So Far, So Good

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Hound dog, Jul 4, 2013.

  1. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Katie being social and active in the family is just simply amazing. I suppose it sounds awful, but honestly, I never expected to see it to this degree. The effort she is putting in still has me shaking my head in wonder.

    I suppose we'll never know for certain what caused the dramatic change, but it IS dramatic.

    We've spent a LOT of time with Katie recently, especially once school let out for the summer. There are family get togethers and cook outs quite frequently. And out of character of past behavior, Katie is eager to not only participate but to plan such gatherings.

    We did Nichole's bbq the weekend of Nichole's birthday. Nichole had lots of fun things for the kids to do. There was plenty of good food to eat. Evidently Katie was either "in a mood" or something because she reverted back to past behavior and spent the vast part of the day yelling at the kids while refusing to get up from her chair on the patio. Drove us bonkers. Kids paid no attention to her. Thankfully, when there was a last minute family gathering this past weekend.......she was more relaxed and no yelling.

    Katie is treating me to the movies friday night. easy child and family is going, Katie and family and I. 3d triggers katie's migraines and I just plain can't see 3d no matter how hard I try. (never could) So Nichole found a theater not too far that shows the normal version and it also happens to be cheaper at 5.00 per ticket. Katie is splurging for candy for all the kids at dollar tree and then the kids will have popcorn and soda there.

    Yesterday I spent 8 hrs literally shopping. I went in the morning with easy child and the boys as we usually do. Then went out again to take katie to aldi's and to hit the local sales because the meat alone would save her a ton. I paid attention to what she put into her cart. (I do this with my other girls too, making sure grands are eating healthy and moms are getting the best bang for their buck) At aldi she actually needed 2 carts but somehow managed to squeeze it into one. I was glad to see staple foods being the main content and she was really working hard at finding the best prices. Two pennies were 2 pennies saved. Know what I mean?? She bought enough for a small army at aldi's. No joke. Makes me worry they were nearly out of food or out altogether. (although I'd picked up a large ham, 2 cartons of eggs, and bacon for her last week because the prices were a steal and her food stamps didn't load until yesterday). At Kroger and our local market she was careful not to yield to temptation and to stick to the big deals. You'd have thought it xmas morning when I led her to the pork roast for 1.69 a lb and the chicken leg quarters at .59 cent a lb. At the local market she stuck to the hamburger at 1.99 lb.

    She bought an amazing amount of food for actually very little. Katie was stunned. Even more stunned that she still has half her food stamps left for the rest of the month. That and she has more meat in her freezer than she has ever been able to buy before. My car holds a ton of stuff in the huge trunk. At aldi she not only filled the trunk, but the back and front seats with her and kayla also piled high with bags. lol We had to drop the aldi stuff off before going to the other stores. There was no where to put anymore.

    Other than a horrendous amount of soda purchased......although it was all generic and somewhat cheap......I had no objections to her purchases, except she needs to learn to make a list. I'll have to talk to her about the soda though because that is eating away a LOT of her food stamps on just something to drink. I told her now that she has the staples stocked, she can go with easy child and I the rest of the month and just hit the best sale items.

    Katie did listen to me about the powdered milk, finally. (been working with her some time on this one) I think she has been running out of food stamps which has caused her to run out of milk before the end of the month. She bought 4 boxes of powdered milk at aldi. I told her if she doesn't have cause to use it, once she has enough I'll show her how to store it long term so it last for years and she'll always have an emergency store of milk on hand. So maybe it will just take some time with the soda. (that or higher prices)

    I was quite proud of her. Not only was Katie carefully spending her funds but she was firm with Kayla who like any other kid wanted just about everything she saw. Any other time I've shopped with katie with her kids she has caved to just about every request. :)

    This weekend Katie is "hosting" Kayla and Alex's birthday bbq at my house. (late due to lack of funds) Due to Alex's request, instead of a store bought cake Nichole will make the from scratch cake she made at Easter. What Alex doesn't know is it will have a Batman theme. lol Katie and M are doing spare ribs (holy moly!) for adults and hotdogs for the kids. easy child volunteered her potato salad and mixed fruit. I'm providing drinks which will be kool aide (grands recently discovered this amazing drink lol ) and lemon aide. This is the way we always do it. There are just too many in the family now for one family to provide all the food.

    I gave Katie and M mother in law's cherry coffee table, once a gorgeous table that Nichole and her husband ruined back in their teen years. (yes, I nearly killed them) M took great care sanding it down and made it beautiful again, he just needs to stain and finish it. I was amazed. He was so proud of himself. He said he used to help his grandpa do a lot of woodworking when he was a kid. He was excited when I asked him if he'd help Nichole and I refinish the floor in the dining room. Turns out he's done that many times too. He also got bored while we were away shopping and cleaned. I don't mean cleaned like a man cleans..........I mean the place was utterly spotless. He even washed down the kitchen table and chairs (mother in law's) that Nichole gave them with Murphey's oil soap. It wasn't messy to being with........but it's what he does when he's bored. Since he is lucky to get 1 day a wk at the restaurant, he is bored and restless most of the time. easy child gave them her basically new sofa, it just needed cleaned, because she was taking Nichole's modular unit due to needing more seating. It cleaned up nicely.

    Both Katie and M are coming over to help me clean and organize the family room now that most of the clutter is gone. M wants to help me with yard work too. Katie has volunteered to help me wash walls. I've been invited to their apartment anytime Travis and I need to escape the heat. (they don't pay utilities and their apartment has AC)

    M......and most of you know this.........I never expected to genuinely like. I mean honestly like. His IQ is low, he is illiterate for the most part, he's stuck at about age 14.....but the more I get to know him, the more there is to like about the man. He works as hard as he can for his family. There is no doubt in my mind he not only loves Katie but he adores her. He positively shines with the love he has for his children. M has experienced very little true family life and that was when he was very young. I can tell by the way he talks about life with his grandpa......that his grandpa had truly loved him and tried hard to teach him good family values. A shame the man passed away while M was still young causing him to enter the foster care system where he only had one bad experience after another. If I find something to praise M for he just beams like a little kid, I swear. It can just be something small and he reacts the same way. He is lowering his defenses and opening up........and I can tell he is eating up this family centered environment as much as his children.

    Katie is also opening up and letting her defenses down. She can tell me she had to shut off cable because she could no longer afford the bill and this or that when she'd make up a silly excuse or lie before. She speaks up for herself more and let's us know how she feels about things. I'm relieved to see the Munchhausen type behavior with both her and the kids basically gone now. Real conversations take place instead, however short they might be.

    With the Kayla rebellion? Katie has stuck to her guns and it is working. It may not be long and Kayla might be able to regain some of her social life. Her attitude has shifted. Not to say she won't try typical teen stuff and that can change as she test boundaries again.......But she had gotten so mouthy with Katie she was in great risk of her Nana backhanding her in the mouth. (my hand often has a mind of it's own when it comes to that)

    Oh, and katie and I are trading "poor man" recipes. She actually has some rather good ones and several I want to try once I have a chance to write them down. She was stunned I ask her. I told her, somehow you managed to feed your family in a motel room with a wok and a at best a had to come up with something. LOL

    Only sad part of all this is that her Dad is not here to get to know his adult eldest daughter for the woman she is becoming. I know he knows, but he can't tell her how proud I know he must be with the progress she has made.
  2. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    This post has me beaming! I'm so glad to hear how well things are going!
  3. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Wonderful holiday post. I'm so happy for you all. DDD
  4. ctmom05

    ctmom05 Member

    Maybe "M" is going to start meaning something else besides "Moron Man?"
  5. Hopeless

    Hopeless ....Hopeful Now

    What a great post to read about Katie and the family.
  6. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Lisa... another one for the "stupid ideas" category...
    Maybe M needs a side-line job. Such as... refinishing damaged 2nd-hand stuff that he can then sell on e-bay or something. Might need a bit of help finding the right stuff to refinish, and maybe some help from Travis or whoever with the selling, but it might be a source of income. Especially once he has a couple of jobs to "show off" - two tables now, your floor will be another.

    In tough times, people will take a chance more than they otherwise would.
  7. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Chris........time will tell, although I stopped thinking of him as Moron Man quite a while back. lol

    IC that is a good idea. :) I'll have to coach him on not pricing too high though, because this area is really economically depressed right now.

    What I'm waiting to see is that now katie has no need to use M as her scape goat.........and I do think while he may not admit it that he may suspect it........what will develop. I wonder as M feels himself being accepted by an extended family unit if it will give him the courage to branch out of his comfort zone that is very strictly limited. Same for Katie in many respects.

    The kids? They are just plain eating all this up like starving children. There are lots of years to make up for.
  8. Liahona

    Liahona Guest

    What a great wonderful post! So glad your family is happy.
  9. What a great post! I'm so happy that things are going so well for your family. It really sounds like Katie had an 'aha' moment recently and it's done wonders for her. And M sounds like a great guy who is going to take a lot longer to mature because of his background. But he too seems to be on his way.

    *Thank you for sharing!
  10. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    The difference between pop and koolaid... I can't stand koolaid. Had too much of it when I was broke and first out of the house... And even so, the dyes they use tend to be a problem for some of my friends, so I only get the lemonaid kind. And, frankly, I've watched Jett make it - 1 cup of sugar is too much, to me - he'll put 2-3 cups in. WWWWHHHHEEEWWW. Ugh.
    Even so - I buy pop on sale, canned, because a 2-liter is a waste - it goes flat before I can drink it, and I cannot STAND flat pop. Besides, when 144 oz in cans is $2.50 and a 2-liter is $1.49... It's cheaper by the ounce to buy cans. (1.7 cents vs 2.2 cents)
  11. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    It is completely and utterly WONDERFUL to hear your updates on Katie and M lately. The difference that real security makes in a person's life and an entire family's life is extraordinary.

    For the powdered milk, you can do a LOT with it. Homemade mixes are much easier because you add water instead of milk plus you can add it to items that don't call for milk or already have milk in them and it increases the calcium, vit D and protein in a very real yet unforced way. Given Katie's age and Kayla's age esp, this can be very important. For Katie it can help stave off osteoporosis or osteopoenia (the stage just before osteoporosis). For Kayla it can help make up for lack of nutritious foods in her earlier years and make sure her bones become as sturdy as possible now when it can make a real difference in her life later. I thank my lucky stars and my mom because my mom did this quite often.

    One way to make powdered milk more palatable is to mix it with milk and change to it gradually. Sadly in my area the powdered milk is at least twice the cost of fresh milk so there is no savings to stocking up with it. A major tip to make the kids not completely reject the powdered milk is to let it sit overnight before using it. It helps get rid of the powdered milk taste and it can make kids not really notice it on cereal. Speaking as a total picky eater, I never really noticed it on cereal if it sat overnight. And I noticed almost every darn thing about my food. My poor mother, sigh.

    Has M ever thought about refurbishing furniture for some extra money? Or making small woodworking projects to sell? there are some items that would sell well at craft fairs, flea markets etc... and could be made from scraps or wood gotten from taking apart furniture from dumps or thrift store rejects or pallets. It might involve investment into some tools, and maybe using a garage or shed if he can borrow one, but it could end up wtih good money. Gfgbro is incredible at refinishing furniture. I have a dresser that we had all my life and it was nothing special. now? WOW. Maple does NOT sell here but I have had offers of two to three hundred dollars from dealers for it. My mom had one in and he freaked over it and a couple of other pieces that bro refinished. Those were not for sale, of course. He could use freecycle for furniture others do not want and fix them up to sell. It can be a way to stay busy and to earn a bit of money.

    M might also be able to work as a cleaner. Houses are one thing, but depending on if he has any criminal record he might be able to work for someone who cleans offices. It is not easy work, but for those with limitations it can be a very good job. Is he eligible for help from the Dept of Vocational Rehabilitation? Here they will work with someone who is borderline mentally disabled and help with finding a job and learning how to do it well. Just a thought.

    Have to chuckle on Kayla's mouth. I understand that hand having a mind of it's own in regard to this.

    The Tightwad Gazette has out of date numbers but it does explain how to work out the cost of things and figure out if 2 liters, cans, etc... of soda are the best deal, etc.... It might provide a way for Katie to learn these things if you show her the way the costs are worked out in the book and have her work out today's costs with you. NOT something to do at the store, but at home before you go or at a different time. Otherwise it would be overwhelming.
  12. scent of cedar

    scent of cedar New Member

    Thank you for posting, Lisa. It's easy to become discouraged ~ and when things are going well with our children, we tend not to post about that.

    I am so pleased for you, Lisa!