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Posts Tagged ‘Parenting’

Since this is my first blog in a while, I’m just going to write it.  I fully expect it to be jumbled and I just want to get it out.  It just feels good to write something.  I’m sorry if it hurts to read it, but welcome to my head!

If you haven’t read Hannah’s Birth Story, click here!

For years my answer to the question “do you want more kids” was “nope, I’m all done, we’re almost home free!”  Even before marrying Big Daddy I had resolved (and was quite happy) to be done and to having nothing but grandkids running underfoot.  I thought, for a long time, that my childbearing days were over, because I had not been on BC for over 10 years and not conceived.  Fast forward to the day we found out that we were pregnant with Hannah and the words “shock and awe” come to mind.  It’s easy now to (and I often do) look down at this angel sleeping on me and think “how did we ever live life without her?!”  That day, not so much.

She's a boob girl, 9 months and still EBF!

She’s a boob girl, 9 months and still EBF!

Pregnancy has never been a favorite thing for me.  With C, I was so young I didn’t really have anything going on and it seemed very quick and not really painful at all to be pregnant, and let’s face it, I was in much better physical shape.  Labor was a major pain (for 37 hours) and the C-section at the end was not fun.  We planned J’s pregnancy and the second I got pregnant I thought “what the hell was I thinking?!” Every moment of it sucked.  The knee pain, the extra weight, which really wasn’t bad at about 31 pounds, the all over uncomfortable-ness is just for the birds.  I had an easy labor and birth with her and was just thankful not to be pregnant any longer.  When it just didn’t work out that I had another pregnancy, it really wasn’t a big issue because I had no problems not being pregnant.  D had gotten a vasectomy after his first child was born, and during his previous marriage had it reversed to try for another child.  They never conceived, and a few months before we married, he was checked (by our family doctor) and told that he had a zero count…not.  So, we entered our marriage both thinking that our baby days were over, and just enjoying the occasional grandbaby coming over.  Just short of our 3 year anniversary we had been through some really trying months dealing with ex’s and court  for both of us.  I was stressed, he was stressed, life was not smooth sailing, but we were both happy, healthy and our marriage was better than ever.  We both got sick with a cold and were down for about 1 week, but I never quite recovered.  I remained tired, exhausted to the point that I was falling asleep sitting up!  I couldn’t eat much, my stomach was in knots and I was pretty pitiful.  After about 2 weeks of this we were sure I was just still sick with a cold and run down from the court deal and stress.  We spent a Sunday afternoon at his parent’s house, as we often do on the weekends, and while in the sunroom with 3 other people talking to me, I laid down and fell asleep…right there, mid conversation.  You remember how in school you just got that “I must close my eyes NOW” feeling?  That one.  I woke up to go to the restroom, and went and laid down on his mom’s bed!  Still tired, something was way off.  He decided to take me home, and on the way he stopped to get some things from the drug store to help me feel better.  We got home, I got changed and settled to lay down and he pulls out a pregnancy test.  He said “either your pregnant, or you’re going to the doctor because something is WRONG with you!”  I blew it off and said that there was no way I was pregnant and I didn’t have to pee.  Two hours later, I had to pee, and he came in to get me some more drinks and help me up to the bathroom.  I peed on the stick, he covered it and set it on the counter, and he turned around from it to get a washcloth.  By the time I could say to him “how long do we wait” – about 10 seconds had passed, and I looked down and it said “pregnant.”  My exact words were “you have GOT to be freaking kidding me.”  I’m not sure what his reaction was…because I was so shocked and freaking out.  I think he did the “I told you” laugh a few times, and he was smiling the entire time, while trying to calm me down and pull me back from tears and the edge.  Now that I think about it, I don’t think he had a clue how much I didn’t want to be pregnant again, ever.  He was thrilled:)

It’s blurry, but oh, so clear.

Since I don’t want Hannah growing up to think that I didn’t want her, let me make this clear.  I still stand by that reaction.  However, it is NOT the baby that was shocking or what I was reacting to, or that she was unwanted.  It was the realization that I was PREGNANT and would have to carry and birth a child again!  When I say “I hate being pregnant” it is a true and honest statement.  I had zero desire to be pregnant, at 37, my thoughts were not about the adorable baby we would have, but about the painful back, hips, morning sickness (all day, and carsickness I still have 9 months after her birth), leg pain, knee pain, anxiety, and the worst part…LABOR AND BIRTH!  I’m thankful that I’ve had 3 healthy pregnancies, and I’m even thankful that I had a miscarriage and was healthy through that, but pregnancy just isn’t for me.  D can attest to that, I am not a happy pregnant woman.  I’m not mean…but I’m certainly not happy.  Let’s move on, you get the point.

Finally showing at 13 weeks 2 days!

Finally showing at 13 weeks 2 days!

We were about 2 weeks out of a long court battle when we found out, the emotions were high still.  I was right at 9 weeks pregnant when we found out (we thought I was late due to stress).  After the first week of knowing we were pregnant, the shock had worn off, and excitement was setting in and offsetting the nausea!  Babies, cute clothes, names, a child that was part of both of us and did I say, a BABY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Very proud big sister on Mothers Day!

Very proud big sister on Mothers Day!

Big sis was grossed out, shocked, weird-ed out, proud and so excited.  I’ll throw in here, that there is no better birth control for your teenager than to see you going through all the crap of pregnancy.  Food aversions, back pain, sleepless nights, utter fatigue, reading your online timeline of what a baby looks like (that’s kinda freaky), reading “what to expect when you’re expecting,” going to all your doctor visits, and seeing the list of all the things that can go wrong, yeah, that’s great BC.  It seals the deal when they are standing next to your head while you push the baby out.  Back in pregnancy land, we were pretty excited, and life was great.  This pregnancy turned out to suck as far as being uncomfortable goes…just like I thought it would, but those things that sucked were balanced out by all the great things that make people have more than one child.  What didn’t suck, what turned out to be the best part, was that I grew our baby girl, and during that time, I learned that I can do lots of things I didn’t think I could, or that I didn’t want to, and I can be happy through them, enjoy them, find the good, and it actually turns out to be pretty awesome.  I needed that for my own good, and we needed that as a couple.  It was a rough decade before Hannah for us mentally and emotionally.

Here’s a quick trip down pregnancy memory lane…in pictures.  I didn’t think it then, but now I think I was adorable, as did D.  I looked great for feeling so crappy!

14.6-1 20.5 18.30.32 27-33 19 - 35 same dress 36.5.2

Not knowing that J was my last baby, at the time she was my baby, didn’t afford me the ohhh and ahhh moments when she did EVERYTHING.  Don’t hear that wrong, she was adorable, loved, she was “spoiled” with attention and everything she did was the most adorable thing you ever saw.  I remember and recall her walking, or videos and pictures of her firsts, and her big moments, same with my son, C.  It’s different with Hannah though, those moments are still adorable, but because I KNOW she is my last baby that I will birth they seem to have an ability to make me stop and actually note them and enjoy them more/longer.  Until I had her and had all those moments over again, I didn’t know I missed them, or that I longed for them and to enjoy them.  It’s different now than it was when either of my other kids were little, we have cameras and videos of everything now, not just Hannah, but everything.  I honestly think I have (more than) one pic for every day of her life so far.  I’m not sure if that’s last baby syndrome or just a sign of the technological times.  What I do know is that I want to remember, and I am happy and sad each time she hits a new “thing” and it reminds me of both of my older kids and how fast time flies.   I’m thankful that the season of pregnancy and birth is done, and I look forward to more babies one day, whether that is foster/adopted or more grandkids.  I’d have a million kids if I don’t have to be pregnant with them!

J on the left, Hannah on the right

J on the left, Hannah on the right

J as a baby and big brother C

J as a baby and big brother C

Our children have been a blessing to both of us.  We are proud of each of them, and in the ways they learn and grow daily. D has taken on a huge role for C and J by being their dad in every way, and that’s something he and both kids needed and deserved.  While she is no more “special” than any of our children, and there was no void to fill, Hannah is everything we never knew we needed, wanted and were lacking in our lives as a family.  She has truly blended our family into a whole unit.   God really does know what he’s doing!

10505281_10204020911461340_7071894116950901065_n (1) 10448243_10204020910981328_7352318880135677652_n 10393682_10204020910821324_7664851410488359389_n 10464298_505292892936064_8654387643798957623_n
Life is good!

~Mel

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  • I miss you.  You may think that’s weird.  I mean, we didn’t get to know each other that well.  I did enjoy what time we had together, and I miss laughing, snuggling during scary movies, you and J dancing, and working on your homework that you totally didn’t want to do.  I miss that I don’t know YOU from more experiences of my own.  I don’t at all have a bad view of you, or any of our time together.  I think there were ways that each of us (me, your dad, you, your mom) could have handled things, but we are almost 1.5 years past that now. Unless we are going to live in the past, how we got here doesn’t matter.  How we can fix it does.  It can be fixed.  I have gotten to know you from hearing lots of stories about you growing up, and seeing pictures, from your grandparents and aunt and cousin, and most of all from your dad.  I’ve seen your cards, pictures, drawings, notes to your dad when you were little and some much more recent.  I know you from pictures I took of you, with your family and friends here.  You were not unhappy, and you were not mistreated.  I think there were a few misunderstandings and a normal teenager that got mad…guess what, you’ve missed out on your step-sister having some attitude too!  The difference is she isn’t allowed to pull away and disengage, she has attitude, we deal (she is corrected by me, your dad, her dad and her step-mom as a TEAM), we move on…life moves on.  Turning away is not a healthy part of growing up, or healthy for anyone.  To NOT deal with life is  unhealthy.  In spite of what you may think I know that you are very greatly loved, and missed.  I get to see it daily when we do normal things or go places and I think how much you would like this or that.  How I’m sure your dad misses getting to talk to you about things only the two of you shared.  I know that your grandmother misses you and hearing anything from the emails she sends.  I miss hearing about your sports, cheerleading and awards days.  Your dad has hopes each time he emails you that you will answer, even if it’s just to say you’re ok.
  • At this point, there isn’t much I feel I can say to “change your mind,” but I do want you to hear what other people have to say, that have never met you, or your dad, or your mom, and frankly I don’t think you are getting the information you need.  These people all have lots of information that you will see yourself in.  As I’ve always told you, you have a mom, I don’t want to and can’t replace her, but even though I’m new to you, I’m not new to parenting.  As you know, J has 4 parents that love her and make sure she is taken care of TOGETHER, there is no reason, ever, that a loving, stable, caring parent should be distanced or put out of their child’s life, by anyone, including a child/teenager that doesn’t see all the repercussions of a decision like that.  It’s why there are courts, and judges and why ALL parents are instructed to act in the best interest of a child and why visitation is court ordered.  It’s not a choice, it’s a necessity. It is not in your best interest to eliminate one of your parents because you are mad or think you’re old enough to. You have 3 parents that love you deeply and can each give you something valuable in life, and 2 that are not being allowed to give you what you so desperately need during these years (and the ones to come) in your life.  So, with lots of love, and because I am your step-mom, but more importantly because I love your dad and you, I’m asking that since we’ve not talked for over a year, you check out the next few things I write and watch a link or two.  Just look at it as homework, or research…payback for not having to listen to one of my lectures for over a year, or a way to get me to shut up:)  Just trust me on this…you know I have nothing to gain here besides helping you and your dad be happy together.
  • I want to go ahead and say that lots of this might sound scary or stupid, or you might think it has nothing to do with you or what’s going on with you.  I know you make your own decisions, so I’m asking you, just because I want you to think for yourself, to use the information I’m about to share to gain all the knowledge you can and make your decisions based on facts and what you KNOW.  You’re grown enough to understand that life isn’t always pretty and perfect.  You have to deal with some crappy things sometimes to get to the good stuff though.
  1. There is actually a WHOLE dvd that we have that I will get to you if you want to see it, just let me know.  It explains all sides, yours, your mom, and your dad, and how to resolve things so everyone is happy!  Wouldn’t that be nice?!  Here are some reviews from other teens (that didn’t want to see their other parent, and some that had not seen a parent just like you), moms, dads and people that watched the dvd, because I know you think it’ll be boring. http://www.warshak.com/alienation/pluto/viewers-say.html
  2. Can you do me a favor and watch this little part of it?  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Puy0hjtedU&feature=related
  3.  Also, I know some pretty smart people that have been where you are (and didn’t think they needed help or that anything was wrong).  I don’t want you to think that I or anyone here thinks there is something WRONG with you…we just all know that sometimes things aren’t as they seem and it never hurts to have knowledge about what’s going on in your life.  If you get a minute, this is someone that is now grown and has lived with not talking to her dad for a while when she was your age.  I think you’ll find it interesting. https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=139545826175900&id=100003614494125
  4. Now, these are LONG, and I think if you are honest with yourself you’ll see some very familiar things.  Doesn’t matter how they got there, or how it happened, I want to focus on HOW TO FIX IT…I think you’ll recognize some stuff, you can finish reading my letter here first, then come back and check these out (but don’t forget, they are very informative)http://www.drhavlicek.com/what_everyone_should_know_about.htm            http://www.drhavlicek.com/Parent%20Alienation%20Effects%20on%20Children.htm
  5. Ok, so this one is a little more realistic.  I’m going to be honest and point out that this is your relationship and you have done or said just about all of these things.  Yes, they were your idea, which shows that you are in fact, an alienated child, whether you intended that or not. It’s not fun to read, but you will see that it’s not “just your idea” it is something that is documented time after time for years and is a problem not just for you, but has been and is for thousands of other children and teens your age. It is considered abuse to allow a child to go through with these thoughts and actions.  It is not healthy for you, and is not normal.

THE RESPONSE AND BEHAVIORS OF THE ALIENATED CHILD

It is important to discuss the typical clinical presentation of alienated children. For the most part, our observations of the behaviors and emotional responses of alienated children are similar to those reported by others (Gardner, 1987,1992; Wallerstein & Kelly, 1980). By definition, the core feature of alienated children is the extreme disproportion between the child’s perception and beliefs about the rejected parent and the actual history of the rejected parents’ behaviors and the parent-child relationship. Unlike most aligned or estranged youngsters, alienated children freely express hatred or intense dislike toward the rejected parent. They demonize and vilify that parent, often present trivial reasons to justify their hatred, and usually are not reticent about broadcasting the perceived shortcomings of the parent to others. This is particularly baffling to the rejected parent, extended family, and other adults knowledgeable about the prior parent-child relationship. Most often, as stated above, rejected parents have had at least an adequate relationship with these children, and the angry rejection is not merited, even when contributions of the rejected parent are taken into account. One of the most common behaviors of alienated children is their strongly expressed resistance to visiting the rejected parent and, in more extreme cases, an absolute refusal to see the parent in any setting, including a therapeutic one, and a desire to unilaterally terminate the parent-child relationship. These children want only to talk to lawyers who represent their viewpoint and to those custody evaluators and judges whom they believe will fully support their efforts to terminate the parent-child relationship once they hear all the “facts.” To all, they strongly advocate their right to choose whether they will see their parent. Another feature of alienated children is the manner in which they present their stories. Their allegations about the rejected parent are mostly replicas or slight variants of the aligned parents’ allegations and stories. These scripted lines are repeated endlessly but most often are hollow, without underlying substance, texture, or detail to support the allegations. They have adopted the allegation(s) but, unlike children with histories of abusive treatment, do not have compelling supporting information. Generally, alienated children sound very rehearsed, wooden, brittle, and frequently use adult words or phrases. They appear not to be guilty or ambivalent as the children denigrate, often viciously, the rejected parent.  Sometimes, they appear to be enjoying themselves. There is no obvious regret. One of the sobering aspects of these presentations is that alienated children have essentially been given permission to be powerful and to be hostile and rude toward the rejected parent, grandparents, and other relatives. Furthermore, assisting in orchestrating the obliteration of a parent does not bode well for their future social and emotional adjustment. Sadly, even previously cherished pets, now in the custody of the rejected parent, might be denigrated, and the children proudly describe the virtues of their new and extremely perfect replacements provided for them by aligned parents. And finally, alienated children often idealize or speak glowingly of the aligned parent as an adult and parent. They refuse to consider any information that might undermine this viewpoint of their perfect companion and parent, and they vigorously reject any suggestion that their obsessive hatred of the rejected parent has any relationship to the views or behaviors of the aligned parent. They might describe how that parent is suffering, has been harmed economically and emotionally by the rejected parent, and is worthy of their total allegiance. It is important to note that some alienated children-although they present as very angry, distraught, and obsessively fixated on the hated parent in the therapist’s or evaluator’s office-appear to function adequately in other settings removed from the custody battle. They might retain their school performance, might continue to excel in musical or athletic activities, and at least superficially seem reasonably well adjusted. A closer look at their interpersonal relationships, however, often reveals difficulties. Alienated children’s black-and-white, often harshly strident views and feelings are usually reflected in dealings with their peers as well as those in authority. However, it is in the rejected parents’ home that the child’s behavior is severely problematic and disturbed. They might destroy property; act in obnoxious, even bizarre, ways; and treat these parents in public with obvious loathing, scorn, and verbal abuse. They prefer to be in contact constantly with their aligned parent by telephone, at which times, they whisper hostile observations about the rejected parent’s words, behaviors, meals, and personality. If they are resisting or refusing contact, all efforts of the rejected parents to communicate directly with their children are rebuffed, including demands that the parent never contact them again, stop harassing them with presents and letters (which often are discarded or unopened), and cease their useless legal efforts and court appearances.

Again, this isn’t about who is right, wrong, who did what, who needs to change, it’s about how to stop this.  We can fix it, you can have both of your parents, and they both owe it to you to get along enough so you can have each of them without you feeling that it’s necessary to deny one of them.  Did you know that if YOU told both of your parents (nicely and respectfully) that it IS your choice and that they both need to get along so you can have them both involved in your life, that they would have no choice but to do it.  Think I’m crazy?  Your mom has said, typed and told numerous people that it’s “not my problem and it’s between her and her dad” and that “she is old enough to make decisions about her life” and your dad has said that he just wants you to be happy and healthy.  So, if you said to them that it is your choice that they both get along or that THEY ignore each other and allow you to be happy with each of them, they would have to do it, or they would both be liars.  It may not have been started by you, it may have, but regardless, YOU can stop it.  You are old enough, you are smart enough.

  • If you want help, you can reach out to me, your school, your church, your family, you know how to get any of us, and I know you have the means to contact us. We all miss you. You will be welcomed back with open arms.  We will begin again and move forward and learn together how to make life work for everyone involved.
  • If you don’t want help, or don’t think you are ready still, or you’re still mad, or still sure you don’t want to talk to anyone here, even your dad.  I will accept that, but only if you are honest with yourself and inform yourself with the information I shared.  You can’t just continue to walk along thinking that your decisions and those of your mom that have become yours, do not affect you, your dad, your family here, or will not affect you later down the road.  Remember, you don’t get back time lost.  You can’t go back and redo things sometimes.  You can make sure that things you do in the future are done right though.  I hope you choose to be informed, be forgiving, and be happy.

The girl in the pictures here was not abused, unloved, unhappy, unwanted, sad, or any of the things that one would assume would cause a parent to be eliminated from her life.  This girl (now a young lady) was told that she was old enough to decide and that it was her decision, when in fact, that was a violation of a court order to have her father eliminated.  The people in the pictures with her have ALL been cut out of her life at the same time over a year ago.  I could understand possibly being that mad at one person…but a whole family?   There is not one picture where you weren’t smiling.  With all my love…Melissa.

Never too old to love on Daddy!

Never too old to love on Daddy!

I'm in love.

I’m in love.

D and B

D and B

Our Crew!

Our Crew!

Big Daddy and his girls.

Big Daddy and his girls.

That girl was happy, having fun, loving, and enjoying life…I miss her.

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I’m a fan of My Big Fat Greek Wedding…I’d like to give myself props for my title (it took me 5 mins to come up with).

As I pulled this up to start a new post I realized how much I’ve changed (for the better) in a few years.  I had always believed what I do now, but when you don’t have the opportunity to be heard, or truly practice what you believe it becomes back burner and so hard to do.  I am thankful that I have the husband, marriage, relationship and ability to study and learn about things I’ve always agreed with and was raised to believe.  My posts are more in depth because I am learning more about what it is I need and where I am supposed to be in life.

Where I am/we are in life is a trying place to be in.  I’ve been reading and spending time on finding out as much as I can to help me/him/us make the best decision, to be able to deal with whatever decision we make, and to know what I can do, should do and need to not do in order to help D through this.  Divorce is a pain, children are a blessing, and ex’s are – well, unless you’re lucky, they’re a pain too, some more than others.  If you add all that together, there is huge potential for the kids to become a pain as well.  I’m not harping on a certain kid, because in all I’ve dealt with from OUR kids, they all can be a pain at times.  No one more than the other.

At this time I am not going to blog about the whole story, but I’ll say that we need prayers for wisdom, discernment, patience and healing right now.  You can include D’s daughter in that (we’ll call her B), and our entire family as a whole.  It is not fun, and it is emotionally draining for all parties involved.  I am also going to TRY to be nice and not too descriptive here, except for what is needed to get to my story.  I don’t want this to be a bash the ex post, but it is my blog and I do need to get some things out, so deal with it.

One big happy family!

This post came to me after something D’s ex said in her email of wildly accusatory and totally off base ranting (it’s amazing that some people can function with no rational thoughts).  She referred to a comment that was made to B from D.  In short, although it was an entire conversation between the two of them, that the order of the household is “God, husband, wife, kids.”  B didn’t like this, and even took it up with 2 different counselors who informed her that indeed, it was biblical.  Apparently that wasn’t enough, because she talked about it with her mother also, who saw the chance to try to use that against D.

The ex feels that there is an exception to this “rule” – which isn’t truly a rule, and honestly there is not one verse in the Bible that says “God, husband, wife, kids.”  There are verses that outline this order and we’re going to check those out in a minute.  Back to the ex, she feels that the exception (because right now it fits her case that D is not a good father) is a remarriage.  As in, now that B is the biological, first child in my and D’s relationship, SHE should come before me (the third wife).  Lest we forget that the ex herself was a step-mom to B, and had she not come first in her marriage, it wouldn’t have lasted as long as it did.  However, she herself has no desire to realize this fact.   Instead, she’s going to harp on how our marriage and family set up is not in line with the Bible.   Knowing who she is, and seeing her in action, I really have a hard time taking biblical advice from this woman, but I did as I should have and took it as an opportunity to get my Bible knowledge on…sorry, I need humor right now.

So, as part of my lifelong, never-ending quest to prove people wrong learn new things, we’re going to explore.

We’ll start with the basics:

Genesis 2:24 (KJV)

24Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

Matthew 19:6 (KJV)

6Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.

When a man and a woman marry, he (and she) obviously leaves his parents and becomes his own family, with his new wife, they are now joined.  Equal, in God’s eyes as a unit.  They are to be family to each other, and one.  Without going too far in to this verse, it is clear the unit that is now created.  As children growing up, we are to obey our father and mother, once we “leave” that family unit and are joined to another, our new responsibility is to our spouse.  We are not to discard the relationships and responsibilities to our parents (as parents grow older it is our job to care for and provide for them, and as their children we should always heed advice and respect their view), rather we are to put FIRST the marriage.  Most marriages start without children, however it is understood that with or without children the unit of husband and wife cannot stand strong, function, thrive, or create a foundation to raise children in if it is not a complete and healthy unit that can stand on its own and be strong for those that are in it and those that come along as a result of it.  In that statement we can clearly see the importance and reason for the “unit” and the responsibility of the marriage (vows).

As for the “this applies to the covenant/first marriage” people, I do not want to get into a “divorce is not allowed” type discussion.  I will disagree with you all day long, and can and will back it up.  This post is not about that.  In short, my view on divorce is that it is HIGHLY discouraged, and not biblical in most cases.  However, it is divorce that is not approved by God, not those that have chosen divorce, or had to endure one for reasons that most of the world should butt out of!  None of us are perfect, and those that portray that they are perfect are usually just trying to divert attention from the weeds in their own garden.  I give you this as part of my argument and then we’ll move on:

Deuteronomy 24:1-4 describes a woman who has been divorced because of “uncleanness” (v.1). The Bible says that when she remarries, she “becomes another man’s wife” (v.2). Thus, the Bible acknowledges that the two became husband and wife in covenant marriage, even though it was her second marriage.

We’re married…now what? Babies!!!!!!! Or in our case, we’re married, now we have “our” kids.  Blended families are a special thing.  They are especially hard, different, trying, fun and lots of work.  No matter how or when our base unit is started, or who is in it now, it is still the foundation of the family, blended, or first time.  We can turn to our Bible to see what God says about this new addition to the original (base) unit.

Ephesians 6:1-3 (KJV)

1Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.

2Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise;

3That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.

So, we know that to have children we need two people preferably a husband/wife unit as God outlines, and once that unit is here, we have children who are commanded to obey your parents.  It doesn’t say “obey your biological parents only” or “obey the parent you feel is on your side.”  It says parents.  A child (or ex) can’t pick and choose which verses are ok to suit their case.  NO, there is no exception, it is the RULE.  Children obey (all) parents.  Biological, step, adoptive, right, wrong, mean, nice, out of state – PARENTS.  It warns that you want to do this so you may live long on the earth.  If we take that into consideration for what it really says we can use the example that if your mother tells you not to go in the street without looking both ways, and you do so, you could get hit by a car.  Harsh? Yes.  Truthful?  Very. It also means in a figurative way in that you will live long because of the wisdom and protection of your parents.

As I mentioned there is not a specific verse that gives us this order of God, husband, wife, children.  Yet by using our brains and reading we can see it clearly outlined and understand the reasoning.

With all of that said there are obvious deviations and limits to what we must attend to first.  I wrote this assuming that we are adults and have common sense.  Each child has needs, and as parents our first duty is to protect and love our children, to teach them, raise them, and discipline them.   I am in no way suggesting that children are not to be cared for.  Obviously if your child is bleeding outside and needs you, and your husband would like a glass of water while you’re in the kitchen – you can let him know it’ll be a minute because your child is hurt.  We aren’t talking about neglect here.  I am speaking on behalf of the emotional, love, bond, nurturing of the spousal relationship and its needs over what a child thinks they need.

Teenagers (and toddlers) are worst at feeling that their wants and needs trump everything.   This is where our issue began and the discussion itself started.  B felt that she was no longer the focus of EVERYTHING her dad did, and suggested that since she was his bio-kid, she should be first in his life.  Now, yes, she should hold a special place, and she should be afforded HER time with him.  We gave her that opportunity, and she, on many occasions, refused to take her alone time or cut that short because she wasn’t in the mood, or he wasn’t spending money on her.  However, she still felt that he should be at her beck and call, wallet in hand.  The fact that dad had moved on and remarried, and has someone to keep him company while B is with her mom does not sit well.  B would rather he be lonely and ready to tend to her wants.   Teenagers are very selfish, and if allowed will just keep taking.  Ask any parent and they’ll tell you that they struggle with teaching that it’s not “all about me!” (we’ve all seen the t-shirts).  If you don’t have the foundation and strong relationship of the husband/wife, then in any family with kids, especially in a blended family you’re in deep trouble.

In our family, our bond, which was strong before we got married, was solid.  It is more solid now after dealing with ex’s and our new family.  Had we deviated from God’s plan for marriage at all, I don’t know where we’d be.  I am proud and thankful that my marriage is strong, and getting stronger with every trial we go through.  I strongly believe that there are people and things that want us as a new family to fail and they are well on their way to being disappointed because of our love for God, and our love for each other.

I’m in no way “done” with thoughts on our ordeals with B and the ex…rather I’m trying to work through them without being bitter or naming names on here.  I’d really love to write a letter to the ex and inform her of some things she doesn’t know (since she won’t look at me or speak to me).  However, I am standing my ground quietly and supporting D because he doesn’t need more drama, he needs love and to know that he is free to do what he feels necessary for B.

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Seems like most of my posts have a hint of the message that everything happens for a reason.  Where we are, where we’ve been, where we are heading, whether we know it or not, like it or not, or accept it or not, it all happens for a reason.

On Father’s Day, I wanted to say something about Big Daddy and let the world know how amazing he is.  As I usually am at the beginning of a post I don’t know where to start, there’s just too much to say about him.  He’s important to so many people (and pets) that words just aren’t enough.

I’m in love.

Getting together as a couple with children of our own, from previous marriages, produces enough challenges on it’s own.  Add in ex’s, teenage years, children making new people and your first year of marriage and you qualify for sainthood.   I try to exude an air of confidence, pulled-togetherness, and overall calm happy…I fail miserably.  D on the other hand, does all of it and even gets me to buy it.  In our talks I recognize when he is stressed, and down, or having a rough time, but as the husband and father figure of this crew he has been more than I knew a man should be.  He has led, taught, loved, laughed, disciplined, and remained constant to who he presented himself to be when we got together.  I am proud and happy to have chosen him as my husband and as a parental figure to my/now our children.

J and D

Never too old to love on Daddy!

Even the dogs are daddy’s girls.

As a parent myself, I have not been, or ever claimed to be perfect.  Where my kids are in life is a direct result of decisions I’ve made.  However, where they are headed is a direct result of what a strong family, good parents and a good Christian man can lead his family to.   Raising children is never easy, and never goes exactly as planned.  Along the way there are people that aren’t who you thought they were, you are sometimes not who you need to be, children make decisions against everything you’ve instilled in them, yet still, we as parents are commanded to train up a child in the way he should go.  This cannot be achieved without parents and especially a father who is under the command of God.

Hard to talk back when he can pick you up like this.

On Father’s Day I want single out my children, who are truly ours, however I want D to know that I appreciate the man God put in my life and in the lives of my children.  I want to thank him for being who God wants him to be, and thereby being who I need him to be and who my children need him to be.   I’m proud that my children, of their own accord, call you Dad and Daddy!

Good pops let you pull their beard.

Her smile says it all!

I want to mention, as hard as it is, that sometimes life doesn’t go the way we want it to.  We lose people for periods of time, that should be with us, and we don’t understand why things happen.  As we are going on month 6 of no contact with D’s daughter, it’s hard to keep in mind that everything happens for a reason.  My heart breaks to know that he is such a wonderful father, yet his own child is not around to benefit from all he has to offer.  I sit here both happy that my daughter is off visiting her dad, and sad that I miss her for the month she is gone, yet I get to talk to her each day and she is coming back.   It’s both comforting to me that D has our other children, grandchildren and even an amazing nephew that all need him and want him to be a huge part of their lives.  We have talked about this and feel that part of our union was to prepare and help D through this phase of his relationship with B.  It’s just hard to remember that on days like today.

D and B

I love you with all of my heart, you are the best husband, father, brother, uncle and grandfather we could ever dream of.

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Accountability – a lesson in “I didn’t do it.”  Which, most likely, we’ve established already that you didn’t do it, so let’s see whose fault that is. (If you click that link it takes you to my most popular post ever, also about owning things)

Not to pick on her, but just as the example, J (my teenager) said this the other night (in the midst of her getting in trouble for not listening – this was NOT the whole conversation):

J: “So you’re saying everything is my fault?”

Me and D: “YES.”

J: (throws her hands up, buries her face in her hands and the tears roll) “Of course, it’s ALWAYS my fault.”

Now, any unseasoned, first time raising a teenager parent MAY buy this crock, but we have been here…recently.  D’s daughter tried this one on us last summer…it didn’t go well for her either.  Unfortunately (or fortunately for her future) J used an old, tired line on parents that had heard it before and were prepared to show her the error of her thinking ways.

If we’re going to leave things out of the conversation, and you are going to tell half truths then yes, everything is your fault.  If we’re going to speak truthfully, then once I have voiced what it is I want, or need, or expect, and you CHOOSE not to do it, yes, everything after that point is your fault.  Either way, yep, your fault.  Not mine.  Let’s explore.

Back to the conversation, J was talking with D and I about things that she “didn’t like” about living here…this is what she told us she voiced to her father during their visit over spring break:

  • they make me go to my room to do my homework so I don’t “bother” them while they are working
  • they yell at me
  • they cuss at me

MAN, I am so out of line…we SUCK as parents.  Case closed, bag it up, she wins!  Or not.  Nice try whipper-snapper.  As we all know, there are two sides to each story, and just as I did with our sadly mistreated mistaken child, I will enlighten you all on the whole truth she cleverly omitted in her crusade for sympathy.  Sidenote: Omission is lying.  If you can’t tell the whole truth because it doesn’t help your case, then it is lying.

  • After several attempts to curb her wandering (to the tv) eyes, and get her to focus not on the dog, or snacks, or laughing or talking while she is doing her homework, we informed her that in order for her to get her work done faster, and so that we don’t have to interrupt our work (we both work from home), she needs to go to her room where she can do her homework undisturbed, and get it done faster.
  • Her claim is that we yell…at her.  I admit it, and I did to her, however, when I’ve asked her 2 times to pick up her socks, or put away the dishes, or bring the cups down from her room, and she has REFUSED to respond to my calm, nice request, I do yell.  Gasp.  Oh hush.  I yell sometimes because she has an ipod blaring in her upstairs room and she pretends, as she does when she’s in the same room with you, that she didn’t hear you.  So, when I yell, guess what?  She miraculously hears me.  I also have been told I yell, but you can ask D, it’s more of a “raised tone of voice” – if I yelled, the entire row of condo’s would clean up their dishes.  My mom yelled, I turned out fine.
  • Her claim is that we curse…at her.  (See above claim)  Ok, so again, not perfect here, I’ll own it.  Let me finish that sentence for her…”they cuss at me – WHEN I HAVE NOT DONE WHAT I WAS ASKED TO THE FIRST TIME.”  –Example: 1st time) J, when you are done with that level (on Wii Mario), take your plate in the kitchen and put away the stuff you used.  2nd time – 5 minutes later) J, that game is over now, do what I said, I don’t want to have to turn the game off.  3rd time – 5 more minutes) J, stop what you are doing, get off your butt and take your dishes in the kitchen, and put away the chocolate milk stuff on the damn counter.  Now, forgive me, I am wrong.  What I should do (so as not to “cuss at her”) is unplug the Wii and say nothing more after she refused to do it the first time.  I should, but I think that is overkill.  I’m trying to teach life lessons here, she needs to learn how to think “oh, I’m supposed to stop for a minute, do what I was asked and then I can resume my activity.”  I believe she is learning that, because she hears and does it when I get serious, and because she does not like being cussed at.  Or, she could just do it the first time and we’d all be good to go.

I am now going to make a very conscious effort to not curse or yell, she’s not going to like how creative I am.  I do want her (and others) to realize that if she plans on working any job, she’s going to have to deal with people like me that yell, and curse, and stick her in a cubicle so she can’t be social and talk with her co-workers.   And they won’t love her as much as I do, and she won’t get any warnings, they will just fire her.  Maybe she’ll listen the first time then?

Let’s stop picking on my baby girl, because, as we all know, she ain’t the only innocent bird being blamed in this “who-done-it” mystery.

WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!

Grown adults are still trying to use this excuse.  GROWN ADULTS.  This mindset of “it’s not my fault” is running rampant in society.  We live in a world where you don’t have to own your failures, mis-fires, unfinished work, relationships, marriages.  Poor you, you were so mistreated, you don’t deserve that, you’re a good person, you’re so misunderstood, what a mean bitch, what an ass, I’m sure you did all you could, blah blah blah. Waaaaaaaaaaah!!!! (Insert Snooki voice)

GET OVER YOURSELF.

D and I have heard both of our ex’s say these words “so it’s MY fault?”  Gee, I wonder where the kids got that from?  Yes, genius, it’s YOUR fault our child is failing Algebra because you won’t make her go to tutoring instead of cheerleading practice.  It’s YOUR fault you didn’t see your child more than 4 weeks out of the last 52, was I supposed to call you and remind you it was your weekend, drive to the exit and hope you were there?  It’s YOUR fault she is emotionally in an uproar because you won’t take her or let me take her to the counseling appointment.   It’s YOUR fault you don’t get her when you do want her because you call 1 day before and expect that we have no plans.  It’s not just our kids who don’t claim their wrongdoings!!!!!

We are in a time where no one wants to take the blame for the crap they are dealing with.  The repo man is here to get your car?  But I paid that bill!!!! (That tv show urks me)  If you paid it, he wouldn’t be hauling your car away.  Cheaters, another tv show, full of yelling, tears, fights, and TONS of excuses…you work all the time, you’re never home, I never get what I need from you.  Well welcome to the club.  If you don’t get what you need, get out.  You are the only one who can make people treat you correctly.  Television shows what kind of society we live in, it’s full of excuses on what we are entitled to, and what we have “put up with” and how we don’t deserve it, and of course, how WE didn’t do it.

Who done it?

Your life, and what happens in it, is solely your responsibility.  If you take that responsibility seriously your entire life, friends, relationships, jobs, and the way others treat you will change dramatically.  If YOU are the one who calls the shots and it is only up to YOU what happens in your life, then you won’t have to come up with excuses and blame and ride the “woe is me” train.  Why is it up to ANYONE but you to make sure you are doing the things you are supposed to? Newsflash!!!!!!!!! It’s not, unless you are a kid, and as I said earlier, that is only for a short period of time until you get to the real world.

Big Daddy knows I’m not at all the apologizing type, I don’t think the words “I’m sorry” know how to be formed in my mouth.  However, if you are accountable and can say “man, I dropped the ball on that one, I totally didn’t do what I was supposed to,” people will understand.  No one wants to hear how your alarm didn’t go off,  you ran out of gas, or you just forgot, or how no one told you, or “it’s ALWAYS my fault.”  If you’ve said any of those things, ever, guess who’s fault it was.  Yep.  You won’t believe how much more understanding people are that you are human when you admit to being at fault for something.

Why?  Because we all screw up.  Not one of us is without fault.  We are all forgiven for those faults because of what Jesus did on the cross for us, however, in order to receive that pardon, you have to admit you aren’t perfect and you are a sinner and can’t do it without Him.

You must be accountable in your responsibilities, your actions and words, and your goals.  There is no one that wants and can attain those things for you, but you (and God).  Even God doesn’t believe your crap, because He won’t give it to you unless you work for it.  If He can see through your lame excuses that’s all that matters, you might be able to fool the rest of us (not me), but you aren’t fooling Him.

I could go on here, I was going to touch on many more aspects of what not to do when you realize something isn’t going your way, but let’s work on one thing at a time.

~Mel

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Hello ladies!  This is just a post for the ladies that have requested to be in a Blog Buddy circle after replying to me on THIS POST about blog buddies.  If you are new and you find this post  and would like to be a part of our circle, please leave a comment.

Since we all congregated on my page I felt like it was my duty to say hello…HELLO!  I think it would be best if everyone just subscribed to each blog listed, and then you can comment as you like, link up as you like and we can keep track of each other that way.  I have listed everyone’s blog in this post, and have also listed them in my links under “Blog Buddies” so you can easily find each other.

*Churchlady voice* Can we talk?

Everyone has either emailed or left a comment somewhere on my blog about themselves, but if you all would, please leave a comment on this post with a little detail about yourself and what you like to do, what you blog about, and what kind of things you are interested in.

I am also tagging all of my posts and categorizing them as “Blog Buddies Circle” so that I want to just talk to you all, or if anyone wants to see what is relevant to us we can easily find it.  If you would like to do the same on your page please do.

If anyone has any other ideas on how to get this going and encourage each other please let me know.

I hope you are all ready to blog, or be encouraged to blog (since I don’t do it every day).

And now…heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeere’s the ladies:

Fruitfulwords

Mommemau2

PigletinPortugal

SoapBird

UnsvelteGirl

JustalittleMel

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This past week/weekend was full of new adventures and new stresses.  It’s very freeing when your oldest moves out.  It’s also scary knowing that 1/3 of working “children” under the age of 34 live with their parents.  DOH!

I’m not going to make a sappy post about my baby growing up, but it’s both a sad and happy time.

My boy has everything physical he needs to live on his own, and I can only continue to mother him through the mental, emotional and parenting part of living on his own.  With being a parent comes more love than you knew you held in your heart, fear, joy, pain and so much more.  I love that he is strong enough to WANT to be on his own, and smart enough to make the effort to do his best to make that happen.

Whether or not he succeeds is up to him (and the fact that we have no space for him and his family to live with us).  Let’s all hope and pray for the best!

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