Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Making no more plans

"If you want to make God laugh tell him about your plans." - Woody Allen

I honestly don't think that God laughs at my misfortune or when things don't work out. My God is an awesome God and only wants the best for me. I do think however that if your plans are destroyed he helps you find the light and leads you to the right path, if you listen.

I lost my way many times, had my doubts, question my life and his power and each time I take a step back and see that he's still there for me, has not abandoned me and I'm a stronger person for it. This post isn't about my religion but I felt the need to say this, so when I read this back to myself I remember to go to him. What this post is about is this path that I'm taking full of bumps on the way, distractions and at times utter chaos. 

In 1998 I graduated high school, I went off to Kean University to study Physical Therapy. This has been my plan since I assisted in my grandmother's therapy session and saw that the sessions involved playing with balloons, dancing, hopscotch, and a number of other games. In 2000, I lost my Angel and moved back home, I was supposed to take a year off and then return to school however my mom and stepdad separate at that time and my mother was struggling along with my little sisters so I couldn't go. I stayed and helped my family get through this bump. 

In 2001 I joined the military I went off to basic training in Fort Leonard Wood Missouri. I had an awful reaction to one of the many injections I received to the point that I wasn't healing fast enough. After 7 weeks away I was sent home to heal, because I had a mandatory return date and would have to complete basic at a later time. I came back home in June 2001, I did my one weekend a month with a great reserve unit in Philadelphia. In September the twin towers fell and slowly during each of our weekend sessions they were preparing our unit for activation. In June 2002, 2 weeks before I was suppose to return to finish basic training I got into a horrible car accident. My doctors, chiropractors, and therapists would not sign my medical release stating that leaving for such demanding physical training would hinder my healing process. My contract was voided due to my injuries and 3 months later my unit was activated. 

In 2002 my fiancé and I separated. He had been my only real boyfriend for 5 years and I didn't know how to be single started a new relationship shortly after.

Still in 2002 I started taking classes at my local community college towards my Physical Therapy Assistant degree. After a year of prerequisites I applied and got accepted into the program. A few weeks before the new semester was to start I received a letter from the college stating that the program would be put on hold for a year. A whole year with nothing to do was upsetting to me. At work I told a friend who recommended the LPN program. She stated it was a year long and after I was finish I could work as a LPN while I went to school for my PT degree. I went and was accepted into the program. I went to school and worked as a home health aide, I loved both the personal experience and school. A year later when I finished I was no longer interested in becoming a physical therapist, I wanted to be a nurse, that was my true calling. 
In 2006 I got engaged and my fiancĂ© and I started making plans for our wedding. In 2007, after 5 years in a relationship and 2 months prior to our wedding our relationship crumbled. I was left with the task of canceling the wedding, sending out uninvitation cards and being in a awful funk. 

In 2007 I decided to move to Philadelphia and start fresh. My job at the Hospital of the University of Philadelphia was amazing and offered free tuition to any school. I was accepted into La Salle University and started taking classes towards my BSN.

In 2008 I was in a good place, working during the day, going to school some evenings and in a great relationship. At this time I learned that my aunt was trying to get custody of one of my niece that was in foster care however due to a medical condition she wasn't able to. My other uncle and his wife had considered it however were in the process of a divorce. I felt compelled to step forward and with the encouragement of my boyfriend I started the process to take custody and started weekly visits with this precious child.  The process was lagging and finally one of our social worker informed me that it was taking longer because we lived in a different state. It didn't take me long to pack and move back to Jersey and before the year was up I officially became the guardian of a preschooler! 

In 2009 after spending almost a year commuting the hour to and from work and school I decided to put school on hold and get a job in New Jersey to spend more time with my new child and get use to being a mom. On a whim I looked into a job at an agency. I started working with Maxim Health Care and after a while found out how much I truly enjoyed my new job. 

Again things were looking good 2010 Kenny received his kidney transplant and I was finally able to officially adopt Tiffany. 2011 I started taking classes at a local school. 

In 2012, after being engaged to twice before I decided to propose to a stunned Kenny on leap day. He said yes and we started our plans for a wedding. These plans were put on hold when I found out I was pregnant, though in shock because we didn't think we would be able to have biological children without assistance, we were both thrilled. We moved to a new town with more space for all of us plus a great school for Tiffany. Unfortunately the pregnancy was a difficult one. I went on maternity leave a lot sooner than expected and because my disability payments were so low we had to dig into our savings just to stay afloat. By the end of 2012 we were in the negative, in the process of a short sale and no saving. But the birth of our beautiful healthy baby boy somehow made it all worth it. 

I was happy to return to work in 2013 after a 6 months hiatus. Though I missed not being able to see my son every day I was fortunate to have my mom, aunt and his daddy Kenny take turns watching him. We spent 2013 adjusting to being the parents of two children and getting our budget back in the positive.

In 2014 our landlord passed away, shortly after we started receiving letters from the bank to him and though we couldn't open them and his widow didn't answer our calls or letters we found out that the condo was in foreclosure. Fearing being kicked out into the streets with 2 kids we moved...again this time right across the street so no change in the school my daughter attended. Kenny and I also decided that we would let go of the traditional wedding and plan a destination wedding in Mexico. The plans were fun and exciting and I couldn't wait to share with our family members about it and then have a big BBQ to celebrate with the rest of our love ones when we returned to the states. The problem was that out of the 25 people we wanted to be there only about 10 could actually afford to go. This put our plans on hold again but only for a while. We decided on a whim to have a small ceremony in the park and a champagne brunch with 80 of our closest friends and family members. It was simple, beautiful and perfect because we made it happen. 

In 2015 we found out that I was pregnant again with our honeymoon baby. The joys of being pregnant were a little distracting with the fear that I would again have a difficult pregnancy and this time we wouldn't have savings to fall back on. We hated the feeling of always having to catch up. We wanted to buy a house, a car, and both of us wanted to be able to finish school but life was getting in the way of our future. Financially we couldn't make it work and not knowing how much longer I had until I wasn't able to work anymore made our fears unbearable. That's when it happened, we put a thought of into the universe and I ran with it. Let's move to Nevada! The cost of living was cheaper and surprisingly both Kenny and I could have jobs making the same amount of money. We could afford going back to school since that was cheaper too, and the best thing I had a handful of relatives which includes 2 sisters, a few cousins, aunts and uncles. We did the research, visited our new home and made the final decision. At the end of the school year and after the baby comes we are heading out! This was a decision with many different emotions but overall I knew it was the best one for our family.

June 11,2015; Kenny takes the day off so he is able to come with me to my 36 weeks ultrasound. Due to scheduling conflicts he was never able to come to one, not with KJ or baby J. I was super excited for this and it was finally here. I knew it wasn't a typical ultrasound, the tech brought in a perinatologist who after looking for a while brought in a colleague. KJ grew impatient and he and daddy went to take a walk. They decided to perform a slightly more invasive procedure to get a better look at the baby's brain.  I was in the room with 3 strangers discussing the test in lots of clutter medical terminology that I couldn't recall from my text books. What I did pick up was when the doctor would say things like, "...this is where we would see the blah blah, and it isn't visible here."  After the test the doctors explained what they were discussing in as simple terms as possible. I was devastated by the news and also optimistic about the possibility of it being all wrong. Since then our plans are on pause. We don't know what to do or where to go. We pray, our family and friends pray, even strangers pray for the best outcome.

I don't think God is laughing at our plans, I think he's trying to help us along this new road. I'm praying that I'm strong enough to deal with yet another detour. 

Saturday, June 13, 2015

What I packed in my hospital bag.

I will officially be 37 weeks tomorrow and since KJ was born at 37 weeks I decided to pack up my hospital bag. I had the best list I used for KJ's birth but after searching the net for an hour I wasn't able to locate the one for me so I decided to make me own and save it to share with my friends along with if we ever decide to have more children. I skipped some of the things different sites recommend like reading material and music but that's me personally if it is something you feel you need take it with you. 
 I took pictures of most of the items since a visual is almost always best. 

Toiletries: toothbrush, toothpaste,razor, shaving cream, shampoo/conditioner (I currently use a 2 in 1 cowash), hair ties, deodorant, lotion,Chapstick, nipple cream, contact solution, extra contacts, eye glasses, and tucks pad (tmi but if you don't have them by now the pushing will definitely bring on the hemorrhoids). 
I don't have a picture of my face and body wash, though the hospital has soap it isn't my favorite so I bring my own.  I saw some sites recommend makeup but I honestly didn't have the energy for it during our 3 days there, and I doubt I will this time around either.

When you get to the hospital you will most likely put on their hospital gown however after the baby is born you want to be comfortable and look nice for pictures so here are my recommendations for mommies. Comfortable pajamas, a robe, nursing bra (even if you don't think that you will breastfed it is good to have one just in case), nursing pads, nursing tank, comfy socks, underwear (though I love the mesh panties my hospital supplies), shower shoes (I'm using and old pair of flip flops). 

The hospital we are scheduled to have our son provides onesies, diapers and they give him his first bath. They didn't have wipes just some 4x4 that we can wet and use but I'm spoiled and prefer the wipes so here are the things we brought for the baby. 
Wipes, going home outfit (baby J is due July 5th so this is a festive red,white and blue outfit) a blanket, boppy pillow (if you are going to nurse this is a must, I had the hardest time the first few months trying to nurse without it), burp cloth and nursing cover.

Here are a few other things that mommies will need. A mommy going home outfit (don't try to fit into your prepregnancy wardrobe, something from maybe your 6 months, in my case these are clothes I had before my 42lb weight loss) I have a pair of flats I can't pull off the Princess Kate 3 inch heels, I have heavy duty pads (though the hospital does provide some; if I run out of the pads I also have a depends underwear for going home in case you haven't heard the first week after birth it seems as though your body makes up for the 9 months prior), camera with sims card, camera charger, cell phone and cellphone charger.

I don't have pictures of the paperwork that you need; your ID (drivers license), insurance card and pediatrician information. I didn't need my birth plan with my son and didn't even make one this time around but if it makes you feel better to have it, bring it with you.

Most important thing is a car seat you can't leave the hospital without one so have it ready, we will be installing ours this week. 

Well now that's done we will just sit back and wait. Praying for the best for our baby and a speedy delivery and recovery for me. Can't wait to meet our new blessing! 

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Chasing after the kids

A few months ago I changed the concept of this blog instead of posting about random life events I wanted to focus on my top goal of my bucket list, to run a half marathon in all 50 states and other races and training in my way to my goal. What I didn't know was that shortly after making that change I would be pregnant with our third child and due to previous complications I had to put running on hold. I'm now 35 weeks pregnant which means only 2 weeks until he's full term, 5 weeks until my due date and a few weeks until I can start running again. I'm so excited about it that I'm forgetting a small detail that may effect my running schedule, the fact that I will then be a mom to a tween, a toddler and a newborn. The fact that I will be chasing after 2 little kids and keeping up with the needs of a preteen makes me more nervous than training for my first half by the end of the year, so when my friend needed a sitter for her 1 year old I jumped at the chance to help her out and get a feeling of what it would be like to run around with 2 little kids. After this day I can't say I'm better prepared just that I have an amazing amount of respect for mother's of children close in age. 

The day: 

I brought baby A home with me and felt good that she was in a good mood. KJ was still sleeping so we hung out on the bed watching a kid show until my lazy head woke up. 

The moment KJ woke up he was extra clingy, climbing on me and holding on to my leg through out the early morning. I'm not sure if it was having baby A around taking some of my attention that made him like this but it took me twice as long to prepare breakfast. 

We ate breakfast in the living room, partly because we are in the process of moving and sold our dining room table. Neither needed help with breakfast which allowed me to eat mine while it was still warm which may not be the case once the infant gets here. Once breakfast was finished I had to clean up and that was a task. I set up toys for them and baby A played while KJ clung to me.

After I got the table and floors were clean, I had to start packing up the diaper bag and getting changed for our 10:30 play date. The dishes didn't get done and while I was getting myself ready the 2 little ones created a bit of a mess by emptying my dresser, taking wipes out of the container and both getting super cranky about wanting a bottle. I didn't have time to clean up the clutter since we had to go the play date and as soon as I got them bucket in and gave them a bottle they were calmed enough for our drive to the playground.

The playground was fun, however extremely challenging. The 18 months age gap meant that they weren't able to do the same things yet they tried. I was very fortunate that my friend K was there to help me keep track of the kiddies. They had fun but got really messy in the process. 

We headed home after playing for almost 2 hours and decided to give the kiddies a quick bath, since we brought half the playground dirt with us. After bath they had lunch and while the kids ate I started cleaning up the dishes left from breakfast and the clutter in the bedroom. I was even able to start a load of laundry. 

By the time lunch was finished and I had straighten up it was already time to go bring baby A back home. Both kids were ready for a nap and slepted the whole 30 minute car ride. 

 On the drive there my stomach started growling which was surprising since we had lunch 2 hours before, that's when I realized that my lunch was still sitting uneaten on the kitchen counter. I was so determined to clean up after the kids that I didn't eat!!! I filled in my friend about the daily adventure and what a good girl baby A was. She offered me money which at first I wasn't going to take but after an exhausting day I decided that I wasn't making dinner that night and we would use the money for take out.  It was the best idea because as soon as my husband was home from work I took a nap. I couldn't imagine doing this every day but I guess I'll have to figure it out soon since baby J is right around the corner and I'll be chasing after 3 kids before I know it!