Hi everyone!! If you have been following along with my posts then you know that my son and I moved to North Dakota almost 2 years ago now. If not, you can read all about The Big Move here. Since moving, we have settled in nicely. I have a wonderful boyfriend, who has three kids of his own. Of course I have my son as well, so I guess you could say that we are a modern blended family.
I have been asked before by some of my sons friends who haven’t known us as long, or are new to meeting our family, how our family “works”. (I could sense the confusion when they see only two kids one day, and all four on certain weekends) So, to give you guys some background I will “introduce” you to my family and explain how we work.
Chris, AKA Bubs, is my boyfriend. He is the father of Cassidy, Joselyn and Jr. We have been together for almost two years now and we live together. He is one year older than me. He really is a wonderful person, such a good father, and a great loving boyfriend. He has beat the odds, and lives with cerebral palsy. Doctors told him and his mom when he was young that he would never walk but he does, and very well! (He likes to leave me in the dust at the grocery store, as my short little legs can’t keep up with his long legs!) He is also half deaf, and wears a hearing aid. Without it, he can’t really hear anything. He is also probably one of the strongest willed people I have ever met.
Khalub is my only birth son and child. He is 14 years old. He plays football, gets good grades and LOVES his shoes. Khalub is and always has been a very determined young man, he’s not afraid to speak his mind and he always stands up for what he believes in. He has always been an only child, with the exception of having his cousins stay with us for a couple weeks a long time ago. So going from being an only child to a blended family of four was challenging for him at the beginning. He has adjusted so well though, and really loves being a brother. His bio dad has never really been in the picture, but I don’t much feel like going into those details.
Cassidy is Bubs (Chris’s) oldest daughter, and she lives with us full time. She is 15 years old. She is the student volleyball coach, also gets good grades and loves her shoes as well. Something with these kids and their Vans. It’s weird because they are into all the same things we were into as kids. Birkenstocks, Vans, friendship bracelets, scrunchies the list goes on! It’s like some sort of weird time capsule. Cassidy’s relationship with her bio mom is complicated to say the least. Her mom doesn’t see her often, and it really affects her. I feel so sad for her when she is upset. She has such a big heart, and is so loving. Her and I have a good relationship though, and we do a lot of things together. (Though now it’s not as much because she’s a teen and discovering her own self.)
Joselyn is Bubs middle child. She just turned 11, and is a sweetheart. She can be a little trouble maker sometimes though! I guess every 11 year old is. When she is with my niece and nephew who are twins, they have a habit of getting into a lot of trouble. That is for another time though. They don’t mean any harm, they are just kids trying to be kids. She is all about slime, galaxy and unicorn everything, and YouTube. Other than that she is my baking buddy! When she is with us every other weekend, we like to make all sorts of goodies. Last weekend we made frosted sugar cookies. Next weekend we will be making banana bread on her request! I can’t wait.
The very youngest is Jr. He is going to be 6 this month! We are also supposed to see him every other weekend as well. On the weekends we have Joselyn. That doesn’t always happen though. Unfortunately he lives two hours away, with his mom. During the winter we can’t always see him because of the weather. Last winter it was upwards of -52 outside with snow storms. Even when it’s not snowing, the wind drifts the snow and can cause white out conditions. Sometimes it’s not only the weather. Plans change, and life happens, or one of us will be sick and that’s understandable. (Which happened this summer, we only saw him twice!) We can’t switch our weekends either because we have to work every other weekend. If we switch our weekends with Jr, we would have to switch our weekends at work and that’s not really possible. When he is with us, though, he is so full of energy. I love it. At the moment, he is all about dinosaurs, trucks, cars and Tae Kwon Do.
How The Weekends Go
The weekends that we get the youngest two, we get them on Friday after school. Joselyn and Cassidy go to the same school, so when they’re done with school for the week, they both come home to our house. To get Jr, we leave work at noon on Friday. We have a routine of things we do before we get on the road. We get some lunch, check fluids on the pick up and then head out to make the two hour journey. On the way home we might stop at Walmart while we are out that way to get some items and then head home. On a good Friday, when we don’t have to stop we will get home between 6 & 7. If we have to stop, depending on how much we actually need at Walmart sometimes we won’t get home until 9. Walmart is approximately 45 minutes away so if there is something we need we definitely plan to stop there.
On the weekends when we do have all of the kids, we try to plan ahead with some activities that we can all enjoy. Especially since we never know for sure if we are going to be able to have Jr. or the next time we’ll be able to see him. (Big sigh) We usually let them pick out one meal each during the weekend. Jr. usually gets the first pick Friday night since he is with us when we stop on the way home. It’s usually something simple, and then we have movies, popcorn and bedtime. Sometimes it’s a bit more hectic than that, but that’s okay!! We don’t get that much time with them.
Saturday is our ONLY full day with all of the kids. If you’re a part of a blended family that only gets the kids every other weekend, you know what I’m talking about. Time is short! This is where we try and plan our activities. Sometimes we’ll go to the pool at the Y, during the summer we like to make lake trips, or camping, sometimes we bake, and sometimes we might do arts and crafts. Sometimes it’s tough, because other family members want to see the kids and we can’t always plan something with everyone.
Sunday mornings we wake up kind of early because if it is a weekend we actually have Jr., he leaves around noon. Usually right after we get up, we’ll make a nice breakfast. Then he gets straight into the bath and gets ready to go home. (Another big sigh) Joselyn is usually with us until around 4 or 5 in the evening. That gives us time to have her do her chores, and do her laundry etc… Then we can have fun. Sometimes we even get to have her an extra day. Last weekend after baking our sugar cookies, and laundry, I showed her how to make friendship bracelets! She really took to it, and enjoyed it. Definitely made my heart smile.
So there you have it. That is how our family “works”. I’m so glad I got the introduction out of the way, so now I can actually write about the fun things we do when we are all together. I love these kids all so much. Of course I have a different relationship with each of them, but they each have a very special place in my heart. I suppose one of my biggest hurdles is with little Jr since we don’t get to see him as much as we should. I just have to cherish the time we do get with him a little bit more when we have the chance.