Rocks are Heavy
by Karla ° Thursday, April 27, 2006
I feel compelled to share a recent bout of my “perfectionism/receipt keeping issues”. We are in the middle of a mini bathroom renovation. The tile installers are here now, diligently grouting up my bathroom floor and ridding me of the linoleum monstrosity that, if I didn’t know our house was only 22 years old, would have sworn was circa 1960. It’s old and gross.

And our sink. Icky would be the first word that comes to mind, but maybe appalling is a better word to describe the lacerated state of cracks and ancientness of it. At least the new one is sleek and sexy, although I think my husband and his father are both cultivating some nasty hernias after carrying a granite counter top unit up a flight of stairs. Having a diploma in both Mineral Engineering and Geology, you would think I realized how motherfucking heavy rocks are.

However, seeing that I am at that point in my cycle where I am waiting to find out if I am pregnant (my whole life officially revolves around my cycle again), I get to (conveniently) avoid carrying anything heavy and stinky paint fumes. In an effort not to break a nail or possibly harm a fetus, I just get to “accessorize”.

And so the story goes, I have embarked on my quest to find the “perfect” stuff, beginning with a toothbrush holder. Would you believe that, mother of all absurdities, I have racked up a $214 credit card bill on multiple soap pumps and toothbrush holders.

What the hell? I mean, we’ve started discussions about adopting a baby from China to the tune of $35,000 because I’m about to fall apart with all of these babies dying on me, and I’m in a tizzy about a toothbrush holder.

At least I have my receipts to reclaim some degree of sanity that obviously has been lost in my quest for perfectionism.

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Because it felt right
by Karla ° Tuesday, April 18, 2006
We shared an ice cream cake on the anniversary of her birth/death and released seven pink balloons for the seven precious hours she was alive.




This poem I wrote for her when she died seemed fitting.

She Soars

Soar past the boundaries of a world where we can’t embrace
Begin your endless journey in a better place
Soar above the clouds up high
Don’t look back, don’t begin to cry
The sands of time will continue to flow
My little angel, I want you to know
I won’t forget

Soar to where the angels play
Up to the Heavens where we’ll meet someday
Soar to where you can rest peacefully
You are so pure,
You are so free
The waves will still crash upon the shore
My little angel forever more
I won’t forget

Soar to a place full of happiness
You are to perfect for all of this
Soar up high, don’t wait for me
In my heart you’ll forever be
The sun will still shine
The sun will still set
But I promise you my little angel, I won’t forget



And that's all I can manage to post for now.

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Dog gone it! He’s a poochilious genius!
by Karla ° Thursday, April 13, 2006
So sue me that the highlight of my week revolves around my dog's puppy school graduation. Ava would have turned one this Friday, and finding joy in much of anything is difficult. My dog makes me happy and gives me something to cling to as I try and mentally prepare to celebrate a birth and grieve a death tomorrow.


Although “heel” and “sit for petting” (see task list below) wasn’t actually included in the test, I’m still super proud of my pooch, even if I totally cheated and walked the hell out of him to rob him of his boundless puppy energy and deprived him of food to ensure an empty tummy for a hyper–motivated performance. I even introduced extra smelly weiner snitzle treats wrapped in cheesy goodness to make sure I had his attention.

It doesn’t matter that every dog had until infinity to perform their tasks (a.k.a you really couldn’t fail). The fact is, my little fuzz ball of psychotic energy managed to channel wisdom from some unknown entity and soar through all of his tests, getting them right the first time.

As usually, he finished the evening with a triumphantly massive whiz. Apparently, holding a diploma in puppy basics does not warrant refinement and dignity.


Samson in his snazzy grad cap.


Shaking a paw to receive his diploma and treat bag.



Graduating class of '06

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Living on the Edge…of Obedience
by Karla ° Tuesday, April 11, 2006
When I signed up for puppy school, I was under the impression that all I had to do was show up and let him socialize and hump to receive a cute little diploma to stick on the fridge and brag about. He's a puppy afterall, surely the real meat and potatoes of obedience training came "later".

Somehow I missed the lecture that my dog actually has to pass a final exam to graduate.

That’s just bloomin’ lovely. My human ego now depends on the intelligence of my mutt.

If I had known, I probably would have worked harder at polishing up his puppy manners and increasing his command vocabulary. Don’t get me wrong. I love my dog, and I want a smart pooch, but really, he’s the family pet. I don’t need an Einstein, my husband already does a fine job trying to fill those shoes when he wears his Mr. Fix it hat. As long as he doesn’t drag me down the street when we’re out for a walk and eat my limbs for dinner, it’s all good.

Fearing morbid humiliation and failure come graduation night tomorrow, I started to give our training routines some muscles this past week, desperately willing scholarly puppy intelligence into that blocky head of his.

We’ve come to the mutual understanding that he will only perform between short breaks during our wildly exciting “fetch/bring it back” play sessions. Formality and structure isn’t his strong suit. He likes fun and requires strong motivation to do anything, which is why he basically transforms into a cavorting goof ball in a classroom setting. Sniffing canine crotches, sampling tasty puppy ears, and shoving his head inside his new best friend’s jowls (dear god I am such a loser-yet oddly loving the fact that-we had an “off leash puppy play date” last weekend) is about the depths of performance we get out of him when he is surrounded by members of his own species.

The fact that his happiness is directly proportional to the intensity of his ass wiggling and that his desire for attention is relative to the epic dynamo that is his whip lashy tail may mean he will never fit in as the neighborhoods most debonair brown nosing pooch prodigy, but he wakes me up every morning with wet gushy nose nudges and sticky tongue slurpies, and that makes me smile, which is something that I rarely do anymore. His ignorance for anything deep makes him numero uno in my books, even if that means his dog snob-humanoid socially inept-trainer hates me and will probably fail us because of it.

Despite Samson's shortcomings, I am hopeful he will wear that graduation cap. Sadly, much of my own dignity is tied to it, and the exhausting lists of tasks he must be able to perform to earn it.

-Sit
-Lay Down
-Puppy Push Ups (Sit and Down repeated over and over quickly)
-Stay (in a sit position) for 30 seconds from a distance
-Stay (in a down position) for 30 seconds from a distance
-Come (with squeaky toy distractions) finished with a sit
-Loose Leash Walk
-Heel
-Leave a treat positioned close to nose
-Take a treat when told
-Drop it (combined with take it)
-Sit for petting

I’m banking that he is just holding back and bursting inside to deliver an outstanding performance that will garner kudo’s from pooches (and humans) all over the land. There’s nothing like living on the edge of suspense.


Samson says: "If you’re not living on the edge, you’re taking up too much room."


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A letter for Ava
by Karla ° Monday, April 3, 2006

Dear Ava

I can’t believe almost a whole year has gone by since you left us. Time has flown by at a miraculous pace, yet the sadness and pain of your loss remains heavy with every passing day. I’m still trying to pick up the pieces of my broken heart.

I want you to know that your dad and I are hanging in there. We miss you dearly and we think about you all the time. Sometimes the gravity of realizing you really are gone causes a deep burning right in the pit of my stomach until it resonates through my entire body. I know you had to leave, but coming to terms with your sudden departure still hurts. Some days the only thing that brings me comfort is to caress your tiny little hand and feet imprints. The healing is slow, but time helps.

Time also brought some clarity. Clarity has been difficult to find after the day you died and the blackness set in. As the days turned into nights, and the months came and went, dulling the burning rawness and sadness, clarity slowly started to creep its way into my thoughts. I was surprised when I began to realize that I have been discovering a lot about myself through you.

When you first died, your father and I swore that we would never let your death define who we were. We weren’t going to let this tragedy become our label. Yet, the more I tried not to define myself through you, the more I realized the impact you have left on my life. Slowly, I started to accept that your gentle presence was changing and redefining the me I used to know. You are one of the most important things that has ever happened to me, and I can’t help but be moved and touched by the giant impact you left behind and the gifts you have given me.

Your life awoke inside of me an awareness of pure, wholesome joy. Joy like I have never experienced before, and joy I yearn to know again. I felt joy that you were made up of nothing but the most completely authentic innocence that one can hold. Joy for all the memories you left behind, and most importantly, joy for your precious life, no matter how short it was.

Your presence has also taught me a valuable life lesson about making difficult decisions. I can’t think of many decisions more difficult to make than removing your own child from life support. Holding you in my arms while your tiny lungs gasped for air and your heart slowly stopped beating was the most bittersweet moment of my life.

Another important lesson I have learned through you Ava, is that life truly is fragile and something that should be treasured. A simple moment, a thread in time, can forever change us. I can honestly say that I was never truly alive until I came face to face with my own fragility.

And it is that fragility that keeps me humble and closer to the true meaning of life. Your daddy and I have grown closer together through our challenges. We were told countless times that the odds weren’t in our favor to make it through. It hasn’t been easy, but as we grow and change from this adversity, our newfound compassion and commitment to each other is strengthening. We share something special together, and that will never change.

I think the most valuable lesson that I have learned from you is that the true measure of life is not the type of experiences we go through, but how we grow as a better person because of them. I have grown from everything that has happened Ava. If someone would have asked me a year ago to find purpose in your loss, I would have been angry. But I know I am better person today. A stronger person, a more compassionate person.

So you did good kiddo. Those are some big lessons you’ve taught me. Thank you for touching my life in so many ways.

You are missed. You are loved. You will never be forgotten.

We’re hopeful the joy you brought into our lives will someday be felt again.

Hugs and Love,

Mommy

xo


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