Monday, September 23, 2013

Nuptials, family and a stays win!

There was a wedding a few weeks ago. And good god what a wedding it was. Such drama. Weddings seem to be more drama than anything else anymore, now that there was some sort of universal permit given to brides to be complete spoiled rotten brats and congratulated and cajoled for it. “Oh, it’s *her* day, it’s okay,” they say. “She’s got so much on her mind.”

Sunflowers were the theme. Lots and lots and lots and lots of sunflowers.
I allow for brides to be overwhelmed and stressed out. That’s okay. But to be rude and obnoxious? Why is that okay? It’s just not. My wedding day was a stressful drama-filled mess. My mom had arrived at the venue, and our attempt to keep her and another family member from the booze by foregoing a bar at the reception was made pointless because she and that other family member went straight up to the Ramshead bar on the third floor.  She was already buzzed by the time I and the bridesmaids got there, and had already insulted several members of the in-law family, and promptly lost my veil and corset, which made the wedding very late while everyone went in search of it (she never came to my room when I was dressing, she was too busy outside smoking).  During ALL that time, and with all this bullshit and hurt feelings and other crap going on, I never once snapped at anyone, was rude to anyone, or even made a spectacle of myself or cried (except when I saw my hubby at the end of the aisle). I was a polite, somewhat nervous bride and I was not an asshole to anyone.

But brides these days seem to have it in their head that it is somehow open season on everyone the moment they get the engagement ring on their finger to act like complete horses’ asses.  They invite people to participate in the wedding party, most of the time at their own expense and then heap abuse and nastiness on them to boot. This bride was a passive-aggressive drama queen at times. Tears flowed because things didn’t work out as expected even though she never communicated her expectations; episodes of malicious snottiness because something didn’t go her way, obsessing and being nasty about stupid things, and then barking orders like a task mistress.  Worse, her mother and sister and their respective husbands were really just plain rude and obnoxious too.  The wedding guests were 95% on the bride’s side, and the small percentage on the groom’s side (including my husband who was the best man) were treated like crap. They were censured for not wearing the right colours, for changing out of clothes too soon in spite of being told it’s okay, for not knowing if or when there would be toasts made, in spite of none of those things being communicated to the bridal party. My sister-in-law Jess was made to run errands for the wedding, but treated very much like an encumbrance and a peripheral, and while the bride’s family members had corsages made for them and were included in things, my sister-in-law was left to be insulted about her hair, (I need you to do *something* with that hair…) and to being ignored or barked at to do one thing or another without an ounce of consideration, politeness or couth.

I think the worst part of it was, after the ceremony ended, all the guests were left to stand out in the searing heat with very little shade and barely anywhere to sit for a full hour and a half while the bride and groom ‘rested’.  A little basic organization would have made all these dramatic moments much better. A meeting with the bridal party telling them the schedule of the wedding and what the expectations were, for instance. Letting people into the reception venue but not putting food out so the guests could sit down and cool off. Instead of waiting for the chairs to be brought in by the staff and set up, have the guests grab a chair or two as the ceremony ended and bring them inside would have been much quicker and offered some consideration for the people they invited. Obviously, the bride was concerned about her comfort alone, and more worried about her experience than she did about making this event pleasant for everyone, and also, being considerate enough to treat the people who she was now attaching herself to as new family with more grace and kindness.  But I saw from the mother and sister that grace and kindness might not be within their capacity.  They were really just a couple of rude classless boors. Sorry, but that’s the impression they gave by the way they treated the groom’s mother, sister, brother and other family.  I’m surprised the groom himself came out of it unscathed, honestly. 

Seeing the behavior of the bride on her special day is a very stark glimpse into the kind of person she really is, and the kind of people her family really is. And it doesn't bode well, in all truth.  If she is that self-absorbed for one event, what does that mean for the rest of the marriage?  Well, it’s none of my worry… I didn't marry her. I don’t have to live with her or her family. Thank god. ::oy::

The décor was rented for a couple of grand, and it was so profuse and overdone that there was barely room on the tables for plates. LOL. But hell, who cares? The memories were for her alone. I was nice, and polite, in spite of the ridiculous drama, and took lots of pictures between trying to wrangle my overheated, overtired baby.

My boys.
Enough about that.  More important things have been going on. My sister and brother came into town to spend some time with my mom.  They showed up last Tuesday and were on a plane Friday morning. But it was a nice visit.  This is the first time I've seen my eldest brother in sixteen years.  He’s aged a smidge. He’s 57. He’s very youthful looking though, and god, he looks SO much like my father, it is almost painful to look at him. The same face, the same head of hair, the same flash-point temper and passionate interchange.  I needled him just so I could see those flashes of papa, I confess, but he played along quite well. I was all ready to be pissed off at him, but the moment I saw him walking up, I just lost it. I cried and clutched onto him and kissed his cheeks and hugged him again.

Istvan holds Baby J so I can eat a bit.
His profile... ugh. He is the spitting image
of my father.
My sister Anna finally got to meet Baby J. I’m not sure if he ever seemed really real to her in spite of all the pictures. She was kind of detached I think, until she saw his little face in person. We met at a really great Chinese seafood market/restaurant (Istvan wanted to have some good Asian food while in Oregon, of which there is no shortage, thank GOD). She basically glanced at me as she walked in, pretty much pushed me aside and bee-lined for the high chair where Alex was then assaulted with affection. She pretty much loved on him at every possible moment after that for the duration of her stay. He was so attached to her by Thursday night, when I was in bed breastfeeding, she came in for something (they rented the vacation cabin next door, which was kind of cool!), and when she tried to leave, Alex cried. She came back, he was happy, then turned away to walk out, he cried. I had to distract him so she could make her escape.

My sister Anna and Alex. She was feeding him little bits of Tofu from her soup.
I moved mom to a rehab, where she is to stay for a bit until we can figure out a different kind of living situation for her. They had nice visits with mom for three days.  Anna will be back in October, we rented a beach house in Long Beach Washington and are going ot have a little week-long reunion with us, and include husbands and such. Istvan wasn't part of the original plan, but I do hope he comes; although I confess I don’t really have a good feeling about his wife, who hates the liberal that I am. LOL. That’s not about to change, so live with it, I say.

In other news, I took my new stays out for a test drive this weekend. We had a demonstration event at a senior housing facility on Saturday, where Nora taught about tea, and I called a couple of simple dances for seniors to watch. My stays were unbelievable! This is the first set of stays where I did not experience some measure of discomfort. The tightness on the rib cage, the weight on the shoulders… I experienced none of that. I moved and danced, my breasts were comfortably held aloft, they were separated by the busk (a carpenter’s pencil, LOL), I was more comfortable than when in a standard bra, I am not exaggerating.

One boob is definitely puffier than the other... those are the pitfalls of
breastfeeding. Alex sometimes favours one for the other, hence the
imbalance. LOL.
The extra gusset was the trick. It made the stays a lot less confining, and the looseness that’s in the body of the stays made no difference since the waistline and cups were doing their job.   These are the best stays I've ever had, and I will be posting a pattern for you plus sized (18-22) ladies with D, DD, and DDD cups. I wager it could probably hold some Es and Fs too, if the gussets are slightly widened.  I took these pictures when I completed them. I was using a standard #2 pencil as a busk then, and they were already doing great. But a day of use has proven to be the stays I've been working towards since 2007.


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The inevitable approaches

My mom is sick. It is sort of expected. She never was much for self-care, and has fallen into a funk where she pretty much stopped eating and drinking.  She started refusing entry to the care facility staff, and accumulating garbage again. She stopped walking her dog, and he peed all over the place, including her bed, which she slept in.

Naturally, gross things started happening. Fleas or bedbugs or some sort of mite or pathogen started biting her. Her skin, covered in bites which she scratched and picked at until she was covered in little scabs.  She went into this perfect storm of sickness, her already taxed organs and her existing heart failure on top of her depression, lack of food, lack of water and itchy bug bites brought her close to death. I find it hard to accept that the care facility that takes $4000 a month from her allowed the situation to get as bad as it has, but that's a fish I am not willing to fry right now.

We brought her to the ER last Thursday, and her organs were failing.  That night, and Friday night, she nearly died (although my aunt contests that having discussed it with the day  nurse Saturday morning... but we'll get to that).  They were very grim to say the least.  They moved her to the ICU on Friday, and through Saturday. She bounced back and by Sunday she was sent up to the regular hospital room, and has been there since, slowly recovering, but not without its problems.  As usual, she is difficult to medicate, difficult to manage and difficult to treat for the staff.  I wonder why anyone bothers, honestly.

But in the end, she's doing better. The doctors say her heart and her organs are fragile. She had a mini-stroke on Friday night, it turns out.  There is no telling if she is going to last much longer at this rate, or she could outlive us, who knows. Either way, it's been a stressful week, and tomorrow she is going to rehab where she will work on walking again before we send her back to her assisted living facility.  

Her dog, poor disgusting Jack, was euthanized on Saturday.  I had to do it, the care facility wanted no more to do with him, and the doctors are suspicious that he is the cause of the itchy pathogen (fleas), which is very likely. I've been working the idea into my mother's head that he is very sick and may not make it so by the time she gets into rehab she won't have a stroke thinking that we just murdered her dog.  Jack was old, toothless, blind and was choking constantly. He also had seizures. It was past the time for him to go.

Mom is enjoying a PB&J sandwich. She sharing it with Alex.
She is eating like a horse. She calls it 'old hunger'.
Saturday morning, Uncle Matt watched Alex while Helen and I
visited with Mom in the ICU. When we were done, this is what
we saw. Alex, passed out on his Uncle's chest. Helen said she
fell in love with her husband all over again. :)
Her sister, also a complete narcissist, to whom I have not spoken in more than a year, had to be notified. So I called her on Friday to tell her, and this was the first few lines of our discussion, just to give you an idea what kind of people I have in my family:

Phone rings, answering machine picks up, I say: "Titi, it's Stephanie, give me  call, mom is in a very bad way..."
Aunt picks up: "Ghello? Estephanie?"
Me: "Hi Titi, (that's Puerto Rican for auntie), Mom in in the hospital, she is extremely sick (at this point, the doctors were telling me she may not leave the hospital and to be prepared for that, she was in a very bad way), and she's doing very badly. They think she may not live much longer.  I thought I would call and let you know."
My aunt: "Ooooooh...." a long, pensive pause.. then: "I am very sick too..."

Seriously. She then proceeded to call me back the next day to tell me that mom was never that bad, that she spoke to the nurse in the ICU after she was not that sick. ::eyeroll:: She then started to go on and on about how she was sick and was probably going to be unable to travel to Puerto Rico this week as planned, and she's sure she got sick after she visited my mom and picked up a bug.  At that point my patience ran out and I rudely segued her off the phone.  When she did call my mom, all they did was fight.  I'm so sick of this crap. ::augh::

My sister Helen made it down on Saturday, and if it wasn't for her husband, I would not have been able to trap the dog for transport to doggy heaven. So I was grateful for that.  My other sister is coming out next week with my eldest brother (hahahahahaha).  What a three-ring circus.

Anyway, that is what the past six days have been for me. Oddly, I managed to finish the stays. I'm going to wash them before I 'model' them to get rid of the pencil markings from my cording.  They came out pretty nicely. We'll see how nicely they fit.  Not a single machine stitch on the whole thing, pretty proud of that. I found that when I went to bed at night, as dead-tired as I was, I could not get to sleep because my head was so full of stuff. So doing the sewing was a good way to focus the mind elsewhere, while listening to Austen on That's my catchup so far.  I'll have lots more to write next month, since we're scheduled to have a family reunion on the coast in Long Beach, Washington in a rented vacation home. Both sisters, husbands, hopefully Mom will be there in addition to myself and my little family and dogs.  It will be nice. It will be the first real vacation we've had together. Ever.  We didn't even get a honeymooon. :( Booo.

I'm done lamenting about mom. The pictures are from this week when mom felt better (the two last were from today). I've been putting Alex in her arms a lot lately, because he brings her so much happiness, and I honestly believe she won't be around much longer so it's time to make those photo memories.


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