Monday, December 31, 2007


My year in review, my way.

Learning: I stayed on track with my college course work, the kids moved forward in leaps and bounds with their academics, I began writing more, began learning Tarot, and I learned I was capable of withstanding one of my most challenging life experiences so far.

Loving: I've showered love on my children all year. I've fostered almost 60 cats and kittens for a total of over 1200 days and loved every one of them. I've gently fostered my friendships; this is big for me with my trust issues, and I feel I have done better showing love to important adults in my life this year than before. I've loved myself this year as well, getting into therapy, starting antidepressants, writing, and working to be patient with myself as I navigated some major road hazards in life.

Laughing: Oh, lots of laughing! Kids, cats, dogs, friends, online communities, shows and movies. I find laughter every day. And yin to the yang, I have also cried more and let some deep stuff finally come see the light.

Living: I have certainly lived an interesting life this past year. (Damn Chinese curse. lol) Some have expressed to me their disbelief and sense of unfairness at some of the big things that have happened in my life this year. I'm doing okay, though, and I don't feel unfairly singled out by the universe, or as though I've been given more than my fair share to deal with. My kids are healthy and happy, our home is warm, we have food to eat, we have critters to love and help, I'm pursuing my education. It could be a lot worse, you know? My path has never been easy, and I don't know why, but it doesn't feel wrong. I think over lifetimes it must all balance out. And while my external circumstances might look hard and unfair to some, I think my internal strength and happiness are more than many have. So even in this life it is balanced out. I'm okay with that.

This coming year I want to continue to show my love for myself by focusing on my earthly body as well as my spiritual and mental innards. Other than that, I'll continue focusing on learning, loving, laughing , and living. Can't go wrong there.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Eve Eve

The eye's healing well.

My five year old son can roll his r's like an adult native Spanish speaker. It's quite impressive. And really funny when he randomly throws them into English words like, "Carrrrrrrrrot."

Last night he woke up with his feet hurting (aka growing) and crashed out with me in the living room for a bit while I watched That 70s Show. Half asleep, he heard Kitty's voice and said drowsily with his eyes closed, "I like her voice a lot. It sounds tickly."

I miss George--the foster cat that was supposed to stay. If he comes into my life again, I won't be letting him go.

My kids are incredible little people. They are just so interesting and deep and quirky and funny and smart and sensitive and wonderfully weird.

I'm happy.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Ocular Incident

Last night while I innocently watched TV with a purring kitten on my ample chest, said kitten stalked and bested my fragile eyeball.

With my cornea flapping this morning (well, it felt like it), I headed to the ER in at the advice of the doc's office. The hospital in the big town (pop. 8,000) 20 miles away is medical technology central for this big rural area.

Less than a minute after walking into the ER, we were being checked in, a few minutes later we were in a room. The doctor was friendly and personable and talked the kids through everything. He numbed my eye, put yellow dye in it, then turned off the lights and showed the kids what it looked like with the black light. Then he looked through the microscope (another cool lesson), and showed me on paper the jagged vertical line scratching the surface of my cornea from upper center iris to the just inside the constricted pupil. Meanwhile, Marian drew and colored a picture of what my eye looked like under black light, Sophie drew a picture of "Blind Momma", and Leo watched everything. They enjoyed watching me get a tetanus shot, and the nurse enjoyed watching the kids.

The eye should be better in a couple of days, following antibiotic eyedrops every few hours, 600mg ibuprofen every 6 hours, and my repeated thoughts of the vicodin prescription I turned down. I'm not wearing the eye patch because it sucks in countless ways. No night driving until I'm healed, because darkness will cause my pupil to expand further into the injured area, which will increase the blurriness of my vision. Since light shining in my eye hurts, I get the lovely choice of pain or major blur. Except when I have both and am spared the choice.

Doc says TV is better than reading or computer for my eye, so I'm not here right now and you're imagining all of this. Get help.

The evil hideous beast who committed this atrocious act:
Heidi Heidi

Isn't she cute? She's sitting on my lap right now.

I forgive her.

My heart outside my body




Problem Dog II

Problem dog, foiled? Think this will keep the digging escape artist in the yard?

Tuesday, December 25, 2007


I love when you guys comment on my blog entries. Thanks for being here.

So, my oven caught on fire awhile ago...

...and it just hasn't been the same since. We had already made plans for baking for the holidays, so we've been eating gingerbread batter and peanut butter-chocolate chip cookie dough.

We are seriously classy.

(My ex-in-laws are fixing my stove for my Christmas present! Tomorrow. :))

Flight of the Bumblebee, a cappella. No, really.

A new favorite!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Jersey Shore on the Dining Table

How cool is it that we have part of the Jersey Shore in our landlocked Colorado home? This arrangement is courtesy of all four members of the MaWhit family, and bits of Jersey shore are courtesy of a dear friend who knows me well.

Jersey Shore

My problem child.


These little doggie diapers/ belly bands are so freakin' awesome, I have to say. I have them in three fabric and there are a lot to choose from. I just stick a diaper doubler in there (any maxi pad or the like would work as well) and velcro it shut. They do lay totally flat, but I'd just slapped that one on without paying attention. Gus doesn't mind it a bit and goes about his life as though nothing is different. I'll have to get a picture of him lifting his leg next time. bounce

Moms of incontinent dogs everywhere, unite! Photobucket

I'm the little sister

The kids got a ton of hair accessories and giant play make-up set for solstice and they are beyond thrilled. Look what I woke up to Sunday morning. She requested every purple hair accessory available and her big sister obliged. She did her own make-up.

little sister

little sister

Yule Morning

We had a beautiful winter solstice. There was a lot of fresh snow so we didn't drive to our usual spot to watch the sunrise, but instead opened all the curtains in the house and watched the sky lighten from inside our warm home.
Meanwhile, we dove into our stockings...

Such a sweet smile from my oldest

L'il Leo

And my Sophie. She's not very photogenic in the morning. lol
Morning Sophie

Then we went outside and the kids played in the snow while I shoveled. The sun came over the horizon shortly after these pictures, so you're seeing the lighting moments before.

Marian grinning

Leo. How he can look so angelic, I'l never know.

Sophie splat. She had a hard time getting up and just laid there for awhile.

And the eternally photogenic boy.

We had an absolutely beautiful day. Everyone agreed.

Friday, December 21, 2007


Tonight I answered the question, "In what ways are you strange?" and thought I'd share my answer here. This is what I wrote:

I'm a single work-at-home lesbian college student and mom of three kids whom I homeschool, and I drive a 17-year-old multicolored car with 260,000 miles and over 40 bumper stickers on it. I'm an eclectic nontheistic Taoist Pagan with Buddhist leanings and I attend a UU church every other Sunday (and lead the children's religious education program). I had an amicable divorce and my ex and I remained friends for a couple years afterward. There are currently 3 dogs and 17 cats in my house (10 of the cats are fosters). I volunteer at the animal shelter on a daily basis, and I'll be graduating with my Bachelor's degree 16 years after I graduated from high school. All the AP gentle parenting stuff, though with all the online support and the kids growing older, it doesn't really seem strange anymore. I can sometimes hear people's thoughts before they speak, I sometimes dream of future events before they happen, I often know who's calling on the phone without caller ID, and I've had contact with bodiless spirits. I'm learning and loving Tarot. I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up. I love being a single mom and don't feel that my lot in life is unfair. My hair grows abnormally fast. There's more, but this is getting really long.

Tonight is the eve of the winter solstice, Yule. Tonight we sang carols and read solstice stories while watching the sunset, then came home and the little ones watched Little Bear's winter solstice, while Marian wrapped presents, and I made our Favorites dinner. After dinner we finished watching Night at the Museum (that we started yesterday), and then each opened one small gift while having our hot chocolate. I read them some wintery books and sent them to bed.

Tomorrow we'll eat breakfast in the car while watching the sunrise (with lots of singing and storytelling) if the roads aren't too bad. Otherwise we'll sing to the sun from the porch. Then stockings and gifts, then the making of gingerbread house and people, then lunch at Chili's. Naptime, some family rituals, and a lot of playing it by ear will follow.

Some Yuletide Carols:

Oh rest ye merry, paganfolk,
Let nothing you dismay.
Remember that the Sun returns
Upon this Solstice day.
The growing dark is ending now
And Spring is on its way.

Oh, tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy!
Oh, tidings of comfort and joy.

Mother Nature rest ye merry, too,
And keep you safe from harm.
Remember that we live within
The circle of Her arms,
And may Her love give years to come
A very special charm.

Oh, tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy!
Oh, tidings of comfort and joy!

Tune: The First Noel

On this Winter holiday, let us stop and recall
That this season is holy to one and to all.
Unto some a Son is born, unto us comes a Sun,
And we know, if they don't that all paths are one.

Share the light, share the light!
Share the light, share the Light!
All paths are one on this holy night!

Be it Chanukah or Yule,
Christmas time or Solstice night,
All celebrate the eternal light.
Lighted tree or burning log,
Or eight candle flames.
All paths are one, whatever their names.


Deck the halls with boughs of holly
Fa la la la la la la la la
Tis the season to be jolly
Fa la la la la la la la la
Don we now our gay apparel
Fa la la la la la la la la
Troll the ancient Yuletide carols
Fa la la la la la la la la

See the blazing Yule before us
Fa la la la la la la la la
Strike the harp and join the chorus
Fa la la la la la la la la
Follow me in merry measure
Fa la la la la la la la la
While I tell of Yuletide treasure
Fa la la la la la la la la

Fast away the old year passes
Fa la la la la la la la la
Hail the new, ye lads and lasses
Fa la la la la la la la la
Sing we joyous all together
Fa la la la la la la la la
Heedless of the wind and weather
Fa la la la la la la la la

Deck the Halls precedes Christianity, but the other two are borrowed tunes. I figure it's a nice trade when pagans share their decorations and Christians share their melodies. We have more carols that we sing, some original and some borrowed tunes, but the rest aren't easily accessible to copy and paste.

Happy Winter Solstice! I'll try to remember to take pictures tomorrow, but if I don't it because I was too caught up in the here and now to worry about capturing images for the future.

Monday, December 17, 2007

I'm not old yet.

None are so old as those who have outlived enthusiasm. --Henry David Thoreau

Sunday, December 16, 2007

The Middle Child

Leo is passionate and intense, which at this age often manifests as whiny and sensitive with a very volatile temper. Fortunately, this also manifests in major eye sparkles, gigantic velcro hugs, and enthusiasm. He's an amazng child and will be an utterly unique adult.

Here is my darling boy. He's 5 years and 9 months old.

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Friday, December 14, 2007

My girl.

Well, one of them.

Marian is no longer vegetarian but is confident she will be pork-free for life. She finds it quite distasteful to slaughter and eat an animal that is at least as smart as a dog. She's willing to eat animals with smaller brains and fewer tricks, though.

She has decided she wants to learn the violin. I'm not sure how I'll make that happen, but I feel a need to make it happen for her. This is the first time she's expressed a real interest in learning an instrument. She took piano lessons for a month, but that was more my idea than her, and this she came up with entirely on her own.

Marian, while often sweet and helpful and kind and mature, also randomly takes great delight in getting her little brother's temper to flare. And since it doesn't take much to do so, it's remarkably easy to do. She knows just how to push his buttons in a way that could possibly go unnoticed by someone not in our family. She's a sly one.

She's moved out of the room she shared with Leo and into her own. Sophie has moved in with Leo. And tonight Marian is asleep in my bed. lol

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Bloggity blog blog blog

The kids and I have been having some lovely days. Lots of reading and counting and math and questions and singing and critters. Those lovely homeschooling days that make it so clear we're on the right path.

I'm getting excited about next semester, as well as years to come. One of my courses next semester requires me to really think and plan for my future and prepare for either graduate school or the workforce. I've decided to pursue my Master's after I graduate. Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket I've always wanted an advanced degree, but even my Bachelor's seemed out of reach for so long. Now I feel that anything is possible. (Except for paying off student loans someday. Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket)

I love Tarot. I've only done readings for myself, and it helps me to clarify my inner goals, thought, and feelings in a way that only journaling has done in the past. The difference is that Tarot helps when I can't find the words even to journal.

You know, people are amazing sometimes. Yesterday I found a large jar full of change and bills on my driver's seat, with a small note inside that said "To Whitney G****". I sat there all dumbfounded and then got giddy and the kids were witness to it all and got very excited. Someone gave us their change jar! How cool is that?! I sent out many thanks to the mystery person/family, as did the kids. It totally made my day and I just beamed wherever I went.

Monday, December 3, 2007

The baby smile is gone forever.

Marian lost her two bottom teeth awhile back, but the adult teeth had already broken through and rapidly filled in the gaps. But now my baby girl's baby smile is gone forever, and this feels so BIG to me. This is the first tooth that she has gotten out on her own and she has worked diligently at it for awhile and is very proud. Here she is, about 2 hours after bedtime. And yes, that is blood on her cheek and forehead. Just be glad I made her rinse her mouth out first. lol

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Sophie is my Ramona

As a toddler, she ate grasshoppers and transported all my potatoes out the dog door. At age 2, she shoved beads up her nose, not once, not twice, but THREE times. In a week. She's colored her belly blue, painted the rug, eaten quarters, and routinely tortures kittens with a most loving intent.

She's a four-year-old now and the adventure continues:

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Saturday, December 1, 2007

Wandering words

I'm done with my semester and have a month OFF from school! Woo!

Marian and Leo can use chopsticks proficiently and have been able to since the first time they tried. What the hell? I'm 32 and only just now getting the hang of it!

Sophie told me the other day, "Momma, you're strange." Ah, the wisdom of little ones.

NaNo turned into NoNo for me. Ah, well.

I wish everyone knew how much fun it can be to have 7 kittens running around the living room.

Dang, my kids look so clean in new clothes. I mean, they were clean before, but everything was dingy and old. They look all sparkly and new now.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

First they came for the Jews

First they came for the Jews
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for the Communists
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists
and I did not speak out
because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for me
and there was no one left
to speak out for me.

Pastor Martin Niemöller

Perhaps my chance will come.

"I will study and get ready, and perhaps my chance will come." --Abraham Lincoln

I'm spending my day attempting to finish my research for my sociological paper on trangenderism in childhood and adolescence. Happy thanksgiving! Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Plans for the day fell through, so the kids and I are on our own. They're painting and coloring and playing together nicely, and I'm trying to work toward my future. We'll be having sausage and beans for dinner and chocolate-covered frozen bananas for dessert. We'll talk about all we are thankful for, and perhaps create some new traditions of our own. The day isn't about feasting, since spending a week's food budget on one meal simply isn't an option, and we won't be spending it with friends or family, but we do have each other. I love my little family, and I have much to be thankful for: my children, my home, my critters, my education, my spirituality, my strength. And antidepressants. Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Two beers last night, and I was partied out. Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

My novel came to a standstill, but it's more I've ever written towards one before. And it doesn't have to stop with November.

This has been an insane month. Just nuts. I never thought this would be my life.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Returning to The Scene of the Crime

Tomorrow I'm taking the kids to the dentist again. Last Wednesday we went for their check-ups and all went incredibly smoothly. While waiting, we read to each other, we chatted amiably, we garnered smiles from the admiring staff and clientele with our lovely display of family harmony. Sophie went back on her own for the first time ever, and despite the staggered appointments all three were seen at the same time and I had kid-free time in the waiting room and got 2 days worth of studying done. It was lovely.

Well. For a while.

The kids all got done in short succession and I had my hands full again. Leo had to go to the bathroom (single-user room directly off the waiting room/desk area), and I was doing post-appointment paperwork at the desk when my Leo radar blipped uncontrollably. I tore myself away as soon as possible and opened the bathroom door to see Leo fishing paper towels out of the toilet with his hands. Not the soft fluffy paper towels so many have in their homes, but the industrial brown cardboard masquerading as paper so often found in institutional settings and other places who find it amusing to offer water-repellent "towels" to their bathroom users.

So I do disgusting damage control, and pee real quick while Leo is washing his hands. And his arms. I rush us out to the waiting room where I've left the girls, and catch Sophie in the act of trying to uproot the fake plant. Nearly all eyes are on us since the magazines are six years old, the chairs are uncomfortable, the piped in music sucks, and our flurry of activity is eye-catching and impossible to ignore. As I have my back to the room of waiting dental victims, untangling Sophie's tentacles from the poor plastic plant, I feel.... a breeze. I freeze. My hand snakes around to my posterior, reaching for skirt, praying for skirt, desperately clinging to the hope of skirt, and instead finds my hot pink undies and bare thighs above my knee-high alarmingly striped socks, my skirt having mischievously crawled into the back of my underwear after my preternaturally speedy pee.

Oh, crap.

I whip around, untuck my skirt, and immediately return to Sophie patrol and pack up our endless waiting-room entertainment supplies. I bustle everyone out to the car, and hope that none of the same people are there when we come back for our appointments next week. Tomorrow.

And you know what? I never once blushed or felt embarrassed. Amazing what motherhood can do, I tell ya.

Monday, November 12, 2007

A Day in the Life (from Friday 11/9)

At what point does the day start when one gets no sleep?

After a tireless bout of insomnia last night, I finally nodded off only to be awoken 20 minutes later by Sophie needing to puke. I staggered off to the bathroom with her under my arm and let her hang over the toilet while I got a bowl, which we took back to bed. After 2 more rounds, I got up for good. And this is why.

Tuesday evening, Sophie swallowed two quarters, and they lodged in her throat. She could breathe around them, but we were directed to head straight to the ER, which we did. On the way there, they finally came dislodged and went all the way down, at which point I called the ER doc. After talking to him, I decided not to take her in, instead choosing to watch out for potential problems and keep an eye out for their re-arrival in the toilet. Thursday she had diarrhea. And last night/this morning was the stomach pain, nausea, and vomiting. With 4 symptoms from the "watch out for" list, we headed to the ER at 4:30 this morning.

Despite the incredulous looks and comments at the ER of all those professionals who didn't think the coins would still be in her, the x-ray showed that there were still at the very top of her intestine. No blockage though, they said. While we were at the ER, I read them chapter 2 of Story of the World volume 1 (a re-read) and chapter 8 of Lions at Lunchtime (Magic Tree House #11). I gave Marian and Leo verbal math problems and spelling words, and Sophie chilled on the ER bed and watched "Sunrise Earth" on Animal Planet. We all got a good look at Sophie's x-ray which was very cool, showing everything from chin to pelvis, and it generated lots of discussion baout the skeleton and internal organs.

At 6am, we left the hospital with another list of things to watch for , and the kids talked about the gender of Spanish nouns and also used their Spanish names for awhile (Mariana, Leo, Sofia). We parked and watched the sunrise while listening to the Tao Te Ching.

Then went to Walmart, where I wandered around in a fog not able to remember anything that was on my list. On our way back to the car, we stopped to inspect a very freshly squashed mouse and had an interesting discussion about mouse guts, which led back to Sophie's x-ray.

We got back home at 7:15am, and Marian and Leo took the dogs out while I cleaned up their crate and fed and watered them all. The kids had a second breakfast, Leo ran off some energy outside for awhile, and now they are all watching Reading Rainbow and I'm getting ready to feed the kittens.

(And it's not even 8am. Most days I don't get up until 9.)

The kids watching a Reading Rainbow about Jewish cooking and culture. (Leo's getting peanut butter off the roof of his mouth.)
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Hungry little kittens waiting to be fed. (This is just the holding tank for feeding time. Their living quarters are much more spacious.)
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The runt, and my favorite. Heidi. I always feed her first.
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Marian got the big two some wet food while I fed the little ones. The big ones are in the process of weaning (they drink from the bottle a couple times a day). Here's everyone all full and happy.
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I watched most of "Animal Cops: Houston" with Marian while feeding the kittens. Leo and Sophie were in and out, and spent a good chunk of time playing together with dollhouse stuff upstairs.

Now the TV is off, Leo has requested math or pirate worksheets printed off the internet, and my stripey socks and I are settled in to work on a Sociology paper for a little bit. The kids are all playing upstairs at the moment.
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I got a good chunk of my paper done, and hope to finish it in one more sitting today. While I worked, the kids were all over the place. Leo did a math worksheet and played with the tunnel, Marian and Sophie dressed up, played upstairs, and then came and got in a fight with Leo about the tunnel, at which point I put it away.

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We spent over an hour at the shelter, where Leo slept in the car, Sophie played with Jack (the dog in pics), Marian drew, and the girls both constructed some kind of mud castle. I took pictures and got descriptions of about 15 dogs and still need to update their website, I got recruited to hook up their new computer monitor tomorrow, and I fed and watered the cats.

Pictures from the shelter:

Sophie with Jack, the best babysitter I've ever had.
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Marian drawing, with Jack checking in on her
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Part of her picture:
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After the shelter we came home, and Frank (the shelter guy) showed up shortly after bearing gifts for the kids, for Sophie's birthday. (He got all of them stuff.) Then the kids had lunch, I avoided a couple phone calls, and then answered when my dad called and talked to him for almost an hour. The kids finished lunch and played with their new toys while I was on the phone. Time to feed the kittens again!


All four of us piled up like a bunch of kittens and napped all afternoon. Then my friend came over with her daughter and hung out for about an hour or so, and then I watched Leo and Sophie play out front for awhile after she left.
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Marian is still asleep. Off to feed kittens and then humans.

I served the little ones their dinner (split pea soup, rice cakes, grape tomatoes) and then snuggled Marian awake and almost fell back to sleep myself. We finally got up and she had dinner while I fed the kittens and the little ones played, and then we went to the store. Evening snack has been had.

Everyone has done their bedtime hygiene and they're waiting on me to go read to them. Be back in a bit!


I read them a chapter from The Seeing Summer (our new read aloud) for bed, and Leo and Sophie are asleep. Marian is quietly roaming around. So far I've gotten my Sociology paper done and submitted and I finally finished updating the animal shelter's website with photos and descriptions.

I still need to study for an exam, do research for a research paper, get in about an hour of transcription work, and write some of my novel. And I'll watch an episode or two of That 70's Show and/or Whose Line is it Anyway? while I give the kittens their last feeding of the day.

Still plenty to do, but I'm signing out.

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