We were the closest family possible. Our world was turned upside down on 05/03/09 when my best friend, the person I love most next only to our children, my sister Trina was diagnosed with stage IV breast cancer. Her body gave out on her on 01/09/10 but she will ALWAYS be a part of our daily life and will continue to be in my posts. I started my blog to chronicle our daughter's international adoption from Guatemala and have continued to use it as a journal.

What you will find is my family trying to adapt to our new lives that were handed to us.



Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Three Is The Happiest Number

So today I turned one of Norm's favorite number, 33. It's one of his favorite numbers because he has three 3's; he was born on the third day, of the third month, and he's Norman XXXX The Third. Now let me preface this post with a few facts; y'all (thanks Julia) know I'm not normally a "Pollyanna", I'm not usually very optimistic. I'm not a Debbie Downer but I think of myself a realist. Today? oh.my.gosh. Today could NOT have gotten any better! Even though Valentina did try to get up at 6 am. She even pulled the 'ol "poo poo mama, poo poo!" when I went to check on her. The child already knows how to stall! When she realized I wasn't going for it, she cried for about 10 minutes, then gave up and went back to sleep for an hour. Mama 1, Valentina 0. Anyway, back to my disclaimer, this post is filled with syrupy, sappy, sickly sweet feelings so beware!

Beya and I had Asa this morning! How can your birthday day not start right when you have BOTH kids?! Lemme tell ya, we all missed Asa yesterday. Valentina was happier today, Asa was in a good mood, it was my first birthday with my baby home where she belongs! YAY!!!!
Again, how can your day not be perfect when you have these two monkeys?

Power Ranger Asa even administered a beso to Storm Trooper Valentina.



I love this picture! I finally figured out how to get a picture of Valentina smiling, just tell her to clap and it works every time. It only took me 11 months to figure this out.

See? She can look soooo sad sometimes and she's NOT a sad child! Angry at times, very opinionated (don't where she gets that from) and very independent, but sad? Uh, no.

"How big is Valentina? SOOOOOO big!"

Again, she looks sad but she isn't. I love this outfit on her. I bought the pink shirt in Guatemala on our visit trip but Valentina's giant noggin didn't fit through the neck hole. Beya to the rescue! She fixed it and now Valentina can wear it! Doesn't she look like a tweenager? I love it when she looks like this, i.e. something sissy would wear. She's grown so much in the past 11 months and yet I think of her as always being this age.

What? My child with a phone attached to her? Never!

My life is complete this year. I always compare my birthdays with the last "great one" I had, which was 30. I turned 30 in Vegas following a night of partying, ending with getting a tattoo on my foot. It was one of the best times of my life. I was surrounded by family and friends who surprised me by flying in and we all stayed at the same hotel. There was a group of about 20 of us. It was fabulous and unforgettable. I've also had some serious ones. Turning 24 was really hard for me. I know, how hard can turning 24 be? Very. Trina was 23 when she was diagnosed with cancer so it was in the back of my mind that something would/should happen to me before I was 24. And it did. A week or two prior I was finally diagnosed with depression. The diagnosis saved my life. I had no idea the incredibly hard road that was ahead of me, but I went out, partied, got drunk and sang my heart out when I turned 24! I had to work the next day but I called in sick. I couldn't, however, call in sick to the 9 am doctors appointment I had to go to the next morning. I also had to have blood work done so I'm sure the lab people where a little shocked when more alcohol than plasma showed up in my blood. #18 was also a memorable one. The first time I wasn't living at home, I was living with Trina and her then asshole husband. Sissy threw me a surprise party and I was surprised! Thank you sissy! And the countless other birthdays that mom always worked to make special. Thank you mom, you always did a great job finding the money to pay for a cake, make homemade pizza (which costs a lot BTW!) and ALWAYS give me a great present! I have wonderful parents and a wonderful sister who always made my birthdays special. So how does this one rate? Oh, #33 blows #30 out of the water!!!!

Asshole Sony is busted...... again. A few of the buttons were sticking so whenever they do, I pop them off, clean them off and pop them back on. The same thing happened to the CAPS LOCK button.

CAPS LOCK is locked no more. The fucking thing snapped. I'm about to snap Sony's neck if I have to take it one more time. Asshole.
So, I had an eye doctor appointment this afternoon and sissy took Valentina with her when she picked up Asa! WOOHOO!!!! A glorious few hours to spend getting ready ALL BY MYSELF (BTW, when I want to use all caps I have to hold down the shift button since the CAPS LOCK button is busted and no, the irony is not lost on me since I hate it when people post in all caps). So what did I do besides NOT share my makeup with my beautiful daughter, who then smears it all over the couch?

I painted my fingernails! Not bad, 'eh? I think they turned out pretty damn good!

Well, while I was at it, I had to give myself a "pedicure" too. You can see my 30th birthday present to myself in this picture. Speaking of which, after I got home from the doctors office to pick up Norm so we could head to Olive Garden for dinner with everyone, he asked me what I had gotten myself for my birthday. I was confused by the question since I didn't buy myself anything. I guess I can see where he was coming from since he came home one day 13 months ago to find out he had bought me 1 carat diamond earrings as a "thank you for having my baby/happy birthday/merry christmas" present. Anyway, I told him I didn't get myself anything. He said "oh. Well I didn't get you anything either." I laughed and told him he HAD given me something, our baby girl. See? Sap alert!!!! OH! I can't believe I forgot this. When Valentina and I got up this morning, I did my usual call to Beya to let her know we are up and to bring Asa over. Asa answered the phone by saying "Happy birthday sissy!" And Beya got Valentina to say her own version of happy birthday. I love my children and am so blessed to have them. I feel like the luckiest person right now!
Just in case you were thinking my toenail painting skills were getting good from the above picture. Oh, you weren't thinking that?

Dinner tonight. Again we were blessed with Josh's company!

It was so nice to sit together, the eight of us, and have dinner. We had our own semi-private room so that was wonderful. You can also see an empty pitcher of Sangria on the table. Sissy was wondering what to order to drink and mom mentioned "oh, the Sangria is good!" which it is, we've imbibed on that in the past. I asked sissy if she wanted to order a pitcher for us to split and we nodded at Beya, as in, do you want some too? Beya answered our nod with "Oh no, I won't have any." Yeah, guess who had to have their glass refilled first?! Guess who drank the most?! Guess who lost their shoe on the way home?!

Valentina, Valentina, Valentina. Norm and I got to the restaurant after sissy, Asa, Beya and Papa did so they were already seated (Josh met us there as soon as he got off work). Valentina was sitting on mom's lap and would fuh-reak out when mom would try to put her in the highchair. I noticed that I've been letting waaaaaaay too many things slide by with Valentina, discipline wise, so the last three days I've tried to crack down on that. Valentina really wanted the crayons to draw on her menu but mom had told her no, not until she sat in the highchair. This went on for about 8-10 times and then mom and I finally put Valentina in the highchair and she started crying. That was it. I picked up Valentina and we went and sat outside. Oh, Valentina wanted to go back inside so bad. She kept doing motioning with her arm toward the door and doing her wrist snap thing that means she wants to go somewhere. I told her no, we couldn't go back in until she could sit in the highchair. She would say "NO!" and put her arm down. So we sat there and I talked to her some more. She asked for Papa, TT, Bobbi (Beya) and daddy. I said "yup, they are all in there having fun. We're going to miss out on all the fun unless you sit in the highchair." She lasted about 5 minutes. Then she finally nodded her head and said "uh-huh" when I asked if she was going to sit in the highchair. We had a great time from then on.
Bar none, THE best birthday card I've ever received!

And this is a very close second, almost tied for first, birthday card. Asa told me that those are lasers on the card shooting at each other. Isn't he a genius?!

Sissy asked Asa what he wanted to say to me in the card. He thought for a moment and then said "Asa has Transformers stickers". Being the great mom that I learn from every day, sissy wrote that down in the card. Asa then wrote his own name. I will treasure these cards for the rest of my life and all the ones to come!
Yeah, this one is from my smart ass sissy. In case you can't read it, it says,
"You know, growing up with you sure had a big effect on me......."


"..... but don't worry, my therapist says I'm improving every day."

I also got a very personal, very loving card from mom (and Papa). Sandi gave me a tub full of my favorite sugar in the world, her homemade caramel popcorn!!! YUM!!! Along with a donation to GOT and a gift card to Applebees for happy hour. I was telling sissy at dinner that Sandi had given me a gift card to use for the three of us and she said "oh, how nice." Then I explained that no, it's for the three of us WOMEN, not Norm, Valentina and me and she squealed "Oh! That's even BETTER and more fun!" I also got a cute card from Auntie Lori and family with a yummy smelling eye mask and the cutest plug in Pooh pumpkin that you can put inside or outside. I placed it outside on our front lawn next to the topiaries (sp? Spell checker didn't suggest anything) that papa transformed from shitty looking bushes in about 10 minutes. I also have a few things on the way from other friends (I won't name names to make others feel bad who didn't even give me a card *cough*amanda*cough*). I have to say that because one year Amanda talked to me on the phone ON MY BIRTHDAY and FORGOT to tell me happy birthday. She is usually the first one to call me, the first one to sing (albeit offkey) and the first one to buy me a drink so I have to bring it up once in a while. In honor of full disclosure, she did call me this morning. AND remembered to wish me happy birthday! I am so so so so so blessed beyond belief and to each and every one of my friends, family and to my other "family", well, THANK YOU!!!!!!
Happy birthday to me!