Category Archives: Random rambling

Desk Dreaming

After my morning routine with the triplets, I arrived at work at 8:30 and went through my emails and to do list for the day. I paused for a minute to dream of a generic great adventure, standing high above the world on a peak with amazing vistas, I inhaled the crisp clean air, imagining the challenges I overcame to get there. I snapped back to reality with a work related phone call and then decided to check Facebook where I saw that Matilda Rapaport had died after being caught in an avalanche in South America, undoubtedly the same type of adventure I yearned for. I cried – right there in my office chair. Paralyzed, I thought maybe I should take a break and walk my dog, but I decided to write this. I didn’t personally know Matilda, but she became the kind of person you thought you knew because we had a lot of mutual friends and I followed her on Instagram. I knew she was 30, just married. Though our lives are totally different, I can remember when I was 29 and recently married and all the great things that have happened since. I’m sad because she seemed like the kind of person that would’ve loved what the next chapter of life would bring. Last year, I had a similar reaction to the passing of Liz Daley, another beautiful soul who I may have only met once, but felt connected to. I don’t know why these deaths are so sobering. I feel I’ve gained a sense of risk adversity were I would not ski terrain in snow conditions where avalanches could occur – I mean, I won’t even bike scary things since having the triplets. As females, we’re also reassured in avalanche courses that we are more risk averse – statistics show it. But statistics do not mean it will never happen. I’m sad today for the years these women, who were smart, adventurous, loving, and fun, won’t get to spend on our planet, because we need more people like them now, more than ever. Sending love to Matilda’s friends and family.

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Filed under Backcountry Skiing, Random rambling, Skiing

All the Guilts

I get all the guilts. It’s probably my Catholic upbringing. Thanks mom. Maybe the new Pope will change this practice? At any rate, whenever the triplets tear apart Lego structures or knock over a tower, I like to tell them “nothing is permanent” Maybe they’ll be Buddhists.

#1. Mom guilt – obviously. Is there a mom that doesn’t get this? I recently met my goal of exclusive breast milk for a year though and this has relieved a bit of the guilt. Now most of the guilt comes from simply not having enough time to spend with the triplets because I’m either working, doing adult chores, or trying to get outside and do something fun.

Here are my kids, under-dressed, in the snow, one is crying. I’m smiling. Mom guilt just looking at this photo.


A video proving I’m into “free-range parenting”

#2. Skier guilt – this is also commonly called FOMO or fear of missing out and it doesn’t just apply to skiing but that was fresh on my mind this winter. This guilt manifests itself with the following internal thoughts, “there’s good snow out there, I should ski it!” or “I haven’t skied Tallac this year yet” or “Lines are filled in here in Tahoe that haven’t been for years and I haven’t skied any of them!” Just thinking about this is overwhelming, makes we want to run to my car, get my ski stuff together, and drive to the end of Fallen Leaf lake and ski Halls of the Gods.

By the way, I did ski Tallac this year in a last minute skier guilt induced mission!


I also skied one of the Emerald Bay chutes which I’d never skied. See, writing is cathartic!

#3. Environmental guilt – Triplets increased my carbon footprint. No doubt about it. Shear time constraints have forced me to drive more. Shear number of family members have forced us to own bigger cars. At least I didn’t fly anywhere this year to ski. Every year I want to compost and I can’t seem to get it together. Oh yeah and SO MANY DIAPERS = SO MUCH GUILT!

I biked to work two times this spring! The bad thing about this is, see Scout back there, I just found out she has 2 partially torn ACLs… probably from biking and skiing… more mom guilt!


By the way, Shifting Ice and Changing Tides is now free to watch on-line!

#4. Community guilt – Attending that community meeting, friend’s social gathering, fundraiser, etc. is going to send me off the deep end. Sometimes I have to go to bed at 8:30. Other times I have to use the time between 8:30 and 9:30 to obsessively prepare wholesome food to assuage mom guilt as described above.

#5. Work guilt – I don’t have much to add about this except that in busy periods I wish I could do more work. Doing more work leads to more #1, #2, and #4 guilts – maybe a bit less #3 guilt since my job is to help improve the environment. Is that a catch 22? Or is it ironic? Damn it Alanis! I bet Buddhism holds the answer.

#6. Non-paleo guilt – I just ate 3 cookies while writing this post.

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Filed under Backcountry Skiing, Biking, Random rambling, Tahoe, Triplets

A day before the big day

1 day until the triplets turn 1! Unbelievable. Declan and Beacan have been standing on their own and trying to take steps. Cormac is close behind. He loves standing and swaying back and forth.

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Declan at the playground a few weeks ago!

Goofing around on Scout's bed the day before their 1st birthday

Goofing around on Scout’s bed the day before their 1st birthday

Martha came to town a few weeks ago and I had a great time showing here around.

Martha enjoying Tahoe's backcountry

Martha enjoying Tahoe’s backcountry

We capped off the week with a showing of Shifting Ice and Changing Tides at the Tahoe Art Haus and Cinema in Tahoe City. It was my first time seeing it on the big screen! Very cool! If the Winter Wildlands Alliance Film Festival is playing near you, check it out!

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Filed under Backcountry Skiing, Random rambling, Skiing, Tahoe, Triplets

Trials and Trip-ulations of a Skier Mom

Winter has arrived early in Lake Tahoe this year. After 4 consecutive years of sub-par winters, the early snow is a welcome gift. After taking last year off, I’m excited to ski, but knowing I’m also busier than I’ve ever been and so I feel a need to make ski days “count.” This is a somewhat dangerous way to think if you’re traveling in the backcountry, so it’s required me to shift my attitude, avoid social media a bit, and revel in the journey. Here are a few lessons from the 5 days I’ve been skiing so far this winter…

1. I have to be efficient. I often pump on the way to and from skiing. I’m pretty sure a Sierra at Tahoe employee caught a glimpse of my milk makers while changing into my pumping bra after skiing a few runs up there early season. Solution: wear pumping bra under sports bra to avoid embarrassing encounters!

Early season turns at Sierra


2. Pumping en route to a backcountry ski, I decided to forgo bringing a coolor and simply buried my pumping parts in the snow near my truck. As I skied back to the truck, I noticed ravens circling above. I panicked – they had the ziploc bag my pumping parts and milk was in. Where was everything!?!? AHHHH! I literally started yelling! I hurried over to the bury location and, sure enough, nothing was there. My friend had picked up the scattered parts, but there was one missing. I looked around in despair, but spotted 2 of the 3 birds perched on a tree just a few hundred feet away. I waded through the thigh deep snow and saw a little pock mark in the snow. I reached down and pulled out the missing part! WOW! Solution: Bring a cooler, even birds love breast milk!

Great ski partners also help you find your pumping parts!


3. When, it’s cold, it’s COLD. Left my pump in the car and had to hook it back up after a few hours of skiing in the cold. Solution: be tough, which you already are if you’re a mom.

4. Messing up has bigger consequences. I was skiing around at Kirkwood when I swiped a tree. I heard a jingle. I stopped and checked my pocket. It was ripped and the keys had fallen out. STAY CALM. I have nerves of steel thanks to the multiple times I’ve had to accomplish things with 3 babies crying. My eyes darted, I saw a dark spot right behind me in the snow. The keys. Phew. My babies would not be going hungry. Solution: practice makes perfect… stay calm.

A father of 2 making his ski days count! After sampling this powder, a pushed it a bit and almost lost my keys!


5. Weighing 205 lbs in March 2015 had a way of keeping my legs strong. I’ve lost all the weight, but exercising twice a week since then has made the impact of early season skiing a lot harder! I’m sore! Solution: I only really have 2 or 3 hrs to ski anyway, so ha, but maybe I’ll pull out my alpine set up a few more times this year!

Working out the early season kinks


6. MOM GUILT. This is unavoidable, but I’m such a happier person after skiing and I know the triplets see this when I come home and dive right into hanging out with them. Solution: Go skiing!

Excessively hard to leave these future skiers but one day I won’t be able to keep up!

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Filed under Backcountry Skiing, Random rambling, Skiing, Tahoe, Triplets

Light at the End of the Tunnel

I’ve been living at the hospital for 16 days. I wonder if it’s harder to live at the hospital as a sick person or a completely healthy, albeit overly pregnant, person. I’ve had daily visitors and sometimes it’s felt like a party. It’s a different way to live, that’s for sure. We do things like play Scrabble and complete puzzles. I’ve learned 3 songs on the ukulele. Yesterday a kind nurse escorted my mom and I outside because of hospital policy and told us about the pool on the campus across the street. We stopped in and found out that there is a special program for preggos with a doctor’s note – $5 for water exercise. I was in… especially if I could swim laps. So we went to work and got a note from my doctor and all I needed was my swimming stuff which another friend kindly dropped off. Then… the supervisor rained on everyone’s parade. Even the nurses were sad. She said it was against hospital policy for me to go. Wah wah.

I've come a long way since getting here... they used to only let me leave in a wheelchair! Pushed here by another pregnant woman.

I’ve come a long way since getting here… they used to only let me leave in a wheelchair! Pushed here by another pregnant woman.


Not to be discouraged, I decided to try on my maternity swimsuit (which is now a very suspect fit) and do a little experiment. I like to refer to it as “hospital adventures.” So I walked over there (illegally) and gave them my doctor’s note and they said only the class is $5, not lap swim and classes were already over for the day. PLAN FOILED! But it was still an adventure and broke up the day. There’s always tomorrow. Stay tuned for the next edition of “hospital adventures.”
Another type of "hospital adventures" - walks around the floor and coming up with funny captions.

Another type of “hospital adventures” – walks around the floor and coming up with funny captions.


So, what is the plan? Well, I’m on the schedule for one week from today if all continues to go well. That would be 36 weeks along plus 1 or 2 days depending on who you talk to. I’m trying to enjoy the quiet as I’m about to be overstimulated for the next 15 years at least.

Lastly, I want to thank a bunch of people. My husband for taking care of everything at home and bringing me all the things I need at the hospital. My mom for flying out here to keep me company and staying for a while to help with the triplets. My friends who have taken care of Scout the puppy. And all my amazing visitors who have taken my mind off living in the hospital by accompanying me on walks, playing games, bringing me healthy and delicious food, and just making a lot of funny jokes. THANK YOU!

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No, I Live Here

“Are you checking in?” a Labor and Delivery employee I haven’t met asks me. “No, I live here.” I’ve been “living” at the hospital for two weeks now. Nothing has really changed, except that it has become my new normal and I’ve accepted the situation. My daily highlights include any visitors, showering, and my daily jaunt outside. I had to fight hard for daily outside time, but I won. It’s the little things.

My friend Dane took this photo after a rousing game of Scrabble. We’ve had a few friends over to my new apartment for game night.

I’m still pretty mobile and healthy and the babies seem to be doing great. I’ve occupied my time with reading, watching Netflix, Hulu, and some of the movies a friend brought me, befriending the nurses and cleaning staff, doing a puzzle, and most recently, playing the ukulele. I tried the knitting thing, but it hasn’t stuck.

Baby monitoring selfie. They monitor the babies 2 times a day now just to make sure everyone is doing well.


The end is not quite in site yet, but I’m at least 1/2 way done with the hospital stay.

Here’s the nursery, pretty much complete, right before I left for the hospital. Awesome mobiles over the cribs courtesy of my baby shower.


Since going from zero to three babies will be shocking, at least returning to my own home will feel like a victory. Stay tuned!

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A Few of My Favorite Things… #delusionaloptimism

I’ve been in the hospital for 6 days. The consensus seems to be that I have an overly cautious and pessimistic doctor who thinks I’m developing preeclampsia. Meanwhile, all my lab results are negative, there is no sign of labor, and my blood pressure is in the normal range. A nurse even tried to reason with him. It didn’t work. I’m here. I’m not going to lie, it’s incredibly frustrating and I’ve spent more than 20 hours crying, but it is time for an attitude adjustment and working on things I can control. Let’s not even get into the fact that I’ve lost control of my own health care.

I read this article today about how happy thoughts can help you be happier. Since my personal happiness is important for the health of the babies, I immediately started instituting some of the ideas… specifically: “Positive Mental Time Travel” and “Being Optimistic, Even to the Point of Delusion.” Positive Mental Time Travel is somewhat obvious, I think back to all the amazing places I’ve been and the good times I’ve had. Favorites include our Grand Canyon Trip in 2012, ski trips up north, or just time at the lake or on the beach. In all of these fantasies, I feel myself mentally transcending my body and I literally feel the happiness I felt at those times permeating through my body. It’s weird, but it feels great.

Wow, I look happy here proving TLC wrong. Let’s pretend we’re in Havasu Creek.

We’re so happy here! Let’s pretend the hospital is actually a backcountry ski hut in British Columbia! (photo by Emily Polar)

Delusional optimism involves mental time travel that includes the triplets. Examples include:

It’s 20 years from now. The triplets are fine musicians and performing on stage at Coachella and I’m right there – they give me a bit part playing some instrument. The crowd is loving it!

It’s 5 years from now and we scored a Grand Canyon permit! We bring all of our best friends and have a perfect time – costume parties every night, games at camp, great weather and hikes.

It’s 10 years from now. The triplets have become competent sailors. We decide to sail to Europe for the ski season so the boys can train under Austrian coaching. We spend the fall sailing and traveling and then spend the winter and spring living near Salzburg. We decide to complete our sail by swinging back around Iceland and I show them the Shifting Ice route in April.

The list goes on and on and it’s pretty fun!

Music, also music, like this performance by Solange. The dance moves cheer me up. I think the babies move more when I play this.

 

Upbeat pop music always lightens the mood.

I feel better already!

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