Posts Tagged ‘NPR’

I don’t know how many of you came across this story on the NPR website, but I wanted to take a break from holiday musings to contemplate this magical fairy tale. For those of you who don’t click on links, warm up a mug of cocoa and I will tell you the story. (If nothing else, check out the cool pictures!)

Once upon a time, a woman was inspecting a spot on her tonsils with the aid of a pen and mirror. She accidentally swallowed the pen whole. She went straight to the doctor. In the olden days, X-rays were incapable of detecting pens in stomachs. And House wasn’t on TV, so doctors did not believe such an incredible medical phenomenon could have really occurred. The doctors stoned her called her a liar and sent her home. Twenty-five years and many magical medical breakthroughs later, a CT scan was able to prove the woman did indeed have a pen in her stomach. This proved to be no longer of interest to the woman because she was now 76 and quite frankly had gotten used to drooling black ink on her pillow every night (Artistic license). Doctors removed the pen and it was still intact, albeit corroded a bit by stomach acids, but not that much because it was made of a mystical material called “plastic” that never dies. Out of curiosity the pen was tested. It wrote, “hello.”

dramatization of real events

Wa- wa- wait a second! If I were a pen that had been floating around masticated bits of food and tons of gastric juices for 25 years I don’t think I would greet my first out-of-body experience in 25 years with a simple “hello.” If I ever get swallowed whole, here are some possible first words I’ll be sharing:

A hello with more flourish, if you will

I'm out and my ink well is a little dry, biatches

A cry for help

Let's talk movie rights


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I was browsing the NPR website yesterday and saw the headline What’s A Smoot? in the Science section. I dare anyone not to click on that link! Am I right?

For you lazy clickers, I will not divulge the juicy how details but I will share the what. A smoot is a unit of measurement. More precisely, it is the height of a young man named Oliver R. Smoot, freshman at MIT in 1958, when he was 17 years of age. Young Smooty, if I may call him that, was precisely 5’7″. Precisely… I know, I know, what does that mean?

If precise means the height as reported on one’s drivers license, than I am 1 smoot tall. If precise means what I accurately measure first thing in the morning with no boots on, I’m 1/4 of an inch shy of a smoot.

Which is, of course, to say I am .99626866 smoots tall or .003733134 shy of a smoot.

Lulu is about .313433284 smoots. She was too squirmy to get an accurate measurement.

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Gilly and I are, by nature, worriers. We sweat the small stuff (cribs versus bassinets), we worry about the seemingly random stuff, and we “Worry” with a capital “W” about the big stuff. But for the most part, our worries are normal, everyday fears that any prospective parent might have: Will we conceive? Will Gilly have an easy pregnancy? Will the baby be healthy?

But this weekend I’m worried for a different reason and in a different way, and the idea of being a parent truly frightens me. How does one handle the horror involved when confronted with the news of the attacks on youths in Norway? Or when the following day we hear the news of a Texas man shooting six at a child’s birthday party? How is it even possible to be a parent in a world where these events happen on a seemingly daily basis?

It makes me stop and consider if we are doing the right thing, bringing a child into a world that can be so horrific. I wonder too if I will have the emotional strength necessary to let my children do anything on their own – go to school, to a sleepover, to summer camp – without the constant dread that something terrible might happen.

How does anyone have the strength to let go and let their child walk out the door alone in this world?

I have a ray of hope, however, and it’s giving me the strength I know I’ll need. This morning, as people throughout Norway and all over the world mourn the victims of this senseless attack, a dear friend of ours who lives in Norway posted this as her Facebook status, quoting the words of the Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg:

‘We will retaliate with more democracy.’ I’m proud to be Norwegian.

And maybe that’s the first step to a better world for our children. Maybe we all need to be Norwegian today.

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Lulu Sickness

As we learn more about pregnancy, one thing becomes more and more certain – Pregnancy is a bitch. There seems to be a reason why people don’t tell you all the things you need to know about it while you’re trying to conceive: It is truly horrifying – the kind of scary stuff that gives Stephen King nightmares.

Take, for example, this. Will Gilly’s feet really balloon to the size of small hams?

Should we expect Gilly to barf, toot, and poop her way through a 9-month scatological endurance test?

And don’t even get us started on PUPPS, Cheeseburger Crotch, and Hairy Nipples.

Why are we only finding out about this now as we investigate pregnancy? Shouldn’t these stories be on the Nightly News, in your Health Ed classes, or in an episode of Tales from the Crypt? Does the government have this information on lockdown, afraid that if this knowledge gets out it might be the end of the human race as we know it? Or is withholding this information some sort of hazing ritual Gilly must endure before she’s allowed to join the club?

Or are the above examples the outliers, the extremes, because nobody wants to know about the easy pregnancy, the no-drama mama story?

So tell us, dear readers, what is normal? What did you wish you knew before – or during – your pregnancy? Did you or someone you know endure the 9 Circles of Hell (one for each month of pregnancy?) just to bring a bundle of joy into the world? What else are people not sharing with us?

Because really, if the above is what Gilly must endure to bring our Peanut into the world…we might want to reconsider that puppy instead.

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