And now, a guest post from my favorite sister

My ever-so-fabulous sister is holding down the fort so the husband and I could go to Barcelona.  She asked if she could guest post, and of course, I said sure.  I mean, she didn’t Uber the hell out of there during Maura’s poopscapades, so I should humor her whenever possible…but I have added some peanut gallery comments in italics along the way….it’s what sisters do…

today's guest blogger and my younger sister, Maryrose
today’s guest writer and our blue VW

Hi there….

This is Phoebe’s wildly cool and fabulous younger sister, who so graciously agreed to come stay with her favorite nieces and nephews while she runs away to foreign country.  Let it be known, I might have be slightly inebriated when she half jokingly brought up the idea.  ok.. so I was hammered, but in polished off a good bottle of champange/ i love everyone type of way.  But what can I say?  The thought of skipping out of Chicago in the dead of winter was still quite appealing despite the known obstacles, or should i say adventures, that go hand in hand in life with Maura.  Plus, I figured this should buy me a few points in the ol’ karma game or at least a good bottle of wine from Spain.
Being that I’ve no children of my own, this was going to be a crash course in the seventeen years of parenting Phoebe has figured out.   Which of course, makes the idea of life with Maura to me seems pretty similar to trying to write a grad school thesis in ten days after never going to class in college.  A few times, I’ve had the image in my head of Phoebe giggling and chuckling to herself about what I’ll endure in the month leading up to my stay. We’re sisters, you’d think after thirty years of tormenting & teasing each other we’d grow out of it.  Nope, we are no where near done and probably never get past it.  Not as long as she keeps insisting that she’s the smart sister while I get stuck with being the pretty one. (I’d like to think we’re both smart and pretty, but she does win in the youth and height categories)  But at the end of the day, we’re family and even if we won’t give each other the satisfaction of telling one another we love them, we do. And family should help family. Always. So even if our mother raised us to be a band of fiercely independent gypsy’s that will never ever ever need help, there actually still might a time or two we might have to call on each to pitch in. Anyways, did I mention getting some credit in the karma department cant hurt or a good bottle of wine yet?
 So I’ve read the posts and heard all the tales of pooping and tantrums and the everyday hijinks of the Holmes household, put on my big pants, said goodbye to my cat and found myself two thousands miles away from home and in the Holmes kitchen.  I wont lie, now that I was face to face with a house full of  teenagers, whom I haven’t seen since they were in diapers and the screams of the poop-a-nater herself, I did have an “oh s…t, what did i agree to” thoughts in my head.  But it’s still negative temperatures in Chicago, and besides, what’s the worst that could happen? I’m former military and currently working in the nightlife industry…. adult tantrums are my specialty or so I’ve always thought.
Now I’m sure you’re all waiting for the big reveal.  The part where I tell a tale of disaster and chaos.
Nope.  Not going to happen.  You see to the clan, I’m still an anomaly, an enigma, a bright shiny new thing.  Did I you catch the part where I said I was wildly cool and fabulous?   So to the teen girl, I’ve got a little mini me, we share a family nickname (nicknames, attitudes), so naturally I wasn’t too worried with her. The teen boys,well, they aren’t quite sure yet what they can get away with and I’m going to milk it for all it’s worth. (see, smart!) Once again, thanks to our mother, there’s no question when we’re annoyed a la the “two inches speech”.  For those that don’t know, it goes “two inches! two inches!!! the dishwasher is two inches below the counter.. why on earth would you put dirty dishes on the counter when the dishwasher is two inches below?”  and would continue on until you put those dishes in the dishwasher and then probably moved some furniture or something. (there was a LOT of furniture moving in our youth).Whatever it took to get out from under the glare of a hairy eyeball and two inch speech. I’ve caught our brothers giving that same speech to their roommates, so I know it’s a family trait at this point.
And then there’s Maura… the energetic and confusing little magpie that she is, I’ve found myself a shadow.  Ok, so a sometimes sticky, burps in public, takes a little a longer to get out the door shadow.  But still my favorite shadow.  When she laughs she lights up the room. It’s hard not to smile when you hear the sound of pure happy, laughter from a beautiful and innocent girl.  So what if we take a little longer to get through the line at Starbucks or maybe I cant do all the exciting activities the cool aunt is supposed to do with her nieces and nephews.  So I’m learning what Phoebe goes through on a daily basis from in home heiny wipes to trying to sneak in a quick stop at Starbucks for much needed coffee with an impatient and sometimes loud companion. (I probably should have shown her where the drive thru Starbucks was, huh?)
Because the moment we were at mass, and Maura scooched over and put her head on my shoulder during the priest’s sermon, my heart melted and every little test of patience she’s thrown  and will throw my way because it’s totally and absolutely worth it
So wish me luck that the rest of my call to arms continues to be a success, and if not then, well we all saw it coming…  oh, and Phoebe, if you’re reading this, I’d really like that bottle of wine about now 😉
(Mental note – don’t drink the bottle of wine on the flight back…)
Auntie Mim and Mad Madam Maura
Auntie Mim and Mad Madam Maura