Displaced Yankee Chick in Texas

This blog chronicles my life as a displaced Yankee chick in Texas. I'm from the NY/NJ/PA area and quit my job 1.5 years ago to move to TX with DH and become a SAHM to our 3 kids (2 DDs and 1 DS). **Please note that names have been changed to protect the innocent.**

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

conglomeration of an update

I'm going out of town tomorrow night and will be away until late Sunday attending a sorority event. In the meantime, here's what's been going on here in the Lone Star state.

MIL, her DFiance, SIL, her DH and their two boys came to visit. They were all supposed to arrive the evening of Fri, June 8. However, that was the day of the FAA computer glitch. MIL's flight was delayed about an hour or two and DH didn't have any trouble picking them up at the airport. The same can't be said for SIL and her family. They flew out of JFK and the NYC area got hammered by bad weather and the FAA glitch. They should have arrived at 11:30pm but didn't walk in our door until about 6:30 Sat morning.

We had a birthday party for everyone on Sat, June 9. My aunt, cousin and her four kids came over to celebrate with us. A great relaxed pool party with delicious BBQd burgers was just what the doctor ordered. MIL surprised us by showing us that she can swim (she's terrified of the water and won't even get her face wet in the shower). She's been taking lessons, which is great. We celebrated (in order) DNephew M's 1st, DH's 40th, B's 7th, DNephew R's 5th, S's 4th, and A's 3rd (even though he's Sept). MIL made her famous potato salad for DH, and it was at this time that I learned that mustard can go bad. Who knew?! MIL and I went out and shopped for the kids, and that was fun too.

Sunday we hung out and relaxed again in the pool. SIL and I took the girls to get manicures and pedicures at a local place and then we shopped until we dropped. We were shopping for the girls' birthday presents, but I wound up walking out of the mall with 3 new pair of shoes. LOL!

Monday we got BBQ from the great place across the street for lunch and it was wonderful. Then DH took MIL and DF to the airport. Once DH returned, we decided to drive the 2.5 hrs to the small town where DH and SIL grew up. DH made hotel reservations and we packed up the cars. We arrived at the hotel around 1am.

Tuesday we got up and went to a local greasy spoon for breakfast and then drove around the town. DH and I had been back 2 yrs ago for his 20th reunion, but SIL hadn't been back in nearly 20 years. So we did all the things she wanted to do, and looked at all the places she wanted to see. We even stopped at the house where the parents of one of her friends still live. She chatted with them for a few minutes, but her friend was at work. Early that afternoon DH got a call on his cell phone from his dad. I could tell it was bad news. His beloved grandmother had passed away at 2am, so just about the time we arrived in his hometown. I quickly got on my phone and called SIL to tell her to pull over when we got to the next place (the HS) because DH had an important call. When we got to the HS, I went over to SIL's car and told them that DH was on the phone with FIL; then I went back to our car. DH finished the call and then went to tell his sister the news. While did that, I got in the back of our car and broke the news to our kids. S and A had no grasp of what I was saying, but B understood and began crying. We decided to head home, but we stopped in Austin so SIL could meet a friend for a late lunch. The restaurant was named Trudy's and I had a great burger there.

Wed was B's birthday and it took me a few hours to realize it. Around lunchtime I wished her a happy birthday and we began celebrating. We all went to our community's water park and spent the afternoon there. The DNs napped for a while, and so did A, which was surprising. It really was a great time. I think the visit to the water park started to convince BIL that this wasn't such a bad place to live. Later that day he went to visit a friend who owns a comic book store so he could pick up some new comics that he had to review for work.

Thurs SIL and gang went to BIL's friend's parents house for the day. These people are like family to BIL and R even called the man "Pop" before they left to come back here.

Friday we took the kids to the closest mall with a Picture People so we could get a pic of all five kids together. We got two decent shots, and between the coupon and SIL's club membership, the two pix were free. Then we headed to Chuck E Che*se to celebrate DNephew R's birthday since we'd be busy with funeral stuff on his actual birthday. He doesn't get to CEC very often so it was a huge treat. And B was about 2 yrs old the last time she'd been there. This one was great and not very crowded which made it very pleasant. However, there was one beotch having a bday party for her kid and she pissed us off. The live CEC came out for that kid's birthday and R and B went over and waited until he was finished with the kids from the party to say that it was R's birthday as well. Apparently this beotch seemed to think that CEC was only there for HER kid's party and did not like having our kids come up to him. She complained to the manager, and DH could overhear the entire conversation from where he was standing. The manager told her that there was nothing he could do. It's CEC, and kids want to see him. Deal with it. BIL took the gang back to hang with the family friends and we went home to start packing for the trip to RI for the funeral.

Sat morning we all packed our cars and left for the airport. We had nasty rainstorms here and wound up on three separate flights, hoping that our luggage would meet up with us in RI. We were originally scheduled to connect thru BWI, but that looked bad for making our connection, so we switched to a PHL connection. Then they announced that people on that flight should see the gate agent. We finally were placed on a cnx thru MDW and amazingly enough, our bags arrived in RI when we did. However, we arrived very late, then had to rent the car (we upgraded to an Acadia, which I do recommend), secure the car seats, and drivve an hour to DH's grandmother's house. We arrived around 2am.

Upon arrival, FIL had the TV blaring and was soused. I had to inflate and make 3 aerobeds, change 3 kids and myself into pajamas, and FIL still didn't get the hint that we were TIRED. No, EXHAUSTED. FIL had kindly gotten the bedroom ready for us. I was expecting him to give us his room in the basement, but he put us in Grandma's room! I was shocked and couldn't sleep in the bed that night. Since they had practically arrived in RI from FL and hadn't had time to unpack before she went to the hospital, all her clothes had been in her luggage. Between Tuesday and Saturday, FIL had simply opened up her bags and put all the contents in trash bags to be picked up by a nun to take them for charity. It was a bit of a surprise for me to see all her stuff packed up.

Sunday morning FIL informed us that the trip to the city where the funeral was to take place wasn't 1-1.5 hours away like he had mentioned on the phone earlier in the week (which was why BIL insisted that they get a hotel room in that town instead of commute with us from RI to MA) but it really was more like 2-2.5 hours. Great. Now we had to drive a long ass drive with the kids in the car, and no DVD player. Once we arrived in the town about 30 minutes before the wake was to begin, we grabbed lunch at McD's for the kids, as there wouldn't be time to eat until after the wake ended. The wake was nice, and it was great to see so many family members that we hadn't seen in years, at least not since B was a few months old. Granny looked fantastic; DH thought she looked at least 10 yrs younger. BIL and I took the kids to a playground across the street as the wake entered its last half hour. They needed to run off some energy. Then we headed to a cousin's house nearby to eat. Like his grandfather's wake, the food was strictly salad sandwiches (tuna, chicken or seafood). My kids didn't enjoy any of it but filled up on pastries instead. FIL and DH managed to get us somewhat lost on the drive home, and we drove through Boston and the big dig on the way to RI.

Monday we had to get up around 5:30 to get ready and on the road early as we'd have to fight Boston rush hour traffic to make it to the funeral home on time. We arrived a bit early, and had a chance to grab Dunkin Donuts on our way out of RI. We said our goodbyes to Granny, and the kids insisted on singing "A Bushel and a Peck" to her before we were ushered out to our car. I was privileged with doing the second reading, just like I did for DH's grandfather. I think I did a good job and spoke slowly and clearly, not the normal fast and furious way I usually do when nervous. The kids were quite well behaved through the whole thing, especially considering we're not regular churchgoers. The kids, especially A, got antsy at the cemetery. He took a flag off the neighboring grave and was waving it around. There was a beautiful gravesite reading about watching a ship sail off and those watching it think, "There she goes," while those on the other side/port watch and think, "Here she comes." The funeral director was a nephew of Granny's, and he added some levity at the end of the service. Granny was well known for sending a card to everyone on their birthday or special occasion, and popping in some money "to get a treat." So he said he had put in a card with $5 for her, but then instead put in $10 so that she could get a treat for herself and Buck (her beloved DH). We all had to laugh because it was so perfectly her. We had lunch at a local clubhouse, where again, all that was offered were salad sandwiches (this time egg and ham were included), so my kids didn't eat except for the pastries. It was during this meal that we learned that DH's cousin who is A's Godmother, is expecting and due in late December. Such wonderful news! SIL's family headed back to RI with us for the night.

Tuesday we slept late and then SIL and I worked on getting more of Granny's room cleaned out. We bagged up the remaining clothes of hers and Granddad's, and then began to tackle the clutter. She had drawers full of unused Mass cards and return address labels. DH and I packed up the family and headed out to the airport for another travel nightmare. Bad weather on the east coast delayed our flight to PHL. Then we were delayed due to storms in TX and PHL. Had I known we'd be there for six hours, I definitely would have asked my parents to drive to the airport to see us. Hindsight is always 20/20. At least the airline provided drinks and snack crackers and later, pillows and blankets for the kids. We pulled up to our house at 6am Wed, when we should have arrived at 8 or 10 or 11pm. Gosh, I don't even remember.

Wed the younger 2 had school and B had VBS, but I didn't take them to their activities. That would have been cruel. We slept late and tried to get ourselves back on track.

So that's pretty much it.

I've been tagged!

The challenge is to use ONE WORD for each answer (no explanations).

Yourself: shy

Your Partner: outgoing

Your Hair: colored

Your Mother: terrific

Your Father: great

Your Favorite Item: computer

Your Dream Last Night: none

Your Favorite Drink: water

Your Dream Car: convertible

Your Dream Home: organized

The Room You Are In: office

Your Fear: cancer

Where You Want To Be In Ten Years: happy

Who You Hung Out With Last Night: DH

You're Not: organized

One of Your Wish List Items: money

The Last Thing You Did: eat

You Are Wearing: pjs

Your Favorite Weather: sun

Your Favorite Book: Brooklyn

Last Thing You Ate: cookie

Your Life: chaotic

Your Mood: tired

Your Best Friend: Amy

What Are You Thinking About Right Now: travel

Your Car: dirty

What Are You Doing At The Moment: blogging

Relationship Status: Married

What Is On Your TV: dunno

What Is The Weather Like: hot

When Is The Last Time You Laughed: afternoon

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

I'm so tired...my mind is on the blink

Just survived having SIL and her family visit for a week, MIL and her DF for a long weekend, a birthday party for six people, and two airplane trips from hell sandwiched between a funeral.

Long story short -- had a great visit with the family. Kids got along great and were so loving to 1yo cousin. Party was a success and weather was great while we had company. Had fun visiting DH's hometown with our and SIL's families. Unfortunately while we were there we got a call that DH's and SIL's grandmother had died overnight. Researched and then made travel arrangements for family to attend funeral. Celebrated 5yo nephew's birthday 2 days early since his bday was the day of the wake; kids had a great time at Chuck E Cheese.

SIL's family had the trip from hell getting down here thanks to the FAA computer glitch and the bad weather surrounding the NYC area. They were to arrive Fri night at 11:30pm. However, they finally arrived at 6:30am Saturday! Their bad luck rubbed off on us and we were to arrive in Rhode Island Saturday around 8pm. We pulled into DH's grandmother's house at 2:15am. And our luck didn't improve yesterday. We should have arrived in Houston yesterday around 8pm, but pulled into our driveway at 6am this morning. *yawn*


And I almost forgot -- we did get some wonderful news. DH's cousin, who happens to be A-man's Godmother, announced at the luncheon following the funeral that she is expecting her first. She's just out of her first trimester and regaining her appetite. Her due date is somewhere in late December. Gran's birthday was Christmas Eve, so that's the date I'm hoping for.