January 9, 2023

not a moment to spare weekend, pasta party, sucky drama, & clueless Curly

I'm drafting this on Friday afternoon. The weekend looks insanely busy, so getting a head start. FYI:  I'm planning to start posting Monday and Thursdays vs Wednesday to give me a tad more time between posts. Will that work for you? 

Reg and Curly play games at 11 ands 1:15 Saturday at opposite ends of our world. Like an hour fifteen minute trek from one to the other. 

Saturday evening we have plans to take the whole gang out to dinner before three  return to college. 

Sunday we have tickets to see a b-ball game at Ed's college. We'll be dropping him off at the same time for (drum roll) his last college semester. I'll miss him as he is very helpful and good to me, but happily mom's weekend is mid-Feb.

We have to leave at 5:40 am to get to the game. When we bought the tickets, it didn't dawn on me that we'd be leaving SO early. As in, YEAH THAT DAY WORKS, but I didn't note the time the game started/time zone, etc. When I learned of our early depart time the other day, I suggested we stay in a hotel. Ed has a house there, so he and a few boys could bunk at his house. Lad has decided to skip it to be home with Finn (there was some family drama this week, getting to that in a bit, but that cropped up after Lad decided he didn't want to go to the game). If we got a hotel, we'd only need one room. 



First off, I've been sleeping till almost 7 lately, gloriously. Secondly,  I cannot wake up and walk out the door (we can't all be Mini), so waking up an hour early isn't really accurate. My hair requires attention, or a hat and I'm not really interested in wearing a hat all day. I'm also not interested in driving almost 8 hours round trip in one day, obviously. 

I know what you're
thinking - this is
downsizing what
you normally do?

PASTA:  Thursday night I hosted both the boy and girl varsity basketball teams for a pasta party. This was the 3rd and final party that I've hosted in as many weeks - including two Christmas family parties back in Dec. I'm a social person. I love to host. I enjoy preparing food for an army, but I am HAPPY TO SIT DOWN AGAIN. My body ached so much after the high school kids had been served and we heard them playing nerf guns in the basement. 

I refrained from making my standard 10 trays. I made 7. Maybe 7.5. Still, we had about 3 trays leftover (OK, maybe a bit more than that, but I gifted some to the mom who co-hosted with me). I've been dropping meals off at my folks' house regularly, so they got a supply. Also, Ed is happy to take a tray back to school with him. 

DRAMA:  When I collapsed on the couch post-pasta duties, Tank, Ed, Mini, and I started talking Ireland trip logistics - mostly Airbnb reservations. Ed and Mini are flying over to visit Tank (who is studying in Limerick) over their spring break. I bought their flights for them for Christmas.

Remember, last year I wanted to take the whole fam to see Ed in Buda and call that Christmas done? Enter covid, and we decided against it. I thought gifting Ireland tix would be great this year - a few less people to shop for. 

Lad wasn't factored into the equation for a variety of reasons. He doesn't contribute to rent or food (work in progress), so he wasn't slated to get more than one or two small gifts from us. Also, he uses all of the hot water to bathe his dog on occasion and his apology is:  I TOOK A COLD SHOWER, TOO. 

Wait, what now? You CAUSED the hot water shortage. 

Unfortunately, Lad also isn't easy to get along with. Remember when he didn't talk to Ed for a few months after Ed shared that Lad admitted to having some mental health issues? Ed was concerned, and we told Lad that his brother choosing to share that info was out of love. Lad was ticked and lashed out at Ed. Nothing new. We all put up with his nonsense and it's really unacceptable. See above:  work in progress. 

*My goal for 2023? To require Lad to be more accountable. 

Boy oh boy, it makes me cry, because I REALLY want us to be the big happy family of my dreams. I beg the other kids to give Lad some space as he's working through things, but damaged relationships cannot be fixed or put aside to invite someone on a trip when no one is sure how he will treat the people on the trip. 

Looking back, I wish we'd pulled Lad aside to give him a head's up that the Ireland trip was happening. I feel lousy about that, but between covid and hosting and everything - I fell into the mode where I check something off of my list and then move on to the next thing. We didn't make a big show of giving a few kids flights to Ireland. 

When Reg pointed out that Ed didn't have many gifts on Christmas, Ed reminded him that it was because he was going to Ireland. Lad looked at me and asked if he was going to Ireland. I told him he could do whatever he wanted, since he has a job. 

While we discussed the Airbnb situation Thursday night, Lad got upset, saying that he feels excluded, and that how could I not have been more sensitive to the exclusion thing given my family history. 


After Lad stormed off, I told Coach that I wished he'd have spoken up and said something. Lad tends to get in my face about things and Coach is usually not home. Then Coach has time to gather his thoughts and say all the right things. Even Coach admitted that I handled it well. Still, hop in and use your voice ANY DANG TIME. 

We both feel awful, because we can put ourselves in his shoes and we hate that he feels left out. Truly, awful. At the same time, he refuses to own his behavior and we can't skip doing things and travelling just because it might be hard for him to accept when he isn't included. The next morning I pointed out to him that while he admitted to needing to talk to someone for over a year, he chose not to. That directly impacts his relationships. 

A long post to say, this sucks. 

*update:  Coach talked to Lad Friday night while I was at Reg's away game and they went to Curly's home game. Coach got through to him with a little:  hey when I sense people are upset with me, I stop and take a look at how I've been acting. 

I am grateful that at least he listens to one of us.


It's Sat. night, just got back from our family dinner (that Lad said he wouldn't attend, but then came around. Grateful for that). More on the dinner later, because I have strong feeling about the dinner. It's way past my 'getting up at 5 am' bedtime. I still have so many Christmas stories to share. Some humorous doozies, unlike this here post of suckiness. 

Are you a thrown-on-a-hat type, if you are attending an event? Can I get an amen on the hotel stay vs the early rising? (OK, Nicole - we know YOU could get up early. hee hee). Do you feel like some pasta now? 

*we found out at dinner that Curly didn't know we were road tripping tomorrow. I feel like we almost had our own mini version of Home Alone. 



Nicole said...

I'm sorry you are continuing to have so much trouble with Lad. I hope that it can be resolved.

I am in awe at the amount of food you make for people! Thinking of three parties in three weeks, for huge amounts of people, makes me tired just to think of it!

Amy said...

I don't like to wear hats and can't deal with showering the night before, so I'm with you - the hotel sounds like a better option!

Our teens tend to hide out in their rooms a lot, so happens that one might not get informed of upcoming events. Oops! We don't mean to exclude anyone (well...we do have one that reminds me of your Lad), but it's happened.

Colleen said...

There's always someone I don't tell important info to, and then others I retell multiple times and they're like "yeah mom you already said that". It's hard to keep it all organized, and I feel for you!

Nance said...

So. Much. Pasta.

I truly dislike entertaining, especially if it's for an actual meal. If I can just toss out charcuterie/snacks, I'm better, but I'd rather not do it at all.

Even when I had long hair, I couldn't do the Ponytail Thing, so I hear you. And hats? No.

Ernie said...

Nicole - It is my hope too. It sort of consumes me at times. I really want him to have a happy life and he needs to decide to be part of the solution. Seeing the therapist is a step in the right direction. Time will tell if he is going through the motions or really ready to put in the work. It weighs on me.

Honeslty, half the battle here is keeping the house in order/clean. Three is a row was doable in large part because we were able to maintain the house, and we were also pretty good at manning our stations, so to speak, so when it was about time to host we knew what to address. I woke up this morning and decided next time I host a pasta party for a team I will make half of the amount of pasta. Promise.

Ernie said...

Amy - I ended up showering the morning of, tieing my hair up, and then wetting/fluffing/spritzing my hair and I looked fine. Coach also decided that we didn't need to leave at the butt crack of dawn. We left at 6, so I woke up at 5:30 but I was ready in plenty of time - so I could've slept another 15 minutes.

Curly was so clueless about plans that had been in the works for WEEKS. We were like, HUH? We sometimes threaten to take the door off the hinge. Hmm.

Ernie said...

Colleen - I often ask the kids if I've told them something, or was that something I said in my head. Ha.

Ernie said...

Nance - It is a lot of pasta. I woke up this morning and vowed to make half of the pasta the next time I host. NO NEED FOR 7 TRAYS.

My hair is so thin, pony tails do not work for me unless I'm on a run. Same with hats - it's a workout wardrobe thing, sometimes.

I don't mind hosting, but there are lots of moving parts here and my kids seem blind to what needs to be addressed until the 11th hour.

Kara said...

My parents are in town, and my Mom invited over the parts of her side of her family who live in Arizona. I had six relatives show up yesterday and played host, while at the same time getting my kids ready to go back to school after a long Christmas Break. It was a bit much. I did not do the grocery shopping I needed and planned on doing yesterday.

I'm not a hat person. My hair is OK though. Long enough to go into a ponytail, and only a slight wave to it. I usually don't do anything at all with it. Just wash and comb out and go.

Suzanne said...

Oh, Ernie. The situation with Lad sounds so tough. Holding him accountable sounds like a very good idea and I hope it has the desired result.

That is a LOT of pasta and I am delighted that it is LESS than you normally make!

As for hats, I wear a baseball cap when I am out walking in the sunshine. And I wear a winter hat when it's cold. Otherwise, I am NOT a hat person.

Ally Bean said...

I used to enjoy entertaining more than I do now. You do so much of it that I can live vicariously through you. I like baseball hats, am kind of known in the neighborhood as being the lady who walks while wearing one year round.

Ernie said...

Kara - I'm jealous of your low maintenance hair, but not of your relatives show up by the half dozen situation.

Ernie said...

Suzanne - I should mention that we sure TRY to hold him accountable, but it is a hard thing to do while also walking on eggshells. We are trying (well, I'm trying) to be more adamant that he answer for things in hopes that he is able to handle that while also starting therapy.

I need to start force feeding my people the pasta and freezing some. Ed couldn't fit his entire tray in the cooler that he packed, so he went to school without it. I'm hoping it wasn't that he didn't want it, because I plan to bring it to him when I visit him in a month - after I've frozen it.

I sometimes wear a hat to workout and also when it is very cold out. Otherwise, I can't do hats. Certainly not for a whole day.

Ernie said...

Ally - I'm glad to supply you with that vicariously living service.

I used to wear a hat every time I worked out at the health club, without fail. When I saw someone from the gym while I was not wearing a hat, they had no idea who I was.

Pat Birnie said...

You are one busy lady! Hosting the kids' team is so wonderful; it will create a lot of happy memories. I also love to entertain so I get it!

I loved your response to Lad "you can go anywhere you want,you have a job". Perfect...keep holding him accountable, as tough as it is.

Anonymous said...

Changing to Monday and Thursday is fine with me, I’ll come check in for your stories!
Sorry about the family struggles, I have an older brother who refuses to take responsibility for his lazy or offensive behavior, but it doesn’t sound quite and intense as what your family is dealing with.
I’m definitely team hotel, and I’m totally fine showering at night. But waking up extra early and the 8 hour round trip with a game in the middle sounds like a lot for one day. One hotel room would be worth having a more enjoyable day and breaking up the drive.
I’m actually off to go eat some leftover pasta for lunch!

Ernie said...

Pat - The team has such a blast at these pasta parties and no other parents of the girls team host them. Of all the boy team parents, there are only 3 families who have signed up to host. I get it, they are a crowd. I'm fortunate that I can house a large group here. Last year I hosted them twice, because a family that signed up backed out the night before. Now that WAS nuts.

The Lad situation is so hard. I guess that was holding him accountable. It's such a mess.

Ernie said...

Anonymous - Glad to know you will be ready and waiting for a Thursday post - I just sat down to get started on that. I think I will be posting some tidbits about our Christmas.

yes, yes, yes - one night in a hotel seemed to be sensible. I admit that it did work out, but I was grumpy leading up to it - which had a lot to do with the Sat. night dinner, more to come on that topic. I showered in minutes and my hair looked fine (I didn't get it wet) with a good fluffing and a bit of product. I slept a bit on the way there and more on the way home. Then I drove 2 hours home. I miss Ed and with the hectic pace of things lately and the Ireland trip planning, I didn't really have a chance to grasp that we were dropping him off.

Pasta, hee hee.

Busy Bee Suz said...

I appreciated the giggle at the end. I feel like with such a large family, it would be easy to have someone not in the loop, such as Home Alone.

You gave an excellent explanation to Lad; he's showing assholish behavior, so why would anyone go out of their way to include him? I pray that once he actually starts getting some help, it will open his eyes. This will only happen if he's truthful with a counselor. He might want to continue that 'victim' scenario in therapy.

I refuse to get up and depart at that UN GODLY hour. Nope. Ain't gonna do it!!

I just read that there was a pasta shortage in Illinois; now I know why. :)

Ernie said...

Suz - I talk a lot - but I guess I never really track who I'm talking to . . . maybe I'm talking to myself half the time. Curly camps out in her room. Thought she was in bed last night - it was late. I went to bed and there she was watching film from her game (this one ended badly - she played great, but so frustrating because there are so many different levels of players on the team. There were tears).

It really couldn't have been a better opening for this point to be made: LAD CHEERING WHEN ED'S TEAM WAS STRUGGLING, AND IN THE NEXT BREATH WONDERING WHY HE ISN'T TRAVELING WITH THEM. What now? We told him that one of our conditions to live here is to sign off on hippa so we can chat with the therapist too, but we haven't tried yet. I do wonder if he's just playing the victim or if she can see through it. Eek, it's so heavy on my heart. I thought the hard part was when they were little and kids were mean to them.

Oh, that early morning nonsense, well- I was not a fan. It is hard to find a window to go to a college game when we have two kids playing b-ball right now too. I took one for the team.

I snort-laughed at the pasta shortage in Illinois. Tank was like WHAT'S SO FUNNY?

Kari said...

This pasta amazes me. I can't barely get myself motivated to cook for three of us.🤣

Bibliomama said...

Oy, everything is so much more complicated in a family that size, from feeding everyone to managing everyone's different personalities. The Ireland trip sounds cool. I can be out of the house quickly because I can wash my hair the night before and just dry shampoo, and I can get up early, but I would much prefer the hotel room. My husband can drive my daughter five hours away to university and drive back in the same day - I can't quite do that, although I could probably do eight hours.

Ernie said...

Kari - I think it is my love language. That's a thing, right? Maybe I just made that up.

Ernie said...

Ali - I can get ready quickly now that I don't wash my hair daily, a lesson learned in pandemic. But I still need to do something with my hair. It all worked out because they pushed the depart time to 6 am. We arrived an hour and 45 minutes early. Why?

I will say that if I can't sleep and we're in a hotel room - I struggle quite a bit.

I am not a great long distance driver and Coach has no issues, so twins.