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Confusion Sets In

Summertime visitations are at an end. We’re down to just three of us here at home. I have time to write again and what I have to share isn’t very uplifting.

My ex refuses to let my children visit me this weekend. It is more convenient for him to switch our weekend to Labor Day. Nope, sorry, not going to do it. Well, I didn’t apologize to him. I flat out told him no, I would not switch my weekend. He didn’t ask. He told me that my two weeks with the kids changed our schedule. Nope. It didn’t. He later texted me that I’m mean and an abusive bully and that he is my target now.

Those of you who know me should be laughing.

So, now I won’t see my kids for three weeks. Just because I refuse to be manipulated and pushed around … because I am no longer his doormat … I’m a bully?

The other situation that has me frustrated and puzzled involves … well, I suppose that may be best left off of my blog. I am truly confused and saddened. It’s the main reason I started writing tonight. (sigh)


Finding the way to Forgiveness

Forgiveness is a process. I find myself in a constant struggle to forgive the same people for the same thing. Over and over again. I doubt that this is unique to parenting, divorce, and remarriage. However, it is an integral part of blended family health as well as my Christian faith.

I wrote that more than two weeks ago. I have been struggling with writing about this topic. I feel like I should add some citations from psychology experts or scripture quotes. With my current commitments I don’t want to devote the time that that requires. Summer vacation is upon us. Our visit from my older bonus daughter and her infant son is over. Our visit from my younger bonus daughter has just begun. Our baby girl is turning one tomorrow. So, you see, I’m busy with family and activities.

Please forgive me. I will revisit this topic because it is important. As important as it is challenging.


Birth story of our youngest daughter

Woman over 40 gives birth at home — with no pain medication!

I am a remarried, blended family mom. I am over 40. I have an 11month old daughter who was born at home on a warm night late last Spring.

When I met my current husband I had three children and he had two. We weren’t planning an addition to our blended family, but … well, you know. My husband’s grandmother was a midwife, but he had never been witness to a homebirth or a vaginal birth, for that matter. He knew that my third child had been born at home and one of his first concerns was that I would give birth to our baby at home — with all the noise and mess and “gross stuff.” Silly man.

He never challenged my choice, but warned me that he didn’t think he could watch, for fear that he would get nauseated and vomit. I laughed about it and told him he could just look at my face.

At 41 weeks I requested that my midwife sweep my membranes. She predicted that labor would commence the following evening. She was correct. On a sunny Friday evening my contractions began. We went for a walk on the beach of my beloved Puget Sound, but labor stalled because I felt too exposed so we returned home. My labor was fairly typical, but longer than I had expected. I walked around our apartment, stopping to lean on walls and sway my hips. We eventually called our midwife. I don’t remember the phone call or her arrival.

Through transition I was being very loud. My youngest son, 6 at the time, was our only child at home and my loud low moans woke him. I told him that I was ok, it just takes a lot of noise to get a baby out. He asked if I did that with him. When I responded “yes” he said, “It worked!” I remember laughing and smiling at that.

My labor was 12 hours long and I spent the last few hours (I think) on my knees leaning on my birthing ball. When my midwife could see that I was getting close to feeling the urge to push, she asked if I wanted to move to the bed. She and her assistant set up the chux pads and my ball and helped me to relocate.

My son was still awake and asking my husband how I was doing. I shouted that he could come into my room if he wanted to. So there I was, on my mattress upon the floor, with my husband on my left and my homebirthed son on my right. I felt so blessed.

I heard my midwife say, “I see her head!” and my husband, who was holding my hand and looking into my eyes suddenly perked up saying, “You can?!” and darted his head around to stare at my bottom. My son did the same. They were both transfixed as A**y slid out, with me grunting, “Damn! The shoulders!”

I immediately asked if I could move to sit down so I could see her. My midwife’s reply was a very calm, “After I get the cord off her neck.” I was not the least bit worried about this and was just so relieved that she would be in my arms in a few moments. My beautiful little blessing, the uniter of our blended family.


If you have read my previous blog posts you know that although we have six children in our family only our infant daughter lives us. It’s been very disconcerting to go from having an active home, full of children, to the quiet home we have now. While I relish the quiet time, I am also very lonely.

Yes, my baby keeps me busy. So does housework, but I miss social interaction. My husband asked me if I am depressed, but I’m not really. I’m just lonely. It’s the occupational hazard of being an at-home mom. Especially one with an infant who does not enjoy riding in the van. She cries. I cannot subject her to such misery.

I chose this topic today, not only because it is a common problem for moms with young children, but also because of what I learned yesterday.

My oldest bonus daughter had lived with us for about a year and a half. She became pregnant last year and left in the Fall to stay with her mom in Texas. At first she was only going to be gone for a couple of months. Then she decided to stay there until after her baby was born. Now, instead of returning to live with us, she is only going to visit with us for a month. I started to cry immediately when my husband told me the news. I was really looking forward to her return.

In all honesty, I was nervous about having another baby in the house. Our home is small, just two bedrooms, and I wasn’t sure how things would go with two infants who are only 9 months apart. I was concerned about extra stress on my husband’s part, which could lead to moodiness and arguments. Even with those concerns, I am so sad that she isn’t going to be here. That’s when I realized that my loneliness has reached a crisis point.

So how does this tie into blended family issues? Well, the main issue at hand is the mess that is created when a parent decides to move several states away. The mother of my bonus daughters moved them away two years ago this month. The oldest daughter returned within a month and lived with us. The youngest we see only during the summer.

I hate their mother. Truly despise her. I think she is selfish. Selfish to the extreme. I think that she has many of the same qualities of my ex. I think that she is a neglectful mother who puts her children low on her priority list. I blame her for not helping her daughter to make better choices in life. The only good thing about her moving 6 states away is that I no longer have to see her every week.

I miss my bonus daughters. I miss my three older bio kids. I am blessed to have my infant daughter. I am looking forward to meeting our grandson.


Proverbs 10:12 Hatred stirs up conflict, but love covers over all wrongs.

(This is the verse I need to keep in mind)

Peanut butter and other delicious things

I love peanut butter. My older bonus daughter says that I am obsessed with it. And yet, I went more than two weeks without eating it.


Because it was on the top shelf and I was too lazy to get the step stool so that I could reach it.

Which brings me to the topic of cooking. I love to cook. Well, I used to love to cook. These days cooking is boring. It seems like a neverending stream of quesadillas, chicken breast, taco meat, corn tortillas, rice. Boring!

Don’t get me wrong, the food is delicious! Especially my refried beans. Sadly, I am on a restricted diet for my breastfeeding baby. No dairy, no gluten. Fortunately Mexican cuisine is heavy on corn, lighter on flour, so that works. I have not eaten baked goods since July. I don’t enjoy gluten free baked goods. I have issues with texture and the texture is just — off. :/

My refried beans … heavenly. My secrets? Well, maybe they aren’t really secrets, but here they are anyway. Butter. Instead of oil or lard I use butter! Simmer the TJs hot sauce in the butter. Then add the pintos with some of their cooking liquid. The beans taste best when they have been slow cooked in a crock pot for 10 hours. Add liberal amounts of salt. Mash and boil with the butter and hot sauce. I really love queso fresco with them, but that is off limits, so I eat with sliced avocado.


Adding a new member to the blended family

musings on a new baby

Our eight month old daughter was dedicated yesterday at the church where I have been a member for the past 4 years. It got me thinking about the many changes that have happened since she was born.

Before she was born my relationship with my two older children was contentious, at best. They were both unhappy about the impending arrival of their “half sister” who wasn’t a “real sister.” Clearly the parents they lived with were influencing them. I remember my ex’s attitude towards the step-sister who entered his life when he was an adult. I can imagine the bitterness and negativity he spread about my pregnancy. My children were openly defiant about every request I made. They broke things in our apartment. They fought with each other. They picked on their younger brother. They would not hug me, tell me they loved me, or say goodbye when I dropped them off with their dad. It was truly heartbreaking. I dreaded every weekend visit. I did not know how to fix the situation.

But then baby A was born. Her younger brother was there for her homebirth and he adored her. My bonus daughter who lives out of state came for her summer visit and immediately fell in love with her. My two older children, who barely talked to me, met baby A by chance at a softball field. They seemed interested in her, but hesitant. It was as if their new sister was some forbidden thing that they weren’t supposed to like — much like how they behaved towards me.

They came for their first weekend visit a couple of weeks later. They behaved more appropriately. It took time, but they became comfortable around our baby. Eventually they asked to hold her. They fell in love with her too. They stopped calling her “half sister” and now call her “baby sister.” They are all enjoying watching her grow. They have all reconnected with me as well.

It may seem odd to credit a baby with repairing a fractured relationship between a mother and her children …  but that is what happened in our family. Baby A became, and continues to be, a unifying presence. She has blessed us in so many ways.

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