Not Quite Right...

>> Sunday, December 28, 2008

This new template isn't quite right for this type of blog. GRRRRR! I can't find one that just "fits" yet.

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Looking For New Template

>> Saturday, December 27, 2008

I am looking for a new blogger template for this blog. I am so over this one it's not even funny. I changed my template at Syn's Life but I can't find anything that grabs me though (and works) for this one. Some of them that I did like, keep giving me errors so I scratch them off my list. Eventually, I will find a nice template for this blog.

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Little Girl Rooms

Next week, we begin the decorating of my two youngest daughters' room. They will get new flooring, trim, wainscoting, and wall paint. We spent several hours today sorting through all their clothes and toys, packing what we could away, throwing away what was broken, and then moving everything out of the bedroom. We only came across two spiders! Ick. Anyway, the girls are so excited to finally get a girly room. They've been waiting more than two years for this.

That will take off another item on my home remodel list. After this, I need to get my husband to put in a garbage disposal for me. He doesn't want to but when it came time to look at kitchen faucets, I got my way on that one. The one I wanted is now in my kitchen! I plan to get my way with the garbage disposal too (and the living room paint, kitchen paint, front door, etc.).

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Any Great After Christmas Sales?

We did some shopping this afternoon with our four kids, looking for that great sale you always hear comes about after the holidays. I didn't find any great sales but the kids sure had fun spending their christmas money. My husband even spent some of his. I didn't though. By the time we got through four kids and an indecisive husband picking out what they all wanted, I was ready to get the heck out of the stores. I was at that point where I couldn't hear myself "think" (moms, you know what I am talking about when I say that right?) so I just gave up on shopping for anything for myself.

I should have shopped online and saved myself the hassles of trying to take the entire family shopping at once.

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Giving Up On Step?

In the first five years or so of my marriage, I read any stepfamily book I could get my hands on looking for any kind of help I could find on how to deal with a difficult ex and violent stepchild. I scoured the internet as well looking for the same type of information and for a place to vent freely and safely as well as find advice from others who have "been there, done that". Yesterday, I took all those books and I packed them away.

No, all the "kinks" (that's putting it mildly) in our stepfamily didn't get worked out. My answers (help!) can't come from any book. I have realized that unless the people involved WANT to have a good relationship, it's not going to happen and my reading 20 books, or 100 books, isn't going to make a damn bit of difference. I can hope for a cooperative, functioning relationship between the homes all I want to but unless the other home wants it, my hopes are, well, hopeless.

Did I give up? I don't know if I'd call it giving up. I call it being realistic. I can't change other people...and I can use that space on my overflowing bookshelf for something that has meaning to me.

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Back Pain

>> Friday, December 26, 2008

I've been suffering from back pain in a new place the last couple of months...the pain runs along and to the right of my spine below my shoulder blade. Usually, I have lower back pain (I've had four kids...no surprise there). I don't know how I keep pulling the muscles up higher in my back. It's heck getting old.

I use icy/hot creams, stretches, hot baths, and Motrin for the pain. When I begin to feel like I need a shoulder pain pump to manage the pain, I'll see a different doctor (my family doctor wasn't successful in diagnosing me). I'm hoping it's not going to be a long-term problem though.

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Broken Xmas Gifts Again

It's no big surprise that my gift from the stepkids was broken when I opened it, just like last year. It amazes me (NOT) that my gifts are the only ones out of all of them in the box that arrives broken. Odd isn't it?

I can just see the ex smacking it against her desk or "oops" dropping it before she packs it up to UPS it to us since I know she's the one who boxes it up and ships it out.

You'd think she'd grow up by now.

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Holiday Season Adds Pounds

>> Sunday, December 21, 2008

If you are looking for reviews on fat burners, such as Ephadrasil hardcore, there is a web site at fatburner.net that may be able to give you the information you are looking for. I know a lot of people tend to stay away from weight loss products like this because they don't know whether they work or what side effects may occur (I know I do). Perhaps this site will give you a little more information and help you make any decisions you are considering for weight loss products.

I got on the scale this morning and was upset to see it'd gone up a few...like I really needed a few more pounds on my frame. The holidays will do that to you if you aren't careful I guess.

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Telling Kids About Santa

My oldest is in 6th grade and will turn 12 in a few weeks. She still believes in Santa to some extent though when I talk about Santa with the younger kids, she gets kind of a smirk on her face. However, she still talks about him coming and having to make cookies for him. I take that to mean that she's not ready to admit that he's not real yet.

My husband asked me today if we should tell her because she was getting old enough to know and he didn't want classmates making fun of her. So, we are discussing it and might let the cat out of the bag for our eldest child together.

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Anybody Else Nesting?

>> Wednesday, December 17, 2008

I am not sure if it is because the end of the year is coming or what but I've caught the "organizational" bug. I'm organizing my desk, kids' rooms, video shelves (I know, pathetic) and am moving to my bookshelves next. I'm even getting caught up on paperwork! Clutter is just bugging the heck out of me right now.

I think I need to get out of the house and not just for a few hours - a few days or weeks even? Wouldn't it be nice to find some fantastic travel deals and take the family and go away for a vacation? I know I'm dreaming but this house is filling up with "stuff" and it's too small for all this stuff. When things get this clutter and disorganized, I can't think. I want to throw my hands up and get out of town for awhile for some relaxation.

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Stepmother's Poem

>> Monday, December 15, 2008

**Author Unknown




What is a stepmother?




A step below or a step above?


Someone for you to (sometimes) love?


Someone to share your laughter and tears?


Or do you grow quiet when she comes near?


*****


What is a stepmother?


A step above or a step below?


Someone to teach you and help you to grow?


Is she a mystery to you, or someone you know?


Are you true with your feelings, or are they for show?


*****


I'm a stepmother, so let me define


What a stepmother is, at least in my mind


A stepmother cares for her family and home


And loves her step kids like they were her own


She fixes their meals, treats a cold, ties a shoe


Anything that a kid's real mom would do


*****


A stepmother consoles you when you feel sad


And hands out a punishment if you are bad


She'll tuck you in bed and read you a story


And yet, it's the real mom that gets all the glory


*****


A stepmother hides the tears that she cries


When mother's day comes and then just slips by


With no card, and no hug, though she really feels sad


She won't let you see it, won't let you feel bad


*****


She feels like an outsider but tries to fit in


If you're playing a game with her, she'll let you win


She makes sure your birthday is one special day


And when hers is forgotten, she'll just look away


*****


When your teen years come, life gets much tougher


With a stepmother these years, for her, are much rougher


You may say or do something that injures her feelings


Please keep in mind that she hurts while she's healing


*****


Your stepmother has done the best she could do


And no matter your age, she'll always love you


For her birthday, the best present to get her


Is the most precious of all, that you didn't forget her


*****

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Stepfamily Stress Symptoms

>> Friday, December 12, 2008

Being a step-parent is a thankless job. Being a biological parent is a thankless job too but it's harder when you're a step-parent. As a parent, you have the parent-child bond between you without all the baggage that comes with the "step" situation.

With your own kids, you have some input into what you teach them and your expecations for behavior, etc. Being a step-parent, you pretty much get all the dirty deeds of parenting with little of the good stuff that goes along with parenting your own, unless you're lucky (not to mention all the negativity you might have dealing with an ex).

It can mean huge amounts of stress that to me, frankly, is really hard to deal with sometimes. The insomnia, the burning in the shoulders, the headaches, the TMJ from constantly clenching your jaw over one thing or another, the mental/emotional chaos...all stress symptoms I've had over the years. I seriously think all the stress has had something to do with the autoimmune diseases I've developed. At least I've not had problem with my feet, like Plantar Fasciitis or something, but I've pretty much shown unpleasant symptoms of this situation most everywhere else. All that stress has to take a toll on a body.

I'm in such a bad mood over my stepson right now and really need to relax before I end up with an aching jaw and headaches for the next week. I should have known better. Every time I try, I should really be prepared for the hit instead of feeling sucker-punched with his rudeness.

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So Mad I Could Spit

A couple weeks ago, I got this idea on a gift for my stepdaughter and stepson. Not a Christmas gift, just a "thinking about you" gift. I spent time online finding the right ones (I ended up with two each instead of one for each of them too). I found them and paid too much in shipping to have them shipped to my stepdaughter and stepson. They received them Wednesday according to the tracking number.

Tonight I get a text from my stepdaughter "thank you thank you thank you...etc." She was thrilled and appreciative and let me know. I was glad she liked them. I knew she would. So, I asked my stepdaughter if her brother liked his too. She texted back that he said to tell his dad thanks and that he's already learned something from it. Tell his dad?!?!

I wasn't expecting him to bow and kiss my feet. What would be nice, considering I've been married to his dad for 13 years come December 28th, is a joint thank you to the both of us. Seriously, basic manners here! I've known this boy since he was six months old.

He wouldn't know that "I" had the idea. "I" did all the searching for the gifts. "I" handled the payment and shipping of the items. "I" tracked the gifts through tracking to make sure they got there. However, to send his thanks THRU ME to just his dad? Um, rude?!?!

Why do I bother?

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Baby Gifts to Cherish

>> Tuesday, December 9, 2008

I received several personalized gifts for my firstborn. My favorite is a pink baby blanket. I actually received two for her. I never used either one of them; I thought they'd be something she would like to have as a keepsake herself so they've been saved and protected. I think personalized baby gifts is a great idea for gifts for parents, especially new parents. If they are like me, they will adore the gift and cherish it.

Three out of four of my children received personalized blankets after they were born. Perhaps I should buy a personalized gift for the one child who didn't get one so they don't feel left out when they are older and the others receive their blankets.

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Child's Toxic Air

The air around some children's schools (almost 128,000) has been tested for toxicity. To see if your child's school is on the "worst" list, click here. The whole story is here.

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Missing High School Education

>> Sunday, December 7, 2008

There are a few subjects that I think were missing in the high school curriculum. They are household finances and general automotive maintenance. I think these two subjects should be a part of all teenagers' education because it is something that every person will need to know.

For instance, would it be so hard to teach teenagers, especially women, how to change oil (or check oil for that matter), do a tune-up, change a tire, etc? They should teach general maintenance/repair that would give them the knowledge to not only take care of their own vehicle but know when a mechanic is cheating them. They don't have to teach them what coilovers are or anything really technical but I think these two subjects are truly things that you would use in life. How many times did we ask ourselves in high school while struggling with homework why we needed to learn something in particular? I know I did, especially in geometry and while we were dissecting Garfield.

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Child with Disabilities

I am a parent of a child diagnosed with a disability. They don't know what caused his disabilities but they wonder if it was the stress while I was pregnant with him (the stress of somebody trying to start a fight with me while pregnant leaving me in contractions at 4-1/2 months pregnant, the stress of being punched in the lower back while 8-1/2 months pregnant from this same person). Nobody can give me a clear answer on what caused it and it's a bit maddening.

I'm lucky in that his disabilities have been manageable and are not life threatening.

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Stepson's Grades

Well, my stepson is doing the same thing this year that he did last year - letting his grades fall to almost failing. Coming from a kid who was several grade levels ahead of his classmates a few years ago, and knowing his mother hasn't done anything again this year to help him (get him an IEP, get him therapy, ensure he is doing his homework), it's so frustrating to see this woman with custody of the kids let a very smart young man's grades go to hell. Why doesn't she care more to do something?

It appears that we are going to have to do what she won't do, which is nothing new. We are the ones who previously took him to a child psychologist, speech therapy, and occupational therapy before. She never even attended any of those sessions herself! I, the hated wife of her ex, drove him an hour each way into the city for his therapies, therapies his mother never attended. Gosh, I'm such a rotten stepmom AND kept her fully updated with notes from the sessions I took and copies of every thing they worked on while there. I'm so awful aren't I? I dread having to go through this again because she's not a pleasant person to deal with but damn! Do something for your kid already! Maybe if we "suggest" a change in custody because she's letting him fail, she'll pretend to care enough to get him some help?

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Kids' Swing Sets


I want one of these for my kids. How cool!

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Ex Wants To Know What We Are Getting Kids for Xmas

The ex wants us to tell her what we are getting my stepkids for Christmas. However, she won't let us know what she's getting them. We've tried to coordinate with her from the very beginning (13 years now) so we wouldn't duplicate gifts but she refused. However, she told my stepdaughter recently that we are to let her know what we are getting them. Yeah, sure. It's a "control" thing for her. Why would we do that when she's refused to do the same?

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Moroccan Decor

>> Tuesday, December 2, 2008

My husband told me last night that he is going to take a couple vacation days to do some work around the house. Yippee! I've been waiting forever to get going on some of our big projects around the house.

We were talking about getting some new lighting in our dining room. I want the fixture to match our entry chandelier when you walk in our front door. I found some cool ideas. Our "theme" isn't Moroccan decor but a few pieces, I think, would be really nice to accent around the house. I am not a traditional, conservative, or modern type of person. I don't fall into one category or one decorating scheme such as Moroccan decor . I'm more eclectic, I think, and the Arabian Nights Chandelier is really pretty. I love the colors.

I better get busy making a "honey do" list to prioritize what hubby should work on when he takes time off work. I love "honey do" lists. Hubby doesn't. Go figure.

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Not Seeing the Ex

>> Friday, November 28, 2008

I have not seen my husband's ex in three years? Four? Something like that: 3-4 years. How nice it's been! I don't go with my husband when he drives to their state to pick my stepkids up or drop them off so I've been spared. I'm sure she's enjoying it as much as I am.

I also haven't had to hear her voice on the phone. I think it's been years! "Woot! Woot!" for me. She won't call my husband first. She'll send an email and tell him to call her (I guess she likes to pretend she can still lead him around or that the woman shouldn't call the man - like they're still in a frigid relationship or something rather than two parents apart, one who can't stand the other, of two teenagers). With the kids getting older, even their contact has lessened considerably which we are thankful for so it does get better (if you are wondering). You just have to get through all the bitter, hateful, revenge-filled crap before you get there...oh yeah, and live 200 miles away from each other.

Meow.

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Hear From Stepkids for Thanksgiving?

I did. Well, I heard from one of them. My stepdaughter texted me to wish me a Happy Thanksgiving. No word from my stepson. Am I surprised? Nope.

I did find some great posters for them so I ordered two for each of them and am having them shipped directly to their house. They should get them next week. For my stepdaughter, I ordered two Twilight posters. For my stepson, I ordered a guitar chords poster and a poster of Slash playing guitar. Even if he doesn't remember we exist 99% of the time, we are always still thinking of him. Guess that's the adult thing to do eh? lol.

I hope everybody had a great Thanksgiving and was able to spend it with the family and friends you wanted to, rather than those you are forced to endure during the holidays, lol.

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Hard to Shop For Gifts

>> Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I am having the hardest time trying to figure out what to get my stepdaughter for xmas. I'd like to combine xmas and her birthday to get her one nice gift since they are only days apart. I am hoping a laptop goes on sale over the next couple weeks. If we can find her a laptop for $250, I'll grab that as a joint xmas/birthday gift. I also just now heard of something called the Sony Mylo COM-2 Internet Device. It seems like a big thing and I've never heard of it before. I must be living under a rock! I have to find out if SD has enough Wi-Fi spots around her mother's house to be able to connect for free with email, skype, Internet, etc. It looks like a possibility if, IF, she has Wi-Fi spots around her so she can actually use it. I don't know how to find that out though.

My husband wants a new mattress, but not just any mattress. He wants a sleep number bed. We really do need a new mattress. We've had the same mattress for longer than we've been married and we're coming up on our 13th anniversary next month. I should tell him if he will paint our bedroom (I've been waiting 2-1/2 years for him to do this) then I, I mean Santa, will get him the bed he wants.

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All In One Printers Worth It

>> Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I just love my new printer. My husband bought me an All-In-One Printer for my birthday. It scans, faxes, copies, and prints. I've used all the functions except fax so far (don't have a phone line hooked up to it yet).

I love the fact that I can scan photos of my kids and print high-quality photos easily. I have also used it to jazz up my envelopes (adding a cornucopia on my envelopes being mailed out for Thanskgiving). If I send xmas cards out this year, I will create them all myself - the photo cards and the envelopes. No point in spending money to have somebody else do something I can do myself now. I can also easily transfer my photos from my camera's memory card with the memory card slots on the printer so I can take a great xmas picture of my kids and create a holiday card out of it. Good idea huh?

If you are going to be looking for printers soon (wow, what a great xmas gift for somebody too), check out the All-In-Ones. They're great!!

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Husband Cheats With Ex

>> Monday, November 17, 2008

In a stepfamily, you are dealing with so many different family dynamics. You have two biological parents who are no longer together. You have a new spouse (becoming a step-parent) who may or may not have a good relationship with their spouse's ex. The new spouse may also bring children into the marriage and then you have more children with your spouse. The ex may remarry and it just continues with the family dynamics. It's a maze isn't it? It's tough work that needs all parties to agree to cooperate to make it work. Sometimes, dishonesty exists though in the most unexpected place.

What happens if your spouse cheats with his ex?

I have been sitting at my desk going through paperwork, paying bills, getting ready to take my state tests, etc. and Dr. Phil is on in the background. There is a husband on there who cheated on his second wife with his ex, the first wife! Could you imagine? Not me. What a rat!!

A spouse cheating is heartbreaking enough but if a spouse cheats with their ex, I think it magnifies that hurt tenfold. If it's with the one person who has tried to make your life and marriage hell, what do you do?




To me, cheating with anybody isn't an option. I honor my vows and I expect my husband to do the same if he wants to keep me and our family the way it is. If cheating were to occur with the dreaded ex after everything we've gone through because of her and others with her, no way in hell! The anger would magnify beyond reason I think. That is the ultimate of ultimate betrayals.

Good thing that DH didn't much like sleeping with her when he was with her so it's not even a blip on my radar but for some stepmothers, it may be.

How would you deal with it? Could you?

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Hot Monkey Love & Bud Light

>> Sunday, November 16, 2008

A friend sent me this video...

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Dallas Jobs

>> Saturday, November 15, 2008

If you need a job and live in the Dallas area (or want to relocate to the area), there is a job site just for you called DallasJobSite.com. If you are an employer and want to review the talent in your area, there are Dallas resumes waiting for you here.

I loved Texas when we vacationed there. I didn't care for the red ant hills we almost stepped in, or the poisonous snake that was scaring the horses away from the pond, but the rest was all good. We saw a rodeo while we were there when we went with family from Dallas. We swam in the Gulf of Mexico. It was a nice place to visit with friendly people.

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Newest Internet Sensation - Puppies on Live Cam

When a San Francisco couple put a puppy cam up on their puppies, they had no idea the hit it would make. As I type this, there is one going nuts over one of his toys...really cute.

If you want to see what this is all about, click here and check out the live feed on the puppies. These are Shiba Inu pups if you're wondering.

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10 Best Diet Pills

How many times have you stopped in the diet pills aisle at the store only to bypass it due to not knowing their effectiveness and not wanting to take the chance because they can be expensive? PricesExposed.net offers information on diet pills - product description, rating, additional benefits of a product, and the least expensive Internet price. Their site shows the 10 Best according to their information.

I have never taken diet pills because fear of the unknown stills my hand from buying them (though I could certainly stand to lose 20 lbs.). Having confirmation of the safety and effectiveness of anything I ingest is a must-have for me.

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Entrecard

Do you use Entrecard? What do you think about it? Does it help your traffic?

I get some traffic from it but I'm not a big card dropper so I may not be utilizing it fully. I do have almost 4,000 Entrecard credits saved up so far. Should I advertise with them or can I hold a contest with them and give them away? Hmmm...not sure yet.

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Lifetime Vacation Goals

The end of the year is almost here and before you know it, it'll be tax time. Tax season already! Ugh! I'm hoping after we file our taxes this year to be able to take a family vacation. We haven't been able to afford one in a few years and we're way overdue to get back to the mountains.

We usually stay in town in Gatlinburg but I'm tired of all the tourist-y stuff. I want to haul my Swiss Army luggage to a cabin out in the mountains outside of town instead and just enjoy nature and my Smoky Mountains. Another part of me wants to go to Montana. I've never been there but just feel drawn there like I am to the Smoky Mountains. A future trip, when I am brave enough to get on a plane, would be to see the green hills of Ireland.


Those are the three places that I feel I "have" to see, so we've done one out of three so far. I'm sure the one place the kids feel they "have" to see (and hubby too) is Disney. I'm sure we'll make it there eventually (when we have money coming out of our Mickey Mouse ears I guess).

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Dad's School Pictures of His Kids

>> Friday, November 14, 2008

For the stepkids' elementary school years, we bought our own separate picture packages (separate because going in on pic packages together with bm and dividing things up was just too much cooperation for her to handle) so we would be able to have our own rather than depend on the BM to decide if dad warranted a wallet-size pic of his own kids. Now that they are older, the junior high and high schools don't work that way and bm sure isn't going to ask dh if he'd like any part of the kids' portrait packages to buy on her form (that would take too much cooperation, ya know?). Too many teachers, responsibilities, number of students, etc. that the personal relationship we used to have with the schools is now a bit impersonal. We get the interim report and report card and then a newsletter once in awhile (these are online so it's not a biggie) so getting a second picture package for each child is out it seems.

Anyhoo, I asked my stepdaughter the other day about getting a school picture of each of them. She said her mother was sending them out with christmas cards. She (stepdaughter) said she could try to get them earlier for us but that's not sd's responsibility so I just told her whatever her mom thinks is best and maybe sd could take a pic of her and her brother with her cell phone and text it to us, which she did right away.

What I was REALLY thinking is that this is their DAD, not an uncle or second cousin, which is how you send pictures out with christmas cards to other family relations, usually more distant ones. DAD! You don't hold school pictures for a couple months and send a wallet size pic of a man's children to him at Christmas! She's always treated the father of her children like he was nothing so I shouldn't be surprised.

4 Years, 6 Months, & 16 Days to go...

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Bad Celebrity Role Models for Kids

>> Monday, November 10, 2008

Well, there goes another one. I'm talking about positive celebrity role models for kids. My daughters are HUGE fans of the Cheetah Girls. They love the movies, the songs, the dances. I am sure when my 11 year old comes home from school today, she'll be talking about how one of them (Adrienne Bailon) had naked pictures hit the Internet. Supposedly, they were stolen from her laptop in an airport.

Um, if you are going to have naked pictures taken of yourself, shouldn't you make sure you keep that laptop in your own hands at all times out in public (or better yet, don't bring that thing out in public to begin with...it's not like she can't afford to keep her nekkid pics somewhere else) rather than leave it sit where somebody can allegedly steal it. I know I don't take my naked pictures out in public, lol.

Hmmm...stolen? I don't know about that. It seems like the girls who have naked pics stolen from them end up bigger stars. Look at Paris Hilton. She's useless but she's a huge celeb. because of the video.

Dumb things that people get famous for.

Here's the article.

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Should we cover it?

>> Thursday, November 6, 2008

My husband's truck hasn't been used in a couple months. The muffler is hanging and we can't afford to fix it right now. After opening the hood and jumping my own car a few weeks ago, now my husband's hood latch won't close and he couldn't drive it like that either way (we did have the hood latch fixed last year which obviously wasn't fixed right). Seeing that his car is sitting and will likely be sitting for at least another month, should we use a car cover to protect it from the elements?

It's definitely not like my sporty Trans Am GTA I used to have where car covers would have been a great idea. It's a truck. Should we still cover it?

I'm not sure but if we don't come up with the money to fix it soon, we should probably at least clean out the garage and pull it in there I guess.

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Sad Over Outcome of Stepson

Last week I was in Wal-Mart and there was this little baby (under one years old) that looked like my stepson did when he was a baby (he's 13 now). It hit my heart hard to see this infant. It made me very sad that things turned out the way they did when they never had to. Seeing this baby so sweet and innocent, reminding me of my stepson, made me hurt for the way things should have been.

When my stepson was an infant, he was a very good baby. His behavior didn't change negatively until he started feeling pulled and saying words in his toddler/pre-k talk about "mommy crying at home without me" and stuff like that. When he was put in the middle of a negative campaign against his dad and dad's family, his personality changed. He became angry, hyper, obstinate and distant. That followed him thru his elementary years and affected his relationships with teachers, students, and his own self-esteem and then followed him into middle school year and shows up in the D grades he receives and negative comments from his teachers. This bright boy who it was determined was above grade level in several important subjects now getting D's.

It never had to be that way. He should have been allowed to have a relationship with both of his parents and families without the interference and emotional warfare he grew up in. Sad.

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Finance Considerations If You Pass Away

>> Saturday, November 1, 2008

If you have children, I think it is very important that you have life insurance to cover things like your mortgage. That way, if something happens to the insured parent, the mortgage is covered and the remaining parent and child or children have one less financial worry. Term life insurance is a very good idea if you have a mortgage. I would encourage you to get term life insurance quotes to make sure your family is covered should something happen to you.

We have term insurance, employer provided insurance through my husband's employer, and a universal life policy. I think we're pretty well covered so our children aren't left with nothing and sent to a family member's doorstep with nothing to care for them should the unthinkable happen. It's the responsible parent who does what they can to protect their children's future as well as they can. I was really surprised to find out how inexpensive it is too.

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Do You Vaccinate Your Kids?

>> Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The things parents are aware of now, as opposed to years ago, leads some to decide NOT to vaccinate their children. They believe vaccinations are harmful.

My personal opinion is that it is up to the parents. I know children who have and have not been vaccinated.

What are your views on this as a parent? Do you vaccinate? Why or why not?

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Walmart Dog Collar Made By SimplyShe Almost Kills Dog

>> Monday, October 27, 2008

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A Good Night's Sleep

>> Friday, October 24, 2008

My husband and I have decided to go from a queen bed to a full size bed. Yeah, that makes it a little tight for two adults (can we all say "closeness" lol) but cozy might be nice. I think our headboard is still good for a full-size mattress but I don't know if our bed frame will adjust down. I haven't wanted to look under our bed to see if it will convert because it's scary under there (seriously, I imagine spiders hiding in all that dust) plus I don't know much about bed frames. It won't be so bad if we have to get a new bed frame as long as our headboard is still workable.

I wonder, though, what happens when I am mad at him...am I going to regret and miss our queen-size bed when distance is good? Hmmm...something to think about.

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Who Looks Forward to Holiday Family Time

Not me. That's for sure.

With November around the corner, it is time to make family holiday plans for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Everybody wants the family to get together because it is the holidays. My feelings are why would I want to ruin my holidays by doing that? lol

I don't see the point in spending all that money to head to out of state family's homes pretending to get along with certain people I don't want to see and stressing out my own family's holiday. What for when I can have a quiet holiday with my husband and kids in my own home? Sounds good to me! The downside is that you do miss out on seeing those you actually want to spend time with.

We didn't get the choice on who our family was but we do have the choice on whether we want particular members in our lives or not. Guess you know my choice.

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Ever Thought About Doing a Detox?

I have thought, many times, about doing a detox to rid my body of everything and start fresh. I have never known how to go about doing that though. I'd also like to see if I'd lose any weight in the process (hey, I've had four kids...it's an issue, lol). We put so much trash into our bodies from our own hands, not to mention what the environment puts into our systems, that I imagine there are some nasties in our system we might not want to see.

I've read about orovo detox which is a pill that detoxes your system. I'd love there to be a way to safely rid my body of all the processed foods I've fed it over the years (and in my younger years, that was a daily thing). Like maintaining your car or clearing your household plumbing before it backs up on you, it seems realistic to think that your body might be hanging onto things better let go.

I'd like to know if anybody else has had success with detox and how you did it?

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What happened to us?

Is anybody else getting nervous over the upcoming election? I know I am. I dread and fear what will happen if one particular candidate gets elected. At a time of economic crisis, terrorism, and war, I think electing a person into office with no experience on any of that is close to national suicide. I really do. I don't understand how somebody with no experience in anything and the judgment of a donkey based on his past ties has a fair shot at becoming our President. Why? If not based on experience, what is it based on? I hope it's not just the color of his skin because that would be a very sad reason to elect somebody as the head of this great country. The fact that celebrities are endorsing Barack left and right should tell everyday citizens something since celebrities are so far away from reality that they wouldn't know it if it smacked them. The terrorists are probably all rooting for Barack Obama. It will make it easier for them.

The loss of life aside (which is huge obviously), this country can't afford another terrorist attack. Have we forgotten what happened to our economy after 9/11? We are teetering on the brink as it is. I certainly don't want the class wimp standing at the head of our country facing the terrorists who are just biting at the bit waiting for the chance to hit us again. My children mean too much to me to vote for a man with absolutely no experience.

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Decorating After Kids


My oldest child is almost 12. That means for more than a decade, my home has been child-proof. Unfortunately, this has meant no table lamps in my living room as well since they got pushed off the tables onto the floor. We figured that since our many kids were just babies, it wasn't their fault as it was our responsibility to child-proof our home. So, no more table lamps!
My youngest is now 3-1/2 years old and I am getting excited over not having to sit in the dark for much longer! It is a bit sad to be THIS excited over something a lot of people just take for granted, but I am. I am going to be able to have a table lamp sitting out soon. We've lived in a darkened living room for over a decade, relying on overhead lighting from other areas in our home. That's not the best in terms of interior design and it's certainly not the best arrangement for everyday living so I am overly excited to have light again...soon.

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Baby Oil Hazard to Children

Did you know that the bottle of baby oil that usually comes in that basket of goodies you get at your baby shower, or that you pick up at the store with the innocent expectation to soften your child's skin (or your own skin), can be fatal? Like all other hazardous products around your home, baby oil should be kept out of reach of babies and young children. Why? Because of it is inhaled into the lungs, it can be life threatening as it coats the lungs, preventing oxygen from getting where it's needed. Want to read more?

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Men vs. Women: Tale of Two Brains

>> Wednesday, October 22, 2008

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Memory Down to 23%

>> Monday, October 20, 2008

My computer memory hovers around 23%. With all the photos and videos I take, this has me worried. It also makes it impossible for me to transfer my family videos onto a DVD because without enough memory (like now), it won't let me. How aggravating. I can clear up a lot of memory if I can transfer video over to DVD but I can't do that without more memory. It starts to transfer it and then shuts down about a quarter of the way through. ARGH! What a Catch-22.

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Happy Birthday to Me...I'm not 103

>> Friday, October 17, 2008

Yesterday was my birthday. Am I supposed to be surprised that neither stepchild remembered (or acknowledged it if they did)? I hope I'm not supposed to be surprised because I expected it. Expect the worse and you can't be disappointed right? I briefly wondered if sd would send a text message because she can do that without her mother knowing it to tick her off (god forbid they have any contact with me whatsoever 'cause her insecure lil cold heart can't handle it). Nope. Forgotten. Again. No surprise. They forget my kids' birthdays too so really, no surprise that they'd forget mine. I'm at the bottom of their list despite years of love, attention, giving, etc. They celebrate their dog's birthday. I'm below the dog. Yeah for me. LOL. Despite my sarcasm, I am "almost" beyond caring...barely a thought of it yesterday. Wouldn't want to waste more than a few seconds of my birthday being upset about something out of my hands.

Oh well, I had a good day yesterday and nobody could screw it up - not even the ex or the kids she's raising to behave like her (at least until they're 18 and out from under her *fingers crossed*). Here's the birthday details:

My Birthday Party

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When It Rains...I Want A Vacation!

>> Wednesday, October 15, 2008

It seems like everybody is struggling financially. It's a struggle to make a house payment, car payment, gas bill...necessary things we all need. We have to add on top of that car repairs for us. When it rains, it pours for us. My husband's car has been sitting in the driveway for the past few weeks because we can't afford to get it fixed yet. Hubby has been driving my car to work. So what does my car decide to do today? NOT START! ARGH!!!!! We got it jumped and it started. Then it died. Then it started again. I have my fingers crossed it is just the battery and it's not going to need a starter/alternator thingamabob (yes, that's my technical term for a stupid automotive part that we can't afford to buy right now).

We desperately need a vacation from all the bills. So many families stressing out over everything. Wouldn't it be nice to hop a plane to las vegas nv, stay in a luxurious hotel to be pampered, win a few thousand dollars and go home happy and stress-free?

The good news is gas prices have gone down. The bad news is OPEC is meeting in November and will likely vote to cut back production so they can raise the prices again. So enjoy the break in price for the short-term because it's going to change soon.

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Birthday Present Snooping

>> Saturday, October 11, 2008

How far do you go to figure out what your birthday present is? I always try to figure it out. Sometimes I do and sometimes I don't. This year, I think I have it figured out but even I have my limits on confirming my guess.

For instance, I know where my husband bought it from (it's on our online bank statement, lol) and he gave me a hint. From there, I think I have figured out what it is (but not the color). Now, I "could" use my husband's email address and password and log-in to their online store and check out the account, but even I have my limits obviously because I feel guilty even thinking about it. So, I won't do it. Good to know I have a conscience in there somewhere...even if it is hidden sometimes.

How far do you go to figure out presents?

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Equestrian Riding Apparel

My daughter is a horse lover (like myself). I ride western so I throw on a pair of jeans and my boots and I am good to go. My daughter rides English.

After her horse passed away in August, I wasn't sure how long it would take her to get back on again. She was devastated when Rex passed away. It took her a month to get back on but once on, she was rearing to go. She is just starting the basics to learn to jump. I am going to have to get her riding apparel ready for her because I have a feeling next year is going to be her first show year.

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Thanksgiving Foods

Thanksgiving seems to be roaring up on us quickly. We always make so much food that we're eating leftovers until we are sick of them. One of my favorites is cornbread dressing. I make really good cornbread stuffing! I also make great candied sweet potatoes, that are my father-in-law's favorite at the holidays to have. I layer brown sugar, butter, and apples with the sweet potatoes. So, of course, I always make sure I make them for him.

One thing that I don't do is turkey. I can't touch meat or get that "involved" with meat. It sickens me. Now, I can eat a slice of it AFTER but as far as the actual preparation/cooking, I can't do it. I lose my appetite if I do. Good thing my mother-in-law doesn't mind taking over the turkey!

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Child Kills Animals...Disturbed much?

>> Wednesday, October 8, 2008

I just read a disturbing story at a friend's blog about the seven year old boy who went on an animal killing spree in a zoo. OMG! Psychopath in the making or what? It really bothered me to read the story. Where were this kid's parents? How does a seven year old boy have the freedom to go to a zoo, break in, and commit such disturbing acts?

I am glad my kids have compassion and sympathy and can show love, like here:



I wouldn't even let my kids see the picture in that story or tell them about it. They'd be crying.

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Thyroid Help? Ashwagandha

I've noticed while reading magazines the past few months the same term that keeps cropping up that has shown success with some people with thyroid disease. The word is "ashwagandha." I am seriously interested in researching this more. I have to be careful because 1) who the heck just takes something they don't know anything about without researching; and 2) I have to be careful what I take while taking thyroid medication because I react oddly to other medications now.

Has anybody heard anything about Ashwagandha and thyroid?

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Silly Things

>> Monday, October 6, 2008

My kids took out an old laptop case of mine and found a reminder (promotional pens) from the day when I worked outside the home at a place I loved. They asked if they could keep it but I told them no. I miss the people and work from a company that doesn't exist any longer so I couldn't part with it. Probably a bit silly but other than that pen, a mug, and magnets, it's all I have left physically of those days.

LOL, my 3yo is freaking out because the preview for High School Musical 3 Senior Year is on right now. It comes out in theatres October 24th.

My husband just told me he filled up at a really low price for gas ($3.37). Isn't it sad that it's thought that $3.37 is actually LOW now? They hit us with these super high prices for awhile so when they lower it slightly, we think it is low? Low would be $1.99 again. Heck, I'd take $2.50 but anything over $3/gallon is still HIGH to me.

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Do you know where to vote?

It's less than a month now until it's time to vote in a very important election. Do you know where you are supposed to go to vote in your precinct? I have mine on my fridge and the address programmed into my cell phone so I don't forget.

If you don't know where you are to go to vote, better start making some phone calls to find out!

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My Skin is Aging...Guess that means I am too!

>> Friday, October 3, 2008

I am turning 37 soon. I am starting to think more about my skin. I want to have nice, soft skin without all the blemishes of my youth. After all, I'm not a "youth" anymore though sometimes my face seems to forget that. Seriously, what 37 year old should have to know about blackhead removal?


I am finding the older I get, the more sensitive my face is becoming. Some facial creams I used to use on my face now leaves my face blotchy and puffy in areas that take days to repair itself. The lines around my eyes aren't thrilling me either. I guess I need to find something better for my older skin. OLDER SKIN! Eek!

My problem is, I don't know what type of facial wash (cream, lotion, etc.) to use. I have no clue. Look under my eyes - these are going to be huge BAGS soon! *gasp*

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Daughter's Hobby

I usually post these types of pictures at my other blog, but wanted to share with readers here my daughter's next step in riding - jumping. She has just started learning some of the basics to help when it is time for her to soar over them. I am seriously thinking about valium for me and bubble wrap for her:)

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What's in your passport?

>> Tuesday, September 30, 2008

My husband's passport shows several trips to Japan. He was sent there for work for up to five weeks each time. That was a miserable time for us.

What does mine show? Nada. I don't have a passport because: 1) we have no money to travel, and 2) I am afraid to fly. When I was a child, we could come and go to Canada without one but I understand now that a passport is required. The U.S. won't let you back in without one. Makes sense to me after 9/11.

So what's in your passport? Does yours show far off places with beaches, culture, and history?

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Don't Buy Palm - BUYER BEWARE

We bought two brand new Palm smartphones on our cell plan, one for me and one for my husband around March of this year. I have the Treo and my husband has the Centro. They have been problems for months.

Let's take my husband's Treo...

Last month, it stopped working entirely. It was stuck on the Palm logo page and that was all it would do. Couldn't phone anybody, couldn't text, couldn't get into the schedule - nothing! I went through with Sprint and Palm all the soft and hard resets that you have to try first. It didn't work.

Then they want you to do one of two things:

  1. They will send you another phone out with a $300 hold on one of your credit cards (it would've been our bank card which means they'd hold $300 of our checking account money) until they receive the broken phone back; or
  2. Send your phone in, they promise to fix it within 5-7 days of receiving it and will send it back to you.

We went with option #2 because who the heck has an extra $300 to give a company to hold onto for who the heck knows how long when you are supporting six kids? We sent them the phone according to their instructions and waited. And waited. And waited.

I called them because it'd been longer than the 5-7 days they'd claimed. They apologized and said they'd take care of it within 24-48 hours and send the phone back to us. We finally got the phone back to find that they didn't fix the one we had sent them. They sent us a refurbished phone back. We bought a brand new phone from them a few months ago and they send us back somebody else's repaired phone? Hm.

So, it should be all good now right? WRONG! The dang phone they sent us didn't work. We could barely hear who was talking...seems the ear piece was bad. So they sent us a bad phone after waiting weeks for them to fix the phone to begin with! Nice.

*sigh*

So I call them back and they'll fix the phone. They think they are being considerate in agreeing to waive the $25 fee to fix this phone. Huh? They sent us a broken phone so why the heck should I pay them to to fix it or be grateful to them for waiving that fee?

THEN....wait for this...

They want us to send that phone back into them and wait weeks to have this one fixed or replaced. Again? Do they not realize that we bought a new phone from them just a few months ago, that we'd waited weeks already for them to fix it, longer than they said it would take, and they sent us back a bad phone? I tell them that isn't agreeable, for us to be inconvenienced for their mistake.

They tell me that they will send us another phone but will have to hold $300 of our money until we get the phone from them and then send ours back to them. What? This is THEIR mistake remember? I am livid at this point and ask to talk to a supervisor.

I get the supervisor who won't budge so they send me to corporate. They won't budge either. Why should I let them hold $300 of my own money for THEIR mistake? I basically tell them where they can put their Palm phones. They keep their patronizing tone on the phone with me while I hear some man laughing his backside off in the background at Palm. GREAT customer service!

I will NEVER buy a Palm phone from them again. Never. It'll be a cold day and pigs will fly before that happens. They have horrible customer service - sending us a bad phone and then refusing to fix it without totally inconveniencing us. What kind of customer service is that?

BUYER BEWARE! Their customer service was terrible to deal with and their products break down. After this happened, I went online and it seems like this "freezing up" like my husband's phone did is a big problem with the Palm phones. You'd think they'd have a better customer service response than the one they had with me.

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New Use for Nursing Mothers

>> Thursday, September 25, 2008

PETA wants Ben & Jerry's (ice cream) to use human breast milk for their ice cream rather than cow's milk. How many people would buy ice cream made from milk that came from a woman's breast? I wouldn't. I know when I was nursing and my husband got a taste of it (use your imagination), he didn't care for the taste.

I know the conflict there is with dairy products and that we are the only species who drinks milk from another species in general. I also know that when I cut out all dairy from my diet for just four days, the improvement in my asthma was HUGE. Astounding difference!

Going back to this idea...who would give all this milk? Would women go to work and hook themselves up to pumps and be milked for however long they could? I nursed for a couple of years and pumping was the least favorite part of it. Plus breast milk changes according to needs. How do you monitor and get the same consistent milk for the ice cream, assuming it could even be made into ice cream?

You wouldn't catch me hooking my breasts up to pumps in the name of ice cream!

Here's the article.

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Don't Choose Pain

>> Wednesday, September 24, 2008

One thing that I don't miss about the corporate world is the sore feet from wearing those shoes that looked great but were just so uncomfortable I couldn't wait to kick them off under my desk. I would think it odd if I saw a man sitting at his desk without his shoes on but nobody ever blinked when us women did it. We had no choice. Who would choose pain for eight plus hours a day?

Now you don't have to choose pain or bare feet under your desk. If you buy Beautifeel shoes, you can have style and comfort in one.

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Technology Advances

My computer-addicted heart is all aflutter. There is an electronic system out that I just learned about called digital signage.


A digital signage player is like a media player but it also delivers web-based content. It is for all those live broadcasts and RSS feeds you enjoy.

If you are the corporate type, you can have a digital signage system in the break room, etc. for your employees. It is remotely controlled so what is on screen is changeable from wherever you are at. It also saves trees - why hand out flyers and such to your employees when you can have a centrally located digital signage system in place?

They are also great for school campuses or out on the manufacturing floor. This is a great way to upgrade your business in your customer's eyes.

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Thyroid Woes

For the last couple of weeks, I have been losing a lot more hair than what a person normally loses. I know what this means and I'm not happy about it. It means that I have to get some blood tests to check my thyroid hormone levels again.

My skin is also acting up - very dry around the eyes and acne around my nose and chin. I had rubbed the skin around my eyes raw after my daughter's horse died a month ago and they haven't healed yet. I use lotion and vaseline but still no change. The lotion isn't helping the acne around my nose, that's for sure.

I sure wish they had a cure for an underactive thyroid so all these problems would just go away. It's an up and down roller coaster and I really want off the thyroid ride.

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Great PC Speakers

>> Tuesday, September 23, 2008

I received these great speakers for our computer from The Speaker Company. We hooked them up to our desktop computer because my husband uses this computer for recording his music. The speakers look and sound good. They are going to be great for my husband's recording needs as well as just listening to music and videos on our computer.

Here are pictures of what our set looks like:




The Speaker Company sells speakers for bookshelves, home theater, floor standing, satellites, in-ceiling, in-wall, outdoor, PC, and sub woofers. Our family loves music and these just make it that much nicer to listen to what we love.

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Stepdaughter Surprises Me - WOW!

Hubby received a little package in the mail the other day that had taffy in it for him from my stepdaughter. SHOCK the you know what out of me! The kids barely talk to him, never write and he's having to leave messages, etc. to just try to get hold of them. So, when this showed up, I was pleasantly surprised. I am glad that my stepdaughter not only remembered that her dad loves this taffy, but that she would buy it to send to him. It was very sweet of her to do this.

Could've done without the ex including a medical bill for us to pay in my stepdaughter's gift to her dad but what are you gonna do (no, I am not saying we could do without having to pay it since dh always pays his share of support for his children on time all the time but meant that including it with a gift was a bit crude).

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Can't Stand Child Support Enforcement Agency

>> Thursday, September 18, 2008

For over 12 years, the Michigan Friend of Court county office that we have had to deal with for my stepchildren's child support has been nothing but difficult. My husband has always paid his child support on time, along with all their stupid fees they charge to handle the child support (because the kickbacks they get from the Federal government for every dollar they collect isn't enough). We had a few problems:

  1. If you are a dad, you are automatically assumed to be a deadbeat before they even look at your record showing otherwise. You could hear the sneer in their voices when they spoke to you. The only time we didn't was when one of our caseworkers was a man. That was the only time my husband was shown a little respect for being a loving, responsible father.
  2. Another problem we had every year was with their record keeping on the child support they received and their false accusations of support arrearages. It was so atrocious for years that we would spend months (every.single.year) trying to prove to them where they made a mistake in record keeping and were accusing my husband of being in arrears falsely. At one point, it took me over a year to prove to them that their accountant screwed up, not us. Eventually, dh's ex would agree that he wasn't behind but only after months (or a year) of tying ourselves into pretzels with all the canceled checks, employer garnishment records, and their own accounting records (yes, we had to point out to them where in their own records THEY screwed up and it would take months for them to finally fix the records).

Since the state took it over from the county, we have only had one problem like that happen so it is better. Instead of every year of being falsely accused of arrearages and threatened with income tax garnishment, it's only happened once in the last few years. The ex would get her money faster if we paid her direct but that would mean trusting my husband to pay her directly instead of the Friend of Court but she won't do that. He was trustworthy enough to be primary caregiver for the kids while he was with her but after he left her, he's not trustworthy enough since HE dumped HER I guess. Who dumps who makes the difference in how you can parent I guess. Not. She'd rather he pay weekly fees for the county to process her child support and also lose a part of her child support on the additional fees they just tacked on this year (at least she has to pay some of them now!).

So now what is my problem? My problem is the Friend of Court county office can't just mess up the support records of my husband for his two children but now they are affecting my own child's entrance to get into a preschool program so she can get her speech needs met there. A week ago, our county agency faxed them a request to verify the child support my husband pays for my stepkids. All they have to do is fax them back a sheet of paper that verifies that he pays x amount of dollars weekly/monthly. Did they do it? Of course not! This information is holding up my three-year-old's application. If the class fills up, which is likely since it is highly sought after in our community, she won't be able to get in.

It's not enough that they made our lives hell for years. Now their incompetence has to affect my child's speech intervention needs as well.

I sent the Friend of Court an email today requesting they submit this information ASAP. Hopefully they do it soon.

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Brilliant Weblog Award

>> Tuesday, September 16, 2008


I received an awesome award for this blog today! Lisa at The Independent Mom, somebody I've known for several years, gave me the "Brilliant Weblog" award because she thinks my blog is great! Lisa has several great blogs you should check out.
I was also given this award by Diane at Travel Snippets and More. I met Diane through Lisa's forum. Everything you want to know about traveling (and some fantastic photos too), you can learn from Diane.
I get it twice! Yeah for me!!!

I am to pass the award along to other blogs that I feel are great reading. So I am giving this award to two bloggers I met doing what we like to do - blog. Here they are:
The above blogs are definitely worth reading! Check them out!

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Meme Time - It's All About Me!

Witchy Mama has tagged me to do this meme!

I must reveal six unspectacular quirks about myself and challenge other bloggers to do the same.

The rules are:

  1. Link to the person who tagged you.
  2. Mention the rules.
  3. Tell six unspectacular quirks of yours.
  4. Tag six bloggers by linking.
  5. Leave a comment for each blogger.

Here's my list!

  1. I don't eat any meat with a bone in it (Get your mind outta the gutter! My husband is very happy in that area thank you very much.). I am serious...chicken, steak, pork - if it has a bone, don't bring it into my house. Boneless only please!
  2. I believe in ghosts/spirits of loved ones gone (human or pet) that I've known plus your average "ghost hanging around the house that you don't know" ghost. I've seen them.
  3. I am neurotic when it comes to safety - suffocatingly so.
  4. I LOVE to rock out with my kids. I can actually handle listening to their music and enjoy it (as long as they don't put country on...yak). Watch this old bat dance! lol While I still love my 80's and 90's music I grew up on, I also enjoy the pop and R&B (and some hip hop) my kids listen to. This mom isn't out of it yet!
  5. I can swear like a sailor and usually have to monitor my mouth in public so something doesn't slip out that shouldn't (especially at the kids' school).
  6. I can be nasty mean when it comes to anybody hurting my family (husband and kids). I'm generally quiet but being very emotional, I turn into a Lioness when the threat of hurt/harm to my family exists. Nobody messes with my family!

I am tagging:

Mamma Dawg

Jessica Michele

(I know there are supposed to be six but since I never do what I'm told, lol...)

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We Never Get Vacations

>> Sunday, September 14, 2008

We never get "real" vacations. You know, the kinds that cost thousands and involve an airplane, luggage, warm weather, sandy beaches, drinks with umbrellas, etc. THOSE kinds of vacations. We have never been able to afford anything like that before. A lot of people take annual Vegas vacations or annual trips to white beaches.

However, one of the perks of my new job that I am studying to take my state test for are vacations. If you meet their minimums, they company sends you (and a guest) to exotic places around the world as a company trip. My husband and I will have that honeymoon we were never able to have after we married because we were fighting his ex in court instead.

A couple more weeks of studying and I hope to take my test. I hope I can pass it the first time (most people don't) and get going on a new career.

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Guess Watches & Teen Trends

When you are a teen, there is always a trend that all the teenagers just "have" to have. I can remember one of those items that was a must have was a Guess watch. Guess watches were the thing to have, and I never had one. I have found that these are still popular watches today.

We can't afford to outfit our kids in all the latest fashion trends, but I do try to provide a few items for my daughter who just entered junior high. I remember being a pre-teen/teen and not having any of the latest styles. You stick out like a sore thumb and are may be left feeling bad about how you look in your cheap clothing compared to friends and other classmates. I don't want her to feel that way. I don't want her to be materialistic , but I think a few items that we can afford can help her feel less embarrassment than I did as a kid.

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My Morning of Tears - Remembering 9/11

>> Thursday, September 11, 2008

I haven't turned on the television yet today. I know it will make me cry so I just leave it off. The radio was hard enough this morning and sent me into tears.



Edited to Add to 9/11 Day: My kids came home from school today and were talking about the moment of silence that was observed by everybody at their school today. It affected them enough to turn off their fans in their rooms and observe their own moment of silence so they could pray for the lives lost during 9/11. We talked about it a little more, answering some of their questions from what they'd heard at school. I am glad my kids have compassion for others. It was a proud mommy moment.

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Stepfamily Information For You

>> Wednesday, September 10, 2008

If you are looking for stepfamily support/suggestions for particular step issues, check out "Stepfamily Help" in the sidebar to the right. There are non-custodial information, custodial information, dealing with schools, discipline, signs of stress in different aged children, and a lot more.

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Bridge to Nowhere

>> Tuesday, September 9, 2008

I keep hearing about the "Bridge to Nowhere" in the news so I looked it up. I found this article where you can read about it. It is a September 2007 news article from CNN. It indicates how McCain was stated as being against it and talks about Palin's role (initially for it but nixed it in the end when the money could've been better put to use elsewhere).


It is interesting that so much is being made of this in the media, and trying to direct that negatively toward Palin who nixed it and is on record as doing so, but I found some interesting information:

BARACK VOTED TO ALLOW IT!

Here is the information on the bill itself. Here is a print screen showing Barack Obama voted for it. (From what I can find, the "No" vote was to keep funding for the Bridge to Nowhere and voting "Yes" shifted the funding to Hurricane Katrina relief.) Hmmmm...funds for Katrina relief or funds to build a bridge to a place with only 50 residents. Hmmm...let me think about that. Duh!!!



So why exactly is this "Bridge to Nowhere" being portrayed in the media as a negative against Palin? It seems like the negativity should be bounced back to Barack Obama who voted for the bridge. Oh yeah, that's right...most of the media is biased instead of practicing objective journalism. I forgot. Silly me. Perhaps during one of CNN's biased reports, they should look at one of their own articles.

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Pregnancy Calculations

>> Monday, September 8, 2008

I have had four kids. I have morning sickness all day for eight out of nine months when I am pregnant. So 8 months times four kids equals 32 months of morning sickness. That was 32 months of throwing up and 24/7 nausea (that's not even including the pain of the pregnancies themselves since each child got progressively more painful to carry).

When I get sick, I don't get nursed or time off. I still have kids to make meals for and take care of. Those things don't get done by themselves.

So when my husband, who has a cold, tells me before going into work not to be surprised if he uses his last vacation day to come home early because he's sick, it is no big surprise that I have little sympathy for him (ok, I had none, absolutely no sympathy). People work all the time with colds. Unless he's feverish, um....stay at work! After 32 months of morning sickness (two of those pregnancies I worked full-time through and even went shopping after I went into labor because things weren't ready for the baby yet!) and moms never getting a day off even when they are sick, I'm going to fall over in sympathy over a simple cold? In addition, he gets to take cold medications to ease his symptoms. I can't do that when I get sick because they react adversely with my thyroid medication. I have gone the last seven years without cold symptom relief. I go through each cold and flu season with no medications at all to help ease my symptoms. So this is all why I find it really hard to feel sympathy for my husband wanting to waste his last vacation day for a cold.

I'm so cold-hearted, lol. Men are such babies when they get sick. *bring on the violins*

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Do You Discuss Politics?

>> Sunday, September 7, 2008

Politics is a hot button issue to discuss. This, along with religion and abortion, are a few topics I don't debate with anybody other than my husband. I don't see the point of trying to convince people on why I feel a certain way just like I don't expect anybody else to try to justify to me why they would vote a certain way.

Some people just love a debate though. Some people can debate with the best of them and then let it go. It doesn't affect relationships. That is how it should be for those who enjoy debating each other. Then you have other people who will allow it to affect relationships, perhaps with not that goal in mind, but with their constant rabid fascination with pushing their opinions on people who don't want to hear it. I don't see the point of that. Even if I agree with their political opinion, that constant spewing just gets on my last nerve and I have to end the conversation and avoid it in the future. I don't enjoy talking to people who think it is their life mission to convert me. Opinions are fine but don't get rabid about it.

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Cruising YouTube Today...













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Is this true? Barack Obama

>> Thursday, September 4, 2008

I was watching a cable news station and they mentioned Barck's Obama failure to protect babies who were born alive with beating hearts during partial birth abortions. So, I thought I'd look this up because while I agree that women should have the choice no matter what my personal opinion is for myself whether for or against, if a baby survives the attempts to stop its life and is born alive, isn't it murder to do nothing and allow the baby to die. Here is what I found:

The procedure is frequently called “Live birth abortion” but it is not really an abortion at all:
“... doctors do not attempt to kill the baby in the uterus. The goal is simply to prematurely deliver a baby who dies during the birth process or soon afterward.”

Obama… “refused as an Illinois state senator to support legislation to protect babies who survived late-term abortions because he did not want to concede — as he explained in a cold-blooded speech on the Illinois Senate floor — that these babies, fully outside their mothers’ wombs, with their hearts beating and lungs heaving, were in fact “persons.”

“On the Illinois Senate floor, Obama was the only senator to speak against the baby-protecting bills.”

Obama fought it for three years as a Illinois state senator, even after it passed 98-0 in the US Senate as the Born Alive Infants Protection Act.

Barack Obama fought it even after NARAL “…released a statement that said, “Consistent with our position last year, NARAL does not oppose passage of the Born Alive Infants Protection Act.”

Is this the truth? If this baby who is born alive with a beating heart isn't a "person" with all the rights a human being should have, what is "it" then? Seems more like murder to me. I think it is called infanticide at this point.














Ummm...answer the dang question!

I am sorry - ok, no I am not - anybody who allows a child (and it IS a child with rights once he or she is out of the womb and still living) to be shelved to die is just nasty, immoral, unethical, and downright creepy.


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Where has the objective journalism gone?

What has happened to objective journalism? When I watch stations like ABC and CBS and their national news coverage in the morning, I am sorely disappointed in their brand of journalism. I want facts about each candidate, without slanting it one way or the other, so I can gather all the facts about each candidate and make a smart decision for myself on who to vote for. I was under the impression that news was meant to be fair and objective. I thought journalists had a code of ethics? All I see and hear is media bias. I'm tired of it. I want news, not personal opinions from the journalists on television or their bosses who slant it towards one political party over another.

For the full article on my opinion of ABC and CBS yesterday morning in its political coverage, click here.

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A Web Site for Stepkids

We bought a domain and made a web site for the stepkids who live 200 miles away last year. It has separate pages for holidays where we can give them holiday greetings and such so they know we are thinking about them. We created a private forum on the site where we could chat privately. We also made a guestbook so we could leave them messages.

Well, I think they've only looked at it once the whole time it's been on the Internet (I have a counter on it that tracks visits). Everytime we'd make a new page for a holiday and send them the link via email, they wouldn't look at it. They've never gone into the forum. Never. I would hazard a guess as to why - - because it is private and only THEY can get in...not their mother (unless she would use their id) who likes to stand over them and feed them what they can and can not do where it concerns us.

So I have decided that when the domain is ready to expire, I am going to let it. Obviously, any type of contact with them that their mother can't control is a big no-no so there is no point in wasting money on the domain and hosting space when they won't (can't) even look at it. Seeing as how their mother reads their emails first from us (and deletes them if she wishes too before they see them), I wouldn't be surprised if they don't know about it. Those emails could've been deleted before they ever saw them. Maybe when sd is texting me, I'll mention the web site and see. If they know about it and could care less, then there is no point in my wasting time (and money) creating web pages and updating sites for nothing.

I could keep it so in the future they can never come back and say anything negative about us never contacting them or whatever (I also save every email, letter copy, etc. so there is proof if that time ever comes) even if they do lie to their grandparents about that. However, I find myself caring less and less the more this bull grows. Tolerance levels can only reach so high before it falls and scatters in the wind.

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Make It Seem Like His Idea


It seems like we are the last household in America without a plasma television. My husband has wanted one of these since seeing them for the first time in Japan over eight years ago (before hitting our shores). He was excited to tell me all about the flat screen televisions he saw on one of his many trips there and he's been trying to get one since.

Eventually I am going to have to give in to him (shhh...don't tell him but I wouldn't mind one of them myself). However, I have to make it seem like it is something only he really wants. The problem is it's not just the television you need. Our current television armoire doesn't really fit those types of televisions. I am sure we could make it work, but it wouldn't look the way it was supposed to and we'd be limiting ourselves on the size of the plasma television. We would definitely need to get a tv lift cabinet instead. There is just no other way in my wifely opinion.

You see, my husband doesn't know that the television he really, really wants is actually a whole living room set for me. When it is all his idea, I'll have my new living room set. See how that works?

No, I'm not tricky. I've been married almost 13 years. I know how this works by now.

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Uncertain Relationships with Stepchild

>> Wednesday, September 3, 2008

My relationship with my stepdaughter has me confused. When she was younger, we were very close. I was her second mother and she loved me regardless of what she was told outside our home that she shouldn't feel or do by others. Now that she is a teenager and has given in to the manipulations (can't blame a kid really for doing that...it was rough for them for a lot of years), our relationship runs hot and cold. Tonight, for instance, she's texting me pictures of the boy she likes in school, texts me a joke, and is just open and friendly. When she was here last, she was confiding things to me that she wasn't telling either one of her parents, most especially her mother. She trusted me to listen and not judge (and help if I can). At other times, she is distant or just entirely ignores communication attempts. Is it step related? Is it teenage angst? Maybe a little of both?

I am looking forward to the day she turns 18 (or thereabouts). I am hoping our relationship will level out once she is an adult, not totally reliant on her mother or worried so much about her that she puts the rest of us at a distance most of the time.

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We Are Living Little House

Laura Ingalls watch out! We're taking over hygiene without modern facilities and we're doing just fine. We still don't have our hot water tank. They called yesterday morning to ask if they could install it that morning (heck yeah, come on over!). We were surprised by how quick it was and looking forward to hot water again. The installers get here and guess what? WRONG HOT WATER TANK! *sigh*

It seems we are special. We can't just have a REGULAR hot water tank. Ours needs to have a power vent on top so carbon monoxide doesn't back up into the house due to the way it is vented. (Ohhhhh, so THAT is what that was on top of our current - 1974 - hot water tank model.) We are SO special that they have to special order it from Whirlpool. Didn't I say we were special? We are beyond special because it is going to cost us $400 more than our original quote now. Shouldn't I feel really special now?

So now we wait. We were told, as they are charging our credit card for even more credit card debt that we didn't need, that it will take a week for them to get it in stock from Whirlpool and then they can schedule the installation.

So, how are we staying clean? Well, it has been in the 90's here so I put the kids in their bathing suits, go outside with a bottle of shampoo, and hose them down. Everybody but our youngest loves it. For my husband and me, we boil water and dump it in the tub. Then we boil more water and dump it in the tub. After doing this a few times and then adding some cold to make it comfortable, we have a few inches of water to bathe in.

Hubby says we are Amish now. Somehow I think they have better facilities than we do right now.

Oh well, we are expecting warm temps for the next several days so the kids can get by just fine with the hose and a bottle of shampoo. I, for one, would prefer a FULL tub. *sigh*

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Chrome Google or Google Chrome?

>> Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Whichever it is, Google has launched a new way to browse thru your browser. It is the beta version for windows currently. If you have Mac or Linux, your version is coming soon.

One of the features I like about it is if you have several tabs open in the browser and one of them crashes, it isn't supposed to crash all of them. That happens too often in the browser I use now and it drives me crazy! If this browser is as good as the one I use now AND won't crash everything at once, I'm in. However, I am going to sit back and see how it goes before I download it myself. I don't want my laptop to be the public guinea pig for this just yet. I'll wait until I see if there are any kinks and how they get worked out first.

You can read more about it here.

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Why Not To Do Drugs

>> Sunday, August 31, 2008

Odd news...

A man shoots up with drugs but thinks he injected air into his vein. So, what does he do? Call 911? Nope. He tries to cut off his arm in a Denny's restaurant. When the butter knife (yes, a butter knife) didn't work, he used a butcher knife. So, do you think anybody had an appetite after witnessing a man trying to cut his own arm off? Guess not. Good thing Denny's closed up for the night after that.

Another bit of odd (but this one good) news...

An 18-month-old baby fell from a third story window in Brazil on Thursday. His disposable diaper snagged on a security spike on the building and saved the child's life (good thing it was the diaper and not the child itself). He wasn't stuck up there though left to dangle from his drawers. The diaper did break open and dropped the child anyway but at a much slower speed...enough to save his life. Lucky kid.

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Ack! Dreams will get me thru the week.

Ack! Our hot water tank died on us. It's been a slow death for it. My husband has been relighting the pilot for months now to extend its use but that finally stopped lighting. It's 34 years old so I guess it can be retired permanently now and a replacement brought in (like we have a choice). While picking out a new hot water tank tonight, we were pricing a new bathroom vanity and bathroom lighting (ok, we were dreaming while trying not to think of the price of having to replace the tank). Our house needs some serious remodeling still. I am going to keep dreaming about it as I bathe in cold water over the next week until our new tank can be installed. We are going to go back in time and boil water for baths, lol. This should be a fun week!

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Children's Furniture

Two children's bedrooms are in need of new beds. We have been looking for discount furniture for them since we can't afford the expense of anything else. They want loft beds in their room with a desk underneath their bed. It makes more sense since their bedrooms are on the smaller side and they are getting older so a desk would definitely help during homework time. For me, I'll just be happy when this house is done being remodeled and furnished and looks more homey as opposed to always being a work in progress.

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Asthma, Your Child, & School

With most children in school or soon to be starting within a couple of days, have you updated your school's records with the nurse to allow your child to use and/or carry their asthma inhaler during school hours? If your school is like ours, they require this be done (updated) every year. So, if you don't have this in place yet at school, take care of it now so you aren't scrambling to take care of it AFTER your child has an asthma attack at school.

Also, make sure the school and nurse has all your current contact information so if an asthma attack occurs, they can get hold of you easily.

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For Better or For Worse

>> Saturday, August 30, 2008

Wow! The comic, For Better or For Worse family drama is ending. I used to read this when I was a kid. I haven't read the comics in many years now so I wasn't aware that they aged these characters along with the comic strip. That is a really good idea. Now I wish I'd checked it out to see through the years.

If you were a devoted follower of this comic strip, it's not REALLY ending. The writer, Lynn Johnston, will have about a month of new strips of when Elizabeth and Michael were very young. Then it will merge into a combination of new and old strips.

So take heart devoted FOOBers...it's not really the end.

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Current News

>> Friday, August 29, 2008

McCain picked a woman for a vice presidential candidate and she sounds like a good choice in my opinion from what I've heard of her so far. If I could vote for her and just shuck the other three, that'd be great. People seem to be singing her praises:

Alaska Governor Sarah Palin can help Sen. McCain win this election by appealing to independent and young voters. She’s a mainstream Republican who will unite the Party and serve John McCain well as Vice President. Gov. Palin is an inclusive Republican who will help Sen. McCain appeal to gay and lesbian voters.” (says President Patrick Sammon)

I watched Glenn Beck tonight and seemed to think she was a good choice.

The forums are hopping talking about it and a lot of people are encouraged by his choice. I have to admit that it is the first time since campaigning started, which seems like 100 years ago, that I felt a twinge of excitement.

Other things in the news today...

Where is Hurricane Gustav going to hit? Read the latest news here.

Two airliners almost collided in the air. My sister was just trying to encourage me the other day to fly. Oy. It's not going to happen. Read that here.

Casey Anthony was arrested again. Her three-year-old, Caylee, has been missing since June and the latest DNA tests show that a dead body had been in her mother's trunk. Throw the book at her. Better yet, lock her away and forget about her.

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Fathers Are Equal Parents Too



Fathers are equal parents too. The family court system isn't set up to recognize that fact as it takes federal funds out of the state's pockets to do so. Sometimes, I believe family courts are driven more by money than by the best interests of the children. There is always legislation pending all over the United States put forth by organizations trying to equalize both parents' time with their child or children. However, it is met with huge obstacles. It was this way when I became involved in the movement to gain equality in the family courts for fathers and it is still that way today - 13 years later. Nothing has changed. That is very sad for the children and all they miss out on by not having equal time with both parents.

Both parents are needed to raise a child if both parents are available.

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Traffic has been awesome

Adding the 1,682 visitors to my site here yesterday to the approximately 3,000 I had in the couple of days preceding yesterday, I've had almost 5,000 visitors since Tuesday. How exciting! All it took was somebody stumbling one of my posts soon after I posted it (whoever you are, thank you) and it took off from there. I love how that works!

If you don't use sites like stumbleupon, digg, reddit and I hear Yahoo buzz! is another (though it didn't bring any traffic in the one time I tried it), you should check them out if increasing traffic is important to your blog.

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Contact the School!!

>> Thursday, August 28, 2008

Most school-aged kids have gone back to school by this week or will by next week. My stepkids go back next week so we will plan to make school contact by early next week at the latest to make sure we are on the mailing lists for report cards, interim reports, and any other pertinent information. If you are a non-custodial parent looking for information on how to stay involved in your child's education, I have some information for you here. Read it and stay involved. Yes, I am being bossy, lol.

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