Sunday, December 20

I had awesome time with My friend Maarika and Her family. I am sure they are happy I am finally packing my stuff and moving out ( 3 suitcases, and 2 large carry ones').
Today we are driving to beautiful Estonia Countryside. It is about 350 Km from Northen Estonia ( yup, it only takes 4 hours to travel from one end to Estonia to another end. :)

Gabriel is doing pretty good. I noticed that he is actually picking up some estonian. last night one of the kids asked from him in Estonian, what is his name, and he said. My name Is Gabriel :) SO cool :)

I am not sure when I will be able to update. If I get free Wifi in southern Est, I can do direct Iphone updates but if not, then just hope that our trip is awesome :):):):)
Lots of love
From Tans :)

Friday, December 18

In Estonia

We made it here . Our trip was uneventful. We had to transfer twice, and that was the most excitement we had in a while. Since our flights were delayed one hour everywhere, WE HAD TO RUN and always made it on last minute, ( or so we thought) and when we were told that flight is delayed, I just rolled my eyes and went AAAAAGGGGGGHHHHHHH...

Estonia is Beautiful. In Tallin is not much snow, but last night it was about 23-25 C cold. It is very cold, but I love it. I absolutely love it.:)
Gabriel is super happy. In a weird way he thinks he is superman and does not need to wear winter clothes. HE wants to run out to play without his hat, or mittens... Very stubborn boy :)

I am wishing you Happy Holidays or Merry Christmas whatever you prefer ;)

Lots of love from Tans:)

Friday, December 11

I am so excited, I can not hide it...

I really can't:) I known since beginning of November that I am going to spend Christmas in Estonia :):):) SO today I finally called my parents and let them know. They seem pretty excited also.
We are leaving on Wednesday , the 16th. Red EYE flight for LAX. And we will return on 7th Of January 2009. This time we will travel with our beautiful blue US passports. NO more Green cards :)
My suitcases are packed. ( 3 of them), and Gabriel has his carry on almost packed, and I have to pack my Cameras and laptop, but everything else is P A C K E D:) I am little sad to leave "Regina" behind. I would love to take her with me, but I guess , she need a break from me .. hehehe:)

U ask what I am planning to do there? Enjoy some really cold weather, Drink lots of alcohol, eat traditional holiday foods and have fun. I know It will be hard, since Estonia is small, and REginas footprints are everywhere. But I can do it. I am not sure How I will handle flying this time. I LOVE FLYING. I love airports, and chaos in airports. I have been told that flying first time without your loved one, will be very emotional .. I know I will cry for few hours.. But right now , every day for me is taking new steps. .. New steps to the places I fear going, but I am doing it anyway. . SO , YES. I AM GOING TO ESTONIA :):):):)

About new steps. . TOday, I finally went to AAA and returned Reginas Handicap placecard. It was very for me to do so. It only took about 15 seconds to place it on the countertop, but while doing so, I had flashbacks of each time I had to park in handicap section, pull out her little wheelchair and wheel her around. At that time her whole " life in wheelchair" flashed.. I remembered each time. and after I left aaa , I just sat in my car for couple of minutes and cried .

(((I miss her )))
If I don't update before, I just want to wish you all Merry Christmas and happy New Year. But I am sure I will get couple of more chances to update. :)):) SO I will be wishing you Happy holidays many more times ;)



Monday, December 7

Pulling my hair out.

( I Still hung up Reginas stocking)
Ups and downs,, highs and lows. Right now I am feeling very down. Christmas parties everywhere. Sunshine kids, starlight starbright, CHLA, CHOC neurosurgery patients partie, TO MANY TO COUNT. It brings tears to my eyes to hear about these parties. My heart is bleeding that we had to be part of this cancer world for years, and got used to THAT life. NOW I have to get used to "normal" life. I have to put on a smily face when someone tells me their kids is doing good. But only question I have WHY them? WHy can't REgina be here and doing good? WHy can't I Hug her and tell her how proud I am for what she has done.
Srry for this let it out session.
Missing her.
( Bunch of fun Estonians)

Thursday, December 3


I can't believe it is December. WOW. How did this happen?
I hope you all had awesome thanksgiving. We sure did. This year we spent it with Gabriels best friends family ( also our good Friends). Why you ask? Well, they invited. To be honest. I LOVE cooking turkey and all the foods that belong to thanksgiving turkey. I love how Regina helped me set Thanksgiving table , and how she requested that WE HAVE TO MAKE LOTS OF FOOD :) And she always helped me chop something. ANd of course we had to have homemade macaroni salad, because she always loved it so much..But before she passed away, I think she had enough Macaroni salad for eternity.. lol AAHHH, miss her:) We all do :)

So this Thanksgiving was first without Regina. It was very hard on Nick also. he was looking at our Friends daughter and wondering about Regina chit chatting with her, helping her. Walking up and down the stairs. I tried not to think about it and I did good:) Wine and great food and fun people kept me entertained for a while :):):) Food was awesome.. Turkey with Oyster stuffing, smashed sweet potatoes, mushrooms and onions, cranberry and sausage stuffing, great gravy, AAAHHHHHH Food was SOOO GOOD. Myself I made my Pumpkin Cheescake:)
It was awesome night :) But events like this just make me eat more next day, and even more day after next... so now I am left with few extras here and there
Now Nick is back in Asia. Gabriel and I are here and trying to keep ourselves busy. Before Nick left, we "kissed and made up"... lol Things are good in OC :):) (( Hugs to you all))

Monday, November 23


It is unbelievable what kind of flashbacks simple toys like LEGO's can bring. I was just playing with Gabriel and just realised that those mega blocks( or something like it ) I bought about 9 years ago for Regina. SHe LOVED them. ANd for me it was last time of playing with them. we decided that we are going to give them to our friend who needs them more.. As much as I hate giving them away, they do no good just sitting in my storage box. :(

Also thanksgiving is almost here. This year I did not bake apple pies or cookies. This year I WILL NOT make traditional thanksgiving dinner. I am going to bake my favorite pumpkin Cheesecake and take it to our friends house.
Every year Regina got so excited. SHE always told us that we should have HUUUUGE dinner, with lots of dishes. She even helped place our plates, forks, glasses, pour wine into our glasses ;) .. She helped me with baking and cooking... And when food was carried to table she t\hought that it was not enough.. lol. She wanted to have one of those " Fairytale" dinners with cakes and cupcakes, and cookies, and chicken She was something else...

We miss her.

I just want to know that I am thankful for all of you. Your cute emails, your calls, your texts..hugs.... Your time.. I appreciate your time and listening skills :) I really do :)

Happy thanksgiving to you all :)

Sunday, November 15


I am so sorry for not updating. As much as I love updating every day, there are times I don't want to let you know how down I feel at times. I don't want you to feel down. I want you to be happy I want you to remember Regina at her best :) SMiling, full of cute attitude . I want you to remember her mysterious glow. YES... She was always glowing. :) I miss seeing that glowing Regina around me.
There are times when I drive and I have to turn radio OFF when some songs start playing . ANd I drive in complete silence for 15min to whatever.. And at that time I manage to not to think. I just drive... But there are times I click 6 on my cd player turn the voume UP as loud as I can and I just sing and sing and sing until I have no voice left... I just let it out. There are times I see people looking at me like. WTF IS WRONG WITH HER??? But who cares:) When I do LET IT OUT I feel good :) I feel powerful, I feel like I can move on I can do things and I can be free. I should not be feeling quilty, and sad all the time AND I don't anymore. I miss Regina, but I know she will never be back and I have accepted that . I think of her often. Now I CAN go to stores and walk by girls clothes departement without tearing up. :) I can talk about her without tearing up. I am so proud of myself that I was her mom :) She is one of the best things ever happened to us :)

And now Gabriel. He is cutest "man" ever. Every time I tear up ( not that often anymore), he would ask me -- Mommy, why are you crying. And he does bring me water also, because I think that is how he thinks he can help me :) AND I LOVE IT :) He makes me smile and laugh with his silly jokes.

This is bad what I am going to say but.. I have to..
Gabriel was missbehaving and Nick told him that IF HE DOES not listen to him, he will talk to His teacher about it.... Gabriels respnse...--- I WILL TELL THE WHOLE WORLD THAT YOU KISSED MOMMY!!!!!! lol. I think it is the cutest thing ever :)

AGAIN, I want to thank you for checking on us, helping me with Gabriel, listening and just nodding instead of suggesting something that MIGHT work....
. I am thankful for you all. I am thankful that you have been so patient with me and with my crap.:)
Let me know once in a while how you are doing :)

Thursday, November 5

This week has been pretty calm week. I take Gabriel to school every morning around 7.30 ( drop off), and then take a walk with my friend. School is about 15 minute walk from us. Then every afternoon around 2. 05 Gabriel and his friend have been walking home from school. AND this is first year they do so. OF COURSE, I am overprotective parent, so I will walk to school , and then I will walk home with them, ( or to gate, we live in gated community), and then Gabriels friends mom picks him up from there). Funny thing is , Gabriel and his friend TALK A LOT about things that make no sense to me.. lol. They talk about snails and snail poop,dead worms , and some other stuff I need translater for. BUT, I am glad THEY have something to talk about they both understand.:)

Nick lef about 5 days after Reginas memorial service. ...Finally, on tuesday he will be home. Gabriel is not so excited, since HE has to start playing more piano. We play every day 20 minutes anyway, but I am not pushing him AS hard NICK does. .
Also, I am not sure where WE are. I am ot going to tell u much more, but when I have answers to my questions I will let u know. .

:) Missing my Regina.
( 7.30 AM)

Tuesday, November 3

Today's thoughts...
I wish medical bills just disappeared .

I wish I find strength to deal with upcoming holidays. Luckily we have thanksgiving plans so I don't really have to cook this year, but I WILL MISS baking Apple pie with Regina and her decorating it with shapes she cuts out with cookie cutter.

I wish Gabriel would stop behaving like I am the worst mom ever.. ( throwing hour long fits and not obeying my rules.)

I want people STOP TELLING ME THAT REGINA IS IN BETTER PLACE. AND I should not place Regina on higher position than God is. STOP IT!!!

We did have great Halloween:) I was handing out candy and Gabriel was Trick or Treating.

Friday, October 30

Thursday, October 29

I am not going to talk about my previous posts comments.. NOT TODAY...

Instead--- I DID IT. I can finally VOTE and serve Jury Duty :):):) I am an American Citizen.. ME and other 2000 people who were sitting there in one room with me.
My Friend Beth was with me... When we arrived in Pomona, people were already lined up. FInally, around 11.45 they started letting us in. First thing I had to do was give away MY GREEN CARD:( and we were handed tiny AMerican flag. Then we proceeded to ceremony room. Got seated. I set on third row. Up close and personal with Judge ;)
Gabriel and Beth had to stay behind and sit in visitors area.
Of course we had to repeat blablalbalba, , few things, then watch 2 wideos-- ONE Obamas Congrats to us, and the other video was America the Beautiful . And that was it..

During Ceremony something happened. WHile gabriel was standing up during the Pledge of allegiance, he put down his Ds( WELL, It was Reginas, and we were supposed to put it into her urn after we got home).. He put down his DS, while he said his Pledge, PEOPLE from behind took HIS DS and ran away.... :(:(:( I would not care much about DS, but since it had sentimental value to me, I felt very angry towards those cowards who would dare to steal from 8 year old boy during PLEDGE and JUDGE present ... Whoever did it , had no remorse. ( I hope I used this word right)..
Anyway, After I left the room, I had to pick up my Certificate from table 24 and , we headed home. TOmorrow I will go to costco to get my passport photos done and then go to Post office to apply for a passport..

I am soooo tired today. And sad .. I wore Reginas button to Naturalization ceremony....

Tuesday, October 27

I hate those sweet , cute, loving flashbacks I have about Regina and I. If these were these flashback that I could change , I would not hate much... But still ,..

I can't forget my last serious conversation with Regina. I told her to LET GO so many times. WAY TO MANY times, and she just smiled... But this time, I had more serious conversation with her, because I COULD SEE her struggle, I could see her pain... But she did not listen. Must be something we all girls have in common..

I remember her listening my advice. I remember her eyes smiling for a second when I was telling her about Angels and her real brothers/sisters waiting for her in heaven. I remember telling her about life she always wanted and about her dreams coming true..after ..

She did smile for few seconds,and then suddenly dark sadness took over.
I think I WILL NEVER EVER forget that sad look. Her eyes sunk, her smile left her and sparkle that he had seconds ago was suddenly gone.... She did not look at me, but she said words that I wish she did not say to me.... " Mommy, I don't want to die..."
I tried to keep it together , but I could not. Since she was my child, it was my job to grant all of her wishes, and I was so guilty I could not grant this one.. I know she lives in our hearts forever. BUT I know she did not mean THAT..

ANd I do remember her telling me I LOVE YOU LAST TIME... She had not said anything for few days and when I told her I LOVE YOU, she said it back... My husband was in his office, and heard it also... and that was last time she spoke... 2 days before she passed away.....

I know I will start repeating these last memories many times with you, but these are my last favorite memories with her.
I Miss her very , very much.. Every day is a challenge ...

Sunday, October 25

Busy Weekend...

Again, Thanks for letting us know you are here, and reading my blog once in a while :)  I know lot of you do not like to comment, and prefer to write me emails. I am so, sooo Sorry if i do not email you on timely manner. I really am. if you feel like I missed you somehow  email me or  text me again. Mostl likely my  brain just gave up,.... so so sorry again.

I have few thank you notes on my countertop.. waiting tro be sent out.. Maye one day with date October first on them. .. If you hae done something good for us,  gifts, notes, cards, hugs, calls, texts, emails, dirty looks ;), hehe.. THANKS:) Maybe one day , I will be able to catch up.:)

Now back to our weekend.. whewww. it really was one busy weeked.  Gabriels friend was over here for a sleepover... THAT WAS NICE... I DID NOT have to play wii with him.... lol.. on  Saturday we went to our friends  house in Placentia   for a sleepover.  Before that we had Volunteer visitor from Trinity Care hospice.  She came here to talk abou Regina, collect few of her old clothes   to pass them on to Memory Bear makers , and  in 4-6 weeks we will have Bear made out of Reginas dress or skirt. :)   It was really nice talking to her. ...

Today,.. Sunday, Gabriel and I went to our cross the street Neighbor's house  to have dinner. Well.. they have been in our house couple of times for parties, but never over for "intimate" dinner party. So this time we went over tho their house for one on one dinner.  It was nice. :)  I "hate" people with  PERFECTLY CLEAN HOUSES. I REALLY DO :) lol.Her house is C L E A N  and clutter free...  Love it.. One day I will belike it.  Right now, I have to do it for my kid. Stuff here and there,  .. in a way I feel like I am stimulating my boys mind keeping my house "crazy ". :0...

It is almost 11 PM.. I am about to fall asleep.. but before I go... I need some candy :(

Missin my Princess Regina...

Friday, October 23


Every day is different.I had  couple of very emotional days, and couple of very happy days..

I want to start out thanking those who sent us money instead of flowers, :)   Money helped us cover Reginas funeral cost completely and we even paid off some medical  bills. THANK YOU :):):):):)

Now my emotions are just weird. Couple of days ago I got a card for Regina... VERY LATE BIRTHDAY CARD... AHHHH I could not even finish Reading it. It was sent on time, but  most likely it got lost in mail somewhere, and got delivered month late.. :(

I cry every night , sometimes during the day, but mostly before bedtime.. I am great sleeper and have no problem falling asleep right away.  Moments before falling asleep are very hard for me. I used to hold Reginas hand.. and she would always give me couple of squeezes..` I miss those squeezes..

 IF you ask me to do same thing with Gabriel, then -- I AM TELLING you, it will not work. I tried... Gabriel will pull his hand away and mumble something like. lkdj a;sierowie htofha .. Whatever that means..   lol

I also got Reginas  Funeral DVD done by Earl Their website is  I strongly recommend them.

.  AHHH. I watched it last night..  They did such an amazing job capturing details during the service, and music, and slideshow..   Just beautiful.

Gabriel is still missing Regina very much. There are days he does not want to do his homework, and argues with me for  an hour or so, and then he could read book couple of times, but seems like his mind is somewhere else. Same with Math.  We constantly talk about Regina and tell him that is ok to miss her and feel sad and cry, and talk about her whenever you want. And he says OK :)

Nick has been travelling for business  and will be back before  few days before Thanksgiving.    I don't know If I want to make Traditional thanksgiving Dinner this year. We have been invited to friends house to Celebrate it with them, so most likely we will do so.. I know NICK will make me cook my Famous turkey to him :) And I will . But not on Thanksgiving day...

Now that REgina is gone I have lot of time in my hands.. RIGHT?? But it does not mean that  I am ready to do something big.  I am not ready to go back to school, I am NOT ready to find a job in "McDonalds"   When TIme is right I will do it, but right now time is not right.

I am not Ready to START A non profit organization. YOu have no idea how many emails I got with suggestions that MAYBE I should do it, . THere are so many great organizations out there that I keep close to my heart, and I rather give them money   than start another  foundation that Promises something...  and then money goes to "bying a  company car", or renting an OFFICE somewhere in residential area. etc...   

Anyway, Yes, I am still bitter at times  but I am getting better.  I will always miss Regina and wherever I go I see her footprints... 


Monday, October 19

Month without my baby has been one heck of a month.  I want to start off thanking all of you for taking me out for lunches, and listening me, and taking gabriel to playdates, and   hugs..  I have also seen lot of those "quickly turn to your head left or right kind of looks"..  It is just interesting to see, how  at one point few people always greeted me with waves or  HI's,  and now...  But I understand. I was ready for this.
Seems like Gabriel is the one who has hardest time about Regina not being here.  HE constantly talks about her, and protects her when kids say "stupid" things , like lets scare Reginas ghost away from this house,  etc..
I can see saddness in his eyes.   He  also said that he is not afraid to die when he has to one day.. At least he is not talking about dying RIGHT NOW... I know for few of you this may sound alarming, but  not for us. At least Gabriel is talking about his feelings and worries, instead of holding it in.

I miss Regina  more than words can describe.  WHen I feel really down, I just picture her smiling and feel better.
Be patient with me.. I have looong way to go....

Sunday, October 18

Letter TO Regina by Xochitl Arribas

Regina  Loved all of the princess movies . SHe owns just about all of them on DVD, but even though she liked all the movies , her favorite movie of all time is sleeping Beauty. So my question is what makes a Princess?  A princess is not made by all the beautiful clothes she wears or all the shoes she has: even though if you see Regina's closet, she has a pretty awesome wardrobe. WHICH I'm very lucky , that as she outgrew her clothes she gave my girls some pretty cool hand me downs. A princess is not made by the jewelry she wears or all those materialistic possessions. IN fact , if there is only true princess and always will be is REGINA MELODY TAN, who possesses all the qualities a princess does and more. Regina not only was she beautiful but kind, thoughtful, courageous and full of love for life as she has demonstrated by her courageous struggle to fight for it.

My first memory of Regina is when she was about three years old on Halloween Night: She came trick or treating in my door wearing the cutest witch costume accompanied by Diana who  also looking stunning in her costume as well. She left a lasting impression, as I'm sure she has for all those who have met her.

However , I did not get to know her until she came back from Memphis ( St. Jude Childrens Research Hospital) At this time I got to meet a family who has changed my life forever and I'm very grateful that I'm  a part of their life. I have been very lucky to have spent time with Regina and Gabriel to whom my family has grown to love as  part of our family. I am very deeply saddened of this special loss for you. Many of your friends share your frief and we hope that the many wonderful memories of Regina help you find comfort during this difficlut time. We miss Regina coming with us every october to the pumpkin farm to get pumpkins  for Halloween and playing at the hay maze. We enjoyed playing with her at the dinosaur park and at the neighbourhood park. She has always been there with us celebrating special occasions like birthdays or just getting together to have fun.

Regina has been a good friend to both of my girls, they have shared many laughs as well as girly fights. We all know girils cab be a little emotional. I remember on one occasion Regina got upset at Baby Jordan and she wrote a note  ans she taped it on her bedroon door and it read "NO BABIIES ALLOWED, ONLY DEVIN AND RILEY" . But when we would go over to her house and played she would sit with her and would make baby  Jordan laugh and she would play with her  and her Barbies. Regina was very giving to Riley. She knew that she really liked a pair of shoes that she had. IT was her Hannah Montana shoes and she gave them to her. Regina was so thoughtful of all of her friends. I recall once occasion that while she had planned  to take a cake to her classmates for their Valentine celebration and she could not go because she was not feeling well and she wanted to make sure that they would get the cake, So I was asked to take the cake for Her. I walked to the classroom, and when I gave the nes that Regina could not make it, but that she sed them a cake , they weer all very excited to have received it. Her kindness did not stop there. Regina also got to know some Celebrieies  and she got to work with one in a movie. She worked with Cameron Diaz and shen she made her own money, she went  out ahd bought Riley the CUTEST Panda Bear and little purse to carry it.

Regina , you will always be in our Hearts as I am sure in the Hearts of others whose life you have touched. I will miss seeing you at school. I loved how you would wait for me and would get mad at me if you did not see me when I would go get Deving from school when He was in Kindergarten. I truly enjoyed talking to you about how your day at school was and hugging you to say good bye. I will miss your laugh when I would say something silly or ask you silly questions like do you think Devin is Handsome. I remembe ryou looking at him with your beatiful brown eyes , you would grin and with a big smile you would giggle and say YES:)

Regina was one of a kind , she had her own sense of style, she always mix matched her outfits, buy if there is anyone who could pull that off it was definitely her. She had  the attitude to do it .
There is very little comfort in words, but I hope that we find comfort in knowing that we will see REgina some day as she welcomes us with open arms in the afterlife. Regina , you will be Greatly Missed , you will now for ever be our SLEEPING BEAUTY :0

By Xochitl Arribas