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.

Friday, December 21, 2012

What are you looking for?

I know this one is short, but I didn't feel comfortable putting it right out there on Facebook.

Our good friends Dan, Ang, and Izzi were staying with us last night. Izzi decided she wanted to sleep on a mattress in Harper's room. So Mark starts working on setting up the bed. He was standing in the hallway looking for sheets for the twin-sized air mattress when he uttered this gem:

"Where are the twin shitted..."

He stopped and looked at Ang and I. We were sitting in the living room. Laughing. Laughing so hard we were crying.

As you might imagine, this was a theme for the rest of the evening.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Mark Wears Glasses

Mark had lasik a few years ago. It worked pretty well, but last year he decided he needed glasses - especially for work. For awhile he would leave his glasses at work, since that is where he used them the most. Recently, however, he's been wearing them home. Sometimes he wears them into the car and then takes them off while he is driving. Then he forgets them in the car. This usually isn't that big of a deal because he usually remembers them at some point before he gets back to work the next day.

Today, on the way home from Costco, he discovered his glasses sitting in the middle console. He put them on.

A few minutes later we were home.

As we pulled into the garage, he almost hit the side of the garage with the passenger side mirror.

"Whoa!" says Mark.

Then, "I meant to get that close."

"Yeah," I say, "I could tell by your nonverbals."

Then Mark drove too far into the garage and ran into the stroller.

He turns to look at me.

"My glasses make me see better."

Friday, December 7, 2012

Wardrobe Malfunctions and Ninja Mark

Ok, so here are a couple of funny things that happened this week...

On Wednesday I decided that Tegan and I needed to go to Target. We needed baby food and some other things. So, like any parent planning to make a shopping outing with a sixth-month-old, I planned carefully. I made sure I had an extra bottle, change of clothes, diapers and wipes. I packed my wallet and cell phone in the diaper bag. I put the diaper bag in the car. I made sure we had a big enough window between Tegan's last bottle and her last nap so that I wouldn't have to feed her on the go (which I WAS prepared for... I just don't like to make bottles on the fly). Finally, when all the stars had aligned, I packed Tegan into her car seat, climbed into the drivers seat and headed to Target.

When I was halfway to Target I realized I was still wearing my slippers.


What should I do? Do I go home and put shoes on? Or do I just go to Target and hope no one notices. If I wear my slippers to Target, I'm going to have to clean the bottoms when I get home. I mean, the entire reason I wear slippers is to keep from tracking yucky outside stuff all over the house...

I turned around and went back for shoes.

Later, when I told Mark, he was of the opinion that I should have just gone in my slippers.

"It's just slippers," he said. "Some people go shopping in their pajamas."

"Maybe if I was going to WalMart I would have kept them on..."


That same day there was another wardrobe malfunction... but this one was Mark's.

I was in the kitchen getting some of the newly purchased baby food ready for Tegan to eat. It was about 11:00 a.m. All of a sudden, Mark walks in the door. He scared the poop out of me because I didn't hear the garage door open and so had no idea he was home. After I jumped out of my skin I asked what he was doing home.

"Uh, I had an accident."

We have a three year old who has spent this year potty training. "Accident" in our house usually means someone wet their pants. Imagine the mental picture I had for just a moment...

But, no, it wasn't that kind of accident. Although it did happen to his pants...

Mark turned around and showed me. The seat of his pants had split. A big split. Like, an 18 inch split.

"I was leaning over to fix a jam in the copier when I heard the rip."

I should mention that these pants were like a decade old. It's a miracle they had lasted as long as they did.

"So, I just went into my office, grabbed by coat, and left."

"You didn't tell your boss why you were leaving?"

"No. I didn't really want anyone to know I had to leave because I had a big hole in my A$$."

"Well, they will all know after they read my blog."


Last night while I was walking past him in the kitchen, Mark grabbed my arm. I stopped to look at him.

"I almost flipped you just now," Mark said.

There were a few moments of silence. Then we both started laughing.

"Sure you were, honey."

Flipped me. Right.

Saturday, September 29, 2012


I wanted to post this short little story as my Facebook status, but decided that might not be the appropriate venue. Instead, I decided to expand the story post just the link on Facebook, thereby covering my bases.

This morning, Mark stood up from the desk chair in our kitchen/office area and abruptly grabbed is left butt cheek.


He had a GIANT rip in his pants. Like, huge. Big enough for me to put my hand in up to my elbow. True story. I did it (not while he was wearing them. That would've been weird... and difficult).

"Well, I guess you won't be wearing those pants today."

I start thinking about when that might have happened. And how funny it would have been if he had been walking around, oh, say, Target with pretty much his entire butt cheek (albeit covered in man-underpants) showing.

"When do you think that happened?" I ask.

"I do think I felt a ripping sensation just now."

"Oh, good." Shoot.

National Coffee Day!

Me: "It's National Coffee Day. I think Einsteins is running a deal on coffee today."

Mark: "I actually didn't eat that much and I'm a little hungry."

Me: "Well, then, go to Einstein and get us something to eat!"

Mark, putting words in my mouth: "Go get me a f&*@ing bagel."

Me: "Yep."

Mark: "I'm going to get the weirdest combination of bagel and shmear ever for you."

Me: "What will you get? Now I'm curious."

Mark: "I don't know... pumpernickel and jalapeno..."

Me: "Ugh... wait, no, I don't think that would be that bad."

I start thinking about eating bagels.

Me: "My mouth is watering."

Mark: "Yuck."

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Parenting & Sharing

I feel compelling to say that we were joking. Here it goes:

"Should we get Tegan and make her a bottle?"

"Yes," Mark says. We are tired and want to go to bed.

I go into the kitchen and start running water. "I'll make it. Do you want to feed her or should I?"

Mark says, "Oh, you'll make the food but you don't want to feed the children?"

"Yes," I say. "That's right."

"Because then you'd have to touch them," he continues.

"Tell you what," I say. "When Tegan turns 9 months old, then we'll be even and we can start sharing parenting responsibilities again."

"Oh," Mark says, "This is about you having to carry the baby?"

"Yes," I say, mixing up the bottle. "I spent 9 months making her. Now you can nurture her for 9 months and then we'll be even. At her 9 month birthday we'll be back at ground zero."

I screw the top on the bottle.

Mark heads out of the kitchen to go get Tegan. "I'm glad our marriage is grounded on the foundation of making sure we are even."

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


So. Starting last summer, I noticed the occasional tapping noise on our house. Actually, Zelda noticed it at first. The noise came from the corner where the television sits. Zelda would hear it and start going nuts. At first I couldn't figure out what the hell was going on. Then, one day I went out on the deck to investigate the sound and discovered a woodpecker pecking on the side of our house. As soon as I stepped out onto the deck it flew away. I had to go out a number of times last summer to scare the damn thing off. Then winter hit and the woodpecker must have migrated because the tapping stopped.

Well, it's back.

And it's ballsy.

Instead of flying off when I go out on the deck, it's been hanging around longer forcing me to jump up and down and yell at it (I have no idea how my neighbors interpret my behavior). Last week I had to throw water at it to get it to fly away. A few days ago it landed on the side of the house right outside our front door...

... as if it's taunting me.

Things came to a head two days ago...

I was in the living room when I heard the tapping. It sounded a little quieter than before so I thought maybe it was pecking the house further away from the deck. A challenge, if you will.

I open the door to the deck and stepped out.

The woodpecker was NOT on the side of the house.

I cocked my head, listening.


Sounded like the bird was tapping on one of the legs of the deck. I guessed it was hanging on to the support post a few feet below the edge of the deck railing.

I crept slowly and quietly toward the sound. I wanted to SEE the woodpecker trying to destroy my deck (Why? I don't know. It's not like I could take the stupid woodpecker to court.)

I moved carefully, fully expecting the bird to fly off well before I could glimpse it.

But the tapping continued.

I reached the deck railing and tapping continued.

I still can't decide if I was ninja-quiet or if the woodpecker just didn't give a damn that I was approaching.

I slowly and carefully peered over the railing of the deck...



I screamed. I'm not even ashamed of it. I swear to you I could see the gleam in that little bastard's eyes.

The woodpecker launched itself backward off the deck and flapped away.

I could feel the air displaced by its wings.

"Holy Shit."

I took a breath.

"I just had a face-to-face confrontation with a woodpecker."

Yep. I was talking to myself. Don't care. Not embarrassed.

I laughed. Felt alive. REALLY wanted to tell someone about it. So now I am.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Tiny Bugs

So, I was having a very enjoyable evening grading papers and chatting online with my BFF Ang. Harper was beside me, watching a show on my new iPhone (which I love SO MUCH). Things were going well. Things were nice.

I log off with Ang and as I do so I happen to look at the arm of the couch next to me. The windows are open (yes, we have screens) as was the door to the deck. There are some little bugs crawling on the couch and flying around the lamp. Wait. Make that a lot of little, tiny bugs. I respond how I always do when confronted with a bug issue.


Mark comes over.

"There are little bugs everywhere."

Mark attempts to solve the problem with his fingers. He has some success (disgusting). Then I look in the dining room where Harper is making some art with construction paper. There are what must be HUNDREDS of tiny bugs flying around the light and crawling on the table. Apparently, these tiny bugs came in THROUGH THE SCREENS. Yes. Tiny. And invading our house.


"I'm not sure what to do about it," says Mark.

"Um. Get the vacuum."

Skeptical. "Ok."

While Mark gets the vacuum and starts sucking up bugs, I discover that there are a whole bunch more around the two light fixtures in the kitchen.

I officially have the heebie-jeebies.

So Mark is vacuuming vacuuming vacuuming.

Then Harper says:

"There were bugs in my hair so I cut off the sides."

Mark says, "What?"

"There were bugs in my hair. So I cut off the sides."

Mark says, "Go show your Mom."

I come into the living room.

"What now?" I say to Harper.

"I cut off the sides. There were bugs in my hair."

Third time it slowly starts to sink in. Harper cut her hair.

"Ok," I say. "Lemme see."

She shows me.

Yep. Cut hair. A clump about three inches long falls to the floor at her feet.

"Ok, honey, give me the scissors."

I think every parent faces this particular situation at some point. And it doesn't look TOO bad. Of course, I later discover it's a little worse than I originally thought. Let's just say that Harper is going to look really goofy in a pony tail for awhile.

I say to Harper, "Ok honey. From now on, let's try to remember that Darrin (our stylist) is the one that cuts our hair."

Harper looks a little sad.

"I'm not mad at you, honey. But you can't grow your hair long if you cut it off, can you? And it's Darrin's job to cut it."

Harper nods slowly.

So, I guess we'll see what it looks like tomorrow. Astonishingly, she got the sides pretty even. She just cut more off one side than the other. It ALMOST looks intentional... from the front... From the side... Weeeeelllll...

Monday, August 6, 2012

From Closet to Toilet

Harper likes to hide. Sometimes when I come home Mark will tell me that she is hiding. Then I have to go find her. Other times she will just spontaneously sneak around and hide. This story starts with hiding. It ends someplace much... different.

On Sunday Harper had been playing quietly in her room for some time. After some nice extended quiet time, I hear her feet on the hardwood floor in the hallway. They patter quickly from her room and then stop. But she's not in the living room. I hear some suspicious noises. Noises from behind the recliner. Harper is doing something behind the recliner. She thinks she is sneaky. Mark and I both ignore her.

After another few moments, her feet patter back down the hallway. She dodges into our bedroom. Then... silence.

Me: "She's in our room."

Mark gets up and walks toward the bedroom. He goes in.

All of a sudden:


Harper screams. It's a pretty good scream. Sort of a cross between "Oh God I'm really scared!" and "Oh God this is fun!"

Mark comes out laughing.

He says, "She was hiding in your closet behind your clothes. I scared her good. I walked past your closet and then back out. Then I snuck back and jumped down in front of her."

I laughed. It was a good scream.

Time passes. Mark and I are hanging out in the living room with Tegan. Then... footsteps running into the bathroom. Nothing really out of the ordinary. Harper is frequently discovering that she has to go to the bathroom RIGHT NOW.


"OH NO."

Usually not something you want to hear from your three-year-old.

Mark jumps up and jogs to the bathroom.

I catch bits of conversation.

"Why...? Where is it...? Oh god... Okay... let's clean up..."

I yell, "What's up?"

"She pooped in her shorts."


Mark appears with said shorts held gingerly in his hand.

I look at them. It's bad.

I decide they are a lost cause. "Just throw them in the garbage."


"Yeah," I say. "She has other shorts. Wait... what about her underwear?"
"She wasn't wearing any."

"Uh... oh, well, that's good I guess."

Mark heads to the garage, then stops and turns.

"You know," he says, "I can't help but feeling that this is sort of my fault... You know, earlier, when I made her scream..."

He chuckles and holds up the shorts.

"I think I scared the shit out of her."

Friday, May 4, 2012

My Big Fat Pregnant Life

So, I thought I should share a few moments from my day. My Big Fat Pregnant Day.

This morning, when giving me a hug before leaving for work, Mark told me that he would squeeze me "like a tube of toothpaste" until the baby came out.

When he got home at lunch, Mark walked into the house and greeted me by saying "Hey Baby-Maker!"

This afternoon Mark and I were at the Dairy Queen. Earlier in the day I had had a little trouble reaching over to grab the door of the car to swing it shut behind me. At the Dairy Queen, I just couldn't... quite... reach...

So, I said to Mark "Push me."

Mark: "What?"

Me: "Gimme a push. Push me a little. I can't reach the door."

Mark puts his hand on my shoulder and gently pushes me toward the open door. My fingers brush the handle a few times but I can't quite get it.

Me: "Push me more."

Mark: "How about I just get out and do it. I don't want to push my pregnant wife out of the car."

He gets out, walks around the car, and shuts my door.

When he gets back into the driver's seat I'm laughing.

Me: "It's awesome to be me right now."

Mark: "Yeah. I'm jealous."

Friday, April 13, 2012

Breech Baby

So, last Tuesday I had my 36 week appointment. For those of you who are not pregnancy literate, at 36 weeks the pregnant woman (namely me) goes in every week for the last four (or five or, god forbid, six) weeks until the baby is born. One of the things they check for at these visits is the positioning of the baby. Ideally, the baby is head down with the feet lodged somewhere near the unfortunate pregnant woman's ribs or heart.

Well, my 36 week appointment on Tuesday was going swimmingly until my doctor decided we better check the baby's position with an ultrasound. The baby was NOT in the preferred head-down position. The baby's head was up by my ribcage in what is referred to as a breech presentation. I'm not going to get into the various types of breech positions or why breech births are dangerous. Suffice it to say my doctor suggested we make an appointment to try to turn the baby manually in what is referred to as an external cephalic version. So, we scheduled the version for Friday afternoon at 1:00 p.m. I immediately texted Mark and told him to take Friday afternoon off.

Here are some important things to know about versions:
1. They work about 58% of the time.
2. If successful, there is a 12% chance that the baby will flip back into breech presentation.
3. If NOT successful, my hospital schedules a c-section as they do not delivery breech babies.
4. There is a small chance that the version will cause a) water to break, b) labor to start, c) problems with the placenta, or d) fetal distress. If that happens, the pregnant woman (namely me again) has to have an emergency c-section. This is why versions take place at the hospital in the birthing unit.

Well, after learning about the whole you-might-have-a-baby-Friday thing, I spent the next several days trying to prepare for the possibility that I might have a baby Friday. Fortunately (spoiler alert) I did not have to have a baby on Friday.

Friday we arrived at the Birth Center at 12:30 and started the process. I put on a fashionable hospital gown and got hooked up to two monitors: one for baby's heartbeat, one for me. Over the next hour and a half the following occurred:
1. The nurse checked and thought the baby was probably still breech.
2. I got admitted - filled out paperwork - got a plastic bracelet.
3. I talked with Mark about how hungry we were (I was not allowed to eat or drink anything after I had breakfast this morning. As a side effect, Mark hadn't eaten anything either).
4. I had an ultrasound that confirmed that the baby was, in fact, breech.
5. I was given a shot of muscle relaxer in the arm which made me feel really weird.
6. Mark and I talked about baby names. No, we still don't know what we are going to name this baby so don't ask me. It causes me considerable stress.
7. I was told that because I'm Rh negative, I was going to need ANOTHER shot of Rhogam. I had one shot at my 27 week appointment. I dislike shots.
8. Mark joked that we were on a date, but instead of dinner and movie we were doing dinner and a version.
9. My doctor, along with our fantastic nurse, turned the baby.

The baby turning was remarkably fast and easy. She cooperated beautifully. It took less than five minutes and while not super comfortable, didn't even hurt. But 2:00 we were all done. Mark and I were both incredibly relieved that it had gone so well and that the baby was where she was supposed to be.

All that was left was for me to get my Rhogam shot and then we were home free. Or should I say food free. We were both STARVING.

The nurse went out and ordered the shot.

Time passed.

After 45 minutes there was a little knock on the door. Finally, I thought, the shot.

Nope. Phlebotomist.

I did not realize that I was going to have blood drawn. Dammit.

After the blood draw my nurse came back in and apologized for not letting me know about the blood draw. Apparently, all my records weren't good enough for the hospital. They had to draw some blood and check it out themselves.

So we waited some more.

At 3 p.m. I asked if I could go to the bathroom. I was still hooked up to everything. I was told that I could. I also found out I could eat the cereal bar I had in my purse. I did not share it with Mark.

We waited. Impatiently. And hungry.

At 3:30 my nurse came in and told me she had given my info to the next nurse on shift. She also said the new nurse would call down and check on my shot. Stupid shot. I hates it.

At 3:40 we were told the shot would be here in 20 minutes. Stupid, stupid shot.

Mark turned on the television and we watched the end of a disturbing show about insect infestations on Animal Planet and the beginning of television show on dogs.

At 4:10 the stupid shot FINALLY arrived! Just so you know, this is a shot that has be to given into a large muscle... and it burns... I'll let you speculate on where I got this particular shot.

Finally, at 4:30 we were on our way out of the parking ramp and headed toward food. So... that is how Mark and I were able to spend four and a half hours at the hospital for a successful procedure that only lasted 5 minutes.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Week 26

They call it the "up down up down."

I am referring to that doctor's appointment that happens sometime between week 24 and 28 of pregnancy... the one with the dreaded (or not so dreaded) gestational diabetes test. I'm not going to get into gestational diabetes. I've known a few people who have had it, I never have, but the point of this story isn't the diagnosis. It's the appointment.

I arrived for the first part of my lab at 7:40 a.m. and checked in. The purpose of this lab appointment is to check on how your body handles glucose. If it doesn't handle it well, it is determined that you may have gestational diabetes and you have to come back for another three-hour test. The test consists of a sugary beverage and then a blood draw one hour later. I was given the choice of orange or fruit punch. I chose orange. If you frequent online pregnancy forums (and I'm sure you do) you probably have read stories about how horrible this sugary beverage is. Everyone complains about it. I don't think it's that bad. When I was in elementary school we used to have this vending machine that dispensed little cartons of white milk, chocolate milk, and orange drink. It tastes like the orange drink from my childhood. I used voluntarily subject myself to the beverage when I was a kid, I can at least suck it up enough to drink it now without complaining. (Of course, this makes me wonder how much sugar was in that childhood orange drink).

After drinking my beverage - they give you five minutes to drink it all - I went upstairs (the first up in the up down up down) for my 8:00 a.m. doctor appointment. I had to wait there a bit, too, but that's ok. The appointment was fairly brief and then I was sent back down to wait for my hour to expire. At 8:50 I was called back into the lab where I donated two vials of blood.

What I haven't mentioned up to this point is that my blood type is A negative. This means that my blood does not have the Rh factor. Here, this paragraph from can explain it more concisely than I can:

"If you are Rh-negative, you may develop antibodies to an Rh-positive baby. If a small amount of the baby's blood mixes with your blood, which often happens, your body may respond as if it were allergic to the baby. Your body may make antibodies to the Rh antigens in the baby's blood. This means you have become sensitized and your antibodies can cross the placenta and attack your baby's blood. They break down the fetus's red blood cells and produce anemia (the blood has a low number of red blood cells). This condition is called hemolytic disease or hemolytic anemia. It can become severe enough to cause serious illness, brain damage, or even death in the fetus or newborn."

So, I have to get a shot. A deep tissue shot. That means... shot in the butt. Awesome.

After the blood draw I headed back upstairs like a trooper to get my shot. Did you know that before my last pregnancy I was really afraid of needles? Yeah. Not so much anymore.

I checked in and after a short wait the RN that works with one of my doctors came out.

"I'm sorry," she said, "but before I give the shot I always check down with the lab to make sure that they took the sample. They didn't."

"What?" I said. I was confused.

"They didn't take the sample for the antibodies. You have to go back down so they can take one more blood sample. Is that ok?"

"Yeah, no problem." I heaved myself up and out of my seat.

"I'm really sorry," she said.

"That's ok," I said. And it was. People make mistakes. I make them all the time. So, I walked back downstairs to the lab. It's a least worth mentioning at this point that the lab is in a different building from my OB. It's not too far, but it is a walk. So, at this point I've gone up down up down and I'm still not done.

Back at the lab, I got another vial of blood drawn from a very nice woman originally from Liberia. We talk accents for 5 minutes and then I'm on my way back upstairs, with two holes in right arm instead of one.

Upstairs the butt-shot went very smoothly. The RN was still apologetic. After it was done, she handed my two giftcards to Subway.

"Just our way of saying 'sorry' for the inconvenience this morning," she said.

"Well, thanks!" I say. "But it really wasn't a big deal."

"Well, we're sorry anyway," she insists. We're having a regular Lutheran aw-shucks-fest.

"Hey," I said as I put on my coat. "You know... pregnant woman... free sandwiches...

... TOTALLY worth it."

And I left the up down up down with one additional up, two holes in my right arm and one in my right hip (butt cheek), and two gift cards to Subway. Not a bad morning's work.
Funny prologue:
This morning it was really foggy outside at 7 a.m. Foggy and dark. The darkness outside her window really confused Harper. She came out of her room and scolded us.

"No!" she said emphatically. "Turn the lights off. Daddy. Go back to bed. It not morning!"

"Oh, I wish I could," Mark said. "But it is morning. And we have obligations. Your mom, for example, has an obligation to get a shot in the butt."