Friday, December 29, 2006

Christmas Memories (the not so good stuff)

In my first Christmas post, I told you about some of the good and cute stuff that happened over the holiday.

Well, not all of Christmas was pretty.

Three of the four "problems" all sort of appeared on Christmas Eve. There was some slight indication that two of those problems would occur when small signs of them appeared the night before THAT, but basically, it was Christmas Eve when just a tiny bit of heck broke loose in our house.

We were planning on watching "It's a Wonderful Life" on Christmas Eve, as neither Armondo nor I have seen it, but due to the few problems we encountered, we were unable to relax and do such a thing!

Problem number 1: Flies.

Out of nowhere, in the middle of winter, flies began to infest our house. Now, there had been one or two here or there for a couple of days, but on Christmas Eve, our house filled right up. The majority of them were in our bathroom and we had no idea what the source of them was. So, it was time for some investigating. With fly swatter in hand, we moved change tables and dressers and searched for a source. We came up with several theories: rotten walls, dead animal in the wall, some sort of problem with our septic system, dead animal in our crawlspace. But we could not find the actual source. For hours, we ran around the house killing fly after fly, and wiping up the dirty splatter and picking up fly carcasses.

The next morning, we woke up, and there were less flies than the night before, but there were definitely quite a few news ones to deal with. So, for the first half of the day, we searched for more possible sources as well as ran around killing every fly we saw. By the time guests started arriving, we figured we had most of them killed off, and there wasn't really much else we could do, so we hid the fly swatter in the bathroom and tried to relax.

All night, I kept returning to the bathroom to kill another fly here and there. The whole time hoping that none of my in-laws were noticing. I think we were pretty stealthy in keeping them pretty controlled, but all night there were two of them flying around the main part of the house. I couldn't exactly take out the fly swatter and kill them in front of a houseload of guests, but I couldn't just ignore them either. I would find my eyes following them around the house, and then, find myself looking around at the other guests trying to see if THEY noticed the flies and if THEY were following them around with their eyes as well. No one seemed to really notice, or if they did, they didn't say anything, which is really good, 'cause I would have just been MORTIFIED. Seriously, who has a fly infestation in their house in the middle of winter? Yuck!

Anyway, that night, Armondo figured they MUST be coming up through the drains, so, we plugged the drains and killed off any flies remaining in the house and continued on with clean up. The next day there were even less, and there's been less each day following, but they're still appearing, and we cannot figure out where they are coming from! (Searches in the crawl space ruled out dead animals, and Armondo called a septic company who ruled out septic problems.)

The cats are quite enjoying playing with and chasing them though. So that's cheap entertainment!

Problem number 2: The hot water tank.

Weeks ago, I bought Armondo a watch for Christmas. It's a really cool Timex that has analogue and digital, as well as several alarms for several time zones. When I got it home, I stashed it with the rest of his presents in the way far back of our bedroom closet. (He knew his presents were there, and knew not to snoop.) The day after I bought the watch, I took a nap, and part way through the nap, an alarm on the watch started to beep! Not exactly the best way for a watch to stay hidden! So, I got up, tried to figure out how to stop the watch (stopping the analogue was easy, but I couldn't figure out the digital part) and I decided that I would stuff the watch in a bag full of "stuffing" (for cushions or stuffed animals) for sound proofing and threw it into the back of the closet on top of the hot water tank.

On Christmas Eve, I was getting all the presents together and stuffed some in Armondo's stocking. When I went to get the watch, I reached into the bag of stuffing and found that it was full of moisture. Upon further investigation, I found that the pipes on the top of the hot water tank had some corrosion on them, and there was a slow drip. It just so happens that the stuffing in the bag acted as a wick, and the watch box got soaked and soggy. The box was ruined, but luckily, the watch was just fine.

So, this means that on Christmas Eve, we were now faced with the possibility of a major hot water tank malfunction. I showed Armondo the damage, and warned him there might be some large project ahead in the next couple of days, but that that night wasn't the night to worry about it. (Can't do much at Christmas time anyway!)

So, yesterday, Armondo went out and bought all the new tubing, fittings and tools to replace the corroded stuff. He spent about $50, and when he got home, he told me "It's cool, I spent $50, and I got to buy more tools! I could have paid someone over $100 to do the job, but that way I wouldn't have these new tools!" (Such a man, eh?) Anyway, upon even further inspection today, it turns out that the top of the tank is all corroded too (it was covered by an insulating energy efficient blanket thingy) and now the whole thing needs to be replaced. Armondo is currently at the hardware store buying a new tank and the other bits he needs. (Woo hoo, another $300 down the drain.)

Problem number 3: Fat feet.

My feet are so swollen I can't wear my own shoes.

It started on the 23rd. By Christmas Eve, my feet were so humongous that my toes didn't touch the ground as I walked. If I need to leave the house, I have to wear Armondo's garden clogs. It's very sexy. And painful. My fingers are swollen a bit too. Enough that I can't hold a pen properly or open bottles of pop, but not enough to really look as ridiculous as my feet. I pretty much can't stand for any major period of time, and putting my feet up is pretty much an impossibility, 'cause it throws my hips outta whack, and then I can't move for hours. Oh, pregnancy is SOO much fun!

Problem number 4: My mother aka, the problem that wasn't really.

On Christmas day, I took my shower at around 2pm. We were expecting everyone to show up a little after 3pm, so as soon as I had finished getting everything ready around the house (and had finished killing as many flies as I could possibly find), I took my shower. While I was showering, Armondo came into the room and told me my mother had just phoned. I have not talked to my mother in about two years. Not since I was pregnant with Cherry. Apparently she was in my town, and was going to call me back in about an hour.

I started to panic. I was filled with mixed emotions. My mother is troubled. She's a possible drug user, possible drunk, and most definitely messed up. The last time I had talked to her was a couple of weeks before she got some thug to threaten to beat up my grandparents if they didn't give him (who was working for my mother) $600.

"Ack! What do I say when she calls? It's Christmas, of course I should be nice! What would Jesus do? I'll invite her for dinner, of course. Where will she sit? We already have to squish 11 adults into seats around two tables that really should only hold as many as four people each! Should I tell her to come AFTER dinner? What if she's stoned? I'm having a house full of recovering alcoholics, maybe it would be a good thing for her to come over!"

At which point Armondo interjects with:

"I so don't want Christmas to turn into a big AA meeting!"

Armondo was pretty good about the whole thing. He told me he didn't want my mother around because he didn't want to see me get hurt, but that I should do what I felt was right.

Then, we hid my purse and his wallet and waited for her call.

Which never came.

So, there you have it. A little bit of fun thrown into the mix. Things never just go 100% smoothly around this house. There's always got to be some sort of drama. But we seem to be able to take it all in stride. Pretty much only because we have a credit card with a high limit (to cover costs like the hot water tank) and we have a good little family of three (and a baby in a belly) here that love each other.


Kathleen said...

CeCe - let your OB know about the swelling! Especially if it came on so fast, it can be symptoms of pre-eclampsia and that is a bad thing. Call and let him/her know ASAP
Been there, done that, have several Tshirts

CeCe said...

Kathleen~thanks. My midwife knows about it and is not worried because my blood pressure is perfectly fine. She told me not to worry about it. (Midwives in my Province are fully licenced health care professionals, who have years of schooling and hospital privledges)

Anonymous said...

I was going to say what Kathleen already said about your poor feet, but I'm glad you've already talked with your midwife. Your poor feet!
It's always something, isn't it? I'm glad Armondo's new watch wasn't ruined.

Anonymous said...

Wow, glad that Armondo's watch wasn't ruined.

I'm glad that the swelling is not a serious problem, other than odd and pain:o) It seems that everyone else beat me to the worry part.

I'm glad that everything that could have been worse turned out okay in the end.

Anonymous said...

I too had feet like Henry VIII for a couple of weeks at the end of my pregnancy. Makes you appreciate slim ankles

Glad none of your 'problems' spoilt your Christmas x

Kathleen said...

Glad all is well. Hang in there, this too will be over soon, although never soon enough

Sarah said...

Well... I'm glad your mother never showed up, as bad as that sounds.

Also think it's funny that we both wanted to watch "It's a Wonderful Life" because none of us had seen it (you, me, Armondo) - and none of us were able to enjoy it, for different reasons.