Sunday, November 29, 2015

Time Of Thanks...

As many of you know, my mother hosts a family feast on the Friday after Thanksgiving. The idea is that none of us have to choose between our families; spend Thanksgiving Day however, and with whomever, you wish, then come enjoy a good meal on Friday. When our kids were younger, we had either all of them for Thanksgiving weekend, or none of them. When they were all home, we had traditional family time Thursday, then some or all (it changed year to year who wanted to come) would go to my mom's on Friday, and the weekend was spent putting up Santamas decor, doing chores & homework, and just chillin'.

When the kids were with their bios on the other side, Ace usually worked while I did a little prep & baking for Friday's Feast, and hung out by myself with the dogs. There were a few years that we went to the beach for the weekend, too. Since the older two have been "adulting" (lol), and we've had Princess full time, Ace works on Thursday while Princess & I prep, bake, and hang out in our jammies (as we did this year). We also wrapped gifts for the older two Littles, so T&D can take them home instead of me having to ship them.

Every year, mom invites all her kids, their spouses, their kids, and some friends. The most she's hosted is 12 people... in her old condo... which was 1100sq ft or so. Two years ago, she moved into a progressive retirement condo. This one is roughly half the size of her old one. And, this year, there were 15 people -- mom, Nancy, E&S, D&J, J and her younger son D, three of my own family (Squeeks is in Cali with her bf's family), and T&D and their girls. Ace was supposed to join us but got sick last minute. GamerBoy *did* join us because all of my biological siblings are here and it's been many years since we've all been together (T&D's wedding, to be exact). Mom was super-excited; I was a little concerned... for two reasons. (1) Ace & GB are both not only migraine-prone (stress, scents, and muscle pain are the three main things that can set them off; scent is Ace's big one), but they are also both mildly claustrophic.

So, two weeks ago, I asked mom if there was a conference room or something where we were all going to eat. She said, "Well, we could reserve space at the restaurant downstairs, but then it would be catered..." Um, no. We do our own food, thankyouverymuch! Then, last week, she called me and reminded me that there's the open space right next to her apartment we could spread out to, and her neighbor directly across the hall gave her use of that apartment, too -- ovens, fridge/freezer, dining, and sleeping areas if needed. YAY, we won't be squished!

Monday, Ace & I did our usual grocery shopping and other weekly errands (the only guaranteed "date day" we have), which included picking up the rest of what we needed for Friday's Feast. Wednesday, after I got home from work, we did a bit of Santamas shopping together. Then, Thursday morning, Ace went to work, I slept in 'til 740a, and Princess slept 'til 10a. I spent the morning enjoying the quiet, the dogs, my mocha, and the fire in the stove... then decided to ask (via FB Messenger) if everyone would please not wear anything scented (perfume, soap, cologne, lotion, etc). If Ace or GB go migraine, all four of us will have to leave, food or no food. I was pleasantly surprised that no one said no... and apparently, E&S are both sensitive to that stuff, too.

Friday, we all tried to sleep in, but as usual, Ace & I were up by 7a. We let Princess sleep 'til 9a, and her brother got here at 1130a. The dogs were supposed to go to daycare while Ace & the kids loaded up the 4-Runner, but Ace went full migraine Thursday night. So, the three of us headed out a little after noon. The afternoon was loud, full of food, laughter, and love, and we got sent home with a good amount of leftovers. Lots of pics were taken, and have been posted. I DVR'd the Civil War and stayed off social media so we watched when we got home. HOLY CRAP; awesome game!

GB spent the night and went home yesterday morning. I had a couple clients, plus took care of some Small Business Saturday clients (buying gifts & stocking stuffers), then later, Ace & I had dinner and left Princess home with the dogs while we went to the Pucifer concert. Next up: Muse then Motley Crue!

Friday, November 13, 2015

Feliz Cumpleanos, Mija! (and more)

Actually, let's backtrack a little...

Halloween -- The only trick or treaters we've ever gotten are the three not-so-little neighbor kids when their aunt had custody of them. The aunt has since gotten married and moved, so the kids only come around to visit periodically. However, we do decorate the house & yard just because we love it, and I always have fun sized candy in the house, so if a T&Ter wanted to ring my bell, I'm prepared. About two weeks prior, Princess still hadn't figured out her costume, so we went in search of inspiration & pieces. She decided on her own version of Mickey/Minnie Mouse. She had black leggings, a black tee, and a headband, and bought a black & red plaid skirt and a pair of yellow socks to wear with her black Converse. Her Mickey pumpkin kit came with ears, so we stuck those onto the headband, which she ended up wearing when she and some friends went out T&Ting in Beaverton, but for school on Friday, she had me do two hair buns instead. She got to hang with those friends overnight Saturday, so after Ace got home from work, we just watched a couple of DVR'd shows.

School -- Princess is still enjoying her Drama 2 class and her instructor... and she *did* end up getting not one, but TWO, roles in the Fall play. She worked very hard to make sure she had her lines down (her OCD tendancies kicked in; she made flash cards for each role, and studied any time she had a break/gap in something she was doing). I'm also happy to report that at every show were at least two people who are important to her: Ace & I at one, Mimi, her friend, and Princess' aunt & uncle at one, her squad, other friends and "village" members... she felt truly loved. If you follow me on FB, you'd also know that not only did she get asked to apply for National Honor Society, but she (as well as her whole "fam" - the four close friends that, along with her, make up her "squad") got in! Apparently, not everyone who has honor roll grades got asked to apply and not everyone who applied got accepted; just under 40 students total (mostly Sophomores) were inducted this past Monday. Ace & I are super proud of her! Tuesday after school were auditions for the next school play. It is a musical, so neither Princess nor her bff, KP, wanted to try out, but N.E. (their teacher) asked them to co-stage manage. This is not a glamourous job, but with their awesome ability to work together and their shared OCD tendancies, this should be right up their alley.

Birthday -- Ok, so as most of you know, November 6th is her birthday. She had that day off school, so she came with me to work that morning, and we headed straight down to Woodburn to meet up with my SIL for some lunch and early Santamas shopping. We finished up around 230p and were home before 330p (which was good because she had to have an early dinner and be at the theater by 6p). I'd wrapped her gifts on Wednesday that week, but we hadn't had time to let her open them until she got home from the play on Friday night. Saturday, she didn't do her weekly chores because I told her I'd do them that week (another gift to her), so after I got home from work, we just hung out, caught up on some DVR'd stuff, and watched the Beavers game. I later took her to the school for that night's performance, but her dad picked her up because I was watching the Ducks game. Sunday night, we took her out to dinner at Red Lobster (her decision), and this Wednesday, she got her free ice cream cone at Baskin Robbin. Today she had a brow wax appointment & Saturday, we finish her *Birthday Extravaganza" with a professional massage. She said, and I quote, "Sweet sixteen was one for the books!" as well as "best prezzie EVER" in regards to one of the gifts we got her.

Other Kids -- Gamerboy's living situation hit a snag (construction/remodel halted due to owner's lack of funds) so he has found a new (safer) place nearby and moves in next week. We also got an update with his grades; he was really concerned about two of the four classes he's taking, but just got mid-term grades back... looks like he has a B in one class and an A in the other. Now, if he could either get more hours at his one job or find a second one, he'd be set! Squeeks is "same old, same old" -- still has the same job, same bf, same living situation, same schooling situation. The only newish thing in her life is that she got her settlement from the insurance company and bought a newer car. It's a smaller version of mine, same year.

Ace & I -- Finished a couple of our projects that needed to get done during his sabbatical, including a platform for my gel lamps to sit on at work and the shooting gallery we wanted. The gallery has been taken out and field tested a couple of times; I'm a better shot than he is with all the handguns but he's better with the shotguns. Anyway, he begrudgingly went back to work mid-October so the only project we're working on is getting the weather station up & installed (it's partially there). Next on our to-do list is to get through the holidays.

Holiday Stuff -- I started doing some shopping, I've got a list of some other things to get, I need to send reminders to the older two kids for their wish lists (interesting how those changed when they got out on their own), and I need to prep & bake both for Thanksgiving and Santamas. This year, all of my mother's children and their families will be gathering over Thanksgiving weekend here in town; this will be the first time we've all been together since 2006, at T&D's wedding. There will be roughly 15 people, including my husband & son, who haven't joined us since GB was a bratty teenager. Mom's new place is smaller than her old place, but we also have full use of the apartment across the hall, and the hang out area next to her. Should be fun.

Wildebeest/MG & gf -- Not much to update, except Wildebeest is still obviously pining for MG, while MG & KC continue their relationship. They truly look absolutely happy. I'm debating sending them a Santamas card, with a handwritten note included in which I write something about being glad he finally found whatever it was that was missing in his life... Anyway, I should take bets on when Wildebeest finally admits they're (to quote Taylor Swift) "never, ever, ever... getting back together." HAHAHA!