Oh Starling, I am so sorry to hear about your best friend's husband! That is so sad for their daughter. :-( My brother lost his first wife when he was 26 and their son was 3. He moved back in with the family (I was still living at home, going to college). My mom found a cut up straw and accused me of doing drugs but I knew it wasn't mine. My brother had messed around with that stuff in highschool and I sort of think maybe he did some when he was in the midst of all the grief. I'll never know. Thankfully he went on to live his life - more kids, new wife, etc.
Schools. The topic angers me. It's narrowed down by zone. So we have 4 schools in our zone. But then it's lottery of sorts. But also if a neighborhood around a school makes up 60% of kids in the zone, all 4 schools need to have 60% from that neighborhood, etc. And yes, siblings get in automatically. Last yr it was almost impossible for new kindegarteners to get into the school 2 blocks from us bc the classes had so many siblings. I am pretty sure we will NOT get to go to the school of our choice, which is 1.5 blocks from our house. It's so lame. I get that we need diversity but there are kids from one neighborhood who want their close school and get sent to the one by my house and the people living near me get sent to the one by the first family's house and neither is happy. When I was in high school, I went to school in the wealthiest part of the city (didn't live there). Half the school was bused in from the poorest part of the city (didn't live there either lol). But the kids being bused in didn't take away spots from the kids that lived near the school! And no one mingled or mixed AT ALL anyway. But that is a whole other topic!
Love the microscope! I remember having one as a child. Not so young though. So excited for your MONTH LONG trip!!! We just booked our next Hawaii trip. We will be spending 11 nights on the Big Island in early June. 11 nights seems CRAZY indulgent!! It's what DH wanted. And he is getting some money from his dad so I am not saying anything. We'll split our trip in Kona where DH is going to do a 1/2 ironman and then 1/2 time in Hilo near the volcano. We are debating whether or not to bring my mother in law to help watch the kids so we can have some date nights or have some quiet time on the beach. The places we rented are both 2 bedrooms. But we would have to buy her plane ticket. I think we will probably do it! :-)