|Mark had it rough in the hospital|
|Mark had it rough in the hospital|
Here's a little story about one not-so-little boy's terrestrial debut and how his mom fared.
I know, I know, it's called "false labor" or "pre-labor" or "Braxton-Hicks" and it's not technically labor-labor, but still. My contractions were so frequent and so annoying that I'm calling this the longest labor on the record books -- 2 months at least! Crazy contractions from the beginning of February were basically preventing me from moving in most functional ways. Add that to an increasingly-willful two-year-old and a husband working pretty much any time he wasn't sleeping, and I was at the end of my sanity string.
I was sure Baby Surprise (we didn't know the gender) would come early since I had hardly any pre-labor with Maren and she was a few days early. Whereas with Maren I was really in no hurry to have my life turned upside-down and greatly in denial about the onset of labor, this time I felt like Baby couldn't come soon enough and I spent most of March thinking surely tonight was the night. But when I hit my due date of March 30 and I was dilated to a whopping ZERO, I gave up on ever giving birth and resigned myself to a state of permanent pregnancy.
Spoiler alert: the pregnancy DID eventually end! But before we cut to the chase, I want to display the awesome henna tattoos my sister did on my belly. The first one wore off too fast, so she did another last Saturday. She loves doing it and they look really cool!
|After washing off the henna -- it came out really light|
|The second one. Nice paisleys!|
|No-neck is not the most flattering newborn angle.|
|Blurry kiss picture|
Since I moved out of my parents’ house some 9 years ago, I have always lived somewhere with a shared wall or ceiling/floor. Some of these living arrangements have been better than others, of course. Most have been all right.
Remember the time I broke my leg? Here's the story in all its gory detail.
As a budding paraglider, you have to take risks. See me up there? That's pretty high, pretty risky. When you crash from up there, well...you're bound to take a hit.
Okay, okay, juuust kidding. That really isn't me. That's a pro. Fun to pretend though, right?
Anyway. This is what really happened.
I bought Mark a Groupon for a 4-hr paragliding class as a Father's Day present. I was hesitant to include myself in this adventure, but Mark insisted. Having recently committed to forgo lameness, I consented.
The day was set and awaited with much anticipation. My sister-in-law had also bought the coupon for my brother, and so had her sister and husband. It was to be a grand adventure.
The day arrived. I had slept poorly the night before, but we drove to Point of the Mountain at 6 in the a.m. excited nonetheless.
We were met by a crew of semi-professional paragliding men. They are the obviously outdoorsy type. We signed our lives away, were assigned our gear, and got ready for instruction. Instruction kind of went like this:
Outdoorsy guy: "We're going to talk about a ton of things right now, and you probably won't remember half of them," [nervous glances among us] "but that's okay. So, when I say 'flare,' you pull your arms down like this. Got it? Okay, we're ready to practice!"
At this point I commented to Mark that I was waiting for the rest of the "ton of things" that we were going to forget half of, but then we were running across the gravel parking lot with our arms over our heads and looking generally like chickens.
Then we went to the bottom of the hill. We watched an instructor do a demo. The message from the demo: "Keep your legs beneath you." Check.
They helped us get suited up.
Hello? Hello? Anyone still out there?
I have some existential issues with this blog, but that's a topic for another time, maybe. For now, let's talk about the zoo.
I bought a zoo pass because the zoo is about 2 miles from my house and it's something to do during the long lonely days of a medical resident's wife.
However, it's hot outside, and most of the interesting animals are doing exactly what I would be doing if I were caged up on a 90-degree-plus afternoon: hiding in the shade.
No worries, Maren isn't really interested in the animals anyway. She would rather do some combination of the following:
- jump in puddles
- stand on the bridge and look at the creek running below
- watch a Bobcat (the machine, not the animal) move gravel around in the construction zone
- look at the non-zoo birds nesting in some rafters
- push the stroller herself with reckless abandon
- wander around on foot giving high-fives to other (bewildered) kids in strollers
Which gives a mother cause to wonder why she spent all that money on a zoo pass. However, the zoo is savvy enough to put dinosaurs on display! This is excellent, and most children under the age of 6 were more interested in the dinosaurs than in any actual living animal (Maren included). Actually, if the zoo were really smart, they would just replace ALL the animals with mechanical replicas. The replicas would require much less care and would always be doing something interesting, like roaring and looking like they are about to devour you whole.
I love Chariots of Fire—especially the character of Eric Liddell—and here's why.
Sure it’s a great movie about honor, motives, and ambition. But I love it because Eric is a person committed to his faith, enough so that he’s willing to make a huge sacrifice to be true to his convictions. And he’s still normal.
He’s not a weirdo; he’s not an over-zealous fundamentalist. He’s a dedicated Christian and he’s cool. He’s an awesome athlete, he taunts his opponents in good fun, he winks at bashful choir girls, and he likes to joke around. He’s not a nut. His devotion to his faith doesn’t make you roll your eyes or shake your head. It isn’t hokey or trite. It’s just normal. God is a big part of his life, and he’s willing to take a stand, but that doesn’t make him a freak.
Not exactly how religion gets portrayed in the movies much, unfortunately--if it gets portrayed at all.
Why can't there be more media about people for whom religion is just a normal part of life? Not more media about religion, because that seems to either ridicule it or make it look schmaltzy (a la Letters to God*). (*judgment made based on previews only) I mean stories about interesting people that don't ignore or distort the role of religion but don't focus on it either.
Like in Sound of Music. I love that Maria prays and gets advice from a religious leader, but that isn't the focus of the movie or even a tangent. It's just who she is. No big deal.
So that's why I loved Chariots of Fire. I loved that Eric wasn't depicted as some religious zealot for refusing to run on Sunday. In fact, he's a hero! The movie ended and I thought, "Go Sabbath-keepers!" I was inspired to be a cool religious person. What if more of our movies were about role models like that?