Posted by harp on Wednesday, March 31, 2010 at 12:12 pm | Edit
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We're starting to have signs of spring here in Basel and I've been celebrating by walking to school without shoes.  My, oh my how my feet have softened over the winter months!  I walk to school every day now since I'm not riding my bike anymore due to stability issues, so that has given my feet a quick chance to get toughened up again.  Interestingly enough, people don't seem to ask about what happens when I step on stones and glass and other dangerous objects, rather they are more concerned about the possibility of cold feet.  As it turns out, that includes the police.  Last Wednesday as I was walking past the prison on my way to school, two policemen in a van addressed me with a strong "Guten Morgen!"  Our chat was brief as they were only concerned that my feet might be cold.  I asked if it was legal to go barefoot and I'm happy to say I can go barefoot as much as I want with a clean conscious.  It's nice to know the Basel police care for the whole of a citizen's wellbeing.
Posted by harp on Wednesday, March 31, 2010 at 11:43 am | Edit
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. . . Baby!  Just one, and "es" is alive and kicking.  "Es" let us see many details in the ultra sound, but was modest with those private parts.  We couldn't have asked for better cooperation.  The doctor said the exam should have been used for an ultra sound class because everything necessary was clearly and easily visible and in perfect condition.  Go Baby!  The placenta is also nicely at the top of the uterus.  That means no more ultra sounds are necessary and if Baby turns/stays head down we can go to the midwife center for the birth.  Thank you for all your prayers for this first step.  God blessed us through them!  And now the moment you've been waiting for: the top one shows two cute feet and the bottom one shows two arms and curled hands snuggling a head that is in the darkness.  You'll have to wait to see what our baby's face looks like!

(click to see larger image)

Posted by harp on Tuesday, March 2, 2010 at 6:14 pm | Edit
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My attempt to imbed a video:

Video Link

In this TED talk by behavior economist Daniel Kahneman there is a fair bit of psychological talk that I’m not sure I get, but his discussion of the difference in happiness of our “experiencing selves” and our “remembering selves” gave me some insight into what to expect from childbirth.  An example of how these two selves see happiness differently, he tells a story of a man who listened to 20 minutes of glorious music only to have a horrible sound come at the very end, which he claims ruined the whole experience.  Of course it had no influence on the 20 minutes of enjoying his experiencing self had had, but all he was left with was his memory, so his remembering self could only look on the experience as a bad one.  The fact that the end experience influences greatly the view of the whole experience given by the remembering self lead me to the conclusion that I cannot use any descriptions given by mothers to prepare myself for what childbirth will be like as I actually experience it.  I fully intend to forget all the pain and remember the most beautiful moment in the world when my tiny baby is placed in my arms, and maybe living that future memory in my head during labor will decrease the discomfort (a lovely word often used to describe labor pains) for my experiencing self, but it’s unclear how much this knowledge can change the happiness of the two selves.

As for earning money, at the end of the video Kahneman shares a statistic that shows that the less one earns per year the more unhappy the experiencing self is.  The catch is that once income reaches $60,000 (for an American) the line is flat: there is no increase in experiential happiness.  It’s all in the head: the happiness of the remembering self still continues to increases with increasing income.  So I say get your satisfaction with your life from other sources and you’ve saved yourself years of work at the office.  Use the extra time to make a load of memorable experiences and the happiness of the remembering self (the one we mostly live out of and base or view of ourselves and our lives on) will be better than a millionaire! 

Posted by harp on Monday, March 1, 2010 at 8:07 pm | Edit
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Yesterday we took some belly pictures and this was hubby's choice for the blog.  I don't stay in this position always, but I do tend to reflect and "hold" my baby when I feel "es" moving.  I shouldn't mix by German and English, but it is terribly convenient that "das Baby" in German is not masculine or feminine so one can use the pronoun "es" without implying anything - neither sex nor non-human status.  We're at 22 or 23 weeks, depending on how you count.

Posted by harp on Monday, March 1, 2010 at 10:18 am | Edit
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