brainer great memory.
- Hedwig play: DW and I are ridiculously obsessed with Hedwig and were SO excited this was coming to our neck of the woods. It was great seeing it in play form (we’d only seen the movie about 500 times prior). LOVE Hedwig!
- Snow: We get snow 2 or 3 times in the winter and it is always an experience our family loves – especially because we hail from Southern California. It’s pretty, you get snow/ice days off school/work, and it’s fun to play in when there’s enough of it. I also enjoy putting out birdseed and watching the show ❤
- Artsplosure: Katena: This is a huge inflatable structure designed to be “lit up” by the sun filtering in through the thin colored plastic walls. We went to another one of these back in LA when the MM was a baby and loved it. Fun for kids and adults. A friend and his two boys joined us and we had a great time running around, taking pictures.
- X show at the Cat’s Cradle: Los Angeles legends X came through and it was incredible. These folks are getting up there in age, but still manage to rock it and sound great. The nostalgia and LA feels were high.
- Boating: A co-worker and her wife (no, we are not the only gays in NC) live on a lake and bought a new boat. They kindly invited our family over for a ride and some swimming in the lake and in their pool. It was great fun and the first time either boy has been lake swimming. They were both fans.
- Monkey begins reading for pleasure: On a whim, I picked up a copy of the first Capt. Under.pants book at Tar.get and handed it to Monkey in the car. When we got home, he laid down on his belly on the couch and read for over an hour! This was probably my most favorite thing that happened in 2017. The birth of a reader. He has been into it ever since and has read tons of books. My heart, you guys. MY HEART!
- Car Seat Headrest show at the Cat’s Cradle: We like them, we saw them, it was good. Seeing bands is a passion of ours, so I added all of them to the list to remind myself that we continued doing things we love as a couple.
- Durham Bulls game: Love our Bulls! Planned to see one game per month over the summer, but only made it to two. Cool ballpark, beers, food – SO FUN!
- Sold condo: After a couple of years of pain renting out our SoCal condo, we decided we were over it. It sold quickly for more than double what we paid for it 14 years ago (!!!). We socked most of the profits away to put down on our current house once we exit the dumpster fire. Sorry to be a downer, but we want access to money in case we need to make a quick exit from the US. We did use some of it…
- Bought new cars: We bought a black 2017 Toy.ota High.lander, which we are in love with. Also replaced our ancient Hon.da CRV (purchased in 2001!) with a silver 2014 Hon.da CRV. So, no car payments, no paying interest, and in solid vehicles for years to come seemed like a good way to spend some of our profits.
- Family beach trip (Edisto, SC): This was a VERY mixed bag, but I’m counting it in the win column because the kids had a fantastic time with their cousins. We had a little bday celebration for my nephew on the first night there, which was also a lot of fun.
- Paperhand puppet show, Of Wings and Feet: This is a local group that makes the puppets, which are incredibly, and puts on various shows. I didn’t realize that this particular show highlighted resistance. It was poignant, funny, and inspiring. The boys and I even went on-stage at the end to act as protestors. Loved it.
- Superchunk/Ex Hex/Waxahatchee @ NCMA: This was a Merge Records showcase at the NC Museum of Art’s open air theater. All three bands were really fun, but Superchunk was the highlight. We’ve loved them for many years and think it’s SO cool to see them here (they are from Chapel Hill) and get to go to shows at the Cat’s Cradle (epic indie rock club in Carborro, which is next to Chapel Hill). The museum is very close to home, so that was a plus as well.
- The eclipse: This? WAS SO FREAKING COOL! I didn’t have much in the way of expectations, and I was blown away. I immediately regretted our decision not to travel to Columbia (which is where my parents live), where they had 100% totality. We had 93% totality and it was amazing.
- Durham Bulls game: Go Bulls!
- Helium show (Hopscotch Festival, downtown Raleigh): We were HUGE Helium fans in the 90s and count ourselves fortunate that this revival came through our town. Mary Timony (singer/songwriter/guitarist) did not disappoint. First show we’ve seen at the Red.Hat Amphitheater.
- Monkey goes tree climbing: We have an arboretum near home that I follow on FB. They published this event to climb trees that looked really cool, so I got Monkey a spot. It exceeded our expectations and we can’t wait for it to come again. I’m totally climbing next time. You get a little instruction on how to use the equipment and there is an instructor there to help while you climb. You climb up huge old oak trees – 40-50 feet in the air!
- Carolina Tiger Rescue: Who knew we had a tiger rescue within 30 minutes of home???? We had a great time wandering the grounds looking at bobcats, cougars, leopards, cheetahs, jaguars, lions, and tigers. Really great facility that cares for these animals who need somewhere to go. Will definitely be back.
- Guided by Voices show at Motor.co: First time at this super cool venue, across the street from Fullsteam Brewery, which we checked out as well. GbV is one of our favorite groups from back in the 90s (they are still touring and making records, God bless ’em), and this is our second opportunity to see them in NC. Fun ass show, per usual.
- Cults show at Cat’s Cradle: Show was okay, but a night out at the Cat’s Cradle is always a good time.
- Hosted Thanksgiving: This was my first time hosting Thanksgiving and it went very well. I made a turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, gravy, a squash casserole, and biscuits. MiL brought pumpkin pie and apple pie. A friend brought a roasted veggie casserole. Meal was delicious and we had the house cleaned up and appropriately spiffed up for the holiday. I call it a success.
- Hilton Head/Savannah trip: My parents have a time share on Hilton Head and we try to join when they go. This year, it was my mom and us (my dad was still in Houston, serving his time with FEMA). We typically do a day trip to Savannah as it’s only ~45 minutes away. This year we finally made it to the famed Bonaventure cemetery. We have a family plot there, where my great great grandfather and grandmother are buried. It’s a beautiful place with a ton of history. The boys were being out of control, so my mom offered to drive them around a bit so we could look in peace. We walked through the oldest area of the cemetery, took pictures, and then headed out to play at Forsyth Park.
- NC Chinese Lantern Festival: See January, above.
- Finalized DW adoption of the MM: We started this process early in 2017. After problem after problem after setback after setback, it was finally official in December. Thanks to my special friend SB for making it happen! So now both boys have been legally adopted by their Mommy. Suck it, 45.
- Tig Notaro show: A close friend here in Raleigh is a HUGE Tig fan and bought a bunch of Tiggets to her show (that is her phrase – lololol). DW isn’t a fan, but I really like her as does my mom, so we went and it was great. I typically like my comedy more on the edgy side, but I got a bunch of laughs and a night out with the girls.
- Christmas: Nothing out of the ordinary this year, but we love the holidays, so it’s always special. The MM’s “big” gift? Hulk riding a car. Monkey’s big gift? Nin.tindo Switch, with games and accessories from multiple family members.
And I must mention our fantastic karate family as playing a big part in making 2017 less of a suckfest. We absolutely love our dojo and our shihan, who is such a strong, caring, liberal woman who I’m proud to call a friend. It’s a wonderful community and we feel lucky to be a part of it. Monkey loves it and continues to thrive and improve. The MM, on the other hand, is the king of NO and decided he was done, much to our chagrin. Hoping that when he gets a little older he has a change of heart.
Not a bad year, right? It was fun to remember the good times and not focus on our national nightmare for a bit. I need to do more of that in 2018.
In closing, RESIST, my friends!
I may or may not have shared that I’m in a new position at work. My boss left for a job at another company in early Dec. and my new boss offered me a position that is a step up the ladder (from Sr. Principal to Manager, though I have no direct reports yet). I still would have preferred the Seattle position, but alas, it was not offered. Anyway, this post is not technically about my new job, but rather how my new boss has asked me to travel a couple of times. I want to see if any of you out there have had this issue while nursing and how you handled it.
The MM will be 9 months old on Jan 29th. He will take a bottle, but will only drink a small portion (less than an oz.). We started him on solids at 6 months, but he is not all that interested. He often totally refuses baby food, but sometimes he eats it up. What does he want? Mama’s milk – directly from Mama. Not a problem for me, until possibly now. My boss wanted me to come to Northern California at the end of Feb for two nights for a meeting. I didn’t say no exactly, but kind of let it be known that I might have difficulty attending. She wrote me back and said I don’t have to come (her exact words were, “I won’t hold it against you,” which felt a little… weird) and can call in to the meetings. Now, all of my (male) peers (including one who lives on the East coast) will be attending and I kind of feel like I’m blowing it by not going. I just think both the MM and I would be in misery (not to mention Mommy). I worry about him not taking the bottle or food, crying all night (we co-sleep and he still wakes a few times in the night to nurse), causing an early end to nursing, and my supply taking a hit.
So do you think I have reason for concern or should I throw caution to the wind and go? Have any of you had to travel without baby while nursing during the first year? How did it go (for you and for baby)? At what point should I be able to travel without him? I’m thinking once he’s a year, but of course that means night weaning. I always said I’d be night weaning at a year anyway after years of night nursing Monkey, but now that it’s almost here, I’m kind of softening my stance : / Tell me your stories of travels and nurslings and outcomes (oh my!), Mamas!
PS: Remember how we were going to Dis.ney.land to celebrate Monkey’s 4th birthday today – Friday? Cancelled due to 3 of us being sick as dogs (both boys and me) and MiL breaking her arm and needing assistance. Oy! Will try to reschedule for late Feb. When it rains…