Calling Her a Twit is Nice

>> Monday, November 30, 2009

My stepdaughter was going to a chiropractor for TMJ and possible scoliosis. The ex told us her doctor and chiropractor (where her family member works) said she had scoliosis. We were told the chiropractor visits were once a week and once a week is what we agreed to pay half of after insurance. In that time period, the ex also started taking my stepson to the chiropractor because she thought he had the same problem as my stepdaughter and he had bad posture. She didn't give hubby a chance to agree or disagree before she took him like she is legally bound to do. The the pediatric orthopedic surgeon who saw my stepdaughter said there was nothing wrong with her back. There's also nothing wrong with my stepson's back other than the need to tell him to stand up straight! Unbelievable!!

Fast forward to now...we get an Explanation of Benefits for my stepdaughter for two months worth of visits. She wasn't going once a week as the ex told hubby and what he agreed to pay for. The ex was taking her every 2 - 3 days! What the heck? In addition, because of all these visits, the insurance company isn't paying them - they're doing a review on the case.

Nice! We agreed to once a week! If the insurance company refuses to cover most of these visits, all I am writing a check for is one per week, as we agreed upon. The ex can stew in her lies and pay the cost.


3 Month Til Braces Off

>> Saturday, November 28, 2009

Three more months and my daughter gets her braces off! It's been a long time coming. It's taken years to get to this point.

She needed to wear a palate expander for awhile which actually separated the roof of the mouth to widen her mouth. It had a little key that I had to twist that slowly widened the palate, breaking it apart. She'd just lay there with tears rolling down her face while I did it. I'm glad I didn't have to do that for very long. I felt so guilty, but she just didn't have enough room in there for all of her teeth. She had too many of them crammed up in her gums, unable to drop down.

Then she had the brackets put on for braces. All the teeth dropped down where they were supposed to but one. They had to cut into her gums and go in to pull one of the teeth down.

She's excited to get the braces off. She'd have preferred Orange NJ invisalign but she has the metal braces. She hasn't been able to eat anything chewy or hard. She's done great - hasn't broke even one bracket!

Now I just hope her teeth aren't stained when the braces come off.


Happy Thanksgiving Stepmoms!

>> Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving to all my fellow stepmoms out there!

I hope today is a day without stress for you, that you have the family you want gathered close, and that you have all you want to eat until you need to unbutton your pants to sit down!

For those braving the airports to get out of town for some vacation fun, you are very brave. Like Black Friday, which is something I prefer not to participate in, lines at airports at this time of year is another.

If you're on your way to a nice vacation where the sun shines bright with no ex's in sight (I made a rhyme), enjoy. Pack the shorts, men's sunglasses (don't forget your own too), sunscreen, and leave all the conflict with courts and ex's and stepkids behind.

We are spending it at home this year - my husband, myself, and our own four children. Like the last few previous years, it will be without stepkids. I used to get upset over my husband not having his kids here when it was his legal time because of his ex. Not this year. I'm letting that go this holiday and enjoying my own family together and making memories and traditions with our own kids.


Thanksgiving Holiday Starting

>> Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Foods have been cooked and put into the fridge for easy heat up tomorrow. Pies are waiting for us all to dig in. I'm ready to spend some time with just my husband and kids tomorrow enjoying the holiday together.

I looked up the hot searches on the Internet right now and as you can imagine, it was all about Thanksgiving. People are wanting to know what the turkey roasting times are, what are good recipes for green bean casserole, deviled eggs recipes, and traffic reports.

I can understand the food stuff. People are gearing up for the biggest eating day of the year but traffic report? With the economy the way it is, I would think traffic would be way down this holiday season due to finances. I know we can't afford to go see family for Thanksgiving (or Christmas). I guess others are luckier. I hope so. Huh, maybe they didn't marry a man with kids and a child support bill for 18 years, lol. I'd love to take a road trip away from everything for a long weekend. Update the rv insurance and head out of town and have fun! Not this year.

We will be spending it at home together. No family is coming to visit because everybody's finances are stretched or they have their own out-of-town guests coming. I don't mind spending it with just hubby and our own four kids. It's quite an appealing thought actually. Bad stepmom!


Good Detox Suggestions?

Over the last couple years, I've taken a more active interest in my health because I'm tired of pharmaceutical companies and doctors pushing drugs, drugs, drugs on us all the time. I am not actively managing my thyroid disease myself using more natural means as opposed to synthetic. I've stopped using fluoride toothpaste because of the effect it has on iodine and the thyroid (you should google it...makes you wonder why it's in our drinking water). I've wanted to look at detox products as well but I never know what is real and what is just disgusting lies.

Does a body need detox? Does your body take care of that fully itself? Does detox rid the bodies of toxins and metals? What about parasites? I'd like to know more myself. I'm curious to find out if this is important and helps your health or not.

I found a colon cleanse review site but wanted to see what other opinions were. What do you think? Is it good for the health? It is necessary? Does water flush the body sufficiently or is more needed with all the chemicals that hit our systems on a daily basis?


No Party Favors for 17th Birthday

My stepdaughter's 17th birthday is next month. I doubt we'll even be seeing her for her birthday. We haven't spent her birthday with her in 3 - 4 years now I think. Between her mother and her teenage life, she doesn't want a whole lot to do with dad or younger siblings anymore. Legally, she's supposed to spend it here every other year but they've learned it's not pleasant for them emotionally to leave their mother. What a sad way to grow up.

She's almost an adult now so at this time, it's pointless. She'll have her friends to hang out with. They days of balloons and party favors is long over for her until she's engaged with everything that goes along with that. Oh well. We still have our four kids who don't need to worry about being caught in the middle.

It's a celebration for us too - it means one more year to go before half the legal obligation with the ex ends. I can't wait!!


Putting Distance Between Us

>> Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Wouldn't you just love to pack up your stuff, hire some long distance movers and move far enough away from the ex to where you could have your own life, a life for your family, without the daily conflict?

When the company I worked for was bought out and I was offered a management buy-out, I took the money and we moved to where the jobs were. My husband drove back and forth every other weekend for his kids and we were able to get some version of "normal" for our own kids in longer duration as opposed to daily stress from having to deal with the ex almost daily.

Distance saved my sanity. It gave my kids a normal family life. It likely saved my marriage because I'd have walked before I'd let that daily hostility continue to affect my kids (that's a whole other story that'll make your jaw drop).

I'll get into that more when I finish the story I started the other day.


Our Story, Dating Dad, Part I

>> Monday, November 23, 2009

I was recently asked to write a post about how it felt to be dating a man with children (when I didn't have my own) for others to read who are childless but dating somebody with children. I've put it off for awhile because it I had such mixed emotions during that time. First I'll give you the background and then tell you what I learned going through it all. Here goes...

When I was dating my husband, he was anxious for me to meet his daughter. We'd fallen in love quickly and he wanted to keep moving closer to marriage. The first time he wanted to introduce us, I told him it was too soon. It was too soon in our relationship for me to meet her and too soon in our relationship for this little girl to meet me.

It was a few months later when I met her. She was shy but wanting to be friendly. She shyly offered me some of her candy corn. She melted my heart and I quickly fell in love with this little girl a little more every time she was with us. She loved me right back.

When she'd get to our place, the first words out of her mouth when she came in the door was, "Where is Syn?" Then I'd hear little feet running through the apartment looking for me to give me a big hug. We spent a lot of time together. I wasn't her biological mother but I loved her and she loved me right back. That doesn't mean I wanted to replace her mother - not at all.

She wasn't supposed to love me. She wasn't supposed to talk to me. The ex wasted no time in making that point known to the child. The little girl was upset. I was upset hearing this little girl regurgitate, what an adult who should've known better, had told her to say. Tears were shed knowing that it had started - the use of a sweet, innocent child for an adult's purely selfish reasons. I remember exactly where it happened - it was in the Pizza Hut parking lot where we used to live. We drove home very sad. My husband talked to his daughter about what she'd been told and it wasn't how the little girl felt. She was doing what she'd been told to do. There were a lot of hugs between the three of us and we kept going forward. It's a time I've never forgotten in all these years. It was the first real ding in my rose-colored glasses and that ding was going to spider across the glass of my rose-colored glasses quickly.

It didn't stop there. Her mother tried to accuse me of hurting the child physically. She threw what my stepdaughter called "fits of the head" about me to her when she was with her mom. The ex tried to withhold my stepdaughter from her dad if I was going to be there. Seeing as how we lived together, my being there was a definite. The ex would call repeatedly at night to see if I was there but we'd ignore the phone. The ex would call his family claiming he wasn't paying her support when he was (and had given her an open letter asking her to fill in the amount she wanted to put into an agreement between them officially as well). I believe there were many of those types of calls to his family because the relationship with his family was strained. It hurt him to see that they didn't ask him for the truth or support him. My husband frequently asked me to marry him but I refused. The situation was so uncertain and difficult with his ex. I needed to know that she wasn't going to come between us. I needed to see that HE wasn't going to let her come between us.

I also couldn't understand how somebody loving a child was a bad thing. I frequently wondered at the ex's behavior because it seemed like she'd prefer it if I treated the child indifferently or badly.

I loved this little girl and her dad but the ex was doing everything she could to make everything difficult. It wasn't until my husband gave up trying to work with the ex and getting beat up emotionally that he filed in court to get visitation and child support established legally that I agreed to marry him (yes, he WANTED to get it in a court order...he's not a deadbeat and the ex wouldn't agree to a child support amount or visitation agreement). He had tried to work WITH her but she wasn't willing so he took it to court. When I saw that he wasn't going to let her lead him around, we got engaged.

If you read my blog, you know I have a stepson too. Are you wondering where the stepson was in all of this? I'll tell you...

The ex had asked my husband to give up parental rights to his son. He refused. The ex withheld his son from him for the entire time we were dating and engaged. He'd go to pick up his daughter and have to leave his son behind. She wouldn't allow him to take him too. She told my husband that if he didn't love her (the ex), he couldn't love his son. She threatened to tell everybody he wasn't my husband's son if he tried to get visitation (should've gotten the paternity test then because that's always been a question in my mind after she said that). That went on until the courts forced her to hand him over to his dad. That was four days before we married. She'd withheld him for six months from his dad.

The interference and other behaviors didn't stop with getting married. I'll write more later. It's upsetting to rehash all this in my mind. I miss that relationship with my stepdaughter. She was a sweet, loving child until she was forced to choose or else be emotionally torn apart. No child should have to go through that. No parent should have to fight so hard or be treated so badly just for the right to be able to love their own children.

To read Part 2, click here.


Grow Lights for African Violets

>> Saturday, November 21, 2009

Who can keep African Violets alive? I can't. Every time I have one of the plants, it dies. Is it too much water? Not enough? Wrong light? I don't have grow lights and my kitchen isn't set up to bring in good morning light except over my dining room table to beam us in the eye every morning. I don't want a flower garden on my table. Actually, my living room isn't set up for good light either for plants.

Besides the lack of a green thumb, my house set up works against me. I tend to think that it is more that I forget about them and then over water to compensate for my negligence that kills everything green in my house as opposed to being houseplant-friendly-housing challenged..


Texted Birthday Wishes

It was what I expected - my stepdaughter texted her dad for his birthday. I was really hoping to see a card show up in the mailbox today. It could've been just a sheet of paper with "Happy Birthday" handwritten on it or even an ecard; just something that says 'I took more than ten seconds out of my day to think of you for your birthday.'

I know they do more for their mom for her birthday. Heck, they give their dog a birthday party!! Dad rates below the dog and yet they're emailing us their xmas lists? Coal sounds good for xmas this year.


Hope Stepkids Remember Dad Tomorrow

>> Friday, November 20, 2009

Here's to hoping that the stepkids remember dad's birthday tomorrow. At the most, I'm expecting they'll send a text to their dad tomorrow to wish him a happy birthday! They couldn't be bothered to do anymore than that for Father's Day so I don't have high hopes that they'll actually spend any time on making a card or anything like that. Their dog gets a birthday party but Dad doesn't get squat. It would be nice to have a birthday card sitting in the mailbox tomorrow, but I'm not holding my breath. They haven't sent him a card in...ever!

Makes me want to tear up their xmas lists just thinking about the last several years when they've been old enough to know better. Maybe they'll surprise me tomorrow.


What are the "must have" Christmas gifts this year?

What are the "must have" Christmas gifts in your house? Every year, there is usually one gift that many parents go all out in finding their kids. I remember years ago, it was Elmo and then another year, it was Furby (I remember I looked online and in all the area stores the month before Christmas for those things for my stepkids trying to find them in stock).

My kids have various things on their lists this year. Some of them want guitars and cell phones. My son wants a Wii (he's dreaming). My stepson wants a guitar amp. My stepdaughter just has CD's and DVD's on her list that she gave us but my husband is supposed to talk to somebody at work about a used saxophone he had up for sale awhile back. She mentioned awhile ago that she wanted one (she plays clarinet now and can easily switch over). I'm hoping this guy has one in great shape for sale. That'd be perfect.

I have no idea what to get my four-year-old yet. She'll be easy enough I think - any toy commercial that comes on is a toy she wants.


Out of the Mouth of Babes

>> Wednesday, November 18, 2009

My four-year-old daughter just came up to me and asked:

"Mom, will it hurt when I have a baby and go to the dentist so they can get it out? Can I just let it fall out?"

Oh, if only childbirth was that easy, lol.


Won't Move Closer to the Stepkids

>> Tuesday, November 17, 2009

My kids asked me the other day if my stepkids could move to the house three doors down from us so they'd be close. The younger kids didn't understand that the ex works in another state and it would not be possible - ever. We didn't explain to them why we'd never move closer to the ex again.

We used to live two blocks from the ex but things were SO hostile, it was a huge source of stress and frustration on a daily basis. We moved after we'd had to call law enforcement over it so the thought of the ex living THAT close to us again - no thank you. Now she's just a source of stress and frustration several times a year!

We've talked about moving back closer to the kids several times. I'd have to work outside the house again instead of working from home. I'd probably also have to get a second job pursuing life insurance leads for business on top of it because the area where my stepkids live has been hit hard economically in the area my husband and I worked in. Moving closer is probably an impossibility really and certainly not worth risking our own four kids' well-being (if we want to keep a roof over their heads, which we do). Give up stability and security for hostility from the ex and indifference from the stepkids? No thank you.


Checking Out Xmas Present for Stepson

My husband asked me yesterday to look for the best prices for a guitar amp for my stepson for Christmas. He is asking for a Roland MicroCube Guitar Amplifier but my husband didn't clarify which one. The micro cube can be found for $114 but there are other Roland Cubes for close to $200. I'm partial to the $114 price myself.

He never writes. He never calls. He never texts. We don't exist for him until it's time for presents. When I sent them stuff before, he only thanked his dad. It makes me a bit hesitant to spend a lot of time shopping for him, ya know? I'd rather just leave it up to hubby to find the gift for his son but then I'm the Internet shopping guru so I can find the best prices and promo codes for things. He doesn't know how. It'd save us money if I did it. However, my annoyance factor would have a cost all its own.


Clothes, Men's Sunglasses, Bicycle and Car

Children are the number one fight between divorcing or separating parents. However, a lot of people fight over their belongings during a break-up. Every item in the house, including the house, becomes the object to fight for when anger takes over. Things you rarely looked at become all-important. I'll bet many people end up paying more for their attorney to lead the fight than an object is even worth (except for sentimental pieces...that's hard to put a price on).

When my husband left the mother of his two children, he took very little: his clothes, his car, his mountain bike, some child pictures, and his sunglasses. What was she going to do with Men's Sunglasses? He started over completely. He left the house that he had legal right to over her and all its furnishings to the ex-girlfriend without looking back. He just wanted out that badly. That's a pretty good indicator of their relationship eh? It tells me he had no emotional connection to anything he had with her or anything they'd bought together (or her), that it must've been pretty bad to just leave with what you could pack up in one trip and that he wanted no ties to her at all beyond his children.

I was good with that because when I came into the picture, it meant we started completely fresh and that there weren't any mementos around the house that glared at me every time I saw it. We started fresh and everything we have, we built together and had nothing to do with the past.


My Stepdaughter at our Baby Shower

>> Monday, November 16, 2009

While we didn't have the stepchildren at our wedding (not that we didn't want them had things been different but it wasn't possible), we did want our stepdaughter at our first born's baby shower so she felt a part of everything.

We made a big deal over it all for her. She had her hair styled really pretty and she helped me open all the gifts. We also had a gift for her as well (her own baby with a carrier) to open. She enjoyed the food, the gifts, the baby shower favors, and you can tell by the big smile she has in pictures from that wonderful day that is was a good day. I think she just liked being a big part of the day.


Adding More Work with Computer Services

I have 15 blogs and am thinking about adding a few more (11 are updated pretty regularly so I must be crazy to consider creating a few more). My current blogs cover a range of different topics from this stepfamily blog to country life to celebrities to politics to fashion to more. Yeah, crazy is marrying a guy with THAT ex so call me crazy! :)

I have all my blogs under one account but I am thinking about actually creating a few of my own so they aren't so cookie cutter and concentrating on advertisers for those. I'd probably have to hire somebody to help initially get it off the ground so I can learn as they do it plus have some IT support from a place like orange county computer services. Then I think to I really want more blogs? Life is busy enough as it is. I still have a few blogs that I haven't done enough with and maybe I should concentrate on those first.

Yeah, I'm crazy.


POLL: Will you buy a Christmas present for the ex?

>> Friday, November 13, 2009

A new poll has been posted. It involves the upcoming holiday season and spending money on the ex.

My poll question is:

Will you buy a Christmas present for the ex?

Check it out at the top of the right column. This poll closes December 1, 2009. If you don't vote in time, feel free to leave your vote in the comments to this post.


Poll: Did you or would you invite the ex to your wedding?

The polls have closed for the latest poll. The poll was:

Did you, or would you, invite the ex to your wedding?

The results were:

  • No: 100%

Guess that answers that question!


Engagement Rings & the Ex

My engagement ring had "a rock the size of Texas."

That's what the ex said when she phoned my mother-in-law (to whine I guess) after she heard from a friend of hers about it after my husband and I got engaged (this friend had seen my ring in a grocery store check-out line). If only it was that big! It was definitely beautiful though. Jealousy is an ugly thing.

If she wanted to see some nice rocks, she should've looked at engagement rings orange county...they do them big in California! Simone & Son has some very pretty rings.

I love my wedding set no matter how green it turned his ex-girlfriend and what trouble she tried to cause for us by going to my husband's mother about it. It's not my fault his ex-girlfriend couldn't drag him down the aisle!

We are celebrating our 14th anniversary next month! Woo hoo for us! I looked it up online on About on their marriage site and it says for the 14th anniversary traditional gift is ivory and the modern gift is gold jewelry.


Not All Ex's Are Bad...

>> Thursday, November 12, 2009

Sometimes, the problem isn't the ex but the dad.

I was in a live-in relationship with a man for a couple years who had a little girl he rarely saw. He blamed his ex for all of it. I didn't know any better - didn't know his ex at all (never met her) - and took his word for it. When he finally did see her, it was only for a few hours a couple of times and only at his parents' house. She played while they drank. I spent time playing with her there while everybody else worked on getting sloshed. Obviously, I saw a completely different picture at that point.

His ex wanted him to give up his legal rights because she was remarried to a man who truly was "dad" to this little girl and he wanted to adopt her but the biological dad refused to give up his rights even though he had zero relationship with his daughter. He was "dad" in name only and he wasn't giving that name up. It'd make him look bad. To all his colleagues and friends, he could lie to them and blame it all on his ex, leaving him the poor, forgotten father when it was the daughter who was forgotten by dad.

Well, I left that relationship with the biological father when she was eight years old. It was after that when I had my first conversation with his ex. I saw this little girl once after the ex invited me to see her at her basketball game she had a couple years later and this little girl and I wrote letters back and forth a couple times with her mom's blessing.

Guess what? Her mom continued to keep in touch with me over the years too personally. She sent me pictures so I could see how she grew up, holiday cards and even xmas gifts. I loved that little girl and was thankful that her mom did that. That "little girl" is now 26 years old with three babies of her own and we keep in contact through Facebook (I'm friends with her mom on FB too).

Tonight she took one of the many quizzes FB has and this one was a social interview type quiz that asked questions about people on your friend list. It asked her if I had ever done anything nice for her. She wrote: "She continued to care about me long after she didn't have to anymore." Definitely brought tears to read that.

Not only did her mom keep in touch with me, she let her daughter know that I cared about her too. I'm glad she had a great mom and the man who raised her. Sometimes, ex's aren't bad even though they're made out to be monsters.


Puzzle Stools and Ex's: Found Here

>> Wednesday, November 11, 2009

I did a search on my blog URL statistics to find out what some of the terms are that are being targeted at search engines with my blog URL. The word "stepfamily" came in first as the single word obviously. It had better since this is a stepfamily blog even though I tend to ramble about other things in between irritating bouts with the ex.

On off topic words, the word "shopping" came in seventh as a one word search and "bestselling kids toys" came in sixth in a three word term/phrase search. So I guess it's for shopping as well. Looking for puzzle stools for Christmas? You can check them out on my blog! I could always start a blog called Shopping Sanctuary just for shopping! Hmmm...that's not bad. Better go check to see if the domain is available! Be right back!

OK, just checked. I checked at GoDaddy and it IS available...for $1,588! Yeah, whoever has that one can just keep it.

You're probably wondering why I'm rambling on about this. I need to figure out how much affect key words have on traffic and ratings so I was looking up. Obviously my love of online shopping runneth over here.


I Took Everything Away!

>> Tuesday, November 10, 2009

This morning, I turned into mean mom and took every privilege my kids have away from my three oldest. That means no computer, no texting, no video, no television, no sleepovers, etc. They have to earn them back.

I don't believe kids are entitled to any of these things. Usually, I take one or two things away but after weeks of things building, this morning they lost it all. I used to do this with my stepson after he'd beat up one of his siblings. (My kids haven't beat anybody up but they've done other things enough to tick me off that have to do with messy rooms, attitude, homework, etc. I don't know what has gotten into them but I'm putting a stop to it right now.) Of course, the ex thought we were too strict and was treating him differently than the other kids (we were supposed to ground the other kids too because he hit them I guess). I was the wicked head of our stepfamily in her eyes I think. She was wrong; I'm an equal-opportunity grounder! She ensured my stepson thought we were singling him out as well. I wonder if it'd matter now if he knew his brother and two of his sisters were receiving the same treatment for misbehaving as well?

I've read many books on step-parenting, parenting and other family relationship books. I read a lot of different ways to parent, however, I am a big believer in privileges being earned. I expect respect for others. I think kids today expect everything handed to them but I'm not raising brats!

Whether you are parenting your own or helping to parent your significant other's children, sometimes you have to do things you don't enjoy doing. If my kids think I enjoy grounding them, they're wrong. I didn't enjoy grounding my stepson either (no matter what he and his mother thought) but kids need consequences for inappropriate behavior.


What is Green Shopping?

>> Sunday, November 8, 2009

Every year for many years, I have done as much as the Christmas shopping that I can online. I find the best deals browsing the Internet and buy online. I never thought that I was doing was green shopping until now. For me, it was all about avoiding the dreaded malls.

Now that I know it is also helping the environment by using less energy and reducing emissions, it makes it that much more fun for me. Helping the environment is important. We recycle what we can weekly in our house. I use vinegar and water in place of harsh cleaning chemicals. My kids have been members of their school's environmental team for the last couple years so it's a family thing now. It's not something I have to force them to do. It's normal routine for them now.

Now I really need to stop playing around on my blogs and get to work Christmas shopping. I'm late getting organized! It's not quick or easy shopping for our six kids (plus I do the shopping for our kids from their grandparents too). I am one busy Mrs. Claus at this time of year!


One Less Month! Imagine me jumping for joy right now!

>> Friday, November 6, 2009

My countdown for half of our legal obligation with the ex ends in less than one year and seven months. I just noticed my first countdown flipped again recently! Boy that's a lot better than the 15 years it used to be! Wow! Two years following that, the last half of the legal obligation ends.

It seems like the time is dragging on but I sure do love to see one less month flip on my countdown. It keeps my spirits up a bit to know that there IS an end to the contact with her, the record keeping, the online backup of digital records saved and scanned over all these years, tracking child support because the courts have a problem doing it, and the check going out. We'll finally be able to move into a home that is big enough rather than being squeezed into little rooms. I want to have a bonfire in our fire pit with all of the paper records. That alone would take several nights to burn I think. Oh well, I'll just watch it burn while I toast the end of the legal relationship to the ex with champagne!


Poll: Did you or would you invite the ex to your wedding?

I have just posted a new poll. My question is:

  • Did you, or would you, invite the ex to your wedding?

The poll is open for six days so cast your vote now in the poll at the right margin.

From my own personal experience, if we'd had a different relationship with the ex before our wedding, I would not have minded inviting her to attend to be there with the children to see their father marry. I wouldn't have begrudged her the wedding favors, the champagne, or the dinner. I had no insecurities where she was concerned.

However, given the relationship with the ex was full of conflict and hostility and she resented the fact that he was marrying me when he wouldn't marry her, inviting my husband's ex-girlfriend wasn't even a consideration to either one of us. We were in the middle of a court fight with her so having a regular wedding was out for us. We didn't have the time to plan or the money to do so. We said our vows in front of a Justice of the Peace. I'm not of the mind that I have to say my vows in a church because I'm not big on organized religion so getting married by the judge did not bother me at all. I sure would've liked the wedding dress and the party though!


Poll: Were your stepkids involved in your wedding?

A few months ago, I posted a poll asking if your stepkids were involved in your wedding (or will they be). I'm behind in posting the results and adding a new poll. Here are the results:

  • 54% said Yes
  • 36% said No
  • 9% said Heck No

Thanks for voting! Another poll will be posted very soon!


No Soul in the Eyes

Rihanna made an appearance on Good Morning America this morning and said that after Chris Brown attacked her, he had no soul in his eyes. It reminded me of when my stepson was acting out violently for many years when he was younger. He'd get this look in his eyes (or maybe I should explain it as a lack of look) like there was nobody home. Empty eyes. It was scary.


Pay for Chiropractic Care for Teenaged Slouching? Huh?

>> Wednesday, November 4, 2009

I wrote earlier today about the chiropractic care for the stepkids and how even though my stepson's spinal x-rays were normal, the ex had taken him to the chiropractor anyway. We asked her to clarify the medical necessity of doing that.

Get this...she doesn't want his spine to get as bad as my stepdaughter's is right now (um...her x-rays were normal too per the pediatric orthopedic specialist) AND he has bad posture. So where is the medical necessity?

Teenagers slouch. So tell the kid to stand up straight already! We should pay for a chiropractor to see him every week because she can't tell him to stand up straight, because he's acting like half the teenage population by slouching? I'm not sure if I should be rolling on the floor laughing or picking my jaw up off the floor in shock. I guess I'll trip over my jaw on the floor as I go down laughing.

Is this similar to the fact that she can't tell him to behave? To listen to rules? To do homework? To bring his grades up? To stop cussing?

If it were me and I had acted like I couldn't stand the father of my kids or his family for over a decade, I would feel a bit silly because it might be perceived that she was coming up with things for: 1) attention? 2) an excuse for contact?

I have NO problem with medically necessary services. We always pay our support, insurance and health expenses for the kids. Never is a dime left owing. When it comes to medically unnecessary trips, no way.

*Picture from


Good News & Let's Hemorrhange Money News

My stepdaughter doesn't have scoliosis. The specialist who saw her and looked at the x-rays says there is nothing wrong with her spine. That's good news.

The ex had x-rays of my stepson's back done too (let's just keep radiating the kids without ample cause to) and his spine is within normal range. The ex took him to the chiropractor anyway! She sent an email asking hubby what he thought about it (chiropractor care and paying for it) right before she took him to his chiropractor appointment - nothing like giving hubby time to actually SEE the email! She knew he wouldn't see it for six hours after she'd sent it - after she'd already taken him to the chiropractor. So why did she take him? No idea. Hubby did end up responding back about not seeing the medical necessity of it. Like we can afford to send a kid to the chiropractor who doesn't need it!

My daughter, who fell from a swing and fractured her wrist and hurt her back could use a chiropractor right now for her back pain. Trying to figure out how to pay for it when we're struggling not to lose our house at the moment. My stepdaughter is still going to go to the chiropractor to see if it helps with her TMJ and hubby will pay for his share for this month and then has requested another review to see if it is helping and medically necessary. However, we will not pay for my stepson to go when there's nothing wrong with him. Yeah, right.

It's too bad she didn't show this much interest in his mental health all those years he needed help.


Daughter's First Dance Picture

>> Monday, November 2, 2009

Well, one of them anyway. I love this picture because her eyes really POP out.

I've been going back and forth as to whether I should email some of her pictures to my stepkids. In a normal family, they'd want to see some pictures and know how their sister is doing and I used to always send updates on everybody with pictures but they never respond and don't act like they care. Within the past few weeks, I emailed them both to their personal email addresses a video of their dad with two of their sisters and some pics of their baby sister and NO response from either one of them (I wonder if they get together and agree not to respond or if it just comes naturally to them).

Seeing how they haven't bothered to talk to my daughter since July, I'm leaning more towards not bothering. Seems like a big waste of time to me.


Teeth Are Expensive!

>> Sunday, November 1, 2009

My oldest daughter will get her braces off in four months. They were expensive. In order to afford it, I had to refinance my truck!

Now that she's almost done, the dentist is saying my son needs them and we should get in for a consultation within six months. They said he has some teeth that are a bit rotated in his mouth. His front teeth are straight. I'm not sure if having a few teeth in the back is worth another several years of payments and braces. I'll get the free consultation but I doubt we'll be putting him in braces.

I know my middle daughter will need braces. Like my oldest daughter, her mouth is too tiny for all her teeth. They'll have to use a palate expander to break her palate apart and then put on braces. I dread going through that again but it's obvious she'll need some dental help.

I'm not sure yet how we are going to afford more braces. We should get dental discounts for all these kids! Why do they have to be so expensive? We'll get to wait a couple years for my middle daughter's, which is good because we have to recover financially from the braces on my oldest daughter!


Xmas Gift Lists from Stepkids Coming In & Rudely At That

This morning, my sd sent an email to both our email addresses. This is what it said:

"when do you guys want christmas lists?"

Not "hi, how ya doing, how's my brother and sisters since we haven't bothered to talk to them since July, what's new, when do you want our christmas lists?" but JUST about the gifts. A "hi" would've been nice! Don't hear from her in forever and then when her email comes in, it's about what we should buy her.

I'll bet it's not a surprise to a lot of other stepfamilies with a difficult ex and teenaged stepchildren.


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