Update on the drama ~ finally, peace for me!

imamommyJune 30, 2010

The latest on my DIL... the court gave me temporary guardianship three weeks ago. We go to court next week for the final determination. Part of the process is having a court investigator make a report & recommendation. She came to our house, interviewed us & inspected it. We had to submit our fingerprints for criminal background check & she was going to talk to DIL. She apparently called DIL & was told she (DIL) was busy but she would call back the next day. She never got a call from DIL. So, since DIL did not give her side of it & has not disputed what I've told the court (along with evidence), the recommendation is for guardianship to be granted. Since the last hearing, DIL has had supervised visits only through her mom & stepdad. They have already changed it on me twice because they have a younger daughter that is in activities & do not want to take the baby to dance recitals or sporting events. My gut feeling is that eventually, they are not going to want to be held to a schedule of supervising a baby they have had very little to do with thus far. According to DIL, they have had little to do with her and that's why she would call me if she needed help. (ie. with her car or the baby) Hopefully, she will take this as a wake up call & do something to change so she can be a mother to her son... or if she isn't going to do that, I wonder if it would be best for her to have nothing to do with him. I have seen too many children damaged by mother's that are flaky & go in or out of the kids' life. (mostly out until they NEED the child to comfort them, be there for them or because they NEED to feel like a mother again... when it's convenient for them of course) Anyway, I might hold my breath just a little until the final ruling & the ink dries on the paper.

BTW, It has been absolutely WONDERFUL that I have not had one phone call or visit from DIL.... no showing up out of the blue needing something... or being in a mood to yell at me... or both.

And then there is SD's BM.... lol

She finally paid her arrears to DH. It was over $3000.00 and he got a lump check. NICE!!! That was back in May. She did not pay in June. Why should she? She is not working because she has the new baby. She probably thinks that since SD is with her in June, she does not need to pay. Oh well, it was surprising that she paid the arrears, not surprising that she didn't pay June. She is also planning a camping trip to the coast with all the kids. (Hers/His/Theirs) Yeah, taking 6 kids (including a 5 month old) on a six hour drive to the coast & camping on the beach. When she asked DH if SD could go (since it falls on his weekend), I kinda joked "where did she get all this money to pay the back support & take a trip like that... she's not working & just had a baby. We know how expensive THAT is!" and then today I found out. I saw on the county court case index where BM lives, that she is being criminally charged with Grand Theft/Embezzlement. It was filed just last week. In the five years I've known DH, that was the first & only job she has really had for any measurable amount of time.. and she is being accused of stealing from them. I'm shocked, but then I'm not really... she stole from DH when they were together.

It just goes to show that maybe sometimes, all you have to do is stand back & let them self destruct.

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good news on guardianship, sad though if his mother won't be in the picture, how sad for a child...But maybe it is better for him this way, mom clearly is not a good role model.

good she paid arrears. I kind of think she shouldn't be paying for the summer when SD is with her...or CS is calculated taking in consideration that SD lives with mom over the summer?

so theft is from work place? i wonder what kind of job she had? i used to keep part time weekend job at a retirement home, there was a waitress who stole everything she could find. I don't mean she took an apple from the kitchen, she loaded her car with dishes, raw food, utensils, equipment, anything she could load. She eventually got caught. amazing what people do.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2010 at 8:03AM
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CS is calculated using annual income & annual time spent with SD, so it's averaged out through the year. (and she doesn't even have SD for all the time she's given credit for, in fact SD has spent a lot of the time with BF's mom or other relatives babysitting her~ even BF's exW... and BM doesn't even like her) SD is not happy about her mom shuffling her off to everyone when she isn't working & is at home with the baby.... why can't SD be at the house with her? My only guess (and it's only a guess) is that SD is probably asking BM to do things with her.. like watch a movie or play a game.. just spend time with her.

She was working in an auto repair shop. She bragged that she was the "office manager".

    Bookmark   July 1, 2010 at 8:45AM
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Well, in regards to your grandson; I'm happy things are moving in a positive direction! I know what you mean about wondering (Oif she doesn't get it together) if he's better off without her around. I felt the same way about my DD's bio-dad and still do. It's been eight years and he's not been involved---from the little I hear, he got two DWIs, spent a little bit of time in jail, and has bounced from job to job, girlfriend to girlfriend, not really doing much of anything. I definitely think DD is better off if he's still like that!

So is your grandson with you pretty much all the time now?

As far as BM goes...wow...just wow! Is there a chance she will do jail time? You might be having SD permanently in the near future...while that would be *good* for SD, I can also imagine how devastating it would be to see her mom go to jail. So not sure how to pray for that situation to work out!

    Bookmark   July 1, 2010 at 9:07AM
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That's great news about the guardianship! I wonder if DIL's Mom and SD are also ambivalent about the supervised visitation because they also fear what you do - a "Mom" who flits in and out of child's life.

I know it's not really funny but I laughed out loud at your wondering where BM suddenly got money from - and then saw that she was charged with embezzlement. (That explains why my car repair bills are always so expensive!)

FineDreams, in my state CS is now based on assuming that the non-custodial parent has the child 30% of the time. If the non-custodial parent has the child more than that (like 49% of the time), CS is adjusted downwards to reflect that. It is, however, payable every month, no matter where the child is at that time. As of yet apparently no one has appealed to get a ruling on whether CS can be adjusted upward if a non-custodial parent is almost or totally absent. The previous standards were based strictly on incomes, so they were really unfair to "non-custodial" parents who actually had custody almost as much as the custodial parents did.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2010 at 9:13AM
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fancy term "office manager" means a secretary, nothing wrong with that but I suspect she had access to financial information in the office. I suspect she was fired not just left on maternity leave.

ha BM sends SD to BF's exW???? hahah That's the craziest..Where is BM's older DD?

    Bookmark   July 1, 2010 at 9:33AM
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BM's older DD spends a lot of time with grandma. She was basically raised by grandma, so she is there a lot. She also goes to her dad's occasionally or hanging out with friends. She's a teenager and if what she puts on facebook is true (and I always take it with a grain of salt) she does whatever she wants. She's made videos of herself with her friend & posts them on youtube.com With her, not sure if she's a normal teen or harbors anger toward her mom. She has said a couple of mean things about BM.... but like I said, she's a teenager. lol

    Bookmark   July 1, 2010 at 10:04AM
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"It just goes to show that maybe sometimes, all you have to do is stand back & let them self destruct."

Wise words, Ima...

Will BM go to jail? Gazing into my crystal ball again -- I'm on a roll today ;-) -- I foresee BM desparately calling your Hubby and begging (then screaming) that he needs to give back the CS so she can make restitution so they won't send her to jail. You and Hubby will wisely refuse (snort! as if!) and of course, it will all be your fault and she'll tell SD that you are sending her to jail!"

    Bookmark   July 1, 2010 at 11:46AM
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Sweeby, my crystal ball says that Ima's DH could give back the CS money, and it would still all be their fault. After all, if they weren't so mean, nasty and out to ruin BM's life in the first place as to expect her to help support her own daughter, she wouldn't have had to (allegedly) embezzle the money.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2010 at 12:57PM
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Ima, that is incredibly ironic, sad, and funny all at once. You are a super-grandma, and I admire your willingness and perseverance in making sure your family is well cared for.

Just a note on the comment that: "...fancy term "office manager" means a secretary".

Actually, it doesn't. While they can have overlapping job responsibilities and in a very small business a person may hold both positions under one title they are not interchangeable. Saying that OM's are just a fancy word for secretary is incorrect (and the term secretary is outdated; admin asst or exec assist are the current titles for those positions). One may become an admin. asst. with little or no education. I require my exec. assts to have at least a 2 year degree, pref. a 4 year. The office manager handles the needs of the office. My exec. asst. handles *my* administrative needs.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2010 at 2:48PM
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The child support money is gone.. spent to pay debt. BM would never ask for it back because she would probably never admit that she did anything wrong... she sure doesn't want us to know and she would probably deny it if she was called on it.. even though it's filed in the court & is a public record. lol, remember she went to DH's work to pick up her truck & when he called and asked why she didn't stop to drop off SD's backpack, she said she was at home.. that wasn't me, that was my mom picking up my truck. lol, that was after she talked to several people there & her mom is 4'11" and she is 6' tall. Yeah, DH "mistook" her. LOL I can SO see her saying "I don't know what you're talking about.. must be someone else with my name... that lives in the same town..." (and her name is VERY unique!)

She worked for a small auto body shop & answered phones, probably took payments from customers, did billing to the insurance or customer... etc. I guess it could be an office manager, but it was not much of an office to manage. I do know she was making $8.00 an hour because that is what her check stubs said when she turned them in for child support.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2010 at 4:36PM
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As an aside:

$8/hr? Jeepers!
That's less than minimum wage here, and living expenses in SK are pretty low! How the heck is anyone supposed to live on $8/hr nowadays?

    Bookmark   July 1, 2010 at 8:58PM
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"She is also planning a camping trip to the coast with all the kids. (Hers/His/Theirs) Yeah, taking 6 kids (including a 5 month old) on a six hour drive to the coast & camping on the beach."

I stand corrected. It's an eight hour drive and they want to take six kids & two dogs (they have two wolfhounds)... and they are scheduled to leave the day after she is arraigned. Not that any of that matters, just think it's a bit funny. Tonight when DH called to say goodnight to SD, BM tells him that she is, once again, at BF's exW's house. I guess it is kinda good that SD is around someone that is a good mom, and wants to be around the kids, including her. It's sad she can't have what she wants from her own mom, but such is life. I talked DH into asking BM to let SD stay an extra day with us because I am having a luau this weekend & she enjoyed it a lot last year. He didn't want to ask her for any favors but I finally guilted him by telling him how unfair it was that SD was going to be picked up right when the party is getting started... and of course, he didn't have to twist BM's arm. She didn't bat an eye when she said "sure". If it's true that we reap what we sow, I kinda feel sorry for BM... well, not really because she's creating her fate.. but you know what I mean? It's hard not to feel sorry for someone that can't see what they are doing but you can..

    Bookmark   July 2, 2010 at 3:17AM
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$8 per hour is a bit over minimum wage around here.

She certainly cannot pay CS of such salary! I am wondering why is someone in her 30s-40s still is so underemployed. Didn't she go to school for something, one does not need to go to school to answer the phone and take payments in a autoshop. She can give herself whatever titles. And what happened with nursing school she used to go to?

So to pay CS she either uses BF's money (doesn't he pay CS for his own kids?) or steals, and now we know she does steal...Nice...I wonder if BF is a millionaire supporting her, their kid, his own kids, and feeding BM's kids when they are with them. Two dogs, with $8 per hour salary?

    Bookmark   July 2, 2010 at 7:43AM
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Really glad GS (and you) are getting to finally settle down into a normal daily pattern...it has to be such a relief just not to worry day in and day out. If DIL is dodging the interviews don't be surprised if she skips the next hearing and you win by default.

Luau sounds fun and SD needs these good times with your family after week days of getting shuffled around. The BF's ExW? Do I assume it is because she has kids the age of SD to play with?

I'm floored BM is still planning the camping trip, obviously feels no guilt of helping herself to someone's money, getting caught and still spending the money. I'm just shaking my head...eight hours, 5 kids and a baby, two dogs and on stolen money.

As an aside on the minimum wage, in my state it is currently 8.25, and is a bit higher in certain areas of the state. One big retail store just finished negotiating an extra 50 cents an hour to be allowed to build in sections of Chicago with an agreement to raise to 9.50 in a year.

Minimun wage jobs were never meant to be 'living wages' and the type of job that could/should support a family. The federal minimum currently is 7.25 with I believe it is 14 states currently chosing to set their state minimum higher. Because of the recession and so many adults being laid off from downsizing, the teens and young adults who would normally take these jobs for earning education expenses and whatnot are being pushed out by the older people just needing a job...any job. Not that that is the case with this BM, it clearly is not, but I'm seeing people who have worked and made good money for years suddenly having to take a minimum wage job just to hold them till they can either retrain or hiring in their fields pick-up. I certainly can not understand the people who decided young in life to settle for these types of jobs from the getgo though (which does seem to be the case with this BM). Who's goal in life is it to work for minimum at a no skill job all their life. Most states even pay to train/school young single moms with the abilty to raise above and move on to better paying jobs.

Sobbering experience running errands the other day. Fifty something guy bagging my groceries, a guy who had to be near retirement stocking shelves at a big box, and the cashier at department store proudly told me she was 78. Alot of people doing what they have to do to keep food on the table.

Anyway, that's neither here nor there in this posting, just commenting on minimum wage.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2010 at 9:44AM
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She has worked as an EMT before I met DH. She was certified but didn't like it or quit for whatever reason. Yes, she was a 'student' for 10-11 years to be a nurse. She doesn't even have her AA. The Judge admonished her for that when she tried to use that as an excuse for not working so nobody buys that she is a student. She actually told the Judge that she was going to be a nursing student (that she was accepted into a GREAT nursing program to be an RN) and when she was making $30 an hour as a nurse, she was going to let her mom retire & she was going to support her mom. That was when she was living with her mom. Of course, three weeks after she told the court her big "plan", she was living with the new boyfriend... leaving DD with a 70 yr old grandma and SD with us. At first, she told us BF owned a HUGE house where all 5 kids would have their own rooms, he owns his own business, and she was going to do her nursing program up there because there was an even better nursing school.

The truth: BF had owned a nice house with his exW. They sold the house during the divorce & split the proceeds. After the divorce, which was final 3 months before he met BM, he had tried going to school but decided against that field. Then BF had a friend with an auto glass shop, so he used some of the money to buy a partnership into the business with his friend. He had lost his job of 14 yrs due to an addiction to porn. (misused his computer at work) which was part of the reason for his divorce. He cashed out his 401k from that job, so he lived on that~bought a Ninja motorcycle that he really wanted, moved into a one bedroom house (well, the bedroom was a loft, not an actual bedroom). He was driving an older Aerostar van, he got the boat in the divorce as well. His ex agreed to a low amount of support (much less than guideline) because she wanted him to "get back on his feet" financially... she agreed to $150 a mo per kid. He pays it, but since he's been with BM, he has been late or tried to make excuses that he can't pay it or buy extra's for the kids.

Meanwhile, BM moved in & the first Christmas they went out & bought brand new ATV's with matching riding gear for herself & all the kids. She tried for weeks to keep us away from the house they lived in by bringing SD back to us or wanting to meet halfway. I knew there was a reason she didn't want us to see her house, lol. When we found out she was living in the loft house, not the 6 bedroom house she told us they had... she told us they were waiting for it to be ready but the deal fell through so they were looking for another house. (lol, yeah right!) They were spending money & doing all kinds of fun things that first year. BM did not enroll in any school (big surprise there!) and would not work. At that time, DH wasn't even asking for support, just pay half of SD's counselor, which was a $10 co-pay each time, but when BM kept canceling weekends and refused to pay anything for SD (she even wanted us to provide clothing for SD's visits so she didn't have to get anything for her)... and during that time, DH was under an order to pay her based on their 50/50 from before she left... he had stopped paying the month after BM moved away but when they started arguing and BM was making waves with me over the peanut butter, oatmeal, etc., he was afraid she would try to make him pay all the back support from when he stopped. So he went to court to modify the order but the court said if he had the child, BM had to pay. Unless he's very wealthy, the court usually won't allow a child to not be supported by both parents. The support was based on what BM would make if she had a minimum wage job. She refused to get a job... which was apparently causing a problem w/her boyfriend too because he had been supporting her for a year by then & his money from the 401k & house was GONE. He was talking of getting a job delivering newspapers in the early AM to make ends meet~ and it was just the two of them... no kids living there & BM was still getting the child support for her older DD & not paying for SD. She finally got a job around Xmas time but it ended after Xmas. She was making $10 hour there & the job stopped when child support took the first payment from her. They levied her bank account but she fought it, saying that the money in there was child support she got for older DD so they couldn't take it... she won & they gave it back to her. Her BF's 'prized' motorcycle was repossessed. A couple of months later, they sold the boat to get money together to move into the 4 bed house they are in now. She still wasn't working or paying her CS. They were selling off stuff to pay the rent for a while... yard sales & Craigslist to get money to live. SD stopped talking about going to ride her ATV, so we suspect those were sold too, even though SD tells us they are just parked under the porch~ out of sight. They have had utilities shut off a few times & no food for a while. I think he was going to dump her because he had been telling his exW what a mistake he had made.. how he'd lost everything he had.. etc. Finally, BM got the job at the repair shop & DH would get a check every couple or few weeks... never the full amount. I think she got the job because BF told her she had to and DCSS was on her back, threatening to drag her into court & take away her license. She worked at that job for less than a year before she got pregnant and now that she's got a baby to take care of, I doubt she will go back to work.

~ Oh yeah, the dogs ~ BF owned two full bred Wolfhounds that he also took with him after the divorce. He was going to breed them for income. BM got a dog when she moved in... spent $150 on it & it got BF's female pregnant. So they had a litter of these HUGE dogs that were not full bred & they couldn't sell them. They tried but ended up giving them away... well, most of them. (and big dogs eat a lot.. they are expensive & that was an irritant to us because she wasn't paying anything for SD but she bought a dog & was busy taking care of the dogs.) At one point, they had a second and third litter. They sold a few of the dogs but gave most away when they got too big... but they had vet bills, etc. It was a HUGE irritant to me when SD had to be taken to the doctor & BM declined to bring her so I took her.. and when SD called BM to tell her how it went, BM said she can't really talk because she's taking the dogs to the vet. They have had as many as 13 dogs in their house at once. and speaking of dogs.. BM had a black lab when she lived with her mom... she left that dog behind with her kids. Grandma got to take care of that one.

Her BF is not a millionaire, he is fed up. He was talking of ending things (telling his exW) just a month before BM announced she was pregnant. His exW says he is the kind of guy that won't leave now that there is a baby. I guess his family also wanted them to get married because they are Mormon & it's a big deal, them not being married. They don't know she's already married to her DD's father. So, maybe they had a fake ceremony because the family refers to her like they are married... calling her aunt or sister. They call themselves the Brady bunch & the kids call BM "mom" and BF "dad"... there are no 'steps' in their house. It's all a bit too crazy for me... she has dug herself into her own hole & we'll see how she gets herself out of this one. She is facing up to a year in jail & fines... wonder how much more BF can take. Plus, he just lost his father last month too.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2010 at 9:54AM
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WOW~ who needs daytime television??

    Bookmark   July 2, 2010 at 11:50AM
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I was just thinking the same thing! It is like a reality show/soap opera right there. I have to admit it is fun to read. Not fun to see it though. What A MESS...

    Bookmark   July 2, 2010 at 4:24PM
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To be honest, writing it down here & reading it back from time to time makes me laugh too. It has NOT been fun to live it for three years... I've only been married four years! What a way to start a marriage, right? But, having a forum where I can step back and see how ridiculous it really is has helped me take it lighter approach as well as a 'not my kid, not my problem' attitude to save MY sanity.

For now, it's nice that what they do does not affect me like it did before. This forum has helped me with that. Well, with DIL I feel a little maternal toward her because she's the same age as my daughter so I have more sympathy/empathy for her.. given her hard life, being abandoned & abused. With BM, I just laugh because it gets to a point where I can predict what she will do & I stopped caring what she thought or what she tells SD or how SD feels about me. I used to worry that BM would get upset about this or that and SD would not like me... but really it doesn't matter. They are going to do what they are going to do. I have that same sympathy/empathy for SD but like with DIL, it can't be an excuse they are allowed to use to hurt others, like my DGS or me.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2010 at 5:59PM
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Well, here's another update. My son broke the lease on the apartment & DIL had to move out August 1st. I had the task of cleaning up.

This is how DIL left the apartment. Just imagine EVERY room looking like this. (littered with her dirty underwear, dirty feminine products, used condoms & adult toys. She also broke a jar of salsa on the dining room floor (complete with broken glass), squirted baby lotion all over the place, poured chocolate drink powder & smashed cereal on the kitchen floor and so much more, including dried vomit on her bedroom floor next to her bed) It took me & DH 4 days (after working a full day) to remove the trash, sort through my son & DGS's personal belongings, etc. She even tore his military picture (in Class A's) to shred & left it in a pile of trash in the baby's room. Then sent my son an email telling him she did this on purpose to get back at me.

Then she had the nerve to call me on the 5th to ask for her share of my son's money. I told her that she would get it when they give me his deposit back. (she doesn't know we got it nearly spotless... I even did the carpets & repaired a hole in the wall)

    Bookmark   August 8, 2010 at 3:14AM
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Oh! Wow..... Words fail me.

I have never understood the used feminine products on the floor though. We had some friends let other friends stay at their house for a while and they found those as well. Husband, wife, baby... and feminine products, used, on the floor.

WHO DOES THAT?????????

cue in deep voice... and later, in "How Imamommy's World Turns..."

    Bookmark   August 8, 2010 at 10:59AM
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Good gravy!
I assume these photos and the email to your DS are going in your "things to potentially be used in court if ever needed" folder?

    Bookmark   August 8, 2010 at 2:05PM
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we go to court this Thursday for our final guardianship hearing... and I have printed out both the email & pictures to show if needed.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2010 at 2:09PM
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How awful. Has she been seeing the baby at all? She just sounds so very unstable.

Silver, I think the people who leave used feminine products on the floor are the same ones who leave dirty diapers and tampon dispensers on the beach. At least the diapers are somewhat understandable, but who changes their feminine products on either the beach or the bedroom?! Don't most women use the bathroom for that purpose?! Gross.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2010 at 4:58PM
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LOL, Mattie!
I know when I head to the beach, the VERY FIRST thing I do is change my tampon out in the open and throw it on the sand. Only then can I enjoy a day at the lake :)

    Bookmark   August 8, 2010 at 5:52PM
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OMG that picture! Un-freaking-real.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2010 at 3:38PM
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I know Ceph. It's just not complete without my dirty pad out in the open. And why keep the joys of my dirty diaper to myself when so many could benefit?

I just can't figure out why others don't do the same...Some people are so selfish!

    Bookmark   August 9, 2010 at 5:52PM
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Ima, we'll need an immediate update on how court went, of course. I expect it no later than 9am CST on Friday! LOL!
(I'm mostly kidding. I'll be stalking GW until I see an update, but post at your leisure.)

    Bookmark   August 9, 2010 at 6:56PM
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I think it's time for our update :)

    Bookmark   August 12, 2010 at 7:23PM
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Ima? Hopefully you were up late celebrating good news.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2010 at 10:25AM
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Rise and shine IMA!!

    Bookmark   August 13, 2010 at 12:33PM
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Sorry, I started to respond this morning but I had to leave to get SD to school on time.

I guess the day DIL called to ask for her money, she also spoke to the court investigator. She said she wants to have custody of DGS at the next hearing & when asked how she plans to care for him, she changed her mind saying she didn't want him "right now" but she didn't want ME to have full custody. Then she said she wanted to have unsupervised visits.. at least one overnight a week, not supervised. When asked how that would take place, she got defensive and told the CI "you keep asking me all these questions and I haven't had time to make a plan! I will have a plan by the time we go to court!" (which was less than a week away)

At court, her attorney said he is not going to take this to trial because there is already so much that makes his client look bad.(her attorney is her stepfather's brother who happens to be an attorney) And that was BEFORE my attorney gave him copies of what the apartment looked like.

In court, her attorney suggested that the court renew the temporary guardianship until my son returns. The reason for that is because once a guardianship is granted, the burden of proof is on HER to prove she should have her son back... for a temporary, the burden of proof is on me. (and by statute, it's only meant to be temporary until the court has time to decide if it should be permanent... so the court did not go for that~ we would have HAD to go to court every 30 days to renew it!)

Then her attorney said that my son is failing to meet his obligation to support his family. We ignored that because my son has paid the FULL rent on the apartment since he left & I made her an offer BEFORE the lease was broken. She was told that if she came up with half the rent, he would continue to pay the other half, which she said no) My son is supporting his son, that is the main thing. She can contact the Army & get her money sent directly to her & that is probably why the court ignored her attorney's statement. He started to bring up me getting her evicted & I was just waiting to see if the court was going to say anything so we could show the pictures of how she left the place. But, the court did not care.

Unfortunately, the case was continued one more time & the temporary guardianship is still in place. The law says that all grandparents need to be served & we have not been able to serve my son's father or DIL's adopted father who lives out of state. So, now we have to do everything we can to find the grandfather's & get them served. That is a pain, but it's looking like she isn't going to fight the guardianship. We go back to court in a month.

~~What a way to spend our wedding anniversary, right?~~

    Bookmark   August 13, 2010 at 1:47PM
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Instead of starting another thread ~

SD came back from BM's a week early for school. We decided to put her in a different school. We expected BM to fight it, but she was all for it... which makes a little sense, SD told all her classmates last year that she was moving away & I'm sure she didn't want to go back to face them AGAIN. (She's said her "SO LONG EVERYONE!" two or three times now since BM moved away) And it gets SD out of BM's hair a week sooner, so she was all on board with it. Of course, she says she bought SD an outfit & wants DH to agree to let her wear it to school the first day. So, DH says he needs to see it first before he would agree. BM sends him a text picture & it's a strapless top & leggings.. totally inappropriate, so DH says it's against the dress code. When DH goes to pick up SD, she has said outfit in a bag, with other things, and BM has sown a vest to it... as if that changes it from being a strapless top or makes it appropriate for a kid to wear. DH wouldn't let SD wear it to school, so of course SD wanted to call BM that night, I'm sure to tell her because she was quite upset... started yelling that if she can't wear it, then her mom wants the outfit back!!! (ANOTHER STUPID BATTLE OVER CLOTHES!!! ugh!!!) Why does she think THIS year will be any different than last or the one before that? That drives me crazy! Of course, BM tries to make an issue of it by demanding that we return the outfit to her when we pick up SD on Sunday. She picked a bad day to start making demands... I'll explain in a minute, but DH responded by asking her if she has the money she owes? She got angry because SHE BOUGHT THAT OUTFIT and how dare he keep it until she pays him? (I don't know how many times she's been told to stop sending things after he's said NO... SD also had lip gloss that she isn't allowed to wear... who knows what else?)

Anyways, the day after she got back we took her shopping for school clothes. She insisted she wears a size 5 in Jr's. Well, last school year she wore a size 16 in girls... but she has gained nearly 20 lbs over summer again. She is now 133. She's 11. She cried almost the entire time because nothing fit her. She wanted to get 'cool' clothes & even the Jr. 11/13 were tight on her. It was a terrible. I felt SO bad for her, crying almost the entire time... it wasn't at all an enjoyable experience for her. Then, as we are leaving she asks for an ice cream cone. DH says no. About half an hour later, she asks for a Big Mac & fries.... ugh! Then she's upset because DH says no to junk food. She told DH that she is upset because the shirt he bought her is XL... and it bothers her to wear size XL. But that is what fits her. And at the same time, she wants to eat whatever she pleases, as long as nobody (including the clothing labels) tells her she's "large". Very frustrating but not a thing I can do about it. I can be the food police but all that gets me is extra resentment & the stress I feel from being the "bad guy" so I give up... she can be fat. I won't call her fat, but I also won't lose sleep when she's crying because kids at school tease her. That makes me feel like I'm being a bit harsh but I am totally frustrated by it & I'm not going to make an issue of her weight. I cared more when she was 6 or 7... but each year she gets older & chooses what she eats, etc. There's nothing I can do about it.

I also took her to the doctor to be put on medication for her supposed ADHD. I am in the camp that believes it is a real condition, yet very over diagnosed & kids that don't have it are being treated for it because of lazy parenting. But, DH wants to try everything because we are frustrated by the school system & SD's manipulating everyone. She uses the "I forgot" excuse when she doesn't want to do something but she can remember details of what she does want. I call it selective memory... they call it ADHD. The visit to the doctor cost me $137.00 for 3 weeks medication (because DH didn't have the money for it)& BM is supposed to pay half. BM also agreed to pay half of the bus fee ($225) and I had to front that as well. BM hasn't paid DH a penny since May... so with all the frustration of trying to shop for SD after BM let her gain so much weight, the 'maybe ADHD' diagnosis (even the doctor isn't sure it's ADHD after he heard all the other issues SD is dealing with, including abandonment & dealing with the things her mom tells her) and the cost of medication, doctor visits/counseling that go along with treatment... an expense we really cannot afford, especially if it really is not ADHD.

We are already under stress from the guardianship case & SD comes back with all these other issues... and BM wants to use an outfit (that BTW, is NOT new... looks like she bought it at the thrift store or maybe a hand me down from her sister?) to start a battle with us. She has also demanded that DH send SD's medication, even though her doctor said SD only needs to take it on school days in the morning. BM is livid about that and called him a quack... wants his phone number so she can call him herself!

Anyways, it has been exasperating but I think we are doing well at dealing with BM. DH just turned off his phone yesterday when BM wouldn't stop texting him. I can tell it's going to be fun picking her up on Sunday.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2010 at 8:08PM
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Ima, have you tried the girls 'plus' sizes for jeans? It might be worth a shot to look into if you have not.

I went shopping with my daughter's BFF and the girl's mother and we were right where you are with a crying child. The BFF is not small (most her weight sits in her tummy) and was extremely upset. I ended the 'shopping' for the clothes part and we did supplies and stuff the rest of the outting. Then a couple days ago after doing some checking online we planned the 'clothes shopping time now' trip. The little girl ended up being a 18plus girls jeans/capri and we tried on lots of 'girl cool' bottoms that looked just like the jeans all the other girls in the store were buying...we just were buying the girls plus. The BFF was thrilled, very excited and felt like she was on cloud nine as she carried her sack of plus size cool bottoms and size 20 girls tops out of the store (we were shopping at Justice) and both girls got a handful of fun jewerly too. Best part was entire store was 40% off and our state is doing a 'tax holiday' for back to school stuff. We had a great trip and no tears.

You might check out the size chart and see what you think as if it might be an option for your SD.

Moving on...what the heck was your BM thinking with that top for the first day of school (or any day)? All the schools in my area clearly ban strapless, don't allow spaghetti straps either.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2010 at 9:38AM
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Kohl's has decent junior department. Some of the junior size clothes used to fit me and I weigh more than your SD. i am pretty sure she can fit in junior size clothes. I used to shop for DD there, and DD was never very skinny.

How tall is she? it sounds to me that 133lb is excessive weight for 11-year-old. I weigh 142 right now and I am not thin at all, i look like I could lose 10lb. And I am 44, not 11. Unless she is very tall, she is overweight. On the other hand some people just weigh a lot and they are not fat, heavy bones, and just large frame.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2010 at 10:00AM
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Does anyone know of a Jr's department that does not have only low rise, 1 1/2-2" zippers on every pair of pants? That is the biggest problem in finding her clothes. DH & I do not like the styles available for kids. I had the same problem when my daughter was young, but there were more options. IMO, clothes should be available for all body sizes & shapes. What looks good on a tall thin girl does not look good on the next girl who may be short. I do not want to shop with her because I do not want the argument over what she wants vs. what looks good, fits or is what WE think is appropriate. I would prefer to take her measurements & go buy Levi's in her size. (and I say that also because I took my sister's stepdaughter shopping once & it was horrible to shop with a teen that has her mind set on wearing trashy clothes & you're trying to buy cute, conservative clothes... and she was 15 when I took her) DH is also a guy that does not want to do clothes shopping either... he likes to get in & out ASAP. He does not like to browse, look for sales, etc.

SD's weight is well distributed all over, her face is rounder, belly is bigger & her legs are bigger. She wanted skinny jeans & most of the pants she wants have narrow legs. Of course she doesn't mind them being skin tight, DH does though. All the pants she likes create a muffin top or a roll. The stores we went to only went up to size 16 in kids. I used to buy her clothes at Osh Kosh because they have cute stuff & they didn't have the low rise stuff everywhere else has. Last year, they stopped selling size 16's. I have bought her plus sizes and that is an option. But as I mentioned, she cries & gets upset if she has to wear anything that references "large", "extra large" "plus" husky"... she wants to wear size 5 skinny jeans. It's just not realistic.

She is 5'2", the same height as me. She weighed about 113 at the beginning of summer, which was slightly overweight but not too noticeable. According to a BMI chart for children, she is nearly considered obese.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2010 at 12:47PM
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Do you have Delia's? I've had good luck there for my not-so-skinny daughter.

Here is a link that might be useful: dELiAs

    Bookmark   August 14, 2010 at 2:59PM
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How about you shop in women stores rather than children. Why not buy her size 4-6 in grown up store? I used to buy DD GAP jeans starting probably this age. I waited for sales/clearance though because regular price jeans were too expensive for a young girl. 10 years ago Kohls still had appropriate type of pants. Old Navy? Not too expensive.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2010 at 3:09PM
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The one thing almost every woman has to learn, sooner or later is this simple tradeoff:

You can eat whatever you want
or you can weigh what you want

Pick one, because unless you exercise an awful lot, you just can't have them both.

Since tip-toeing hasn't worked, what about a short, direct conversation with the choice laid out in just those terms. It's a very simple sentence that might get through to her...

    Bookmark   August 15, 2010 at 11:19AM
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Ima, first of all, happy anniversary! In a few years on your anniversary hopefully you will look back and laugh about this one, because all will have turned out for the best.

Sorry about the delay in court, that must be very frustrating. It sounds like more time will just give DIL more time to behave badly, so maybe it will just make your case even stronger. Somehow I don't think she's going to turn her life around that quickly.

Your poor SD. JC Penney's has juniors clothes that go up to something like size 17, I think. It's going to be really tough for her since she's so petite height-wise yet so overweight. I feel badly because it's hard enough for a grown woman to stick with a nutritious diet; for an 11 year old the time that it will take for her to get to a healthy weight must sound like an eternity.

You're right though, you cannot force her to make better food choices though, although you can offer to help make a plan if she asks. I'd keep an eye out for any signs of eating disorders developing though, the poor girl sounds like she might really be at risk, especially since BM and sister are so focused on slut-girl appearance.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2010 at 11:38AM
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If she's 5'2", she can probably pull off a 30" inseam, so I was going to suggest Old Navy, but PO1 beat me to it!

They have a couple fits that come up to partway between the hipbone and the natural waist - low enough to be cool, but high enough to not be obscene. They even come in skinny!
IIRC, "Sweetheart" has the highest rise and most room in the hip and thigh (probably too high for SD's liking - too high for my liking too). "Flirt" is a mid-rise and has medium room in the hip and thigh (the one I think is the most universally flattering). "Diva" is quite low and snugger in the hip and thigh (avoid this one).

And I totally agree with you on the skanky vs cute clothing debate. At any age, but especially at age 11, clothes should be fitted but not tight. Except to a maladjusted subsection of 15 to 25yo boys who prefer anorexic-looking women poured into lycra, clothes that skim the body are the most flattering on every body type!

    Bookmark   August 15, 2010 at 11:43AM
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Mattie said "Sorry about the delay in court, that must be very frustrating. It sounds like more time will just give DIL more time to behave badly, so maybe it will just make your case even stronger. Somehow I don't think she's going to turn her life around that quickly. "

I kind of have my fingers crossed that DIL will do something else to shoot herself in the foot. Nothing to endanger DGS of course, but something else to make herself look unreliable. Going back to court every 30 days is unreasonable.

I also wish you luck to find those grandfathers. What constitutes "everything you can do to find them" and how much is it going to cost?

    Bookmark   August 15, 2010 at 7:08PM
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I am very hopeful about the next hearing, that it will all be resolved. I found DIL's father in a roundabout way. I googled his wife's name & she happens to sell real estate. I sent her an email to her work email from her website & she wrote back... saying she talked to her husband & they fully support the guardianship. Notice is being sent to my son's father at his sister's last known address since I don't have any other info on him. I'll just have to keep my fingers crossed that the court accepts that. As for DIL, her attorney already said they are not going to take it to trial (contested hearing) so the only issue is getting everyone served. The court has already rejected the idea of going back to court every 30 days. I agreed to a review in 6-8 months, but DIL has done zippo to straighten out her life in the 3 months since this all began. I'll be surprised if she does anything before then. Of course, I do suspect she will try to reconcile with my son when he gets back.

So far, this has cost me about $3000 and my attorney has not given me a bill. She did tell me that she does not want to bill me by the hour so she will give me a flat fee that will be substantially lower, but I would expect it to be at least 2-3k. If it went to trial, it would be twice that, at least. (she has been my attorney for a few years & represented me for the DNA case with my son & SD's custody case with DH & BM. I've worked some of our bills off with my attorney support services business, and she is very sympathetic to the current situation ~ maybe because my son is gone, trying to do the right thing... and it involves a baby.) It could get very expensive if it's dragged out but i think their goal is to prevent a permanent order so she can try to reconcile with my son when he gets back & it would be easier for them to get DGS back. That didn't work & I expect the permanent order to be made at the next hearing. If they were to reconcile when he gets back, I would not voluntarily return DGS to them... they would have to prove to the court that they should have DGS. Their entire history has been volatile. I pray it doesn't come to that.. them against me.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2010 at 8:06PM
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Wow, I hope your DS has the good sense not to reconcile with her. Her treatment of him in the past has been abhorrent and abusive; you need to have one helluva talk with him if he ever remotely considers it.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2010 at 12:14AM
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Jeez what a mess. Why is it everything has to happen at the same time?

Will be keeping you & yours in my thoughts and prayers. There is no way in he** your DIL will get it together before your next court date. Hopefully your DS will stay the course and not buy into her manipulations.

SS went through a lot of the same stuff with DGS's mother for nearly 5 yr.s before he figured it out. Unfortunately he keeps glomming onto needy women and replaying the same scenario over & over. Sad for GS. Thank goodness you have guardianship & provide normalcy for your DGS.

It's hard because they want the fairy tale, but you can't plan a life with crazy. It just doesn't work..


    Bookmark   August 16, 2010 at 11:47PM
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Gosh Ima....it never ends for you! I'm so sorry! :( I hope things work out in your favor....I have a feeling they will. You are doing the right thing, and I think the next hearing will go in your favor. Your grandson is so lucky to have you fighting for him!

You don't really think your son will reconcile with DIL, do you?

As far as SD goes, ditto on the womens' stores---at 5'2" she could shop at Old Navy or Gap or The Limited, etc. Any mainstream store! I think that might be your best bet.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2010 at 9:56AM
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i happened to be shopping in Kohls for new bed sheets and passed by a girls department. immidiatelly Ima's SD came to mind, I looked at few things, and jeans that had size 16 on them looked like they would only fit very skinny anorexic girls. Nothing looked like it would fit anyone who weighs 133lb.

So I confirmed that it is a bad idea to shop for SD in kids stores. no wonder she is upset, nothing looks like it would fit anyone who is not a skinny stick. I only see a solution in shopping in grown up stores, maybe petite section.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2010 at 9:55AM
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Shopping the adult petite section is a really good idea. Having very large breasts runs in my family. My mom had a breast reduction at 20, my older sister at 16, and myself at 15. I may not have been "large" but it was heartbreaking to go shopping for cute tops or bathing suits and have everything look terrible or not fit over my chest.

Then my mom started taking me shopping in the adult petite section and I was able to find very very cute, MODEST tops that both flattered my shape and didn't make my chest look like it was it was going to burst forth and smack someone in the face. In fact, after my surgery, I was bummed that some of those tops didn't still fit! Plus, what girl DOESN'T like to hear they look petite??

I see what is sold in "teen" stores these days, and I think what is sold in places like Macy's in the Style & Co. adult section, or INC is SOOOO much cuter, and the quality is usually much better than places like Forever 21 or something. So it may be a bit pricier to go somewhere like that, but it pays off in the end.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2010 at 6:44PM
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