A Couple Things

December 31, 2007

Ooh, I can’t believe I missed a day of blogging for no good reason.  Time to play catch-up.  Briefly, here’s what’s been happening the last few days:

1. PJ is sick, for the first time ever.  He’s had a couple of days where he felt less than great in the past, but nothing that counted as a real illness.  But now he’s either having the mother of all allergy attacks or he has a cold.  Poor kid.  I wish I could just make it go away so he can feel great again.  He acts like he feels okay most of the time he’s awake–other than asking for “sleep tight” repeatedly–but he woke up miserable several times last night.  Add in BabyN’s reversion to numerous nighttime feedings, and I didn’t get much sleep last night.

2. A few weeks before Christmas, M and I discovered that we’d lost a lot of files and pictures from two years ago, including all of PJ’s newborn pictures.  Needless to say, we were upset.  Since then we’ve gotten copies of the pictures my parents have and the ones we gave my in-laws way back when.  It appears as though we’ve gotten all those irreplaceable pictures back.  As a result of the scare, though, we’ve been researching better ways to back up all these pictures.  M found a place online that will back up to 150 gigs for only $50 a year, so he signed us up.  And we’ve been uploading all our pictures (13 gigs worth) since then.  I’ve been avoiding using the computer so that everything will upload faster (the program just runs in the background and gives up some of the bandwidth it’s using for anything else you’re doing).  That’s really why I avoided blogging yesterday.

3. Totally unrelated, but could you guys be praying for M’s boss’s daughter?  If you remember, she’s the one that was born about a month ago, delivered on their kitchen floor by her daddy.  He called M a few days ago asking for some information related to insurance stuff because they were refusing to cover treatments on the newborn who was in the hospital.  M didn’t feel it was appropriate to ask what was going on, but it sounded serious.  He says this guy never gets upset, but he was on the verge of tears at the time.  We haven’t heard anything from them since and may not until M returns to work on Wednesday.  I’m worried about that little girl.  I can’t imagine how I would handle it if it was one of my own babies.

4. And while we’re thinking of that all-too-memorable birth story, here’s something quite funny.  I keep getting hits for “how to retile a kitchen floor” since that story.  I laugh every time I see that because I’m sure that’s totally not what they expected.  It turns out that post comes up as the fourth hit on google when you search for the phrase.  Hilarious!

Yes, I Can Be Petty

December 29, 2007

I’m fully aware that the story I’m about to tell is kind of silly.  It will sound stupid and childish, but I just can’t let it go.  It all started shortly after Thanksgiving when M and I were brainstorming gift ideas for the family.  We wanted to make my parents a new family calendar since they still had the one my brother made them for 2006, even though all the dates were wrong.  I didn’t have very many pictures of the rest of the family, though, and I couldn’t bear to have it be all about my boys.  So I ran it by all my siblings first.

First, I sent an e-mail asking whether any of them were already planning to make one.  For about a week, I didn’t hear a thing.  I was about to give up and make one with the less-than-ideal pictures I had when I finally heard from my younger brother.  You might remember my rant about him and his wife after Thankgiving (remember the alcohol-and-PJ incident?).  His e-mail said that all of a sudden they too were planning to make a calendar for my parents but he supposed it would be okay if I made one too.  The tone was essentially a challenge.  I refused to take it and replied saying I wouldn’t step on his toes with the calendar idea.

I still wanted to make one, though.  I decided to go ahead and ask my siblings for some pictures so that I could make my parents some sort of memory book or something with all the family pictures.  I never got a response from anyone–no pictures, no apologies for not sending any, nothing.  I resigned myself to making them something kind of cheesy but was disappointed in the gift.  I still really wanted to make a calendar for them.  I went back and forth about my final decision just about daily, even making one online several different times and not getting the guts to order the final product.

When we left for the trip last week, the cheesy gift I’d ordered for my parents hadn’t arrived yet, so we went with basically nothing for them.  I felt horrible that we were such bad children to have nothing for my parents when they had so much for us.  Then we came back through their town on the way home, spending another night with them.  I noticed almost right away that in place of that 2006 calendar was a new one–all about my niece without even a mention of her cousins or aunts, uncles, etc.  I was shocked at their selfishness to assume my parents would put up a calendar featuring just one of their four grandchildren.

I think my mom was a bit offended, too.  She caught the glance I gave M when I saw it (I couldn’t help the reaction) and immediately reassured us that they had several places they needed calendars if anymore showed up.  Right then I knew I would be making them a calendar after all.  M totally agreed.

So we told my parents that they lost one of the gifts we had ordered and that it had to be re-ordered and would be delivered to them; that’s the calendar.  The other cheesy gift we ordered will get to them tomorrow when my sister drives from here (where they spent the holidays) back to my parents’ house.  In the end, they will end up with extra gifts from us–all featuring the whole family as much as possible.  I still hate that I had to use my own sub-par pictures of the other family members because of the lack of participation from the rest of my family, but at least I have pictures of them at all.

Oh, yeah, the best part: My brother had made a point to check everyone’s birthday and anniversary to include them on the calendar.  All except PJ’s that is.  It was a glaring error to all of us, and M and I are doing everything we can not to read anything into it.  (We’re paranoid, what can I say.  Do they think he doesn’t count because he’s sort of illegitimate since he was conceived two months before we were married?  Is that a jab at us?)  I’m seriously offended, regardless of whether it was a careless error or done on purpose.  You’d be proud, though–I didn’t take it out on them by leaving them out of our calendar in any way.  Somebody’s got to be the bigger person.

It would be nice if it didn’t always have to be us.

Trip Overview

December 28, 2007

We’re finally home, and I’m exhausted.  We’ve had four days devoted to travel over the last week.  My wonderful husband did the majority of the driving too.  He deserves the video game break he’s getting right now.  The boys are getting pretty good at traveling now too.  Today I only had to crawl into the back of the van long enough to pump a bottle of milk for BabyN and feed it to him.  Every other leg of the trip I spent in the back for a much longer percentage of the trip.

Both boys seem glad to be back in their own beds, even BabyN.  It’s crazy to see how much they have grown in the last week.  BabyN has proven he not only recognizes M’s and my face but those of his grandparents and even his bed.  And of course PJ does.  He starts jabbering about the kitty as we drive up to my parents’ house now (one of the only places he sees a kitty) and heads straight for the toys as we enter the house.  They are both more social now than they were last week, too, with several new words for PJ and lots more babbling for BabyN.  It’s amazing how much a little visiting can encourage them to grow.

I have one really great, yet frustrating, story to tell from the end of the trip, but I think I’ll save it for tomorrow.  I have a small kitchen to set up for Santa–he has one more late visit here–before I go to bed tonight.  Then if I have extra time, we have four new Wii games to break in.  Fun times!

Christmas Milestones

December 26, 2007

I feel like I’ve been gone forever, and it’s only been half a week.  It’s been busy, though, between the two Christmases and all the traveling.  Right now I’m enjoying my last Christmas gift, a night away from the kids while their grandparents watch them.  M and I are in a free hotel room for the night, after a double date with his brother and SIL that was paid for by Christmas gift cards.  We also drove his parents’ car the half-hour to get here, so it’s on free gas.  Not bad, huh?  I almost feel bad for taking advantage of them like this.

But they love watching the kids.  I think they feel honored that I was able to tear myself away from BabyN for the night and leave him with them–my first night away from him.  Honestly, it’s killing me.  A large part of me wants to rush home to be with him again, or ask the grandparents to bring him here.  But then I’d disturb his sleep and feel guilty for it.  Instead I’m suffering silently.  I haven’t even called to check on the boys yet.  I don’t think I could handle hearing an update–either good or bad.

Oh, and BabyN has hit several milestones while on the trip.  He rolled over from his back to his belly on Christmas Eve. Then he started teething yesterday, complete with low-grade fever, diarrhea, difficulty eating, and fussiness.  Maybe it’s not so bad that someone else has to deal with that tonight.  If only he weren’t so giggly and sweet the majority of the time still…

PJ also hit one wonderful milestone on the trip here on Sunday: he puked for the first time.  He was quite the spitter as a baby, but he never actually puked, especially not once he started eating real food.  He was bored in the car, though, and tried experimenting to see what would happen when he stuck his fingers down his throat.  He found out.  I ended up changing his icky-smelling clothes in the car about an hour away from our destination, hoping and praying the smell wouldn’t waft to the front seat.  On the bright side, he hasn’t tried the fingers-down-the-throat trick since then.  And I discovered that I have a stronger stomach about puke than I would have expected.

The visit with the in-laws hasn’t been nearly as stressful this time.  Either they’re getting less annoying or I’m getting more used to them.  But I’ll still do my share of ranting when we get back home.  It looks like we’ll be back Friday after another overnight stay at my parents to split up the trip for the boys.  You can expect more regular posts probably starting on Saturday.  Sorry for the delay!

Oh, Yeah

December 22, 2007

What I forgot to mention in yesterday’s short-and-to-the-point post is that as usual I will likely be posting more sporadically over the next week while we’re out of town.  But don’t worry; I’m sure I’ll be collecting all sorts of great in-law stories to tell.  The first has already happened.  My FIL unintentionally ruined a surprise for M.  One of the gifts my parents wanted to get him was out of stock everywhere until Thursday when I happened to run across it online.  I ordered it immediately and had it shipped one-day, which they said should get there ON Christmas Eve.  Well, it got there yesterday instead.  And I had it shipped to my in-laws so he could have it on Christmas.  But I didn’t get a chance to warn my in-laws it was coming first because it shipped so fast, so my FIL called M to find out what it was.  M in turn checked my credit card (off-limits for him this time of year) and saw how much I’d charged on it.  He knew by the price what it most likely was.

The big surprise was that he was getting a present there, not the gift itself, which was on his list.  So by discovering he had something waiting for him, it was ruined–and more that he just had to do the research to figure out what it probably was.  (And no, I’m not confirming whether or not he was right about his guess, in case he decides to stop by here between now and Christmas.)

Minor drama and nothing I can blame my in-laws for.  That’s just my stupid luck.  Anyway, check back after your holidays to see what great stuff happened while we were gone.  I’m sure there will be lots.

Short and Whiny

December 21, 2007

I wish I had time to write something real today.  I really do.  But we are trying to get out of town tomorrow for our Christmas trek to the in-laws.  That makes lots of work for me today, between doing laundry, packing, wrapping presents, and the like.  Oh, and you can add to that two fussy kids who won’t sleep.  They were both up with the sun this morning (after two–yes TWO–middle-of-the-night feedings last night) and have wanted my full attention all day.  My lack of sleep is causing me to have a short fuse, which a hyper toddler and fussy baby are finding out all too well.  I’ve just got to hope that M does indeed get home early from work today like he expects.  I need the help!

Holiday Whining…Already

December 20, 2007

I am so sick of the family drama already this Christmas season.  My mom is calling me every day trying to figure out about presents for everyone.  She’s having a real problem getting presents for M, and she’s worried he’ll be disappointed when we do our Christmas with them on Saturday.  Of course, if she remembered the kind of crap (because that’s really what it is) that his mom gets him every year, she’ll know that even one personal gift is light-years better than what he’s come to expect.

The reason she’s so worried about disappointing people is that last year she feels like she disappointed my newest SIL, who returned every single one of the presents my mom got her.  Suddenly after that, my mom feels some huge pressure to please everyone, now that she sees it isn’t necessarily a given.  And it’s become my job to keep her grounded.  I have to keep reminding her that Christmas is about family.  We’re all grown-ups; we won’t cry if we don’t get what we asked Santa for.

But already she has had to scrap her best ideas for presents for my brother and SIL (yes, the ones I don’t like much right now) at the last minute because somebody else bought them the same thing.  They are also the only ones she had to mail, so she didn’t have time to replace the big gifts and sent checks instead.  So she’s sure they will be disappointed.  I don’t want to tell her that they’d probably be disappointed even if she bought them each a new car.  It wouldn’t be the same car they would have chosen for themselves.  (No, I’m not bitter.  Why do you ask?)

The same brother and SIL are also causing other problems this year.  My parents got a calendar several years ago with pictures of the family on it, and my mom loved it so much that she left it up this year even though it was out of date.  So of course I wanted to make her a new one this year.  I e-mailed my siblings to see if I could get some pictures from them too, to make it more balanced with pictures of all of us, and so that we could make it a family gift to them.  Nobody offered to help.  The only response I got was from my little brother who said that he was already planning to make them a calendar.  This was two or three weeks ago.  Yesterday he e-mailed asking me M’s birthday for the calendar.  He hasn’t even shipped my parents’ gift yet.

I’m irritated because I know my brother was not planning to make a calendar for my parents, and it will not be representative of the whole family.  He stole my idea–the idea I was going to share with everyone anyway–to use it for himself.  I wanted to make a calendar for them anyway but didn’t want it to be focused on my boys, so I had to scrap the idea when I didn’t get any help.  I had to settle for a second-best gift, and it irritates me.

The worst thing is that all I can do is inwardly seethe about it all.  I can’t call out my brother for his selfishness, and I can’t mention it to my parents.  Our family simply doesn’t talk about stuff like that.  So there will be this undercurrent of dissatisfaction around Christmas this year, and it all filters back to my brother and SIL.  I can’t exactly say I love what my SIL has brought to our family.