Friday, July 17, 2015

Summer stuff

I wrote the very last day care check today, which makes me kinda weepy. It's been such a wonderful place for the girls, and they have grown so much because of being there around their friends and teachers. They've been happy and enriched and safe and comfortable there since they were four months old. Four. Months. Old! I know they will miss it, and I will probably miss it a whole lot more...I foresee some crying (by me) when we walk out of there for the very last time.

Onto happier news, Tinkerbelle is now fully settled in, and she is absolutely loving herself. I may have had a little apprehension about how she would react to a different environment and more freedom and new surroundings, but she is absolutely killing it. Just a totally and completely different kid than I have ever seen her before.

She gets herself up and ready and out the door every morning, and totally loves acting like a big kid to do it:-). She drinks iced coffee, rides the T, makes witty observations about her fellow commuters and carries unnecessary stuff with her to justify a backpack. She comes home every day tired but chipper and just generally very pleasant. She got her first paycheck and complained about the amount withheld by the tax authorities!

She has also very quickly totally adopted the "uniform" of the older girl camp counselors, which I find hilarious. Sleeves rolled on her staff T-Shirt (which is also notted near the waist), very short denim or khaki shorts, keys and ID on a lanyard around her neck, sunglasses, ponytail and either flip flops or sock-less running sneakers. She is sporting an absolutely killer tan:-). She's loved her weekends at the beach and is always thrilled to hang out with Munchkin and the older kids. There may be a boy, but that is nothing serious. Yet;-)

Mostly though, she is just a completely different, older, more confident kid. I swear she talks louder and more clearly than she did a month ago, she sits up straighter, and is entirely more capable of having "adult" conversations. Her Mother, who hasn't seen her in a month but gets Facebook pictures and talks to her every day, has told me the same thing...she is just really, really having a great time for herself and reacting very well to it.

So far, then, better than expected! There is still time for this to go terribly wrong, but the early returns are very good!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Five Days!

Five days until the Great Summer Adventure of 2015 begins! Tinkerbelle wraps up school this week, then packs and flies out her next week...all very exciting!

I'm pretty fired up. I still recognize that this could end really badly in a lot of ways, but I'm just really looking forward to it. It will be great to have that much time with her, great for the girls to spend that much time with their "other" Aunt and, as I've mentioned, it sounds like it will be a really welcome break for both her and her Mom.

I don't actually have a ton of "plans" for the summer. She'll be working pretty much every weekday, and coming to the beach with us just about every weekend. She is going to inherit Munchkin's regular Thursday dinner date slot, which will ensure that I get a regular chance to sit down with her without any other distractions and talk about how everything is going. I have a couple of other things planned for her first week and a half here, too - a baseball game, an ice cream festival (more or less!) and a free concert - but I don't really anticipate having to keep her that busy.

I anticipate that she will make friends through work, and she will definitely have some time to be on her own and hang out...I'll probably give her a curfew, but I love the idea of her having some free time with kids her own age until then. At some point she is going to want to stay home for a weekend, which I probably won't sign off on, but I'll cross that bridge when I get to it!

Other than that, we're just gonna play it by ear! The weather has finally warmed, Munchkin is back from Europe (probably for not the last time this summer) and settled in at the beach, and I am really excited for summer! The girls have their pre-school graduation next Friday, although they will stay where they are until the end of August before school starts. That makes me feel pretty old:-). They've loved their day care and so have I...I'll be a little sad to see them go.

Nothing major beyond that! Girls are getting big, work is work, The Boy is still my favorite:-). No news is good news, I guess!

Friday, June 05, 2015


Munchkin is out of the country for about a week and a half (friends in London, friends and the boy in Paris...ho hum) which meant that she was unavailable for our regular Thursday night date last night. Big Sis took that opportunity to schedule a meeting with Smoking Hot Roommate and I to begin planning what will be the single greatest party in the history of mankind: Munchkin's 21st birthday.

No, I am not kidding. We legitimately began the planning process last night. Her birthday is April 3, 2016.

There is absolutely no way that this ends up being anything short of preposterously out of hand.

Monday, June 01, 2015


Big outing on the zoo to see the two new lions!

To back up, LK is absolutely obsessed with lions. And sharks, specifically because they eat other animals (don't ask...) Her favorite book is The Tawny Scrawny Lion, and she owns at least a half dozen stuffed lions of various sizes (and the reviews for that book, they are hilarious. It's about talking animals who wear clothes, and these people are concerned because it is geographically implausible?)

Her favorite animal at the Franklin Park Zoo was always Christopher the lion, who commanded an exhibit at the center and highest point of the zoo. From there, he used to periodically stand atop his rock and roar loud enough for everyone to hear for a mile or two around the zoo...almost as if he had an internal alarm to remind everyone, every couple of hours, that he was in fact the lion. And you were not.

Christopher died in March...he was the oldest lion in North America and they had to put him to sleep because he had all sorts of old-lion maladies. I read about this in the Globe, but I never told her because I was kind of hoping that I didn't have to...she reacted fine when their favorite dog died two years ago, but I'd rather not explain that the lion went to heaven.

Wasn't I happy then, to hear that the zoo was getting TWO new male lions in early May! Not only do I not have to explain to her that the lion died, but the whole thing just got doubly good! Sadly, the lions are here because one of them killed his prospective mate in Dallas, and their interest in a breeding program led them to seek a new home for these lions and a new, hopefully less murderous, male lion to start their program. But, Boston had the facilities to take them and a gaping hole in their zoo landscape, Dallas had a need for a new home for their lions, and everything worked out for the best...

The lions made their debut on Friday, so we took the girls to see them on Saturday, and oh boy were they excited! From the time we got out of the car, LK was on a mission...she didn't want to see the baby gorilla, she didn't want to see the zebras or the giraffes or the flamingos. She stopped at the Ostrich for a minute, but mostly she was totally focused on seeing her two new friends! She spent no less than half an hour walking from one vantage point to another, looking at them, smiling, and holding up her stuffed animals for them to see. For their parts, the lions laid in the shade and periodically lifted their heads;-)

After that she was content to finally see the other animals, ride a camel, play at the playground and enjoy the day. All in all, a mighty successful trip to the zoo!

(Side note: the mother gorilla just gave birth to her third or fourth baby, which I am guessing is unusual for an animal in captivity. She is so comfortable with the zookeepers now that she allowed them to give her an ultrasound when she was pregnant...which I find pretty remarkable.)

Thursday, May 21, 2015


Looks like Summer is pretty well planned at this point! Tinkerbelle (for the uninitiated - my much younger half sister, lives in Chicago, I never met her until she was 7 and I was 24) has secured herself a full-time job as a camp counselor, which means that she is coming to live with us when she gets out of school!

It all came together really quickly because she really dove into it. She called and emails a bunch of places from home, lined up three different meetings for last Friday afternoon, and came out here to go to those and then visit for a couple days. I picked her up at the airport at about 10:00, she had her interviews at 12:30, 2:30 and 4:00, and she got a call from her first choice at about 8:00 offering her the job!

She is going to be a camp counselor for kids ages 8-12, although the exact specifics will be determined later on. Most likely she will rotate between a couple of different facilities in the city, all of which are easily accessible from the T. She's going to be working from 7:30-3:30, Monday to Friday, making $9/hr...pretty awesome first job, if you ask me.

This will be a big deal for her. Living in a new place, away from her Mom, with a lot more freedom than she is used to. She's gonna have a boss and responsibilities and she is going to have to get herself to work on time and handle all of that by herself. I am not her Mom, and I'm not going to do that for her. But, I think she will do well with the extra leash, I think she will benefit from meeting a bunch of co-workers her own age, and she will certainly enjoy earning some money on her own (right now, it seems like a veritable fortune to will seem less so when she finds out how taxes work:-)).

I think she will benefit from the break from home, too. She's not really a "troubled" kid in the normal sense, but she's had some social issues at school this year that have impacted her grades and her behavior. Kids at that age, especially girls, can be really tough...and she naturally kinda marches to the beat of her own drummer, so I think that leads to some tension with other kids. The good news is that two months is a lifetime when you are 15, so simply going away for a while might create something of a reset. I hope, at least.

It will diminish my own ability to take too many three day weekends at the beach, but that's ok...I can manage for one summer:-). I'll gladly trade that for some uninterrupted sister time!

In other sister news - there is a new tattoo in the works. I'll give you the details some other time when we finalize it:-)