Friday, April 9, 2010

Unlike bottles, there is no cash deposit upon return.

A pet peeve of mine. Folks, the kids aren't store merchandise. ARRRRRGGGGGHHHH!

Previously, I've made my feelings clear at the bottom of this post. The child. Oh my heart.

The decline.

Nearly 5 years ago, my grandmother was diagnosed with Stage 4 Small Cell Lymphoma. The diagnosis came about purely by accident. Grandma's dentures weren't fitting correctly and I took her to have them refit. When the dentist was inspecting why the change of fit, he found that grandma had a tumor on the roof of her mouth. He was slightly panicked and very animated when he was explaining his finding. He referred us to an oral surgeon and off we went.

Dr. B- thought that Grandma's growth was nothing. "I'm sure it is nothing, but I'm going to biopsy it just in case."

It came back malignant.

When consulting with the oncologist, he talked to Grandma about her cancer. "Is it going to kill me?" "Probably not. Something else probably will first." "How long do I have?" "Probably 10 years." "Oh, well, I'm 87 now and I can't imagine making it to 97 anyhow."

She was relieved. She was going to live a fullish Grandma life. She had radiation for a while which kind of messed with her tasties, goofed with her hair and made her noodle slightly soft. It's okay. It was nothing drastic.

Over the years, Grandma has done okay. They did put her on some Alzheimer's medications a few years ago and they made her ill. If there was a side effect listed, she suffered from it. Frankly, I think that the radiation that was given to her to shrink the growth on the roof of her mouth kind of cooked some of Grandma's brain.

Last summer, Grandma was having some issues. She kept falling, was ill and whatnot. She ended up having a urinary tract infection or something close to that, which landed her in a nursing home for some rehab.

Grandma never really bounced back from that.

Fast forward to now. A few weeks ago, my grandmother's health aide called to my aunt's attention a large sore that was in Grandma's mouth. She made an appointment to have it checked out. The oncologist gave Grandma the once over and discovered a growth in her right breast. He scheduled a biopsy.

My aunt called me today to bring me up to speed on what was going on. When the biopsy was mentioned, I asked that it be considered unnecessary. I also asked that though I am not legally in charge of Grandma's care, that radiation and chemotherapy be considered not an option.

I'm pleased to say that all are going to be skipped.

Grandma is 92 1/2. She has lived a very full life. Grandma has taken such a marked decline over the last 9 months, that I don't truly believe that any treatment at this point would buy her any quality of life. In fact, quantity of life would probably be diminished.

We rode this train with my aunt about a year and a half ago. My aunt died of brain cancer. More specifically, she died from a glioblastoma of the temporal lobe. When she was told that the cancer had started back up again, she chose to start chemotherapy again. She knew that chemotherapy was only going to buy her a minimal amount of time and that she was risking it putting her straight into a coma. While that didn't happen, I can tell you that if it bought her any time, it was truly only very minimal. She was still my aunt and I supported her decision. She made it of sound mind.

I'm sad that we are walking this road with Grandma. I called my sister, brother and mom and informed all of them of the change in Grandma's condition. Mom prayed with me. Our prayer? That Grandma not suffer.

Cancer sucks.

Smiles in my day:
- K- had a wonderful spring break play date with her friend, B-. We had a hike in a local park planned, but the rain came through and we rolled to our fall back-- McD's Play Place. Turns out that kids from both school and church rotated in and out during the 3 1/2 hours we stayed. She had so much fun and was one giant sweat ball when we left. I had her take a bath when we got home. She had to wash the Play Place and all of her hotness off.
- Going over K-'s childhood with her thus far to create her time line with her. My heavens, there were so many photo books and photo disks to go through. Wow.
- Mrs. Grass' "sick" noodle soup for dinner. K- ended up with a monster stomach ache this afternoon. I attribute it to drainage from the very high pollen count, but being on high alert for vomit (as you know K- is generally pretty prone), we opted for "sick crackers" (saltines) and "sick" noodle soup. The soup hit the spot.
- My seedlings went a little dry after a hot snap that we had this week. I watered them and talked to them. They perked back up and they are okay. Whew!
- A play date planned with my friend, Kim, and her two kids tomorrow. We'll swing by to see Grandma in the AM and have lunch with Kim and fam.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Children, unattended.

Rachael brought up some good questions about the children's behavior that we encountered in the gallery Tuesday. Here is what I can tell you:

1. They were teenagers (mostly) and their parents deposited them in our store (the sister store to the gallery) so that they could go shopping while the kids played around.
2. The kids picked up, touched, twirled around, knocked over, left in a variety of places merchandise from the store. Now, I get paid to display things and moving things around is something that happens. It isn't that big of a deal. However, we had one girl that decided to take our bells off of the door (not for sale) and wrap them around her waist to shake about. It was lovely.
3. These children were never taught the concept of "look with your eyes." It was a continued trend on through today. Any button that can be pushed was. If something flips, slurps, twirls or spins, they will try it. It is like there is absolutely no restraint. The parents don't tell them no.
4. A child was bouncing/running through the store, all the while his mother was following behind him. She said nothing.

Julia and I discussed the behavior. She just came back from Greece, where she had to tell the kids that she was helping to chaperon that, "Sales are very aggressive here, so if you touch it, you pretty much have just bought it."

I didn't notice the intense touching of everything until Julia came along. You know, she is right.

The children of Tuesday didn't flinch when I had to give the "mom look" occasionally. They also didn't seem to be bothered when I was constantly underfoot with my Swiffer in hand.

I think that kids are very different from when even I went to high school. Kids today are more bold. The children of Tuesday walked around as if it was a badge of entitlement.

It isn't just the kids, though. It is spring break here, so kids are coming with parents in tow. Sometimes, the parents are just as clueless and disrespectful as the kids.

I've wondered if it is a regional thing or a societal shift? Are kids (not all mind you) really more unruly now than they were before? I know that I was a dorkily obnoxious teen. I wasn't unruly, though.

So I ask, what do you think? How are kids (all ages) in comparison to the days of your youth?

Smiles in my day:
- Having new merchandise to display and gluing to do to keep me busy all day.
- Getting a few play dates scheduled for K- so that her spring break won't be boring after all. (She cut out telling me that she was bored when I told her to take a time out the other day. She asked for me to reconsider because she had decided that she was "unbored after all." I told her that when we were kids and we told my mom that we were bored, she gave us funky, out-of-the-ordinary housework jobs to do to "unbored" us.)
- Clean laundry piled on my bed, ready to be put away.

Have a great day!

She wrote and wrote, then Blogger told her that she wrote too much in the comments. From Rachael:

Okay, my opinions, for what they're worth.

First of all, parents today want to raise their children in a "democracy", where the children have a say in what goes on in the house. Our home? A dictatorship and *I'm* the one in charge. I'll listen to Lil's opinion, consider her feelings, but then move on, because, let's face it, *I'm* the adult and *I* know best. There are times and places where democracies are a good thing, but home and school are not those places. I may sound harsh, and maybe we're not a *total* dictatorship at home and school, but really, as adults, we have more life experience and better decision making capabilities than children--even teenagers.

Second, many parents today want to be their child's friend. I don't know about you, but my mom and papa were NEVER my friends. They were my parents, and they might have been friendly with me, but quite frankly, they didn't care if I was p'd off at them or not. One time I yelled, "I HATE you!" at my mom who came back with, "Well, I don't like you too much right now either." They knew their job was to raise me to be a functioning, contributing member of society, NOT to be my friend.

Third, kids are given EVERYTHING these days. Okay, over generalization, but you know what I mean. If I wanted something, I had to *EARN* it, or, earn the money to purchase it myself. We were given gifts on birthdays and Christmas, and rarely received toys any other time. What happens when we take kids to fast food places? They get toys. We go to Tar*get and there is the $1 spot where you can get a cheapie toy for practically no cost. The mind-set must be something along the lines of, "Well, it only costs a buck, so it's not that big a deal." But, it IS.

Fourth, we have more wealth today than our parents had. Parents want their kids to be happy so they give and give and give. We are also an instant gratification society and see nothing wrong with demanding everything NOW.

Finally, many parents are SO engrossed in their own lives, they don't want to make the sacrifices necessary to raise children. How often have you been forced to deal with screaming kiddos in restaurants? The parents don't want to interrupt/sacrifice their meal so they subject the rest of us to their screaming child. Same goes with movies, stores, etc.

Alas, along the way, we seem to have lost the true purpose of parenting--raising respectful, polite, contributing members of society. I used to want to apologize to Hannah because I was a "mean" mommy who had hard and fast rules and had a set of expectations of appropriate behavior at home and out and about. There are many of us like this out there, but just as many of the other variety as well.

My girlfriend had a NIGHTMARE dinner out with a couple of families from her daughter's preschool. The parents allowed their children to open and eat jelly straight from the jelly packs, open and tip back sugar packets and "play around" the restaurant running around an climbing all over the empty booths an tables--"to get it out of their systems". My girlfriend was HORRIFIED. How are children going to learn to sit and be polite if we don't EXPECT it of them?

Or, if your children aren't old enough to understand or the expectations are not age appropriate, DON'T take your child to that establishment.

If the kids are learning this from their parents this early in life, how are they going to be as teenagers?? :shakes head:

Boy I'm coming off as judgmental. I'm really not trying to. I'm speaking from 10 years of observations as a classroom teacher (who also has a tendency to stay in that mode while in public, whether I want to or not--B has to talk me away from using my teacher voice some times...) and observing what works and what doesn't work with parenting.

Parenting is, without a doubt, the hardest job in the world. I have often lamented it would be SO much easier to be the girls' friend than their mom.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

A mix of this and a touch of that.

I usually do WFMW, but I'll be re-running Bring Abdullah Home on the WFMW McLinky. I'm sitting with a mish-mosh of things floating in my brain.

1. Rachael's having a baby! Well, Ellie is due in 15 days. The situation with Sara and Abdullah had Rachael and I e-mailing back and forth about her loss of Hannah and Sara's loss of Abdullah (Eli). My heart. Wow.
2. Speaking of Rachael, K- and I planted our snap peas this evening! :) Rachael and I swapped seeds this year. I got some Oregon Snap Peas (right?) that K- and I planted near the vine arbor. We decided that they will grow along the vine arbor beautifully and when they are fully putzed out, the clematis will take over.
3. Speaking of planting, K- and I transplanted some day lilies last night. We have a back section about 3' wide by 15' long behind the shed where Hubs has been very unsuccessful in growing grass. The lilies will develop well, they will secure the soil and will require very, very little maintenance. Hubs won't have to worry about getting the lawn mower and weed eater back there. And yes, he thanked me for sparing him of that.
4. While in the gardening mind, I pitched the idea of putting in a raised vegetable garden bed next to the new shed and HUBS BOUGHT IT! Whew-whoooo! He thought it was a good idea. You see, the shed sits on my garden plot, so I had to come up with another idea.
5. I've been wearing a pedometer and I'm really disappointed that all I clock at work is about a mile all day long. Really? I thought it would be more.
6. K- and I have the goal to ditch her training wheels this summer. Truth be told, I'd like to see her be able to ditch them before summer starts. We're going to raise the training wheels a bit to see if that helps her gain a bit more forced balance. As for me? I learned how to ride a bike on my own. My parents were divorcing and there was no one to teach me. I took my bike, rolled down the hill on my own and figured out balance. I also ran into the swimming pool and required stitches. It's okay. I survived it.
7. Today was a day at work that we would like to label, "Dump your disruptive teens with us as you shop next door" day. After dealing with basic store disrespect and teens with a sense of entitlement where they shouldn't have it, my co-worker mentioned, "Your 6 year old would behave better than they did." "Of course she would. We've instilled the fear of God into her. She knows that if she would behave like that she would be in sooooo much trouble."
8. They've decided to come up with the most asinine road work project known to man. They have closed down probably 8 blocks of main road so that they can dig it up, change it from a 4 lane road down to 3 lanes-- 2 lanes with a middle turn lane-- down the main way to get to K-'s elementary school. We have to go 4 additional blocks down just to get out of our street and onto the main road. The big problem? Our walk to school will be impacted. I called our city information number to be directed to the folks that could help me. The lady directed me to the patrol officer and traffic officer at our police department. The patrol officer's response to my telling him that our way is blocked and that we have to cross the main road to get to the school? "Well, you should go down and talk to the construction workers to see what they say." "Sir, really, the last thing that they want on a job site is a spazed out mom wondering how she is going to safely walk her daughter to school." I ended up having to leave a message for the traffic officer who is currently out of town. They've closed down the main road entrance that my daughter's school is on. I'm not going to be the only mom irritated.
9. K- and my mother-in-law went to the movie today. My mother-in-law loves to have a whole day with K-, as those days are few and far between.
10. Laundry dried on the line and no bumble bees inside.

Smiles in my day:
- Sprinkled in above.

Have a great day!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Tales from the Trenches: Bring Abdullah Home

A friend of all of us at the gallery, Sara, is in the fight of her life to have her son returned to her. Her son was born in January 2008 in State College, Pennsylvania, USA. He is a U.S. citizen.

From the "Bring Abdullah Home" flier:

Abdullah Eli is a victim of Parental Child Abduction.

Abdullah Eli has been "deceptively removed from Ohio on March 4, 2010. [The father] deceived [Sara] into providing consent to travel outside of the United States on the written promise that Abdullah would be returned to his home in Ohio on May 4, 2010. Abdullah is known to be unlawfully and wrongfully retained in the home of his paternal grandparents in . . . Turkey."

"Sara is now fighting for emergency custody of Abdullah through Ohio courts, and is filing an application with the U.S. State Department for the return of her son through the Hague Abduction Convention, which is the primary civil law mechanism for parents seeking the return of children from other treaty partner countries. Additionally, Sara is fighting to have overturned the hasty and unlawful custody ruling which granted [the father] full custody of Abdullah on March 19, 2010- only 13 days after [their] arrival in Turkey."

Sara is reaching out to everyone who might be able to help bring Abdullah back home. If you or anyone you know are well-versed in situations such as these, please feel free to contact her at saradwrds at g mail dot com.

I can't imagine.

Someone is working on a website. I've suggested making a button so that I can post it on the sidebar. I will keep you updated whenever I hear anything.

Please feel free to pull the permalink and to post to your page(s). The more that people hear of Sara's story, the more links we can have to people who may be able to help.

I did secure Sara's permission to post the flier information.