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About marbel

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    Hive Mind Queen Bee

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    Suburban Philadelphia
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    reading, cooking, sewing

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  1. marbel

    Lighthearted poll about addresses envelopes

    For older people or people I know expect/like it, option 1. Never use option 2. It looks weird to me, like a kid wrote a letter to a friend's parents. Mostly I use option 3, except I usually put the woman's name first. Jane and John Smith, or Jane Smith and John Jones, if that's the way it goes. Smith Family for a card/invitation that is for kids as well as parents.
  2. I didn't mean they should talk to the MIL in front of the kids. I was seeing it something more like... "ok, Grandma is planning to come visit us for Christmas. She didn't ask, and we would rather she didn't come just now. But, for this year, we're going to make the best of it because the plans are made and it would be cruel to tell her not to come. So, yeah, not ideal. But to avoid this happening again... blah blah..." get everyone on board with making it work. The older kids can understand that (maybe leave the youngest out, depends on ages etc). Assure them that if Grandma tells them to do something they know they don't have to do, like get up early in the morning, the parents will run interference. Come up with some things everyone can do with Grandma, and things everyone can do without Grandma. One other thing I do is talk to my kids separately from their dad about his parents. My daughter and I in particular have lots of conversations about boundaries; she also understands that different families have different boundaries and that we expect that when she is an adult, she will kindly set her boundaries with us - and if she marries, she should have talks with her future husband about boundaries with his family and how that will look for them as a new couple/family unit of their own. BTW I'm not trying to put words in OP's mouth. Just saying how it might go down in my house. :-)
  3. Sure, of course. But that doesn't mean necessarily telling grandma "nope, don't come this year" just for the sake of teaching kids how to set boundaries. I mean, there are different ways to do it, including talking things out (with older kids anyway). Whatever the OP and her husband decide to do, they can do it in front of their children, and model what they want them to learn. That's not silence and avoidance.
  4. I was thinking about this. So often people make vague invitations - "we'd love to see you"... "come visit anytime..." stuff like that. I never take them seriously unless there is a specific date or event mentioned. Even if I did take them seriously, I would always ask before making travel plans. But for all anyone here (maybe even OP) knows, OP's husband says those sorts of things to his mom and she's taking him up on it. OP, I'm sorry. I would be inclined to just make the best of it this year, but tell my husband to talk with his mother about house rules, expectations for the kids, etc. If he is schedule to work during her visit, I would see if he can take any time off so he can spend it with his mom. My in-laws annoy the heck out of me but they are not my parents, they are not toxic, and they are not going to be around forever. We make the best of our infrequent visits with them and see them as obligations rather than pleasure. I would explain to the kids that the visit is not ideal but we'll deal with it, and give them language to use with grandma if she starts parenting them inappropriately. But that's my life and how it would work. I hope you get it worked out so everyone can enjoy the holiday! Hugs to you.
  5. marbel

    Any book suggestions for young adults?

    I recommend Station Eleven to everyone. Also, if you know of some books they already like, Goodreads will show you similar books. Art related: my daughter loves The Secret Lives of Color by Kassia St Clair. I enjoyed 2 nonfiction books by Victoria Finlay: Jewels: A Secret History and Color: A Natural History of the Palette. I just thought they were interesting.
  6. marbel

    surprising POV?

    My first husband would sort of "get started" without me, while I was asleep. One of the many reasons he was the first husband and not the permanent one. I'm having a hard time thinking of how an otherwise respectful, loving husband could scare, startle, or upset me with caressing or other wordless sort of engaging, assuming I'm awake. I have the opportunity to deflect or say "hey, how about tomorrow" or whatever. Just trying to picture what that would look like.
  7. What?! You don't sleep on cotton ticking stuffed with corn husks? Another illusion shattered. :-) I hope you know I am joking. I get you. There is no need for high horses anywhere in the Christmas tree debate. There are good points on each 'side.'
  8. Fun appetizer-type foods with protein and fat before going to church. Light snacks if necessary, and dessert when you get home. Save the big meal for Christmas Day (or not, if you don't want one).
  9. marbel

    Non-traditional holidays meals?

    Lasagna is very traditional in my area. The grocery stores that give discounts on holiday foods based on loyalty points offer free/cheap turkey, roast beef, or lasagna. We usually use Christmas as an excuse to pay more than we should for prime rib but it's based on price more than tradition!
  10. I'm not arguing with you at all, but just making a side comment. I know a lot of people think of it this way. But I see Christmas trees as a crop. They are a farmed product that is consumed, basically, right? When we had real trees, we either had them picked up by the city which turned them into compost, which the city has free for the taking to anyone who can haul it off. Or, back in another life, we tossed it into our woods and let it rot and compost itself (albeit slowly!) there. I know a few people in Oregon who are vehemently anti-fake tree because real trees help keep farmers in business, and fake trees use more energy to manufacture... Probably the wrong thread, but, ya know, evolving conversations....
  11. Seconding (thirding?) All Clad. It's so expensive but should last a lifetime if cared for properly. And care is not difficult. I have the large straight-sided saute pan with lid that I use constantly. Also a large saucepan which is perfect for making candy, because though it's slower than thinner pans to heat, it heats up more evenly. Not that I make tons of candy, but I do think of that this time of year! I also have a few other pieces.
  12. Yeah, and air filter isn't going to help if you leave the mold in the room. Your husband is being unreasonable and I hope he comes around quickly. I mean, I know at this point it's a hassle and a disappointment. How much hassle and disappointment would it be if everyone is really sick on Christmas? I will say, though, that I do know a few people who would rather everyone be sick than have a fake tree. I have a close relative who is like that. She was aghast when we went fake over my kid's allergies. She just thought eh, he can live with it for a few weeks. ETA I'm not saying your husband is quite like that. Just saying that the tradition of a real tree is very important to a lot of people.
  13. We were live tree snobs, till we figured out one of our kids was sick every year from the tree. We got a fake tree and have never looked back. I love the convenience, not spending $$ every year, and of course that the kid is not miserable all during the season. You could try taking all the decorations off, taking it outside, and hosing it off, and letting it dry (assuming you have dry weather) but that may not even help. I'm on team get rid of the tree. Find a new tradition. Y'all will adjust. I'm not feeling as flippant (or harsh?) as I sound. But really, there's no question if you are sick!
  14. marbel

    scam warning ---

    I've gotten that call a few times, or at least one similar. It's hilarious! The recording talks about the "local cops" coming to arrest me and tell me I'd better call them "to discuss about this." But bummer about the loss of sleep. I'm with you, I wouldn't have been able to go back to sleep either, no matter how tired I was.
  15. marbel

    Something to do at a party with 15-25 yos?

    I remember a big Christmas party we had one year. I had set out stuff so kids could make easy ornaments - card stock cutouts, glitter, various other things. When the kids abandoned that to go play (which did not take long), most of the teens and adults wandered over there. It was really fun to see the dads, in particular, messing around with glue sticks and glitter! It was just a fun ice-breaker. Mostly people ate, drank, and talked. As a very shy introvert, I don't like to play games much. But I am happy to watch other people play, as long as I am not pressured to play. I was like that even as a younger person, so it's not just 'cause I'm old now. :-)
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