Tuesday, June 30, 2009

June 2009 Wrap Up

I thought I’d give you some updates on things that I’ve mentioned in past blog entries.

Re: She Left Him Out AgainThe issue of Jane wanting the two older boys to spend quality time with and not Younger Boy.

So Jane has two weekends planned with the two older boys. We suggested the three weekends to let her know that we did have at least three weekends available in case she had changed her mind about Younger Boy. As predicted, she in fact hadn’t thought her original request through. She didn’t know if she could get that much time off. Luckily for her, I did the thinking and planning for her. She even decided that our suggested weekends would work out best. And she informed us that her man will be watching the boy over the weekend.

The only issue I have with this is that I honestly don’t see her spending any quality time with the child that is over on the Saturday and Sunday. She works at Noon both days and has demonstrated on numerous occasions that she enjoys staying up late the night before playing online computer games and enjoys sleeping in to the point that she doesn’t send the boys off with a goodbye or anything when we’ve picked them up. I do hope that her man takes this time though to possibly take the effort to get to know the boys since he’s going to have at least a day and a morning with each of them.

My main hope for these weekends is that she’ll take some time to spend with the two older boys and not spend it on her computer the entire time.

Re: Turning On Light SwitchesMy latest health issue of having dirty corneas.

So as of my last visit in to the optometrist my eyes have not cleared up. In fact they seem to have gotten worse. My vision has cleared up a lot but the condition of my corneas has not. I had to throw out all the drops I had and get preservative-free eye drops. That was a pain. I’m really hoping thought that this works because I’m not excited about getting any of the procedures that they explained to me done to my eyes.

Plugs in parts of my eye functions or surgery just don’t appeal to me nor does it appeal to my pocket book. So please send some good thoughts my way for my eyes to naturally clear up. And I’ll try my best to remember to put drops in my eyes every hour. Not the easiest thing to remember … especially when I’m busy working on a big project or out and about.

Re: Give Me That TragedyMy wedding planning.

Well, I’ve done it. I’ve found THE DRESS. I didn’t think I’d find it. Especially with all the bling and lace on the wedding dresses I saw. And I’ll tell you what; I was just not impressed with the 20 lb dress the lady had me literally dive into to try on. Twenty pounds of fabric just isn’t ideal to dance in, much less carry around for at least 5 hours for a wedding ceremony and reception. My ankles just aren’t built for that. He he. And of course, I have a sneak peek for you all because I have much love.

Imagine this dress in Ivory (Because White just isn’t my thing. I blame sorority for that.)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Memo to Nasty Cat - Summer Vacation

Memo: To Nasty Cat
Dept: Cats
Subject: Summer Vacation

Note: please see attached photos for references.

Nasty Cat. I’ve come to realize that you are not too pleased with the boys being home all day long on summer vacation. You no longer have rule over the top bunk bed. You get kicked out of the room if you indeed have managed to sneak in there to try and take a day long nap. You also get locked in the room and have to pry your way through a maze of Thomas trains and transformer toys, the boys playing in various parts of the room and the closed door – hoping (*expecting*) like heck that one of them will either notice you pawing at the door or that I will hear your desperate pawing and let you out myself.

You also do not enjoy having the extra attention from them all day long. I realize that you do not like being brushed, hugged, petted or woken up from your naps. I really do appreciate the fact that you have been tolerant for the most part. Thank you for not tearing or ripping into the boys’ flesh as you have often done in past occurrences to my own flesh. If you haven’t caught on yet, you get treats for not hurting them when they are obviously bugging you and invading your personal bubble. I commend you for your patience and understanding that their well being is important to me.

I’ve also noticed that you have decided to claim the corner of the couch for the time being. I’m sincerely sorry that you do not enjoy having to share the couch with Fat Cat. But in the chance you haven’t noticed, the couch is rather large. You do not have to lay down right next to her. And if she decides to lie next to you on the couch you could get up and move to the other side. I realize this may not be fair and a bit inconvenient since you were obviously sleeping there first, but for the time being this is just how it is. A little less disgust and attitude on your part would be nice. I have, after all, caught you licking and grooming Fat Cat. So I know that a small part of you actually does like her.

In closing – Could you please just suck it up? June is almost over, and we are going on vacation in July in which you may have the entire top bunk bed to yourself for a whole week. And then the boys will all start school in August. In which you may once again claim the top bunk as your own.

Kind Regards,
Crys, House Co-Director

Reference One - You appear to acctually enjoy the couch for a good nap.

Reference Two - Again, you obviously have enough room to stretch out and really enjoy a good cat nap on the couch.

Reference Three - You should really drop the attitude and just move. Fat Cat obviously does not give a darn for your feelings. So do not give her the satisfaction of giving her a reaction to her actions.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

She Left Him Out Again

So remember how Jane wants to have each of the boys over for an individual week during the summer? Well I found out that my fiancé left out a vital detail when he first relayed her request. She specifically asked for time with the two OLDER boys. She doesn’t want Younger Boy out to spend one-on-one time with her.

Can I tell you how enraged I was when I found that out last night? Can I tell you how much my heart ached for Younger Boy? In case you missed it or need a reminder – this isn’t the first time she’s left Younger Boy out. I’ve noticed this trend that when she’s asking for the boys she often does ask for the older two.

I don’t get why she doesn’t want him this time though. He’s fully potty-trained. Unless he still manipulates her into thinking that he’s not. Another reason I can think of is maybe she just doesn’t want to deal with him being mean to her man. I found out that not only does Younger Boy not listen to him, but he also chucks Thomas & Friends toys at him. She also has mentioned that Younger Boy has at times had baby envy when it comes to her baby. (Can you really blame him? She left when he was two and a baby himself? And now there is this new baby that gets the little attention she's willing to give out?) And she lets him and doesn’t really do a whole lot to prevent or change this behavior. Heck, she’s not even paying attention to him half the time that he’s over there.

Anyway, I’m trying to figure this out. I’m not going to force him upon her for a whole weekend if she doesn’t want him there. That just sounds like a lose-lose situation to me. She’ll be not pleased and thus the result may end up in him feeling totally like crap. Also, I don’t want Middle Boy rubbing it in his face that they’re going to be spending extra one-on-one time with her. Because, trust me, he will. Intentionally to be competitive and unintentionally not realizing that Younger Boy really won’t get a chance.

The easy quick fix solution is not to tell any of them about these arrangements and to perhaps kind of last minute surprise them with it. Middle Boy is notorious for rubbing in anyone that will listens the fact that he’s going to spend time with Jane ... especially when Younger Boy isn’t going to be able to – Even when we ask him not to do so. Younger Boy may be 3 (almost four) but he’s not stupid. He’s not unintelligent. He catches on to these things. And he gets sad.

The long term thing I’m worried about is how to explain it to the boys. How do we explain to Older Boy and Middle Boy that Jane didn’t want Younger Boy to come stay with her? And when he gets old enough to realize that he didn’t get to go have special one-on-one time with her but his brothers did, how the hell do we tell Younger Boy the reasoning behind that? I’m sure as hell not taking any falls for her or lying for her or taking extra effort to mask her selfishness. But I’m not about to be bluntly honest and say “She didn’t want you to come.”

So I only have to worry about half of that long term thing I guess for right now. Because Older Boy and Middle Boy are old enough to realize that Younger Boy isn’t going to get this special time with her. Do we leave that unsaid? Because Older Boy will ask … and he’ll connect … and he’s the one that asks those rough but honest questions that you don’t quite now how to answer because you can't be that bluntly honest in this situation. If anything he’s the only one we’d probably have to explain things too … he’s the one that will really remember. And I really hate being in the position where we might have to reveal his mother’s true colors to him …especially at the age of nine.

I’m seriously most disappointed this time and angry at her. Seriously, what the hell is her problem? I can understand wanting to get some one-on-one time with each of the boys, but I don’t understand excluding one of them … Especially the baby of the bunch.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Things I have Learned Since Summer Vacation Started

The boys' last day of school was Wednesday. I had plans for them, but I didn't think I really needed to start planning them until this week. I learned that I should have just been prepared from day one on Thursday. Here are things I have learned since summer vacation started last Thursday:

1. When I am tired and stressed my eye twitches. When I get super stressed my right cheek muscle twitches. (Learned Thursday – the first official day of the boys’ summer vacation.)

2. I’m going to have to just continue to do the thinking for Jane since she obviously has no will to do any thinking. (Learned Saturday – After my fiancé told me that Jane wanted to know if she could have each of the boys for one week during the summer.

Issues I have here are:
a) With swimming lessons and martial arts the older boys really can’t spend a whole week with her without missing a lesson and I’ll be damned to pay money for them to have extra-curricular activities if they’re not going to participate. And I know that she sure as hell isn’t going to put any effort in bringing each of them to said session time.
b) Is she really going to attempt to take three weeks off of work? Because the last time I checked she and her man were barely making it funding wise because they each missed so much work. Sorry, but Wal-Mart just doesn’t give you money if you don’t go to work. I work full time and I don’t even have three weeks vacation time that I can take off of work.
c) Again, was she really going to try to get three weeks off of work? And if she just wanted them there for the full week was she actually planning on not playing her online virtual games so that she could actually spend some quality time? I again will be damned if I allowed any of them to go to her house to sit and watch TV and play video games for a week straight.

I looked at our calendar and assigned three possible times that worked with the boys' summer activities so that she can let us know if she has a preference for which boy she’d like and when. My fiancé has left a message with these times as well as letting her know that she can have each boy Thursday thru Sunday. Considering two of those days are her days off she’ll only have to figure out what she’ll be doing about work for Saturday and Sunday. If she doesn’t take those off I can only assume that her man will be watching them. And if that is the case then I also assume more TV and video games. My fiancé said that Jane never was one to think things through … I guess lucky for her I have a fully functioning brain and I understand how to use it logically when it comes to planning things.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m pleased that she’s actually shown interest in wanting to spend time with the boys. What I’m absolutely confuddled about is the fact that she just didn’t put much thought into it after the initial though. She doesn’t seem to think about all the details involved after she has come up with a plan, and the details are actually kind of important to her life and the boys' lives. And I wish she would just take some time to communicate or discuss these things. She has yet to call back. I'm really tired of her just waiting until Thursday to get any input from her.

3. I love the hobby shop that I found. (Learned Monday – When the boys were able to amuse themselves for a huge chunk of time and I was able to work with some peace and keep my sanity.)
It sells affordable boxes of experiments, affordable workbooks for the older boys so they can practice their math skills and work on their handwriting over the summer, and they sell educational activities that are also affordable. Notice the keyword is “affordable.”

4. Making a summer schedule for all three boys actually works! (Learned today – It worked so well yesterday keeping the boys busy and is helping again today keeping chaos and boredom to a minimum.)
It does need to be taken into consideration and flowed with day by day (like if a worksheet takes longer to do than the allotted time) but it works. See my latest grand idea below:

5. I still love Clorox disinfectant wipes. (Learned today – I did a huge wipe down on all furniture that had little hands on it.)
They’re great for wiping down all and any surfaces that children may touch. Especially for wiping down after Younger Boy who is in the stage that he has to be asked “Did you was your hands….with soap?”

6. I’m apparently really paranoid about children and their germs. (Learned today – as I realized that I wiped down the bunk beds and drawer handles in the boys room.)
I insist on getting each child his own small little cup of Jamba Juice, I have my own water bottles that no one is allowed to share with, and look at number 5 again. I found myself wiping down things a little more often than normally. I wonder if it’s because they’re around the house more often in a day now that I’m more aware that there just might be more germs around.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Bonding Inadequately With Stepkids

I’ve been feeling rather inadequate lately in my bonding with/creating relationships with the boys. And by that I mean that I feel that I’m bonding more with some of them than with others and that kind of rather bothers me.

I often have to remind myself that I’ve only been in this lifestyle for about a year now and that for what it’s worth we have all come a long way with our relationships with each other, as well as adjusting to our new life together.

Perhaps it’s that missing link … you know … that link – that feeling – that parental unspoken magnetic bond that parents are supposed to have with their children. I think it’s just that void, that hole, that missing feeling that I feel ought to be there but since I’m not their biological mother it’s just not there. And that trying my best and beyond my best is going to have to just be good enough. I just still feel rather lonely sometimes. Despite the fact that I’m surrounded by much love I still feel like I’m just not a part of it yet. It’s frustrating. I’m so much a part of this family, yet sometimes I still feel like the outsider.

My relationship with Younger Boy is probably the strongest one I have. And it makes sense I think. I spend all day with him. He’s the youngest and was 2 years old when I first entered his life. I’ve been there to teach him skills like potty training, putting his clothes on by himself, buckling up his seat belt by himself. I’ve also been there to hug him when Jane didn’t want him to come over, to help him develop his own independence and to show him that there is more to life then just watching TV or your brothers play video games.

With the other two I can’t quite say that I’ve spent the amount of hours with. I try to find things that we can share. I have grilled peanut butter sandwiches with Older boy and pizza tortillas with Middle Boy. I also try to find other activities or games or really just anything that I can do with them.

I took Older Boy to a science day at the library, and I introduced him to his beloved Goosebumps books. I went on a field trip to the zoo with Middle Boy and I was also able to attend one of his honor roll ceremonies (assemblies) at school.

Perhaps it’s also that Older Boy and Middle Boy remember what life was like B.C. ("Before Crys" as FH and I have lovingly dubbed it). And I know for a fact that life B.C. was a lot different than it is now. I can sometimes see the confusion on their faces when they remember things … Mostly in Older Boy though you can see the torn expressions. He sometimes asks me things like “How come I never did this before?” or “How come we never went *insert place* before?” I don’t want to bash life before me so my best answer is simply “Well, you’re doing it now, right?”

Older Boy is very thoughtful. He obviously doesn’t want to bash his biological mother, but he’s also pretty pleased with how things are going for the most part now. I wish there was some words of wisdom that I could tell him to ease any frustration.

I wish there was also words of wisdom out there that could help me feel better about my situation. I think that for now all I can really do is continue to work on my relationships with the boys individually as well as a family. It has been a challenge thus far, but oh so worth the frustration.

Friday, June 5, 2009

She Actually Made A Decision

I really should know better then to be disappointed in Jane’s decisions. Thursday is her day with them. Well, yesterday morning I found out that my almost nephew was having a birthday party later that evening. My fiancé called me up to let me know. I thought the best course of action might be to see if Jane might be willing to drive out here earlier and have an early dinner with the boys and then we could pick them up a little later. She would still get the same amount of hours with them, and I was kind of hoping that by making her come out here she would be forced to actually pay attention to them.

Basically I didn’t want to call in a big favor to her. I didn’t want to give her the opportunity to later down the road say “You didn’t give me the chance to see my boys.” I also wanted to make her make a decision herself without referring to her favorite “It’s up to the boys.” I wanted her to be an adult.

She didn’t exactly take my bait at all. Instead she took the easy way out. She decided that she didn’t need to see the boys that day. I didn’t know if she thought she was doing them some really grand gesture by not seeing them or what. But it disappointed me that she didn’t to put effort to see them. It’s not like we live too far apart. And the traffic from there to here is much less hectic than the traffic from here to there. She just makes me so mad that she makes no effort to be a part of their lives. What the hell does she think she’s doing? She’s not doing them any favors with her actions. She really isn’t.

I’ve stopped telling the boys which days they’re supposed to see her now. We have the calendar that she signed, and they know that they’ll get to go and visit her. But I’m just so tired of having to find some nice way to tell them when she decides not to see them. I don’t enjoy getting their hopes up only to tell them later that “No, Jane decided that she can’t see you today.”

Man she makes me mad. Doesn’t she care that she’s hurting their feelings? That she makes them feel like crap? I can’t even imagine what it is that they’re thinking. I think that Older Boy is the only one who has really grasped that “My mom doesn’t give a damn about me.” You can tell by the look on his face when we have to sugar up whatever excuse she gave us about why she can’t see them this week. When they do find out that they’re going to see her they start brainstorming all the latest accomplishments and achievements they’ve done that they can share with her. I seriously hope that she at least pretends to be excited for them. Because she’s rather indifferent and seems to not give a damn about any of it when FH gives her an update of what the boys have been up to. Not that I want her to lie and put on a false face for them, but she could at least try to want to be involved and care about what they care about.

I almost wish that she had just said “No, I’d like to see my sons today.” Then we could have just brought them to her house, and it would have sucked that they would have missed their cousin’s birthday but they didn’t know about it anyway. Instead, they just knew that they were going to their cousin’s birthday and had no clue that they were supposed to see Jane.

It’s rather confusing and frustrating to me. I don’t enjoy keeping things from the boys. I’d like to be able to confidently say “Yes you’re going to go see Jane today” or “Yes you’re going to your cousin’s birthday party tomorrow” or even “You’re going to see Jane and then we’re going to get you and go to your cousin’s birthday.” But I don’t know what else to do. I’ve seen them disappointed and let down so many times already. I guess I should be happy that she at least made a decision and didn’t try to phone it in and leave it up to the boys. Right?

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Adventures on the Road to Becoming an Independent Wiper

As you may recall, I’m currently working with Younger Boy to be an independent wiper. And by “independent wiper” I mean that one of these days we will not have to go through the formalities of how he currently wipes his butt after pooping. And I thought I would take a moment to share some of our adventures on the journey to Younger Boy becoming an independent wiper.

Adventure One – It looks like…
YB: I have to go poop.
Me: OK.
*a couple minutes later*
YB: I need a wipe!
Me: Then wipe! You know how.
YB: Like a square?
Me: Yup! Like a square.*Sneaks over about 30 seconds later to check on the progress of the wipe*
YB: *Standing next to the toilet, pants around his ankles, staring into the poopie toilet paper. Notices me peering around the corner and smiles a huge grin.* I have poop! It looks like chocolate!
Me: *Horror of the comparison of chocolate and horrid actions of what this could result in fills my mind* But it’s poop. Drop it in the toilet.
YB: It looks like chocolate! *Looks at poopie toilet paper again with curiosity*
Me: But it’s poop. So please drop it in the toilet.
YB: *Drops soiled poopie paper in the toilet and looks at me again.* But it looks like chocolate.

He did the same thing the next day. Except this time I didn’t wander over there. I trust that he didn’t do any taste testing; otherwise I’m sure I would have heard a disgusted outcry. But he did, again, make the comparison. Today (three days later) the shiny awesome of “It looks like chocolate” must have worn off. I haven’t heard it yet today.

Adventure Two – What about me?!?
YB: I have to go poop.
Me: OK.
*a couple minutes later*
YB: I need a wipe!
Me: Then wipe! You know how.
YB: Like a square?
Me: Yup! Like a square.
*About 30 seconds later*
YB:*shrill disbelief in his tone* Hey! What about me?!?
Me: *What the? OH DAMMIT!*

The toilet paper roll was just about out! I made it to the bathroom in a couple of swift strides. There stood Younger Boy, his pants around his ankles looking at the empty roll of toilet paper with a confused and sad and frustrated look on his face. He looked up at me with those sad, confused dark brown eyes.

YB: What about me?

It was actually kind of funny and cute, but I held onto my concerned look. I grabbed a new roll and switched it out.

Me: Don’t worry, I got you.
YB: Thank you!

So lessons learned:
1. Maybe don’t react with horror when the discovery that poops looks like chocolate. I think he enjoyed terrorizing me. However, I’m still glad that I made sure to make the distinction that poop is definitely not chocolate.
2. If it’s just you and the toddler in the house and the toilet paper roll is almost empty, just change it. It will save a lot of trouble.