Tuesday, August 31, 2010

100 plus

A few days ago, I completed my 100th Bikram Yoga class.

When I took my first class in January, I never thought it would be something I would enjoy. I really dislike being hot, and I sweat easily, which can be uncomfortable. Throughout the last nine months I've learned a lot about my tolerance for discomfort, and a few other things.

One of my most difficult postures is savasana, or dead body pose. You lay flat on your back heels together toes fall apart, arms relaxed at your sides with palms up. Your eyes are open, and your mind is calm. You are supposed to stay perfectly still, in both mind and body. If you know me, there is no doubt why this pose is more difficult for me than, say, standing bow pulling pose.

Calming my mind, stilling my body...Ha! But balancing on one leg while the other leg is up over my head, I'm getting better at that! I have seen improvement in all of my practice, and depending on how many classes I make a week, it is considerable.

Working on my mind, is and I think will always be the most difficult part of my practice. It's hard to check everything at the door. The kids, the house, the to do list. And then there are the distractions in the room. The people who fidget, who talk, who do not follow proper etiquette before, during and after class, I fight my judgements. (which are also to be checked at the door!) I fight the disappointment when the teacher is not one of my "favorites". All these things are in my mind, and hindering my mind body connection. I know I cannot improve my practice without quieting my thoughts.

Bikram also stresses patience. (which is another area that I need lots of work in) While patience in class is great, patience in my life is even better. Bikram makes me a better parent. The more classes I take, the more patience I am able to bring to my everyday. The noise, oh the constant noise, around me doesn't seem to penetrate when I am actively practicing. It is almost like I have a little force field of calm, where from inside I can laugh at the din, instead of feeling it touch every raw nerve.

I love that not only am I working on my strength, and my flexibility, but I am also working on my character while practicing Bikram yoga. Bikram says it is a full body work out every time you take a class. For me it really is a full body workout, head to toes, bones to skin, inside out.

I just hope that sometime in the next 100 classes I find a way to calm my mind, if even for 20 seconds at a time.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

and Exhale....

All went well on Friday. Ryan was in and out of surgery in less than two hours. They found all that they expected, scar tissue consistent with grade IV reflux. They re-implanted the ureter and did not expect anything but total success.

My boy was such a trooper. Here he is in the waiting room.

I missed the best shot of the day because I couldn't get my camera out fast enough. When it was time, the nurse took him by his hand and walked him down the hallway. Ryan looked back, smiled, and was off. I will never forget that image, I just wish I had it to share.

Here he is being rolled from recovery to his room. He was so sweet, just after I took this he reached out to hold my hand. Not easy to walk along side a bed moving quickly down narrow hallways!

In his bed, being silly. He was such a brave boy. Only shed a few tears, once when he moved from the gurney to his bed, he said it was because he couldn't see me anymore, or my theory is he hurt himself a little bit during the move.

He was in a considerable amount of pain the first few times he tried to get up, and when he tried the first time to pee, but otherwise, he was content to have us read. So, from about 3PM on Friday until he was released at 11 AM we read, and read, and read.

By Sunday it was difficult to keep Ryan from popping out all of his stitches, and today, I feel like it's going to be a long, long three weeks.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

I have heart burn

I'm sitting here on the eve of Ryan's surgery and I don't know what I feel.

As I kissed him goodnight this evening, I got a bit teary.


I am struggling for the words to explain the emotions.

I think when you go through an experience like a pre-term birth, followed by an extended NICU stay, filled with complication after complication, you always (even more than four years later) fight with a bit of post traumatic stress.

The feelings rear their ugly heads at the strangest times (and the most obvious ones). They fill you up from your heart out. It's like a slow burning. Like heart burn only deeper in your chest, its in your soul.

Intellectually, I know he will be fine, better than ever.

Emotionally, I'm a wreck. All over the map. Cleverly held together by two little boys who don't know what to do when their Momma cries.

My heart soul is burning and it is not showing signs of stopping. I suspect it will finally ease up around the time I have my baby back in my arms tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


I had a dream last night.

In it we were moving to the Bay Area, in a week.

Scott and I were sitting in a restaurant with some of our friends from up there.

One friend no longer lives there.

He passed away almost two years ago.

Two years ago on the twentieth.

The twentieth is the day Ryan's surgery is scheduled.

Should I worry?

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

More images from vacation

We went marching, all in a row.

Evan: "I caught a MEDIUM sized blue gail" (that's a blue gill to the rest of us)

We caught some bass too.

In true fisherman style. Evan holds the fish by the mouth with his thumb.

Madison caught her first fish too.

We were infinitely patient posing for ten thousand pictures.

We splashed in the Tuolumne River, and played "Set Sail to Piglet's House"

We frolicked in Tuolumne Meadow.

We hiked up the Mist Trail to Vernal Falls, and were so tuckered out, we spent the ride home passed out cold.

We saw Half Dome from various angles.

We had lots of fun at Snow Creek Ranch, and in Yosemite!