Archive for December, 2006

It’s Been Awhile

The holidays turned out to be good.  We spent Christmas Eve with my mom and family.  It was very nice–sauerkraut and spareribs, scalloped oysters, green bean casserole, lefse, etc. 

My SIL gave birth to twins on Christmas Eve.  Everyone is healthy, and the twins were already off the respirators on Christmas Day.  My MIL brought up the entire holiday meal in the crockpot (green beans on the bottom, turkey in the middle, potatoes and stuffing on top) so there wasn’t any issue about food or keeping things hot.  The twins are blonde and tiny, but very, very cute.

I got lots of chocolate from DH (Godiva, of course) and a bluetooth headset because he hates it when I talk on the phone and drive.  Funny thing is, that even when I use it, I still keep only one hand on the wheel.  Other favorite gifts include a copy of Charlotte’s Web, Winnie the Pooh, various other children’s books (I’m practicing to read aloud so that it feels natural when the baby arrives–even though we’ll be reading more suitable books then), a Hummel figurine from my grandmother (from her extensive collection), and more Fiestaware from our wedding registry.

My father decided not to celebrate Christmas with the family.  My youngest brother went to a party that he knew Dad would be at.  Dad told me that he didn’t want to go to Grandma’s because she’d been getting on his nerves, but I know he had dinner with her on Christmas Eve and was over there Christmas morning before anyone else arrived.  Apparently, he told my sister over the phone that he’s not ready to see her yet.  I guess that also applies to my uncles.

I did see him tonight as Grandma took us all out for dinner.  So apparently, he still has no issues seeing me.  Or if he does, Grandma tricked him into coming.  She can be rather sneaky for an 84 year old woman!  Like any good member of an alcoholic family, I avoided the unpleasant topics and talked about things that he asked about.  Okay, I babbled.  That should teach him not to ask me about Minnesota politics.

Oh!  Half of DH’s family celebrated with my ILs on Christmas Eve.  My future SIL was there (we still are uncomfortable around each other) and apparently, she has never smiled or talked so much at one of these family events.  Maybe I do bring out the worst in her!  To be fair, my BIL did drop off a bunch of baby clothes and items (including a car seat) that they no longer use–for free!  I have a feeling that I’ll be bringing a lot of the clothes to my SIL for her to use since most of my nephew’s clothes are for winter and I’m due in the spring.  Too bad because I saw the softest, cutest, furry little jumper–but I think our baby would die of heatstroke by the time he can wear it. 

Well, I’m getting cold.  I hear a bathtub calling my name!

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Busy Busy Busy

I didn’t update yesterday because it was a long day.  We carpooled in to work so that I could start on some projects that had end of the day deadlines.  I knew I had to leave around 8:30 because my SIL had a doctor’s appointment.  She’s been in and out of the clinic and labor & delivery so much lately that her husband’s boss is getting highly annoyed, so I said I could take her in if needed.

The result after 3 1/2 hours was that she has full-blown pre-eclampsyia and they admitted her.  They’re a bit worried about the boy, but the girl seems to be doing well.  They’ve taken her off all the medication that was preventing her from going into labor so she could have them at any point.  She’ll be in the hospital over Christmas.  If she feels up to it, we are williing to celebrate Christmas Day with her there (and if we have to we’ll petition my ILs for the same thing).   However, it really depends on how she’s feeling and what’s going on with her, so we’ll play it by ear.  The original plan was for my ILs and us to travel to her house on Christmas Day anyway, so it’s not a big change (although there may be an issue regarding hot food!)

Because I spent half the day out of the office, the rest was focused on reaching specific deadlines.  I was surprised how much I accomplished in such a short amount of time!  Obviously, I haven’t been challenged lately.

Then it was to the Mall of America to pick up a couple of things that we can’t get in town.  We were in and out pretty fast, and then off to my brother’s to deliver my neice and nephew’s Christmas presents.  She was absolutely adorable.  She was chatting up a storm and was showing me a book (Twas the Night Before Christmas) and everytime she turned a page, she told me what was on it (almost like she was reading to me!).  Every time she saw Santa, her eyes lit up and she’d squeal his name.  It really was cute.

Got home kind of late, so I did a load of dishes and went to bed.

Today will be  a good day.  We’re having our office lunch at Azia and then there’s  a solstice party here when we get back.  I’d better get everything done before noon!

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Dad & Pregnancy Update

He called on Sunday night asking for two favors.  One, he needs a place to store two boxes for a bit.  Not a problem, but like everything else we have that belongs to other people, it will have to be collected before we move (whenever that will be).  The second is that he wants to have his mail forwarded to our address.  Again, not a big deal.

Obviously, he’s not moving in with us–which is a huge relief.  He’s also not moving in with the person he thought he was.  Apparently, they are the type of friends who shouldn’t live together.  All he said was that he’d be staying at a friend’s over the holidays, housesitting, and then would find his own place.  He’s having a hard time right now getting housing assistance because the house is still in his name.  Once it’s gone (I believe that’s this week), he should qualify.

I don’t know if we’ll see him for Christmas or not.  My guess is that we probably will.  He’s upset with my grandmother again but I’m sure he’ll come around for the holiday.  Apparently, carrying a grudge against a family member isn’t something anyone in our family can do.  We decided to get him a gift certificate to his neighborhood grocery store.  Not sure when we’ll get it to him if he doesn’t show up at Grandma’s.

In other news, the baby is very active today.  We had our big ultrasound on Friday and fortunately, he was asleep during most of the necessary measurements.  He woke up when it was picture time, so once again we have some pretty lousy pics.  I’ll spare you all the scans.  But yes, I wrote that correctly–we’re expecting a healthy, active, baby boy!

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Yesterday, we used a gift certificate from our wedding to enjoy the St. James Sunday Brunch.  This used to be THE Sunday Brunch in town–pricey, but wonderful.  In recent years, the St. James has gone a bit downhill, but recently it’s been recovering.  I’m very mixed about our experience yesterday.

First, it turned out to be the Santa Brunch, which was fun.  There were a large amount of children, most of them dressed in adorable holiday outfits, and very, very well behaved.  No screaming, no running around–just having a good time.  The hotel had items on the buffet that would appeal to them such as penne pasta with cheese sauce, jello dessert, etc.

Another positive was the wide variety of food.  Each side of the three tables had different items–so you actually had to either walk around the table or go back for seconds to taste everything.  However, there wasn’t much there that either my husband or I couldn’t make ourselves (if we had the time or the inclination)–and neither of us would be considered gourmet cooks  I make better scrambled eggs–these didn’t have any seasoning (my specialty is to add a bit of milk, some cheese, and some dill)–and one of the two pans they had was cool.  My husband was shocked to discover that the roasted potatoes had no seasoning on them whatsoever.  Other items were flavorful, so it’s not like the Hotel is catering to individuals who prefer bland flavors.  Another weird thing was that all the salad dressings were from bottles (ranch, french, and thousand island).  This is a place that advertises fine dining–I expect to see some house dressing. 

The thing that shocked me most was that there was not a single clean glass at our table.  Two had watermarks and the other two had residual orange pulp from the dishwasher.  Our waitress didn’t notice that we were there for over 20 minutes (we got up and went through the line but couldn’t get any beverages).  And then she proceeded to tell us how swamped she was because she was responsible for three tables–two were large parties, but I didn’t see her over there very often either.  Once she noticed us though, we did get very good, prompt service.  I think she may have mistaken my husband for one of his brothers who actually works in the kitchens.

Overall, it was a nice experience.  We had a lovely view of the river, the food was good–nothing was terrible.  However, unless there is a special occasion, I don’t see us actually shelling out $18/person for it.

The other weird thing this weekend occurred while we were shopping for Christmas gifts.  In more than one store, the employees complained to us about how long their day was and how busy they’d been.  If I lived in a larger town with more options, I would have been tempted to take my business elsewhere–I didn’t want to add to their stress.  But as it was, I just smiled sympathetically, made my purchase and got out of there as fast as I could.

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I’m slowly starting to get back into FlyLady (or at the very least making progress on the disaster in which I live).  To give you an idea of what very slowly means, I’m rather proud of the fact that I’ve made our bed two days in a row!!!  Growing up, I couldn’t get away from making the bed–it was a standard rule.   I’m not sure when I got out of the habit…college? first marriage?

Part of my lack of pride in our house is that this is not my house.  My husband had lived there for about 5 years before we met and the current remodelling has been in the works (or not as the case may be) since then.  Most of the new fixtures were purchased years ago–so there’s no room in the house that I’ve had any real imprint on.  Sure, my stuff is everywhere, but I didn’t have much of a role in decorating or defining space.  In fact, I still have quite a bit in boxes because the rooms that the stuff is supposed to go into have been torn apart and are waiting to be finished.  We do plan to move within the next year (my husband believes it will be next spring), so I know I just need to hold on a little longer.  And I am thankful to have a roof over my head and to not have to deal with landlords and inconsiderate neighbors.

Speaking of moving, I heard a rumor last night through my sister that my father plans to move in with his best friend/drinking buddy next week.  On the one hand, I’m relieved that he’s not moving in with us.  On the other….well I’ll just say that I don’t think that it’s an environment where he can even pretend to that he’s making an effort to stop drinking.  And that’s his choice.

I’m kind of bummed because my book club has their holiday potluck tonight and will select the books for the next six months.  Unfortunately, we have a board meeeting tonight at work, so I won’t be able to go. 

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The baby shower went off without any hitches.  My SIL was there and there were 12 guests.  Yes, the quiche and sausage were served warm (I know you were all wondering about that).  She received a lot of lovely things, and I was repeatedly told that these were the types of things I could expect when my turn rolls around.  Fine by me.   So all’s well that ends well.  At least, that’s my impression.  I haven’t talked to my SIL since so it should be interesting to see what her take on it all was.  My one concern was that there was a lot of focus on me at different times–it wasn’t my day, so I tried to deflect it as best I could.  I’m sure most people were just being polite, but I did get uncomfortable at various times.

In other family type updates, I ran into an aunt at the grocery store yesterday.  Apparently, from the rest of the family’s point of view all the drama regarding me and my father was cleared up months ago.  She was unaware that I still thought that there was some resentment, but she reassured me that there are no hard feelings left among my uncles.  She also filled in some gaps regarding the intervention and the outcome (or lack thereof).  It isher understanding that no one is giving my father any money at this time.  He did see a counselor but decided that treatment was not an option for him–he’d just quit on his own.  That was back in October and he was drunk on Halloween, the day after Thanksgiving, and some other night up at Jimmy’s (an English style pub at the St. James).  I didn’t ask what the next steps were, if any.  She was also under the impression that he’s planning to move in with us before the end of the month.  I told her that hadn’t been decided.  He hasn’t said that he needs to move in–and we haven’t discussed any of the logistics or stipulations.  I am mentally/emotionally preparing for what could be an awkward discussion with him.  Let’s just say that our house would not be a very comfortable place for him (no smoking, no parties with drinking buddies, help with the remodelling, and some sort of treatment.  Not to mention an emotional/hormonal daughter!)

In spite of myself, I managed to have a productive weekend.  Laundry and groceries got done.  I even got a start on my holiday cards.  My holiday card list tripled this year because of the wedding (my husband has a large family), so I’ve divided the list into various groups.   For example, not everyone needs/wants one of our wedding pictures.  Not everyone needs/cares about a holiday letter.  And frankly, our immediate family already knows everything that’s happened this year and have wedding photos.  I normally wouldn’t divide people up, but the list is incredibly overwhelming and I had to start somewhere.  Just signing cards last night for immediate family and people we just barely know took quite a chunk out of the list and now I feel like it’s manageable. 

We watched Thank You for Smoking, which was entertaining.  Unfortunately, the DVD was scratched at the very end, so I don’t know what the main character wound up doing.  We also watched White Christmas, and I need to remember each year that I do not enjoy this movie.  The musical sequences are too long, making the movie drag for me. 

Looking at a busy week at work (at least the first half).  Good thing too–I was beginning to lose my mind!

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A Bit of Good News

My SIL was sent home from the hospital last night!  She’s very excited to finally get home–hopefully all continues to go well for a while….

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