Thursday, July 31, 2008


One of my loyal readers (OK, she's my sister, but that counts!) requested a photo of WunderMutt.

I call her WunderMutt because we totally hit the puppy jackpot when we got her. She's a Humane Society/ASPCA doggie and it's hard to know if rescued (or otherwise re-homed) doggies are going to merge into family life. Some do. Some have been so screwed up they end up going through home after home, never finding a family. We were lucky that her only troublesome quirk that has lasted is a minor case of separation anxiety.

The kids loved her immediately, but what has really won the hearts of the alphas in the house is how endlessly patient she is with the (sometimes obnoxious) love she gets from the kids. Like this:

Yup. She's just chillin' in the fairy wings.

Making these munchkins so happy.

I try to watch out for WunderMutt, but she has been ridden like a pony, tripped over, stepped on, dressed up, given haircuts and otherwise suffered every indignity possible for an over-loved pup.

And she gives nothing but love and loyalty in return. Dogs are cool.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

And Now For Something Completely Different...

G-Rex ran to me. "Mommy! Mommy! Mommy!" she called breathlessly.

"What's wrong?" I asked, dropping the laundry I had been sorting into the washer.

"Mommy! Ursa has white stuff all over her head!"

"White stuff? What is it?"

"I don't know! Will she be OK?"

"Could it be spit-up?" I suggested.

Her eyebrows furrowed as she looked up at me skeptically. "Um. I don't think so."

Together we made our way to the living room, calling the WunderMutt... who saw us coming, tucked her tail between her legs and scampered into her kennel with a plaintive whine. After a little coaxing she made her way out of her sanctuary. Sure enough, there was a thick white substance all over the top of her head.

I looked over at the baby gym thingy where GERD-Girl squealed in delight and waved her arms at me. Her chin bore a lumpy layer of baby puke which spread down the front of her jammies.

And over the expanse of the baby gym.

And onto the proximal surface of the coffee table.

Miraculously, there was no vomit on the carpet in front of the baby gym.

Where the poor dog had been resting.

Et Lux Perpetua

It's been a while since I hit the gym. Oh, don't get me wrong, I've gone to the gym every day.

To take the kids to swimming lessons.

Last week I didn't even bother making childcare reservations. I knew I didn't have it in me to honor the commitment. It was all I could do to just get through the week.

Over the course of the past two weeks, I've been overeating, not exercising... and journeying from the high of having a billion family members join me in my home for a week to the low of trying to reclaim home and routine after their departure (a departure that is depressing independent of all the other factors) whilst GERD-Girl's affliction (see moniker) seemed to increase in frequency and volume.

So Sunday night found me puffy, heavy and depressed. I didn't want to face the Bayba Swimming Ordeals. I was tired of smelling like vomit. And I had reached the point where I wasn't sure I even wanted to be a wife or mother anymore. Not an optimal place to be at the end of a weekend.

Yesterday I asked Bayba if she wanted to continue swimming lessons. (Backstory: Her regular instructor had to leave, mid-session, to return to school and was replaced by a young man who appears to be an excellent teacher. Unfortunately, Bayba FREAKED OUT, insisting he was too scary and refused to participate in her class at all.) She said she didn't. She'd rather wait on the deck while G-Rex completed her swim lessons. OK. We sat through the session. Bayba behaved beautifully. At the end I asked her if she wanted to go back to class tomorrow. She calmly said No, she'd rather wait again. I'm fine with that.

So I made reservations with the childcare facility for the younger kids every day this week. I didn't really feel like working out. So I know this is a crucial crossroads. Am I going to push past the inertia? Am I going to succumb to excuses?

This morning I was so tempted to get back in bed and oversleep accidentally on purpose. I didn't. I forced myself out of bed, showered, and dressed for the gym. All the while I found excuse after excuse to just stay home.

I couldn't think of good arguments against the excuses, so I just observed them as they assaulted me... and continued to prepare the kids. Step by step, we all ended up at the gym. I checked the kids into childcare and trudged up the stairs to the yoga classroom... still pelting myself with reasons why it wasn't worthwhile.

Throughout the hour I moved from pose to pose. Breathing. Trying to still my mind. But I just wasn't feeling it.

Nevertheless, the end of the hour came quickly.

The lights dimmed. In Savasana I squirmed and twitched, trying to get my body aligned and symmetrical. Tried to relax.

Then I breathed deeply and gave up on the idea of stilling my thoughts. Towards the end of the practice, the teacher had commented on adjusting the position to maintain balance and I realized how silly it was for me to struggle to find stillness.

Poses are not still.

Somehow I always thought that the point of each pose was to find the balance and stick, unmoving - all still and serene like the yogis in the magazines.

But it's impossible not to move. The heart still beats. The lungs expand and contract. As each muscle fiber twitches, the mind and body must continually re-evaluate and adjust. I am not failing the pose by being human. I am not failing myself.

Yes, this is profound for me. Acknowledging that something so simple - so DUH! - is such an overwhelming lesson made me laugh a little at myself (internal laughter, of course - I'm not a Phillistine) and reminded me of a friend good-naturedly poking fun of me for my enthusiasm for Buddhism 101 - style discoveries.

Which led me to the realization that this friend has been dead for almost a year now. Yes, it's been nearly a year since I started this particular journey.

As I somberly acknowledged the tweak of pain that came with the remembrance, I also recalled the greatest compliment I've ever received. Yes, from this friend.

Amidst much noise of other discussion he said, "My God, what you can do with a phrase."

It's difficult to maintain Savasana when one's temples are suddenly tickled by surprise tears.

Friday, July 25, 2008

When Depression Isn't

Turns out I wasn't depressed, yesterday. I was appropriately wary of the situation-to-come. But I guess, instead of allowing myself that (and the admission that my kids can be a pain in the butt - hey, I love them, but they totally can!), I set myself to a well-worn diatribe of ought-tos and shoulds.

When I have the distance to laugh about it, I'll blog about the pool hijinks. Right now I just want to breathe a sigh of relief that it's over and enjoy my one day of the week at home.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Mommy McLame-O

I am sitting in my chair, surfing through every email account, social networking account and all the local news sources. I am not actually interested in any of these things. I am avoiding.

What horrible event am I avoiding (you may be dying to know)?

Swimming. I kinda told the kids that I might let them stay in the pool after today's swim lessons. It's family swim, so GERD-Girl and I will don swimwear and join them in the pool. I really really really really don't want to.

How lame is that?

I can't think of an excuse to skip it... and I've been desperately sorting through the emergency files of my brain to come up with some other plan - no matter how extravagant.

The worst part is that I don't really know why I'm feeling this way. So I'm doing everything I can to suck it up and not give in to what seems to be some anxiety/depression combination. I don't want my kids growing up with a billion memories of the things mommy *almost* did with them. I don't want to be a person who doesn't follow through.

It disgusts me that I'm freaking out so much about going swimming.

Why is it so hard to just turn of the computer and go make my kids happy?

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Hmph. Again

Know what I like least about my fabulous haircut that I love?

I'll tell ya.

When I can't wear my contacts for whatever reason, I have to wear my black-rimmed glasses (which I also love) - and when that combo collides I swear I look just like Velma on Scooby-Doo.

You Are the Very Gay Velma!

She might not even realize it...

But Velma is all about Daphne... not Fred!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Ain't No Love Like A Sister's Love

Today Bayba and I sat on a blanket on the livingroom floor. I was lightly supporting GERD-Girl, who was struggling to sit on her own. In the midst of generally benign conversation, Bayba leaned forward, looked directly into GERD-Girl's eyes and whispered...

"Get out of my house... NOW!"

I chose not to react, simply continuing with GG. Emboldened, Bayba concocted a speech about how we were going to throw GG out of our house HARD . We were going to throw her as high as we could so she'd never come back. Maybe a good mother would have been shocked or upset. Not me. I fought back a giggle and asked her (as seriously as I could) why we should throw her sister out. Bayba grumpily replied that GG was mean like a puma. Hm. So much for deep insights. The subject was concluded when I said that I love all my babies and I would never throw any of my kids out of the house - even if they were mean like pumas. Immediately Bayba shifted gears and asked if she could hold GG. I helped Bayba hold her sister and no one was thrown out the door.

I wish I could peer into Bayba's mind and see what happened in that interaction. I suspect it was a significant event - but I could be reading way too much into it.