Thursday, August 28, 2008

Gosh, it's been awhile

We've been busy... doing pretty much nothing. Doesn't it always feel like that though? I've uploaded pictures, so I'll just share those for now.

This was our harvest from the other night - 6 cups of basil, half a pound of green beans, tomatoes, tomatoes, tomatoes, a handful of chard, and a bell pepper. That's working out to be about average, minus the basil - I had clipped off the whole plants that night. I got about 6 meals' worth of pesto out of it though, that went into the freezer. We also get cucumbers every so often. Tomorrow I'm going to make a big batch of pico de gallo and some tomato sauce, and probably blanch and freeze some green beans. The garden is at that point where it basically takes care of itself. I spent all spring working hard to keep the weeds out, germinate the seeds, etc. and now we're reaping the benefits. I've got 4 varieties of lettuce, spinach, and beets coming up now for a fall crop, but the neighborhood cats keep digging up the seed beds to crap in them, so I'm not sure what I'll actually get. I did sprinkle a generous helping of cayenne pepper all around the beds the other night though, so maybe that will help.


A shot of my mom driving her pony in a dressage show:

I think this is kinda cool. My mom's had this pony for years, has always driven her just for fun occasionally, but is now finally doing something with her for real. She seems to enjoy it. We had fun watching the show.

My mom's pissing me off lately. I hate saying that. I love my mom, she's been my best friend for the past handful of years, since I grew up and stopped being a shithead. :oX But lately, she's just... not fun to be around. She always talks about my aunt (her sister) being negative, and set in her ways and unwilling to change... but she's starting to act just the same. She's been telling me over and over again how unfair it is to Chloe to homeschool her. "But what about socialization?" Ugh. I hate that question. I dunno... just in general, she's not fun to be around anymore. She's already complaining about Christmas. She complains about my dad all the time, how he goes out and does things and doesn't want to be with her. I feel bad for her, she's kind of in a crappy point in her life, but her negativity is kind of dragging me down at a time that I don't really need it. I used to hang out with her two or three times a week. Now it's just on Sundays, and mostly so we can see my dad. :o(

On the up side, my daddy is very supportive of us homeschooling, he's really enjoying having a son in law who is going hunting this fall, he tells me every time he sees me how proud he is of me and how much he loves his granddaughters. I'm not sure where this man came from, but I hope he stays and leaves my old dad behind! :-)


My dad's brother and his wife came to visit this past weekend. On Sunday we went over for breakfast, and the guys were out fishing. My aunt started talking about homeschool: "Well, you aren't going to do it forever." "umm... yes, I am. at least until college." "Well, that's not fair to her. What about socialization?" Jesus. I was so well socialized that I was suicidal at fourteen! Her son was so well socialized that he's 32 and hasn't ever had a real girlfriend, can't hold a job, and lets his grandmother support him. Gosh, I wish my kids were like that! There was a long, drawn out conversation but I won't re-cap it all. It irritates me. It ended with me saying "{Aunt}, I'm done talking about this. I get lectured by a lot of people, and it hasn't changed my mind yet. You're not going to either. I don't want to discuss it anymore." I thought that was good. UNTIL!! As we're on our way out the door, she says to Chloe "Now, you tell your mom that you deserve to go to a real school and play and have fun just like all the other kids."

Oh no, she didn't. Ah, but she did. We didn't bother going back to my parents' house to see them after that. You can lecture me, question me, harrass me all you want for my parenting and educational choices. But DO NOT make my child feel bad for the decisions I am making, and DO NOT try to turn her against me.

I think livid is the best word to describe how I felt that day.


Okay, baby is fussing. More pictures tomorrow. :o)

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Holy crap, what am I doing??

Oh my. I just came across this site when skipping around some homeschooling stuff. Take a look at her Kindergarten plans. Wow. Holy organized, and holy prepared.

I'm so not like that. I have a vague idea of what I intend to teach Chloe this year, and I have a vague idea of what general Kindergarten standards are. Mostly, she has already achieved those standards, we're really moving on into first grade at this point. But I'm nothing like that mom, who has every single lesson for every single day planned out!

Our average homeschooling day goes like this: breakfast with phonics review using magnets on the fridge. Somewhere along the way we say our phone number, address, days of the week and months of the year, and talk about what day it is. At some point either I ask if she wants to do a page of her workbook, or she asks to. We work on some math or grammar/reading stuff. Occasionally I get all inspired (or start panicking about my LACK of schooling her) and I come up with some great educational activity for her to do.

And that's about it.

And at five years old, she can read as well as a first grader, she can count and write numbers to 100, she can add and subtract with manipulatives, she can explain in basic terms photosynthesis, she can tell you anything you want to know about pretty much any living creature on the earth including where it lives, what it eats, and what it's classification is (mammal, reptile, etc.) She can point out a handful of states on a map, and can tell you about several different cultures - Mexico, Ireland, Japan, China, Singapore, Africa, France. She's fascinated with the "Wild West" and knows all about cowboys and indians and what it was like at the turn of the century in the western US. She can bake cookies with just a little help, knows exactly how things like yarn and thread are made (from personal experience), can successfully mail a letter, and can communicate and socialize well with anyone from infant to elderly.

It takes making little lists like that to remind myself that I'm probably doing alright, even though we're not organized, we don't have a plan for each day, and I don't make her sit down to learn things for hours each day.

We're not unschoolers. But we're not traditional homeschoolers either. I guess we're just doing what works... kind of like every other part of my parenting career, I suppose.


In other news...

Deb asked for b-day pics. (I turned 26 yesterday. My, how time flies.) Honestly, I don't think there was one photo taken of me on my birthday. I'd like DH to do a quick photo shoot of me though, for scrapbooking purposes, so if it ever gets done, I'll post them here. My mama did make me a German chocolate cake (from scratch) and it was WONDERFUL. And hubby got me exactly what i wanted for my birthday - a real set of kitchen knives, subscriptions to two of my fave magazines, and the A-Z Organic Growing Guide for Vegetables.

26 is nearly 30. And 30 is OLD. Not really... but it seems that way. Like the Deanna Carter lyric "I remember when 30 was old". I sure don't feel 30. 30 is definitely grown up. Right now, I'm still mostly a kid. But only for a few more years! When you're 30, you have to start shopping in the "ladies" section of the department stores. No more cute Juniors' halter tops and flare jeans and mini-dresses. You can't get away with nights out at the bar as easily, and sure as heck can't wear a bikini (not that I would these days anyway.)

I'm not ready to be old yet. :oP


So Cora is pretty much over her cold. Unfortunately now, she's cutting two teeth. Diarrhea, low-grade fever, and lots and lots of fussing. Poor baby. She keeps grinding her teeth and whimpering. I finally gave in and rubbed a bit of whiskey on her gums. (I can see the gawking and gasping now. Hey, it works.) I was hoping to knit the night away, but t looks like I'll be snuggling Miss Fussypants instead. :o)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Cora learned how to share!

....she gave me her cold.

Ughhhhhh I feel so awful. My temp is 101.7, last I checked. I'm FREEZING, the swamp cooler (air conditioner) is off, it's 81 degrees in my house, and I'm wearing fleece pants and a sweat shirt, drinking hot tea. I'm the biggest sissy when I get sick. I called my mom to whine. I was hoping for some sort of sympathy, maybe even an offer to take the kids for a couple hours so I could get some much needed sleep. Her reply? "Stay the hell away from me! I don't want whatever you have. And I better not already have it!"

Sheesh. What ever happened to maternal sacrifice? Hmphh.


Cora's doing much better, thankfully. I always worry the most about the littlest ones, they can't really tell you what's wrong. She's back to her trouble-making little self again though. She managed to climb up an entire flight of (very steep) stairs by herself today. I was right behind her ready to catch, but she didn't need me and kept pushing my hands away. How did my baby get so independent?


We watched Flipper (the newer one with Elijah Wood) tonight while I nursed my fever and tried to relax. Chloe LOVED it. I'm all about teaching my kids about the importance of doing things to protect the environment, and this movie was a wonderful illustration of it's importance. Except that I fear I've created a monster. Chloe already understands the meaning of the word organic. We extended that tonight by talking about how most farmers use chemicals on their crops to control weeds and bugs. With a horrified look on her face she said (with an entirely straight face) "I'm going to tell those lazy farmers at Farmer's Market to go out and pull the weeds instead of spraying chemnicals on them!" (Yes, chemnicals.) I'm scared to take her to Farmer's Market again... I can't think of any good way to explain that one away, in case she actually said it.


I talked to my grandmother today - my biological mom's mother. We hadn't talked in nearly a year. She's the sweetest woman, and lost her husband to a heart attack in May. I can't imagine being that old, and losing the man you love. It breaks my heart for her. Anyway, we had a great talk, it was nice to catch up. I didn't meet her until I was 20 years old - she didn't even know I existed. She's always emotional when we talk, I think at the thought of all those years of a granddaughter lost. She always tells me that if she'd known about me, she and Dwight (my grandpa) would have taken me and raised me.


Anyhow, I suppose that's enough rambling. I'm so exhausted. Unfortunately, neither of my children are, so I guess we'll be up for awhile...

Sunday, August 17, 2008

It's official

Oh my goodness, I just realized that we are "officially" homeschoolers now. I hadn't thought about it that way. But all the 'normal' kids are going to school today, and if Chloe were a normal kid, she'd be off to her first day of kindergarten.

Aaahhhh! Time to panic! Not really. LOL I've said we're homeschoolers all along. I've been meaningfully teaching her things for two years now. If I were to put her in school, they'd have to skip her to first grade, which is what we're starting on now. But wow... it all just sort of became real to me.

Really though, it's a day that calls for celebration. All the 'normal' kids are back where they belong - out of the mall, off the playgrounds, off their skateboards on the streets, and behind desks in school buildings, far away from us. We can now go do all those fun things we've missed out on all summer because I just can't deal with that many kids. Hooray!

We're really homeschoolers now. I thought this day would never come. :o)

Hooray for Fun Fur!

I made a sweater. :o)

Pattern: Easy Baby Cardigan by Diane Soucy, with lots of alterations. I made the whole thing a little longer, didn't decrease the sleeves so they wouldn't be fitted, only made one tie, and made the hood about 3" longer. And I added gobs of Fun Fur, just 'cuz I can.

Needles: size 7 circs and dpn's

Yarn: Bernat Satin (white) one and a half balls; Lion Brand Fun Fur in "Tropical", one and a half balls. (both were stash yarn, yay!)

Super cute, took a little longer than normal, but I haven't been knitting as much.

Please excuse my sicky baby in the pictures. It'll be cuter when her hair is combed and she's not wearing it over pajamas. ;o)


Speaking of sicky baby, ugh. This poor kid.

What I've determined is that she has a sinus infection that's draining out of one of her eyes occasionally, which both looks, and probably feels, really gross. Lots of greenish yellow sticky baby snot. Fun times.

I'm doing warm compresses with chamomile tea five or six times a day, salt water nasal rinses three times a day (which is horrid when you're an adult, and maybe worse when you're a baby.) Last night I gave her a bath in lavendar essential oil and I've been putting another oil on her feet and chest to help her breathe a little better. (But actually, her breathing isn't all that bad. A little rattly but not enough to worry me.) She's still having a fever every now and again, but nothing that lasts too long, it always breaks around 102.

Hopefully all of that, plus lots of snugglin', will get her better pretty soon. I'm gonna pick up some colloidal silver while I'm out today too.


Phantom Husband is home! He's actually in bed right now, sleeping. I saw him! ;o) He'll be leaving shortly for work, I'm sure, but he's home right now. I better go take a picture... it's the start of a new week, I might not see him again for awhile. Life sure does get lonely when he's gone for so long.


Why is it that you can buy a baby hundreds of dollars' worth of new toys, and she will pick the two dollar bag of wooden blocks to be her favorite?

She sat here for the good part of an hour the other day, putting the blocks into the bag, then taking them out. Over and over again. It brought her much joy and satisfaction. Silly kid. Love how babies are so easily entertained!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Misc. Rambling

So we went to Old Chicago's last night for Cora's birthday. We told the waitress it was her birthday, and could they please sing and give her a dessert (just like we did for Chloe on her birthday.) The waitress seemed entirely annoyed that I would request such a thing for a baby. After our meal, she showed up with a pitiful little scoop of ice cream (they usually give you a cookie) and stood there while we sang "Happy Birthday" to her. She said the other wait staff was too busy to sing. That's what I really wanted the most - to see Cora's expression when everyone sang to her, something she'd love. But no, they were too busy. I emailed Old Chicago's. I'm ticked that they couldn't be bothered to celebrate the birthday of a one year old. I hope that girl gets in trouble for acting so annoyed with us.


Poor Cora is actually kind of sick. She had a fever Thursday night, 102.7, but woke up Friday morning with a normal temp and acting fine. We played and had fun yesterday for her birthday, went to dinner, and then last night her temp spiked again, to 101.8. She's a little snotty, but not terribly, but her eyes are kind of runny. I'm not sure if it's some kind of conjunctivitis or if it's just part of a cold. I'm wiping her eyes and face down with warm chamomile tea several times a day and hoping it goes away. She's acting fine though, for the most part.


The Phantom Husband returned last night. At least, I'm fairly certain he did. There's a big pile of laundry in the closet, and a beer is missing..... He was gone before I woke up.

Okay, I'm exaggerating. I actually spent about an hour talking to him after he got home last night, but he really was gone before I was out of bed, something like 5:00. He left Sunday night, got home late last night, and all I got was an hour before he was asleep and then off to work again. I'm getting so sick of these long hours! One hour a week just isn't gonna cut it.

Seriously, I can complain all I want, but no one else I know gets 17 paid weeks off in one year. I'll take the long weeks on for the weeks off that he gets.


So yeah, he's back at work, Cora's a little sick, and Chloe's going to Mark's house for the weekend. (If he calls - I'm not holding my breath.) I'm not sure what's in store for today, maybe a bit of scrapbooking, snuggling, and a bit of shopping? We'll see. Only have one kid is almost like having time to myself. :o)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Vocabulary Lesson

"Mom, what does 'sacrifice' mean?"


"It means 'To have children.'



I love that all of our party guests were so kind as to bring gifts for Cora. And each one of them picked out the toy that looked the most exciting and interesting. Apparently, lights, obnoxious noises and lots of little pieces intrigue adults tremendously.


I still feel like I'm playing catch up from last week. My sisters-in-law called today and asked if I could give them a ride home from Glenwood Springs, about an hour and a half from here. Three hours in the car didn't make Cora a happy camper, but it wasn't too bad. I enjoy chatting with them, even if it is at times rather awkward.

Andrew's gone, this time to Utah. We're hoping he'll be home Thursday, but I'm not holding my breath. I always feel like my weeks are spent just waiting for the next week off. I should change that. It makes for long days though. That stretch from around 4:00 until bedtime is the worst. Tonight after we ate dinner we walked to the park. Everyone was having a great time until Chloe broke her leg and fractured her skull. (Read: skinned her knee and bumped her head.)

I have a problem of over-estimating how much food to make when serving others. As a result, we have enough barbecue food left in the fridge to have another whole party. I'm getting mighty sick of hot dogs and potato chips, and I've probably gained five pounds!

I suppose that's all the rambling I'll do today. Tomorrow: errands in the morning, sitting around in the afternoon. Surely I'll have something interesting to write about...

Monday, August 11, 2008

Presto, pesto!

Anyone else out there absolutely love fresh basil? I grew it last year and really didn't know what to do with it. Other than a few batches of spaghetti sauce, most of it went to waste. This year, I discovered pesto. :o)

I planted two plants this year, and two more volunteers sprouted up in a flower pot. From those I get about two cups every other week, enough for this recipe:

2 cups fresh basil, packed
2 cloves fresh organic garlic
1/2 cup organic raw pine nuts
1/2 cup extra virgin cold-pressed olive oil
1/2 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese

Put everything in the blender except the cheese, process until creamy. Add the cheese and pulse just to blend. Makes about 1 1/2 cups

Sooooo good. 1/2 cup is enough for a pasta dinner for Andrew and I. I usually divide it in two and freeze them - what's left after dinner I spread on sourdough or french bread and snack.

If you have cherry tomatoes, try this: Cut just the tops off the tomatoes and scoop out the pulp and seeds, leaving little cups. Fill the tomato "cups" with pesto. Serve as an appetizer or atop a salad. I did it with grape tomatoes and they were great, but more labor intensive.

I'm all about the pesto. Hopefully I'll get a couple more batches before my plants bolt so we'll have pesto well into winter.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Cora's Party

Oh, it was a huge success! We had fewer people than we expected, but it was still great. She was such a good baby - didn't fuss once, and really had a great time. She only had one short nap this morning, so I was worried, but she was a doll the whole time, friendly and social and happy and loving her attention.

She LOVED the slip n' slide.

Mmmm cake. I can't believe how dainty she was about it.

Sharing her carrot with Grammy (my mom).
Big sister had to help open presents... and play with everything to make sure it all worked properly. ;o)

Ooh, and she loved the balloons too.

Her pile of presents was a lot bigger than she is!

It was so much fun. Everyone had a good time - even the in-laws. (I think.) I was so worried something would go wrong, but it was honestly really great, and I loved it.

And now both girls are sleeping VERY soundly, and I'm about to head that way myself!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Little Bits

I was totally super mom today. I did a HUGE shopping trip for the party on Sunday. Then I baked two cakes and a dozen cupcakes, decorated them, and did it all while helping Chloe with school work, keeping the baby happy, and I didn't get all crazy and stressed out like I usually do when cake decorating is involved.

I really hate decorating cakes. Neither one is perfect. Not even close. And after all the flippin' work I put into them, I don't really even care. For Pete's sake, they're for a ONE year old. She won't even know any different.

I also made a black bean and corn salsa (with home-grown tomatoes and peppers!) and a cole-slaw that needs to sit for a couple days to really be good. I made lunch, made dinner, washed and folded two loads of laundry, dealt with Mark when he picked Chloe up, and probably a million other things that I just do out of habit and can't think of at the moment.

And now, I am sitting here, enjoying my second margarita and listening to the thunder storm that's starting and watching my baby wreck havoc on the pets. I feel rather good about myself, very accomplished. Now if only I could muster up the energy to bathe her....


I was in Wal Mart earlier (where inevitably there are half a dozen children screeching and running wild at any given time) and this girl, probably about my age, was scolding her maybe three year old son. She scooped him up, obviously frustrated and angry, and said "That's it! You're going to grandma's house," whereupon the little boy started screaming "No!!!!!!!!!" as she dragged him from the store. Seriously, how sad is that? My kid would be skipping out the door singing if I told her she was going to grandma's house. I can't imagine what kind of grandmother that poor boy has, and it makes me feel sad for him.


My dad called last night to let me know he won't be attending Cora's party, because he's going fishing. In Alaska. Yeah. I'm really not that upset, though I suspect he thought I would be. Heck, I'd pass up a toddler birthday party if I could go to Alaska! While we were on the phone though, he said "Those sure are some special little girls you have." He proceeded to tell me how much he loves them and how much he enjoys our Sunday morning breakfasts and that he misses them when we aren't there.

There aren't words to describe how happy that made me feel, to hear him say that. I know he loves his granddaughters, but he must really love them if he's willing to tell me about it. My daddy isn't usually the mushy type.


There is a heck of a thunder storm going on right now. Andrew's out scouting for elk, and Chloe's at Mark's. Cora's completely oblivious. I wish there was someone here to share it with me. I really love thunder storms.

Yesterday I went out and worked in the garden while it rained. (did I already mention that?) It was awesome - muddy, but so pleasant. There weren't any wasps flying around, and it was peaceful to listen to the rain land on my garden.


Andrew has to leave as soon as Cora's party is over, to go to Wyoming for work again. I hate this Wyoming crap. I always say I want to move there - if he keeps going there for work, we may as well! At least then we'd see him more than once a week, eh? And he's got hunting licenses for pretty much everything, which means his weeks off from now until mid-November are going to be taken up hunting. I have a feeling I'm going to be a very lonely mama for awhile.


Baby is a climber. She pushes the laundry basket around to climb on to things. Yesterday she pushed it to the couch, climbed on up, then promptly fell off and cried. As soon as she was done being comforted, she pushed it up to the recliner, leaned over the side, and fell off and cried. Then she pushed it up to the window, stared out for awhile, then fell off. Some day she's going to learn how to get down, right? :o)


Chloe collected a pocketful of rocks while we were camping, which made it into the washer (and some into the drier too.) I told her "Chloe, I just found a bunch of rocks in the washer." She said "Oh, thank you for washing them! They're all clean now!"


Cora's got a runny nose. I don't think it's too much of a cold, just a little stuffiness. Chloe had it the day we left to go camping.

So all day long I hear "Mom! Cora's got snot!" ...... "It's a really big one!"......."She's licking it now!"..... "Ew, Mom, it's kind of green this time!"

All day, my daughter narrates the nasal secretions of her baby sister. It's lovely.


Ooh! It just rained! It poured. For about 30 seconds. I wonder if that means I can skip watering the garden tonight....


Baby climbed into the laundry basket full of laundry. And just fell out. I suppose I should go. :o)

Garden Bounty

We've finally been getting some rain, and some days that aren't 98 degrees, and my garden appreciates it.


I managed to get everything put away from camping yesterday and all of the laundry washed. I also did the shopping for Cora's party decorations (we're having a butterfly party for lack of anything cuter.)

Parties stress me out. The thought of that many people and their children at our house makes me kind of twitchy. And we're not even really inviting that many, mostly just Chloe's friends and their parents, plus our parents.

I still have a million things to do. Mostly making food, and I need to make and decorate the cake (and then hope that neither the cat nor dog manage to eat it before the party.) And of course, I need to clean the house. I'm feeling rather overwhelmed, which is why I'm sitting here in front of the computer rambling to my blog instead of actually starting on it. Probably not a great plan...

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Cathedral Campground, Del Norte, Colorado

Pics from our camping trip:

It was fun. It was a four and a half hour drive, and for what we got out of it, we could've driven less than an hour. But that's alright, at least we saw some places we've never seen, and got away for a few days. The girls had a good time, and we did get to relax quite a bit.


And now that we're back, I have three days to get ready for Cora's party on Sunday afternoon. I have shopping to do, the cake to make, the food to prepare, plenty of cleaning, and I'm getting a box of peaches this afternoon so I'll be canning all day tomorrow. I'm sort of exhausted just thinking about it. Andrew should be home Sunday morning to help out, and maybe Saturday too.

Oy, I'm feeling overwhelmed. I guess I better go get started!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Dealing with Mark. (again)

I love to watch my children sleep. Perhaps it is the fact that they have an almost unfathomable amount of collective energy that, by evening, has me exhausted and ragged, and then they turn into such peaceful little beings. They're just such beautiful little girls. :-)


So I'm (as usual) frustrated with Mark, Chloe's real dad. He got fired from his job a couple weeks ago (again), this time for sexual harassment and possibly stealing. Therefore, he's not paying child support again. What he told me was that he had to put in his two weeks notice because his job was just so stressful that it was detrimental to his health. He worked at a flippin' shoe store. How stressful can that be, really? Anyhow, so now he's trying to find a new job, only (his words) "They all say he's over-qualified for their positions". Ha f-ing ha. Seriously, it was all I could do not to laugh in his face. Surely it's not because the interviewer can tell within three minutes of him opening his mouth that he's an idiot? Nah, that couldn't be it.

So he was supposed to have Chloe yesterday. He said he'd be ready for her around 1:00 and would call. (His car broke down and he doesn't have money to fix it, so I have to drive her now.) He never did call. At 5:30 I decided to heck with it and we went to McDonald's and took it to the park to have a dinner picnic and play. He called at 6:30 asking "What's up?" I told him I didn't feel like waiting around for him to call anymore so we went and did something. He said "Well, I tried to call you at 1, but you didn't answer and never called me back." Apparently, Verizon just hates Mark, because this has happened several times. Now, when anyone else calls, my phone says "MISSED CALL" and if they leave a voicemail it says "NEW VOICEMAIL." But with Mark, my phone company has a personal vendetta against him and won't tell me that he has called. Either that, or he's lying. Hmm. So he managed once again to try and turn it around to be my fault, which he does in every situation and always has.

It's just flipping draining to deal with him. He tries to make something my fault, and when I call him on it and let him know how it really is, he gets all pouty and develops this attitude reminiscent of my teenage years and says things like "Whatever dude" and gets all stormy and mad. (This is what I dealt with for five years before our divorce. Is there any wonder why I left? It took two years just to realize everything really isn't my fault.)

Right now, he's expecting me to drop Chloe off whenever he calls today. Except that the Olathe Sweet Corn festival is today, going until late this evening, and I think we're going. So he's going to call, and I'll just tell him I won't be dropping her off. I bend over flipping backwards for him, always making sure he has Chloe whenever it's convenient for him, and I can't figure out why I do except that I like to keep the peace. He hasn't kept up one iota of his end of the court-ordered bargain: he doesn't pay child support (he's 8 months behind now, if you count August.) He doesn't carry her medical insurance (and never did, though lied about it for a year.) He doesn't show up when he's supposed to to pick her up, and now expects me to drop her off. BUT he still claims her on his taxes (how is that fair?) And yet still, I do everything I can to keep him happy, just like when we were married. He's like a ticking bomb, you never know what might set him off, so you just tiptoe around and try not to do anything to upset him.

But I think I'm done with that. I need to muster up the balls to tell him I'm not going to walk his little tightrope anymore, that he can start holding up his end of the bargain or he can stop expecting to see Chloe whenever he feels like it's convenient.

---On a side note, Chloe's making a "Me" book, where she uses pictures of the family and then writes about them, with help. When we got to Andrew, I wrote underneath, "This is _____. He is my _____." She asked if she could write "Dad" instead of Step-dad. I told her it was up to her, and she said "Well, he acts like a dad, and I love him like he's my regular dad, so I'm just going to say he's my dad." :o)

I'm posting two other pictures of my baby girl, because she's cute.

I'm not usually one to just stick her in front of a movie, but one night, after a day of just fussing and whining and crying (and probably teething) I was desperate for just half an hour of quiet. So I turned on a movie, let her sit in her recliner, and she's was a happy camper.

Silly baby is starting to climb.... she struggled a little with getting out though, once she got in.

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