Saturday, June 20, 2015

{the start of something new}

(Sorry about the cheesy title. I had to.)

I'm trying to think of a more creative, sassy way to say "it's been awhile, huh?" (the rolling theme of this blog, it appears). Sorry for being an absent bloggess. I only know three people who read this blog, so I hope you three do forgive me.

There is so much and so little that has gone on in the past 8 months since I last posted, both in real-life and in the more spiritual realm. Like, I don't even know where to begin. I had to actually click into my blog to re-read what I'd last posted, and golly. Isn't life funny?

Because in my last post, I wrote about Margot (DUH-- she's all I write about anymore ;) ). And more specifically, what a blessing a child is to a family, even when it's hard to understand the depth of that blessing. 

I said this: And, even though I'm kind of panicking that the next baby will probably arrive at a terribly inconvenient time (Intern year- so, next year- of residency is widely known to be abyssal as far as schedules go and stress levels go) and I wonder how the heck I'll survive in a new city with no help and Brendan gone at all hours- I know that that sentence is true for any other babies we may ever have: there is no better time for us to have a new baby. This is what we are here for.

Reading that honestly brought me to tears. How wise my 8-months-ago self was! And how prescient. 

We are at the very beginning of Brendan's intern year. He starts officially on July 1st, and will disappear into the depths of the hospital to care for patients, do attendings' grunt work, and be buried under piles of bureaucratic paperwork never to be seen again. Well, okay. We'll see him. Occasionally. Ha! His schedule during on-service (medicine) months, which make up the bulk of his residency education as a physician, looks like: 6 am - 7 pm every day (+30 minutes to 1 hour of additional time each day for notes and sign-out), then Q4 (every fourth) day it switches to 6 am - 11 pm (again, add on extra time for notes). And he also has 1-2 months of night float, where he works 10:30 pm - 11 am. Medical residents are allotted 4 days off per month. Rinse and repeat.

He's gonna be busy. And I'm going to be busy, too. Because we're having (another) baby!! Due in early November. 

Just as I predicted, I'm panicking. But re-reading my thoughts last year, I am reminded of the eternal wisdom I had forgotten in the mayhem of being pregnant, caring for a toddler, and moving: this is what I am here for

Anyway, I don't have much more time to write today. We're at the dregs of Brendan's "vacation" (orientation) time and today is one of his soon-to-be-rare weekends off, so we're trying to eke as much fun/quality time as possible before poop hits the fan residency really starts. 

I just wanted to give a little hi and a half-assed update. One of the things I've been thinking a lot about is that with Brendan being so busy furthering his career, I am going to need to take better care of myself and dedicate more time to things I enjoy of my own. And writing (blogging) is one of them, which is great because it doubles as a way to chronicle this insane/special time in our family's life. So, here I am, blogging again after falling off the blogging wagon way too many times to count. This time, I really hope I'm back for good. Even if I have to bribe Margot with episodes of Tumbleleaf to get her to sit still long enough to write here. :)

Thanks for reading (and Nicole, if it's you reading this, plz start a blog now. Thx)! Happy weekend!

Friday, October 10, 2014

{no better time}


October is here and oof-ta, is it making my head spin that we're deep into Fall now.

The black walnut tree that hangs over the front of our house has already shed all of its nuts; the foothills surrounding our tiny town are aflame with deep russets, bright yellows, and spicy oranges; colorful mums and pumpkins sit on nearly every stoop; nights are cool- no, cold, and I've brought out my favorite pair of sheepskin slippers to wear (the ones Brendan bought for me to wear in the hospital when I had Margot); I can currently hear the faint echoes of the high school Friday night lights. I'm typing this out with a mug of hot cocoa at the ready.

Yeah, Fall is here. And Margot is 20 months old now. I can't really say the usual mom-platitudes of "oh my goodness, time has FLOWN. she was just a newborn!!" Because, really, this kid has been all sorts of trouble from the minute she left the womb. And her first year of life d-r-a-g-g-e-d on, if I'm being totally honest. Which I am. Because it's my blog. I love the girl, but she's trouble. And now, at 20 months old, it turns out, that what made her so difficult as a baby (the constant crying and wailing, the never sleeping, the food allergies, etc) is what makes her a really awesome and fun person.

Margot is so much fun. No, she still doesn't sleep. Like, ever. Yes, she's still.... how shall we say? Emotional. Sensitive. Feeling. :) But she's also equal parts kind, clever, funny, and creative.

I've been wanting to blog more again because I'm realizing it's a great way to just keep track of the time. And what seems like meaningless/silly stuff to write about will actually mean the most to me one day, when I'm looking back. I want these memories recorded! So, here we go. All of this is probably of no interest to anyone not related to us. Sorry-not-sorry, as they say.

Margot, at 20 months:

*can identify half of the alphabet
*can count to three
*can identify most colors (white, blue, pink, purple, yellow, and green). Her favorite is blue :)
*would read book after book after book if she could. Her favorites right now are: Are You My Mother and Put Me In the Zoo. (Which were actually my and my brother's favorite as children. I'm irrationally excited by that) . She also can anticipate her favorite parts of stories and will eagerly recite the lines she remembers.
*is saying 2-3 word sentences; her first "sentence" was ball! kick!
*loves nothing better than to be outside exploring. She heads to the back door as soon as we wake up and asks to go "OOT?!" (out)
*loves watering the garden
*is still a total mama's girl and will often specifically ask for me at bedtime, even though we've been trying to let her have more quality time with Brendan at bedtime since he otherwise doesn't get to see her during the week
*calls Brendan "baba", "dada", or "papa" depending
*calls my mom Noni
*calls Brendan's dad "Pop Pop"
*doesn't call Brendan's mom anything yet- I think because she can't say "grandma". We're working on it!
*adores dogs, especially our next door neighbor's dog named "WU-WU!!!!" ("Lulu"- always said with the utmost excitement)
*is very into drawing, coloring, painting, etc.
*with the help of my mom, has named every one of her MANY stuffed animals and constructs elaborate situations for them and gets extremely upset if I don't understand what part she wants me to play in those scenarios.
*really, really loves Jesus, Mary, and the Cross. And here's where I admit to my shame that we have not been to Mass in a very long time (that's a story for another day, I suppose), and make no special effort to catechize our little lady. She just naturally gravitates towards Bible stories and my Rosary and pictures of Jesus. She's taken to demanding that we visit Jesus (the statue at our local parish) while we're out on our daily walk. Brendan and I joke that we may have a future nun on our hands....
*doesn't eat much real food and still has allergies and tummy problems. She does love apples, bacon, tofu, and dark chocolate though. A girl after my own heart. :)

I really can't wait to see what the future holds for her and every single day am coming into a deeper understanding of just how big of a blessing she is to our family. Firstly, because she is a human in her own right, and a child of God. Also because we love her so!

But here's the thing: so, Brendan's in medical school. We had Margot midway through his second year of medical school, not because it was the logical/smart thing to do, but just because we felt like we should start a family. We discerned it, if you want to say that. Anyway, we had her and almost immediately, Brendan began worrying about doing his third and fourth years (which are clinical years) in Philly, because at his school the clinical sites are spread throughout the Tri-State (New Jersey/Pennsylvania/Delaware) area, and he didn't want to be working crazy hours (typically 6 am to 7 pm) AND deal with an hour commute each way. So, for Margot's sake, wanting to spend as much time as he could with her, he applied to do his clinical years at his school's campus in Central PA. This option made/makes it so that the bulk of his clinical rotations are done at the same hospital. We moved within a ten minute walk to said hospital, so Brendan's commute time is nil.

We've been blessed to avoid the fray of commuting to a different hospital every 4-6 weeks, some as far as three hours away (!!!), which is what a lot of our Philly friends are doing. We also have been able to easily remain a one-car family, and save a ton on gas/car insurance, as well as rent because it's way cheaper here in the boonies than in Philly.

It also just so happens that this hospital is also a nationally acclaimed health system, and offers any kind of residency/fellowship program a budding doctor could want. In applying for residency, Brendan is basically a shoo-in at this hospital, which sets our minds at ease because our "fall back" is a great option for our family and for Brendan's career. This would NOT have been the case if we had stayed in Philly. Our "fall back" would have been the local community hospital, which is basically (for lack of more imaginative phrasing) a craphole. This interview season, Brendan received an unexpected (to us!) interview invite from a residency program that we would have never even dreamed of before. But the door is certainly open to us now, because we took the risk of moving where no one else in Brendan's class wanted to move. All because of Margot.

So, in essence, Margot has done nothing but bless Brendan's career -- since we did all of this for her sake-- and yet, being here has opened up a million and one opportunities for Brendan to grow as a student physician.

It's really funny, because no one ever says "have a baby! it will be awesome for your career!" because, of course, we've been surviving on less sleep and less money than we ever thought possible- and "normal" people don't have babies when they have effectively zero income, $1 million in student loan debt, no family in the area, and all the stress of medical school. But no one can say what a new human being will bring to the table, or what effect they will have on their family and on the world. That's why we're really grateful that God opened our hearts to being open to life at such an unreasonably young age, in the middle of such a crazy time in our lives.

There was no better time to have a baby.

And, even though I'm kind of panicking that the next baby will probably arrive at a terribly inconvenient time (Intern year- so, next year- of residency is widely known to be abyssal as far as schedules go and stress levels go) and I wonder how the heck I'll survive in a new city with no help and Brendan gone at all hours- I know that that sentence is true for any other babies we may ever have: there is no better time for us to have a new baby. This is what we are here for.

I look at Margot and she is just a miracle of epic proportions to me. One of the smartest, kindest, funniest, most beautiful kids I've ever met. I'm exceptionally blessed to be the one she wants in the middle of the night when she wakes for the thousandth time. Can you even fathom what a privilege it is to bring a new human to this earth and help them grow? I'm only beginning to fathom it. And I shudder to think of a world without her in it, if we had been more "logical".

So, all this is just a reminder to myself that even if we do welcome another mini human into the world next year, "All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well" ~St. Julian of Norwich.

Monday, September 15, 2014

{Fall is here}

I just turned on the heat for the first time since May, and roasted a whole pumpkin last week for use in kaddo bourani, pumpkin bread, and pumpkin spiced coffee. I guess Fall is here? Or just about!

{totally unrelated photo of my child's curls, taken in warmer weather- just the week before last}

Which is exciting, because (a) it's my favorite season, even when people try to diss it and say that it's a "trendy blogger thing" to like Fall. nopey nope nope. I've always loved Fall, and I love it even more now that I've lived in seasonal climates (read: not-Southern-California) for four years. (b) Margot makes all things joyful and new.

For instance, we live adjacent to a rather large walnut tree that starts dropping enormous heavy nuts (rather dangerously, I might add- these things are like baseballs dropping from a distance!) at the end of summer. Margot is enamored with it because she thinks our street has magically lined itself with green balls, which is really a dream come true for her. Every time we go outside: "baaaahs!!!! kick!" (Our gal is really into soccer and will not be persuaded that one can also "throw" or "roll" or "hit" a ball. In her mind, balls are for one thing: kicking).

Other goings-on currently: still keeping up with Brendan's crazy work schedule (he's on critical care right now- Neuro ICU to be specific), scheduling our whole Fall/Winter season. We're heading straight into Brendan's interview season, and he'll be interviewing for residency spots. It's exciting to think about where we might end up in less than a year. Milwaukee? Omaha? Kalamazoo? I'll go ahead and put it out into the universe that our very top spot is Portland, Maine. I personally think it'd be dreamy to live by the sea again, I love the old-timey feel of downtown, the copious amounts of good coffee and craft beer (and craft spirits! and craft mead!), and the food culture. I love that Portland is a small city with plenty of things to do, but no rush-hour traffic unless you're really keen on popping into Boston, which is only 90 minutes away. I feel really good about ending up there, but match is a zany process (wiki HERE if you want to know more about it) so I'm keeping my heart open to anything, even if that means staying right here in rural Central PA.

That's what this year really means to me. (And by year, I mean the academic year, in case you were confused. Our years are still very much defined by a June to June schedule....) This year's lesson is openness. 

I've learned, and am still learning, how to be open to what life has in store for us, without holding too tightly to preconceived notions of how things "should be". I've also learned how to be open to new friendships, new ideas, and new ways of doing things. It feels really good, refreshing really, to just lean into life instead of constantly being afraid or nervous about uncertainty or otherness. I'm personally glad it's "only" taken me more than 3 full years of Brendan being in medical school to learn these lessons, because our life is going to be pretty chock full of stress/change/uncertainty for years and years to come. We're only at the beginning of the next part of the residency journey, and that's not to say anything of future fellowships, medical missions, or moving for that eventual "real job" one day. And that's just Brendan's side of things! I have my own career goals, too (MPH in maternal child health, and possibly becoming a nurse midwife) and a more-than-full time job being home with Margot, who we want to homeschool. If I weren't learning how to welcome change with open arms, I'd probably be curled up into the fetal position just thinking about the trajectory our life is about to take in coming years.

But instead, I'm actually pretty excited. It feels like, along with Fall and the changing leaves, our life is undergoing some pretty big changes, too.

Annnnnnyway. I really just had popped onto this here blog to write about Fall, and lookee where we ended up. A whole novel's worth of words. Ha! Thanks for reading, and I hope you're having a happy Monday, wherever you are, whatever the weather's like in your neck of the woods, and whatever changes are happening in your life.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

{currently. volume 4.}

Cheezer smile. 

Beeb feet.

Lounging. With frizzy hair courtesy the horrid humidity and mom. 
And dad, Step II board studying in the background.

She's just cute, is all. And no I will not comb her curls... ever. :)

Way into dancing these days. This sweet signature hand waving move is borrowed from her friend Jack.

Thinking about: Too much, as per usual. My mind is like: "hmm, I wonder when I should enroll in nursing school prereqs. Probably not until we actually know where B will be for residency. But maybe I could start them now? Margot's almost 16 months old now. It feels like it's been longer than that. But then look at all those pictures of her when she was suuuuuuper little! Mom time is weird- it's viscous at the same time that it's not. Time moves slow as molasses, but then you look up and you're 25 years old and asking for a new vacuum cleaner for your birthday. What is up with that? What is up with a lot of things, actually? Like, God. Does He hear me when I pray? How about those poor girls in Nigeria? Why does my mind take me to these dark and gloomy places, the places that prompt me to cry out and wonder what this faith stuff is all about? To mull over the tough questions, never finding a satisfactory answer? Maybe I should just drink more coffee." Yeahhhhh. That's my brain. 
Reading: This helpful little tome. Gosh, I wish I didn't have to read it though. You see, Margot is what some people call "spirited" or "high needs". Like, during her short stay in the hospital nursery under the bili lights, at just a day old, she'd toss and turn and scream and cry and try to rip her goggles off. Not exactly the sweetly sleeping little lamb of a newborn that I'd imagined. Our wonderful nurse, Noora, who was studying to become a midwife and so understood my zany crunchy ways, sent us home with a wink and a smile and a "good luck with THIS one. She's going to be super fun to co-sleep with". At the time, Brendan and I had noooo idea what we were in for, but that Noora was so prescient. Because it turns out, Margot is the most terrible sleeper in the world. Her brain is like mine, I suppose. It just doesn't shut off. She is a bear to get down to sleep... and a bear during the night, when she wakes approximately 50,000 times a night to nurse or flip or flop or tap B's shoulder. And we DO have her in the crib at least part of the time, it's just that without co-sleeping we'd sleep zero hours a night. And a handful of broken hours of sleep for all of us trumps NO sleep, I guess. Anyway- that's problem numero uno, but she's also an awful eater and basically just wants us to hold her AND let her run around in the backyard at the same time, even when we explain to her that that's not rationally possible. Because: spirited. So, I really hope this book is as helpful as people claim, because if not.... *trails off and stares despondently at the wine glass*
Listening to: The "Late Night Jazz" Spotify station. Like honey to my ears. 
Watching: The computer screen? Ha. Well, I'm still on my Madmen kick. (SO GOOD. CAN'T STOP.) But I also have the movie Margot queued for tonight. It's about one of the most beautiful and lovely prima ballerinas ever to dance- Margot Fonteyn... and so what if I *do* like the name Margot because of her and that beautiful Huguenot queen Margot? That's totally normal. #historynerd
Thankful for: I feel like I always answer this way, but it's always true: I'm grateful for Brendan. So, so grateful. I can't imagine life without him. We're just simpatico. Or, as I'd say in my Myspace using dayz: MFEO. I'm also thankful for iced coffee, window AC's, jersey knit skirts, my mother, my daughter, my bess fran, having a backyard/deck, delicious gin-ginger drinks, Danville amigos, books, and laughter. 

  • to figure out what we're having for dinner tonight. (I'm allllllways behind on meal planning. *hangs head in shame*)
  • to get my booty out on a long walk today.... and maybe order that Barre-Pilates DVD I've been eyeing? hmmm.
  • to somehow finagle our finances and summer schedule to include a trip to see my Oregon familia AND go to San Diego AND let's just throw in a freebie trip to Ireland/Wales. #nothappening #medschoolbudget
  • to mastermind world peace.... and also figure out the best way to never have to use my oven or stove during the summer months. 

Monday, May 19, 2014

{currently. volume 3.}

Hello! Happy Monday. I'm doing that thing that I do, where I pretty much only blog when I'm participating in a linkup. And my very favorite one to do is the one over at A Mama Collective.

Here's my currently:

Thinking about: sacrifice in mothering. it seems obvious to others, probably, but something that I have to continually beat into my brain is that mothering is sacrificial in its very nature. it is work. beloved, beautiful, sweet work. but work. (and if we're being honest, work that often entails getting poo on my hand, getting woken up a bajillion times by my 15 month old who *still* doesn't sleep through the night, and muddling through pterodactyl screaming toddler tantrums). my knee jerk reaction to the various difficulties inherent in being a mother is to run. "this is just not working for me. I'd rather be calmly and comfortably sipping a latte and reading a novel." when, truly, (and this is no coincidence) some of the profoundest moments of my mothering career have been the very most difficult ones. the ones I honestly thought I would not live through. the colicky, crying newborn days. the freaking out over food allergies and barely getting a wink of sleep days. the days I would call my own mother and cry, wondering what on earth I thought I was doing bringing a child onto this earth. those moments, looking back, were building me into the mother I am today. and, obviously, the hard moments today (when my girl woke up about an hour too soon, only to grumpily follow me around the house screaming and crying for no apparent reason) are building me into the mother I will one day be. it's all a process, and no, it's not comfortable. and that's okay. growth comes with many a growing pain. 

speaking of growing, is she not a teenager now?! craziness. 

Reading: well, I've kind of gotten side tracked watching my latest television addiction, so not much reading is actually happening around here (besides my husband cramming for boards). I'm still reading the same book as last week. this one. if you are a nerd, and a Janeite, and love Brit Lit, or British History... then you'll be doing yourself a favor picking it up. 
Listening to: almost-silence. well, periodic screams. (we're in a big screaming phase around here). 
Watching: I know I'm way late to the game, but I do this thing where I purposefully don't watch the same shows that everyone loves when they love them. Instead, I prefer to wait a few years (ahem, until there are many seasons streaming on Netflix) and binge watch them. Anyway, I did that with Breaking Bad most recently, and now I have fallen headfirst into Mad Men. Which I cannot stop watching. Seriously, find me at my perch at every naptime and bedtime, with a period-inspired cocktail in hand. #guiltypleasure

Thankful for: My husband, always. He really is just such an absolute gem. Kind, patient, loving, sincere, thoughtful, intelligent, funny. I'm grateful for him and for a happy family life, because that wasn't something I witnessed growing up. I don't talk about it much here, but I didn't have many examples of good marriages when I was a child, and I also didn't have a very happy childhood. So, I'm grateful for this family I have now, and the chance to sort of rewrite history in a way. 
1. get clothes donated to Goodwill
2. walk every day
3. get a few date nights scheduled in with the babysitting coop. 

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

{a game of chess.}


What is the difference
Between your experience of Existence
And that of a saint?

The saint knows
That the spiritual path
Is a sublime chess game with God

And that the Beloved
Has just made such a Fantastic Move

That the saint is now continually
Tripping over Joy
And bursting out in Laughter
And saying, “I Surrender!”

Whereas, my dear,
I am afraid you still think
You have a thousand serious moves.


It's something I'm trying and failing at daily. How to give up that control (or, more accurately, that illusion of control)? How to trust that what I'm doing right now- slowly plodding along and staying the course of motherhood and medical-school-wifeliness, that is- matters? That my work is inherently good even when it feels like an utter crapstorm?

I find it amazing that sometimes, you can have your head down just doing your daily work and never noticing the beauty around you, let alone the beauty within you. Because, God is love. And love is beautiful. And so of course, if one is pursuing God's work, one is living life beautifully. God is making something beautiful with and in and through you. 

Only sometimes (a lot of the time) it doesn't feel that way. It feels like sweeping, sweeping, sweeping (x1000). Spraying the kitchen counters down only to find a trillion ants hovering around the sink. Changing a diaper bomb. Hanging by the edge of sanity, basically. 

I'm quite certain the difference between me and a saint is that I'm constantly fighting everything tooth and nail, refusing to believe that this is God's work. Thinking I can outsmart the Chess Master with the swag I bring to my game. But this life is His work, most certainly. 

The other day, I was plodding along. It was Mother's Day and of course I was fantastically happy to just be home enjoying my family... butalso, just a little bit wishing that perhaps my daughter would switch gears from being a stage 1 clinger to perhaps just a stage 2 clinger. (aka that she would let me go to the bathroom without hysterics). 

I received a text from a friend, and not a very close one. She said "Happy Mother's Day. You inspire me to be a better mother every day. I'm so lucky to know you." And my jaw may have hit the floor, because even though nothing in this game of life is really about being noticed, it felt really dang good to be recognized. And to know that, in fact, the work I'm putting into this motherhood gig matters perhaps more than I'd initially thought. I always knew that the love and only occasional grumblings I put into my daily tasks blessed my family and will hopefully result in happy, well-adjusted kids. But, I'd never even for a SECOND thought about how my actions in and out of the home could bless others in their journeys.

That *my* chess moves are just so totally inferior to the Creator's chess moves, it's laughable. Where I had thought I was doing a great job sweeping floors (but interiorly grumbling, just a bit, that there wasn't anything "more") God was using me to bless other people in a much bigger way. 

He uses all of us, and sometimes it's to wipe butts and sometimes it's to change someone's life in a major way, with words and actions. But if we're too busy strategizing our own next human move, we're missing out on God's master chess game, the one that leads to the ultimate Check Mate. 

I am not and will never ever ever be perfect, but this one lesson for me: the lesson in surrender, is one that's being pounded into me and blesses me daily as I go through this journey of being The One Who Stays Home With Small Children While Her Husband Pursues Big Huge Awesome Impressive Career Things. 

Is it possible to Trip Over Joy while trotting off to change a diaper?

We're about to find out. 

Monday, May 12, 2014

{currently. volume 2.}

Shalom! Happy Monday. I'm linking up with A Mama Collective for my second round of Currently. So, here are a few photos from Mother's Day and my currently

 {you like my totally random hodge podge of flowers? so aesthetically pleasing.}

{moar muffins.}

{me and my girl. I can't stand how her hair is curling up now. or how ludicrously adorable she is in her little sundress. can't stand it.}

Reading: Jane Austen's England by Roy and Lesley Adkins. Juuuust the right thing for this nerd Janeite. 
Listening to: Winnie the Pooh in the background. That's probably going to be my answer to this question 9/10, because unless my babe is sleeping or watching a coveted Pooh episode, there's no rest for this mom. 
Watching: Can you believe I still haven't watched the Descendents?! It's still sitting here in my Netflix pile, just waiting to be enjoyed with a glass of wine or cuppa. But I beg pardon if I don't actually end up watching it (sorry, George Clooney)- because I've been in quite the "curl up with a book and read" type of mood lately, to the detriment of my Netflix pile but to the joy of my library card. 
Thankful for: Everything. This chance to be here now. My strong body. Enough food to feed my family. A backyard to garden and play in. A baby to snuggle. My fantastic husband. My beautiful mama. A God who hears me when I cry out to Him. Friends, new and old, far and near. Springtime. Winnie the Pooh and a moment to rest with a cup of coffee. All of it. 
Wishing: 1. that my floors would magically sweep and vacuum themselves every single day. Or that I would pull myself up off my booty and just get started already! 2. to continue plugging away at my online CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) courses this week. real talk: I struggle with a touch of depression due to my naturally angsty and melancholic nature... andalso the extreme stress of being a clueless mama far away from family with a husband in medical school. CBT has been ah-mazing for me. I'm really learning for the first time, how to re-configure my thought processes. 'tis good. 3. that I would stop snacking all day long. (I do not need to consume entire batches of cookies myself, methinks) and focus on drinking lots of water and getting out there. outside of my house. with running shoes on. and maybe pantomiming a bit of running action. wink.