On Sunday, 6/10, difficult child and husband take Tyler (15 mo) to the ER with a high fever. He'd been to the dr. on Friday/Saturday for antibotic injections each day for dual ear infections and the medications weren't touching the infection. [Note - this child has not been well since he was an infant - chronic infections.] Later that night, they admit him to the Oncology Ward fearing his blood results are leading them to a Leukemia diagnosis. husband is devastated. To me, it seems that difficult child is Later that night and the next day, repeated blood results are so significantly different that they suspect a lab error in the first blood sample but his neophils are still low. Although they were 95% certain it was a nasty infection, they were still not ruling out Leukemia unless the neophils started rising indicating his bone marrow was reproducing them albeit slowly. While difficult child is staying in the hospital with the baby (sad to say but she was enjoying all of the attention), we decided it was time that someone went into her apt. to see how she was keeping it up. I'd been saying for months that someone needed to drop in and demand to be let in. husband and ex didn't want to force the issue and I have no over-ride power in this issue. My younger step-daughter (difficult child's sister) and I drew the short straws and took husband's extra key and went over there this past Tuesday. Long story short, they were living in squallor. Her geriatric dog had been kept in the bathroom while she was at work or away from the house thus dog feces/urine littered on the floor and smeared into the hallway carpet. GUinea pig pen in the bedroom on a crate with crap everywhere. Trash was everywhere [every floor (2-3' deep in her kitchen and bedroom) space, every surface space]: dirty diapers, diaper wipes, bottles, broken plastic, money, bills, food containers, dishes, silverware, rotting food, etc. The smell was not as bad as you would expect as the air conditioning was cranked so high it was freezing. The pictures we took were frightening but all well showed the true story. We literally felt sick for that baby. She had been living this way for years and for anyone to think that she would have changed her ways just slayed me - I knew it wouldn't change but hoped that now with the baby involved and his health in jeapordy, maybe husband and ex would now act to at least involve a social worker to intervene on that baby's behalf with Katie. Unfortunately, I was wrong. husband and ex confronted her in the hospital and told her she and Tyler would be living with Jennifer until they cleaned/sanitized her place and that they would from now on be checking on her twice a week to make sure it stayed that way. If not, they would be calling the authorities and turning her in and ask that they remove the baby and place him with ex. Yep, another "NEXT TIME". Hence, they've now been hauling trash, cleaning/sanitizing as they can given baby care, jobs, etc. but still have almost 1/2 to go plus her car which is in the same state. Not me - she booted me out the first day when I couldn't keep my tongue when she started badgering her mom on the way over to get started. She actually said to her mom something about keeping the baby at mom's house because it wasn't sanitary. I turned around in my seat and said "and you were going to take that baby to your house when he was released from the hospital"? That was it, she was on me like a fly on horse_ _ _ _ screaming at me and giving up my secret - I'm a 3-week old closet smoker - she caught me! I said "that's all you got on me? Whew hew! I think I have a little more leverage on you with social services"! I was now the super bad guy and she didn't want me in her apt! She then unlocked and slammed the door on my foot and kept slamming it until I removed it. Fine with me. I told her I would go back home and clean her filthy car. She screamed that I wouldn't be touching her car either which I replied "not yours, you just drive it. We paid for it, pay the car insurance and even the gas you put in it." But hey, I don't want to do that so I picked up a key that looked familiar off her counter, stuck it in my pocket and left. It, by the way, belonged to our bedroom door. So, hey, the geriatric dog's been with us since last Sunday and finally after a week and 2 days, husband's been able to convince her that it's time to put her to sleep and that's being done today. That's after having the dog pooping/peeing on our family room carpet 2-3x daily/nightly and husband steam cleaning it every day. I'm done with her. I don't want her in my house. I want no more association with her by phone or in person. Baby is welcome to be at the house - I'll gladly develop whatever relationship I can have with him when it's separate from her. If husband wants her over, I'll being going somewhere else - but she will never be allowed to be inside unattended. husband is not ready or willing to yet detach financially, emotionally, or any other way right now. I understand his first priority is for that baby. However, I feel that unless they come clean with the doctors about the state of his living conditions, their understanding of what may truly have happened will never be known. By the way, husband called me to report that his latest blood draw showed that his neophils have doubled which now leads them to believe it was an infection. YA THINK???? For all of you whose difficult child's are like this and who may be trying to get pregnant, whatever ways you can discourage them - please try. It's so not fair to the babies especially when difficult children are unable to take care of themselves financially or emotionally. sigh!