Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Ask! Tell! This is a great day I say...

Yes Beatle, it's okay now. As of today, the ban on US service members serving openly has been lifted. I am thrilled on so many levels. Even though I have no connection myself to the military (more a Peace Corps type) I was always outraged by the idiocy of making people hide their sexual orientation. So they were held to incredibly high standards of honesty and integrity in their military lives, but basically had to commit lies of commission and ommission to stay in.

In the early 2000's I volunteered for several years help run a big annual fundraising gala for the Service Members Defense Network (SLDN). I met so many great people--many of whom had been forced to leave jobs they loved. Can you imagine how painful that was for them? SLDN was a lifeline for so many over the years. Frightened servicemen and women could call annonymously to get confidential help and advice from lawyers. At the same time the organization worked tirelessly to move legislation to bring the ban to an end.

At one gala dinner I had the honor of hearing Pat Kutteles speak about the horrific murder of her son Barry Winchell because he was "different". The more I learned the sadder and madder I got.

A writer named Randy Shilts wrote a book I read about 10 years ago called "Conduct Unbecoming: Gays and Lesbians in the US Military". It really shocked and saddened me. I'll never forget learning about an Air Force Seargent named Leonard Matlovich. He died in 1983 and on his tombstone which he meant as a memorial to all gay veterans at Congressional Cemetary in DC, he arranged for the following inscription:

"When I was in the military they gave me a medal for killing two men, and a discharge for loving one."

Powerful right? I kinda hope that he and everyone who has been on the fatal receiving end of violence against gays in the military is smiling from heaven today.

So, today is a great day. There is more to do though. Being open is great but partners/spouses of gay service members don't get the same treatment as straight spouses. There will have to be wider scale changes for that to happen, but a day like today gives me hope.

So thank you everyone associated with SLDN, including Dixon and Michelle, Jeff, Lara, Allen...the list goes on. You done good! -Monica

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Thursday, September 15, 2011

I really hate pictures of myself, but I'll make an exception...

Yup, that's my left pinky. Nice right? And the best part is that it's been like this since I was about 15 years old when I broke it playing basketball. Never much bothered me til I wacked it on a picnic table this summer. Now it's pretty swollen and irritated. I do remember being able to bend it around in all directions and would joke that I had no bones in that middle joint, but I had no idea that the bones were so out of whack. Apparently the middle joint is hyperextended and the joint at the tip is flexing--both constantly fighting with each other to dominate. This is what happens when you mess with your tendons people.

Anyway, I learned yesterday from a doc that there is a name for this. It's called a Swan Neck deformity (kinda does look like a swan's neck right?) I'll see a hand specialist but I'm not inclined to want to have surgery. Even though it is more painful and annoying than before.

Sigh...now I'm afraid to get x-rays of any other parts of my body. What other surprises lurk under the surface? ;-)


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Halloween Shmalloween

Why wait for October 31st to dress up? This weekend our neighbors threw an impromptu costume party for the kids. One Batman (the Dark Knight I think), one Super Girl, two Supermen, and a Pirate strike a pose here. Wonder Woman and Baby Skunk were there too, but obviously too fast to be captured on camera! 

We are so lucky to have such a wonderful bunch of neighbors!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Say it ain't so!

I'm not 100% sure, but I think that Benji actually managed to climb out of his crib last night. Susanne was next to him when he got his leg over and sort of reinserted him back in. He was having a fit because I was reading a story to his brother and not to him and was hell bent on breaking out!

I must admit I am dreading life when the crib no longer hold him. If I never blog again, it may be because I'm exhausted from chasing him down.

I think I was spoiled by the fact that Danny did not try to break out and transitioned to his "big boy bed" the month before Benji was born. Danny was about 2.5 years old (or 30 months old) at the time. Benji is 21 months old now. Sigh...

On a brighter note, here are a few observations I've made about our boys on Facebook over the past month or so. Enjoy!

August 15
So I've decided our boys eat like birds. The 4 year old like say, a hummingbird, and the 1 year old like um, maybe a pelican.

August 15
So little Danny caught a bit of the news last night hearing Rick Perry thunder that "Washington is broken!". Of course the poor kid asked immediately if our house was broken?, (no) then exactly what in Washington was broken? I will limit my political commentary here by saying "Politicians say the darndest things don't they?"

August 16
I told Danny that today was going to be a great day. He of course asked why, and I told him "because I said so" which made him really happy. Sadly, I think he's only ever heard those words said in a slightly more cranky and exasperated tone ;-)

August 22
So just when did the piƱata become such a ubiquitous part of kids' birthday parties? Every party we've been too this summer (including Danny's I admit) has had one. I guess I sort of love the sharing of cultures part, but the sight of a dozen tiny boys and girls beating the stuffing out of defenseless pink princesses and other cartoon favorites while the adults clap in approval is kind of creepy no? (Danny's was a fish--cuz that's so much better right?)

August 26
I've decided that our Benjamin is an old soul. Wise beyond his year.

September 8
Danny woke up this morning all excited about the fact that winter is on its way (or at least he thinks so). When I asked him what he wanted for breakfast, I burst out laughing when he announced "Snow Flakes". This boy it too funny!

September 8
I find it ironic that the song little Benji asks for constantly is "Da, Da, Da" (think Volkswagen commercial song). It's a fun one, but it always cracks me up that the boy with two moms actually then says "da, da, da" more than "ma, ma, ma" ;-)

September 12
Danny, eying a convertible this weekend with its top down." Look mommy! That car has its head off!" Oops. He did it again ;-)

September 13
Danny wanted one his stuffed Dr. Suess toys while we read a story. Which one is it I asked--Hooey? Yertle?  Nah..."you know mommy, that guy who stole Christmas!" Oh, that guy ;-)

Thursday, September 08, 2011

My Favorite Bird Whisperer...

We had a great time last week visiting Susanne's family, and one of the highlights was a trip to the Richmond Zoo.

At the bird sanctuary, while watching Su and the boys with the birdies, I was reminded of a time about 8 years ago when we had taken a trip to Guatemala.  One morning at breakfast, out of the blue, a gorgeous parrot decided that Su was his best friend.

Nice to see her passing on her gentle way with birds and animals to Benji and Danny. -M

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

I swear I just blinked my eye...

 A year ago Danny was just about the littlest guy in the school. An adorable 3 year old. This year he's just about the most adorable guy in the school. This time a big 4 year old. It is an amazing thing to witness this transformation. Of course baby brother Benji who is only 1 totally wants in on this growing thing!

Monday, September 05, 2011

Great day!

So today I celebrate one of those non-milestone birthdays and I couldn't be happier. Last night we hosted a "Mojitofest" for a group of wonderful friends and today Susanne has been great--I most especially appreciate that she took Danny and Benji out for a while this morning to play at a park and buy me balloons (Spiderman and Mickey Mouse go figure :-) The 2 hours of peace and quiet to read the paper was priceless.

Last night as we were going to sleep I spied a perfect half moon, and as it was my last day of being 50, I decided that it was an omen that my life was only half over (or half begun!) and I'd live to be 100. Danny will be 53 then and Benjamin 51. Hard to imagine.

Which reminds me...we just figured out the other day that they will be members of the high school classes of 2025 and 2028 respectively. For some reason that boggles my mind. Have a great day everyone! -M

P.S. Tomorrow is the first day of PK4 for Danny. I wonder if he'll get butterflies in  his stomach like I always used to?