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, July 14, 2009

Better Now

First off, here is some of my baking goodness. The piping hot cinnamon rolls straight out of the oven this morning.
I make a thick caramel stuff on the bottom so they get really ooey and gooey.

When they first come out of the oven I lightly frost them with cream cheese frosting so it melts and goes into the rolls.

After they cool I finish frosting them. I've been told they are really good. I think I've had 2 out of the 2 dozen I've made.
Now, onto more pressing matters.
Life kinda fucking sucks at the moment. And what I'm about to say isn't being said because I want sympathy or want people to say "oh, you're great, don't feel that way" or anything else like that. I'm saying this because it's how I feel and if one other person feels the same way and are in somewhat the same situation, I don't want them to feel alone like I do at times, even though I have, and am part of, an amazing family. I am so fortunate to have my family, which makes cancer invading it even more a UDB (used douche bag). Yes, that's my new word.
So, how do I feel? Like a class A, royally fucked up failure.
Valentina is walking all over me. I had things down pretty good, including her sleeping schedule. Then she stopped taking naps and things got all wonky. Then our "schedule" changes almost every day, depending on what is going on with doctor's appointments, etc.... Our lives are not even close to what they were 2 1/2 months ago and in the process, I've been severely lacking in the discipline area. Mom had a very nice, loving talk with me last night and pointed out that Valentina is extremely strong willed (just like me) and that she will do whatever it takes to win (again, just like me). I digested what Beya said and realized that she was 110% correct. Which means I need to start cracking the whip again. But when did I realize this? This morning, after having only 4 hours of sleep. Why did I only have 4 hours of sleep last night? Because at 11 pm when I was literally climbing into bed, our darling daughter decided she wanted to wake up and have me rock her. I waited as long as possible to go into her room. It took a good 15 minutes of her tossing and turning, calling out to me, etc... before I finally realized that her crying was getting louder and I wasn't going to be able to avoid it.
So I rocked her. And rocked her. And rocked her some more. I finally drew the line when I saw that it was 2 am and I had been rocking her for three hours straight. Now when she's sick I have no problem being up with her all night, holding her, rocking her, whatever. But last night? Last night there was NOTHING wrong with her, she was just awake and didn't want to be alone. I had a talk with her and told her I couldn't do it anymore and that I was putting her back in her crib. She hates it (she used to LOVE her crib, I could put her in it at bedtime fully awake and she would love to play in it until she fell asleep) when I put her in the crib now unless she's asleep. When I turned my back I heard her pull her leg up and have it land on the crib railing. I turned around and told her that I would leave the doors open. When both the door to our room and the room to her door are open, she can see directly into our bed. She still tried to climb out. I told her if she climbed out I would shut her door. That got her. I went to bed with her wailing. This, of course, woke up Norm and we spent the next 15 minutes watching her on the video monitor. About 5 times she would hike her leg up and get almost over the side of the crib but when I yelled at her that if she got out I'd be closing her door, she pulled that leg back in. Long story somewhat shortened, Norm asked me if I wanted him to get up and rock her. Keep in mind, his alarm goes off around 5:15 am and it was now almost 2:30 am. I told him that he was free to rock her but that she was not to end up in our bed. Next thing I knew Norm was crawling back in bed at 3:30 am, Valentina was asleep and in her bed. She had been rocked for 4 1/2 hours in the middle of the night.
That was it. I woke up very cranky this morning (she actually slept in until 7:45 am), determined that what happened last night would not happen again. I already had a doctor appointment scheduled for this afternoon for her to check her tonsils (there was a question as to whether they need to come out or not and I was supposed to follow up with this about 2 months ago, hmm.... wonder why that got postponed) and the doctor is great about giving parenting advice too. He helped Trina so much when she had problems with Asa. He has also helped Trina when she would have bipolar episodes. He really is a great help to our family, it's just that he's made some really jackass, idiotic diagnosis' with us. He told me that Valentina probably had scabies so I washed EVERYTHING she had, bleached her entire room, bought a new mattress, gave her that horrible, toxic cream, the whole nine yards. What did it end up being? Dry, sensitive skin and it requires a special lotion that you can find at Costco and Walgreens. That was it. A few weeks before Trina was diagnosed with cancer she was in to see him for the pain she was having. His answer? Hormone/pregnancy induced indigestion. Granted, nobody is expecting a 10 week pregnant woman with side pain and indigestion symptoms to have an extremely aggressive form of breast cancer that had already metastasized to her liver.
Anyway, what I'm getting at is that he IS a good doctor. He does care about our family. In fact the first thing he did when he came into the room was give sissy a great big hug. So, he checked out Valentina's tonsils. The verdict is, yes, she still has large tonsils but that surgery is NOT on the radar! YAY!!!! NO SURGERY!!!!! Thank you God!!!! Yes, I'm labeling this one a miracle because I really need to believe in some today and having Valentina have to undergo surgery at this time would really put a crimp in our lives. So, miracle number one!!!!
I then went on to discuss (i.e. have a meltdown) about her sleeping or lack thereof. He said it was time to put her in a big girl bed for safety reasons since she is climbing out of her crib. I told him I had already decided that if she gets out of her bed and throws a fit, her door will stay closed and if she falls asleep on the floor, so be it. She's smart, I don't imagine she would be spending more than 3-4 nights on the floor before realizing that things aren't going to change. He completely agreed with me and said that she's a great kid, she's just strong willed and wants to be the boss.
So, I finally felt like a little less of a failure as mom.
My failures, however, did not cease with being a mom.
I feel like a failure because my faith isn't that strong in God. I'm being a bit upset with Him for not showing us in a great big way that He WILL heal sissy. Yes, her numbers went down and I'm grateful for that. But I also want a bigger sign, a word from Him directly that things will be fine. Mom says to me "read your Bible! That's how God talks to us!" and my answer back is "but He TOLD me on that Monday, May 4th, when all the doctors were saying it probably wasn't cancer, that things were fine. In fact He showed me a scripture that said "if 3 men agree and can come together with the same answer, then it is true." Trina had three doctors that day all working together and all saying it most likely wasn't cancer. If that wasn't a sign, I don't know what is! And then I got kicked in the gut that night. So I'm still having issues with my faith, with God and with my Bible. I feel like I'm failing in believing.
I also feel like I'm failing sissy because I still have life things to deal with at home that aren't centered around her. I have other family problems, other family things, other family needs. I feel like I should be there and available to sissy 24/7/365. And I also feel like a failure because I'm tired of dealing with cancer already and I'm not even the one with cancer! How horrible is that?
So yes, I feel like I've failed in every single aspect of my life.

Waiting at the doctors office. Valentina had a pretty tight hold on her purse and even though Asa wanted to look inside it, she wasn't going to let go.

See who won? And check out that look on her face! Man, if looks could kill she'd be an orphan!
Back to being agreeable. Asa pulled out everything inside of her purse. It's so funny because whenever we go anywhere, Valentina runs around yelling "Where my purse? Where my iPod? Where my BackBerry?" Please keep in mind that the iPod and BB are not real. They are toys. But she sees me run around trying to round up my BB and iPod whenever we leave so she does the exact same thing. In the picture above you can see her BackBerry and wallet. I guess the iPod was still in the purse.

Wearing her kick ass shirt for the first time. And please check out the bows and shorts. I had ordered the bows BEFORE I found the shorts and when I saw the shorts I HAD to get them because they matched the bows perfectly! Doesn't it look like the bows came packaged with the shorts? I tell ya, Holly does a KICK ASS job!!!!

Walking into the doctors office today I had a woman with a couple of kids look at Valentina, look at me, look at Valentina's shirt again and then give me the evil stink eye. Trina said to me "if anyone EVER tells you that her shirt is inappropriate just tell them that cancer is inappropriate!" Can't argue with the genius that is my sister! The funny thing is, at lunch later in the day, the waitress LOVED the shirt! Anyone who thinks Valentina's shirt is crass or not suitable for a child, well, I have one thing to say; I DON'T GIVE A SHIT WHAT YOU THINK AND UNLESS YOU'RE IN MY SITUATION YOU DON'T KNOW A FUCKING THING, YOU UDB!!! Think my point would get across?

Love this picture.
Okay, now on to the funniest part of our day.
I have a twin headboard that I bought 2 years ago that matches Valentina's bedroom furniture. Only problem is we don't have a mattress set -OR- the sheets/comforter set for it. Since we were already across the street from Target and sissy was still feeling somewhat human, we decided to venture over and pick out a new set for Valentina's new bed. I'm going to go get her mattress set tomorrow but this way she'll be all ready for tomorrow night. Thank you God, Beya and Papa!!!! Mom and Papa have Valentina tonight. It is sooooo much appreciated! I've already taken an Ambien and will be going to sleep early and will be able to sleep ALL NIGHT LONG! (btw, anyone else Lionel Richie when you read that?)
Okay, Target. I knew that Valentina was going to pick out the most garish, fugly comforter set that there was. I'm not a fan of licensed character items, be they clothes, hampers or bed sets, but I do purchase them because I know how much Valentina loves them. I had kind of resigned myself to the fact that she was probably going to pick out either a Tinkerbell set or the Disney Princess Trio set. We get to the right area and Asa was going crazy, trying to get Valentina to look at his choices while she was having none of it and in all honesty, not really getting the whole concept. Trina pulled out a Tinkerbell set and Valentina screamed "TINKERBEWELL!" I asked her if she wanted it and she quickly said "no". Hmm.... this was odd. Valentina then went down the entire aisle, pulling out every single comforter set from the shelves, glancing at them and then saying "No. No. No. No. No." to each and every one. When she got the end she turned around, threw her arms up in the air and exclaimed "where is SHREK?" Sissy and I doubled over in laughter over that. Never in a million years think THAT was going to happen! So since Valentina had no interest in a bedding set that wasn't of the Shrek variety, I relaxed and started shopping for what I wanted to see in her room. Keep in mind that her room is decorated in a garden theme with Shabby Chic furniture from Target. I found this set that I liked but it was $60. Then sissy found the same one that had been re-packaged, therefor was only $40! Done! Sold! Finished!

This is what I picked. And it's not one of those polyester comforters, it's a nice cotton quilt with matching sham. It's a little busy but with all her furniture cream/white-ish, I think it will pop and bring out the softer colors in her room. They also had the matching sheets for $20 but I found these:

that match the pink in the quilt perfectly, on sale for only $10!!! SCORE! So, tomorrow the crib comes down, a mattress will be bought, the bed assembled and bed made up with her new set. We'll see how it goes!
Again, thank you mom for having Valentina tonight. It is GREATLY appreciated!!!!!! I have the best mom, the best papa and obviously the best sissy in the world!!!!! Now if this angry motherfucking cancer would just leave us alone, things would be pretty damn good!


Krystal said...

I know you don't want to hear it, but you already know what I am going to say -- you are NOT a failure!

V's quilt is very pretty. I am glad that you got to pick out what you wanted :) I hate characters. I swore that my children would never wear character crap. . . and they did not, until I met Gerson & Elviz. The sheer joy that a Spiderman shirt can bring is one of the most beautiful things in the world :) Now my babies wear their screen-print t-shirts with pride! And Parker G loves Tinker-bayel, too :)

Grama said...

I love the tinkerbell shrek story so much. Yes she is her mother's child but I think you are both wonderful strong willed people. Your Mom is an amazing lady. Still praying for healing and Valentina sleeping all night. Love you all.

Tracey said...

Loves you!!

Donna C said...

Cameo- My Isabella has the same comforter and sheets...best part for me is that the comforter has held up well to frequent washings...Bella's almost 4, potty trained by day, but drinks like a fish and I'm fearing she'll be wearing a pullup in college! And she too is VERY strong willed...I had to remove her screaming from Kohl's the other day, with lots of looks and stares from others to make me feel oh-so-incomptent--between that and the major setback we are having on her sleeping alone in her own bed, I've had that "Gee, I must suck at this mother thing" mood going on...please don't be offended, but i am oddly comforted to hear that others struggle too, and maybe it isnt just me...and Bella is happy, healthy and smart- from your blog I can tell Valentina is too..so maybe that is our trade off...and PS, I am a breast cancer survivor...tell anyone who judges that shirt to screw off!

Valerie said...

YOU ARE NOT A MOMMY FAILURE! Because if you are then so am I. I'm thinking Ava and Valentina talked and decided not to sleep and to drive their Mommies crazy instead (I hope my straight jacket comes in pink).
Ava is currently camping out on our bedroom floor. I figure it's better then in the bed with me and Cory.
I think these kids pick up on more than we realize and this is their way of dealing with things. I dream of the day when Ava will sleep in her toddler bed THRU the night....Cancer is hard on everyone! I'm in the feeling numb stage again. Mom had four biospy's taken from her stomach, side, back and leg Tues. This just sucks.......

Valerie said...

By the way I do love the new bedding. I thought about letting Ava pick out a new set for her bed, maybe she would like it better and sleep in it. Logan picked his own and he had John Deere, yep that's right. It's a good thing we live in Indiana!

Rhonda said...

Those cinnamon rolls look sooooo good.
I love the picture of Beya and Vali. It looks like your mom has a halo around her head. Beautiful.


Love V's t-shirt, love her bedding, love your family!

And as a Mom you rock, you just do what every other good parent does! Question themselves constantly if they're doing the right thing. And I can say that because my kids are adults now and turned out perfect despite having me as a mother! ;)