Thursday, August 9, 2012

Why my husband rocks!

Hailey's step dad, my husband, Luca and Nora's dad (all the same person if you don't know that) would not agree with one title I gave him...that title is "step dad". In his mind, he is Hailey's dad. Since the day he took me out on our first date, he loved her. He chose to.
DisneyWorld 2006 eating in France at Epcot

Disney Cruise 2012 for Hailey's graduation
Alessandro has NEVER referred to her as his stepdaughter, but only very proudly,  his daughter. The thing that makes him amazing is that it isn't only in's in action. He has provided for her since the day he married me.

He never complained once that she costs us so much money (as girls do...). He never said that paying for her braces was not his responsibility. He doesn't complain about sacrifices he's made to make sure she too, has what she needs. Car insurance, doctor's visits, homecoming and prom dresses, college application fees, oh, and by the! He's taken on that too.
Homecoming 2011
Prom 2012

Which leads me to why I am writing this post. Hailey is leaving for college next week. She and I are taking a road trip to College Station where she will start a new phase in her life. The problem is that her car is not reliable and may not get us to College Station. I realize that there are many kids who go to college without cars, and in some situations that will work. In hers, it won't. Originally we were going to have her take her car and just let the dice roll, but after some thought Alessandro wanted to give it his best shot at getting her a car that would get her through college before she just a little over a week.

Yesterday, he spent a good part of the day with her car shopping. She found a used Honda Civic and fell in love. He wanted this so badly for her, as a daddy would and she wanted this so badly for herself, as teenagers would. He was bound and determined to make it happen.

The point is I was sitting in my car after work and he was telling me that Hailey found this car and she loves it and he wanted to buy it for her...we don't have extra money just lying around...we are working on it, but that is not yet the case. He wanted so badly to give her the desires of her heart. Because of his intention and the way he has loved her for the last 7 years, I started to cry, tears of joy and thankfulness.
So, he took it to a mechanic who checked it out and said it was not a good deal. He even took it to another mechanic for a second opinion, wondering if the first guy had ulterior motives because he kept telling Alessandro to buy a car from his friend.  The second mechanic verified the information. Alessandro tried to do everything to make that her car, but after the bad news, found that it was beautiful externally, but beneath the hood were many, many problems. The car was not going to be reliable. So, I am sure you can guess what happened next...Both Hailey and Alessandro were very bummed out!

I believe our Father God wants to give us the desires of our hearts too, but sometimes those desires aren't his best and may not be good for us in the long term. The heart of a Father towards his child is so beautiful.

Anyhow, what next? Alessandro is on the hunt for another good deal on a car that Hailey would love in the next 8 days. Pray for us!

Also, here is a link for you single moms AND single men out there...a link to one of my previous posts.

Friday, December 23, 2011

The most difficult part of parenting

Nora is two and a half years old and we decided it was time to take away her "paci". We don't actually take them away in our home, we just change their role. Our tradition is to take our kids to Build-A- Bear and allow them to place their pacifiers inside the bear.
This way they can still sleep with them, only they are not in their mouths. Tonight was Nora's night. She was so excited to pick out her pink flowered bunny and place her 3 paci's inside of it. She held it proudly all night as we walked the mall. Once we got in the car, she realized that she would never "see" her paci's again as she whimpered and asked for them over and over again. Dread surged through my body as I realized the long night ahead for us...and especially for Nora. I knew that she realized that there was a big, unwanted change in her life that Alessandro and I had implemented, and without her approval. We arrived at our house and began our nightly routine of taking a shower, brushing teeth and finally bedtime (which is a routine in itself). She whimpered and asked for her "paci" throughout the whole process. I held her in my arms and tried to explain to her that her pacifiers now had a new home inside of her bunny and that she could hold them and feel them by squeezing "Flower". She buried her little head in my chest and whimpered some more. All the while, my heart was breaking. Why did we have to do this to her? Why couldn't we just let her have them? I'm sure we could find one hiding around here and we could just let her have it for a few more months. Or, I could go to the store and buy her a new one. Another option is cutting the bunny open! It really isn't good for her, it is delaying her vocabulary because that thing is always in her mouth! Dentists don't like them...and they hide her precious smile! She doesn't realize it at this moment and possibly not for several days (I hope not), but this is what is best for her. The alternative is not good for her at all, except for the temporary comfort it provides. Alessandro and I took turns holding her and comforting her until she was so tired she wanted to get into her bed. While rocking her, I realized that my Father in heaven too has to take things or relationships away from us for our own good. He hates, I am certain, that his children are hurting, but knows that giving us everything we want that temporarily makes us feel comfortable is not necessarily good for us if it is hindering our growth or taking us down the wrong path. "But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus" Philippians 4:19. Sometimes we have to realize and accept that sometimes for God to supply us with what we need, it may mean taking something away or keeping something from us, whether it be to protect us or grow us. I know in my life, He has allowed me to go through difficult things and I have come out on the other side having learned and changed for the better (usually I am closer to Him). I don't always understand the why's, but I know it isn't because he enjoys seeing us hurt...just like I didn't enjoy Nora feeling sad and heartbroken. Nora doesn't understand though. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. " Isaiah 55:8-9

Monday, July 11, 2011

So dissappointed...

Even as I begin to write this, I am struggling with the motivation to complete it. I am angry, frustrated and most of all, tired of the fight. The fight for my health, the fight for a breakthrough in finances and the fight for security. Ultimately, I know everything is going to work out because God is in control, but as I am walking through this I find myself growing weary; as much as I want to solely depend on God, I can't help but find myself trying to control circumstances and outcomes and then becoming frustrated when things don't work out the that way I want them to.
I'm not blogging as much these days because my fatigue is getting the best of me, in addition, when I am emotionally down, it is difficult to motivate myself to write.
I guess I should explain what has set this off...I went to the doctor today for my follow up complete w/ labs. Bottom line: they were worse. My EBV levels were elevated and even after all of these treatments! I have poured so much money into them and I have yet to see any benefit (except that on my drive to Las Cruces, I have my talk radio time). It feels like a waste of time and money, neither of which I can get back. My doctor told me that in addition to the treatments, in order to reduce the levels, I have to reduce my stress levels. How? When I asked this question, his answer was "Have you tried hypnotherapy? or how about yoga or Tai Chi?" and "maybe you should put the kids in daycare full time." Let's be clear...I did not have children so that I could put them in daycare when I am not working. If you follow my blog at all you know that my heart's desire is to be home with my kids full time. Although I love my job, I am working because I have to and when I am not at work, I want to be with my kids...why on earth would I drop them off at daycare when I can spend the day with them? The reason my doctor suggested this is because part of my stress is the need to find somebody to watch the kids when I go get my treatments or my "hypnotherapy" (hahaha!). I have no idea how to reduce my stress at this point. First off, I have a Type A personality and I am really not doing anything extra. Other than work, treatment and my children, I don't have outside commitments right now.
So, the question is I continue treatment for a little while longer or give it up and put my money someplace else (like student loans or the credit card) and just accept that I will most likely live with my body until the Lord gives me a new one? I have some decisions to make.
This post is only an update, not a request for me, I have tried it all.

Friday, June 24, 2011

My Normal

I have been battling Epstein Barre for the last 16 years, however I didn't actually get a diagnosis until April of this year. I had been to Mayo Clinic, I saw a naturopath for 3 years, I went to a Chinese Medicine doctor and to a Chiropractor without so much as even a bogus diagnosis. My case was perplexing to all. Finally, my mom suggested that I go see Dr. Berkson in Las Cruces and now that I live in El Paso, getting to his office isn't a big deal. He diagnosed me with a short interview and a series of blood tests. I was so relived to have a diagnosis even if he couldn't help me, but not only did I get a diagnosis, but he is certain he can bring my EBV levels down to normal. I live tired. I have lived tired and with pain for so many years and as the years have gone on, my symptoms have become worse. My body does not function normally. I travel to Las Cruces for  IV treatments on the 2 days a week that I am off of work. He has me on Alpha Lipoic Acid drips. I have been doing this for about 3 months now and honestly I don't feel any different. I will have my blood work redrawn in a couple of weeks and the results should be telling. I am hoping that my treatment is working on the underlying cause and that my symptoms just have not caught up with the healing yet. When I got back from my treatment yesterday, we thought it would be nice to do something fun with the kids. Originally we were going to take them to my mom's house to swim, but the pool was out of commission for the day. Instead, we filled the kiddie blow up pool in the backyard and they had a blast playing. I enjoyed watching them, but felt so drained of energy. There is a spirit inside of me that is so full of life and that loves adventure and activity, but my body just can't keep up. I would like for just one day to wake up and feel wake up and feel up to the active lifestyle my personality is cut out for. Until I was told that there was a reason for my being so tired, I thought it was normal. I thought everybody felt the way I do and I would find myself amazed when friends would tell me that they have a life after their work day. It takes everything in me to get home, feed and bathe the kids and get them to bed....I believe that it is God who sustains me and that it is because of Him that I can function with a smile (and sometimes just function) at work, home and whenever we are out and about. That being said, I am ready for my body to feel normal again!
(Luca terrorizing his sister, as usual)

Monday, June 20, 2011

Father's Day 2011

Sorry I am posting a day late, but Alessandro held the computer hostage last night doing his schoolwork...but here goes!

Up until Hailey was 12 years old, she grew up without a father. Her dad was not in the picture because of personal challenges he couldn't overcome at the time and I was single. I always worried how it would affect her as she got older...not having a dad around during such formative years. Thankfully God provided our family with Alessandro who stepped in as her dad quickly and wholeheartedly. With her being 12, it wasn't an easy transition and he was met with a lot of resistance from her. It was uncomfortable for her and for him to show affection, afterall, she was just entering adolesence. From an early age up until Alessandro and I met, she had other men like my dad and others from our church who loved her and who were Godly examples of what a husband and a father should be. She has been protected and is a very healthy, well adjusted young woman and my husband has set a standard for her of how she should be treated by men, more specifically her future boyfriends and husband. Hailey is currently on vacation in Indiana, so she wasn't with us this year...boy do I miss her!
I look at my other 2 children, Luca and Nora and am so thankful that they have their dad around with full confidence that he isn't going anywhere by choice. Children should not be fatherless. It is tragic. I am motivated to reach out to children whose mothers and fathers are not around or maybe they are, but those children feel neglected. I am convicted to love on them and open my home to them as best that I can. Whether that means lend an ear, have them over for dinner, buy them some clothes or just take them out for ice cream. It is even more important for men to step in and father the fatherless. If you are a man, and know of a child without the presence of his dad, be that male role model for him. If you are reading this and you didn't have a dad in your life or maybe the memories you have of your dad aren't pleasant, I imagine that Father's Day must be difficult emotionally. Remember that your Heavenly Father will never leave you or forsake you.

Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there, but especially to my dad and my husband!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Hair Cuts

I took both kids to get hair cuts today (Nora's first one) and decided to go a little shorter than I ever have with Luca. This way I won't have to take him back for a long while!

Father's Day post tomorrow!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Too much change to handle at once!

Just returned from visiting family in St. Louis and it was such a refreshing time that I was able to collect myself after all this past year has brought to my life and start blogging again. Oh, I know I say this everytime I disappear, but I have missed blogging so much!

I am going to start light and I will go into the more lofty topics as the weeks go on .
First things first, we relocated to El Paso, TX in December 2010 (more of which I will get into later because it is one of the more lofty topics...) and we experienced some seriously irritating weather. What started out as novel snowfall, ended up in frozen, busted water lines, electricity blackouts and the cancellation of school for several days...the finale being that our entire household got sick (with the exception of Hailey who is rarely home, so escapes the germ exposure).
This was followed by my search for a J-O-B, which if you know me at all, you know that my dream job is to be home with my kids (although being a stay at home mom is not much fun if you are stuck in the house with the kids 24/7). Unfortunately, in order to pay for some medical expenses not covered by insurance, I am working part time, which seems easy, but it feels like I am working more than part time, most of the time...and the juggle, well, that's another blog post altogether. The good news is that in my other world of nursing, I did get my dream nursing job. I deal with people who voluntarily come to see me and I get to make them happy. :)
Let's just say that my life is not exactly how I thought it would turn out at my age. I have a multitude of personal challenges during this period of my life, yet I have so much to be thankful for. There are times when I let myself get down because of what seems to be the uphill battle we (my husband and I) have been fighting, yet I find myself smiling daily because of how I have been blessed with my children and my man! I know God is in control and sovereign, but let's get has challenges and problems and right now, my life is hard. Details to come...