Stepparents

Easter Brunch

For a blended family, holidays require a little more effort if you want to make memories and keep traditions. This year, the boys were set to spend Easter with their bio mom. For us this means they will stay the evening before Easter with her and we will get them back the evening of Easter. We wanted to have a family get together so to accommodate the schedule we chose to have a brunch Saturday morning with Easter festivities to follow. Keep in mind we had just gotten home from the Hospital Friday afternoon for Carlos’ neck surgery and had to pick the kids up the same evening along with a grocery store run for Saturday’s brunch menu - so the house was a little hectic. 

I chose to make a super yummy breakfast crescent ring that I’ve made only once before and something new I hadn’t tried, a french toast bake that everyone loved. The adults indulged in tequila sunrise mimosas and the kids enjoyed fresh fruit cut into bunny and egg shapes. The brunch was an all around success - which is crucial to my southern roots of perfectionism and hospitality. Plus we got to use our newly built table that comfortably fit everyone including the food. 

After stuffing ourselves with tequila and breakfast we retired to the backyard for the traditional easter egg hunt. This year was a lot more fun because Dex, who is almost 3, was able to run around on his own and find his egg colors without too much help. 

I always categorize the colors before the kids go out to the yard. Everyone gets a chance at a basketful of eggs plus it makes the hunt a little harder since you can’t grab the first egg you see. The kids love it.
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Once everyone had found all their eggs and the adults did a walk through of the yard for stragglers (which turned up hours later when the kids went to play outside) we went inside to unveil the goodies.

I’ve always had a hard time trying to fill these tiny eggs. This year seemed a bit easier. I wanted to spend the least amount of money. To me it’s about the experience and not so much what is inside the eggs. Additionally my oldest, Vince, is not much into candy so I have to be creative. Here’s what we had this year:

~ We spread out $7.50 in quarters between the eggs
~ Gummy bear candies in different shapes. For the girl I did ring and cherry shapes and for the boys I did regular bears, snakes, and bottle shapes. This all came in one small gummy bear bag that was $1 at Walmart
~ Bouncy balls for the boys, 98 cents at Walmart
~ Tiny jeweled rings for the girl, 98 cents at Walmart
~ Neon balloons, 98 cents at Walmart for a bag
~ What was left we filled with Easter Hershey Kisses and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups that I had bought anyway as after breakfast sweets for everyone

As the kids emptied the eggs, we blew up all the balloons which kept the kids entertained for a couple hours popping them, hiding them, and trying to see who can keep their balloon up the longest. It was also Carlos’ mom’s birthday so we did cake and candles. We got blessed with some beautiful spring weather so of course we went back outside to take advantage of that. Around here you never know when another snow storm will pop up. It was so nice being out in the sun while the kids played in the yard. 

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We finished up our early Easter by dying eggs. Dex really enjoyed this, he was so fascinated by his eggs I could barely get him to look into the camera with the others. Before the kids left to go to their moms, their aunt and grandma surprised them with easter baskets. What a day!

My heart was so full. We couldn’t believe all the stuff we were able to accomplish in a few short hours but everyone had such a great time. These are the things I look forward to and hope that the kids always remember and cherish. Happy Easter! 

Friday Night Freak Out

If you’ve been granted the blessing of being in a blended family where the ex wife/husband is a mature adult capable of maintaining a healthy and functional co-parenting relationship - well then this post ain’t for you.

I and my love haven’t been so lucky. But looking for the positive we’ve learned a lot about the power of patience and being the bigger person. Now that the boys are getting older, it is starting to reflect in their ways toward us. 

But let’s get to the point here. We were supposed to pick up the boys last night, as we do every other week and we were merely 20 minutes away from the pick up time when Carlos receives a phone call from the ex. Then comes a message through the text app stating that the youngest had fallen off of a chair he was standing on and she was waiting to hear back from the pediatrician. < insert Jen’s response yelled out from the other room, "tell her to get him to the ER - and what the H - E - double hockey stick was he doing standing on a chair!" > Of course Carlos calls back immediately and to our shock - but not surprise - the littlest one had indeed fallen from a chair that he should’t have been standing on in the first place had he been supervised, but that’s not where this story peaks. No see, it’s when she informs Carlos that once he had fallen he passed out and apparently was out for quite a bit. It never occurred to her that she should call 911 or rush him to a hospital. She proceeded to try to wake him up, which included her smacking him on the face until he came to. Again, it never occurs to her to do much else other than call the pediatrician and wait for a response, which of course who knows how long that could have taken. In a controlled rage Carlos tells her to get him to a hospital immediately and he will meet her there. Very long story short, he is ok and thankfully it wasn’t bad. Of course once the night is over and Carlos is back home, he receives another app messages from the ex. She is thanking him for meeting her at the emergency room along with a bunch of other bogus things that didn’t happen. So now she attempts to back pedal through the app to clear her reputation. Not to mention she never uses the terms “thank you” or “I appreciate” in any way towards Carlos for anything and is everything but cordial when they communicate. I know I’m not alone in this absolutely bogus behavior. All I can do is sigh and roll my eyes here….

 

I can’t begin to explain the urge I had inside to run into that emergency room and shake her senseless. There are so many questions that ran through my mind, what if he hadn’t woken up or what if this had happened on a weekday, maybe she would have never told us anything. But of course, as this game goes, we must sit back and be patient. All we can do is document and wait….document and wait. I feel so bad for the kids. I feel bad for other couples who have to go through these same fiascos. It feels like you’re fighting a constant battle of good just waiting for the day of redemption. This is one small pebble in the sea of chaos we’ve put up with over the past two years. It’s draining, it’s frustrating and sometimes it's hopeless. Thankfully they are here with us this week and we know they’ll be safe. I hold on to the hope that one of these days they’ll be with us full time and we won’t have to worry about them so much.