Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Hausfrau's Week in Review

Things are back to normal at Hausfrau Haus. We decided to cancel the trip to Boston because Peaches has had a nasty poop virus since Friday and we didn't want to leave my MIL with the kids alone when one is sick. I am taking her to the doctor tomorrow. I am sure that she will be perfectly fine and will be producing perfect poops by then. But had we left, we know something bad would have happened and we would have felt horrible about it.

We had an awesome visit with our friends Jen and Joe and their kids and their dogs. Baby Girl is going through severe withdrawl by not having them around. The oldest daughter was the perfect age to give her the responsibility of babysitting while we were there. Baby Girl was so happy playing outside with them all day. It is apparent that we need to adopt some older children pronto so that they may entertain her all day long. I was impressed with the restraint I showed by NOT being pie-eyed every single night. I wasn't even hung over. Jen and I left the house sans children one afternoon and got pedicures while Herr pretended that he knew how to fix our plumbing problems.

I was right when I thought that my appearance at the wedding would guarantee a drama-free event for my cousin. The wedding was beautiful, my cousin and her bridesmaids were GORGEOUS and quite tan (she manages a tanning salon--free tans for everyone!) I got a fantastic upper body workout because I held Baby Girl for nearly the entire 60 minute ceremony. She weighs about 45 lbs. My uncle was there to walk my cousin down the aisle with her mother, which was really nice. My uncle's wife didn't attend the wedding, but her four sisters came and no one mentioned her. I didn't really ask around as to why. If she is really still mourning the loss of her father from 8 months ago, then she needs help, not snarkiness from me. I ended up not having to worry about my mother being all catty at the wedding because she didn't attend. I'll get to that later.

While the wedding was wonderful, the visit with my immediate family was pretty much what I expected. Annoying. There is no such thing as a stress-free or enjoyable visit with my family. It isn't possible. I fall for it every time. I drive home to Indiana and am always so excited to see my Mom and any other family member who may be in town at that particular time. I drive home a couple of days (or sometimes one day) later, completely annoyed and usually amazed by comments made or events that transpired. I am always grateful to have witnesses (ie. Herr) because I worry no one will ever believe me. Comments about my weight, my clothes, my hair and my first bout of acne in my life flew through the air throughout the two days.

Let me set the stage: My sister and her sons decided to stay with my mother from Monday until Sunday afternoon. That would be great if Mom didn't live in a one bedroom 450 sq. ft. apartment that is full of crap. It would also be great if my nephews were well behaved and repsectful. And it would be super great if my sister wasn't so loud and always yelling at her kids from another room. My mother called me a week before, telling me that she wanted my sister and kids to stay in a hotel and was willing to pay for it. I am pretty sure she wanted me to volunteer to tell her. I didn't take the bait. Then my mother got food poisoning from eating a hot dog that was probab ly a year old in her refrigerator and was laid up for over a week because she is a sickly woman. A cold can put her in the hospital because she has a shot immune system. And she smokes. And she drinks. So no reservations were made and my sister brought her sons and all of their crap to my Mom's. I called my mother during the week to ask how things were going. My mother sounded exhausted and annoyed. She informed me that she needed to clean house before I got there and had a huge list of things she needed to get done, but hadn't because she had been so sick.

"Can't Sister clean, Mom?"

Sigh. "She doesn't do anything except yell at the boys and they ignore her. I'll get it done while she is in Chicago for the day tomorrow. I will, however, need you to get my groceries when you get into town."

"No problem."

Friday morning I called my mother when I was an hour from town. I told her to make sure she had the grocery list ready so that I could get it done quickly for her.

"Um, I actually need you to do some cleaning."

When I got the apartment I spent nearly two hours scrubbing the mold out of the toilet and the layer of black soot off of everything in the apartment while my sister ate pizza, yelled at the boys to stop playing their Gameboys 27 times and told me how dirty the apartment was. She was also nice enough to inform me that I had missed a spot on the television. I kept my temper in check and finally left when I knew I would blow--I also had a raging headache. I refuse to have a fight with my sister when my mother and nephews are near her. I did tell her that I need to have a serious talk with her. She thought it was about Mom. I told her it was about her. She looked all confused. Why am I not surprised?

I am angry for two reasons. I am angry that my mother will not allow me to hire a cleaning lady to come into her home to clean. I am angry that my sister imposed for 7 days and couldn't pick herself off the couch to scrub a toilet or even make her bed while she was there. What makes me even more angry is that my sister told me a couple of months ago that I needed to come home more to help my mom because she has been coming home so much. Our friends who visited us this week were only at our house for three days, yet they left it cleaner than when they got there.

The only other annoying thing that happened this weekend dealt with my aunt. She decided that bringing up my mother's inability to care for herself was perfectly appropriate to discuss in front of the rest of the realtives during dinner at the wedding reception. She kept sprinkling comments into conversation that we need to move her with us wherever we go. I ignored her as long as I could, but then she mentioned that SHE doesn't want my mother to move near her because SHE doesn't want the responsibility. I finally said that we cannot force my mother to go anywhere and that she may lives with us if she chooses, but she will probably never leave her apartment. And then we left the reception.

Did I mention that Herr and I went to the reception without the girls? That was fun. The girls stayed with friends of ours. Their two kids kept Baby Girl amused the entire weekend. The older daughter even stayed home on Friday night when she could have gone to a middle school dance--on her own accord. They are really good kids. I just wish Peaches wouldn't have been so miserable the whole time. She pretty much cried the 4 hours we were gone. Lorrie and Scott denied it, but their daughter came clean. We felt so bad. The upside to her misery was that she slept well at the hotel.

The drive home was uneventful. We stopped for lunch in a very quaint town called Berne, Indiana. It was settled by Swiss Mennonites in the 1850's, I think. Most of the buildings in town have exteriors that look like Swiss Chalets. There are also tons of Mennonites. They even have special parking for their horses at the McDonald's:

I guess the only thing left to mention about is that Herr has accepted a position to return to his former employer in New Jersey. It is a great opportunity (a promotion) and I am excited for him. We will probably look to buy a home in the Easton/Allentown, PA area. Should be a hectic summer.


Mary P. said...

Heehee... I went to university in an area with a significant Mennonite population, of all descriptions, from the Old-order with those buggies, to those who drove cars - but painted all the chrome black! - to those who drove zippy little sports cars.

But any of ours who drove those buggies? They wouldn't have been caught dead in as worldly a joint as McDonald's!

Stevo said...


Misfit Hausfrau said...

Mary--I couldn't help but wonder if the couple at the McD's were "shunned" because 3 minutes up the road, there was a farm house with HUNDREDS of Mennonites picnicing, etc. I know "shunning" is prevalent in their faith, but of course I didn't know for sure. The man was also wearing a green dress dhirt under his black jacket which is NOT at all what I normally see the men wearing.

Andie D. said...

Sorry about the family reunion. Sounds like you have much the same experience that I used to have whenever I'd go "home" to see my adoptive family. It got to the point that it was affecting me waaaaaaay too much.

Hope it doesn't get that bad for you.

And congrats to Herr on the new job. Are you happy about this move?

Anonymous said...

That's great that you'll be back this way and in familiar territory.


kimmyk said...

I would kick my sisters butt if she talked to me like that.. Missed a spot? Oh hell no. I woulda thrown the towel at her then.

Glad to hear Herr has settled on a job and in familiar company too. I hope you find a home and town like the one you're in now. I'm sure it'll all be ok....right? Yep.

Kristen said...

Oh man. Family really sucks sometimes. I can't believe your sister! ARGH!!

On a positive note, I'm so glad you have some closure on Herr's job situation so you can focus and move forward. It will be busy, but at least one big unknown is out of the way. Hooray!

The June Cleaver Diaries said...

I totally would have pulled over for the Mennonite picnic.

The June Cleaver Diaries said...

And when I read Stevo's comment, I couldn't figure out why he called himself Pa.

Is there something going on between the two of you? Do I need to make a call to Annie? Don't MAKE me do it, Ma.

And yes, I eventually figured out it was Pennsylvania. But when you comment like that on a post about Mennonites and buggies, well...