15th Anniversary Today

>> Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Despite years of conflict and spitefulness from the other side, the ex did fail on one front - she failed to get in between my husband and I despite repeated attempts.  Today we celebrate our 15th anniversary still in love and attracted to each other (woo hoo for us:).  Too bad for her.  She celebrates being alone now for 16+ years with not one date in all of that time ("ugly is as ugly does" applies here).  Yeah, too bad for her again. 

She might think she "won" because she succeeded in alienating the kids from their dad but when you emotionally and mentally manipulate your children and cut off the one loving and emotionally healthy half of who they are and where they came from, and allow your children to grow into emotional handicaps who can't function in society without drugs or very inappropriate conduct, you're not winning a thing.  That just makes you sick and pathetic. 

Happy 15th Anniversary To Us!  My stepdaughter turns 18 this week and the countdown is on to her graduation and my stepson will follow in two years and then we will truly be free of the legal ties to the ex.  Lots to celebrate!! 

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Think I'm Done with the Step "Kids"

I think I'm done with the stepkids.  They're spoiled, ungrateful "kids" who are old enough to know better at this point.  This year has been crap as far as they are concerned..  Between them not even contacting their dad in any way on Father's Day, them being too busy all summer to come here for even a week, my stepdaughter's emotional blackmail recently, and now the kids not doing one darn thing for their dad on Christmas, I've had it.  My stepdaughter turns 18 tomorrow.  My stepson is two years behind her.  They're old enough to know better.

As with Father's Day, hubby was quiet on Christmas.  Must hurt to know you love your kids more than anything and that they might not love you back all that much.  It seems the ex has fully succeeded in alienating the kids from their father.  It's been creeping that way for about five years now when they gave into her and dad became unimportant.  I hope she's proud of herself. 

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Blessed Yule, Merry Christmas & Happy New Year

>> Sunday, December 19, 2010

Our stray kitten enjoying the tree.

Hey everybody!  In case I don't post within the next few days, I wanted to wish everybody a Blessed Yule, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!  I hope y'all have a happy and healthy holiday!

The stomach flu has hit my kids here but I have my fingers crossed it'll be gone within the week, before Santa makes his visit to the kids.  I doubt even the stomach flu will keep the kids down for long!  My five-year-old said this morning, "It sucks to be sick on break.  I'd rather be sick during school."  Yeah, wouldn't everybody.  Funny kid.

I was bracing for 5 inches of snow but the weather forecast has changed (whew!) to manageable levels of snow.  Unfortunately, a little bit of ice is coming with it on Tuesday.  Should make for a slippery week but a pretty Christmas morning for my kids.  I think it's time to hook up with a great Disney vacation planner and plan a winter vacation next year at Disney.  Brrr!  Baby, it's cold outside!

A few days after Christmas, my husband and I celebrate our anniversary.  We've come a long way, and made it through the chaos (that comes with his ex) still in love and happy.  Good for us (and good for our kids:)  Too bad for her - her years of vindictiveness pushed us closer together instead of her intended farther apart.

Anyway, I hope everybody has a great holiday!  If I'm not back this week to say it, enjoy!!  Don't let the stresses of the blended family take away from your enjoyment and love of the holiday season.

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Updates, Xmas Break

No word from the ex about spring break parenting time.  I know she's waiting until after xmas break to tell the husband no.  Once xmas break is over, and once she denies spring break parenting time, there will be no available time left for the kids to come here this school year.  I know how she works.

With all the obscenities from my stepson lately, I am ok with that right now.  Usually, I'd be pitching a fit and prodding hubby with a fork in his butt to not let her dictate the schedule but I honestly do not want my stepson's influence on my kids, especially my son. 

We're almost all set for the holidays.  Two more gifts to buy and then I'm done shopping.  Christmas break started this past Friday for my kids but now two of them are down with the stomach flu.  My five-year-old who has the flu said today, "Being sick on break sucks.  I'd rather be sick during school."  Gotta love her!

My teenager and I need to sit down over break and talk about her health class (they discussed STD's like herpes simplex and more right before break) so she's a little grossed out and embarrassed about it all. Should be a fun talk. 

Looking forward to another long weekend with my husband next weekend (he's off work) like we had this past weekend.  Hard to believe our 15th anniversary is next week and the attraction is still there.  It's really nice:)

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Lauren Klein Promo Code for Women's Jewelry

>> Friday, December 17, 2010


If women's jewelry is on your holiday shopping list (or for an anniversary - my 15th anniversary is in 11 days), I have a promo code to save you some money.  Lauren Klein is having a holiday sale and with promo code shp10, you get FREE SHIPPING.

Lauren Klein
Holiday Sale
Women's Jewelry
Free Shipping with Promo Code: shp10


Who doesn't like to save a little money during the holidays?  Times are tough and belts are tight so make sure you're spending your money on quality merchandise. 

If you're ordering and sending as a gift for somebody special, Lauren Klein will include a free gift card and a pretty gift box.  My kind of shopping - no wrapping!!  With their 100% satisfaction guarantee and 30-day return policy, you can't go wrong putting a Lauren Klein gift under the Christmas tree or inside a stocking. 
So, who is Lauren Klein?  They're a unique jeweler with trendy and beautiful bling offering a great online and easy shopping experience.  They offer many different kinds of jewelry:  anklets, rings, baby jewelry, earrings, necklaces (love the charm necklaces!), men's jewelry, fashion jewelry, silver baby gifts, crosses, peace signs, engraveable jewelry, and personalized jewelry.  My personal favorite is the Evil Eye Jewelry. 

Check out Lauren Klein at their online jewelry store, on their blog, facebook, and twitter.  Don't forget that in two months, it's Valentine's Day so if you haven't hinted around enough for Christmas next week, keep the hints coming for Valentine's Day!  Hey, I like my bling just as much as the next gal and bling is always, always, always a good gift to receive. 


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Vintage T-Shirts

>> Wednesday, December 15, 2010

If you have a vintage t-shirt fan on your holiday shopping list, check out the vintage t shirts at Junk Food Clothing. I found a Joan Jett t-shirt!  I LOVE Joan Jett.  There is also Madonna, Pink Floyd, The Beatles, The Who.  There's more than rock t-shirts too. They have Disney, Nascar, Star Wars, Super Heroes, NBA, NFL and more.  What a cool site!

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Need Gift Idea Help For Good Friend

I just finished another round of shopping.  Everytime I think I am close to done, I remember something else.  It seems like I have a perpetual shopping list!

I still have my parents, my husband's parents, my oldest sis, and a good friend of mine to shop for (plus a few more things for our kids).  We're going with a loft bed for my son, specialty coffee beans/grinder and loose tea for my parents and sister, and probably a 3-in-1 printer for my husband's parents because theirs just broke.  Good timing for that to break because we had no clue what to get them.  For the new baby in the family, I am looking at different personalized gift baskets

I have no idea what to get a really good friend of mine - something not expensive but something that still means something.  No clue yet.  She loves coffee too but she also is a single mom of three active girls (with an ex who leaves a lot to be desired) so perhaps a gift certificate to the day spa in the next town for a little pampering and relaxation?  Her oldest is singing in a talent show and my friend has to work and miss it so I think I'll make her a DVD of that too.  Any other ideas?

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Stepson Strikes Again

>> Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Obviously, the ex's talk about what is and is not appropriate with my stepson and his week's grounding from his computer worked - NOT (read this and then this if you have no clue what I'm talking about)!  So what did he do now? 

My 11-year-old son has a picture on his fb of he and his girlfriend that I took at their band concert last week.  My stepson posted the comment: "Get some *insert lil brother's name here* under the photo on facebook.

Get some?

  • My son is 11 YEARS OLD!!  He is a sweet, shy, innocent boy (totally unlike his older half-brother).
  • His girlfriend, also on facebook, is a sweetheart who doesn't need to see that. 
  • Her parents are nice people, church-going people, and don't need to see that.
  • None of his friends on facebook need to see that.
  • I don't need to be fielding phone calls from angry parents because of something my stepson did from his mother's house because she won't supervise him!

So, I just blocked my stepson from my son's facebook.  I didn't want to have to do it and I gave the ex's wimpy consequences last week a chance.  Obviously, that was my mistake.  I won't make it again.

Oh yeah - that obscene song he sang and recorded and posted online for all to see that his mother supposedly talked to him about and grounded him for over a week ago?  It just came off his facebook yesterday!  Wouldn't any normal mother whose child had posted an obscene song online for a couple hundred other kids to see take that song down ASAP instead of waiting over a week?  Seriously?!?

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Boys Gawking Over Cheerleaders

>> Saturday, December 11, 2010

My 8th grade daughter, and the other cheerleaders on the squad, had an away game last week.  They were practicing in one of the gyms before the game when the high school wrestling team stopped by to gawk, drool and make comments.  The guys couldn't help but leave their wrestling equipment to gawk over junior high girls? That's kind of pathetic.  They weren't such big guys though when the cheerleading coach showed up and they all took off. 

Another not so subtle reminder that my oldest daughter is growing up.  Next year - high school!  Ugh.

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Dropping More Weight!!

As of this morning, I've met one of my weight goals that I set for myself (I broke it up into several goals so it wouldn't seem overwhelming).  I can't wait until it'll be time to find new clothes - in smaller sizes - for myself!

Christmas shopping is coming along.  I have a few more people to shop for but plenty of time left.  I'm finding all kinds of things that I'd love for myself though like this coogi shirt and a way cool pair of Apple Bottoms boots I saw on the same site.  I want to wait until I meet all my weight goals though. 

Dropping pounds puts me in the mood for clothes shopping!

Check out these cool Apple Bottoms boots:


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Bite Protection for Corn Snake

We have a corn snake that my husband needs to tame again because he hasn't been handling it over the last several months like he used to.  Problem is - he's afraid of getting bit now because the snake struck at him the last time he handled him (no teeth used).  Corn snakes don't have fangs.  They have little teeth that I've heard hurt less than a cat scratch does.  He wants a pair of gloves anyway.  I'm not sure a strange pair of gloves coming at a semi-wild snake is a good idea and I have no idea what kind of gloves would work - a basic leather pair?  A pair of Mechanix gloves that mechanics wear to protect their hands?

Seeing how I refuse to handle the snake at all (the agreement with hubby was if I agreed to allow a snake into our home, he would take care of it), I can't really tease him all that much about it.  We have had this snake for about three years now and up until the past few months, he was very docile and easily handled.  Guess this was a good education for the husband - they have to be handled regularly or else.

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Family Dysfunction for Christmas

Has anybody noticed how family dysfunction becomes 100 times worse during the holidays?

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The ex is so predictable in her idiocy

>> Tuesday, December 7, 2010

It's been over a week and no word from the ex on dad's request for spring break parenting time.  What she is going to do is wait until after Christmas to tell him no so that it is too late for him to get them at Christmas too.  She's predictable in her idiocy.

I knew this was going to happen and the plan was not to let her wait until after Christmas - to give her an either/or (either Christmas or Spring Break - pick one or the other) after a week of not hearing from her. 

The problem is, after what my stepson has done with the graphic song he wrote and posted online to a child's song the other day (to Wheels on the Bus), I don't want him around my younger kids right now.  I don't trust that he won't hurt them or expose them to inappropriate stuff (talk, material, etc.).  He did it frequently as a child and apparently, he hasn't outgrown it. 

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Yeah For Me!!

The weight is coming off, a few tenths of a pound at a time.  People are asking me how to lose weight really fast and wondering if it is my thyroid medication or my change in diet due to gallbladder disease. I'd say it's a little bit of both that's been happening to me the past month or so.  I'm just happy it is! 

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Are you required to pay for college?

>> Monday, December 6, 2010

Does your spouse's court order require your family to pay for the stepchild's college education?   Do you think it should be required?  If yes, is that a state or county requirement or just something you agreed to?

My personal opinion is that no, it should not be required.  A parent is not legally obligated to provide a college education for children within a marriage so why should they be required to provide a college education in the case of a divorce or child born out of wedlock?  College is a privilege, not a right.  I believe the financial obligation should end when the child reaches 18 (or graduates from high school, assuming they're not a regular, consistent flunky in the school system) unless the parent wants to provide additional financial assistance.  I am glad our state does not recognize a college education as a right to ADULT children of divorce.

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Stepson Got a Wimpy Punishment for Obscenities Online IMO

>> Sunday, December 5, 2010

I contacted my stepson's mother about what was all over Facebook (stepson's obscene song and language) and her response was he is grounded from the computer for a week and she talked to him about what is/isn't appropriate. Big whoop. The kid sang a song about kids on the bus having oral sex and uploaded it to the world and called his sister a w*hore online for all friends and family to see.  A week from the computer? I bet he learned his lesson with that harsh punishment!  What a joke.

Side note:  If she monitored her kids' online useage, she wouldn't have had to been notified by the evil stepmother telling her about it.  Betcha that burns a bit.

If my kid had recorded an obscene song, uploaded it online, and put links all over Facebook to it for a couple hundred other kids to hear, as well as called their sibling bad words on facebook, as well as left other cuss words all over facebook, I would've grounded them from more than just the computer for a week.  A week from his computer?  Big deal.  How about a week from going anywhere?  A week from friends?  A week from his cell phone?  A week from his beloved guitar that he used for the song?  How about a couple weeks?  How about a month?  This was obscene material published online by a teenager.  I'd punish my kid until the new year for that one.

Oh yeah, she hasn't taken the song off the internet or the links to it off his facebook either (and that of his friends' pages that he posted it too).  I hope she gets 100 calls from ticked off parents.  Betcha it ticks her off that I was the first parent to notify her.  She should've taken his facebook page down right away!

I told her I didn't want to have to block him from my kids' pages because they want contact with their brother but that they couldn't be exposed to that.

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Stepson is Obscene

>> Saturday, December 4, 2010

Well, my 15-year-old stepson apparently doesn't have any parental supervision at all.  Besides the language he uses on his facebook page (swearing a lot, calling his sister names like "w*ore"), he recorded a song to the song, "Wheels on the Bus" but made his own version of it and he's posted it all over facebook.  His version talks about what promiscuous kids do on the bus - that's the best way I can word it without offending anybody.  It's obscene and disgusting.  My husband is working this weekend or else I'd have him listening to it this second.  I'm so upset that I'm shaking.

I don't know if his mother is clueless or if she just has no control over him at all (or doesn't think she has to).  Giving past history where she never disciplined him, my best guess is she still lets him do whatever he pleases without consequences.  That'd be true to form for her - we were the disciplinarians (and he hates us for it because his mom used it to make her the favorite and us the bad guys) and she was/is Disney Mom. 

She's a pathetic excuse for a mother.

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Hot Christmas Gifts for 2010

>> Thursday, December 2, 2010


I've found the hot gift this year for Christmas.  Actually, I found a few of them that are hard to find right now.  I should've started my shopping earlier because these were on my kids' lists. 

The first one is the XBox 360 Kinect Sensor with Kinect Adventures!  The stores are sold out and the prices online are going up.  It doesn't look like this one will be under our tree this year.

The other gifts I am finding mostly sold out in stores (but not online) , which one of my daughter's wanted, are the Monster High dolls.  There are several of them:

I found her the Monster High Frankie Stein Doll but the rest were sold out.  There is Draculaura and Monster High Lagoona Blue Doll and Neptuna Pet Piranha dolls on her list. 
I remember the HUGE craze when my stepkids were younger were those Furby things.  I called every store in southeastern Michigan tracking two of them down for them.  I swore never to do that again and I won't.  If I can't find these Monster High dolls at another Wal-Mart, I'll move onto something else on her list. 

After all the running around moms do at Christmas, I think a great gift would be slimming body wraps.  I am now under 20 pounds left to lose!  I could use some pampering myself (and a little help).

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Ex is Quiet

No word from the ex for hubby's request for spring break parenting time. She's probably scheduling appointments and anything else she can during that time so she can email back with their over scheduled schedule.  They're always too busy for dad.  I'd be surprised, enough to fall out of my chair, if she comes back agreeable to it.

I hear a hot bath calling me.  I'm going to go relax in a hot soak in a quiet house, slather some face moisturizer on to combat this wicked cold that settled in here the night before last and forget about that selfish woman.

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Spring Break Parenting Time

>> Tuesday, November 30, 2010

My husband just requested a week of the kids' spring break parenting time - giving them more than four months notice.  Odds are that she'll come back with it already scheduled up the wazoo for the kids and tell him no. 

If she does that, I hope he demands his xmas parenting time.  That will include xmas and my stepdaughter's 18th birthday (which the ex is not going to want to miss).  He's given xmas to the ex the last several years because the kids don't want to leave her alone at xmas (whose fault is it that she is alone after all these years?  HERS!) and his employer has him working through some of it (most parents do) but there has to be one chunk of time he has with his kids this school year!

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Lauren Klein Personalized Jewelry & Coupon Code

>> Friday, November 26, 2010

I've been looking at women's jewelry, looking for a bracelet or something similar as a gift for my daughter and came across this nice eternity band to use for our vow renewal at Lauren Klein Jewelry.  I've said it before and I'll say it again:  I'm a diamond girl!  Here is one of my favorites!


Anyway, I want to find personalized jewelry for my teenage daughter for the holidays and I am considering this bracelet:


This band and bracelet, and many others, can be found online at Lauren Klein.  They've been in the diamond business for over 55 years! They have a fantastic selection of women's jewelry. Initially, they sold through eBay and Amazon but with all the success they've had, their business is now from their online web site.

Lauren Klein is offering 15% off with coupon code: 15off and free shipping for Black Friday through Cyber Monday. This expires at midnight on November 29.  Also, a purchase enters you in a raffle to win a 1/10 Carat 14K Yellow Gold Diamond Circle Necklace.

What type of jewelry are you looking for?

A sexy anklet to wear out on New Year's Eve?  Lauren Klein has them! 

A gift for baby?  They sell the most adorable baby bangles it makes me want to borrow somebody's baby so I can go jewelry shopping.  They're so cute!!  In addition to the bangles, they also sell other baby jewelry like earrings and necklaces as well as silver baby gifts.

How about a bracelet for mom?  Yes, they have them!  Check them out in rose gold, white gold, diamond yellow gold, gemstone and Kabbalah bracelets. 

Looking for earrings for grandma?  The selection is huge! 

If earrings aren't what you're looking for, check out Lauren Klein's selection of necklaces, fashion jewelry, personalized jewelry, bridal jewelry, crosses, hearts, diamond key necklaces and my personal favorite:  evil eye jewelry.

There is something on here for every woman on your holiday list.  In fact, nobody is left out because in addition to women's jewelry, Lauren Klein also sells men's jewelry!

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Ex Still Calls Hubby's Parents Mom and Dad

>> Thursday, November 25, 2010

The ex is calling my husband's parents "mom" and "dad".  She did on their facebook today.

So what's the big deal about that?  Lots of ex's still call the parents of the father of their children "mom" and "dad", right? 

  • First, they were never married and they didn't have a good relationship during their relationship and they didn't have one after it ended.
  • Second, he never loved her - they picked each other up in a bar and she got pregnant, tried to make it work for the baby, blah, blah, blah. 
  • Third, she hasn't bothered to send "mom" or "dad" any pictures of the kids at all this year and when they come into town, the stepkids are always too busy to spend any time with them (like they are with us) according to my husband's parents. 
  • Fourth, it's been over for almost 16 years and she couldn't drag him down the aisle during their relationship.  Time to move on, go on the first date since my husband left her 16 years ago, get a life, etc. 

Yeah, it bothered me a bit.  I know a lot of ex's still call the ex-in-laws "mom" and "dad" still but they were never HER in-laws and she has been nothing but nasty to my husband for 16 years.  They are grandparents to her children but they never became mom and dad by marriage. 

Does it bother you if the ex calls your in-laws "mom" and "dad" still?

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Consignment or Garage Sale for Kids Clothes?

Do you guys know what is the best way to sell kids' clothes?  Is it through consignment shops or garage sales?  I have a ton of clothes for both boys and girls - baby clothes to age five in girls and baby clothes to age 10 in boys. That is a lot of clothes!  We're done having babies (unless there is an oopsie baby) so there is no point in my hanging onto them. 

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HAPPY THANKSGIVING

Happy Thanksgiving to all the step-parents and their families!!

We'll actually be celebrating it on Saturday with my in-laws and great niece and great nephew (I think that's what they'd be called - my husband's nephew's kids...is that right?)  who are coming into town tomorrow to stay with us for the weekend.  Hope y'all are  having a great one.

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Got My Karmic Smack Today

>> Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Karma gave me a little smack today. I was sitting at lunch with my five-year-old at school, happy I'd brought lunch because the turkey gravy over mashed potatoes hot lunch looked like a fattening blob of something my dog yakked up. Right after I thought that, the little boy sitting diagonally yakked all over himself and the table. My lunch was over at that point. Guess I should only think happy thoughts:D

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House Redecorating Wish List

>> Monday, November 22, 2010

I've made my household redecorating wish list up.  Here it is:

  • I want our bedroom painted.  We've not done this since we moved in - almost five years ago!
  • Utility sinks are a necessity with five dogs and six kids to keep the big messes out of the bathroom.  I want one in my laundry room. 
  • I want this butcher block island for my kitchen (need more counter and storage space):

  • I want two adirondack chairs for our backyard.  Maybe that'd be a good thing to put on the Santa list!
  • I want linoleum laid in the family room where the dogs go in and out - one piece that is easily mopped!  I think you can get linoleum now that looks like tile or wood so I can pretend to have the real thing.  I'm ok with that.
  • I want a new mattress.  Our mattress is over 15 years old!  Boy do the backaches get ya in the morning!  I want a double though instead of a queen...we need the extra room in our bedroom plus it will be like cuddling without actual cuddling since you have to sleep close in a smaller bed.
  • My way out there wish list, which is just a dream, is to either add on for a master suite or convert our attached garage (which isn't even used for our cars).  What I wouldn't give not to have to share a bedroom with all these kids!! 

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Christmas Gifts for Stepkids - Check!

Our Christmas shopping for my stepkids is done.  My stepson is getting an Ibanez electric guitar and my stepdaughter is getting a Breedlove acoustic guitar.  Both great guitars!  We got a Best Buy kind of deal on the electric guitar. It's worth more than we paid for it. My stepdaughter's guitar is going to be a joint Christmas/birthday gift because it was expensive and her birthday falls within a few days of the holiday!  I don't think she'll realize exactly how great of a guitar she has but hubby did good on picking out the right guitars for both of them.  I hope they like them!



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Best Place to Shop for Women's Clothes?

>> Friday, November 19, 2010

What is the best place to shop for women's clothes for trendy yet affordable clothes?  I did not get the fashion gene but as the weight drops off, I want to shop for better looking and better fitting clothes.  If I could figure out how to lose weight fast, I'd get myself some great clothes for the holidays as presents to myself.

I know of JCPenney, Wal-Mart (where I don't want to buy my clothes from anymore), and Maurice's but I want better choices.  Any ideas? 

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Buying Men Flowers

How many of you buy flowers for your guy?  I did when we were dating but not since.  My husband gets me flowers for special occasions, when he's in trouble, or when he wants to buy something.  If he comes through the door with flowers and it isn't a special occasion, I ask him, "What did you do or what do you want?"  It can be a speeding ticket or it can be a big ticket item he wants to purchase.  Maybe I'll get him some valentine's day flowers 2011 in February and surprise the heck out of him. Make him wonder if I did something wrong or want to buy something. 

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Lost 6 Pounds

I've lost six pounds!  Yippee! 

Actually, I think the last pound I lost was due to my gallbladder attack last night and dehydration so I probably should only count five pounds!  I guess "yakking your guts out" (in my 13-year-old's words last night) is the fastest fat burner.  I don't recommend gallbladder attacks for weight loss - ever.  I'm sure that pound will show up again in water weight.

I've been eating better and my doctor increased my thyroid pill dose and the weight is starting to drop again.  If I can get rid of these last 20 pounds, I'll be so much happier with looking in the mirror.  I fell off the healthy wagon two days ago when I was out running errands and my hypoglycemia took over and I needed food.  A drive-thru was the fastest way to get it - MISTAKE!  My gallbladder screamed at me for a few hours last night to tell me how bad of an idea that was.  I have learned now to keep healthy snacks in my purse to ward of the drop in blood sugar.

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Competition Between the Two Homes

Is there competition between the two homes?  Which side is it coming from (yours, theirs, both)?  What do you do about it? 

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Xmas Gifts for Stepkids Settled

>> Thursday, November 18, 2010

Wow!  The ex is "letting" hubby buy my stepdaughter the acoustic guitar (see previous post).  I hate using the word "let" because it implies he has less rights than she does - oh wait, he does in her eyes! 

After her email on how she was buying their daughter the guitar, he responded back to her how their daughter had told him that she wanted a laptop and acoustic guitar and he can't afford a laptop.  He went on to tell the ex why an experienced acoustic guitar player should pick out the guitar.  He worded it all very nicely in the email (while giving his own verbal rundown on his feelings for his ex while we typed up the email which was hilarious). 

Her response was a bit of a surprise (the money aspect of it). She responded that she is buying their daughter the laptop for her birthday (falls around xmas) and that the guitar was not going to be a xmas gift - just a gift.  Wow!  Must be nice to have that kind of spending money to plan to buy a laptop computer, xmas gifts, plus an acoustic guitar just because and that was just for one child.  Hubby responded back very nicely, thanking her and telling her how much he looked forward to buying her a guitar.

Sounds like my stepdaughter is getting what she wants for whatever the occasion for the holidays.  We are going to have to come up with another good idea for a graduation gift now and I really have no clue at this point - we were planning to save for a laptop for her:(  Maybe airline tickets to some awesome destination before college starts?

My stepdaughter turns 18 next month.  I believe child support will go until she graduates from high school, as well as health insurance.  I believe she'll just stay on our health insurance for as long as the insurance provider allows so she doesn't have to try to find some type of affordable health insurance on her own.  I'm just thrilled that we have the first of two kids turning 18 finally!  It's been a long, hard road to get here and with xmas settled now, I look forward to not having to deal with the ex again until at least Easter!

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How do you handle xmas presents with the ex for the kids?


The ex just sent us an email to inform us that she is buying my stepdaughter an acoustic guitar for Christmas (this was after we'd sent her an email telling her that my stepdaughter had told us she wanted one so we would get it for her for Christmas).  My husband is the guitar player, he's played since he was a kid, he's been in bands, it's his "thing" with his kids - to play music with them - like he does with our kids.  He's taught them and he plays with them; she doesn't.  He knows which brand guitars are good and which ones aren't.  He knows neck size for her hands, if the neck is straight, action, wood, he knows what to listen for when he tries them out in the store first, etc.  The ex wouldn't know which end of the guitar to start with! 

We've already bought my stepson an electric guitar, which we didn't tell the ex about.  She'd probably try to stop that one too so she could get him another one first. 

I haven't told my hubby yet about his ex's email.  I wonder what he'll do about it - if he'll still go ahead and get her an acoustic guitar or if he'll find a different gift for her.  If the kids were here more often, I'd say "so what" and keep it here for her to play but they're not here that often. 

This just reminds me of how many times she's come back and said she was going to get them gifts that he had wanted to get for them, how she'd try to get the kids the DVD movie releases as soon as she could to beat us out of doing it first, and how she wouldn't let hubby participate in field trips unless she was there too.  She can never just let him do something for the kids without it being a competition.

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What can go wrong, will go wrong...

>> Tuesday, November 16, 2010

I looked up my truck payment last week and figured out I only have 3-4 payments left on it until it is paid off.  Talk about being excited!  I haven't not had a car payment since I was a teenager!  I was getting excited thinking about not having any car payment for another year or two.  How great would that be!?!?!

Of course, if something can go wrong...

Friday night, my check gauge light comes on and the temp gage is showing it is running hot.  That lasted a couple minutes.  Huh, weird since I just had the thermostat replaced a month or two ago.

Yesterday I go to start my car to pick up my daughter from cheer practice and it won't start.  Get it started later that evening and it smells like something is burning. 

This morning, I drive it to the auto mechanic where along the way, my check gauge light comes on, temp gage dives to HOT, I have no heat, and if I have to slow down or stop, my car feels like it's going to just quite running on me. 

Apparently, now, I have pinhole size holes in the two silver lines that bring coolant for heat to the back seats of my Durango so all my coolant is leaking out.  According to the dealer (it's a dealer part so my mechanic has to get the part from them), 63 other people are in line waiting for the same part - it's on backorder with no idea if it'll be three weeks or seven months until the part is available for me.  Huh, 63 other people waiting for a backordered part - - HEY DODGE/CHRYSLER, DO YA THINK YOU MIGHT HAVE A FLAW IN THAT DESIGN OR WHAT? 

*sigh*

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My Cowgirl

>> Tuesday, November 9, 2010


Ride 'em Cowgirl!  This is my sweet, teenage daughter with her mare.  This horse was given to my daughter after my daughter's horse died unexpectedly and broke her heart.  She and her trainer broke this horse to ride (with my daughter doing the riding) last summer and they've just started teaching her to go over rails in preparation for jumping.  All our horsey pictures are at Cowgirl Up.  She rides English so she doesn't wear the cowboy hat (though she has one to go with those snakeskin boots she's wearing). 

My daughter has been just a big sweetie during my gallbladder attacks and my attempts to eat healthier!  She has been eating healthier along with me because she doesn't think it is fair that anybody eat anything in front of me that I can't eat myself (though she said she caved once and got nachos because she said, "I was sooooo hungry."  She's funny.  She's also noticed during this health kick this week that the school lunch menu isn't healthy at all.  She says there aren't a lot of healthy options for her to pick from.  The school lunch menu should be all healthy, but she's right; it's not. 

Here's my cowgirl again:



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I Have Gallbladder Disease

Those painful attacks were definitely my gallbladder.  My doctor says, "Well, you know you have gallstones and you know you have gall bladder disease.  You might have to think about doing something about that in the future."

Ya think?

So I asked him what I could do to dissolve or get rid of the stones without losing my gallbladder.  I really don't want to lose my gallbladder.  He is waiting for my hospital records to see how big the gallstones are before he tells me what the next step is.  He doesn't want me starting any type of gallbladder stone/flush protocol until he knows they are small enough to get rid of without plugging a duct.  Good idea! 

He told me that I won't know what I can or can not eat without eating it and seeing what happens.  Boy, that could be painful experimentation!

I've been eating less fat and have avoided anymore gallbladder attacks so far.  Before seeing my doctor, I was barely eating any fat at all because I was so afraid of another attack but I've since added a little back into my diet.  Fat is necessary.  I have found out eating the last couple bites of my daughter's hot dog at a soccer game is a bad idea but I can handle a little bit of spinach artichoke dip with tortilla chips in moderation.  I choose grilled over fried (which stinks) and just watch what I eat in general. 

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Holiday Personalized Gift Ideas for Baby

>> Thursday, November 4, 2010

If you are gearing up for the holidays and planning your shopping, I have a great coupon code for you from Baby Stuff Gifts for those personalized baby and sibling gifts!  You can give personalized clothing, blankets, towels, dolls, gift baskets, diaper covers, and more!  There is even a personalized Santa plate to leave cookies out for Santa!  My kids love the tradition of leaving cookies out for Santa so I just LOVE the Santa plate!!

Here are the sale details:

The sale is to enjoy 15% off your entire order...for 4 days only (11/4-11/7)...offer expires on Sunday at midnight. Shop now and save! 

COUPON CODE:  holiday2010

Available at Baby Stuff Gifts

If you have a shower coming up in your future (and seriously, we all do!), you'll want to check out Baby Stuff Gifts for their keepsake items that every mom would love to receive (and treasure for years after).  These are items of great quality you can put away after they're done wearing or playing with it to save to give to your child when they're older.  What a great idea!! 

If you know of a new mom or dad who hasn't registered yet for the baby shower, tell them about the Gift Registry at Baby Stuff Gifts for her baby shower.  Gift registries are the way to go!

Don't forget to check out the nursery decor and the free shipping on orders over $50!

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Children Who Stutter

>> Wednesday, November 3, 2010

My nine-year-old daughter stutters.  It is worse during spontaneous speech (if she's telling you about something that happened at school for example) and times of stress for her or if there is a lot of stress in the home (wow was it bad when my stepson was here regularly during his "behavioral problem" period - which was from about age 4 to age 12 for him!).  She sings beautifully and never stutters.  She can read aloud from a book and not stutter.  She was recently teased at school by a boy over her stuttering.  Why are kids so mean?  It only makes the stutter worse, not better, when she's upset!  She was upset over the teasing.  I was mad that kids can be so rotten to each other.  We handled it by talking to her speech therapist about it, who talked to both her teacher, the boy's teacher, and the Dean of Students.  I was going to introduce myself to this boy's parents and talk to them about it personally at one of my daughter's football games (he plays football) but the school handled it before the game happened and it seems to have worked.  There haven't been anymore instances of teasing.

My 11-year-old son used to stutter frequently but now stutters only occasionally.  My five-year-old stuttered badly for awhile (but we're hoping that was age-appropriate and not the same as her older siblings) since it doesn't happen often anymore.  My stepson used to stutter, as well as make gulping and other sounds. They have all been in speech therapy for their different speech issues. 

The New England Journal of Medicine (Feb 25, 2010) researched the role genetics plays in stuttering.  Their article is called Genetic Susceptibility to Stuttering.  Wow, wish they would've talked to me.  I could've told them genetic plays a huge role given our family's stuttering history (my husband was/is a stutterer as are more than half of his children).  I can't read the whole article since I'm not a member but if you want information about stuttering, the National Stuttering Association has a web site at http://www.westutter.org/.  My daughter's speech therapist sent me information home yesterday from the NSA to read...brought tears to my eyes reading about this little girl who was teased in school and how she handled it. 

I have so much paperwork over the years on their different IEP's (Individualized Education Program), speech homework, speech notes, etc., that I need document management software to keep it straight. I would love to use it to have digital copies of everything from the ex for the last 15 years too! It would save a lot of storage space that is being taken up by boxes and boxes of files!

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No Fat/Low Fat Eating - Oh I'm SOOOOO Hungry!!

>> Tuesday, November 2, 2010

I am on day 2 of the no-fat/low fat eating plan (hate to call it a diet because let's be realistic, it's the way I'm supposed to be eating anyway and haven't been) so I don't have anymore gallbladder attacks before my next doctor's appointment on Friday.  So, how's it going so far?  It stinks.  Seriously, I feel hungry all day long. 

I miss fat in my food.

I miss melted butter in every nook and cranny on my english muffin.

I miss chocolate candy bars. 

I miss pizza. 

Oh boy do I miss chocolate and pizza!! 

I miss feeling full.

I'm assuming it is my gallbladder that is causing me all the pain so I'm eating like it is to prevent anymore attacks.  I'll find out more on Friday. 

What is really sweet is my teenager told me last night that since I can't enjoy so many foods right now, she is going to eat like I have to eat so I don't feel left out.  She actually ate oatmeal for breakfast!!  She said she'll pick the salad at lunch instead of the nachos.  She has slept in my room for two nights in a row so she can "keep an eye on me."  She was upset to see me seriously crying the night before last when I was in so much pain (crying during sad parts in movies doesn't count).  She said she's only seen me cry once before and that was during an argument with her dad years ago (about the ex/stepkids of course).  She remembers listening on the stairs when she was supposed to be sleeping.  I guess my crying really hits her hard.  She's being so helpful.  She got all her siblings ready for school yesterday too!

I have good kids.  :) 

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Water Damaged Christmas

Have you ever had your sump pump stop working that left you wondering how to fix water damage on pretty much everything on that floor level that was submerged?  We did.  What a mess!  We were able to fix and replace almost everything we needed to except for our Christmas tree.  It was an artificial tree that nobody could tell wasn't real.  It was beautiful and then it was gone.  We've not been able to find a replacement since.  Now we're stuck with the Charlie Brown christmas tree.  Ugh.  I don't think about it until this time of year when I think about hauling out the ugly tree. 

We've also had property messed up by wind damage.  It was a good thing our insurance covered the clean-up!  We found a reputable company in our area which is what you need to restore your home to a healthy, clean environment for the family.

If you live in the Dallas or Austin, Texas areas, and you've had smoke, fire, or water damage, The Steam Team has been in business since 1983! They clean floors, upholstery, air ducts, tile and more.  They also offer green services, leather cleaning, pet odor treatment, marble polishing, drapery cleaning, and oriental rug cleaning. 

There are plenty of specials being offered right now, such as:


If you're looking for the best carpet cleaners austin has to offer, definitely check out The Steam Team.

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Well, that sucked!

>> Monday, November 1, 2010

I think I am having gallbladder attacks now.  I was in a lot of pain Friday night for about 4-5 hours and then excruciating pain last night for about 2-1/2 hours - pain on the right side under my rib cage, pain radiating around to my back, nausea, and vomiting.  It was a fun night last night! 

When I couldn't take anymore and got up to get dressed to drive myself to the hospital, it stopped.  It was over in between getting my pants on and putting my t-shirt on. 

I would seriously rather give birth.  That kind of non-stop pain was awful. 

I "think" it was gallbladder because of the symptoms that occurred after a fatty meal and because I know I have stones in my gallbladder (showed up in ultrasound/CT scan earlier this year for non-related illness) that have been asymptomatic (until now apparently).  I am waiting to hear back from my doctor to see what I need to do next.

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Not Moving

>> Thursday, October 28, 2010

Passing out cigars - we've made a decision!  Well, since we're broke, I'll have to find a discount cigars sale!  After talking to some of my contacts in the Michigan automotive industry and after much job hunting, we (the husband and I) talked this morning and with the automotive industry as bad as it is in Michigan, we can't move back there right now.  We can't leave a pretty much 100% secure job for total insecurity.  My husband's current employer talked to him this morning about their plans for him and in a couple years, he'll be moving up off the floor, getting a company car, etc. 

So about the time child support is done (2-1/2 years), the husband will be getting a promotion and moving to day shift!  We'll have double the celebration!   There is a really bright light at the end of this tunnel - it's just going to take a little more time to get there. 

We haven't talked to our kids about it yet.  We'll talk to them about it tonight.  Out of four kids, there will be one who will be very disappointed but our two oldest girls will be thrilled.  Of course, we never mentioned moving to the stepkids so no need to discuss what won't be now.  Even though the move would've been to see them more, I don't think they would've liked us messing up the status quo for them. 

There is a small part of me that is disappointed because my family is up there too, but there is a big part of me that is relieved because I can't stand things up in the air the way they've been.  I need to know who, what, when, etc., and not knowing about jobs, housing, our precious and annoying pets, etc., was beginning to cause a bit of anxiety.  Now I just have to figure out how to live in this little redneck town for another two years until child support is done and we can move to the next larger town (within same school district though)!  I can't be held responsible if I see another mullet and react though.  Seriously, it won't be my fault.

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Teaching Finances to the Financially Challenged

>> Wednesday, October 27, 2010

How do you get a non-budget-minded person to understand financial responsibility?  My husband picked out an expensive birthday gift that he wants me to buy for him for his birthday (in a few weeks).  He does this every year and he doesn't see how this would be irritating.  I'm surprised he hasn't given me his Christmas gift list and easter gift ideas for men list already too. Just kidding. I'll get those about a month before the holiday.

I told him this morning there is no way we can spend that much money and to come up with something at least $100 less.  He has no concept of money.  I'd give him the bills to pay so he might get a clue about it but I know it wouldn't work -  he'd just rob Peter to pay Paul and we'd end up with no electricity or something.  High school really needs to teach a finances/budget class to every kid! That would definitely be an education they'd use (as opposed to geometry that confused the heck out of me and I never use:)

I set up our electronic bill payments at the beginning of every month for that month's worth of bills.  I think I will start printing out the monthly register once a month to show him how close we are to being in the hole so he might realize there is no room for extravagance right now.

That's all I can think of to do (other than wring a neck).

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Petition Not to Move

>> Tuesday, October 26, 2010

My 13-year-old daughter came home from school today and told me her friends have started a petition at the school that she can't move (like we've been planning).  She said they had a lot of signatures by second hour.  I thought that was a sweet thing for her friends to do.  That has to make her feel good.

Sure wish my stepkids cared as much about their younger siblings as their friends do.

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3 Girls in 1 Bedroom: Insanity for Us

If we end up moving within the next few months, we'll have to downsize everything because we'll be squeezing into less bedrooms for about 3-6 months.  I am trying to figure out how to put a few girls into one bedroom with the least amount of squabbling.  I did it as a child (I had five sisters) but I can't imagine that scenario for my kids now.  I can already imagine how that will be because I hear them trying to share a bathroom in the morning now.  I need to make sure they have enough space of their own room so I was thinking about bunk beds.  The boys will need the same set-up and I found these cool log cabin beds that I think the boys would like. 

There is just so much up in the air about us moving that I'm about to just toss the whole idea out.  Jobs, house rental temporarily and then buying another home, changing kids' schools, moving our horses, etc.  There's a part of me that is thinking staying where we're at isn't that bad of an idea and that little part of me grows bigger as time goes on.

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Gained 9 of 18 Pounds Back

Within the past year, I lost 18 pounds and was thrilled!  It meant only another 18 pounds to go!  Well, I've since gained back 9 of those 18 pounds.  So frustrating.

My thyroid disease is such a struggle and causes so many other problems besides just weight gain.  I am really tired of this little organ! 

My husband doesn't care - says there is more of me to love.  That really doesn't help, but he's trying to get out of the doghouse.  I don't want MORE of me to love.  I want LESS.  I read up a bit on the side effects of weight loss pills but I don't need an appetite suppressant. There's nothing wrong with my appetite. My thyroid has my metabolism down to nothing!

I have an appointment next Friday with my thyroid doctor.  I am curious what his next step will be because so far, his way hasn't worked yet.  I know my way does because I've done it before and was healthier for it.  I'm just trying to stay within the supervision of a doctor but I'm about fed up.

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Teenage Health - Acne, Weight, Irregular Cycles, Moods

I just finished reading Dr. Erika's Hormone Solution for Your Daughter (Dr. Erika Schwartz) and it was a good book.  I like solutions that give you other options for behaviors other than just Prozac and other options for regulating a teen's menstrual cycle other than birth control pills.  There is a lot more information in the book as well (such as weight and acne) and the use of supplements like natural progesterone (natural, not synthetic), Coenzyme Q, L-carnitine, B-complex, Omega-3, Vitamin C, Iron, Magnesium, and calcium supplements.

My stepson was diagnosed with ADHD years ago and I can say, by experience, that Omega-3 made a HUGE difference in his ADHD symptoms.  He wasn't hyper or misbehaving while on them and when I'd forget to give them to him - wow!  Noticeable difference.  I give all of our kids the gummy Omega-3 supplements, not just my stepson when he's here, for their health.  At first, they hated the taste of them but within a week, they all loved them.  My stepson's mother wouldn't give him Omega-3 though unless his pediatrician told her she could and his pediatrician only had him on ADHD drugs that made him tired and hurt his stomach.  Big Pharma won out there.

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He Didn't Go

>> Sunday, October 24, 2010

My husband didn't drive out of state on Friday nine hours to spend 10 minutes watching a band performance.  He mentioned Thursday night that he might not go, there was overtime available and he thought he should take it.  Gee ya think?  He had also asked me Thursday morning, "How long is this going to go on?"  (meaning how long was I going to be mad).  Until I feel heard and respected I would guess. 

When he came home from work on Friday morning, he said he wasn't going and that his daughter said she understood (though he's not sure if she really did) he had to work but she did ask him if he was going to be able to make any of her band performances.  We drove up this year already and watched her in two concerts...she's forgotten I guess.  Of course, dad didn't correct her on that little fact either (I would've!).

Not going didn't get the husband out of the dog house.  I feel a bit betrayed.  That doesn't just go away, especially when it took several weeks of upset for him to come to that decision!  It seems more like he was waiting me out, to see how mad I would stay at him, before he decided not to go.  He can't win with me this month I guess.

I did keep my plans with my kiddos though.  We went costume shopping for a few hours and then out to dinner.  I will have a princess, a monster bride, the grim reaper, and a bee to take out trick-or-treating this year.

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Don't Forget Mother-in-Law Day Today!!

Today is mother-in-law day! 

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Not Feeling Mental

>> Thursday, October 21, 2010

Well, the big day is tomorrow.  Tomorrow is the day the husband drives to another state - ya know, the whole "he ticked me off" deal that's been going on the last few weeks.  If you missed it, read the previous posts over the last two weeks or so.  I've been quite the ticked off wife lately.

I thought I'd be about mental right now with anger. Yes, I'm still angry and feeling betrayed but I'm calm.  I've made plans tomorrow to take my teenage daughter winter coat shopping and then I'll take my four munchkins out to dinner with what's left of my guitar money.  I was going to do dinner and a movie but then I remembered Halloween costumes are needed.  So, we're going costume shopping tomorrow night too.

If hubby thinks I'll be sitting home ticked off while he's gone, he'll be wrong.  I have plans with my four monkeys and my plans don't include stewing over this situation tomorrow night while he's gone. 

Of course, that doesn't mean my anger won't show up in other places - like perhaps a colon cleanse for his birthday present next month and coal in his stocking the month after! Kidding. He'll probably have some wildly expensive gifts on his lists for his birthday and Christmas because he has no concept of money and financial responsibilities.  This trip is proof of that!

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Still Angry...Guess it's not going away

>> Monday, October 18, 2010

My husband told me yesterday morning that even in my sleep, I am turning away from him.  That's pretty bad that when I am out cold sleeping, my subconscious still puts distance between us.  I told him I guess that means I am really ticked off. 

He was talking to his mother again this morning about his plans this Friday and it revved my anger up all over again.  I can't imagine how I will feel on Friday when he actually leaves.  Probably kind of mental I would imagine.  I'm making plans though to take my kids out to maybe eat and shop for my teenager for her winter coat (I bought my other three kids their winter coats and my son his jeans on Saturday...the guitar money I received for selling my guitar is coming in handy).  With what's left, I am seeing dinner out or a movie with my kids this Friday.

This trip he has planned on Friday is totally stupid.  To go 30+ hours without sleep, working eight hours, driving nine hours during that time period, driving home late at night, it's suicide.  It's an accident waiting to happen. 

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Stress Weight

I've been really upset with my weight gain over the last few years.  I have thyroid disease so it has brought my metabolism down to about non-existent!  It's so frustrating to not be able to lose weight. 

Last year, without my thyroid doctor's help, I adjusted my medication and lost 19 pounds and felt GOOD.  The doctor changed my meds around and since then, I've been gaining that weight back.  My husband asked me yesterday if my weight gain was stress related.  Gee, why would I be feeling any stress? Do you think YOU might have something to do with that?

I believe it is twofold: thyroid and stress.

I can look for safe fat burners but what I really need is my thyroid managed to get my metabolism started up again to as close as normal as it can be under the circumstances. It's frustrating to go from a size 4, to a size 8 and then a 10. I'll take a comfortable 8 (comfortable as in being able to get into a size 8 jean and it not hurting) at this point but my goal is a size 6.  I am small-boned.  I am not supposed to carry this added weight.  No wonder my joints hurt.

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Cat Ate My Birthday Butt Cake! :)

I had a good birthday weekend, other than the cat eating my cake that my teenager made for me.  She made me a bundt cake (she calls it a butt cake) and the cat dived into it as it was cooling.  So a generic cake was bought in its place for the kids to decorate.  Here it is:


Each one of my four kids decorated a part of the cake and the butt cake was thrown out back to feed the birds or whatever else came along for it.  I have sweet kids.

P.S. Still no change on the hubby/trip situation.  He's going to get himself killed, or somebody else killed, going 30+ hours with no sleep, driving for nine hours.  That borders on idiotic.  Oh heck, it is idiotic!

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39 Today! Holy Crap I'm Old!!

>> Saturday, October 16, 2010

I turn 39 today.  That just stinks.  One away from 40!! 

Remember when you were about ten years old and 40 was OLD? 

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13 Year Old More Mature than Almost 17 Year Old!

>> Friday, October 15, 2010

I have been editing videos and photos tonight from files I've taken over the last couple of weeks.  One of the videos was of my 13-year-old daughter (8th grade) marching with the high school marching band a week ago.  She had a piece of music that no other 8th grader has ever been able to play in the whole history of the band according to the band teacher.  She could so she got the part. 

Was my husband there to see our daughter play this one time a year thing, with her special part?  No, he had to work later that night so he was sleeping.  Did our daughter understand that dad had to work?  Of course she did.  (Never mind that he could've arranged his sleep schedule slightly to attend!) 

So why can't an almost 18-year-old understand that it just isn't financially feasible to spend all that money, plus lose needed work hours, to drive nine hours for about ten minutes of playing time when a 13-year-old can understand why her dad wasn't there for her? 

Why the emotional blackmail?  Oh yeah, because she can obviously get away with it.  Her mother's been a good teacher.

They get their child support no matter how many hours dad does or doesn't work.  It's the rest of our bills that suffer when dad doesn't work so it has little meaning to them.

I'm writing my angst down as much as I can so it doesn't spill over into my daily life.  With my husband's work schedule, I'm basically a single parent all week long and being a ticked off angry parent, the only one they have to deal with, isn't fair to them.  Writing it all out seems to help when the anger starts to hit.

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Black Friday

Speaking of Christmas, which is coming up way too soon for me, we're only a little more than a month away from Black Friday.  I went out once on Black Friday and swore never to do it again, and I haven't.  I prefer to shop online as much as I can. 

How many of you go out on Black Friday to shop?  Do you get great deals worth the stress and aggravation? 

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Christmas List for Teenage Girl

My teenage daughter has told me what she put on her Santa list - an iPod Touch.  Yeah, right.  Keep dreaming.  I got an iPod Touch and it's great, but I got mine for a survey I participated in and it was free.  It slides right into the little slot for iPods on my stereo so I can listen to it through my stereo speakers (which I prefer...don't like to wear the ear buds).  It was a bonus for being the best participant in this survey forum.  Little different when you actually have to buy one.  I told her to look at an ipod nano or another mp3 player along those lines.  Several of her friends have an iPod Touch though and after using mine and seeing her friends', she has her heart set on it. 

Santa is going to disappoint this year I think.

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Sold Guitar; Buying Winter Coats

>> Thursday, October 14, 2010

I asked my husband this morning if he thought that by making this trip next week, that has caused a lot of tension in our marriage at the moment, if he thought it meant that his kids wouldn't ignore him on Father's Day next year (like they did this year).  He's missing my point.

I'm supposed to create a web site for him (he is making handmade guitar picks and wants to sell them) but I've not been in the mood to do much of anything for him lately (his laundry pile plopped unfolded on his side of the bed was his first good indication of that).  He should look up managed web hosting and see if somebody else can help him.

Oh well.  I just sold one of my guitars today (the one that is worth the most but we lost a couple hundred by selling it for what we sold it for).  I'll be able to buy the kids winter coats with the money and some jeans for my son.  Thinking that my husband might actually realize he is wasting his time and money (that is needed elsewhere) on this trip next week for an almost adult "child" who really doesn't care about him at all just isn't happening. 

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Trying to adjust but anger rears its head

>> Wednesday, October 13, 2010

I asked my husband today why he was driving nine hours for 10 minutes or so of time with his almost adult daughter when he admitted "they don't care about this family at all".  He said he was doing it for himself, so he knew inside that he has done what he could to be a good father no matter what. 

For "kids" who have not given him the time of day the last couple of years and who totally ignored him this past Father's Day (and last year too if I remember correctly) - totally blew him off with no contact, "kids" who are old enough to know better, I think he's wasting his time personally (as well as money we desperately need). 

Part of me is trying to understand where he is coming from and part of me feels a bit betrayed because we agreed to discuss things together and this was definitely not a mutual decision.  I feel like he's putting them before our own family's welfare and security, and shredding marital trust, and that it won't make a darn bit of difference to his kids at all.  It's one more piece of resentment I feel adding up.

I started reading Divorce Poison today.  I've been wanting to read this book for quite awhile now but after all of this, part of me just feels numb to all the poison anymore because at this late stage when the kids are coming up on adulthood, is it really going to matter?  I feel like it's too late.

Guess I still have a bit of "mad" on.  Hearing him talk to his mother on the phone today about his upcoming visit just brought all the anger back again.  The spiteful part of me thinks that if he spends this visit next to the ex in that stadium, after the hell she's put us and all the kids through for 15+ years, he can stay up there and not bother coming home.  Yeah, guess I'm still mad.

My birthday is Saturday.  Happy Birthday to me.  Not.

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Heart vs Mind Discussions from Contemplation Marks

>> Monday, October 11, 2010

With all of the tension in my marriage lately over the coming short trip to my stepkids' state, it has made me look very closely at my marriage and at some of the choices we are making right now wanting to move our family out of state, to be closer to my stepkids.  Hubby and I might just need some type of therapy or relationship coaching to get us through these last two years, especially if we move closer to the ex! 

Can I be the "little engine that could" and sputter my way through the next two years until my stepkids are both 18 years old and the legal relationship with the ex ends?  I don't want to just sputter!  Yup, might need some outside help for this one.  I've had "my mad on" for the last few weeks and it's kind of smoldering there right now, but the "sad" is starting to take over.  Might need an objective party to talk to.

There is a Heart vs Mind Discussion series at Barnes and Noble on October 14, 2010 at 7:00 p.m.  The actual address for those of you who live close enough is 240 Route 22 West, Springfield, NJ 07081, phone: 973-376-8544.  The topic of the discussion from the series for that evening is different kinds of soul mates/friends.  It's held by Contemplation Marks.

In addition to series of discussions, Contemplation Marks also offers inspirational greeting cards, bookmarks, books, relationship coaching, and creative writing help!  You should check them out. 

Blending families is so hard, especially when you add in all the outside influences that you have to manage so getting objective help can be a positive thing!  It's even more difficult when you are limited on what you can do or change and it becomes about what you can accept or not accept.  I have a hard time with the "accept" part.  I see things as right vs wrong and when I see what I think of as "wrong", I want to fix it!  I guess I'm like a man that way - want to get in there and fix things!  Hard when it isn't "my place" to fix them.

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More Sad Than Mad Now

Hubby and I talked this morning after a very tense last couple of weeks.  He wanted to know how long I was going to be mad at him and if we could talk. 

He told me that he is scheduled to work the weekend that includes the Friday he was supposed to drive to the kids' state to watch his daughter in marching band (nine hour driving time, 10 minutes of marching band...makes sense.  Not.)  He said he told his daughter that his work scheduled him that weekend (at his work, every other weekend is "your weekend" if there is overtime that they expect you to work.  There hasn't been hardly any overtime in over a year now...it's starting this month...what great timing eh?).  She won't forgive him if he doesn't go see her.  He said he will lose her from what she told him.

*twirls and drops to the floor*

SHE won't forgive HIM? 

I asked him if he mentioned the fact that she hasn't wanted to come here in several years?  Of course he didn't.  He said she's "just a kid" and he can't say that.

I told him she was emotionally manipulating him.  Of course she wouldn't do that!  Pfft!

Excuse me, that "kid" is 18 in two months and is old enough to know right from wrong and be told about it.  She can enlist in the military and go fight a war but she can't be reprimanded from daddy for hurtful behavior?  Boy when the real world hits her in the butt, it's going to knock her flat.

That "kid" couldn't be bothered to give her sister five minutes in a month's time this past month. 

That "kid" hung up on her sister on her sister's birthday!

That "kid" got her way in August and instead of coming here like was scheduled, got to go party with her friends - something she had done all summer long.  Then she has the nerve to throw a guilt trip on dear old dad?

He then said he doesn't want to confront his daughter because she's already on drugs (prozac).  That's an excuse by the way.  Yeah, the prozac WE are paying for, that WE don't agree with, because HER MOTHER is an emotional case and put her kid on drugs rather than look at her own behavior causing her daughter's anxiety problems. 

So now, we not only won't be able to make our house payment, we will lose a weekend's worth of rare overtime which is desperately needed.

I told hubby if he went, he was not taking our kids with him, driving all that way with no sleep in 24 hours, with our kids in the car.  He didn't undertand why but he didn't push that one too far.  Good choice.

I also told him that he wasn't going to go sit with his ex at the game like the last 15 years of hell never happened with her!  His response, "Well, I want to sit with my son."  (Meaning, he'd have to sit with his ex so he could sit with his son.)  If you drive all that way, your kid won't sit with you if you don't sit with his mommy?  He's 15!  What 15 year old is hanging out with mom at his school's football game?  Mine don't hang out with dad or me at the football games and they're younger than that!  Didn't that umbilical cord get cut over 15 years ago?  Huh? 

He said he'd cancel (for me) but no way is he laying that guilt trip on me!  No way is he using me as the excuse to cancel this trip.  Cancel it for the right reasons or live with your decision.

He also said his daughter wants nothing to do with being a part of our family.  So, why are you risking our home, losing overtime, and slicing & dicing pieces of our marriage for this then? 

Our marriage gets shredded a little bit more every time.  He said it'll be over soon (his daughter is 18 in couple months and 2-1/2 more years til his son is) and he doesn't want to see us get through these last 15 years only for me to give up on our marriage now.  I never said that.  He took that from how ticked off I have been at him.  I've still got a bit of mad on but I've got more "sad" on right now. 

If somebody had told me when the kids were young and there was so much love and family, that we would be where we are now with hardly a relationship with them at all, I would have never believed them.  I would've been wrong. 

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No Help From Stepdaughter

>> Friday, October 8, 2010

Well, my stepdaughter didn't come thru for her sister - again (So Sick of This!).  Despite my daughter asking her a month ago, I talked to her about it a couple weeks ago, and her dad asked her a week ago.  My stepdaughter told her dad she would.  She said she'd have it here before Friday.  It's Friday.  It isn't here.

My husband just asked me this morning if his daughter had done it yet. My response was, "Uh-uh" since there's no point in actually talking to him because he doesn't hear what I'm saying anyway.  No point in elaborating on what I already told him last week - how she expects him to drive nine hours to watch her for less than 20 minutes in marching band when we have no money for a trip like that and yet she can't spend less than five minutes helping her sister on a school project.

I'll do the project myself with my daughter.  My daughter specifically wanted her older sister to do it but that doesn't appear to be a possibility.  Obviously not a priority for my stepdaughter.

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Lots to Think About!

>> Thursday, October 7, 2010

I went to the barn and worked with my horse this morning and spent a lot of time just loving on my and my daughter's horses for awhile to help my mood.  It did wonders for my mood...until I came home anyway.

I really have some thinking to do.  We were planning on moving back to my stepkids' state as soon as we could (find job) but after this latest fight with hubby, I'm not sure I want to under these circumstances.  If he's not going to talk to me about things that affect our home where it concerns his kids first (like he used to) and if he's going to let the ex and his kids dictate our time/finances, why would I uproot my own kids from their home, friends and school to move us (by myself since hubby would be already up there working ahead of us) to another state, if it would mean fighting with hubby every week instead of a couple times a year? 

A friend I was talking to today said that maybe all of this happened for a reason right now - to let me see what we would be moving back to...a little reminder.

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Still Livid!

I am supposed to go to the barn and ride my daughter's horse today to keep her going while my daughter can't ride right now (sprained her ankle couple weeks ago...not healing yet the way they expected it to...starting physical therapy next week on it).  I am still too angry (see Livid, Livid, Livid) and being tense and ticked off while on top of a horse isn't the safest idea.  I'll go down and do some ground work with them instead so they don't just sit around, lazy and getting fat:) 

Hubby and I still haven't worked out the problems from the other day about him driving nine hours to see his daughter play for all of 20 minutes when we have zero money for the trip right now. All the anger is just roiling there, waiting for a place to go.  Should be a good show!  Not.

I am so sick of this always being an issue.  There's sadness and regret in there too but mostly, a whole lot of anger.  When we were first married, he talked to me about things first and we made decisions together.  He dealt with the issues with his ex instead of ignoring them and letting her run things.  He didn't have a choice not to deal with them because I wasn't going to let some other woman run my home, my marriage.  It was the only reason I agreed to marry him when I did (I'd refused until I could see he wasn't going to let her run things) and we were a family with his kids, at least his daughter anyway, despite other people's interference for about ten years.  If we aren't a team, then I'm not playing, and we haven't been a team where it concerned his kids in 4-5 years.  He's let them and the ex determine everything for the last several years (and they determined "everything else" was more important than dad and their siblings) and the result has been he doesn't have a great relationship with his kids anymore and they have none with our family.  That took a dive when I disengaged and stopped ensuring the court order was followed, etc.  I left it to him to step up to the plate and he let his ex and kids take over the game.  Well, how's that working out for him now?

I'm just really, really tired.

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Puberty in Boys

>> Wednesday, October 6, 2010

My son is in 6th grade now and he's not adjusting well to the changes - having to switch classes.  With the start of school, he also only sees his dad on weekends now. I am married but Monday - Friday, I am SINGLE MOM because of dad's work. 

My son and I dipped our toes into the "puberty" talk a couple weeks ago, but that's all we did.  He doesn't want to talk to mom about that!  We talked about body hair (he thinks it's cool that his toes are "getting furry") and I told him he could get acne in other places than his face (back, chest, neck acne). I remember my brother always grossing us out by popping pimples on his chest in front of us. Gross. I need to either read up more on what he needs to know or make dad sit down and start the talk with him on a weekend.

Dad has never potty trained any of the six kids, had "the talk", or anything else like that so it'll probably come back to me to deal with this too.  If you can't tell, I'm feeling a bit resentful at the moment.  Not a good place to be.

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Busy Weeks!

The weeks are so busy!  I can't wait until Monday comes around when there is nowhere I have to go or nothing I have to do. 

My daughter has a field trip tomorrow to a one-room school house.  They want them to dress like the days from that time period.  I don't have skirts down to their shoes, etc.  I am going to run out today to see if I can find a Holly Hobby halloween costume or something like that for next to nothing.  I am going to try the Goodwill first.  Maybe I'll get lucky and find something suitably "old-fashioned".  I am surrounded by Amish but I think it'd be a bit rude to ask them for clothes.   

My other daughter has a field trip to a farm, soccer practice and game, cheerleading, football game, riding, etc.  I have to get an auto insurance quote and schedule eye appointments. I need an assistant!  I need to find a new home for the little stray allergy ball of cat fur that has made herself so at home in our house.   So much to do!

I encourage the kids to sign up for sports, etc., but secretly start wishing for the end of the season by halfway through the season!  With four kids, and just myself to take care of it all, I can't help it.

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Livid, Livid, Livid

>> Tuesday, October 5, 2010

I am livid right now.  My stepdaughter wants her dad to drive nine hours to come see her play for 20 minutes, at most, in marching band this month.  He promised her he would.  He didn't talk to me about it first.  If he had, I would've shown him our budget for this month.  We pulled our house out of foreclosure a couple months ago.  If he makes this trip and spends this money, we can't make our house payment this month because his hours have been reduced.  Our four kids need winter coats.  20 minutes of clarinet is more important?  I could buy four winter coats on what he'll spend on this trip.  They get child support before all of our other bills are paid - our house payment, our own kids' needs.  We don't have this extra money right now. 

Oh yeah, we made a trip to see her in two clarinet recitals already.  It's not like dad has never seen her play before.

A nine hour drive for 20 minutes of my stepkids' time when she couldn't spend five minutes to help her sister with a school project at any time in the last month?  The same kids who couldn't spend any time with us when we were in town over the summer?  When they were sooo busy they couldn't fit dad in for parenting time most of the time in the last five years?  His almost 18-year-old daughter asks him to jump on her time, and he'll do it without regard to anybody else. 

Oh yeah, the ex would save him a seat.  Isn't that sweet of her?

I don't know, call me weird, but I thought we were married and discussed these things first.  A trip out of state and not making our house payment are kinds of things you'd talk to your spouse about first. 

Then my husband asks me, "What's wrong?"  Really? 

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Non-Custodial Parents: Did you contact the school yet?

>> Sunday, October 3, 2010

If you are a non-custodial parent, did you remember to contact the school to ensure you are on their mailing and contact list for your kids? I usually remember to do this in August but with all the activity with job hunting and house hunting, I have to admit that I forgot until I received my own kids interim reports and realized we hadn't contacted my stepkids' school yet. They started two weeks later, in September, than my kids so we haven't missed anything yet thankfully.

I sent an email last night to the school principal, from hubby of course, requesting we be on the mailing list for progress reports, report cards, and any other important information that concerns the kids, along with our current address. 

Don't forget to check the school web site calendar to make your calendars with important dates - parent teacher conferences, band concerts, sports schedules, etc.  No point in waiting for the ex to provide all of that for you (if she or he does).

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Earth-Like Planet Found. Earth Jr?

>> Friday, October 1, 2010

Earth-like planet found!  This isn't one of the STAR rag magazine headlines that are never true.  This is from Discovery and you can read about it here.  Is there life there already? 

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Prozac Bills Came in the Mail

>> Thursday, September 30, 2010

The prescription bills from the ex came in the mail today for my stepdaughter's Prozac for us to reimburse.  Did I ever tell you how much I HATE having to pay for things we don't agree with, things we think could even be harmful? 

When my stepdaughter was here, she didn't have ONE anxiety/panic attack.  She didn't cry and carry on at all.  When we talked to her about her anxiety/OCD behaviors at her mom's house, everything she told us (when it would happen, why it would happen) related to her mother.  Why should WE have to pay to medicate a child because of her mother's behavior?

I'm sorry but that is screwed up. 

I don't mind reimbursing for necessary expenses.  We just don't feel Prozac was a necessary expense or good for a teenager to be taking under these circumstances.  Therapy (for mom) would be great!

One point for my husband's parents (who usually don't talk negatively about the ex) when they were here this past weekend - they don't agree with Prozac for their teenage granddaughter either and they base that on experience with one of their own daughter's.  (My mother-in-law also told me this past weekend that the ex doesn't bother to send her pictures anymore.)  The ex seems to be losing favor with the in-laws.  If you know the history with the ex and in-laws, after 15 years, it's about time.

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When do you stop blaming the ex?

>> Wednesday, September 29, 2010

When do you stop blaming the ex?

When is the unacceptable, hurtful, etc. behavior of a child, which has been the result of a parent's inappropriate behavior, no longer the parent's fault and instead is the responsibility of the child?

After all, we can't blame our parents forever.

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Outer Banks Rentals Vacation

>> Tuesday, September 28, 2010

My husband and I are talking about "Santa" bringing the family a vacation this year (yes, all but one of my kids still believe in Santa).  We were looking at a couple different destinations but it's not to be this year.  Too expensive.

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SO Sick of This!

>> Monday, September 27, 2010


My 13-year-old daughter asked her 17-year-old sister to help her with a school project, writing the answer to the question, "You are special because...".  It would take all of a few minutes and involved writing a few sentences about her little sister.  It is due by October and she asked her September 11th.  Plenty of notice.  My stepdaughter's response yesterday:

"I'll try, but I can't guarentee I'll have time to do it."


(That's her spelling; not mine.)
 
Seriously, you can't take five minutes, hell, two minutes to write a few sentences about your sister, who you used to be SO close to before your other parent won with the alienating tactics, when she has given you three weeks notice?  You don't even have to handwrite it; email it. 
 
I haven't told my daughter yet.  It'll hurt her feelings.  My stepdaughter and daughter used to be really close and she specifically wanted her big sister to be a part of this school project but she can't even give her two minutes of her time. 
 
I've seen my daughter in tears brought on by my stepkids' behavior.  Hanging up on her a couple times a few years ago pretty much devastated her - hanging up on her on her birthday crushed the heck out of her.  If my stepdaughter doesn't do this for her (and let's face it, it's not because she doesn't have time to do it - it's two minutes!), part of me wants to shield my daughter from the hurt and type up something and say my stepdaughter emailed it to try to avoid the hurt if my stepdaughter doesn't do it - not for my stepdaughter's sake but for my own daughter.  The other part of me thinks she'll find out what I did and hurt anyway.  When do I protect and when do I just be there when they hurt?
 
I can't believe how much things have changed - how close the kids used to be.  It disgusts  me that an adult interfered so badly that it damaged sibling relationships.  It wasn't just the bond between father/child or stepmom/stepchild that was interfered with; that alienation made its way to the siblings as well.  Due to a person's insecurities, innocent lives were so altered that they'll carry those scars with them for a long time, maybe forever. 
 
This is the result of two very different homes - one home was insecure, manipulated, and alienated and the other home wouldn't stoop to involving any of the kids in the horrid games, wouldn't talk bad about the other parent, wouldn't manipulate the kids, and did everything "right" for the kids' emotional/mental health. 
 
We did everything we were supposed to.  Look where we all are now. 

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