Here's what I ended up getting as a First Communion gift for my Niece. It's the "Madonna" pendant by Elsa Peretti ... we figured with that huge Irish Catholic family of my sister-in-law's in Boston, she's going to be getting dozens of crucifixes, so figured that this was "thematic" and yet different. I did consider a little "lightning bolt" necklace by Paloma Picasso, which is a miniature of a pin that my Mom used to wear all the time (and my Niece might remember her grandmother by it), but without knowing that context it looked pretty "Harry Potterish" (especially in miniature, the pin my Mom wore was more of a pen/brush "squiggle" than a lightning bolt) and would probably confuse the locals.
My Brother's birthday is also this weekend, and I'd been stumped on something to get for him ... he suggested just going with an Amazon gift certificate, but I really hate to show up without a package. Well, I had a great idea this morning ... Urban Outfitters has those "retro" video arcade systems with games like Pong and Asteroids, where the whole system is in the joystick, and you just plug it into the TV set ... they're reasonably priced, not too big (to drag out to Boston), and should be a whole lot of fun. We have an U.O. store a few blocks from here, so I'll probably run out at lunch to grab one of those!
Frankly, I'm looking a bit like Santa Claus (aside the big belly and the white beard!) on this trip ... my younger Niece's birthday is next Friday, so I have a big suitcase where I can get her birthday loot, her sister's confrimation gift, my Brother's game, and assorted other stuff that I'm bringing out from my Mom's apartment. I usually keep a duffle bag "half packed" so it's easy for me to hit the road, but I opted to go with a suitcase that was large enough for all the loot and my stuff. I'm also bringing a suit carrier for our "fancy duds" for tomorrow's church stuff, hoping that the rest of the weekend (the party for my Niece, her dance recital on Sunday, my Brother's birthday, etc.) will be less dress-up.
The next 24 hours are going to be a blur ... I have a ton of stuff to get done before collecting The Girls and getting our butts off to the airport (and once again, The Wife and I had the fight about taking the El vs. a cab; I just can't see spending $40 or more to take a cab out to O'Hare when we can get there for two bucks on the subway!) ... we get into Boston about 10pm, and my Brother is putting us up in a hotel near them (they live somewhere inbetween Boston and Providence) on the theory that if my girls and his girls connect with each other that late on Friday night, nobody's going to get any sleep before the church stuff on Saturday. So, I need to get my little darlings into the hotel, ready for bed, asleep, up in the morning (bathed, breakfasted, etc.) and into their frilly dresses (and the rest of our stuff packed) by 10am when my Brother and his crew will swing by to pick us up ... once we get into that SUV, however, I think I'm abdicating any "planning and organization" functions until we get back to Logan on Monday morning!
Anyway, I hope I don't come back to a zillion unread posts on L.J. ... actually, come to think of it, I might even be able to check up on things from there (while my Brother's place is not "hot and cold running computers" like here, he does have at least one), so y'all might be hearing from me from out East!