Monday, August 4, 2014

Getting Organized

Oh hey there, reader(s). Two months since my last post. I am so outstanding at this blogging thing, no? Really very consistent.

When I last posted we were on the cusp of summer. Endless months of  sun, sand, boating and grandparents awaited. Well, for the child anyway, the moms' days look the same as always, just with a (giant) dash of humidity thrown in and the lack of having to ready a child for school each morning and the rush to pick her up each evening.

Now the end of summer is just over the horizon. The grandparents head home in a couple of weeks. School starts a month from tomorrow. All that stuff that seemed so far away is so close we can almost touch it.

It's bittersweet, isn't it? I'll be sad to close up our little summer escape but at the same time excited to go home full time and resume normalcy. Baking in my old retro kitchen, Saturday morning soccer games, relishing (and cursing) the humdrum of the daily grind. 

This is the time of year that I swear we will get organized at home. When 4 adults, one (messy/chaotic) almost 9 year old and two quirky dogs live in 800 square feet you learn to keep things minimized and organized. It's a lot easier to let the mess spread in 2800 square feet.

My biggest immediate goal is organizing a homework haven for the kid. She is going into 4th grade this year and in the Montessori world ... well, let's just say 4th grade is when sh*t gets real. I had a minor panic attack listening to the teachers talk about the expectations and impending homework. 

Arden is swawesome*....

(photographic proof/Memory Monday - Arden age 3)



...but a lover of school and motivated, organized human she is not. Not to mention she has two moms who work full time and can't get her home before 6PM. (Cue the intense parent guilt.)

I'll be honest, I am conflicted. We have a little library upstairs. It is cozy and perfect. It's the warmest room in the winter and has a door that closes and would be the ideal space for homework. In fact, she self-selected it during the last school year as a place to get work done.




Except when one has a child who, when it comes to schoolwork, benefits from a more hawkish-parenting approach -- let's just say I've found her knee deep Home Repairs 101 as opposed to working on her homework packet -- having her on a separate floor presents a challenge.

There is always the kitchen table but then I need to make sure she has organized storage for pencils and paper, an ever present good pencil sharpener, etc. etc. etc. Not to mention she needs to have regular access to a computer for word processing and typing practice this year. The kitchen solution would be something we have to set up each night because this creature spends her days in the kitchen and will destroy all things in her path.


So there you have it. I have no clue what the best solution is for this year but I only have a few weeks left to figure out a cost effective and well ... generally effective solution. Because maybe if I give her the structure there will be less fighting and tears over homework.

Or maybe the answer to all of it is that we just need one of these, then nothing will seem like that big of a problem.



What are your favorite organization tips for school? 

*Swawesome - Super, Wonderful, Awesome. Word of the summer. Use it. Love it.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

The Cherry on Top

Arden and I have kept ourselves busy while D's been away on business this weekend. We closed out the day in Cambridge with the Boston Breakers. Her league had a 'day' with the Breakers - an hour on the field with a player and a couple of coaches and then a night at the game.

It was a spectacular day. Sunny, no humidity, warm. Perfection.

Harvard Stadium is very cool. A really fun place to watch a game, it turns out. There are no seats, just row after row of cement slabs. Needless to say it wasn't a full house at tonight's game - no claustrophobia there.

And with that ... tonight's photo essay:

There was much scrimmaging. She is fierce. I love watching her play.




We met Annette and Rob and the girls for dinner between the scrimmage and the Breakers game. I do love a good meal at Border Cafe. 

And look, all looking at the camera and SMILING! Third time's a charm.


Selfie number 345 of the weekend. Because we're fun people.



At one point in the second half Arden moved down from where we were sitting to sit in the front row. I think it's safe to say we're raising a secure child.


We hit up 'autograph alley' post game. She now has a soccer ball signed by numerous players.



Including her favorite player, Lianne Sanderson. Even Sabrina scooted up to get that autograph. Talk about your fierce athlete, she was so fun to watch.



 We passed this tree on the way back through Cambridge and the child insisted she be photographed under it. She's odd, but I obliged.


All in all it was a fun weekend. We are both wiped out and now need the week off.  

And at some point I'll be able to go to sleep, just as soon as the chicken I'm roasting finishes. Apparently today's activities inspired a little someone to do heavy duty training and focus on protein so this mother of the year is roasting chicken. At 11:30. At night. On Sunday.

Where is my gold platinum star? 


Saturday, May 31, 2014

In which we pay $90 to have people throw dyed cornstarch at us....

Under the cloak of winter darkness, a friend (you know who you are)  and I, desperate to dream that spring might one day come, signed up to do Color Me Rad's Boston run. Basically we paid a bunch of money for the pleasure of being tie-dyed. 

Today was the day, and it is a day that will live in infamy.

We joined 5,000 people at a farm about 20 minutes from our house and traversed 3 miles of corn country while slowly turning into Easter eggs.

I have lots of thoughts about the experience. It was fairly disorganized and the two-lane road that leads to the farm was not equipped to welcome a few thousand cars. (read: two miles, one hour.) I think it's safe to say that by the time we parked and made our way to the start line, easily .75 miles from our parking space in the middle of a corn row, we were feeling a scoche frustrated. We headed straight for the starting line where they had disregarded the scheduled waves and were just sending groups of 50 people off every few minutes.

Maybe I should have read the fine print but I expected assaulted by blasts of colored powder every few feet. Yeah, nope. I think there were four, maybe five color stations along the 3 mile course. Halfway through Arden was less than pleased to find herself still relatively stark white. 

Exhibit A:


The course was unexpectedly hard. In my experience 5Ks tend to feature a lot of flat land with one or two hills for good measure. This was hill after hill. I didn't hate it - we do a lot of hills on our jaunts with the dogs - but it wasn't an easy course.

That said, it was gorgeous. Gorgeous day. Gorgeous farm. Even if it did kick my ass.



All complaining aside, I'm glad we crossed this off our bucket list. More photos of the day!

This photo feels very Maria Von Trapp, The Hills are Alive to me, no?


Arden was SUPER excited that I kept whipping out the camera to capture this experience. See?


Delighted to finally be out of the car and ready to get the show on the road:


Seriously. The fierceness that is our kid. Seriously.


Mortifying mother forced selfie FTW!


PINK (of note, asthmatics, wear a mask!)


PURPLE - this was right before the finish line.



Finisher

                                  

They had bags of 'color bombs' at the end - we each got one and she finished the job herself.





 In the end, we had fun. I wouldn't do a 5K like this again -- it's just too gimmicky -- but now we can say we've done it, right? Right.


Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Nineteen

Today is our official 10th anniversary. Our raucous celebration includes Dora being at a board meeting and me roasting a chicken and working on Annette's wedding plans. We know how to party. But hey, it's just another day in this life of ours.

When we got married 10 years ago we had no idea what awaited this country in terms of same-sex marriages. Would it last in Massachusetts? Would any other state adopt it? And then Connecticut did. And Iowa did. Then Vermont, New Hampshire and Washington DC. And on and on and on... 

This has been a big week for marriage equality with Oregon and state #19, Pennsylvania! 




With the addition of Pennsylvania ...



10 years. 19 states (plus Washington DC!).

Equality.

Oh and perhaps most important? We now share our anniversary with these fine fellows: 


Congratulations, Mitch and Cam! Welcome to the club.



Sunday, May 18, 2014

The Gay Agenda, Take 753

Another big day on the Gay Agenda today. 

There was a lot of laundry, grocery shopping and meal prepping. Why is it already Sunday night?



(You know you've done it. Don't lie to me.)

Just another day of prepping to take over the world, one sock at a time.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Ten Years

Today we celebrated ten years of legal marriage in Massachusetts. Ten years! That's a whole decade, folks. It was ten years ago that Dora and I headed down to Cambridge City Hall and got in line with 300 of our new nearest and dearest friends to get our marriage license. 

We would marry just a few days later on May 21, 2004 in what was sort of the gay version of a shotgun wedding, only our shotgun was the fear that Mitt 'Mittens' Romney would be successful in his efforts to overturn our newly discovered equality. If nothing else we wanted to be grandfathered in in case he really was able to put our marriage asunder. 

We don't have a lot of photos from May 17, 2004, we were busy just living in the moment. The days before the iPhone! We did, however, stumble across this gem on the good ol' internet. 




This website captured some terrific photos from that night. So very special to relive that day through these images. May 17, 2004 In Pictures

And one from our actual wedding day. Wow we were young. Somebody pass the Botox.



Last night (May 16) Cambridge City Hall and Mass Equality joined together to have a big party and vow renewal. It was pretty excellent and a scoche surreal to be there 10 years later with Arden. Mayor David Maher hosted a wonderful night which featured the incomparable Mary Bonauto, the lawyer for GLAD who has worked tirelessly for her entire career to end discrimination for the GLBT community, and led our plaintiff couples to victory. To equality. Mary Bonauto in a room full of the gays - well, she's our very own rock star, it was pretty damn cool.

Our trailblazing plaintiffs!




Today Fox25 reached out to me via Twitter (shout out to social media!) to ask if we would be willing to be interviewed about the anniversary. We hemmed and hawed for a bit. We were out of the house for the day so there was no chance to actually dress for success (oof) but we were at the hairdresser when they contacted us so at least our hair was good (win). In the end we Dora decided we had to bite the bullet and do it and I have to say, it wasn't nearly as terrifying as I expected it to be. 

Our 15 Seconds

Here we are with the super sweet Heather Hegedus from Fox25.




And Arden on set. They were amused by her. She was pretty great. She made a joke on camera and told us she was just trying to make the people laugh. 

                                             

I have so many thoughts swirling in my head about where we are today and where we are headed in this country. They'll come out over the coming weeks - but it's been a long, long 48 hours so I think I will end this here with a couple more photos from the last couple of days.

Arden watching the video from May 17, 2004.




Cake. Is. Awesome. (And delicious. By the Royal Sonesta Hotel.)



We took her to Club Cafe - where we had our fabulous wedding reception - for a celebratory dinner. She's a fan - piano bar in one room, pumpin' techno in the other. She asked to go back again tonight. (PS: when did she get so old?)




Friday, March 14, 2014

Sam Adams, Beer of the Year!

This has been quite the week in the Boston LGBT community. Headlining the papers (and social media) has been the storied South Boston St. Patrick's Day parade. The one that for the entirety of its existence has banned gay people from marching. The one that for a moment said sure, 2014 is the year that openly gay veterans can march. As long as they do not say they are gay. Or wear a shirt that might infer they are gay. And then the organizers changed their minds. So there will be no gay people marching in the parade. 

Marty Walsh, the new mayor of Boston, has spoken out aggressively about this, and is trying to talk some sense into the clearly discrimination heavy parade hosts, the South Boston Allied War Veterans Council. Mayor Walsh has said he will not march unless the gays are welcomed to march openly. Go Mahty!


Sam Adams has been the beer sponsor for the St. Patrick's day parade for eons. Yesterday, Club Cafe - the restaurant where we happened to celebrate our wedding nearly ten years ago - said they were removing Sam Adams beer from their menu and bar until Sam Adams pulled their sponsorship of the parade.

Guess what? Sam Adams pulled their sponsorship of the parade.




This story was on the radio as Arden and I were driving home from school. She asked about it and I won't lie, I got a little verklempt at the incredible support that is happening for the LGBT community. For our community. For my family.

Ten years ago we rushed to the altar to make sure we had a chance of being grandfathered in if Mittens (not a typo) Romney was successful in overturning marriage equality. Now we have a president more outspoken than any politician in history about equality. We have governors and mayors and senators fighting for our families - and not just in whispers behind closed doors. They are as out and proud as we are and you know what? It's awesome.

Now go out and buy yourself something to drink.