Sunday, February 27, 2011

Be Careful What You Wish For

Oh how I wished she would sleep in more.
She sleeps in as long as we want now.

I wished she wouldn't fight me over what to wear.
Now, I can dress her in whatever I want.

I wished she would stay still while I did her hair.
She stays almost perfectly still now.

I wished she would not talk so much while I was on the phone.
She doesn't make a peep now.

I wished she would just keep her shoes, socks, and hair accessories intact while in the car.
She is perfectly assembled now.

I wished she wasn't such a wiggle worm in the bathtub while I was trying to wash her.
She lies perfectly still now.

I wished she would come, when I called her.
She's right there, anytime I need.

I wished she wouldn't act so crazy in a store.
She is perfectly quiet now.

I wished she would sit still on my lap, and cuddle.
We can cuddle all day, and night now.

I wished she wouldn't talk back.
She never utters a word now.

I wished she wouldn't play with her food, and would just eat it.
That's exactly what she does now.

I wished she wouldn't ignore us while company was over.
She is a perfect angel towards us now.

Don't get me wrong, we are enjoying all of the little 'perks,"

but would we trade them in a heartbeat?


Friday, February 25, 2011

A Good Cause

Adoption is one of the greatest gifts. A local family is working to raise funds to bring another child home from Ukraine. They have included the added bonus of winning an iPad. What a win-win opportunity.

When we first decided to adopt, I had no idea the expense. I had to literally pick my jaw up off the floor when I heard the outrageous number.....$30,000. What??? I'm quite sure I heard you wrong. No, I didn't.  I know how difficult it was for us to save that much money, so I always try to lend a helping hand to others in need.

Our nurse, which I have yet to introduce you to, is from Ukraine. I not only hold adoption close to my heart, but the Ukraine now too. I can't wait for you to meet Lesya, she is amazing. She also spoils us with so many of her home cooked meals!

If you're interested, you can stop on by, maybe to donate, maybe to enter the drawing, maybe to just give a little love to this family, or maybe a combination of the three ;o)

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


I always wondered what my purpose would be in this lifetime?  What would I accomplish? How could I best help another? What would I be most proud of? What is it that I have to give back?

Although I am a work in progress, I have to admit, through Aviana I have found the greatest purpose in my life.

In writing a letter, and reflecting about where we have been, and the places we will journey on to, it has become clear, Aviana has shown me who I really am, and further more, all I can possibly be. She has pushed me further, and wider than I have ever been in my whole life. She has shown me that the impossible is possible. If I sit quietly and look closely, I see clearly, she is my guide. She is my teacher. Although the lessons are hard to grasp, and I am not always quick enough to learn, without one single word, she is showing me.

She is just 4 years old, and she is helping not only our family and friends, but people all over the world.

Saturday, February 19, 2011


Laziness got the best of us. We were supposed to cook for Aviana last night, but were both beyond exhausted. We decided to wing it today until her food was ready.

This morning we gave her oatmeal. She ate it so well, but we expected her to because it was a similar consistency to the food we make her.  We still hadn't cooked by snack, and lunch time. So we gave her apple sauce for a snack, and a left over enchilada for lunch. She ate it all. She did such a great job.

My mom was here today, and we were eating Gingersnap cookies, so we decided to give her those too. They are extremely crunchy, and she was chomping away. She looked adorable as she was chewing. So much so, that I ran and got my phone to video her so I could put it on here. The funny thing was, every time I would video her, she would politely chew with her mouth closed. She still has such great manners ;o)

We still hadn't cooked, and after seeing how great she had done the entire day, we decided to feed her Macaroni and Cheese, as this was one of her favorites prior to the accident.

I fed her a whole bowl of it. She ate every last tiny, little shell. I was in shock. She did so amazingly well. We have also been working really hard with the sippy cup, and she drank better than she ever has tonight.

This was the first day since the accident that she had a normal days worth of food that was just lying around the house. Nothing measured. Nothing weighed. Nothing balanced. Nothing sliced, or diced. And nothing that was outrageously prepared.

We have finally truly run out of time, so it's off to the kitchen we go!

Friday, February 18, 2011


I stare at you, and you are all I want to be.

What I see in you is everything I want.

So kind.

So loving.

So patient.

So appreciative.

So keen.

So happy.

So loyal.

So gentle.

So understanding.

So playful.

So everything.

You live in the moment.

You don't think about yesterday.

You don't worry about tomorrow.

You live in the moment.

You are here, and now.

You are the example.

You are what I strive to be.

You are a dog,

and I am envious.

Hard Knock Life

In my wildest dreams, or should I say nightmares, I could never have even fathomed this life for myself. It takes everything I've got to just get through each day. It is physically, spiritually, mentally, and emotionally taxing.

I feel great sadness today.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Valentine's Day Outtakes

No one was there to take our pictures on Valentine's Day, so we took it upon ourselves.  Here are the good, the bad, and the ugly :o)

These were with me trying to take the pictures ;o) I love Dave's face in this one.

We were trying to get Aviana and Rainey in this one. If you look closely, you can see them in the background.

This one is just plain goofy looking! Why hello, demon-like, cross-eyed, jacked up smile girl ;o)

I think we should leave it to others to take our pictures. We have never been good at the shots of ourselves ;o)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

While the Cat's Away...

the mice will play!

While I have been out and about, Rainey had been doing so well in the house by herself.  That was until the other day. This is what I came home to....

This is an item we had made for Aviana's therapy.

Doesn't she look guilty?

Bad girl. 

I always tell her how lucky she is that she is cute ;o)

Saturday, February 12, 2011


A great source of sadness arrives when I round the corner, and see that Aviana has tipped over. The sadness comes from the fact that she can't right her position. As parents who deal with this daily, we have to almost become de-sensitized in order to deal with it. In a strange way, we have to almost ignore it, and carry on, or make light of it, "Oh Sweetie, you've fallen and you can't get up, let me help you honey."

If we internalized all aspects of our daily life, we would surely be long gone from the emotional toll alone.

I have to share some pictures of her from the other day though. I walked from the office to the family room, and this is what I saw. I thought she looked adorable. Like an Anne Geddes baby ;o)

I think she finally just passed out from all of her therapy!

Friday, February 11, 2011


From the moment we made the decision to carry on with Aviana, there was a certain specific point that I feared. It's been a few months coming, but I have arrived.  I am currently standing in one of the toughest moments since the accident. I am at a place where I have realized that therapy is really not doing too incredibly much, and acceptance is inevitably on the horizon.

I feel I am standing in the center of my very own feared crossroads. I am not sure which way to go. I see the 2-year mark in my mind, and have to be completely honest, the improvements don't look too much different than the year mark, or even the six month mark.

I don't want to be a complete downer, but when I really look around, this is what I see ~ physiologically, she has moved in leaps and bounds. She is not vomiting. She is off all medication, and has just reached her goal weight of 33.7 pounds. That is a TEN pound loss from her highest. She is eating all of her food by mouth, and is able to move on the flat floor (backwards, I might add :o) up to 18.5 feet. We have asked her to kick it into drive, but she much prefers reverse.

Don't get me wrong, these are all wonderful things, and I am happy she has advanced, rather than declined. What kills me though, is when I think of the most basic functions of life. One of them is holding your head up, right? Well, it has taken us almost 2 years, and a crap load of work, and this simple little task is occurring minimally.

Some may think I am unappreciative, and honestly I feel that very same way about myself from time to time, but anyone living the life we lead would completely understand.

We have literally worked our fingers to the bone, both day and night. 365 days a year.  The facts are staring us straight in the face, and it's getting harder and harder to look away. The results are so small in comparison to the astronomical amount of work we have put forth.

I am sad to say, that hope has been withering away. Our motivation is dwindling, and I am finding myself sliding into a tiny little bit of acceptance. All along, it was against my will, but slowly, but surely, I have to face the facts.

I have always had full faith in The Institute program, and still do, but I think certain kids can only progress so much. Sadly, we have come to the bitter realization that Aviana happens to be one of these children. I sure hope she proves me wrong though.

We felt very comfortable with what we were doing, and whole-heartedly believed it was our best chance. We have always felt that if it didn't work, we had done our best, and we would make peace with our situation.

The funny thing about finding yourself in a place of hopelessness is you begin to entertain other ideas. Ideas you didn't think you would explore.  In my heart, I feel we are truly grasping straws, but we have been seriously contemplating stem cell. We are also looking into a variety of other options as well.

We have a lot to think about, and I have no idea which way our road will turn, but I do know one thing....the intensity of what we are currently doing is not the right answer. For if Aviana were making strides, not even huge, we would be motivated to intensely continue this program for years on end.

We are definitely not going to stop the program, but we are going to carefully tailor our own days based on what we are seeing.

Please keep us in your thoughts, as this is one of the worst places for parents to find themselves.

Thank you :o)

Efficiency Expert

I've finally got this down! I have learned the way to maximize our time. Check out our schedule for today...

GI/Nutritionist ~ 9:30

MRI ~ 10:30

Neurology ~ 11:30

There won't be anymore back and forth, loading and unloading around this neck of the woods ;o)

Thursday, February 10, 2011

I Fall

I tripped 3 times while in Cabo.

Dave could not understand what was wrong with me.

After I picked myself up off the floor,

and the hysterical laughing subsided,

It was a simple explanation,

I don't get out much!

Just proof, that's all.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

My Girl

I miss her in the morning when I wake, and notice the bath mat perfectly in place.

I miss her when I am making breakfast, and she is not cleaning up everything I dropped.

I miss making, and feeding her her Kama Cakes (Kama sized pancakes.)

I miss her when I am working on the computer, and she is not under the desk at my feet.

I miss her being right by my side, helping me through therapy every day.

I miss seeing that knowing look in her every move when she was nearing Aviana.

I miss her when I see her bed, the one she has now shared with Rainey.

I miss how she filled every square inch of it.

I miss her with the passing of each beautiful picture.

I miss how she would climb up into my lap when the smoke detector would chirp.

I miss the way her ears looked as she ran down the side of the house.

I miss the way she would duck, weave, and bark while I was vacuuming.

I miss her long, beautiful legs.

I miss her when I see her collar hanging on my side of the headboard.

I miss her as I drive by the park, and picture her flying across the field after her ball.

I miss her head perched under my chair as I ate dinner.

I miss the smell of her stinky paws.

I miss her every time I see Zander.

I miss sweeping her fur off of the floor everyday.

I miss her every time I go in my bottom nightstand drawer, and see her ashes.

I miss her when I look above my bed, and see our "Master Bedroom" picture hanging.

I miss her in my sleep when I am continuously making sure she has enough room.

I miss her morning, noon, and night.

I miss her more than I could ever accurately express in words.

I love my girl with every bit of my being. I am being held tightly within the grips of grief. 




"Master Bedroom"

It was meant to be. We bought this picture when we moved into our house in 2001. We got Kama in December of 2002, as a 5 1/2 week old puppy. As she lay under my favorite picture, I could not believe the double image I was seeing!

Rainey ~ I thank my lucky stars for you. 

Monday, February 7, 2011

No Love You'd Call Real

Aviana is the biggest hold out in our family. She doesn't really care much for Rainey. She gives her dirty looks most of the time.  I couldn't really figure out why, but then it came to me.

Could it be...

That she stole and de-stuffed her new bear?

Or that she gnawed on her favorite Christmas present?

Or that she has tried in vain to have her way with this one?

Could it be because she has been using Avi's socks to hide her bone?

Or because Rainey hasn't been giving her the best view while on the floor lately?

Or because she takes her blanket and hides things in it?

And then, plays with them, on her blanket!!

Or that she snuggles up, and takes a little snooze, on her blanket??

Or that she is always trying to get a bite, of her food??

And last, but not least, it must be because she got a hold of her beloved Lamby. The one who has been there for Aviana like no one else?

Whatever the case, Rainey is doing her best, and Aviana is starting to understand, she's just a pup pup.

Btw...Dave and I promised Aviana we would protect her things much more carefully!

Swirling Around

Prior to leaving, I honestly felt I had hit a wall full speed ahead. I couldn't get out of this town fast enough. I was exhausted, as exhausted could be. I felt lost. We had waited way too long to get away.

I had some crazy old feelings seep back in from under the door. As our trip approached, I wondered why it was that I didn't feel I was going to miss Aviana too much.  How could that be? Why was I feeling this way? Why was it that I was having such a hard time leaving Rainey? Why was it that I was worried about her, and not Aviana? I felt sad, as all of these thoughts swirled around the edges of my mind. I asked Dave. He said, he thought I would miss Aviana, but I wouldn't miss the therapy. He said I was intermingling the two.

I went to see my counselor, and explained all of the above.  She said it all made perfect sense to her. She said she is surprised we had lasted as long as we did considering the rate we were going. She thought I would have coped out months and months prior.

She said I needed a break from everything in the worst way. She said my homework was to not think about Aviana at all while I was gone. She even expanded that to the U.S. Do not think of the U.S. while we are gone. Okay.

She said the reason I was worried about Rainey, and not Aviana is because the worst had already happened to her. There really wasn't much else that could happen. With Rainey, nothing has happened, and everything can. I have to admit, that is the way I feel. Dave and I talk about that very thing from time to time.

I don't know. The thoughts just creeped me out, but it is what it is, right?

Can you believe it, once we got to Cabo, we ate, and I told Dave I was just going to take a little nap. I slept for fifteen hours straight. Dave did too, with a 3 hour window in between where he hoped I would wake up so we could order room service ;o) I fell asleep at 6:30pm and woke up at 10 am. I did not know where I was, and almost even who I was :o)

We did a great job of not really thinking of too much back at home.  When we were flying back, I worried that I didn't miss Aviana enough.

Luckily, once I scooped her up, I realized just how much I did miss the little pumpkin. We couldn't get enough of her.

Geez Mom, how many times do I have to ask you, "Can you please just run a comb through my hair??"

Still though, I can't help but keep contemplating everything lately. Contemplating, contemplating, contemplating....

I also have to admit, I did not miss the therapy one bit, and wish I could just throw it all away, and never see it again, but that would be like throwing Aviana's future away!

I have never experienced a love/hate relationship of this nature before. I love it. I have to have it. It is, hands down, the greatest gift we could give Aviana, but I am just so tired lately.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Eight Days a Week

I can't help but be envious of anyone who doesn't have to do therapy....

Eight days a week.

Seven days a week.

Six days a week.

Five days a week.

Four days a week.

Three days a week.

Two days a week.

or even,

One day a week.

Baaa Hooo!

Ok, I'm done complaining...

for now ;o)

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Out and About

One of the nearest and dearest places we travel to is Costco. My mom and I took Aviana there yesterday, and she had the best time. She was holding her head up the entire time, and looking at anything, and everything.

Maria, her favorite sample lady came over to visit with us. Since Aviana came home from Guatemala, Maria has always held her close to her heart.

We let Aviana snack on all of the samples. Her favorite was the potato salad.  It felt closer to "our good old Costco times" than it has since the accident. I know, we're crazy about this place.  It's sickeningly a place where we bond over wholesale items ;o)

I'm happy I remembered my phone. I must have taken about 27 pictures of the little pumpkin!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

How Sweet it Was...

We did it. 

We got away :o) 

This is what it looked like when we got to Cabo. A little overcast, but if you know us, you know we love that kind of weather.

I was watching the whales swim by in this picture. It sure doesn't get any better than that!

We went golfing one day, or should I say Dave golfed, and I drove the cart :o)

Off for some much needed pampering at the spa.

I loved this, and would like to somehow re-create one of these in my house!

Loved it so much, we had to take a picture next to it :o)

I was lucky enough to celebrate my birthday in Cabo. We came back from dinner only to discover this sunflower seed masterpiece! Isn't it awesome? It was on the bed, and took me hours to finally take it off.

Oh, and these too :o)

I love this little Bano Muchachita.

Goodbye, Pueblo Bonita Pacifica Holistic Spa & Resort! Say that 10 2 times fast!

There I am, waiting to leave, admiring the beautiful view, but thinking about how much tighter my jeans are than when I arrived! 

We ate everything in sight ; )

I wanted to thank my Mom, Gary, Uncle Roger, Aunt Rella, Jeff, Mark & Sue for helping us to get away. I could never forget you too Jen, thank you for caring for Senor Fish Face!

We could never truly express how much it meant to us to get away, and how much we appreciated every moment.

You made it all possible!

We LOVE you!