Friday, April 24, 2015


I am trapped.  Standing pressed up against the ice machine in the little nook staring desperately at the nozzle that dispenses water.  Hoping that I can just keep my shoulders from displaying the heavy sob that threatens to expose me.  I am pretending to not notice, playing the role of unknowing stranger despite having just made brief eye contact with the mom, I am not sure I am pulling this off.  But I stand there desperately hoping they pass quickly before I crumble.  Moments before I was walking through those doors into the woman’s care recovery unit where they had so graciously allowed me to keep coming to refill my silly giant hospital cup while I was here.   I’m walking holding my mug when the sudden sound of the lullaby that is supposed to be a bright spot through the hospital goes off.  I have come to know this song as a warning sign for us NICU moms.  “Steer clear,” it says as it taunts us of what was not meant to be.  But here I was directly in front of the hallway where they press the button and push the women from the birth center into the recovery area whether they are with their babies or not.  I was not.  My turn was confusing, and angering.  Why did I get a lullaby so they could pretend that this was a happy moment for me crossing through that hall without my child in my arms?  Why would I want to announce my entrance from the birth room into the world where I was not with my child?  My bodies dysfunction that caused my baby to be taken from me at birth, my shock and sadness now proclaimed throughout the hospital as a happy event for all to smile at.  The lullaby announced my new life of having had a baby and having nothing in my arms to tend to but rather a new address to visit my infant while she grew.  My new role of NICU mom.  I was the unknown mother, the one who hid from the other new moms in their celebratory joy.  Like a leper so aware of their unique and unhappy repulsion, I was a bizarre version of new motherhood and everyone knew it.   I am the unexpected outcome.  The other mothers and hospital employees would recoil from me so that they too would not catch NICU.   At least, this is what it feels like.  The requirement pressed upon me now is to allow others the joy that I am denied and to hide my desolation and resentment. So there I am, right there, in front of another woman’s exultant moment and her song that announcement of her new motherhood.  It is a proclamation to the hospital to join in her celebration.  The doors swing open and I have two options, to turn and run or to quicken my pace to beat them to the cubby where the ice machine is so I can hide.  But I was not quick enough to avert my eyes as I made that eye contact with the mom, happy smile on her face and new born infant snuggled in her arms as the joy abounded around them.  And I nearly collapsed in the presence of her euphoric moment.  My sadness overwhelms me and for a brief moment I freeze.  I am trapped. But my strength, pride, and embarrassment of my jealousy, brought to me to the cubby, where I turned my back and pretended to be filing my mug for an unusually long amount of time as they passed.  I want to avoid my reality as much as I want that mom to experience all of hers without the burden of my sorrow.  Shoulders shivering through my sobs as I am trying to quiet and hold still.  And then they are past.  That mom, with her happy moment, that lullaby and their joy all passed me by.

Update:  It took several weeks in the NICU before I quit cowering or raging at that lullaby (usually that came in the form of tears or me flipping off the speakers).  Sitting in the NICU awkwardly holding my wired and tubed infant as the lullaby played, often felt like a slap in the face.  But it got easier, especially as things became a little less scary with Fern.  Then I just was jealous that I never really got that jubilant moment.  I wanted that happy moment to leave with my baby alive and healthy and thriving.  If that was meant to be, when it happened I wanted it shouted to the world or at least trumpeted to the rest of the hospital.  When that day came for us to go home we exited that NICU door hugging nurses along the way.  We entered the Woman’s Care Unit and as I said goodbye to one of my favorite nurses I joked that now was when I needed my lullaby played.  She quickly got on the phone.  And as we passed through those wide double door exits from Woman’s Care…… I got my lullaby at the appropriate triumphant moment.   

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Semi-Media free month

Goals for the month of Feb:
1.  The kids get absolutely no screen time (either peripheral through my use of the computer, or their direct watching of shows.)
2.   I find other ways, healthier ways of escapism.  No FB and TV to use as a distraction.

I am allowing myself email and the occasional blog post.  I quite frankly don't have time for anything else, but I was always making time for TV and FB.

Anyways, we shall see how it goes.  It was easy at first, lots to do, but the evenings are increasingly difficult.  I would like to relax and watch a TV show, veg out.  Instead I am reading, going to bed earlier some nights, and talking with Nick on the nights he isn't working (which are few and far between).  I am finding that my desire for avoidance is primarily in any issues related to talking with Nick about finances or future.  I would just rather not.  So this should be good for me, force me up against the things that are currently causing the most discomfort.  I was expecting this, I anticipated it and I wanted the uncomfortable 
What hasn't happened that I was expecting was the release of time.  I thought that I would have more time for homeschooling and homeschool planning, housework, life planning, cooking, etc...   I am finding this is not the case!  At least not yet, and I am surprised.  I assumed that giving up the time from using FB and TV would free me up to do other things, but since I used those things mostly in the evening after kids went to bed I am finding mostly that I am just plain too tired to do anything else after they go to bed, still!

My preconceived notions came from past media free experiments.   I went 9 mo. without FB (which is so silly isn't it? that this is an accomplishment).  And I have done truly media free months (usually once a year), so perhaps that was the difference.  Maybe what I am doing right now, by typing this, is the next piece that is not giving me my time back.  If I had the ability to give the email up that would equal a failing or resigning of my current obligations and roles for work, so it isn't possible but I am trying to minimize it.  And I absolutely will not check email when the kids are awake or around.

Well...this is not the end or even the middle, perhaps I will find a bit more time yet.
In the meantime, this is my current entertainment:

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Photo projects

     So I have had an idea for a photo project for a long time, can I pull it off?  The Samsung is on it's last leg and I would not describe it as a photographers camera.   I do not have formal training, and I know that can be a sore spot with professional photographers, but I feel like I have natural talent and I don't need the most current technology to agree with me.  I have had photographs published in newspapers and in an art show, but what I want to do has little to do with recognition and more to do with my passion.  I have a photograph of Frida Kahlo in my kitchen.  I adore her, but this photograph is brilliant, it is her.  It expresses her inner most self, her struggles and her pain and sorrow.  I feel so much looking at it and it inspires me.  I am using that photograph as inspiration in pursuing my project and I am hoping that my art will be received in the world with open arms.  I am currently using myself and my children as models/subjects but hopefully I will be able to use and find other women able and willing.

A small taste of what is coming.

I am so excited and inspired, when I am done I hope you are too!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Nearly Fall

Here we are with the sunlight dwindling, the apples ripened, the leaves are beginning to turn colors and fall.  I am hoping to meet that spirit, to find the ability to focus on the day, the rhythm.  I want to experience with intention the changes and the approaching darkness and create a sense of connection to all of this for the kids.  I am wondering where do I pull the energy to do so?  How do I find the space and time and passion again?  I seldom have the time alone to figure out the direction, or plan, or create.  I think the first place that must be drawn upon is my self rejuvenation.  This time of year as daylight hours decrease, our life essence dims and we are prone to weak wills, or weak immune systems.   I want to plan something and watch it bloom, watch it explode into creation.  I want the energy to follow through, the focus and drive to commit to the experience.   I am going to draw upon the sentiment of the traditional Waldorf festival of Michaelmas.  A true time to hold your inner light, to make sure you stoke the inner fires to allow you the sustenance to withstand the darkness that approaches.   Fires, apples, dragon bread, stories, nature walks, leaves and acorns all become the element of the season that is fast upon us.  May we all find the experience in the whirling leaves and the cool fall breezes, in the warm cup of tea and the early evening darkness.  Happy nearly fall.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

This Free Weekend in the Fort

Friday is First Friday.  From 6:00pm-9:00pm come and tour the downtown art galleries and museums.  Also a performance at 8:00 pm at the Oak Street Plaza by Bloco em FoCo an Afro-Brazilian drum ensemble.   Free!

Saturday is free drop off at CSU of household hazardous waste.

Saturday from 1:30pm- 10:30 pm in downtown is the Global Village Museum World Rhythm's event.  Performances representing sounds from around the world such as the Celtic group, Lalla Rockh or the West African dance and drumming troop Fale.  I started taking Fale's dance class last September after years of saying, "I want to do that someday."  Someday is fabulous.  This will be a fabulous event.  Oh, and did I mention? Free!!

Just a few things we will be doing this weekend!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Adventures in Smoothies

1 banana
1 bag frozen strawberries
handful of frozen blueberries and raspberries
a few pinches of fennel
fresh grated ginger