HAHA! Decided to take some time during the snow storm we've been having to update you all (well, those of you who I haven't already personally updated, or who want more details than I post on FB).
1. After taking a year off due to his mother's complete & total disregard for his educational future, Gamerboy has gotten the ball rolling again on FAFSA, and other financial aid options. He got some notices, but is waiting for confirmation of a couple more. He still plans on attending Portland State in the fall (he will be in his third year). He & one of the guys from his house-room for rent situation moved into an apartment of their own a couple months ago, and he loves that it's close to his newer job, and a little less driving time to come visit us (or vice versa). We're waiting for a job update from him regarding permanent status (he was a full time, but temp, employee over the holidays, but is still there... so hopeful!).
2. Squeeks' job at the restaurant drastically cut her hours, and her mother has taken a hiatus from dog training (where Squeeks was assisting), so she's in the process of finding a new one... not a whole lot to choose from up on the mountain, but she does have a car (well, truck; our old truck, actually). Cover letters, applications, interviews -- OH MY! She's also now in her second term at MHCC, taking a full load of classes. She continues her long-distance relationship (although we like him a lot, I'm not sure about longevity of this relationship, mostly due to his plan to join the military, but we'll see). She's also been learning how to maneuver in the adult world, like taking care of her own doctor's appts. She's made a couple of mistakes, but hey... don't we all? I really hope her mother doesn't screw her over (home/living situation & financially, mostly) like she did with Gamerboy, but only time will tell with that one.
3. Princess is now in the second half of 8th grade. Her grades continue to be excellent (Honor Roll every term of middle school so far), even though her major complaint is her math teacher's lack of kindness in her teaching. She also, unlike every other teacher Princess has (with the exception of her PE teacher, of course), doesn't allow them to listen to music while doing their work. For a child who lives in a home with constant music of some sort (her Papa plays guitar & bass, and we always have music going somewhere in the house), this is actually a distraction. She finds herself unable to fully concentrate, and her grades suffer (not much; it's the only class she has a B in). Such is life, and she just does what's needed until she can move on in a few months. She also has decided that, among her other classes (forecasting will be done this month), she will take Spanish next year (she was going to do French, but decided Spanish made more sense for her future), and will not continue in cheerleading. I reminded her that she needs to do *something* to keep active, so she's taken to doing at-home exercises & yoga in her room at night. She also uses the equipment at school during "free time" in PE. She & I are considering taking a yoga class together, maybe in the Fall...?
1. My occupational therapy is almost done. I have one more "check in" appt to see where I'm at, then I'll probably make one with my regular doc. At that point, we'll probably be ready to discuss settlement.
2. Ace, too, is almost done with his physical therapy; just a few more weeks to go. He's been going twice a week, and although it hurts him quite a bit, he seems better each time. He's never going to run for enjoyment anymore, or ski, or other active things he used to do, and only time will tell how the metal plate & pins will affect his life in other ways, but he's healing... and that's important.
3. My work hasn't slowed down much. Usually, there's a lull January to March, but I haven't seen that yet (with the exception of one week in mid-January). Most of my clients have scheduled through early June, and would book out through summer if I'd let them. We're working on our family's summer plans (possibly another camping trip, a beach trip or two, and whatever Princess is doing, plus my 40th birthday).
4. We were bummed that Ace couldn't come with us to my baby sister's wedding, but it was BEAUTIFUL... and (I can' remember if I've said anything about this) we found out in November that they are expecting (a boy - we found that out later) in late April!
5. We're starting on plans for the landscaping and *hoping* to get at least a start on it come spring. So far, our plan consists of: quite a bit of tree-hacking, a firepit/seating area in the back yard, new gates on both sides of the house, and extending/building our deck (which is currently a concrete slab, since we tore out the old deck that was not safe). We'd also like to repave/widen our parking pad, and do a walk path of some sort from the driveway to the front door.
1. Ace is in the process of redoing his C.S. obligation, since Gamerboy has aged out (he turned 21y a couple months ago). Since we went the "DA's office" route, this could take a couple months...
2. The Wildebeest (since we all know she continues to act & speak for the S.D.) continues to bitch every time I have to make contact. The latest round was about Princess' eye appts. She had three. The first time, I emailed a scan of our HSA card's receipt and the breakdown of costs to them. That amount (a "whopping" $33.50) was paid three days late, and I had to send a friendly reminder about it. The second time, I emailed a scan of our HSA card's receipt, only, since that's all I got. She literally went back & forth with me about it (this bill was only $15, and is due TODAY), not only claiming that the "credit card" receipt with Ace's name on it (the same type as the first round, btw) could be mine or Ace's bills (yeah, 'cuz we're so hard up for money, we try to pass off $15 as Princess'...), but then went off-subject saying that the child support is "always paid" (um, the c.s. website says differently -- you're now over $7000 in arrears), and, my favorite topic, "...as you continue to keep me from even talking to M******* as I am legally allowed, it further supports the Parental Alienation syndrome you have subjected her to..." Really? WTF is WRONG with them?!?! Oh, just for the record, the third appt was considered part of the "fitting fee", since it was just a check to make sure her new prescription was working well, and therefore there were no additional fees.
3. While Princess *did* get birthday presents (two WEEKS late), she has not gotten Santamas gifts. Seeing as it's February, she's most likely not getting any. And, you know what? She said that was fine. She doesn't really want them, anyway... but the insistence that *I* am keeping her from them, when in reality she wants nothing to do with them, is almost comical.
4. After the latest round of bitchiness from Maleficent to Ace, I decided it was time to block her. I already had her email address blocked, but figured it was time to block her on FB too. She went from condescendingly-civil to downright nasty after Squeeks turned 18y... since I don't HAVE to deal with her, I am done. I also deleted her from my address book & cell phone.
5. I also made a call a few weeks ago to my C.S. case worker. I got tired of waiting for them to do something about M's arrears. He basically said the same thing he's said before, "You can't get blood from a turnip." Since M works under the table, and claims he's "just a stay at home dad" (bullshit), he has nothing to legally garnish. Since J gets a paycheck & pays taxes, but isn't legally liable to pay M's C.S., they can't garnish anything. Any tax refund they get is held for "up to six months" for the C.S. dept to figure out how much, if any, is M's... I would, of course, get that. But, the last few years, none of it was. The only payments I got was a few $100 or less payments almost three years ago, when he was trying to avoid having his license suspended. So, I asked my worker to look into that again (meanwhile, what I assume is a Fed refund, garnished mid-July, 2013, is sitting in C.S.'s coffers). A few days later, I get a copy of "Intent to Suspend License"... and wouldn't you know it, a deposit of all but just over $300 of that assumed Fed refund is deposited into my bank account just a couple days later. Fine with me, except he's still (as I said before) over $7000 in arrears (not to mention the close to $30,000 in unpaid attorney's fees judgements). Now, I have a few things up my sleeve, but I'm not ready to share those with you here (since we all know Wildebeest reads these blogs). As things progress, I'll post updates.
JUST FOR FUN --
Enjoy these few pics of my furry babies & yard; currently at 9" & counting!