Sunday, March 29, 2009

Who's On First?

I love my girls. They are constant, never-ending entertainment. Here are some examples from the past few days:

{Driving Maya home from pre-school}
Maya: Hey mommy, did Devika go to school today?
Me: Devi doesn't go to a real school like YOU do, but she had a class today.
Maya: Where is her class - is it at My Gym?
Me: Yes it is.
Maya: It is what?
Me: It is at My Gym.

Maya: It is at Your Gym?
Me: No, it isn't Mommy's gym..
Maya: MY Gym, not YOUR Gym?
Me: No, it is at 'My Gym'. The name of the class is 'My Gym'.
Maya: Oh, so it's YOUR gym, not MY gym.
Me: No, it is called MY GYM. Not YOUR gym.
Maya: So it's MY gym? NOT YOUR gym?

Me: Ok, fine. Your Gym.
Maya: MY Gym??
Me: Yes.

I think that I might need highlights again. I think that several hairs on my head turned gray yesterday afternoon.
Maya was playing with a Playmobile toy that went with her 'castle' sets. I had, just the night before, ransacked the entire set of toys and bagged up all small pieces that I was afraid Devika would get into and potentially swallow or choke on.
Little did I know.. that only hours later, my 3 1/2 year old would choke on a piece that looked much to large to easily fit into a mouth or cause any issue. Maya stuck a circular 'water fountain' into her mouth - it had to be 3" in diameter.. and it somehow became lodged inside and somehow suctioned itself in so that she could not breathe. I looked down at her and she suddenly was making a fish-type of face and panicing.. so I just shoved my fingers into her mouth and somehow dislodged and removed it. It was definately suctioned in and not as easy as that just sounded. Her panicked breathing must have pulled it back as far as it would possibly go in her mouth and it had sealed off the opening to her throat
ARRRRRRRRGH. Now I have made yet another run thru the house and removed even more small toys. Good grief. Thank GOD she did not do that when she was in another room and out of my sight for any short length of time. I guess this is why these kids are NEVER out of my sight for more than a minute or two. As annoying as that gets some days .. this is why I always have an ear tuned to them and an eye on them.
It was a lesson-learned. Poor thing was terrified (as was I).

In less traumatic news, Devi seems to have made some big leaps in the past few weeks regarding speech and communication. She understands almost everything we say to her. We can ask her to do something - 'put the cup in the cup drawer', 'put the ball in the toy room', etc.. and she does it! She is trying to say more words, though no one but mommy can likely understand them! She clearly says 'Mama', 'Dada', 'Baby', 'Bye-Bye'.. and she somewhat-coherently says 'Night-night', 'D
og', 'Woof', 'Ball', 'No', 'Good Girl', 'Maya'. She tries to repeat words quite often - especially things she hears a lot, such as dog commands, etc. She signs 'eat', 'cracker', 'more' on a regular basis.
She also throws huge dramatic fits on a regular basis! I hope this is due to a communication issue and will resolve itself over time. At least a bit. Criminy. Drama queen for sure. Don't dare to tell this child 'No!' without a mega-meltdown. Such a difference from Maya! It's amazing how different two kids can be.
She can definitely hold her own with Maya though. There are a LOT of sibling skirmishes, as to be expected.
Devi is starting to enjoy hitting her sister.. and Maya has no problems smacking her back. Luckily Maya doesn't throw the first hit very often - she just 'accidentally' bumps into Devi and knocks her down and then 'accidentally' sits on her. Well.. Devi is catching up in size .. and at some point is going to be bigger than Maya. Devi isn't built 'skinny-minny' like Maya.. she is muscular. The girl (Maya) better watch it or she is in trouble in a few years! I'd say they are pretty equal at starting the little fights though.. so life is very loud at our house these days.
Devi is also into scream
ing her head off for anything right now. Happy, sad, angry, hungry.. just belts out the most god-awful screams you have ever heard. I think she sounds like a baby Tyrannosaurus-Rex, so while Aj calls her 'Screamika', I nicknamed her 'Baby T-Rex'. I keep reminding her that we are not dinasours, but she isn't listening.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Be The Answer

Thanks everyone for the prayers and kind words/thoughts regarding my mom. It's been pretty crazy lately.. she has scared us a few times. She is really not doing very well right now.. she is fighting pain and nausea.. and trying to figure out a pain-killer dosage that doesn't cause her to literally fall over. She HAS fallen a few times, and has hurt her hip and banged her head. The drugs cause her to be somewhat incoherent. Luckily she has hours during the day lately where she is lo-dose and is 'mom' again. I hope these hours get longer and she rallies back into feeling somewhat human for at least awhile. I feel so sorry for her. I traveled to visit and help out a couple weeks ago, and I'm getting ready to return again. One of my sisters is staying with my parents and helping out.. she needs a break. I'm heading home again on April 3rd for a week. It's tough work - having to sleep with one eye open basically so that you know if she is wandering out of bed in the middle of the night and falling down.
I think the worst part now is that she knows that treatment had to be stopped, and the cancer is probably running rampant. She gets very depressed on occasion - partly from the prognosis and pain.. and partly b/c she hates having a lack of control. It isn't easy for a parent to let their children help so much - or at least in my family it is this way. My dad is having a horrible time dealing with our help. He is worse than mom with the control issues these days.. and it is so difficult on everyone. If we try to do anything to help, we get to hear 'I don't need anyone making decisions for me.. My kids don't need to run my life..' blahblahblah. Of course I completely understand. If my soulmate was going thru this, I don't know that I could even get out of bed and function every day. I just wish that there was more peace.
Keep the prayers coming.. she needs every single one of them.
In other news, I finished the membership film that I was creating for the Joint Council on International Children's Services. Here it is.. check it out!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

I Need a Spa Day

I haven't had much time or inclination to blog lately.. but here I am. The past couple of weeks have been painful - ear pain and heart pain.

Life has been quite stressful lately. For one thing, Devika has been having adjustment/attachment issues. She has been screaming her head off if I am not holding her - ALL the time. Even if I go to the bathroom and take her in with me - she flips out when I set her down. Not only does she scream, but she throws her head and body backward at full speed.. and flails all over. It is crazy and horrible and I'm always afraid she will seriously hurt herself. Nothing will stop it, other than my picking her up. Aj and I have disagreed a bit on how to handle this - he didn't think it truly was an attachment issue. I talked with our agency rep, who happens to also be a good friend of mine, and she gave me very good tips on how to handle it as an attachment issue. The more I spoke to her about everything that has been happening (including sleep issues, eye-contact issues, terror of music and other non-every-day sounds).. it became very obvious to me that it is attachment/adjustment related. I've already begun following some of her advice (as has Aj - he just needed more 'technical' explanation to understand what was going on).. and I'm seeing a slight difference already. I hope it continues to improve, and I think that it will. Criminy.. it has been a painful 2 1/2 weeks of screaming fits.
Ajay has nicknamed her 'Screamika'. Fitting eh? :)
I've also been a bit down recently because of my mom's failing health.
She has been so very sick this past month. I guess we were a bit 'spoiled' by her sickness in the past. She has had some bad chemo side effects, etc.. but nothing completely devastating. Or at least, looking back, they weren't devastating - just unknown and scary. Now she is actually not able to motivate herself to eat or drink.. she keeps getting dehydrated and needing an IV hydration. She has lost sooo much weight.. she is very very underweight now. She is on pain killers for her side pain, and they are making her incredibly loopy due to the fact that she isn't eating/drinking. She was taken off the chemo a couple of wks ago and the oncologist told us last week that basically she is at the end of the road re. treatment. Her treatment has caused blood counts to plummet, vomiting that responds to no drugs, etc.
Quite devastating news, even tho we all saw it creeping up on us.. we just do what every other cancer victim's loved ones do in this scenerio: we deny that it will happen in OUR case - surely there will be a miracle of some sort - or at least a couple more years of very slow disease movement so that we have more time.
TIME. Where the hell does it go.
Anyhow.. her oncologist is now talking about potentially putting her back on the chemo.. but I don't really understand what is going on. I think maybe I will try to join her at her appmt on Monday and fill in the blanks. It's hard being a few states away and trying to decipher all of the information and updates. The chemo has basically been killing her - she became nauseous and this led to the decline (no food/water/dehydrated - led to very low blood counts, etc). We hope that her 'loopiness' is due to the pain killers, but I keep hearing about the onc. wanting to do a PET or CT scan on Friday to check some 'spots' that, to this point, had not been growing. These spots are on her liver and brain. Yikes. Very scary stuff.
Ok.. that's all the update I need to spew out right now. Just scary to be so far away when she is in such a 'touchy' situation. She has been very unstable the past month. I'm flying in to see her and help her and dad out on Sunday - staying thru Thursday.
I hate this hideous nasty disease. Leaves you feeling so powerless. For a person who likes constant control, this is almost unbearable. Thank god I have some distractions. I mentioned that I'm training for the Tri For The Cure Triathlon which is coming up in August. I'm still working my butt off - I started week 6 of training today. Whoohoo! I actually ran 20! straight minutes a couple of days ago. This week it raises to 25.. yikes. Hope I can do it. Every time I start to struggle mentally with the running, I just think of all the crap that my mom is dealing with.. and how she sure as hell would love to be in physical condition to do this.. so I press on for her. I hope I can raise some money with my fundraising for this triathlon.
I've also decided to join the Komen 3-day 60 mile walk. Only issue is that Ajay would like to do it with me and we need to have someone here with the girls. Maybe the in-laws could make a visit.. or maybe one of my friends who is reading this would like to join me? Would rock if we could get a little team together. Come on - you can do it!! I think that my siblings should at least join me.. anyone? anyone? Bueller? Not sure how many people I could talk into training to walk 60 miles.. the couple of people I've mentioned it to have looked at me like I just landed in a space ship. It is SO inspiring though. If you can't join, I hope that maybe you will make a donation when I get my fund raising page online.
Please watch this video if you have not heard of this awesome event:

I'm glad to have these goals, as they give me a teeny feeling of control and empowerment - like maybe I'm doing something that will benefit someone in the future who has to deal with this disease. I would not want to see any of my sisters or my girls having to fight this.

Ok, enough of that.

So Maya was on a roll yesterday with some funny remarks! I had to jot them down.. they brightened my day so very much. :)
  • Regarding chocolate cereal straws, which are currently her fav food item (and unfortunately she often eats them in our bed while watching cartoons at 6 am every day.. they leave hideous amounts of crumbs): "I am not an addict.. I'm a tattle-tail!" ? Obviously she has been tattling at pre-school??
  • While wearing her over=sized butterfly towel-robe after her bath - she began running around the house yelling: "Booo! I'm a ghost who needs underpants!"
  • Before school, upon walking outside and lifting her face and arms to the sky: "It's such a beautiful morning! The birds are flying, the sun is chirping..!"
  • It was chilly this morning and my arms had goose-bumps. Maya said, in alarm, "MOMMY! Your skin is standing up!!"