Things are certainly different since the last time I wrote!
I haven't even come back onto the blog in ages and I had to laugh reading the paragraph about things not going so well with me and Hubs. Understatement. We are now in the middle of a divorce. It got to a point where we were just so completely disconnected, living parallel lives with him on the west coast half of the time and me and Jack on the east coast. There has been zero intimacy OR really even any affection between us for years now and it was slowly killing me inside. So in the interest of trying to maintain some semblance of self, Hubs and I both agreed we should go our separate ways. We still love each other but this isn't a marriage. We are roommates (well, some of the time since he has been traveling for work more than 50% of the time for at least 2 years now), and co-parents. (And another disclaimer on that one since I'm the one doing most of the parenting.)
So there you have it. It is amicable, it is timely (since Jack turned 3 in April and so he will never know any different than having Daddy not really live with him and Mommy), and it is for the best.
I'd be lying if I didn't say that I do have some fear: I am now an unemployed single mom of a child with special needs. Holy shit. But things should be okay. My motto over the past year has been "Let your faith be bigger than your fear". I have been working hard at that and I'm proud of myself. I'm sure there will be complete shit moments but overall I think it will be a good thing. I want to have a REAL relationship (and hopefully marriage) someday, not this crumbling marriage that has just turned into a facade where we don't even care to be in the same room with one another. I want to have a partner who WANTS to be with me, and I with him, who loves to do the same sorts of things I do, and who appreciates me. Cuz I'm awesome. hahaha
I've reached out to tons of people for support and things are going pretty smoothly right now. I'm currently house hunting as I will need to downsize. And I plan to stay in the area we've been in in New Hampshire. I realized I like it here. It feels like home now and I'm starting to integrate into the community a bit finally. Also, people are starting to know Jack. That is going to be REALLY important for him as he grows and starts school so he has a support system. Plus my sister (who is my best friend) is just one town over so that's pretty great.
Last time I posted we were still living in the San Francisco Bay Area. After a little over a year out there, Jack and I had to come back for some medical appointments for him (all his specialists are still at Boston Children's Hospital) and he ended up needing some surgeries and procedures that stretched out our timeline. In the end, Jack and I never went back to CA and Hubs split his time between coasts. That obviously didn't help our marriage but it got to a point where I liked it better when he was gone than when he was here with us so that was pretty telling. I would say our marriage had been on life support for the last couple years and we were in couples therapy off and on, but I think we both agree that this relationship was completely dead by about 6 months ago. We officially called time of death last month and things have been okay. We're working well together (better than we were when we were still trying to make the marriage work, ironically), and we both agree that the most important thing is to put Jack first.
Hubs has moved out and into an apartment here on the east coast and I suspect he will continue to be in CA a lot of the time too. I will basically have full custody, mostly due to Hubs' work travel, and as Jack gets older and out of his mommy-obsessed phase (please let that be soon!!), our plan is to do every other weekend so I can attempt to be an adult out in the world again at some point. I will have him all week long and Hubs would still like to come over at least once a week for dinner and bedtime together.
So... it's been a lot. It's been a tough couple of years and things will continue to be challenging for me but I think this is for the best.
So there's THAT major shitshow in a nutshell!
Beyond that, there's Jack. And he is AWESOME. He is so funny and adorable and sweet and caring and SMART. Everyone who meets him falls in love with him instantly. It's honestly impossible not to.
He's in part-time daycare at an early childhood education center so it's really more like a preschool. He started last Fall and since then his speech just took off. He amazes me! And the kid has a memory like an elephant. (Don't know where he gets that because I can't even remember what I ate for lunch today.)
Physically he's doing great. He runs, jumps, climbs everywhere. He can do everything his short-statured body will allow him to do. He's no longer in physical therapy and is just a regular kid, doing his thing.
Medically, he's needed some procedures over the last couple years: adenoidectomy, tonsillectomy, 3 ear tube surgeries (#4 scheduled for next month) due to chronic ear infections, 3 overnight sleep studies... I think those are the major points.
Thanks to the surgeries his sleep apnea is WAY better now (he went from stopping breathing 44 times per HOUR on average (!!!) to just 8 times per hour), and many nights now he sleeps at least decently, some nights even well. Sleep has been the hardest thing over the years because the apnea episodes would wake him up between 4-8 times per night, he'd usually start coughing and then either couldn't get back to sleep without me rocking him, or he would actually end up throwing up from all the coughing and then we were up for at least an hour in the middle of the night cleaning up, changing sheets and getting him to calm down. It's been exhausting. I am permanently sleep deprived and can't remember the last time I slept for more than 3 hours in a row without being awoken but there's really no way around it and I just have to hope and pray that it will get better someday.
We also discovered Jack has asthma so he's on an inhaler twice a day and has a rescue inhaler as well. We did have one instance about 6 months ago when we had to use the rescue inhaler in the middle of the night and learned the hard way that he was allergic to the Rx! It was a very scary night calling 911 and waiting for what seemed like forever for the ambulance to come while he couldn't breathe... ugh. I hope to God that will never happen again.
As for the asthma, thankfully he has now grown out of the nightly nebulizer treatments as that was a giant pain in the ass and a fight every single night, but it does cause things to be REALLY hard every single time he gets a cold. When he's sick he has a very hard time breathing and so he can't sleep. Therefore I don't get to sleep because I'm up with him and then I end up getting sick too. It's a vicious cycle. (THAT is actually one part I'm apprehensive about with being a single mom - it is truly almost impossible to take care of him myself when he is sick. Or rather, I can take care of him 24/7 but then I'm unable to take care of mySELF. I will miss having Hubs there to help care for me and make sure I'm eating and drinking and able to nap when I can during those times. That will be really hard.)
Medically beyond that, during a previous MRI the neurologist found that Jack had enlarged ventricles in his brain and they were causing issues with pressure on his optic nerves. So we became intimately familiar with the Ophthalmologist. We had to go every month for 6 months, then every 2 months, every 3, every 6, and FINALLY, MERCIFULLY we are now just at once a year. Whew, that was a tough one. The problem is, apparently if they found anything changing with the optic nerves we would need immediate surgery because it can cause irreparable blindness. Luckily, there were no bad side effects, and as the pressure of his enlarged ventricles started to decrease a bit as he got older and his head grew to make more room for them, the worry decreased. A subsequent MRI showed that some of the swelling in his brain has gone down so we are now in good shape.
Finally, the other thing we deal with that I didn't expect is frequent hearing tests. Due to all his chronic ear infections and middle ear fluid, he has hearing loss. It fluctuates between mild and severe hearing loss but over the past 9 months we've now seemed to settle on mild loss in one ear and moderate in the other. Things are manageable right now and he doesn't need any hearing aids.
Phew. That was a lot to dump out here. I'm sure there is a TON of stuff I am forgetting in all of this time but those are the major points.
Jack continues to just be the light of my life and is so much fun. (And SO challenging - three year olds are not easy!) I have lots of changes in the works and more coming but I'm feeling good about things overall.
Now for the whole reason you're here: Picture overload time!!!
|Kid loves to pinch his nipples.|
|Fireman Jack for Halloween|
|Waiting for Santa|
|It's fun to stay at the Y M C A|
|He's on the phone with Peppa Pig doing "very important work".|
|Loves dolls as long as they are naked.|
|Getting to be such a big boy.|
Ok, I need to stop now. I could go on forever. He is just such an adorable little lovebug.