Sunday, December 23, 2007

Christmas Steam

Bah Humbug.

We're at my mom's. This is our first long-distance trip with Trystan, which means it's the first one we've attempted with two children. Both kids were OK for the drive, though a portable DVD player in the car did wonders for Charlotte's attitude. Right now, sleep is their problem (well, it's ours more than theirs).

The original idea was for my husband and I to share my mom's full-size guest bed, Trystan to sleep in a pack n play, and Charlotte to sleep in my baby's sister's unused bunk bed. 3 out of 4 of us were happy with the arrangement, but Charlotte would not go to sleep in her aunt's bed. Not with snuggles and books, certainly not with the door shut (to keep out the dog and cats). She has issues with closed doors. There is barely room for 2 of us in that full-size bed (we're used to a king...), and adding a toddler does not help. We did convince Char to sleep on blankets on the floor next to us. Convince, cajole, threaten, whatever.

Here's the current breakdown of sleeping arrangements. I am #2 of 5 girls. #1 and her significant other are here, staying at Mom's, as of tonight they're in teh bunk beds. I'm here with hubby and 2 kids, all 4 of us in a 10x12 guest room. #3 can't make it because of school committments (she was studying poisonous frogs on a tropical island until yesterday). #4 lives here in town with her SO. #5 is 11 and still lives with Mom. She's sleeping in Mom's room for the holiday.

So tonight, after I spent my "free time" of the evening addressing Christmas card envelopes, while my husband sat around playing card games with two of my sisters. Oh, he logged onto this laptop (which is nominally mine), and attempted to chat with his mom a bit too. I then went grocery shopping with my mom. When we got back, I tried to hurry up and finish the cards (my husband addressed a handful while we were gone...maybe 6 out of the 40 or so..).

Then Trystan was tired so I went upstairs to put his jammies on and nurse him. He was very nearly out when Charlotte came banging into the bedroom, climbed up on the bed, talking nonstop, and wanted to play. She played with Trystan, she played out of her clothes and into her jammies, and then she played with Trystan some more. Clearly, the baby was not asleep. I finally put Trystan in the pack and play, and let Charlotte entertain him there (he was outright giggling by that time and not settling down at all), and went down to yell at my husband, who was still engrossed in a card game with my sisters and didn't realize that Charlotte was even upstairs.

We both then went back upstairs and attempted to get both kids to bed. By then, sister #4 came in to say that everyone else (#1, #4, #5, and 2 significant others) were going out for a late dinner because the guys were hungry. She invited us along, but there was no way for us to leave the kiddos even if they were asleep already (Mom has to work tomorrow briefly, and was not a candidate for baby duty).

After more nursing and more convincing, I went to the restroom and my husband ended up getting both kids to sleep. I tried to gather up our scattered belongings for the night, to help cut down the chaos level in the house.

I then tried to log in for some precious surfing or blogging or (gasp!) writing time. Unfortunately, some combination of my husband updating Messenger, or perhaps updating Guild Wars, or maybe some other nefarious program managed to cripple Internet Explorer for over half an hour. I could clik on links on a web page, but could not type anything into the explorer bar, or it would lock up. I uninstalled a large number of unnecessary and suspect programs (no spyware, but several Yahoo things that were junk, IM, games that hadn't been touched in over a year, etc), and ran Windows Update and finally seem able to actually surf.

So basicaly, I'm in a bad mood. Travel with kids is not that fun. 3-year olds who are schedule driven do not handle changes of bedtime routines well. I vented to my husband about the whole playing-games-and-not-wathcing-children thing, and about the playing-games-while-there's-work-to-be-done thing (those are variations on a theme). I feel better after venting, though the two of us haven't really worked out that issue yet. He's probably still annoyed with me for being annoyed with him.

The Christmas Card thing is probably on it's last year. They're cute. But they're a pain in the neck every time we've tried to do them, and somehow I always feel like I'm doing a majority of the painful parts. Tonight, not only was I not enjoying myself, but I was trying to do soemthing that I consider work while everyone around me was playing games or being sociable, and I didn't get a chance to participate. So, if you get a card this year (and our list is shaky at best), and don't next year, please don't think that we don't like you. But I spend a lot of time blogging, and am including the url of the blog in our Christmas letter, and darnit, I don't know that I'll feel like rehashing what I already spend a lot of time writing about.

As for my laptop, I'm still annoyed about the half hour or more of system administration I had to do tonight. I wanted a laptop in part because I wanted my husband to not mess with it. With our other computers, every other time I would try to use them, he would have changed hardware, re-burned the harddrive, or installed some crazy thing that made it annoying or impossible for me to use it. He makes a hobby of messing with computers, which is fine for him. I don't, and I want my computer to work the same way every time I log on. If I have half an hour to spend on the computer, I don't want to waste it all cleaning up a mess first.

In other words, Bah Humbug. Maybe tomorrow will be better, and I'll get a chance to relax and spend time with family and not feel like bawling everyone (or anyone) out. Now I guess I should attempt to go to sleep.


PapaSwoof said...

For the record:
1) I leave the laptop in question alone when no prior discussion has occurred.
2) I did not randomly install software... I'm sorry that companies continue to update their
IM programs and force updates.
3) I was on IM to check on a couple of addresses for the Christmas Cards.
4) Not worth counting numbers, and not belittling my wife's efforts on the Christmas cards this year, she asked me to fill in addresses when she stepped out to go grocery shopping. I accepted child duty and addressing without even a whimper. It was unfortunate that both kids decided to be on bad behavior (needing naps they wouldn't take) nearly the minute she stepped out the door.
5) I started the card game to engage people who were only staring at me and the screaming kids so that there would be something to do. I did get engrossed at the end and lost track of our daughter when she ran from the bathroom immediately shot off like a rocket.

Always more than one side to any story, I'm just a little tired of being made out the villan publically.

Kristi said...

I labeled this post as a "vent", and attempting to be even-handed towards all mentioned parties does not make for a good release of steam.

Of course there are other sides to every story, and they are much easier to see once I cool down (and apparently, once my stomach settles down).

But, as I have frequently said in the past, I will not pretend that I should not or that I did not feel upset about a situation just because the other involved parties had good reason to be doing what they were doing. That would be dishonest to myself even more than to anyone who bothers to read my rumblings. And, as I've learned over the years, pretending all that steam does not exist is an explosive thing to do.