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Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday break and a happy new year's day. I think we are all walking into 2016 a feeling lot wiser than we were a year ago. I'm so thankful for this group and don't know where I would be if I didn't have the support I've found here.

Some of you have expressed concern that we might lose Mothering.com or might lose the safety/privacy we have here. I'm still collecting email addresses to make sure we have an alternatr way to stay in touch if something happens. Only a few people have sent me theirs. It's totally fine if you don't esnt to, this is just a reminder for those who do.

My personal update: custody trial is set for the 21st. I need to practice answering the questions my lawyer intends to ask. I'm hoping to find the time to do that with a close friend who's hard of hearing to force me to articulate more clearly and concisely. I've noticed it takes considerably more consentration to tell her stories in person vs texting her, especially with her 5 children taking turns interrupting. It can get really frustrating and nerve-wracking, which is what I'm going for. The court room set up seems to be that we sit at desks with microphones far enough back from the judge that it's a bit hard to feel like he will hear me, and xh's lawyer is such a loud obnoxious "mean girl", I felt totally rattled the last time we were there. I'm really wondering how my attorney will do.

Also, when we were there for trial which had to be postponed back on Dec 14th, both attorneys were wearing identical outfits. The cut of the blazers and pants were the same, the blouses were identical but slightly different black on white prints. They must have been maternity suits! The other attorney is pregnant now. Lol

MM, short for Mustache Man, is my super great boyfriend I've been with a year now. We have our normal squabbles and ups and downs that life brings, and we just keep getting through it. He's my best friend and DD likes him a lot. He just adopted a one-eyed kitten who is cute as can be, and he brings her up on the weekends he spends with us. We're slowly letting my dog interact with her more. He's being really good but about once a day he still goes after her. Hmm. She is so brave and curious about him, so I'm guessing she doesn't sense she's in danger. Either because she's not in danger or because she just has no sense of danger. Time will hopefully mellow the dog out, but I'm never going to let my guard down. Lol

It's really funny and so refreshing watching MM act the part of the anxious mother hen rather than the jerk "don't bother me, I'm busy relaxing while you do everything" and "you worry too much, there's no such thing as danger geez" attitude so many of our exes would have.
 

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Happy New Year! Mine was uneventful, but that was okay. The kids have been with xh since Christmas morning. I will see them on Monday. My ex-MIL is in town visiting, so I imagine the kids will be over there most of next week too, until she goes home.

We have a mediation set up for later this month. The xh wants the kids in German school, which takes place every Saturday morning, and since I haven't agreed to give up my Saturdays, he's taking me to mediation. My attorney and I think this is a joke, since we specifically addressed Saturday "activities" in our parenting plan...so I don't *think* that xh will get what he wants here. The thing that irritates me is that unless that the mediator decides to charge xh, I am responsible for half the cost. Right now, my lawyer is bugging me to refill my retainer. Ugh.

I'm feeling a lot of stress here. There's a lot of pressure to get done with school (online program) within a couple more months, and I find it hard to concentrate. But I also feel some satisfaction at doing my own thing, on my own schedule. I'm still optimistic. So it's not all bad.
 

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Why is he taking you to mediation? Is that a necessary step before he can take you to court? He should just teach them German himself on his own time. I guess it can't hurt to look for a kids German language class that happens on "his" parenting time....to have just in case more argument against using up your weekend time is needed. Living in a big city, surely there must be something that isn't every single Saturday!

Checking in. Nothing new to report that I haven't already shared. This is the year for hardening up my backbone and let go of my fear of court. And just saying what is true needs to be said, without fear of xh retaliating with legal threats. It's coming, so I may as well just let it all unfold, and let him expose all his crazy. And maybe if it's enough crazy, he will get talked into settling out of court again. BB, I hope your lawyer has some experience with how to break a narcissist on the stand. She should google Sam Vaknin for some tips, lol. But if not, I'm sure your truth and facts will speak for themselves. His lawyer is just a big bully. You can handle her, and there will be your lawyer, and a judge to call her out if she starts getting browbeating. She can't rattle you, since you have nothing to hide.
 

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He's trying to take advantage of a loophole. We are required to go to mediation regarding 'disputes of the parenting plan'. The parenting plan defines education as a 'major decision', one which must be decided by both parents. When we had our initial mediation and locked in the parenting plan, I nixed the German school then, and the pp was written to say that neither of us could sign up the kids for 'activities' during the others' weekends -- or charge the other for any activities without agreement. So now he is trying to say that this is an education decision, not an activity.

ETA - I'm not actually sure what happens when we don't reach agreement in mediation. Because we obviously won't!
 

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Ugh Zann - that is not an "educational decision" it is a class/activity - just like music or soccer etc. I hope he has to pay for it and the mediator sets him straight.

We are doing good here. Everyone is pretty healthy, school for me and the kids is going well. No news is good news here :grin:
 

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Agreed it is a class/activity (Unless it involves pulling them out of a regular public school and going to school 6 days/week, which would totally suck for a kid!).
 

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No, it's just Saturday mornings. The organization is called the "German Language School" - maybe that's why he thinks he can argue this. <eyeroll>
 

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Omg, you could easily say the same thing about any sort of Sat morning performing arts group, culture club or ski school. Do the kids even want to study German every Saturday morning?
 

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No, not really. If they had been enthusiastic about it, maybe that would have been worth the Saturday interruption. But they were happy that they didn't have to go on my weeks.

I really hope it blows up in his face. I don't want to lose money because of this.
 

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Zebra aren't you going back to school this year? That doesn't sound calm!
I'm attempting to go back - one class at a time, and if its too much or stresses me out, then im dropping the entire thing and will try again later. nothing is worth my sanity at this point! There is no guarentee that Im going to be able to do the internship at the end and there is no guarentee that I will ever be able to work again, plus I have no idea how I would write any in class 'essay' for a test/exam so again... its one class, one week at a time.
 

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I feel like my relationship with my kids is great. They love our time together and we've been doing fun stuff. I love my job too, but I barely get paid enough to just cover the bills every month. I'm looking into participating in some medical trials. One will pay $3000 if I complete it. I wonder how much of a tax refund I will get too. I wonder if it will be enough to go back to court and get my kids back this year.
 

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Overall I am starting off the new year well. I've done lot's of jobs such as sorting out paper work, getting taxes ready to file (even us illegals pay taxes lol), cleaning away Christmas decorations, signed up for the dog park again etc. The only downer is I realized the cough I have had for the last 8 weeks is pneumonia so a friend of mine has called in a prescription for me this evening, I can pick it up tomorrow morning. He's saving me about $150 which is what it would cost me to see my doctor.

Zannster, I would be tempted to tell him to go whistle!! It's a weekend activity, not school! He can then try taking you to court and you can call bull shite, and have him pay all the legal costs. He can pay for a private tutor on his time, or teach them himself. Or they can learn it in regular school when they go to high-school.
 

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LOL - with any luck, the mediator will tell him to do just that - and pay for the mediation. (I think it's scheduled for the 28th).

Ohhhh, long-term coughs suck. I get what they call "post infectious cough" after colds that can go on and on without the right drugs. Hopefully whatever you're getting will do the trick shortly.
 

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Just checked what my friend prescribed, he's pulled out the big guns and written 2 refill in case I get it again. Sucks being prone to it!
 

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I have mediation tomorrow for parenting time and legal decision making. I have no idea what ex2 will ask for. I'm starting classes (took a semester off for maternity) in a couple of weeks. And if I don't finish my master's this semester, I will be taken off the program and won't ever be able to finish. Dd2 is 7 months old, and does not go to daycare. So I have to figure out how I'll be able to research, write, and defend my thesis with such a little one, plus my almost 7 year old. While going through a custody battle. Bring it on. I got this.
 

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Checking in. Not much new to report. XH has actually been helpful getting his parents involved to watch DD during the school break. DD's been loving life on the farm XH moved to. I'm about to hit the busy season at work so I'm hoping not to have to work too much overtime as I don't get paid extra and already don't feel like I have enough time to get everything done. Parents coming to town in a few weeks do need to start making more time to get the house prepped.
 
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