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.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Victor Villasenor

First a few words to explain. Mom's favorite author of all times is Victor Villasenor. His books have touched her very soul. After sissy died mom was unable to read and she is an avid reader. She went months without picking up a book. The first book she read (which she had already read multiple times) was Victor Villasenor's "Rain Of Gold". In short, he is to mom how many people perceive Oprah. Through his many books he has become her hero, idol and spiritual guider. 

It was the thrill of a lifetime to be able to take this picture of the two of them together. 

Not only was mom able to meet him, she felt like the luckiest girl in the world to be able to have him sign three of her books. AND he gave her a hug. Imagine her pure thrill when he asked her to go have a beer with him after the signing.

Laughing and drinking with Victor Villasenor.

There was a group that he invited (and all jumped at the chance) for this once in a lifetime opportunity. As you can see they are all hanging on to his every word.

It made my heart truly happy to see mom truly happy. I know "healing" is a soundbite people like to throw around and it's not true but it really was a life changing moment for Beya.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Bragging Rights

I had both kids' parent/teacher conferences this afternoon. I had told the kids to let me know if they had been in ANY trouble before I went to talk to their teachers. When I came back (the teachers communicated so well between them that they were able to schedule Asa and Valentina's meetings back to back) I had a stern look on my face. I instructed both of the kids to sit on the loveseat as I needed to talk to them. Asa had a small, hopeful grin but Valentina was very nervous. Valentina even started to chew her nails, a habit we've tried very hard to break her of.

"Asa, Valentina, I talked to both of your teachers" I started in. "They had quite a bit to tell me." I couldn't keep up the charade any longer as I gleefully clapped my hands and hugged them both. "You are BOTH excellent students and your teachers think you are both WONDERFUL!!!" Valentina squealed and Asa smiled.

Asa's teacher actually said he was a model student and she wished all of her kids were like him. He had struggled with writing last year but this year he has really excelled and is already on his second writing journal.

Valentina sometimes gets behind in her work because she is so detailed in her drawing. Her teachers were also very pleased with her social skills and kindness. That was something I had worried about because her attention span is that of a gnat and she runs hot and cold in the friends department. She can be very sweet and a great friend or she can be very aloof and a loner.

I'm very proud of both kids and am very fortunate to have them both in my life.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Asa's Birthday(s)

Asa's birthday morning, Wednesday, September 26, Asa woke up to find the dining room table littered with presents and his giant pinata. 

My (almost) 8 year old boy was so happy! It was about 7:30 am and he wasn't born until 8:56 am.

Opening his presents. I didn't want to get him something Nerf (his requested party theme) or Star Wars (which he has tons of) or Legos (too many to count). So instead I got him some Lego organizers.

Later that day we went to lunch at Red Robin, Asa's pick. We went with Beya (Papa was working), Grama, Grampa, Joshua (as you can see) and Grandma Dee. Grandma Dee is Norm's grandma who just moved up here from Albuquerque, New Mexico. She adores Asa and was so happy to be here for Asa's birthday.

Oh yeah, Dad got Asa an AWESOME present!!!

A Squishable.

As stated before, Asa requested a Nerf theme. How the hell was I going to do that? I did some research and found quite a few Nerf birthday party ideas. I stole this idea from Pinterest. I also had to follow the cardinal cake rule of not putting anything that isn't edible on a cake. What to make the bullets out of? How the hell do I make edible bullets? I didn't want to make marzipan because I wanted it to be something that people could actually eat and let's face it, who wants a big 'ol stick of marzipan? I finally figured out that I would use Pirolene cookies but how to make them orange? What to do, what to do. I could roll them in fondant. Or even better, dip them in white chocolate that I colored orange! Bingo! And then use a marshmallow as a tip! While I was at the party store I discovered ORANGE melting candies! Even better! But then how do I dip them in the melted candy? I can't exactly roll it around, that would make it come off. My crafty brain figured out to pour the melted orange candy into a pastry bag and then dip the cookies in THAT! I was so thrilled with myself I had to text out pictures and explanations to a few good friends. In fact I may or may not have said aloud "I am so good I scare myself!" (ok, I so totally said that even though I was all by myself). 

No party is complete without cupcakes. Yes, the cake came out of a box and the frosting came out of a can. My infamous use of pre-packaged food has earned me the nickname "Caneo". I cannot argue with the truth  :)

Finally, the day of Asa's party. He was so excited! We had over about half of his soccer team since those are the boys he hangs out with more than anyone. They say they are brothers. I'm very fortunate in that all of the kids have been together for a few years and I actually get along with the parents. 

 Asa was so happy to have his "brothers" over.

Oh yeah, there was a Nerf gun war!

You can kind of see in the background the targets I made out of poster board.

I think Valentina was just as excited for Asa's party. She had been saying all week "Only 5 more days until my brothers party!", "only 4 more days until my brothers party!" etc.....

It's official after you blow out EIGHT candles. 

Happy birthday my dear Asa boy!

Sunday, October 07, 2012

I Wonder.........

Trina would be 43. 

I wonder how she would have worn her hair. 

I wonder how many times she would have colored it. 

I wonder how many times she would have cut it. 

I wonder what fashion trends she would be using. 

I wonder what TV shows she would be watching. I wonder what movies she would have seen. 

I wonder how she would have been as a mother to two. 

I wonder if her baby would have been a boy or a girl. 

I wonder what kind of cell phone she would have now. 

I wonder if she would have finished school. 

I wonder what kind of job she would have now. 

I wonder how Asa would be different if his mom were still alive. 

I wonder how many adventures we would have taken. 

I wonder what new recipes she would have made. 

I wonder what shoes she would have bought. 

I wonder what she would have been made fun of me for. 

I wonder what we would be locking eyes over and thinking at the exact same time. 

I wonder how different all of our lives would be if she hadn't died only five months after her 40th birthday. 

Fuck you cancer.

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Blowing The Lid Off

Mom is working this week so I had to go to therapy by myself yesterday.

You know how Dr. B has a way of calmly letting bombs off in sessions about things I had no idea I had? When he so casually spoke of my disassociative disorder? Or the way he spoke of mom's obsessive compulsive personality? Well, a couple of things "blew up" yesterday too.

First off I was in the middle of a major anxiety attack and felt like it could go the way of a panic attack at any minute. He tried to talk me through it and asked me why I keep my thoughts of sissy away, at arms length, all the time. I started to tear up so of course I buckled down, not realizing until later that my hands had turned into clenched fists, physically fighting away the urge to cry. I couldn't keep the tears from spilling over so I just stopped talking, waited for the compulsion of my body wanting to curl up into a fetal position in a way that it physically tries to protect my heart, wiped away my tears and promptly changed the subject.

Dr. B and I talked some more and he gently steered the conversation back to sissy.

"I'm trying to dance around the subject" I admitted to him.

He laughed and said "I know you are, I'm trying to bring you back to it!"

We continued to talk about my avoidance, blah blah blah and he blathered on "........and that's contributing to your PTSD..........."

Wait. WHAT? Whoa, back that truck up.


Post Traumatic Stress Disorder?

As in I have PTSD?

It never, EVER entered my mind that I could have PTSD and Dr. B says it as if we had had a conversation about it.

Then, while I'm reeling from this diagnosis he REALLY let loose on me.

"Your anxiety keeps building up and it's finding physical ways to release itself. It's like a fart, it has to find an escape."

Reallly? A FART???? He couldn't have used a better metaphor for my anxiety? He's a world renowned psychotherapist. He's written more than five books. We've used volcano, a door being held shut, a tea kettle, a million other descriptions for how my anxiety builds up and he uses a FART???? I suddenly felt like a certain 8 year old boy (Asa) trying to stifle a giggle. Combine that with the visual running through my mind of Dr. B walking through his house farting and I lost all concentration with the session after that.

But much like the fart he so flippantly spoke of my anxiety did let go a little bit after I walked out of his office.

I guess he's not just full of hot air.......coming out of his ass.