All posts filed under: Parenthood

Adventure Mamas Must Adapt

Day-pack stocked with provisions, water bottles filled, sunscreen on, hats, helmets, Xtracycle loaded, scooter in too! Adventure is on for me and my seven and eleven year old sons.  What is adventurous is relative and, as kids grow from infant, toddler, to school age adventure mamas have to learn to adapt. Things that previously were far from a challenge or an adventure suddenly become so when adding kids’ wheels and human power. A casual bike ride down an asphalt trail turns into an epic day with active “big kids” heading to Soccerfest followed by bike park. The xtracyle ( a cargo bike that can carry both my boys on the back) is both back-up when they poop out AND strength training for my self-care day of mountain running. My boys and I know that the journeys we take are not going to be cake walks. Talking with them ahead of time prepares them when things are inevitably difficult or tiring They have come to expect challenges like big climbs, tired legs, hungry tummies, and short …

Eleven

Eleven. My first born son is eleven years old. Everyone says it goes by so fast. That statement always makes me sad and anxious.  I want to savor moments, take deep breaths, and hold on so I feel and experience the miracle of this child before me. It is true that time can not slow down; and it is also true that time does not speed up. It is constant. None of that changes the fact that Eric is and eager early bird in just about everything. Mornings he is especially bright, cheery, and early. On the morning of his birthday he was so eager to get to school he asked to walk over early and play on the playground (which I can see from my back window). Little did I know that he would head to his classroom where his teacher told him he can’t arrive an hour before school starts. His early arrival in life is just who he is. It certainly has presented challenges, particularly at his birth when he arrived fourteen …

Selfies in London (with Friends) Day Two

Today’s selfie infused run (that started out as six miles for me and ended in eleven miles) was joined by my superstar colleague at CLIF, Serena and her husband Sean. We looped the Thames River and reveled in the opportunity to be here, running together before we Ride London in a few days. Last winter Serena and I also worked hard promoting CLIF and nutrition at another amazing opportunity space – The World Ski and Snow Board Festival. Reflecting on opportunity, my mind has been turned inside out.  It isn’t our jobs that afford us opportunities. Our jobs are simply a means of expressing the opportunities we create for ourselves. Thankfully, my company brings people together who seek opportunities and have creative curiosity about what we can accomplish together not because of our jobs but, rather through our jobs. It will be important for the next generation not to measure their worth and value on the job, position, or title they hold. These things are not only fleeting but, also less important in a digital …

The Organized Circus

The “organized circus” is a phrase I recently used with a friend inquiring about how things were going.  This means  that there are many moving parts of the collective adventures in being a mother, writer, runner, wife, and employee right now that are loosely planned. Last Thursday night, in a very late night and organized fashion, I packed up the car t for a weekend in Tahoe with my kids while my husband was out of town. This was an ambitious adventure in its own right but, the plan also included spending Friday at my office with kids and puppy in tow on our way to the mountains. There is no denying this was highly ambitious  but, it seemed worth a try.  We had also just spent the week packing up of our entire house so it could be painted.  It was probably the lack of sleep that lead to my inevitable tears of defeat a few short hours after attempting to manage at an office that is also an organized circus of dogs and …

At the Dentist

A funny, and not so fun, thing happens when I take my kids to those dentist appointments where they put the silly-gas mask on their face. When I see them lying there with all these instruments and health professionals my chest gets tight, my heart aches all the way into my mouth, and this horrible sense of dread flashes through my body. In other words, I panic. Today I am here with Noah, my youngest, for a simple but uncomfortable procedure. He is getting sealants on his molars, something I wish my mom had done to protect my teeth. So why the panic? The same experience happened a few years ago when Eric, my older one, went through this. (deep breaths here) I hear him whimpering through the nasal mask, and I see his body squirming. I want to reach for him. I want to tell him I am sorry and that he will thank me later for protecting his beautiful, perfect teeth from the very decay I have to have drilled out and filled …

Endurance Mamas

My bib number is in hand. My clothes, race food & hydration, logistics to getting to the starting line are set. Oops, except my alarm. Pausing here to go set my alarm for ….wait for it…..3:45 am to voluntarily run 31.8 miles (50km) with 7200 ft of climbing and descending. This is about the point before a race that I ask the question “why”? It hurts, is really hard, cold, early, and tiresome.  Yet, here I am toeing the line time and time again. You know why? Because why not. What if it isn’t any of those things or, the smiles, support, camaraderie , community, sense if accomplishment, the beauty, and the simplicity of putting one foot in front of the other so purposefully outweighs everything else. It is funny to me that I never thought this kind of running to be something I could do until after having children.  Getting pregnant, staying pregnant, carrying on daily activities while pregnant, birthing a child out of your body, caring for the child, positively influencing the child, …

A Time for Comfort Food & Running

The smell of fresh baked, oatmeal, chocolate chip cookies wafted through the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) every afternoon at  three o’clock. I sat there in the mother’s room expressing milk for my preemie son for the fifth time that day when I first discovered this daily bit of tasty comfort. After completing my milk maid duties, I took great comfort in enjoying two, whole, soft, chewy delicious cookies, and washing it down with a small carton of whole milk that accompanied every cookie delivery. Over our three month stay in the NICU watching our son grow and develop into a full fledged baby, I took comfort in the daily  cookies-milk ritual with no regard for nutrition. It wasn’t about nutrition. Well, maybe it was a little about nutrition. I did revel in the fact that generating and expressing as much milk as possible for my little guy was the only thing I could focus on and my body needed hearty, whole, and real nutrients to do that. My afternoon ritual was literally feeding my …

Crash-course Introduction to the Uncertainty of Parenthood

Ten years ago today my first son Eric, was born.  That day was a crash-course introduction to faith, hope, and love despite uncertainty.  Anxiety, worry, and obsessive compulsive disorder run deep in my gene pool. It wasn’t long after Eric’s early arrival that I realized my mountain of OCD behaviors provided me a false sense of security. They also sucked valuable time and energy away from being present, honest, and available to the people most important to me. Ever since accepting that no amount of hand-washing or towel folding was going to protect me from all the might go wrong, I have faced the daily challenge of taking care of all those scary feelings involved in parenting.  The challenge is more than worth it because on the other side of those scary feelings I have found joy and strength beyond measure, and I want more of that for me and my family. In 2006, Labor Day took on new meaning for me. I was twenty-six weeks into what seemed to be an uncomfortable pregnancy when I …

Head Lice and a Boston Marathon Finish

When doubt set it in that I might not have the wear-with-all to run the Boston Marathon last April, one man removed all doubt. He said “Do not run the Boston Marathon. Your marriage, your kids, and all you do are too much in need right now to take this on.” Those were all the reasons I needed to at least try and run this thing. I needed a break, not from running but from working so hard to try an keep the circus of my life – sick kids, sick me, dying grandmother, struggling marriage, insecure family members, loud-mouth family members, desk job – in control. I needed this marathon to set in stone what I always knew. I have no control over any of those things. I can however, control myself and this self needed to check out for a week and surround myself with people who run. All it took was one more well-meaning family member to say “Don’t run”! Are you kidding me? That is all I want to do right now. …

A Story of Supply and Demand

There is no doubt that breastfeeding is the best nourishment for your baby. My own son, now a healthy and happy boy, was born at twenty-six weeks and two days. It was frightening, but at the moment I delivered my body created the perfect food for him tailored by nature specifically to his one pound and fourteen ounce body. As he was whisked off to the NICU the doctor entered my room with a small little tube that could hold only 3 milliliters. He stressed the importance of my ability to capture the first drops of milk, colostrum that would be made available to my son as soon as possible. I am forever grateful for the lactation consultant that spent time with me teaching me to self-express these tiny drops of “pure gold” that would help him to develop his premature digestive system. This was my gift to him and the only way I could put my nurturing instincts to good use. It was then that I truly understood the importance of giving my body …