Open Session

Becoming a better parent through open discussion of parenting issues

Gift Giving January 1, 2012

Filed under: Blogging,Christmas,Family — aprilgrant @ 5:39 pm

I meant to get this out before today, now that we’re on a new leaf.

So, what do you think about gifts with strings attached? Have you received them? What did you do with them?

As an example, my mother’s gift to me and everyone in the family was a daily devotional. A devotional is a book of prayers meant to be read on a regul



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?


Hanging my Stockings for Christmas December 9, 2011

Filed under: Christmas,Family — aprilgrant @ 7:15 pm

When we picked out our Christmas tree at Home Depot, I checked out their Decorations section. Over the last few years, I have missed hanging our stockings. As a renter, putting nails in the banister for a once-a-year event, especially since we had typically put up our tree about a week before Christmas. I didn’t realize until this year that we didn’t even have stockings!

At Home Depot (which seems like one of the few places that carry stocking hangers, including online), they were $10 each. I knew they were a bit expensive, especially for the limited use. Of course, my husband solidified the decision by basically declaring ‘Hell No’ in the middle of the store. He was mildly considering it when he thought about purchasing three – him, me, son. Then, I reminded him of our newborn to come. He laughed, shook his head, said his peace and walked out. So a cheaper version has to be born.

I can be creative, but my style is extremely unique. I typically don’t copy what I see or try to replicate it. So, instead of $10 each, my stocking hangers ended up being less than $3. I can’t give an actual amount because I repurposed some of the pieces, to cut down on cost.

Piece of slate: $0.38 each. I chose slate because it had some weight to a small size.
Hook: $0.85 each
Metal/concrete epoxy: $4.00
Ornament: free (already had; repurposed)
Ribbon: $0.99
Glue gun and stick: free (already had)

First, I bonded the hook to the concrete using the Metal-Concrete Epoxy. This epoxy is made especially to bond these two materials together. It took eight minutes to set, but recommended 24 hours to fully bond. I waited the full 24 hours. I don’t want any gifts to be too heavy and tear the hook off.

Next, I glued the ornament to the top of the concrete.

Then, I made bows out of the ribbons and glued them to the hooks.

And voila! Stocking hangers! All for under $3 each.