Three Hundred and Thirty-Three Days

I haven’t written in ages, and surprisingly this half-life blog still gets views on a daily basis. How? Who are you?… I suppose if I have to ask, I’ll never know.

Seems I only post to write vague updates and this will be no great exception. I don’t even bother saying I’ll try to write more anymore because it’s just not true..  If you follow me on Instagram @Finity113, or my private trying to conceive account, @ttc.rainbow.roe most of this will be old news, but for those of you who don’t already know me over there, let’s jump right in.

  • We moved back to our home town. I wasn’t sold on the idea but we had been considering buying a house since this time last year and as soon as we walked in the door here, we knew it was ours. I have five words to accurately sum up my first impression: Craft room. Built in bookshelves. Sold! Plus living in the same town as all of my husband’s family is nice, considering all of mine now live 3 hours or three days plus away by car.
  • So we bought the house and it’s been about three months and it’s crazy. Double the space of our apartment, complete with a garage, back and front yard.. You know, all the standard things. My dad and uncle both told me that wherever you stand, you’ll see something that either needs repairing, improving or replaced and it is so true.
  • We planted a garden. It’s been a huge learning experience. Perhaps a 30′ by 20′ garden was unrealistic for our first year here but it’s nice, aside from all the weeds. Someone in my online gardening group told me to expect to spend an hour out there weeding daily. Um.. what?
  • We got a puppy! She’s a six month old, lab/husky mix and her name is Tippy. If you think that is a stupid name, don’t look at me because I did not pick it out. But I did pick her out at the shelter and aside from treating ringworm for an entire effing month it’s been great. And nobody else in the household caught it from her so that felt a little like winning.
  • We were diagnosed with secondary infertility. Well… I guess I was. I am all of twenty-eight years old and taking hormone replacement therapy because my “pituitary essentially stopped talking to my ovaries” after our losses last year. My doctor’s words, not mine. Neither of my two fertility doctors has said the term pre-menopausal, but isn’t that exactly what’s going on? No? All I know is that the hormones help with everything from my anxiety to PMS to weight gain..
  • Also found out the husband and I both have the homozygous C677T MTHFR mutation, which is pretty much the worst of those mutations to have. It almost guarantees any baby we have will be homozygous at well, which puts a fetus at increased risk of death, which is pretty much the cherry on top of a craptastic year as far as pregnancy and loss goes.
  • Speaking of which, it’s been 333 days since before we experienced the loss of our girl, “Firefly” at 13 weeks. And everything’s changed. So.. coming up on the one year anniversary of her death and I am half waiting for the meltdown and half hoping that I have healed enough that there won’t be one. I am channeling that energy into a local pregnancy loss ministry. I’m actually a board member, fancy that! I’ve been thinking of giving all of our lost babies proper names and will need to sit down with DH and do that, if only just for us and them.
  • And perhaps the last big update for now, not only am I a stay at home mom again, (which doesn’t sound nearly as cool when your only kid is four..) but will also be homeschooling said kid. *gasp* I know, right?

Soo… Yeah. That’s about everything I’ve got to say right now. Thanks for reading, stranger.

As Always Before,

Michelle

Looking Glass

[[The thing about droughts is, the grass isn’t greener anywhere.]]

I’m up too late again. I can feel a headache settling in for the night. Or maybe just the tension of too many thoughts demanding to be recognized before the day is done. My brain feels frantic and my body is too tired to work out that energy any way other than to half sit, half lie here and write. 

So… Tomorrow marks one month at my new job. I made cookies. Oatmeal chocolate chip and peanut butter chocolate chip. Half celebrating myself and half because the chocolate chips needed to be used up before the whole bag found its way into late night snack territory. If the idea of baking for myself sounds pretentious or sad, I don’t care. They are for everyone there anyway. And because busying myself with baking and organizing and working out are things I do when I am feeling stressed out and going through things. 

And I am going through them. 

I want to say “it’s funny how…blah blah blah” but it isn’t really funny or ironic at all. It is hard and painful and unfortunate that anything about who I was once upon a lifetime ago affects me today, but I am who I am and so it does. Evocation is not a tendency for the faint of heart. That’s a word, right, evocation, evoke? I’m too tired to look it up but it sounds about right. And I’m not the type of person who can just let the past…be. There’s that whole quote about those forgetting history being destined to relive it. Probably butchering that, but you get my point, I hope. 

I have always, mostly been brutally honest so it’s just been hard. Second engagement brings up a trunkload of doubts and insecurities. My first marriage failed and it is a big deal to me – so much so that I even hate that phrase “first marriage” like I ever went in with the explicit goal of getting out. So yes, Marriage is a big deal to me. I was an awful first wife in so many ways and can only hope to have learned enough to not let that history ever repeat itself. 

I suppose I should make more time to get through this maze of emotions and just be done with it, but time is a rare commodity. I’m happy, so happy but I am also scared. Dustin is such a good man. And we do really make a good team. There’s just the tiny voice all but drown out by the chaos saying it will all, most likely be alright. No promises, but also no regrets. 
Love and light,

Michelle

Quicksand

I mean, who knew that getting my license would be anything but positive? That it would make things more awkward at work, because change is hard. That it would make me less desirable to other vet clinics because I’m this big fancy RVT who hasn’t placed an IV catheter in three years. It has been too long. I have the technical know how, I have the licensure, and I likely do have the muscle memory, but to say I would get it 100% right out of the gate… not so much. It is disheartening. It is defeating..

I am surrounded by quicksand. The harder I struggle, the more difficult it is to breathe, to escape. But to settle, to stop fighting for what is better and best feels like failure also. It feels like I will drown either way. This is, as usual, about four of five clicks too honest but that’s me. I feel like I am failing and it is a big deal, this is a big deal. I just… do not know what to do about it right now.

Michelle

Static Motion

Tonight is one of those nights. Up late. Mulling over love and the meaning of life when it sounds like the whole world has gone to bed besides me. I’ve got the hum of a window fan and the quiet sound of my boyfriend’s breathing to keep me company. “Isn’t it odd sometimes? I asked just before he fell into his dreams… “Isn’t it funny to think how we ended up here?” But I was already too lost in my thoughts to remember what he might have said in response.

Maybe it’s all the water I have been drinking (in part as a challenge for myself) to wash away toxins and have clearer skin and less wrinkles and *fingers crossed* less headaches and migraines. So much water, that my heart and mind can’t help but be a little cleansed too. Old musings and bits of wonder and questions too big for a tired mind to handle washing up. These thoughts like well-worn beach glass, showing up at random, catching my attention.

It is a difficult thing being satisfied with where you are, who you are and feeling the pull, way deep down in your heart and in your soul that things will have to change. That constant push and pull between static and motion. When you stop, just for a second and realize that each of us accepts or creates the life we think we deserve, that we think will best work in our favor. I’m not there yet.

Shouldn’t we be allowed to willingly shed our skin and grow into better versions of ourselves? That those who believe people can change be given the grace to do as much?

If you ask me, yes.. But I am the biased creator of my sleepy, rambling universe and it so long, so long past my bedtime.

With love but mostly light,

Michelle

One Year!

The boyfriend and I have been together, officially, for a year now. One year! Does not sound like very long at all, in the grand scheme of things. Especially given my tendency to wander back into the past. But here we are… And yes we are cute. :)

 

If you follow me on Instagram (@finity113) then you have probably seen most of these photos before. If not, take a sneak peak into our random life together. We like being active and silly and marveling at how adorable the hurricane is and cat pictures and cake. 

I have a happy heart, a full love tank. This man is my zen, my other half. He helped to pull me out from a dark period of my life… Continues to help my heart heal from old wounds. It takes a strong man to be there when your girlfriend cries about another guy and an even greater one to step up and be a great dad to the hurricane.  And that’s not mentioning how welcoming and loving his family has been to us as well. I’m looking forward to the next year. To the surprises and amazing things to come. To more lasagna and salad at your moms house. To weekend trips to visit my family while we are all still close enough. To once a month date nights. To walks to nowhere and everywhere together. To silly little traditions we are making now, that will mean so much in the future. Glass half full of water *cheers* to us, one year in to our lifetime of adventure.  

Happy one year, my love. 

As always before,

Michelle 

4 + 4 

I don’t even know where to begin. I get this feeling often, starting a post just to delete it five lines in, a dozen times over.. 

I passed the California RVT exam!  That whole deal worked out a lot faster than I thought it could, given the application says it can take a couple months to process. It was great. Was even able to take it on a Saturday morning so that I did not have to miss work. It feels finished, finally, pending my certificate in the mail.  Four years of school and four years of life’s mostly beautiful randomness later.. I had regret not getting my license right out of school so often and it feels like I can finally let that go. A wrong corrected. *insert celebratory dancing/jumping up and down here*

And because I am a glutton for punishment, and because we had to jump on the opportunity to get this place, we moved in the short time between the national and state exam. So now, hello from a very slightly different part of my world. I always felt like I was just visiting the old apartment, and I can already tell this is a much better fit for the hurricane, boyfriend and me. For now at least. 

I am looking forward to having a lot more time for my little family and for myself. Stress stacked on top of stress does make the year fly by, but it’s just not an ideal way to live for any length of time. Five months has been punishment enough. All together now, breathe out. 

As always before,

Michelle 

This is the “then”

Hello again, world.

It has been a while… I have been busy, honest, and I know I say that every time. I have actually been pretty sick on/off since before Christmas with colds, dealing with antibiotic side effects, allergies, bronchitis. You know it is sad when you go to the doctor because you cannot sleep because you cannot stop coughing and your ribs hurt, and the antibiotic they prescribe to prevent pneumonia because you really are that sick, makes your ribs hurt from tendonitis (of your ribs!). Who knew that could even happen?! And since January first it has been all study, all the time preparing for the vet tech national exam. . . But then, last night I was editing the boyfriend’s resume and realized that I really miss writing just for the sake of saying something. I miss just sitting down and pouring my mind and heart out on this keyboard, if that is not already obvious.

There is just a lot going on that I am not sure how to process. It feels a bit like doing math in my head… which everyone should know is not a skill I possess, college degree or not. I am trying my best to get my RVT this year. Forgiving myself for not making that more of a priority sooner, when it would have been easier. Because some days it does feel like any time in my recent history would have been easier than right now to be studying for one of two $300, four hour long tests needed to get my RVT. Know better, do better, I suppose. I am honestly committed. I even gave up Facebook in its entirety for the month of February, maybe even until after the national exam in April. Super serious, yo. I miss my moms on there.

Then yesterday, I had to delete a bunch of old emails. Something about switching to a new phone has the memory on my iCloud spazzing out, asking for more space, so I decided it was time for some stuff to go. A lot of stuff. In the middle of my shift + delete spree, I found the inspiration photo for my second tattoo. A little surprising to see how different the real thing turned out. And it reminded me that reality can be so much better than your dreams. Sometimes. At the same time I found a couple hundred old emails between the ex-husband and me, and that was hard. I had forgotten not only that they were still filed away, but that I had saved so many in the first place. Do not bother asking why, I no longer have any idea. The topics of the emails were so broad and the dates went way back into our forever ago time. The boyfriend could sense a change in my mood and I let him know I was snooping into my past, shared a couple important bits with him and continued deleting. I am just so over feeling any bad about the divorce.

So this year things will be different on December 31, I can say that for certain, but when exactly between now and then things will change is a mystery. I am already debt free – having just recently made the final payment on my car – and that is one goal I set for myself checked off the list. I am studying my brain cells away, barely giving myself time to breathe it feels. I am contemplating a move to a different city somewhere along the way. And I will write, nonsensical posts like this on occasion, complete with run-on sentences because that is the way my mind works when I am flustered. Because some day I will think about these days living in a cramped apartment overlooking a busy street with a different mindset and like so many times before, will wonder what I was feeling “then.”

This is the then we will reminisce.

As always before,

newsignature

 

The Mommy Trenches

Babies. The boyfriend and I have discussed babies a lot lately. Let me just clarify, I am not pregnant. And thank God for that. Still, as good a time as any to hash out if/when we are married, how many kid(s) we would like to have. It is one of those things you ought to have figured out before you say “I do,” otherwise there might be trouble later. So I guess you could say we have been talking about marriage too, but that is beside the point today.

The boyfriend has been very clear that he would like at least one more chitlen, maybe two. At the minimum.

And I am leaning much more towards one to two kids. I always said two, two years apart…but that was before I met the hurricane, before I found myself divorced, starting my adult life all over again. So really now, really just one kid, like one and done, as in, I am already so done having babies, I think.. And that answer leaves a lot to be desired in the boyfriend’s opinion.

I do not know what to say to him. The further I get from those early days in the trenches, the more clear they become. So, honey, hindsight is twenty/twenty and I am not sure I could willingly go back there. I cannot even read my posts from around that time, not that I probably wrote a whole lot. I know I wrote those monthly baby updates… but did I mention that one week I got four – literally four, one hour “blocks” of sleep – in an entire week? And he was up at least three times a night 99% of the first year, despite every imaginable trick to get him to sleep better. We tried everything, read.every.book. He always had to be held, and he was always so discontent, and he always cried. Then I cried with the worry and guilt that if SIDS took him one night, he would die having never been happy. So deep in the trenches.

Looking back I am almost certain I was depressed. This all screams depression with a bit of post-traumatic stress. Depressed because my then-husband deployed when I was pregnant and did not return until our child was five months old. Depressed because I did not have my village. Depressed because my dreams of motherhood were crushed by a baby who spent a majority of the first year of life crying. And I am not talking the “nyah-nyah” nasally, baby cry (and I know you know what that sounds like), but a full out scream from day one. I have videos to prove it. It was not colic. At least that would have been predictable, at least that would have ended.

I probably sound horrible. I am not looking forward to proofing this post because I know this is definitely not what moms are supposed to say about motherhood, about their children. But my experience with new motherhood was hard. What to Expect When You’re Expecting (and the first year edition) let me down. I know, and am grateful, that my experience is not typical. That alone gives me hope that if I did decide to dive into the trenches for a second baby that I would earn my escape much faster than sometime around the second birthday. I feel I am just now finding a new normal, just now navigating my life with some sort of grace. Diving back in, any time soon, would be the very definition of insanity.

But then… then I think about who I want around my dinner table in ten years. And even after writing my heart out on this screen, after thinking and talking about this for weeks, I see more than just the hurricane and the hopefully then-husband sitting with me. I see at least one more tiny human… at least one more. So who knows. I am really not sold on the idea, but do not count me out just yet. There could be another year of adorable monthly baby photoshoots to look forward to, some day.

newsignature

The Search

My work friend and I had plans this weekend to pick out Christmas trees, decorate and have dinner with our kids. I was looking forward to getting out of this tiny apartment, but she cancelled late this morning, giving a reasonable enough excuse. I understand, that this thing that came up was more important to her. I understand that our plans were not the biggest deal, getting a Christmas tree so late in the month when she is not really in the Christmas spirit anyway. But it mattered to me. I needed a friend today.

I am searching for my village, and I will be honest that I am not sure one exists for me. I am looking for my friends here, in this city that is still new to me, who are more like family. The ones who don’t leave you because their life gets too busy or because your life no longer mirrors theirs. Those close friendships that stand the test of time. The friendships that survive moves, babies, hard times, divorces… Not many of my friends from before are around any more. I do understand, life goes on, but being a (divorced, full-time working) mom is so lonely and isolating sometimes. I am in this in-between space, not single and not married with a toddler just hitting the “terrible twos.” I am just twenty-something myself and even with the years flying by now, life is so lonely sometimes.

Speaking on being a mom specifically, I wish just for once when my kid was melting down in the middle of Walmart, I would look around and see knowing glances instead of disapproving looks. I wish the older women at Panera the other night had not audibly tisked at me after removing myself and my son from the restaurant because he could not keep his cool. I thought that was the best plan of attack in the moment. Letting him blow off steam and throw a fit outside was so much easier than trying to keep him in his high chair. I wish there were more support, more micro-villages of those who know how difficult and draining it is to be a parent some days. The judging looks do not help. The mean, under your breath comments, the glares and stares, do not make his tantrum end any faster. Anyone who has experienced life with a toddler can tell you, giving in to every whim will.not.work. It may make the lives of others more pleasant at times, but it is not a sustainable parenting practice.

When was it decided that we so often have to go this alone, and how can I unsubscribe from that list? If you have followed my blog for any length of time, you have probably noticed I am not the type to fit in right away. I speak my mind and find it difficult to sugar coat; traits that seem to conflict with having a large circle of friends. But that does not mean I enjoy the laughter and company of a good friend any less…it just makes them much more difficult to find. I became a mom two years ago, and after a divorce, two moves and getting a full-time job, I am still searching for my village. I do not need your house to be perfectly clean or even fully baby-proofed. I do not expect you to dress up or wear your Sunday best for an afternoon spent with me and my kid. Just time and understanding, camaraderie and those little tidbits of parenting wisdom that might work like magic for my little hurricane.

newsignature

 

 

 

Edit to add :: I definitely have considered joining a MOPS group, but considering I work every Tuesday and Thursday from 9-11AM, that really is not an option for me.

 

ps. Inspiration for the thoughts in this post via my late night reading of :: http://www.scarymommy.com/searching-for-my-village/

Leftovers & Missing Him

I miss my son lately.

I previously mentioned that the vet clinic I work for moved across town. A larger facility means more surgeries, means more cleaning, and with the same amount of staff (for now), it also means a lot of overtime. The extra money around the holidays is nice, but I miss my son. Daycare pickup has been pushed back to just after five, which gives us two, maybe two and a half hours together before it’s bedtime. And ever since the time change – over a month ago I might add – he has been especially grumpy once we get home. I can only think that he assumes it being dark outside must mean dinner is late and that we are starving him and he must fuss and whine and cry until food is actually on the table. But then eat nothing and of course, cry because he’s not free to run around anymore. It’s been less than ideal.

Before… I loved this time of year. The Christmas lights, walks in the fog, and the spirit of the season…and it is just so much different now with “mad at the dark” syndrome, the terrible twos in general and the pending visitation of my ex-husband. It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas any other month. I suppose it might help to have put up a tree already but who has the time/money? I cannot afford to fix the dead home button on my iPhone, let alone put up decorations I have no place to store the other eleven months of the year.

Blah. My attitude sucks and I swear this is part of me working on it. What I really need though, is to get over this awful bout of bronchitis, and get back to the gym where everything is simple and nothing has to make sense for at least an hour or so… I need a real weekend to spend with Elliott. One where we can go to the park and continue the tradition of taking too many pictures for his birthday, as if the photos somehow capture and save the essence of his smile. Oh, and find time somewhere in all that running around to study for the upcoming RVT exam, because I am really beginning to feel like that is my next checkpoint; everything begins and ends there.

Until we meet again,

newsignature