I want to thank everybody for their condolences and well wishes: I really appreciate it. And now, like I said, I'm going to try to get back to normal a little bit, and post about something totally different.
I'm working on a pretty full week of visits, starting this weekend and going right through next weekend, as SisterS is bringing her boys down, and staying for a while; and then my cousin from Maine and her family are coming in for a day; and College Roommate/Best Friend and her kiddos are finally going to make it over here again (I say finally because I have literally been moving her kids Christmas presents from one box to another for eight months). I don't like to have everything crammed in all together like that, but I wasn't the boss of other people's vacation plans (shocking!), so what can you do? Plus, it's been a while since I've seen any of them, so I don't want to beg off unless I really have to, healthwise.
(Also? Having some positive interactions at this particular moment in time is going to be hard to pass up.)
So the plan for College Roommate/Best Friend and my cousin from Maine and their families is just "hang out... eat food, maybe? Let children roam and stuff while grown ups have actual grown up conversations?" Very low key. Low pressure, with a dose of "here are your Christmas/Birthday presents: I hope you have not outgrown them, because I wrapped them so long ago, I no longer remember what they are" thrown in.
SisterS, however will be sleeping over for four or five days, with an infant and a teenager: both Creepers, just in different ways. (And also not quite as low pressure for me.) BabyB is trying his hardest to crawl, and Oldest Nephew is just one of those kids (when do you have to stop calling them kids? 14 isn't it, but I know it's getting there) who is always just... There when you turn around. Not in a spooky way, really, just more of a 'Holy Shit where did you come from?' type of way.
And when Oldest Nephew sleeps over, that means (No Longer) Youngest Nephew will want to sleepover. And when her big brother gets to sleepover, Lil Girl will definitely want to sleepover as well. But, as much as I might like to, I can't handle four kids - of four really different age and maturity levels (14,10,4,and 9 months)- for five nights and still expect to be a functioning member of reality at any point during their visit. And I want to have some fun too, so I'm putting my foot down at a one - two night Lil Girl and her big brother sleepover visit, which still gives them a chance to all hang out together (hanging out with my visiting cousins was always the highlight of my summer, and I'd love it if they had the same opportunities!) without it being too much for me to handle.
On Sunday, we're taking the whole lot - plus everybody else except SisterK who is on vacation in Montana with her boyfriend and won't be back in time - to a local old-time amusement park. There's no adult rides, although I think there used to be a Ferris wheel, and only three or four kiddy rides: The place is mostly centered around it's video games, it's arcade, and it's skee ball. (Mum is a skeeball fanatic, so we never have to searching for her when it's time for lunch.) There's also lots of great food, and it's right on the shore, so we'll be able to have a nice picnic lunch.
The overall goal for me this week is to a) try to take it easy and enjoy myself as much as possible and b)take a TON of pictures, which is something I haven't really been feeling inspired to do lately, with all the heavy stuff. But I know, with all of these fabulous people - not to mention more than a few adorable kids - around, I'll be itching to pick my camera back up.
Plus, since I'm promising to post a few of the best ones, I'd better get busy.