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.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Spanish With An Irish Accent

I'm watching the DVD of "U2 360 Live From The Rose Bowl" for about the 50th time and when Bono introduces "Vertigo" he says "some Spanish lessons with an Irish accent."

It reminded me of a situation that could have only happened to sissy and our family.

Shortly after Valentina came home the six of us went to the cabin for a day or two. On our way home we stopped in town to have lunch with Father William from papa's Catholic church. Sissy and I were seated across the table from Father William who was from Ireland and had a very, very strong Irish accent. Now this alone made it difficult to understand what he was saying but throw in the fact that he was also bilingual and would switch from English to Spanish mid-sentence and it was nearly impossible to make out what he saying. He also had a very witty sense of humor so he laughed a lot at his jokes. At least I think they were jokes, he could very well have been laughing at us. At first I thought it must have just been me having difficulty understanding him since sissy would just say "sorry, I don't understand". Father William would laugh and turn to papa, who was sitting right next to him and they would continue in Spanish. I decided I would try sissy's genius idea so I was going to try it next time he talked to me. Keep in mind that Father William talked a LOT. Pretty soon I was in the situation of him looking me square in the eye and saying something I couldn't make out. I was going say "sorry, I don't understand" but then I thought I had picked up a few English words so how rude would that have been to say "I don't understand what you're saying" if he had been speaking English?! I would occasionally look at papa and hoped to pick up some cues from him because papa was fluent in Father William, the two of them would randomly go in and out of Spanish and English. Now my plan would have worked perfectly but papa can't hear well, especially in noisy places such as a restaurant. Father William knew this so he was used to papa just nodding his head at whatever he said. So here sissy and I were trapped, right in Father William's line of sight, we couldn't pretend we didn't hear him. Needless to say Valentina needed a LOT of attention during that lunch! Poor girl was just trying to eat her food and I was using her as a distraction, checking her diaper, cutting up her food, looking through the diaper bag for something nonexistent that I appeared to desperately need. It was one of the longest lunches I've ever had. It wasn't until we left the restaurant that sissy and I were laughing at how neither one of us could understand a word of what Father William was saying.

"But you did great at saying you didn't understand when he speaking Spanish" I said to sissy.

"I didn't know if he was speaking Spanish or English!" she gasped.

Oh how we laughed at how comical the whole thing was.

You can't make this shit up.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Our Weeks In Pictures

Quite a bit has happened and we've kept busy the past few weeks. To begin with the kids are out of school!

Asa with his "yeah, I'm cool, I'll be in 3rd grade next year" look. He was kind of disappointed that he didn't have the right shirt to wear. Unbeknownst to me he had planned on wearing the same shirt that he had worn on the first day of school but he had left it at Dad's. 

My girl will be in 1st grade next year! Luckily (well, after much pleading and begging to the teachers and principal) Valentina will have the same 1st grade teacher that Asa had who I LOVE. 

They are FINALLY losing some teeth!

We had to celebrate the last day of school by going out to lunch. Valentina changed her shoes and put on her  FAVORITE black shiny ones.....that are literally 2 sizes too big as you can see. There's about 2 inches between her heel and the back of the shoe. 

Asa's shoes barely made it through the school year. Valentina's were just as bad and she said later that she was embarrassed of them and tried to hide all the scuffs and holes. 

McDonalds breakfast is ok for the first full day of summer vacation, right? 

Asa got to spend an afternoon with Joshua so I decided to let Valentina feel special and take her somewhere too. This is definitely a TT approved outfit!

We went to see the new "My Little Pony" movie. Valentina made fast friends with another little girl there. The theater had less than 15 people there so I let Valentina run around and talk to this girl, who was the managers daughter. Oh boy did Valentina think she was hot stuff! Walking around the whole theater without me following her, walking up and down the aisles, she thought she was a regular teenager! It gave me a small glimpse into my future and I am scared shitless. 

I have found a new blog, The Hungry Housewife, and she had made this awesome looking roast chicken. This is the one I made for dinner Sunday night. 

Yup, I think everyone liked it. 

It is impossible for Asa to eat anything chocolate and not get it all over his face. IMPOSSIBLE. 

Mom and I took the kids to the mall where they played with a giant chess game. Again, note the TT approved outfit. 

Asa trying to squeeze into the car ride with Valentina. 

Nope, not gonna work. 

While we were shopping Valentina found these shoes she HAD to have. 

Yes, I realize that she is only 6 years old. 
Yes, I realize these have about an inch high heel. 
Yes, I am scared shitless. 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Memories Of The Future

I keep having dreams of sissy and they really piss me off. They always take place in the future, after she's died, but she's in them. Sometimes I realize she's dead and sometimes the dreams are of things we had planned on accomplishing together and she's right there with me. But it's always dark. Literally. In one dream the sky was covered with dark clouds. In another one it was raining like crazy. In another one we were in a room and it was very lowly lit.

I hate these dreams. They take a full day to shake them and they just cast a dark shadow on my whole day. The fact that sissy is gone is still always on my mind, my very own constant CNN news ticker. And yet sometimes I still have these "flashes". They happen in the blink of an eye, literally, because the 1/10th of a second that it takes for mind to say it in my head I realize that my thoughts are impossible.

It was the kids' last day of school and they were both talking about what we were going to do for summer vacation, the fact that it was a short day at school, etc.... They were chattering away in the back seat and while I was at a stop light I saw opposite of me (leaving the school) a car like sissy's. My "flash thought" was "What? Sissy already dropped off Asa? It's the last day of school! We were going to do it together! We were going to take pictures of the kids together! We were going to be equal parts happy to have our kids home and scared to have our kids home! Why did she do this to me? Why didn't she even tell me? I wanted to see Asa on his last day of school! Maybe I'll pop in and see him anyway." By the time I finished blinking I realized that I had recreated the plans sissy and I had made for the future (take the kids to the same school, etc...) into my current life. Of course I would see Asa on his last day of school, he was sitting in the back seat, I had helped him get ready. I had taken pictures of both kids before we left the house that morning. It's just unbelievable the horrible tricks your mind can play on you.

By the way, this is my "woe is me", "I'm so sad", "death has ruined my life" post. I'm working on my "REAL" post and it's going to reflect our current lives. We do have fun. We do have adventures. We do enjoy the kids. We do laugh. But that damn news ticker never goes away.

Mom said I've been a bit manic lately. It's true. I can't seem to sit still. I have to keep moving, no matter how physically painful it is until I take my pain meds to help with being so active and they knock me out. Literally. The more active I am, the more I hurt, the more pain meds I take, then I fall asleep on the couch. But until then my mind is racing, thoughts collide like bingo balls in a cage and I try to stay as busy as I can with my body to help slow the thoughts, the bingo balls, the memories.

A sidenote: I read trash magazines. Well, I take that back, People is a very well respected journalistic periodical. Ok, yeah, trash magazines. I also read Us Magazine. And I check People.com every morning. Sissy and I had a routine. When she wasn't working I always woke up before she did. She would then call me when she woke up and ask "So, what's going on in the entertainment world?" because she knew I would have already checked out People.com. When she was working and was up before me she would call me to tell me what had happened in the entertainment world. I think of that every morning when I click on my bookmark to People.com. Anyway, my whole point here is that I've seen Katie Holmes is filming a movie called "Mania Days" in which she plays someone with bipolar. Needless to say I cannot WAIT to see it! I thought she was AMAZING in "Pieces of April". In fact it had earned it's way to my night-before-Thanksgiving-up-all-night-cooking-while-watching-Thanksgiving-movies-marathon marathon. I would always start with "Home For The Holidays", move on to "Pieces of April" and sometimes even throw in "Don't Say A Word". Needless to say the only one left I can watch is "Don't Say A Word" plus I don't cook that much anymore the night before Thanksgiving.

Anyway, my point was that I predict that Katie Holmes is going to be fantastic as a bipolar and I can't wait to see it.

There. This is my dark and twisty post. Happy Happy Joy Joy post to follow!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Strike One......

So I've had a few blog posts composed in my head and even started writing one, a great one, a profound, a highly emotional one but things weren't working out right so I scrapped it.

Strike one.

Instead I will relay something to you that was told to me today in a very offhanded way at the doctor (I'm not kidding on this):

"Okay, so I'm just going to inject a radioactive dye into you that will go only to your gallbladder and then after that sits an hour I'll inject something else and then we'll see how you feel."

Oh, okay, because yeah, that sounds so totally normal and run of the mill. Sure, shoot me up with some radioactive dye! Sign me up! Where do I stand in line?

The funny thing is the test came back that something is wrong and I'm being referred to a surgeon. I'll probably need to have my gallbladder removed.

Is it just me or does that sound like something an OLD person has done? I can remember being an adult when mom had hers out. I have two young kids! I'm not old enough to have to have my gallbladder removed! The word alone sounds so ancient and grandparent-y. I remember my grandma burping incessantly and saying it was because of her gallbladder. As I write this I can smell the menthol cough drop aroma that would come out of her mouth accompanied by an ungodly loud belch that would scare small children worse than any John Carpenter movie.

So that is what I associate with the word "gallbladder". It's like it reverberates with the same force that would almost shake the floorboards underneath my grandma when she burped. Don't get me wrong, I loved my grandma very much, she was so kind to us, she was like a second mom to us, she loved us very much, she was very loving and maternal. I love her and miss her but man, she could give any dinosaur a run for their money when it came to burping.

Ok, this post completely wrote itself and went in a direction I wasn't expecting!

As a change of pace I'm going to answer 10 questions I've always wanted James Lipton to ask me. Jen, since you have my same love of Q&A I'm going to ask you to do a post with YOUR answers to the same 10 questions.

1. What is your favorite word?

Love. I say it all the time. I love you. I love this. I loved that. You'll love it.

2. What is your least favorite word?

No joke it's probably burp. Or fart. Or poop. There's a lot of potty talk in our house due to an 8 year old boy who thinks it's hilarious and has taught his sister that it's funny too so it drives me bonkers.

3. What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally? 

Music. Music is an answer to all three. A certain song can bring me to my knees in sobs or cause me to pull over and cry. Music also encourages me to write. I love to listen to my iPod and write.

4. What turns you off creatively, spiritually or emotionally? 


5. What sound or noise do you love?

The kids laughing and talking to each other when they don't know I'm listening. Or when they're trying to be quiet and sneaky and talk to each other when they're supposed to be asleep and they don't understand that I can hear them despite the fact I'm laying in bed in between them. Apparently they think I'm dead asleep if I'm in bed. It's hilarious to listen to them.

6. What sound or noise do you hate? 

Vomit. Anyone vomiting especially myself.

7. What is your favorite curse word?

Oh fuck if I know anything worth a shit about this dumbass question.

8. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? 

Prosecuting attorney.

9. What profession would you not like to do?

I hold them in highest regard but there's no way in hell I could ever be a teacher.

10. If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?

Here's your sister.

Sunday, June 02, 2013

Mish Mash

Yesterday Asa's soccer team lost their first game. We only have one game left and were so close to being undefeated. It was a close, and good, game, with a final score of 5-4. The other team scored 3 against us in the first half, it was the first time this season we've ever trailed in a game. We came back strong and scored 4 goals in the second half. We were on a streak and were on our way to making a legendary comeback. The other team was also undefeated. Norm overheard some of the parents discussing their kids private lessons and extra workshops they had done and I was very proud of our little ethnic team holding their own! All but one of our players are Latino, our coaches are bilingual and about half the time they are talking to the team in Spanish. It's a twofer, Asa is having both soccer AND language classes!

School is almost over and I read the funniest blog post ever that describes me perfectly! I was laughing so hard I was crying. Mom was reading some of the comments other moms had left and those were almost funnier than the post. I can't begin to imagine how the teachers feel!

I'm still struggling to find the right combination of pain meds. It was so frustrating and such an arduous process to find the right cocktail of antidepressants/mood stabilizer/anti anxiety so to have to go through the same thing again for my pain is just tiring. But I'm so grateful that there IS medication to help me, no matter how long it takes to get the right combination.

Last weekend mom and papa went to the cabin and papa ended up spending a few hours in the ER. It turns out his chest pains weren't caused by just a panic attack but he also had bronchitis/pneumonia. It actually turned out to be a good thing as the doctor did a full blood panel workup and his EKG was great. So papa is in great health and he was put on an antibiotic.

Norm got a promotion at work and he's had to log in even longer hours. I have to say that even with some of  the 12 hours days he still finds time to be a great dad. From the time he walks in the door at night he is in total "dad mode" and gives the kids his undivided attention. I have a great, long emotional post about the men in my life but I haven't written it down yet.

Mom and I went and saw "The Hangover 3" last week. I had read the reviews, I knew the plot was pretty much nonexistent and I was prepared. Boy howdy, NOTHING can prepare you for that movie. Disappointed doesn't even come close to describing how I felt. Watching a movie with mom is always an experience, it's almost funnier to watch her than the movie. In this case she was MUCH funnier than the movie. Mom and I had watched "Side Effects" and "Django Unchained" earlier in the week so maybe those two mind blowingly amazing movies made this one seem worse than it really was. No, it was just a bad movie. But again, doing anything with mom is fun so I'm glad we went.

I'm so excited that "The Killing" starts tonight even though I won't be able to watch it until tomorrow. I learned the hard way that I cannot watch "Hannibal" before I go to bed so given what I've heard about the storyline I think it best that I watch it during the day while the kids are at school.

So, that's about it.