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.



Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Bipolar, Bipolar, Send Sanity Right Over

I debated on writing about this but figured I never know who might read it and think "I'm so glad someone else feels the same way I do!" so I guess you're stuck with this post. I might delete it later.

I've been in the midst of a bipolar episode. Luckily I had an appointment with my psychiatrist already scheduled for yesterday. I had a complete meltdown in the waiting room, made it to his room and then proceeded to hyperventilate/cry/try to compose myself/lose it. He did nothing but watch me in my turmoil and take notes. At least that's what he was doing when I finally looked up at him. The diagnosis? This is just the nature of the bipolar beast. I'm very fortunate that I'm not severe. Sure, Sunday afternoon I had another meltdown. I actually went as far as to go to my bedroom to get ready and spend the night somewhere by myself. As I was making my bed (I have make my bed every day, even if it's as late as when I'm getting ready to go to bed) I was thinking "ok, I'll just change clothes and leave. I don't need anything but my purse. Well, I should probably take my makeup. My toiletry bag is always ready to go. I just need to throw that in a small bag. Oh, I guess I'd need a change of clothes. What about a computer? I won't take mine because it's too big. I can take the tablet. No, I need a full keyboard if I want to do anything. I'll take Norm's computer. Then I need his power cord in case I use up the battery. Ok, so I'll need a large bag. And where am I going to go? Do I want to go out to eat? Do I want room service? Do I have the energy to go out? Do I want to drink? Should I take something to drink? Oh, my phone battery is crap, I'll have to pack that charger. And my ipod. Where are my earphones for it? Oh shit, this sounds like so much work. What about the kids? Will they be worried? Will they think I'm abandoning them? Valentina always cries when Norm and I go to the movies. How will she be if I'm gone overnight? Will I be scarring Asa even more? Will he think I left him just like his mom? There, my bed is made it looks so nice. I think I'll just crawl in bed." All of this went through my head in exactly 1.395 seconds given my mind was in a manic, racing state. And that's what I did. I got into bed at 5:45 pm. I.Just.Needed.Alone.Time.

That lasted about 20 minutes before the kids realized I hadn't come out of the bedroom. Shit, I didn't bother to lock the door because I thought I'd be long gone by then. They both barged in and I tried to ignore them and fake sleeping but as you well know, children will NOT be ignored! Their voices got louder and louder, closer and closer to my ear and then they started pushing me to wake me up, not knowing I was quite awake. After I finally acknowledged them and they left I had about 10 more minutes to myself before Norm came in to check on me. As you can tell, it's not very often that I hide out in my room. Of course by the time Norm came in my nerves were just fried and I took all my frustration out on him by simply saying "leave me the fuck alone. I need to fucking be alone!" since that wouldn't have gone over too well with the kids.

Poor mom has been walking on eggshells around me because when I get like this there is N-O-T-H-I-N-G that doesn't drive me up the wall. All noises are amplified. Overhearing a conversation sounds like five people talking at once into a megaphone in a different language. I am usually an expert at tuning out, disassociating, going inside my head except in these times my head is even louder and busier than anything going on outside and combines with the outside. I feel like I'm losing control and am in a whizzing, whirling vortex that I can't escape from and the harder I try the worse it gets.

But am I able to articulate all of this to my psychiatrist? Of course not, I just sit there shaking and crying. Mom told me that I might need to have some inpatient treatment for a bit when I get like this. I told her that's for REAL crazies and people with severe bipolar.

Nope, that's not me.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Sunriver Personal

Yesterday I posted my review of the cabin we stayed in at Sunriver. This post is going to be about us, what we did and what got us to the cabin. 

A few months ago Norm told me he needed to go to Sunriver for some meetings/conferences and asked if we wanted to go along. I kept forgetting the dates he was going and never gave him a concrete answer. When I finally found out when he was going (about 2 weeks before we went) we had a few things already planned during that time frame. Valentina had ballet camp all that week and Asa was leaving a few days prior  to that to go on his summer trip with Joshua. Norm was going to make his hotel reservation and asked if I wanted him to see if he could get a suite or something and I told him if he could get a room with 2 beds great, if not that was fine too since we most likely were not going to be able to make it. A few days later Norm called me from work and said "well I hope all of you plan on coming with me because I got us a 3 bedroom cabin!" It turns out by the time he got around to booking his hotel room the block of rooms they had reserved for the meetings were filled up so the wonderful reservation specialist offered him a cabin at the same rate. SCORE!!!! Needless to say all of our other plans fell by the wayside. I promptly informed Valentina that she would be missing the last two days of ballet camp. When I showed Valentina the "cabin" (I think it was much nicer than a cabin per se!) we would be staying in she didn't care about ballet camp, she was just so excited to be somewhere with STAIRS!!! I'm not kidding, she was totally psyched about having stairs in our room. Of course we were all sad that Asa wouldn't be able to go with us since he and Josh left several days prior but it was also a way to pass some of the time and make Valentina feel a little special too. She always feels left out when Asa gets to go on trips with his dad and she can't tag along. When it was all said and done the timing was perfect and we had a nice little holiday. 


This was when we got to the cabin on the first evening. Keep in mind that we left shortly after she got done with ballet camp that day. Yes, that is a 4th of July outfit she was wearing......to ballet camp.....no it wasn't 4th of July.....no she wouldn't wear a cute 4th of July outfit ON the 4th of July.....that's my girl!


The first full day we headed to the Sunriver Village, a quaint little downtown area at the resort with several restaurants, shops and even a cute little train kids can ride around on to see the village. Aren't my parents precious?! I love my mom and papa so much. I'm so thankful they came along to help me out and just to be with me. I can't imagine taking a trip without them. I'm also very grateful that I have a husband who automatically plans on them coming with us wherever we go as I know not every husband would be so open to not just having his in-laws going on holiday with him but to live with him also. Norm knows how important my family is to me and in turn they have become just as important to him.


This is a crappy view of part of the village from where we were seated at lunch.


I was a bad mom and waited a bit too long to feed Valentina that morning so she was very crabby and not very nice when we got to the restaurant. As usual she just wanted to go swimming and didn't want to go out to eat. The strawberry smoothie was a good start to her meal and our dining experience!



Not only did Valentina get a smoothie but they also had her beloved lettuce wraps!!! She LOVES lettuce wraps!


Although Valentina would have preferred to have had Asa with us she did feel pretty special to be an only child for a bit.


On our last night we decided to drive to take the 15 minute drive to Bend and go out for Mexican food. Asa hates Mexican cuisine so we rarely have it even though it's Valentina's favorite.


My beautiful parents again.



You're never too young to have a (non-alcoholic) drink or "cheers" in our family!


Valentina was one happy camper with her salsa and guacamole! Note how her bows from Aunt Holly......


.....perfectly match the shoes she was wearing!



The water bottle left at our table was a giant Patron bottle. I would love to have one of these at home! We asked the waiter if they sold them and sadly he said no. The restaurant buys them full for about $150, uses the tequila and then recycles the bottle as a water pitcher.


I missed the photo op where Valentina was feeling up the bronze cow.


You can see she looks like she thinks she is doing something a little naughty.


On our way home we stopped at a bear themed cafe where I snapped these pictures.




That was our mini holiday. We desperately missed Asa but were able to talk to him pretty much every night. I couldn't help but think that the 3rd bedroom we had should have been filled by sissy, Joshua, Asa and the baby but we did our best to have fun and make it a happy trip and it was.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Sunriver Resort Circle 4 Ranch Cabin 34

We recently stayed at Sunriver Resort. We had a lovely time! The wonderful woman who made the reservation gave us Ranch Cabin 34 at Circle 4. Of course I did an insane amount of research to find out what kind of cabin it was. It looked good but I wanted to post some pictures and give a more detailed look at it for anyone who is considering staying in a Ranch Cabin at Sunriver. I HIGHLY recommend it!!!!



This was our cabin, very picturesque. I mean what do you say to this when you pull up in front of it? I loved the tree in the front, it gave us just that little extra privacy. I was amazed at how much privacy you do get considering there are multiple cabins clustered together. I can honestly say, however, that we never once felt as if we were too close to our neighbor or there was too much noise. It was really very quiet and peaceful. 


The front door is actually on the side of the cabin. This is part of the wraparound porch that is just lovely. As you can see there is plenty of firewood for when you stay in the winter. 


This is the front door to the right. 


The front "outer" door. 


As you can see there is a decent sized entryway with a bench and hooks for both swimsuits and snowsuits to hang up. There is another "inner" front door that separates this entry room area from the hallway.  


This is the view from the entryway/inner front door, a hallway with beautiful wood work. 


When you walk into the hallway this is the first door on the left, one of the three bedrooms. This one had a queen bed. Note the window that lets light stream through but the trees block anyone from looking in.


Plenty of storage in this bedroom from both the closet.....


......and the dresser.


Down the hallway, past the bedroom door there is a closet with a nice, new washer and dryer. I've never been so excited to do laundry in my life! It was wonderful to be able to wash our clothes before we left and come home with a suitcase full of CLEAN clothes instead of dirty ones! They even had several laundry gel packs in the closet since I didn't think to pack any. Just one of the many ways that I will show how Sunriver thinks of everything.


Back out in the hallway, past the washer/dryer closet, to the left is the door to the "kids" bedroom. Two sets of bunkbeds, dresser, closet and desk. 


At the end of the hallway was the main bathroom. It was quite big and spacious. 


The angle is off on this because I was trying to not get myself in the picture. You can see the new vanity and rubbed oil bronze faucet and towel rods. There is also a window high enough above the toilet that it gives you total privacy but lets in light. I know I sound like a broken record but given how many windows there are in the cabin you still feel very private. 


Okay, back at the front entry door and instead of walking straight down the hall and seeing all of the above, you turn right into the living area. Note the photo on the left wall. 


This is how the cabin looks in winter. I would LOVE to come back after a snowfall! 


I took this photo standing in front of the sliding door. You can see the inner front door just behind where the stairs are. This is a better way of seeing the living area. There is a TV and DVD player in the black cabinet. There are also two drawers under the TV that are full of board games. 


The cabin appears to have recently gone through a thorough upgrade/renovation. 


Everything was so comfy and cozy yet very spacious. You can see the stack of wood behind the couch so that gives you a point of reference as to where everything is and the layout. The windows open to give you a breeze which was especially nice since the cabin does not have AC. A ceiling fan above helps to circulate the country air.


This is looking at the front of the house and the slider door. The living area is to the right of where I'm standing......


.....and to my left is the dining/kitchen. I LOVED that the kitchen was fully furnished with all new KitchenAid appliances. All of the cupboards were fully equipped with everything you could possibly need from roasting pans to a few Ziploc storage containers for any leftovers you might cook up. I personally had a ball making pancakes every morning on the gas range. There was plenty of silverware and dishes, even BIG coffee mugs instead of the mini espresso cups you usually get in hotel rooms. 


Right behind the dining table is a wonderful stone fireplace. Everything was in place for a fire including crumpled paper under the logs, all it needed was a strike from the matches that are on top of the mantle. 


I was standing in front of the slider door looking up the stairs to the master bedroom/bath and the approximately 30 foot tall ceiling. As you can see there is a small landing area halfway up the stairs where they turn 90 degrees and then continue up to the second floor. 


At the top of the stairs there is a cute little book shelf area with even more storage. This place has more storage than my own house! The door to the right was a closet with a fan and some other household items. 


The master bedroom with a queen bed. You can't see it but there is another ceiling fan. 


This is the window overlooking the living area. 


A flatscreen TV and DVD player hide in the armoire. The door leads to the bathroom. There is also a cute little window seat to the left. 


As you walk into the bathroom this is what you see when you turn right. Again, new tile work and even a hairdryer under the sink. 


To the left of the door is the shower. I left out the picture of the toilet but rest assured, there is one there. 


Peeking out the window you can see the whole living area below. I wouldn't call the master bedroom a loft because it is so private.


Back downstairs and walking out the slider door to the left is a hot tub. I know I keep saying how private everything is but this is yet another way Sunriver makes sure that even though the hot tub is on the front porch nobody would be able to see you soaking in it. 


The gas BBQ, plenty of chairs and a table sit on the front porch. 


There is a parking spot for your vehicle in front of the cabin and additional parking spots on the other side of the driveway in case there is more than one family staying in the cabin. The cabin sleeps 8 so not only is there enough room inside but they also have ample parking.


One of the best things about staying at a Circle 4 Ranch Cabin??? The pool that is just for the Circle 4 residents! For a short time one day we had the whole pool to ourselves.

We went to Sunriver Village for lunch and some shopping and stopped at the full service grocery store on site. The resort is so big and sprawling (it spans a few miles) but there is nothing they don't have. I was also pleasantly surprised at how reasonable the prices were at the market. 

Thank you again Sunriver for a wonderful stay! I look forward to a return visit and possibly staying at one of your many other resort destinations