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June 2006
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August 2006

the rules.

It's funny how a few written rules make such a difference. The kids were truly testing us by constantly acting out or misbehaving and I think Jeff and I had enough. So we sat down and wrote out the rules, no matter how small, so that our expectations were clear. We even made the kids sign the document. Ha!

Some of the rules were:
Thou shalt not forget to flush the toilet. (Yeah, ew.)
Thou shalt clean up after yourself. (This is a given.)
Thou shalt not talk back. (None of this, please.)
Thou shalt not pee all over the toilet seat. (I wonder how we came up with this.)

Punishment is (because we are SO mean):
No Playstation.
No Karaoke. (You'd think they were Filipino, when we take this away.)
No reading in bed.
Go to bed early.
No swimming. (This is the ultimate punishment for them.)

The response was crazy. They cried and said that now "it's just like home." Meaning, yes, they have rules that they were expected to follow. Now they have to do the same here. They really thought it was a VACATION here and were not expected to do a THING. MIsbehave and not help out. Well, crap. They are angels now. We should have done this a month ago! Jeff and I were reacting to their behavior instead of being proactive. And we've paid the price. Now we know better and next year's experience should not be so traumatic. For all of us.

this is as domestic as i get.

Jeff and I have been trying to buckle down as far as finances are concerned. I've been trying to be good and not spend anymore on scrap supplies and we've both been trying to improve our power bill by keeping it at a cool 80 degrees in the house. In other words, I am melting. All in the name of sacrifice and saving money. We've also consciously decided not to eat out anymore and pack our lunches. This is tough for people who don't cook. At least, cook well.

Tonight, the kids, Jeff, and I had a feast of Bagel Bites, Hot Pockets, and Pizza Rolls. This is how we roll. Hey, at least the children aren't starving. If anything, they're enjoying the menu. For dessert, I put the tub of strawberries from Costco to use. Glad they liked it cuz strawberries will be coming out of their pores for a month.



With the stepkids here, I am reminded about how much I value my alone time, my scrapbooking time, my ME time. Other times, I am reminded of the fact that I don't have any of my own and that maybe this is all there is for me. I am someone's second stand-in mom, a summer stepmom, and I have to be ok with that. But one thing is for sure. Jeff is my rock through my whirlwind of emotions and confusing thoughts. I thank him for that.