Saturday, September 25, 2010

Day 32

Saturday September 18, 2010

I have discovered that there really isn't anything I won't do for Nina. In fact, I think the entire world is willing to do what Nina wants :)

We woke up bright and early. So much for sleeping in on the days we don't have treatment! Isn't that how it always works?? On school days, kids always want to sleep in. Then on the weekend when they could actually sleep in, they're up at the crack of dawn. I've never understood it!

Nina woke up early and asked if she could eat. I think she has grown so used to me saying no because we have to see Cindy and the doctors that she was genuinely surprised when I said she could go eat. I was so tired I texted Todd to see if he was up. This is how lazy we have become. Instead of walking the 30 feet to where the other one is, we text!

What is particularly funny about this is that up until a year ago my husband refused to even have a cell phone. For years he expounded about how ridiculous it was to have a cell phone and that he didn't want anyone to be able to get a hold of him. All this changed when I got him an iphone. Since then, the man has been obsessed with collecting cool apps for his iphone, including the Facebook app so he can upload photos instantly. I love to make fun of him but then again I am the one texting him from the other room :)

Todd's best friend Dan had arrived to spend the weekend with us. Todd and Dan had basically grown up together and were brothers in every sense of the word. I was happy that Dan was here. Todd needed to have time with his best friend and Dan's antics were a welcome distraction. We had always loved to laugh and have a good time but now more than ever, laughter was healing, especially our children's laughter!

Within a few seconds of my text, I heard Todd rattling around upstairs. I told Nina to call out for her daddy and she shouted in the sweetest of voices, "Dada, I'm hungry." Todd walked into Nina's room and gave her the most brilliant of smiles. When she looked at him it was like she was looking at the sun! She radiated happiness in her father's presence.

For years, Todd has been in charge of Saturday morning breakfast (sometimes we even get a double treat with Sunday morning breakfast a la Dada!). Todd's breakfast menu usually consists of something buttery and syrupy! No wonder the kids adore him :) Nina loves her daddy's breakfasts. Today it was pancakes with whipped cream, lots of syrup, and bacon. I loved listening to Nina and Todd chat in the kitchen. Teddy was still asleep upstairs so sister had daddy's undivided attention.

Nina's voice has changed since starting steroids. She has always had a bit of a husky voice, but now it was a few octaves higher. She now sounds like she is several years younger. When she had returned from Cedars she spoke very little. Over the course of radiation treatment and steroid reduction, her energy had returned and so had her chattiness.

In the kitchen, Nina asked if she could stir, if she could flip the pancakes, and reminded Todd about 10,000 times that she wanted syrup and whipped cream. Oh, and she frequently reminded him that she liked bacon.

Nina: "Dada, I love bacon."

Todd: "Yes honey, I know."

Nina: "Dada, I love bacon."

Todd: laughing "I know you do sweetie. It's yummy isn't it?"

Nina: "Dada, I really like bacon. It's yummy!"

Todd: laughing really hard "Yes honey, I know."

Nina loves her bacon. That is clear! But she loves her dada even more. I couldn't go back to sleep, but it felt great to just lie in bed. I listened to Todd and Nina for a long time. Nina giggled a lot. Her giggles filled the house. We hadn't appreciated her laughter enough before this all happened. She was our gregarious girl...always talking...always laughing. Sometimes it even annoyed us. How sad! Now we just delighted in them!

Funny how with one child you can delight in all they do (even the annoying things) because you are so terrified you're losing them, while with the other child you forget that all of their behaviors are equally precious, but you forget because there is the false sense of security, that they will be around forever. I have caught myself multiple times hushing Teddy because he is being too silly or getting too loud. I'm not saying that you can't reprimand your child or tell them they are getting a bit too's just that there are better ways of doing so than hushing them, making them feel bad. Nina is teaching me to be a better parent to Teddy; too bad the learning curve is so slow!

Lounging on the living room mattress!

About an hour after Nina had finished her 7-course morning meal, Teddy came downstairs. I joined him along with Todd, Dan and Nina. I felt good to just be sitting and watching everyone buzz around me. Nina and Teddy cuddled on the living room mattress watching The Suite Life on Deck (at least it wasn't Sponge Bob!). Nina turned to me and said, "I want chicken for lunch!" I laughed. The girl could not stop thinking about food...nor the blasted chicken from Las Fuentes. For the past couple of weeks, Nina had been asking me for chicken. I'd gotten away with redirecting her to other wonderful chicken dishes but I knew very well what she truly wanted! What Nina wanted was Arroz Con Pollo from Las Fuentes Restaurant in Reseda, California. Las

As soon as Nina formally announced her lunch request, I turned to Todd and told him I needed to go to Las Fuentes. Todd looked a bit puzzle but Dan, the consummate lawyer, jumped in and said that a long drive to LA might be a good way for me to clear my head, to get a little "alone time"! Friends....aren't they great....always looking out for you:) Truth be told was that Dan LOVED Las Fuentes as much as we did and hadn't had it in about 2 years. Consequently, he was beyond stoked at the prospect of having some for dinner. With Dan's enthusiasm, everyone else in the family jumped on board with my plan, so off to LA I went. I drove an hour and a half to Las Fuentes, picked up the incredible food, and then drove another hour and a half back to SB.

As I entered Montecito I was so proud of myself! I felt like a great mom! Here I was driving 3 hours to get my daughter her most favorite food in the world. Then, just like that, my bubble was burst. Todd called me and informed me that Nina wanted Chicken on a Stick from Your Place Thai Restaurant on Milpas Street. WHAT?????? I had driven 3 hours and now she was making a menu change? Her Royal Highness had gone to far! I informed Todd that he must have misunderstood her. He disagreed but I would not be convinced. I arrived at home and with complete and total confidence and satisfaction showed Nina what I had accomplished....Arroz Con Pollo!!! She looked at me and said, "I want chicken on a stick."

Well....we all had a wonderful meal of Las Fuentes magnificence for dinner while Nina had Thai chicken on a stick (i.e., chicken satay). She did make it up to me when she requested Arroz Con Pollo for her midnight meal. After practically licking the plate clean, she turned to me and said, "You're a good mama!" That's all it took! I'll drive back to LA tomorrow if she asks:)

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