Monday, December 7, 2009

Christmas, the Baptism, and the Pumpkin Pie Saga.

I recall thinking to myself about a week+ ago, how nicely paced and balanced my life/schedule seemed... sure, I'm busy, but I don't feel stressed and I have not had a migraine since January. I thought I was managing quite well. Um, that all went kapoot this week.

We were getting a little worn from our travels, but I really saw no way around it since I just have to see far away family when they are at my parents, and we always have a nice time there. As I mentioned, Elliot fought off his cold after a few days, but Pat promptly picked it up in a worse form. Hacking at night, dragging during the day, sore throat... this all left him wanting to steer clear of Elliot to prevent him from getting sick again. And this left me with little relief in the evenings or at night-- How could I ask Pat to get up with the baby if I'm dragging, when he's in worse shape and going to work?

Thursday I had my Christmas party for school, and it was so great to see everyone again. It was a lot of fun, great food, and lots of laughter. I had Elliot in tow, and he was quite the trooper. We left the house at 12:30, and got home that night around 8pm (we had to make a flower and food delivery to a hospitalized friend before coming home). But, yes, by that time, he was completely spent and was having a minor meltdown in the car. I knew I was pushing it.

Throughout the week, I was prepping for Elliot's baptism back at my parents' in Ohio. Pat and I have always felt so welcomed (where I grew up) and admire the warm community that embodies this small country church. Of course, my mom loves to do meals to celebrate, but I wanted to take on some of the burden this time, since it was our event. My brother, Brad, and Emily came in from Portland to serve as the sponsors or guardians, or god parents, whatever you'd like to call it. Because of them being in, and the fact that Pat and I will be at his side for Christmas, we went ahead with another big sit-down meal on Saturday and enjoyed opening our gifts for Christmas.

So, I had six lists going this week to make sure I didn't overlook something. I had it all mapped out-- go to the grocery this day for the non-perishables, that day for the fresh stuff, bake on this night, laundry, pack, without being able to ask Pat for much.

Thursday night, after my party-- it's midnight, I'm not packed but have a few things in order to leave the next day. Gotta get my pumpkin pie made. Easy peasy, right? It looks a little dark, seemed different. I rinsed the can of evaporated milk for recycling, and ah-ha... it expired 8/08. No worries, they're easy to do, and how convenient that on my shopping trip at 10pm the night before, I picked up more ingredients to replace those I was using from my pantry. I'll just whip up another. Ohhhhh, I forgot that once it's in oven, I'm now committed to staying up the hour+ until it comes out of the oven. This becomes 2:30am and I am beat. I put them to cool in a safe place and hit the sack.

I oversleep a little, forget about the pies until 10am. Oh no, it was supposed to be refrigerated after 2 hours... and it's now been almost 8. Can I really serve this and be ok with it? I post a note on facebook to get a consensus... half of the people say, "Not worth the risk..." which I knew was my real answer. Half the people say, "It's fine, I've left mine out before; don't grocery stores leave theirs out?" Nah, I'm erring on the safe side. Pat runs out for more ingredients to take home to bake yet another at my mom's. I called home to double check mom's opinion-- she's not home, but dad is, and he offers to feed my pies to the barn cats. "Bring 'em along, they'll love 'em!"

Saturday night at my moms-- we've enjoyed such a lovely dinner and Christmas, lots and lots of food... and Pat and mom get going on this new pie. Of course, the can of pumpkin is for two, so two it'll be. They come out of the oven. Mom sets them on the counter to cool, "Ok, so those will be fine until morning." WHAT?! I tell her, that's exactly why I could not serve the one I made... it had set out all night. "Oh, no, it would have been fine." The cats were already feasting on my perfectly fine pumpkin pie. I just put my head down and sighed. (The tired tears of defeat had already been shed back in Chicago.)

Back to my notion that all was going smoothly with no migraines: I was blessed with one Friday night, which left sicky Pat driving the whole way home. Elliot was not the greatest traveler for this trip in, and we were about an hour longer after we had to stop so I could nurse him AFTER he'd had his bottle! (But on the drive back to Chicago, he fell asleep within 5 minutes and never woke!)

Overall, however, the weekend was so great with the family. Pat's dad came down with his friend, Nancy, along with Pat's brother and his family (Bill, Jen, Kyle, Timmy, and Kate-- photos in a previous blog), all from the Cleveland area, for the baptism. We had a full house with some local people too, with food for about 2x that. :) It was so nice of these out of towners to make the effort to come in.

Elliot did awesome at the baptism. My mom has gotten to calling him Mr. Personality, and he was certainly that during the service. Pastor Patty personalized the service so nicely for us and Elliot just took it all in stride.

About 4pm on Sunday, everyone took off to head back home. My parents' house was quiet, and before we knew it, both my parents, us, and Elliot were asleep on the couches or in chairs. We were exhausted.

Mom commented that the weekend couldn't have gone better-- there was nothing she would have changed. I agree-- despite the tiredness and headache, I had such a lovely weekend. This is exactly why Pat and I love living in Chicago-- we can make it in for these weekends that otherwise would be out of reach. Elliot is so blessed to be surrounded by so many people who love him-- many of our family members were there in spirit as well. Our families certainly have a fair share of tensions, but we are very very lucky.

Today, I think I will do a whole lot of nothing, waiting for this migraine to run its course. Then I will get to the cleaning and such here (when we are home, we've been trying to organize the apartment. For almost two weeks now, we've had a knee-high pile for Goodwill sitting in our hallway...). Mom sent enough food with us to last at least the whole week, plus more frozen, so we will be well fed and hopefully can get back to a healthy schedule.

It's funny-- on one hand, I think, "Good, no more traveling for a few weeks!" and on another, because we enjoy family so much, I think I'd do it all again next weekend! Well, maybe two weeks from now... :)
(New Year's resolution-- to blog more often so they're shorter!)

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