May 29, 2013

The Rest of Memorial Day Weekend

Jill with Cabbage Patch kids brought back from Tony's trip to Nana's on Friday to help with the basement flooding
red head currently named Meghan; blonde is Lucy
Jill was being a grump on Sunday - that is until this dinghy ride with Uncle Scott, Aunt Jess, Guy, Gavin and Lucy
 fishing off the back of Scott and Jess's boat with Guy and Gavin
 climbing up to the Captain's chair
 another boating season is here and Captain Jill is ready
 Let's go ahead and get Lucy and Guy up from their nap!
 two very important men in my life
 my big girl at the playground down the road from the boatyard
 She climbs the tall slide like it's nothing!
And finally, Tony's "America F Yeah" picture from the shooting range with Brian

May 26, 2013

A Letter to Westfield State

If you know me at all, you know that I love Westfield State College (excuse me, now University). My 4 years there were amazing and I could go on and on and on about my alma mater. If you know me at all, you know I’m not one to complain about or badmouth a person, business or organization. So as I sit here and think about how to phrase my negative thoughts about Westfield State’s transfer policies, I’m stuck.

My husband, Tony, and I met in Scanlon Hall our freshman year. We would rollerblade through the Campus Green (we’re talking pre-2000, don’t judge the blades) at 11 o’clock at night on a random “school night” with his roommate, Tim, and we spent the rest of the year becoming better and closer friends. At the beginning of our sophomore year, we became a couple. We made it official on September 11, 1999. It’s late May of 2013 and we’re still together; happy married with a 3.5-year-old little girl named Jill. And I have Westfield State to thank for that. They are my world.

Tony entered college as a Biology major. Not his best move. He was an immature freshman – most young men are, no? – who admits now would have benefited from a year off. His grades slipped. He tried to transfer into the Criminal Justice program but his GPA was too low. With the guidance of his parents, Tony left Westfield at the end of his sophomore year and joined the military.

During his 4 years of active duty in the Air Force, Tony grew into a strong, smart and worldly man. I can say that because he left this newlywed to serve in Operation Iraqi Freedom. After our time at Holloman Air Force Base in southern New Mexico was up, we moved to Burlington, VT to be near Tony’s family. We both held fulltime (and then some) jobs and Tony attended the Community College of Vermont. Two years later, we left for Boston and Tony enrolled in Bunker Hill Community College. He worked his butt off and graduated with an Associate’s degree and an impressive 3.5 GPA.

Why do you care about all this background information? Because Tony made the decision earlier this year to go back to school and finish his Bachelor’s degree. He started to communicate with Westfield State about its transfer program. He was excited to enter as a fulltime online student and get it done. Then he hit a roadblock.

If you know us at all, you know we’re both guilty of leaving things to the last minute. We’re deadline-driven procrastinators. So when Tony told me he couldn’t get an answer from anyone at Westfield about when and how to register for classes this summer, I called him out. I accused him of not trying hard enough to contact the veteran representative. I suggested he called the Registrar's office. “I did all that, Meg. I can’t get through to anyone. Maybe you should call.”

So one afternoon the week before commencement, I called the school and pleaded Tony’s case. Hell, I’m a former 4-time Class President and News Editor of The Campus Voice. Does that count for something? I’m kidding here… I was blindly transferred to voice mail inboxes. I was left on hold for more than 10 minutes. I was told his GPA from his time at Westfield was not high enough to come back to the Continuing Education program fulltime and be considered a matriculated student (needed for GI bill financial coverage, I believe).

I attempted to explain Tony’s complicated situation to an old friend who works at the school. She made calls on our behalf and we finally had an answer on the afternoon of commencement. You see, Westfield State added a rule last year that you need a 2.0 GPA to transfer in, well maybe I should say re-enroll since Tony is a former student. Since he left the school in academic probation, he’s shit out of luck. Even with a 3.5 from Bunker Hill Community College, part of the state school system. This is not the way to treat former students. This is not the way to treat veterans. Tony’s momentum and motivation to dive back into school this summer is shot, and he’s looking at programs at Bridgewater and Salem State, schools that will consider his admission based on his Bunker Hill GPA.

Oh Westfield State. My first disappointment with the school I love.

May 25, 2013

Barboza Family Visit

It's Saturday of Memorial Day Weekend.  It's barely 50 degrees and it's rainy.  Not the best combo for a family with a boat that went into the water on Friday.  Instead of the first ride of the season today, Tony dropped me and Jill at the library while he went to the dump.  We stopped at the boatyard to check on the boat then hit the grocery store.  We (Tony) painted the dining room from dark brown to a pale yellow, which I attempted to start on my own on Friday.  Let's just say that some large pieces of artwork will need to cover that wall because my primer coat did not come out smooth.  It's a mess, really. 

The Barboza Family came over late afternoon.  Cole helped me wake Jill from her nap (she actually put herself down for a nap!) and then they continued to play and get along really well -for the most part- until after 8.  My Mom joined us for dinner.  Ribs on the grill with the secret Musante family sauce.  The cookies 'n' cream ice cream from Mel and Brian was a hit too.  Jill and Cole ended the evening in their PJs...

 super cool in their sunglasses
 where's Cole's sock?
 dancing up a storm
 Dr. Jill at your service
 jammie time!

May 24, 2013

Last Weekend's Recap

Jill requested a stop at the library one morning so she could sit in the gazebo and have her picture taken.  She also took time to smell the tulips.

 a warmer day at day care
 last weekend in Marion
 our visit to Sarah's house on Saturday
 Cadence and Addison came to our house on Sunday and set up a tea party, naturally.
 Addison, with kitchen gear
 Tim wrestling Cadence and teaching the girls to huck the ball at each others' heads. Thanks, Tim!
 Addison harassing Tony, and that may be Toddler Wars in the backround. I can't quite tell.
 not scared of the slide at all
 choo choo train down the slide in their princess gear

Quality Time with Jill

view at the end of the road
found this organic farm stand during my run
 and went back later that morning with Jill
 movie time

 marker time?

 complete ham

 beautiful flowers in the front yard

Happy 2nd Birthday Guy

Guy turned 2 on May 1.  We celebrated his birthday on May 11 after they returned from a trip to Disney.  Jess impressed guests with an elaborate John Deere theme complete with green and yellow cake pops, mini chocolate tractor favors and a spray-painted cardboard - you guessed it - tractor.
Jill had a BLAST in the bouncy castle.  She looked completely confused though when it was her turn to hit the piƱata.  She barely tapped it twice and looked around at the adults like she was going to be scolded.  Meanwhile, the older boys went ballistic with the bat!
Petey and Aunt Deb braving the rain

Grand Plan

After hearing my explanation about a friend pregnant with her second and the baby growing in her baby, Jill decided she'd like a sibling as well.  But not a brother.  "Boys are icky.  I want a little sister named Molly."  OK then, there you have it.  Jill has this all planned out.

The same night she went into my underwear/sock drawer and pulled out leopard print undies and a black padded bra.  "These match, Mumma.  They're pretty.  You should wear them to bed."  Like she has it all planned out!  It gave us a good laugh (not to mention a raised eyebrow)!

Toddler Fashion

I'm certain this "dress" is really a tunic meant to be wore with leggings.  Does that make me sound like an old lady?  Do toddlers wear minis??