Wednesday, June 30, 2010

When Will I Feel Like a Adult??

Seriously. I turned 28 in March. I've been married. I've had 3 kids and sadly, buried one of them. I'm in the process of getting divorced. I'm living on my own and running a household (pretty darn well, if I do say so myself). Despite all of that, I still feel sort of like a kid most of the time. I wish I had someone to handle important phone calls and make major decisions (sometimes) so I didn't have to deal with the stress it can bring. I don't handle stress well. Or conflict. And I've had both lately and will probably be dealing with both for quite some time, in light of recent events (that I can't/won't blog least not at this time).

I think a lot of kids/teenagers are in a hurry to grow up so they can be in charge and make their own decisions and do whatever they want. They can't wait to be out of school and be out on their own, out of their parents' houses. And then you get there and wonder what the hurry and hype was all about. Sure, it has it's advantages. But then there's all the crap you have to deal with and suddenly the days where your biggest decision was what to wear to school or what topic to do your report on are looking pretty darn good.

And then there's the whole parenting gig. Not only do you have to make grown up decisions for yourself, but for someone else, too. Someone you love more than life itself...and sometimes those decisions aren't easy. You are always wondering if you're doing the right thing. Or if you're doing a good enough job. If you mess up it's not like you can just start over. Being a parent is the hardest job on the planet and I don't think it ever gets easier. In fact, it just seems to get harder and harder.

I guess this post has sort of turned in to a vent, but that's not what I meant for it to be. I just sometimes sit and think, "Wow, I am 28 years old...almost 30!" And I feel like I just graduated high school like last year. But I have had 3 kids and Zachary would have turned 8 this month. Ryan will be 7 in August. My 10 year highschool reunion is this summer. How did that happen?? I guess I just don't feel like it's been that long...and that's a good thing. But it's also kind of a strange feeling. I wonder if my brain will ever catch up to my age? And do I really want it to? LOL.

Friday, June 25, 2010

I Was Wrong

I got married young. I had just turned 20 a few weeks before (he was 2 months shy of 24). I thought I was in love. Maybe I was....but knowing what I know now, I doubt it. I was anxious to start a family (and was actually about 5 months pregnant with our first baby, a surprise....we had been engaged for a year when I became pregnant) because that's all I really wanted. I don't remember having any doubts about marrying him, but I should have. I really should have. I couldn't talk to him. Not about anything important. And he never talked to me. The line of communication just wasn't there. It never was and it never got better. I'm really not sure why I was so happy about marrying him, but I do remember thinking it was the happiest day of my life. I was excited to start our life together, but I'm not really sure what I expected that life would be like with how our relationship was. I guess I thought all you needed was love and the rest would come. W-R-O-N-G. So very wrong.

After we lost Zachary, I thought it brought us closer and maybe it did for awhile. But the communication never got better. We got pregnant with Ryan 9 months later. We were both cautiously excited. Then he was born just as early as Zachary and spent 6 months in the NICU, which again I thought brought us closer. But by the time Ryan was a few years old, I was starting to become miserable and so envious of couples that could talk to each other and supported each other emotionally....we did not have that. At all. And I desperately, desperately wanted it. I NEEDED it. Not only was he not supportive, but he even started to put me down it seemed every chance he could and was just negative and hurtful a lot of the time. I thought I needed to tough it out, at least for the kids. But there were other (major) issues and by the time Brooke was a little over a year old, I knew I needed to get out. For my sanity. And for the kids' well being. They didn't need to be living in such a tension-filled environment.

I had stuck it out for a long time, but to me our marriage had been dead at least a year, maybe two, before I actually moved out. A week after I did move out, I signed up on a free online dating site, the first night (and only night then for almost 2 months) that the kids were with their dad. I, myself, even thought it was crazy and didn't even feel ready to date, but I *was curious and I guess maybe I was sort of testing my self confidence, which had gone way down the tubes during my marriage. I figured it was pretty harmless to just talk to someone online.

I got a lot of messages that first night, but only one of them really struck me as someone I would want to talk to because most of them didn't have proper grammer/punctuation/capitalization, etc. and that drives me CRAZY, especially considering the fact that one would assume they would be trying to make a good first impression, right? LOL. I'm sure I sound crazy :-P. And then of course there were the perverts and yes, there are a lot of them.

So anyway, like I said only one really caught my eye. His name was Joe and he was a divorced dad to a then 3 1/2 year old son. We started talking on AIM and we talked for a few hours if I remember correctly. I think it was around 1am (LATE for me) that I finally signed off and I can't remember what time we started chatting. It was all "getting to know you" stuff, basically. But he was funny and fun to talk to. He lived an hour away and I figured the chances of anything happening between us were slim to none with the distance, but I liked talking to him and thought he could at least be a friend, if nothing else.

We talked just about every day at some point, usually at night, about all kinds of things. After a couple weeks, he asked me about driving up here and taking me to dinner one Saturday night, but I couldn't get a sitter that night and to be honest, I was kind of relieved because I was scared to death about meeting him. Not because he was scary (that wasn't it at all), but because I get nervous about meeting new people in general (there's that whole self confidence issue). I did want to meet him, but I didn't think I was quite ready yet. A couple weeks later, he asked again and even though I was nervous as heck, I accepted.

As I got ready for our date, I couldn't remember the last time I had been so nervous. I was excited, too, but more nervous than anything. My parents came over to watch the kids and he picked me up (he was shocked I would let him and not meet him somewhere, but I had no reservations about letting him do so). We went to dinner and then just walked around the mall and talked, then grabbed a movie from a Redbox and headed back to my place to watch it. He didn't leave until about 1am. I think we spent about 7 hours together that night and I had so much fun and could not believe how easy he was to talk to, even in person. (It is always pretty easy to talk to someone online.)

The rest is pretty much history :-). That was just over 8 months ago and we are still going strong with no plans in stopping. I have never felt such a connection with somebody before. I've never been able to talk so openly (about anything and everything) with somebody before. I've never felt so loved and supported before. I don't know how I went 7 1/2 years in a marriage lacking all of that. I really don't know how I didn't totally lose it. But I've got it now and I know this is "it". I don't know how I got so lucky as to find it so quickly after moving out and finding "it" with the first guy I dated....but I'm not complaining. I know there's no "settling" involved when it comes to him and our relationship. I could not ask for anything more from him. Our relationship is so different from the one I had with my ex that I can hardly even compare the two. I haven't ever been this happy in my life. I not only have two amazing kids here with me, but I have the man of my dreams too, as well as his amazing little boy.

I used to think I had somehow failed my kids by our marriage not working out. But now I know that you can't make things be what you want them to be and someday you will realize that it never could have been what you wanted or dreamed of anyway and sometimes you just have to move on. I also used to think that nobody would want someone with the baggage I had from my marriage, plus two kids and the inability to have anymore (I had a tubal ligation after Brooke). But I was wrong. And this time, being wrong was a good thing :-).

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Consider Yourself Warned

There will definitely be posts written about the kids. I can't NOT write about them :-). So if you don't want to read about that kind of stuff, you should probably leave now. So there's your warning.

And here I go right in to potty training territory.
LOL. Ryan never seemed to mind being wet or dirty. At 4 1/2 years old he was still wearing diapers. The "experts" say to wait for signs of readiness. He was showing none and I was starting to feel ridiculous changing his diapers. Yes, he was (is) developmentally delayed, but he is SMART. When he was exactly 4 1/2, I decided we were going to give potty training a shot. Within 3 weeks he was fully trained and really hardly had any accidents at all.

Brooke turned 2 in March. She has started telling me when she poops and wants changed right away (99% of the time). Of course, she also uses the "I pooped" card to try to get out of things (like her crib at night once in awhile because she knows I will check her diaper even though I'm 99.99% sure she is lying). LOL. I also discovered recently that she notices when she pees, at least when her diaper is off (she peed on the floor while we were on vacation in the middle of me changing her in to her swim stuff). And that is something Ryan didn't realize for the longest time. I've been talking to her about the potty for a little while now.

Today, I decided we would give it a little bit of a try and see what she did. I stripped her down (this is how Ryan started out, too....underwear and other clothing came after a week or so) to her birthday suit late this morning. She would sit on the potty chair for a few minutes and get up and go play and then I would make her sit down again. The first time she peed, I don't think she realized it, but we still made a huge deal out of it and she got an M&M. Then she pooped on the floor, which may or may not have been somewhat of an accident because she had been sitting on the potty right before she did it. Then the next time she peed, I was walking back in to the room and she picked the potty insert up and shoved it towards me and said, "I peed!" LOL! Then it was lunch and naptime and we didn't really try again until right before dinner. She peed on the potty and then the next time I caught her mid-pee going on the floor. I think she stopped before I even said anything and I sat her on the potty chair and she finished on there. Then stood up and cried. LOL. She kept saying, "Yucky!" and I kept telling her that peeing in the potty was good and only peeing on the floor was yucky. She peed once more after dinner and stood up and announced it and then it was about time to get her diaper and pajamas on for bed.

I'm not really sure how much I'm going to push this right now as a full time thing, especially since the kids will be going with their dad Saturday to go spend the night at his aunt and uncle's camper with his parents....but we'll see where it goes from here and if she starts asking to go on her own at all. I'm not sure if she's 100% ready yet, but she is definitely at least getting close!

I didn't get any pictures of her on the potty today or I would have posted those (no full nudey shots, of course)!

Not New to This

This isn't my first blog. I started my first blog back in...hmmm...2007 when the soon-to-be ex and I started trying for our 3rd baby. Our first baby, Zachary, was due September 29, 2002, but arrived almost 17 weeks early on June 3rd, 2002 after what had been a perfect-until-that-day pregnancy. He struggled to live, but lost his fight 11 days later. I had barely come to terms with the fact that he was already here and not still safe in my womb where he belonged when he passed away. It was very, very surreal and I found myself mourning more the loss of a dream of what could have been than actually mourning HIM, if that makes sense. I didn't even get a chance to know him. It's a very strange feeling. My doctor told me his early arrival was a fluke thing and I was young (just turned 20) and naive and I believed him.

So six months later we started to try for another baby and three months after that I got pregnant with Ryan. He was due December 12, 2003. I was watched very closely and everything was going great. I even had an ultrasound in the late afternoon on August 18th, which showed my cervix was closed, no contractions, and baby was well. But the next day I went in to labor, at the exact same gestation (23w 4d) as I did with Zachary. They were able to hold me off until the next day, about 18 hours, but then had to deliver because I was fully dilated. A long, complicated NICU stay followed for Ryan that lasted 6 months and included heart surgery, bowel surgery (twice), laser surgery on his eyes, and numerous infections...just to name a few of his battles he overcame.

For at least a year after he was born, I was sure I did not want any more
babies. I couldn't go through it again. But around when he turned 2, I started to
think maybe. By the time he was 3, I knew I wanted to try again, AFTER seeing a high risk OB and only IF he thought it was "safe". I went for that consultation the summer of '06, I believe. The doctor was convinced my issue lie in my cervix and that it opened too soon (in other words, incompetent cervix). He gave us the go ahead to start trying (and a gameplan of what he would do once I did get pregnant), but we didn't start trying for another 10 months or so, around March 2007. I got pregnant in June, but miscarried in July (it actually may have been a chemical pregnancy or blighted ovum). That's when I started my first blog to keep people updated, mainly for the pregnancy when it happened because I knew there would be a lot of people (family, "in real life" friends, and online friends) that would want to know how things were going with my history. I got pregnant in October with Brooke and was due June 21, 2008. She was born March 26, 2008 (two days after my birthday, one day after her uncle's, two days before my mom's, and five days before my dad's!).

So all that to tell you how my first blog came about ;-). And I guess it filled you all in a little on my struggle to carry a baby to term. If you would like to read more about my pregnancy with Brooke (who I made it almost to 28 weeks with!) and her short-to-us (7 1/2 week) NICU stay, you can check out my old blog It's A Preemie World....and I'm sure I'll eventually post more about that stuff here :-). I decided to start this new blog because there have been a lot of changes in my life in the last almost year and I just felt like I needed a new blog beginning. So here I am!

I'll close this with recent pictures of Ryan and Brooke, so you can see how big my once, teeny tiny preemies are now :-).