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2 posts from June 2014

June 30, 2014

One Dinoia flew the coop

for vacation a couple of weeks early and suddenly the house seems so quiet.  Peter woke up well before the crack of dawn this morning to get cash for our intrepid traveler, the traveler herself was up a few minutes later, and I dragged myself out of bed with just enough time to get dressed and make myself a cup of coffee before our ride showed up to haul us to the airport.

Despite having only decided to pack around 10 p.m. last night, Cait managed to mostly fill two duffles and a carry-on for her flight today.  She tried to take more, but I reminded her gently that she is going TO America and therefore she should wait to savor the lower prices and overwhemingly display of choice that is anywhere in the U.S.   She agreed and thankfully came nowhere near the weight limits.

It's not her first trip traveling overseas by herself,  but her first time connecting by herself and she opted to actually use the unaccompanied minor service (available with American until age 17).  I had a terrible experience with the same sort of service once when I traveled at a young age, and thus always preferred to be on my own.  However, she was a wee bit concerned about passport control, luggage pick-up, and navigating the airport in general and I never dealt with any of that until I was an adult.  After much discussion, we opted for the service and I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised.

If you ask nicely, you can get the direct line from BWI to Target...

The cost was $150,  but that guaranteed assistance to the gate in Managua from the airline instead of us (and that included sailing past 150 or so in line at security), help with passport control, luggage pick-up, drop off, and connecting in Miami, and then assistance at BWI.  Not my cup of tea, but she was far more comfortable and in all likelihood will have no issue connecting by herself in the future.  Oh, and having her phone reactivated early ensured the moment she landed in Miami, she had a way to reach us if necessary.


"The Eagle has landed."

And now we have merely 10 more days until we have our pickup and then we are off to the U.S. for a 3.5 week holiday....well, journey that will hopefully have more pleasure than business.  Not exactly a vacation like we originally planned, but we will have a little over a week or so of fun with friends, Cait and I will escape to Chicago for three days (an early birthday treat for her),  and our favorite beach is calling us for a 4 day trip.  I can almost hear the waves and taste the beach bbq....

June 13, 2014

Take One LG,

add a cap, a gown, a little Louis Armstrong...and pass the tissues, his mom is in tears. 

Today was Nick's promotion ceremony from kindergarten. Yes, kindergarten. Not college or high school, but kindergarten.  I went along with the pomp and circumstance, buying a new outfit (to include shoes he will likely wear once), and purchasing a photo package before the event even started.  However, I still didn't think it would affect me. I'd take a few photos, nod and smile, but think to myself, "It's ONLY kindergarten."

Until Louis started crooning What a Wonderful World as the graduates lined up to walk in. Let's just say thank goodness I don't touch mascara with a 10 foot pole. I would have been a complete mess.  


The LG walked in with his usual smile and confidence. He sat with his friends, sang a song, accepted his diploma, and goofed around while waiting to depart.  It was a short and sweet ceremony that really revolved around parents running to the stage to snap that quick photo...and while they are adjusting the camera, instead of a 6 year old, they suddenly catch a glimpse of an 18 year old...or a 21 year old...and realize just how life is suddenly going by so darn fast.

The image is gone and there is the Little Guy again in all of his 6 year old glory.  Happy and ready to take on the world as a newly minted first-grader.  I take a deep breath, shove my Puffs back in my purse and realize I have...

only a few hours before I need them again.  Apparently awards ceremonies make me as verklempt as graduation ceremonies.  This morning was about Nicholas, and this afternoon revolved around Kelsey.

I knew a few weeks ago that an award ceremony was to be held this afternoon, but wasn't sure if my presence was needed. I had no idea what the ceremony would entail, how many awards would be given out or if Kelsey even wanted me to show up.

Then I received the email and there was no doubt about my attendance. The email that reads, "Your child will receive an award," and you know, come whatever or high water, you'd best be there.

After Nick's ceremony, breakfast, dropping him off, racing into work, working, and then hurrying back to the school, I found myself back in the same covered athletic area, waiting for the ceremony to begin. I realized I had no idea what awards were on tap until I asked for a program.

A few minutes later (not a moment too soon, as it was, well, warm to say the least), the program began. It was fairly short and to the point, and started off with Presidential Awards for Academic Achievement for students in the 6th grade class.  Lo and behold, look what my Wee Nugget won with her hard work and dedication.

I would be proud of her this year whether or not she won an award.  However, the fact that her work was recognized...well, cue Niagara Falls. It's been such an unexpectedly different year.  We've had some weird years in the past, but this one takes the cake for keeping us constantly on our toes and wondering what will happen next.  

For now, though, I'm basking in the glow of knowing that while my kids have had a more interesting year than we planned, they have all made it through relatively unscathed.  Here's hoping next year will be a little calmer and if all goes well and we actually finish planning our R&R soon.  We  might even have a wee bit of a real family vacation this summer during that trip that will have us calm, rested, and ready for whatever life throws us during the next year here....