Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Custody & Visitation: Keeping the Peace Vs. Laying Down the Law

Malificent dropped Cinderella off an hour late from a recently scheduled visitation.
Three hours late from a week-long Spring break.
10 minutes here. 20 minutes there.
She's hardly ever late picking Cinderella up for visitation. But is getting progessively ballsy in choosing when to bring Cinderella back home.
Oh, I figured that since I picked her up late, that I could keep her a little later.
Oh, she was supposed to be back at 5pm? I thought it was 8pm.
Oh, I wasn't feeling well so I went to lie down and shut off the phones.
A few times, she made an attempt at the obligatory phone call (at the last minute, when she already had Cinderella) to ask Prince Charming for some extra time. In her world, his not answering the phone translates into Sure! Keep her for as long as you want!
Her visitation times are noted specifically in the custody agreement. But for the past year and a half she has been taking liberties. Pretending not to realize that she is abusing the privilege.
Prince Charming has realized. But in the sake of Keeping the Peace has turned a Blind Eye.
She needs to learn her Lesson. She LOST Custody for a reason and You are giving her Extra Time when she has done nothing yet to earn back that right.
My warnings back then fell on deaf ears.
If I'm to move beyond the past, I have to give her the benefit of the doubt and trust that she is going to change.
The other day I Twittered about how those who failed to learn the lessons of the past are doomed to repeat them.
Well... DOOM has now befallen the Kingdom.
Keeping the Peace has gotten Prince Charming nowhere. Always the pacifist he bends over backwards and gives in to Malificent's tirades. Anything to avoid a Battle and to keep Cinderella blissfully ignorant.
However, he's decided it's now time to Lay Down the Law. (A role he has never been comfortable with.)
Prince Charming has declared the custody papers to be followed to.the.letter.
No more taking liberties. No more (half-heartedly) asking Forgiveness instead of Permission.
No more turning a Blind Eye.
Malificent isn't happy and has started letting her horns show. Hanging up on Prince Charming, refusing to come to the door to pick Cinderella up and instead waiting in the driveway for me to notice her car, avoiding to call the house at all costs.
More followup discussions need to occur to make sure she understands the What's, When's and Why's of the visitation "change." Prince Charming and I both know they will not come easily. Malificent is Queen of Denial and Avoidance.
Cinderella didn't take on the role of Mediator all on her own. Her Mother hid behind her for years in order to avoid interacting with P.C. If she doesn't speak with him, then she can't claim accountability for anything and can remain blissfully ignorant.
She lives in her own altered reality. She's happy there.
Cinderella's Law Guardian was right.
Wish I had a map to that Happy Place. We're going to need it.
Stay tuned...

Picasso's Rushmore

"Hey, Mommy look what I drawed. It's the rock with all the presidents."

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Let the Clean-Up Begin

Can't think of a better way to end a sopping wet week than to empty the
contents of one's garage and basement into the driveway for all the
neighboorhood to watch and pity. We're placing bets as to how much of
what you see here is actually salvageable.

[And to all you vultures who keep slowing down in front of our house, NO

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Heading to Higher Ground

Fear of electrocution will keep PC off and the rest of us upstairs for
2nd day in a row.
Micro-blogging it today via Twitter!
(It's quite fun actually... click on pretty pink-box-thing to your right
to get one of your own.)

Monday, April 16, 2007

Friday, April 13, 2007

Custody Issues: Summer Vacation Planning

Summer is almost here.
The custody agreement dictates that Prince Charming and Malificent are each entitled to "two uninterrupted non-consecutive weeks of vacation" with Cinderella.
That means only two chances for us to plan a vacation together as a Family Unit.
In all likelihood Hansel and Cinderella will both be attending a summer camp which runs for the months of July and August.
That leaves us with the choice of one week in June and one in late-August.
Summer's gone! And it hasn't even started!
It's been 4 years since we have had a vacation as a Family.
Now we're a family of five. We have a 10 y/o, 4 y/o and 1.5 y/o to contend with.
We're faced with the challenge of finding a destination that has something for everyone. Including us.

(Yes, I know I'm being delusional but indulge me for a bit, K?)
We've looked into cruises. The self-proclaimed "Fun Ship" does not offer any discounts for kids. You pay as much for them as any guest to the tune of $900 a pop. ARE THEY INSANE?!?!? No thanks.

Moving on...
We're considering
Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge because of all the fun Disney-style perks like free airport transportation that INCLUDES getting your luggage FROM the airport TO your hotel; having stuff billed and sent directly to your room so you don't have to lug it around all day. And we all know how much crap is involved when you are travelling with young kids.
Downside? The lure of the other parks. I mean, how can you go to Disney and NOT see the other parks? Fear of spending a GAZILLION dollars, that's how.
Ok, next...
I was totally intrigued when I heard about
Jamaica's Franklyn D. Resorts and their BRILLIANT! concept of Vacation Nannies. They give you free childcare for the duration of your stay.
As in People!
To watch your children!
And keep them entertained!
Downside? What exactly are their credentials and competancy? Can I trust a perfect stranger to watch my children as diligently as I do? My girlfriend's Aunt lives in Jamaica. Her Aunt has a friend who works at one of the resorts. We're investigating.
And, finally...
But to where?
Please advise. Quickly!
Prince Charming has to pick his first vacation week soon.
(Oh yes, the custody agreement is VERY SPECIFIC about who can pick what and WHEN.)
(Can you say, P.E.T.T.Y.?)
(At least it's not me, for once.)

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Into the Mouths of Babes

Her dinner tonight: ricotta scraped from my Lean Cuisine lasagna, mandarin oranges, Trader Joe's Cat Cookies for People, and now a snack cup of Veggie Booty. And a sippy cup of Ovaltine to wash it all down.

Bow down before my culinary awesomeness.

Material Girl

(HaHa! I am clever with the Post Titles today!)

You can add Materialistic to my list of attributes.
I am no longer like a Virgin.
(LOOK! More cleverness! She's on a roll!)
I made my first Zappos Tuesday night.
And they are here! Just NOW!
The FedEx box all wrapped up nice and dry in a plastic bag to keep the rain out.
I decided to keep it simple despite the urgings of B who insists I need slut shoes.
SAHMs don't wear slut shoes. I need practical Mommy shoes.
So I compromised and bought these.

Practical. Whimsical. A little Deviant. And VEGAN.
Hansel now thinks he has the coolest Mom EVAH.

Petty Woman

Sometimes I am Petty.
Sometimes I forget the Lessons I have learned and fall back on Old Habits.
Bad habits.
Habits that sometimes make me no better than Her.
Habits that I have been called on since I began journaling my experiences.
(Well, DUH! Did you honestly expect to get away with chronicling your Life and NOT get negative constructive feedback as well as support and empathy? Silly, rabbit.)
These habits are irritating. To them, of course. But also to me.

The Habits make me behave badly.
Usually evoking a tit-for-tat attitude with the ultimate goal of screwing Her out of time with Cinderella.
"She brought this on herself." "It's called accountability."
"It's not my fault she lost custody." "It's her fault."
This. Is. All. Her. Fault.

"You should [bark some order at Prince Charming telling him how to handle her and teach her a final lesson.]"
You're right. You're right. I know you're right.
But Old Habits die hard.
I haven't yet figured out completely how to Forgive and Forget.

Just when I think I've conquered it, I get sucked back down to the deepest depths of hatred and loathing.
GAWD! how I hate ex-wives sometimes.

The only thing I hate more is when I live up to my title of Wicked Stepmom.

How do we move beyond the pettiness... for good?

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Eggs, Candy and The Great Peeps Massacre of 2007

Twelve people. Here. At Easter.
We're still cleaning and putting away crap that we never use and only drag out when we have way-too-many-people in a way-too-small-house.
Tables. Chairs. Serving Platters. Roasting Pans.
And don't get me started on the candy.
It's E.V.E.R.Y.W.H.E.R.E.
As are the toys and clothes.
(When did Easter become the new Christmas?)
I could post a picture of Gretel eating her Easter breakfast. It was a Cadbury Creme Egg. But... well... it looks to much like a Porno Money Shot.
(My apologies to the creepy pedophiles. So sorry to disappoint.)
I could post a nice family picture but... well... my husband isn't too keen on having his mug on the Interwebby thing.
(Come to think of it, neither do I. It's much more fun to exploit the kids.)
And Hansel must have been PMSing because he spent most of the day frowning, whining or running from the camera.
All's I got are these...
Gretel's First Egg Hunt.

(We got there AN HOUR early and froze our asses off.)
Coloring Eggs.
(The only picture from this damn Holiday where Hansel is kinda smiling.)
Easter Cake.

(Probably the easiest cake I have even done. Nothing homemade, just a quick 5 minute assembly the night before.)
And then, there are the Peeps.
Prince Charming's yearly ritual of nuking them in all their marshmallow goodness.
Have you ever wondered what happens to marshmallow when it's placed in the microwave oven? Well, wonder no more!
(Warning, the images you are about to see are graphic.)
Three minutes later.
(They never knew what hit them.)

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Flavor of the Month

Mommy, what are these?


Are they different flavors? Like grape and sour apple?

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Too Young For Makeup

We'll use sidewalk chalk instead.

My Prince of a Guy

"Are you up for a fun challenge?"


"I need a shirt to wear with my black broomstick skirt. "


Four hours later Prince Charming returns from his shopping Mission with this...

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 ... EIGHT... shirts.

From. The. Gap.

(I have purchased a total of three items from The Gap in my entire life.)

And then... AND DEN! he shows me this...

Yes. He also took on an Extra Credit Mission to accessorize me.

THEN he shows me this...

He made a special trip to Toys R Us (which is NOT in the mall so he DROVE there) to buy an outfit Gretel... just because.

Think I'll keep him.