Open Session

Becoming a better parent through open discussion of parenting issues

I wish I were invited… December 28, 2011

Filed under: Family — aprilgrant @ 2:23 pm

But ultimately glad I wasn’t.

Being in my family, I’m left out a lot. Regularly not invited to lunches or other outings. I try not to be offended, but its really hard not to be. On maternity leave and nursing and not having any stored milk, there are plenty of reasons to not be invited. Although I’m not sure those are why I’m not.

But after hearing about the on goings at various lunches, ie shit-talking and other negativity, sometimes I’m glad I’m not invited. I’m far from the most positive person in the world, but some situations are just sad. After a certain point, I’m not sure how you can feel good about discussing other family members without discussing resolutions.

My family isn’t in the best of places financially and a lot of them lack the knowledge or desire to get themselves out, so talking about their situation is just mean. When I hear about some of the things talked about, I feel bad for all those involved.

I’m glad I stayed home with my new one.


Christmas Day December 26, 2011

Filed under: Christmas,Family,General — aprilgrant @ 2:31 pm

Such a wonderful day. My son’s eyes open with merriment and excitement. My sister (the same age as my son) is happily opening similar gifts. Because of their age proximity, they receive a lot of the same things.

The tree, that has been on for almost everyday since we put lights on, shines in the background. I wish it was cold. Although we are in So Cal, we can have cold Christmases. This year, not so lucky. A lukewarm 65 degrees on Christmas morning.

It was delayed because my mother went to second service, and didn’t return home until 11. Then it was rushed because my sister’s father had called to meet to give his daughter her Christmas present. Unwrapping took about 30 minutes, then everyone left for a couple of hours.

My son and husband played catch in the backyard with brand new gloves and a ball. I relaxed because, let’s be honest, I did just have a baby and still on pain meds. My head spins sometimes from lightheadedness. It was nice to have a quick evacuation of the house. I could spend time with my own family, just for a little bit.

Upon their return (mom, sisters and brother who all left to go eat breakfast), my mom and the little kids made a rice Krispies igloo. Sugar-filled and overly sweet.

My mother broke a dish. Then something happened that never did before. She apologized and showed me the dish she broke. Now this is something obvious in most families. It’s not normal in mine. Over the years, my mother specifically has used my things up, broken them, given them away, an when asked, completely denies she knows what happened to them. She would deny until she saw that I didn’t give up on asking, then say something like ‘oh, that broke long time ago’. As if that would make me feel better. It may have, if I didn’t spend a week or two trying to find it and think that I was going crazy when I couldn’t find it. So this was HUGE! She may have really changed.

She actually seemed semi-remorseful. I love the dish, but there’s nothing I can do after the fact. The apology was enough.

Then my uncle had a family dinner. I couldn’t get a clear answer on how many others would be there or who would be there, and normally I don’t care, but with a brand new newborn, I didn’t want to have too many people around or be running upstairs to tend to the baby every few seconds. So we didn’t go. My sister, who was planning on grabbing a plate then leaving, stayed until late for many hours.

She sent me a text around 5 and said I should come, but that would’ve required a shower and hair done. A good hour or two to get ready, then a half an hour drive, just didn’t seem worth it.

So, hubby and I finished up the night watching Tree of Life, Hall Pass and the last installment of Pirates. It was a great day!


Christmas Morning December 25, 2011

Filed under: Christmas,Family,Holidays — aprilgrant @ 9:04 am

This is a rambling post. Lots of thoughts are going through my head.

As I sit here feeding my Christmas gift, in the bedroom, waiting for my husband to return from church, I think about the last few days.

My mother has changed. My family has come together for the first time in years. I enjoyed myself.

We haven’t opened presents yet. My son patiently watches television.

I am happy, but wondering what will happen next.

My mother wanted us to discuss the reason for the season, what we would give the Lord, followed by recognizing and being thankful for the blessings in our life My husband led the evening as ‘the man of the house’ and the Christian man that he is. We went around the room sharing our thoughts and feelings.

The part that was the most troubling was that my sister openly said that she was thankful for her now ex-boyfriend’s mother and her education, with no mention of my mother (or the family for that matter).

As mich flak as I get for not making my mother feel ‘motherly’ or that I don’t call or give her enough attention, I think it’s very confusing that her words of not being thankful for anyone in our family ( all ok for me, because I know I haven’t been there), seem cutting. How do you sit next to your mom and not thank you or consider a blessing. Maybe its just me.

What do you think? Is it harsher to make it known that you’re not a fan if someone, or wait until a touching moment and basically act as though they don’t exist?


Winter Break December 21, 2011

Filed under: Family — aprilgrant @ 8:15 pm

Of course, I don’t have a winter break. I’m actually on maternity leave. But my sister is on break from college.

My sister and I haven’t been on great terms and as she becomes an adult, I hope that’ll change more. She recently broke up with her long term boyfriend. Normally during breaks, she’s stayed with her bf and his family. It’s been like that since she left home.

So I jumped at the opportunity for her to spend some serious time with me and my family. She hadn’t met my daughter and it had been some time since she spent time with my son, her nephew. A week in and it’s going great, I think. At least it is for me. It’s nice having her here.


8 observations in 10 days December 20, 2011

Filed under: Children,Family — aprilgrant @ 6:05 pm

My daughter is a whopping ten days old. She is wonderful and entertaining to watch for hours in end (so weird). But I’ve also noticed all sorts of other things:

1. Wearing hand-me-down boy clothes and having my first girl means that I call her ‘him’ a lot. I don’t mean to nor do I wish she was, but those blue clothes trick the brain so easily.

2. Husbands adore their daughters. I don’t recall my son being this intriguing to my husband. If I put her down, he picks her up.

3. Babies can be really strong. If she’s awake, she has complete control of her neck. She can hold herself up, sorta. She doesn’t like being on her tummy and doesn’t stay on it. She pushes herself over. She’s one string little girl. She shakes her head when she doesn’t want her pacifier. It’s adorable and weirdly scary at the same time. She’s only a few days old!

4. She looks amazingly like her brothers and not all at the same time. Genetics are funny. She’s completely the ‘girl’ version.

5. Ceseareans may be convenient, but they aren’t easy. Its still surgery where they cut you open There are so many things that I want to do but can’t. All my excess energy is poured into her.

6. Me and her ‘click’. All she does is a little cry, I come get her, she quiets right down. When she screams with dad, she doesn’t with me. It’s so cute.

7. I still find myself enamored. She’s softening around the edges, spending time awake, taking in her surroundings, looking for the best place to focus in the room.

8. Babies are so tiny. I don’t recall my boys ever being this small. She’s the size of a football. They grow up so fast.

I tried to come up with 10 things but couldn’t. Thought the post title would’ve been catchier. Mainly because I’ve been a little tired.


Life is Precious December 14, 2011

Filed under: Children,Family — aprilgrant @ 3:40 am

As I sit here in the middle of the night, as a lot of new mommies do, I reminisce back to the last time I did midnight mommy duties. No matter how how I try, I can’t help but to think of how life would be different with a third child and how most of each day is consumed by making sure she’s ok.

Whether you believe in date, destiny, God, ‘things happen for a reason’, I can’t shake the truth that I could’ve, should’ve, lost a son who would be four. Another set of feet running through the house, more teaching and learning, more frustration, but most of all, more hugs and kisses. There are days when I’m paralyzed with fear that I’ll do something and she’ll go away. There’s no particular thing because I didn’t do anything the last time.

I’ve started to realize the frustration I’ve had with other parents who solicit help and prayers from virtual strangers and virtual friends online while they are struggling. I’m angry. I’m angry that they have the opportunity to get the love and support from others where I won’t be able to. Not that people don’t care, but now it becomes more of an apologetic conversation. It’s too late to ask for sympathy, it’s too late to ask for prayers, it’s too late to do anything for Alexander because he’s gone. Nothing can bring him back. Nothing can save him and nothing can save me from the pain.

I can’t go back now. And these parents did something I didn’t do and wasn’t. They were brave enough to share their story, to let others know they weren’t alone, to seek help and guidance, to seek a community of support of people who understood and people who didn’t. Four years later, where do I go? I wasn’t ready then, not sure I’m ready now, but it just seems too late.

Now looking at this small little girl, I can’t help but to be reminded how precious and fleeting life can be.


I just melted… December 12, 2011

Filed under: Children,Family,Mothering — aprilgrant @ 11:23 am

I had my daughter, Brielle, on Friday. I fell in love. The anxiety of her future is still there but she is beautiful. I love my son, but there is something about this little girl that has me enamored.

Pictures to come!