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.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

I Miss

I woke up crying this morning. It's been a while since that has happened so I consider myself lucky. There are just countless things I miss.

I miss talking to my sister about our kids.

I miss hearing about things that Asa did from sissy.

I miss telling sissy about things Valentina has done.

I miss talking to my sister.

I miss having adventures with my sister.

I miss driving with my sister.

I miss listening to the Killers and Coldplay and U2 with sissy and replaying the good times we had at their concerts.

I miss planning trips with her that we would never take but it was oh so much fun to plan them together.

I miss teasing sissy about her tender toes.

I miss Asa bursting through the front door and sissy breezing in after him.

I miss hearing what she made for dinner and telling her what a great wife and mother she was to cook for her boys every night.

I miss her laughingly ask me what I made for dinner because we both knew I didn't cook anything.

I miss hearing sissy bitch about having to come up with something to make for dinner. She would always tell me "I could eat a bowl of cereal for dinner but the boys need to have a meat, a starch and a vegetable. That is my biggest stress in life! What to make for dinner!"

I miss what to make for dinner being the biggest stress in her life.

I miss sissy leaving my house in the evening with a bag full of groceries she had swiped from me to make dinner... along with a roll of paper towels and a package of toilet paper.

I miss being woken up by a phone call from sissy.

I miss talking to sissy after I got Valentina put to bed.

I miss seeing sissy's cell phone number on my cell phone. I call her cell phone now just so I can have "Sissy's Cell" show up on my list of calls.

I miss laughing so hard with her and mom that we couldn't breathe and one of us would pee our pants, just a little.

I miss teasing whoever peed their pants, just a little (because it was never me).

I miss teasing sissy that she never stopped talking.

I miss hearing her voice constantly.

I miss watching sissy give Valentina a mani-pedi.

I miss hearing sissy say "Vali!"

I miss Valentina having an aunt.

I miss Asa having an aunt. Both kids lost an aunt when she died. I am a parent to Asa, I can no longer be his fun aunt.

I miss having a conduit to vent to if I was upset with mom. I would talk to sissy and then sissy would tell mom and then mom would call me and we would work it out. Same thing with mom, she would call sissy, sissy would call me and I'd call mom and we would work it out. Sissy would have a problem with me so she would call mom, mom would call me and I would call sissy. We called it our party line.

I miss having our three way phone calls while all of us watched the same show on tv.

I miss everything about my sister.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Valentina's Birthday Post (Finally)

I'm finally blogging pictures from Valentina's Surprise Birthday Pirate Party that was on Sunday, February 13. She picked out the theme and the fact that it needed to be a surprise party. However, I think she was a bit overwhelmed and a teensy bit scared when she walked into a house of almost 30 people all yelling "SURPRISE!!!!" Valentina informed me that next year she doesn't want a surprise party, she just wants a regular party.

I pretty much bought every damn pirate thing from Party City. I was a bit manic when I shopped and I used it as a distraction. Oh well, each kid had plenty of pirate stuff to put on when they came!

The pink pirate ship cake Valentina wanted. I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. Asa put the stickers on the sails.

Showing some of the decorating skills that Amanda used, even though she said she can't decorate, silly girl.

The family room with decor. Asa was playing a video game before he got ready.

The entry way and living room.

All ready to paaaarrrrggghhhttttyyyyy matey!

The birthday girl in her costume. You can't see but she is talking to one of the boys, a SEVEN year old, who she is totally infatuated with. Can't you tell by the look on her face? She just stood there, smiling at him, almost in a trance. I'm in so much trouble.....

Blowing out the candles.

Asa and his friend Brody.

My best friend and decorator extraordinaire Amanda and me. You can't really see it but I had a necklace made that has an A stamped on one disc with Asa's birthstone on the side, a heart stamped on the middle disc and a V stamped on the other end with Valentina's birthstone. Jessie McCann made it and she has the most amazing, beautiful, customized jewelry.

Papa and Beya. I have the most beautiful and handsome parents. They help me so much, I cannot imagine my life without them. I'm eternally grateful for them. Thank you so much mom and papa!

One very happy birthday girl who got pretty much everything she could dream of for her birthday!
I love you Valentina!
You are my sunshine and bring life to me every second that you are with me. I am so grateful for you. You make me laugh like no one else can and make me very happy. I'm so thankful to be able to see things your precious, young eyes and everything you see gives me a new appreciation for it. You are the sweetest, kindest, most loving, head strong, determined baby girl I have ever seen. I love you forever. Who do I love more than you? NOBODY!!!! Thank you for being my daughter.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


*disclaimer. All items below are actual things said by Valentina, verbatim.

"When I grow up I want to be a SUPER HERO! I want to be Storm, she's kind of like Weather Woman. My super powders would be changing the weather. I could make it snow and then later I could make it sunny so we could go SWIMMING!"

"I spy with my whittle eye....."

"Papa, you look re-DICK-lee-us!"

(coming out of the bathtub)

Valentina: Mama! I'm freezing! I'm so cold.
Cameo: Let's go to the heater.
Valentina: Mama! I'm REALLY, REALLY cold!
Cameo: Valentina, quit freaking out.
Valentina: But mama, I can't help how I feel.

(can you tell we're a family that has put my therapists two children through college? Or that I have three therapists?)

"I'm seriously not gonna do it!"

"Whoa! That is kickin'!"

Monday, February 14, 2011

Another Peek

I don't feel like doing the whole birthday post right now but I will post the two video's I took.

This first one is after I sent Valentina off with Norm to get her out of the house and finally revealed the big secret to Asa.

Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing

This is Valentina walking in to her party.

Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing

There are so many people to thank for helping me pull this off.

Grama, for keeping Valentina (and Norm) busy while the house was a whirlwind of activity getting everything ready.

My best friend Amanda, who is always the first person to say "what can I do to help" and is always there for me, and not just for the birthday party or the happy times but the bad times too. I couldn't ask for a better best friend aka member of my family.

And of course Beya. Mom, I love you so much and needed you so much this past week and not just for cleaning and organizing the house! I needed you emotionally but that is a daily thing. I need you with me to give me strength and I need you with me to be my person. I can't do this without you.

I promise I will post all the pictures in the next day or two (maybe tonight) including one of the killer pink pirate cake I pulled off.

I love and miss you sissy. I wish you could have been here.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Sneak Peek

Three guesses as to what is happening tomorrow! But shhhh..... the kids don't know! This has been a Level 5 CIA covert mission. Valentina has also instructed us HOW we are supposed to surprise her when she walks into the house. All she knows is that her birthday is in "a couple of weeks." Asa has no clue either since I know there is no way he'd be able to keep a secret. I am going to keep him here tomorrow to help decorate and to greet guests but I'm sending Valentina out. Where? I have no idea, I'll deal with that tomorrow, but I am going to get both Asa's reaction when I tell him what we're doing and of course Valentina's reaction when she walks in the door on video. Hopefully I'll be able to upload and post it here when I do her birthday post. Wish me luck as I keep thinking how much fun sissy would be having with this and how much I wish she was here to help me.