Oh and for those of you who are wondering....
I wonder why it shocks and surprises me every time she does something like this. It's been over 2 years since she sent them presents for Xmas or their birthdays. Not that material items are important, but crap, to kids having someone give you something on your birthday or Xmas means something. Hell, even a card - they love that kind of stuff. But she can't be bothered. Didn't call them on their birthdays this year, I should have known that was the beginning of the end.
But it's not, though. She won't ever go away. It would be nice if she would just stop contacting them and leave them be. They are happy kids. But, as Dave says, she's around just enough to be a pain in the ass. It's been over 6 months since she's called. When she came to visit them in October of 2003 (the first time since 1997 that she'd actually come to visit them), I really thought she was coming around and was going to be more involved in their lives. Silly me, what was I thinking?
It's amazing, in a really awful, sick-in-the-pit-of-your-stomach sort of way. Pathetic is more like it.