Chaos Theory

“One must still have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star.” 
Friedrich Nietzsche
I have officially welcomed chaos into my life lately!  And don't get me wrong, I am not complaining.  I'm actually back on that road to being 'me' again.  This is me.. chaos chaos chaos!  Luckily I have married a man who is the opposite of chaos.  No wait.. he is the opposite of the form of chaos that I gravitate toward.. and I am the opposite of the form of chaos that he gravitates toward.  My point here, however, is just that THANK GOD I have someone to balance my life in certain ways because this allows me to embrace my craziness and find happiness and success within it!  I hope that he would say the same.
Herein lies my chaos:  I am now fully-immersed in two masters-level courses that I am taking at a state university.  I am taking them as online courses, and I am finding that I very much enjoy the online course process!  Busy-busy already.. and of course, the semester is only 2 weeks in.. but I feel like I just put on a very well-fitting pair of sneakers.  Slipped them on and I'm ready to run!  
Speaking of running.. that's another part of my chaotic life.  I'm gearing up for major triathlon/duathlon/running training for the 2010 season.  I have joined a somewhat-local women's triathlon team.  Last year I joined their 'virtual team' because I could not make it to many of their clinics, coaching sessions, etc (they are not located close enough to my suburb to work with my kids' schedules).  This year I have decided to take the big plunge and go for the big commitment.  I'm very excited!!  One of the best things about this season is that they have established 'pod' training groups (it is a huge team/club) - dependent on your location.  This means that I will meet people who actually live pretty close to me that I can train with/hang with/etc.  I am def. looking forward to expanding my network.  I'd love to compete in the Tri For The Cure this summer and have a very respectable finish time.  That's my goal.  And.. bonus.. I move up an age group this year!  Dam I'm old.  Sigh.  But I"m the youngest of my age group!  And this means my transition spot will be a teeny bit closer to the start/finish lines..  :)  Go me.

Ok enough tri-talk.  
I've also suddenly found my photo/film biz to be taking off a little.  This is exciting, as it is one of my great passions in life.  I have totally needed an artistic outlet recently.  It's therapeutic for me.  
As part of this work-life, I feel privileged that the Joint Council on Int'l Children's Services has asked me to create a short Haiti-related film for them.  You might recall that I created their 2009 membership film.  Great experience, great group of people to work with, and a cause that I feel very strongly about.  I'm very excited to be able to do something.. anything.. to help the orphans in Haiti.  It devastates me every time that I turn on the tv or look at news headlines online.  I browsed some youtube videos today and was a bit overcome with sadness for the Haitian people.  It puts your life in perspective, doesn't it?  I just want to join the JC reps in journeying down to Haiti to help.  If I did not have my girls to think of, I'd be doing anything that I possibly could do.  I hate feeling helpless when so many people are in such dire need of help.  Especially the children.  I saw a clip of a fallen school.. with the headmaster trying to get to a boy who is buried so far under that he will likely not be rescued (and I don't know when this clip was taken, so not sure of the outcome).  He kept yelling to the boy and the boy would respond.  But nothing they could do.  My heart breaks.
I look at my house and think.. well.. I could fit a couple more kiddos in here..  and I feel a bit sickened by the amount of material comforts that we have, when so many have absolutely nothing.  My heart breaks again.

Add these things together and then add in my best little buddies (yes I am talking about my girls).. and life is F U L L.  Exactly what I need.  My chaos makes me a better person, a better wife, and a better mom.  I want my girls to grow up understanding that they need to be in touch with the events happening around the globe and they need to do their part to make this world a better place.  I've had many discussions with Maya about this lately.  She knows that we are trying to help the Haitian orphans.. she knows that I train and compete in the Tri in order to honor her grandmother.. and she knows that we need to thank God every day for everything that we have.  
It could be gone in an instant.  

Hug your kids.  

Oh heck, hug various family members!  :)  

My Girls

Thought it was high time for a kiddo update!  Here's the latest:
  • Still in love with her Bear-Bear (and still we have no GPS device attached to him.. we REALLY need this!!).
  • Loves to talk the ear off of just about anyone who will listen.
  • Loves to scream "HEY!  WHAT ARE YOU DOING??" across parking lots, stores, restaurants, etc. to complete strangers.  Sometimes it is b/c these strangers have kids with them.. but often not.  
  • Recently ordered a 'beer' when asked by a waitress (at breakfast no less) what she would like to drink.
  • Has an entertaining sense of humor.  Is in some phase right now where she likes to make herself laugh (often by doing whatever she can to run away from me/ignore me/etc) and will giggle hysterically for a very long time.  Tonight's laugh:  she is in the tub and suddenly is breaking out in peals of hysterical laughter:  "MOM!  I just made a jacuzzi!!"
  • A few days ago we were in a local liquor store picking up a bottle of wine for a dinner party (yes it is no surprise that she ordered a 'beer' at breakfast now is it?  eek!).  It's a large warehouse-type place and has several life-like and bizarre statues (think wax-museum style).  One of the statues is a 3-ft pig who is standing on his back legs and fully clothed (uh.. I have no idea).  She suddenly leaves my side and runs up to him, throws her arms around him in a big hug and yells, "HONEY!  I've MISSED you so much!!'.  
  • Has finely-tuned her negotiation skills for moments such as bedtime and shopping trips.
  • Loves her ballet/tap class (Ms. Joy is awesome!), but still has not developed the 'grace' I'm hoping will come... ;)
  • Still loves Caillou (cartoon of a whiney 4-yr old boy), Backyardigans, the Polar Express movie.  Still refuses to watch any type of princess-type movie/show.
  • LOVED singing Xmas carols this holiday.  Is still watching a kids Christmas Carols DVD that I bought her at a christian book store.  Has taught herself (very quickly I might add) most of the words to most of the songs.  Of course.. there are often mistakes that are quite hilarious, but she is doing well!  And if I correct her, she remembers.
  • Is also very into Jesus, God, and Heaven.  I had to teach her some things/read some books when my mom was dying, so that she would understand at least a little.  She, like most 4 yr olds I'm sure, has been very open and matter-of-fact about all of it.  It took her awhile to stop thinking that grandma would be back in '2 weeks' (?).. or that we could visit grandma in heaven.  She loved learning about all of it.  She keeps asking if there are beds in heaven.  She loves church and prayers and very much wants to go to 'god school'.   {we are currently deciding b/t catholic schools or CCD classes for her - biggest issue being that the schools are at least 20 min away with little traffic and good weather}
  • She was also awesome with my mom on the last few days before mom slipped into a coma and Maya was still able to see her.  My mom kept trying to walk on her legs which were no longer functioning, and Maya would say 'Now honey, your legs are not working because of your medicine so you need to just sit down!'.  So cute! 
  • Still hates mushrooms.
  • Still walks/does stairs/runs/etc very slowly.  Gross motor skills still a bit delayed/not strong.  Devika is faster now.
  • I'm back to thinking that the Orthopedic specialist was correct in saying that milk is the problem behind her leg pains.  I stopped believing it, added milk in as normal.. and every time the girl has ice cream or a decent quantity of something dairy - she wakes up inconsolably crying due to leg pain.  Ok, ok I will stop being skeptic!!


  • As of approximately 1 month ago, her language skills began to take off.  Yay!  This has been a big issue for us.  Lots of mega tantrums b/c of communication breakdowns.  These are much fewer and further between and life has become extremely more peaceful and enjoyable!!  
  • Has sensory issues and requires a LOT of stimulation.  The preschool she had been attending locally was in a very small and dimly-lit room.. and was not working well for her at all.  When we were in IN, she was enrolled in a preschool which was large and bright, active and colorful.. and she positively THRIVED!!  We enrolled her in a similar type school upon return home after the holidays.  She is doing great!  Loves it.  
  • Grew 2" in the 2 1/2 months we were in IN!!  WOW!  Her pediatrician would be so excited.  She had not been grown since February (through August) and her doctor was very concerned. YAY!! 
  • Is finally showing some personality.  Or maybe is finally bonding completely with us.  Not sure what it is, but she is the sweetest, most loving kid ever!  She has a great sense of humor - laughs all the time.  Anyone who spends any amount of time with her instantly falls in love with her.  Seriously she has gone from being a source of mega, mega stress a couple of months ago to being our sweet, adorable, 'warm fuzzy', crazy/fun child.
  • Never walks, runs everywhere.  Aj has changed her nickname from 'Screamika' to 'Gump'.  {as in Forest}
  • LOVES baby dolls.  Sleeps every night with 5 of them.. and freaks out if any are missing.  When she wakes up, she wants to take them all (and her 'lovey' - which is a cloth turtle-book, and her 'blankie') downstairs with her.  She tries to hold all of them at once - and most are almost her size.  So adorable!!  I really need to get a photo of this.
  • Loves Barney and Elmo.  Yes, here we go again.. :)  Luckily she is going to be very excited with Maya's Elmo sweatshirt hand-me-downs. 
  • Though her gross motor skills are pretty good, she still falls down and bleeds almost daily.  It no longer concerns me much - nor does it concern her.  Sometimes she will get up, bloody.. and just keep running!  Hoping that she doesn't end up with a deformed lip from all the cuts!
  • If there is a patch of ice anywhere near her, she will find it and she will fall flat on her back.  This has been tested and proven true.
  • Loves, loves, loves popsicles.  'Pops'.  Will go to the freezer and beg for one.  Will then require that Maya also have one (actually she requires that Maya always has anything that she has - it is so cute!).. will run to the 'bowl drawer'.. grab bowls for herself and Maya.. and run back.  The entire time she will be yelling, 'Maya!  Pop!  Maya!  Pop!'
  • When she says 'bye-bye', she always follows it with blowing kisses.  :)
  • is still, sadly, lactose-intolerant.  yuck.
  • Loves Maya sooo much!  Is definately the annoying, copycat little sister!
  • Oh, and a couple of weeks ago, she just starts counting!  She can count to 10!!  Well, not perfectly, and you can't quite understand her pronunciation of all the numbers.. but wow!  Obviously we need to work more with her, b/c both Aj and myself thought she wasn't there yet!  We stand corrected.
I'm sure there are many, many more cute stories and interesting facts about my little monsters.  Oh, I mean 'angels'..  But that's a nice start!
The video clip below was taken at the St Francis Convent, where my sister lives.  Maya loves all of the Baby Jesus statues that they have in the 'big house' at Christmas.  Sadly, we visited prior to Christmas, so Jesus wasn't 'born' yet.  Luckily, one of the sweet nuns brought out the Baby Jesus for the large nativity in the church so that Maya would not be horribly disappointed!

Welcome Back

All I want is to stand in a field
and to smell green,
to taste air,
to feel the earth want me

~Phillip Pulfrey
Welcome to my latest blog!  I hope you had no problems finding your way over to my new locale.  
Why the new blog?  Well, my previous two blogs have begun at the cusp of new beginnings in my life.  Momentous journeys that I was embarking on.  Now don't get too excited.. there are NO PLANS for any further adoptions from India (or anywhere else for that matter.. but it has always been India for our family)!  This is more of an internal journey for me.   
We have recently begun a new year and a new decade.  I have recently lost my mother to breast cancer.  I am a mom of two amazingly glorious crazy wildly-entertaining young children (ages 4 and 2 - both adopted from India).  My life has been quite the roller-coaster during the past several years, and I have suddenly found myself feeling as if I am standing at the edge of something.. a road?  a cliff?  an ocean?  I feel like I have been through a tremendous change and am embarking in a new and unexplored direction.  
Why do I feel this way?  I know it is pretty obvious that my life has gone through major adjustments lately.. so maybe you think that is a dumb question.  It is just so wierd - this place that I find myself in today.  I feel like life has been hurtling me forward at an ungodly (and rather unwelcome) fast pace.  I feel like I wasn't in control of anything (ok, I wasn't..).  I feel like suddenly this has all come to a screeching HALT!   
And here I am.

Where am I?
Hm.  I'm not entirely sure.  There are no road signs here.  I do not have a map.
Suddenly I am without a mom.. and I'm still getting used to the idea (she passed away on November 22nd).  I keep thinking 'I would call mom and ask her about this' .. 'Mom would love to hear this story' .. 'Mom would love that - if she were here, I'd send it to her'.  And on and on.  If any of you have lost a parent, or anyone super close to you, I know you understand.  So maybe part of this strange new feeling is the fact that 'I' have to be the mom now - more than ever.  I can't call my mom for advice.  I have to make tough decisions and be confident in myself.  I can't call my mama and whine about someone or something that I think was unfair or upsetting to me.  I have lost the one person who was always on my side, whether I was being irrational or not!  Well, sometimes she had to talk me into understanding the fact that I was irrational.  And maybe sometimes she should have just slapped me upside the head instead of listening to me and acting supportive.  Who knows.  But the person who always had my back isn't here anymore.  It just does not feel right.
Aside from the fact that I miss my mom horribly.. the fact that she no longer is sick and needing assistance, I am no longer terrified that something is going to happen to her while I am away (I am a 2 1/2 hr flight from my hometown), and I do not feel like I am in a huge rush to get back to see her and spend time with her because I know that the sands are moving faster and faster through the hourglass..  I have had a huge stress removed.  I did not realize just how much this was stressing me out until just yesterday.  {duh, I know}  I felt 'happiness' yesterday for the first time in - I don't remember.  Months.  Maybe more.  
I feel like I just crawled out of a dark, dark cave and into brilliant sunshine.  I feel like challenging myself now - mentally and physically (I am doing so - training again for triathlons and enrolled in some Masters classes).  I feel like 'spring cleaning' my house.  I feel like I can do anything and I need to do everything.
Psychoanalyze that and you will probably tell me that I've seen first-hand how fragile life really is - and it is causing me to make changes in my life and live life to the fullest.  I would have to agree with that analysis.  I also see what happens when someone passes away, and how important it is to have your life together - your 'stuff' together, your wishes detailed, etcetc.  
I have seen a woman fight until the very last breathe - fighting and fighting against the disease that had already taken over her body - and I realize that I have seen strength, determination, and love in a person that changed my perspective of them to 'extraordinary'.  And dammit, I will be extraordinary too!  I owe it to my mom.  I owe it to my husband and my kids.  I owe it to myself.
While I want to do all of these things that I am embarking on, I also feel the need to just lose myself in nature.  Take a hike into the mountains and simply revel in the beauty.  Stand at the base of a huge waterfall and know my place on this earth - that it is small, fragile, and short-lived.  
I'm feeling very much like I need to write things out now, and I bet that this blog will see many posts in the near future as I move forward.  I'll apologize now for the fact that I seem to lose track of what I'm saying and veer off on tangents!  Time to take those first steps into the unknown and see where they lead me.  
Feel free to tag along. 

Green days.  Deep deep in the sea.  Cool and quiet fish.  That's me.
~Dr. Seuss,  'My Many Colored Days'