Sunday, December 28, 2008

Learning from others

We just got back from California. We spent the better part of the week with my sister in law and her children.

Every time I see her and her children, I feel the same way. She messed up her life and she continues to allow it to roll down hill.

I am continually learning from her mistakes so I would like to share her story. Hopefully others will not make the same mistakes. I will refer to her as E.

When E was 19 she entered her rebellious phase. She feel in love with a man 16 years ago, who she knew had a history of spousal abuse and she never told anyone about his history. Her husband occasionally hit her but she always took it and kept it mostly to herself. He was unemployed for 6 months. At that time they moved in with E's parents. E's mother spent a good portion of her savings and retirement supporting the family. Finally E's husband got a job in California close to my husband. From time to time E's parents would come and stay with E. E's parents always did the cooking cleaning and bought E's children the best gifts while visiting and buy other large ticket items that were needed. E's husband was never happy about E's parents visiting. E's husband was only good for the money he made. E and her husband were funny. They buy things they don't need but tighten the budget on things they do need (food, clothing, housing.)

In fall 2007 E's husband beat her. He threw her against the wall then down on the ground and started hitting and kicking her. All of the children were a witness (4, 9, 14 years old.) The 14 year old boy had to step in and pull his father off of his mother. We (my husband and I) wanted to call the police but E did not want us too. We respected her wishes and my husband had a serious talk with E's husband and was warned that next time there would be no choice and no one to stop us from calling.

We moved away from California. August 2008 we received a call at 11pm from the 14 year old. He called to let us know his dad was drunk and threatening his mother and being vulgar. The 14 year old and my husband communicated online. When E was hit by her husband, my husband was on the phone with the local (to them) police and they were there in 2 minutes. They took him away and a restraining order was issued the next day.

As you can see it was very typical. He is a control freak when it comes to what he can control and she is naive about the world. He kept $50k in the bank all the time saying how poor they are. He even made a joint account just so he could deposit the tax return money without her knowledge (or signature.) E believes that everyone she meets is so nice and had no idea that the government was giving $1500 to families as part of the tax relief program (in 2008) even though everyone I know was talking about it.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

You know your 2 year old will be smarter than you when....

She knows the difference between right and left body parts, says, "We're almost home!" when you turn on your street, reminds you to "Be careful!" when you get mad at other drivers or (baba) starts swerving, and she spells her last name with the same ease you do.

We have a local educational channel aimed for middle school to high school level students. I told my husband maybe I should have her watch that and the university channel (always watching in on a computer technology class.) Could you imagine....

I would really never have her watch something that advanced at her age, but children truly are sponges at this age.

Did I mention the 6 month old says, mama, baba, and night, night. He is just now getting a firm grasp on sitting up by himself.

Thursday, December 04, 2008


My mom called this morning. We started talking about Christmas presents. As you can see from the last post I am a very practical person and I know what I want for my kids. We don't celebrate but they do so we are going to see them for the holidays.

Cotton food from "Under the Nile." He can chew on it, she can play with it and have herself a store or cooking party. $26 not cheap, but okay.

Melissa and Doug Lacing beads. She can sort but color or shape and make her own necklace. $10 very affordable.

I talk to my mom and she was thinking about getting them something along the same lines but different.

Not bad or anything. Just more money and it looses half of it's purpose (sorting) and I am not sure Gibo will want to play with it when he is 3.

This for Gibo. $68 from FAO. It is a very cool toy and all, but for a 6 month old I don't see a lot of purpose behind it.

From my mother who in the same call said she is worried about money (she has cancer and will start chemo. soon) The same person who growing up said $50 gifts are the limit and made all three of us go in together to get the orginal Nintendo for Christmas one year.

I guess being a grandma changes everything.....

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

This years toddler "IT" gift

This year if you have a toddler you have just got to get them a kitchen. Almost every toddler parent I know is buying them a kitchen. It's okay if you don't have room, just make room for it. It okay if you can't afford your mortgage and you are thinking of letting your house get forclosed on, just get your kid a kitchen for Christmas because if you don't your 2 year old will hate you and you will be out casted by all of your other cool parent of 2 year old friends.

They range from the table top stoves

to diners

Yeah so guess what Z is getting. $10-15 wood lacing beads. And G? He is getting felt or cotton fruits and/or veggies ($20) so he can chew on them safely.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Chicken Pox with a baby

Gibo will be 6 months this Friday. Last Wednesday it became obvious he had the chicken pox. I thought okay it is just chicken pox, not a big deal. I was so wrong. Emotionally it was so draining.

We went to the doctor on Wednesday. Our usual doctor was not in. The doctor we saw looked at him and wasn't sure what it was and had to go get a second opinion. As we are waiting more and more dots are showing up, they are doubling right before my eyes. They conference with each other and decide it is chicken pox that I gave to him from the shingles that I had (didn't know it was shingles at the time), because they have a 2 week incubation period.

Thursday (Thanksgiving) my husband is home for the weekend to help. Thursday night only Zuzu sleeps. We are up all night with Gibo who is just so upset, uncomfortable and has a 102 fever with Tylenol in him. We changed our bed sheets at least twice that night and gave him an oatmeal bath at 3am to help with the itching.

Zuzu's love for Gibo really started to show through. She wanted to be there with him and confort him when he cried. She would get upset when she couldn't be by his side.

Friday night it became obvious Zuzu had the chicken pox too. Saturday Gibo started getting better and Zuzu worse. Saturday night her eye started getting a little red so for the 3rd time in a week we went back to the doctor. Turns out it went away on it's own and she was fine.

Now we are just waiting for all the sores to scab over so we are no longer contagious and we will pray for minimal scars and that Gibo has magically become immune (even though when babies his age get it they usually don't.)

In all of this I did learn that Gibo is 20 lbs now and my husband not only had the chicken pox as a boy, but the mumps and measles too.

I am happy that Zuzu and Gibo had each other through this and even if we could not make them smile, they could still make each other smile.