Saturday, May 31, 2008

Slumber Party

I have mentioned before about a really awesome community I have become involved in. Eleven and a half years ago I went on this thing called a Walk to Emmaus. It was such a cool experience that I began serving on teams almost every year for the last 7 years. I have met some great people...especially 3 amazing ladies who have touched my heart on such deep levels.

These 3 friends (one from Austin, one from Hamilton, and one from Tulsa-soon-to-be-Ohio) and I reunited at my house yesterday for a fun-filled afternoon of swimming & dinner...followed by a chat session on my back patio till nearly 2am. We laughed, cried, prayed, laughed even more, and enjoyed meaningful fellowship over wine and cheese. So great to hang with these chicks who are like sisters to me. And, so grateful to God (and the Walk to Emmaus) for bringing us together.

Never been on a Walk to Emmaus? Leave a comment if you're interested. There's one in July. Or, one in March. I'll be there for both if you'd like to have a familiar face (or bloggy friend) to go with you.

The slide was a hit by all. Here's Catherine's beautiful daughter, Campbell.

And, her other beauty, Addison.

Even the big girls braved the slippery slide a time or two.

Sweet Catherine...

Crazy Jeanne, Jeanne, the dancin' machine...

Lovely Priscilla...

Trevor opted to be the slide observer. Maybe next year.

The little girls...

...and the big girls. Most of us still in jammies. I don't think any of us would protest the blurry picture since it smooths out the lines on our faces.

Girls, thanks for such a fun 24 hours. What blessings your friendships are.

Jeanne, see you in a week! Danskin Triathlon, here we come!

Friday, May 30, 2008

Farewell, Mr. Alligator

I still can't believe it. Yesterday morning Lisa and I successfully completed the entire triathlon distances. We swam the 1/2 mile, biked the 12 miles, and then ran (well, I huffed and puffed) the 3 miles to finish the course. We celebrated our 2 hour finish time by plunging into the alligator-free private lake to cool off.

Before we started, though, the friendly people renting the house by the lake informed us that they had, indeed, spotted a couple snakes in the water. Gasp. Lisa and I said a prayer for the snakes to leave us be and proceeded. What an amazing feeling of accomplishment. I felt great all day till about 4pm. It finally hit me. I collapsed into bed and fell asleep watching the Spurs game. Good thing. It would have been pretty depressing to actually watch us lose the game when we were ahead for so long. No championship this year.

At least I know now that I am capable of finishing the BIG race on June 8th. Wahoo!

I have mentioned how elated I was when this private lake had been offered to us for training. I was having severe anxiety about swimming in the Boerne City Lake with the legendary alligator. I thought it was really a myth. A tall tale. Something to talk about amongst the locals.

Then, this story was aired. (Scroll down to the Boerne City Lake Alligator story and click on "play video."). It was true. He really did exist. And, the intense fear I had for Mr. Alligator has turned into intense sadness and frustration towards those who felt it necessary to treat one of God's creatures in such a way.

The kids saw me watching the video this morning, and Priya asked if Mr. Alligator was in heaven. I said yes. She asked if Mr. Alligator was biting Kirby in heaven. I said no. I told her they were playing with each other. Deven added that Kirby was probably licking the alligator's face.

I smiled and agreed.

Thursday, May 29, 2008


It's early...Priya's last day of school, and I'm taking her to breakfast before I drop her off. Just mother and daughter. Just the girls.

Afterwards, I'm headed to the lake for a "dry run" triathlon. Yep, going to attempt the full distances for all 3 events. One right after the other. It'll be tough. My body is tired. And, not just physically. I'm emotionally spent. Overcome with emotion.

You see, yesterday wiped me out. Sure, I was running from one place to the other, but that's a usual day for me. It was the emotions coursing through my veins that took its toll on me. One of those days where all I wanted to do was cry. And, I pretty much did.

After I swam very early at the gym yesterday morning, I met Daddy and the boys at preschool for Deven's graduation. Pictures to follow soon, but my sweet Deven in his graduation cap--saying the pledge to the American flag, Texas flag, Christian flag, and the Bible--was too much for me. And, then when he sang AND did all the sign language motions? I about lost it. But, what pushed me over the edge was when Deven's teachers both cried as we bid our fond farewells. I knew in the deepest part of my heart that they love Deven almost as much as I do. And, to think I was worried about leaving our beloved preschool in San Antonio.

Noon found me helping other kinder parents setting up the kinder end-of-year party...a water day extravaganza complete with wading pools, water balloons, bouncy castle, and snow cone machine. I was lucky enough to be one of the snow cone makers, and I had a tummy ache to prove I sampled almost all of the flavors. FUN. I gave Priya's teacher her gift...very unceremoniously as I was rushing out to get a snow cone machine tutorial...and tears formed in her eyes. She, in return, gave me a "thank you" gift for room parenting. But, the clincher? The unbelievable letter she sent home with the kids. I bawl every time I read it.

I whisked Priya from school and we headed to Trevor's program. He didn't take a nap that day in class...and his UNparticipation in the the singing program was quite evident. He sat at the table with his head in his hands the entire time. Which sent me into a fit of giggles. So very much a Trevor-esque thing to do. Trevor's teachers are so loving and kind, and they were appreciative of their gifts. But, the clincher? One of his teachers gave ME a gift...a little "atta girl" gift in honor of the upcoming triathlon. I couldn't believe it...such kindness extending beyond the kids and pouring out onto a mom who very much needed an "atta girl" at that moment.

Yesterday I realized something that I haven't wanted to face till now. I am not my kids' only influence. There are other wonderful, loving, talented, kind humans out there helping us shape our children, and they care for them deeply. Sure, families form the strong foundation, but there will come a time when that foundation has set. And, the building materials provided for the rest of their lives may not be materials their parents have so lovingly, protectively, controlling-ly provided. Thanks be to God for the loving influences my kids have had this year in their classes.

Never before have I felt this way after a school year has ended. Sure, it's always growing up, getting older, maturing. But, this time it's different. My heightened sense of awareness about how quickly my precious 3 little Indians are growing makes me want to stop the hands of time, hold them tight, and never let them go. I want them to stay little forever.

Since that's not possible, I will relish the laziness of summer and spend as much time with them as I can without going crazy. And, try to capture these moments in my head and heart forever and for always.

Nobody told me this mothering stuff would be so hard. Or, so rewarding.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Weekend Recap

Our weekend festivities began Thursday evening with Priya's Kindergarten Social and Program. All four classes sang, danced, and entertained their families after a potluck dinner. Too much fun. How that talented music teacher got all those kids to respond to her and her piano is beyond me. She's gifted. As most teachers are.

Priya, who dislikes public performances where people are staring at her, sang her little heart out. It helps that her best buds were standing next to her. My big "almost first grader." Bittersweet, this parenting stuff.

Hands down highlight of the program? When the parents had to join their kids for the Tootie Tot dance. Daddy was a great sport..."thumbs up, knees bent, bottom out, tongue out, eyes closed..." Hilarious.

Mimi is in Idaho visiting the cousins, so Papa came to watch the show.

Headed to the gym pool Friday after school. Had fun with the cool under water camera.

Spent Saturday doing house chores and (GASP!) cooking! Yes, I used my kitchen for more than nuking frozen foods, and, ya know what? I actually enjoyed it. Even snuck in some "Deceptively Delicious" recipes for the kids. Who knew baked potato soup with squash puree would be so yummy?!

Sunday was church day...and SPURS DAY! Animesh and I enjoyed going to the blow-out game agains the Lakers...GO SPURS GO!

Memorial Day Monday. Lazed around the pool in the 'hood and enjoyed burgers and dogs.

Deven's first trip down the slide. His anxiety-ridden face says it all. Traumatized for the rest of the summer...don't think he'll be trying it again any time soon.

Priya was the same way last summer. Scared to death of that slide. Now, we can't pry her away from it.

These are a few of my favorite things.

It's always more fun to swim with friends.

Priya took this underwater shot of Natalya.

Stealin' some lovin' from one of my boys. Another work of art by Priya.

Tomorrow Deven graduates from preschool. I'll be an official wreck. Till August when he starts kindergarten. Then, I'll be even more of a wreck.

Bring on the tissues. And, the waterproof mascara.

Under two weeks till the triathlon. This week is hard core training followed by a week of easy training before the big race. I cannot believe it's almost here.

Don't forget to cheer on those Spurs tonight! BEAT L.A.!!!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Out of the Mouths

Deven. Our resident joker. He's adopted one of my too-frequent sayings. With hand gestures.

Two days ago at the mall he informed me that he "was tired of walking because his feet had run out of gas."

Hope you enjoy some hearty laughs this Friday.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

A Good Day

On mornings when Animesh isn't here, I'm always a tad more rushed and stressed. Usually he takes the Princess to school. But when he's working, I do the chauffeuring to the elementary school, kill about 40 minutes with the boys, and then deliver them to their respective preschool classes.

Today was a good day, though. I actually got everyone out of the house without having to hurry them. And, the best part of all? Before leaving I was able to FINISH 2 cups of HOT coffee. Rock on.

The boys take turns choosing where we spend our time before they go to school. Today it was the bakery. I know the teachers LOVE me for sugaring up my boys and then leaving them at school. The treats du jour promised to provide lots of hyperactivity, no doubt.

After boys were safely at school, it was time for my first lake swim. Thankfully, someone knew of this wonderful private property where her friends allowed us to visit for our practice. All I can say is...praise the Lord I avoided Boerne Lake and the resident alligator.

It was breathtakingly beautiful out there. I swam the 800 meters without drowning, which I consider to be a positive thing. All the girls did a great job.

Finally out of the water. We did it!!!!!!

Superstar swim coach Christy had no problems warming up to the sweet horses that roamed the property.

A Shetland Pony grazed right next to our cars.

Saying goodbye to the non-alligator infested lake...till tomorrow...when I return with another group of friends to swim our hearts out.

Now that I know I can feasibly swim the 1/2 mile distance...I'm feeling so much more excited about the upcoming race day.

In fact, I think Ms. Triathlon and I might get along just fine.

Saturday, May 17, 2008


It's early Saturday afternoon, and, yes, I am alone. Alone in a house that is usually alive with children laughing, crying, screaming, and lately, TATTLING on each other incessantly.

Does anyone else want to pull their hair out at all the tattling?!

Deep sigh. I am alone, and it is awesome.

I had the Strait Country XM Station (yes, all George...all the time!) blaring in the house right after the kids left with my dad. It was great while I finished the dishes, but then I remembered I needed to relish the quiet. Aside from Spridle snoring on the family room floor, it is exactly that. Quiet. Peaceful. Heaven.

My parents took the kids to a kids play and then to lunch. Not sure when they're returning, but I have accomplished what I wanted to without having to worry about child care. I ran 3 miles and biked 12...and I believe I cycled with a bit more attitude sporting my new "biker chick" jersey.

Time to grill my fish and make my salad so I can eat in peace before my precious angels arrive home...but I'll be ready for their giddy accounts of the play and for the run down on who ate what at lunch. The kids are truly blessed to have grandparents who are willing to brave an outing with their grand kids, and I am so grateful for the break while Animesh is out of town this weekend.

And, I don't take it personally when my parents tell me that being a grand parent is WAY more fun than being a parent. Well, not too personally, anyway.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Progress Report

In case you were wondering (but most have probably forgotten to ask...), the ROOKIE triathlon came and went this past weekend...without me in attendance. A couple weeks ago my ultra-hip-cool-chick-friend/swim coach and I came to the mutual agreement that I was not ready for the swimming portion of ANY triathlon...even one named "The Rookie." So, I bowed out gracefully. All the while breathing a huge sigh of relief.

Yesterday the plan was to swim in open water at Boerne Lake...home to some infamous alligator. Thank you, God, for the lightning and thunder that prevented us from plunging into the choppy, murky waters. Yesterday morning I woke up with intense fear and some serious levels of anxiety coursing through my entire body. I was so relieved not to have to do the lake swim that I headed to the gym and ran 3 miles straight (and quite FAST!) before swimming in the gym pool (that is NOT infested with any alligators, thank you very much!).

Today Lisa and I biked 14 miles and then ran about a mile and a half. Not too bad given the warm temps and high humidity. Tomorrow is a day of rest...swimming on Friday and a bike/run on Saturday.

I'm completely excited and teeny bit nervous as the big day approaches. I am feeling stronger and sleeping more soundly. I am more conscious of and grateful for my body's capabilities. Once I conquer the lake swim and get over the fear of being an alligator's breakfast I believe there is no stopping me on June 8th. Or any day of the year for that matter.

Have you seen the movie "Curious George?" If not, well, it's one of the most feel-good movies you'll ever watch. I love the theme song's lyrics:

Who's to say I can't do everything?
Well, I can try.
And as I roll along I begin to find
Things aren't always just what they seem
I wanna turn the whole thing upside down
I'll find the things they say just can't be found...

Here's to turning the whole thing upside down. I cannot imagine living life any other way.

Monday, May 12, 2008

It's Great to be Me

Mother's Day was the best this year...I lost count how many times the kids said "Happy Mother's Day, Mommy!" Lots of hugs and kisses came my way...which, thankfully, is not unlike most other days.

I'm a total and complete sucker for these hand made gifts...and the kids' teachers didn't disappoint. Here are Priya's photo flower pot, Deven's hand print in clay, and Trevor's hand painted Chinese food take-out box...complete with chopsticks and fortune cookies that actually had "Happy Mother's Day" messages inside! My heart was melting.

The photo book was compiled by Daddy and the kids...they went to great lengths to insert the pics in this giant, book-sized Hallmark scrapbook. So precious.

Since I have become quite the coffee addict...Animesh couldn't resist buying me these mugs for Mother's Day.

After church we headed to our neighborhood brunch...where we were lucky enough to be seated next to friends (and a soon-to-be mother of three.)

The kids had a blast playing chase, ring-around-the-rosey, and duck duck goose.

Resting on the lounge chairs by the pool. The resting lasted about a minute and then they were off again.

It really IS great to be me...the mother of these special little Indians.

After brunch we headed home to do absolutely nothing. Priya and I lounged around outside...

...while the boys flew their kites. It was a perfect, extra-windy day for it.

The day ended with me going to Game 4 of the Spurs/Hornets play off series with a dear friend. I haven't been to a game all season. Thankfully, I wasn't a bad luck charm, because the series is finally all tied up! GO SPURS GO!

Friday, May 9, 2008

What Makes a Mother?

This is for the mothers who have sat up
all night with sick toddlers in their arms,
wiping up barf laced with Oscar Mayer
wieners and cherry Kool-Aid saying,
'It's okay honey, Mommy's here.'

Who have sat in rocking chairs for hours on
end soothing crying babies who can't be comforted.

This is for all the mothers who show up at
work with spit-up in their hair and milk stains
on their blouses and diapers in their purse.

For all the mothers who run carpools and
make cookies and sew Halloween costumes.
And all the mothers who DON'T.

This is for the mothers who gave birth to
babies they'll never see. And the mothers
who took those babies and gave them homes.

This is for the mothers whose priceless art
collections are hanging on their refrigerator doors.

And for all the mothers who froze their buns on metal
bleachers at football or soccer games instead of watching
from the warmth of their cars.
And that when their kids asked, 'Did you see me, Mom?'
they could say, 'Of course, I wouldn't
have missed it for the world,' and mean it.

This is for all the mothers who yell at their kids
in the grocery store and swat them in despair when
they stomp their feet and scream for ice cream before dinner.
And for all the mothers who count to ten instead, but realize
how child abuse happens.

This is for all the mothers who sat down with
their children and explained all about making
babies. And for all the (grand)mothers who
wanted to, but just couldn't find the words.

This is for all the mothers who go
hungry, so their children can eat.

For all the mothers who read 'Goodnight,
Moon' twice a night for a year. And then
read it again, 'Just one more time.'

This is for all the mothers who taught
their children to tie their shoelaces before
they started school. And for all the mothers
who opted for Velcro instead.

This is for all the mothers who teach their sons
to cook and their daughters to sink a jump shot.

This is for every mother whose head turns
automatically when a little voice calls 'Mom?'
in a crowd, even though they know their
own offspring are at home -- or even away
at college -- or have their own families.

This is for all the mothers who sent their kids
to school with stomach aches, assuring them
they'd be just FINE once they got there, only
to get calls from the school nurse an hour later
asking them to please pick them up. Right away.

This is for mothers whose children have gone
astray, who can't find the words to reach them.
For all the mothers who bite their lips until they
bleed when their 14 year olds dye their hair green.

For all the mothers of the victims of
recent school shootings, and the mothers
of those who did the shooting.

For the mothers of the survivors, and the mothers
who sat in front of their TVs in horror, hugging
their child who just came home from school, safely.

This is for all the mothers who taught their
children to be peaceful, and now pray
they come home safely from a war.

What makes a good mother anyway?
Is it patience? Compassion? Broad hips?
The ability to nurse a baby, cook dinner, and
sew a button on a shirt, all at the same time?

Or is it in her heart?
Is it the ache she feels when she
watches her son or daughter disappear
down the street, walking to school alone
for the very first time?

The jolt that takes her from sleep to
dread, from bed to crib at 2 A.M. to put
her hand on the back of a sleeping baby?

The panic, years later, that comes again
at 2 A.M. when she just wants to hear
their key in the door and know they
are safe again in her home?

Or the need to flee from wherever she is
and hug her child when she hears news
of a fire, a car accident, a child dying?

The emotions of motherhood are
universal and so our thoughts are for
young mothers stumbling through diaper
changes and sleep deprivation...
And for mature mothers learning to let go.

For working mothers and stay-at-home mothers.

Single mothers and married mothers.

Mothers with money, mothers without.

This is for you all. For all of us...

Hang in there. In the end we can
only do the best we can. Tell them
every day that we love them. And pray.
And never stop being a mother.

Author Unknown

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Biker Chicks

Priya's Bike Rodeo at school was last week. She just looked so grown up and so proud as she made her way through the obstacles. My dad commented that we should go speeding in Boerne during the bike rodeo since most of the police officers were at the school judging.

Very cool that all the kids received ribbons. Awards are tomorrow morning...because I'm in the "know" I know that Priya did not place, but that's okay. She participated, which is far more than I thought she would do since she has this thing about people watching her perform.

Fellow biker chick Mommy rode 12 1/2 miles with Lisa this morning. Then, we ran about a mile with spaghetti legs and full bladders. Trying to put all the events together in preparation for the big June 8th race.

We practice swimming in open water next week. So happy to hear that Boerne Lake is home to an alligator. SO HAPPY!

Monday, May 5, 2008


Some shots from Deven's birthday party. We had the best weather for our outdoor celebration. Click on photos to see close up.

Mommysaurus Rex in all my glory. I had these made up for the party...Daddy wore his reluctantly, but he wore it. AND, he cooked all the yummy food for the grown-ups. Way to go, Daddysaurus.

The little Indians looked cute in their personalized shirts.

The excited birthday boy cannot WAIT to eat cake.

The Dino Family.

Trevorsaurus showcases a nice shiner he received while in the bouncy castle. Those things are dangerous...especially when you add a bunch of excited, active little boys.

Daddysaurus Rex showed off his (limited) balloon-making talents for friends.

Devensaurus received so many thoughtful, unusual Dino gifts...including this really cool excavation kit. The boys played "paleontologist" for a long time.

Priya and Mommysaurus chill out on the back patio after the bash ended.

And, Spridle doing his part by cleaning off the kid tables. On TOP of the tables. He's a hoot.

Fun party, gorgeous weather, and wonderful friends. Who could ask for more?