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Topics - Sunshine1

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Second Families / Anyone have a PP w/ a special needs child?
« on: Jul 07, 2004, 05:38:03 AM »
We have a special needs child who for the most part is an average young little boy, but he has quite a few medical issues.

I was wondering if anyone had a parenting plan that addressed a special needs child, for example child support after the age of 18 if the child is still dependent, or how to enforce the other parent to abide with the therapy plans that are put in place to help the child excel, things of that nature.

We did address living arrangements and child support in our order but it is just reserved to be heard when he turns 21.

Any help would be great.


Second Families / Tables have turned on me...PLEASE HELP ME!!
« on: Jun 03, 2004, 05:24:33 PM »
ok.  I am a BM and a SM 2 are mine 2 are his, we all live together.

My ex and I have always been able to work everything out.  We haven't had ONE issue that couldn't be resolved in 4-5 years.  We went through the motions of divorce court but remained amicable and even did/do family gatherings together for the kids.

That all has come to a crashing, drop down, drag out hault!!  My ex has gotten remairred, and she has now made it her place to wig out on me about every 3 weeks or so.  She takes everything extremely seriously even the most friendly gesture has been turned around to me trying to get him back..eeeewww  YUCK!!  Anyway, she has flipped her wig I swear.  I have tried to get along and that has just turned around to slap me in the face.  We have never had problems until this nightmare of a woman came along.

I do not want to become the PBFH, so I have asked him repeatedly to keep her away from me, and that I only deal with him, and calmly explained that we definatley have a conflict here that wasn't here before, so to keep things from always resulting in he said /she said, keep her away from me so everything is not so stressful.

Nope can't do it, he has pushed her on me every chance he gets telling me it is not my decision whether she is to be around or not it is his.  He was trying to force her on me at a very crucial dr.s appt for our son and I said NO WAY, because the day before she sat and left me nasty messages and threatened her life and her unborn child's life and was talked to by the sheriffs dept because he called her in.  

Am I crazy in thinking she is a total nut caase here?  There are 3 very questionable incidents regarding the supervison of our children while in his/her care that make me so nervous for the summer.  I told him no summer because she is nuts, but I said that in the heat of battle.  There is no set visitation but I usually set up 2 weeks at a time with him.  She scares me man, who knows if she is going to kill everyone around her.

Anyone got any pointers on how to handle my new crazy step mom.  I am willing to try anything to get along with her but seriously this calling me every other weekend out of the blue about something she doesn't like about her life has got to stop.  I have proof these calls are completely unprevoked because I try to say as little as possible to her.

After all this mess and I asked him to keep her far away, she called me at work today to ask me about sports this weekend.  I calmly and politely said  Bio dad can call and talk to me about it and I hung up. Hell no we turned that all around on me and told Bio dad that I cursed her out and that I screamed at her and the whole nine yards...she completely lied to him.  

Someone, anyone.  I am used to dealing with the NCP/BM of my step children but this is like it is in reverse on me.  I am desperate for any advice.

I am fuming mad!!

Finally now that school is almost over, PBFH goes to a conference to one of the 2 children.  All is good until I asked her (the teacher) if the kids were good while they were there.  The teacher said she did not have the kids with her and later into the conference when it was over and they were chit chatting she made a comment that they were in the CAR!!  The teacher pushed her out the door and said you need to go!!

I could just scream!!!

So, when I see her this weekend do you think I should pull her aside and ring her neck, or should I promise to her that if she ever pulls a stunt like that again I will make it my life's mission to make sure she is ordered supervised visitation with ALL of her 5 children!!  I am livid, I had to get it off my chest!!

Did I mention the children's ages?? 6, 1 & 2 weeks old.  She left a freakin 2 week old..no she left a 6 year old in charge of a 1 and 2 week old!!!


ok I am done now..thank you

Second Families / Teacher won't talk...
« on: Jan 27, 2004, 06:54:10 PM »
We are the Custodial parents of two boys.  NCP/BM claims up and down that she is involved in the children's schooling and attends conferences and school functions...so she says in her affidavits.  We know otherwise that it is a load of crap.

For documentation purposes and in case we just might need it for whatever court appearance she drags us to this year we have started asking the teachers if she has been there or volunteered or went to a conference or even introduced herself to the teachers.

I have one very cooperative teacher who spills her guts and keeps us totally in the loop.  The other teacher won't tell us squat and has now directed me to the principal due to "privacy issues" she is unable to disclose that type of information.

My question is as the custodial parents, do we have the right to know if their mother is attending these things?  How are we to prove her affidavits are lies if the teachers won't say anything.

We have 50/50 legal custody, why is it a big secret to know if the other parent is involved and showing up for things like she says she is?  How am I going to prove otherwise unless this teacher talks?

At first when school started BM told us she had met the teacher and emails her and blah blah blah, so we felt no need to inform her( the teacher)  of anything because we thought she already knew who she was and so on and so on, when conferences came, the teacher thought I was HIS MOTHER, and had never heard of her, not even from SS, he always talked about me in school.  She had no idea.  So we filled her in and went from there.

Anyone have any case law or anything, or any ideas for a  letter I can put together?

Our parenting plan doesn't really address this type of thing but when it comes to enrolling the kids for anything for school DH has the final say.  

Anything would be helpful.


Visitation Issues / Got a stumper here....
« on: Apr 24, 2007, 08:02:35 PM »
Ok, Court order defines summer as June, July and August.  BM thinks she gets 6 weeks in the summer with 2 week intervals, each month.

New parenting plan that has been in effect for quite some time has wording that trumps the 6 weeks in the summer, and it is not addressed, however we have always done it.  Last year she did not get them all uninterrupted however due to holidays and stuff and her lawyer told her, the PP didn't say she got any visits in the summer so shut up and take it.

This year we are going to have a problem.

Oldest SS was selected out of the entire grade to attend a camp to learn school patrol, they only take 10 students.  He is really excitd to go but here comes the tricky part.  Our schools let out the last day of the first week in June (they are with us) Summer starts afterschool on that day.

Camp is the last week of June.  BM has submitted the dates she would like and they fall on the first half of camp.  We don't need to go with her schedule entirely, we just try to accomodate it becasue she has other children with other fathers they need to see too.

What on earth do we do?  Here is what we were thinking and let me know what you think?

We thought we would propose each parent gets one week, yes, technically they are with us for the school week but that is not classified as summer vacation.  So it would go: 1st week is school, 2nd week is with BM, 3rd week is with us and 4th week we have to take him to camp.

Believe me there is a legit reason they live with DH, so having her take him to camp is out of the question...otherwise we would offer that.

Does that sound right or because this is elective, but a school activity (which is also addressed in the PP, that he must attend all activities of the school he wishes to participate in) do we have to send him on our week and we give her the 2nd and 3rd week, and we get school week and the last week for camp which we do not get to spend with him either...

What do you do?  Has anyone had to handle this scenario?  She is not going to agree, I can see it already she likes to get the children and then when she is supposed to return them she doesn't and the police ALWAYS side with her.  If it is not spelled out before they go we are going to have some trouble and she has no problem disappointing him.

He would give his arm and leg to go, and it is truly an experience he is going to never forget.

Ps, he wants to go and not go to his BM's and he has no problem telling her that.

Need suggestions please!!  I am getting down to the wire with the registration of this camp.

Visitation Issues / DIPPER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
« on: May 15, 2006, 07:13:04 PM »
CONGRATULATIONS!!!!  It was a looooooong hard road and it finally paid off!!  Please Please PLEASE post to us about what happened!!!!!

WhooooHOOOOOOOOOOOO!  I am doing a happy dance for you...Everyone join in..Dipper got his son today!!!!!!!  Yipppeeeeeee!

Visitation Issues / Special needs/handicapped children
« on: May 01, 2005, 09:47:55 AM »
Anyone here have a special needs child(ren) or handicapped children?   I am looking for some advice on extraordinary medical expenses and or anyone who has had a parent that refuses to give meds or disagrees with medical treatment of their children.  Can you share your experiences with me or your parenting plan?

Any info would be great!!!


Custody Issues / Legal custody....
« on: Aug 11, 2006, 03:34:13 PM »
Hey, I was just wondering if anyone has ever gone back to court to obtain Full Legal custody after it was split 50/50?

I need to know what kind of things you had to prove to have it reversed.


Custody Issues / Lawmoe...HELP!! Need a direction..sorry long
« on: Oct 31, 2004, 01:27:14 PM »
Ok, I am the BM of 2 and a SM of 2, CP's of all of them.

Last week I went to court for a TRO that I filed on Stepmom for serious threats of killing me and our children and herself.  She was taken into custody prior to the TRO that I filed for trying to kill herself and BioFather had put a OFP on her as well.

He later dropped it after 7 whole days of being on the psch floor, she was suddenly cured.  Found out SM is diagnosed bi-polar and goes off her meds quite often, and this is a regular thing for her to do.  First time threatening me but not the first time of interference with BF's time. We have all only known her for a year.  She admitted she concealed her illness.

Ok, went to court for the TRO. (representing myself) I was broadsided with an attorney hired for both of them.  He presented me with a nice agreement that had to deal with BF visitation rights.  (I want to make it very clear I am not trying to block him from his children, I just do not feel that she is a very safe person to be around.  Dad has open access to his children. ) Ok, so I am presented with a rough draft agreement that goes something like this:

Parenting time expeditor will be assigned and hired by BF.

TRO will be dropped, effective when new agreement is agreed upon and signed by both parties, and a judge.

SM will have no contact with BM at her residence, by phone, mail, at the school, ETC..

SM shall maintain regular couseling sessions and provide written proof to the expeditor that she is going to them weekly.

SM will maintain her medication and provide prescript that she is on them and filling them regularly.

SM shall have supervised visits with the children for an hour at a time at expeditors office until such time expeditor feels she is able to handle them in home dwelling with BF.

BF shall get his computer up and running and both parties shall purchase access to family wizard and all communication be through that and email.

There were a few other little things, but I can't remember them.  Everything was written on a legal pad and read off to me.  

Judge swore me in and asked if I agreed to such an agreement and I said I would agree to move this to family court, I stated to the court this has nothing to do with blocking visitation, and that I wanted the TRO in effect until an agreement was actually agreed upon, and the judge said "and signed by a judge".  I said absolutley.

Leaving there I couldn't believe I let them side swipe me like that!  I am very good under pressure usually, especially when dealing with my DH's case, but now the tables have turned.

What I want to know is, do I have to agree now that I have thought about it for a while?

I do not agree with supervised visits for her...she has no legal rights to the kids for crying out loud..good idea, bad idea?  Also a parenting time expeditor can not make that kind of determination!  her mental health will always be in question.

I agree with the parenting time expeditor but that is about all, and the family wizard, except up until now we have never had a communication problem until he married her.  She does not like the kids around and has stated as such several times.

As for BF in all of this, I am livid at his actions.  I thought I would never see the day that he chose a woman over his children (obviously I can't write down the whole story) but the main issue is, he is a fantastic father but has shown me his other side these past few months.  He does not call them anymore, he has wrote them off for Halloween, a day he has never missed, has not attended any conferences, has not met the teachers, and our one son has special needs and he hasn't met his teacher or even asked about anythign that is going on with him, his Dr.s etc..  I am mad that he has decided to be mad at me and his kids. I don't care he is mad at me, but they have done nothing wrong.  I am just trying to protect them.

PLEASE any advice on how I should handle this. I could use it.  I am posting a few things on Soc's board as well.

Thank you for all who read this far!

Father's Issues / Gee ...ya think???
« on: Aug 15, 2005, 05:32:53 PM »

Fatherhood: Challenges, rewards and surprising health effects


By MayoClinic.com
More on this in Health & Fitness
The Making of the Modern Dad
Men: Optimize Your Fertility
Is Happiness Closer Than You Think?
If you're a dad, you may wonder if fatherhood is good or bad for your physical and mental health.

In general, it's good. Compared with men who don't have children, fathers may be more likely to enjoy better health and a longer life.

But every father's experience is different. If you're happily married and gainfully employed, you may be more likely to reap the health benefits of fatherhood. "If you're divorced and lose custody of your children, you may be at special risk of developing serious physical and mental illnesses."

Here's what research says about the health effects of fatherhood. To help put the findings in perspective, four Mayo Clinic specialists discuss their experiences as fathers and as clinicians who often work with fathers.

Fatherhood and health: What the research shows

When you learn that you're going to become a father, you're likely to feel a mix of excitement, pride and anxiety. Your main worries may revolve around potential problems with pregnancy, delivery and the baby's health. But questions about your future as a family man could arise as well. How will you manage financially? How will children affect your marriage and sexual relationship? How competent will you be as a father? Such worries are normal, especially among first-time fathers. Discussing them with your partner or with male friends who have children may help ease your mind.

Being an expectant father

During your partner's pregnancy, you also may develop some physical signs and symptoms. Compared with men who aren't expecting children, you may be more likely to catch colds, become irritable, gain weight and have trouble sleeping. It's even possible that you could develop pregnancy-like signs and symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, fatigue and decreased sex drive. But this phenomenon, known as couvade, hasn't been well studied and appears to be uncommon.

Whether you develop any physical signs and symptoms, fatherhood itself may trigger some measurable physiological changes. Several studies suggest that expectant fathers experience hormonal changes that mimic those of their partners. These include decreased levels of the male hormone testosterone and the stress hormone cortisol, and an increased level of the female hormone estradiol.

Although the significance of these hormonal changes is unclear, it's possible that they're nature's way of priming you to become a nurturing father. Similar changes occur in males of other species who actively participate in raising their young.

Growing into the role

When your partner gives birth and becomes absorbed in caring for your newborn, you may feel excluded or even irrelevant. But over time, fatherhood inspires many men to make lifestyle changes that improve their physical health. The possibility of premature death becomes less abstract when you have children. You want to be around for them as long as possible, and you want to be a good role model. You have more reason than ever to give up smoking and drinking, to drive more carefully, to eat a healthier diet, and to get regular exercise. Regular medical checkups also may become part of your routine.

Fatherhood is like any important endeavor: You only get out of it what you put into it. If you're an active, involved father, you may gain a newfound sense of purpose that improves your mental health. Because fatherhood can boost confidence, optimism and self esteem, many fathers say there's nothing more fulfilling than seeing their children grow and thrive.

Finding balance: Edward T. Creagan, M.D.

Dr. Creagan is board certified in internal medicine, medical oncology, hospice medicine and palliative care, with special interests in fitness, mind-body connection, aging and burnout. He has three grown sons and has been divorced and remarried.

How has fatherhood affected your health?

I was a senior in medical school when my first child was born. It was hard to concentrate on my studies when I was feeling sleep deprived, irritable and zoned out. Because I was and still am an avid runner, regular exercise helped me cope.

For 15 years, I coached my sons' soccer teams, which had a good effect on my health and theirs. Now that they're grown, they say that the most valuable lesson they learned from sports was how to lose and handle adversity.

Continue to read Dr. Creagan's 4 tips for dad, plus advice from 3 more dads...

Fatherhood: Challenges, rewards and surprising health effects


More on this in Health & Fitness
The Making of the Modern Dad
Men: Optimize Your Fertility
Is Happiness Closer Than You Think?
(Story continued...)

For 15 years, I coached my sons' soccer teams, which had a good effect on my health and theirs. Now that they're grown, they say that the most valuable lesson they learned from sports was how to lose and handle adversity.

What advice do you have for dads?

Seek treatment for pre-existing conditions. If you have borderline diabetes, hypertension or depression, the stresses of fatherhood could tip you into a downward spiral.
Establish a work-life balance. You and your partner can't have it all, so you have to jointly decide what you want. If you both have careers, one of you may have to sacrifice some career aspirations for the other.
Negotiate holidays and vacations. In this era of blended and mixed families, it can be difficult deciding where to go during holidays and vacations and who to invite to a child's first communion or graduation. Making everyone feel acknowledged requires a very delicate juggling act.
Accept your children for who they are. To some extent, kids are hard-wired at birth. So don't be despondent if they fail to live up to the ambitions you have for them. Fatherhood is about unconditional love and acceptance.
Leading by example: Jay L. Hoecker, M.D.

Dr. Hoecker is board certified in pediatrics. He is married, with a daughter in college and a son in high school.

How has fatherhood affected your health?

I was nearly 40 when my first child was born. Because I very much wanted to become a father, it put me into a state of euphoria. Everything about fatherhood was exciting and has been ever since.

To keep up with my kids, I started exercising more. So I did something I hadn't done since childhood: I started riding a bike.

What advice do you have for dads?

Be a little bit selfish. For the sake of your children, you may have put your needs last. But you can't be an effective father if you have poor physical and mental health. Address your own needs first so that you're in a position to address your children's needs.
Stock up on good foods and books. You and your children are what you eat and read. If you eat a healthy, low-fat diet based on fruits, vegetables and whole grains, it's nourishing to the body. If you read good books together, it's nourishing to the mind.
Lead by example. Your children model your habits, good and bad. So if you eat well and stay active, drink minimally and responsibly, wear a seat belt, and don't smoke, your children will be healthier and safer, and so will you.
Showing character: Edward R. Laskowski, M.D

Dr. Laskowski is board certified in physical medicine and rehabilitation, specializing in sports medicine and fitness.

He is married and has two daughters in middle school.

How has fatherhood affected your health?

I was in my early 30's when my first daughter was born. Fatherhood prompted me to eat healthier foods, cut down on caffeine and find creative ways to incorporate physical activity.

When the girls were little, my wife and I carried them in framed backpacks on hiking trips and pulled them in trailers on biking trips. It was a great way to bond and instill a love of physical fitness. Today, we hike, bike, snow ski and do 5K runs together.

What advice do you have for dads?

Show character. Ninety percent of what kids learn is "caught" and only 10 percent is "taught." If you practice love, honesty, faith and morality in your everyday life — and show integrity as a dad — your example will work like a true and steady softball pitch, one your children will catch effortlessly and absorb completely. The life your children observe you living affects them more than any formal lesson ever could.
Establish a sports-life balance. If your kids are involved in so many sports that you're always a spectator or chauffeur, it can throw your family life and your fitness out of balance. Enjoy sports and other physical activity with your kids. To preserve family time, don't be afraid to limit the number of activities and sports your children are in.
Make your family a priority. If you're an active, involved dad, it deepens your relationships with your family, strengthens your family's identity and helps your children resist peer pressure. It's hard to do that if you and your children are always going your separate ways. I like the image of a family that is holding hands in a circle and facing inwards, towards each other, instead of holding hands in a circle facing outwards, away from each other.
Taking care of yourself: Donald E. Williams, Ph.D.

Dr. Williams is board certified in clinical psychology, specializing in behavioral and stress-related aspects of medical illness.

He is divorced, with five children (four sons, one daughter).

How has fatherhood affected your health?

I was in my mid-30s when my first son was born. During that pregnancy, I gained 15 pounds because I was eating more and exercising less. I had previously exercised regularly and had been active in softball and flag football.

Although fatherhood forced me to hang up my cleats, it has been a great source of pride and joy and is good for my health. It prompted me to start a more organized exercise program in which I alternate aerobic workouts with strength training. This gives me the stamina I need to keep up with five very active kids and maintain a busy professional life.

What advice do you have for dads?

Don't backslide. With the extra stresses and responsibilities of fatherhood, it's easy to fall back on unhealthy coping mechanisms such as overeating, drinking too much and lazing around on the couch. It's critical — for your health as well as your children's — that you take the time to take care of yourself.
If you're going through a rough divorce, keep seeing your children and get help. Even if your divorce proceedings are amicable, it can be a stressful process for you and your children. Becoming embroiled in an expensive and bitter court battle to obtain custody of your children or enforce visitation rights piles on more stress — so much that it might exceed your ability to cope. You may feel anxious, depressed and isolated from family and friends. You may gain weight, have trouble sleeping, or develop early signs and symptoms of serious physical illness. A psychologist or another type of therapist can help you cope with your stress, anger and frustration and guide you in managing your health. He or she may also help you understand and manage the impact of the divorce on your children. If you feel socially isolated, consider joining a support group for divorced dads. Fatherhood is a profound life experience that can affect your physical and mental health in both positive and negative ways. Regardless of your marital status, you're most likely to gain health benefits from fatherhood if you're an active, involved dad.



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