My baby sisters visit - question!

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Mattsmom277, Dec 6, 2010.

  1. Mattsmom277

    Mattsmom277 Active Member

    Hi everyone. I'm still ultra excited to finally meet my baby sister in person and have her spend more than a week with us over the holidays. I love that she's so thrilled too and I guess that whole in my heart where she wasn't all those years I wondered about her is just filling up and eating up every bit of her enjoyment too.

    I've pretty much got us doing a few activities she should enjoy over her visit, most time though will be spent just getting to know each other without pressure and spending time at home quietly as we all establish a relationship. I feel so lucky that her and my easy child are only 8 months apart in age. Having a tween here for her to bunk with and to do tween stuff will hopefully help her feel more comfortable too. Her and easy child are learning more and more about each other by chatting online and seem quite natural and at ease with other already so that helps too.

    I'm trying to decide on what to do regarding Christmas gifts. I know she doesn't have/get much at home. I don't want to spoil her absolutely rotten, plenty of time to do nice things for her Know what I mean?? But I do want thoughtful special gifts.

    My family is all chipping in to get one single present from all of them, a psp which she's asked for 2 years in a row and won't be getting this year at home. I can't believe the kindness and warmth from my family (aunt and 3 cousins) towards her already, she will be meeting them when she is here. I won a gift card to a nearby store that I plan to attach to the extended families gift, that will allow her to go buy a game when she's here to play on the new psp.

    From me as a personal gift, I'm going to find a nice picture frame. The ones with some sort of "sisters" saying on them, something not too grown up yet not "kiddie". I plan to take a ton of pictures while she is here, and before she leaves I will have a good one processed to put in the frame before she leaves. Just the two of us. I'm going to buy a matching frame for me and put in the same picture.

    easy child is going to pick out a pair of pj's for her. S/O and difficult child are going to give her 2 movie passes and a gift card for treats, that she and I can use on a "sister" date while she is visiting.

    I would like to find a couple more ideas for things that are more personal from me to her. Can't be too pricey but would like them to be special, if that makes sense. I think with the psp and game from my family, that covers toys. So I'm unable to think of anything else that might be personal and special. I guess I really want the meaning to be there, to make her feel good when she uses it or sees it etc.

    I've considered one of those gold chain sets where you each get half the heart to keep. I've considered a little gold ring (just a 10K), a sisters pride perhaps, with myself and my bro on either side of her birthstones. We get deals here for jewelry at the nearby Zellers that puts prices down to 50-75% all jewelry at this time of year so the price could be low. I just don't know if she is a jewelry kind of girl (although her photos strike me as very girly).

    Any other ideas or thoughts? I guess in future years I'll just do her wish list type thing. But this year I just want to pick "the right thing".
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2010
  2. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Her most valuable gift of all is just going to be spending time with you.

    I don't know about her family life back home but if there is any risk at all of jewelry getting pawned if it gets "lost" I'd be a bit hesitant. Not due to the cash, but due to the high sentimental value it is going to have to her.

    We're having the same sort of issues back here with the grands. We want to make this year extra special, but due to circumstances we've had to redirect our enthusiasm for the most part to creating lasting memories instead of loading them down with gifts they many not get to keep long term. So we're "gifting" them the family traditions : shopping for gifts for other family members, baking cookies, making presents and decorations for the house, watching classic xmas movies with popcorn and homemade cocoa, driving around looking at xmas lights while listening to xmas carols.........still hoping for snow on xmas eve so they can go out and play in it lol, getting all dressed up for the xmas dinner............

    I did get them toys and clothes from their lists. But the memories they will be able to carry with them for the rest of their lives regardless of what the future brings.

    I have a feeling your sis isn't coming for presents. She is coming to be with her family and her sister, to share the holiday together. While being a kid the presents are part of that, but I have a feeling it's not that big a part. Know what I mean??

  3. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    I know you all are so excited but I'm thinking maybe I wouldn't overwhelm her with "sister" and as far as gift giving, treat her like any other 12 yo girl, with a little "special" tossed in there.

    Instead of jewelry get her some small gifts that typical 12yo girls might enjoy--furry gloves, nail polish, popular book, new bag etc. Personally I'd hand her the famed picture on the way out the door instead of as a gift. in my opinion, picture frames and sister's pride jewelry would probably be more appropriate as gifts for you and probably not be where the typical 12 yo girl is at.

    I have a 12 yo daughter and I'm thinking that's how she'd prefer things.
  4. Mattsmom277

    Mattsmom277 Active Member

    You both have good advice to offer, thank you :)

    I dont' at all want to overwhelm her with "stuff". I think the idea of giving the frame to her just "because" on the day I put her on the bus home is a great one. Thanks for mentioning it, its a brilliant plan!!!

    I know too that she really is just looking forward to spending time here, and that is definitely the emphasis I feel too. We have some pretty set in stone family things we do through the holidays too. The movies in pjs camped out with treats at night, she asked to do some baking, we should have fun with the Kinect and rock band, plus we play a lot of board games etc during holidays. I really do think those will be the things that matter most even to her at her age.

    The picture frame thing is because she took a photo of me from her facebook and used her computer to merge the picture with one of her and made one of those digital frames with the words Sisters Love Forever on it. So I thought she'd enjoy having one for her in her room.

    I hadn't even thought of something getting "lost" under iffy circumstances. I'm not thinking it would happen but her moms boyfriend is a addict and one never knows really. So I'm going to go with the idea of the girly things like hair stuff, lip gloss, etc. I wish I knew her better to know if she likes that kind of stuff, or what colors she likes for cute gloves etc.
  5. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    The colors I see the girls at school wearing are hot pink, purple, or animal prints. Maybe pink leopard or purple zebra? And a scarf. An assortment of bright colored knee socks, maybe.
  6. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    I was in my early 20s when I learned I had a half-sister ten years younger than me. We learned pretty quick the kind of thing suited both our humors.

    Maybe just keep a close watch on what catches her fancy while you're out with her, maybe at the mall or whatever, rather than locking yourself into buying something before she gets there.
  7. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    I'd spend one day baking with her and send home a box of treats with her. Maybe make a gingerbread house or something else "traditional" since I doubt she's had much normal holiday rituals up to this point.
  8. Mattsmom277

    Mattsmom277 Active Member

    I was online with my sis tonight and asked for her mom to use the messenger program to finalize details. It was illuminating to talk to her, she literally just started blurting out stuff that I'd never in a million years have asked my sister or her mother or anyone. I was pretty shocked.

    1. She still seems to blame her oldest daughter for the younger two going into foster care. This all for coming forward at abuse going on from my father when nobody was around. ARGH! That poor young woman. She's I think 19-20 now and how sad to have no mother in her life or her sisters, all for being brave enough to reach out and tell.

    2. Child protection has indeed put into affect an order that my father can have zero contact with my sister. This is a big deal. Thank goodness!

    3. Mother had my father abusing her, left him for another man who abused her, he was arrested. Then she met another guy this year, he abused her. She is now back in with the man after my father that abused her. She has court Friday against the third guy. She told me my sister was around for the abuse so "has had a tough year". Understatement?

    4. My sister is a difficult child with her mom but does well elsewhere. Do ya think?

    5. Child protection had closed the file. Both girls (my sister and her half sister who is 16 now) got into fights at school one day, 2 days after child protection had closed a file that was ongoing for more than a year. The worker showed back up and is still involved. (This is good, that they are involved)

    6. There is concern that although the 16 year old can't be yanked out any longer due to age, that my sister may be at some point, especially if the current Prince Charming abuses her again. I'll be contacting that worker once again to let her know my sister and I are building a good relationship and that I stand firm she is welcome here if something happens and she is removed.

    7. My sister told me her older sister, the 19 year old, spoiled her (not in "stuff", just with time, attention etc) and she hasnt' had that now for 2 years, her words "My having a big sister expired 2 years ago" And she put a sad face icon. Then said "Lucky for me I have a new one that won't expire for a while" and she put a happy face. I told her I'm sorry she must miss her other big sister. I assured her that there is no "expiration" with me, since I"m a adult etc. That I'm here for her anytime and she can always count on me. (Which she darn tootin can!)

    8. Her mom claims to own a house which isn't in the town they are in now with the b/f. And she's been homeless and couch hopping since beginning of summer. Odd much?

    Gosh, I wanna hug her and keep her. I'll settle for loving her tons and building a strong bond over time at her pace. *sigh* She reminds me of me as a kid
  9. nvts

    nvts Active Member

  10. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    Sounds like giving her a solid and healthy family to be able to communicate with, use as an example, and be welcomed by would be the best gift you can give her.
  11. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I'm thrilled for you and hope everything is terrific during the visit. Based on the information you've provided I think it might be wise to hang back (just a little, lol) until a few low key days have passed. I absolutely am not trying to stiffle your loving plans but as a former Guardian Ad Litem I believe it is possible that your little sister may have some emotional baggage that is not apparent from a distance. As the communication with her Mom indicated she has lived with alot of turmoil, attachment problems and probably broken dreams. Playing it be ear may be the best way to assure her comfort.

    Now I have given unsolicited advice, lol, I'd like to offer one more thought. If she lives in a frugal environment she may be uncomfortable receiving presents from everyone and not being able to give gifts. Perhaps she and your easy child could go shopping together at a nice dollar store. That's where I took my children to shop as it was simple and fun for them. Then
    she would have gifts to wrap and give and feel more like a participant instead of a guest. I've always been amazed at what a variety of gifts are available at these $ contained stores. easy child would be a help for her in choosing since she doesn't know the family well yet.

    I don't know a soul who is more excited about the holidays than you are. I hope this is the BEST one ever! DDD
  12. Mattsmom277

    Mattsmom277 Active Member

    Thanks DDD, I hadn't thought of that! easy child won't be here for a few days initially. difficult child will of course come out to say hi and stuff, but he hangs in the "bat cave" of his bedroom. So it's going to be easy going for a few initial days which will be nice. I think its a great idea if she seems bummed or noticing being unable to gift back, to give her and easy child some time shopping. There's a nearby nicer dollar store and if I give the money to easy child and get them to shop for "joint" gifts, perhaps we can do a little gift exchange instead of her just receiving. Hadn't even considered that. I think the day I'm a bit concerned for her comfort level is New Year's eve since I have my cousin, her b/f and her son coming over, plus my aunt is stopping by. I've asked my aunt to come a few hours ahead of my cousin, she isn't staying for a family game night or dinner anyhow. So it'll just be us here and her stopping by for coffee, so it will be relaxed. And my cousin and I spoke and I've asked her to speak to her son who is in his teens and a great kid, about being low key when meeting Josie and letting her set the tone. If she seem shy or awkward, give her space. If she's more happy go lucky and into doing stuff with him and easy child right away, great. I've also asked my cousin to explain that perhaps for a bit us adults will play cards in the kitchen and maybe just let the kids take over the living room. Having just easy child, my sis and my cousins son might make it easier, especially with a Kinect and Rock band to distract them and keep socializing based on gaming (my sis loves gaming).

    I'm glad I'm perceptive and I absolutely want to go with the flow based on how she feels and seems. easy child and I have talked about it too. Since they've been burning up the internet chat program though, they are seeming thick as thieves so hopefully the initial awkward thing goes away quickly.

    And yes, I'm pretty excited lol. Regardless of any bumps, nothing but good can come from spending time with her. Gosh I cried wondering about her and safety and thinking for over 10 years she'd never even know she had a sister.