Lots of stuff to write about, if I can remember it all...! Some of the things going on in my life right now:
It's good to spend Christmas with family. Every time I see my parents, now in their early 80s, I am acutely aware that my time with them is limited and precious. They are imperfect people and they can drive me nuts sometimes... but they are my parents, and I truly believe they did the best they could for me & my sister when we were growing up.
I am also acutely aware that their living situation (mobility issues in a split-level house that increasingly needs work -- new roof, for one thing, big back yard to keep up, etc.) is precarious... also that they are incredibly stubborn people! (my mother especially)... that my sister is at her wit's end dealing with them... and that I am SO GLAD dh & I chose to downsize and move to a condo at this point in our lives, while we still had both energy and options!
I loved spending Christmas with them. (As I posted previously, I don't know whether we'll be spending Christmas there again -- if my sister has her way, anyway...!) But it's SO good to be back in my own home and sleep in my own bed!
(In retrospect, 17 days is probably too long for a visit -- especially in the depths of a Manitoba winter...! No escaping outside to the patio, etc.)
Since getting back, the weather has been dark, gloomy and rainy. I will take -30C any day over this (especially if the sun is shining!). Sigh.
At least the Christmas tree is still up to add a little more brightness to the room. We've usually taken it down by now, but I just haven't had the energy this week. It's actually kind of appropriate, especially this year -- today is Ukrainian Christmas Eve. :)
The new year has not begun auspiciously. BIL wound up back in the hospital again for a few days, as he did at this same time last year. He is dealing with a serious health issue -- but if he follows the doctor's advice, he could still have some good years ahead of him. He is quite depressed at the moment, though -- he's convinced he doesn't have much time left, and he's now on disability (essentially retired) -- so he doesn't have the distraction of work anymore -- and poor SIL & dh are bearing the burden of his moods. :(
I find it ironic that we moved here in part because we wanted to be closer to family members for support as we aged -- because it seems that we've been the ones constantly on call since we got here. ;) The past few weeks have been particularly busy: SIL was dealing with a bad ear infection in November/December, requiring multiple trips to the doctor while we stayed with Little Great-Nephew -- who is, thankfully, as good as gold -- but nevertheless still an energetic and exhausting 3-year-old (especially when you're not used to being around small children...!).
Speaking of LGN, his parents have been attempting to potty train him over the holidays. It hasn't been going well. I spent a stressful morning this week with SIL as she tried (and failed) to convince him to use the potty. A couple of accidents resulted. Poor little guy...! :(
Just a few more weeks until the new baby (great-niece or nephew!) that Younger Nephew & his wife are expecting is due to arrive!
Also coming up in February: the start of a new and significant "anniversary" cycle for me. February 8, 1998, was my "LMP (last menstrual period) date" for my own single, doomed pregnancy. 25 years ago.
PND dropped a Christmas bombshell while we were visiting my parents: she's expecting a THIRD child in mid-August (right around Katie's "silver anniversary" date -- of course...) -- almost 9 years since Little Princess #2 was born. Needless to say, it was a surprise to her and her husband too. ;)
One more pregnant person for me to worry about...! :(