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  #1  
October 15th, 2008, 06:18 PM
merkelsgirl
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I'm Amee (20), DF Tony is (27). He has a daugther Jordan, who will be 5 in December.
I love my DSD to death and she is the cutest little thing. She can be a pill too, but most children can be.
We have Jordan every weekend.
But I have begun to feel like I am a single parent. I bathe her, feed her, dress her. Tony has very little imput. Maybe that is my fault because I jumped in full speed ahead to make sure she is taken care of. I feel that it has come to where he depends on me, or expects me to do everything. Is there anything I can do to make sure he put in some effort without fighting for him?
The last argument we had about it I told him he needed to be a father and step up to the plate. Because we only have her on the weekend we need to try and make the biggest impact on her life. Teach her the difference between right and wrong, all the important stuff. Especially because she is not learning it from her mother.

Background-

Jordan is the result of a brief fling that Tony had with this girl Courtney. Tony and I would never change having Jordan, except me to be Jordan's mother. Courtney is a piece of work. Tony didn't know that he had Jordan till she was almost a year old, and Courtney basically dropped her off on Tony's door step. She has been in jail for felony check forgery, yet we still couldn't get custody. We have gotten Jordan, dirty, bruised, and scraped. Dirty children to me is unacceptable. Children need to be bathed on a regular basis to help start the understanding of the concept of good hygiene. Bruised and scraped are normal for children, but not cigarette burns. We have brought all of this to court, but still nothing. I'm sorry but the state of Wisconsin, where Courtney lives, is ridiculous! Courtney has come a long way with being a mother. She has gotten better but she is still a piece of work.
All the child issue talk go between Courtney and I since it seems like Tony doesn't want anything to do with it.

Any suggestions? Any suggestions on what we can do with her on the weekends since its getting cold and were tight with money? Any suggestions for a birthday party since her b-day is in December?
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  #2  
October 15th, 2008, 08:06 PM
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First of all , Amee!
Secondly--keep fighting to get full custody...it sounds like the child needs a better home than the one she has!
Third, have you talked to him about how you're feeling? I completely understand about feeling like it's "expected" but chances are he thinks you're enjoying "playing mommie" and has no clue that you're feeling overwhelmed and taken for granted. Tell him how you feel in a calm but matter-of-fact manner so that he underrstands exactly what's going on. Parenting isn't a "mommies" job...it's a "parent's" job. He's a parent too! He needs to pitch in and help. I am sure once he understands how you're feeling he will do just that.
As far as what to do for her birthday, keep it simple but fun. I'd also keep it pretty small, since you're fairly new at this. Parties don't have to have clowns and ponies and moon walks. Most of my kid's parties were either spent at the park or home. What are her interests? Is she artistic? Maybe have the kids make something--jewelry, crafts of some sort. Perhaps make gingerbread houses since it's close to the holidays. That way the kids get to take something home with them. Maybe allow her to take 3 or 4 girls to a movie. There are usually some animated or fun movies around the holidays. Make it a short, afternoon movie. Choose something she likes to do...give her some choices--"We can do a movie party or a gingerbread making party...which one would you like to do?"
As for what to do in colder months, I am pretty well lost there since my kids grew up in warmer areas where it was rarely too cold to go outside. I'm sure some of the other moms will have a ton of suggestions on that one!
Good to have you join us! I look forward to getting to know you better!
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  #3  
October 16th, 2008, 05:41 AM
merkelsgirl
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Dani thank you so much for all of your advice.
I will try talking to him calmly and matter of factly and see how that goes!
And a craft or movie party is a good idea too!
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  #4  
October 16th, 2008, 10:13 AM
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I'm in a similar situation myself. I'm the one that is relied upon to bathe, feed, play with, etc my 5 yr old DSD. It gets frustrating cuz then I feel like I am forging a stronger bond with her then DH. I agree with Dani, you need to talk about it. I have tried talking about it to DH. Dh responds by stepping up for a short period of time but then seems to go back to the way things were. What I have started doing is going out and making DH have to handle things with DSD. I let him know if she has to eat dinner yet or take a bath. I let him know what needs to be done. By going out, I mean running to the grocery store, out to a movie, etc. I've made it clear to my DH that I love DSD but that I am not a single parent.

DSD was at her mom's house for her 5th bday this year. Birthdays there are never anything spectacular. So DSD has gotten to the point where a simple cake and balloons just makes her feel so special. So when we get her this weekend, we plan on getting a cake with her (over the summer she said she wanted a heart bday) in the shape of a heart, and finding some heart balloons. We may have a few people over to just shower her with attention. As long as the day is all about her, that is the most important thing.
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  #5  
October 16th, 2008, 11:19 AM
merkelsgirl
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Tony did step up a little but only for a short period of time like your DH. I should start going out and see if anything gets done. I'm just afraid to talk to him because I don't want it to end up in a huge argument.
I would rather write him an email, but he does not like when I talk to him through my writing.

" I love you but I think you need to step it up in a few departments. I want you to start paying more attention to Jordan on a regular basis. I feel like I am the only one the does anything for her, and I don't feel that is fair. You are her father and need to spend as much time with her as possible, especially because we only have her on the weekends. You also need to step it up on getting paperwork for child support done and you actually need to talk to her about child raising issues, because its not fair for me to have to do it. And we need to actually start saving money and do a budget, and you need to stop f*cking spending money! And when we are saved up I want out of your mother's house, and I want to have my baby like we had planned."

I would love to say that to him! But I just can't spit out the words when we are face to face.
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  #6  
October 16th, 2008, 04:47 PM
Daisyfields's Avatar Platinum Super Mega Mommy
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Hi & welcome Amee! I am Chantelle, one of the co-hosts here on Blended Families. I am a step mom & bio mom. My DH has a son from a previous marriage (I don't get along w/ his ex wife & we barely see his son, my DSS), I have a son from a previous relationship (I get along w/ my ex & his wife, who are expecting twins in Feb.), and DH & I have 2 boys together so we're a very blended Brady Bunch if you will. I know what it's like to be in a good situation & also in a bad one. I know what it's like to battle child support, argue about dumb things & then have all go smoothly for everyone. I guess I have experience on all angles.


I can understand being tight w/ money, I guess it's one of those things that you have to be creative, house projects, board games, and if you look up stuff in your local newspaper sometimes it will give you ideas on cheap or free things to do for families/kids.

I have a BDay party in December, my son is turning 1. That's tough too since it's Christmas & money is tight & then you have a Birthday. I'd say ask her what she would like. I know w/ my DSS we've often asked what he would like, a big party w/ lots of friends & small gifts or a small gathering w/ immediate family & 1 large gift. DSS usually takes the large gift & my DS usually does the party, up until this year, the he changed his mind & wanted the bigger & more expensive stuff.

I am glad that you have a good relationship w/ your DSD, that's a good start. It helps. Being part of a blended family is a hard thing, never a dull moment & it is a test of your patience. If anyone tells you that it's cake or predictable, they are lying. No such thing. Always something that is happening, always a bump in the road, small or large. It's how you handle it or react to it that it's important. I often tell people to show & set a positive example to the kids in your house, whether that be w/ food, discipline, you name it, doesn't matter what they do at the other home, you have different rules at your house & those rules need to be followed. Hopefully your DH will back you up 100% on that & you can all be on the same page, if not, that's when "the issues" come into play. And so forth.

Stay positive, keep a good attitude, which so far, sounds to me like you have.

Glad you came on & please, jump right in & start posting. We're here & ready to chat. All of us are either going through it or have gone through it so it's nice to know that you are not alone. That's the good part. It stinks to be part of this "type" of group. No one imagines as a child that they will grow up one day & have step kids & ex's & so on, but if you have it, you might as well make the best of it & do it w/ grace & style.

If there is anything we can do, let us know or PM me.

Take care,
HUGS & again...welcome!
Chantelle
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  #7  
October 16th, 2008, 05:47 PM
merkelsgirl
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Chantelle,
Thank you so much for all the advice and the warm welcome!
I talk to DF mom tonight about everything I am feeling in regards to Jordan. She feels the same way. She said its awesome that I pitch in and I do a wonderful job, and that Jordan loves me.
She wants me to bring up some of her issues with Tony when I talk to him, like he doesn't play with her, or give her a hug and kiss when he first sees her, that kind of stuff...
This is going to be a difficult talk and I hope I can stick to my guns and not chicken out! We're probably going to do a family party for Jordan at Tony's mom's house (well our house too now).
I pick Jordan up tomorrow afternoon, so we'll see how things go this weekend!
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  #8  
October 17th, 2008, 05:34 AM
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The one thing I noticed about what you "wrote" to your DH is that it sounds like you're almost attacking him. Not harsh but everything is "I think you need to", "you never...you always..." instead of giving him reasons why things aren't working the way he's doing them you're just telling him he's wrong. Try wording things a little differently so he doesn't immediately go on the defensive. Instead of "I want you to start paying more attention to Jordan on a regular basis" try "Jordan loves you so much and her eyes just light up when you spend time doing things with her! I wish you could see it from my perspective. I love watching the two of you play together and even just sit watching a movie with your arm around her. It is such a beautiful sight!" That focuses on the GOOD instead of the bad--what happens when he does things right instead of how he always does them wrong. I think that's where a lot of us go wrong when we talk to our husbands AND kids about something we would like to see changed. Immediately, they become defensive and hurt because you're telling them they're not good enough and it does wind up being an argument. Cushion the things you're "complaining about" in a pillow of love and compassion and you're more likely to get the results you want. Try to keep the "I love you BUT" statements out of your vocabulary. Instead, make it "I love you AND I especially love it when you __________!" It's then a request, not a demand. You're asking for more of that good stuff not demanding less of the bad. Just as we love to make them happy, they love to make us happy, and are more likely to do so when the request is enveloped in a compliment. (you're more likely to wear that red dress he loves you in because he tells you you look hot in it--not because he tells you he hates the blue one!) "Let's sit down tonight and create a budget we can both live with so we can save money toward our goals and also so we can see where our money is really going!"
I hope that helps!
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  #9  
October 17th, 2008, 10:21 AM
merkelsgirl
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Dani, You are amazing! I never thought of talking to him like that!
Maybe that has been my problem all along! I will give it a try. I didn't talk to him last night cuz he got home so late and I just wanted to go to bed. Maybe when I pick him up from work I might talk to him.. Who knows though!
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  #10  
October 17th, 2008, 11:43 AM
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Posts: 9,065
Welcome!

I agree with Dani. Also, some guys have to be taught how to father. My DH had 2 daughters from a previous marriage but he still didn't know how to be a dad. Like he was good at the fun stuff & always there. But he wasn't good at the day to day stuff. His ex was a sahm & he had to work 3 jobs to make ends meet. I work & actually make almost double what he does. So we HAVE to co-parent. I started slowly. Just using suggestions - how about you do this.... How about you do that.... Maybe if you ....
It's worked really well for us & there was no big confrontation or anything.

Another thing, I would stay away from his mother's issues. Let her address those with him. I don't think it's a good idea to get in the middle of that. If she backs up what your saying by making comments to him fine but you shouldn't bring her into the discussion.
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  #11  
October 17th, 2008, 04:27 PM
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Heck, some guys have to be taught how to be anything...but then so do some women. I used to be one. I spent oh, so many years fighting and feeling lousy. The one thing I promised myself when I got divorced was that if I ever did marry again, I would not make the same mistakes I made with the first one and I would not..repeat NOT let things fester! So, the moment I find myself irritated by something, I sit down and figure out WHY I am irritated and what I am wanting to say. Once I have my words chosen, I speak and not before. (learned also by mistake!) That way I know exactly what I am feeling and why instead of figuring that out in the midst of an argument that didn't need to happen to begin with. Fortunately, I am married to a man who values communication as much as I do and whose first marriage was just as horrible as mine. He also spent years fighting and vowed never again! So we have a head start on most. (I am also extremely lucky in that I absolutely adore his mother!!!)
Amee, you have such an incredible head start on this because you do love your DSD and seem to have a bond with her that unfortunately, many of us will never have. I think you will always be someone so very special to her and that she will come to you in the troubled years ahead (also known as the teen years! lol) and listen to you. Keep those same communication skills when you talk to her about things and always remember what it was like when you were her age--no matter what that age is at the time. You'll make mistakes but learn from them and you'll do fine. That goes for both your relationship with your DH as well as your DSD and your future children.
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  #12  
October 21st, 2008, 03:57 PM
merkelsgirl
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Once again it was the same thing this weekend. But this past saturday Tony yelled at me in front of everyone at his nephew's party. I told him he needed to help Jordan bowl because I cant lift anything. I had knee surgery 2 weeks ago. He just went off on me, and I looked at him and said you better ##### help her because karen is pregnant and should not be lifting either. Karen is a family friend. I never raised my voice and never got rude. His sister came up to me later and said if he yelled at me again she was going to smack him...
I've been talking to his mom and we both think something is up with him. I hate when he is snippy and mean and I don't like him as a person when he is like this. I plan on sitting down and talking to him tonight about all of this. I am letting it fester and its starting to stress me out and make my belly act funny. I need all the encouragement I can get girls!
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  #13  
October 22nd, 2008, 09:35 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Texas
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Sounds like something is up. Maybe talk to him about any stress he is under. Maybe the financial stuff is stressing him out more than you know. Then the prospect of starting a family, dealing with an ex, having only weekends with his daughter (and not knowing HOW to parent her)....maybe it is all building a lot of stress in him. Even tho I take care of the finances for us, DH does stress about if his paychecks are enough, extra expenses, not always knowing what is going on with DD aat his ex's house, etc. Since your DF has already snapped at you, his problems might need to take priority for the moment. Try to talk to him about where that outburst came from. Let him know that he can share with you, and you want him to share.

As for being a single parent to your DSD, I'm still having problems myself. My advice to you would be to point out how great it is when they do spend time together. I also talk to Dh about how the outward appearance is. When he dotes on her, plays with her, does schoolwork with her, their body language speaks volumes. Let ur DF know how DSD responds to him.

My DSD always comes to our house with quite an attitude on her. She has to relearn her manners and the rules here. Well, not relearn, but remember. She can get quite whiney and manipulative. DSD has gotten this way of saying "I wish I could do that" or "I want to do that" or "I can't do that", when she wants to do something. We nicely tell her that if she cannot ASK, then NO. It really annoys me when she whines "I wish I can have that" because that is her way of telling us that she wants it, without OWNING that she wants it. I had to talk to DH about when I go to work, I need him to uphold the ASKING. If she doesn't ask nicely, then the answer is ABSOLUTELY NO. Oh and the LYING!

She lies! DSD has stopped wiping herself with toilet paper. When she was caught (bc she didn't flush), we told her she has to wipe to get germs off. Well, after potty we ask if she wiped and flushed. Her answer is always yes. Well, she was busted. The toilet paper had run out and we didn't change it right away, so we could see if she was actually wiping. She didn't call for toilet paper. When she finished, I asked her if she wiped and flushed. She said yes. I said "where did you get the toilet paper from?". I walked her to the bathroom. She lied about it. I told her I knew she was lying. I told her that she wasn't in trouble for not wiping, but she was in trouble for lying. Even when I talked to DH about it, she still lied. My goodness what she has learned! I know children lie, but not to this extent. And it is only on the minor everyday things. The stuff that she wouldn't get in trouble for, but she lies and gets in trouble for it.

Anyway, I got away from my advice. Bottom line, I think you should put the parenting talk on hold for a short time to find out what is going on with your DF that has made him snap.
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  #14  
October 25th, 2008, 07:30 AM
Ellemphriem's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Hi hun,

I am in the boat as you, since my DH has a daughter from a previous marriage. I have no particular experience to being either a step-mom or a mom. And i am so new to both it is getting furstrating at times. I do the best i can for her, but i am still emotionally detatched somewhat. Don't know why. I care for her well being, and i want us to be instrumental in doing the best we can for her the little time we have her (every other weekend). You must tell you DF to step up on the girl. She needs her dad most of all and THEN all the others (meaning us )....He cannot relax on you on such a matter and let you take care of her alone. And what's the issue with you talking to the mom? I mean i never talk to the mom. I have met her and been introduced by my DSD herself BUT i make a good business in staying out of what the bio-mom and bio-dad decide for the little one. I have my say when she is around of course and i have the best understanding with my DH on her issues but i don't want to mess around with the bio-mom and moreover to get in the middle. It is not my place. It is my DH place, and he does a perfect job of managing it. Also i know that if i was between those two most probably DSD herself would point me out wrong (she is 9 now and believe me she understands more than her fair share)....As for the rest, mom being abusive and all that, i'd follow the court ways and if they give her full custody of the child then they must know and judge that she is able to care for her, or else they wouldn't do it. I'd say therefore, be there, give her you example, love her and care for her....BUT shake dad out of his trance and make him understand that his daughter needs HIM and not a stranger (us....might sound harsh but it's the truth) taking care of her alone. She might love you for it, heck she might adore you, but the issue is how much her dad's missing act will affect her in the future. That is the most important thing. And also try to stay away from bio-mom's way. Let dad manage the bio-mom and you step a little further back. That is what i do. I play my role, but i make sure my role has boundaries understandable to all and also to the child herself. I want no one to get confused about anything especially the kid. I think our role as step-parents WHEN we are not full custody should be up to a point.....something that changes when the kid is in our custody full time

Now to happier times we pass time with the little one, between the PC (and games), reading, painting and watching movies. OR we simply get in the car and drive somewhere in the mountains (go for a walking trip to gather flowers and so on), or down by the beach to drink some hot cocoa whilst watching at the sea and discussing things in general (she loves to talk when given the chance). As for her birthday i have NO clue how to throw a B party.... I am totally clueless...but i think anything given out of the kindness and love in you heart for her will be trully appreciated.

I wish you guys the best

PS: Read the rest and it seems like your man is having issues. And i also read the would be letter and TOTALLY agree with another post, it is way too aggressive. Don't talk to him like that for that can only bring him on the defensive and then on the aggressive towards you also. It's not a nice cycle. All there was in the letter 'to be' was what you wanted. Maybe you guys should sit yourselves down and ask each other what the other wants yes? Calmly and with consideration. Don't attack, try to approach him. Also don't talk to his mom so much about those things. I have a rule to keep my distance from MIL and FIL as with other afformentioned situations. I like them, i care for them, but i will NEVER ever discuss my issues with their son. That's between us two if you kwim. Whatever else, she is (above all) his mother, and in the end she might play a role. Don't open up so much to her. Be there and care for her, but up to a point. Maybe i am too distanced, but i prefer that to getting my feet entangled in situations i haven't bidden for. And i do that because in the past i had done that mistake and i have learned from it. Distance is a good thing. In many situations. Distance yourself from the bio-mom, shake the father and also distance yourself from the MIL (in concern to your problems with her son i mean).....be careful in my opinion you are treading very lightly in very sensitive lines. Needs care.
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  #15  
October 25th, 2008, 09:35 AM
merkelsgirl
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Things have gotten slightly better. We don't have Jordan this weekend because I'm working all weekend and tony wont' be here. So on that end I have no idea.
I talked to Tony and he said he didn't realize he was being mean and snippy toward me and apologized and said he would try and catch himself. Now if he does it is the real test.
Tony's mom is the one the brings up all the crappy stuff her son has been doing, because she sees it as an outsider. I watch my words very carefullly around his whole family, as it has been known that they get turned around rather quickly. I've decided I'm stepping back from being the single parent and its all DF now. I dont have the energy or want to care for her 100% of the time. I also feel detached from her, not sure why. I plan on having a talk with Tony about his care for jordan and i will take all of your guys' advice.
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  #16  
October 25th, 2008, 11:14 AM
Ellemphriem's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Quote:
Things have gotten slightly better. We don't have Jordan this weekend because I'm working all weekend and tony wont' be here. So on that end I have no idea.
I talked to Tony and he said he didn't realize he was being mean and snippy toward me and apologized and said he would try and catch himself. Now if he does it is the real test.
Tony's mom is the one the brings up all the crappy stuff her son has been doing, because she sees it as an outsider. I watch my words very carefullly around his whole family, as it has been known that they get turned around rather quickly. I've decided I'm stepping back from being the single parent and its all DF now. I dont have the energy or want to care for her 100% of the time. I also feel detached from her, not sure why. I plan on having a talk with Tony about his care for jordan and i will take all of your guys' advice.[/b]
I PM'd you
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  #17  
October 26th, 2008, 09:02 AM
Mega Super Mommy
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Feeling a level of detachment is normal for a step-parent. You can love them and care for them, but in the end, you know they are not yours. You didn't get those 9 months of bonding while they were in your womb. Most of us weren't there when they were born, or when they got their 1st tooth, said their first word, took their first step. These are all bonding experiences that we weren't a part of as parents. It doesn't mean you aren't a great parent.

I actually went out and picked up a few step-parenting books myself. I learned about common problems and how to work thru them, etc. I had gone thru some m/c and I was dealing with EXTRA emotions in regards to being a mother vs step-mother. But I felt more normal after reading the books.

I love DSD and have such pride in her actions and accomplishments. I have been fortunate to be around in her life since she was 2 and she is now 5. SO I have been a part of some major 1sts as well. I taught her to write her name for the 1st time. The pride that I felt....cannot be measured.
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  #18  
October 26th, 2008, 05:15 PM
merkelsgirl
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I have also been there for a lot of her firsts. We taught her how to write her name, potty trained her, taught her how to tie her shoes. I think it does come down to the fact that even though i love her with all my heart and would do anything for her, she is not my child. Oh well, there is only so much you can do! Tony and I are both excited to see her next weekend. No plans yet but I think he has something up his sleeve. This is a good sign!
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