Tuesday, December 28, 2004

I Survived Christmas.... Barely...

Thankfully the most materialistic holiday of the year is over! Dh and I did our best to deal with the entire mess.

We actually went and got an artificial tree this year, which had several benefits.
  1. I didn't have to get on my belly under the tree to water it.
  2. There were no needles to sweep up.
  3. My allergies didn't work overtime.
  4. We weren't left spending major $$$ for a tree that was damaged by Hurricane Ivan, or a tree that was cut and shipped several days before we purchased it.
  5. We didn't murder a tree.

Okay, so the artificial tree system isn't perfect.

  1. There isn't the Christmas-y tree aroma in our home.
  2. Plenty of chemicals were used in the production of our plastic tree.

But, anyway, we were doing well to do any sort of decorating amidst our holiday glum. And I liked the fact that I didn't have to look at any red ornaments on the tree, that is until my students gave me some as Christmas gifts that were too special to be tossed into file thirteen.

Dh and I got out on several occassions and actually managed to get gifts for everyone on our list. I'll admit we didn't put as much thought into them as we may have in the past. However, in the past it also wasn't such an effort to get out amongst all of the families shopping and waiting for Santa in order to make our purchases.

My SILs are as evil as ever. Once again the younger one showed her ass and talked about her thoughts about finding her birth parents. The older one instigated a conversation worth of Lifetime television, saying she was shopping on Christmas Eve when she saw a former rapist, blah blah blah, thank goodness she insisted that her dh go with her. And how could such a thing be allowed? Anyway, she didn't appreciate it when I pointed out that he most likely had served his time, etc. etc. She completely turned her back on me and continued her conversation with younger SIL. Our MIL was only four feet away in the kitchen.

But, since I was the only DIL who had actually done anything to help in the kitchen, and I was once again left alone as the logical DIL, I decided I had done enough. It was time for one of the other two to get off her butt and do some chopping and mixing. That is, supervised chopping and mixing since neither can cook. Perhaps they could have actually learned a thing or two in the process.

Fortunately, I had brought a new book along with me for the occassion: Angels & Demons by Dan Brown. So far it's pretty good, and doesn't seem to be as controversial as The Da Vinci Code. However, I'm only half way through. Anyway, eventually I had to tear myself away from it when it was time for Christmas Eve dinner.

My materialistic SILs eventually brought the topic of the conversation to money. Big surprise! At the end of the meal we all got Christmas checks, as is the in laws custom. However, since they had just closed and moved into a new house during the week, they didn't have much time for shopping because they had to pack. So, FIL declared with great pomp and circumstance that this was an unusual year, and not to expect such checks the next year. Older SIL shouted, almost at the top of her lungs, "That's what I was hoping to hear!"

I stared at my check, about to cry. Between my check and dh's check we were holding enough funds to pay for half of our out of pocket expenses for IVF. As I was listening to FIL continue, "Don't spend it all in one place..." Yada yada yada. I felt sick to my stomach. It was all I could do not to ask him to just send the money straight to our RE. I pictured older SIL blowing her wad on porn and motorcycle paraphanelia, both of which she freely admits to. Younger SIL would surely buy several new Gucci purses and perhaps buy more North Face jackets and accessories that actually matched. Because she only uses the best. Perhaps with some restraint she would save some money to put toward a down payment on property, since they had just been unable to close on a lot they wanted because they didn't realize land required a 30% down payment.

After that we actually opened our gifts. I had actually felt guilty about not spending more money on my SILs, since we are trying to save for IVF. Well, after opening the presents my guilt subsided. Despite the extravagant wish lists of both my SILs, the gifts I received from them were garbage. The younger one gave me a regifted ornate bowl on a stand that actually smelled terrible from the Bombay store. She also gave me some pumpkin scented potpourri to go in it. Apparently she thought it was orange scented because it was orange, because she told me she knew how much I liked citrus smells. So, I knew about how much time she had spent shopping for me. The older SIL gave me some junk jewelry that I will never wear.

Christmas Day was round 2 of the holiday nausea for me. It was spent with my pregnant sister, who actually isn't as bad as my ignorant SILs. However, my parents, especially my Mom, repeatedly brought the conversation around to the baby on the way. It hurt a lot.

So, the holiday ordeal resulted in some very painful time spent with family. I received a couple of nice things, such as a bread machine and a couple of items for my curio cabinet. I can only hope dh is serious about skipping Christmas next year and leaving town if our IVF doesn't work. Little did he know that John Grisham actually wrote a book about that, until I took him to see the movie "Christmas with the Kranks." He was truly disappointed that the cruise didn't work out for them, and didn't find the movie to be funny in the least.

So, that's the end of Christmas for 2004. Thank God it's over.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Post Wine and Anger Ramblings

Well, I had a day yesterday. A day that brought me home on the verge of tears.

I spend most of Monday and Tuesday working with my class that provides the greatest behavior challenge. Really, the kids weren't so bad, because I kept them busy with engaging Fibonacci, writing, painting, and microscope activities. We actually had quite a bit of fun. However, helping kids understand how the Fibonacci sequence applies to nature, assisting with kids who don't know how to use Word or save to a floppy disk, setting up paint supplies, and teaching the proper methods of using a microscope really keeps a teacher on her toes.

Really, it was the students' regular classroom teachers who made my blood boil. In the past I know I've blogged about a teacher with a two year old who asked me for tips about adoption because she just couldn't endure the hardships of another pregnancy. (The asshat assumed a lot didn't she?) This is also the the same teacher who declared herself infertile after trying for seven entire months without using protection. (That's when I responded flippantly, "Congratulations!!! It should happen for you any month now. After all, the national average is seven months." She reacted with mixed surprise and resentment to my comment. And, I have felt guilty about my own reaction for the past few weeks.) Well, don't you know it, the bitch is pregnant. Apparently she really did end up on the right side of the statistics just over a month after my comment. I had actually considered apologizing to her last week about my comment, and probably would have if she weren't such a negative and unpleasant person to talk to in general. Imagine my response if she had told me after my apology, "That's okay! You were right. I'm pregnant." I probably would have vomited.

Another teacher on that grade level passed out invitations to her second child's first birthday party to the bitchy teacher and another teacher on the team, both who have toddlers, right in front of me at snack time. Considering there were plenty of times that I wasn't around them during the day, and this teacher used to be my friend and knows I've been ttc forever, I just thought it was rude: the sort of display I call infertility discrimination. Of course, I definitely don't want to attend the first birthday party. However, if she's not inviting the world she should have passed out the invitations in private. Stupid fertile witch! (Who admits she got knocked up the second time around the first night she and her dh had sex after she had her first baby. It must be great to be able to just insert penis and get knocked up.)

The fact that I was suffering from PMS only made things worse. And, I had already invited my parents over for dinner since dh is out of town this week. After work I rushed to the store to purchase the ingredients for shrimp enchilado. I came home and peeled the two pounds of shrimp, chopped up the peppers and onions, cooked it according to the directions, and managed to present it with some manner of grace. Thank goodness the recipe called for some dry white wine, which created a great excuse to have a glass with dinner in the middle of the week.

After my very exhausting day I crashed on the couch watching television. I watched the first hour of Gilligan's Island and then flipped over to see The Amazing Race. Gilligan's Island was actually so boring that I got up and whipped together a peanut butter pie.

Thank goodness I had planning the first part of the day today. Since I only get planning two days a week, I get it for a decent stretch of time. I was able to calm myself down before bringing my wrath down on my sweet, innocent fourth graders. Then, having left over shrimp enchilado and peanut butter pie for lunch really did a lot to calm my nerves. Peanut butter pie has a satisfactory "mouth feel."

Thank goodness for wine after a day that surely would have resulted in a magical display of witchcraft if magic really existed. I was angry enough to launch myself to the moon. Poor dh! When he called last night I had to apologize emphatically for being too physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausted to be able to participate in anything resembling a decent conversation.

Oh, and back to that witch in "Team Fertile." It seems I was the last to know she was pregnant. I can only hope that could be a sign that she was embarrassed about her own behavior towards me in recent months.