OT - WWYD about house guests?

April 26, 2009

I guess I should post on Building or Remodeling forums, but I hang out here and Kitchens more, so figured I'd ask. We've been in the process of building for about 2 years, moved in as soon as we could and have been trying to finish things but have had to make repairs too so has been slow. Anyway, we have 3 BR with 2 kids (1 in a twin bed), 1 finished bath plus a toilet in PR (no sink). Of course, still working on baseboard, trim, tile floor is coming loose in kitchen and foyer (again!) so will have to repair that soon (as soon as I hear from lawyer). DR is non-functional since I have casings, base, and crown stored in there (as well as stacked behind sleeper sofa in FR, which is open to kitchen so no privacy for guests).

The kids were off school this week and DH took off work too, now he gets email from his 3 sisters wanting to do a road trip and come visit in about 3 weeks. So we can't ship the kids off to grandma's to free up a twin and a full bed b/c they'll be in school. DH can't take off more work so it'll just be me and the "girls" - but I'd like to spend my time when DD is in school trying to get more woodwork finished now that it's nice and I can set up sawhorses in garage and finish 16ft long pieces of baseboard (hard to do anything over 8ft in unfinished bath LOL!) and maybe some doors. Plus the huge bathroom (1 shower/tub for 7 people for almost a week???) issue.

DH already emailed and said he had to work and kids had school - should we offer to meet them in Disney World later this year for vacation (we've done that with 2 of them in past), or invite them up after we've finished more on the house (incl the master bath and sink in PR) next year? Maybe 2 at a time instead of 3? One of them hosted all 4 of us when DD was 1 yr old (we went for Xmas, small town no hotel) so I'd like to reciprocate but really don't feel we can right now.

Selfish note - we could put 2 of them in our queen bed and we could take the sleeper sofa but I have very nice cherry furniture and really don't like people putting things on my nightstands - esp. since we had to get one refinished after movers scratched the top.

Comments (97)

  • 2ajsmama

    Thanks circuspeanut - while you were posting I emailed DD's school schedule to DH and told him that 1) make sure they know we only have 1 bath 2) ask them if they could wait til after DD is out of school on the 27th instead of the week before and 3) Maybe just maybe can they wait until Ds is out of school? but yes, I'd be glad to have them if they could only wait til June.

    I did lose all last week with the kids out of school, I spent the 1 day (OK, and a couple hours the next day) DH had the kids helping preschool director clean and fill holes, prep new location for paint since no one else volunteered (even though we're all supposed to put in 1 work day/yr and I had already done mine). I've had a lot of experience with nail pops and cracked seams LOL! So I was a little dismayed at losing another week but then after I thought about it (and confirmed this AM) DD has those field trips so it was going to be a wasted week anyway. It doesn't matter if they come after she's out of school since I have a hard time getting woodwork finished when she's around, it always seems like she wants something when I'm up to my elbows in stain or poly.

    I'm also a little run down from this week - was going to poly that trim I have stained today, but coughing too much, can't sand. So I ran DH's filthy clothes to the laundromat for 1st cleaning, then back home for final wash and dry (he was clearing fallen limbs from hayfield and liming field and lawn this week, plus helping my dad pull axles off dump truck that broke down with load of lime on it).

    We have to squeeze SILs in soon before my siblings come (I'm overflow for my parents' house) in July and we get busy with 1st and 2nd cuttings of hay in July & August. Not a working farm yet (no barn, no animals) but we're trying to bring it back - we need to for the property tax break.

    I hate living on a construction site, but I know it's going to take a while longer (esp. if we have to keep pulling out and replacing/fixing things that were done incorrectly the first time). One more week won't matter.

  • andee_gw

    You seem to not be in communication with your SILs. DH is the one getting the e-mails and whatever information there is. Can't you e-mail them yourself to at least get the basic information? Or e-mail DH right now and ask him to forward their e-mail asap? That way he can't forget.

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  • mrsmarv

    "If your husband isn't protecting you from this unreasonable idea, do it yourself...gently, sweetly, and firmly."

    It sounds (to me) that your DH doesn't want to be the 'bad guy' and say no, at this particular time, to his sisters. Well, I do believe he needs to step up to the plate and take some of the pressure off you. You mention that if you make the wrong decision he gives you the silent treatment, and that is just not fair. You need to let him know how that makes you feel, in a non-confrontational way. Have a heart-to-heart with him during some down time and let him know how this situation is making you feel. Tell him you love him and his sisters and would be happy to have them stay over, but just not right now. Then ask him when a good time would be for him to have them visit, because you want to make sure he can get the time off to spend with them. This way you can all spend the time visiting together.

  • Ideefixe

    Now that I've seen the photos, gee whiz--you've got a couple of square feet under the table. They can sit there. Honestly, who in their right mind thinks that NOW is the only time to visit?

    They're not hitching up old Betsy to the dray--modern travel is rather more convenient. IF they haven't seen you all in four years, they can wait until your kids are out of school.

    I don't know or care what Jesus would do--if he showed up, I'd hand him a hammer. Render unto Caesar what is Caesar's.

  • leahcate

    Oh bravo, bronwynsmom! Exactly what I was attempting to say earlier, and you crossed all the i's and dotted the t's.
    uxorial,(whom I will forever cherish for fixing my computer woes!).....Yes, and anyone can get hit by a bus, eaten by a shark or killed in a tornado. That kind of thinking would have me leading a wringing-my-hands life of worry and guilt, ensuring I always said yes to everyone I cared for, just in case :>O:>O!
    Family works best when members are considerate and understanding of one another. You are a member who is feeling imposed upon, whose feeling are not being considered. My extended family would never schedule a trip that included my accommodating them without first checking with me. We'd look at our schedules and decide on a date..together!
    This is very like the families who feel that popping in for a visit without calling is fine since they are family. It's a philosophy they've grown up with, and they will not easily be changed in their thinking.

  • 2ajsmama

    I wish DH could take off time to spend with them - that's why I suggested going on vacation together. Well, maybe they want to see our new house (1 sister has never visited us at all). But he's worried about his job and just took off a week to work on the farm so he probably can't get any time off for a while. Maybe 4th of July w/e he can take an extra day? I just confirmed with my mom that my siblings won't be here until mid-late July (and maybe not all at the same time) so early July works for having SILs.

    Maybe SIL was just asking if that would be a good time - DH didn't forward email, they don't cc me when they email him, I don't know how often that is, but they *never* call him esp. since his mom passed he feels like he doesn't have a family, and mine is all local. I'm sure he'd like the time to visit with them but just can't take off now. So I shouldn't say no they can't come, but try to work it out so that he can spend some time with them.

    I would love for Jesus to show up! I don't even need a miracle, I just need a good carpenter (Ok, do you think he could figure out how to use a biscuit joiner, a mitre saw, and a nail gun?) who can work for more than a couple hours every month LOL!

    My dad is one of those who drops by all the time without calling - since we live so close I don't mind (I've even dropped by cousin's house w/o calling, though only if we've talked earlier about me picking up kids for play date at my house/library and I just stop by when I'm done running errands). But my dad will actually let himself into the house - he won't come to the front door and ring the bell, he just opens the garage door (has the code) and comes into the mudroom and yells. I guess I have to put a button on the front of the garage if he won't walk up onto the porch to ring the bell. I never stop by their house without calling, and while I may open the door and yell hello if it's unlocked, they're always expecting me, so I don't think that's unreasonable. I have a key, but I'd never let myself into their house (except when they're on vacation and have asked me to feed to fish, turn on the hot water heater b4 they come home, stuff like that).

  • deborahnj

    OK so I went back and re-read the original post. Based on what was written in the original post, I like some others suggested that it would be ok to have your in-laws visit and basically said don't worry about the house. Those suggestions were clearly based on the only concern being the state of the house. I don't think any of us were trying to force you to have your relatives visit. Initially it was about family being important and most family not caring about the state of a home.

    However the more I read updates/thoughts from the OP, again it is abundantly clear that the OP does NOT want her inlaws to visit according to their timetable. In this case, the worse thing that can happen is for you to agree for them to come if you don't want them to. You and everyone else is surely going to be miserable whether it be internal misery or external. It is a recipe for disaster. Everyone including your inlaws, the kids and even your DH is going to pick up on the negative vibes. Spare everyone the farce and just say no. Trust me, you and everyone else will be the better for it.

    For what it's worth, I would have your DH be the one to just say no. If he doesn't I would get on the computer and email the Sisters and let them know what is going on and throw out some alternative dates that are more suitable.

  • golddust

    I've had *wanted* company during all phases of a remodel. I just say, if you think it's bad, at least you get to go home. We are *living* like this. Unwanted company? Forget it.

  • newdawn1895

    Mrs. Mary couldn't be more right.

  • Lyban zone 4

    Earlier I said that you should have them but now after reading more posts maybe I am changing my tune.
    This is a hard one.
    Could you not pick up the phone and talk to them about all of the above and see what they say. And if you do not have their emails, ask for it and send the above photos so they know what they are coming to visit.
    Then leave it to them.

  • 2ajsmama

    Deborahnj - it seems like no matter what I say you're convinced I hate my SILs and don't want to spend time with them. So I'm not going to try to convince you otherwise. Yes, they're family, and they may not care what conditions are, but it's *my* house and my family('s schedule) and anyone who doesn't (have to) live here (in these conditions) is a guest and I want them to be comfortable, but also don't want to disrupt my kids' schedules. I don't mind kicking them out of their beds for someone else, we've done it before :-), but not during the school year. I'm also a bit selfish in that I don't like giving up my bed unless it's really necessary, and that's part of what I was trying to figure out, if SILs would be more comfortable in our BR and we take the sleeper sofa so that they could sleep later, esp. with being from different time zone, and to have some privacy. I'm more concerned with their comfort, feel like they're deserving of more consideration than my siblings (who are younger, stayed here when we were *really* just starting construction, so know what they're getting into and comment each time on how things are progressing LOL). I don't care if they grew up in unheated, unairconditioned attic, I'm *not* sticking them in my attic - that would be rude!

    I'm not embarrassed about the state of the house, not that I don't want them to see it - heck, I've posted photos here as well as having given guided tours to just about every member of my (very large extended) family! But just concerned that it's not going to be comfortable for 7 people, myself and DH included. No "farce" - if I had SILs' email addresses I'd let them know my concerns and suggest alternate schedule - but I don't have it, so I sent email to DH with DD's schedule (he knows Ds's schedule esp. for Scouts, better than I do).

    I posted looking for suggestions and support, offered what I thought might be reasonable alternatives to a "surprise" visit and I feel like I'm being vilified for being reluctant to have uninvited (though not unwanted) guests during such a hectic time, and being concerned with everyone's comfort.

    Everyone else, thank you for your suggestions and esp. your concern for *my* comfort level and schedule. I'll let you know if we work out a time that's good for everyone, and I'll update afterwards with what we did for fun while they were here.

  • terezosa / terriks

    I am surprised that I seem to be the only one who thinks that it is rather rude for people (relatives or not) to invite themselves to your home, especially when you are in the middle of a remodel!

  • suero

    About that sinus infection and cough...
    I've stayed away from posting advice, but I have to weigh in now. I've had times when I thought I could do everything, just pushing myself a little more, but my body, which is much smarter than I am, would remind me that I'm human, and would do so by shutting me down. Green gook is your body telling you that it's not an allergy.
    Take care of yourself.

  • igloochic

    LOL No terriks, you're not the only one :)

    When DS was so sick and our Doc was in minnesota we stayed with my SIL. She was so sweet to offer to host us the first time, and we never thought we'd become regulars (I don't believe in putting families through that) but he kept having to come back. Not only was she hosting a SIL she didn't know, but also a very sick baby who cried constantly. We spent a few days of every month with them, but mostly because she insisted. When I found out it was going to be regular I wanted to get a hotel but did cave since she pushed (in a very kind hearted way). Each visit I'd call in advance to be sure the timing was right. A couple of times it wasn't good...holidays, her adult kids coming for a visit etc., and we stayed at the hospital and a hotel instead. Because to me, family comes first...first your IMMEDIATE family, then your extended family and I'm not going to force myself into a situation that isn't comfortable for everyone.

    I go visit my mother as often as I can and want to smack her when she gives up her room for us (mom I understand you're a living doll but still...it's your room and you're the mommy) :oP But she does it for a reason...it's the only bedroom and it is easier for naps and things for my little one. I love to stay with her, but wouldn't force myself on her if it was a bad time for her, sickness, other guests, cat puking etc :P Part of love is consideration....and it's not considerate to invite yourself to visit anyone, but particulary if you know they are in difficult circumstances (and OP I don't care what you think...you're in difficult circumstances...remodeling is hell and more so with small kids..>I know, we're doing it!).

    I missed my mom when our house was torn up...but I still didn't have her up until we had a bedroom for her and a bathroom. Guests deserve privacy as well :)

    As to that whole swine flu thing....it's getting worse. We have been advised to host a planning session (held this morning) at our office to get our workers prepared. It's spreading fast, with cases in our hospital that are being reviewed and are highly suspect. In 72 hours you'll see it's much bigger than what you're hearing now. In all honesty, this isn't the time to have a large gathering at a small home. It could be dangerous. We are already planning on our isolation plan, beginning by pulling our son out of therapy today and for the next few weeks. We have cancelled all travel plans, and we would no sooner host a houseful of loving relatives than a house full of fired contractors. It's a bad time now, for everyone, even those with more than one working bath :P

  • lowspark

    I didn't read every response, but (I think) enough of them to get the gist of the situation.

    DH's sisters want to come for a visit. Unfortunately the time they have picked isn't going to work for you for lots of reasons: DH has to work, kids are in school, the house is at the height of disorder due to the remodel, etc.

    What's wrong with saying that this is a bad time, how about in two months? I would have no problem at all if I wanted to visit my sister and she said that to me. We could sit down with calendars and figure out what would work best for both of us.

    Heck, that's the way we always do things, with relatives, friends, business associates. We work out the best time for all parties involved and make plans from there. I don't see how doing it that way would be rude or hurt anyone's feelings.

  • 2ajsmama

    Thanks terriks and igloochic and browny and everybody.

    Suero - I did try calling my dr, teacher convinced me if it's been going on a week I should. But they seem to have closed early today since I'm just getting answering machine. I have to call anyway (keep forgetting until lunchtime or closing time) since I went for physical beg. of March, wanted to see why I was having chest pains Jan/Feb - thought it might be from starting Pill again (at my age! But I got pg in Oct and mc'ed in Nov) and maybe a clot?? They said EKG was normal, but then sent me for Xray and lots of blood tests and I never heard a thing back - just started getting bills. Chest pains are better now (it was at rest, not exertion anyway so dr didn't know what was going on) though not gone. Thanks for your concern - I did take it easy today, no sanding, no dusting (I vacuumed carpets yesterday and DH changed furnace filter, I should have dusted b4 vacuuming but didn't feel like it). All I did today was 3 loads of laundry after getting back from laundromat, unload the DW, wash the hand dishes from last night (incl water bottles from trip to park), vacuum and mop the downstairs tile. Light housework, no woodwork! Just not sure if I should drive DD's field trip Wed if I might have something contagious, but they're short drivers so I said to email me tomorrow if they really couldn't find someone else. Being a SAHM with a 3-rd row seat SUV, I drive almost all the field trips :-)

    igloochic - I have caught snippets about Ds on prior posts? What kind of therapy? Don't want to pry, but wondering what he has/had. Is he OK now but doing PT to regain some function? Don't answer if it's too personal.

    If it were an emergency (illness, death, maybe even a wedding though I might ask them to get hotel for that) I wouldn't hesitate to have people sleeping in every room of my house - and my uncle would let us (even DH's family) use his bathrooms. I'm sure SILs have no idea - they know we built a new house in 2007, probably think it's finished or we wouldn't have moved in. I'm sure DH hasn't told them of problems (he's always yelling at me for pointing out flaws to visitors), even though I didn't go to MIL's funeral last Feb b/c nobody told us she was failing until a Friday, she died Sat, DH flew down Sun and modular factory was sending people to fix our ceilings Monday, so DH told me to stay home and get that taken care of. I don't know what he told his family about reason for my not being there.

    Grandma picking up at preschool said 100 people died of swine flu in Mexico recently (last week?). Seems more serious than what lucille posted from the CDC. Should we be worried? Guess I have to look and see where reported cases are. My mom is visiting my sister's family in CA, coming back tomorrow - but they're northern CA (San Jose). Guess it's not a good thing to be on an airplane right now but she has no other choice.

  • 2ajsmama

    Oh, and I cleaned out DD's closet a bit to make some room to hang more clothes. Just have to hang at least one of the pictures (or store in my WIC?).

    Should DH and I sleep downstairs, hang our clothes in laundry room and let SILs have our room while they're here (whenever that is)? Or DD's room?

  • deborahnj

    "Deborahnj - it seems like no matter what I say you're convinced I hate my SILs and don't want to spend time with them. So I'm not going to try to convince you otherwise."

    AJ,I in no way shape or form think that you hate your inlaws. What I very much picked up right away is essentially your feelings that you just posted and honestly that is most what I wanted you to recognize. It is not a good time and you should be absolutely comfortable saying so. I know first hand what it is like to have people in the house when I don't really want them there(at the time) and I "put on a show" like everything is ok when it is clearly not. I'm grouchy, resentful and just plain old crotechty (SP?) with a big old frozen grin on my face that won't go away. I would rather that you not put yourself through that. If I as a complete stranger could read it and clearly sense it in your postings, how do you think your SIL's are going to feel. They are going to pick up on it instantly. Again, I would strongly urge you and your DH to be totally honest and say that you can't have them at the designated time but here are better alternatives for you.

    Good luck!!

  • spitfire_01

    Since one has grown children and the other two have no children, they may not know (or have forgotten) what a busy, hectic time of year this is. IMO the end of the school year rivals Christmas as the most stressful time of year. I still don't have our late-May/early-June schedule straight yet.

    I'm sure if you point out that you won't even be home many days to visit with them that week, they will be glad to pick a better week. If your family is anything like my family, we'll have an idea (for a visit), throw a date out, and then start fine-tuning the plans. Sometimes the original date sticks; sometimes it doesn't. It sounds like this date really will not work for you. That doesn't make you a bad hostess. It just means you need to help them pick a better date.


  • pbrisjar

    Well, when Hubby and I had our reception/wedding celebration we were less than a month into our kitchen remodel. We didn't hesitate one second to host everyone we could squeeze in. We just made sure they knew what they were getting into. In our case that meant there was tons of "stuff" in the guest room and study so they had to tread carefully, the kitchen was nearly gutted (no counter top, sink or stove) and other such remodeling mess.

    They're family. I love them dearly and there is no way in the world I would ever turn them away for any reason (unless we were somehow contagious with a nasty disease). On their side, they didn't care one whit about the mess and inconvenience. In fact, one of our "outings" while they were here was to the fabricators to place the templates for our granite. But that's how we've always been. Being together is much more important to us than anything else. (So says the 5' 6" woman who slept on a 5' couch for a week in her parents' traveling home (RV) right next to her sister and BIL sleeping on an air mattress that was so close, there was no room to move.)

    Bottom line: Be honest with them. Tell them things are still in disarray and that you need to be working on the house. Then let them decide. On the practical side, put the kids on the sleeper sofa and let the guests have the bedroom(s). That's what my family did when we were young and we always thought it was a grand adventure.

  • igloochic

    Thanks for asking AJ. He has a rare blood condition (remember the boy in the bubble movie Cher did so many year ago...that's my son, but not as bad). Because he was not diagnosed until he was 3, he developed other problems associated with being fail to thrive for so long. Mostly it was eating disorders (he can't manage drinking from a cup or eating solid food and he has no natural hunger drive). So he does weekly therapy with a feeding specialist and then ocupational therapy afterwards to focus on sensory issues (that most preemies have). He used to be pretty far behind developmentally, but now he's all caught up :) aside from the feeding issue. But because of his disease he's not allowed to play with other children who aren't health screened so his socialization therapy is a big deal for him. (Part of the OT therapy) He's going to be heartbroken when he dosen't get to go tomorrow :( Because his conditioin is not bad enough to qualify for immunogloublin therapy our only option is to isolate him during cold and flu season...and when swine flu comes to town I guess. :( Which is too bad because i was just getting ready to enroll him in a little gym program for the summer...dang it. I hope this all blows over soon, but it's bad and should be taken very seriously! Not just for sick kids!

    My dear I hope you work this all out, but remember...it's always ok to say NO.

    I used to teach a seminar called "Getting to No" which was focused on teaching lenders how to say no without destroying a clients self esteem and to retain that client. The lessons are as valuable in our real lifes as they are to lenders at the office. When you say "No" adding a conditioning that is reasonable is ok...ie "No, this is a bad time but next month would be wonderful" but don't go into the why's of the situation. If you do so you just allow room for the other party to open your no and turn it into a yes when you really mean to say NO. No, it's a bad time because the kids are in school...leaves room for them to say "oh that's ok we'll work around your schedule" (which never works) or No, the house is a construction site opens up the ability to say "oh we are used to that, don't worry" etc. If you're going to give this a qualified "NO" just do so and remember, NO EXCUSES. If you can't just say NO, please come next month, than just say Yes because you'll be there anyhoo, and you'll just resent it more :) (My wisdom from my past life). I still get students calling to ask me how to say NO and it's almost always in regards to family issues LOL And dearheart...don't tell DH I said this...but in regards to this situation...the same No rules apply...though you can say "No it's a bad time honey, but June 30 would be fabulous" and then...nothing else!!! (although sex at this point is an option) KIDDING!!!! Hush you guys!

  • golddust

    Igloochick, sex works both ways. If you really don't want visitors right now and want DH to deal with his sisters and even the fallout after, say it immediately after sex. :+) Laugh a lot and cuddle him much, all the while explaining and giving instructions through your point of view. You can catch more flies with honey and around here, it works every single time. And there are bonuses to this strategy. My DH still thinks I'm still really hot, after this many years Men are so easily brought into line. Personally, I never got the with holding sex part of marriage. For me, it works so much better the other way. I'm not kidding! But I have always thought different.

  • neetsiepie

    Guess sometimes I forget that this world is made up of a lot of different minded folk. I tend to be calmest during chaos, so your situation would not be out of the ordinary for me. It'd make me coo-coo, but I could never find the right time for everything to be in alignment, so I always say why not? At one point in my life I had 5 teenagers living in a 4 bedroom house with one bathroom. I worked full time, headed up the local Saturday Market, did the bookwork for DH's business, and on Saturdays I sold at the SM. I don't know how I did it, but I managed.

    I really hope you feel better soon, and that you and DH can come up with a compromise for your SIL's. If you can't...I hope you don't get too stressed trying to figure out how to make everyone comfortable and you let yourself get overrun. Best wishes to you!

  • golddust

    Pesky, I hear you. I always say I fly low to the ground in a crises. I was raised with 8 people sharing 1 bathroom, always. It was an every day thing and nothing we even considered. But I recognize the difference in people and so, like you, I hope she feels better soon too. I am an eternal optimist. I think everyone should be happy.

  • 2ajsmama

    igloochic - don't remember Cher, but John Travolta??? in Boy in a plastic bubble. That was an autoimmune disorder if I remember. So I see why you're so concerned with DS getting infected. Glad he is working out the feeding issues. No hunger? Wish my DD was like that - she was difficult as an infant (still is, in a different way - no patience, bursts into tears when she gets frustrated, which is often). She was full term but had GERD and would nurse so often, literally I'd feed her, hold her upright for an hour, lay her down to change her and she'd upchuck. Not projectile thank goodness. But feeding her every 2 hrs (when she finally would take a bottle of bmilk it would only be 2 oz) was wearing for me, and then for daycare. She wouldn't sleep at daycare either, though she did sleep quite a bit b/t feedings at home. The ped. also scared me when she was a day old saying her bilirubin was too high (diff. dr at hospital discharged her 8 hrs after birth so we knew she was jaundiced but figured that was normal, DS was a little yellow too the first week). So he had us going for daily blood draws (she was born 2 days b4 Tgiving) and visits, got a biliblanket and had a scare when the power went out, on Tgiving he said she wasn't getting enough to eat b/c her weight dropped (not by that much, and I told him my milk hadn't come in yet). He gave us formula, and she had 4 oz of it b4 my milk came in, never gave her any more even though I never produced as much as I did with ds. Don't know if that was b/c she was a "grazer" or if it was me. Finally pulled her out of daycare after 3 mos b/c she wouldn't eat/sleep, and my mom and DH took time off to care for her while I worked PT and tried to find another place that would fit better - got on waiting list for base daycare right outside gate, had original daycare at DH's work set to take her back at 1 year old. Then a month before her bday, they told me they forgot she had to move to Toddler room at 1 year, not back in Infants, so no room. My supervisor (who was hired while I was on leave, who I'd worked with b4 as a peer) basically accused me of not trying hard enough to find daycare (when I'd been looking at different ones for 6 months since I had pulled her out of original one!) and told me "You're a smart lady, but you need to decide if you want a career or a family." I thought that after 22 years they'd cut me some slack for one really bad year (incl. the 3 mos FMLA that I had saved vacation and sick time for), so I quit, saying it was no choice. DD had been waking wanting to be fed 2-3 times/night up til 10 months old when I enrolled her in a sleep study, we were both so sleep deprived (esp. me b/c I had to work during the day while she was home napping with DH or my mom!). The dr. told me to let her cry it out, b/c she was a normal weight and was eating some solids, and didn't need the nutrition, just wanted me. We tried massage but she was just learning to crawl and would crawl away as I tried to massage her back LOL!

    She never took a nap in a crib after 13 months when we went to TX and let her sleep in the car/plane. So for 2 more years (she still slept rotten at night and needed naps) I'd drive her around trying to get her to sleep. She also nursed (during the day) until she was 2. Didn't start talking until 2.5 - ped. told me since she had receptive language, and she was starting to say some words (yeah, a "one-hit wonder" - I'd hear a word once, or several times one day, but then she'd never say it again!) to wait calling EI. But it was tough b/c she'd just scream when she wanted something, and I'd have to try to figure out what it was. Finally called EI but by the time they got an appt for us she was talking - my mom and sister spent days trying to get her to call herself something - she wouldn't even say "me". Finally came up with "Ariel" and she stayed with that for almost a year til she started saying "Wissa". Milk was "go to the fridge, pull on the handle and smack lips saying "ahhh" like "that's refreshing". She wasn't potty-trained until 2 weeks before her 4th bday. Would cling to me every week when we went to library for story hour and playgroup - severe strange anxiety until she was 3.5 and met her cousins from MN and CA and decided she'd transfer her affections from Ds. Was heartbroken when they had to go home, but I think it was good for her to (be forced to!) play with kids her own age finally, so when she started preschool right after her bday she took to it like a duck to water!

    She's getting better, we still have feeding issues. Took her to OT last year who said her chewing and swallowing mechanisms and movements are correct, we did get her to try baby carrots ($1200 of OT to get her to add one new food!), still don't know why she loves meat, will devour rare steak and stewed chicken, but gags and sometimes vomits on stew beef (cut really tiny!), pork, BBQ chicken, peas, broccoli, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn. She used to eat black beans so I started making chili with no spices (we'd add hot sauce at table) with all black beans but this year she wouldn't eat them. Won't eat chicken noodle soup even though she likes noodles, begged for Princess soup and wouldn't eat it when I bought it (DS can't get enough of homemade soup). Will eat white rice with butter but not brown rice. Thanks goodness she likes fruit.

    Wow, sorry that turned into a long really OT post!

  • Ideefixe

    Don't let them decide. Get their email addresses out of your husband, and forward them this thread.

  • golddust

    ideefixe, your screen name fits you to a T. Hehehe.

  • Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

    When I was growing up, having company in the house and not having to sleep in my own bed was indeed a grand adventure, as pbrisjar commented on.

    But I think you should do what you want, not what anyone on this thread thinks you should do.

  • pammyfay

    AJ, do you think there's any other reason the 3 sisters are coming together for a visit other than they've not been together with your DH and you and children for a while? It's just me, thinking there's always something else going on (like a sickness), maybe.

    Your postings read like your brain is on overdrive, between the house stuff and the potential make-do options if the sisters come when they've planned. Just reading them made ME dizzy!

    Also, with all the building jobs going on, wood stacked around, I'm sure there's some dust buildup, which is probably not doing anything good for your health. If your DH takes the step of explaining the timing situation to his sisters, you might encourage him to mention the dust factor (I spent about 2 weeks at a friend's house during her 2-room reno, tending to the pets, and it wasn't the stuff piled around, the microwave tucked in the guestroom, the contractors starting at 7 a.m.--it was the dust I was happy to leave when the owners came home. There's a reason many people hire high-grade professional cleaners who do detailing work after home projects!)

  • robin_DC

    I would say no, with no regrets and little or no hesitation. Like terriks, I think it's rude of them to invite themselves to visit without discussing the timing with you and your husband first. If they were determined to come that week anyway, then I'd suggest a hotel. It just seems like unnecessary stress, and I see no reason why you should have to yield to their desires & preferences when it is simply a bad time for you (in fact they should yield to you--it is your house, and your remodel).

  • 2ajsmama

    Thanks - DH was talking to one of them tonight when I got home from board meeting. He said he told them not to come that week. So I don't know if they're not coming at all, or going to discuss a different week and get back to him. He didn't offer any alternate schedule. He says he told them in his first email (before he even talked to me) that he was on call that week (he just told me he had to work, couldn't take off, didn't tell me he was on call). But now I'm back in limbo, not knowing if/when they're going to contact him asking for a different week (with perhaps only a couple weeks' notice). I don't even know if he told them that the new house is still under construction and we've been chipping away at it for a year and a half since we moved in. Of course, nobody cc's me on these emails.

    At least my carpenter is coming by tomorrow - has some free time (I'm not sure how much) and wants to get going again, tomorrow afternoon will just be getting organized, seeing if he can use the HD oak, maybe he'll take some of it to do mitered returns on some pieces, cut to length, but I'm not sure he'll actually finish anything (like fix my cabinet?) tomorrow.

    Ds may actually be in school til July now - a kid in one of the schools in the district has the flu, was recently in Cancun. We'll know Friday if it's the swine strain, if it is they're going to close all the schools in the district for a week, not just that school. DH says if it's a Boy Scout, he and ds may have been exposed at the meeting the other night. I don't know if they'll release that info (through the Troop leader? if the school doesn't?). DH has already emailed work and asked if they want him to work from home for the next week just in case.

  • terezosa / terriks

    But now I'm back in limbo, not knowing if/when they're going to contact him asking for a different week (with perhaps only a couple weeks' notice). I don't even know if he told them that the new house is still under construction and we've been chipping away at it for a year and a half since we moved in. Of course, nobody cc's me on these emails.

    Umm, have you asked your husband? Seems like there might be a communication problem here.

    And I hope that it's not swine flu! That would be awful if they had to close all the schools.

  • 2ajsmama

    I hope it's not swine flu either. Find out tomorrow,

    Thye communication problem has lasted 20 years. I don't get anywhere by asking him for details. I either get "OK, OK!" like I'm nagging him (like the "I get it!" I got the other AM on this topic), or she just doesn't know. I did ask him last night if they are rescheduling and he said he didn't know, just told them that was a bad week like he already said in email so as far as he knows they're not coming at all since no one discussed alternate week.

    He just doesn't communicate like I do/would. I would have have asked if that was the only time they could come, or if they were flexible. I would have mentioned a couple of alternate dates that would work for us (around the kids' school schedules). I also would have mentioned the bathroom issue and asked if that was a problem, they could wait til we had the master bath finished (date TBD/TBA). He does none of this. Is this a guy thing, is it it my "strong, silent type" guy??

  • bronwynsmom

    All right, honey...because you so clearly need people to talk to who don't want anything from you, you have turned to us. So I am going to take a chance and tell you exactly what I think.

    You have, perhaps intentionally, revealed three very important things to us.

    The first is that you have walled yourself into a way of thinking that allows everyone to take advantage of your fear of being selfish. Even in this forum, you hear the posts that reinforce that fear more loudly than you hear the ones who support you.

    The second is that your husband and you have fallen into a pattern that abandons you. His disrespect for your concerns may have grown from your lack of respect for yourself, or from some bad examples in his early family life, or some combination. You care what he thinks of you, but he doesn't seem to care what you think of him. Inequality in a relationship is deadly, and neither of you benefits. And the pattern doesn't get changed with one conversation.

    The third is that your health is endangered. Chest pains are not a joke. Your stress level is through the roof, and you would not be spending your scarce time here if you didn't know it.

    My father died at 35 of complications of diabetes brought on by battle stress during WW II. My grandfather on the other side died in his sixties of cardiovascular disease brought on by stress. When I am stressed and don't manage it, my weak system, which is my lungs, begins to fail, and I am susceptible to asthma attacks, chest pains, and atrial fibrillation. So I manage it.

    I believe that you need a dramatic break from your status quo. The conditions you describe are not sustainable. Do you have a church community, and a minister you can trust? Do you trust your doctor? Does your local hospital have a pastoral care department? Someone with some professional training should hear everything you have told us, and help you to regain your balance. Otherwise, I fear for your mental and physical health. And so do you, or you wouldn't have come here with such honesty and clarity.

    But first you must understand that you are as much a child of God and as worthy of honor and respect and happiness as anyone else. This is not your fault. You have nothing to be ashamed of. Life has just built up a series of difficulties, and you need some new skills to handle the results. Just like everybody else.

    Put down the hammer and the grocery list, sit down quietly with yourself, and listen to what your inner voice is saying to you. And find someone to help and support you where you are.

  • 2ajsmama

    Thanks for your concern browny.

    i did get a hold of my dr's office yesterday - they say their office hours are 9-4:30 with a break 12 - 1:30 for lunch, but they go to the answering service at 4 so they can get out of there at 4:30. Anyway, they said they didn't call b/c all my tests were "normal" - even though some blood tests were "out of range". I don't know what any of them mean except for HDL, LDL (which are high but I know the ratio is good since I've had high ch. since my teens - hereditary). Thought the dr would have at least called to tell me that after I spent $200 (that's *after* insurance) on just the office visit. They said I could come in about the cough, but since everything's running clear now I just started an anithistimine. No sense in spending another $100 to have them tell me to do that. Apparently my chest pains (which haven't totally disappeared but have become less frequent and less intense) are nothing to be worried about, else she would have asked me to come in for more tests, or at least called to see if they were continuing, right?

    I started pulling insulation out from around windows that DH had packed in since people on Energy and Remodeling forums said it wouldn't do much good to be tightly packed, use foam instead. But it's such a mess and even with a mask it's not doing my cough any good so I stopped. If DH won't pull it out and replace it, or hire someone to do it, I'll just leave it and put the rest of the casings up and not care about the electricity bill.

    Thanks for the advice about counseling, but no minister, no church, and with high deductible insurance no $$. So I'll just talk to my mother, and leave you guys alone if I've given TMI. Thanks for the help - I will continue to post about decorating issues (I have absolutely *no* confidence in my decorating skills!).

  • Ideefixe

    I do think this is a guy thing, and that they hear what to us are normal questions as the 3rd degree, with a rubber hose. Here's what I do, and after 25 years of wedding semi-bliss, it sort of works, except when it doesn't.

    Me: "Honey, can you make sure that your family knows that we can't have them as house guests until after June 15th--I know they'll listen to you. Thanks."

    DH: "Muffled response".

    Then I never mention it again directly. But I keep reinforcing the ideas that

    His family is his problem
    No guests until after June 15th.

    "I can't wait until we can have a great 4th of July party--that might be a good time for your sisters to come"

    "I hope your sisters bring their bathing suits, when they come later this summer."

    and so on. Bugging my husband about "Did ya call? What did they say?" ensures that he'll either not call or not tell me.

    Ideefixed, yes, but in a subtle way.

  • robin_DC

    It isn't TMI at all.

    I am more detail oriented than my husband and many of my friends, so I find that when I get information filtered through those less detail oriented people, I end up with a lot of unanswered questions. Plus, I never know how my questions are being filtered to them, and whether the intermediary is accurately conveying my message. I've found that the best approach is to contact the source(s) directly.

    So, can you just take matters into your own hands and call, email, or write your sisters in law and discuss another date with them directly? For example, an email saying "hi jill & jane! I would really love to see you later this summer, and I think that dates after ____ should work well for us. As DH probably told you, he's on call X week, we're in the middle of major remodeling chaos, and the kids are really busy with school. Which dates after ___ work for your schedule? Thanks, and I hope to see you soon! Love, ajsmama."

    That way, you bypass the comunication style differences with your husband, and you won't have the added stress of wondering what they said, are thinking, or were told (because you can just deal with them directly).

  • 2ajsmama

    There really are a lot of wonderful caring people here on GW (as well as talented decorators!). Thank you everyone. I will try to find SIL's email addresses in DH's address book. They never email me so they're not in mine. I don't know whether to ask him for them or not. Either way, he'd see it as meddling or nagging since he's told me that he's already told them not to come. I should have asked to talk to SIL last night when I saw he was on the phone, but he said it was a bad connection (and it was his cell phone). Even when they were calling a couple times a day with updates about MIL while I was trying to find a flight and he was packing, they'd just say hi to me and immediately ask to talk to him. And we've been married almost 20 years!

    My sister says her ILs are the same way - FIL just announced that he was coming from X date to Z date, and on Y date he'd like to go sightseeing! Forget that their DD has school events incl end of year picnic during that time. She says she just lets DH deal with it, but I don't know how she communicates the conflicts to DH and makes sure that they work around them.

    I like ideefixes' idee :-) I have been doing the "didja call?" thing and it really doesn't work ("yeah, I told them it was a bad time and not to come" then when I said "They're going to think I don't want to see them if you didn't suggest coming when the kids are out of school!" "Yeah, they think you hate them and don't want to see them."). I am a detail-oriented person who has to plan, but DH and others see me as controlling. Maybe I am - one of the problems in my last performance review b4 I quit was that I wasn't "mentoring" people, I was just doing the work myself and being on mat. leave and then PT it really wasn't working.

    I'll try contacting them when we know when DS is going to be out of school (still waiting to hear if swine flu is in the schools and now last day will be pushed off til July).

  • bronwynsmom

    I think you're getting the hang of it a bit now!

    Don't stop posting! That's not what I meant. I meant that support is crucial, but you must realize what it is that you want out of any kind of change, and learn some new ways of getting it within your own values.

    Clearly you have a lot of energy and ability, and can count on yourself. Maybe I overstated my concerns, and certainly I am not in the business of counseling...I just want you to get some rest and some respite.

    In any case, keep checking in.

  • 2ajsmama

    Thank you so much.

    I wish I had more carpentry ability! I *hate* relying on people. My carpenter cousin who was working on my house, then quit a month ago b/c he got steady work from a landscaper (paying, and I haven't been paying him since he took my compressor and nail guns for barter), called the other day to say he had some time, he'd be here Thurs 3:30. It's now after 5, I called and left message at 4:30. His ds wasn't in school this week, I guess he's got his hands full, but he didn't say anything Tues about it and ds was out Monday so he was planning to come here even though ds was sick.

    I've had this problem all along - people say they're interested in work, then never show up to give estimate, or come but then never call back. I was hoping cousin would be different, even though I know he's squeezing me in. I thought he'd at least call to reschedule - hope there's not an emergency with one of the kids. Maybe DW had to work all of a sudden.

    I don't want to try to find another carpenter, but I may have to in order to get things done in a timely manner. Or get my compressor back and learn how to use it.

  • deedee-2008

    ajsmama...I'm in CT, too, and find the school situations a bit worrisome (Shout-out to all the parents out there: if your kid is sick, Keep them home!). I feel we have identical personalities: more like perfectionists, not controllers. I am a people-pleaser and a super-planner for when guests come over. I love having people over, but it definitely raises my stress level. My DH, and the other hand, never plans ahead....more a seat of the pants type. He's always asking me what the big deal is when 10 of his hungry friends come over....and the cupboard is bare. It's definitely just a difference in our genes. I would look up your SILs phone numbers and call them yourself to make sure they know that you just wanted to postpone the visit, not eliminate it. We are having our both baths on the upper floor ripped apart now, and with just four of us trying to get ready for work/school, it's tough (And I was also one of eight with one bathroom when I was a kid). I agree that your body is sending you signals to slow down. Don't ignore those chest pains....please get a second opinion. Keep in touch with us, even if it's to let off steam and/or ruminate.

  • 2ajsmama

    dee-dee - where are you? Is your school district planning to do the same thing? with all the snow days, we're already going to the end of June. I can see closing the school where the infected child was attending, but *all* the schools in the district, K-12? I assume you have one fully functional bath downstairs? How old are your kids? Hopefully not teenagers who spend an hour at a time in there!

    I am definitely a perfectionist - though when it comes to tearing walls out b/c a header is crooked, I'm learning that cutting the sheetrock so the casing lays flat is "good enough". I spent yesterday AM while DD was on field trip (I didn't have to drive) skimming some spots around my bay window so the baseboard wouldn't have a huge gap behind it. Anything under 1/4" we can caulk, but over that just really needed joint compound (with stained trim, can't hide as much with caulk and paint). My cousin is meticulous, but as he said, he knows how fussy he *can* be, whereas I know how I want things, but don't really know what's possible, or possible with a reasonable amount of effort.

    He did finally call. DS is sick with a high fever, but dr didn't say it was serious. They're not in the same district (though his ds and my dd attend the same preschool), so there really isn't any way he could have been exposed to anyone in our district who may have been exposed to the kid who just got back from Mexico. He doesn't have a cell phone, so couldn't call me when the landscaping ran late. I don't know why his DW couldn't call me back when she heard the message (maybe figured he'd be home soon enough, maybe figured I'm *his* cousin calling for *him* to work, so let *him* deal with me). It just drives me crazy waiting for someone who never shows and doesn't call when they're late/can't make it. He is a good carpenter and just a sweet guy, so I'll wait until he's available again, just keep finishing what I can so it's ready for him to nail up or miter.

    Some day, maybe 5 years from now ;-), my house will finally be finished, with floors that *stay* installed, and a bath for the kids/guests, and my soaking tub (Calgon, take me away!!). Then I can start thinking about replacing the laminate countertops and doing a tile or stone b/s ;-), maybe even repaint the ceilings LOL!

    Thanks for letting me vent.

  • deedee-2008

    I'm in central CT, and luckily, our schools haven't been affected...yet. It is odd how they closed ALL the schools in your district. Maybe there's more to the story. We have a half bath downstairs, and can still use a shower upstairs as long as you are careful walking on the plywood. Luckily, the bathroom re-dos are mainly cosmetic, so will only take about three weeks. And, since misery loves company, my DH also OK'd his cousin to stay with us for two nights next week. Again, since he's not "detail oriented" like I am (isn't that a nicer word than "perfectionist"?), he must have forgotten how hectic the morning routine is here, LOL. My two DDs are preteens, and I am very tempted to buy clocks for all the bathrooms, except they would clash with my new decorating scheme.

  • 2ajsmama

    They haven't closed all the schools yet - waiting to hear tomorrow. That's one K-2, two 3-6, one jr high plus the HS. For one kid?

    Ugh- I thought maybe you had a shower downstairs. I haven't used the shower in the MBA b/c I don't want the floor to get wet. Though sometimes I think of hauling buckets of hot water to fill the soaking tub LOL - I haven't had a nice relaxing bath in almost 2 years!

    My ds is 10 and can spend a long time in the bathroom even w/o taking a shower. When he does take a shower (trying to get him to increase it from 2 to either 3 or 4x/wk!) it's very steamy and half an hour long. Though he likes baths every now and then too. I'm in trouble in a couple of years! DD is 5, but in 8 years or so I figure I'll just have to let her use the MBA so no conflicts with ds, but that should only be for 1 year until he goes to college (except when he comes back on break). I hope I got it figure out right given 5 yrs difference in age and 6 yrs in school. Sometimes I think we should have given ds his own WC instead of a desk area in his room! But at least the PR is off the foyer, and not in the laundry room (or should I say, the laundry isn't in a closet in the PR like it was in our old house). He was *always* in there when I was trying to get things in/out of the dryer!

    Hope your remodel is done soon! Maybe someone can skip a shower one day that cousin is there?

  • midwestmom

    I would put both kids in your room on the floor in sleeping bags. I'm sure it's only a few days & kids really don't mind sleeping on the floor. And then I would give the three sisters the two kids' rooms & let them decide who gets the floor & who gets the bed. You could always pick up an air mattress too. I think if you really wanted them to visit, it wouldn't be this big of a deal. If it were me, and my dh wanted them to come, I would let them come. If you've been working on the house for going on two years now, there isn't really ever going to be a good time. JMO! good luck.

  • Ideefixe

    Why do I think that new posters haven't read the whole thread?

  • 2ajsmama

    LOL! Anyway, no word on rescheduling. Carpenter cousin came over today and got some things done (fixed cabinet in kitchen, put new drawer front on it that has been in closet for almost 2 years - original was damaged during construction - shimmed and foamed window over sink, cut shoe to close up gap where wall meets counter - so now I just have poly and caulk to do). I got more walls skimmed, hopefully enough to get baseboard to lie flat - will check tomorrow and sand/paint if OK. All the FR baseboard is stained, he only has to cut 1 piece. I got 1 piece of oak out of the DR, 1 more window casing joined up (and discovered 2 more that were cut wrong/warped so need new casings for side windows of bay). He is making new sill for center bay and maybe side bays - since they were different depths. We'll see when he gets the sill done, I'll stain it, and pretty soon the FR will be *done*. He took some crown mold out of coat closet to cut and mitre returns (ends near corner cabinet) and hopefully the next time he's back he can cut the 28 ft (12ft and two 8fters) on the DR floor to the sizes needed so I can store them in coat closet until I can finish and he can install - might not be winter after all!

    No word yet on possible swine flu - but school called tonight, said Ds's school would be open tomorrow, they're only closing the school where sink kid goes. I don't know why Dept of Health is taking so long for results - we were supposed to have them Friday.

  • themommy1

    Bronwynsmom, has said most of what I would say at this time in my life. That said Iwill also say that when Ichic was small I never knew when, who, or for how long DH whould bring home some one to stay. So all I could do is make the best of it and not worry about MY HOUSE, I just was lucky that I am a very layed back person so I didn't stress like you do. Keep things simple as you can if and when it happens,if what you can offer is not good enough for them OH WELL you did the best you could. Now TAKE CARE OF YOUR SELF and let be what will be.(OH! I didn't know these people DH brought home 99% of the time.)

  • alicate

    Whatever happened with all of this? Just curious...

  • 2ajsmama

    I gave an update on a different thread. Thanks for asking.

    Here is a link that might be useful: OMG They're coming tomorrow!

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