A note to stepmoms everywhere

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New Stuff Kinda Freakin Me Out



I haven’t blogged in a little while, and a lot has happened. Seems like everything has changed, or is just about to. We went on our entire family anniversary to the water park, and everyone had a good time. I had a little bit of tummy troubles, but recovered and hung out in the lazy river with the kids. I expected that since they are older, they might want to do their own thing, go off on their own, flirt with boys (middle child). But for at least 2 hours, the oldest hung out with me in a double inner tube, just floating around and talking about everything from the world history and politics, to her siblings and her recovery on her eating disorder. We also talked a lot about life at her mom’s house and problems that she has with her mom’s boyfriend. Namely his shouting, swearing, drinking and punching holes in walls. A healthy “normal” household, according to the adults in charge. Sure.

I was surprised that she would want to spend so much time with me. I keep hearing that she will be growing out of that soon. I haven’t seen it yet. The other two were just as excited to stay close to me and my husband.

The next day we all went to the mall and we had a really good time. And then we went home totally exhausted.

The week before, the oldest had told me in church that she was thinking about telling her mom that she wanted to stay with us. She wasn’t sure the details yet, and if she wanted to stay full time or part time, but she was thinking about it. This was coming on the heels of an argument where the mom’s boyfriend was throwing things (like towels or socks or something stupid like that) and punching holes in walls. The oldest tried to grab her little brother from him during all this, and he wouldn’t let go. So she told him he was acting like a b****. Yep. She said it. Ugh. I told her that she really needed to think and pray about it, and she should take her time making that decision.

The argument happened right at the begging of us having them for 2 weeks in a row. They got a little break and time to adjust themselves. Then, one day at dinner, the oldest looked at us and said “I want to tell mom that I want to stay over here”. It was like someone threw a brick into the middle of the table. There were some tears, but they all agreed that it was a lot less stressful at our house than at their mom’s. The middle child was upset because she wanted to do the same thing, but was very close with their little brother (who is like 5). The youngest was mad, because the oldest takes care of her, stops all the fights she starts and cleans up all of her messes at her mom’s house. She’s not held accountable for a whole lot over there.

She had the talk with her mom, and after some other little complications and tiffs, she stayed at our house this week while the other two were with their mom. She still went over there, just not till Thursday night. My husband was out of town, so the two of us hung out and talked a lot. It was pretty quiet.

During this, I had a lightbulb moment at work. I have a “new” job. It’s a really good job, the people are nice, it’s got great benefits, it’s not stressful or complicated, but I don’t like it. I couldn’t figure out what my problem was, I just didn’t like it. Then one day I was walking past the desk of a girl who works in marketing while she was cleaning up some product pictures to put on our website. I thought “aww, I wish I could be doing that right now”. Then I realized, maybe I should go to school for that.

So during the week my husband was out of town, I’m trying to look at schools and figure out how to afford it, and where I should go by myself. I also have had a hard time wrapping my head around the idea that the oldest’s actions have voted for me to be her mom figure. I know I was acting the part, but now someone has said “well, you’re it”. I’m kinda freaked out.

So, some big crazy changes, I hope I handle all of it ok. We’ll see what happens with this so called “school” stuff.

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Friday Ride On The Crazy Train


From the youngest, the caption says it all...

This week has just vaporized, I swear. It’s fine so fast, I’m still not sure it’s Friday. We haven’t had the kids, so I’ve been trying to get caught up on things I didn’t do when they were here.
I guess the trip to the mall was a big hit with the kids. The oldest is still talking about her “exciting weekend” with me. I guess she was just tickled to hang with my mom and uncle. Super weird, a teenager that wants to hang out with adults all the time. But I won’t complain.
She had told me that she had to quit talking to some friends because she found out they were doing drugs and they were racist. She’s half Mexican, so that whole racist thing doesn’t fly, and she’s not a fan of drugs either. She felt like they were the only friends she had, so we had a talk about that.
I suppose high school isn’t the place for a girl with a big heart.
The middle child has secretly pierced a second hole in her ear, by herself. I’m just glad it didn’t happen at our house.
The youngest had her conferences last night. She had drawn a portrait (the pic at the top, supposed to be a self portrait but she’s blond) and her caption says. I swear, that girl makes me Facepalm twice a day.
But I never tell her to change. Only to be herself and not be afraid of it. Can’t stop a crazy train like that.

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Best Plague Ever!!


Knocked out!

Oh it’s a wonderful day, people. Yesterday I went to bed with a serious concern that I may have been infiltrated by some germ type beings. But I was hoping it was just really bad allergies. But today I woke up, throat on fire, ears throbbing, ice pick between the eyes, and I knew it wasn’t allergies. And the husband left at 4 this morning for a business trip. And I have the kids.
So I pulled my happy butt out of bed this morning, body creaking and groaning like the tin man from The Wizard of Oz. I stumbled upstairs and told the oldest I would drive her to the bus stop because it was raining. Took the other 2 to school when I got back then slithered into Walgreens to load up on zinc and cold medicine.
It’s been an exciting day. I’ve been in a coma for most of it. But the good news is, I will be better by tomorrow, and I bought chicken nuggets so the kids can make their own dinner. Pretty awesome. And they were amped for some nuggets. So weird.
I will be having a birthday very soon, and not only do I seriously not care, I seriously hope no one else does either. I hate birthdays. Not because I’m getting older, I don’t care about that, no age can make me mature. Because everyone makes a big deal out of it and it always goes wrong. I don’t like the whole thing, I don’t even like people to acknowledge it. Yeah, I’m weird, tell me something new.
But I am pretty excited about my job interview on Friday. I’m really looking forward to being able to breathe again. And maybe not donating plasma. That sounds rough.


I Think We’ve Overheated


Holy cows and chickens people! I have spent the last 2 hours applying for jobs. That my sound like a lot, but I only successfully got one whole application in, and the other let me almost finish, and chucked a server error in my face! Finding a job is a job! I don’t have time for this, I need a job!

All facepalms aside, it has just been a horrible, hormonal, emotional rollercoaster. After all the dog drama, I happen to notice that my car must be starving because it’s eating my tires. Well, I’m glad we can just pile that on top of the other bills. Fabulous.

School is starting soon, and we have dumped a small fortune on the kids because this is the first time in years they really had NOTHING to start school with. So they got new wardrobes. And we got lighter wallets. Everyone is happy.

They were so excited to get their new digs, they wanted to show us everything, then show each other everything. The middle child took fashion credit for everything the oldest got (they all insist she doesn’t know how to dress, she’s just not flashy). It was SO funny, when we went to church today, the oldest wore a lace blue sundress with combat boots (hello 90’s!) and the youngest had crazy printed leggings with a crop top and undershirt and ankle combat boots. I almost die whenever they come downstairs pre-grunge. It just kills me!

The middle child had her debut as a cheerleader today, she was just beside herself. She had a great time, which was good. We were in full sun on a horribly still day (my own breath was a welcome breeze) and the sun was blaring so hard I think it was making an audible sound. Or maybe that was my brains sizzling in the heat. Whatever.

So she did fantastic and we were proud, then I came home and had some kind of super meltdown freakout. I was hot and hungry and tired and there was still so much left to do, I just lost it. I have been unstable under the weight of the recent drama in our house. Then, halfway through the grocery store today, it hit me; my husband will be gone all this week. So after all this stuff going on, all this activity and spending money and trying to get a job and psycho dog drama, I will be alone in the vacuum of a starkly silent house for a week. I hope I can get some projects done, because I feel like I’m losing my mind.

But all work and no play make Jessie a something something.

Homer courtesy 21st Century Fox

Homer courtesy 21st Century Fox


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I Think We Stuck The Landing


There have been a few wonderful barometric moments with the kids lately. We’ve had opportunity in connecting with them camping and fishing, and then I had a little sample of them on my own with my husband gone. It’s neat to have a chance to do a mental wall-mark for how their personalities are growing. They are really turning into their own people, and I have a unique viewpoint to be able to gauge what they need next.
That being said I will start with the middle child. I know this is out of sequence, I understand how that whole “order” thing works. But she had really been doing very well. She’s joking a lot more, she’s more willing to play with her younger sister and doing so much better about arguing, insulting others and being bossy. She’s finding her place, finding who she is and finding her security in that.
We’ve begin starting the always pleasant talks about how she should be aware of her surroundings, be ready to protect herself and not listen to what other people say, especially when it makes her uncomfortable. Aside from self-defense 101, she’s doing great in cheer leading and often teaches the other girls. It’s a huge boost for her confidence and patience. I see her with them and she’s really becoming a leader. She’s also reading a lot more and that is helping her conversation skills.
She still thinks it’s funny to be lazy, and that absolutely refusing to do things is somehow endearing, but I believe she will grow out of that. She has grown out of the things that made me so fearful for her future. She is her own person.
The oldest child got a very early start at “self-knowledge”. Most of the work with her is discussion and maintenance. But she’s ready to move on to disappearing into her friends. She is very ready to get back to raising money for Africa, and she’s pretty determined to get back there next summer. If we start soon I think she will make it. Everything just fell apart this year. She is super excited to be in high school, and has a new haircut to prove it (she chopped her long hair and just got her braces off). She a new girl with a new beginning. I’m excited for her. We’ve had a lot of talks and I feel like she trusts the anchor she has in us.
Then there’s the youngest. She keeps pushing to try and be included with the benefits of her sisters’ ages, but without the responsibility. She can’t figure out why it’s not working. We finally broke the “reading is lame and being stupid is cool” attitude that she adopted from the kids at school. She’s been proud to read and is reading much faster. She likes going to the library because it’s a taste of freedom. There’s now a positive connotation to reading. Then while we were fishing, she saw turtles in the lake. She loved them and wanted to catch one. While we fished, she took her shoes off and spent hours in the much, trying to catch a turtle. When she got one she was so excited she almost cried. I wanted her to be able to keep it, but the logistics of keeping a turtle on a camping trip is complicated at best. I thought that a turtle would make a good birthday present. I was skeptical before of her ability to keep a pet, she regularly forgets to bathe, brush her hair or teeth, and flushing the toilet is a mystery. But she is really maturing and I think it’s time. She’s negative and skeptical a lot, and someone her age shouldn’t be that way. I will keep working on that by correcting language and being excited about her accomplishments. She loves that. But she is really turning into a little person and growing out of acute little sister syndrome. She’s improved so much, even just over the summer.
So with the new and improved kids, we are all mentally prepared to conquer the school year. It’s gonna be a big one.
I’m not excited because they’ve driven me nuts all summer and I want them out of the house, I’m excited because they all have a new beginning this year. And they are all more ready than they’ve ever been.