Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Olympic Flame Comes to Town!

So the Olympic Torch came through my city the other night. It was pretty exciting! I just had to take the boys to see it, as it could potentially be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Of course being us, we headed out late, intending to go to the main celebration at the City Hall, but didn't make it there. I told DH before about the route the flame would take, ending at City Hall for the night where everyone would gather. And of course being a man, he had not "heard" me, or "forgot" and so we ended up on the road that I knew would be closed at any moment. But as luck would have it, at the very moment we pulled up to an intersection, the cop standing there closed it off, allowing no more traffic through, and we just parked right there in the middle of the road and hopped out of the vehicle. It just so happened that we were right at the point that the Flame hand-off was going to be made, and at the right time too. How cool was that?!

So here are a few pics, and of course as I can NEVER get anything right with blogger, they ended up in the wrong order. Therefore, if you please, go to the last pic and view them in reverse order.

Here the flame is being shared, to a rousing chorus of "Oh, Canada" being badly yet patriotically sung by the crowd.

A shot of the kids (who met up with a friend by chance) with the torch bearer (don't know his name).

The torch bearer.

I also tried to upload a video, but that didn't work, so you can watch it on my Facebook page.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas blahs

So here I sit, trying to will myself to want to get up and get dressed, willing myself to try to be eager to visit with my family. And the truth is, I'm not. Christmas just isn't the same anymore around the "Cox" household. It's still taking some getting used to. This is only the second Xmas since my parents split up, so really, two holidays isn't really much time to become a routine. My mom is still depressed, especially now since her dog passed. I don't blame her, of course, but she also doesn't try to help herself much. My sister lives literally around the corner from her, and she only sees her when she needs her or my BIL to do something at her house. My sister invites her to come over, come in for a bit, stay for awhile, but there's always some excuse why she can't.
Anyhow, enough about that. We also decided not to exchange gifts anymore. And while at the time I thought this was a very good idea, as most of us are struggling with money, I am now wondering if that really was the best answer. The gift exchange gives you something to look forward to, and to reflect back on when you use or look at the gifts after. I am thinking that maybe we should have just set a limit, tried a little harder rather than taking the lazy way out.
The reason I am thinking this now is because yesterday was our get together with DH's family. That involved his parents, his sis, her boyfriend, and his grandmother (and also four dogs). We also all decided to forgo the gift exchange, due to my FIL's ever-changing employment status, my SIL's closure of her business, and our current status. Now, it's not like his grandmother is hurting for money, she's practically a millionaire compared to the rest of us. But, as agreed, she didn't buy gifts either. The kids got gifts, of course, but that was it. You know, it makes for a really boring Christmas. And I have to admit, I am REALLY missing that nice fat cheque that DH's grandmother usually gives us. We did play my SIL's new pictionary game for a bit, which was fun for a short while. As usual, my idiotic MIL didn't put the damn turkey on early enough (you'd think she's have learned by now) and we didn't end up eating until almost 8:30!!! My poor boys were starving and exhausted. I mean, that's a half hour past their lights out bedtime, and they hadn't even had dinner yet! Of course I wasn't expecting them to be in bed at a normal time, but I did hope to eat before then! I was getting severely pissed off with the whole situation. I suggested, hopefully, around 5:00 when the turkey still had almost 20 degrees to go, that she turn up the oven. I mean, she had the damn thing at 325F!! I know that is the suggested cooking temp on the package, but if your turkey still has three effing hours to cook, then you need to turn up the damn heat!! So I was quite browned off and annoyed with her. She didn't even put out some crackers or something. I thought poor L was going to pass out. It's a good thing he's six now; had he been a little younger, there would have been some major tantrums going on, I'm sure. So we left straight after dessert. We didn't even stay to help clean up, and I hope that pissed her off. It was still 10:30 by the time we got home and got the boys to bed, and for two little kids who had been up since just after six, that's a looooooonnnnnnggggg day.
So back to today. My sis has informed me that my niece is sick with a fever, and vomiting last night. So that's just great. Really, had it been any other day, and not Christmas, I would have said we're not coming.
My dad is in England. He is at least spending Christmas with his own family. I miss him though, as he was here at our's last year, and that was really nice. Of course I miss us just being all together, but I know that's a thing of the past. Mostly I just miss the happiness of being together, without the melancholy, the whispered slanders and remarks, and the forced smiles. I miss the house I grew up in a lot, but I also miss my parents' house they had for a few years before the separation. That was a great house for family get-togethers.
Yesterday I didn't end up calling my mom until around noon. I feel bad about that, in retrospect, especially after talking with my other sister, S, and hearing that aside from her, no one else had called her. She had spent all of Christmas morning alone. My heart breaks at that thought, but then at the same time, I think, why the hell didn't she got over to N's house, and watch her granddaughter open her gifts?? She really doesn't have to be alone. S thinks she just doesn't want to be nuisance, but she is being a nuisance by trying not to be. She is making us all feel bad for her being alone Xmas morning, and how does she think N feels, when the only time she comes over or calls is when she needs my BIL, D, to do something for her, or for N to open the house to some workmen or something while she is at work?
Ok, I'm getting off topic. Back to Christmas.
So the weather isn't helping my spirit much. It's raining. All the beautiful snow is melting, and everything just looks blah and grey. As usual, my DH came up pretty short in the gift department. One year, he got me a turkey baster for my stocking. REALLY? Are you serious? So that gives you a bit of a history. He hasn't been too bad of late, but I really should start posting a list or something on the fridge, because hinting just isn't working with him. When he took the boys out shopping, I actually told R and pointed out all the things in the flyers that I wanted that they could choose from. The only thing he got me that I wanted was a $50 gift card for iTunes. I was a little shocked at that. I was expecting 10, maybe 20. I don't seriously want to give $50 of our money to Apple inc. for over-priced music. But of course, you can't return gift cards. He also got me a charger for my phone for the car (because, yeah, I spend soooo much time in the car...) and a GPS for the car. What? He said he thought I wanted one. Nooooooo.... that was you dear. He claims even R thought I wanted one. Ummm, not really. I find them distracting. My sis S has one in her car, as well as my dad, and I've found that when I'm in the car with them, I can't stop looking at them. That doesn't bode well for driving. So that was kind of a crappy morning for me, gift wise. The boys opened their presents so fast they barely had time to appreciate what they got. It was all over in less than an hour, stockings and all. Sigh.
To top it all off, I got my period. Yeah, you really wanted to know that I know. But it just adds to my misery and I'll tell you why. This past month I wasn't on the pill. This was because I ran out of my prescription, and I have idiots for doctors, but that's another long story. Anyhoo, I have to wait until mid-Jan so I can get a refill. So, when I haven't been on the pill, everything is soooo much worse. Way more moody, (though I try hard not to be), very painful cramps pulsating down my legs, my stomach hurts in the worst way (all of my stomach, not just the reproductive area either), my back hurts, my head hurts, and there is more of just everything else, which I won't elaborate on if you know what I mean. To sum it up, all I want to do is curl up in bed for three days or so with a heating pad and a whole whack of painkillers, the stronger the better. But I can't do that. Instead, I have to go visiting, and pretend I'm having a joyful time.
Bah, Humbug!