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, July 31, 2011

Valentina's Birthday Present

Yes I am aware that it is currently July and Valentina's birthday was in February. That said, she didn't get her birthday present from Beya until last week. Our kids are so hard to get presents for because they have everything and mom and I refuse to get them birthday presents "just to get" so we try really hard to make their presents special. This year mom promised Valentina a trip to the mall as her birthday present. Valentina has been soooooo excited! Poor thing though, one thing after another kept coming up which caused her trip to the mall to be postponed. FINALLY this week we went to the mall! Now trust me on this one, this WAS thrilling for her. All she wanted was to go to the mall, eat in the food court and play games at the arcade so off the four of us went.

Eating at the food court, how exciting! Hey, when I was four I was excited to eat there too.

Check out Mister Asa giving me his "too cool for school" look, full of attitude.

Asa actually took this picture of him and Valentina. He's a genius with the camera if I so say myself. Trina always loved looking at the pictures he took because he would capture things from an angle that we, as adults, didn't see them from.

Valentina took this one of "the best big brother in the whole world!"

Valentina took this one too of my boy and me.

Before we left the food court Valentina had to ride the handful of rides that were up there. Of course she gravitated toward the pink train!

Asa naturally went for the blue race car. It never ceases to amaze me the inherent differences between boys and girls.

Next we headed downstairs to the arcade..... only to find out something horrible. THE ARCADE HAD CLOSED!!!! I felt so bad for Valentina. Here she's waited for five months to go to the arcade and it was CLOSED.

At the other end of the mall we did find a carousel. It was kind of creepy looking and the room that it was in smelled musty and old but Valentina loved it. The whole thing reminded me of a horror movie where the characters go in there for a simple ride and end up being hacked to bits by the sinister ride manager. But that's just me :) Poor Asa was terrified of riding the pony but he did it. You can barely see him but he's on a horse, holding on for dear life.

There he goes, grasping on to the pole. Each time Asa would go by he would slink further and lower down on the pole.

Valentina, on the other hand, would squeal with joy each time she would fly past us, barely holding on with one hand while the other would wave wildly at us. She has almost no fear whereas Asa is very cautious. They are good for each other because Valentina encourages him to take chances and Asa helps keep Valentina grounded, literally sometimes.

After the carousel it was time to ride the train.

You can kind of see the weird looking horses in the background that don't fit in at ALL in the train area.... or anywhere else as far as I'm concerned. The room was just scary. But the kids had fun and that's all that mattered.

Valentina kept saying that it was the best day ever so I guess her birthday present was worth the five month wait.

Asa has already decided what he wants for his birthday from mom and me.....a trip to Build-A-Bear.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Breaking Bad

Breaking Bad, Breaking Bad, Breaking Bad, that's all I hear when a new season of the show starts, ends and awards ceremonies come around.

I've never watched the show.

Then again I'm usually a late bloomer when it comes to finding excellent TV shows. More often than not sissy would turn me on to a show. She found "Nip/Tuck", "Castle", "Mad Men" and "Leverage" for me. I didn't discover "Arrested Development" until the second of their three seasons. I now have all three seasons on DVD and will pop one in just out of the blue when I want to laugh.

I always meant to get around to watching "Breaking Bad" but never did.

Until now.

Holy shit.

Mom and I watched the first two episodes of the first season together. I have never been so disturbed by something so darkly funny. I was simultaneously horrified and laughing hysterically. I asked mom if she wanted to continue watching it and she said no, it was a bit too graphic for her.

Last night Norm and I cruised through the entire three episodes on disc 2 of season one. Got that? Haha....

I love "Breaking Bad". I'm supposed to get the last disc of season one today so it's pretty safe to say that by the end of the weekend I should be at least halfway through season two or done with it. I was afraid that it wouldn't live up to the hype. I didn't need to worry.

I always read the end of mystery books first to find out what happens. The highest form of praise I can give "Breaking Bad" is that I haven't looked up every season on Wikipedia to find out the twists and turns.

Okay, I did look ahead to see what happens in season one.

But that's it! Honest! I'm quite happy to hold on to my seat and go on the dark ride that "Breaking Bad" is taking me on.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Pictures Galore!!!!

There are about 6,924 pictures in this post so beware.

Fourth of July

Mom and I took the kidditos to see "Cars 2". This was very bittersweet as "Cars" had been Asa's first movie in a theater and sissy and I had taken him. We took him to the nice theater and of course I documented it with about 10 pictures. I probably have them posted in my blog but I can't look them up and re-post them now, it's too hard. I was a bit apprehensive as Valentina doesn't have the longest attention span. Asa wasn't quite two when sissy and I took him but he sat through the whole thing. Valentina was quite excited and in keeping with tradition, I insisted on going to the nicer theater where sissy and I had taken Asa five years ago. We made a day of it and got pizza to eat in the theater while we waited for the movie. Here is Valentina waiting......


Asa was an old pro at the movies and was happy to be eating pizza, his favorite food.

A few weeks ago the kids had a birthday pool party to go to.

Right after this picture was taken, Little Miss Diva Valentina accidentally got flipped off the air mattress and went under water. I held back my first instinct, which was to jump in the pool after her but I told myself that she could touch the bottom of the pool. She popped right back up to the top immediately or else I WOULD have gone in after her. The damage was done, however, and she cried and cried. Valentina didn't go back in the pool after that.

Valentina had a much better time swinging.

Asa liked going down the slide.

My dear, sweet boy.

If it looks like Valentina has white hair that's because she does. There was a pinata at the party and as is Mexican tradition, there was flour added to it. We don't add flour and this was the kids first time whacking open a pinata with flour in it. Poor Valentina got about 90% of it dumped on her. When I was growing up we used to fill some cascarones with flour instead of confetti.

Here is a dejected Valentina walking away from the cake table. Valentina was hurt as she informed me that she kept waiting and waiting for cake but nobody gave her any.

Sad, cakeless, Valentina.

It turned out that Valentina just didn't wait in line long enough. Sure enough she got her cake and ate it too.... WITH ice cream.

Asa went to soccer camp. This was his first day.

Such a big boy! I can't believe it!

Valentina was so proud of her big brother.

I've talked about Asa's severe separation anxiety problem since sissy died. He has an incredible fear of being left behind/forgotten/not picked up. I have to make sure that whenever I pick him up from somewhere I have to be there at least 10 minutes early or else he cries and panics that I've forgotten him. I have told him over and over and over, especially when he started school, that someone will ALWAYS pick him up. One day when I picked him up from camp I waited in a different area than usual. He had to look up from the field a few times before he saw me waving to him. When he finally walked up to me he told me that next time he wanted me me to wait in the front, not off to the side. I asked him if he got scared when he didn't see me. Asa calmly said "no, I knew you'd be here." I felt like crying with happiness and sadness. Happy because he finally knows that I WILL pick him up and sad because of why he has this fear.

Asa was in a wedding last weekend. The wedding was at the bride's grandparents house which is beautiful. I took these pictures the night before the wedding, during the rehearsal. This is where the reception was going to be.

Rehearsal. In keeping with the brides religion they don't have ring bearers, they have Bible Boys. The boy (Asa) carries the Bible up the aisle, hands it to the pastor and then takes his place with the groomsmen.

The ceremony area.

The cutest kidditos in the world!

The wedding was a Western theme so Beya, Papa and Valentina all wore cowboy boots. So did Asa but he didn't want to join in on the trio photo.

Walking up the aisle. The girl next to Asa was the brides sister and she did double duty as both flower girl and bridesmaid. Her hat held the flowers that she sprinkled and at the end of the aisle she dumped them out and put on her hat. It was very cute.

You can see Norm sitting down and obviously I was across the aisle taking pictures. So why weren't we sitting together? Asa was nervous before the wedding so I let him pick out where he wanted me to sit so he could see me and know right where I was. By the time I sat down the other seats next to me were already taken so Norm was stuck on the other side.

The beautiful bride. I LOVED her dress!

Done with the ceremony, walking back down the aisle. Asa did GREAT and looked so handsome as a cowboy.

I had to get a shot of the boots the bride wore. I thought it was beautiful especially since she had peacock feathers in the bouquets which had that gorgeous blue in them.

The rustic centerpieces.

I adore, love, appreciate and am so thankful for mom and papa!

Valentina, expert soup thief! The party favors were Top Ramen, a favorite food of the bride and groom. Little did they know that it is one of Valentina's favorite things to eat. She calls it noodle soup. She LOVES soup of almost all kind but this is one of her favorites so she was in heaven. The packages were at each setting on the table but Valentina snuck around and stole everyones for herself! The ironic part? We all forgot them when we went home after the wedding. Oops!

Valentina had a great time jumping from paver to paver during dinner.

I don't know how many cupcakes the kids had. Valentina had at least two, I think Asa may have had three.

Valentina dancing with the bride. I felt kind of bad because Valentina thought she was HOT SHIT dancing with THE BRIDE so she kind of bogarted her. The bride was great with Valentina and I think a great time was had by all. Well I KNOW Valentina had a great time! She danced all night long.

The two sweetest kids.

So! As you can see I've been busy, the kids keep me busy and I'm so grateful for that.

I'm grateful for so much.

And that's the truth!