All posts filed under: Momma

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 …

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 …

The Girl Who Runs

She is confused. She is distrusting and unclear herself about what will be enough. In her confusion and obsession to “fix” this and get on with living a full and meaningful life, she begins to question everything. She becomes afraid. Afraid she can’t trust her own instincts. Afraid of greater loss. Not only is she afraid of losing love, but she is  also afraid she is losing herself to the overwhelm and chaos.The resentment and anger are slowly suffocating her. She begins to feel she is sacrificing happiness with her children during  their youth. Her own ambitions for in love, acceptance, and health are suffering. She TAKES responsibility for herself and her process to heal. She longs for the subject of her pain to do the same.She hits the wall. She is weak  and drained physically and emotionally by everyone and everything around her. She says stop. Stop the confusion.  She slows down. She begins to see she needs rest. She needs space. She can’t keep pushing herself and being pushed for attention and love …

Periods, Running, and a Household of Boys

For years I have fought with the natural cycle of my body. My period would arrive and I would be like, “Ugggh one more thing to manage around everything else I am doing.” Now instead of resisting and fighting with my body’s natural cycle and the inconveniences it brings to running, mothering, and working…… I work with it. Once a month my cycle acts like a siphon of much needed energy for my brain and muscles. It stresses my nerves, patience and hijacks my sense of humor (ask my husband about that one!). During this regular scheduled monthly occurrence I am afraid to be around anyone for fear that I have been possessed by someone unrecognizable to the outside world who will wreak havoc on my skills and relationships. Then, one day the light bulb came on. I don’t know if it was when I was trying to manage stuff  in the bathroom with my little boys busting in and out, or if it was talking with my amazing coach that enlightened me to to stop fighting …

Take Me to Church

Most Sunday mornings my “church” is running a trail, eating pancakes with my family, or cruising slopes in the mountains. Sometimes however, I do find myself in the sanctuary of a building that holds a proverbial steeple.  Growing up I argued to my Mom that I was closer to God on the mountain. Back then I meant I was higher in the sky to where God lives. Today that takes on such larger meaning. Many ask why I would drag two boys (make that three) to church on the only day of the week we have no where to be. The sermon I heard on this day articulated it so well for me,  “it is a place where we experience the world as it should be.” I am drawn to church to experience hope that the world can be a place of  calm, peace, and forgiveness. When I feel low I can count on  these sanctuaries – nature, church, community  – to lift me up and remind me there is something beyond what we can see and touch in …

Some Days Training Looks Like This

Mothering two active and enthusiastic boys requires more strength and fitness than running often does. I am still unclear if training keeps me fit for mothering or if mothering keeps me fit for training.  Pushing ninety-pounds of boy + big wheel + snack rickshaw-style from swimming lessons to little league at eight-minute mile pace so we aren’t late for the game is certainly strength building. Driving is of course an option if I want to spend my entire Saturday sitting in the car, sitting at the lesson, and then more sitting at the game.Using human power to get where we need to go as often more fun, faster (no searching for parking!), and efficient. Run with them then stretch on the sidelines seems to be an all-around win for all! Running home after running to swimming lessons. Noah has great time speeding there on his big wheel with me next to him pushing the Burley for his inevitable rickshaw-style ride home (above)Then there is this workout option: A grocery store “run” becomes an excellent conditioning workout. Sometimes …

Visit to the Ol’ NICU

Not long ago I revisited the place were hope is born. I went to the California Pacific Medical Center NICU where a friend sat beside her thriving, three pound, thirty week preemies (Yes twins!). I was greeted be the familiar face of a nurse who’s name I could not remember, and then I saw Joe, and then Diane, and before I knew it these nurses were whisking me into the door, giving me big hugs and taking me straight to see Lisa’s precious babies. Before I could say much, there I was, standing in the room with all the isolettes (I hate the word ‘incubators’ because it makes the babies sound like they are sick chickens), the alarms, and flashing lights. It has been a long time since I saw a three pound baby. I held back the tears. I also held back disbelief that these careful angels (nurses) took me straight to Lisa’s babies without her permission. She was doing her deed in the pumping room at the time. The tears  I cried in …

Eight Anniversary of Coming Home

December tenth doesn’t mean much to my enthusiastic 8 year old. He doesn’t get presents and it isn’t his birthday. To me however, this day never goes by without a moment to note its very special significance. Today will always be the day we brought our first born home from his 96 day stay at California Pacific Medical Center. It was a long sleepless night for all of us. I was terrified. I had convinced myself that babies were best cared for under the twenty-four hour attention of highly trained medical professionals and, maybe he was better off there until he is was one year old. Something so natural as bringing your baby home from the hospital seemed inconceivable for me at that time. He seemed so safe in the hospital. Bringing him home felt equivalent to running a mountain ridge with scissors in your hand. First Ride in the car. Destination? Home! Of course it was time and ready or not he was coming home leaving behind the sanitized medical facility for the warm …

Transitioning to TaraDell Tells

I have been blogging about” The adventures of Eric and his brother Noah with plenty of Momma’s commentary. And sometimes Dad’s” since 2006.  The blog was initially started by my husband as a way to keep friends and family updated on Eric’s developmental milestones after he was born at 26 weeks and 2 day gestation. For those of you who don’t speak “weeks”, that is 3.5 months before his due date. I was only 6.5 months pregnant.As Eric has gotten bigger, stronger, older, and become a big brother to Noah, the blog transitioned to document many of the everyday normal joys and adventures of parenting. Today Eric’s blog feels more like a celebration of entering an unfamiliar, scary, and uncertain world and then, coming out on the other side with more joy and laughter than you could imagine.Please don’t puke at the gushiness of that statement! I am ripping my hair out, spinning in circles, and sometimes screaming (hardly every really) as much as the next normal parent. Parents to preemies, however have another tool …

What little boys are made of

The age-old nursery rhyme says girls are made of sugar and spice and everything nice and boys are made of snips, snails, and puppy dog tales. Today, as Noah and I parted for the day and he sent me off with a kiss. For the first time Noah blew me a kiss. Yes, he enjoys making dirt angels and thinks food in his hair is funny (literally will place food in his hair and proclaim “FUN -ny”) but there  is no denying he is sweeter than sugar and full of spice. I am a biased Momma for sure but, my boys are exceptionally sweet and I have met some little girls at the playground who were not so “sugar & spice” and how dare the treat me little men like that!  Funny to think that all men were once precious little boys. The thought of it has found me being a little bit nicer in those moments where I am  just a little irritated by the seemingly skillful way men can look right at you …