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Archive for August, 2015

 I love this couples attitude. I would add to what they say by addressing step-parents and the importance of them understanding that divorce doesn’t mean the ex is no longer there. If they really love the step-kids and care about them they will find a way to communicate with the other parent and learn more about their new kids and how to better care for them. Sadly it seems a lot of step-parents don’t actually care for the step kids. I’ve even seen cases where the parent doesn’t allow the step-parent to get close.

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I wasn’t smiling but I did have a talk with my ex while we were still in the separation stage. I told him it was important for us to get along and respect each other because we would forever be in each others lives due to the kids. At that moment he agreed. However, later he seemed to have lost the idea. His vision of me being the annoying ex wife enemy seemed to take over his sense of reason. I have done my best to not be the annoying evil ex wife. Sometimes I think he hears about other people nightmares and decides to incorporate me into those stories as if I did those terrible things. This has not helped his relationship with his kids. At one time he mentioned something about not wanting to be like those strange people who are divorced, remarried and get together for events and get along like friends as if that were the most ridiculous thing he ever heard.  He also told me that if it weren’t for the kids he would have absolutely no communications with me at all. Though I can understand this, the attitude behind it didn’t help.

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Thankfully he has improved his attitude some over the last two years. It wavers but it’s still better then it was. At this time it’s seems money is more of the issue. I get 1/3 of his income for child support and a small percentage of his retirement since we were married ten years before divorcing. I also get some social security for my autistic kids. I used to get Food Stamps (Food Share) but when the child support was raised due to him getting a good job, the Food Share went down to zero. When he realized his child support was raised, besides blaming me, he let me know he would no longer help purchase the kids winter boots and jackets. I let him know that when one thing went up another thing went down. Gov and state aid is not designed to make one wealthy, they have a ceiling on that stuff. He seemed surprised to hear that. Sadly the information didn’t set in his brain. The kids tell me he believes we are well off and feels he is the one suffering. According to my math calculations 1/3 is smaller then 2/3’s. And even with the gov aid it’s still less then his income plus we are splitting it between the five of us and he is splitting his between the two of them. I understand this is a common issue when it comes to the person paying the child support. Again, the issue of the kids is too easily forgotten. It should be about them, not the two ex’s. The older kids are very aware that daddy won’t get them things they need because he thinks mommy is rich compared to him. I understand some parents are very irresponsible with the money they get for their kids. And what if I was? What If I spent it all on me and neglected the kids? I don’t, but what if I did?! To me that would be even more reason to take the kids out and get them stuff they need. Legal issues can be dealt with legally, but kids shouldn’t have to suffer and be used to make a point or get even.

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Back to attending things together. My ex will show up at parent teacher meetings and such when he feels it’s okay to take the time off his job. He also has been good at showing support for my decisions regarding the kids as long as they don’t involve money  (unless it’s a birthday) and as long as it doesn’t involve us leaving the state we live in.  Like I said, he’s improved and I am thankful for that.

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My ex recently re-married and I had hopes his new wife and I could get along for the kids sake. So far up to this point she does the best she can to steer clear of me. Back when they were still engaged and she was still living in the PI she friended me on FaceBook. I thought it was a good gesture and hoped that meant she would be good at communicating with me regarding the kids. Later she wrote me a pm and let me know she wanted to be sure her fiance and I were indeed divorced and she wasn’t just a mistress. I assured her that wasn’t the case. I also thought it was wise and brave of her to get a hold of me and check on the facts. I hoped it meant we could be at least some sort of friends with an open line of communication. So far since then the opposite has been the case. Once she arrived here and married she removed me from her FB friends list. There goes the photo sharing of what the kids are up to. The other day when I was dropping the boys off at their dads his wife smiled. My girls thought that was amazing and a wonderful sign. Regardless of how she feels about me and her lack of communication with me I am happy the kids feel comfortable around her. Sure, if she could exchange notes with me about the kids it would make for a better relationship with them but at least I don’t feel they are in danger… well, mostly. She does have local friends and when I hear of them hanging out it does cause me some concern for my boys since I have no idea who they are and how much the kids are supervised during that time. But so far that rarely happens.

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My ex and his wife are expecting their first child, (her first). It’s all very curious to me how things will be when the baby arrives and there after. I don’t expect things to get better. But who knows, maybe they will.

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I believe the people the above article is about must not be very selfish and self centered. I think they are the type of people who see the bigger picture that can come to a virtual place of mutual respect and understanding for each other for their kids sake. I do believe people are influenced by the negative stories they hear from others. If the Neuman’s can do it, well, so can others. And spreading positive stories like theirs will give other ex-couples virtual permission to do what is best and right for their kids as well. I am so glad they posted their smiling faces and a message of positiveness and hope to go along with it.

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If you are in similar shoes but have an ex who is unreasonable, don’t let that define you. You can still be the better person and do what is right regardless. Yea, it will likely be difficult, but remember your children and keep going. I’m not saying you should lie and try to make your ex look like he poops roses. Kids usually figure stuff out. I’m just saying, when you show respect you are actually respecting yourself and not lowering your self to others degradable positions. And, of course, if your child is in any danger, again, the kid comes first. Do what it takes to keep them safe.

 large-family-eating

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Log Jam

Next time you run into someone who says they want ten kids it would be kind of you to inform them that by kid number three they will lose almost all their time on electrons due to the kids hogging them. But don’t expect the warning to work. If they are anything like I was and like others I’ve seen they will have answers and plans and ideas and all of them will likely be really quite good. But as those of us who already have a number of kids know, those plans and ideas magically fly right out the window once you are officially locked in. It all sounds so easy and simple when one isn’t considering all the different personalities and such that kids have.

I allow my kids way to much electronics time. I won’t lie about it. And during summer it gets worse. By the time an electronic I want to use is free I am normally tired and not into it any more, or it’s time for bed.

It seems the best way to get my kids unhooked is to take them somewhere. The problem is a lot of activities cost. And even the free ones cost gas money. Plus, it is difficult to find free close by things to do when one is new to an area, which we have been for many years. I’ve always been annoyed by acquaintances and neighbors who told us all about an event or place to go once it was too late. It’s happened a lot.

Festivals sound fun to me. Me as in me without kids, which isn’t an option normally. I don’t take us to festivals because they cost a lot to get into times five. Once inside the festival the delicious smelling food is pricy times five and all the nick knacks and rides and games and such are very pricy… times five. Then after all that my kids usually spend most the time whining and complaining and wanting to leave.

However, yesterday I decided to drag three of my kids out the door and down to a free tiny town festival called Log Jam. My girls were actually okay with going even though we had been told by one of their friends that only the local old people go to it. It may have helped that I had bribed them by telling them I would buy them food. My youngest son was the one that wouldn’t leave the house peacefully. My other son is staying at dads this weekend so he wasn’t in the picture.

Mosinee Log Jam Festival

Once we got there we first noticed the bounce houses and bungee trampoline off to the left on the hill. My little guy wanted to go there right away but one of my girls was hungry so we decided to find food first. There was hardly anyone there and it felt more like a ghost festival. There was a bluegrass band playing and some folks under that tent hanging out. The food carts were all lined up with no customers.

The girls were on board with trying the alligator po’ boy sandwich. Even though I can’t eat gluten I figured I’d just taste some of the meat to see what it was like. When the kid behind the food truck heard this he suggested the alligator basket which was the meat with fries. So we ordered that. Then he informed me the alligator was breaded and resembled pop corn chicken. When we got our order I was able to get a tiny piece out of the middle of one of the pop corn alligator nuggests to taste. It reminded me of both pork and chicken.

Log Jam food cart Log Jam food menu

I thought I had seen Mac & Cheese on the menu of a different cart which Kyle wanted. It was actually breaded and deep friend mac & cheese. Kyle was fine with it.

Log Jam food cartMy son posing against on of the Log Jam food carts

Hannah talked me into getting myself a beer. It was cool and did hit the spot.

Log Jam beer

After eating we decided to see about the play area. As it turned out, one had to purchase tickets to use the play houses and bungee trampoline. Kyle was very disappointed and ticked off and just wanted to leave that area.

Log Jam play area

When we had first arrived at the festival we saw a tent for the Historical Society which we had to pass to get to the food area. We could also see a tent with confederate flags and cannons and men dressed up like the old days way off to the right. It appeared that there could also be a few more things so after the disappointment with the play area and some ice cream we headed there to see what was up.

Mosinee Historical Society Log Jam DSCF5415

It was a good thing we did because there was a lot more to see. The festival is held at River Park and there are two dirt roads that do a loop around. The place with the food and such was the first one you see when you pull into the park. The other one is partially hidden in the forest. It was along the hidden loop that people has tent encampments. A few of the folks there sold their wares and some did demonstrations and some were there just to look at and make one feel like they stepped back in time.

Log JamLog Jam

Our timing at the festive was right in between demos and entertainment so not much was going on but all four of us enjoyed looking around anyway. One guy did give us a little Scottish sword demo and one of my girls found something to purchase (with her own money) that made her very happy. By the time we left that circle Kyle was well over his disappointment until he spotted the play equipment again. But he got over it fast, thankfully.

Log Jam Scottish Sword

Log Jam Scottish Sword demo

As we were getting ready to leave the girls saw some school friends and more and more people were arriving. We could hear the festival start to come to life. But we were hot and sweaty and didn’t want to watch someone carving with a chain saw so we left.

We don’t have air conditioning in our home so we also enjoyed the time in the car. But mostly I was just happy to get my kids out the door and unplugged for a while.

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