The story behind the name:

One evening, at the Old Broadway Grill in Fargo, North Dakota, my brother caught the end of a Mountain Dew commercial. In the commercial, a Mountain Dew drinker was riding a shark in the ocean. My brother exclaimed in surprise, not realizing that it was a commercial. When I told him he declared "All I saw was a guy coming out of the shower with a shark." Of course, he meant water, but the idea of showering with sharks has been with me ever since.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

A Pro Sex, Pro Life, Pro Gay Marriage Woman

I like Meghan McCain. I just watched her on the Colbert Report. She defined herself as Pro Sex, Pro Life and Pro Gay Marriage. And she said some very intelligent things about the Republican Party.

You may remember that I was involved in the RNC this past August as an instructor for the Washington Center. I learned a lot about the Republican Party and about politics during those two weeks. It was a great experience, even if there were moments where I wanted to tear out my hair and gouge out my eyes (during Rudy Guiliani's speech). Anyway, I think Meghan McCain has great ideas about the future of the Republic Party (not that I'm going to join it, or anything). On the other side, the new emphasis the Republican Party is putting on Ronald Reagan as the future of the Party is slightly ridiculous.

Dick Cheney Scares Me

Dick Cheney scares me. Not just his policies or his worldview (although those are plenty scary)... the physical reality of Dick Cheney. He looks like one of the Gentlemen on Buffy. Judge for yourself.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Harper Chronicles: Pictures

Here is a link to Mark's website. This is where most of Harper's pics get posted. I intend to post some pics here in my blog, but the galleries are always viewable here:

Harper Chronicles: Chapter 3

The Play Gym.

Harper loves her playgym. It is a rainforest themed gym with a striped tiger and two butterflies hanging from it. The tiger has a ball. When you hit the ball it rotates and makes sounds. It has been really fun to watch Harper become better and better at hitting that ball. She likes to lay in her play gym and stare at the tiger. Eventually, she becomes really excited about the tiger and sends her fist flying toward the ball. Sometimes she puts her hands up and makes grabbing motions at the tiger and at the butterflies. She hasn't succeeding in grabbing anything yet, but she sure likes to try. Personally, I think her lack of success with the grabbing is frustrating for her. After several grabbing tries she inevitable becomes whiny. I think she can't quite figure out why the grabbing isn't working. Mark and I have taken several videos of her in the play gym. I will post links to these videos soon in a future blog.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Harper Chronicles: Chapter 2

I will title this chapter "I never knew I'd become so blase about poo."

Early on in my pregnancy I had a conversation (a very humorous conversation) with Bob Groven about how, as a parent, you are subjected to a variety of disgusting experiences with your child's bodily functions. Well, Harper is only 4 weeks old and Mark and I have already had the pleasure of some of these experiences. But, what really amazes me, is that--like my mom always assured me--when it's your kid, it's not that bad. And, in fact, sometimes it's kinda funny.

1. Stealth pee. Harper stealth pees. I always knew that you had to be careful when changing little boy diapers because of pee issues. I did not think this would be an issue with a girl. However, there have been several times when I (or Mark) have pulled off Harper's diaper only to be treated to a soaking wet changing pad when I attempt to replace said diaper. I don't know how she does it but we spend a lot of time washing changing pads. The best is when the stealth pee actually soaks not only the pad but the back of whatever she is wearing that day. Then I get to move her, change the pad and undress and redress her. It's awesome.

2. Number 2. Of course, diaper blowouts are a fact of life. Last weekend Mark and I went to visit my parents. At our house, we have a swing that Harper likes to sit in. My mom doesn't have anything like that so she purchased a little vibrating chair for Harper's visit. This chair is very similar to the chair my friend Ang had for her daughter Isabelle. Ang and her husband Dan referred to this chair as the poop chair because everytime Izzi sat in it she pooped. Kinda funny. Anyway, Harper christened her brand new chair as the new poop chair on Friday morning and she christened it in spectacular fashion. She blew out a diaper to such an extreme state that she actually leaked through her sleeper and onto the vibrating chair in two places. It was very impressive. Mark and I joked that it now truly was the "poop chair."

3. Does my child belong in the Exorcist? Harper doesn't actually spit up that often but when she does it is impressive. It's most impressive if she is laying down at the time. One day she projectile spit up to a height of at least 3 inches.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Harper Chronicles: Chapter 1

On April 3, my due date, I happily left campus after watching a presentation in my small group communication class fully expecting that I was going to have a baby any moment. WRONG.

On Tuesday, April 7, I show up for my scheduled (or so I thought) post-due-date OB appointment. My appointment was scheduled (so I thought) for 4:45. I checked in, informing the front desk that I had an appointment with my regular doctor.

"Oh, he's not here today. Who else do you see?"

I told her the name of my NP.

"Hmmm. What is your name?"

Long story short, the appointment wasn't ACTUALLY scheduled. Apparently, someone from the clinic is supposed to call to see if the pregnant woman actually needs the appointment. As the appointment was on the print-out of future appointments I had been given, I just assumed that meant it was scheduled. Anyway, they got me in to see another doctor and we decided to schedule an induction for Friday, April 10th if I hadn't already gone into labor on my own.

Of course, I fully expected to go into labor on my own at any moment. I didn't.

When the doctor scheduled the induction, she told me the hospital would call sometime between 5:30 a.m. and 8:00 a.m. to give me a time to come in sometime after 7:00 a.m. The phone rang at 4:45 a.m. and the nurse asked if I could be in at 6:00 a.m. I said I could, even though I had NO idea what time it was when she called. If it really would have been 5:30 a.m. we would have had to break ever land speed record to get there on time, but it was 4:45 so we had plenty of time.

After many hours of labor, pitocin, morphine, narcotics and an epidural, Harper Jane Chamberlain was born at 10:35 a.m. on April 11. She weighed 8 lbs 7 oz (over a pound heavier than what the doctors thought) and was almost 22 inches long. Yeah. She was a big baby. We didn't actually name her until the next day.

It was exhausting. But worth it.