Wednesday, June 22, 2011
UP TO SPEED
Hi again, all. Meant to be back yesterday but....well, we all know where good intentions lead.
To catch you up to speed, we have been in our new digs for nearly 5 months now. It's been a process and just when it finally looked like we were settled in, one of B's best friends, 'V', and his family were evicted from the house V grew up in by the spiteful relatives who owned it.
So, his parents and one of his older brothers moved in with some Aunts nearby where they sleep on air mattresses on the floor. Knowing that space was going to be an issue at the already crowded Aunt's house, we invited V and his other older brother, 'P' (whom we'd gotten to know and like) to move in with us temporarily. What we didn't know is that P's seven year old daughter lived with him permanently. Which means, she came with him. Her mother is in the military and is frequently deployed so it was agreed that she would live with P with Z's Mom seeing her as often as she could.
So, what started out as a bigger house with room to spare, ended up with 7 people on top of one another, including B and his girlfriend when they stay here (they divide their time between our house and her parents).
Luckily the seven year old, 'Z', was well behaved and, for the most part, I enjoyed having a little girl around again.
Unfortunately, we didn't realize what a bad father P is and how behind in reading Z was. She is on a Kindergarten reading level and how she passed 1st grade is beyond me.
So, I took her to the library and got her a library card and we checked out some books. So I wouldn't be held responsible for any unreturned books, her dad had to come and fill out the form.
What began as an exciting endeavor for me and for Z, ended up being a chore for her when she quickly lost interest and would rather spend her days with her unemployed Dad (who spent maybe one week looking for a job in the 2 1/2 months they lived here) watching inappropriate T.V. and playing equally inappropriate video games.
The whole thing was an exercise in frustration and my final straw was the last week they were here when I suggested one evening that her and I go read and she said "no". Fine, but when P doesn't reinforce her needing to read (and God forbid, he should read to her) and doesn't back me up, then it became an issue and the 2 1/2 months of them living under my roof rent free, was nearing it's end. And he knew it.
He announced the next day that he and Z would be moving in with his parents at the Aunt's house -- he received no arguments from Ed and I.
Let me just say that I became quite attached to Z and bought her many things in the time she was here to make life a little more fun and comfortable for her being in a strange house with people she didn't really know prior to moving in: arm floaties for the swimming pool, pool rafts, Barbie's, books, book bag with matching wallet (for her new library card), a bathing suit (one piece, thank you! Her old two piece scarcely fit and I deemed it inappropriate, whether it fit or not, for a 7 year old to be in a two piece), bath products, hair things, etc. And, so, when they moved out I was quite sad that he didn't make her say good-bye or 'thank you' to me. They went out the day they moved out and still had more stuff to pack and take with them -- he said they'd be back...but he never brought her back over to see me. She is now with her Mom for the summer.
It was a fine line I walked with not knowing what was our business and what wasn't. With no help in rent or utilities, I likely crossed a line or two deeming it my business to help raise Z right in the short time she was here. Whenever she went with her Mom for the weekend, they always met in a mutual place and I always resented that her Mom NOT ONCE came to pick up or drop off Z at our house to see where her daughter was living and with whom.
Not helping was the food situation -- I, of course, had to spend extra money on food and found it unacceptable when P would give Z a sugary snack 15 minutes before dinner was ready, the end result with her frequently not wanting to eat what I prepared & cooked.
Who could blame her? This is a little girl who would eat super sugary cereal or Hot Cheetos and Slurpees for breakfast and Lunchables for lunch. It also wasn't unusual for her to be given an ice cream and/or soda at 9:30 at night on a school night when she already should have been in bed. In my experience, a 7 year old shouldn't be going to bed at 10:00 and 10:30, more less with a belly full of sugar.
The ONLY thing P contributed to was in buying Z's breakfast & lunch stuff -- although, in fairness, he would frequently buy Ed & I a soda when he went to the store and a gallon of milk about once every two weeks.
No, really, THAT'S IT.
So, it started to become a point of contention. If Ed or I said anything, no matter how delicate we tried, it was met with defensiveness.
Moot point in his mind.
The ONLY thing he contributed work wise around the house was he helped us twice with yard work, never taking the initiative to mow when he saw it needed to be done, ONLY doing things if he knew we were going to be doing it ourselves. I can count on one hand how many times he took out the trash and he did the dishes once. ONCE.
What was supposed to be a temporary living solution, went on for way too long when we realized that NO ONE in their family was in any hurry to find a new home. The parents were quite happily placed at the Aunt's house with no one looking for a new place for them.
V was the only one who saw the need to help out: he frequently does dishes, takes the trash out when he sees it needs it and asks me every day if there's anything I need help with.
Needless to say, he's still here with us and he's welcome to stay for however long he needs.
He and I even went looking for houses to rent for them only for neither of his parents to get pro-active at looking themselves or even bothering to look at any of the links I sent them via E-mail.
V is as frustrated as I am but he knows my frustration doesn't lie with him.
The parents recently announced that they want to now BUY a house but that they need to save up first. Perhaps in the over 2 months they've lived at the Aunts, they should have already been doing that instead of spending a weekend in San Francisco just because, or getting her hair and nails done, going out to eat, going to a Dodger game and this, that and the other.
Must be nice. It's certainly nothing we can do.
V is still happily with us and we're happy to have him for however long it takes for his family to get their shit together. Could be a while.
In happier news, B turned 21 and got accepted to attend UCR in the fall (student loans, here we come).
B on his 21st birthday:
He and his girlfriend are back east right now for a family wedding on her side, something he saved up for. They took a bus trip to New York and spent two days there Monday and Tuesday, getting back to Maryland last night. They did things economically by taking a bus there and back, staying at a hostel in Chelsea (not a HOTEL) and taking the subway.
Neither had ever been to New York and he was thrilled with everything -- they fit in a lot of sites in two days: Ground Zero, Strawberry Fields, Central Park, Statue Of Liberty, Ellis Island, Empire State Building (they didn't go up because it costs money), the infamous Hotel Chelsea and ate at famed sites such as Gray's Papaya and Lombardi's Pizza. The most surprising thing? He said to forget what you think you know about New Yorkers: everyone there was super friendly and helpful to them!
They come back home to California on Monday.
In more happy news, I'd like to introduce you to our twins, Kaya and Kodiak (Kodi):
Kaya and Kodi, like their sister, Juneau, were named after Alaskan cities for their resemblance to Polar bears -- they are five month old Pomeranians and Juneau's full brother and sister.
They have brought Ed, B and I immeasurable joy and have helped with the healing process of losing Juneau.
Ed and Juneau shortly before her leaving us:
Kaya and Kodi are hoppy (not be confused with happy although, they are that, too--as are we!), silly, feisty, loving, very kissy and cuddly, as you can imagine.
They're also quite bark-y (something we're trying to break them of) and are finally starting to get the hang of potty training -- a long process and typical for small breeds.
Sleeping at night is still an issue as they require company or else none of us would get any sleep. They can't sleep in our room as Priscilla (Prissy), our 13 year old feline, really has made it quite clear that she isn't having it -- or them in her domain.
T.J., our 13 year old black Lab, merely tolerates them but otherwise isn't too bothered by Kaya and Kodi.
T.J. and Kodi:
So, I sleep in the living room with them or in B's room when he and his girlfriend aren't here.
It's then and ONLY THEN that I wonder: "What the hell were we thinking???". Then, I get woken up in the morning by sloppy wet kisses and it's then that I know that it's that kind of love and affection that makes all their pain in the ass behavior worth it -- and also that it won't always be like this and much of it they will outgrow with time, consistency and patience.
Other than that, overtime has slowed down, money is tight (do-able, though, but tight) and with other life issues I find myself at times barely coping and recognizing that place I don't want to go back to. So, I keep busy with normal routine stuff (dishes, laundry, watering the yards, puppy love, cooking, watching our favorite shows, etc.) to try and keep my focus. It's something I have to work very hard at maintaining -- it's not something that comes easy. Depression is always there letting me know who's in control and that it can indeed come back at any time.
I'm sure there's much more I've left out but I think I'm going to wrap it up and leave you with my eternal gratitude and thanks for all your caring comments over the past months.
I will try my hardest by weeks end to get back onto the blog and see what is new and happening in your worlds.
Peace & love,