Day 16

What’s the thing you’ve wanted to do but haven’t (yet)?

I’ve mentioned this on days 12 & 13 before.  I want to further my education in some way.  Currently, I am not in the financial position (or the health position) to do that.

I also want to have another baby.

I want to experience with my husband all the things I missed out the first time around.  Mainly, someone being excited about a new child, being eager to share in the ups and downs of pregnancy.  I want to experience raising a child in a non-abusive situation.  To know what it feels like to have an equal partner from the start.

My husband is a phenomenal father.  To his son and to my daughter.  There is no distinction for him whatsoever.  As there is none with me when my bonus son is here.  I am so lucky to have found someone who is willing to parent a child that didn’t come from them.

With my ongoing health issues, it is unclear if I will ever have another baby.  We have both agreed that if it doesn’t happen “naturally” we will be ok with that.

I haven’t been on birth control in years, so it’s looking quite unlikely.  But who knows…maybe we’ll be surprised.

Day 14

Memories:  Been to any concerts?

I absolutely love live music.  I haven’t been to many concerts, not like my husband, but I’ve been to a few.  My favorite live act is Pearl Jam.  They are incredible live.  I’ve seen them at least three times.  I’m pissed I couldn’t afford to see them on this latest tour.

My favorite concert memory is attending a Metallica show in 1999 with the man who is now my husband.

He was visiting me, and he had just seen Metallica in Philly the week before.

He heard that they were in Pittsburgh, and wanted to see if we could get lawn seats to the show.

We ended up in the front row.

In the middle of the show, a thunderstorm rolled through the area.  It was amazing hearing (and seeing Metallica) and have Mother Nature put on a show as well.

Even though I was there with my boyfriend at the time as well, that show holds special memories for me.

And my boyfriend at the time and I are still friends to this day.

Day 10

Share an old photo of yourself:

1997

 

This is me and my husband at my winter formal dance in December of 1997.  I was 15, he was 18.  That dance was absolutely magical, and always stayed with me even after we both “grew up” and married other people.

Day 6

Something for your kids to know:

Hmm.  This one is a tough one.  I want to spare Sunshine some of the pain an agony I experienced in my teen years and into my late 20s.  I want her to know that a relationship with a man isn’t the “end all, be all”.  I want her to do things for herself, to get educated, to explore the world before she decides to get married.

I am also imposing a “do not get married until you are 25” rule.  Recent research has indicated that a person’s brain doesn’t fully develop until around age 25.  That people in their late teens and early 20s have difficulty with judgment calls.

I can definitely attest to the veracity of that statement.  I met my former husband when I was 19.  I got married at 22.  I know that I was too young.  I didn’t see the waving red flags in the relationship that indicated marriage to this man would not end well.  I just didn’t want to be alone.  I wanted security.  So I settled.

I want Sunshine to be her own person.  To develop who she is outside of a relationship.  That way she can decide if the person she is in a relationship with compliments or impedes who she is.  I want her to feel free to be herself in a marriage, if she even decides to get married.  I want her to know deep in her heart that the person she is with will always be her rock, her support, her friend, her confidant.  I’m not sure you can figure that out when your brain is still developing.

I am fortunate to find that person for me.  I want Sunshine to experience the joy, the fun, the complete contentedness that I experience with my husband.

One of my favorite wedding pictures.

One of my favorite wedding pictures.

31 Day Blog Challenge

31 days blog challenge!

I have wanted to do something like this for a long time.  My co-blogger over at The Eclectic Bookworm is featuring the blog challenge on her page.  The original post that inspired her is here.

Introduction and recent picture:

You can check the “about section”, but I’ll go into more depth here.

I’m 31, a mommy, a wife and a nurse.  I was born in Austin TX, was raised in Pittsburgh, PA for 25 years, and I moved back to Texas when my first marriage ended.

I have a wonderful, fantastic, fun, intelligent, funny little girl who I call “Sunshine“.  I prefer not to use her real name on my blog.  Being her mommy has made me a better person is so many ways.  She teaches me so much about life, love, patience and myself.

Our first "selfie" of 2014

Our first “selfie” of 2014

My (second) husband and I have been friends for 17 years.  We met on AOL when we were teenagers.  We lived about 300 miles away from each other, so our relationship prior to 2009 was mainly platonic.  We both married other people and had kids and then our marriages imploded.  He moved down to Texas nearly 5 years ago and we were married in the summer of 2012.

He is my rock.  My best friend.  We have so much fun together.  I am truly blessed to have him in my life.

I’ve been a nurse for 11 years.  I’ve done pediatrics, ICU, pain management, public health.  Most recently I was a hospice nurse for a number of years before my latest round of chronic illness exacerbation.

I haven’t worked steady in about 18 months because of my health.  Our financial situation became perilous about a year into my diagnosis, and we are now living with my parents.  It’s rough.

I am a huge sports fan.  I love hockey and football.  I’m a die-hard Penguins fan (even BEFORE the dawning of Sidney Crosby) and Steeler fan.  I was born into it.  It’s like a religion.

I do miss Pittsburgh sometimes, especially my friends.  But Texas has always pulled at my heart-strings.  I always wanted to live here and raise my daughter here.  Life isn’t what I expected.  I guess it never is.  But I keep on keeping on.  Hopefully this New Year will bring good health and a better living situation.

Oh and if you know anyone who needs a nurse, let me know…

Thankful

It’t that time again.

Honestly, I’m thankful everyday for what I have and who I have in my life, but sometimes it’s good to write it down.

This year, I am exceptionally thankful for my husband.  It has been a very dramatic, traumatic first 17 months of marriage.  We are just starting to crawl out from under the ruins of the last year.  He recently got a new job (with benefits!) and he is still working his second job.  I am truly thankful that he takes such good care of me and Sunshine.  I am thankful that he tries to understand my medical issues and also advocates for me.  He never hesitates to tell me to take it easy, to rest, to avoid a certain activity that he KNOWS will result in more pain or a migraine.  I am truly blessed to have such an amazing partner in life.

Of course I am thankful for Sunshine.  She is growing into the “sassy” stage, and even with her talking back, it is hard to keep a straight face sometimes because she is so darn cute!!  She is so loving, so warm.  I love watching her grow and learn.  She has such a good heart and loves everyone.  Today she said “Mama, you know what I’m thankful for?  You.  And that you are getting better”.  Melt my heart.

I am thankful for my friends.  I have some amazing friends that have  been tremendous over the past year.  I have had people that helped me with Sunshine in the morning, friends that make sure I’m getting out of the house, friends far away who just call to see if I’m ok.

I am thankful for my parents.  Even with all that is going on, the daily chaos, we would seriously be without a roof over our heads if they decided not to let us come and live with them.  They do try to help me with Sunshine and are wonderful grandparents.

I’m thankful for the internet.  Through blogging and FB, I know that I’m not alone in this.  That there are other people out there who have what I have and graciously share their knowledge and experiences.  They listen when other people have stopped.

And I’m thankful to still be off of chemo and steroids.  Its been six months for the methotrexate, three months for the steroids.  And despite the fibro symptoms, I feel pretty good day to day.  A year ago I could barely get out of bed.  Now I’m exercising, cooking, taking Sunshine places.  I hope to be able to stay off of those horrific meds and to continue to improve.

What are you thankful for?

Moving Day…

Good Lord I’m in pain today…

Trying to empty four years of crap from a three bedroom apartment and squish it into a storage locker.

I went to yoga the other day.  First time in nearly six months.  Apparently the steroids have taken their toll on my body.  I have never been this weak before.

Trying to hold the poses, my body would quake.  The instructor explained that my deep muscles are probably very weak and my superficial muscles are struggling to keep me upright.

It was difficult,  but I made it through the class.  And now I’m aching in muscles I forgot I had.

I’m planning to go back on Monday.  I’ll need it after the next two days.

I worked my ass off packing yesterday.  I accomplished way more than I thought my body could handle.

It is no where near complete, but at least we have some time to get it done.

I’m not ecstatic to be moving back in with my parents at the age of 31, but you know what?  It could be worse.

I know I’m blessed to have supportive parents (they are supportive most of the time).  I’m happy that I have somewhere to go and do not have to move in to Section 8 housing.  I’m thrilled that Sunshine is going to an amazing school, even if we are probably the only family getting free lunches.

I’m thrilled to have amazing friends.  My neighbor and her husband are helping us move today.  I have so much support through FB and my friends that live close by.

And I am eternally grateful to have an awesome husband.  Being in love, understanding each other, communicating effectively makes this all much, much easier.  He looks out for me.  He protects me.  If I look like I need a break, he tells me to rest.  He understands that my body doesn’t work as well as his.  He encourages me to do better, to do yoga, to walk, to stretch.  I couldn’t ask for a  better partner in life.

And Sunshine.  She has been through SOOOO much.  This is her sixth move in as many years.  She is happy, she is healthy, she is taking all of this change in stride.  Yes, she has her moments.  She bursts into tears, she pouts.  Its understandable.  But overall, she is a wonderful little trooper.

And thank you, my readers, for your support.  I love the comments I receive.  I went into this blogging thing with the intention of helping others in the same position.  What I found was an amazing wealth of support.  Thank you.

And back to the boxes…

Trying…

I went overboard again…

I’m trying to jump start my health and I did way, way too much yesterday..

It is HOT in Texas.  It was 105 yesterday.  So we spent a few hours at the pool.

I did about 10 laps of the junior Olympic size pool.  I played with Sunshine, throwing her in the water, flipping her over.

And now I’m paying for it.  Dearly.

My muscles are very painful.  Its the fibro pain, not the autioimmune pain.  And it sucks.

It takes a tremendous amount of effort to do ANYTHING today.

I’m going to try to push through it.  We are planning to go back to the pool today (and probably every day this week, as the low temperature will be nearly 80).  I’m hoping to do some more laps and see if I can overcome this initial hurdle.

It is pretty apparent that we will eventually be moving.  So far, they can’t kick us out until February, so that’s a good thing.  I’m kind of hoping for a last minute miracle (child support, family support etc) to help us bridge the gap and allow us to pay on time.  As it stands, my husband doesn’t get paid again until the 7th, and that is four days  late on rent.

Sigh.

Positive thinking:

– school starts later this month.  As much as I love Sunshine…I am READY for school to start again.

– I will be working most of September and October in some capacity.  It doesn’t help the situation now, but at least I’ll be able to feed my kids…

– football and hockey seasons are on the horizion.  GO STEELERS!!  GO PENS!!

– my husband is amazing and I’m thankful every day that we found our way back to each other

Hoping this pain subsides…

 

What is in a name?

© Strelok | Dreamstime Stock Photos & Stock Free Images

© Strelok | Dreamstime Stock Photos & Stock Free Images

With my first marriage, at the naive age of 22, I quickly changed my name.  I had two reasons for doing so, 1) my maiden name was constantly butchered by the tongues of the northeast, not being used to seeing Hispanic last names 2) I guess I was still in the “rebellion from the parents” stage and wanted a new identity and 3) My former husband was very vocal about the change of my name in the event that we had kids.

When I got divorced at age 27, I couldn’t wait to change it back.  1) I hated the daily reminder of my failed marriage every time I signed my name on nursing notes and 2) no one in Texas knows how to pronounce a French sounding last name.

When my husband proposed to me in 2011, I was again faced with the name change dilemma.  What would I do after the wedding?

My husband is Italian.  Second generation Italian.  His entire name is extremely ethnic Italian, not just the last name.  So ethnic that he goes by a nickname in his day to day life.  I am sure that most of our friends do not know his “legal” name.

We have been married for 8 months and I still have not changed my name.

My second husband could care less that I share his last name.  It is just a non issue.  To him, it doesn’t reflect my commitment to him and our family.  If we ever have kids,which I hope we will, they will obviously have his last name.

Since I live in Texas now, there are several (hundred, thousand?) people with my last name, obviously most of my extended family.  I was amazed in the first few months after changing back to my maiden name that no one butchered it.  White, Asian, Hispanic, all colors of the rainbow seemed to understand the correct pronunciation.  It helps that there is a chain of eateries in the local area that is owned by a very distant cousin who shares my last name.

Again, for me, changing my last name means changing my nursing license.  Going to the Social Security office, going to DPS, going to the bank and making copious copies of the marriage license and SS card to prove the change to every other entity that is in my name.

At the pharmacy, they refuse to change my name back to my maiden name because I filled prescriptions there under the pre-divorce name.  So if I change my name AGAIN, I will now have a very long and multi-ethnic name attached to my medications.

Also, my husband’s ex wife, and mother of his child, still uses his last name.

That just feels icky to me.  There shouldn’t be two Mrs. _____ who care for my bonus child.  Confusing as hell.  And I wouldn’t put it past her to attempt to impersonate me to get information that she should not have access to.  Of note, my husband’s mother (also Mrs.____) passed away last summer.

But, the major problem with being married and retaining my maiden name is that people who are trying to be polite, call me “Mrs. insert maiden name here”.  That effectively makes me my mother and my grandmother.  Both wonderful women, but quite awkward to hear.

However, recent events regarding my daughter (who obviously has my ex-husband’s last name) might push me toward the name change.

Her sperm donor consented to termination of his parental rights toward her.  In order for that to occur, my husband needs to adopt her.  And we will presumably change HER last name.

I can either change my name with her, and all parties in this household will be under the same last name, including the cat, or she can just change it and I’ll be the odd (wo)man out.

Or I can hyphenate.  This is the most attractive to me.  I can hyphenate the maiden and married last names.  I would still use my maiden name for any writings I produce.

I want to do SOMETHING to signify the legal adoption and “official” sanction of my husband as my daughter’s father.  But am I ready to give up the last name I have used for 25 of my 30 years?  And fought so hard to get back?

I have time.  My goal is to have the adoption completed by the end of the year.  Maybe I’ll put it to a family vote.

<3 Valentine's Day

Valentine’s Day is more than just a holiday with overpriced flowers and candy (and stuffed animals)

http://www.stockfreeimages.com/

© Costa007 | Stock Free Images & Dreamstime Stock Photos

Fifty some odd years ago, my father decided to make his debut on this day. Twenty five years after that, my parents decided to get married. And this morning, my cousin’s wife delivered their baby girl.

So Valentine’s Day is serious business in my family.

In a way, its easier. I don’t have to remember two other dates on the calendar. My parents made that easy on us.

I gave up years ago trying to find the Hallmark card that says: Happy Valentine’s Anniversary and birthday Dad!

So I usually get a birthday card and an anniversary card. Along with a card for Sunshine and my husband. Good thing Hallmark had a special going today.

And this year I actually have heart wrapping paper. Courtesy of my neighbor. So my Dad gets his gifts in holiday appropriate paper this year, rather than the leftover Christmas paper he usually gets.

Most years I shop way ahead of time, but since I rarely go out of the house now, I resorted to shopping today.

I joined a long line of men who were all staring at the rows and rows of Valentine’s Day cards. Most of them were well picked over (the cards, not the men). I could practically see the gears moving in their heads (the men, not the cards).

I was unable to find the elusive, all encompassing birthday/anniversary/Valentine’s Day card. I couldn’t even find the correct envelopes. But the ones I found should suffice.

I don’t know why cards are so meaningful. For the price of a pretty Valentine’s Day card, I could buy a book for my Kindle. For the price of a dozen roses, I could buy a ton more books (maybe even some off the bestsellers list). So I’m not too big on the material good thing for gifts.

But my husband actually likes the romance and the cards and the gifts. So I appease him.

When I was first dating my husband, he was shocked that I didn’t “demand” flowers, candies and a gift for these types of holidays. He had never been with someone that just enjoys his company.

We aren’t doing anything major. He worked all day, I volunteered at Sunshine’s school. I am making him dinner, however. This isn’t new. But I am making one of his favorite things. Something that I don’t normally eat. So that should be special.

I still prefer a night in with him either watching movies or listening to music. Or just having a wonderful conversation with him. It doesn’t take much to make me happy.

Happy Valentine’s Day Y’all!!