A lot of things went down last week and I haven’t posted anything at all about them. I haven’t exactly been in a happy place lately, and whenever that happens I find it extremely hard to write about what’s going on and tend to hide behind static things like food (which apparently is just as well considering).
Monday I went in and saw the vampires who stuck me twice because oops, forgot that one test right there. I didn’t mind, really. The girl-vampire rocks and I usually never feel a thing. And hey, it was Monday, so I think I can be forgiving. I did get a special treat for my trouble—a card for Marc to add to his ever-so-slightly huge collection of Magic the Gathering decks of which he has probably a thousand. I probably exaggerate, but it seems whenever Muppet goes into our room he manages to find at least one and spread it around the room. Darlin’ it’s not one of those “if you plant it, it will grow” things.
That night the Tigger-ette’s god-pop was round for the night. He had some type of workshop to do in Chaumont and whenever that happens he crashes at our house to avoid the two-hour one-way commute home. This doesn’t bother me (good thing, too, as he’s back again tonight), and it’s usually good for Marc to have his best friend around. And hey, someone else to cook for? Hurt me. At least he brings dessert.
Then the monkeys got sick—both of ‘em—the fun never stops.
Tuesday was calm, except my English group ran over. It seems to do that a lot these days and I can’t help but think it’s a good thing. The folks are interested and participate and we just don’t finish up right at the hour mark. Maybe next year I’ll extend the group half an hour. Coming home from that and then having to cook dinner sometimes gets on my nerves. But then a bunch of that is the reason I’m not in the happy place, and this probably isn’t a good time to go airing out dirty laundry, especially if it’s filthy.
Wednesday Marc left, again, for three days, again. I also got my results back from the vampires (all’s perfect) and had my 12 week ultrasound. 12 weeks…so many more to go. The baby is doing fine. Hands, feet, brains, and all other things are present and accounted for. The heart beat is running fast and strong and it’s already an active little monkey. Bodes well for the future. Ugh. For those of you counting, the official due date is June 15th, so we’re looking at the end of May.
I looked for a new car seat for the Tigger-ette who has, in the way babies do, grown out of her first car seat. This is a serious exercise in futility at our house because one of us doesn’t want to spend more than the cheapest model costs and the other of us wants something protective. I’m sure you can figure out which is who, so I’ll leave you to it. Needless to say, even though I was given the so-called OK to “demerde” myself, I came home empty handed because I’m just fed up with always being the asshole. I’ll deal with that battle another day. For the moment Pooplette is riding around in the ancient car seat her grandparents bought when her cousin was born in 1998. If I happen to bring up the notion that the thing is no longer within the accepted LEGAL norms, well, I’m just being difficult again. Sometimes I hate these people. Buying Muffin’s car-seat was a month long battle, and I just don’t know if I have the strength this time.
Happy place…happy place…
Wednesday night was disastrous. Neither monkey wanted to get in the bath, to get out of the bath, to get dressed for bed, or to eat, or to sleep, or to do anything to help keep my insanity intact. The Evil-SIL wanted to be all chatty on the phone while I’m trying to explain that I have ten million things left to do and it’s 9 PM already, please let me go. Finally at midnight I fell exhausted into bed…
…only to get up five and a half hours later, dress, eat, wake, clothe and feed the grumpies, toss them in the car and take off, passing by ESIL’s house to pick her up and by the tourist office where I’d left my camera. By 8 I could barely keep my eyes open, so ESIL took over the driving and promptly got us stuck right in the middle of a traffic jam in Nancy (Stupid salt truck lost its load—salt? But there’s no ice.). We managed to make it out right as the pee-call alarm was hitting critical, and after a short pit stop, crept into Strasbourg an hour after our first scheduled meeting.
All was not lost. My American sister-in-law, or ASIL, had only just arrived so after the exchange of hugs and kisses and choruses of ‘my aren’t you a cutie’ we looked for and found a place to sit down and nibble on some food, catch up and do all the other things you do with family you haven’t seen in three years and only have a few short hours with. She brought over some absolutely fabulous clothes for the animals and Muffin was all into that. “For me?” with round moon eyes and all. Tigger-ette could honestly not have cared less. “Clothes? You gunna feed me or what?” (Now that’s she’s actually wearing them she seems happier, although do not put that hood on her head. She’ll rip her own head off trying to get that thing away from her.)
We then did the Christmas Markets for the next few hours while the monkeys slept (yes SLEPT), and I (fortunately I think) convinced ASIL to let me mail home some of the goodies she found so she’d actually be able to close her suitcase. She can be hard headed at times, (she married my brother so that’s pretty much a prerequisite) but sensible and her better judgment won out.
We got her back to her bus for the ride back to her boat but the bus was PACKED, so we decided to wait for the next one in a little café where we all sipped on hot chocolate and ASIL and I talked about what a nutter one of my sisters is, and what in God’s name I was thinking by getting knocked up again (I stand by the Ruffies story). She caught the next bus and like that she was gone, hopefully for a shorter period this time, because three years between visits is just too damn long.
I cried pretty much the entire walk back to the car, but managed to do so in a way that didn’t draw too much attention to the fact. I really suck at good-byes. And I really suck at visits that are too short.
So back to the car we go and I’m trying the whole time not to fall down deep in the well of self-pity and depression. We strap the kids into their respective car seats and then continue down the spiral of the parking garage in search of the exit. Ah, street light at the end of the tunnel. We come up out of the underground garage and pull into a regular street where we watch a private ambulance back directly into the carload of Germans directly in front of us.
Joy. So the two guys in the ambulance hop out in a really pissed off way and start screaming at the Germans who look completely lost. I mean, we’re on a one way street and a private ambulance has just backed into them. So they yell at the Germans for a few minutes and then one of them goes back to the ambulance and turns the lights and sirens on. The other finally hops back into the ambulance as well and the Germans try to park on the side. ESIL, who spent a mot more time in Strasbourg than I ever will, is driving and tries to squeak through the scene so we can go home. Every one is pretty tired at this point and we’d like to be well out of the traffic before the kiddies start their next fit.
So then the ambulance decides to back up again, with out looking again, and this time right into us. Véro was as far right as she could be without colliding with the other cars and blew the horn several times before they actually hit us, but they hit us all the same. And then started chewing us out.
Fine. I exchanged addresses and phone numbers with the Germans (who spoke not a word of French, but fortunately had someone in the family who spoke English so we were able to communicate). We had no damage to the car and we were all more than ready to leave, so after a few kind words on my part to the idiot driving the ambulance (who insisted there was an emergency in the rue piéton behind us—although I never saw him go further than three steps from his death wagon—and that we were all stupid idiots because he doesn’t know how to drive) we left. The gendarmes were escorting the ambulance guy away from the crowd when I last looked back.
Morons, you are everywhere.
So another late night. Home at midnight, and had to put two limp monkeys to bed on my own because, hey, I’m alone again. I got to sleep around 1:30, after changing, dressing and dragging each monkey out of the car and up the stairs in some order or other. I was too tired to know exactly what I was doing.
But whatever it was was apparently not too bad. The monkeys slept late the next morning (8:30 is late) and after all that Muppet took care of himself and Pooplette for another hour. I’d slept 61/2 hours straight. It was more sleep than I’d had in the previous two nights combined. It felt great.
Friday was spent in a haze of exhaustion. Marc came home around 10:30 that night and promptly turned into Dick Man the Asshole. Saturday we had two house warming parties to go to. Sunday we just avoided each other. Now it’s Monday again, he’s gone, again, and I’ve been up to the house, again. I should never do that. It only makes things worse. But it had to be done so we can have an independent estimate of how much the work is going to cost us if (when) we have to pay someone else to have it done. I was informed that, not only would it be easier to gut the place and start over, but that it’ll probably be cheaper as well, since redoing is harder work than doing. Lovely. They also said we’re looking at about two or three months of work—two or three months of work AFTER the insurance decides we can proceed with the court case, and then only after the court sends out their own expert (another two month wait).
I cannot do this anymore. This whole house thing is killing me. And yes, one day I’ll get around to giving you all a virtual tour so you can be as shocked and outraged as we are, but I’m just not that strong yet.