Life Insurance and Stepkids

>> Friday, January 29, 2010

I was looking at an instant life insurance quote and got to wondering again about life insurance when you have a divorce. We have two different life insurance policies but they are set up in the event that if something happens to both myself and my husband, our four children get the bulk of it. We figure because they would be without any parent and the stepkids would have their mother still, that was the best way to do it right now while our children were still young. It would be a lot for my sister to take on raising our four children without that policy to support them through childhood so we doubled up on insurance.  If the ex were to try to fight that after the fact, I'd haunt her!

How does your family handle life insurance beneficiaries? 


Stepkid Driver's License: Who Pays Insurance?

I think my stepdaughter just got her driver's license or is about to. I would hate to be the home to have to get that auto insurance quote right now. Technically, she could have received her driver's license a year ago but for whatever reason, her mother didn't get her scheduled and tested. 

She doesn't live with us so that's one bill that we don't have to deal with right now (I think). In three years, we will for our oldest daughter but for my stepkids, I believe that it falls on the custodial parent to provide insurance.  I think that is how it works anyway.  It better.  If my insurance goes up for a child who has more important things to do than spend time at dad's house, I'll be beyond ticked off.


Keeping Up Contact Despite Seeing Any Response

>> Monday, January 25, 2010

Well, I just paid to renew the domain name and privacy registration for the web site we keep for my stepkids.  Even though I'd be surprised if they have looked at it more than once in the past year, maybe twice (but not likely), we keep it updated with notes to them because:

  1. We don't know if they get the emails or letters we send them because of some things the kids have said to us in the past about it.
  2. There is no way that when the kids are adults that they will ever be able to say that we didn't care about them.  We aren't the ones who have interfered in the parent/child relationship, in communications, or in the sibling relationships between our kids and them.  We aren't the ones who hang up the phone when the other home calls them.  We aren't the ones ignoring birthdays and other special days unless it benefits them in some way.  We keep the web site updated just for them with little messages and pictures with timestamps on everything so they'll have a "log" (for lack of a better word) over the years.  Even if they don't get letters or told about phone calls, we have this other means of communicating (if they care to go to the web site and see it). 
I guess I'll plan on paying for this domain name for at least the next 3-1/2 years - until they are both adults.


A little closer to the end...

>> Wednesday, January 20, 2010

We are only a year and four months away from my stepdaughter graduating.  That'll end the legal relationship we have for her with the ex.  That leaves us right now at 3 years, 4 months (my stepson) until it is ALL over.  Do the happy dance!

I love seeing the time disappear.  I wish it'd go faster but whatcha gonna do?  We made it through 14 years...a few more should be no problem.


Gained Weight, Have Thyroid Disease

What weight loss supplements have helped you?  I'm afraid to take any kind of weight loss supplement.  It seems like they are on the market and then pulled off down the road when they cause health problems for the people using them.  I don't want to be one of those statistics.  I've seen several on the market for long enough that they might be safe but I'm neurotic so I don't even want to try.

I've looked at liquid diets and thermogenic fat burners and I wouldn't know where to begin, what to look for in terms of interaction with my thyroid medications.  I know what my problem is - my thyroid.  It's zapped my metabolism down to nothing so if I can find a doctor who knows how to treat the thyroid right, then the weight will fall off on its own.  The problem is finding a good doctor who treats me like a person and not a lab report. 


Bad dream sums up my life at the moment

I had this awful dream about my oldest who just became a teenager.  I dreamt that I went to pick her up from school because of a rash on her face (in real life, that rash is mine).  In the car, she'd slipped about how she had a ride on a motorcyle.  I told her she was not allowed on a motorcycle at all at her age even if it was her friend's dad's motorcycle (in real life, I don't like this man all that much at the moment and my cousin died on a motorcycle due to the other driver's fault, not his).  She got sulky and under her breath called me a "sissy [insert name of female dog here]".  I, of course, grounded her right away for lying to me about the motorcycle and for the name-calling which made her really mad.  She came at me like she was going to get physically aggressive.  I told her before she got to me that she was then grounded even longer and she backed off. 

My daughter has never called me names or became physically aggressive towards me.  While I expect a few names slinged at me in the coming years, I can't see her ever getting physically aggressive towards me.  It was just a really weird dream.  I would expect that physical aggression from my stepson but not my daughter.

It's funny how my dream combined my hives, my little struggle with my oldest becoming a teenager, and the man who is causing a friend of mine hurt right now.  My subconscious rolled it all into one dream for me. 

I did struggle a bit with my daughter turning into a teenager.  Her hormones have been screaming "teen" for the better part of this last year but her birthday made it official.  She's already worried about her weight (she is tall and thin and fit from four days a week of cheerleading).  She doesn't have any future concerns about diet pill side effects and I'm hoping she never will.  I don't understand how girls who are thin and healthy looking can see themselves as fat.  I'd LOVE to have my body back from my mid-to-late teens.  I wish I would have appreciated it more when I had it instead of just wishing I had it back after I lost it.


Murad Reviews

Speaking of acne in my previous post, do you know anybody who uses or needs Murad?  I found murad reviews about it and thought I'd share. I haven't hit this stage personally with any of my kids yet and am hoping they'll just have normal teenage acne and not get a chronic case of it.  Do they (with "they" being the scientific community) even know what causes chronic acne yet?  You'd think with all the advancements out there for medical treatments, that figuring out why people get chronic eruptions of acne wouldn't be so difficult to figure out. 

I'm having my own skin crisis at the moment with these hives that have been spreading over the top half of my body these past two weeks.  It looks awful.  I have to cancel my daughter's speech therapy today because I can't walk into the school with a rash all over my face.  Until a doctor confirms it is hives, I don't want to freak anybody out by walking into a school with an undiagnosed rash.


Hives on the Lips. Seriously?

Oh my gosh, the hives are even worse this morning!  I just want to scratch my face off.  I thought it might be the new laundry bleach I bought but realized this morning that the hives would be all over my body if that were the case (I think anyway).  I don't look like I need body acne treatment; they're on my trunk and head wit a few patches on my arms and only one on one leg.  Not all over the body.  The ones on my face are really bothering me.  Not just because of how they look but they are intensely itchy.  My lips feel tight so they're spreading to them too it appears.  What is the deal with that? 

At this time tomorrow, I will be on my way to my doctor's appointment.  I am so anxious to get rid of these hives that I'm willing to get a shot of steriods in the backside if I have to.  Me, the person who gets whoozy at the sight of a needle, will glady take that shot tomorrow. 

*Fingers crossed* that the doctor know why I erupted in this rash and how to treat it quickly tomorrow!


Poll: Will You Buy a Christmas Present for the Ex?

>> Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The results have been in (and I'm late in posting them but figured that was ok since the poll was left on the right sidebar for everybody to see).  Here they are:


  • 11% said "YES"
  • 70% said "NO"

I hope Christmas worked out for everybody with visitation hassles, gifts, etc.  We had a pretty good Christmas here, spent it at home with the kids and then New Year's was spent again at home but with family visiting.  I'm a homebody! 

I actually don't feel comfortable going out anymore or have any desire for a big family reunion until I'm a couple sizes smaller (at least one).  If this new doctor on Thursday doesn't get the medication correct for my thyroid, I'm not sure if there is any weight loss program that will help. I have zero metabolism because of my thyroid. Zip. Nada. Nothing.

Well, it's onto thinking up a new poll.  Right now, I have no ideas but I'll come up with something soon.


Husband Noticed Daughter Bailed on Birthday Wishes

My husband asked me this morning if his daughter had contacted our daughter this past Saturday for her birthday (he obviously has no expectations that his oldest son would do this because he didn't mention him in his question).  He expects this kind of thoughtlessness from his son I guess.  I told him no.  I wasn't going to bring it up with him and be the nag about his kids, but I was happy he asked.  I also didn't bring it up with our daughter because I didn't want to point out to her that her older sis (or brother) didn't bother to wish her a Happy Birthday if she hadn't realized it herself. 

He then went on to say that he hasn't heard from her in awhile either.  I told him Christmas presents were over and other than at Christmas and for a couple weeks after the times we see them, we don't hear from either one of them.  It's either they want something from us or it is "out of sight, out of mind" just like momma wanted.  No big surprise anymore.  I think even our four kids have given up on expecting acknowledgement from their two older siblings. If you don't have expectations, you can't get hurt, right?  I think when "somebody" at the ex's house hung up on my daughter on her birthday a few years ago and made her cry, that was it for our oldest.  No more expectations!

On the up side, fighting thyroid disease for 8-1/2 years and hives for the last two weeks (it's a beautiful sight, let me tell ya), I have an appointment with a new doctor on Thursday to hopefully get a handle on both.  I'm hoping a new thyroid medication will result in fast weight loss as well as better thyroid hormone lab results. Less brain fog and better memory recall would be awesome as well. Thyroid disease took the stuffing out of me the last few years. I'm hoping to get on top of it again with this new doctor who is knowledgeable about natural and bio-identical hormones. I can't wait until Thursday!  The hives are either the result of an allergic reaction or stress.  Could be either at this point.


Economic Troubles Hit Us Too

>> Monday, January 18, 2010

Everybody has been struggling in this economy and we managed to hold our head above water for the better part of last year but towards the end, it all fell apart.  How are people getting approved to refinance the mortgages they struggle with in this economy?  We tried with our mortgage company and they wanted thousands of dollars to do it.  If we could afford that, we wouldn't need to refinance!  Bank of America kind of stinks in my opinion.  I wish they'd not taken over our old mortgage company's loans.  That was a bummer.  They want it all caught up by Feb. 6 or they intend to accelerate the loan and call the whole mortgage balance due.  Yeah, good luck with that.

Stress is getting to me.  I've had hives for a couple weeks.  I thought it was an allergy but I'm beginning to wonder if it is stress.  I'm SO itchy!  They are even on my face.  In addition to the best under eye creams to cover the circles under my eyes, I'm lathering on benadryl cream to minimize the hives.

I see my doctor Thursday.  He'll probably want to give me a Steriod shot.  I'd rather take them orally than with a needle.  I can't stand needles. 


Skipped Sister's Birthday

>> Sunday, January 17, 2010

Well, the stepkids didn't contact their sister yesterday for her 13th birthday.  Not even a short text. 

Amazing how a decade of being really close is so easily forgotten.  Their mother should be so proud of herself and how she's raised them...she's managed to hurt a child.  Wow!  What an accomplishment.


I'm the Mother of a Teenager Officially

>> Saturday, January 16, 2010

One of my daughter's birthday cakes.  This one looks like her puppy.

I am now officially the mother of a teenager.  I've been the stepmother of a teenager (well, teenagers) for a few years now but that's not the same thing.  They aren't my kids and they don't live with us.  Now I get the pleasure of a teenager full-time to raise.  (As of right now, my stepkids also haven't contacted their sister to wish her a happy birthday either...let's see if they do.)

When I picked up my daughter's cake this morning (isn't it cute?), I grabbed a package of 50 DVD's too.  If I don't get these pictures and videos made into some type of viewable format, my kids will have their own kids before I get around to it.  I want to do a scrapbook for each child...but I don't know how to do that.  I have to do something with all of these picture and video files and DVD's seem like a good way to store them.  At least I hope so.  It's not as secure as secure online backup but it'll be handy. I can lock them in our fireproof box to protect them until I figure out what to do with the result of my photographic addiction.


I'll Be Mom of Teen Tomorrow

>> Friday, January 15, 2010

Tomorrow my oldest will officially become a teenager.  Hormonally speaking, she became a teenager these last six months if her attitude and mood swings are any indication but technically, it's tomorrow.  It's not like I'm ready for a Medicare supplement or anything like that, but it does make me feel a little old to be the parent of a teenager.  I join the ranks with my husband whose children are both teenagers.  Huh, it's about the only thing the ex and I have in common.  Just a little joke...

At this time 13 years ago, my water had already broke and I was shopping in Babies R Us buying last minute things we needed for her before she was born.  An ice storm was on its way (and it hit that night). 

We have her present ready and a cake on order for our own little party tomorrow (with her big party with her friends a couple weeks away).  I'm trying to avoid having a horde of teenagers descend on my house so I'm looking for a coffeehouse or something similar with open mic night for them to party there.  Let somebody else clean up the mess.


Economy Hits Hard

>> Thursday, January 14, 2010

I am currently reading a vampire book.  Some parts of it takes place in New Orleans.  I've always wanted to go to New Orleans.  Since the hurricane, I've wondered what it looks like now - what still stands, what has been rebuilt. If hubby and I renew our vows this summer, maybe we should look into new orleans vacations and just drive down and check it out.

Who am I kidding? We're barely hanging on financially in this economy.  Now I'm just fantasizing.  Renewing our vows is beginning to look like it's just not going to happen, let alone a vacation to the deep south.  A couple weeks ago, I was really hopeful that we'd be able to renew our vows this year.  I thought hours would pick up at work but that's just not happening yet like we've been waiting for.  There were supposed to be extra hours the last couple weeks and those were cancelled.

I sure hope things pick up soon so the hours come back at work.  Part of me just wants to give the mortgage company the house but I know that's not reasonable (but boy would I like to tell Bank of America a few things!).  We can't rent a house big enough for all of us and the dogs. 

The stepkids are getting their child support on time though and the ex's house, which is in my husband's parents name, is what she lives in.  It gets aggravating.  I do think that my husband should pay child support for his children.  I just don't think that it's fair that when the economy goes in the stinker, we are the only ones sacrificing and struggling so hard.  In a family, everybody would have to adjust and sacrifice.  That just doesn't happen in a child support situation.  We are the only ones doing that.  The ex's hours haven't been cut at all while hubby has lost a big chunk of his hours for all of 2009.  A couple hundred dollars a month less child support is the difference between us being able to make our house payment right now or not.  It makes me resentful sometimes.  Not much I can do about it though.


Stepkid Birthday

>> Friday, January 8, 2010

My stepdaughter turned 17 recently.  I can't believe she's almost an adult!  I met her when she was just a little thing just out of diapers. 

Aside from the amazing fact that our kids are growing up SO quickly, it's hard to believe that in one year, we'll be halfway done with child support - one child done and one left to go!  That will leave my stepson for a few more years.  The end is near!


New Puppy from Hubby

My new puppy chewed on my huge television armoire that I wanted for years, finally got, and wouldn't allow my husband to get rid of when he wanted a flat-screen television.  I made him slide the television inside the antique-looking cabinet instead of buying plasma mounts for it.  Now it has chew marks on two edges of it.  Oy!

This is my latest present from my husband - a little 1.6 pound ball of fluff and attitude.  I think it's to ward off any new urges he thinks may arise in the future for another baby, lol.  She's a tiny little thing (and will stay a tiny little thing since she's a pomeranian/chihuahua mix).  She's a little love!


Treating Kids Differently

Does the ex show favoritism for one of your stepchildren over another?  I sometimes wonder about mine but I've never outright asked the kids because I sure wouldn't want to point it out or accuse without knowing for sure.  Here's why I wonder...

For Christmas, it seems like my stepson gets hugely expensive gifts and my stepdaughter doesn't.  This past Christmas, my stepson got a laptop and my stepdaughter got CD's and DVD's she said.  We were wanting to look at netbooks or laptops for my stepdaughter for graduation but now I wish we'd had the money to do it this year instead of waiting for next year.  Last year, he got an expensive guitar and she got...CD's and DVD's she said. 

In terms of discipline, my stepson has always skated with no discipline over some pretty bad behavior over the years while my stepdaughter gets grounded for a month at a time.  He also cusses like a sailor (while she doesn't).  She's the honors student and he's the one who almost failed every year of junior high. 

I really hope that my stepdaughter doesn't feel singled out or slighted at all. 


Going to Renew Our Vows - Maybe in a Castle

>> Monday, January 4, 2010

My husband and I are trying to plan a vow renewal for this summer, possibly in a castle.  We've wanted to renew our vows now for a few years but money is always an issue.  This year is no different but if we keep putting it off, it'll never happen.

My stepdaughter and I were texting about it.  She is SO thrilled about it.  She wants to be a part of it, help plan it, pick out dresses, etc.  I was very happily surprised that she is still geeked over the idea.  She was a few years ago when the subject first came up but the last few years have been different with the stepkids (more distance) so I wasn't sure. 

We will renew our vows probably locally here and then leave the kids and get away for a few days by ourself (which we have NEVER done).  We'll probably drive south. 

Hopefully nothing goes wrong.  Money will appear for the ceremony, kids' schedules will work, the cake won't fall over, the weather will be nice, our car won't break down on the way to the honeymoon we never had (better look at mechanical breakdown insurance), I'll lose all the weight I want to, and we'll be able to leave our kids for a couple days.  Seeing how we have a hard time just leaving them to go to the movies by ourselves, that's going to be a big deal to leave them.


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