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.


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.


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.).


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.


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.


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 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.


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.


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 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 I really needed a few more pounds on my frame. The holidays will do that to you if you aren't careful I guess.


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.


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.


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



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.


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?


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.


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.


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.


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.


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?


Kids' Swing Sets

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


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?


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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