Day 31

Your favorite:  Hobbies and way to spend down-time

Duh.  READING!!  I love disappearing into a world created by some amazing authors.  I also read for knowledge, read for humor, read to Sunshine.

I also am a huge fan of The Walking Dead, sports, funny movies.

I also spend a ton of time playing Barbies with Sunshine (ugh) I try to sway her to do the Legos more often though.

And I spent an inordinate amount of time online, reading, catching up and blogging.

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Day 30

What’s something not many know?

It’s strange that this question comes at the end of a month long challenge to talk about yourself.

I guess one thing that not all people know, even though I do blog about it separately, is my history of sexual abuse.

I was 15 (in 1997)when I was initially assaulted by someone I thought was a friend.  That led to years of abusive relationships, ending when I left my ex in 2009.

I still have problems with it, but not as bad as I used to.  If you are interested in reading the other blog, let me know and I may post a link.

I just don’t know how this whole “blogger internet” thing works, and I don’t want to land in court because of my writing.

Day 29

Tell me:  are you a lefty or a righty?

Righty all the way baby!!  I’m like 90% of the population.  I can do pretty much nothing with my left hand.

Day 28

Memories:  Top 5 moments of your life

I’ll do this in pictures, in chronological order:

Meeting my husband (in 1997)

Meeting my husband (in 1997)

Sunshine's birth

Sunshine’s birth

Finally being able to start a relationship with my husband, 2009

Finally being able to start a relationship with my husband, 2009

Disney with Sunshine, 2011

Disney with Sunshine, 2011

This moment right here, 2012

This moment right here, 2012

 

 

 

Day 27

Something you miss

When she visited me in Texas, 2010

When she visited me in Texas, 2010

 

I miss my best friend.  I’ll call her Pooh.  We met in 1990 on a playground at the first day of my new school.  That was third grade.  We’ve been friends ever since.

We have been through some shit together.  We were both teased mercilessly in grade school.  I think that is what cemented our bond.  As we got older, we got in trouble together.  Summer of 1996.  That’s all I will say, and she will know EXACTLY what I mean.

My first wedding...to Sunshine's Dad, 2004

My first wedding…to Sunshine’s Dad, 2004

She was the maid of honor at my wedding to Sunshine’s dad.  She was there the day I gave birth to Sunshine.  She babysat exactly one time, and I’m pretty sure that Ms. Colic 2006 kept Pooh and her eventual husband kid free for a few years.

When I decided to leave in 2009, Pooh was in the middle of planning her wedding.  I was to be the matron of honor.  Instead of turning into bridezilla and having a fit that her matron of honor was moving 1500 miles away, she told me that I needed to do what was right for myself and my daughter.  She was also instrumental in helping me make the ultimate decision to leave and to remain in Texas.  She had some info about my ex that was proof of infidelity.  She didn’t tell me when she first found out about it because I had just had Sunshine and I was no shape emotionally or physically to deal with that kind of information.

I remember going over to her house, absolutely livid about what was going on in my life.  She calmly sat me down, explained what she knew, when she knew and told me that she would love me no matter where I was.  She probably saved my life.  If I would have gone home to my ex, confronted him about what I knew, I may not be here right now.

I returned to Pittsburgh for her wedding.  With the man that is now my husband.  And it was magical.

Her wedding, 2009

Her wedding, 2009

Since that time, she has had two babies.  I got married (again), and she made the trip down here to be at my wedding.  She was the only person from out of town to do so.  No one in my family (including my brother) or my husband’s family made it.  Her being there with me was so special.

We have remained close despite the fact that we live so far from each other.  We talk about once a month, but we text, FB, all of those things.  And every time we’re together its like nothing has ever changed.  She knows me so well, she knows my family, my husband.  Its the kind of friendship that she has no problem telling me when I’m wrong, when I need to chill out, when I need to look at things a different way.

With our baby girls, 2013

With our baby girls, 2013

When I was up in Pittsburgh this past summer, I got to see a lot of her, and meet her kids.  I swear, their cuteness rivals Sunshine’s.  We cried when we had to leave each other.

So I miss my Pooh.  I would love for her to move down here one day.  Or have the funds to visit more often.

We were supposed to take a cruise for the 20th anniversary of our friendship in 2010.  But she was preggers at the time.

So maybe it will be for our 25th.  Next year.  Wow.  I’m old.

Day 26

Share:  A difficult time in your life

I read this title and started laughing to myself.  This entire blog was created because of a difficult time in my life.  It’s getting better, slowly, but this is probably the most stressful it has been.

I’ll update instead:

I survived my trip to the east coast.  Yes, it was cold, but apparently we got out just in time to avoid the polar vortex (of doom). I got to see my bonus son and spent some time with him.  That was awesome.  His mom behaved, mostly.  I spent some lovely time with my husband’s family.  They are so warm and welcoming.  A bit different from my current situation with MY family.

But the traveling and the weather got to me. And I needed two days to recover when I got back to Texas.

Things with my mom were worse when we got back, however.  I won’t go into details.  Apparently I’m a horrible mother.

Health wise, my eyes have inflammation in them, but not to the level he wants to treat right now.  My cataract isn’t getting worse.  So good news.

But the reflux and bleeding in my stomach is pretty bad.  I am scheduled for a scope (both ends) next week.  Fun times.

My pain from fibro has increased.  I think its the stress.  My joints in my elbows, hands, hips and ankles are killing me. I am supposed to see the rheumatologist sometime this spring, if I can wait that long.  I’m going to have her run my ANA again.

And the job search has begun in earnest.  I’ve had two interviews so far.  I’m hoping to hear back from them soon.  It is difficult trying to find a job in my industry that can go along with my illness.  I’m honest about what I went through.  I don’t want there to be any surprises if I take a job and my eyes get worse.  I’m mainly looking for part-time, something that isn’t intense or requires a lot of travel or being on my feet.  Good luck finding that nursing position.  If we get a new car, which might be happening fairly soon, I can return to hospice part time.  Fingers crossed.

Sunshine is amazing.  She just got an awesome report card.  She’s selling Girl Scout cookies (anyone want some?) and she is such a good little businesswoman.  She was taking orders from her classmates.  I had to explain to her that their parents probably need to order the cookies, since the kids aren’t carrying cash around with them.

My husband is also amazing.  He’s working so much, but this is a team effort.  I’m essentially his secretary, I get things done while he’s in his work cycle.  Because he works 12 hour night shifts, I don’t see him that much for four days out of the week.  But its worth it.  He’s already gotten promoted twice.

And my mom is working a lot more.  Which means we are getting along.

Today, things are looking up.  I hope by the end of the weekend I’ll have even more good news.

Thank you for reading!!

Day 25

Your favorite:  recipe and comfort food

This one is tough.  I absolutely love Italian food.  I can’t handle the tomatoes too much with the acid reflux, but I love alfredo sauce, lasagna, garlic bread, seafood pasta, ravioli.  Its great that I eventually married an Italian.  When we were visiting his family at the end of December, his aunt made amazing food for us.

So here is a recipe:

To Die For Fettuccine Alfredo

  • 24 ounces dry fettuccini pasta

  • 1 cup butter
  • 3/4 pint heavy cream
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 dash garlic salt
  • 3/4 cup grated Romano cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add fettuccini and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain.
  2. In a large saucepan, melt butter into cream over low heat. Add salt, pepper and garlic salt. Stir in cheese over medium heat until melted; this will thicken the sauce.
  3. Add pasta to sauce. Use enough of the pasta so that all of the sauce is used and the pasta is thoroughly coated. Serve immediately.

 

Day 24

Three things:  2 true & 1 false:

1)  I’m very athletic.

2) I’m a bit of a sci-fi nerd.  Not 100%, but I love Star Wars and zombies and reading about dystopian near futures.  And the apocalypse.  And alternate history.

3) If I wasn’t a nurse, I would be a history teacher.  Being that both of my parents are nurses, it was kind of predetermined.  But I have always loved history and loved learning about it.  In an alternate universe, I would be a history teacher or professor.  Specializing in WWII or women’s history.

Day 23

What is your schedule like?

Hopefully this is changing soon.  As in real soon.  I need a job.

6:30-7 am – Open eyes, carefully catalog each body part searching for pain.  Lightly stretch to see what mood my muscles are in today.  Swing legs over the bed to see how bad my joint pain is.  Yell at my mom that yes, I am getting out of bed and Sunshine will be on time for school.  I feel like I’m a teenager again.

7-7:15 am – Make sure Sunshine is clothed, fed and has all of her needed items for school.  I put her clothes out at night, as well as her breakfast (I leave it in the fridge) and she is responsible for feeding herself and putting her clothes on.  She usually wakes up at 5 or 5:30 and watches TV.

7:15-7:20 am – Drop Sunshine off at school.  They do not have buses, which means I am most likely wearing my pjs when I drop her off.

7:20 – 8 am Eat something.

8-10 am – Depending on how much sleep I got the night before, I either fall back asleep or just rest.  But lately it has been the former.  Especially when my husband is home.  I truly cherish the time I have sleeping next to him.  He keeps the nightmares away.

10 am – 2pm – doctor’s appointments, dishes, laundry, occasional lunch with a friend, calling insurance companies for my health issues, look at job listings, look for somewhere to live, blog

2 pm – quiet shower time!!

2:45 pm – Pick up Sunshine

3p-5p – Do something with Sunshine.  Library, park, Girl Scouts, etc.

5p – start dinner

7p-8p – Mama Baby time.  Usually Sunshine’s shower and bedtime routine.  Lately we’ve been playing Barbies non-stop before she goes to bed.

8p-12 a – If my husband is home, watch TV, movies or listen to music with him.  If not, read and attempt to fall asleep.

There you have it.

Day 22

Tell me:  What do you want to do for a living?

My dream job is to review books for a living.  And to get PAID decently to do it.  I absolutely love reading.  And if I could ever find a way to get paid to do it….wow.  Right now I get paid in books, essentially, someone sends me their book for free in exchange for a review.  So that’s pretty good.

As a nurse, I would love to be some type of a “healthcare navigator” to people who are chronically ill.  Yes, they do have these positions available, but many of them are through health insurance companies, and not located in this area.  The problem with working for corporate health companies is that they want ROI (return on investment), which I understand, but you can’t quantify what nurses do in terms of money.

One company I worked for in a position similar to what I would want had all of these algorithms to determine just how much my time and advice was worth to the customer, the insurance company.  I hated being told that I couldn’t talk for longer than 10-15 minutes, that I had to hit these specific talking points, that I was restricted as to the things I could talk about.

I envision something like what I would have needed when I first got sick.  What is this disease, what are the treatments, what is the research, who are the doctors in my area that can help me?  How can I use my insurance (if they have it) to treat this illness.  What are some other resources in my area, how can I afford this?

I envision it all in one location, one person that knows the story and can navigate the person through the maze that is healthcare.  It would have to be mostly independent in order to truly serve the client, and not the insurance company.

So if anyone has an MBA and is willing to help find funding for this venture, or knows of a company that does things like this, let me know.