Friday, July 30, 2010

Passed the place,

Saw the spot,

Thought of you...

I have come down to the last two items on my "List of Things I Cannot and Will Not Do."  Basically, I was down to the very last one though. I have no need to ever read the police report, so that left driving by the crash site. I felt I could no longer avoid entire parts of town.

I honestly did not think I would ever do it.  One time, Dave accidentally started to veer in that particular direction.  I freaked out. My heart leapt into supersonic speeds. I honestly thought it was going to jump right out and run far, far away. If I had a bag to stick over my face, I would have.   Luckily, he quickly avoided that disaster.

I had talked to Sgt. Merenda about the fact that I would never go there, and he said something along the lines of, "just go, it won't be as bad as you thought." At that time, I didn't really believe that was possible.  I seriously thought it would be worse than I expected.

After all, this was the place where my baby lost everything in one split second.  How could that possibly be, not so bad?

I never had any plans to go, but the day after the one year anniversary of her accident, I was driving to my counseling appointment and was pretty early. I was right by the site. The car began to drive itself. I thought, "OK, if you say we go." My second thought was, "I suppose this is as good a time as any, if this proves to be a total disaster, I am on my way to my counselor!"

All the anticipation, all the sleepless nights, and I accidentally pretty much passed right by it!! What the heck. I missed it?? How was that possible?? Are you kidding me, I have to loop around again!!?

I did pass by again. With my own two eyes, I watched the entire final moments unravel.  I was shaken, but not anywhere near to the core.

Sgt. Merenda was right, I made a big episode out of not much.

It really wasn't so bad.

To be continued....

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Happy Birthday....

to my beautiful, loving mommy! You are the best mom a girl could ask for.

Thank you for everything.

I love,




Saturday, July 24, 2010

True Love

You are my love,

You are my life.

Whenever I need you,

You are there.

You listen quietly,

You don't try and "fix" everything.

You have been there for me,

Through everything.


Bad days on the work front,

The adoption process,

Adjusting to having a child,

Helping me through my migraines,

Being right by my side through the accident,

Anytime I needed you while Avi was in the hospital,

You were there for me.

You are always there for me.

To laugh at,

To cry on,

To talk to,

To love me,


I love you Kama!

You and me are like peas and carrots!

You are my constant co-pilot.

I would be lost and loney without you.

Kama Love!

She got a new bed.

I think she likes loves it!

I *heart* you!

You complete me...

Nighty Night!

Oh, by the way...Avi loves it too!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Say No To Drugs

With the guidance of The Institute, Avi finally decided to kick her "hard core" drug habit. When she came home from the hospital, we had tried to talk to her about it, but our words fell on deaf ears. She would always tell us, "I have cut way back, don't you remember what I was on in June and July?" She had made up her mind. We didn't push the issue any further.

After our first visit to Philadelphia, she understood that her body was her temple and that there needed to be a change.

She was on such heavy drugs that we were advised to titrate her very slowly. We have been working hard since the middle of December. I am happy to report that today, Aviana is to take her very last dose. She went from 42 doses a week, to z-e-r-o.

She has done amazingly well coming off of the drugs. She became much more sensitive to sound. Sometimes one little sound would send her crying for an hour. I honestly thought that it would be much, much worse though. She is now used to the sounds and if something does send her, she can catch herself very quickly.

There are things we have noticed since she has been coming off of the drugs ~

She is MUCH more aware.

She moves her head all over to look around.

Her eyes move much more and she tracks better.

She eats her food by mouth better.

She is better at the inclined floor.

She is more attentive.

When you hold her, she will put her arms around you.

When you hug her, she tries to put her arm around you.

She gives more kisses.

During therapy, she is shooting us the "stink eye" much more.

She looks more like herself.

The other day while I was feeding her, she paused for the cause of inspecting her hand intently. She was putting her hand in her mouth and taking it away, like she was feeding herself, but also like she was really seeing her hand for the first time.

She gets frustrated more, which (for the most part) means better therapy.

Her cry sounds different, stronger, better.

She pulled her mask off 3 times in one day.

She wiggled her toes when asked.

She pays more attention to her reading program.

Every morning, I go into her room and say, "Hi Avi." Yesterday, she looked up at me and opened her mouth for the time it would have taken to say hi. I said "Hi Avi" again and she did it again. I did it again (give me an inch, I take a mile) and she was sick of me. I could see the bubble over her head. It read, "How many times do I have to do things over and over again, GEEZ!"

Overall, she just seems more present and less sedated.

I am sure there is much more that I am forgetting, but that's ok.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

It Would Be You


It Would Be You

It's hard describing a heartache
All cause it's a one of a kind thing
A serious injury, and a whole lot of endless pain

If it was a storm, I'd compare it to a hurricane,
Oh, it's even got a name
If it was a drink, it would be a strong one
If it was a sad song, it would be a long one
If it was a color, it would be deep, deep blue
But if were talking about a heartache, it would be you

If it was a full moon, it would be a total eclipse
If it was a tidal wave, it would sink a thousand ships
If it was a blizzard, it would be a record breaking cold
If it was a lie, it would be the biggest story you've ever told

If it was a drink, it would be a strong one
If it was a sad song, it would be a long one
If it was a color, it would be deep, deep blue
But if were talking about a heartache, it would be you

If it was a color, it would be deep, deep blue
But if were talking about a heartache, it would be you

Glutton for Punishment

I'm in a mood. This particular mood ranges from somber to downright mad. The punishment began with the gym and carried on to Aviana's neurology appointment.

The way I handled are time in the hospital and all appointments thereafter....

- first turn most of your brain off.

- then go to a happy place, like a funny movie, a great vacation, etc.

- don't pay close attention to the MRI.

- gaze lovingly down at Avi and repeat, "I don't care what the stinkin' scans say, I will just watch you."

- be strong, almost robotic. - etc, etc, etc.

- and above all ~ ~ walk in telling yourself over and over ~ ~ ~

  Function Determines Structure 

 Function Determines Structure 

 Function Determines Structure

Today's appointment was a different animal.

I love her neurologist. He is wonderful and so eloquent with every word that comes out of his mouth. I felt mad and angry though. I just couldn't help but fire question after question. Questions I knew damn well would do me NO GOOD. Questions that don't really matter. Questions that result in answers that make me want to throw up.

Why did I feel the urge to do this to myself today?

Why did I think it was a good idea to pull words out of my kind doctor's face like...




Most people wouldn't have survived.

And so on...

Once again, why did I do this to myself today?

I don't know....

All I do know is that "Little Miss the Glass is Half Full" has left the building.

I hope she returns sooner rather than later.


Today started of good, and then all of a sudden a forceful wind ripped through and snatched up just about every bit of positivity! It is gone, gone, gone, and nowhere to be found. I wish I could just run up to the store and buy some more!

It all started with the gym. I got there, and had forgotten that for this week our class was to take place in the main gym, instead of the step room.

So, what's the big deal?

Well, many, many memories have been locked behind those main gym doors. As I walk by, I always devert my eyes elsewhere.

I used to walk through those doors 4-5 days a week and drop a certain little someone off at childcare.

Today, that very same childcare room was positioned squarely, smack dab, in my face...for an entire hour. I wanted to run, but couldn't.

I saw Bianca, who used to care for Aviana.

I saw a million other, perfectly healthy brained, children coming and going.

I saw their mom's dropping them off.

Picking them up.

At one point, I actually saw Aviana's sweet face as she caught a glimpse of my return.

I could hear her little voice screaming, "Mommy's here!"

I could picture her arms outstretched, as she was running toward me.

I could feel her hands grab onto my legs.

My typical sad feeling was not what arrived today,

pure anger lodged in its place!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

These Days

On a happier and more positive note....this was the most relatable song on the entire new cd.

Aviana was soon to be released from the hospital, this song was all I could listen to....


and over,

and over!

I feel these lyrics more and more with each passing day!

These Days

I was blind, now I can see
Your love shines all around me
All I want is to be here with you
This is what I was made for

Heaven is steps away
These days everything I am is about you
These days my world revolves around you
I don't know what I would be without you
These days, these days

I was bound, now I am free
The sun shines all around me
All I want is to be here for you
Forever more

Heaven is steps away
These days everything I am is about you
Yeah, these days my world revolves around you
I don't know what I would be without you
These days

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Sleep Forever

One of my favorite bands of all time is Cheap Trick. My brother and I are always on the edge of our seats waiting for them to tour in a town near us. We get especially crazy when a new album is to come out.

This past year their new cd was to be released on June 23, 2009. My brother had gotten it earlier. I had yet to hear it due to Aviana's accident, which happened on June 17th. In light of what had happened, I had obviously not thought much about it.

My brother advised me NOT to listen to it yet, he said he had, and the very first song had brought him to his knees.

Until she was just about released from the hospital, I had never listened.

At the time my brother heard this song, the accident was fresh, and we were unsure if Aviana was going to live or die.

Listening to this today, 13 months out, I am still left with a tear soaked face.


Monday, July 19, 2010

Lake Tahoe or Bust

24 hours.

1 beautiful lake.

4 beach towels under the clear, sunny sky.

1 Sea-Doo.

4 girls.

1 room.

6 bars and restaurants.

7 drinks.

After doing the math, all of that added up to....

1 happy girl!

Thank you Summer, Erin and guys are the best :o)

Friday, July 16, 2010

Use Me

If you need me, I am here for you to use!!

If you are already using me, being used has never felt so good!

Use me when your child is talking excessively, and it has been a long day.

Use me when the thought briefly crosses your mind to not take the extra steps up to the cross walk.

Use me when you are so busy, and your little one just can't stop asking questions.

Use me when they are making a disastrous mess and you are a complete neat freak.

Use me when your child won't stay put and continues to run away.

Use me when you are telling your child to do something, for the second time, and they are STILL playing with their toy.

Use me when you are feeling stressed out, and don't think you can continue on.

Use me when you are distracted, and not "in the actual moments" with your kids.

Use me at any time when you are thinking of not enforcing the use of a helmet.

Use me to really feel your child's arms wrapped around you tightly.

Use me and listen carefully to the sweet, sweet voice that is coming out of that little mouth.

Use me to appreciate the fact that your child can run to you while screaming "Mommy!"

Use me to not get so upset when they are being loud and obnoxious.

Use me when they object to their bedtime.

Use me when you are becoming distracted while driving, or just simply not paying attention.

Use me when your kid is driving you bonkers at the park or mall.

Use me when they won't eat exactly what they are told, but are still eating nonetheless.

Use me to appreciate every single "I love you" that falls from their lips.

Use me when you are feeling like you are at the end of your rope.

Use me when you have to chase after them.

Use me when they are exercising their independent, rebellious nature.

Use me for all of the things that I cannot even think to come up with.

Use me, 

Use me,

Use me,

Use me,

Use me,

And when you don't feel you are doing a good job of using me,

go easy on yourself....

I know it's not easy,

as I used to try to use other people's horror stories to make myself more appreciative too! The full blown patience and appreciation never lasted as long as I had hoped it would....

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Water Therapy

Aviana's first swim since.... 

She was such a little cutie.

Testing out her sea legs!

She loved to just float.

Avi is telling Dave, "Look Daddy, water therapy is best!"

My favorite.

Avi has always had a special bond with her Uncle Rob.

She melts like butter in his arms.

I just love them both!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

And the winner is....


Congratulations, you are the proud owner of one of the best desserts in the world!! 

The very last day Aviana was sick was January 26th.

Since Aviana has been home, this had been one of our biggest obstacles to overcome.  We are so proud of how well she has done on her new diet.  This diet literally transformed her from an unhappy, sick little girl to a beautiful, glowing, healthy child.

I do however have a runner up prize! The person who responded first and was next closest to the date was.....


Congratulations! Please send your address to

Thank you guys for playing. I love games and got such a kick out of some of your answers :o)

Friday, July 9, 2010

Game On

As you may remember, Aviana used to throw up all of the time. After returning from our first trip to The Institute, we changed her diet. She was never sick again!


Be the first one to send me the very last day Aviana was sick.


The answer is buried somewhere in the depths of this long-winded blog ;o)


One of my very favorite desserts.....

Thursday, July 8, 2010

What's behind Door Number One?

It's been way too long!

It's time to play another game!

If you're down for some Friday morning fun, tune in at 10 AM....PST!!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Give us an inch...

and we take a mile!!

Prior to the accident, Tahoe is where you could find us on every 4th of July weekend! We decided to go up, as we have missed our trip terribly.  It was perfect, as always.

We had a great time, accompanied by minimal therapy (of that sort).  We lounged around in the hammock, bbq'd, watched movies, went down to the lake, and took a walk through the woods.  I was about to say, all of the things we took for granted before, but that is not the case....we never have taken Tahoe for granted, but you know what I mean :o)

We had the best weekend and while I feel entirely refreshed, it is extremely difficult to get back to the grind!  Worth every "fresh air" moment though.

I hope you all had a happy, safe 4th this year.

Ahhhh, Tahoe...

Aviana thought the water was much too cold, and preferred her toes not be dipped!

Kama & Snoozer were in heaven. A dogs true paradise!

This is Snoozer....he is my dad's dog! He is the sweetest Pit Bull in the entire world. Avi used to call him, "Noooozer."

I wish Kama had a lake right down the street to swim in!

Sorry, I just think she is beautiful =)

Doesn't she look like she is smiling in this picture?

Round two!

There's no place like home. *Click, Click*  There's no place like home!

Kama couldn't handle Dave, Avi and I being in the hammock, so she climbed up with us. Picture that, 4 of us, 1 hammock.....there's nothing better than that!

Kama's not used to that kind of exercise anymore =)

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Taking a Breather....

This is Stow Lake. There were tons of ducks, geese, birds and....

I loved this tree.


I didn't know exactly what this was, but I did know one thing for sure...I wanted to move into it!

I was fascinated by this beautiful mess of tree roots.

I don't know what type of tree this is, but it reminded me of a bonsai, but huge!

This was the de Young Museum. We walked in only to discover we were in the wrong place.

That's us, backed into a corner....even in San Fran :o)

Oh Woolly Mammoth, I wanted to take you home!

Dave, being Dave!

This was inside the Rainforest in the Academy of Sciences.

She was so happy to be engaging in aquarium therapy!

Dave is a weirdo! He has a "thing" about not wanting to ever hold my purse for me! It looks like Avi is following in his footsteps on that one =)

This ones for you, my cuz. There was only one in there and I had to chase that sucker like crazy. He was making a mockery of me and I think, loving it :o)

This was Aviana's favorite part of the entire day....just watching all of the fish swim around!

These guys were, hands down, the highlight of my entire day!


Pier 39

Need I say...anything!

My babies.

The Rock.