JM, I hope this is progress. I am certainly holding to my boundaries. She asked me to just tell her if we are not going on a vacation in April, so I told her "we are not going on a vacation in April. I wish I could afford to go. But I can't."

Most of the time I am pleasant and supportive toward Mrs. Hold. I congratulated her about making the team. I bragged to my secretary about her. I then told Mrs. Hold what my secretary said as a way of reflecting. I compliment Mrs. Hold in front of the kids. She is on the parent's board of S11's swim team and I always compliment Mrs. Hold on the work she does there.

Still, the kids see the truth. S14's suitcase did not arrive when the kids flew back from Florida last weekend (it came on the next flight). Before we were told the bag was on its way, I joked that this was a horrible fate since he would have to allow his mother to take him shopping for new clothes (he hates shopping). He replied "why don't you just drop me off at the mall with your credit card, you can probably trust me with the card at the mall more than you can trust Mom".

And when I told D11 how proud I was that Mom made the weight loss team, and that Mom was beautiful in her current perfectly proportioned shape today but would be healthier if she lost some weight, D11 looked at me like I was crazy. She said "yes she is beautiful, but Mom would look even better if she lost weight." Mrs. Hold said "beauty is on the inside". D11 looked at her like she was crazy and said "yes, that is where it starts, but it has to get through more or less layers to get out!"

It doesn't matter why Mrs. Hold decided to do this. It only matters that she did. Let's all hope she follows through. The kids and I have offered to be as supportive as we can be. We agreed to rid the home of all unhealthy foods. We agreed to operate independently in the morning and not rely on her to help us get ready for school when she has fitness classes. And we agreed to accompany her to the gym if she wants company.

I am truly pleased and proud she made this decision. I did not hesitate to give her the money to join. And I hope it works out well for her no matter how it works out for us as a couple.

When you can see it coming, duck!