Powwow was last night - rather than do it in a public place, we ended up meeting at P's home with M1 south (they were broke and I was thankful for the chance to get emotional in a place where I wouldn't be surrounded by strangers). Of course, when I stay there on a work night, I'm leaving at 5:30am, and tired me is sucking down the coffee and trying to fight off the exhaustion and general malaise. Bleh.
Starting off on a up-note, the phone call with P's mom went well. P's grand-niece's first birthday party was over the weekend, and I was unable to make it due to commitments with my own kids, so I called, left a really awkward voice mail about how I was sorry I wouldn't be coming to the party, that P talked with me about Xmas Eve, and I understand completely, and we'll figure out our holiday plans as we get closer. I wished everyone a good time at the party and left it at that (stumbling over my words as I spoke... it was a very derpy message I left). She called back and we had a nice conversation, although she really did NOT want to discuss Xmas Eve - instead brushing it off with "Well, we'll talk about it later."
I found out that she cornered him at the birthday party and asked him, "What did you tell her? You didn't tell her that we didn't want HER to come, did you?"
So, that was nice to hear. And it was nice to talk with her a bit.
His family dynamic is very different from what I'm used to. My Ex was the gateway to his family (except for his mom, somewhat - but she used to live across the street... in a good way, not in an "Everyone Loves Raymond" way). I feel odd just picking up the phone and calling them without P being in the middle somehow. It's difficult to undo that training, but she appreciates the phone calls, so I'll work on that. It's nice to know how she feels about it.
After the party, he came up and we knocked off the rest of the basement demo - we had to gut the whole thing, since I found more mold in a section we thought was unaffected. At least all the old mouse nests are gone too (bleh). My mouser of a cat is going mental, wanting to get downstairs and hunt. After a few dry days, it'll be time to spray with concrobium and kill the mold once and for all. It'll be good to have THAT finally done.
And for some reason, I thought it'd be a great idea to have a cookout with my college friends this Sunday. Nothing like forcing myself to clean up the house and yard with no time to do it... wheeeee!
So, like I said above, last night was the powwow with me, P, and M1. We usually go over our issues (ups/downs/anything else that needs to be worked out). We started off by planning the holiday schedule: Samhain, Thanksgiving, Xmas, New Years.
I pretty much gave up on doing a Dumb Supper on Halloween night with P and his family, since I'll be doing trick-or-treating with my kids (at least until I transfer them for Trick-or-Treat Round 2 with their dad). We'll have our own the night before. Sucks to miss out, but given all the scheduling conflicts, it seems like the story of my life. At least we'll do something.
Last year, we started a tradition that M1 brought with her: making homemade ravioli the night before, and then serving it with Thanksgiving dinner. It didn't really go so well with the entire clan - not enough room for all the people, not everyone got into it, and I and my kids had to leave early since we were running a road race early the next morning. This year, M1 will come up and we'll do the ravioli party up north, just the three of us and the kids, which will be fun. Not sure if I'm doing the road race with the kids, but I'll drop them off at their grandmother's on turkey day, and then head south for dinner with M1, P, and P's family.
Christmas was the one that turned the night upside down.
Xmas Eve and Xmas Day fall on "my" days with P on the schedule. Since Xmas Eve is always spent at his mom's, and he'll have his daughter for the night, it makes no sense for him to stay up north with me, and that's fine. We'll have the day with his mom (depending on what my mom's needs are), and I'll spend Xmas Eve night at home with the kids - cookies for santa, stockings, the whole bit. I'll drop them off at their dad's the next morning.
Given that we're not sure what's up with my mom (she had nowhere to go last year), and she'll be in the middle of radiation therapy for her cancer, we're not sure she'll even be able to handle a trip, and P and I considered going north to see her (and I thought about collecting some more family on the way and making it a nice Xmas for her).
This would leave M1 alone for much of Xmas Day, unless I either out myself to the rest of my relatives and bring her, or we leave the other relatives out of the Xmas festivities and bring her. And given that my mother is a recovering hoarder, that even assumes she'd be comfortable having M1 at her place.
I don't know how this is going to work out, but it really left a shitty taste in everyone's mouths last night.
(More to come - I need to break here for a bit)