December 19, 2022

ho, ho, who has covid? garage stuff as a resource & happy curly b-day

Super grateful that I
managed to whip up two
batches of Rocky Road Fudge Bars in
advance. They are in the freezer
 - ready for our parties.

It's 3:00 am on Friday the 16th. My to-do list to prep for my two Christmas parties is lengthy, and my sinuses are aching. On Dec. 23rd, I'm officially hosting Coach's side, which is only his 2 local siblings and their families plus us, so 18 people - which includes a few young kids. Then my side of 33 mostly adults on the 25th. 

**EDITED TO ADD:  I tested positive for covid Saturday after feeling progressively worse on Friday and ending up with a 101.6 fever Friday night. I'm leaving the next part of the post mostly as is - except for the '**', but 'doable '- well, lets' just say that getting it all done was gonna be a struggle with me in full-power mode. Now? Eek. 

College kids will agree to do a few things, expect high praise,  and then feel exhausted or irritated when I ask for more. Most of their time will be spent sleeping till noon and racing off to hang with friends. Mini is babysitting for me, but most of my families cancelled. I don't blame them, but I'm out some serious income this week. Ouch. **

These 5 little guys hung out in the kitchen
 because one of them is not quite done
 potty training and hard wood is more
 forgiving than the family
room carpet. While they played,
 I made my Rocky Road bars.

DOABLE, IT'S ALL DOABLE. At least this is what I'm telling myself. Long story would explain how I managed to agree to both parties, but that's more boring than tree trunk fixes and family drama, so let's move on. 

Reg and Curly have colds. I assume that's the path I'm heading down with the sinus pressure that's interfering with my sleep. **I  now wonder if Curly and Reg had covid during the week and their symptoms were disguised as cold symptoms.**

Since it would be too loud for me to bake or tackle any household cleaning chores at this hour,  I thought I'd visit here with you a bit in this, my last post before Christmas. I might take the week off after Christmas too, because my break from babies is VERY short this year. I get tots back Jan. 2nd. Please check back in case I decide to post updates. One never knows when family drama might dictate that I post something to my support crew.

**Exhibit A:  I texted Ann today, Sunday, inquiring about gift ideas for her daughter, B, Coach's goddaughter. She texted back asking if she and B are invited to my house for Christmas.  (B has severed ties with her dad so she won't be joining her other 3 sibs to spend Christmas with him) 

Invited? What now? 

Weeks ago, Ann texted the sisters/SILs and asked if anyone would come to her place for Christmas, if she decided to host. I responded, saying that I'd already offered to host our side of the family, and that our folks had agreed. This marks the first year that our folks aren't hosting and my home can accommodate the large group, thanks to seating for 18 in the kitchen and another 10 in the dining room. We can add in a folding table somewhere. 

My SIL chimed in on that group text saying GREAT, LET ME KNOW WHAT I CAN BRING. So, the message was clear, right? Why would Ann need a separate invite? 

On Sunday, I responded that I was hosting our side, so yes. 

I suppose the fact that she doesn't speak to me leaves her to wonder whether or not I would tolerate her presence. I've done nothing to deserve the silent treatment, and I've also never excluded anyone.**

CHRISTMAS FAILS:  I suppose this isn't a fail so much as it is a demonstration of thinking outside the box. I mentioned that we scraped the bottom of the barrel when we bought our tree, for mucho dinero. Driving to another place would've added time to our tree-procuring mission. We called uncle, and I may or may not have called out other things under my breath, frustrated that I'd tried to get us there a million times and this was the best/earliest we could do.

Anyway, Sunday night Coach set up our tree that makes Charlie Brown's tree look full and lovely. A bit later, I was confused about why Mini's yellow graduation yard sign was in the kitchen. The sign was in bad shape, not bent - but with missing chunks. I was like OH, NO. WHAT HAPPENED HERE?

When they were at mass,
I put lights on the tree. 
Coach:  Oh, the trunk was too narrow to fit in the stand, so I used pieces of that to build up the trunk. 

Proof that just because something is 'saved' in our garage, it doesn't mean that we are collectors of memorable things. I doubt that Mini will care, even though Coach was careful not to hack into the sign's words. That struck me as funny, because it makes me wonder:  did he really think she was going to want to save the sign with jagged pieces missing - why take care to avoid destroying her name? Her grad sign is dispensable, and Coach was just being resourceful. It's fine, entertaining even. 

**I'm gonna share the pic I took when I came out of my cave room Sat. night while the rest of the family was at mass. What on earth? **

And with that, my sinus meds are making me drowsy, per my request. I will sign off and hope to sleep a few more house before my alarm **I did sleep a bit more, but felt like I was in a fog all day.** 

I wish all of you the most relaxing and enjoyable Christmas, or whatever it is you might celebrate, with plenty of family time - but not too much. 

My baby.
If I don't return before the New Year, I wish you good health and much happiness in 2024. And, if you feel so compelled and I hope that you do, then may your resolution include commenting on blogs more regularly . . . starting a resolution early is never a bad thing. 

Also, today, Dec. 19th is Curly's 15th birthday. Last year, we cancelled her b-day with friends because Mini tested positive. She has a game tonight. I can't go but I've commissioned Mini to make brownies and bring them to the team after the game. I cleaned out my study last week - oh, the things I found. It was a long overdue undertaking. I came across this photo and this birth announcement, which offers a glimpse of the tail end of the first Christmas poem that I wrote. 


What is your favorite entrée to serve for Christmas? Do you still gift god-children gifts at Christmas, or do you stop at a certain age? Can you think of a post I've promised to write or a topic you'd like me to cover or re-visit? Has anyone taken Paxlovid that is supposed to help with covid? If so, how did you cope with the awful metallic taste? 


Pat Birnie said...

I'm so sorry you caught Covid Ernie, that will really set you back in your prep. I hope it doesn't go right through your family. Happy birthday to Curly today - that picture is so cute! We don't buy gifts for any of our nieces or nephews, even godchildren. That stopped many years ago as our family is also pretty big and my siblings are all very practical (plus our kids always have way too much stuff!!). Oh boy - Ann. She is 'special' isn't she? Wishing you all good health and zero drama and for you Ernie, that your kids clean up and you can put your feet up for a few hours. (wow that picture; I'd lose my shit and mutter more than uncle lol). xo Pat

Nicole MacPherson said...

Oh no, you have Covid! I know you are not going to want to, but please try to take it easy. I know that's a hard thing to do with so many guests, but is there any way you can just delegate things and maybe get some rest this week? They say that long Covid is correlated with too much activity before being fully recovered. What I'm saying is I am worried about you! I know you have a tendency to go-go-go, but I hope you can rest.
Happy birthday to Curly!!

Colleen said...

I hope you get better quick! Stupid Covid still ruining everything. We give godchildren a birthday gift, nothing for Christmas. We also just do a yankee swap on my side of the family, so everyone brings one gift and leaves with one gift and that's it. Too many people to buy for if we did it differently, as you know. Merry Christmas if you don't check back in here!! And we loved your card and poem!!!!!!!

Jeannie Bruce said...

I have a niece and a nephew on my side (who are also my God children)and he has a niece and a nephew on his side and that is all we have so they both get gifts. His get money sent by venmo since they live in Georgia and we are in Pennsylvania. Mine get gifts.

Ernie said...

Pat - This is the pits. Not gonna lie. I keep thinking I'll feel better in a few days and I'll race downstairs and get it all done. I woke up dizzy and I am now fearful that I really won't be able to do everything. It seems my people are literally just incapable. Coach dusted out the dining room china cabinet yesterday and did the cobwebs yesterday. Some things can't be done too far in advance. He's swamped at work because so many people have surgery before year end and he doesn't have enough staff to cover him.

My sister is a piece of work. Really, they both are. The day after I texted in the group chat confirming that I'd host, my dad asked me if I planned to have the whole family. What? I don't get it. I told him OF COURSE. Quite sure he would've relayed that to my sister if she was the one wondering. My parents always play dumb when it comes to how my sisters treat me. Guessing they hear my sisters' side of it and I say nothing, so what do they really know?

On Coach's side, we stop buying godchildren gifts after they graduate college or reach 18 years or something. My side doesn't have that set up and it gets expensive. Some of our godchildren probably make more than Coach does. I'd like to suggest that we taper off after a set age, but I'm the one who suggested that we stop exchanging about 7 years ago and Ann called me a bitch. No joke.

Ernie said...

Nicole - I am not gonna lie - I was envisioning me hopping out of bed after 5 days and doing ALL THE STUFF. I felt better yesterday, but moved down to my study to do a few things, stayed up later than I probably should have and woke up early this morning feeling dizzy. After reading your comment, I'm a little panicked. I do not want to end up with long covid. I don't want to be zapped of energy to workout.

Mini is home babysitting for the one set of twins that needed care today. I'm going to have to beg her to handle a bunch of stuff for me. Maybe Coach can get a half day off or something. He's slammed with patients who recently had surgery and he isn't staffed to cover his taking time off. If only I had a sister who would come over and pitch in. ;)

I snuck downstairs while double masked and put cin rolls in the oven and set the oven to cook so they'd be ready for Curly's birthday breakfast. I think I'll be going back to sleep soon and that dog had better not bark his head off all morning and keep me awake.

All that to say, thanks for your concern. I hear you. Will do my best to delegate. Have a Merry Christmas and thanks for all of your comments. Much appreciated.

Nance said...

Something has to give, Ernie, and I hope it isn't your health. Like another commenter, my concern is long covid or other complications if you don't take care of yourself properly.

I hope you feel better very soon.

Ernie said...

Colleen - Stupid covid is right. I had hoped maybe I'd had covid at some point and was just symptom free and maybe I'd never get it and know about it.

We used to exchange gifts by drawing cousin names. Adults also drew names. The adults ultimately exchanged gift cards, which seemed silly. So, I suggested we only shop for godchildren. Ann had an absolute fit and got really mad at me, even though my brothers agreed. Coach's side eliminated godchildren gifts after they become adults, which is now making sense to me. I might have to ask one of my brothers to suggest that.

Thank you. Merry Christmas to you, too. Glad you enjoyed the poem and card. Believe it or not, the poem is one of the shorter ones in recent years. I opted to go with the legal size paper to include more pictures. ;)

Ernie said...

Jeannie - That seems manageable. Coach and I have 2 godsons together. I have 4 other godchildren and he has 2 other godchildren. That's a total of 8 godchildren. Many of them will probably get married in the next few years. I vote we bypass the godchildren gifts once they reach adulthood, as it might be time to save for wedding gifts.

Ernie said...

Nance - I am hearing that message loud and clear. It's hitting home specifically this morning as I woke up feeling dizzy. I probaby didn't sleep enough and I ended up doing a bit more than I should've - even though most of it was while sitting in my bed: shopping online, ordering kids to do things, writing, etc.

I don't want long covid, so I will find a way to delegate. Promise. Plus, I'm going to go back to sleep. My doc office just called. She wants me to do a zoom tomorrow morning to check up on me. Thanks for your concern.

Merry Christmas.

Busy Bee Suz said...

My sweet, overdoing friend, my heart breaks for you right now. THIS IS NOT THE TIME TO GET SICK. But it happens, right?
Just think, this will end up in next year's poem. That will be 2023, not 2024.... indeed it's the medication.

Your sister. Goodness. She's clueless.

Honestly, the tree looks lovely from the photo you shared. I know it's probably a hot mess up close but just stand far away.
Speaking of hot messes: YOUR KITCHEN! I would not last one day in your home; murder would happen and I would be in prison.

I actually have my first Godson as of last week!! He was just born and I hardly know the mother...isn't that weird?

I hope you feel better. XOXO

Kari said...

Get well soon, my friend. I, too, read Nicole's comment and had never heard that before. I believe it is an excellent excuse to delegate. Inform everyone that it was prescribed. I'm hoping the dizziness will go away soon. XOXO

Laura said...

Get well soon! I'm just now discovering you via Nicole's blog. Take care and I look forward to a new year of checking-in on your posts!

joymariecooks said...

OHNOERNIE!!!!!! Hope you are better soon! Will pray for a speedy recovery.

God children gifts.... I've got 4 and my husband has 5, one of those is a godchild in common.... However, a few of them are actually adults (came to the faith as adults and were baptized then). We usually give our kid godchildren something, though one is a niece so she'd get something anyway, and one lives overseas and has unreliable mail so he just gets cards. One adult godchild is getting a small gift from me because she's a single mom with very little local family and I want to be sure she has something for Christmas.

Gigi said...

I am sorry to hear that you have COVID. I hadn't heard the too much activity could be related to long COVID; but I think I read somewhere that long COVID can also happen to repeated exposure. COVID is not over. Not by a long shot.

I hope you are symptom free quickly. Take care of yourself and keep us updated.

Ernie said...

Suz - It IS a terrible time to get sick. And, yes - it will probably end up in next year's poem. Let's hope my Covid brain clears up by then, so I know what year it is. Ha.

Ann is a hot mess. Who can figure her out? Like, she created this with her huffing and puffing. Goodness.

The tree does have a nice shape, it's just a skinny shape - if you're into that kind of thing. There are ornaments on the tree, but I'm not even sure who put their ornaments on the tree and who didn't. It's a free for all. The sad little tree can't handle all of the ornaments anyway.

Your first godchild and you hardly know the mom? There is a story here.

This was a two nap day, so I think at that rate - I'm gonna be back to myself in no time.

Ernie said...

Kari - I think it is time to delegate for sure. If only my people could do some of what I do as well as I do.

The dizziness did get better eventually. I think some of the meds are messing me insides up a little and that threw me off kilter a bit.

Two naps in one day has helped.

Ernie said...

Laura - Welcome. Thanks for stopping by. I hope you join us in the new year. Nicole's blog is so fun.

Ernie said...

joymarie - Thanks. I'm hoping that I am able to manage getting everything done without getting myself worn out, and without me feeling like I might strangle my people.

Coach's side decided a few years ago that once godchildren got to be adults, we didn't necessarily need to give them a gift. Several godchildren on my side just ask for gift cards and after awhile it seems a little silly. My sister, Ann, was very upset back when I suggested that the adults not exchange anymore. Coach and I would rather save up for all of their wedding gifts. ;)

Ernie said...

Gigi - It is a bummer. I'm just hoping it doesn't interfere with our Christmas parties. If no one else tests positive, we should be fine.

I'd hoped that maybe I could avoid getting covid - since I lasted this long. I even thought maybe I'd had it at some point and was just symptom free.

I keep telling myself everything will get done. My gang just needs to step up to the plate.

Jenny in WV said...

Sorry to hear your are sick! I hope you feel better soon! I caught COVID last spring, I lost my sense of taste for a few days but could still smell things. There was water line work going on down the street and we were under a boil order, so every time I washed my hands I would then use sanitizer. I wished I couldn't smell it!

I don't have any godchildren so no advise to share. I was baptized Methodist and while I have godparents I don't think I ever received gifts from them because of that relationship. Their daughter is a couple weeks younger than me (my parents are her godparents) and us kids did exchange Christmas gifts we were very little, but probably not since Kindergarten age or so.

My parents serve beef tenderloin as the entree on Christmas. We'll be hosting some friends for a New Year's / belated Christmas gift exchange party and I usually make lasagna. (Why lasagna? - I don't like pork loin and I cannot stand the smell of sour kraut, so it's not allowed in the house!)

I always enjoy the Irish Dancing posts, if you have more stories to share.

Ernie said...

Jenny - Being sick at this time of year is the pits. I am sending Mini out to run errands for me and tomorrow ends my 5 days, but I'm not sure my parents will agree to come anymore once they know that I've had covid recently. I still have to tell them, but I'm waiting to be able to say AND I'M FINE (which I am aside from dizziness as a side effect to the meds) AND NO ONE ELSE GOT IT, ALL FINE.

I grew up without ever getting so much as a birthday card from my godparents. And my godfather was my mom's brother.

My parents serve beef tenderloin on Chrsitmas too. They've decided to buy the meat this year and Coach and I will serve it. Funny, I almost served lasagna to Coach's side on Friday. One SIL and I are both GF so I'm doing a chicken and potatoes thing in the crockpot instead.

Oh my, I have SO many Irish dancing stories. Maybe I will pepper one in here and there. All the more reason for me to get that book written. It's on hold until after the memoir. Both seem like a pipe dream though. Feels lofty to even suggest I could get a book published. I'll just have to let a future publisher know that Jenny in WV wants to preorder a copy.

kate said...

My sibs and I are all over 60. Exchanging gifts seemed ridiculous even 20 years ago. We were all grown, we all had comfortable lives and lived in all parts of the US.
We decided (it only took 4 years to agree) that we would every year make a donation to a charity chosen by one of us in rotation. What a blessing it has been. We have really enjoyed doing it. it is interesting to see where others choose to donate their money and it does feel like something that binds us a little closer to one another.
And I sure hope you test negative tomorrow (it took me 10 dreary days to test negative) Blessings on you and yours.

Ernie said...

Kate - I love that gift idea. That's a great idea. I'm laughing that it took you four years to decide. Ah, siblings.

I took another late morning nap again today, but I have felt pretty well all day. So far, no one else has gotten sick. Fingers crossed.

Beth Cotell said...

I'm always so behind on my blogging and my blog reading! I hope you are feeling much much better by now. I hope you and your family have a very merry and very calm Christmas. I also hope that your sisters BEHAVE THEMSELVES!!!!!!!

Ernie said...

Beth - Always great to hear from you. I know it is a hectic time of year.

I do feel better - I think the plaxovid makes me sleepy. I just took a long nap and that felt great. The Christmas party planning has been a little stressful. Still hoping that my parents will come - Mom said they weren't coming because of covid, but I think she is still planning to come since I told her that we really won't be contagious anymore. Of course, now I'm anxious about testing negative. Coach's family are now coming on my b-day since the weather is supposed to be awful here for the next few days. That was not my preference, but I'm trying to roll with it.

Have a wonderful Christmas with your beautfiul family. I appreciate your regular comments.

Bibliomama said...

Mother****er, what an extra-miserable time to get Covid. It must be so hard to avoid when you live and work with so many children/teenagers. I've been masking religiously at school, but inconsistently out in the community. Not that I can imagine hosting that many people that close together even without Covid.
Our trees are twins! We went to our regular place not even that late in December and there was nothing but needles on the ground. They sent us to another place and we ended up with a fairly pathetic specimen. This may be the year we look for an artificial tree on sale post-holidays.
I hope you feel better enough to enjoy Christmas, however it comes together.

Ernie said...

Ali - I had been so relieved that I never had covid. I was starting to think that I'd had it at some point and was just symptom free and clueless. I suppose that is still possible. it wasn't the worse illness I've ever had, if I'm honest -but the timing was fairly rotten. I still managed to pull off the hosting of Christmas and we all masked up during the party to protect my folks in case anyone was carrying a germ. I was negative days before Christmas, but it was a shit-show to make all of the food and get the house to be presentable.

My mom, who was recently diagnosed with Alzheimer's (not sure you saw that post), thought my tree was the bomb and mentioned it over and over. It did have a nice shape, and she focused on that. Apparently, we just cannot get a tree as early as necessary to score a good tree.