The end of summer is fast approaching. Just a couple of weeks left before school starts. As much as I miss Ali, I'm unsure as to how well this year is going to go. Last year was a MESS. It was unplanned, unorganized, and stressful as hell. Yah Yah and Ali are like Red and Cyan on the color spectrum, complete opposites.

So rewind a bit. December of 2010 I decided to stop running and love the man who loved me. At the time I was living in 407, I just had a baby that November, and I was living in my own apartment for the first damn time. Ali's dad was living with me to help take care of her since I worked nights and weekends. As much as I loved having my own place, I was tired of watching a grown ass man do absolutely nothing for his daughter. I knew that she loved having both of us around, I just didn't want her to think that what he provided as examples were all there was to life. I was tired of working nights and weekends and relying on him to be there when I couldn't. I ended up moving to 813, which was an additional hour and a half away from where Mr. Foz lived. My ex-Mother in Law's job was hiring. I would be working Mon-Friday and I would be making $3 more an hour. I figured it was going to be better, even if it was harder on our long distance relationship. I knew that I wasn't going to be with anyone but him and we wanted to take it slow, especially since there was Yah and Ali to think about. We were planning on getting everyone acclimated in the coming year and then I would eventually move to 904 where he lived.

Well after being in 813 for 5 months, they layed me off. For the first time ever I was let go from a job. I was pretty bummed about it. Even though I had planned on moving in a couple of months, it was a shock and a change to a plan that I didn't expect. I was also pregnant. "But you just had a baby!", believe me, I know. I was not planning or wanting another baby for at least a couple more years. Mr. Fox however decided that he had waited long enough, his only daughter was about to be 9 and he felt like he was getting old and didn't want to wait any longer. So I took that one for the team, I sacrificed my comfort and my body to give him something that he had been waiting for. I was okay with that.

So it was July 2011 and I moved to 904. Ali was in Georgia with her dad, so that was one less thing I had to worry about at the moment. I will say, with the experience of moving 5 times in the past 2 years I am one hell of a packer and mover. Pregnant or not, when I arrived to the house
[he was at work] I unloaded my car, unhitched the car trailer, backed in the 17 ft truck, then unloaded everything except my couches and table top. One trait I get from my dad, I've never been one to wait on a knight in shining armor. My mom on the other hand would have had at least 2 male friends on standby to help her unload, but I can't knock her for it, she gets shit done without breaking a sweat.

Yah Yah came home a couple of days later to a house filled with boxes and new kitchen appliances and I know it was a shock to her system. He had told her that I was moving in, but the reality was crowding her once minimalist style home. I had replaced his microwave with mine, since it was newer and his would stay on if the knob was past a certain point. She was in the kitchen, and then asked him "where's my microwave". I knew that from that moment it was going to be an uphill battle.

When I first had the pleasure of meeting Yah, even though I had known about her for a few years, it went pretty smooth. She seemed to like me, but at the time she was still under the influence of her mother. Her mother has not made our merger any easier. She puts blame on me for ruining her and her ex-husband getting back together. She doesn't even know anything about me, but constantly ran her mouth about me and Mr. Fox to her mother and friends usually in the presence of her daughter. Whether Mr. Fox and I were together she would be running her mouth about him and whoever he was with, or even just about him. She came to the house one day, when Mr. Fox was at work. I guess she was trying to mark her territory, but it didn't phase me at all and I think that pissed her off more. One thing she said to me was "this was my house, and that was my husband", well bitch that ship sailed a long time ago, but I just stared through her the entire time. She would try to get info about what was going on from her daughter. She didn't allow her daughter to have a choice in how she wanted to deal with the change. Then when Ali came home, it was worse. No matter what Ali did, Yah made it a point that she didn't want to deal with her.

A couple of months go by, and Bitters decides to move 800 miles away. Great! So you plant all these seeds of hate and insecurity in your daughter, like telling her that her dad has a new family now and isn't going to be there for her, and then you decide to leave her. That makes complete sense! So on top of the stress from the girls not being able to get along we then had to deal with Yah Yah feeling like her world was flipped turned upside down. It was really hard for me to deal with her for a couple of reasons. I was pregnant, and pregnancy can make you crazy. I know when I was pregnant with Jammy, I would have a lot of frustration and irritation floating around and I would take it out on Ali. She would constantly downplay anything I did [like her hair] and mention how great her mom was. I felt like no matter what I did I was never going to be appreciated. Before the school year I went and bought all of her school supplies because I knew her mom couldn't. Instead of any appreciation, it just went unnoticed. I tried to do stuff for her birthday, but all I got was an "Oh yeah, thanks" brush off. It was really hard for me. It's still hard for me. I am very guarded when I know someone is constantly scrutinizing and comparing me to someone else, especially if I know that person doesn't do half the shit that I do. I felt like she was never going to allow me to be the Stepmom that I was excited about being.

I absolutely loved my Stepmom, and with my mom not being there I gladly accepted the love and lessons she was giving to me. But in this scenario, I feel like I'm not appreciated and no matter what it will never be good enough. I really don't know how to handle all of this. Ali is 3 years younger than Yah, so there are some things that I do for her or help her with for obvious reasons. But it seems as though Yah takes my actions in the wrong way, as if I wouldn't help her because I don't like her.

I'm just really hoping that this year will be different. I know Mr. Fox has been dreading the day they come back mostly because of how stressful the past year has been. I really wish there was something that I could do to help him feel better about everything but I know it's mostly things that are out of our control. Life is really hectic right now and the smallest amounts of tension throw us off balance. I am looking forward to a more relaxed pace sometime in the near future.

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