Holiday Wrap-up

Here’s to almost no sleep for a week.

Here’s to early morning hockey game drives.

Here’s to restlessness and excitement.

Here’s to seeing new friends, exchanging gifts with them, and having play dates with each others’ kids.

Here’s to an amazing meal with the family, and baking cookies for Santa.

Here’s to stockings of PJs and opening a present from 1500 miles away.

Here’s to Jenga and laughter and smiles til bedtime.

Here’s to being puked on at midnight when Santa was supposed to arrive, scrubbing the bathroom, whilst getting your kid into the shower.

Here’s to staying up til 2am washing puke clothes and towels.

Here’s to being Santa at 2am after the puke clothes were clean.

Here’s to wrapping up last minute online notions for friends.

Here’s to being woken up with immense excitement to see that Santa came.

Here’s to spending time together and appreciating one another.

Here’s to unwinding and getting some rest.

Here’s to doing it all again through the new year.

Here’s to a love filled home.

Stepmomming

I came across this post today and felt that it was so good that I had to briefly break my blogging hiatus to share it.

My stepmom has been an amazing part of my life. I don’t know how life would have turned out without her. And I know she had a plethora of struggles in dealing with such a change in her life. And even still, she guides me through these waters and helps me be the best support system I can be for my step children.

Okay listen up. Here’s what the stepmoms want you to know…
We aren’t evil
We aren’t trying to replace our stepchildren’s mom
We don’t resent our stepkids being around
We aren’t trying to overstep, or take over, or cause conflict….
We aren’t home wreckers
We simply fell in love with a man with kids, and are doing the best we can navigating this role…
We just want the best for our family and it’s not an easy task..
(and yes they’re our family too)

We’re expected to be involved but not too involved …
Parent them like they’re our own while not acting like they’re our own (that would be over stepping)….
We’re good enough for the appointments, the homework, the running around but better step aside for those milestone moments, because it’s just not our place
all while living a life dictated by custody schedules, separation agreements, and co-parenting arrangements and the “I don’t have to listen to you because you’re not my mom” mentality of our Society
I’m not complaining. I love being a stepmom… my stepkids happen to be three of the best people I know…

But either way, when you’re a stepmom you’re damned if you do, you’re damned if you don’t

The message? Loose the stereotype. Screw the stigma. Forget about what Cinderella told you….

Give the stepmoms the benefit of the doubt, and look at it this way. There more people who can work together to raise these kids up into kind, successful, happy, well-adjusted adults… the better! You can never have too many people love you. IT’S NOT A COMPETITION.

via http://www.instagram.com/jamiescrimgeour

Holiday Hiatus

Please pardon this disruption as I will be taking a blogging hiatus for the holidays. I’ll get you back to your regularly scheduled programming after I’ve spent ample time with family ❤️

Thanks for your understanding and patience!

Christmas Conundrums

Parts of this past weekend were rough. At some points I wished that I could bring myself to participate in the idea of Nacho Parenting. I just can’t.

With kids, you have to take a lot of things at face value and sometimes get more information before forming an opinion or jumping the gun. My step childrens’ biological mother misunderstood part of their Christmas activities in our home and got upset about it before asking for clarification. And after clarification is still being pretty immature. It’s sad. It breaks my heart for them.

With being on one income + a budgeted savings, we are being frugal with Christmas this year. My fiance and I got each other a pre-discussed gift each, then purchased a modest, but meaningful, set of gifts for the kids. For friends and family, however, the kids have been making home made gifts. My step daughter has been “helping” me crochet mug cozies and stockings for weeks. All of the kids helped make a home made cocoa mix and filled Mason jars with it, along with pouches of marshmallows and crushed candy canes. After, they got to taste test their hard work. We’ve also made gift tags for them to color to pin to the cozies. It’s not much, but each was hand made with love, and the cozies + jars can be reused. The kids had a great time assembling them and it helps teach them that sometimes work goes into giving, that not everything has to come from a store. It also teaches the importance of spending time on something.

Anywho, even after some clarification, there was conflict. The kids wanted to make one for their mother as well. Even though I don’t particularly like the woman, I’m not going to stop them from making her a gift. He didn’t have to do this…. Her parents are taking the kids out to buy her a gift… She doesn’t have the money to get my fiance a gift…. She didn’t want one. It boils down to the kids get excited because we actually do things with them instead of just planting them in front of a screen. As they talk about those activities, she probably realizes that I spearhead a lot of them. Given that she hates me and wishes to have absolutely nothing to do with me whatsoever, not even a cordial hello for the sake of the kids…. Yeah. I can’t fathom not ever wanting a hand made gift from my children, no matter who helped make it.

Pair this Christmas Conundrum with hypocritical arguments about nutrition in addition to a fight about car seat safety, I’m just exhausted from standing up for what’s best for the kids and producing accurate and factual information to clear up misconstrued advice or misinformation. And I don’t even have to communicate with their mother.

Maturity is a thing. Maybe I’m being immature by venting on a public blog, however it’s my means of processing my disbelief and sorting my thoughts, but whatever. I can’t control or change other people, I can only control and change myself and how I react to things. I should do a better job at just letting the nonsense roll off of my back, but that’s SO hard to do when your stepkids sometimes mention things that have been done or said outside of your home that have really hurt their feelings. And while I want them to grow up being well rounded and cognizant that life sometimes isn’t fair and sometimes people can be hurtful, I want to put them in a warm bubble of protection and rip off anyone’s face that tries to hurt them.

I hope we can get through the rest of the Christmas season without any conflicts.

/sigh

Habits and Rituals

How do we fall into autopilot? And is it such a bad thing?

Every morning I smile. I either open my eyes and see the love of my life or I hug him a little tighter, happy that we’re able to be close. When he gets out of bed to have a shower, I sprawl out and cuddle the dog. When he comes back to get dressed, I give a little cat call and whistle, then get out of bed as well. He runs out to start the car, I get dressed and throw him together a snack or a lunch and a Coke zero. Then the dog and I escort him to the door with a kiss goodbye, the dog shuffling out to pee. Or he sneaks out of bed as quietly as possible, hoping to let me sleep in.

Then what? It seems without a fail, I make a cup of coffee, and unload the dishwasher. After, I load up any remaining dishes, sip on my coffee, and try to make some gold on the Auction House in WoW. Then I skim over Facebook and emails while finishing coffee, then hit the shower.

I might do some laundry, meal prep, whatever needs to be done based on the family needs. Every few days or so, I’ll go for a walk or get some time in on the elliptical. The weekends are of similar routine, except I tell me better half to stay in bed while I prepare breakfast for the kids. And of course a couple of times a week, we get together with our friends for our weekly nerdiness. Regardless of the day or the happenings, I try to make a point to spend quality time with my better half every evening ❤️

I’m much more flexible than I used to be with my routine, but even with a significant reduction of stress in my life and a tighter grasp on moodiness, I still find that deviation from a general rough outline of my routine can set me off kilter. For instance last week, I accidentally slept in until 10:30! I have no idea how that happened as I never sleep that late anymore, and it completely threw my whole day off.

So what about you? What are routines that you fall into? What habits or rituals do you have, and how do you find balance when you have do deviate from your norm? Do you prefer to be spontaneous or consistent? Where do you thrive? Discuss!

Sailing Away

I’d like to think that I’m at a point beyond anger, but I’m not yet, and that’s okay.  Sometimes you need to just turn around and walk away.  Or sail.  Or fly.  Or whatever.  Sometimes you need to just say “You know what?  I’m done here.”  Then once you make that decision, sometimes it takes a little bit to process the emotions, the hurt, the anger.  And that’s okay.

I’d like to say that I’m past the point of anger, but I’m not.  Yet.  I’m getting there.  Most of my life has been spent keeping to myself for the most part.  I had a few years of chaos, where I spiraled out of control to get some kind of attention.  Even negative attention was at least something.  But I digress.  For the most part, I’ve done everything on my own.  I’ve not asked for much.  No one was there for me much either.  It created a monster of stubbornness and independence.

After the passing of my grandfather last month, my entire family has been treating each other like crap.  Or everyone is just against my father.  I’m not really sure.  I don’t really care.  Recently, they’ve tried to drag me into the mix.  I think they’re trying to get me on their side so that my father is completely isolated, but things don’t work that way.  The only side I will pick is the side that benefits my immediate surroundings…. myself, my fiance, my step children.  

Don’t get me wrong, my father is a piece of crap.  But he’s my piece of crap.  And while no, it doesn’t give him an excuse or hall pass to act like a piece of crap, at least my father admits to who he is and is open about his shortcomings.  What gets me is that the rest of my family is acting exactly like they expect him to act.  The difference is, they try to hide it and try to make it seem like they have the best intentions at heart.  No.  I’d rather deal with a wolf that knows he’s a wolf than to deal with a wolf in sheep’s clothing.  At least I can bop a wolf on the nose with a newspaper and tell it no.  The wolves in the sheep’s clothing don’t even realize they’re wolves.

So to the wolves with wool over their eyes: I’m not going to play your games.  I don’t care if you cut me out of the family because I was never truly a part of it to begin with.  I don’t need you.  I wanted you there, I wanted you in my life.  I tried to put forth effort into the relationships with all of you.  It was like bouncing a ball off of a brick wall.  I got nowhere.  And that’s okay.  I can’t expect everyone in this world to give back the efforts that I put into them.  So yes, I did give up.  I gave up on all of you.  It wasn’t for lack of trying though, I grew tired of the one-sided nonsense.  I got tired of hearing that you’re so disappointed in yourselves and that you were going to try to be a part of my life “because I deserve better,” then did nothing to act on that disappointment.  You did nothing to try to change your habits.  You didn’t try to be there for me at all.  And you know what?  That’s fine.  I can at least in good conscience say that I tried.  I called.  I wrote.  I sent Facebook messages and texts.  I rarely got the same.  In fact, out of all of you, I can count two occasions that any of you made attempts to contact me without me reaching out first.  Two.  Shame on you.  And what’s sad is that my narcissistic father, devoid of most emotion or ability to look beyond himself, is actually able to learn a lesson out of all of this.  

So by all means, try to isolate my father.  I will welcome him with open arms into my domain  of solitude.  While yes, it may be lonely from time to time, at least it’s peaceful.  At least my dark corner of the ocean isn’t filled with deception and lies.  And now that he, too, sees that blood isn’t always everything, I can mold him into a decent human being.  So…. thank you?  I’m able to show him a different light in life.  It’ll take time to undo decades of nonsense that you all created, encouraged, and enabled, but it is I who has the strength to redo it.  

You came to me in hopes that I will control and bend my father to your will.  Don’t knock on my proverbial door again.  Don’t worry, I’ll keep my old man on a leash.  It won’t be for you, though.  It’ll be for him.  It’ll be to show him that he doesn’t need you either.  That he, too, can be independent.  That he doesn’t need you.  That he doesn’t have to buy into your BS.  

I’ll teach him how to sail away.