Johnson & Johnson Recalling Children's and Infant's Tylenol Products

>> Friday, September 25, 2009

Johnson & Johnson is recalling a lot of their products. To get a full list of them, check here.


How Long Would You Keep Ex Documentation?

>> Thursday, September 24, 2009

How much work would it be to digitize all our files and get some secure online storage I wonder? With us busting at the seams in our house, putting the boxes of documentation from the years of "the ex" would clear up a little room. Adding all our tax documents, car stuff, medical, etc., would be a big help.

I think about it periodically but when I think about what a big job it seems like, I procrastinate. I could go through all "the ex" stuff and throw away a lot of it, but you never know when you might need something. Who is to say what the future will bring? Hopefully no more court or major fighting but who really knows? It would be my luck to throw something away and then find I need it a month later. Plus, I think I'd get angry and/or depressed all over again having to go through all those boxes and reliving how horrible the early years were.

How long would you keep documentation from your dealings with your ex?


Outgrowing Our House

We've outgrown our house. There's nothing else that I can do (or can afford to do anyway) to make more room. With all these kids and animals, we are busting at the seams and stepping on each other. Can't afford a bigger house though. There isn't one spare wall anywhere to put anything - not a desk or piano or anything. We're full up!

My dream house would be a six bedroom, three bath (one of them being in the master suite) home on at least ten acres with some of them wooded. It's just a dream. We can't afford to move anywhere until child support is done (three years, eight months).


Stepfamily Stress Bad For Your Health

>> Monday, September 21, 2009

Did you know the constant state of stress that you may live in while dealing with stressful ex and step stuff can predispose you to things like diabetes, cancer, and heart disease? A lot of us struggle with the need to lose belly fat but it stays stubbornly with us and we wonder why. Given that we probably lived at least several years in an almost constant state of stress, it's no surprise now that I know more. (Wish I'd known then what I know now.)

When you are stressed, it elevates your cortisol levels (which can also tax your adrenals and affect your thyroid - like me). Too much chronic stress and it leads to insulin resistance. It becomes a cycle and eventually health problems start to show up.

I lived in an almost constant state of stress for more than the first half of our marriage trying to deal with all the stressors. It's only been within the past few years that I've backed away for my health (and let some things fall where they may because I can't be responsible for everything and still be healthy for my own kids). I'm not really surprised that I'm having the health problems I am having now. What I do wish is that I'd known about it from the beginning so I could have taken steps to prevent it.

If you're new to stepfamily life and living in what seems like constant stress, please realize that it is bad for your health and take the steps now so you aren't where I am at 14 years later. Look up stress in relation to cortisol, insulin resistance, belly fat (all related) which can lead to diabetes, heart problems, hormone-related problems, and more.


Over-Scheduled to Conflict with Other Parent's Time

>> Sunday, September 20, 2009

Do you find that the ex schedules activities during your time without asking you? Do you think he or she does it on purpose?

We had that problem for the first several years. The ex would sign my stepdaughter up for an activity that interfered with every weekend dad had for nine months of the year when she could have scheduled it on any weekday (We checked the activity schedules to see and guess what? Yup, could've been scheduled when it didn't interfere in dad's time.) The ex wanted to make sure she could see the children during dad's weekends...can't give dad 48 hours alone with his kids now!

That wasn't the only problem though. We were finding that the kids, from age three and on, were scheduled for several activities every single week. Add in the visitation schedule and they ran from place to place constantly. So, we made sure our weekends were unscheduled most of the time just so they could have some down time and be kids. They played with their siblings, they played outside, we all played together with creative toys (Playmobil Toys would be a great idea for some creative toys for families to play together with young children), they made up games to play, we did crafts, we cooked. We did stuff together that didn't involve hyper-parenting.

According to an article I read at The Parent Report:

"A recent University of Michigan study even showed that we parents are now spending more time with our children. Unfortunately, careful analysis of the data shows that much of the additional time is being spent chauffeuring them from activity to activity."

Sounds like fun, doesn't it?


Who Keeps Pictures of their Ex?

>> Saturday, September 19, 2009

If you're here, you're likely involved in some way in a stepfamily, most likely the stepmom since not many dads frequent a stepfamily blog that's pink! We married men that came with some baggage, some more difficult than others to deal with and we look for others who are in our situation to chat with. The baggage may be an ex, ex-in-laws, mementos, etc.

One thing that I didn't have to deal with were pictures of my husband's ex-wife (who he was married to for a short time at a young age but no kids) or his ex-girlfriend (two kids). He doesn't have any pictures at all of either one of them. Not one. Nor does he have pleasant memories of his time with them so I guess that's a good enough reason why. When he left his ex-girlfriend, he took his clothes, his bike, some kid pics, and some old toys for his daughter. He left the bank accounts, furnishings, and house (which was in his parents name) behind without a fuss. He basically started over. He wanted nothing to do with her, dividing it up with her, or anything. Guess that says something about how much, and how fast, he wanted out. He was emotionally divorced from her.

I have pictures of some of my ex-boyfriends in a photo album (not all of them but the couple that lasted for a few years or more). Hubby doesn't seem to care. I didn't keep any jewelry that had been given to me (and I'd had some nice rings and bracelets). My husband doesn't have any extra mens rings around that came from past girlfriends either.

Maybe it's a girl thing - to keep mementos and not so much a male thing to care about having pictures or anything like that.


What to do if you get the swine flu (H1N1)

>> Friday, September 18, 2009

According to a handout that came home with my kids from school, here is what they say to do if you get the swine (H1N1) flu:

  • Stay home, out of public for seven days after symptoms begin or until you've been symptom-free for 24 hours.
  • Limit contact with other people.
  • Teach children proper handwashing and set good example by washing hands frequently with soap and water.
  • Cover cough and sneezes (and then wash hands!).
  • Throw tissues directly into garbage can and do not put on other surfaces. (Better clean my daughter's tissues out of my car; she has a cold right now.)
  • Contact health care provider if you have any questions.

For symptoms of swine flu, click here.

For prevention of swine flu, click here.

Basically, what they're saying is, do what you would for any type of flu - good hygiene, etc.


H1N1 Swine Flu Prevention

>> Thursday, September 17, 2009

My preschooler's school just sent a note home about the H1N1 (swine) flu. To prevent it, it says:

  • Wash hands with soap and water frequently.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes.
  • Keep hands away from face.
  • Practice social distancing (3-4 feet from others). Good luck with this one and kids. They all congregate in groups.
  • Stay home if you are sick (at least 24 hours after fever is gone).
  • Get seasonal flu shot. I'm not sure that is the answer. The vaccine has to be for the exact strain and with viruses mutating constantly, what are the chances that you are vaccinated for the exact strain? I'd like to know that. I'd also question giving my own child a vaccine that hasn't been tested long enough. Given all the health problems and deaths from the Gardasil vaccine, I do not trust Big Pharma or the government right now where it concerns vaccinations.
  • Wear a mask to prevent spreading to others when ill. They've always done this in Japan. It's something you don't see much of here in the states.
  • Hand sanitizer should be kept out of reach of all children and used with caution on children who place their fingers/hands in their mouth frequently. Not sure if this is due to the alcohol content or what. I know it used to be a problem.

That's what I have on prevention. For symptoms, click here. Will post more about what to do if you get it later.


Coarse, Somewhat Curly Hair

I'm looking for a new 'do. My hair is shoulder length, curly, thick, and coarse. My hairstyle now (and calling it a hairstyle is a pathetic word for what I do with it) is to take a clip and pull back the bangs and sides so they're off my face for the day. Yes, I have mom hair.

What happened to the young woman with long, sexy hair (think of Taylor Swift or Shakira's hair) who actually took the time to do something with it? Oh yeah, four kids happened to her.

I don't know what to do with this mess that is my hair. It's too coarse and thick to straighten everyday with a flat iron (and I don't want to spend that much time on it honestly). It's not quite curly enough to give great curl - more like mediocre curl.

I need to find a good salon franchise and get my hair shaped. I think if I have a good haircut, it will fall into place more easily? I can hope anyway.


Chaos in our Blended Family

>> Wednesday, September 16, 2009

In the early years (OK, for almost a decade), our house was pure chaos on the weekends my stepkids were here. My stepson was acting out BIG time and despite anything we did, we could not get support from his mother to help him. We were left on our own and, of course, met with criticism from the ex because we were too strict (giving consequences like sending him to his room or taking away video games was too strict). We never hit him. He was angry, aggressive and became violent many times.

We had basic rules (bedtime, no hitting, clearing plate from the table, cleaning bedroom, using manners at the table) and gave consequences when the rules weren't followed. He never felt he had to abide by our rules. We eventually posted rules and consequences so they were clear (hoping it'd help). There could be no confusion for him (or any of our children who we were trying to teach basic manners and respect for themselves and other people). Again, we were criticized. We were at our wit's end with his behavior and with his mother's behavior. His mother had it in his head that we were singling him out (like we let the rest of our crew run wild but we made him tow the line). It made it worse because he misbehaved and his mother excused it away for him.

When he hit, we gave him consequences. His mother would get upset because he was being grounded but the other kids weren't. The other kids weren't hitting, bloodying noses, etc. Why would we ground them for something he did? It made no sense to us! My stepson tried to stomp on his infant sister's head. Were we supposed to ground the baby too?

I still have posted rules so the kids know what is expected of them - ALL of the kids. Since my kids are here 99% of the time by themselves now that we are on a long distance schedule with my teenage stepkids, they are mostly for our own children now. I guess we weren't just posting them to single my stepson out eh? They are quite basic though after reading a sample of Scott Gale's family constitution, I am wondering if something like this would help organize our busy lives a little better. Lately it feels like with all the different extra-curricular activities and other responsibilities, we are a "Type A" family at the moment and I'm not liking that at all. I've never been a Type A anything! I feel like I have all these balls in the air and it's only a matter of time before one of them drops.


Symptoms of Swine Flu (H1N1)

According to the note sent home by my children's school, symptoms of this flu include:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Sore Throat
  • Cough
  • Chills
  • Diarrhea
  • Fatigue
  • Body Aches
  • Vomiting

It also says it has been "associated with severe illness and death."

Seeing how the symptoms are the same for flu in general, how do you know when it's swine?

It is spread the same way as the seasonal flu (person to person, especially through an infected person coughing or sneezing; touching things that have viron on it and then touching face).


There are some great ex's out there!

>> Tuesday, September 15, 2009

There was a man that I had lived with for 2-1/2 years (before meeting my husband of almost 14 years now) who had a little girl that I fell in love with. She was so sweet...a really good kid. That had absolutely nothing to do with her dad (who I learned was your basic deadbeat). He blamed everything on her mother, didn't spend time with his daughter when he did decide to make time to see his child and then had really bad judgment on the things he did while she was there. I left him, but his ex-wife kept in touch with me! Her mother and her stepfather did a wonderful job of raising her and this man's ex-wife always let me know how she was doing, pictures, gifts at the holidays over the years. It was really sweet (and such a HUGE difference between what we deal with from my husband's ex). Now we're all friends on Facebook.

She's now all grown up - married with one child and twins on the way. I want to find something meaningful to get for her and am running through my mind anything from baby gift baskets to one substantial gift. I just don't know!

It does go to show that not all ex-wives are bad. I've met some ex-wives who I would trade with my husband's ex in a second!


Supposed Answering Machine Message at Australian School (more likely a prank)

>> Monday, September 14, 2009


Health Class in 7th Grade

>> Thursday, September 10, 2009

My daughter has a semester long health class as a 7th grader. I asked during Open House what was on the agenda. I didn't think they'd only be talking about acne treatments and I was right. There will be some chatting about puberty, which just made my daughter cringe when she heard, along with healthy eating and the importance of exercise. I can remember at that age being embarrassed to talk about that stuff in school with a bunch of people but it was the only place I learned about what I needed to know since my parents wouldn't talk about it.

I am open with all the kids (mine and my stepkids) to talk about anything they want. If they ask it, they will get an answer. I also supplied several age-appropriate books on the shelves. I want to make sure they have all the knowledge they need when they're ready for it (in case they're not comfortable talking to their dad or me about something...but I hope they always are).


Boy Hidden in Crawlspace to Keep Away From Dad

>> Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Two years ago, an Illinois father, Mike Chekevdai, was awarded temporary custody of his son, Richard "Ricky" Chekevdia. Mom, Shannon Wilfong, then took her son and went into hiding...into her mother's home in a specially built room no higher than a washing machine. The child's grandmother says that she did put the boy into this crawlspace but he didn't live there. I sure hope not!

Says a police officer:

"We let him out of the police car and he ran around like he's never seen the outdoors," said Illinois State Police Sgt. Stan Diggs. "It was actually very sad."

All this time, the boy was three miles from his father, who had no idea what had happened to his son. The mother had accused the father of molesting their son, but child welfare didn't find any evidence of abuse.

The mother is now in jail (charged with felony kidnapping). Her mother and her fiance are being charged with aiding and abetting.

Dad will be reunited with his son later this week.


Organizational Development

>> Thursday, September 3, 2009

When I worked outside the house full-time, I worked directly for the CEO of the company as his personal assistant as well as managing the corporate offices of our company. I am not an "everything in its place" kind of person. I am more of an orderly chaos kind of person. It may not LOOK organized, but I know where everything is. Somehow it worked. I enjoyed my job and the responsibilities, received regular promotions, raises and good performance reviews.

If I had wanted to further myself and my role with the company, I would have looked into an Organizational development program like what is offered at Gonzaga University. It would have opened up more avenues for me for future promotions within the company and given me more options should I have decided to work elsewhere. Perhaps even my own consulting business would have been a possibility.

Gonzaga University is a not-for-profit, private university in Washington. If you check out their web site, you will see that they've been ranked as one of the nation's best universities by Forbes Magazine.

Some of their online Master's programs offered are Organizational Leadership, Communication and Leadership, and the online Master of Science in Nursing. I've always wanted to go back to school and preferred an online program because of my kids. It's something I've not given up on doing yet.


  © Blogger templates Shiny by 2008

Back to TOP