Well, update...hm...same stuff, different day/month/year? lol easy child 1 is engaged. She'll make a beautiful first bride. LOL No, she's a nice young girl, but they are neither one ready and don't have a good grip on reality yet. I don't think they're planning Occupational Therapist (OT) get married anytime real soon, so hopefully they'll both grow up a lot first. Good kids, but just that...kids. He just bought a new-to-him truck and the transmission went out, so he's getting a crash course in the school of hard knocks. His "quick fix" was to sell Wii's on ebay. He stood in Walmart for 6 hours thru the night to get 2, sold the first and made $150, sold the second in a one day auction to get his money faster, and didn't even make $40 on it. So...But his job is going well, he's a hard worker and hoping to get overtime this winter, so I'll think he'll be alright. difficult child 1 graduated from boot camp mid-November. He was dropped from his original platoon due to pneumonia. According to difficult child 1, they pulled him. According to the DI's from his second platoon, he dropped himself. Who knows. I do know he was very sick, regardless of who dropped who, but...he did go to boot camp after about a week long drinking binge, so its not like he started out on the right foot - all that matters right now is that he made it through. The platoon he ended up graduating with was far better than the one he started with, so it wasn't all bad. His 10 day leave just ended, and he has an extension of 14 days that he has to work for the recruiter, so he's been doing that and seriously dislikes it, BUT it keeps my mind clear. He didn't come back nearly as changed as I expected - out and about he's very different, but at home he's much the same young man. There's been no drinking and driving that I'm aware of since he's been back, tho he has been drinking some, but I can deal with that so long as he keeps the vehicles off the road. He goes back next week. Love him dearly, very proud, but still very leery. I imagine that will take a long time to change, provided he never, ever pulls another difficult child stunt. Time will tell, and I am reserved but hopeful. easy child 2 is still struggling in school, her mom still refuses to do anything. It drives me INSANE, but there's little I can do, so I try to distance myself from the situation. That's hard. She's a nice girl, but I worry about her, too. She's overweight and its getting worse, she has few friends, and she's starting to love anyone who will pay attention to her. Scarey. She showed up a couple of weeks ago in a t-shirt that read "Fast and Easy Hottie Tomales - Service with a Smile" - grandma bought it for her (her mom's mom). She's 10. That shirt is now in pieces in my rag bag. Her school pictures were taken in a dress purchased at a juniors store in the mall. The top was similar to a triangle-top string bikini, basically 2 triangles covered the important parts, with bare skin showing between them to below them. Granted, she doesn't have anything at this age to cover, but she wore that to school and it was ok with her mom and grandma and it just scares me. Mix no self-esteem with that dire need to be loved, and I think there's a fair chance I'll be grandma long before its time. Hopefully things will change. Til then, I try to take her and do something fun and active when she's with us, go to playplace or the indoor water park or something. We do homework together and I just try to be there. About all I can do. We're going to paint her room (now that difficult child 1 is not living at home, she has her own room there), so she's looking forward to that. difficult child 2 - he's difficult child 2! LOL Actually, the Montessori school is working out fairly well for him. They are dealing with his issues and keeping him right in with the group, so I think its going alright. He had a really good summer, but the last couple of months he's been back-sliding again. He is almost not capable of sitting still even long enough to get home in the car, now. He's back in gymnastics, tho I'm thinking of taking him out of the group class and putting him into private lessons - still thinking on that one. The goal of gymnastics is a positive outlet for energy - in the group class, he spends a lot of time sitting wiating on his turn, so I'm thinking the private lesson may be a better fit for our goals. Not sure I can afford it. But hey, its only money, right? He's been striking people more lately (and the pets) again, but I guess as aggravating as that is, I'm learning to live in one side of the cycle and expect the other side at some point - to clarify, I expect he will cycle back to "good" again at some point (much the way when things are good, you have that little demon in the pit of your stomach that knows he will cycle back to "bad" at some point, too). He's got some great things going for him to, tho. This morning, he saw Christmas decorations at a gas station and asked if gas station people work at Christmas. I said yes. Then he cried. When I asked why, he said because it wasn't fair they have to work and we get to stay home on Christmas day. Empathy lives here. As for me, I still struggle with the roller coaster. I was transferred to a new team at work. 10 times the workload but the environment is so much better. I'm actually hoping to be able to post more here again (I read, but don't often have time to post). In all the hours to try to "perform" for my previous boss (which was an impossible task - hard to hit a moving target) and then keeping up with the workload of the new group, I got very far behind at home. My mom's been coming down to help me out, either by cleaning or taking the kids somewhere to play so I can, which has been wonderful. I realize now that I haven't taken a respite afternoon in months, so that's something I have to get back to. I'm also still struggling with my mother in law. I don't care how she treats me, but she is so unfair in her treatment of easy child 2 and difficult child 2. I've spent so many years working to make difficult child 1 feel like he has a family and that family and love aren't based on genetics, and here she is telling me difficult child 2 isn't her problem and difficult child 1 isn't mine... If I didn't have little eyes looking up to me, I'd deal with the situation very differently, but I want to set a good example for difficult child 2 even tho mother in law doesn't treat us the same as she treats others...so still struggling there ( a lot). And actually, I've managed to take that struggle a lot farther than just with mother in law... easy child 2's mom and grandma on mom's side are very much that way, as well. So guess how easy child 2 is? I love my husband, and I don't plan to run off, but I question now if this was a good move. It is important to me that everyone feel accepted and loved no matter what their genetic makeup, and husband and I are the only ones in difficult child 2's immediate presence that feel this way...I'm afraid I'm going to have to live closely with people like this for the rest of my life, and I'm questioning that decision now. Which I guess I should just quit doing, cause I'm not going to leave husband, difficult child 2 loves and adores him, and vice versa, but...its where I'm at. And I have a new favorite quote from the book - an autistic girl who had learned to type. She said "Suspend disbelief long enough to forget what you think you know. Open your mind and your eyes and learn, please." I love that. So all in all, things are good. Continue to send prayers that everyone in this boat has calm waters.