I am out of ideas

This is what we have been struggling with a lot lately. We assume the behavior is a cry for attention. However, we don’t want to reward the behavior. The consequences are not working and we are running out of ideas.

We have put a lock on our bedroom door, the pantry, and the freezer because someone is stealing. We do not starve them by any means. I can never pin point which one it actually is because I do not know which of them to actually believe.

It makes us both crabby which in turn makes them crabby which makes this place miserable for everyone. I honestly do not know what to do with any of them.

I feel like I am failing as a parent because I cannot seem to curb their behavior, I don’t know what is wrong with them, and I don’t know how to help them. I feel like I am failing as a wife because I can’t fix it.

I have one last final for this semester and it is tomorrow morning. I am trying to make my page of notes, but I cannot focus since we found out someone got into Alex’s briefcase and stole his cookie sometime today. This is the second time someone has stolen his cookie. Why? I wish I knew. I wish I had some genius ideas, but unfortunately I do not.

I graduate this weekend. I still have another semester left, but I can finally see the finish line and it is so nice. I just wish I wasn’t so nervous about having to leave the children unattended. It should not be a problem for children of their ages. 8-16, they should be fine, but we can’t seem to trust them.

Alex bought me a new/used car today for Graduation/Mother’s Day/my birthday. I love it!

I still don’t know how I got him, or why he chose me, but I am glad he did.

Yes, I know I am rambling, but I am trying to get to a point that I can focus on the last of my notes page. Now, I am exhausted and not sure that I really have anything left to put on it. I still have some space. I may put a little more on some of the cases, but maybe in the morning.

I just don’t know what to do about these kids anymore, I really don’t. I can’t prove who did it. What am I going to do, ground all the ones that were home without us? Oh, wait, that was all of them at some point today, except #2. Why do they keep freaking pulling this shit?!?!

I know Alex reads these so I am scheduling it to publish after both of our days have started. I don’t want it to be the first thing he sees when he wakes up. I love him and I hope he knows that. I hate how much pain and frustration my baggage has brought him.

F***ing Fabulous

GM was not wrong, it was not bad. She just wanted to tell me that A1 had been complaining about me and she shut her down. In fact, we spent two hours chatting. It was nice.

Now, I get to deal with #1 and Alex fighting. I am not sure why she is mad at him. He is mad at her because of her attitude. The other night, she came downstairs for A1’s birthday dinner with a sweat jacket on with the hood up. She was told to take the hood off. She decided to go hide in her room instead. She had done something to her hair and was worried that Alex, #2, and #3 would make fun of her. No one could convince her to come downstairs. After everyone left, she called for me. I had just gotten settled in on the couch (I had surgery on my hip again on Wednesday and was not feeling well). Alex went to the bottom of the stairs and asked what she needed. With an attitude, she told him that she did not need him. Now, until she apologizes and means it, he refuses to do anything for her.

Now, he is mad at me because I told him the same thing I told her, I do not have the time or energy for their crap with each other. As far as he is concerned, she can stay in her room until she moves out. Then, it was that she can shape up or get out. I told him the same thing that I have always told him, do not make me choose between him and my children.

Yes, she needs to apologize and mean it, or at least fake it better. However, he is the adult. He is also mad at me because I do not believe he would have acted the same if it was A1 or A2. In fact, I have called both girls out on it lately because they know it too and they play on it.

For instance, when #4 makes nonstop noise and she is asked to stop and does not, she is sent to bed. On the other hand, A2 has been making nonstop noise lately and all he does is ask her to stop. A couple weeks ago, someone messed with #1’s room. The only ones home were #3 and A2. I was certain that either A1 was lying to us about keeping an eye on #3 or she was involved with the incident. Alex swore that it was not her. Guess what. She finally admitted it. Guess what her punishment was. Nothing. One of the four leaves something out and they get yelled at, no matter how long it has been. A2 leaves things out all the time. There are times that things are left out when she is going to be gone for days and nothing happens.

Finals are in less than a month. I have no idea what is going on in at least two of my classes. I have no idea how I will be graded in another of my classes. I have no idea if I am doing things right in another class. Alex started his Master’s October 1 online. He is struggling with it (exact opposite of what he is used to for school) because his mind is not what it used to be. This is affecting his mood.

#3 got after school detention because he was disruptive two days in a row in his art class.

I have just over two semesters left of law school, but I still wonder if it was one of the stupidest things I have ever done.

There is currently a warrant out for the arrest of KD because he did not show up for his pretrial on Friday. The kids have not heard from him. I am not sure how they truly feel about that. I am sure that it bothers them. I waver between telling them information and not. I do not want to hide things from them, but at the same time, he is their father and I am sure that his poor choices make them feel crappy about themselves.

Class is almost over. No idea what I will be walking into when I get home. I have not heard from Alex since I told he told me that she can shape up or ship out and I told him not to make me choose.

Since #1’s comment about not needing him the other night, he refuses to do anything for her, including logging her into the computer for homework. Fucking fabulous. She is finally doing well in school, not perfect, but well. I have class until 6:45 two nights a week and 5:15 two other nights a week. Seriously? She is 15, he is 44…

Almost there!

As far as A1 and A2, we are back to normal. All the kids have started school. I am in semester two at law school and the wedding is in 18 days.

Lately,  with not being able to leave #2 alone with any of the other kids, KD not stepping up, me in school, and Alex not sleeping, I feel so far away from him. I wish we could get his sleep and pain under control so he could be more happy.

Things in our life are far from perfect. Our kids are not little angels; they lie, steal from each other, get into everything, are lazy, are inconsiderate, quick to act before thinking, and other things that drive us crazy, but they are our kids. They are not perfect, but no kid is. We love them anyways. We (repeatedly) teach them the right way and hope that someday it will stick. I’m not an expert (nor do I claim to be one) on parenting. I do not know how to “fix” them, I only know how to try to teach them.

The kids have had no time with KD and his family still.

I know we as a family have a lot going on. There is hardly a dull moment at our house…

In fact, right  now, I am sitting in the waiting room at #2’s counseling. I should be reading for school, but I can’t get my brain to slow down enough to concentrate on it. So here I am trying to get some of this out so I can concentrate.

I know this time of year is extra stressful for Alex at work because it is so busy. I am trying to take that into account when he blows his top. I know it’s not all the stress at work, I know he is losing patience with all the kids. I am too, but they are our children and we have a responsibility to teach them (as many times as it takes) the right thing to do and that every action has a consequence, good or bad. I know it’s hard, I get fed up too. I also realize that it won’t do anyone any good if we are both losing our patience at the same time all the time.

That is one of the nice things about the two of us, usually we can offset each other. Alex is my best friend, I just feel like he is a million miles away from me. I do try to be close to him while I study. I know it’s not enough for him. I wish I could give him more. I am trying to give him more time without falling behind in my studies. I am trying to get ahead so I don’t have to worry about it while we are on our honeymoon.

Alex, I know you’re reading this. I love you and hope you know that I am trying to be everything for all of you and still be what I need to be for me. I cannot wait to be your wife. I am still thankful for meeting you and being lucky enough to call you mine. I love you.image

What to do with a depressed teen?

For once, can it be about me? I never agree to go to events because I am afraid of how my children will act. I finally decided to RSVP for us to go to a BBQ with my class and we didn’t even get 10 minutes from the house and had to come home because #1 decided to act like everything is about what she wants, causing a problem with #2. She has been getting worse by the day, I am pretty sure she needs to be treated for depression, so I made her a doctor’s appointment to assess her for depression. Her doctor said to take her to counseling. Seriously? She has been seeing the same counselor for three years and that has obviously not done her any good because she does not want to talk to anyone about “[her] business.” Her doctor knows that. Of course, this was a Thursday. Two out of three of the counselors that she recommended don’t accept our insurance and the third did not answer the phone and is not open on Fridays. I called our local mental health help line and was pretty much told that there is nothing I can do until Monday unless she is trying to hurt herself or someone else. And they wonder why we have had so many teen suicides in our area lately…there is no help until it is too late.

It is my birthday weekend. For once can’t it be about me? Why do they have to act like the world revolves around them? Why can’t they care about someone other than themselves? They complain that we don’t do anything fun, but then this type of shit happens when we do try.

I wish I could just leave her at home, but I don’t trust her.

I have no idea what I am going to do all summer. I can’t really leave her to babysit while I go to school, but she will try to cause problems for #2 when he is babysitting. I am starting to think I was right yesterday, I never should have thought I could go to law school. I should have known better.

I just want to climb in a hole. I can’t take anymore. I just can’t.

Nervous, but excited

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Just when I think KD can’t get any dumber, he proves me wrong. He never filed a response to the contempt charges. Our hearing is tomorrow. Assuming the commissioner rules in my favor, it’s grounds for modification. I won’t back down this time. I have to do what is right for those kids. On the plus side, his stupidity gives me practice for when I become an attorney, maybe I won’t have jitters every time I get in front of a judge. I need to pretend this is someone else’s life and keep my emotions in check.

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#2 needs help. He had another couple of his fits this week. He needs something to help keep him on an even keel. He can’t get into a psychologist for at least 6 weeks to get an updated evaluation. The rest of the places I talked to were saying after the first of the year. That is outrageous! What is a parent supposed to do to get their kid help?

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Alex and I have had a rough week. He’s sore, he’s frustrated, his patience is low, and because of all that, he is a million miles away. I miss him. I miss us.
I can’t wait to get back to school. Until them, I feel useless. I’m not working. We don’t have much housework to do because we keep up on it.

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Next week is spring break. On Thursday, we are taking a family (yes all 8) trip to see mine and Alex’s grandparents. We are looking at a lot of time in the car with six kids. Glad my car had the dvd player and headphones. It should be interesting…

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Another Report

Well, I had to file another report with CPS this week. KD has no running water at his house (i.e., no shower, no toilet, etc.). The kids brought it up as a passing statement on Tuesday and I called CPS on Wednesday. As of tonight the kids will have been at his house without water for a week. Luckily #3 and #4 were at his mom’s last night so they at least got a shower. Who knows when or where the other two showered last.

The switching of weeks between Alex and GM has not been too bad so far. It only gives us one night every two weeks without kids, but I think that we can do this. We will see how this next week goes with mainly just my four.

The last two weeks were birthday weeks. #4 is now 5. We got her a bed and I was able to pick her up a bike with training wheels for only $5. #1 is now 13. I am officially the mother of a teenager. We got her a bathing suit that covers her body and she likes it! She babysat for me on Wednesday and Thursday while I went to school because the babysitter was busy taking care of stuff with her divorce and the house burning down. I was able to pay her since I had planned on paying the babysitter. It worked out well because she was able to get a new outfit and still have money left over.

I am officially moving out of my apartment by the end of August. That means that I will lose housing. So if by some chance this doesn’t work out, I am screwed. I am putting my all in this. I want Alex to know that I am here and I am not going anywhere. I know that we all have things to work on, but we can get through it all together. I know we can.

Alex even complimented #2 last weekend on his behavior. #2 has been doing a good job for the most part lately. It seems like he is getting better every week. In fact, Alex and #2 have a lunch date as a reward for #2’s behavior and help in the yard. I knew that they could have a relationship if they would both just give it a chance.

Alex’s stepdad is a teacher and I asked him if he would mind spending some time with #2 working on his math when he is on this side of the state and he said yes.

Alex is mowing the lawn right now. I was going to work on my reading for Criminal Law, but Alex mentioned that I had not posted in a while so I figured I probably should. Besides, the last two posts have been sitting as drafts since the days I typed them. OOPS 😉

One last thing, I had an MRI to see if I do have a labral tear in my hip and the MRI showed nothing. So there is still no reason that they can find why my hip is hurting. Next, my doctor is sending me to an orthopedist.

Don’t read any of this wrong, I am happy with my life. I have an amazing fiance, six beautiful kids, I am working on the law degree I have always wanted, I have great friends, and the rest of my family isn’t too bad either. Life isn’t always easy, but when you work at the problems and struggles with someone instead of alone, you know it will all be okay. I am a part of a great team. As long as we keep talking, we will be okay. We can do this!

Well, between the studying that I have to do and plans we have, I should probably sign off and get to work. Hope you are all doing well.

I have my Best Friend back!

I have been straight forward with my readers through out the life of my blog. I am going to tell you right now, that there are things that have happened over the last couple of weeks that I am not going to share with you.

I will tell you that Alex and I are back together. All eight of us spent an entire week under the same roof and everyone lived! We are making a go of this. It was by no means all sunshine and roses. #2 had a blow up. 5.5/6 were sick. #1 was, well #1. Overall, it was a nice week though.

He had me pick out an engagement ring. He bought it on Monday and sent it out for sizing. It is due back the day before my birthday. So, I do know that he will be asking, but I do not know when or how.

We started counseling last night. We will be going every other week so we can work on us. We need to work on trust and communication. One thing that we have learned is how little we were talking to each other, how little we were being us. We have gotten back to talking to each other, no matter what. He taught me how to play backgammon and we have been playing it every couple of days.

I quit my job. Alex and I looked at my school money and realized that I could afford to quit my job and as long as I budget my money, I will be able to go to law school without working. It will be nice to be able to concentrate on school and our family.

I am excited. I am scared. I love Alex, I am IN LOVE with Alex. No matter what has happened between us, that has not changed. I hope that we can make this work. I have faith that as long as we keep talking to each other and working together, we will be okay. We are back to being a team and I didn’t realize how much I missed that. I am back to feeling like he is my partner and my best friend. I don’t want to lose that again.

We are finally a family. We have rough moments, but when things are good, we aren’t just pretending anymore. We aren’t just glossing over our problems, we are tackling them. I am truly happy again.

On another note, KD and I finalized a parenting plan the other day. So, other than child support, the modification is over.

Finally home

Well, #2 was finally released from the hospital today. Yeah!! We are all home tonight. Even though they have driven me a little crazy, it has been nice to have them home. Tonight, I am thankful to be home, have these four home with me, and have them all be healthy (well, on the mend).

The whole ordeal this week really made me feel alone. Do you know what it feels like to look through your contacts and realize how few people you really know? How few of them you know well enough to trust them with your children? How few of them you know well enough that you could ask for help? I came to that this week and it is a lonely place to be. When I was trying to find someone to pick up #1 and #3 from the bus, when I was trying to find someone to help with #4, when I was trying to find someone to take all three of them so that I did not have to leave #2 alone in the hospital, or when I Grandma had picked up #1 and #3 and her car died on the way home and someone needed to rescue them. I resorted to calling to people that I hardly ever talk to because I was running out of people to call. There were people stepping up that I never would have called on purpose, but unfortunately don’t know well enough to trust them with my kids. There were people that I expected to help that did not. There were people that should have helped, but refused. There were people that I would have helped if the tables were turned and I would not have thought twice about it and it hurts. I even had to resort to full on tears for my own mother to help. The only person from my side that even came to see him was Alex and he didn’t stay for long because KD was on his way up.

All week, KD was unavailable to do anything. He didn’t spend much time at the hospital with #2. That is until he found out that the kids were at my mom’s. Then he went ballistic. I gave him the option on Wednesday to take the kids Thursday. I told him that I needed to know by 11:00 AM, but he never gave me a response so I made other arrangements. Yes, we did think that #2 might go home yesterday, but it all hinged on him not puking. There was never a definite that he would come home yesterday, obviously since he stayed another night.

Then last night, Alex decided to send me a text that said, ” I know you don’t need this now, but I can’t do his s*** for 13 years.” I told him that he was right, I didn’t need it now. I also told him to just walk away then because together or just friends, he will still have to deal with it. That the only way to not deal with it is to shut me out completely. I don’t want that, but if it is what he needs to do to be happy then so be it. I will survive, it’s what I do. I survive.

Although they don’t even know this blog exists, I need to send a big THANK YOU to the people who did get me through this week. First, my 79 year old grandmother who took #1, #3, and #4 on Monday night, and took #1 and #3 on Tuesday and Wednesday night. Second, a woman I hardly know. I know I can trust her because she watches A1 and A2. She took #4 on Tuesday and kept her until Thursday. She had never even met #4 before and she kept her for two days straight. She is truly amazing. These two women were my angels this week. And even though I had to resort to tears to get her to reluctantly help, my mother was too. My supervisor put me on a leave of absence without a second thought. We had a couple pretty amazing nurses too.

On a plus note, I got my financial aid (read L-O-A-N-S) award letter today. As long as I can keep up on my scholarship, I might actually make it through law school.

It has been a long week sleeping in a hospital. I think it is time to turn off my computer, curl up into my bed, and pass out.

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What Will it Take??

Well, I know many of you are wondering how court went yesterday.

It sucked. Prior to the hearing,  the GAL told both attorneys that she wanted to talk to them. She quickly went over  her opinion of this hearing and what her final recommendation would be, barring any major statements from the counselor on Monday. After this chat, Pat pulled me into the empty courtroom to tell me. The GAL is recommending that we resume a 50/50 schedule with no supervision. She spoke with at least the three older kids on Wednesday and all three of them told her that they did not want Grandma (KD’s mom) there all the time and that none of them are afraid of him. Of course they aren’t afraid of him, their time has been supervised for almost  a year and the last incident was almost a year ago. I lost it. Basically, what these people are telling me and my kids is that I cannot protect them. We decided to continue the hearing for two weeks in order for me to digest what the GAL had to say. However, the only way that the other side would agree to a continuance was for us to drop supervision pending the next hearing. That means that KD is now with the kids unsupervised.

I was directly asked by a friend how I feel about all of this information. I had to stop and think for a minute. On one hand, I am outraged, angry, and scared. I am outraged that once again, KD can do whatever he wants to and get away with it. I am angry that the history and the CPS findings mean nothing. I am scared about what will happen next, or if my kids will even be willing to come forward when something happens. On the other hand,  I am happy to have my weeks back with Alex.

I am going to fight this through trial. I am not going to give up this time. It will have to be a judge’s decision that we stick with 50/50. That way, when something does happen again, I will be able to say that I did everything I could to protect these kids.

We all need to make changes

 

 

Yep. This seems to be the story of my life. Every single time I start to feel like life is starting to go my way, life laughs at me and throws me a curve ball. I suppose you are wondering, “What is she going to complain about now?” I am aware that my blog has turned into a constant bitch session. I have tried to post when there are positive things going on as well, but when things are going well, I am wrapped up in enjoying it.

Yesterday, Alex told me that he missed me. I responded that I missed him too and asked if he wanted to do dinner last night, or something today. He said he would ask the girls. I was speechless for a few minutes, but responded with “K.” The he told me, “Best I can do.” Then I kinda lost it. I asked if he asked if they wanted to go to anyone else’s house, or just mine. I told him that I know the girls’ opinion matters to him, but sometimes I think that they have too much control. He told me that their opinions matter to him and he asks them if they want to go to everyone’s house. I told him that my kids’ opinions matter too, but sometimes, as the parent, I make the decisions. We both got off early and spent about a half hour together. As always, it was nice.

Alex and the girls did come over for dinner last night and I thought it was going pretty well. #1 didn’t argue when I told her to do the dishes. #2, #3, and A1 were playing together upstairs. A2 was sitting with Alex and I on the couch. Alex asked her what their plans for today were and if she wanted company. She pointed to me and I reminded her that I would have the kids and she said no. Then, Alex told her that was not very nice and came up with ideas of how it would work. She got excited.

#4 went upstairs, but there was a little bit of a problem because she took a marker upstairs with her and #2 started to get upset. I told #4 that she needed to stay downstairs with the marker. #1 came and sat on the couch with us, but was a little upset that A2 was snuggling with me and so #1 could not. She never wants to cuddle with me. Then A2 went and colored with #4. #3 came downstairs and sat watching the movie with us. #4 went upstairs and I heard her start crying. I went to find out what was going on. #2 had told her that she could not come in because she had a pen. I told her that she needed to stay downstairs to color. At that point, I thought all was good. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

Suddenly, A1 came downstairs and asked if they could leave. At first, Alex was all over it. Then, A2 was not impressed and they stayed for the rest of the movie. A1 did tell Alex that #2 was being mean to #4.

This morning, I got a text from Alex that when they got home last night, A1 went straight to bed. Then he told me that he didn’t think today or tomorrow was a good idea. You see, he is going to M&M’s for the game and told me to call and see about us joining them. I hated the idea of inviting myself, but was willing to do it in order to spend the time with Alex. I guess Alex asked if she wanted to see me or the kids today or tomorrow and she said no. I told him that he blames all of our problems on KD, but even if he dropped off the face of the earth, we would be in the same position. Alex told me I was right, nothing would ever change. I told him that things can change, but we will ALL have to be willing to make changes. He told me to let him know when my kids were ready to change. It took all I had not to flip out at that moment. I haven’t heard much else from him today. I asked him if he wants #1 and I to come over on Monday. His response was that he wants us to, but he doesn’t know what is best and he knows I need to do laundry. I told him not to worry about my laundry. Make a choice based on him only.

I have some serious heartburn tonight. I already took 4 chewable antacids, but it hasn’t gone away. I just took 4 more.

I want him to be happy. I want to be happy. He makes me happy, but sometimes I wonder if he would be happier without me. I know that I make him happy, but I cannot change what I bring with me.

I know that my kids are not the same as his kids. I know that my kids can be difficult, but I also know that my kids can be pretty amazing. These four kids have been through a world of hurt over the last two years and continue to be thrown around like pawns in their father’s games. I know that things haven’t been easy for A1 and A2, but they know that both their parents love them. They are even lucky enough to have me love them. My kids don’t have that. At least one of them is convinced that their father hates them. Two of them think want their father’s affection so much that they don’t know how to react. These kids want someone to love them, they want to know that they are important. I can only do so much. We really don’t have any family here. I don’t have friends that take any interest in the kids. I feel like I am screwing these kids up almost every single day, but then one of them does something so amazing that I wonder where it came from. Then I realize, these kids are amazing, they just need someone to believe in them and show them that they are important. I try, but it just isn’t enough. Very rarely is what I do enough.

Hey!! My heartburn is finally gone!!! Yeah! At least something is going my way.

I am scared about this hearing. What the Guardian ad Litem says on Thursday will give us a major insight into what she is going to say in regards to the entire case. Logically, I know that someday the supervision will have to be dropped, but it scares me. I am afraid of what will happen. Oh, KD will be careful for a little while, but one day he will snap again. Logically, I know that I have shown that I have the best interests of the kids at heart and am the best place for them, but I am still scared. I don’t know who to talk to about it.

Forget about the heartburn being gone. It was just a temporary reprieve, go figure.