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  1. A quick recap: We told MIL years ago she needed to apologize for hurtful behavior, she refused and CO'd our enitre family. The CO has lasted years! Earlier this year, DH almost died. For his bday (which was not long after he almost died), MIL FINALLY broke her CO and messaged him a happy birthday. Nothing more, just "Happy birthday". That was the first positive communication we'd had in YEARS from MIL and the first communication we'd had at all for quite a few years. Later in the year, DH took it upon himself to wish MIL and FIL a Happy Thanksgiving each by way of text to each of their phones. They both responded positively at different times on Thanksgiving day. Then earlier in December, DH sent MIL a happy birthday text, which was acknowledged with a positive reply back and rather quickly even. DH and I talked about sending them a Merry Christmas text to each of their phones. We opted not to as the last few communications have been initiated by DH and we've told them we won't maintain a one sided relationship, like we had been doing for years prior to MIL CO'ing our family and that they would need to take an active role in the relationship, should they wish to have one. FIL was starting to. IF DH initiated one holiday acknowledgement, FIL would do the next...sometimes, not always. FIL went out of his way to wish ODD a Merry Christmas last year, ignored her for her bday this year. (Usually would get her a card and mail it to her acknowledging her bdays over the past several years.) Nothing this year. DH only got a text happy birthday from FIL and a separate one from MIL.this year. Again, both replied positively to the Happy Thanksgiving (sometimes FIL would reply with a nasty message in reply) so we weren't sure how or if they'd respond. So Christmas came and went and absolutely NOTHING from either PIL. Usually FIL sends us a card signed by himself and MIL, sometimes he'll follow up with a text, not always. This year NADA! Not ONE word, no card, no text, NOTHING. We are not sure what to make of it as it seemed to be going well with the back and forths so far the last few months. Not sure if they just expected DH to initiate all communications again or what. Now, I don't know if this is related or not... earlier this year, one of our rent checks to FIL was not cashed. He has always cashed them within 2-3 days in the past so this was strange. If he lost it, he'd let us know immediately, which only happened once. Now, I am probably reading too much into this but if I think about all the checks we have not cashed from FIL over the years, since MIL's CO of our family, for birthdays and Christmases it would be more than one rent check. I do not wish to ask FIL why he didn't cash the check; but if he didn't cash it because we never cashed any of the checks he's given us and he is forcing his gifts on us, shouldn't he tell us that is what he is doing? So it's been about 6 months now and the money is just being carried over month to month in case he does one day decide to cash it. I am thinking about calling the bank and putting a stop payment on the check and removing that money from our account, tucking it away somewhere so it doesn't get spent, as I hate having non cashed checks in my account for any length of time.We will not be contacting FIL about his not cashing that one particular check. He has cashed all others prior to this one and even since then.We do not know if he is sitting on it or if he threw it away. If you are still reading, thanks for sticking with me and my wall of text. The whole thing is so confusing...they keep saying, we want a relationship but then ignore when it counts the most. Any thoughts, ideas, I have not considered or even if I have considered, would be appreciated. Anonymous poster hash: 0d7e3...b44
  2. It's holiday-time, and if you've got young children or GC, that may mean you're buying toys  Do you tend to favor any particular kind - the classic or the trendy? wooden or high-tech? just pure fun or educational? If you're a GP (other relative), are you the one who likes to give every girl a Raggedy Ann and every boy a set of hand-operated trains? Or the one who usually shows up with the latest Dora or Barbie doll for the girls and a battery-powered helicopter for the boys? Or are your choices guided by the children's wishes or their parents' preferences for them? And/or as a parent, do/did/would you have specific boundaries regarding types or number of toys given at Christmas/Hanukkah  - or any other time, for that matter? ETA: We've talked about this before, I know, but not for a long time. Plus we've gained some new members since then, and, no doubt, it's a good topic for this season.
  3. 'Tis the season...

    ,,, to give gifts. But the GP.com GB page is featuring this article about presents that are not appreciated: https://www.grandparents.com/family-and-relationships/mother-in-law-daughter-in-law/returning-holiday-gifts-frustration So now I'm wondering... how do you know if the gifts you give are appreciated? And what do/would you do if you find/found out they're not?
  4. Gifts for your hobby

    Here comes December w/ its gift-giving holidays! Do you enjoy receiving gifts related to your hobbies/passions? Or do you find you prefer to buy hobby-related items yourself?
  5. Pets as Presents

    Do/would you ever give a pet as a holiday gift? Or have you ever received one as such?
  6. ... little girl and boyland..."   Ok, I guess I'm dating myself more than ever by bringing up that song! But I'm wondering if you ever buy toys for your GC (or other relative kids). And if so, what kind do you tend to favor - the classic or the trendy? simple or high-tech? just pure fun or educational? Are you the GP who likes to give every girl a Raggedy Ann and every boy a set of hand-operated trains? Or the one who usually shows up with the latest Dora or Barbie doll for the girls and a battery-powered helicopter for the boys? Or ??
  7. What's the best Mothers' Day gift you've ever received or given? Worst?
  8. Wedding Gift Etiquette

    In the "You need to apologize..." thread in MILA, Komorebi asked what the current etiquette is for wedding gift amounts if you (general) aren't actually attending the wedding. I'm wondering what the wedding gift etiquette is where you live/among your friends/family, in general (is there a certain amount guests are "expected" to spend/give?), as well as wondering about your answer to Komo's question. Would love to hear your reply to either or both below...
  9. Do you remember, as a child or teenager, ever wishing for something really hard? Maybe a gift you wanted for the holidays or your birthday? Or ??
  10. In her "spoiled child" thread in MIL Anon, MBear spoke, among other things, of GPs who give overblown Easter baskets. And recently, I heard an ad on the radio (sorry, I don't recall for what store/business) advertising such "Easter gifts" as bicycles, etc. - IOWs too big to fit even in a large, fancy basket! Is this a trend? And if so, what do you think about it? Are you or any of your family members/ILs into it? Is Easter, in short, becoming the "new Christmas?"
  11. Gifts for New Babies

    What are some of your best gift ideas for GPs (or anyone else) to get a new baby?
  12. I know Valentine's Day is over, but still, I'm wondering, of all the Valentine gifts you've ever received, what's your fave? Least fave? And/or what's your fave/least fave of those you've given?
  13. Gifting Estranged Grandchildren

    Sometimes, posters here advise an EP (estranged parent) against sending cards and/or gifts to their EAC's  b/c they likely won't be given to the kids and will just further irritate the parents. Also, some parents explain that they lengthen the duration of a TO every time they/their kids receive a card/gift.   But recently, on another site, I saw where some EPs were agreeing w/ each other that it's good to send cards/gifts, whether to the AC or GC, in an effort to "keep the door open." Also, to show the GC their GPs were still thinking about them - that is, if the parents were to give the cards/gifts to the GC. In case not, some of the EPs/EGPs said they buy 2 of every card and save the duplicate to show their GC someday if GC ever decide to seek them out later on.   One GM also said that on bday and Christmas cards to the GC, she and her DH always write, "We'd like to take you to pick out a gift." That way, she reasoned, her GC would know they didn't just stop sending gifts. Even if the parents didn't show them the card, she explained, the GC would see these comments, eventually, if they ever saw the duplicates.   Thoughts?
  14. We all know about "Santa's" gift lists. But who's on yours? Do you generally buy holiday gifts only for immediate or close family? Or do you also give presents to extended family and/or ILs? (If you divide up the gift-buying w/ your spouse/SO, please feel free to tell us about that, too.)
  15. A number of young women in my FOO are currently pregnant and, when I've looked at their baby registries, I notice I see very little that's colorful or has cute, baby-related patterns. Oh, the clothes often do (though not always). But I'm talking mostly about all the baby paraphenalia - the infant carseats, strollers, diaper bags, etc. In fact, much of what's desired seems to be in solid black or gray(more "sophisticated" maybe?). Recently, I found myself buying black diaper bags - no designs - for 2 different couples and gray for another one. Lovely - but I'm just surprised at the lack of, say, pics of babies, blocks or rattles, etc. on them. Is this just true w/ my relatives or does it reflect a new trend?
  16. Last week we talked about Mother's Day gifts. Now I'm asking what do you think is the best wedding/bridal shower gift you ever gave/received? And if you will, what is the worst?   (I know this has come up before in some other threads. But we've had new people come in since then, etc.)
  17. Have/would you ever given/give a MD gift or card to an expectant mother? If a gift was/would it be something for the coming baby or something for the mom, herself?
  18. Check out this GP.com article about gifts for new moms: http://www.grandparents.com/grandkids/new-grandparents/creative-gifts-for-new-moms   What do you think? Would you like to receive or give any of these? Also, any new gift ideas of your own to share? Or "old" ideas that you feel are tried-and-true?
  19. Are you ready for Valentine's day? Kids got their valentines for school all ready to go? Do you have all the ingredients for that special dinner? Or have you made reservations and got a sitter for the kids, if any? Guys, have you bought those flowers (or do you prefer to wait for the day)? How about chocolates? Or??   Whatever you've got planned, even if it's nothing, have a really happy one!
  20. What do you think are some of the best gifts for Baby's 1st Christmas, Hanukkah or Kwanzaa?
  21. Say the parents of the GC/relative kids you take care of have a list of gifts that people can get their children for the holidays, As a granny/relative nanny, do you think you know those kids and their parents' rules well enough that you don't need one? If you watch them at their house, do you think you also know, more specifically, what they have/need/etc well enough not to need that list? Or do you prefer to have the list, anyhow?   Also, if you're the parent or custodial GP of underage kids, how do you see this issue? (Others please feel free to weigh in, too, as always.)    
  22. What do you feel is the best gift you ever gave anyone on Father's Day (or received if you're a dad)? The Worst?
  23. It's May and Mother's Day is fast approaching! And so I wonder... If you're raising your GC/relative kids, who do you think they'll be making/buying Mother's day cards/gifts for - you (or your DW if you're a man) or their bio mom ? And, while we're at it who do they seem to see as their "real mom" (if you have any idea, at all)?                                                      
  24. The Gimmes!

    Do the kids in your life seem to get "the Gimmes" around Christmas and/or Hanukkah? If so, how do you and/or the parents handle it?   Also, if you will, do you think more is expected of a GP/relative caregiver, by the kids or their parents, than of other GPs/relatives?   As always, please feel free to add any other thoughts you have on this topic, as well...
  25. What do you feel is the best Valentine's Day gift you've ever received/given? And/or, if you will, the worst?