Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Saying Goodbye

 Today I am weeping for the pain my dear friend is going through. Her father just lost his battle with cancer. I don't cry just because I care for her and hate that she is suffering, but I cry because I know I will have to experience this same exact hurt in the not to distant future.

   I met my friend through a Mommy group when we first moved to this area. Later when we moved down to the 'burg I got the opportunity to grow even closer to this friend. We found that not only did we have the same name, but that we shared so many things. Including the fact that our father's were in a fight for their lives.

   We were able to talk with each other about how this affected us. How we were feeling about what little time we had left with them. How hard it was living so far away from them and the not knowing of exactly how long we still had them here for. It was comforting and sad to know that someone else knew exactly how you were feeling. I hope to be able to continue to offer her comfort and support as she goes through this difficult time.

   I've often wondered which would be better, to know that someone was dying so that you could tell them everything you always needed and wanted to, or for them to die suddenly. On the one hand you can mend bridges, say your "sorry's" and your "I love you's". On the other you don't have to watch them wither away and lose their dignity as well as their bowels. You don't have to panic every time the phone rings at a later than usual time fearing that its bad news.

   I miss that man my father once was. I hate that he is not able to do all the things he always wanted to do with a son with my son. I was so proud when I found out I was having a little boy because I knew how excited he would be to finally have that son to do boy things with. I hate that my father is paralyzed and can only lay in a hospital bed in a nursing home day in and day out just waiting to die. Its hard to think back on the early days when he was always doing things. And now to see him just wasting away in that bed.  My grandmother made the comment, "At least he's alive." during a conversation I was having with her. And I am glad that he is alive, but I certainly cannot call what he is doing "living". I wish that he could be healed and whole and function like the old days.

   But my father will not be healed. He will not be whole again. At least not here. So I visit as often as I can. I sit there in strained silence trying to think of things to talk about with him. I make sure to bring my son to visit with him and to try to explain things to him so that he will not be scared of all the machines and the elderly people suffering from dementia screaming out. I call my dad about every other day just to say "hello" and "I love you". But other than that there's nothing I can do. But pray and wait.

 I know that when his time comes my heart will break and a little piece of me will die with him. But my life will not end and I will have to pick myself up and carry on. After all, I got all of my stubbornness and strength from my dad so it would be a great injustice if I just gave up.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Well That Was Nice While It Lasted

   Phew! What a crazy couple of weeks it has been here in the Henderson household. I am still trying to get back on track with the mundane, routine, existence that we find so comfortable here. So, as you may know, my step daughter was finally able to come a visit with us for Spring Break. It was so lovely having her here. Such a nice change to have some more estrogen floating in the atmosphere instead of all this testosterone. By the way, I totally think that from being around all this testosterone all the time it has leeched into my body and that's why my hormone levels are so off creating the issue of PCOS. Just a thought. Anyways, back to the step daughter. We did girly things like getting pedicures, singing loudly to Taylor Swift in the car, riding horses, curling her hair. It was so nice getting to do those things. Now I do have to admit that it wasn't always easy while she was here. She comes from a household that doesn't require discipline, or teaching children responsibility, or about God. So for her to come to our home where there are routines and discipline it was a little difficult at times. We took the time to show her how to fold her own clothes and hang them on hangers after Aiden and I washed and dried them for her. We took the time to model Christ's love to her by being patient and understanding to her setbacks. All in all she is still a sweet innocent child and that shows even through the stints of selfishness, animosity, and manipulation that she has learned from her mother and grandmother. We enjoyed her presence here very much and were so saddened by the turn of events we just knew were going to happen with her mother.

  A week or so before Emmalee was to come here for her visit with us, her mother contacted me and said that she was sorry for the way she had treated me for the past five years and that she wanted to mend that relationship and speak only kindly and respectfully to me from now on. I accepted her apology and actually breathed a sigh of relief at the thought of a non-stressful partnership to co-parent this beautiful little girl. I did however keep my guard up knowing full well that Michelle, could lapse back into her usual psychotic self at any moment. I spoke respectfully to her at all times and made sure to always keep the conversation only about Emmalee and how we could help her. It was so nice being able to talk with her about her daughter and not feel threatened or degraded. Michelle, was very kind the whole time Emmalee was here and maintained that she wanted Emmalee and I to grow our friendship bond. Well of course that didn't last long.

      Nathan didn't even get back home from dropping Emmalee off at the airport before Michelle was calling to cuss him out. Screaming at him for essentially nothing. Turns out the big deal that she made wasn't even a big deal to Emmalee. See before she left I hugged her and told her to have a fantastic birthday and that I was so happy to have gotten to spend that time with her. I also told her that her father and I and her mother still needed to discuss her coming down for the summer and that it wasn't set in stone yet. I told her that I wanted her and I to still continue to keep in touch and get to know each other better if she really wanted to spend the summer here, since it would pretty much just be me, her, and Aiden for most of the time. She said okay and hugged me back and said bye. So of course Michelle had an issue with me saying that to Emmalee. Not sure why. So then she commences to write me emails telling me that I am the reason that Nathan never sees his daughter and that I come in between them. That Emmalee is devastated over their divorce (which happened when she was 3, Nathan deployed when she was 1 and then Michelle cheated while he was deployed so when he got home she had already left him for that other guy, Em was 2 then.) and that she sees me as the cause of it. Mind you I came into the picture when Emmalee was 4 almost 5 and Michelle was already remarried to the first loser drug user, wife abuser guy. So yeah...its all my fault. Whatever. To make it all just so much better, she once again sent me an "official" email telling me that if I ever contacted her again by any means she would call the cops on me for harassment. That's fine, but what happens if something happens to Nathan and I can't notify Emmalee. I'm sure she would like to know if her dad is ever hospitalized or if heaven forbid, he dies. And then the icing on the cake, Michelle removes me from Emmalee's friends list on her facebook page. She completely came between her daughter and I having a relationship. I'm done. It creates so much stress on our household and on me to deal with this crap. I refuse to deal with it any longer. And it makes it worse when Nathan won't even step up and say anything. Ugh....so frustrating.

     So now here we are trying to get back into the swing of normal life and I have decided to go into business for myself. I am now an Educational Consultant for Discovery Toys! I think my kit just arrived with all my toys and training materials. I am eager to get in there and play with all of it. So until we meet again my friends!    Oh and if you'd like to check out my website its: www.discoverytoys.com/tashastoybox

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Who Really Needs A Sister Anyway?

    Something very sad happened the other day. No, nobody died. At least not anyone that we personally knew. Nothing bad per se, happened. It was just one small fleeting moment that occurred and it really just stung my heart.

  As you may know, when I took on the role of The Charm, I also took on the role of "step-mom". Sadly, though due to circumstances that  I will not get into at this moment though no fault of ours, we have hardly seen my step daughter in the past almost five years. I could probably count on both hands the number of times we've gotten to see her. Maybe even on just one hand. Since my son has been born, he is now three years old, we have only seen her three times. So its no wonder that he doesn't really know who she is. Right?

   But that makes me sad. The other day as I was dusting off the things in our living room I picked up the frame that contains the only picture of all four of us. Usually its just three of us able to be in the pictures due to someone having to be the one taking the picture. This occasion we just happened to have our family friend Shaney there and she took a beautiful photo of all of us. Anyway, so I'm dusting off this frame and when I put it back down Aiden comes over and says, "Baby Aiden, and Mommy, and Daddy, and friend."  I was just like.."Oh, well yeah, that's Emmalee, she's your half-sister." I wanted to be like, "No! She's so much more than just a friend. She's blood. Maybe not full blood, but she's still family and that's the most important thing ever!" But you can't just throw all that onto a toddler. Its not like he would understand anyway.

    Then, sometimes I wonder if its even fruitful to keep telling him about his seemingly imaginary sister. Is out of sight out of mind really better? Just bring it up if it happens to come up? I mean I should know how to handle this situation, after all I have a half sister that is much older than me. I never really got to see her either. I love her. I admire her. Sometimes I wish I could be more like her. I'm very proud of her. But I'm not close to her. We talk every once in a blue moon. Sometimes we will go out of our way and make it a point to go and visit with her, which we LOVE doing if money allows. But she hasn't ever done that to see me. So really, how strong is the bond between half siblings? And is it really important to stress it during childhood? I mean honestly, I'm closer to some of my friends than I am to my sister. And I'm okay with that. But will my son be? Will my step-daughter be? Although, she already has another little half brother that she gets to be around all the time so maybe it isn't even an issue for her. Maybe I'm over-thinking all of it. Where was this chapter in all those parenting books? I must have skipped it somehow.

Monday, March 18, 2013

A Change of Heart....When a Child Means More Than Your Silly Pride.

 I want to start this post off with some verses from the Bible about pride.

Proverbs 11:2 - When pride comes, then comes disgrace,
                           but with the humble is wisdom.

Proverbs 13:10 - Pride only breeds quarrels, but wisdom is found in those who take advice.

Proverbs 16:18 - Pride goes before destruction,
                            and a haughty spirit before a fall.

Ecclesiastes 7:8 - Better is the end of a thing than its beginning,
                             and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.

  We all want to be proud. Proud of our children, proud of the good things we've done. We want others to be proud of us. It gives us that gooey feeling in the pit of our stomachs to please those we admire. But what if our pride comes at a cost? And what if that cost is the well being of a child? Do we keep up our dukes and keep fighting for our pride? Asserting our dominance and insisting that our ways must be done? Or do we look at that child and see the damage we've caused due to our pride?

  I had the pleasure today of actually speaking to my husbands ex-wife, Michelle. Yes, we all know that none of us get along very well and that things have been horrible in the past. But I assure you, only kind words were exchanged between us and the subject stayed on topic. The topic was my husbands daughter. He doesn't get to see her very often and his daughter is just broken by this. Michelle has apologized for her actions and is now willing to work with us for the sake of her daughter. I honestly hope that she is sincere in all she said today and that she will stick to it. I am willing to put everything behind us and stop harboring it just to ensure that Emmalee can have a reasonably normal (whats that right?!?) life. I have to admit that my anxiety level sky-rocketed and I wasn't sure I wanted to put myself in a situation that could very easily turn ugly, but I need to be able to discuss Emmalee and her well being. And the best person to do that with is the one person that is with her almost all the time and knows her better than anyone else ever could. Her mother. So I accepted the conversation and it was nice and full of much needed insight and knowledge.

  I hope that we all can maintain a civil and friendly relationship between us for the sake of this little girl. I hope that all the petty arguments and name-calling will stop and never occur again. We need this to work! Because seriously I cannot live the rest of my life the way the last four years have been. I want to grow a bond with this little girl and I want to be in her heart as a part of her family. Just as she is already in my heart. I look forward to having a relationship with her and doing things with her. I just want calm waters for all involved. Life is so much easier when its peaceful.

 Our children are everything to us. How they turn out reflects on us. What kind of things did we teach them? Did we raise them up to be decent human beings? Are we even decent human beings? I want to show my children by my own actions how to treat others and how to live their lives and I can't do that if I'm hanging on to my pride. So I'm letting it go. I'm forgiving all past mistakes and I am going to let my guard down (which is not a very easy thing for me to do at all) and let this lady in and we are going to work together for the benefit of all. I know that only God could have brought us to this point and that all my praying has apparently just been answered. I hope that He will continue to guide and lead us and I know that if we just keep His commands in our hearts we can make this work. Who's with me?!?

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Super Foods to the Rescue!

     Today I had the opportunity to go to a free nutrition class being offered in my area. Dr. Anna Yuschak kindly provided us with all kinds of great information about Super Foods. You know, those foods that we often turn our nose up at because we think it doesn't taste as yummy as we'd like. Well, let me tell you folks, she gave us a sample of a Chocolate Truffle that she made which was packed with nutrients that we don't get near enough of, and that thing was so delicious. Seriously, nothing about that truffle screamed "health food". Even my three year old tasted it and said, "Mmmm, chocolate bar".

    Here is the recipe for that delicious truffle created by Dr. Anna Yuschak:

2 cups Superflour
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup raw cocoa powder
1/4 cup goji berries (ground in a blender or coffee grinder)
1 tbsp of nut butter
Shredded Coconut (optional, just used to coat the outside)

  Combine all the ingredients together until well mixed. Form into small balls. Roll in the shredded coconut. Set in fridge for about 15 minutes.

 ~The sample that she gave us, I believe, were rolled in sesame seeds instead of coconut

   Not only did Dr. Yuschak provide great information about healthy foods to incorporate into our meals for my child, but she also gave me some great information regarding my PCOS (see previous blog for more info regarding this). She told me about Maca root, which helps women with infertility and menopause. It boosts your endocrine system and is an anti-depressant. She also mentioned that adding Zinc to both my and my husbands vitamin intake would aid in fertility as well.

   I am excited to start incorporating all of this new healthy food into our diets. Although, I don't feel that we are all that unhealthy with the way that we currently eat. We have pretty much cut out all processed foods from our meals. We have lots of fruits and veggies and try to do at least one meatless meal per week. I would like to do more of these per week, but its hard convincing a meat and potatoes kind of guy that a plate without a hunk of meat on it is dinner. My son is great at eating healthily. He loves berries and fruits and any kind of veggie. He will usually pick these over other junk foods. I never allow him to be picky and he must taste everything at least once. Sometimes we get some resistance on that but we just don't give in and let him get his way. For instance, I saw some interesting fruits in Wegmans the other day and picked them up for us to try. I purchased a guava (I've only ever had guava flavored things and not the actual fruit), a rambutan (which is a spiky looking thing), and a mangosteen (which kind of looks like a nut). So far we have tried both the rambutan and the mangosteen which are both surprisingly sweet! I encourage everyone to step outside of their comfortable little boxes and try new things. What are some unusual fruits or foods that you've found you like? Any that we should give a try?

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Baby Fever

     Ah! Spring is in the air! The days are getting a little longer. The air is a little warmer. And everything is procreating! Including what seems to be all of my friends. Not that I am not extremely happy for each and everyone of them, but I can't help but wonder when will my time come. We have been trying for another baby since Aiden turned a year old. Right after Aiden's first birthday I went and had my Mirena removed (Thank God, because that thing was seriously making me insane!). We quickly conceived within a month of having it removed. Sadly I miscarried after a few months.

   Now, here we are in the present year and still no baby! I finally found a competent doctor who identified the cause of our problems. It turns out that, just as my ever so wise best friend kept telling me, I have a condition known as PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome). It is where my ovaries prepare to release an egg each month but due to hormonal imbalances they never get the signal from my brain to actually release the egg. So basically I do not ovulate regularly like normal ladies. This explained so many things that have been an issue with me, such as depression and mood swings, acne, and weight gain.

  It also meant that my sweet little boy was kind of a miracle baby. The stars aligned just so, so that he could be created. Not to mention that there were no complications with my pregnancy with him even though I lost a previous baby (Cadence Alise) at 26 weeks due to placenta previa. Aiden was an easy pregnancy. No morning sickness. Well, except that one time that Nathan and I were riding around the beautiful state of Connecticut drinking a red slurpy. Yeah, he could not pull over fast enough. You know, I don't think I've had one of those slurpies since then either. Blech!

  Anyway, I loved being pregnant. I want to be pregnant again. So now I have to take these pills called Clomid each month. Those pills keep my body from making estrogen so that when I go off of them each month I get an estrogen surge. Can you say, "Hello Menopause?!?!" Yeah, its crazy. I get the most hellacious hot flashes. And one of the side effects if I do happen to get pregnant on the Clomid is twins! I could only be so lucky.

     So while all my friends have that wonderful pregnancy glow to them and yet are complaining about how they think it sucks to be pregnant, I wish they would just remember that some of us out here would give just about anything to be in their shoes. So enjoy it mama's and quit yer bitchin'! But seriously, I am happy for all of you and I do apologize if it doesn't always seem like I'm up for celebrating your little bun in the oven, I just keep wondering when it will be my time again.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Dear Michelle....Yes You, Mrs. Wankerman!

    So I know that you don't like me for any justified reason. Other than the fact that I have what you decided to throw away all because you couldn't spend a little time alone while he offered up his life for this country. You decide to throw away your marriage and destroy the life of your daughter just to get your rocks off. I understand that loneliness. I tried to befriend you in the beginning and not hold your choices against you. To be honest I'm thankful for them, otherwise he wouldn't be with me. See, he is such a good man that he would have stayed with you, miserable, just for the sake of his daughter.

     I even offered you condolences when your third husband physically abused you in front of your daughter for the second (probably more than that) time. Never understanding why you would allow such a person another opportunity. I felt sorry for you then. You were still very nasty and even offered to "slit my throat". Your words. Not mine. All I offered at that time was to watch your daughter while you got your life in order so that she could be shielded from anymore violence you would allow in her life.

     Flash forward a few months and Nathan and I find out that we are going to have a child of our own. Things must have seemed pretty serious for you then because you started telling your daughter that her father was going to give her up for adoption and tried to convince Nathan to turn over his parental rights to a man that had been put in jail for physically abusing you in front of your daughter. It was very distressing for us to try to calm and assure a distraught little girl every other weekend that her father loved her very much and that he would NEVER give her up.

   Several months later after you taking us to court to modify child support (even though you carry a Masters degree, yet refuse to get a job) and agreeing to allow us the visitation we desire, we find that you have once again put that man in jail. This time after a suspicious fire has burned down your living space. Noting that in previous police reports you stated that he threatened to burn down your residence. We applauded you for finally putting your foot down and getting him out of your life. We prayed that you would not make the same mistake again. We learned that you would go through several men all while pawning your daughter off on your Mother. Even so far as to travel to different states to meet up with them. It shocked and appalled us that you would be so selfish.

    Finally we were granted visitation by you, even though you previously agreed in front of your lawyer to agree to a schedule which you did not adhere to, we got to have that sweet little girl down. We requested her presence for a family reunion which she hasn't gotten a chance to attend before and wanted very much for her to be apart of. You denied that stating that your family was much more important even though she gets to see them often. We said "Okay", because well, what else can we say? We try to enjoy the time that we have with her. But find it very difficult, since apparently you sent her with specific instructions that she wasn't to obey me, as her stepmother, and that she wasn't to have anything to do with Aiden, who is her half-brother (at the time was a little over a year old and was unfortunately in the hospital the first two weeks of her visit).  Anytime we tried to give  a correction to disobedience it was responded to with a phone call to you, in which you decided to forego the rest of the alloted time we had with her and come and get her. Being severely disrespectful in the process. Maybe it was the fact that your daughter was disturbing your "honey-moon" because you chose this time to get married again, that you were so angry.

    So here we are two years or so later and we are finally getting the opportunity to see her again. We are excited. We have planned out things to do. We have prepared her room for her and even prepared the second room incase she would like that one better. And you have the audacity to tell us that because of my behaviour you will not let her come even though we have bought the ticket well in advance, with your knowledge? What?!?! What did I do? I made a comment about you letting her come in the past because of your impending marriage and you decide to once again use your daughter as a pawn against Nathan. Not me....but Nathan. Do you not realize how much he loves his daughter?!?! Do you not realize how good you have it? Do you know how many women out there don't get ANY support from the father's of their children? Do you realize that we once paid $1000 for one (1) child? Now we only pay half that. And still that is more than some women even dream of getting. Nathan actually wants to see his daughter. He wants to be with her and teach her and give her things and buy her things. Oh yeah, how about explaining all the presents that we mailed that she never received yet they were signed for. Oh yeah....we paid for delivery confirmation on those. Why didn't you give those to her?

   But whatever, we have come to expect that type of stuff from you and sadly we don't send expensive gifts anymore. If that beautiful girl comes to visit us, which we pray often that she will, we will give her all her gifts then. Anyway, what I'm trying to say is that as much as I have tried to be respectful and gracious and merciful, I admit, I have a really really hard time with doing so. I have never spoken of you disrespectfully in front of your daughter but in reality I think you are a selfish bitch and that you don't deserve the children that God has given you. I hope that one day society and the courts will see that and they will give your precious babies a chance at a decent life. God bless you Michelle because you sure do need it. As do I, we will continue to pray for you and all of us.