Thursday, September 30, 2010

She Doesn’t Treat Them The Same

Some of you may remember from last year, but I got rather furious when I came to the realization that Jane only put effort into requesting the boys’ presence last year for her other son Trevor’s birthday. (For those that are new Jane had a new baby not too long after the divorce/I moved in. It’s been cause for some issues here and there.)

After talking with Jane’s sister Allison I came to the realization that not only was the effort made just for Trevor’s birthday but that this effort was made solely for Trevor. His birthday was yesterday, which was also my due date by the way but I’m still pretty preggo today.

Anyway, this year’s gripe/realization … I think it’s still pretty stupid that Jane doesn’t treat all her children the same. It’s beyond her constantly asking for the older boys and leaving Younger Boy out. She treats Trevor completely different from how she treats all three of the boys. For instance, she makes a big deal about making sure to take/request Trevor’s birthday off from work. Yet, we have to plan in advance just to try and get her to take time off to spend with the boys over summers, for holidays, etc. And she doesn’t even bother trying to take the day off from work for any of the boys’ birthdays. In face, we always have to prod her ahead of time to find out what her day off will be and when she plans on celebrating the boys’ birthdays.

I’m not as furious as I was last year. But it was most disappointing to come and realize that the injustice of how she treats all of her children is much more than I first though.

I’m glad that we at least treat them all the same when it comes to their birthdays, in additional to realizing that the way we celebrate may need some tweaking as they get older in age.

Baby Update: As you may have guessed I’m still pretty preggo. My due date was yesterday but I have a feeling that perhaps the baby didn’t want to share a birthday with Trevor … also that she’s probably about as stubborn as me so she’s going to come when she feels like it instead of when someone tells her too. Hopefully though, she’ll be considerate of my comfort level and will come sooner than later. I know it can’t possible by comfy in there considering she’s growing bigger each week. Here’s to hoping she’s not that stubborn.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Proud of My Husband

I guess a positive and a downfall is that I’m always looking for the positive in people - except for the likes of Kobe and Derek Jeter. Otherwise, even in Jane I have some faith in to one day be a decent human being.

She actually had set a new record for herself this year. She was consistently seeing the boys for a dinner date once a week. She had even been taking all three of them overnight about once a month or so. It got to the point that I stopped wondering when she was going to cancel on them because I really figured that maybe she had grown up a bit and started to grasp that Motherhood responsibility thing.

Then two weeks ago she cancelled. She didn’t give a reason, she just cancelled…the day of. Then last week she called up FH trying to cancel. At first her excuse was that they were having car trouble. And I’m very proud of FH because he said “No,” and said that even if she didn’t come the boys were still going to go visit at her mom’s house. Then she tried to throw in that her ear had been bleeding the night before. FH again said ‘No, we have a date night planned.”

Low and behold, when we got to Jolie’s house there parked out front was Jane’s car. We were pleasantly surprised (actually shocked) because we figured she was just going to be a no show.

We had a fabulous date night but then she really pissed me off again when she asked FH if Older Boy could come stay the night on Friday. And Middle Boy could come too if he wanted. And again, Younger Boy got dissed with no invite.

FH called her back later that night with the message that perhaps she ought to take Older Boy and Younger Boy this weekend, and to relay more info involving Middle Boy’s medical bills (that’s a whole other post).

To her credit she actually called back a day or so later and said it was fine with her if Younger Boy went over there instead. It still pissed me off, but at least she was willing to take him.

Anyway, I’m proud of my husband. My husband two years ago might have been willing to bend over and let her have her way without argument. But he’s been standing up to her lately and I like it.

Baby Update: As of right now that little baby is still trying to kick her way out. She hasn’t quite figured out that is not how you get out of there. I’m 38 weeks and oh so ready to be done. I’ll keep you all updated on whenever I actually leave to go into labor. The due date is September 29th so basically she’s coming whenever she’s good and ready.

And for those who enjoy a good visual, and aren't a friend on Facebook, here is the baby bump at 38 weeks.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Day 730 – I’m Still Here

Seven hundred thirty days ago I moved in with FH and the boys. I jumped into a world I had no idea about. And 730 days later I still sometimes question what the hell I was thinking. However, on Day 730 I came to a conclusion while reading another stepmommy blogger’s post.

It wasn’t necessarily that it was one of those posts that I could relate to because I had written it, but it was about a topic that gave me an “Aha” moment.

I know I’ve written about it before but Jane doesn’t pay child support. This is just the agreement that came from their divorce. Thus, from the moment I moved in my paycheck that used to support just me and Nasty Cat was now supporting three kids that weren’t mine, and me and Nasty Cat.

The only thing we’ve gotten Jane to help put money toward is out-of-pocket medical expenses because their papers say that they have to split those. Otherwise, all other expenses fall on us. I know I’ve mentioned that Jane doesn’t have that most fabulous paying job, but paying for a family of 5 isn’t cheap. It was one of the reasons I became a PartyLite consultant when I found out I was pregnant because if a family of 5 isn’t cheap then a family of 6 isn’t going to be any cheaper.

Back to the point, I get frustrated with Jane because she is absent, treats her kids like crap and is still loved and adored by them. But the light bulb that came on in my head is that I realized I’m really, really damn angry that I’m here paying for the kids while she doesn’t pay jack.

I can’t really be too angry with my husband for making the mistake of marrying her and what not. We all make mistakes and I’m sure he faces that reality every day. But I think a part of that bitterness that I’ve been unable to really tackle down is the fact that I’m paying for it, literally paying for it too. I don’t mind paying for my own mistakes but having to get stressed out due to lack of funds or not be able to pay for something for me or the baby because I’ve spent the rest of my money on the kids really frustrates me.

It frustrates me that I have a hard enough time saving up money as it is because it’s all going toward supporting my family. Which normally and realistically what happens anyway, but as a stepmom it's a bit different I guess.

I hope that makes sense. Don’t get me wrong, I love my boys and wouldn’t take back my choice for the world. But it is just very frustrating that I’m doing all this work and sometimes it feels like I'm not appreciated. As a stepparent I don’t have any legal rights. I don’t have that bond by nature with them. And I feel like I’m constantly being scrutinized and compared to Jane by them.

I guess I am happy that I was able to pin point this. Being full of anger and frustration and not knowing why is mind blowing. And now that I've figured it out I can start working on my attitude toward it and trying to find my way to balance out those frustrations.

But today is my two year mark at being an instant mom. I’ve come a long way, and I know that I alone have made a big difference in the boys’ and FH's lives. And for being able to be that difference I really am glad and proud. And I’m still here.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

He’s A Big Boy Now

If I haven’t mentioned it we’re now living in a three bedroom townhouse. Older Boy has his own room is absolutely ecstatic about it. Although I think he’s still trying to grasp what having his own room means. (Like being able to tell your little brothers to please leave or not allow them in at all.) FH and I discussed maybe getting him one of those “Keep Out” signs for kicks and giggles.

This means that Middle Boy and Younger Boy are sharing a room. They have the bunk beds in there. For the past two years Middle Boy has been the king of the bunk beds, as in he has the top bunk. However, there have been some new developments.

Middle Boy fell off the monkey bars at school and it resulted in a wrinkle fracture or bubble fracture. I’d never heard of one before and apparently because children’s bones are still rather flexible the stress from the fall caused his bones to sort of flex or bend. In other words he has a bump on his bone. He has on a sort of ace bandage cast, although it’s more a brace for support from what I’ve read. Luckily it hasn’t caused him much pain and he hasn’t had any pain killers since the day of the fall. Combined with his ability to still torture and pick on Younger Boy and run around with his cousins I feel he will make a full, quick recovery.

Due to the fact that he has this cast on his arm though FH and I decided that it was time for Younger Boy to graduate on up to the top bunk. He’s bigger and Middle Boy was in kindergarten when he was able to graduate up to the top.

I’m not sure yet how Younger Boy feels about this change, but if he’s anything like my sister and I when we were little he’s excited. I told him that he gets to sleep up there now because he’s a big boy. He seemed pretty pleased with that. Both FH and I have kept an eye on him climbing up and down, especially in the mornings when he wakes up. Today is day 3 of sleeping on the top bunk and he’s still doing really good and looks confident when he does it. Here’s to hoping that he will continue to do well and not have any nasty falls.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

It Feels Strange

I’m not quite sure how to word my current feelings so I guess I’ll just explain what I can.

A while ago FH had told me about an e-mail he had found from Jane to her guy (this was before the divorce was finalized and all that jazz. I almost want to say it right after she had said something about wanting to get divorced.) Anyway, in this e-mail she mentions that all she’s ever wanted in life was to have a little girl and to live out in the country.

As you may recall, Jane now has four boys, and I’m having the little girl.

Yesterday we picked the boys’ up from Jane. She had called Sunday afternoon to inform us she had Monday off. Not being ones to miss out on a night alone we suggested she take the boys that evening. Anyway, on the way into the house I noticed a small gift bag that looked very much like a gift for a baby. I looked at FH and he said that Jane had gotten it for the baby.

After the boys went to bed I opened it and looked through it. She had sent over some rather nice things. Baby onesies (not the cheap brands) in the colors I had indicated on my registries that I wanted, baby toys and some baby essentials like wash and powder. I looked at FH and found myself thinking aloud that I wished she put this type of effort into her own children.

To back up a bit, she recently sent Middle Boy home with some new packs of underwear. Take note that Middle Boy is a wiry, skinny little stick that is wearing size 6-7. The underwear was size 10-12 and size 14-16. Luckily Older Boy just fits into the 10-12, but we’ll have to see I guess if he’s going to be willing to wear dragon underwear when he’s able to fit into a 14-16. Note Older Boy is a wiry, skinny stick that needs slim jeans too. Also, all the clothes she’s ever bought the boys are two-three sizes too big. Older Boy came home in a shirt that fit him like a dress (well down to his knees.)

Anyway, in response FH made the comment that it would be kind of weird if Jane kept buying our baby things because it’s a girl.

Many of you may remember that I try very hard to put a positive spin on things to save myself the ickyness of suspicion and stress from Jane. So a part of me keeps reminding myself, “Oh, that was a very kind gesture on behalf of Jane.”

The other half though is kind of pissed that she did go to the trouble of doing such a nice thing for the baby when she does jack squat for her own kids. And the other half is horrified that maybe FH might not be too far off in wondering if she’s going to push her baby girl dreams onto our child since she doesn’t have one.

Then there is still that other little voice in the back of my mind that’s been nagging at me: “She’s going to be pregnant again anyway, especially once I have my baby and the boys do nothing but talk about their little sister.” Her youngest boy is going to be 2 years old this year. And if she keeps in tradition she’s due to get pregnant again sometime this year or next.

Anyway, I guess I’m still trying to feel it all out. It makes me somewhat uncomfortable though that there’s an underlying plan on her part. She’s not exactly a selfless and considerate mother/person. I think I’m more pissed off because I’ve seen what she provides for the boys and here she is spending decent money on our child.

Friday, September 3, 2010

School Has Started

School has started! And this year they start 20 minutes earlier then they did last year. This means that we all have to wake up earlier. Luckily for Middle Boy, he’s a pop out of bed, awake, morning early bird. Unluckily for Older Boy, Younger Boy and myself we’re sleep in until at least 9am, you’d best not wake me, where’s my coffee, I can’t believe I’m up this flipping early non-morning persons.

It’s been about a week and a half now and we’ve all managed to get a routine down. I drag my butt out of bed around 6:30am-6:50am. I wake the boys up around 7:10am. They make their beds, get dressed, come down and eat dinner. I’m meanwhile putting their lunches and snack together. The goal is to get out the door at 7:30am to get them to school around 7:40am. This way Older Boy can walk Younger Boy to his kindergarten class and still have time to make it to his class line and socialize a bit (wake up a bit more).

Considering I’ve cut out the coffee for now and I haven’t slept well through the night in months I’ve been majorly dragging butt. Thirty-six weeks pregnant is exhausting. Everyone keep telling me I have no clue what I’m in for because I’m going to be waking up even more during the night. But considering I’m waking up about 5-7 times during the night as it is I’m hoping that maybe I’m just getting in good practice for nightly feedings and diaper changes.

On a different note, Younger Boy is really, really excited to finally be at school. He’s in the morning class so I pick him up at 11:25am. Luckily, he was accepted into the after school program from 1:40pm to 6pm so he’s able to come back and socialize and play some more with kids his own age. It’s a blessing, in my opinion, but a pain in the butt trying to juggle between meetings at work.

His after school program teacher though was having trouble keeping him focused. Considering he’s a kindergartner (and an excited kindergartner at that) FH and I figured he’d have to work on learning to focus more. But she asked us the other day for tips.

She mentioned she had tried bribing him with “You can be in the front of the line” and some other mumbo jumbo. Basically we told her that in addition to being super excited he was probably testing her on what he could get away with on his scale of Jane-who-lets-him-do-what-he-wants-and-bribes-with-toys-and-goodies on the left and me-who-enforces-structure-holds-him-accountable-for-his-actions-and-challenges-him-to-find-things-to-do on the right.

He tried pulling the sad, blinking back tears that weren’t there yet trick in front of us when we called him over to have a chat. His teacher mentioned that the face scared her because she felt bad, so I demonstrated the resistance to it and got results. Perhaps I’ve just had more training in working with children and behavior between being an instant mom and working in the childhood development centers all those years.

The good news is that she reported to FH the other day that she found that if she gave him a task to focus on he was much better instead of going wild.

I’m hoping that with time Younger Boy will get used to being in a class environment. And that in a couple of weeks I’ll go into labor, because I’ve been really, really patient.