Sunday, May 13, 2012

Adventures in biking...and such

I do love me some adventures. Not necessarily the crazy, wild, hard-core sort (though I like some of those too, at least i did in the past) but more the real raw, pee your pants laughing kind of quirky stuff that follows me where I go. Well it used to follow me quite often, though I must say my adventures have turned a bit more mundane as of late. This weekend's adventure included things like running a mother's day 5 k and crossing the finish with Wills hand in mine as I smiled for the camera, after which Chad whispered "did you pee your pants!?" followed by me "well just a little when I was pushing it at the end there"...followed by him noting "well it doesn't look like just a little!!" Followed by me looking down!! and then wrapping myself in the Ergo baby carrier. dang gray running pants...don't hide a thing!)
I had a goal for mother's day to find some single track to ride. This used to be a quite easy task, but now as we live in these flat lands east of Denver it's a bit of a challenge. My great trail finding husband felt we could take both kids (will on his 2 wheeler and ruby in the Chariot...or Will AND Ruby AND Wills 2-wheeler pulled by the Chariot) ride east and find some lovely single track (flat, but lovely). So we rode. Will whined. He pulled it together. He whined again. I told him the story of when I first got my mountain bike and decided to go on a 100 mile mt bike ride in Moab w/ a group of professional mt. bike riders (okay. they weren't all pros, just 3 of 9 of them- thank goodness Chad didn't allow me to put that granny cushion on the seat that I though would cushion my tush for 100miles of riding over 3 short days--it really would have looked ridiculous). I told Will about how we started out on the pavement and I huffed and puffed a bit, but thought it wasn't so bad....though then I realized this wasn't even part of the ride. I told him how we dropped in and the down hill was rocky and fast and I sucked it up to look like a bad ass a hard-core rider I could hang. Then I told him about all of that sand we had to ride through (it was Canyonlands after all). I told him how I wanted to whine. (and I did a little to Chad who always sees my worst side- sorry honey). And then I told him how sore my butt was...and then I told him how I biked up "hogback" mountain, (at day 2) and walked part of it and it felt really hard! Then I sped up the story and said in the end I almost kept up (with the pros...when they were tuckered out and not trying so hard) and how it felt good. Then I told him about the Engine that Could. Then Will pushed it, rode up the hill, stopped whining for a few minutes....and then he got in the Chariot and rode with Ruby. Finally, about an hour into the ride (with only 1 diaper and 2 packages of baby food snacks and no water b/c I had cross-threaded the water bottle and it leaked all over the Chariot floor) we realized it was almost 5 pm. I spotted some single track. It was in the trees and near a creek. Although it was flat, there were some rolling hills and some rocks. I rode for a few minutes and smiled...then asked Will if he wanted to hope on. It was mother's day and we both rode on some single track together for about 126feet before Will spotted some rocks and a down hill and melted down, and (in a distance on the path) Ruby spotted rocks on the ground and wanted out so she melted down. We tried to load up the kids and head back home...but we (and the biker that passed us while cringing from our noise) could all see it wasn't going to work. So I sat on the trail and fed Ruby as Will ate the pouches of baby food and tried to suck drops of water out of the drained water bottle. Chad left me with the bike trailer, 2kids, and Will's 2wheeler and he biked like the wind to go home get the car and come get us. We hung out on the trail, and Ruby ate rocks and crawled on my bike. I looked in the distance and saw some fun rolling single track and Will rode up and down a gravel path feeling proud of himself.
Ah, it was mother's day. So Chad arrived a bit later to take us all to dinner. Since it was close to 6 pm we changed our plans and decided to go to a nicer restaurant as I was craving a mother's day drink of some sort. Chad had thrown some clothes together to include: 2 bras a tank top and some jeans (?!). He did a great job packing up the rest so I couldn't complain that he forgot shoes, so I had to walk into the restaurant wearing my bike shoes ( for but only 1 of the bras. The waitress wasn't so impressed with us. Ruby still had a rock in her cheek (not really...I took it out in the car), but away we ordered. Will and Chad had a minor altercation mostly about him zoning out and blocking a party of 8 and a waitress by standing in the corridor and people watching (he really is my kid). So we went to the fountains to get a positive ending to our evening.
We headed home and pulling in Chad noted that was a fun little adventure...just ask I said "BIKE!!" and we heard "CRUNCH" and Chad yelled "FU*@CK"...and then we saw my bike seat stuck in the garage door.
...and after a bit of maneuvering and the kids playing in the driveway at 8pm, and Ruby eating more all turned out okay...all because it was my full suspension bike. Ironic how I never get to use my full squish these days, but it DOES in fact come in handy as the shocks take well to garage door and no one gets hurt (except for Will who will likely yell "fu*@ck" during an upcoming biking adventure).

Monday, January 30, 2012

contining to amaze me

it was 4 short years ago that chad was stuck on a a snowstorm...talking to his wife (me) on the phone who was in early labor. an hour later, chad hopped off the bus, and walked through the snow, uphill, on a sprained ankle to come be with me at home.
28hours later at 11.57pm the following day, will was born.

i just put will to bed we talked about what his life as a 3 year old was like, and i thought i'd write it down (in case he wants to read it someday).

as a 3 year old will lived in 2 separate houses...
fell in love w/ trains, and especially loved the train museum...
flew on a plane to san diego to hang w/ his cousins,
watched his baby sister grow in utero and teased that we'd name her patsy...
played on a soccer team...
gave up his binkie (finally) all by himself for the love of the basketball hoop bringing binkie fairy)...
ditched his diapers (finally) for the love of the soccer net bearing diaper fairy...
became a big brother!
learned how to ride a pedal bike "with no training wheels" (he just snuck that accomplishment in in the final days of being 3)
acclaimed "froggy went a courtin'" as his alltime favorite song
went to the zoo (a lot) and the art museum (a lot) and learned to jump in the pool and go under water
started eating a rainbow of food and said things like "mom can i have more salad please" (i completely owe this to his preschool teacher)
started to venture out on his own (a little)
did a lot of fire truck riding, fire pole sliding and water hose shooting play..
spent time with friends and family...
went camping, snowshoeing, cross country skiing, and rock climbing...
ran his first 1 mile fun run (in buena vista) and his first turkey trot (in louisville)
laughed a lot, cried some, drew a lot and even wrote some words and letters.
held a girls hand (he's stingy on this one) (maggie)...
made his sister giggle, and giggled back...
fell in love with christmas and all things magical about celebrations and traditions...

will continues to amaze me with his tender heart, his athletic skills, his creativity and his ability to understand others emotions. he is my silly, sweet, kind boy, and i continue to strive to parent him in a way that helps him become who he is. the amount of learning i do is what amazes me most.

happy birthay to my 4 year old. may this year hold exciting adventures, rites of passage and many memories.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

well-intended parenting advice

once we become parents (or pregnant for that matter) the advice invitational is open. at times it’s a bit excessive, and our filters and happy faces need to be on full force. but alas…advice shapes parenting, and being mindful in what advice we accept, disregard, and pass along is an effort in itself. a wise friend recently made the point that maternal instinct is real and part of our evolutionary makeup. it’s taken me 3+ years to trust in it, and it gets both blurred and been matured by parenting advice.

starting early, I was given several different books and advice tidbits on how to help my baby sleep (a desperate need as a new mother!!). I remember how I thought I could just dabble in a bit of several and mix them up to what worked. I vividly remember being with my bff (with my 2wk old son) in a book store and asking her about a sleep book (I had been given) that claimed to make me ‘wise’ about my baby, and what she thought about it. She’s not one to typically give strong advice, but from her mouth came “that book is evil” (and then she walked away, without elaborating or trying to convince me of the point). I was shocked that a book written on becoming wise to your baby could provoke such a comment. it wasn’t right away that I realized why (I didn’t think to google why it was so controversial)… then come to find out years later it’s actually recommended against by the AAP and has been linked to dehydration and failure to thrive. it’s built on the philosophy to help your child detach from communicating their needs, and allowing the parent to be in charge. why in the world would a well intending mama pass this advice along and swear by it?!?! because it works for some…it gives a plan a schedule, and for some that’s most important. how can I argue with that? but then what…then if we teach our kids to detach at a young age, how does this impact how they respond as toddlers or teenagers?? does it affect them all of them, or just the ones who really need more attachment? do some kids need more attachment and/or to trust in their voice at a very young age than others?

I am learning that there are many different philosophies to parenting…child centered (attach to your child, read their behavior as a clue to something deeper), parent centered (parents are in control and teach children control), and then there are ones that are centered around making money (think Disney or McDonalds, and how they market to our children and teach them certain lessons) (as a side note, I recently attended a conference (on nutrition and the brain) that noted we are the ONLY country that allows fast food to market to kids (?) and that meat is steamed until all flavor is gone (thankfully to prevent ecoli), and then synthetic flavor (what kind of chemicals are those?) is added back into the food- thus it will always taste the same…creating a comfort food that lasts through generations, that we neurochemically associate with good times and an exact flavor/smell). (I never had to think from a point of view where companies are marketing to my kids with a certain agenda…not all bad, but I now realize I have to question what they teach kids, and at such a young age, depending on what we expose them too).

we parent with the best tools we have available. my mother in law (who i consider very wise) has noted we don’t have to be perfect parents (that’s not possible) just good enough parents. sometimes (or most times!) we don’t have time or energy to seek out other tools, sometimes we listen to advice that enhances our intuition and other times advice that works but doesn’t always feel right. (recently a mama on a listserve im on asked if it was a good idea if she locked her son in his room at bedtime b/c he kept coming out, or if that would scare him? some of the advice (parent centered) said that ‘threats go a long way’ and that it would keep him contained; other advice (child centered) questioned if his behavior was a sign to something deeper going on with him. ultimately, it seemed to me that the mama’s intuition was that it would likely scare her 4 year old to be locked up, but she was asking the question b/c she was questioning her intuition, and at a loss for other tools to use. as parents we’ve probably all been in a situation where we’ve been at a loss and questioned our intuition, or we certainly will at many points along the way.

I recently read a blog that talked about the reality of being an imperfect parent and making mistakes…she commented that our main goal in parenting is to 1- accept that we are human (thus we’ll always make mistakes) 2- help teach our children what it means to be human (accepting mistakes and learning from them). I go back and read that blog regularly.

when I turn on the news (which is rare these days) i wonder why do we have so much violence and detachment (is it more than usual or just the nature of humans). is there something we can do as a community of parents raising the next generation?

my mother in law has been teaching a parenting class that touches on these concerns. shes compiled brain research that notes the brain has such significant development in the first 3 years of life (nurture vs. nature), and that the human brain can change with stimulation (at any age), that babies can’t self sooth until 18 mos, that kids who have secure attachment, especially at a young age, have higher self confidence and lower depression when they are in high school, that wrestling with kids (dad attachment- as males are evolutionarily are physical) is showing kids are better learners…the list goes on and on. she implies that we as a community of parents can raise the next generation to be attached and secure and make positive changes in our world. it's quite a heavy task.

then I have to stop reading and thinking too hard on how to change the world. i remember im human, we’re all human. we’re trying to teach my kids to be human and grow up in the world around them. (then i think of steve martin in parenthood and smile). don’t we all want the same thing, to be a good parent and to have good kids. to be a good enough parent. to be human and to teach kids to be human.

then I have to start reading again….and find my intuition…it’s in there somewhere if I can continue to figure out how to listen to it and use it.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

when will grows up

tonite before bed chad was rocking him and i overheard:
will: "dad, what's this fur?"
chad: "that's chest hair"
will: "oh"
chad: "when you grow up you'll have chest hair too"
will: "no i won't, because when i grow up i'm going to be a mom"
chad: (trying to explain)...
will: (not having any part of it) "no, im going to be a mom"

Monday, August 22, 2011

why "Ruby Adelle"

several years ago, the hackensaw boys came out with the song ruby pearl...i loved this song and loved the name ruby. when we found out we were having a girl, chad (and will) joked that we'd name her after patsy cline. (no such chance would i have my daughter's initials be "pee pee"). after much debate...ruby won the hearts and seemed fitting that she was born in july (ruby is the birthstone), and destine to be our spunky child (as will is our mellow, gentle soul). we debated a middle name. wanted to carry on the wisdom and legacy of a former generation, but didn't have a name we loved. we listened to gillian welch during most of labor, and so 'gillian' was a close choice for the middle name, but it didn't quite fit. once ruby was born we came upon adelle. certainly from a former generation, full of wisdom and antiquity. we came to find out it meant 'gentle' and 'kind' and nicely off set the red spunk of ruby "a sister of pearl whose feet are kicked up on the dance floor" (so our name book read). i had loved the name 'del' when we were thinking of boy names, and have always enjoyed the del mccoury band. music was such a part of chad and i coming together, especially with bluegrass and the start of our relationship in north carolina. we had great times at festivals and music venues all around. i even became a clogger (and performed at fiddlers grove and the eno river festival- my claims to fame!--imagine where i could be now if we stayed in nc?!) to fully embrace the north carolina music scene, in the only way i could.

(ruby, that's your clogging mama in the middle there...:))

thus having a name that has music roots fit well. ruby adelle, we love you so.

(for a good can see me and the "mighty wind" as chad lovingly referred to us as)

Monday, August 8, 2011

Ruby's Birth Story

for two weeks the contractions had been curiously presenting and then fading away, but on july 19th, she decided she was ready. (i sure was!)

2am, i awoke glowing- literally. the moon (just past full) was crossing the sky and for about 5 minutes it hovered in the window above our bed. i awoke contracting and glowing, and certain i was having some bizarre esoteric dream- likely all the spicy food i had been consuming just before bed. but no, it was an actual contraction, and i somehow knew that i'd be meeting our little girl before long. i laid in bed enjoying (and breathing into) the stillness and getting ready to wake chad (after all the false alarms, he had gone to bed, saying, "don't wake me up this time" :)). through the monitor, will woke up just then, calling for us and crying. it's amazing how in tune he is. luckily chad was able to settle him right down and he was back to sleep.

4.30am, lit candles and got the bathwater ready between contractions. chad was packing our bags, i kept coming up with random extra things to bring with us :). got into the bath, and lasted about 3mintues before deciding that the yoga ball was much better. soon after, my water broke, and the reality that this was it, became even more clear. chad called our doula (jennieve), his parents (to come hang with will) and the midwife.

5.30, our house filled w/ chad's parents and jenneive. the sun began to rise. little baby pearson was getting ready to come, she was rotated posterior, and jennieve and chad helped me get her to flip (phew, no back labor this time!). things progressed, and by 7am it was time to go.

our house is only about 5 min to the hospital (where i also work) and i was planning to work that day, and would have been arriving around 7.15, now instead, i was arriving in active labor at the same exact time. shuttling up the main entrance elevators in labor was interesting to say the least.

we went to the wrong floor and had to shuttle up the elevators again. random lady trying to congratulate me and touch me and say how beautiful labor was- luckily the elevator ride wasn't long. i had tears of overwhelm, just from being around so many people at that stage of labor. we checked into our room, and got back onto the yoga ball. all was well in that moment.

one of my biggest fears was labor slowing down once we got to the hospital, but things continued to progress. they set up the birthing tub and checked me and i was over half way there (6 1/2 cm!). being a teaching hospital, there was quite a team of people supporting me. our midwife, a midwife student, a nurse and a nursing student, chad, jennieve, and another nurse who came and went. in the birthing tub i was surrounded by people, but in a most calming and supportive way. i labored in the birth tub for about 2 hrs. i was convinced that i needed the yoga ball in the tub. they entertained my request, but after trying to push a huge inflated ball into a tub of water multiple times (with it flying up into the air w/ the resistance of the water), i finally came to my senses...and was able to laugh between contractions. what an amazing and intense range of emotions from laughter to tears to pure exhaustion/ sleep.

chad was amazing...and exhausted too :)

after about 2 hrs laboring in the tub, the midwife asked if i felt ready to push. before she could even get her query out, i felt an overwhelming compulsion to push. the intensity was overwhelming. the challenge was to try not to control it, rather to work with it. i fought it for a while, and then my midwife asked if i was scared of anything. i immediately shook my head, and said "i don't want to push again for 4 hrs." she assured me i'd meet this little girl any moment.

it wasn't quite a moment later, but after an hour of pushing and all of it's intensity, she arrived (1:03pm) kicking in the water, with a smile on her face.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

big brother

I woke up this morning to Will's smiling face in front of mine...

Will: "Mom, I have something to tell you"
Me: "what's up buddy"
Will: "my penis is getting really bigger" (grabbing onto his pee filled diaper)
Me: "...oh"
Will: "It's because I'm going to be a big brother...that's why my penis is getting bigger"
Me: ".....interesting...?!?"