Take a minute to check out what "tangledeutopia" means!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Because I don't already have enough on my plate

I read once that you can't make a really great blog unless you focus on just one.

But my insides have been gnawin' at my brain, making me grind my teeth even more lately. By the way, totally different than gnawin' at my insides, which is country for being hungry. Why you ask?

Because as much as I have this incessant desire to raise my children to be the best grown ups they can be, to always remember to be respectful of my husband no matter how mad he makes me, to be as professional as I can be in my workplace, and to always keep my house as clean as I can.....I know that I can NONE of those things if I can't learn to prioritize my life the way God expects me to.



I have this constant tug of war inside that is always trying to seperate, remember and prioritize my daily TO-DO list called LIFE. I'm constantly trying to figure out how to maximize my world to accomodate everyone and everything I am involved with.



I am utterly obsessed with finishing my book in every aspect. From writing it, re-writing it, editing it, learning from it, learning what to do with it once I've written it, hoping and praying God will give me the knowledge and wisdom to help it change not only my life, but my families life as well. At the same time, hoping and praying that God will also give me the knowledge and wisdom (not to mention, the right contacts) to see this blogging obsession through to its maximum capacity, all the while being true to His Word and His Standards.



I'm 32 and STILL trying to learn what the word consistent means, but more importantly how to do it. But then I realize that life is about change and I would be pretty boring if I were still pursuing the same things I pursued at 22!!



So, I've started a new blog! One just for me! You will NEVER read what my kids ate for lunch that day, you will never read how my hormonal self had to once again apologize to my extremely patient wonderful husband. But what you'll read is HOW
I

ME
MOI

am coping, struggling, changing, thinking, doing, exceeding

EVERY aspect of

my life, my thoughts, my goals, my dreams, my world


So go on over and check it out:



Thank You Target

Did you remember me saying how I couldn't wait to be home in the day with the kids during the summer? Do you remember me saying I couldn't wait for these 2 little days of vacation I took to be with the kids after their last day of school? Well, I forgot to *** or ((( ))) and add the following:

***I can't wait to spend time with the kids as long as
Running With Scissors has his medicine....***


I know that is so aweful of me. I think about the book I read The ADHD FRAUD while doing my research before we decided to medicate our child. I think about how it said parents and teachers use the ADHD excuse because they won't admit they are bad parents who aren't patient enough, they are teachers that don't want to deal with disruption, they won't admit they use technology as a babysitter and they feed their kids a horrible diet. I think about this all the time! I use so many excuses in my life for why things are the way they are. I could easily say (which I do) that this poor baby has been going 90 to nothin' since in the womb. I could say it was my diet during pregnancy. I could say a thousand other things that could be the culprit. But I won't say any of those things. I will say that I did nothing different from my first pregnancy to my second. I will say I have NO IDEA what makes him who he is. I will also say that I love every single tiny speck of dirt that makes him, HIM.


But in the same breath, different paragraph, I will also say that he has been out of his medicine for about a week now, and I am utterly exhausted. Hootie, Running With Scissors and I ran to Target earlier. Probably in the store an hour. This kid said ATLEAST 10,000 words while in the store. Not only that, it just seems like his little brain is going so fast that he can't, absolutely can't slow down long enough to even hear what others are saying to him. I honestly cannot understand how I did this for so long before he started on his meds. He's only been on medication since February, but Lordy BeGeezus, I'm exhausted. And I'm tired for him. This poor kid has stayed frustrated, upset, in trouble and in tears for the past week.


So I have to say a huge Thank You first to God for giving me motivation to get out of the house, Thank You to GMC for getting us to the pharmacy and a HUGE Thank You to TARGET for having his medicine in stock!!! **And a side note: Thanks to the medicine company for having a coupon on their website** The dr. gave me a 3 month free card to try this one out and we're on our 4th refill with no generic!


So Thanks TARGET for helping my little man feel better!!!

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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Letting Go, If Only For A Month

Well, after hours and hours of strife, Miss Talks and her daddy finally boarded their plane and flew off into the sunset. Literally. The sky was beautiful with shades of orange, pink, purple and green all blurred together through my tears. I'm excited for her. I miss her. I missed her before I let go of her. I couldn't kiss her enough, I couldn't squeeze her tight enough. I tried so hard not to cry until she was far enough down the corridor that she couldn't see. Our group just lingered until the tip top of her head was out of sight.

Running With Scissors grabbed my waist and squeezed me as he ever so cleverly said, "Mom, you can't miss her yet because she's not gone yet." He could never understand a mother's heart because he won't miss her for atleast a week. Even then, he will only miss having someone to bug. Only after his initial feeling, will he start to have a tiny speck of an inkling as to how I have been feeling for the past two weeks.

No matter that Sunday I worked a sixteen hour shift getting off at 8am Monday morning, going home to sleep 4 hours before getting up to finish packing her, then leaving at 11pm to drive all night to the passport office in New Orleans by 8am, waiting and sitting 4 1/2 hours for her passport, turning around and driving straight back to the airport to have ten sweet minutes with her, I then had to rush straight back to work, three hours late and work until midnight.

But the alternative, I couldn't bare. If I wouldn't have driven to NOLA, she wouldn't be on the plane with her daddy about to embark on the most magnificent journey of her short beautiful eleven years, thus far.

So you ask: Have the past 3 sleep deprived days been worth it?
And my answer: Every last second.

I love you my sweet baby girl. Carry my words in your heart:
I'm not letting you go, I'm letting you fly

Monday, May 25, 2009

Nothing Will Stop Me From Chili's Chips and Salsa

Since I'm being real and all.....Thought I'd enlighten you on what it's like to go out in public with my crew.....



Seriously?? This is my best friend, Anne sitting next to my brother. Who puts napkins on their shoulders when they are cold? This is why I love her!! I wouldn't do that in a million years. We sooo balance eachother out






Anne's son Tater Tot and Running With Scissors<


Hmmm, Not a care in the world....










Then there's Hootie. Who made sure he stared at EVERY little girl
in the place before showin' out
(By the way, the quality is horrible, but these are from my cell phone)








Having a ball...

Baby Phonics

By accident, I found this really great DVD at none other than the Dollar Tree. I bought it because, well, it was a dollar...But it has turned out to be a really wonderful little 30 minute babysitter. Umm, oh no you didn't just gasp...I told you from the beginning, this is TANGLED....hello? Hootie is baby #3!!! I spend more time mediating between the 7 and 11 year olds who can dress themselves, feed themselves and wipe their own butts than I do taking care of an infant that only squeals(or screams DADA)to communicate and poops on the floor if you happen to let him run around naked (now that was funny...Chief ran and put the poor baby on the toilet!!!)

Okay sorry, back on track...Hey, I made a deal with myself a long time ago. I was NOT gonna sugar coat one word of this journey!
So anyway, I love that little dvd. I can put him in his walker, turn it on and walk into the kitchen to clean his highchair and not worry one second. He doesn't move. It's so new to him that he doesn't even blink! Now in my defense, he doesn't ONLY watch it alone. As much as everyone else in the house hates the repeativeness of the video, they all know it by heart and constantly say it to him, watch it with him, and beg him to repeat it!
While I was searching for other episodes of the video, I came across this post. I thought it was interesting and will definitely incorporate it into our learning times.


Her Cup Overfloweth: Friday Find: Word Strips (Oh, how I love The Dollar Tree)

Friday, May 22, 2009

MakeUp and EyeRolling, Here She Comes

MissyT had her HONORS program at school this morning. Because of Chief's accident, he stayed home in the bed, so Hootie and I went together! As a mom, I couldn't be more proud of who she is becoming! I am so excited for her future. Someone told me once, once they hit 6th grade, they begin a 6 year battle with sanity and reality. I pray that her room stays so dirty that both the sanity and the reality get lost in there. I remember spending hours in my room around that age. I pray that if she spends that much time in there, maybe sanity and reality will stay close to her and comfort her!

Hey, a mom can pray right??

Peace FROM The Middle East

Well, it's getting closer and closer. Miss Talks-A-Lot will be leaving for Jordan soon with her dad. I'm filled with anticipation, anxiety, excitement, happiness and sadness all at the same time!

I can't believe after so many years of talking about this, it is now finally happening! My baby girl is becoming a world traveler! She went to Hawaii for a week last September with numerous family members for our cousins' wedding, she's flown to Florida by herself twice to visit a girlfriend of mine, who has a daughter the same age as Miss T. They were in ballet together and love eachother immensly. She's been away to church camp, now she's going to Jordan and when she returns in a month, we will vacation in Minnesota for my best friend's moms' wedding. Unfortunately, that will be a road trip. A very long road trip. Did I mention it will be a very long road trip?


So Miss Talks-A-Lot and Runs W/Scissors dad is from a small town about 30 minutes outside of Amman, which is the capital of Jordan. It will take them a little longer than 8 hours to fly to Amsterdam, have a 2 hour lay over before another 4 hour flight into Amman. She'll have her ipod on her phone, a mini laptop with movies downloaded into it, her books, but more importantly, I hope she has many hours to just be with her dad and reflect on herself. He's got great stories to tell about his childhood. He has lived in the same house, in the same neighborhood, with the same friends all his life before moving to the States some 15 years ago. I can't wait for her to see where he came from, I can't wait for her to see just how different things are over there.

Now, if I can only get this passport issue resolved! I've had some issues with getting her passport because of an alert my mom put on both the kids when we seperated 7 years ago. I thought I had it resolved but obviously not. I've had to take it as far as contacting my Congressman for help because I seem to be getting nowhere with the National Passport Information Center or the Office of Children's Issues with the State Department. I'm getting very nervous because it is Friday and they are set to depart on Tuesday!!! To make things worse, Monday is a holiday!! If anyone has any advice for me, PLEASE let me know! Keep MissyT in your prayers!






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Sunday, May 17, 2009

So There's This Girl....

So I've been working on my book since, well my whole 32 years on earth, but I've yet to put it in any kind of order until recently. Like 6 months recently. But wouldn't ya know it, my OCD kicked in and wouldn't let me stay on just one task. I soooo remind myself of that book



Never able to focus on one thing at a time for fear I'm missing out on something. I don't think it's healthy to try to write a book, learn coding, network, and oh did I mention still be a wife, mother, employee and friend?? Focus, Focus, Focus....

With my research, I came across a blog of a girl who wrote a book, who blogs, who writes, who works, who wifes, who mothers. (Are those last two actually words?) I'm sure she's some kinda kin to me somewhere down the line. You'll see when you click on her link. She could so be in my family. But getting to the point. I started reading a preview of her book and couldn't believe some of the similarities. But when I got to the part where her outspoken mother told her she would never find a man until she learned to love Nascar, my mouth dropped open and my fingers hit the phone to call Chief. That was almost EXACTLY what my outspoken grandfather (who is the father of my outspoken mother) said three days after my "foreign" husband, as my granmama used to call him, left me and my two children on Christmas day. Except his words were "Guess we'll have to find you a good ol' boy now, cuz that's where you belong anyway." Those that know me, are on the floor laughing right now, because you're picturing my sweet husband sitting in his camo recliner, hollerin' at the t.v. on Sunday right before Jr. crashes.


Needless to say, I stopped by the book store to get the book. They didn't have it, so I'm ordering it off Amazon. First, because I'm sure it's hilarious. But I'm getting it more because I need to go through my manuscript and probably change some things around so I don't look like a copycat stalker chick. I haven't even written her because frankly I didn't know what to say without sounding like a weirdo. Seriously, I can't help that a lot of the same things have happened to us both when I didn't even know her. By the way, HI.....(okay, so I decided to let you know I was blogging about you so you didn't accidentally stumble across it down the road. I love your work by the way, even though I'm mad because I would have put those same cute tree silhouttes on my pages also.)

So, I've seen Oprah (Oh whatever, don't pretend like you don't TIVO her shows also) talk about positive affirmations and dream boards to use when you envision how you want your life to be for the future and after reading Stephanie's latest, I've decided to just use her post as my "Virtual Dream Board." After you finish reading this, click on her post link below to see her pictures.

***After much thought, I decided against inserting my face on the pictures because I figured that was going a little far....So, here's my version of a dream board. Click on the link below:

jasonfortheloveofgod.blogspot.com/pictures-and-other-crap









Thursday, May 14, 2009

Things That Drive Me Crazy

There are some things in the world of TE, that drive me absolutely bonkers. Call them pet peeves, call them petty. Hopefully writing them down will let me read and re-read, so I can finally get these nit picky little things out of my brain!




1. I have a love/hate with relationship with punctuation. So much so, I obsess over it. I'm in the process of reading Write right! By Jan Venolia, just to ease my tangled ol' mind





2. Misuse of words in general. Repeat after me:

YOU LOSE YOUR KEYS. YOU DO NOT LOOSE YOUR KEYS
YOU ASK YOUR KID TO BE QUIET. YOU DO NOT ASK HIM TO BE QUITE

(For the last 3, I can't feel right posting pictures about anything you are about to read.....)

3. It is NOT the government's responsibility to pay for you to have children, feed said children, clothe said children. It is NOT the government's responsibility to make sure your house will withstand an F-7 tornado. I work for a public safety entity in my city and a guy actually called the other day to complain that our city should build a huge underground bunker for all 1.2 million of us to go, if a tornado strikes!!! I told him that was ridiculous because our city should worry more about earthquakes than anything, so a huge underground bunker would be stupid. (I was mad by this point, so excuse me.) I told him it was HIS responsibility to educate himself on emergency preparedness. I told him it was HIS responsibility to educate his children on what to do in a disaster or a fire. He would hear none of it. He informed me that tax payers paid my salary while I had my feet on the desk not ensuring the citizens' safety. I INFORMED him that I was one of those taxpayers, (notice he didn't say HE was one of those taxpayers) paying MY salary and I can't stand people who constantly want a handout, but aren't willing to help themselves. And for those of you who don't know, Welfare, food stamps, college tuition, daycare and everything else the government helps with, is meant to be used by ANYONE who falls temporarily on hard times. NOT FOR YOU TO LIVE YOUR ENTIRE LIFE AND THE ENTIRE LIFE OF YOUR 8 CHILDREN OFF OF....okay, I'm done.....

4.Moms that are so insecure with their parenting skills, that their lives become obsessed with proving great parents they are. Umm, hello....I'm here to tell you that if food drops on the floor, the 5 second rule ALWAYS applies in my house. And by the way....my son had field day the other day and slid in the mood. The whole back of his shirt was covered in mud. I got to see him slide in the mud, then off to work I went from 4pm-midnight. Sooo, at 6:30 the next morning when I'd had 5 hours of sleep and was up to do it all over again, I realized he had to wear his shirt AGAIN for a field trip. Had he reminded his dad the night before to wash it? Of course not. So I weighed what was important....my son wearing a dirty class shirt so he matched everyone else in his class and would be less likely to be kidnapped in a public place OR making him wear another sorta not really green shirt that kinda matched, but still looked like just a regular green shirt and NOT matching anyone on this field trip, thus looking like he was alone and waiting to be kidnapped by some pedophile that hangs out in kid museums....No guessing on that one. But if it makes you feel better, I wet a washcloth and scrubbed it, then sprayed Downy on it, before throwing it into the dryer. Just so you know....Ummm, insecure Beth??

5. The way I obsess over my house. But if you SAW my house, you would think that I NEVER even think about cleaning it. You would think that I NEVER make my children do chores. What you don't know is that for the most part, it's clean every Monday which is my only day off during the week. But 20 minutes after the kids get home from school and Chief gets home from work, I'm looking for that bunker the crazy man was talking about, because I'm absolutely positively sure a TORNADO has just come through and ONLY touched down at my address......Seriously though, if you were in my brain, you would go nuts at how often I think about every single paper, shoe, glass, toy, dust particle (and I know by heart, where every single particle is in my house) out of place in my house. It is one of my most overwhelming OCD thought patterns EVER.....








Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The List

I was reading some of my favorite blogs tonight, "researching" and realized I've never given my this is where I came from blog. I tend to forget that not everyone who reads my stuff, knows everything that makes me, well, me...
And let me preface this by saying, I'm having a hard time deciding on what to put in my book, and what to blog about. It would be totally redundant of me to inundate you twice. (Notice the confidence I have, of knowing for sure for sure, that EVERYONE is going to buy my book)

I've decided to override Stella (give it time, you'll meet her) because she's the part of me with OCD, and stop over analyzing about how to go about this. I'm just going to list a tiny snippet list of events that have gotten me to here.

~I grew up with a mom, dad, and 2 younger brothers
~I have wonderful wonderful grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins that are all from my mom's
side of the family
~From the time I was 9, my parents moved us kids around every 2 years until I graduated high
school
~I remember, in the 4th grade, my mom took me to the doctor and I weighed 115lbs. The doctor
told my mom that if I stayed that weight, I'd grow up to be a pretty young lady. Umm, really?
Raise your hand if you weigh the same as you did in the freakin' 4th grade?
~My 8th grade year was both the best and worst year of my entire life
~By the time I graduated high school, I weighed 300lbs. 300 miserable fat pounds! So at 19,
I had Gastric Bypass surgery
~Four months later and 70lbs lighter, I met my future husband. Like really close future. We
married 3 months later
~I truly thought when I met him, that he was Mexican and that didn't appeal to me. About a
week later, I found out he was Arabic. I was way to into Skid Row during Desert Storm and
didn't know I was supposed to be scared of him. So we got married
~Seven months after we married, I gave birth to the most beautiful, not even kidding, gorgeous
baby girl in the world. Yeah, I know you're counting....Do the math, it's okay
~I was THE BEST 20 year old wife EVER. (And you wonder where TangledEutopia came from?
I've been one big oxymoron my entire life.) Sorry girls, there's NO WAY you can be a good wife
at 20....
~A couple of Arabic courses and cultural slaps in the face later, I gave birth to the most amazing
alien boy, God EVER created. My sweet little Arab boy.
~Two Ramadans, 130lbs, one vesectomy later, our marriage and my intellectual tour around the
world was over
~I moved the kids into an apartment with my brother and started working on becoming the
coolest (cutest) single mom ever. Well, not really. Well, umm okay that eventually happened
but it took 153 really good jumbo cries and 3 new pillowcases to get there
~My mom died after both she and my dad became secretely addicted to pain meds, my dad lost it, and my brothers got mad at him for losing it
~I made a decision after a couple of years of finding myself, that I was ready to find that good
ol' boy my grandaddy told me I needed, so a girlfriend and I decided to both put the same ad
sans different pictures on Match.com just to see if the same guys would write us both. That
way, we could weed out the losers.
~A bunch of one lunch dates later, I definitely knew what I didn't want, but surprisingly knew
exactly what I did want. I wanted that close to home, teach me how to milk a cow good ol'
boy
~I met him because frankly he wouldn't leave me alone. We talked that first night on the phone
until 4am. By the time he came around, I was so confident, for the first time in my life, that
I knew I wanted to meet him after he spoke his first 3 words. We met the next day in a public
restaurant and ate lunch (well, not really) for 3 hours. I didn't want it to ever end and I did
something I had NEVER done before in my life. I got in my Trailblazer, jumped on the
interstate and before I even made it off the entrance ramp onto the actual interstate, I had
my cell phone in my hand texting him.
~Now it's 1 house, 2 redneck trucks, 3 Lynyrd Skynyrd concerts, 4 kids,(umm, yea, guess
you'll have to buy my book to read about that) and 5 years later and I couldn't be happier. Well, except for that crappy couple of weeks out of every month when
Stella rears her ugly head.

Wonder what years 6 through 50 will bring.........

***Just so you know, there are a thousand other really important things that happened like
being in church my whole life and not hearing God until that ONE day that changed my life
forever and put me on my real journey. My true journey. What God meant for my life, for
my childrens' life, my husbands' life, for my legacy to them. But we all know, I don't talk a
lot, so we'll leave those 1,000 other things for my book.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

MAMA VALIDATION

Well, I ran out the door before I had a chance to remember to grab my camera to upload pictures for this post....I'll get them up in the morning, so don't worry!

So here is what I got for Mother's Day:


Children that DID NOT fight ALL Day!!!!! (that was better than ANYTHING)
**A monkey that was in a great mood ALL Day**
**A sweet sweet husband ALL DAY**

So basically I finally get to replenish my makeup and feel normal again,
I get to eat free lunch, and feed my addiction to coffee....LIFE IS SWEET!






Thursday, May 7, 2009

Thinkin' Cap Thursday

So I've started working on Hootie's 1st Birthday. As much as Ms. Talks-A-Lot has called him Monkey since he was born, for whatever reason, we've evolved into calling him Hootie all the time. I'm thinking that may change the theme of his party if I can find him any cute "owl" themed decor. If you know of any, send the links my way. I've posted some pics of things I've saved to go back over before I make my final decision, but I really have to hurry!!


I love this cake if I stay with the Monkey theme!





I saw this invitation and really like the owl, but I'm having trouble finding cute owls...




Love this Monkey theme, but its a lot like the Hawaiian theme I've done for a party before, so I think I need to mix up my themes!







Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Be Brave, You Deserve It

I've heard a thousand times before from men, that the women in their lives never seem to be specific enought when it comes to answering the same questions:

What do you want for your birthday?
What do you want for Christmas?
What do you want for Mother's Day?

There are plenty of times I see something I would like, but the word "thrifty" is way to nice for me. I am not just thrifty, I'm CHEAP (with a little OCD thrown in!) And I'm really not ashamed to admit that! I hate hate hate paying full price for anything. I really try to plan and budget to stretch our money because we are such a large family.

But this year, I've decided out of necessity, I'm going to be very specific about what I want for Mother's Day. If you've read my blog, you know that I watched someone bust my car window and steal my makeup bag a couple of weeks ago. Well, I guess I'm not like most women, because while makeup is super important to me, I don't keep drawers and drawers full of makeup in my bathroom or vanity. Everything I use on a daily basis was in that kit. So I've gone almost 2 weeks without makeup, and while it's by no means the end of the world, it has definitely impacted me! When I say everything was in that bag, I mean EVERYTHING! I haven't even had eye cream, moisturizer or balm for my lips!!! (I only had everything in there b/c I had a dr. appt. that morning and was headed straight to work)

I've stipulated the rest of this blog for my family because I know they read, but I encourage you:

THIS IS OUR DAY! WE GAVE BIRTH TO THESE CHILDREN AND WE PICK UP AFTER THESE MEN!! LET THEM TAKE ONE DAY TO DO EVERYTHING WE ASK, AND GIVE US SPECIFICALLY WHAT WE WANT!

**Disclaimer** To my husband...I am FULLY aware of how much you do in the house. I NEVER meant you in the above statement!** (well, I want gifts, don't I?)


I've posted pictures to let you know what I want and why I want it. Feel free to print this page out when you take the kids to buy my gift! (Ofcourse ALL this would be nice, but I'd never expect that! Just giving you a couple of choices....)

Walmart because ummm, hello? We live in the south and doesn't everybody buy their makeup from Walmart? Seriously, you know how long I worked in salons. Paying $50 for a product b/c it comes from a mall or salon, vs. paying $9.99 for a product from the same parent company is stupid to me. Poor women have been brainwashed by their stylist who's been brainwashed!

Yummy Yummy, need I say more? Then I could have lunch with Misty and Sammy when they get Sekisui!!



Everybody loves Target, right?


You know their salads are my favorite meal EVER!

I love the to put the foam dispensers by the kitchen and bathroom sink...

This one is hilarious!! Can you believe I found a gift card from Goodwill!!!! Ooohhh, I'm such an addict!!!










Monday, May 4, 2009

Did She Have To Go There? Yes, I Did...

So, I've been asked by mamasource to be a response blogger on a new site they are putting together called mamapedia and link my question/answer on my blog as well as theirs.

I browsed the zillions of categories and found a recurring theme when it came to step families. I know the name of my blog, you don't have to remind me! But this subject is probably more touchy than any other I blog about. It's emotion filled, personal, heated, sensitive. But most of all, 100% biased. All the way around. There are never hard core facts that don't have a trace of opinion laced somewhere. Usually the scenarios are all pretty similar, but the dynamics are usually what either help or hurt the situation.

I feel the need to say that I'm only going to state the obvious once, so here it is. Remember it throughout the rest of the blog. THESE ARE ONLY MY OPINIONS.

1.One of the most important life lessons I can ever teach my children is to pick and choose your mate wisely. If you have a good foundation, your values and morals will be set in place to make your decision more constructive. As soon as that leaves my fingertips, I am fully aware that you cannot always see the future. People change and that isn't something you can control.

2.You cannot, I repeat, CANNOT expect your children to feel the same way about this new guy in your life as you do. Just because you were miserable with their dad, doesn't mean they were. And just because you think your new guy hung the moon, I promise you, the kids will think different. Pretending to be a family, won't cause it to happen no matter how long you pretend. And whatever time frame you think is appropriate for them to bond before it's okay for him to play any kind of authority figure, multiply that by about 5.

3. Will you ever have the same feelings for his children as you have for the children that came from your womb? Then why do you complain when he plays favorites every other weekend? Why do you get upset when he lets things slide that he would never let slide on a normal day with your kids? You know, the same kids that take every opportunity to back talk him because of the anger built up inside of them.

4. You compound the anxiety, fear, instability your children feel by not making a commitment to your significant other. By letting them stay your boyfriend or fiance, you are actively taking part in the barrier between your man and your children. Why should they bond with, love, or respect someone that has made no concrete commitment to their mother?

5. There is not enough time spent by women to put their selves into another woman's shoes. The sad reality is that we are almost always in the same shoes. We almost always have the same feelings as the ex-wife. (Hello, we are usually ex's also) We spend way to much time scrutinizing how the child support is used, the words she says, the times she goes out when the kids are with us, I could go on and on.....

These issues are pure toxins eating away at your current situation. Everyone has their own "but" to add into any equation I listed. The only way you can change the situation is to change your standards. And I'm not talking about the standards you have placed on everyone else. I'm talking about the standards you have placed for yourself. You chose to invite this new world into your childrens' lives. It is up to you as their parent AND step-parent, to now choose to rewrite their reality and their destiny. You have to decide that no matter what the situation, child support, alimony, visitation, nasty phone calls, disrespectful children, disrespectful ex's, disrespectful spouses, that YOU WILL NOT TAKE PART IN ANY OF IT. Sometimes it is the hardest thing in the world to not take things personally. Whether it is coming from the ex, your mate, or their children. You absolutely have to use the "Golden Rule" for the rest of your life, if you want to break the cycle of divorce for your children. All of your children. It is your responsibility to mend the hurt building up inside these babies. The only way to do that is to take your time. Take your time finding not your next husband, but your last husband. Take your time getting to know his children. Take your time developing a relationship between your children and your husband. If you have been in this relationship for years and are having problems, stop and regroup. Everyday is the past waiting to happen. You have a new opportunity to change the past with every breath you take, every word you say, every decision you make.

It doesn't matter if your step children have ADHD, it doesn't matter if their other parent is filling their head with garbage about your household, it doesn't matter if they scream and yell at you, it doesn't matter if they refuse to hug you, it doesn't matter how they are acting out. It is not their fault. They are craving stability. They are craving love that won't leave. They are craving a soft place to fall. When you yell at your husband, are you yelling because you truly hate him and don't care if the situation ever gets resolved? NO, you are yelling because you are trying the only way you know how, to get him to see your point. To agree with you. To validate your feelings of insecurity about the situation. Why would you think kids aren't doing the same thing? Why would you think the ex isn't doing the same thing? She is being that way out of guilt, frustration, and pride. These children are fearful, caught in the middle, full of guilt and frustration. You are filled with every single emotion I just listed. It is up to you to keep reading blogs like this. Keep asking questions about other situations. Most importantly, it is up to you to put your emotions aside and learn to communicate better. The times you want to scream because your 13 year old step daughter has just shut the bedroom door in your face, is the time you walk away, go in your room and write her a letter, then stick it under the door. The time your heart aches for your 9 year old son because he got in trouble for the 10th time just because his step brother is quieter, sneakier, knows how to play the parents better, is the time you hug BOTH of them. The time your husbands' ex calls to yell at him yet again, for not switching weekends with her is the time you keep your mouth shut except to offer your husband an alternative, but not to bad mouth her.

I know some of these things are so incredibly hard to do, but they will pay off in the long run. Give these children stability, give these ex's kindness, but most of all, give yourself credit for perserverance, because that's what it will take. Don't be offended if your step daughter tears up the note, or your step son pulls away when you try to hug him. Keep doing it. Keep being positive when speaking about their mother. Keep taking them to church and keep working on your relationship with your husband. Change the reality and legacy of what all of you are facing by being a blended family and stop the cycle.
You know how sometimes you're so excited on the inside that you feel like screaming, but you just kinda smile to yourself and keep on going? Well, I am so so so excited. I just registered my domain, so now it's mine mine mine!!! It'll take a day or so, but then you'll be redirected to my new site!!!

I have to admit, I sat at the checkout page for about a minute staring at my index finger. Just my normal over analytical self, pondering my decision. Understanding that once I hit "confirm" I would be moving into a new phase of my life. A new realm where the possibilites are endless and they all depend on me. I'm planning the first part of my long journey to start this afternoon. I'm going to be taking pitures of the kids to send to Jaime so she can work some photoshop magic and turn my sweet faced babies into icons in my new world. I have no idea where my life will go. I had a huge wakeup call last night when my husband and I had a long conversation about my dreams and passions and where they fall into our family structure. I am determined that I can find a way to raise my children to be honest, respectful, intelligent, caring, adults, grow myself into the kind of spouse my husband deserves, all the while NEVER leaving myself and my dreams behind.

I feel overwhelmed sometimes with not knowing exactly the right steps to take and fearing failure. But in the very next breath, I fully know that unless I move, unless I take those chances, unless I fail sometimes, I will NEVER move anywhere. Now if I could just figure out how to sort through the millions of ideas in my head without sounding as unconsistent as I feel!

Just a side note, I am welcoming any and all advice offered. My research is endless and daunting, but my philosophy on that is this: If I write it, I must stick to it......God help me breathe, God be my eyes, my fingers, my heart from this day forward. YOU are smarter than ANY, and you will give me my path. YOU will keep my integrity with all that I write. You will give me the words, the avenues, the wisdom to know what is right. You will instruct every decision I make and I will acknowledge and obey all the signs you leave. Thank you for finally helping me find an outlet for my dream and my passion. Thank you for giving me the courage to do this no matter how many times I feel I must be the only woman, mom, wife, friend, daughter in the world that feels like she is going crazy one week out of every month.

Last but not least, put encouragement in my words and inspiration in my tone for every single person that finds me. I know that this new world of the internet can be powerful, both good and bad. I have faith that I haven't been brought this avenue of communication for bad, but as a means to become the best I can be to do Your work. Thank you for things that haven't yet happened. You know, like grabbing every persons' finger that comes to my site and pushing the button to get me more than just ONE follower....or letting a publishing company stumble across my page and offer me a book deal....ya know, just some suggestions incase you get bored....