Stepkids Come Tomorrow (without the boyfriend:)

>> Thursday, June 30, 2011

My stepkids come tomorrow evening and stay until Tuesday evening.  I've shopped for a hungry teenage boy and I think my kitchen is ready for him!  My stepdaughter isn't a vegetarian anymore so I didn't need to shop a bit differently for her this time.  This time tomorrow, they'll be here.


Summer Visitation - Maybe - Sans the Boyfriend

>> Wednesday, June 22, 2011

My stepkids might be coming for a few days next month.  We had talked about it with my stepson when we were in their state a couple weeks ago but because my stepdaughter had a summer job and graduated high school, we didn't expect her to come.  She said she wants to come (she must've quit her job...huh, can't pay for birth control that way) but she wants to bring her high school boyfriend.  To sleep over.  For a week.  When he's a minor.  When we have our own four kids in the house.


Her mother allows it (sd even has pics of him in her bed on her facebook).  I'm not her mother. Thankfully, hubby and I were on the same page with the answer to the boyfriend coming too - NO!  

I'm curious to see if she'll come without the boyfriend.  


Worried About My Daughter

>> Tuesday, June 21, 2011

We are being referred to a pediatric gastroenterologist and an immune specialist for my ten-year-old daughter.  She gets sick every few weeks - fevers, chills, vomiting, dizziness that lasts almost a week and then she has body aches all the time (in different places, not the same spot).  It's been going on since Fall.  She got dizzy yesterday and fell, hitting her head on the bathroom cabinet. It can't be viral going on this long!  Plus, she's not passing it to my other three kids so it doesn't seem to be anything contagious.

I'd prefer it be gastro-related (that does run in my side of the family with my sisters, dad, and uncle) rather than the "C" word.  I'm really worried about that.  These consistent illnesses just aren't normal.


Father's Day Remembered *falls over*

>> Monday, June 20, 2011

My stepkids remembered Father's Day this year.  I was glad to see that.  It really hurt my husband last year when they didn't bother to send him a text, email, letter, etc.  He received in the mail today a mug to where my stepdaughter will be going to college in the Fall.


Pictures of the Ex's Together: Yes or No?

>> Sunday, June 19, 2011

Should mom and dad get pictures together with the kids without the other family members (new spouses, other kids)?  Does your answer make a difference if the divorce was a year ago or 20 years ago?  Does it make a difference if they were never married?

I'm curious to what everybody thinks.


Pay For My Birth Control

>> Saturday, June 18, 2011

All was quiet on the texting front since we got back from our trip to see my sd graduate.  There weren't any nasty texts these past six days (as opposed to the previous months of hostile texts).  Of course, we didn't get any "hi, how are ya" texts either but texts started coming in tonight for a reason - money.

My sd wants her dad to pay for half her birth control.  She said the ex is going to pay the other half.  It's the patch so she said it is a lot more expensive than the pill (she says she won't swallow a little pill).  

First, I am glad she wants to be responsible if she is going to have sex.  However, I have problems with this on different levels.

  • We already pay for her health insurance.  Her mother hasn't paid her share since last August.
  • She is an adult.  If she thinks she is old enough to have sex, she should be old enough to pay for her protection?
  • She won't work more than four hours a shift at her first job she's ever had (she's had it for a couple weeks now - unless she's quit and not told us).  It's not that she CAN'T work more than a few hours a few days a week, she just doesn't want to.  She said she'd quit her job if her boss scheduled her for more than that.  (Umm...might want to get a few more hours to pay for your birth control?)
  • Her boyfriend is a minor still in high school and I am SO not comfortable with paying for her birth control to sleep with a minor.
  • Shouldn't the boyfriend share some responsibility for this?
  • I don't believe in synthetic hormones unless absolutely necessary but if it's something she wants to do, as an adult, that's up to her (but financing it - that's up to us).
  • I'd never DREAM of asking my parents to pay for my birth control as an adult (heck, as a minor teenager either).  Never, ever, ever.
  • I don't understand the concept of having everything handed to you the way my stepkids do - cars, money, stereos, instruments, computers, etc. etc. etc. (it really is neverending).  I worked two jobs in high school (stepkids don't/won't have jobs in high school) and paid for my needs myself - clothing, birth control, lunches, car payments, dates, car insurance, inc.).  After I graduated, I immediately started working FULL-TIME (none of this 'if you schedule me for more than four hour shifts, I quit stuff' my sd is doing) while putting myself through college.  I didn't expect anybody to pay my way for anything.
  • She's not offering a penny of her own money for her own birth control.  
  • How long does she expect dad to pay for it?  Financially, I don't see anything changing for her for at least four years in terms of a career and she doesn't seem to want to work much at any other type of job and she's already threatened to quit her first job before the first week was up.   
  • Also, she only texts when it's to complain viciously about something or for money anymore.  She hasn't been to our home in over a year.  She had more important things to do than spend time with her family here. What makes it ok to hold your hand out for money when you want no part of us any other time?
My husband told me what she was texting about and I had a lot of questions - what is the birth control called, does she understand the possible side effects, why can't she swallow a pill versus the more expensive birth control, why can't she pay for them, etc.  My husband didn't know and threw his hands up with a "I don't know."  Well, if she expects you to pay for this, you have a right to ask these questions.  So he asked.  She didn't know the name of it.  What?  You are asking for money every month to pay for your birth control but you don't know the name of it?  Really?  

I gave my husband the link to my stepdaughter's county health department who provides family planning services on an income-based scale.  My gut says she will refuse to go to the health department (and the county they live in has some very expensive areas so it's not like she'd be going into the slums).  I guess we'll figure this out tomorrow - on Father's Day...a discussion about money...yeah.  At least this year, she'll have to contact her dad on Father's Day (to find out if he'll pay for this every month) - last year, she didn't bother contacting her dad at all on Father's Day.  



>> Thursday, June 9, 2011

It's been over a week since we had to put my dog to sleep.  I thought the tears would be done.  I have been keeping busy so I don't have time to dwell on it but there are times when it zings me pretty good.  I guess if I wasn't questioning the decision, it might be easier?  I never want to have to make a decision to put a pet down again.  Today has been one of those days of choking back tears.  I really miss my girl:(


SD's Graduation Weekend

The weekend trip to my stepkids' state is over.  It had its ups and downs.

Friday: We got to my sister's on the beach (where we were staying) around dinner.  My stepdaughter unexpectedly texted her dad and said they (her, her boyfriend, and my stepson) were coming over - that was around 6 p.m.  9:00 p.m. and they still aren't there. Hubby is tired because it's been over 24 hours since he slept (he works nights and worked the night before we drove out of state) but he waits up.  They finally show up - they had gone to the beach first.  (Um, we were staying ON the beach?)  OK.  My stepson is the same.  My stepdaughter talks differently.  She wasn't mean or disrespectful or anything - her tone and mannerisms are just so different.

Saturday:  My husband picks up his son in the morning and takes him to breakfast (sd has to work).  He brings my stepson back to my sister's with him for the day.  My sd comes around dinner after work with her boyfriend.  They stay until almost midnight out on the beach with us. We had a good time with them.  No mention of anything negative or anything from sd.  Must be just for texting?

Sunday:  Graduation day.  We get texts that morning telling us they have extra tickets if we want to bring  all the siblings.  Huh?  How do you go from taking mine away from me to suddenly having so many?  They didn't say but we all went to the graduation.  The kids were bored, lol, but it was good that we went as a family.  Pictures afterward - AWKWARD!!

The ex was there with her parents and her sister - her parents HATE my husband and her sister HATES me.  We had my in-laws and the six of us including our kids.  Weird.

When somebody said to get a picture with my sd with her brother, mother and father alone, I heard the ex say to my sd, "I'll stand by your father."  My sd told her no, she'd stand in the middle between them, lol.  Too bad, ex!

One thing I didn't realize, I guess because my kids don't have the ugly history with the ex that my husband and I do, is how that picture of them taken together would affect my kids.  Our ten-year-old daughter was uncomfortable and hurt.  She didn't like seeing her dad, her two siblings, and the ex taking a picture together like a family.  They've not been together in 16+ years and it's been 16 turbulent years. It was a bit uncomfortable for me, but apparently for the kids as well.

Our oldest handled it by joking about the ex with four chins.  I guess we all handle it differently.  Sarcastic jokes, hurt, awkwardness...interesting weekend.

Those occasions - like graduation - are bound to be uncomfortable for everybody.  I'll have to remember for future events like my stepson's graduation, weddings, etc., to be more aware of helping my kids with the awkwardness of it all.  Now that they're older, they see things differently - can't hide nothing from them anymore.

I made a DVD of all the video I took for my sd's graduation and printed out all the pictures I took with them in them (including the one "family" pic of my husband, the ex, my sd, and ss) - going to be the bigger person here.  Will mail those out to my sd and ss.

So, is the relationship between my stepdaughter and her dad better?  I don't know yet.  Time will tell.  If you go by the graduation weekend, it's fine.  Her hostile texts for the months prior to that though?  No clue.

As far as the weekend, outside of the step/ex stuff, we had a good time - lots of sun, beach, and two new favorite adult beverages - trashy margaritas and cherry pomegranate/vodka drink.  Yum.


My dog is dead but it's all about my stepdaughter.

>> Thursday, June 2, 2011

Two days ago, we had to put my husky to sleep.  We adopted her for me from a rescue 11+ years ago.  She was my girl - my dog - and the tears just won't stop.

Prior to taking her to the vet, I posted on my facebook how she was in pain and we were taking her to the vet to see if he thought it was time to let her go.  I've actually posted about it several times over the past few months on my facebook so it's not a surprise.  When we got to the vet on Tuesday, it was time to let her go.  She passed peacefully but my husband and I left there both crying and devastated.

When we got home, I didn't want to talk to anybody.  I was practically choking on the sadness.  I posted on my facebook an RIP for her with some pictures for family so they'd know it was done.  When my kids got home from school, I was there for them.  They lived with my dog every day and it affected them. When they went to bed, the quiet in the house gave me too much time to think - the sadness was overwhelming.  My girl wasn't in her spot sleeping and it hurt. Waking up the next morning, when my mind remembered she was gone, was overwhelming.  It's been a crappy two days.   I have not been able to sit still since then.  I have to keep busy or else I think too much and I cry.  I miss my dog like crazy.

While at my 8th grade daughter's graduation this morning, I get a text from my adult stepdaughter:  "Is there a reason no one told us she died?"  (She is on my facebook so she knew...she also knew where we were at the time she was texting because she'd obviously been on my facebook.)

Because it's not something you text?  Because you NEVER answer the phone if we call in YEARS? Because she was MY dog?  Because you have seen her twice in six years and didn't much care about her those two times anyway?  Because we put it on facebook for family to see because it was too hard to talk about?  Because it's not about YOU?

I'm livid.  She was MY dog.  Why does my stepdaughter have to turn this into it being about her?  She doesn't have the right. She could care less that she's gone.  She doesn't care all that much about me either right now (remember...she took away my graduation ticket - the graduation we are driving to her state for tomorrow?!?!). She doesn't contact her younger siblings - not on birthdays, etc. She does not act like she's a part of this family.  Was I supposed to call her crying, to tell her my dog was dead, a dog she's hardly seen in years?

Who does she think she is - taking away her ticket to me for her graduation ceremony this weekend but texting me during my daughter's 8th grade graduation to complain about MY dog's death?

What would've been nice?  "Gee, stepmom's name, I'm sorry to hear your dog is dead."  You know, like everybody else said.

She also was forwarding my response text to somebody (I'm assuming her mother) because she accidentally forwarded my text response that I'd sent to her back to me.  Like I care.


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